Help! We’ve Been Skunked!

Nothing like a big ole whiff of skunk perfume at 10 p.m. just as your pet is coming in from its “last call” potty break, right? If you are unlucky enough to have been skunked, not to worry, Harpeth Hills Veterinary Hospital knows just how to help. 

Skunk Perfume

If you’re not the one smelling it, skunk spray is actually pretty interesting. Skunks, much like dogs and cats, have glands on their behinds. Unlike dogs and cats, though, skunks have voluntary control of how and when they express these glands. They have been known to spray quite forcefully and very accurately up to 15 feet! 

When a skunk sprays, it is a form of self defense. The spray is not in unlimited supply, either, so the skunk often gives several warnings and tries to escape before unleashing its pungent perfume. When it comes down to it, though, a skunk can spray as many as six times in a row. 

Continue…

Do Hypoallergenic Dogs Actually Exist?

dog laying in grass

Approximately 15-30% of all Americans are affected by pet allergies. While they may be more common in households shared with cats, allergic reactions to dogs are known to be more severe. As a result, the dream of dog ownership may not ever be attainable for some people. For others, the experience is met with all sorts of uncomfortable challenges.

Breeding of hypoallergenic dogs is supposed to relieve some of the pressures associated with allergies, but how legitimate are the claims?

Continue…

The Final Days: Knowing When It Is Time to Say Goodbye to a Pet 

dog at animal hospital

The inevitable end of life comes to all living beings. Life, death, birth, these are the important themes of anyone’s journey, including our cherished pets. Losing a pet is incredibly difficult and can be a confusing and sad time for the entire family. There are days when you wonder if your pet is experiencing any pleasure in life, or if they are in pain. These questions can make it hard to know when the right time is to say goodbye to a pet.

Even though it is hard to let go, there are some indicators that the time has come when your pet’s quality of life isn’t there anymore. Your team at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital is here to discuss this delicate time of your pet’s life and help you with any questions you may have.

Continue…

A Scary Diagnosis? Managing Diabetes in Pets 

dog eating from bowl

In the United States, approximately 1 in 300 dogs and 1 in 231 cats have diabetes. Diabetes in pets is one of the most common conditions we see here at Harpeth Hills Veterinary Hospital.

A diagnosis of diabetes in pet might be overwhelming, but the good news is that with early detection and careful management, pets can still lead long and happy lives. 

What is Diabetes in Pets?

Normally, food is broken down into glucose after a pet eats. Insulin is secreted from the pancreas and facilitates the transfer of glucose from the bloodstream into the cells. The cells can then use glucose for energy. 

Continue…

Yuck! Why Does My Pet Stink?

cat sleeping

Let’s face it, pets have an aroma that isn’t always so pleasant. They love to explore in the rain, snow, and mud. They roll around in mystery muck. They use litter boxes or squat outside to do their business. It’s understandable why your pet doesn’t smell like a bouquet of roses, but if they are really stinky, there may be a medical problem at play.

There are several reasons why pets have bad odor. The team at Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital is here to answer your question: “why does my pet stink?”

Continue…

Do Indestructible Pet Toys Actually Exist?

dog chewing on pet toy

Pet toys by their very nature should be incredibly hardy. Unfortunately, despite their target audience, many toys designed for pets actually create problems, and some of them can be major. The concept of “indestructible pet toys” may sound like a misnomer, but they do exist, waiting for your pet’s enjoyment!

Know the Score

Your pet’s species, breed, size, age, lifestyle, and personality will best inform your purchase options. When it comes to providing them the right toys that support both mental and physical health, you may be faced with a variety of unsuitable choices.

Continue…

Are Things Fine Beneath the Gum Line? How X-Rays Benefit Pet Dental Health

pet dental xray

It’s simply human nature to procrastinate. But as Benjamin Franklin once said, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” This is especially true when it comes to pet dental health!

Much of the time, regular brushing at home falls to the wayside – until stinky breath is noticeable. At that point, damage to the gums may be a foregone conclusion. 

With dental x-rays, routine cleanings, and follow-up care at home, you can really support pet dental health for the long haul.

Continue…

Dr. Google: Why Depending on The Internet For Veterinary Advice is Dangerous

dog at computer

Maybe your cat has just vomited and appears restless. Or your dog has some sort of skin irritation. Or perhaps your pet has been coughing for a few days. What’s the first thing you’ll likely do? Be honest! 

If you said “Google your pet’s symptoms”, you’re not alone. And while health information online can be informative, there are so many problems with relying on the internet for veterinary advice, and they put your pet’s health at serious risk. Read on to learn how relying on the Internet for veterinary advice can be dangerous for your pet.

Continue…

Saving Money With Preventive Screenings and Lifestyle Packages for Your Pet

cat getting check-up

In today’s world, prevention care is the trend in modern medicine. So is saving money! This is also true in veterinary medicine. Rather than responding to a disease once it occurs, we prefer to prevent the disease from occurring, whenever possible, through wellness care, annual diagnostic screening, and healthy lifestyles for your fur friend. This saves money as well as the emotional expense of having to watch your pet suffer.

Let’s take a closer look at preventive screenings and lifestyle options for your pet, and why they matter in disease prevention and longevity.

Continue…

Leaving Your Pet Home Alone: A Guide to Pets On Their Own

A French Bull dog sitting on a dark hardwood floor looks forlorne and alone in the late afternoon light.

As much as you might like to take your dog with you everywhere, it’s just not possible. Going to work, the gym, social gatherings, and even certain restaurants makes leaving your pet home alone a necessity. 

Leaving your pet home alone doesn’t make you a bad pet owner. But it’s important to think about any limits and considerations to make your pet more comfortable when they are on their own. 

Harpeth Hills Animal Hospital is here to help navigate the issue of your pet home alone, with some ideas for how to make this experience better for everyone! 

Continue…