Please Don’t Go, Meow! Separation Anxiety in Cats

Our feline friends may put on a good front, but for the most part they enjoy having us around. We are a source of food, shelter, companionship, and enrichment. 

While cats may not be as obvious as dogs when it comes to their fears and anxieties, separation anxiety in cats is a very real problem. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital know how to help you identify if your cat is suffering and help if needed.

Recognizing Separation Anxiety in Cats

Separation anxiety is well recognized in our canine patients. Separation anxiety in cats is a real thing, though, too. 


In This Day & Age: Socializing Your Dog While Social Distancing

To minimize the spread of the highly contagious coronavirus, we’ve all found ourselves staying at home, possibly more than ever before. An interesting trend during quarantine is an uptick in animal adoptions and fosters. For many people, a new pet has soothed significant worries, boosted outlook and mood, and added to a sense of normalcy. 

While few could argue with the benefits of adoption at a time like this, socializing your dog while social distancing may be harder than you thought.


Phew! My Older Dog Stinks… Why?

If your older dog has a certain, shall we say, distinct odor, then you are not alone. A common complaint we hear from pet owners is that their senior dog smells funky. No matter how many times they are shampooed, they remain stinky. 

If your older dog stinks, we are here to help! The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital can explain the causes of the disgusting scent and what you can do to make things better for all.

6 Reasons Why an Older Dog Stinks

Unless your pet has been out in nature, rolling on all the gross things they can, there is no reason for a putrid or rank odor coming from them. Most dogs do smell…just a little doggie, of course. There shouldn’t be a smell that is disconcerting unless there is a problem at hand.


Normal, Or Not? The Truth About Cat Hairballs

Unquestionably, cats are excellent pets. Their playful and sometimes quirky antics notwithstanding, living with – or amongcats can be strange for some people. Indeed, certain feline behaviors can be odd; but perhaps the most disturbing is their ability to cough up hairballs. 

It’s not their fault, but when occasional regurgitation becomes more frequent it could be a sign that something else is going on.

A Look at Feline Anatomy

Cats evolved as both predator and prey. To stay as safe as possible, they became over-particular regarding their pursuit of self-grooming. In other words, they lick and smooth their coat whenever they aren’t hunting, eating, or sleeping. 


What to Do if You Find a Baby Wild Animal

Spring is the season where newborns emerge and baby wildlife is everywhere. From birds to reptiles and mammals, you may have seen the young while in the yard or on a nature walk. This is also the time, unfortunately, when veterinary clinics and wildlife rescue facilities get many calls about injured baby wildlife.

If you are out and about this spring, you may wonder what to do if you find a baby wild animal. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here to explain and guide you through the steps safely and with greater awareness. Please note that we cannot accept or treat wildlife at Wheaton Animal Hospital. 

Assess the Situation

Before you intervene and risk both your health as well as the animal, you must assess whether the animal is in distress or simply there waiting for their mother. Many animals leave their young for a time to go hunt or gather to provide for their babies. If they are just alone, chances are, they are not really. The mother or parents are often nearby, so leave them and create a wide berth while walking around or away.

It is appropriate to intervene when:

  • The animal is clearly injured through signs of broken bones, deep wounds, bleeding, etc.
  • They are at risk of immediate attack by another animal
  • They are in the middle of the road or have been hit by a car
  • If a bird has struck a window and is injured from this impact

Deer, Rabbits, and Other Mammals

Many deer and rabbits leave their young in tall grasses and other locations while they forage for food for them. Many of these animals are easily camouflaged by their markings and color, so they are hidden from predators. By removing them or handling them, you will greatly decrease their chances of survival, as well as scare away the parent.

Animals that nest with their young in trees and stumps, like squirrels and raccoons, typically are not out in the open. If you see a single baby in your visibility, they might be injured. 

Birds, Reptiles, and Amphibians

If you find a turtle, snake, or other reptile or amphibian, it’s important to leave them alone, but make sure they are in areas where they can hide from predators. This includes rocks, grasses, and sticks for camouflage. 

Bird injuries are the majority of reasons for the calls to wildlife rehabilitators this time of year. Fledglings will often be found on the ground as they are learning how to fly. If you see a fledgling on the ground or somewhere they shouldn’t be, look for the nest and place them back there. Usually, the nest is near where they were found.

Unlike other animals, touching a fledgling won’t deter the parents from taking them back in. 

Did You Find a Baby Wild Animal?

It can be stressful if you encounter a wild fledgling or other baby in the wild. Most of the time, they can be left where they are. If they are injured or in danger, it’s best to first call a local wildlife expert. We recommend calling Willowbrook Wildlife Center for instructions when you find a wild animal. Please do not bring any wildlife to Wheaton Animal Hospital. 

Would you like more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us. 

A Solution to Pain: Cold Laser Therapy for Pets

For a pet who suffers from chronic pain, or who has recently undergone a surgery, helping them recover quickly is something most  pet owners want. The other thing pet owners want is a treatment that can expedite recovery without invasive therapies or ongoing pharmaceuticals. What if we told you there is a great solution that is both noninvasive and effective?

Companion laser therapy for pets has been around for the past few decades, and it has gained in popularity and ability. Laser therapy has proven to be advantageous in helping a number of conditions affecting pets. To learn more, The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here to explain.


Buying a Bird: 7 Things You Need to Know About Avian Care 

Have you been thinking about getting a bird? Pet birds make great and unusual pet companions. But like anything, birds have their pros and cons, and there are some considerations for basic husbandry that no pet owner can ignore.

To help you assess whether buying a bird is right for your family, The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are here with some of the important things you’ll want to consider.


Why Do My Pet’s Paws Smell Like Fritos? 

dog paw close up

Have you noticed a distinctive odor emanating from your pet’s cute little paws? Perhaps something reminiscent of corn chips or popcorn? No, you aren’t going crazy – your pet’s paws really do smell like they’re edible!

If you’ve ever wondered why your pet’s paws smell like Fritos, you’re not alone. The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are asked this question routinely, so we thought we’d shed a little light on the topic!

Why Your Pet’s Paws Smell Like Fritos

Just like us, our pet’s bodies are covered with a healthy and (usually) balanced array of bacteria and yeasts. These microscopic organisms are responsible for the various odors the body produces – the bacteria Pseudomonas and Proteus are most likely behind why your pet’s paws smell like Fritos.


When Does Having Pets Become Hoarding Them? 

The  subject of how many pets a person can own is a sensitive one. It’s also highly subjective, to some extent, and in some cases there are legal issues that determine pet ownership. Unfortunately, there is no magic number as to how many pets an owner can handle, but there are red flags that signal a problem. 

The Pet Experts at Wheaton Animal Hospital are  here to address the situation of pet hoarding and help illuminate the signs.


Not Knowing the Signs of a Reverse Sneeze Could Cost You 

Many dogs will live their entire lives without experiencing a “reverse sneeze”, while other pups will make the signature honking, wheezy snorting sounds from time to time. If you’ve never heard your dog do this, you may wonder if you’ve got a real emergency on your hands (it’s that jarring). But before you know it, your dog stops the alarming sounds and goes about their business. 

Knowing what’s going on during a reverse sneeze (also known as paroxysmal respiration) can save you a lot of worrying and expense!

Up the Nose

A normal sneeze is triggered by an irritant in the nasal passages. By forcing air out through the nose, dogs clear up any triggers. However, during a reverse sneeze, air is pulled in through the nose quite rapidly. A strange dog behavior for sure, they will stand still, extend the neck, and make snorting or honking noises.