Illustrated Articles

Nutrition

  • Like rabbits and guinea pigs, prairie dogs require a diet high in fiber. As they are hind-gut fermenters, they need alfalfa up to one year of age and Timothy hay after one year of age plus a high quality prairie dog pellet. Treats should be kept to a bare minimum as prairie dogs are prone to obesity.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for cats, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • The American Animal Hospital Association and American Veterinary Medical Association have established guidelines to standardize preventive health care for dogs, helping them to live longer, healthier lives. This handout provides an overview of the recommendations within these guidelines and why they are so important.

  • The pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) gene, if mutated, can contribute to increased body fat and body weight and increased food motivation in affected dogs. At this time, this gene mutation has only been found in the Labrador Retriever and Flat-coated Retriever and affects the majority of those working as service dogs. This handout explains how the POMC gene mutation was discovered, how it impacts affected dogs, and how you can support your dog if affected.

  • This handout provides general information on feeding and training your puppy, nail care, and hiccupping.

  • Abdominal swelling in any reptile is always a concern that needs to be brought to the attention of a veterinarian well versed in reptile medicine. In female reptiles, this swelling often means that the individual has eggs or fetus that are ready to be delivered. When the female cannot deliver the eggs or babies, this is referred to as dystocia. This condition can be life threatening and need attention ASAP.

  • Swellings on or around the joints in reptiles can be an indication of uric acid deposits in the area. This condition is referred to as gout. Gout is often painful and may also affect internal organs. Treatment will require medications and sometimes surgery.

  • Sugar gliders are small marsupial mammals that are omnivorous eaters, meaning they eat a wide variety of foodstuffs. Items from insects to eucalyptus to gum from the acacia tree may all be consumed to a varying degree. Improper nutrition is one of the most prominent causes of illnesses in sugar gliders. This handout provides the information needed to feed your sugar glider a healthy diet.

  • Taurine is a type of amino acid, which are the building blocks of all proteins. Taurine is an essential amino acid in the cat. Taurine deficiency will lead to feline taurine retinopathy, a weakening of the muscle cells in the heart, causing a condition called dilated cardiomyopathy and may cause digestive disturbances. Taurine was first recognized as a necessary component of the cat's diet in the late 1980's. Since then, all diets that are formulated for cats are supplemented with enough taurine to meet the normal cat's needs. A healthy cat that eats a high-quality cat food that is appropriate to its life stage does not require supplementation. Supplemental taurine is used as a treatment for dilated cardiomyopathy in cats. There are isolated occurrences of taurine-deficient dilated cardiomyopathy in dogs. Your veterinarian may have preferred supplement manufacturers that he or she will recommend.

  • Toucans and toucanettes have a high moisture diet and a relatively short digestive tract, which make for a very quick transit time of food through their digestive tract. Hemochromatosis, or iron storage disease, in toucans and toucanettes has long been suspected to be related to high dietary iron. Current dietary recommendations are for diets low in iron. In addition to a low-iron containing pellet, toucans and toucanettes should be offered a large variety of diced fruits. Fresh clean water must be available at all times.