Frequently Asked Questions

When will my pet require geriatric care?

Dogs that are: And weigh: Generally require geriatric attention when they are:
Small Less than 20 pounds 9–13 years old
Medium 21–50 pounds 9–11.5 years old
Large 51–90 pounds 7.5–10.5 years old
Giant More than 90 pounds 6–9 years old

Cats usually require geriatric care when they are 8–10 years old.

Senior Pet Facts

30% have a hidden disease
62% of dogs age 10 years and older have symptoms of cognitive dysfunction
80% have dental disease

Regular checkups and geriatric workups are important to ensure early detection and effective treatment for many conditions in our senior pets. Preventative care in older pets can help result in a longer and better quality of life for our furry friends.



How can I tell if my pet has a fever?

Is it true that if his nose is hot, then he might be feverish?

The best way to see if you pet has a fever is by taking its temperature.  A normal body temperature is 100.5 – 102.5 for dogs and cats.  You can use a digital thermometer in the rectum inserted approximately 1-2 inches (depending on pet size) for the most accurate reading.  A warm, cold , wet , or dry nose means nothing.  It may change several times during the day.

You can also check your pets gum color to make sure it’s gums are pink and moist like yours. If they are pale or dry, your pet may be anemic or dehydrated.



Why does my pet stink ?

  1. Does your pet have dirty teeth?

Halitosis (bad breath) is common secondary to periodontal disease. Your pet may need to have a professional dental cleaning.  Make sure you practice regular dental hygiene at home.  Ask us to show you how to brush your pet’s teeth anytime!  Oral health chews, products and even a dental pet food are available at our hospital.

  1.  Does your pet have a skin or ear infection?

Pets can get bacterial and/or yeast overgrowth in their skin and ears. This is very common in allergic dogs. Dog allergies are very common in Arkansas throughout the year, can be contact (usually 2 yrs of age or older) or food allergy related (often younger dogs).  A yeast infection often smells like dirty shoes.

  1. Anal glands secretions also can cause a foul odor.  See anal sac information.


Why does my pet drag its butt?

  1. Pets have anal sac around their rectums at 4 and 8 o’clock. They secrete a foul odor (scent gland).  Sometimes they get infected and cannot drain which can lead to an abscess forming.  See anal sac information.
  2. Allergies can make a pets perineum (the area around the rectum) itchy.
  3. Pet can have worms.  Tapeworm segments hang out on the skin around the rectum and are itchy.  Tapeworms are carried by fleas and wild animals.