Your Cat and Hairballs

If you own a cat, the occasional hairball is probably a part of life. These regurgitations by your cat are certainly unpleasant… how much do you really know about them? Here, your vets Savannah, GA goes over the basics of hairballs.

What Causes Hairballs?

When your feline friend grooms herself, tiny barbs on her tongue pick up hair, which your cat swallows. Most of the swallowed hair passes through the digestive tract and is expelled through the feces; that which isn’t, though, clumps together into a hairball. Eventually, that hair gets regurgitated!

Are Hairballs Safe for My Cat?

Yes—the occasional hairball is a natural part of life and shouldn’t cause your feline friend any harm. Frequent hairball production, though, could mean a health issue; you’ll want to have your cat examined if your cat is producing a lot of hairballs. If your cat is gagging and retching without producing a hairball, take them to the emergency room.

Can I Minimize Hairball Production?

Grooming Fluffy yourself will prevent her from swallowing excessive amounts of hair. Additionally, specialized diets or dietary supplements can help cats who are particularly prone to high hairball production.

Call your veterinarians Savannah, GA to learn more.

Your Cat and Kneading

You’ve probably seen your cat knead at least a few times—that’s when your cat presses their front paws into an object in a repeated fashion. There are several possible reasons why cats do this! Learn more below from a Savannah, GA veterinarian.

Preparing for Naps

It’s thought that the ancient ancestors of our domesticated cats kneaded grass and dirt surfaces in the wild, softening them up for naps. That may be why your cat often kneads before bedding down for a snooze!

Territory Marking

Kneading may also be a form of territory marking. Your cat’s paw pads contain scent glands, and the scents are released when your cat’s paw presses into something. Kneading may be your cat’s way of marking her spot as her own.

Nursing Instincts

Kittens often knead their mother’s belly while nursing. This is thought to help stimulate milk production in the mother. Kneading may be a sort of “remnant” behavior left over from kitten-hood; it’s even possible that adult cats associate kneading with feelings of contentment that they experienced during their younger years!

Would you like further insight into your feline friend’s unique behavior? We’re here to help. Contact your veterinary Savannah, GA today.

Getting Your Dog Used to Car Rides

Many of our canine companions don’t take kindly to the car. Of course, since car rides are going to be a part of life for most dogs, it’s important to get your pooch acclimated! Use these tips from a vet Savannah, GA to do just that:

In the Driveway

Before going on any trips with your dog, simply let him explore the vehicle while it’s sitting in the driveway, turned off. This way, he gets used to the sights and smells of the car. You can entice your pooch with toys or treats to help him associate positive feelings with the car as well!

Practice Runs

Once your dog is more comfortable in the car, go on short drives around the neighborhood, or perhaps to a local park. This will get Fido used to the sensation of moving, and he’ll realize that not all car rides result in an anxiety-inducing trip to the vet’s office.

During Your Ride

It’s always best to keep your dog secured in his crate for car rides, as he’ll be safest there. Try cracking a window or playing music at a low volume to soothe Fido.

For more car-ride tips, call your veterinarian Savannah, GA.

Xylitol and Your Pet

Xylitol is an artificial sugar found in gums, candies, certain baked desserts, and even toothpaste. It’s highly toxic to animals! Your Savannah, GA veterinarian goes over the basics below.

Symptoms

A pet who ingests too much of a product containing xylitol—and it doesn’t take much!—can experience symptoms of depression, lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, collapse, and even death without treatment. Rush your pet to the nearest veterinary emergency room if you know or suspect that they’ve ingested xylitol.

Treatment

Your pet’s stomach may be flushed, or activated charcoal might be administered to slow the poison’s absorption in your pet’s system. Once your pet is stabilized and recovering, oxygen supplementation, fluid replacement, and other supportive therapies might be necessary.

Prevention Tips

Of course, preventing xylitol poisoning is far easier and less worrisome than treating it. It’s as easy as restricting your pet’s access to any and all products containing the toxin—never leave sweets of any kind on kitchen countertops or tables, and make sure your pet can’t access your cabinets where toothpaste and other products might be stored.

Want more information on xylitol and its effects on your pet? We’re here to help! Call your veterinarians Savannah, GA.