Older Cat Care

Senior pets are a breed of their own and need special care from your local veterinarian.

Veterinarian suggested tips for senior pets.

Aging doggies and cats have changing veterinary needs, mainly they require more frequent physical exams, more blood testing, frequent checking of blood pressure, and x- rays if needed.

At any age, physical checkups are necessary for our furry friends. Because animals age 4 to 6 years for every human year, a lot can change in that time. It’s recommended to bring Fido in for a checkup twice a year, once every six months. This is to catch any maladies or illnesses as soon as possible. Diseases are much more manageable when treated in the early stages. Aging pets are more susceptible to sicknesses, so staying up-to- date with the veterinarian is very important at this age.

Blood testing is done on a semiannual basis each time you bring your furry friend into the veterinarian and animal care clinic. These tests check for liver health, thyroid levels, blood sugar, cholesterol, kidney function, and many other signs of early disease or illnesses. Urine is also tested and analyzed to allow our veterinarians the best chance for an early detection of common health problems.

Hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, is prevalent in older animals, especially cats. We also see this disease in dogs, though it’s not as common. Our veterinarians recommend testing for high blood pressure once each year.

Certain breeds are more prone to heart disease, and should have chest x- rays to catch changes in the heart before clinical changes develop. Dog breeds that should go in for regular x-rays include breeds like Great Danes, Dobermans, Shepherds, Boxers, and many small breed dogs. The large breed dogs often do not show any signs of heart disease until very late in the disease.

Of course, keeping old Fido happy is important, so take extra care of your old boy in the best ways you know how! Feed senior pets foods that are adequate for their breed and age. Many of these over-the-counter senior foods have additional dietary supplements that can help older dogs or cats that have arthritis. As always, make sure your pets have a safe place that is specifically for them, and for your senior pets a quiet area to lie down. Be aware of any behaviors that may indicate your pet is in pain or distress, and take him or her into the vet for regular check-ups.

canton vet foods for pets

7 Holiday Foods Not To Feed Your Pet – Veterinarian’s Advice

Tips from our friendly veterinarians in Canton, Ga. to ensure your pet stays safe.

The holidays can be a wonderful time of year.

We all love to give our pets a special treat now and then. Sometimes that treat is a table scrap or two. Here is a video explaining 7 foods most likely around during the holidays that you should not feed your pet.

Tips for happy living with a family dog.

Your local vet can help your family adjust to furry members.

The family dog is a welcomed part of the family, we as humans can help them stay safe and happy with these few tips from your veterinarian.

– Consider installing childproof cabinet locks or using baby gates to block off areas of the home that are off-limits to your dog. Especially when you’re newly welcoming a dog to your home, it’s important to set boundaries. Keeping dogs out of under-sink cabinetry that contains …chemicals, trash cans, medications and other common household hazards….

– Never approach a leashed, tethered or confined (including in a car) dog.  They are in their territory and will often defend it.  This is normal dog behavior.

– A dog’s bed, food bowl and toys are also their territory, and defendable. This is also normal dog behavior.

– Let sleeping (and eating) dogs lie.

– Most dogs will avoid confrontation if at all possible. Humans generally fail to recognize dogs repeated requests to be left alone. Their communications are subtle but recognizable with practice.

– Young children and dogs should NEVER be unattended, regardless of how well either party behaves. Never leave a dog unattended in a car, not even for “just a few minutes.” Keep all pets dewormed and flea free to prevent transmission of certain diseases to the family.

For more information on healthy and happy pet instructions… get Dr. Bryant’s Owner’s Manuals for cats and dogs.

Tips from your local vet in canton.

What happens during a pet dental cleaning?

A Veterinarians’ take on dental care.

Professional dental cleanings are much more than simple brushing of the teeth and a dental cleaning really must be done under anesthesia.

Many owners are fearful of anesthesia for cleaning their pets teeth. However, there are several safety precautions that are taken before a pet is prepped for dental cleanings.

True dental cleanings involve scaling the teeth (the scraping your dentist does to your teeth).  This can be time consuming, especially after years of tartar build up.

Disease also occurs under the gums as well, it is important we reach those areas too, cleaning only the part of the tooth you can see is nothing more than a cosmetic procedure.

Pets will not willingly sit still for these cleanings. For the safety of the veterinarian and your pet it is important they are not awake for these procedures.Vet Tech Pet Dental Cleaning

Don’t be fooled by those selling cleanings while your pet is awake. “Awake” procedures are unethical, ineffective and they trick owners into thinking they have done right by their pets

Dental cleaning instruments are very sharp. Use of these instruments in a moving patient is unsafe and ineffective.

Once cleaning is complete we take X-rays of the teeth to ‘see’ if there are any underlying issues or if disease is present. If there are concerns or teeth that must be extracted, we will contact you and give our advice based on what the x-rays show.

Finally, the teeth are fully polished and any grooves left in the enamel are smoothed. This is so plaque and tartar do not reform into these grooves.

Polishing requires a rotating device just like your dentist uses, and the polish is applied under the gums.

This final step decreases how quickly future disease will occur. Just like in people, oral health is a daily battle and at home brushing is the best way to slow recurrence of disease and oral infection, improving the quality and health of your furry family member.

Dental cleanings are continued on an ‘as needed’ basis usually between 1-2 years. Infection in the teeth can lead to heart and kidney disease if left unchecked. Regular, frequent cleanings keep costs and risks to a minimum.

Our main goal is to maintain a high quality of life for your pet as long as possible.  Thankfully, our pets live a lot longer now, and their teeth can last longer too.

Contact your local vet, in Georgia, to schedule a cleaning and exam.


Canton Vet explains – Heartworm and Pets

As a veterinarian in Ga., I know as many as 80% of unprotected dogs can become infected with heartworms.

Georgia has some of the highest rates of infection.

Pets acquire heartworms through mosquitoes that inject heartworm larvae into the bloodstream during their bite. Some areas have severe heartworm problems while other areas have virtually none. Even indoor dogs and cats are susceptible to heartworms as the mosquito is very aggressive and often gets into our homes.

The Heartworm is a large worm, up to 14 inches long, that lives in the heart and pulmonary arteries of an infected animal. Dogs and other canines such as coyotes, are the natural hosts  but cats can become infected as well.

Heartworm infection can lead to heart failure or sudden death.  Coughing and exercise intolerance are a few signs of this disease but these often take years to develop while heart disease slowly, quietly worsens. Other pets die very suddenly with no prior evidence of any problems.

One thing your vet knows, is this disease is nearly completely avoidable with a monthly heartworm preventative. Unfortunately, veterinarians still treat lots of dogs for heartworms and the numbers are actually rising.

Cats are very different  indeed. Once infected with heartworms, cats typically have signs of lung disease rather than the heart though sudden death and heart disease is seen occasionally.

In fact, it is thought that many of these cats are incorrectly diagnosed with feline asthma. Georgia vets realize the number of heartworm infected cats is larger than those affected by feline leukemia. So, a monthly preventative is just as important for cats!

Testing for heartworms is needed each year, even if pets are on preventative.  This is because if pets become accidentally infected, the preventatives can actually be harmful. It is important to talk with your veterinarian and get the medication your pet needs to prevent heartworm and treat if necessary.

Contact your vet in Canton to test and treat your pet for heartworm.

What is the best leash to use with my dog?

 The Vets at this Canton animal hospital recommend:

The Gentle Leader to guide your pet on walks.



A harness “harnesses” a dogs power, allowing them to throw their weight into the leash and drag the owner along.

Standard collars and choke chains put to much force on the throat and cause trauma to both the throat and neck.

Our Canton vets recommend The Gentle Leader because it uses gentle steady pressure on the nose to lower the head and provide good control. It also gives a gradual indication that the pet needs to slow down rather than the sudden jolt they get with collars and harnesses.

These can be purchased at most pet stores or online and come with a dvd to explain their use.

A lost Dog was Never Found.

A veterinarian explains why Micro Chips are really important.

If an animal gets lost and their collar falls off, you’ve lost all your ability to identify them.

It is also really important to register your name with the company that has the micro-chip information. So, unfortunately, Here at Cherokee Animal Hospital, we have a very common situation where an animal’s been chipped but the owners never registered their name to that chip.

Recently we had a chocolate Spaniel found and dropped off by the Marshall. We scanned the micro chip and the number was from Nebraska originally but there was no owners information. This information is needed in order to reunite them with their pet. So the pet was never reunited with her family.

The Micro Chip it takes five minutes or less, to implant and there’s no pain for your pet.  A Micro Chip is not very expensive. When the procedure is complete, don’t forget to register your information with the company for the Micro Chip to be effective at reuniting you with your pet if they should be lost.

Contact your vet for a micro chip insert today.