January 2014 - Polo Springs Veterinary Hospital
719.264-8384

How often should I bathe my pet?

If your pet is healthy and does not have any skin problems, it is best to avoid bathing your pet more than every 4 weeks. Due to our very dry climate, frequent bathing can dry out the skin and coat. Your veterinarian can recommend a good moisturizing pet shampoo and conditioner. You certainly want to keep your pet clean, so sometimes an extra bath is warranted. Otherwise daily brushing can keep the skin and coat healthy between...

Why do I need to keep my indoor only cat vaccinated?

There are a variety of reasons to vaccinate indoor cats. The AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) vaccination guidelines recommend vaccinating all cats with the core vaccinations (Rabies and FVRCP). Even if your cat never goes outside, he/she could be exposed to respiratory infections through the air if there are any neighborhood or stray cats that come near open windows or doors. If your pet ever slips out the door, it is best that he/she is protected. Also, if you ever plan on getting a new pet, it is best that your current pet be protected from diseases the new pet might carry. Rabies is a human health hazard that could be transmitted from your pet to your family if your pet is not vaccinated against this disease. Colorado law requires that all dogs and cats be current on their rabies vaccination. There are always new situations that can arise, and it is better to know that your best friend is...

Is Your Dog Overweight?

Feeding less of your pet’s current food can be beneficial only if your veterinarian has determined your pet is being over fed, such as with free choice feeding. When you feed less of the pet’s regular diet, not only are you reducing the calories, but also essential nutrients the pet needs to stay healthy. Regular foods are not designed for weight loss. By restricting the calories to the level needed for weight loss, the pet is deprived of the appropriate amounts of protein, vitamins and minerals. Many over the counter reduced calorie diets are not effective at weight loss either. Most of these foods still contain too many calories to meet the weight loss goal. Prescription diet foods use the most cutting edge research to achieve the appropriate weight loss while providing excellent nutrition and satiety (fullness) so your pet is not begging for food all the time. A prescription diet’s formulation is strictly regulated (similar to a pharmaceutical) and guaranteed by the manufacturer, so you can feel confident that you’re providing optimum nutrition while helping your pet achieve a healthy...

I just noticed a new lump on my pet, what should I do?

It is not advisable to just monitor the lump for changes without having it examined by a veterinarian. If you see a new lump or skin growth, schedule an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. There are many different types of lumps, or masses. Some masses can be cancerous and it is not possible to tell if it is cancerous by just looking at it or feeling it. Your veterinarian can perform a simple test called a fine needle aspirate that can be completed during your appointment. This is done by using a very small needle to take some cells from the mass. These cells can be examined under the microscope to determine if the mass appears cancerous. This information is essential to determining the appropriate treatment for your pet and can save your pet’s...

What should I do if I think my dog might have heat stroke?

Early recognition of heat stroke is extremely important. Signs of heat stroke can include some or all of the following: extreme panting or difficulty breathing, increased salivation, a temperature of 106 F or greater (a normal temperature is up to 102.5 F), deep pink gums, a fast heart rate, vomiting or defecating blood, muscle tremors, seizures, or difficulty walking, and coma. Heat stroke is usually caused by excessive exercise in hot and/or humid conditions, but can also be caused by enclosure in an unventilated room, car or grooming dryer cage, or a lack of water intake. Animals with short snouts, such as pugs, or animals with underlying diseases of the heart or airway can develop heat stroke more easily. Overweight animals and those with a very heavy hair coat are also at higher risk of developing heat stroke. If you suspect heat stroke in your pet, you should notify a veterinarian immediately. Prior to transporting your pet to the veterinarian, you should begin trying cooling measures. This is done by spraying the pet with water or immersing in water prior to transport. Always avoid ice, which can constrict blood vessels and slow the cooling process, especially if the pet shivers. Your veterinarian will provide further cooling measures and any necessary supportive care. Most heat stroke patients need hospitalization with intensive care for several days. Heat stroke can affect all body systems, causing death, so early recognition and treatment is key to survival. Pets that experience an episode of heat stroke are predisposed to additional episodes, so prevention is also important. To prevent heat stroke, have plenty of fresh water...