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How to Help Your Sick Dog

As your dog ages, there may come a time when he is sick, and knowing how to take care of your pet when he is not feeling well can make a big difference in helping him be calm and comfortable. Although it may take more time and effort for you, making sure your dog is hydrated and well rested is important for him to feel better sooner and to heal properly. Since 2011, 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing prevention and wellness care and diagnostic and surgical services to the pets in the neighborhoods of the East Nashville area. When your dog is sick, we are here to help your dog to start feeling better, and we would like to tell you a few ways that you can assist your pet to make him feel more comfortable at home with you.

KEEP YOUR DOG HYDRATED

When your dog is sick, he can become dehydrated very quickly, especially if he is vomiting or having diarrhea. To avoid this complication, make sure he has access to cool and fresh water. If he does not want to drink any water, WikiHow recommends giving your dogs ice cubes to lick and rubbing his gums with a wet cloth to keep him hydrated.

CALL YOUR VETERINARIAN’S OFFICE

To help your dog feel better as quickly as possible, you need to get him examined by your veterinarian to have him professionally diagnosed and treated. If you live in the Nashville area, our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital can take care of your sick dog and help him be more comfortable. If your dog needs medications, we can teach you how to properly administer them.

REINTRODUCE FOOD

Even if your dog does not have stomach problems, it is common for all sick dogs to avoid food for a day or two. However, your dog needs nutrition, so it helps to know how to reintroduce food to him. You will want to divide his portions into smaller ones to give him every two to four hours. Give your dog food that is low in fat, which makes it easier to digest. The best foods to give your dog are bland ones, such as boiled potatoes, rice, and shredded chicken breast. If your dog has been vomiting, however, you will want to withhold food for 12 to 24 hours to allow his stomach to recuperate before he tries to eat again. After 12 hours, offer around two to three tablespoons of food, and if he can hold it down, you can give him small amounts of food every one to two hours.

Help your sick dog be as comfortable as possible. If your dog is not feeling his best, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital. Our professional veterinary staff is here to take care of your dog and provide him with the treatment he needs to improve his health.

How Do I Know If My Cat Is Sick?

Cats tend to be very secretive when they are sick, and sometimes they can even hide their illness when they are not feeling well. Unfortunately, this can lead to serious health problems. By the time their owners realize their cats need to see a veterinarian, it could be too late. You can avoid this devastating moment by knowing the signs that can alert you to your cat being sick. According to VetStreet, most cat illnesses are best treated in their early stages, so it is very important to know what to look for in your cat’s behavior. 5 Points Animal Hospital has been providing veterinary services to the East Nashville community since 2011. We would like to share with you the signs of your cat being sick so that you will know when to bring your pet into our office for treatment.

HIDING

Although it is common for cats to play games of hide and seek with their owners, cats tend to hide away in out-of-the-way places when they are sick. If you are having a hard time finding your cat, the chances are likely that he may be sick and in need of professional veterinary care. If your cat cannot find a hiding place, he may lie quietly in a hunched position if he is not feeling well.

LITTER BOX BEHAVIORS

If you notice your cat going to the litter box more frequently than normal, it could be a sign of kidney disease, diabetes, or other illness. If your cat is only producing a small amount of urine or is meowing from pain during urination, he could have a urinary tract infection, which can be a serious condition. Diarrhea is another sign of sickness, especially if it is bloody and accompanied by vomiting. You should always seek help from a veterinarian when this occurs. While constipation can be common in cats, it can be very painful. 5 Points Animal Hospital can help you adjust your cat’s diet to keep this from happening more than it should.

COUGHING

When you hear your cat cough, more often than not, he is trying to clear a hairball from his throat, but it could also be a symptom of a more serious issue, including asthma, heart disease, respiratory problems, or other illnesses. If your cat is coughing for more than a day or is repeatedly coughing with breathing difficulties and bluish gums, you need to immediately bring him into 5 Points Animal Hospital or another professional veterinary clinic for treatment.

Keep your cat healthy and happy. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for his annual well check exam.

The Importance of Spaying and Neutering Pets

At the end of each episode of The Price Is Right, the former host Bob Barker would always remind the audience to have their pets spayed and neutered. Barker has been a devoted advocate for animals for years, and his daily message to pet owners was an important one. According to The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), spaying and neutering your pet not only helps to control the crisis of homeless pets, but it also has numerous physical and behavioral health benefits for your cat or dog.

If you live in the Nashville area, 5 Points Animal Hospital has a state-of-the-art surgical suite where our veterinary staff performs routine spays, neuters, and other types of medical procedures. You can rest easy knowing we use the most advanced methods of pain management and surgical technologies on your cat or dog during the entire time he is in our care. We would like to tell you more about why it is so important to have your pets spayed and neutered.

MEDICAL ADVANTAGES

If your cat or dog is a female, having her spayed will give you more time to spend with her. According to the ASPCA, spaying prevents uterine infections and reduces malignant and cancerous breast tumors in 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats, particularly if the procedure is done before the first heat of the animal. The health of male dogs and cats also benefits from being neutered. These pets will avoid suffering from testicular cancer and prostate issues.

BEHAVIORAL ADVANTAGES

Having your pet spayed or neutered also has several behavioral health benefits, especially for males. Neutered male dogs and cats are much less likely to mark their territory all over your home by spraying urine with a very strong and unpleasant odor. Male pets that have been neutered are also not as likely to run away from home. An intact male dog or cat will do anything to go out and find a mate, and this can create risks of becoming injured in traffic or fights with other animals, You can also avoid aggression problems by having your male dog neutered early. This can help to reduce your male dog mounting other dogs, people, and inanimate objects. Spaying your female pet also helps with behavioral problems. While cycles vary, the average female cat typically goes into heat for three to five days every three weeks when it is breeding season. Not only do female cats in heat spray urine frequently to advertise for a mate, but they can also yowl loudly and repeatedly. Having them spayed will reduce this monthly annoyance with your female pet.

Protect the health of your pet while helping to control the number of homeless cats and dogs. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment to have your cat or dog spayed or neutered.

The Dangers of Pet Obesity

Although you may think you are being nice to your pet by giving him lots of treats, you may be doing more harm than good. According to PetMD, the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) found that more than 58 percent of cats and 45 percent of dogs are considered as overweight or obese. Those extra pounds can cause problems with your pet’s health, including lasting damage to his bones, joints, and internal organs. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you more about the dangers of pet obesity and how you can avoid this health issue.

How do I know if my pet is overweight or obese?

Unfortunately, many pet owners do not realize their pets are obese until they begin to significantly slow down. PetMD suggests doing a check of your pet’s weight from time to time. You can feel around his midsection while he is standing. You should be able to easily feel his ribs and spine. If not, you can consult with our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital about a weight loss plan for your pet.

What are the dangers of pet obesity?

Because your pet will have trouble breathing as well as problems with arthritis when he is overweight, his physical stamina will greatly decrease. This can make it even more difficult to lose weight. This also reduces your pet’s tolerance for exercise, which is an essential part of a weight loss regimen. Other health risks of pet obesity include diabetes, high blood pressure, liver disease, a lowered immune system function, and an increase risk of cancer.

How can I help my pet lose weight?

If you have noticed that your pet has put on some extra pounds, 5 Points Animal Hospital can talk to you about the best diet plan for him to help him lose weight. Depending on the age, breed, and weight of your pet, we can suggest the right food and exercise regimen for him. Even though some damage from obesity will always remain, other effects can be reversed through diet and exercise changes. It is important to stick to your pet’s new habits because the longer the extra pounds stay on your pet, the more damage is done to his health.

Beware the dangers of pet obesity. If your pet has gained weight, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment to talk to us about a weight loss for him.

Signs You Need to Take Your Pet to the Vet

As pet owners, we always wish our pets could be able to speak to us. Not only do we want to know they love us and are happy, but we also want to hear what they need, especially when they are not feeling well. Fortunately, even though our cats and dogs cannot actually tell us how they feel, they can send us messages to let us know if something is wrong. Although some signs like refusing to eat are obvious, other signs that you need to take your pet to the vet can be harder to understand. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to tell you more about the signs you should be alert to that can let you know your cat or dog needs to come see us for a checkup.

Hiding

Although some pets are natural loners, it can be concerning when your normally friendly pet goes off by himself and hides, according to Bright Side. Your pet may feel like hiding if he is sick or is under stress, so if your cat or dog starts to show this type of behavior, you should take him to the vet.

Sudden Aggression

Being in pain can make even the sweetest dogs react aggressively when touched. Several things can cause your pet to be in pain, including arthritis, dental issues, infections, and injuries. A vet can pinpoint the problem and treat your pet to make him more comfortable.

Oversleeping

Sleeping longer than normal can be another sign you need to take your pet to the vet. Although cats are known for sleeping for up to 16 hours a day, certain illnesses like leukosis and Lyme disease can cause them to sleep longer than they typically would do. For dogs, conditions such as diabetes and thyroid gland issues can make them oversleep.

Altered Coat

Looking out for the condition of your pet’s coat can also give you a sign that he needs to see a vet. Cats usually keep their coats clean by licking them, but arthritis can keep them from being able to do this. Shedding too much hair is another sign that something is wrong. Your pet could be suffering from skin diseases, allergies, or malnutrition.

Difficulty Breathing

If you ever notice your pet having breathing problems, you should take him to the vet immediately as this can be very serious. Your pet could be suffering from heart issues or have liquid in his chest.

Staying alert to these signs can help you keep your pet healthy and happy. Whenever you notice one of these signs, contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to schedule an appointment for an exam with our professional veterinary staff.

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