Animal Care Services
For All Pet Owners
Pet care do’s and don’t’s
Don’t even think about it
- Never use human eye products on your animal unless prescribed by a veterinarian. The PH is different and can burn or damage to the cornea and lead to vision loss.
- Never stop monthly heartworm preventive, as this leaves your pet unprotected and he will have to be tested before restarting the medication.
- Never withhold water from any animal at any time (even when caged). Animals can quickly become dehydrated and then overconsume water once it is available, leading to bladder control issues and possible organ damage.
- Never give over the counter human medications to a pet unless directed by a veterinarian. For questions, call our office. We will be happy to tell you if an OTC product is safe for your animal.
- Never use scissors to trim your pet’s fur. A sudden move can cause injury to you or your pet.
- Never allow cats or dogs to play with string, tinsel, rubber bands, etc. Ingesting these objects can cause intestinal blockages that may require emergency surgery.
- Never give your dog pork or pork bones and avoid processed meat products, such as bologna, hot dogs, salami, trail bologna and pepperoni. Even a small amount of these foods can cause vomiting, diarrhea or pancreatitis.
- Never allow your pet to eat chocolate, grapes or onions, as these foods are toxic to most animals.
- Never give your animal raw meat, raw eggs or spoiled food, as they are susceptible to same bacterial infections we are. Don’t feed it to your pet if you wouldn’t eat it yourself.
- Call our office first with questions about your pet, rather than relying on suggestions from friends, family or the internet.
- Call an emergency clinic if your pet is ill when Lake Cable Animal Hospital is closed. They can advise you as to whether your pet needs to be seen immediately.
- Always give medications as directed and complete the prescribed course of treatment to avoid a relapse or development of a resistant condition.
- Always ask if you do not understand a diagnosis, a procedure, or how to use a product or medication.
- Keep a list of plants that your pet may have access to and whether they are toxic.
- Always feed a good quality, name-brand pet food and read the ingredient labels of foods you are not familiar with. Fillers in off brands can lead to weight gain, food allergy problems, poor body condition, poor skin and hair coat, and digestive problems.
- Introduce dietary changes gradually, as sudden changes can cause stomach upset and stress.
- Ask us about bones that are safe to offer your dog. When in doubt, don’t offer it.
- For everyone’s safety, always have your dog on a leash and your cat in a carrier when entering our office. Your pet may be well behaved and sociable but other pets in the waiting area may be aggressive or frightened by other animals.
- Always maintain your pet at a healthy weight. Obesity can shorten your pet’s life, affect his mobility and cause or aggravate such health problems as arthritis, diabetes, liver disease, and heart disease.
- Bring your pet to our office annually for health checks and vaccinations. Prevention is still the best medicine.
- Always leave kennels and pet sitters a phone number where you can be reached in case your pet becomes ill. We cannot treat your pet without your permission.
- Always keep your pet well-groomed. Matted hair is uncomfortable for your pet and can cause skin problems.
- When bringing a new pet into the household, isolate the animal for two weeks to eliminate the spread of parasites or contagious disease.
- Call us if your pet’s behavior or housetraining habits suddenly change, as there may be an underlying medical problem.
- Call our office for effective flea prevention options, as it is easier to prevent an infestation than it is to successfully treat one.
Degenerative joint disease
Degenerative joint disease or arthritis is a chronic condition most often seen in older dogs and cats. It can, however, develop in younger animals, especially if they are overweight or if they have had a broken bone or joint injury.
The most common sign your pet may have arthritis is limping or noticeable difficulty getting around or recovering from exercise or play. Pets may show more subtle signs that they are uncomfortable or experiencing some pain, however. Your older pet may move more slowly, take longer to go up and down stairs, or may lay around more.
In general dogs are more active than cats, so while you may notice a “slowing down” of your dog, you may not readily see a problem in your cat. In some cases, cats may start “missing” the litter box because they are having getting difficulty getting in and out of it, or you may see them aggressively grooming a particular spot where they are experiencing pain.
Treatment and prevention
The best way to prevent arthritis is to keep your pet at a healthy weight. Pets who are obese put excessive pressure on their joints. Such constant stress can cause arthritic joints or can cause quicker degeneration in pets who are beginning to experience arthritis. Veterinarians encourage choices of food and portion sizes appropriate to your pets’ age and level of activity to keep them at their optimum weight.
At Lake Cable Animal Hospital, we also can help you manage arthritis, it’s progression and pain through medical therapy and careful planning of exercise and activity level. Pain relievers, including NSAIDS, have been effective for pets experiencing pain, as well as chondroprotective agents that help to increase lubrication in the joints. For more advanced cases there also are surgical options.
If your pet appears to be experiencing signs of arthritis, contact us to arrange an evaluation and treatment plan to help keep your pet comfortable and happy.
Dental care is an essential part of your pet’s health. One of the most common diseases for cats and dogs is periodontal disease, which affects not only the teeth, but the gums and tissue supporting the teeth. Left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to serious health issues involving the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Symptoms of periodontal disease
- Bad breath
- Red and swollen gums
- Painful or bleeding gums
- Lost teeth
- Yellow-brown crusts of tartar at the gum line
Good home care and regular dental cleanings at your veterinary clinic are the only effective ways to treat and prevent periodontal disease. We recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily using a soft toothbrush or fingertip toothbrush designed for your pet. Most pets adjust quickly to this routine and allow you to easily clean their teeth. Pet stores and clinics have kits available with toothpaste designed specifically for your dog or cat. Never use human toothpaste on your pet.
At Lake Cable Animal Hospital, we will check your pet’s teeth during his annual check up and advise you on the care needed to keep them healthy. Planning for an annual cleaning is the best way to keep your pet’s teeth healthy.
Obesity is an extremely common problem among our pets. Unfortunately, it also can be life-threatening, leading to heart, liver and kidney disease, as well as diabetes, increased joint problems and arthritis, increased surgical risks, and even skin problems. While in some cases your pet may become overweight because of a medical condition, usually obesity is due to too many calories and too little activity.
Veterinarians use a body condition scoring system to determine if your pet is overweight, but you can do a simple test at home. With your pet standing in front of you, place your hands on his/her ribs. You should be able to feel, but not see, the ribs without pressing too hard. Also, you should be able to see a “waistline” or narrowing between the end of the ribs and hips.
Does your pet need to lose weight?
Just like people, putting your pet on a diet means reducing caloric intake and increasing activity level. Reducing your pet’s daily food total by 20% is a good place to start. You will want to measure how much they are eating and do the math. For cats, this means no free feeding, as an overweight cat will tend to continue to overeat if food is offered.
Changing your pets’ eating habits can be a challenge, especially if they seem to always be hungry. Dividing the total food give in a day into two or three meals may help but expect the process to take time—probably several months.
Your veterinarian can advise you on a plan for increasing your pet’s activity level safely. Usually a gradual increase is best. For cats, offering new toys that will keep them active can help.
Your vet may also suggest a low-calorie, high fiber food for your pet. If you decide to go with a new food, be sure to introduce this change gradually to avoid stomach upset and added stress.
Your pet may also be satiated with low calorie snacks, such as raw vegetables or rice cakes in between meals. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about safe choices for your pet before introducing such snacks.
Be patient and don’t give up! Your pet needs you to be strong if he or she is to shed the excess weight. Our team is here to help you give your pet a chance at a longer, healthy life.
Today, many pet owners want to take their pets on vacation rather than leaving them home. Traveling with pets, however, can be difficult and may be extremely stressful for your pet. Your vacation choice may not be the best environment for your pet. Consider what is on your vacation activity list as well as the temperament of your pet before you finalize your decision. Ask yourself some thoughtful questions and consult your veterinarian if you are uncertain.
What are your vacation plans?
Your dog may enjoy a trip filled with hiking or camping, or a week at the beach, but hotel stays between city museum tours will not include much fun for him. If you are visiting family members who are pet friendly, your vacation may be an ideal time for them to get acquainted, but you will want to communicate your pet’s habits and be sure the environment at your family member or friend’s home will be suitable.
How does your pet handle change and travel?
No one knows your pet better than you do, so pay attention to his or her reactions when you introduce something out of the norm. If your dog or cat struggled to adjust to a move to a new house or the introduction of another pet, the change associated with a vacation may be a bad idea. The journey itself may be hard for your pet if he or she gets carsick or is traumatized by a two-hour plane ride in a carrier.
Traveling by air
Do your homework before you plan a trip by air with your pet. Individual airlines will have different requirements, including whether your pet may travel with you or must travel in the cargo area. You also will need an airline approved carrier or crate and a health certificate, including proof of vaccinations, as well as access to food, water and litter.
For helpful information about preparing your pet for airline travel, go to www.petswelcome.com.
Traveling by car
Planning a car trip with your pet means considering supplies you will need to be sure your pet is comfortable in this environment. We suggest you consider placing both dogs and cats in crates or carriers when traveling by car, both for safety and comfort for the pet. Remember you also will need to bring medical papers and proof of vaccinations wherever you go.
If you are traveling with a dog, remember to allow for frequent stops to allow for exercise and potty breaks.
Car travel for pets can be an adventure but be sure you have trained them early in life for car rides. Cats especially can become agitated quickly in a car if their only rides have been for visits to the vet.
Car travel also is a commitment to your pets’ well-being. Never leave a dog or cat in a car even if the temperature seems relatively cool to you. The temperature inside a car rises very quickly and will put your pet at risk for heatstroke.
Is your destination pet friendly?
Do some research regarding pet regulations at your destination, both domestic and overseas. In most locations you should be able to find a hotel that allows pets, but many cities, counties and states have regulations regarding breeds, potential diseases and exotic pets. Your breed of dog may be banned, or exotic pets may be restricted. In some locations, pets must be kept quarantined for a specified period of time to eliminate the possible spread of disease. Any of these issues can ruin your vacation plans.
Service animals are generally exempt from such restrictions, but if you intend to bring your pet or service animal with you, it is wise to check hotel rules and city and state ordinances to confirm any documentation or veterinary statements you may need before you leave.
Leaving your pet home
Pets who are uncomfortable with change, are very old or very young, or are being treated for some medical conditions are usually best left home with a loving caregiver. Often the best option is a family member or friend who will stay with your pet at your home, keeping feeding schedules and environment unchanged for those creatures of habit.
If you need a reliable pet sitter, your best resources are neighbors who also have pets or your veterinarian. They also may be able to recommend kennels where your pet will be well cared for and have other animals for company while you are away. Plan to tour the kennel before you leave so you can confirm the environment and any requirements, such as vaccinations.
If you have not boarded your pet in the past, plan ahead so you can take your pet for a couple of visits. This will familiarize your pet with the caregivers and the environment and give you piece of mind that you are not leaving your cherished pet with strangers.
For questions about traveling with pets, health care concerns and boarding options, contact our office.
- atopica.com – allergy information
- handicappedpets.coms – carts, slings, ramps beds etc.
- preparingfido.com – information about babies and dogs
- nssvet.org/ici– feline environmental enrichment and behavior
- indoorpet.osu.edu/– information about indoor cats and enriching environment
- pfizerah.com – pet wellness
- petshealthplan.com – information about pet health insurance
- avma.org – American Veterinary Medical Association
- aahanet.org – American Animal Hospital Association
- ohiovma.org – Ohio Veterinary Medical Association
- catvets.com – American Association of Feline Practitioners
- petdiets.com – nutritional advice and homemade diets
- vet.cornell.edu/fhc – Cornell Feline Health Center
- [email protected]
- aphis.usda.gov/import_export/index.shtml – importing/exporting of pets
- jefferspet.com– anti barking collar citronella
- bottomsupleash.com– sling-type leash for dogs weak in the back end
- nekofeeder.com – carrier and collar to regulate food for cats
Heartworm and Flea medication
vailable Heartworm Medications
INTERCEPTOR is a monthly oral medication for dogs and cats. This product protects pets from heartworm disease and intestinal parasites such as roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms. Interceptor can be used with any topical flea product. Your pet must be tested for heartworm prior to starting this medication or if there are any inconsistencies in the monthly dosing (such as late administration or missed months). Heartworm medication should be given year-round.
SENTINEL is for dogs only. It is the same monthly heartworm medication contained in Interceptor and it also includes a flea birth control formula. Sentinel will NOT kill adult fleas but can stop fleas from multiplying in the environment as long as all animals in the house is on good quality flea control. Sentinel can be used with any topical flea product if necessary. Sentinel does not control ticks.
ADVANTAGE MULTI is available for both dogs and cats. This is a monthly topical product which is used in the same manner as Advantage (see paragraph below regarding application and bathing instructions). This product contains a combination of medications which prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas, and protects pets from intestinal parasites (hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms) and ear mites. Pets must be tested for heartworm prior to starting this medication or if there are any lapses in the dosing of monthly heartworm preventive. Your pet may not use any other heartworm or flea products while this product is actively in their system or within 30 days of applying the last dose. This product does not kill ticks.
Available Flea Products
ADVANTAGE is a topical medication used to kill adult fleas on dogs and cats. One tube of oil is applied to completely dry skin (not the hair) in specified areas once a month. The product is waterproof but will be removed with soap. For best results, bathe your pet at least 24-48 hours prior to application and do not bathe again for at least 1 week after application. You must use a soap-free shampoo (such as our Aloe & Oatmeal Shampoo) while using this product. It is important to read and follow the package directions before using this product. This product can be used with Interceptor or Sentinel. No other topical flea products (shampoos, sprays, collars, etc) may be applied while using Advantage. This product does not kill ticks.
ADVANTIX is the same topical medication as Advantage but it also contains a medication to kill ticks and repel mosquitoes. It is applied in the same manner as Advantage and the bathing instructions are also the same (refer to the paragraph on Advantage above). Advantix is available only for dogs. IT CAN NOT BE USED ON CATS. It is important to read and follow the package directions before using this product. It can be used with Interceptor or Sentinel. No other topical flea products may be used with Advantix.
ADVANTAGE MULTI is available for both dogs and cats. This is a monthly topical product which is used in the same manner as Advantage (see above paragraph regarding application and bathing instructions). This product contains a combination of medications which prevents heartworm disease, kills adult fleas, and protects pets from intestinal parasites (hookworms, whipworms, and roundworms) and ear mites. Pets must be tested for heartworm prior to starting this medication or if there are any lapses in the dosing of monthly heartworm preventive. Your pet may not use any other heartworm or flea products while this product is actively in their system or within 30 days of applying the last dose. This product does not kill ticks.
How to treat the house for fleas
- Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s directions.
- Vacuum all floors. Fleas can live in your sweeper so you need to either throw the sweeper bag away or empty the dirt collection cup and spray it with the house treatment. Sweep & mop linoleum & hardwood floors.
- Treat all animals in the household for fleas. Be sure to use products that are appropriate for your pet’s size, age, general health and species.
- Remove all pets and people from the house during the spraying process & for approximately one hour afterward. Be sure to cover any fish tanks. Read and follow all of the manufacturer’s directions.
- It is usually not necessary to spray mattresses, however all bedding should be removed and washed. Pet bedding should also be either washed or sprayed with the house treatment.
- Spot test carpet and upholstery for possible staining. It is not necessary to saturate the areas. Lightly mist all carpeting & upholstery using a smooth back and forth motion. Hold the can 2 to 3 feet from the surface you are spraying. Fleas travel so you must spray every room in the house – even ones the animals do not have access to. Move as much furniture as possible and the spray the carpeting underneath. If furniture cushions can be removed, they should be sprayed on all sides. Spray all areas of furniture exposed when the cushions are off.
- DO NOT VACUUM AGAIN FOR 5-7 DAYS. The spray must remain in contact with the areas in order to work.
- Repeat the process every 2 to 4 weeks or until no fleas have been seen for at least 2 treatments.
Intestinal Parasites (worms)
Intestinal parasites live inside your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. In the vast majority of cases, you will never see evidence that your pet has them, but untreated, they can cause malnutrition and anemia and can make your pet very sick. They also may affect humans, so it’s important to recognize and treat this potential health threat.
Pets usually pick up a parasite by unknowingly ingesting the eggs or spores. This may be from contaminated soil, water or food, or even feces. Very young pets are nearly always treated for worms transmitted through mother’s milk or in utero.
Some pets exhibit symptoms, but many are asymptomatic. Possible symptoms include:
- A distended abdomen
- Weight loss
Veterinarians perform fecal testing at your pet’s annual well-care visit to check for intestinal parasites. A stool sample is tested for microscopic eggs or spores, all invisible to the naked eye. Your vet will look for the following parasites:
- Roundworms – Found in most puppies and kittens at birth, adult worms are visible in the animal’s stool and resemble a piece of spaghetti. Infected animals may have a pot-bellied appearance. Animals must ingest the eggs orally to become infected.
- Hookworms – Named for the sharp teeth they use to attach to the host’s intestinal wall, these worms are microscopic and will never be seen in your pets’ stool. Infection can cause blood in the stool and lead to anemia from blood loss. Transmission of eggs in feces can be oral or through contact with the skin.
- Whipworms – These worms are known for their resiliency, as they can survive in the ground for several years apart from the infected stool. Because of this prevalence, whipworms are often blamed for intermittent bouts of diarrhea and mucous-y stool exhibited by pets. The worms and eggs are microscopic.
- Tapeworms – Segments of this worm are short, flat and white and may look like grains of rice or sesame seeds stuck to the hair around your pet’s rear end. They are not transmitted by contact with the stool, but by direct contact with the host—usually a dead animal, such as a flea, mouse or bird. The worm eggs are contained within the segments that pass, which when eaten by a flea, mouse or other animal, with then be incubated to infectious form. Your pet may become infected after eating an infected flea.
If your pet has not been treated for worms, your vet will request more than one stool sample if the first test is negative. Worms produce eggs or spores in two- to three-week cycles so it is possible to get a negative result even if your pet has worms.
At Lake Cable Animal Hospital, we will check for multiple parasites and prescribe medications to treat any that your pet may have. We will follow with two additional fecal tests after your pet has completed treatment to be sure the parasites are no longer present.
We may also prescribe medication if a test is negative but there is reason to believe parasites may be present. This will not hurt your pet if he does not have worms, but it will help if there are undetected parasites.
- Processed meat products such as hot dogs, bologna, salami, trail bologna, pepperoni, beef jerky, etc.
- Raw, undercooked or spoiled meats, which could cause bacterial infections such as E. Coli and Salmonella
- Pork products or animal fat, which can cause pancreatitis
- Fish with bones
- Chicken or pork bones, which can splinter easily
- Small bones, which can be a choking hazard
- Spiced, marinated, coated, salted or seasoned meats which can upset the stomach.
FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
- Fruit with pits
- Grapes and raisins, which are toxic
- Onions or onion powder, which can be toxic
- Macadamia nuts and avocados, which can be toxic
- Beverages containing caffeine, which as soda, coffee and tea
- Dairy products, such as milk and cheese, should be given sparingly, as some pets may be lactose intolerant. If your pet experiences vomiting or diarrhea, discontinue dairy foods.
- Eggs should be offered with caution, as some pets do not tolerate them well.
- Tea leaves and raw yeast dough, which are toxic
- The artificial sweetener Xylitol is toxic and may be found in beverages, candy and gum
Tips for multiple pet households
Many pet lovers opt for having more than one pet in their home, and why not? Multiple pets provide companionship for the pets and a great experience for you and your family. If you are considering adopting another pet, it’s important to remember that while a friend or relative may have found the process simple, each animal is different. The key is knowing your pets, understanding how they interact with strangers, and having the patience to let them take the time they need to adjust.
Before you adopt number 2
Find out how your pet reacts with other people and other animals. Take dogs to a park and watch how they interact with other dogs. Take pets on visits where they are exposed to other people, dogs and cats. Board your pet while you are on vacation and take time to learn how he or she handled being around other animals and away from you. This information will be helpful as you plan the introduction of a new pet to your home. If your pet handles these interactions poorly, a second pet may not be right for you.
Remember that like people, every animal has its own personality and temperament. The introduction of a new pet can take a few days or several weeks. Whether you are introducing dogs, cats, or dogs to cats, keep the following in mind:
- Be sure your pets feel secure. Current pets should be in a place they are familiar with and new pets should be allowed to adjust to and explore new space without other pets around.
- Carefully supervise the introduction and do not leave pets alone until they are fully acclimated to each other.
- Reward positive behavior, but do not punish aggressive behavior. It is best to separate the pets and try again later.
- During initial visits of dogs to dogs and cats to cats, keep both dogs on a leash and at least one cat in a carrier. When introducing dogs to cats, keep the dog restrained and allow the cat space to escape.
- Limit first visits to 5 or 10 minutes and gradually lengthen the time the animals are together based on their reactions.
- Do not attempt to separate pets with your hands should a fight break out. Have a broom or other long object nearby to put between them.
- Understand the time it takes to acclimate can vary greatly based on the species, age, sex and temperament of your pets.
The difference between dogs and cats
Dogs and cats are quite different when it comes to behavior, co-existing and the introduction of something new. A couple of helpful tips:
- It’s best to introduce dogs to each other on neutral ground, such as a park or during a walk. Usually two or three “play dates” will be enough to get them comfortable. Warning signs to watch for are cowering, pinned back ears or baring of teeth.
- Cats should be introduced to another cat’s scent while in their own home, before being introduced to the cat. Initial introductions should then be done with one cat confined to a carrier while the other is free. Warning signs to watch for are spraying or litter box issues as the cats spend more time together.
- Dog to cat introductions should be initiated with the animals separated by a gate or other barrier. Since cats generally don’t like change, let the cat lead on introductions, length of time and how close they get.
Challenges of feeding multiple pets
Most multi-pet households report difficulty keeping pets from eating each other’s food. If you feed your pets the same thing that can certainly reduce some of the stress, but if you have kittens or puppies with older animals, or one of your pets is on a special diet, it is important to keep control over feeding time. It also is important to monitor what each pet eats to catch health problems early. There are a few things you can do to help simplify the feeding process.
- Physically separate your pets. Feed them in separate rooms, put cats in an elevated space where dogs cannot get to them, or use gates to create a barrier.
- Don’t attempt to free-feed in a multi-pet household. Give each pet a specific serving during mealtimes and remove what they don’t eat to prevent another pet from eating it.
- Create a routine so that your pets know what to expect. Feed them at consistent times each day and consider having a signal, such as ringing a bell.
For questions about adopting another pet or how to acclimate a new pet to your household, contact our office.
Poisonous plants that could harm your pets
Whatever the season, your dogs or cats may want to roam outdoors. Even indoors pets can be curious. Unfortunately, this can put them at risk of getting into things that could be harmful to them. Vegetation and plants that are harmful to animals are of special concern because they often appear harmless (many are harmless to humans) and because they can be enticing to pets who like to chew. Understanding and recognizing poisonous plants may help you keep your pets safe both indoors and outdoors.
There are thousands of species of plants and very few are actually poisonous to your pet. That being said, some plants are more dangerous than others, so knowing what to avoid can save you a lot of worry if your pet is attracted to plants.
What if your pet suddenly becomes ill? Obviously, it is best if you can tell your veterinarian what your pet ate, but that’s not always possible, especially if your pet was roaming outdoors. Knowing which off-limits plants are in or near your home and which are prevalent each season can be a big help in zeroing in on what your pet may have come in contact with.
Many of the plants listed below can cause gastrointestinal upset, vomiting, drooling or irritation to the mouth and gums. Others can cause far more serious symptoms, either immediately or several hours to days later. If you aren’t sure what your pet ate, or how your pet may react to something he or she ate, it is best to seek the help of a veterinarian immediately.
These may be especially toxic to cats
- Tulips and Hyacinth, especially the bulbs
- Poison Ivy/Oak
- Easter Lilies/Daylilies
- Lily of the Valley
Be especially vigilant with your pet spending more time outdoors
- Sago Palm, indoor or outdoor
Watch for pets exploring vegetable gardens
- Black Walnuts
- Autumn Crocus
Favorite holiday plants can be no-no’s for pets
- Holly Berry
- Christmas Tree