A Tummy in Knots: Understanding Bloat in Dogs

Bloat, also known as gastric dilation volvulus (GDV) complex, is one of the scariest and most deadly pet emergencies. Although it kills around 30% of affected dogs, most owners are unaware that the condition exists.

Knowing how to recognize bloat in dogs is critical for giving your pet the best chance at a full recovery.

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Was it Something I Said? Why Your Cat Runs Away

cat running away

Was that a bird? Or a plane? Or just your cat flying across your living room? Cats have a habit of being stealthy and nimble, but it can feel pretty yucky when your cat runs away every time you approach. 

Is it Fear?

Just like humans, it is only natural that your cat would want to run from something scary or unpleasant.  Cats may dart away if something is frightening or surprising, such as a loud voice or quick, unexpected movements.

When a cat runs away from you consistently, they may also be associating you with something unpleasant. If every time you catch your kitty you are medicating, bathing, picking them up, or doing anything else your cat does not like, it is only natural for them to try to escape.        

Play Behavior

Cats are pretty playful critters, and sometimes running away may be a sign of engaging play. Your cat is most likely to be playing if they:

  • Only run away sometimes
  • Run away then come back to see your reaction
  • Have playful body language such as a crooked tail, sideways stance, and erect, pushed-forward whiskers
  • Are incorporating attack behavior into the retreat

When Your Cat Runs Away All the Time

While there may be some very good reasons your cat runs away from you, most of us would prefer that our feline friends be, well, friendly. Is it possible to teach your cat not to run away from you? While cats are going to be cats to a certain extent, King’s Trail Animal Hospital does have some helpful hints to help teach your pet that they need not run away from you:

  • Think like a cat – Cats don’t typically like anything loud or fast. When your cat is around, take heed to speak softly and move smoothly and deliberately to avoid startling him or her. Doing this will help your cat to become more accustomed to you and build confidence. 
  • Make a positive association – Sometimes we must do things like brush or medicate our cats that they do not like. Be sure that you are creating lots of positive interactions when you approach, though, to remind them that you are not all bad. Offer a snuggle if your cat likes that or a special toy or treat sometimes to balance the unpleasant interactions.
  • Be patient – Don’t push things too quickly. If your cat is very nervous about you approaching, you may have to settle for merely getting within a few feet and stopping. As your cat learns to tolerate your presence more, you will be able to get closer. Don’t try to touch until kitty is consistently okay with you being within petting range.
  • Satisfy the urge to play – It can be hard to fulfill your cat’s need for playtime, but unless you do, your cat is likely to try to engage you in chasing behavior a lot more. Provide structured play time every day, but also be sure to give your kitty plenty of outlets to engage in themselves. Ball and track toys, spring toys, and kicking stands are great tools for cats to play on their own when the urge arises. 

If your cat runs away from you, it is likely that you aren’t doing anything wrong. Rather, you likely just need a better understanding of feline behavior so that you and your cat can better enjoy each other’s company. Most cats can learn that a human approaching them isn’t a bad thing. You may even get a snuggly buddy out of the deal.
If your cat is having sudden behavioral changes and hiding more than normal, it is time to come see us at King’s Trail Animal Hospital to be sure that there are no medical reasons for the new behavior.

It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year…To Practice Holiday Pet Safety!

dog wearing santa hat

This holiday season may look a lot different this year, but those of us lucky enough to live with pets can continue to enjoy their companionship during this time. However, without an ever-increasing awareness of the threats to holiday pet safety they can be at risk of various illnesses and injuries. Stay out of the ER this year by getting up to speed on protecting your best bud.

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Grumpy Dog or Bad Human? 10 Things Dogs Hate

grumpy looking dog

Dogs make the best companions – they’re loyal, loveable, and mostly just adore being with us. But it may come as a surprise to many dog lovers that there are a variety of things we want them to do that they secretly (or overtly) despise. As a loving pet owner, you likely want to avoid anything that makes your best friend uncomfortable, or can even put them at risk

The team at Kings Trail Animal Hospital identified some of the most common mistakes made by dog owners and the things dogs hate. Let’s take a look.

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All About Cat Hairballs

cat grooming itself

Of the many topics you probably shouldn’t bring up at a dinner party, cat hairballs rank pretty high on the list. Without a doubt, few conversations could bomb worse than discussing cat vomit. 

But that doesn’t mean cat hairballs aren’t interesting. Sure, they can be a bit unappetizing and certainly inconvenient at times, but it’s worth knowing why cats regurgitate “balls” of fur, and what it can mean when hacking them up becomes a regular occurrence. 

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A Match Made in Heaven: Adopting a Pet with Your Significant Other

newly adopted cat

When you are in love, everything seems better, right? Having a wonderful relationship can prompt positive future plans, such as engagement, marriage, living together, and other great changes in a couple’s life. 

For pet lovers, the idea of adding even more love to the mix by way of a fur friend sounds promising. With that excitement, though, comes several new responsibilities and things to consider when adopting a pet with your significant other.

The team at Kings Trail Animal Hospital is here to help love birds make informed decisions around pet adoption. We can help you explore some of the questions and considerations to discuss with your partner for making your adoption a successful one.

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Doggie Lingo: The Meaning of Dog Barks

dog jumping tree in jacksonville

Dogs barks happen. Sometimes they happen a little too much for non-dog owners’ liking, but barking is one of the primary ways dogs express themselves. Whether it’s a high pitched, single bark or a long howl that accompanies a siren, dog barks have their own rhyme and reason.

The team at Kings Trail Animal Hospital wants to explore the meaning of dog barks to inspire a greater bond with your pet. No bones about it, that bark matters!

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Summer Pet Safety Tips That Keep Furry Friends Out Of Hot Water

dog wearing sunglasses at jacksonville vet

Depending on who you talk to, the best things in life are both dangerous and delightful in equal measure. Take, for example, roller coasters, bungee jumping, eating raw fish, deep sea diving, and of course, summer! 

While it’s true that the warmest season of the year is filled with great fun, memorable vacations, and backyards full of fireflies, summer also has the potential to cause big problems for pets.

Your pet’s health is our top priority, and with our summer pet safety strategies you and your furry friends can have your (chocolate-free) cake and eat it, too.

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Puppy Socialization During COVID-19

dog jumping

During the past few weeks, we have been relegated to staying indoors and social distancing while we are out. This has been a huge adjustment for most humans, and also for our four-legged family members. To add to the mix, is your new puppy.

Your puppy needs essential training and socialization in order to grow up to be a well behaved, happy adult dog. But what do you do when you need to get your pet out there and can’t?

Puppy socialization during COVID-19 can be challenging, but not impossible. Kings Trail Animal Hospital has a few pointers up our sleeves to help you keep your pet on track with their social needs, while maintaining safety for everyone.

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You Can Tell If Your Cat Likes Your Dog… But Do They Really?

cat licking dog

There are some complexities when it comes to feline body language, but for the most part, it’s not hard to discern a cat’s state of mind. Generally speaking, a friendly, happy, relaxed cat appears that way because of their posturing, tail positioning and appearance. Of course, the same is true for an angry, frightened, or potentially aggressive cat. 

In other words, if you’re not sure whether your cat likes your dog it’s possible they are merely tolerating them.

Anthropomorphism at it’s Finest

Pet owners are animal lovers. We grew up reading about fictional animal characters, watching animated films or television programs that depicted animal heroes and villains, and projecting unquestionably human emotions and thoughts onto the animals we came close to. It’s not a big leap for pet owners to cultivate a happy-looking scene of interspecies cohabitation.

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