Dr. Bob's Animal Health and Information  Site



Dr. Bobs Pet Health and Information Site




Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site 

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Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site  

509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405


Fall 2000 Newsletter

News from All Creatures Vet. Hosp.

Don't give human medicines to your pet

Questions about pet nutrition

Tips for feeding your cat

Presidents and their pets

Nutrition tips

Annual checkups

Facts about Canine Distemper



News from

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

    As we move into the Fall season, I would like to take this opportunity to let our valued clients know what our practice has been doing to maintain the high standards we strive to provide to your loving pets, our patients.  In addition to the regular continuing education meetings of the Napa-Solano Veterinary Medical Association and the various Veterinary Journals that I  subscribe to and read each month, I have and will be participating in additional continuing education meetings. This Spring, I spent four days over a long weekend at a comprehensive conference on new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for small animals.  From October 19 through 22, our entire staff and I will participate in the Wild West Veterinary Conference.  That conference provides continuing education  covering topics for Veterinarians, technicians, receptionists, and office managers on various topics on medical, diagnostic, surgical, and animal care techniques for dogs, cats, birds, reptiles, and other small animals.  The staff also participated in Vet Expo on September 17, 2000.  Although occasionally these meetings will mean we are unavailable for one or two days, the benefit of sharpening our skills so we may provide excellent current care for your pets is well worth the inconvenience.  For those of you with computers, we continue to update and upgrade our Internet site with new original articles and links to other sites that provide accurate and valuable information regarding a wide variety of pets.  As of September, we have had over 8000 visitors from 57 countries visit our site.  Please drop by and check it out.  The address is http://www.community.net/~petdoc  We are also doing our part in supporting community activities regarding pets.  As we have for the last several years, we are providing care for the animals of the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society at greatly discounted prices.  We have also been active participants in the CVMA feral cat-altering program.  Under this program there is no charge to the caretaker for having spay or neutering procedures done on cats that meet the criteria of being feral.  Beginning in October, we will also be participating in the Low Income Owner/Cat Caregiver cat-altering program.  Under this program we will be able to offer, free of charge, spay and neuter surgery on up to three cats owned by a person who can verify low-income status by presenting their valid California Medi-Cal card.  We hope providing these community services will help reduce the numbers of unwanted pets that our city and county must have euthanized each year, as well as reduce the population of free roaming cats which act as a reservoir of disease which endangers all of our pets.

Robert L. Linville, D.V.M.






When you have a headache or your joints are a little stiff, the first thing you reach for is an aspirin or some other medication.  Many people think (incorrectly) that if it works for them, it must be good for their pet.  We have seen numerous situations over the years where a pet owner has incorrectly medicated their pet with high , even lethal dosages of drugs designed for humans.


Here is a short list of some common over-the-counter drugs that can be hazardous to your pet:

  • ASPIRIN- This seemingly "safe" drug, when overdosed , causes gastric ulcers in dogs and cats.  Because cats are unable to metabolize aspirin, Repeated doses can cause fatal bone marrow suppression.

  • EXTRA STRENGTH TYLENOL- Acetaminophen will produce toxic effects in a cat - two tablets will cause death due to a massive breakdown of red blood cells.

  • ADVIL - Repeated doses of ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal irritation and hemorrhage as well as kidney damage.  Large doses will cause death.

  • ALEVE - The pain medication Naproxen is ten times more toxic than ibuprofen.  Only one or two tablets are toxic to the average size dog.

Please do not administer human medications to your pet.  What may make you feel better could kill your pet!

Please call us if you have any questions.



Some Commonly

Asked Questions

About Pet




What is the most common nutrition-related problem seen by veterinarians?


Obesity! Most household pets are , like most Americans, overweight.  Usually the things that cause weight gain in humans is the same with our pets - snacking and a lack of physical activity.  Rarely do veterinarians see a pet with a gland problem causing increased weight.


Is there a good way to judge if a pet is overweight?


In every household pet, we should be able to easily feel the rib cage - not just know that there are ribs there. In deep-chested breeds of dogs, such as greyhounds, German shepherds, and setters, we should also be able to see the individual ribs.  In cats, the main site of fat accumulation is in the underbelly, which should never get to the point where it sways as the cat walks.


What health risks are associated with obesity in pets?


The major health risks attributable to excess weight in pets are the same as those seen in people - heart failure and arthritis.  The leading causes of death in larger dogs is heart failure and euthanasia due to excessive arthritic pain.  In overweight cats, severe liver disease is quite common and often fatal.


Besides obesity, are there any other medical problems associated with a pet's diet?


Skin reactions of dermatitis are most commonly related to allergies caused by fleas or air-borne stimulants but often this reaction can be traced to diet.  Hypoallergenic food formulas are available for the food sensitive pet.  Before blindly switching foods however, the pet owner is encouraged to consult our office first as some food allergic pets typically have concurrent medical conditions or diseases that mask the allergy.


If you have any additional  questions about your pet's diet or nutritional needs, please call our office.  We are always glad to be of assistance.






  • Like dogs, your cat should only be fed as much food as it needs to maintain its optimal body weight and condition.  Pet food labels usually list suggested amounts to feed by body weight.  The amount of food required depends on the individual cat's needs based on its level of activity and life stage (kitten, mature, pregnant, etc.)

  • Cats can be fed by either free-choice (i.e. - food is always available) or scheduled feedings (feeding a specific amount of food at specified regular mealtimes).  Cats will usually eat every few hours all day long if left to  themselves.  Cat owners may prefer to feed set amounts twice a day.  If obesity is a problem, or only canned food is fed, scheduled feeding only is recommended.

  • Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.

  • Table scraps and between meal snacks should be avoided.

  • Never feed dog food to a cat! Cats need arachidonic acid and taurine which are essential in a cat's diet and are not available in dog food.  Prolonged feeding of dog food to a cat may lead to blindness and paralysis.



Pet ownership is as American as apple pie.  It appears that nearly all of our presidents were pet owners.  Some of us may remember that early in his career, President Nixon gave his famous "Checkers Speech" to describe how he obtained the family pet dog.  Many remember President Lyndon Johnson and his beagles.  All of us have seen photographs of President Clinton and the "First Cat" Socks.  Not all of our presidents preferred the furry companionship of a dog or cat however!

As all the hoopla of a national election swirls around us, we thought it might be fun to see if you can match up some to our nation's past presidents with their unusual pets. Good luck



  1. Thomas Jefferson

  2. John Quincy Adams

  3. Andrew Johnson

  4. Abraham Lincoln

  5. Benjamin Harrison

  6. William McKinley

  7. Theodore Roosevelt

  8. William Howard Taft

  9. Woodrow Wilson

  10. Calvin Coolidge

  1. white mice

  2. sheep

  3. mockingbird

  4. young lion

  5. raccoon

  6. alligator

  7. goat

  8. turkey

  9. parrot

  10. gander

(Answers 1-c, 2-f, 3-a, 4-h, 5-g, 6-i, 7-d, 8-j, 9-b, 10-e )



Preparing fresh meat for your pet

The question of feeding your pet raw meat is rather controversial.  Although some articles in magazines suggest that the feeding of raw meat is best, be aware that bacterial contamination and infestation with microscopic parasites are risks.  For these reasons, every precaution should be taken in preparing the meat part of the diet to include the thorough cooking of the meat.

For those owners who prefer feeding raw meat, the following tips can be helpful, although not foolproof, in reducing risks:

  • Feed only raw chicken, turkey, lamb or beef.  It is best to cook rabbit, venison, wild game, and pork because these meats seem to be more likely contaminated with parasites, especially wild game.

  • Cook ground meats unless the owner grinds the meat at home to prevent cross-contamination at the store.




We see scores of "Hit by Car" cases annually.  Many of these emergencies require immediate surgery in order to save the animal's life.  If conditions affecting the animal's heart, kidneys and liver have not been discovered through regular check-ups, a sudden emergency can quickly run into complications.  Valuable time is lost doing pre-surgical testing.


This is just one reason for having routing physicals.  However, the biggest reason remains the reward we feel when our dog greets us joyfully at the end of our busy day or by the cat's soft purr as we gently stroke its head.  The desire to want to hold onto these companions for as long as possible is the real reason for giving your pet an annual physical.  Please call us to schedule a physical examination today!


Canine distemper is a highly contagious disease caused by a tiny virus.  There is a vaccination to protect your dog from canine distemper but, in order for you to understand its seriousness, it is good to review some facts about this disease.

  • Canine Distemper is the greatest single disease threat to the world's dog population.

  • Better than 50% of the adult dogs and close to 80% of the puppies that contract the disease die from it.

  • A bout with canine distemper can leave a dog's nervous system irreparably damaged, along with its sense of smell, hearing, or sight.

  • Younger dogs and puppies are at the greatest risk.

  • Cats are not susceptible to canine distemper. The so called "cat distemper" is a different disease caused by a different virus.

  • Infectious canine hepatitis is a separate disease but may occur  simultaneously with canine distemper.

  • Neither distemper nor infectious hepatitis are transmissible to man.

If you have any questions about Canine Distemper, please give us a call. When you receive a reminder from us stating your dog needs its distemper vaccination, please contact us immediately for an appointment.