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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.

Keep Your Pets Safe in Cold Weather

Dog Listening Weather Image - Nashville TN - 5 Points Animal Hospital You hear a lot about how dangerous the summer heat can be for pets, but freezing cold temperatures can be just as hazardous. Winter weather can pose some hazards and other problems for dogs and cats, and it is important to be aware of certain situations. Following a few cold weather safety practices can keep your pets happy and healthy all winter long. 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share some tips with you to help you make sure your pets are safe and warm this winter.

Know your pet’s limits.

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) certain factors of your pet determine his tolerance to cold weather. Based on his coat, amount of body fat, health, and level of activity, he may be able to stay outside in the cold longer than your neighbor’s dog. If your dog has arthritis or is elderly, it can be more difficult to tolerate cold weather and to walk on snow and ice. Pets with diabetes, kidney disease, heart disease, and other health issues can be more susceptible to extreme temperatures because they have a more difficult time regulating their body temperature.

Keep your pet inside during cold weather.

Some people mistakenly believe that dogs and cats can handle being outside in cold weather because of their fur coats, but pets are just as susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite as humans are. Even if you have a long-haired dog like a husky, you should never leave your pet outside for an extended period of time when the temperature drops below freezing.

Be careful when starting your car.

If you have outdoor and feral cats living in your neighborhood, you should always knock on the hood of your car before you start the engine during the winter. These cats tend to sleep under the hoods of cars during periods of freezing weather. Making a bit of noise allows a cat to escape from under the hood before you start up your car.

Take a look at your dog’s paws.

Frequently check your dog’s paws for cracked paw pads and bleeding as these are signs of injuries or damage from cold weather. Your dog’s feet can pick up ice balls as well as toxic chemicals from deicers and antifreeze during walks, so you should always wipe off your dog’s paws when you get home from your walks.

Stay away from ice.

You should always avoid frozen lakes, ponds, and other water when on walks with your dog. You can never tell if the ice can support the weight of your dog, and if your dog falls through the ice, it can be a deadly situation.
5 Points Animal Hospital wants you and your pets to stay safe and warm this winter. Contact us if you would like to know more winter weather safety tips for your dogs and cats.

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