Helpful Tips

Litter Training Your Rabbit? Click Here

Diabetic Cat? 
  • Click here to view a video on how to give insulin to your diabetic cat
  • Click here for information about diets for diabetic cat

Kidney Disease?
  • Click here to see how to give fluids to your cat at home
  • Click here for information on what we do when we hospitalize your cat in kidney failure and for information on diet and drug therapy for cats with kidney disease

13 Tips To Successfully Owning a Pet Reptile
  1. Don't buy your reptile until you learn as much as you can about the species and its natural history.
  2. Think about what the reptile will eat; i.e. vegetation, insects, small mammals, and birds. (Will you be comfortable feeding live creatures?)
  3. Make sure you know how large the reptile will be when it is full-grown. (That cute, little green iguana can grow to 5' in length within 3 years.)
  4. Buy from a breeder or a reputable pet store that specializes in exotic animals. Your chances of receiving informed advice are better there.
  5. Set up the cage/vivarium PRIOR to obtaining your pet; Decide the size and shape of cage. Heat and light sources (spotlight, natural spectrum fluorescent) with timer. Water delivery system; i.e. bowl, spray, or drip. Substrate; i.e. indoor/outdoor carpeting, soil, etc. Have your pet's food on hand. YOU MUST TRY TO DUPLICATE THE REPTILE'S NATURAL CONDITIONS.
  6. Avoid stressing your pet (excessive handling and noise), especially in the first two weeks.
  7. Almost all reptiles require natural, unfiltered sunlight; both direct and shade.
  8. Radiant heat is the best source of warmth. This can be accomplished by the use of 50 to 100 watt spotlights, ceramic fixtures, and to a lesser extent, under cage heating pads. Do not use hot rocks as a sole heat source…they are potentially dangerous.
  9. P.O.T.Z. (Preferred Optimum Temperature Zone). You must know the correct temperature range for your herp (usually between 70 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit).
  10. Always wear gloves when cleaning the cage. The most economical disinfectant is a dilute solution of bleach (1/2 cup of bleach to 1 gallon of water).
  11. Never allow reptiles where food is prepared. (They can shed organisms contagious to people, such as Salmonella.) 
  12. Always wash your hands thoroughly after handling reptiles. Use an antibacterial soap.

The Medical Minute - Arthritis, by Dr. Tim Walters, DVM

Arthritis is inflammation of a joint or multiple joints in the body, and is also known as osteoarthritis or degenerative joint disease (DJD). Arthritis is usually the result of excessive wear and tear on a joint but can be from many other problems including: damage to a joint (such as a fracture, torn ligament or tendon, other soft tissue injury), infection of a joint (bacterial, fungal), autoimmune disease in a joint (when the body’s immune system attacks a joint), congenital lesion (dysplasia), or cancer in a joint. Older, large breed dogs are the most common to be effected by arthritis, especially from excessive wear and tear, but arthritis can affect any breed of dog or cat, and has been diagnosed in several exotic species, including iguanas and tortoises.

Treatment for arthritis is dependant on the cause of the arthritis. Surgery or medical management is sometimes needed if the cause of arthritis is other then excessive wear and tear on a joint, i.e. surgery stabilization for fracture; antibiotics for an infected joint. Medical management for the chronic pain associated with arthritis has many tiers. Cartilage support medications, including glucosamine and polysulfated glycosaminoglycans (like chondroitin sulfate and drugs like Adequan) can help with arthritis, but are best served to support the health of existing cartilage. Non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (known as NSAIDS) are a large group of drugs widely used to decrease inflammation, and therefore decrease pain. Examples are Rimadyl, Deramaxx, Metacam, Etodolac, Previcox, and Zubrin. There also are many drugs for humans in this class, but they should not be used for your pets, because they can lead to severe liver problems and stomach ulcers. TYLENOL especially is DEADLY in CATS and should never be used. Aspirin is sometimes used for pets, but should be used sparingly and ONLY under the supervision of a veterinarian. Pain medication, such as Tramadol, is also used to manage the pain of arthritis, and can be used concurrently with an NSAID. As a last resort, steroids can be used to decrease inflammation, but should be used sparingly due to potentially harmful side effects.