Foothills Animal Hospital












Pet Tips

What should I feed my pet?

The single most important fact to take into consideration when choosing a diet is that canned food, semi-moist food (usually sold in plastic baggies), and people food all are sticky when combined with saliva and promote tartar then calculus formation that can, if not controlled, develop into gingivitis and then periodontal disease. This is how our pets loose their teeth. Dry dog and cat food is the best thing to feed your pet. If you choose a high quality dog food (Eukanuba, Purina, Science Diet, etc) then you shouldn't need to add anything to it. They don't need chicken or rice or canned food on top. We know that you love your pet so much that you are easily trained to feed your pet what it wants and not what it needs. Start out right with your new puppy or kitten. If they don't know how good people food tastes then they will never miss it.

What should I do if my pet gets bitten by a rattlesnake?

You need to get your pet to the veterinarian as soon as possible. The administration of anti-venom is ideal. Rattlesnake vaccines reduce morbidity and mortality from snake bites, but they are no substitute for anti-venom. Pets need initial vaccines 3 weeks apart; then a booster vaccine every 6 months. Vaccines are not approved for cats, we need to weigh the risks versus the benefits with them.

Can't I feed my dogs bones?

Bones are unsafe no matter what their size or kind. Giving your dog a bone may make your pet a candidate for a trip to your veterinarian’s office later, possible emergency surgery, or even death.

Make sure you throw out bones from your own meals in a way that your dog can’t get to them. Taking the trash out right away or putting the bones up high and out of your dog’s reach until you have a chance to dispose of them. And pay attention to where your dog’s nose is when you walk him around the neighborhood—steer him away from any objects lying in the grass.

Here are 10 reasons why it’s a bad idea to give your dog a bone:

  1. Broken teeth. This may call for expensive veterinary dentistry.

  2. Mouth or tongue injuries. These can be very bloody and messy and may require a trip to see your veterinarian.

  3. Bone gets looped around your dog’s lower jaw. This can be frightening or painful for your dog and potentially costly to you, as it usually means a trip to see your veterinarian.

  4. Bone gets stuck in esophagus, the tube that food travels through to reach the stomach. Your dog may gag, trying to bring the bone back up, and will need to see your veterinarian.

  5. Bone gets stuck in windpipe. This may happen if your dog accidentally inhales a small enough piece of bone. This is an emergency because your dog will have trouble breathing. Get your pet to your veterinarian immediately!

  6. Bone gets stuck in stomach. It went down just fine, but the bone may be too big to pass out of the stomach and into the intestines. Depending on the bone’s size, your dog may need surgery or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, a procedure in which your veterinarian uses a long tube with a built-in camera and grabbing tools to try to remove the stuck bone from the stomach.

  7. Bone gets stuck in intestines and causes a blockage. It may be time for surgery.

  8. Constipation due to bone fragments. Your dog may have a hard time passing the bone fragments because they’re very sharp and they scrape the inside of the large intestine or rectum as they move along. This causes severe pain and may require a visit to your veterinarian.

  9. Severe bleeding from the rectum. This is very messy and can be dangerous. It’s time for a trip to see your veterinarian.

  10. Peritonitis. This nasty, difficult-to-treat bacterial infection of the abdomen is caused when bone fragments poke holes in your dog’s stomach or intestines. Your dog needs an emergency visit to your veterinarian because peritonitis can kill your dog.

Please talk with us about alternatives to giving bones to your dog. There are many bone-like products made with materials that are safe for dogs to chew on.

Always supervise your dog with any chew product, especially one your dog hasn’t had before. And always, if your dog ‘just isn’t acting right,’ call your veterinarian right away.


What is Parvo?

Parvo is a viral disease of dogs that is more common in Yuma than just about anywhere in the United States. It thrives on our hot, dry weather. Cats have their own Parvo virus known as feline Panleukopenia. A mutation of the of the cat virus is probably where the canine Parvo virus came from. People are not susceptible to Parvo. Contaminated feces is the most common source of infection. Contaminated clothing, shoes, blankets and cages can also spread the virus. We do not recommend getting a puppy for at least a year if your yard or home was exposed to an animal with Parvo. The incubation period for Parvo is 2 to 12 days. Clinical signs may vary greatly depending on age, breed, presence of other diseases like corona virus or internal parasites and the competence of the animals immune system. Owners usually notice listlessness and lack of appetite first, which followed by vomiting and diarrhea. They will not eat or drink and can die either from dehydration or septicemia (infection in the blood). There is an in-house test that we can run to check any dog with signs of Parvo. Any dog with Parvo is best hospitalized in our isolation ward with an I.V. catheter and fluid therapy as well as injections to reduce vomiting, diarrhea and secondary infections. About 75 % of dogs that are hospitalized recover. They can recover when treated at home, however their recovery rate is lessened.  Parvo is expensive to treat. Prevention is easy. Keep your puppy appropriately vaccinated and keep it in your own backyard until it gets all of it's puppy vaccinations.

Why does my dog scoot?

It's not because your dog has worms. It could mean that their anal glands are full or some fecal material is trapped under the dog's tail. Normally when the dog defecates a small amount of malodorous contents accompanies the stool. This unique smell allows the animal to "mark it's territory" but other than that they are useless. When an animal scoots or spends an inordinate time licking the anus or "acts like something is biting him back there" it probably means that the anal glands are full. An animal that is scooting excessively multiple times a day should probably be checked. If an anal gland infection is present then sometimes it can't drain properly because the secretions are so thick that it can't pass through the duct . Infections can lead to painful abscesses.

My dog is scratching his ears and shaking his head. Can't I just pick up some ear mite medicine for him?

No, for multiple reasons. Ear mites in dogs are extremely rare in this area. He or she could have an infection caused by, but not limited to a bacterial or yeast overgrowth. It might be caused by a foreign body such as a foxtail, a polyp or growth in the ear canal or a tick in the canal. Sometimes a ruptured ear drum or middle ear infection can be involved. Often allergies or hypothyroidism is a factor. So if you want your pet's ear problem resolved properly, it really needs to be seen by a veterinarian.

What is Feline Leukemia?

Feline Leukemia is a virus that is related to the human aids virus in that both are retroviruses and both are incorporated into the hosts DNA. The disease is highly contagious and weakens the immune system and increases the risk of secondary infections. People cannot get feline leukemia. Both viruses are fragile and cannot live for long outside the animal's body. Kittens can be born with leukemia passed from the mother and older cats can pick it up from the bite of another cat, hissing or grooming each other or sharing food and water. Like the human retrovirus it can be incubated for years before the cat starts to show clinical signs. Infected cats can become sick and die suddenly or they can battle the disease for years and finally succumb. There is a test, easily done here, to check for the presence of this disease. It only takes 15 minutes and 3 drops of blood. We recommend that all cats/kittens be tested before you potentially expose your other cats at home or your neighborhood to this devastating disease.



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phone: (928) 342-0448
fax: (928) 342-0868