All dogs can bite

Dogs use their mouths to communicate!

Not only by whining or barking, but also to react to different situations.  Dogs may bite or nip while playing.  They also may bite to protect their puppies, a toy, or their food. They also may react to fear or stress by biting.  Ill dogs may be painful or sore from an injury and bite if touched or moved.  Dogs will choose the intensity of their bite. For example, a dog may gently mouth or nip to warn you to stop, or they may fully bite if they are very painful or fearful.

 

There is no single way or exact set of guidelines to follow to know if a dog will bite or not.  Watching their body language and knowing the personality of the dog will help, but it still does not guarantee how a dog will react.   It is important to be Continue…

Intestinal parasites

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What are intestinal parasites?

It is estimated that half of all indoor cats and a third of all indoor dogs sleep in the bed with their human companions.  This is an important fact to consider.  Dogs and cats are susceptible to many species of intestinal parasites, including whipworms, roundworms, hookworms, and tapeworms.  Each of these can cause disease in your pets, but they can be harbored in low levels without showing signs of infection.

Types of intestinal parasites

Roundworms and hookworms are contagious parasites which are of particular risk to humans.  These parasites like to live Continue…

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Proper dog nutrition

What should I feed my dog?

This is a question that we are asked quite frequently, and the answer is not so straightforward as one might think. There are several different factors that need to be considered. First you need to take into account both the age and lifestyle of the pet. A 4 month old growing Mastiff is going to have different nutritional requirements than a 13 year old Shih Tzu, just as a working Border Collie’s energy requirements are going to be much different than that of the typical coach potato Bulldog. Also, any underlying medical disorder (i.e.: urinary disease, diabetes, kidney disease, etc.) will affect the diet recommendation for your pet. Interestingly, there is a company that is now working on developing diets tailored for your specific pet based on DNA testing… stay tuned.

Which dog food is the best?

So how can you tell a high quality dog food or company from one that might not be as good? First, check the Nutrition Adequacy Statement that should be present on all pet foods. This will tell you Continue…

Backyard chicken care

 Are backyard chickens worth the trouble?

A year ago, in an effort to eat healthier and to give our children some “life on the farm” experiences, my wife and I purchased seven Buff Orpington baby chicks. A few weeks later, we purchased 12 Americana chicks. We had recently moved into a home in the Simpsonville area that already had a chicken coop. We cleaned it up and added some nesting boxes. Our children loved Continue…

Llama Mamma!

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Llamas and Alpacas for pets?

When I was in veterinary school at Auburn University, I spent summers assisting a missionary in Uganda and Kenya. Much of her work involved small ruminants, and so began my work with camelids. After falling in love with these beautiful creatures, I returned to clinicals my senior year and concentrated on Alpacas and Llamas. Once in practice in Travelers Rest, I truly began to learn the complexity, peculiarity and meekness of the species. I especially love working side by side with Greenville County owners of these ancient animals, because in the world of Alpacas/Llamas…”it takes a village”.

Although different species, Llamas and Alpacas can be successfully bred with the resulting offspring called “huarizo”. With the exception of my favorite llama friends, Pilgrim and John, I will refer mostly to Alpacas. My favorite Alpaca’s name Continue…

Should I get a reptile for a pet?

Think before you purchase an exotic animal

Pet stores everywhere are filled with small, and somewhat large, creatures in cages and tanks.  People come in to our Simpsonville office and say they think it would be fun to own one.  “Ah, wouldn’t this one be so much company for Grandma?!”  Well, before you purchase, you should do some serious research and thinking.  The variety of exotics ranges from ferrets, rabbits, bearded dragons, guinea pigs, canaries…to turtles, reptiles and pythons.  Whatever  species you are considering, I highly recommend that you do your research before purchasing.   The care of an exotic pet can be strict and intensive, depending on the species.  Do not just do your research by talking to the pet store owner. Talk first to a veterinarian who works with Continue…

Is “dog breath” normal?

dog-dental-e1385759625650Is “dog breath” normal?

It often surprises pet owners that their pets need to have their teeth cared for and that their dog’s breath isn’t normal.  Brushing their pet’s teeth seems so foreign and many people never consider it.  As our pets age, their teeth build up tartar.  For humans it is recommended that we go to the dentist every 6 months to have our teeth cleaned and evaluated.  In our practice we examine your pet’s mouth each time they come in for an exam, so we can stay ahead of any potential problems.  On average, pets over the age of 3 need to have their teeth cleaned on an annual basis, with some needing it every 6 months.

Periodontal disease can be seen in pets as young as 9 months of age, so it is important to have your pet evaluated yearly.  The question is often asked of why some pets would develop dental problems at an early age and others seem to have perfectly healthy teeth.  Small breed dogs are more prone to developing early dental disease than their large breed counterparts.  Small mouths are often overcrowded.  Overcrowded teeth tend to entrap bacteria and debris, Continue…

What is pancreatitis in dogs?

crain.What’s the big deal about feeding your pet people food?  All of the fatty foods might taste great to us, and most dogs certainly won’t turn up their noses at them. However, a fatty meal (or “dietary indiscretion”: veterinary code word for getting into the trash or something nasty out in the yard) can easily cause a very upset stomach and, in some cases, can lead to a serious condition called pancreatitis in dogs.

What is pancreatitis? 

Pancreatitis means quite simply inflammation of the pancreas. The pancreas is very important

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What is AAHA Accreditation?

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What is AAHA? Most people don’t know what AAHA stands for or why it is important. AAHA is an acronym for the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA Accreditation) .  This association, started in 1933, is a governing body that sets standards and provides guidelines to regulate the level of care that you can expect from your veterinarian.  Compliance with AAHA standards is strictly a voluntary process.
Any veterinary hospital can pay annual dues and join the American Animal Hospital  Association.  In order to become AAHA accredited your hospital has to be evaluated on and meet the standards of the organization.  There are 900 standards which cover every area of your hospital and the way you practice. These standards were developed to act as a benchmark to measure excellence in veterinary medicine.  There are approximately 3200 (top 15%) of all veterinary hospitals in the United States and Canada that are currently AAHA accredited.

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