• Caring for older dogs & cats

    Older dogs & cats are prone to a variety of debilitating diseases & conditions. These include kidney failure, heart disease, dental disease, arthritis, cancer & senility. The good news is that improvements in veterinary care, diagnostic tests, new medications combined with early diagnosis & treatment make it possible for your pet to live a happier and longer life.

    Warning signs to look for include: changes in appetite or water consumption, weight gain or loss, repeated vomiting, bad breath, drooling, whining, stiffness or difficulty going up or down stairs. Also any new or changing lumps or growths should be checked out immediately.

    If you notice any of these things, please give us a call at 408-264-3550 . We are here 7 days a week to answer your questions and to help you & your pet.

  • Halloween & your pets

    I love Halloween but it can be a dangerous time for our pets.

    All that candy lying around is a big temptation for dogs. Chocolate is very toxic to dogs & can be deadly. Even other kinds of candy (& their wrappers) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even stomach or intestinal obstruction. Please be sure to keep your pets in another room when candy is out.

    Dogs & cats can get upset with all the children in costumes coming to your door – another reason to keep them in another room. This is a time when dogs & cats will escape from the house or can bite someone. If your pet is likely to escape, make sure it is microchipped.

    Lastly – if you have a black cat, please keep it inside. There are some very sick people out there.

    Have a Happy Halloween (which includes no emergency visits to you veterinarian).

  • You & your cat – Who’s in Charge Part 2

    4. There’s a Cupboard Full of Cat Stuff

    Do you let your cat do this? You’re owned.
    Every cat-owned human has one: a cupboard, cabinet or drawer full of cat items. What do cats need, exactly? Well, because felines can be finicky about pretty much everything, you never know what treat, toy or grooming tool your cat might be into on any given day. So you must stock myriad things to suit his mood.

    5. Your Phone Is Full of Cat Photos
    Quick, pull out your phone and count how many cat pictures you have versus how many pictures you have of human family members. How far do you have to scroll through photos filled with fur to get to your smiling kids or spouse? Enough said.

    6. You Maintain Multiple Water Sources
    Why should your cat have to walk all the way downstairs to get a drink of water? If a cat owns you, this is a reasonable question. Do you have water dishes, fountains or cups of water in multiple rooms in the house? If your cat sticks his nose in your water glass, do you shoo him away or do you let him drink to his heart’s content and then go get yourself another glass? If you answered the latter, your cat probably owns you.

    Sure, you might try to tell yourself you’re in charge but, really, when it comes right down to it, are you? Despite your best efforts to the contrary, it’s probably a good idea for you to resign yourself to being a kept human. It’s a battle you’ll never win.

    More on Vetstreet.com:

  • You and your cat : Who’s in Charge? Part 1

    Are you a cat owner? Are you sure about that? Who caters to her resident feline’s every need? Who dotes upon her demanding little dictator? Who can be put in her place with just one look of disdain from the kitty in the corner?

    If any of the following scenarios sound familiar, the “owner” status in your home may have shifted without your even realizing it.

    1. The Cat Eats What the Cat Wants to Eat
    Be honest: How many different types of cat food have you presented to your feline friend, only to have him turn up his tiny little nose at it? Humans who are owned by cats know that once you have figured out the magical formula of food, you stick with it. That may be one flavor on odd days of the week and another flavor on even, heated for eight seconds in the microwave and served on special china, but, hey, he’s eating with gusto, right?

    2. You Don’t Move the Cat — Ever
    You can be certain you’re an owned human if you regularly work around your cat, wherever that happens to be. This includes waiting until later to fold laundry if he’s snoozing in the basket, stepping over him while preparing lunch if he’s lying on the kitchen floor, forgoing the vacuum cleaner if he’s anywhere nearby or selecting another chair if your regular seat is already occupied.

    3. You Just Keep Buying Cat Toys
    How many little mice, balls, and crunchy, bouncy or squeaky cat toys have you purchased over the years? Your cat plays with them for only a minute before he grows bored, yet you still keep bringing home toys for that one fleeting moment of joy. You know this, but you don’t care. It’s worth it to keep your cat content.

  • FLEAS FLEAS FLEAS

    All of a sudden, we are seeing a lot of dogs & cats coming in with skin problems. Some of this is due to allergies but we are also seeing LOTS of FLEAS. If you are using a topical product (Frontline, Advantage, or Activyl) make sure that you continue to apply it EVERY month. Also, Advantage & Frontline have been around for awhile and some people are noticing that fleas may be becoming resistant to it. If that seems to apply to you, then you should switch to Activyl, which is a newer product, or Nexgard, which is a new chewable product that quickly kills fleas & ticks. If you are using Sentinel or Program – these products do not kill fleas but just prevent them from reproducing – then you may need to add in a topical or oral medication for a few months to get the fleas under control. As the weather gets more humid or if it rains, the fleas will really multiply, so now is the time to get them under control.

    If you are having problems or have any questions, please call us at 408-264-3550 , so we can help you chose the most effective products for your pets.

  • AAHA RE-ACCREDITATION

    Since 1998, we have been an accredited AAHA hospital. We just passed our latest accreditation, which has even more & stricter standards – there are over 900 standards altogether. We go thru an inspection every 3 years ( in contrast to the fact that we have had only 1 state inspection since 1988!)

    These are some of the areas that are evaluated: anesthesia, dentistry, pain management, surgery, critical care, patient care, diagnostic imaging, veterinarian continuing education, and quality of our facility.

    We work hard to provide the best & most up to date veterinary care possible and we are proud of our AAHA accreditation.

  • Make Training Time Play Time For Your Dog

    Training your dog for even just 5 – 10 minutes once or twice a day will make for a happier, well-behaved dog and strengthen the bond between the two of you.

    But let’s making training a fun game for both of you!

    Use games, toys & treats to teach your dog to come, sit, stay, and, in general, focus on you. Think of commands as tricks – a happier connotation & not so stern. Give your commands in a happy high-pitched voice. (This may seem silly, but this is how military dog handlers train their working dogs.) Use treats, toys, & praise as rewards.

    Start with one trick (command) & use a treat to reward. Once your dog is comfortable with that, start adding more tricks to make a series of tricks and reward after the last trick. You will see your dog really focussing on you & trying to anticipate what it needs to do to earn the reward. Rewards can also be playing with a favorite toy. Examples of tricks are: come, sit, stay, fetch or search, shake, chase tail, go thru your legs, go around a certain piece of furniture, etc. Have your dog finish the series of tricks by sitting next to you -indicate which side by tapping your thigh & do vary sides.

    NOW GO AND HAVE FUN WITH YOUR DOG – It is good bor both of you!

  • Cats & carriers

    All cats should be transported in carriers – there is no way you can hold onto a cat if it gets scared. We all know that cats often hate their carriers & it can be a real struggle to get them into the carriers. So here are a few tips, that with time & a lot of patience, may help.

    It is important to choose the right carrier – it should be sturdy, stable, & be easy for your cat to get into. Often a hard carrier with a door on the side & on top is the best. It is also a good idea to pick a carrier with an easily removable top.

    Next, put the carrier in one of its favorite places. Leave the door open and possibly even take the top off. If you put it on an elevated surface (chair, ledge, etc) make sure it is stable and won’t fall or move. Put towels or a blanket in it to make it warm & cozy. Some cats prefer to have the top of the carrier covered with a towel. You can put a scratching post next to it too.

    Reward your cat with food when it enters the carrier or make it the only place where you give your cat treats. You can feed your cat in the carrier or near it. Trying playing with your cat with its favorite toys so that the carrier becomes associated comfort.

    Once her cat is comfortable in the carrier, try putting it in the car for a few minutes. Seat belt the carrier securely in the back seat. Start with just a few minutes in the car & slowly build up the time. Do this in the early morning or evening – you don’t want your cat to get overheated. Once your cat seems comfortable with that, then start taking the cat for short drives – not always just to the vets. When you get your cat home, always reward your cat when you take it out of the carrier.

    Your cat will never love going to the veterinary hospital, but maybe these suggestions can make it less stressful for both you & your cat.

  • Just for fun! A cute animated website starring cats

    This is a really cute website. You will recognize your cat in these animations. A great way to take a break & laugh

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  • Behavior Problems – How Medical Problems Can Contribute

    Aggression and anxiety are caused by stress. Pain/ discomfort are major stressors. If your pet is suddenly or progressively showing signs of aggression & anxiety, you should bring it in for an exam. Some examples of problems that cause pain are arthritis, intestinal infections, urinary bladder infections, skin infections, fleas, and even ear infections, which can be very painful. Hypothyroidism by itself can cause anxiety in some dogs. For your pet’s happiness & well-being, it should be evaluated right away. The sooner these problems are treated, the easier it will be to correct the anxiety & aggression. Please call us at 408-264-3550 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.