Category

Small Animal

Mitchell Veterinary Services Reports about Arthritis in Cats

By Small Animal

Did you know that cats over eight years of age are considered seniors?  As cats age they are prone to arthritis.  Arthritis is an inflammation of the joints and tissues around the joints.  One study has shown that by 12 years of age, 90% of cats have some degree of arthritis.  Predisposing factors for developing arthritis include obesity, age and cats with extra toes, as well as a history of joint trauma.

 Here at Mitchell Veterinary Services, we diagnose arthritis in many cats.  The signs in a cat generally develop slowly and may be misinterpreted.  Cats may show hesitation when attempting to jump up or down from high surfaces or avoid them altogether.  A cat may be reluctant to use stairs and may have accidents outside of the litter box, particularly if the box is painful for them get to and then climb into.  A cat may seem cranky, groom itself less and not want to be brushed or handled.  It may sleep more and interact with its family members and environment less.  Pain, walking stiffly with a crouched gait and limping may also be noticed on any of its four limbs.

 Observing your cat at home for these signs is the first step to diagnosing arthritis.  During a physical exam at the clinic, a veterinarian may detect a reduced range of motion, or feel a grinding sensation or sore spot when the joints are manipulated.  X-rays may be of benefit to look for changes in the bone that indicate arthritis.  Analyzing bloodwork and doing a complete physical exam can help rule out other conditions with symptoms that look like arthritis.

 Treatment of arthritis with several therapies can improve a cat’s quality of life.  Small changes to its environment can go a long way to improve its comfort.  Using a low and wide litter box that is on the same floor as the cat can make bathroom time more comfortable.  Arthritic cats love extra-soft padded bedding.  Heating pads at a low setting and warming discs covered with a soft blanket can be put in the bed as well.  Provide stepstools for your cat to reach its favourite spot.  If a cat is overweight, a weight loss plan is important to prevent additional stress to its joints.  Several alternative therapies, such as acupuncture and therapy laser may be beneficial.  Joint supplements such as glucosamine, chondroitin and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans can slow down and even reverse joint degeneration in animals with arthritis.  Omega 3 fatty acids also have mild anti-inflammatory benefits for joints.  Pain medication may also be prescribed by one of our veterinarians, depending on your cat’s needs.  

We at Mitchell Veterinary Services want senior cats to experience as little arthritis pain as possible as they enter their golden years.  Please let us know if you think your cat may be showing signs of arthritis and would like more information on how to keep your cat comfortable.

Spring is Here in Perth County! Mitchell Veterinary Services Recommends Deworming Your Dogs and Cats Against Roundworms

By Small Animal

The ground is starting to thaw in Perth County!  Although winter temperatures likely killed most larvae from last year, the soil is now warm enough to incubate roundworm eggs.  Adult roundworms are intestinal parasites.  Here at Mitchell Veterinary Services, we see many of these white spaghetti-looking worms in pets’ feces.  Roundworm eggs cannot be seen with the naked eye.

Cats and dogs become infected by eating infective eggs or hunting rodents, birds or insects, which often contain larvae in their tissues.  Once ingested, the larvae hatch out of the pet’s gut and migrate through its muscle, liver and lungs.  After several weeks, the larvae enter back into the intestine where they mature into adult worms.  The adult worms then breed and hatch eggs, which the pet releases into their environment when they poop.

Puppies and kittens are more likely to be infected as the parasite is also transmitted through their mother’s milk or the placenta (in the case of puppies).  Many puppies and kittens don’t show symptoms of roundworm infection, but it may be the cause of being underweight or “runty”, having a pot-belly appearance and looking sickly.  An animal with a roundworm infection may vomit or have diarrhea, both of which may contain adult worms.

We recommend testing all puppies and kittens for roundworm eggs by bringing us a fresh fecal sample on their first visit to the clinic.  Our Registered Veterinary Technician performs an intestinal parasite screen in which the sample is examined for a variety of parasite eggs.  Once your pet has a negative fecal test, we recommend a yearly intestinal screening test at the time of its annual examination.

If your pet is positive for roundworm, we recommend treating them with a veterinary-approved product.  Larvae in migration cannot be killed by any products, so it is important for deworming to be repeated 2 weeks after the first dose.  Due to the high likelihood of puppies and kittens being infected with roundworms, we put them on a deworming protocol when they come in for their first series of vaccines.  Adult pets benefit from monthly deworming in the summer months.  There are prescription products available that provide flea and heartworm prevention as well as intestinal parasite control.

Roundworm eggs develop into larva in their environment as early as 4 weeks, but may survive up to 5 years.  A human is at risk of ingesting infective eggs from a contaminated environment – including children playing in sandboxes, gardening, eating unwashed vegetables and fruit or improper hand washing after handling animal feces.  The larva has the potential to migrate through the human body, causing headaches, blindness and other symptoms.

Cleaning up your pet’s feces daily will dramatically reduce the presence of infective eggs for both your human and furry family members.  We at Mitchell Veterinary Services believe that through treatment and prevention, roundworms don’t have to impact our pets’ health or our interactions with them.

 

Spring is Here in Perth County! Mitchell Veterinary Services Suspects that Ticks will be Back

By Small Animal

Ticks are found at the edges of grassy fields, low-lying underbrush, near water (including swamps) and urban areas, especially if deer are present.  Ticks have been reported in Perth County and have been found on many dogs and cats.  According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, certain locations are endemic, such as Point Pelee, Rondeau Provincial Park, Turkey Point, Long Point, Prince Edward Point and Thousand Islands.

There are two “blooms” in the tick population each year, occurring in the early spring and late fall.  Tick bites will be most common during these times.  When the tick bites, it attaches by its head and engorges by ingesting blood.  Several days later, the engorged tick falls off its host.  The bites are not painful, but can cause irritation (reddening) of the skin and minor swelling which can last up to a few weeks.

There are several species of ticks.  The Deer Tick, also known as the Blacklegged Tick, feeds primarily on white-tail deer in its adult form, but all life-stages of the tick will feed on dogs, cats and humans.  The Brown Dog tick is becoming more common in Eastern Ontario.  This species of tick can live inside homes and dog kennels.

Deer Ticks transmit Lyme disease.  In 2013, our clinic diagnosed one positive Lyme disease case in a dog that lives in Mitchell.  Although cats can get tick bites, they are not prone to the Lyme disease infection.  Here in Perth County, we are not in a high risk region, but the trends would suggest that ticks are on the rise in this part of the country.

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When a tick bites a human or dog it can transmit the bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) through its saliva.  The majority of dogs show no symptoms after becoming infected; however, a small number of dogs do develop symptoms.  In the early stages, 4-6 weeks after a bite, symptoms can include fever, decreased energy, swollen lymph nodes, decreased appetite and limping.  The treatment for dogs that get sick is a course of antibiotics.  If left untreated, certain dogs may develop irreversible kidney damage.  Symptoms of Lyme disease in a person are different from those in dogs.

The big question is: what should we do about ticks?  Prevention of tick bites plays a key role in preventing Lyme disease.  You can keep your pet on a trimmed lawn and on a leash when in the woods.  It is recommended to look for ticks by combing through your pets’ fur when they come back from playing in wooded or long grass areas.

If a tick is on your pet, you can remove it at home by twisting it at the head with tweezers, or it can be removed by a technician at our Mitchell or Pauly clinic.  There are several topical veterinary products that kill and repel ticks.  For dogs traveling to a high risk region for Lyme disease, vaccinating dogs is also an option. Mitchell Veterinary Services tests your dog for exposure to Lyme bacteria at the same time we perform a blood test to screen for exposure to heartworm.

Mitchell Veterinary Services Comments on Common Lumps and Bumps on Our Canine Friends

By Small Animal

At Mitchell Veterinary Services, one of the more common lumps that we detect during our canine patients’ physical exams is a fatty lump, known as a lipoma.  They are soft, movable and felt under the skin, but do not cause the animal pain or hair loss.  These masses may grow very slowly and are essentially fat deposits.

Another type of bump we often discover during a physical exam is a sebaceous cyst.  They are usually smooth, round masses that may have a blue tint.  Sebaceous cysts form when a hair follicle is obstructed by sebum, a natural secretion that lubricates the dog’s skin.  These masses may grow and rupture their contents, which can look like chunky, whitish material.

Unless lipomas are in a location that is causing discomfort to a pet, surgical removal generally is not necessary.  Likewise, sebaceous cysts will often disappear on their own, but if they become infected or rupture repeatedly, surgical removal may be the best option for a pet’s long-term comfort.

Any time you feel a bump that develops on your pet, it is recommended to have it examined.  A fine needle aspirate (a small needle, similar in size to a needle used for vaccinating your pet) is used to collect some cells from a mass, which are then examined under a microscope.  Previously examined lumps should be looked at again if they grow within a month, change colour or leak material.  If an animal is bothered by a lump due to location, pain or itchiness, it also warrants further investigation by our veterinarians.  If you have any concerns about lumps or bumps on your dog, then do not hesitate to contact us at Mitchell Veterinary Services.  We are here to help!

 

 

 

The Natural Products Mitchell Veterinary Services Recommends for Our Pets

By Small Animal

Over the past decade, there has been an increased interest in the use of natural supplements for our pets.  At Mitchell Veterinary Services, we are exploring natural options to maintain and improve our pets’ health and wellbeing.  These supplements are known as “nutraceuticals” – an active component is isolated from a plant or food and used to treat or prevent chronic disease.

Cranberry extract supports urinary tract health.  It contains compounds called proanthocyanidins that interfere with the ability of bacteria to attach to the bladder wall.  This is effective against E. coli, which is the most common cause of urinary tract infections in dogs.

Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate support joint health and work better if given together.  These products are normally found in healthy joint cartilage and shellfish.  Glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate can slow down and even reverse joint degeneration in animals with arthritis.  This may mean better mobility and less pain for senior pets or pets with joint injuries.

Lysine is an amino acid that has anti-viral properties for cats infected with herpes virus.  Herpes virus can cause an upper respiratory tract infection in cats.  This supplement can minimize the symptoms of sneezing, nasal discharge and goopy inflamed eyes.

Milk thistle supports liver function.  It contains the active component known as silymarin.  This component acts as an anti-oxidant and scavenges free radicals.  Patients with damage to their liver by toxins or diseases, as well as pets on long-term medication that can potentially harm the liver, benefit from this product.

Omega-3 fatty acids have mild anti-inflammatory benefits.  These products are often found in marine sources.  Conditions that involve inflammation, such as skin allergies and chronic kidney disease, benefit from a high dose of this essential nutrient.

Probiotics are live beneficial bacteria that promote intestinal balance.  These good bacteria populate the intestine and protect it from harmful bacteria and pathogens.  This supplement may improve stool quality in pets with diarrhea and restore healthy bacteria in patients that have taken antibiotics.

Unlike prescription drugs, nutraceuticals are not regulated.  This means that they can be sold without scientific proof of efficacy and mandatory testing to determine the correct dosage.  Research has shown that many commercial products may be contaminated or do not contain the active ingredient.  There are a lot of reports of these supplements improving animal health, but scientific investigation is ongoing and not all products are created equally.  For this reason, we recommend consulting our Veterinarians at Mitchell Veterinary Services before starting your pet on any nutraceutical.

The Importance of Nail Trims in Dogs &Cats as Seen by Mitchell Veterinary Services

By Small Animal

Mitchell Veterinary Services recommends starting your cat and dog nail trims early!  Train your puppy to enjoy paw handling and nail trims through short sessions of positive reinforcement.  It is never too early to start trimming a kitten’s claws to accustom them to nail trimmers.  This is a bonding opportunity for you and your pet.  Reserve some extra special treats for this occasion.

 Dog Nails

On average, dogs’ nails need to be trimmed every 6 to 8 weeks.  If the nails are left untrimmed and the dog does not keep them short by chewing or natural wear on rough surfaces (like concrete), then the blood vessel or quick becomes long.  Long quicks can make future trimming difficult.  Nails that are kept too long can impact the way a dog walks and can especially cause problems for an overweight or elderly dog with arthritis, as it shifts its posture into an irregular position.

Long nails are also at greater risk for getting caught on stairs or on carpet, resulting in cracks and tears.  If your pet tears a nail, it is painful and often bleeds.  If the bleeding continues beyond one minute, apply pressure with a clean bandage or cloth for 5 minutes.  Often your pet will lick the sore toe, resulting in further pain and a bacterial infection.  This requires a veterinary visit to treat with pain medication, antibiotics and bandaging.

torn toe nail photo

Cat Nails

Scratching is a normal behaviour for our feline friends in order for them to mark their territory as familiar and to condition their claws.  It is not realistic to expect a cat to stop this natural behaviour, but they can be encouraged to use appropriate spots to scratch.  Cats are very texture-based with their scratching material selection; some prefer wood, others prefer carpet, rough upholstery with a vertical drag, or cardboard.  It is important to offer your cat a scratching post in its favourite material.  In the short term, aluminum foil or spray antiperspirant can be placed on furniture to prevent scratching and catnip can be used to attract the cat to a scratching post.

Trimming claws routinely can prevent extensive damage to the household, scratches to skin and the nail overgrowing into the cat’s foot pad.  Always use praise, petting and treats to reward a cat for using its scratching post.

If you have questions about how to safely trim your pets’s nails or have concerns about your cat scratching in the wrong spot, please don’t hesitate to speak with our Registered Veterinary Technicians at Mitchell Veterinary Services.

Mitchell Veterinary Services Discuss Dogs in Their Heat Cycle

By Small Animal

 Some small breed dogs may start their cycle as early as four months of age, whereas giant breed dogs may not have their first heat cycle until 18 to 24 months.  A female dog that is not spayed is known as the “bitch”.  Your female pet can become pregnant on their first heat cycle, as they are sexually mature.  This is inadvisable, as they are not done growing and are more likely to have complications associated with the birthing and be poor mothers.  At Mitchell Veterinary Services, we recommend spaying (ovariohysterectomy) your pet at six months of age.

 Dogs generally have one heat cycle every six months.  The cycle starts with the proestrus phase for approximately nine days: the bitch will develop a swollen vulva and have bloody vaginal discharge.  The male dog will show interest in them, but the female will not yet be receptive.  This is followed by the estrus phase, which lasts for approximately 10 days.  During this phase, the vaginal discharge becomes straw-coloured and the female may accept a breeding male.  The female then goes into either the diestrus phase or pregnancy for approximately 63 days.  If she is bred, but does not conceive, she may develop a “false pregnancy”, where her body has pregnancy hormones, but no puppies. Unlike human women, when female dogs get older, they do not stop cycling.

 It is recommended to spay a female pet before their first heat to eliminate their risk of accidental pregnancy and minimize their risk of reproductive diseases.  Please refer to our website www.mitchellvets.ca for Pet Health Articles under ‘Spay’.  A female pet that is not spayed is at risk for life-threatening pyometra (an infection in their uterus), as well as breast cancer.

Spay

 Accidental pregnancy can easily happen as separation within a household can be extremely difficult.  If the male and female are together for a 10 minute time-frame, that is long enough for them to breed.  Brothers and sisters will mate once they become sexually mature – they do not know that they are related.  Pets living on the farm will be more likely to roam off their property in search of a mate. 

 Here at Mitchell Veterinary Services we encourage having pets spayed when they are not in heat.  Pets can be spayed while in heat, but there is a higher risk of bleeding during surgery, as their reproductive organs have increased blood flow.  It is more expensive to spay a pet that is in heat, pregnant, obese, or older than one year of age, as these are all factors that make the surgery more difficult. 

If you have any questions about spaying your dog, then don’t hesitate to contact Mitchell Veterinary Services.  We would love to discuss it with you!

 

 

Mitchell Veterinary Services Discuss Cats in Their Heat Cycle

By Small Animal

Cats generally have their first heat cycle by six month of age.  A female cat that is not spayed is known as the “queen”.  Some cats may start their cycle as early as four months of age.  Your female pet can become pregnant on their first heat cycle, as they are sexually mature.  This is inadvisable, as they are not done growing and more likely to have complications associated with the birthing and be poor mothers.  At Mitchell Veterinary Services, we recommend spaying (ovariohysterectomy) your pet at six months of age.

Cats are “seasonal breeders”, which means that they come into heat in the spring and fall and are not cycling the rest of the time.  Signs of heat in a cat include loud yowling, rolling on the floor and crouching with elevated hindquarters; these signs may be mistaken for signs of pain.  The queen sometimes sprays fluid in the house, but a bloody discharge from the vulva is not generally observed.  These signs are seen during the estrus phase of her cycle and last for approximately one week.  If the female cat is bred, she will be induced to ovulate and will either go into diestrus, which lasts 30-40 days or become pregnant for approximately 63 days.  If a female is mated several times, multiple ovulations will be induced, which makes it possible for several males to father a litter and the siblings will have different fathers.  On the other hand, if the female is not mated, she will come back into estrus in one to three weeks.  That’s a lot of days in the year to put up with an extremely vocal kitty! 

Our Veterinarians recommend spaying a female cat before their first heat to eliminate their risk of accidental pregnancy and minimize their risk of reproductive diseases.  Please refer to our website www.mitchellvets.ca for Pet Health Articles under ‘Spay’.  A female pet that is not spayed is at risk for life-threatening pyometra (an infection in their uterus), as well as breast cancer.Spay

Accidental pregnancy can easily happen as separation within a household can be extremely difficult.  If the male and female are together for a 10 minute time-frame, that is long enough for them to breed.  Brothers and sisters will mate once they become sexually mature – they do not know that they are related.  Pets living on the farm will be more likely to roam off their property in search of a mate and indoor cats may try to escape. 

 Here at Mitchell Veterinary Services we encourage having pets spayed when they are not in heat.  Pets can be spayed while in heat, but there is a higher risk of bleeding during surgery, as their reproductive organs have increased blood flow.  It is more expensive to spay a pet that is in heat, pregnant, obese, or older than one year of age, as these are all factors that make the surgery more difficult. 

If you have any questions about the spaying your cat, then don’t hesitate to contact Mitchell Veterinary Services.  We would love to discuss it with you!

 

 

 

Mitchell Veterinary Services Takes a Look at Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs

By Small Animal

During this time of year, the weather we are experiencing in Perth County is cold and wet. We are seeing a lot of dogs coming into Mitchell Veterinary Services with ear problems. 

weasel (ear blog) 0611WEA08162007

The floppy part of the ear is known as the “pinna”.  We can examine the external ear during the physical exam and we use an otoscope to look into the L-shaped canals to observe the ear drum.  Like humans, dogs have glands in their ears that produce ear wax.  

Any breed of dog may develop ear infections if there is an underlying cause such as allergies or foreign items in the ear canal which include parasitic ear mites, fur, plant fragments or masses.  Ear canals can easily swell shut if inflamed and trap this material. 

If dogs have ear infections that are left untreated, they can undergo complications.  Infection can burst the ear drum and spread to the middle ear, causing symptoms such as hearing loss and nerve damage.  If an ear canal has a long-standing infection, the canal will become scarred and permanently shut and may need to be opened or removed surgically to clear the severe infection.

Predisposing Factors for Ear Infections:

1) Shape –  Pendulous ears create a warm, dark and moist environment, which is a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria that may normally be found on the skin in small numbers.

2) Water – Water in the ears from swimming or bathing adds moisture to ears, once again creating the ideal habitat for bad things to grow 

3) Trauma – Aggressively cleaning with cotton swabs or plucking ear hair from the canals can injure the skin, allowing an entry point for invaders

4) Environment – Seasonal allergies and food allergies result in a dog with compromised skin that is itchy, weak, inflamed and more vulnerable to invaders.

 Dogs’ ears may be at risk for getting a blood blister, also known as an “aural hematoma”, if their ears are allowed to flap vigorously.  This flapping creates trauma to the delicate blood vessels in the ear, causing them to burst and fill the space between the skin and cartilage with blood.  Two scenarios where this could occur is if a dog rides in the car with their head out of the window or if they have irritated ears from an infection or allergies and shake their head excessively.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears

We recommend cleaning out dogs’ ears once a week to once a month, depending on your dogs’ specific needs.  For example, dogs that swim benefit from having their ears cleaned right after they come out of the water.  An ear cleaner formulated for dogs helps to break up wax and dry out the ear.  Please keep in mind that not every cleaning agent is right for all dogs.  The goal of keeping your dog’s ears clean is to prevent inflammation (redness, warmth and irritation – scratching and head shaking).  Place ear cleaner into the ear and then massage the lower part of the ear canal. 

rsz_toby_in_the_water_dsc_0166

 The best way to treat ear infection is for a veterinarian to perform an examination and study material swabbed from the ear under a microscope to determine the type of organisms causing the infection and treat accordingly.  A medicated product that treated a dog’s infection in the past may not be appropriate for a current infection.  Chronic ear infections typically have a predisposing factor or underlying cause and managing these will be the best way to minimize the ear inflammation in the long run.  Contact Mitchell Veterinary Services if you have any questions or concerns about your pet’s ears.

 

 

 

 

 

Mitchell Veterinary Services Shares Tips on How to Save Thousands of Dollars on Vet Bills

By Small Animal

If we could tell you how to help your pets live longer and healthier lives, and at the same time save you thousands of dollars on vet bills, would you be interested? Well, we won’t keep this a secret, here is how.

Fight Pet Obesity!

A survey done in 2012 has shown that over 55% of dogs and cats in the U.S are overweight or obese. This is an all time high! While the results of a similar study in 2013 are not out yet, odds are this number has risen even higher!

Why does it matter if my pet is a little overweight?

Being overweight has shown to increase risks for:

  • ·  Type 2 Diabetes
  • ·  Osteoarthritis and other orthopedic conditions such as torn ligaments
  • ·  High blood pressure with heart and respiratory disease
  • ·  Increased anesthetic complications
  • ·  Cancer

All of the above conditions can require frequent veterinary care, diagnostic testing, and medications. That can all add up to be quite costly. More importantly, being overweight has been shown to decrease life expectancy of up to 2.5 years!

Let’s look at the difference in annual veterinary costs for a healthy dog or cat with a healthy weight vs. a dog or cat with conditions that could be prevented by preventing obesity – Diabetes and Osteoarthritis.

Healthy 8 year old dog or catOverweight Diabetic CatOverweight 50lb Dog with osteoarthritis
Annual exam and vaccines$135Annual exam and vaccines $135Annual exam and vaccines $135
Parasite testing and control  $150Parasite control and testing  $150Parasite testing and control $150
Preventive Detection Bloodwork $150Urinalysis $75X-rays $210
  Bloodwork/blood glucose monitoring $400Bloodwork monitoring $320
  Progress exams $110Progress exams $110
  Insulin and syringes $700Pain control medications$750
  Other complications (urinary tract infections, emergency treatment, etc.) $200-$400  
Total per year:$435 $1570-$1970 $1675

*Please note that these numbers are rough estimates. Each pet is different and may require different courses of treatment or diagnostics.

How can I tell if my pet is overweight?

The best way to do this would be to see our veterinary team in Mitchell or Milverton for an evaluation. It can sometimes be difficult for owners to tell if their pet is overweight. In fact, 45% of pet owners assessed their pets as having a normal body condition when the veterinarian assessed them to be overweight.  Our veterinary team will evaluate your dog or cat’s body condition score (BCS). Your pet’s ribs should be easily felt, like feeling your knuckles on the back of your hand when you hold it flat. Your pet should also have an abdomen that tucks up when viewed from the side, and tucks inwards just in front of the pelvis when viewed from above.

What can I do?

1)  Determine if your pet is overweight.

  • ·  The first step to fixing any problem is admitting there is one! The veterinarian will evaluate your pet’s BCS at its annual health exam. However, if your pet isn’t due for its checkup anytime soon, feel free to contact us to set up a time to have a member of our veterinary team do a weigh -in and evaluation of your pet!

2)  Set a goal.

  • ·  Your veterinary team member will tell you how much your pet should ideally weigh. This should be the weight loss goal. Goals are important to achieving weight loss, as they keep you motivated by having a number to strive for. This is also important for monitoring progress.

3)  Make a plan.

  • ·  Measure the amount of food. With your pet’s ideal weight in mind, your veterinary team will be able to provide you with diet recommendations and amounts to feed your pet to achieve weight loss. It will be very important to measure the food with a measuring cup so you know exactly how much your pet is getting!
  • ·  Feed a weight loss diet. Cutting back on calories is important, however, you don’t want to lose all the nutrition along with those calories. Diets specifically formulated for weight loss pack more nutrition into fewer calories. Each pet is different, so your veterinary team is a valuable resource for discussing what diet options are best.
  • ·  Avoid feeding human foods. While low calorie snacks such as vegetables are great for pets while they are on diets, avoid feeding all other types of human foods. Did you know that a 20 lb dog eating one hot dog is equivalent to a 5’4” person eating three hamburgers? What may not seem like a lot adds up quickly for our furry friends!
  • ·  Feed using treat dispensing toys. This will help make your pet slow down while eating and also act as environmental enrichment. For cats, this could also mean some exercise as they chase the toy around.
  • ·  Do monthly or bi-weekly weigh-ins. This is the key to weight loss success! Our veterinary team can monitor the progress and adjust the caloric intake as needed. Your dog can safely lose 1-2% of their body weight per week, while your cat can safely lose up to 1% of their body weight per week. 
  • ·  Exercise for weight loss. Walk at a faster than usual pace so that your dog isn’t stopping and sniffing that often. If you aren’t walking at a quick enough pace to get your heart rate going and break a sweat, odds are your dog isn’t either. For cats, try to play with them more often with laser pointers or other toys they need to chase.

There are many good reasons to help your pet lose weight and you will be amazed by how much better they will feel! If you want to get started and help your pet live a longer, healthier and happier life, contact Mitchell Veterinary Services today! We are here to help and love being a part of weight loss success stories!