We know you love your pets…and no one knows them better than you do. Sometimes traveling to unfamiliar places can stress your pets. Here is a simple guide to pet health to help you rest assured your Gatlinburg vacation leaves the whole family happy and healthy! Scroll to the bottom for contact info for Sevier County Animal Hospital.
Normal touch: There will be a soft texture to the hairs and even in wiry coats such as in Airedales the character of the coat should be pliable and smooth.
Abnormal touch: The coat will be made up of dry, coarse, brittle hairs, some broken off, some very fine. The coat could be sparse, thinning or short & under-developed.
Normal appearing skin/coat: The skin will have a clean look to it and be free of scales, scabs and crusts. The coat should appear full, almost lustrous and have a soft look to it.
Abnormal appearing skin/coat: The skin will appear thin, dry and scaly or greasy. The coat will appear dull, lusterless or even dusty. It will have no “shine” to it and will have a harsh appearance.
Normal skin/coat: A healthy skin and coat won’t have any smell to it. And even when dirty, will smell like whatever is making it dirty.
Abnormal skin/coat: An unhealthy skin and coat will have a rancid, oily odor; the odor is caused by superficial skin bacteria and their waste products breaking down the oils on the skin.
Your pet’s nails are a good indicator of the his general state of health. Crooked, dry, cracking or pitted nails are a tip-off that the dog may have an infection or be poorly nourished. And, keep those nails trimmed.
Probably the most common disorder you’ll see will be Epiphora – excessive tearing. There are so many causes for the tears draining down the face that chapters could be written on just this topic! Here’s where your penlight comes in handy. Darken the room and shine the light along the edges of the eyelids and look for tiny eyelashes growing along the edges of the lids. If these tiny lashes are contacting the eye, there is the potential for serious corneal damage. Report this condition to the veterinarian.
It is a good idea to open the dog’s mouth and check the teeth and gums. Be sure to pull the corner of the mouth back in order to visualize the molars. It’s quite easy to detect oral problems by visualizing bleeding gums, chunks of brown plaque on the teeth or loose teeth and an odor that will knock you over! Many dogs have gum inflammation and infection (called gingivitis), loose teeth or even occasionally have cavities. A healthy oral cavity is vital to the pet’s optimum health.
Don’t forget to keep the number for Sevier County Animal Clinic handy!