“Was that a mouse???”
That was the sentence that started everything. While watching TV one night, my wife saw a tiny, grey rodent go scuttling through our kitchen. We’re the kind of people who don’t have the heart to set traps to kill mice. Instead, I ordered a live-catch trap online and set it up under the cupboard. Continue…
Dogs of all ages can develop lumps and bumps. It is important to know when these should be examined by a veterinarian. According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, lumps and bumps on dogs were the third most common medical reason why pets visited their veterinarian in 2016.
If your pet has a lump or bump that is larger than the size of a pea and has been present for longer than one month, then you need an appointment with your veterinarian. It is impossible to determine the cause of lumps and bumps on dogs without taking a sample from the mass. Looking and feeling the mass can help in the diagnosis but a definitive diagnosis can only be made by taking an aspirate of the mass.
Aspiration of the mass is a simple procedure that is no more painful than receiving an injection. This test can be performed in the examination room without anesthesia. The procedure involves sticking a needle in the mass and aspirating it onto a microscope slide. The slide is then prepared and stained. Determination of the lumps and bumps on dogs can then be determined by looking under the microscope. Certain types of skin cancer are easier to diagnose than others so your veterinarian may recommend sending the slide for a pathologist to review.
As dog’s age, they tend to develop more lumps and bumps so make sure to have them examined. If detected early, skin cancer can be completely resolved by surgical removal of the mass. Larger masses are more difficult to remove and leaving them can allow them to spread to other parts of the body.
Common lumps and bumps on dogs:
- Skin tags
- Lipoma (fatty tumor)
- Sebaceous cyst
- Histiocytoma (button cell tumor)
- Mast cell tumor
- Squamous cell tumor
- Cutaneous hemangiosarcoma
- Malignant melanoma
If you see something, do something about those lumps and bumps on dogs. Why wait? If your pet has a skin mass contact Guthrie Pet Hospital for a mass aspirate.
By Stacey Frazier For the past few weeks, I have been following the story of a feral cat in B.C. Canada. An organization called Tiny Kittens works to trap, neuter and release (TNR) feral cats in the British Columbia area and they recently caught a 6-year-old pregnant ginger female they named Evolene. Continue…
Because April is Heartworm Awareness Month, Dr. Anna Coffin will discuss a common scenario seen when diagnosing dogs with heartworms. Heartworm treatment can range from $500 to $1500 depending on the size of the dog. Because of the expense, some people are unable to afford treatment. Continue…
Heartworms are twelve-inch long worms that live in the heart of dogs. They are transmitted from one infected dog to another by mosquitoes. It is fifteen times more expensive to treat for heartworms than it is to prevent them, and missing one single dose of prevention can put your dog at risk to this deadly parasite.
Dogs Don’t Understand Any Human Language
By Stefani Fortney, ABCDT This is a fact that we forget often. We speak to our dogs all the time. It’s a great thing about having a dog—they listen to us without passing judgement. The problem is that we talk so much that our spoken language can become meaningless to our dogs. They tune us out, then when we want them to listen to us, we get upset when they don’t respond. Continue…
“It’s cruel to keep kitty trapped inside. They need to go out and hunt!”
“My cat goes crazy if I try and keep him inside. He totally destroys the house!”
“My cat stays in my yard.” “My cat has his claws; he can defend himself.”
These are just a few of the reasons we hear every day as to why people let their cats go or live outside. But the fact of the matter is, by letting your cat out you are in effect shortening its lifespan. On average, cats that go or live outside have shorter lives than inside cats by as much as ten years. Cats that are allowed to roam often don’t live to see their fifth birthday. Cats that are kept inside average a lifespan of around 15 years.
There are many reasons the outside cats don’t fair as well. Indoor cats are less likely to be exposed to diseases, such as distemper or the nearly always fatal bobcat fever. Outside cats come in contact with more bacteria and infectious fungi. Parasites such as fleas and ticks are far more likely to be found on outdoor cats. And of course, there is the danger of predators. Outside cats may encounter hawks, snakes, skunks, opossum, dogs, or other cats. If the cat is not spayed or neutered the females will almost always become pregnant, and the males will father countless litters of kittens.
So, it is obvious that kitty is safer inside, but can they be content? Of course, they can. First, get your cat spayed or neutered, as it will deter the wanderlust and drive to get outside and find a mate. The vast majority of behavior problems can be addressed simply by having your cat fixed.
Second, give your inside kitty something to do. You’d go stir crazy too if you had nothing to do all day. Cats need interaction. They need to feel the satisfaction of a successful hunt. You can give them this through various methods of play. Toy mice are great for them to bat and toss, while balls in round tracks stimulate response to movement. Dragging a toy on a string gives them something real to chase. Treat dispensing toys can be filled with your cat’s dry food and used as a means for them to “hunt” for their dinner.
Make your home a cat-friendly environment. Give them window perches with bird feeders outside. Give them high shelves from which to watch the household activities. Consider getting them another cat to keep them company. While it is true that cats are more solitary by nature than dogs they still benefit from companionship. Kittens do better in pairs if for no other reason than they wear each other out while you are at work. A single kitten will just sleep until you get home and then want you to stay up all night and play!
While we all feel guilty when we see our cat looking longingly out the window, we have to weigh the consequences of letting them go outside. There are tremendous risks every single time we open that door, both from nature and from humans. If you have a cat that just refuses to be pacified with anything you try to make them happy indoors consider these options:
Making outside cats, happy inside:
- Build a “catio.” An enclosure on a patio or in your yard can be a great way to give your cat a safe outdoor playtime. Make sure it is large enough to include different height perches and plenty of scratching surfaces. Always provide fresh water for the outdoor recess, as well as shade as needed.
- Harness train your cat. This sounds slightly insane, but it is possible, especially if you start young! A harness on a cable slide will give your cat a sense of freedom, but make sure your feline harness is well-fitted.
- Teach your cat to walk on a leash. Again, some people will think this is impossible, but many cats have done quite well learning to explore at the end of a leash.
- Designate specific, controlled outdoor playtime for your cat. This means kitty wears a harness, you have control of a long lead, and you control the play activity for the time outside. As a general rule, STAY AWAY FROM TREES!
Having cats is a lot like having kids. They don’t always know or want what is best for them, and it is up to us to make the responsible choices. With a little imagination and work, you can keep your cat inside, safe, engaged, and around for many more years.
By Stacey Frazier
Spring is just around the corner and with warmer weather arriving, fleas will start to reappear. Fleas are very prolific parasites, in fact, one flea can produce 50-100 eggs/day. Guthrie Pet Hospital recommends preventative measures to prevent infestations. This week Dr. Coffin will discuss health issues in cats caused by fleas. Continue…
This article is for all those aspiring veterinarians or for inquiring minds that want to know what it’s like to work at a veterinary clinic. Dr. Anna Coffin will reveal her daily schedule at Guthrie Pet Hospital. Every veterinary clinic will be a little different in their scheduling, but we all do the same things. Continue…
By Stefani Fortney I see it often. A dog owner who was unaware of the laws about pets in their community takes to social media to voice their concerns and complaints about why their precious dog has gotten into trouble with local police, sheriff, or animal control. Most times, it’s hard for me to understand why a person who has a dog wouldn’t go to the trouble of finding out what local laws govern their ownership, care, and responsibilities for their dog and its interaction with the community. Most communities have laws that outline what is expected from your dog and you. I’m going to touch on a few of the most common dog laws and why they’re important to follow to not be a nuisance or danger to your community. Continue…