All posts by James

Ginger Cat Appreciation Day

Do you have an orange kitty? If so, you may want to give your feline buddy a special treat: It’s Ginger Kitty Appreciation Day! Our feline pals come in all sorts of colors and patterns, and we think they’re all super cute. However, ginger cats definitely have some raving fans! A local vet discusses these miniature lions below.

Boys Club

When you see or meet a new ginger cat, the odds are your new feline buddy is a boy. The gene that produces that ginger color is on the X chromosome. Since girls are XX, that means female kitties need two copies of the gene to become redheads. So, what does Fluffy’s family tree look like? If your ginger is a girl, then both of her parents were gingers. If your furball is a boy, his kids could be either gingers or tortoiseshell.

Purrsonality

Our feline friends are all unique individuals, and they all have their own distinct ‘purrsonas.’ That said, ginger cats do seem to have some traits in common. Boy gingers tend to be chatty, bold, and active. Your little red buddy may yell at you for being late with his dinner, or to tell you to pick him up right meow. Girl gingers, on the other paw, are more gentle and laid-back. They’re also not *quite* as verbiose.

Fluffy’s Fashion Sense

Ginger cats have long or short fur. Some even have curls! There are also several variations in the patterns Fluffy chooses to wear. These include classic, or swirled, as they are sometimes called; mackerel, or striped; spotted; ticked; and patched. We think they are all adorable! Another interesting fact about ginger cats’ coloring? They are all tabbies! However, not all tabbies are gingers.

Famous Gingers

We can’t really discuss ginger cats without talking about the most famous one: Garfield! The beloved ‘Flabby Tabby’ was born in the back of Mama Leoni’s Italian Kitchen back in 1978. The tiny ginger immediately realized that lasagna is the best thing ever, and his growing appetite for it almost put the little restaurant out of business. Fortunately, Jon Arbuckle adopted the little guy. The rest is history. Then there’s Morris, the cat food spokeskitty (or technically, spokeskitties) that captured all of our hearts back in the 80’s.

Do you have questions or concerns about your ginger cat? We can help! Contact us, your animal clinic, today.

Feline Folklore

Kitties are very mysterious little furballs, who have certainly gathered more than their fair share of myths and legends. In fact, for a cute, innocent-looking pet, Fluffy has amassed a rather impressive collection of urban—and rural—legends. A local vet lists a few of them below.

Cat Goddesses

Our feline friends have been associated with several different goddesses. The most well-known may be Egypt’s Bastet, who was often depicted in feline form. The ancient Greeks had their own kitty goddess, Ailuros, but also associated cats with Artemis and Athena. The Norse goddess Freya drove a chariot pulled by two large felines. The Hindu goddesses Durga and Parvati were also closely associated with big kitties.

Luck

Fluffy has also long been associated with luck, both good and bad. As you may know, black cats have long been considered unlucky in Western mythology. This is actually very unfortunate, as these superstitions continue to this day, and play a role in the low adoption rates of black cats. In other eras and cultures, kitties have been considered good luck. In some instances, the luck depends on the felines’ coloring. For instance, Buddhist lore states that cats with dark fur bring gold, while lighter-colored furballs bring silver. Russian Blue cats are considered lucky in Russia. In China, luck and age are connected, with older furballs being the most fortunate.

Pussy Willow

The story of the pussy willow is one of the most enduring myths about our feline friends. This tale starts with a litter of kittens chasing butterflies on a sunny spring day. Unfortunately, the kittens fell into a river. Their mother, desperate, cried out in distress. Hearing her terrified meows, a willow tree on the riverbank lowered its branches into the water. The kittens grabbed the branches and climbed to safety, sopping wet and crying. According to legend, willow trees have extended branches with furry ‘kitten’ buds every spring since.

Immortality

Last but not least, we have that old adage about cats having nine lives. This one we can state for a fact isn’t true. While some of our patients do have an uncanny ability to escape dangerous situations, this is usually sheer luck. Keep your feline buddy safe and sound indoors. Of course, it won’t hurt to offer your feline overlord soft beds, fun toys, treats, and catnip.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? Contact us, your animal clinic, today!

Spotlight on Assistance Dogs

International Assistance Dog Week starts today, August 1st. The 4th is also International Assistance Dog Day. Our canine companions are truly amazing animals! Fido’s devotion, intelligence, and hard work are special gifts, ones that allow him to help people with disabilities or medical challenges live independently. A vet discusses assistance dogs in this article.

A Helping Paw

Assistance Dog Week started with the intent to honor all of the loving, devoted pups that help their human pals live their best lives. However, there’s more to it than just giving Fido a well-deserved pat on the head. It’s also about raising awareness. The people who train and place assistance dogs also deserve recognition.

What Is An Assistance Dog?

People often get assistance dogs mixed up with therapy dogs. These pooches do have a few things in common. For one thing, they all help their humans live full, fulfilling lives. They’re also adorable! That said, there are some clear distinctions. Assistance dogs, which are also called service dogs, have been trained to perform specific tasks or functions. They are protected by law, and are allowed to go anywhere their humans go. There are only a few exceptions, such as hospitals. Therapy dogs have been trained to help people cope with sadness, grief, trauma, or anxiety. 

Requirements

Man’s Best Friend must meet some specific requirements before being classified as an assistance dog. His owner must be disabled according to law. Assistance dogs must also be trained to help their humans overcome or mitigate the disability in some way. Fido must also have proven himself to be a Good Boy in public, and to act properly and well-behaved at all times. Assistance dogs must also be in good health and kept up to proper hygiene standards. 

Tasks

One example of an assistance dog would be a Seeing Eye Dog, who helps guide a blind owner around. Assistance dogs have also been trained to detect oncoming seizures or drops in blood sugar for diabetics, and act accordingly.  

Meeting Fido

In many places, it’s now a felony to harm or interfere with an assistance dog. It may not be illegal to pet them, but it is inconsiderate. Never touch or interact with an assistance dog without express permission. After all, Fido is working like a dog, and needs to focus!

As your local veterinary clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

What to Know About Grain-Free Dog Food

You’ve probably heard about grain-free or gluten-free products over the past few years. They’ve gained a lot of popularity recently, and grain-free products have found their way into the pet food world, too. But is a grain-free diet right for your dog? Let’s take a closer look at what grain-free means and whether or not it’s the right choice for your pet. 

What is grain-free dog food? 

Grain-free dog food is just what it sounds like: food made without the common grains used in dog food, like wheat, barley, rye, corn, rice, oats, and soy. Grain-free foods usually substitute other sources of carbohydrates, like sweet potatoes or lentils, in place of those grains. 

Are grain-free and gluten-free the same thing? 

No, grain-free and gluten-free aren’t quite the same thing. Gluten-free foods don’t have grains that contain gluten, like wheat, barley, and rye, but they could be made with other types of grains (corn, soy, etc.). So, a grain-free diet could be gluten-free, but a gluten-free diet doesn’t have to be entirely grain-free.

Is there a connection between grain-free food and heart disease?

You may have heard about grain-free dog foods in the news recently. That’s because the Food and Drug Administration opened an investigation into possible linkages between grain-free diets and the development of dilated cardiomyopathy (heart disease). The study is ongoing, so it’s difficult to point to any concrete conclusions. It seems that other factors besides grain-free food could contribute to heart disease, and pets in the study that didn’t eat grain-free food developed heart disease as well. Here’s the bottom line: a direct link between grain-free food and heart disease has not been proven, so your best choice is to speak with your vet about the issue. 

Should my dog be fed a grain-free diet?

It’s always a good idea to ask your vet before feeding your dog a grain-free diet. Because whole grains provide important nutrients for your pup—fiber, magnesium, selenium, carbohydrates, and others—you don’t want to remove those ingredients unless it’s warranted. Grain-free foods may be helpful for dogs with particular allergies to grain sources, but this kind of diet isn’t necessary for most dogs. The best course of action is to work closely with your veterinarian when it comes to Fido’s dietary and nutritional needs. 

Would you like to learn more about grain-free dog food? Contact your local pet clinic to speak with the professionals. 

Fourth of July Hazards for Pets

The Fourth Of July is coming up quickly! As you may know, this is a particularly dangerous holiday for our four-legged friends. You’ll want to take some precautions to make sure your beloved pet stays safe and healthy through America’s birthday. Read on as a Georgetown, IN vet lists some July Fourth safety tips for pets.

Heat

Pets can overheat very quickly at this time of year. Fido and Fluffy are wearing fur coats, and they can’t sweat to cool off. Make sure your furry bff always has fresh water and access to cool, shaded areas. Limit your pet’s outdoor time during the hottest parts of the day.

Parasites

Fleas, ticks, and mosquitos will happily join in your celebration. These uninvited guests can carry dangerous diseases, and can also transmit other parasites! Keep up with your pet’s parasite prevention products. We also recommend mowing your lawn regularly.

Fireworks

Many dogs get very frightened by the noise and commotion of fireworks. If your canine buddy is scared of loud noises, bring him indoors well before dark on the Fourth, and set him up in a cozy spot. Turn a TV or radio on to mask the noise. If Fido is extremely nervous when there’s a lot of commotion, ask your vet about using pet-calming products, such as treats and sprays.

Grills

Many of our four-legged friends are very opportunistic eaters, and will snap up anything offered to them. Big dinners and grill-outs are always very dangerous for them, just because there are so many popular foods that are unsafe for them. Some of the dangerous foods include garlie, onions, scallions, and chives; grapes, currants, and raisins; chocolate; caffeine; avocado; pitted fruits; alcohol; meat on the bone; and anything that contains xylitol.

Trash

Use trashcans that close securely. Pets sometimes try to score some leftovers by poking around the garbage. Things like skewers, bones, can lids, trimmings, and can lids are just a few of the dangers that could be lurking in the trash.

Pools/Water

Pools are another concern. While some dogs are great swimmers, even water-loving pups can panic and get into trouble if they fall into the pool and don’t know how to get out again. If you’re taking Fido to a pool or beach, keep a close eye on him.  

Happy Fourth! Please contact us, your local Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, anytime!

5 Pawsome Reasons to Have a Dog Party

Dog Party Day is coming up June 21st. After a long year of lockdowns and quarantines, many people are really planning to make the most of this summer, and reunite with friends and family they haven’t seen in a while. A dog party is a great way to do that! A Georgetown, IN vet lists some reasons why in this article.

Socialization

Dogs are very social animals by nature. In the wild, Fido would spend all of his time with his pack, and would rarely be left alone. Giving your canine companion a chance to play with other dogs will be very beneficial. Socialization is very important for puppies.  This may be particularly helpful for pooches that didn’t see their buddies very much last year, and also in some cases for newly-adopted dogs.

Activity

Our furry friends need proper activity, just as people do. Fido will really benefit from being able to run around and play with his buddies. This is great for energetic, active pups. When you get home again, your canine pal will probably be more interested in taking  a nap than in chasing the cat around. This is one reason doggy daycares are becoming so popular!

Stimulation

Dog parties also offer our canine buddies beneficial mental stimulation. Set out some fun toys for your four-legged guests. Kiddie pools, sprinklers, and sandboxes are all good options. You can even get a mechanical ball launcher. (Note: these are not safe for large breeds, as they can be choking risks.)

Manners

If you have a young dog, puppy parties are also beneficial for another reason. Fido can learn quite a bit about how to be a Good Boy by observing and interacting with other polite dogs. Make sure to only invite friendly, well-behaved pooches.

It’s Cute

Watching dogs hard at play with their buddies will definitely put a smile on your face. Offer lots of toys for your four-legged pals to play with. Get a variety of things, as pups all have their own tastes. 

Good Times

Hanging out with your friends and some cute, playful pups is a perfect way to relax on a summer afternoon. Just make sure all of your furry guests are fixed, microchipped, and current on their parasite control.

Contact us, your local Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here for you!

Yard Pupgrades for Summer

Dogs are very playful and active. While every pooch has their own unique exercise needs and preferences, most, if not all, of them will enjoy and benefit from having an outdoor space of their own to run and play in. If you have a back yard, you may want to consider adding a few features to make it more fun for your canine pal. A Georgetown, IN vet lists a few ‘pawsome’ options in this article.

Kiddie Pool

Fido often enjoys splashing around on hot days, just as much as people do. Get your four-legged buddy a kiddie pool to play around in. This can make for some really cute pictures … not to mention a really happy dog.

Pet Fountain

Keeping Fido hydrated is extremely important in summer. It can also be super cute! Put in a pet fountain for him. There are different types. Some shoot water into the air when your furry pal steps on a pad. Others just offer your canine companion moving, filtered water.

Agility Ramps

This is a good option for very active, bouncy dogs. Put in a little doggy agility course for Fido. You can use things like ramps, children’s slides, or buried tractor tires.

Sandbox

Does your furry bff like to dig? Give him a little sandbox to bury goodies in. This is great for pups that like to bury treasure. If Fido knows where the good stuff is, he may leave your flowerbeds alone!

Doghouse

Doghouses are always the gold standard when it comes to yard upgrades. Just be sure to choose the right size. If Fido’s hangout pad is too big, it won’t feel very safe or cozy to him. He’ll also be more likely to defecate in it. Your pup should have room to sit up, turn around, and stretch out a bit, but that’s about it. Material is also important. Plastic is cheapest, but doesn’t offer much by way of insulation. You’ll also want to avoid pressure-treated wood: the chemicals used to process it make it toxic to dogs.

Mechanical Ball Launcher

Is running after tennis balls your canine friend’s favorite thing ever, aside from perhaps scoring some treats or belly rubs? Get Fido his own ball launcher! Just get one that uses balls that are the right size for him.

As your Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, we’re here to help! Call us anytime!

Cute Ways to Pamper a Senior Cat

Did you know that it’s no longer uncommon for cats to live well into their late teens or even their 20’s? You won’t notice drastic changes happening quickly as your kitty ages, but Fluffy will benefit from some extra TLC in her golden years. Here, a Georgetown, IN vet offers some tips on keeping a senior cat comfy and purring.

Beds

All cats are sleepy, but senior ones are purrticularly tired. Fluffy may spend up to 20 hours a day snoozing! Make sure she has lots of comfy spots to curl up in. Your furry friend may have a hard time jumping onto things, so offer her napping spots that are easy for her to get on and off.

Stimulation

Your feline pal’s mental health is just as important as her physical well-being. If you’re leaving your kitty alone, leave a light and a TV or radio on for her. This will help her from feeling lonely.

Playtime

Fluffy won’t be as mischievous as she once was, but she’ll still have her kitten moments. Take a few minutes a day to play with your cute pet. This will be good for her both mentally and physically. It’s also a great way to get that little motor going!

Brushing

Your kitty may have a hard time bending and stretching, which can make it hard for her to groom her entire body. Brushing your furball daily will remove dead hair from her coat, and keep her from feeling itchy and uncomfortable.

Window Seat

Give your furry buddy a comfy spot with a good view. Our feline friends love to watch birds and squirrels! Fluffy may spend hours relaxing in a sunbeam and looking out the window.

Nightlights

Your furball may have trouble seeing at night. Setting out a night light or her will help her get around more easily.

Senior-Friendly Facilities

Small touches can make life much easier for Fluffy. Get her a litterbox with low sides. This will be easy for her to get in and out of. Pet ramps or stairs will help her jump off and on her favorite perches.

Love

The secret ingredient in any good pet care routine is simple TLC. Pay lots of attention to your adorable pet, and make sure she feels loved!

As your Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, we are here to help! Please contact us anytime!

Things Cats Just Don’t Care About

Cats have it pretty easy. Fluffy doesn’t have to worry about bills, errands, or any of the other things her humans handle. In fact, there are actually quite a few things that kitties can’t be bothered to worry about. A Georgetown, IN vet lists some key ones below.

Your Privacy

Many kitties like to follow their humans around like furry little shadows. This is cute, but it can also be awkward. There’s really no need for Fluffy to follow you into the bathroom!

Etiquette

Kitties have some adorable habits, but they also have some we could do without, such as the elevator-butt greeting. Fluffy also has been known to groom herself in a room full of people, and sometimes bites or scratches for no reason. Clearly, manners aren’t a big priority for Man’s Second Best Friend.

Your Breakables

Does Fluffy sometimes smack small objects off of your coffee table, and then give you a smug look? No one can say for sure that kitties do this on purpose, but you’d have a hard time convincing us otherwise.

Your Furniture

Is your furniture covered in cat fur? Is Fluffy using your sofa as a peticure station? Case in point.

Your Sleep

Cats take their breakfasts—all eight of them—very seriously. If you have the audacity to sleep past the time when Fluffy usually gets her first meal, she may wake you up by pawing at you or headbutting you to let you know she wants breakfast right meow.

Your Computer

Have you ever found Fluffy sleeping on your laptop? Does she sometimes sprawl out on a book or magazine you’re attempting to read? Your kitty may have ruined a report, but she won’t care. She’s too busy dreaming about … whatever cats dream about.

Us

Our feline patients are all much healthier with proper care. However, we suspect that, given the chance to choose, they’d unanimously choose staying home and taking yet another nap over coming to see us.

Price

Does Fluffy  ignore that expensive cat tower you got her, and sleep on a pizza box instead? Does she  prefer playing with a bottlecap over her catnip mouse? It’s probably safe to say your furball isn’t losing any sleep over your financial loss.

Do you have questions about your cat’s health or care? As your Georgetown, IN veterinary care, we really do care. Call us anytime! 

Pet First-Aid Awareness

April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month! While no one wants to think of their beloved pet being injured, accidents can and do happen. If something should go wrong, being prepared in advance can make all the difference. Of course, if your pet is ever hurt, you’ll need to get them to the vet or emergency clinic right away. However, you may need to stabilize them before transporting them. That’s where first-aid preparation comes in. A local Georgetown, IN vet offers some advice on this below.

First-Aid Kit

If you don’t have a pet first-aid kit, we recommend getting one ASAP. You can start with a regular first-aid kit, and then add some things to make it more pet-specific. Your shopping list should include things like non-stick gauze, splints, rubbing alcohol, tweezers, round-end scissors, styptic powder, bandages, and towels. The exact items you need will depend on what sort of pet you have. For instance, if you have a dog, include a muzzle. Even the sweetest pup can bite if they’re hurt!

Information

You could have all the gear in the world, but it won’t do any good if you don’t know how to use it. Print out some pet first-aid brochures, and keep them with the kit. It’s also a good idea to download some pet first-aid apps. The American Red Cross has a good one. Keep phone numbers for your vet and the nearest emergency clinic in your phone and in the kit. Ours is 812-952-3643. Another number which may come in handy is the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number, which is (888) 426-4435. (Note: charges may apply.)

Pet CPR

Are you interested in learning more? You may want to consider taking a class in pet CPR. It never hurts to grow and change and learn new things. Hopefully, you’ll never have to use this information, but you never know: it could save your pet’s life!

Prevention

When it comes to keeping pets safe, an ounce of prevention can be worth several pounds of cure. Be aware of potential hazards, such as toxic plants, plastic bags, and wires and cords. We also recommend keeping cats indoors, and not letting dogs roam around off-leash. Ask your vet for more information.

Please do not hesitate to reach out if ever we can be of assistance. As your Georgetown, IN veterinary clinic, we’re here to help!