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“My Cat Is in Pain When He Eats”

March 26, 2020 by Cherished Companions

Two cats eating - one cat is in pain while he eats

Resorptive lesions may be to blame. Here’s what you need to know…

Lately, you’ve noticed that your cat is in pain when he (or she) eats. Maybe:
  • Your cat is eating more slowly.
  • Your cat is taking small bites and dropping the kibble.
  • You’ve noticed big changes in your cat’s eating habits. For example, your normally-picky eater is now gulping food. Or your normally-fast eater is not eating his food.
  • Your cat is drooling, pawing and rubbing at his face, and has bad breath, or…
  • You can hear a clicking or crunching noise when your cat eats.
There are different reasons for changes in your cat’s eating habits, but if your cat appears to be in pain, a common culprit is a “resorptive lesion.”

What are resorptive lesions in cats?

In layman’s terms, a resorptive lesion is like a cavity in human teeth.It’s a defect in the enamel and tissue of the tooth.The tooth enamel starts to dissolve. It opens up and exposes the inside of your cat’s tooth (where the nerves and blood supply are).Ouch!Resorptive lesions can lead to other issues in your cat’s mouth, like infections.

Cinnamon, the cat, rests on her owner's arms after eating.

Are resorptive lesions painful?

Yes, they expose the pulp cavity of your cat’s teeth.

What causes resorptive lesions in cats?

There are several theories on what causes resorptive lesions, but there’s no known cause yet.Even cats with fairly clean mouths can get resorptive lesions, so this is one way these lesions are different than human cavities.Some cats will get a resorptive lesion in one tooth and never have an issue again.Other cats will get multiple resorptive lesions over their lifetimes.Every cat is different.Resorptive lesions tend to be more common in middle-aged to older cats, but our cat veterinarians have seen them in younger cats too.Resorptive lesions are much more common in cats than dogs.

What is the treatment?

Any time your cat has a resorptive lesion, that tooth needs to be fully removed.There is no treatment to save that tooth.If your cat has multiple resorptive lesions, you may want to plan on more frequent dental cleanings. This way, we can catch the lesions before they become problematic and painful for your cat.

Related article

Help your cat feel better If your cat is in pain while eating and you live near Castle Rock, Colorado, reach out to our cat veterinarians at 303-688-3757 or:Book your visit here
Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.This article is intended to provide general guidance on resorptive lesions — a possible reason your cat may be in pain while eating. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

Adding a Second Dog to Your Family: Pros and Cons

February 27, 2020 by Cherished Companions

Two dogs in a car. The Jack Russell terrier is the second dog to join this household.

The more dogs, the merrier, right? Sometimes.  🙂

Each pet family is different, so it’s awesome you’re thinking
through the decision of adding a second dog.

Dr. Melanie has always had two dogs, and she sees A LOT of
multiple dog families.

We asked her to share potential benefits — and
cons — of getting a second dog.

Plus, scroll down for her thoughts on good ages and genders for
a second dog, so you can choose well for your family.

Benefits of getting a second dog

  • You can double the fun and silly antics in your home.
  • Some dogs LIKE having a companion. If you have a
    nervous dog who suffers from separation anxiety, for
    example, a second dog in your home may help lower
    your first dog’s anxiety.
  • Younger dogs can become playmates for each other.
  • If your first dog is destructive from boredom, you
    may be able to redirect your dog’s energy, so the dogs
    entertain each other instead.
  • If you have kids, a second dog can make another good
    playmate.
  • One person can usually still walk two dogs. (Think
    about the size and strength you can handle.)
  • If your dogs are a few years apart, you’ll still have a
    furry friend when the other passes away.

Cons of getting a second dog

  • Two dogs take more time, even if they’re
    entertaining each other.
    Make sure you have enough
    time for one dog before considering a second dog.
  • Two dogs are a greater expense. Depending on the
    size and age of your dogs, you may be doubling your
    food, boarding, grooming and veterinary care bills.
  • Some dogs like to be the only dog. Not every dog
    wants a buddy. You may change the dynamic with your
    first dog.
  • If you travel a lot or know you’re going to deploy, it
    can be easier (and less expensive) to find care for one
    dog rather than two.
  • If someone in your home has allergies, you’ll need to
    look for an allergy-resistant dog.

Alpha personality and gender considerations
when adding a second dog

Dogs consider you their pack.

There are some dogs that have more of an alpha personality
than others. (It could be either a female dog or a male dog.)

Mixing the genders can help if you have a dog with a strong
alpha personality.

In this case, look for a second dog that is the opposite sex and is
more laid back and mellow.

Avoid getting two strong alpha personalities, and always have
them meet in a neutral place, so you can see how they interact.

(If one dog is physically aggressive to the other, this is not good.)

Before adding a second dog to your home, have them meet in a neutral place, like this park
Can dogs of the same gender get along together?
Absolutely.

Our veterinarians have had personal experience mixing two male
dogs and two female dogs together. The dogs have done fine.

The key is to be in tune with each dog’s alpha tendencies.

Age considerations when getting a second dog

Generally speaking, there isn’t a “best age” to get a new dog, but
there are a few age considerations:

  • Avoid introducing a puppy if you have a geriatric
    dog
    . (Your dog is 10+ years.) It can be really taxing on
    your senior dog.
  • If you get a younger dog when your dog is 6-8 years
    old
    , this may help keep your older dog acting more
    youthful.
  • If you’re getting two puppies from the same litter,
    make sure you spend time separately with each dog, so the
    dogs bond with you (and not just to each other).
    Otherwise, you may be treated as an outsider.

On that note, ANY TIME you’re getting a second dog, it’s always a good
idea to make sure you’re spending quality time with each dog
separately, so they bond with you.

Related articles:

We welcome new pet families

If you’re adopting a rescue dog, ask about our FREE 1st exam for rescue pets within 14 days of adoption.

Call our Castle Rock veterinarians at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on adding a second dog to your family. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

“I Think My Dog Ate Something He Wasn’t Supposed to”

February 13, 2020 by Cherished Companions

A German Shepherd puppy tries to eat a shoe.

What to do if your dog ate socks, clothes, toys or other inedible objects

If you suspect your dog may have eaten something he (or she) wasn’t supposed to, take heart.

Your dog is in good company!

Our veterinarians have treated dogs that have eaten:

  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Rope chew toys
  • Children’s toys
  • A mechanical cat toy (you could see all the metallic moving parts in the X-ray)
  • Plastic
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • A hearing aid
  • Jewelry
  • A corncob
  • Chicken bones
  • Mulch and rocks (especially those around the BBQ grill)
  • A ball of twine
  • Decorative grass
  • Clothing, including shirts and pants
  • Children’s clothing
  • A bottle of gorilla glue
  • A glass light bulb (it passed all the way through the dog’s system without breaking!)

Basically, anything you think that a dog could eat, he can eat.

A small dog has shredded his bed. His owner isn't sure if the dog ate the stuffing.

How to know if your dog ate something

Your dog may be:

  • Vomiting
  • Not eating
  • Acting lethargic
  • Stretching his butt in the air and staying in that pose (he may be trying to get pressure off his belly)
  • Stretching a lot
  • Grunting like a pig or moaning (it likely hurts when your dog moves)
  • Retching (but he may be unable to throw up)

Also, looks for remnants of what your dog may have eaten.

For example, if you get home from work and find a partially chewed up toy (but you can’t find the rest of it), get your dog in for an X-ray.

Suspect your dog ate something? If you live near Castle Rock, CO, call our veterinarians at 303-688-3757.

“What should I do?”

The big thing is to be observant.

If you notice ANY of the behaviors above, get your dog checked by our veterinarians ASAP.

Some objects aren’t a big deal

Just because your dog ate something, this doesn’t mean your dog has to have surgery to get it out.

But it’s helpful to know what’s going on, so you can watch your dog and make sure he’s acting normal.

Some objects are small enough that they’re likely to pass. (It usually takes a couple of days.)

A dog happily sits in shredded paper. This dog eats things he's not supposed to!

Other objects CAN be a big deal — or can become a big deal

If we fear the object could cause damage or it’s too big for your dog to throw up, we’ll try to catch the object while it’s still in the stomach.

It’s easier to go in and remove the object from the stomach than from the intestinal tract.

Things tend to become a bigger problem in the intestinal tract.

If the foreign object gets stuck, it can get expensive if you have to remove it.

It helps to get an X-ray to see what’s going on

If you think your dog ate something and he still seems to be feeling okay, it helps to get a proactive X-ray.

There are things we can give your dog to help him pass the object.

But it’s important to see what you’re dealing with.

“Should I make my dog vomit?”

Do not make your dog vomit without consulting with a veterinarian first.

Typically, the only time we’ll consider making your dog throw up is when your dog has eaten something toxic, like a high dose of chocolate.

But even then, it can be better to leach it out of your dog’s system (for example, if your dog licked bleach).

So, be observant… and don’t wait to call the vet

If you suspect your dog ate something and you live near Castle Rock, Colorado, our veterinarians are here to help you. Call 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here

—————

Tips from a Castle Rock veterinarian: 8 tips to keep your dog safe & happy in Castle Rock

—————

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance if you think your dog ate something he wasn’t supposed to. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

“My Cat Isn’t Eating as Much as Usual. What’s Going on?”

January 30, 2020 by Cherished Companions

An orange cat feels lethargic because he hasn't been eating as much as usual.

Our cats march to the beat of their own drums (and we love them for it), but you’re smart to be on high alert if you notice: “My cat isn’t eating as much as usual.”

In this article, you’ll find:

  1. Common reasons your cat may not be eating all his or her food
  2. What you can do at home
  3. When to be concerned

Let’s jump into possible reasons your cat is eating less than usual…

Your cat may be finding other food sources

Yep, your cat may be getting meals elsewhere.

It’s worth investigating:

  • Has your cat gotten into a spare bag of cat food — or dog food — without you knowing it?
  • If your cat spends time outside, could your cat be catching mice or having a neighbor feed your cat? (Plenty of people put food out for stray cats.)
  • Do you have a guest staying in your home or a child home from college who may be feeding your cat in-between normal mealtimes without you knowing it?

Miss Maisie, the cat, rubs on her person's legs in the kitchen. She hasn't been eating as much as usual.

Stress-related issues

Some cats eat less (or stop eating) when they get stressed.

If your cat is stressed, you also may notice your cat is hiding more and/or you may see blood in your cat’s urine.

While it can be hard to predict what’s causing the stress, cats can get stressed from things like:

  • A move to a new home
  • A renovation project in your home
  • A house guest who is staying with you
  • A new cat in the neighborhood that’s prowling
  • A new pet in the house
  • Your travel plans

Has anything been going on that could be stressing your cat?

Mouth-related issues

There are a number of things that could be going on in your cat’s mouth:

  • Dental disease (aka, “periodontal disease”). Most adult cats have some stage of dental disease. One of the things you may notice is your cat is still eating… but your cat’s eating habits have changed. For example, your cat doesn’t want to eat wet food anymore (or vice versa with dry food). Some cats will start swallowing their food whole. They stop trying to bite into it.
  • A resorptive lesion. This means there’s a defect in the enamel of one of your cat’s teeth. (It’s similar to having a cavity.) It can be painful for your cat.
  • Trauma to your cat’s mouth or head, such as loose teeth or an injury from a cat fight.
  • Other painful conditions in your cat’s mouth. Not too long ago, our cat veterinarians saw a kitten that had chewed an electrical cord. The kitten got shocked and had sores in its mouth. (Poor lil’ thing!)
  • Cancer of the mouth. This is more common in older cats than younger cats. (Your cat may be drooling and have bad breath too.)

Systematic issues (mainly in older cats)

If your cat isn’t eating as much as he used to, there also could be issues going on in other parts of your cat’s body. Your cat may have:

  • Cat kidney disease (known as “cat renal disease”). As this disease progresses, cats get pickier and don’t want to eat as much as they used to.
  • Liver disease. Your cat may feel nauseous and not want to eat.
  • Gastro Similar to liver disease, your cat may feel nauseous and not want to eat — or be picky with eating.

Of these cat diseases, kidney disease is the most common.

“What should I do if my cat isn’t eating as much as usual?”

If you ever have questions about your cat, we always recommend reaching out to a veterinarian, but…

Let’s say you aren’t ready to contact a veterinarian yet.

Maybe you have multiple pets in your home, and you aren’t exactly sure who’s eating what!

It’s time to put on your detective hat.

You may want to confine your cat to one room (like a bathroom or a small bedroom) for 24 to 48 hours.

Make your cat comfortable with food, water, a litter box and comfortable bedding.

This way, you can observe what’s happening with your cat’s eating habits.

You also can monitor if your cat is having any urinary issues or diarrhea issues.

Joel snuggles with his cat while trying to figure out why she hasn't been eating.

Another option…

You can try to look in your cat’s mouth.

(We know some cats are more on board with this than others!)

You may be able to notice symptoms like:

  • Red gums
  • Bleeding gums
  • A bad smell in your cat’s mouth
  • A lot of tartar build-up, or
  • Loose teeth

These symptoms usually suggest a mouth-related issue.

If your cat isn’t eating and is hiding…

Or, you notice other behavior changes…

That’s usually a sign that your cat is sick and not feeling well.

When to be concerned

If cat doesn’t eat one meal and then returns to normal eating habits, this usually isn’t a concern.

But if your cat is not eating for days, it’s important to reach out to a veterinarian.

Dogs can go much longer than cats without eating. When cats stop eating, they start introducing the risk of different diseases.

Soon, you may find yourself needing to address multiple issues, rather than just the original reason your cat wasn’t eating!

Not to mention, your cat is likely is not feeling well and may be in some discomfort.

Help your cat feel better

If your cat isn’t eating as much as usual and you live near Castle Rock, Colorado, we welcome your call. Reach out to our cat veterinarians at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on why your cat may not be eating as much as usual. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, Colorado, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2020, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

“My Dog Keeps Licking His Paws” — Possible Reasons Why

January 16, 2020 by Cherished Companions

A small dog keeps licking his paw.

So, your dog keeps licking one paw or chewing all four paws.

What’s going on?

Dogs tend to lick painful or itchy areas, so your dog is trying to tell you something.

Here are common reasons that Colorado dogs lick and chew at their paws, how to hone in on what may be going on, and how to stop the licking.

If your dog keeps licking ONE paw only…

Your dog may have a:

  • Foxtail seed or a little foreign object stuck in the skin (like a rock, seed, piece of mulch, snowball or ice)
  • Paw wound, like a cut
  • Infection: The areas between your dog’s toes can get moist, particularly if he’s been licking his foot. An infection will add to the itchiness and irritation.
  • Arthritis: Does your dog seem to be licking one spot over a joint?
  • Tumor: Your dog’s age and the location he keeps licking will guide us here.
  • A nervous, obsessive-compulsive behavior: While this can happen, it’s usually the last thing we consider. We’ll start with looking for signs of the issues above.

It’s possible your dog may have allergies too. Though, usually your dog will lick all four paws with allergies.

If your dog keeps licking ALL FOUR paws and won’t stop…

We’re going to be suspicious of dog allergies.

What to do if your dog is licking his paws

Look at your dog’s paws for something obvious:

  • A foreign object (like a grass seed, snowball or little rock wedged between the toes)
  • A wound (you’ll usually see blood)
  • A red, inflamed area
  • A bump
  • Or anything abnormal (swelling, discharge, etc.)

If your dog’s paws are really furry (hello, doodles!), you may need to use your hands to feel for issues.

When your dog is dealing with a foreign object, you may be able to help get it out carefully.

If you observe a limp or your dog’s other behavior seems off, contact our veterinarians quickly.

Your dog may be dealing with a bigger issue.

A dog parents hold her dog's paws in her hands.

If the licking persists or the signs above are getting worse…

Reach out to our Castle Rock veterinarians at 303-688-3757.

Some issues — like foxtail seeds — are much better to address sooner rather than later.

How do I get my dog to stop licking or chewing his paws?

You can put a cone around your dog’s head to keep your dog from licking.

This can help minimize infection, and it may help your dog settle down to sleep.

Just keep in mind that you’re addressing the symptom of what’s going on, rather than the core issue.

In cases of a paw wound, you can put a sock over the paw.

This will stop some dogs from licking… but for other dogs, this may encourage them to lick even more!

It depends on your dog.

Don’t give your dog any pain medication or allergy meds without talking to a veterinarian first.

Ultimately, the remedy for the core issue really depends on what’s going on.

Related articles:

Help your dog feel more comfortable!

If you live in the Castle Rock area and your dog is licking or chewing his paw(s), we’re here to help you.

Reach out at 303-688-3757 or:

Book your visit here

—————

Tips from a Castle Rock veterinarian: 8 tips to keep your dog safe & happy in Castle Rock

—————

Cherished Companions Animal Clinic is a veterinary clinic in Castle Rock, Colorado. Specializing in the care of cats and dogs, our goal is to help you and your pet feel more comfortable, keeping your stress to a minimum.

This article is intended to provide general guidance on possible reasons your dog keeps licking his paws. If you have specific questions or concerns, please contact your local veterinarian. (If you live in or around Castle Rock, we welcome your call: 303-688-3757.)

© 2019, Cherished Companions Animal Clinic, All Rights Reserved

“Help! I Think My Dog Has a Broken Tooth”

November 5, 2019 by Cherished Companions

Aspen, the Golden Retriever, pants showing her teeth. She hasn't wanted to eat lately.

Something doesn’t look right in your dog’s mouth…

You think you see a broken dog tooth.

Or maybe, you’re noticing strange symptoms in your dog.

For example, your “never pass up a meal” Golden Retriever isn’t eating like normal. Or, you see blood on your Yorkie’s favorite stuffie.

You’re smart to look for information!

(more…)

What to Do If Your Cat Is Peeing Blood & How Fast to Act

September 24, 2019 by Cherished Companions

A beautiful cat sits next to a red litter box. This cat has been peeing blood lately.

What to Do If Your Cat Is Peeing Blood

It can make your heart race a little faster when you discover your cat is peeing blood. (We totally get it!)

(more…)

Blood in Your Cat’s Urine | 4 Possible Causes

August 13, 2019 by Cherished Companions

Sophie, the cat, sits in a litter box. She's been leaving blood in her urine in the litter box.

You’ve noticed your cat is leaving blood spots around the house…

Or perhaps, you’ve seeing blood in your cat’s urine in the litter box.

We know this can be unsettling! (more…)

What Is the Best Diet for Dogs? 5 Things to Consider

July 9, 2019 by Cherished Companions

This spaniel chows down his kibble (he loves it) after his pet parent researched the best diet for dogs.

The best diet for dogs is a healthy diet, but

It can be really hard to figure out what a healthy diet is!

There’s a lot of confusing advertising about what your dog should be eating.

(more…)

The Best Castle Rock Dog Parks

June 4, 2019 by Cherished Companions

Two dogs are playing in a Castle Rock dog park.

Looking for local dog parks around Castle Rock, Colorado?

Scroll down for the best Castle Rock dog parks based on input from local families.

(more…)

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