Pet Health

Keeping Your Pet Healthy and Happy

To ensure that your pet lives a long and healthy life, you must provide them not only with excellent veterinary care, but also with a great deal of loving care at home. Pets require regular exercise, a nutritional diet and proper grooming in order to be a happy and healthy companion.

At Westminster Veterinary Group, we encourage pet owners to be proactive when it comes to the health of their pets. Pay attention to your pet’s physical appearance and behavior, and contact our office if you notice anything abnormal. Keep an eye out for these common warning signs:

  • Abnormal discharge from the nose, eyes, ears or other parts of the body
  • Loss of appetite
  • Significant weight loss or gain
  • Excessive thirst
  • Constipation, diarrhea or vomiting
  • Abnormal behavior, such as aggressiveness or exhaustion
  • Unusual lumps on the body
  • Limping or difficulty standing up or lying down

We also encourage pet owners to regularly exercise their pets. We all know that humans require exercise in order to maintain a healthy weight, keep our hearts healthy and live a longer, more energetic life. Pet’s also need regular exercise to remain fit, healthy and youthful. Plus, exercising your pet consistently will get rid of their extra nervous energy, making them less likely to jump on visitors, chew the furniture or scratch up your carpet.

Entice your cat to exercise by offering toys, a scratching post or a kitty gym. Play vigorous games of fetch with your dog or take daily walks. (Walking is a healthy routine that will benefit both you and your dog.) Spending this extra time with your pet not only helps your pet remain healthy and energetic, but it serves as a great stress reliever for you!

In addition to consistent exercise, we urge pet owners to keep their pets on a healthy, well-balanced diet. Our helpful staff and doctors will assist you in planning the ideal diet for your particular pet.

We offer the following preventive medical services to help you keep your pet in tip-top shape:

  • Puppy and Kitten pet care
  • Vaccinations
  • Wellness
  • Senior pet care
  • Oral & dental health

Got eye anxiety? We can help!

“Eye oogies” and “stuff dripping from eyes” have a name: ocular discharge. Here’s information about what could be causing it and whether you need an urgent visit to your veterinarian.

Ocular discharge is more likely from an injury if it occurs in one eye at a time and often shows obvious signs of trauma to the lid or surrounding eye tissue. If the injury or ulcer (an open sore) is actually on the eyeball, you might not notice any change in the eyelids, but the pet will likely have drainage from the affected eye.

Animals can get foreign bodies in their eyes as well. Pieces of leaves, mulch or plant matter can become lodged in the conjunctiva (pink tissue around the eye).

Pets with ocular injury or foreign bodies will seem in pain—rubbing their eyes, squinting or resisting when you try to get a look at it. If this is occurring in your pet, take it to your veterinarian right away.

Ocular discharge from both eyes can result from infectious and noninfectious causes. Eye infections can be caused by many things—viruses, bacteria and sometimes other pathogens. They can even be caused by more than one thing at a time. The presence of microorganisms will cause inflammation, which increases those ocular secretions. These can be especially thick and green-yellow and can even mat the eyes closed. If only one eye is affected, the infection will usually spread to the other eye. Make an appointment to see your veterinarian soon.

Sometimes allergic disease or other irritants can cause a less severe ocular discharge. In these patients, the discharge has typically been going on for a while, the liquid is clear, and the pet doesn’t seem to be in pain (maybe only itchy). These patients may rub their eyes, but they don’t typically squint or act sensitive to bright light.

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis isn’t curable and can only be managed, but current treatments have good success. This is isn’t an emergency, but a visit to your veterinarian can start the process of helping out your uncomfortably itchy pet deal with this annoying problem.

Some disorders affecting tear production can cause ocular discharge when the tear duct is clogged and drainage causes spillover onto the face. Although changes in tear production and clogged ducts are not emergencies, you certainly want to get to the bottom of the issue and treat the underlying cause. In some cases, the tear duct can be flushed under anesthesia and restored to function, so be sure to tell your veterinarian.

Breed conditions
Certain cat and dog breeds have face shapes that can lead them to chronic ocular discharge (any pet with a “smooshed” face, like Persian cats or English bulldogs). There’s often not a lot to be done to permanently address the issue, but certainly the consequences of the chronic tearing must be dealt with. These pets will be more persistently affected and unless there’s something additionally wrong, shouldn’t be in pain.

If your pet develops ocular discharge—or it has been ongoing but uninvestigated—make an appointment with your veterinarian. In most cases, the discharge can be treated or managed to make for a happier, healthier pet.

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