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Understanding Pet Behavior

 

Did you know?

Anal glands once served a purpose; to help animals leave a scent and mark their territory. Since humans now plot the backyard, animals have no need for these glands.

80% of pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease, the most common being tarter build up.

Most humans have 32 permanent teeth (4 of which are wisdom teeth that are often removed). Cats have 30 permanent teeth and dogs have 42 permanent teeth.

Male cats, especially those over the age of eight or nine, are more prone to urinary tract infections based on their urinary organs.

Because our pets can not raise their paws and tell us when something is wrong, we as owners need to know what to watch for to know when our pet is ill.

The Dog Scoot Boogie
A dog dragging his hind end across the floor is his way of telling you his anal glands are full and need emptying. Anal glands consist of two small pea-sized sacs on the inside of a dog's anus. Some dogs naturally excrete their anal glands when defecating, however some dogs retain the excretion in the sacs. A quick trip to our office can alleviate the retained excretion in a simple routine office exam.

Eating Out of One Side of the Mouth
While it might look like your pet is trying their best Elvis impersonation, eating out of only one side of the mouth and/or curling their lip may indicate an abscess in the gums, tooth decay, or gingivitis. Another signal that something is wrong in your pet's mouth is excessive rubbing of the face. They are probably trying to sooth the irritation in their mouth. Excessive chewing on toys and rawhide is another sign of your pet attempting to alleviate problems in the mouth.

Frequent and Small Amounts of Urine
If your pet seems to urinate more frequently than before, check the amount of urine each time they go. Small amounts of frequent urine could be a sign of a urinary tract infection (UTI). Cats, especially males, may become blocked because of their small urethra. Because of this blockage, a male cat will lick himself excessively, another clue that something is awry.

Odd colored urine, (such as dark orange or even red) may also mean a UTI. A trip to our office is important. If possible, try and catch a urine sample from your pet to bring in with you to be analyzed. For cats it is okay to remove their litter from the pan, clean out the box thoroughly and use that as a sample. Most cats will still use the litter box if they are well trained.

Sudden Weight Changes
Overweight pets may start to lose weight when their body is damaged due to the excess weight. For example, an overweight pet cannot support the extra weight and may tear a ligament or have the start of arthritis. This pet may not be able to comfortably reach their food bowl and will stop eating.

Likewise, a pet who suddenly gains a tremendous amount of weight could have one of a few problems. If your pet was recently put on a medication by your veterinarian, weight gain might be a side effect. Another cause for sudden weight gain is simply a loving owner offering too many treats to their pet. Cutting back on the amount of treats given is preferable to changing to diet food. Increased exercise will also help shed some pounds.

These are just a few signs that trouble is lurking for your pet. Always keep an eye out for abnormal behavior and give us a call is you suspect something is wrong.

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Testimonial

Don't take a good vet for granted, that's what I say. I currently live in another state and have taken my 10 year old dog to numerous vets over the years (California, Colorado, Vegas, and then some). Never have I ever received the attention and care I've gotten w/Dr. Hines. Within the past 3 months alone, my dog went to 3 different vets for a horrible and painful skin problem that broke out all over her body.

The first vet: I spent more time ponying up the $175 for the visit than the Dr. spent actually looking at my dog. He performed a woods lamp exam for ringworm. Even without Google or a veterinary degree, I could tell it wasn't ringworm. Thanks for taking my money.
Second vet: "Here's some spray, now here's your bill. Bring her back in two weeks so I can charge you another visit." No tests, nothing.
Between the two, I felt like I got nowhere. No definitive answer on why this affected my dog and the medication given wasn't even for a diagnosed condition. Just some general topical spray. I could have bought it at Petsmart and saved myself the time and money.
Recently, on a visit to Idaho, I planned ahead to bring my dog to the Rupert Animal Clinic. I asked the same questions, had the same concerns and now have different results. Dr. Hines gave me options on what route to take, ran appropriate tests and communicated with me every step of the way (even calling me personally when test results came in). My primary concern was cancer. Our dog is like our child- we'll pay the money if we can keep her healthy and safe. In the future, I've resolved to bring my dog to Rupert Animal Clinic on our annual trip for all of her exams. I know she won't be treated as a little cash cow to exploit an owner's love for pets.

Sung L.
Rupert, ID

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