A dog sniffs a flower

Quicked nail (cut too short)        

Are you afraid to cut your pet’s nails for fear of getting too close to the quick (the sensitive part of the nail containing the nerve and blood vessel)? Cutting into the quick does cause bleeding and pain, which no one wants to do.  However, if the worst happens, there are ways to deal with it at home.  Remember this is for close cuts only.  If your pet breaks or tears a nail, chances are that will need to addressed by your veterinarian

No commercial “Quick Stop”?  No problem.  Just use flour & water paste. This is easy, readily available and will generally stop the bleeding. It helps to keep Rover quiet for a little while afterward. As an added benefit, it’s completely non-toxic.

My pet has a tick attached!         

Do you know how to safely remove an attached tick? Tweezers work well for this job.  Hold the skin close to the tick’s body and gently pull back with a slight rotating motion.  If you worry about pinching your pet with tweezers, try a commercial tick remover. These are shaped like a spoon with a split in the middle for easy removal of the tick.  Another method involves squeezing the skin around the tick and gently running a credit card underneath the tick to dislodge it.  Check to see if tick’s head is attached to its body by looking at the tick, not the pet’s skin.

What’s the best way to handle ticks?  Don’t handle them at all. Instead, use products such as Bravecto or Credelio to prevent them from attaching in the first place.  For added protection,  remember to vaccinate for tick-borne Lyme disease, just in case

My pet won’t stop scratching!    

What’s the most common cause of itching?  If you guessed fleas you’re correct.  Even pet’s who never venture outdoors can become infested with fleas.  Owners bring them in on pant legs; they get in through open windows or get on the porch or deck.  Remember, fleas have nothing to do with how clean your house is.

An inexpensive flea comb is a great tool.  Comb through your pet’s hair looking for fleas or the black specks that are flea dirt.  Flea dirt is actually feces that contain your pet’s digested blood. Just add water and if it turns red its flea dirt. Of course, the best way to deal with fleas is through the use of Bravecto, Credelio.

Finally, everything that itches isn’t always fleas.  If there are no signs of fleas and the itching won’t stop, it’s time to see the vet.

I think my pet has a mass behind his/her ear

What happens if you are giving your pet a good scratch and find a lump behind the ears?  Before you rush to call the vet, double-check that it isn’t just a mat of hair. Longer coated pets with fine hair can quickly develop hard mats and the heat and humidity of summer months can make tangles even tighter. Another area where mats can be a problem is around the anus.  Hair in this area combines with stool to form a mat that can prevent your pet from defecating.  This can cause serious problems if it isn’t addressed.

Small mats can usually be gently teased out with your fingers.

 For larger mats or anything around the anus, the safest method is electric clippers. Scissors can cut tender skin and combs can cause bruising and tears if the hair is pulled too aggressively.

My pet keeps scooting on my carpet.  I think its worms.    

More often than not, the cause of scooting is full anal glands.  Anal glands are located on either side of your pet’s rectum and can become impacted.   Feeding a higher fiber diet can help firm stools which may help the glands empty easier but some pets simply have trouble emptying their anal glands. Whatever the reason, anyone who has ever smelled expressed anal glands does not want it on their carpets.

Expressing anal glands requires gloves and a strong constitution.  We recommend you leave this up to your veterinarian or groomer.

If your pet is having any of these health issues or more, schedule an appointment at Animal Family Veterinary Care Center. Our team is here to keep your pets in optimal health!