Feeding Your Guinea Pig

IMG_3626You have a new guinea pig: congratulations! Guinea pigs are inquisitive and rewarding pets, but proper feeding is critical to their long-term health and well being!

The basics: what do I feed my guinea pig?

Your guinea pig is an herbivore, which means he eats only plant material like hay. Herbivores need to have food moving constantly through their digestive systems to avoid serious health problems. Continue…

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posted in:  Diet/nutrition  |  Exotics  |  guinea pig  |  rabbits  |  VMA Modesto News

Lumps & Bumps- What is this mass on my dog?

Canadian_Golden_Retriever[1]You were petting your dog this morning and found a bump that you’re sure was not there last week- is it serious? The short answer is: possibly.

Dogs tend to develop lumps and bumps as they age; whether these are something to worry about or can be safely ignored can be difficult to tell based on the appearance alone. Continue…

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Sneezing Dog? Think Foxtails!

images[10]My dog is sneezing like crazy all of a sudden in fits and won’t stop- what’s going on?

Just like humans, a dog’s nose is very sensitive to irritation, often resulting in a violent sneezing fit to dislodge whatever is causing the discomfort. In the case of most dogs, especially in California, the foxtail is all too often the culprit. Continue…

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posted in:  Canine  |  VMA Modesto News

Flea Treatments Are Not Equal

Carlos ActivylThat insufferable scratching…

Is your pet’s itching driving you crazy? If so, you’re not alone! “Flea season” is upon us and it has come with a vengeance this year.

But wait! My pet can’t have fleas- I use flea treatments regularly to take care of that problem.

Unfortunately, in our practice, we’ve been noticing a marked rise in flea resistance to many of the popular spot-on flea treatments recently, especially to drugs like fipronil. In other words, you, the pet owner, are doing everything right by applying your flea prevention regularly, but it’s not killing the fleas as effectively anymore. The result: utter frustration (and itchiness). Continue…

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Trimming a Dog’s Toenails

Toenails PicHelp! My dog will not let me trim his nails at home- he acts like I’m trying to hurt him and won’t sit still! Is there any way to train him to let me do this?

The good news is that yes! There are several easy things you can try at home to desensitize your dog to the “horrors” of the nail trim (in his mind) and change his perspective to the whole process. I have met dogs who feel the nail trimmer is the equivalent of a horror movie villain, clearly up to no good with harmful intent.

The next appointment may have a dog so eager to get his nails trimmed that he will bully his housemates out of the way for his owner to file his nails first, tail wagging the whole time. What’s the difference between these dogs? Fundamentally, nothing, beyond how nail trims were introduced and handled in the past. Continue…

posted in:  VMA Modesto News

Itchy, Smelly Ears? Think Infection!

floppy earsHave you noticed your dog shaking its head recently, or yelping when you touch its ears? And what is that smell?

Just like people, dogs can, and often do, get ear infections. Some dogs are lucky (if you can call it that) and only get a one-time ear infection, perhaps after going swimming. Others are less fortunate and are predisposed to chronic ear infections, which can lead to intense itching or even pain if severe. Continue…

posted in:  Canine  |  VMA Modesto News