Quality of Life Vet Care in Olds
In addition to our core veterinary services, Countryside Veterinary Hospital offers pet maintenance and quality of life services for your pet (and for you). We offer anal gland expression for dogs and nail trimming for dogs and cats. We also offer dietary counselling to clients who want to maintain their pets healthy weight or help their pets reach a healthy weight.
It can be easy for an amateur to accidentally hurt their pet when helping them with their anal glands or overgrown nails; fortunately, our vets at Countryside Veterinary Hospital can safely restrain animals without causing them undue discomfort.
Maintaining your Pets Healthy Weight
Your pets nutritional requirements will vary based on his or her age, general health, and breed.
That's why we offer dietary counselling services for pet owners concerned about their pet's weight. Young puppies and kittens will have different nutritional requirements than mature pets. As they age, seniors will need special diets to keep their bones strong and their bodies as healthy as possible.
Dietary counselling at Countryside Veterinary Hospital can help you choose the right food for your pet's nutritional requirements and learn how to properly portion their food so they aren't receiving too much, or too little food in a day.
Anal Gland Expression for Dogs
Caring for a canine companion is one of the greatest joys in life, but it also comes some less pleasant responsibilities! One common dirty job involved in caring for dogs is expressing their anal glands.
- What are anal glands? What do dogs use them for?
Dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ways of life share in having two small pouches which collect secretions in their anus. These are called anal glands. The purpose of these glands is to help out with inter-dog communication; if you've ever wondered what dogs are doing when they greet each other by swapping sniffs of their nether regions, now you know, they are sniffing each other's anal glands.
When functioning properly, a dog's anal glands are released when they defecate, but dogs can develop issues with expressing the oily substance from their glands. Small and toy breeds are especially susceptible to anal gland dysfunction.
- Causes of anal gland dysfunction
There are a number of known causes for anal gland dysfunction in dogs, these include:
- Chronic skin dermatitis
- Insufficient dietary fiber
- Chronic soft stool
- Food and/or environmental allergies
- Genetics: While it’s more common for smaller breeds to develop issues with their anal gland no breed is immune.
Your Olds vet will offer nutritional or dietary advice when relevant to try and resolve the ongoing anal gland issues in your dog. When the challenges are purely genetic without external cause, the best option is to make it a regular habit to manually express your dog's anal glands before they have the chance to cause too much discomfort. Your vet will advise you on the recommended frequency of expression. Also, while we do not recommend attempting the procedure without having first spoken to a professional, our team is happy to teach clients how they can express the anal glands themselves from home - though many pet owners still prefer to leave this delicate job in the hands of professional animal caregivers.
- Signs and symptoms of anal gland dysfunction
The following symptoms are all signs your dog may be experiencing anal gland dysfunction:
- Scooting the rear end along the floor or lawn
- Excessive licking or itching the anal area
- Straining or difficulty with defecation (pooping)
- Blood or pus in the stool or near the rectum
if you observe any of these behaviours listed above in your dog, contact a vet immediately
Nail Clipping for Olds Pets
Our Olds vet team provides nail trimming services for pets. Our professionals do everything they can to reduce stress and limit discomfort during this procedure.
- Why get a nail trim for my dog or cat?
Nail clippings for dogs and cats serve a dual purpose. For owners, they protect floors, furniture, and our delicate skin from unnecessarily sharp nails and claws. More importantly, however, is that properly performed nail clippings are good for our pets, preventing painful accidental breaks from occurring down the line.
If left untrimmed, over time your dog might develop spine and posture problems (like sitting or standing oddly) due to frequently shifting weight because of overgrown nails. Too-long nails can lead to difficulty walking, lameness, or serious injury; especially if they’re so long that they touch the ground. In general, nails that are too long can limit your dog’s movements.
- Benefits of professional nail trimming services
Despite being in everyone's best interest, dogs and cats often virulently opposed to letting anyone trim their nails. This is in large part because it is easy to accidentally hurt one's pet while trimming their nails.
In humans, it is easy to tell where our nail ends and our finger begins, but with animal paws, it is not so clear-cut. Cat and dog nails are composed of an outer shell that needs trimming, and an inner portion composed of nerve endings - it's imperative that this inner portion not be clipped or your pet will experience intense pain. The vet care professionals at Countryside Veterinary Hospital are able to provide these clipping safely and stress-free!
- Signs your dog or cat needs a nail trimming
Dogs and cats have very different nail clipping needs. With dogs, you want to watch for when the nails have grown long enough to touch the floor. If you hear your dog’s nails clicking on the ground or if they begin to grow sideways, it’s time for a trim. Ideally, you should be able to slip a piece of paper between your dog’s nails and the floor.
Cats can retract their claws and bring them out only when needed. Because of this, outdoor cats should not have their nails trimmed as they need their claws to serve important functions like climbing, scratching, and marking their territory. Indoor cats should have trimmings done every 10 to 14 days. Every cat is different, your vet can help you determine the best schedule for regular feline nail clippings.