Thursday, July 20, 2017

Questions from the vet!

Wait, is there a written exam too? 

There are many ways a veterinarian learns about our animals.  Observing how our animal is behaving, a thorough physical exam (complete with lots of petting!), and lab work such as a blood test or X-ray are all super important to helping determine what’s going on.  But there are some things that no amount of testing or examining can tell a veterinarian, and that’s where you come in!  Vets need our help to know what’s been going on at home, and since our pets can’t speak for themselves, it’s up to us to tell the vet what’s happening.  Even if our animal is feeling great, it’s important that the vet understand the whole picture to help us keep our animals happy!   

Here are some examples:   

First, a lot of pets behave differently at the vet as they do at home.  Animals at the vet can get a surge of energy, and a dog who has been extra sleepy at home might be bouncing off the walls at the clinic.  On the other hand, a dog who has been running around at home 24-7 might be very shy and quiet in the clinic.  In both cases, what we are seeing at home is very important to help the vet!

Or say my cat has been throwing up in my shoe; the vet will want to know if my cat just threw up in my shoe today, or if my cat throws up in my shoe every day! (I hope not!)      

How well a pet is eating at home is also important, as not every animal will eat treats in the clinic (this may be hard for some dog owners to believe!).  The vet will want to know if a pet is avoiding food at home, finishing their meals, or finishing their meals and trying to finish everyone else’s food too (personally my cat tries to steal pastries when I’m not looking!).

Speaking of eating too much, a vet will always want to know if your pet got into the Thanksgiving turkey, or if any socks have gone missing!      

Of course these are just a few of many questions a veterinarian might ask you when you bring your pet to the vet, but you can see there is a lot of information a vet can only find out from you! Since our pets can’t talk, we have to answer the questions for them!  

Thank you for reading!

-Dr. Chuck 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Monday, July 10, 2017

Pets and Parasites and Pediatricians

I think my cat got ringworm from my child! Do I call my veterinarian or my pediatrician?

The answer is both! 

We get a lot of phone calls from concerned parents regarding their pets and their kids, particularly in regard to zoonotic diseases.  The zoo has an infection? Oh wait, “zoonotic” diseases refers to diseases which can spread from kids to animals, or from animals to kids!  Common diseases in this category include ringworm, certain mites, hookworms, roundworms, and leptospirosis (among others!).  If either your child or your animal is infected with a zoonotic disease, it’s important to talk to your family doctor and your family veterinarian to make sure everyone is treated and kept safe!

Veterinarians are pretty great, but they can’t treat your kid! And pediatricians are also pretty cool, but they can’t treat your pet!  So sometimes we have to call them both!

Thank you for reading!
-Dr. Chuck

Pet Fact!

Bordetella bronchiseptica, Bordetella pertussis, and Grus americana, respectively!

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Before you adopt: Pets Poop!

WARNING: This blog post is about poop.  Read at your own risk of being grossed out! 
2ND WARNING: No, really! It's just poop!

Today we are discussing a rather…sticky subject.  That’s right.  This is a Poop post. 

When we think about getting a pet there are MANY different things to consider.  How big do they get? How much space do they need? How long do they live? Is anyone in the house allergic? And so much more.  BUT (pun intended) we can’t forget that most basic of routine care needs; poop clean up. 

Everyone poops.  How we have to clean up that poop, and how often we have to clean up that poop, is one of the less fun aspects of pet ownership.  This post will hopefully start to give you an idea of what to expect, poop-wise, from your next pet. 

We can break down poop cleanup by how ‘up close and personal’ it is.  From this standpoint, dog poop is definitely the most direct poop contact a pet owner will get.  Dogs poop every day (at least), and the tried and true method of clean up is to put your hand in a plastic bag and…pick up the poop.  Hand-bag-poop.  A very personal experience.  And of course, bigger dogs have bigger poops.  Chihuahua clean up and Great Dane clean up are whole different experiences.

Cat poop is a bit more tidy, for the most part.  Cats poop in special boxes, and we fill the boxes with sand to help cover the poop and the poop smell.  Scooping a litterbox is a step more removed from that direct poop-in-the-hand dog experience, but when you scoop a litterbox you also have to deal with cat pee (though fortunately it also gets disguised in the litter for a reduced ick-factor).  You also have to consider that the cat poops in the house, and that smell…well, is also in the house.    

[Normally I would put an image here, but...eww...]

Rabbit poop is a bit unique.  Rabbits actually have two types of poop; the regular round firm poops, and a second, softer, less digested poop (cecotropes) which they eat (yes, that is super gross).  The good news is that in a healthy rabbit you should only see the regular round firm poops, and those poops are pretty easy to discard.  As a bonus, many rabbits can be trained to use a litterbox, so clean up can be pretty well consolidated.  However, rabbits tend to poop all day (and eat all day), so a rabbit hopping around the house will definitely be leaving some poop around. 

Our smaller mammals (hamsters, rats, mice, etc), will generally require a full cage cleaning regularly for poop maintenance.  The poops are small and discrete, but because of that we just need to clean up everything at once.  These poops are definitely less immediately gross than dogs or cats, but regularly replacing bedding can be a chore itself. 

Bird droppings are very different from mammal poops, but they are bountiful.  Birds leave droppings quite indiscriminately, so along with changing the bottom of the cage regularly you will also need to clean perches, water dishes, toys, and even the bars of the cage.  Who hasn’t heard of someone being pooped on by a bird while walking outside? Bird droppings get EVERYWHERE. 

Lizards mostly fall into a similar category as our small mammals in terms of full-cage clean ups.  Snakes however have a slower poop cycle.  Essentially most animals operate on a system where each time they eat, they also poop.  Since adult snakes don’t always eat every day, they don’t always poop every day! Definitely less poop clean up in the snake world.    

So there you have it; the ‘ins-and-outs’ (so to speak!) of pet poop.  Now of course there is so much more to selecting a pet than poop, but (ha! again!) poop is important!
Thank you for reading!

-Dr. Chuck

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Pet Fact!

Shots! Eek!

Let’s get it out of the way; shots can be scary.  But shots are an important part of keeping our pets healthy, and we want them to be healthy!  The big medical word for shots is vaccinations, or vaccines.   You’ve probably heard of measles, right?  But you’ve never gotten measles, right? That’s because you got a measles vaccine! Vaccines prevent us from getting diseases, like measles!

Now, dogs and cats don’t get measles, but they do get other diseases.  One of the biggest diseases we have to prevent is rabies.  Dogs and cats can get rabies, and people can get rabies from dogs and cats!  So to keep our dogs and cats safe, and to keep you safe, we give them rabies shots.

We all know shots can hurt, but there are things we can do to help our pets!  The first thing is to be brave! When we are scared, our pets can get nervous too.  But if we are brave, it can help our pets be brave! The second thing is to help them think about something else; for example – treats!  When you get a shot, you probably get a sticker (and you earned it!), but we don’t give animals stickers; they would just try to eat them! So instead we often give animals treats.  Many dogs and cats won’t even notice their shots if there are treats nearby! 

So next time you go to the vet with your pet; remember – stay brave, eat treats! Wait! No! We don’t eat the treats; the puppy does!

Thank you for reading!

-Dr. Chuck    

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What's a veterinarian?

Let’s start at the beginning! What IS a veterinarian??

Actually, first things first; how do you SAY veterinarian?  Well some people say VE-TER-IH-NARIAN, but some people say VE-TRIH-NARIAN.  Either one is ok! And a lot of people just say The Vet!        

Alright, so it’s a pretty big word, but what does it mean? 

A veterinarian is an animal doctor! Animals get check-ups, shots, and medicine, just like us.  A veterinarian can help when our pets get ear aches, stomach aches, scrapes, bruises, or anything else!  Veterinarians help us keep our pets healthy, and help our pets get better when they are sick.    

Oof! I think my tongue is all tied up from saying ‘veterinarian’ so many times!

Have you ever brought your pets to the veterinarian?  We should all bring our animals to the veterinarian at least once a year to make sure they are healthy and to keep them up to date on their shots.  Wait…animals get shots?  They do! Shots (also called vaccines) help make sure our pets don’t get sick! We'll have more about this in our next post!     

Thank you for reading!

-Dr. Chuck

Tongue Twisters!

Veterinary Tongue Twisters: See if you can say these sentences six times fast!

1) Val the vet very much values vaccinations!

2) Prancing puppies prefer petting and playing!

3) Little Lisa loves leaving lizards lettuce for later!

That was hard! I think I bit my tongue!

-Dr. Chuck

Frog Coloring Sheet!

Free printable coloring sheet!

Pet Fact!

This is just one reason it's so important that rabbits always have access to food! -Dr. Chuck

Pet Fact!

Humans are in the middle with 32 teeth, and birds have no teeth! But believe me; it hurts if a parrot bites you! -Dr. Chuck

Welcome to the vet!

Hey everyone!

Welcome to Dr. Chuck's blog!  We're excited to share the world of animals and veterinary medicine with you and your kids!  We'll talk about animals, share some humor, and probably have a lot of references to poop (sometimes all in the same sentence!).

Happy reading!

-Dr. Chuck