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


Summer 1998 Newsletter




What's New At

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

ALLERGY SEASON IS HERE-What can you do for that itching pet?

     One of the  more common questions we are asked by our clients is "why does my pet scratch and chew on itself so much?"  Fleas, mites, bacteria, and fungi are often the cause of itching.  However, there are many pets who do not have any of these pests, but constantly scratch never the less.  Frequently the cause is atopy, or in more common terms: skin allergy.  What you see is hot, red, sometimes swollen skin, and a lot of scratching.  When you see these symptoms in your pet, especially if they are chronic, you should visit your veterinarian.  There are now excellent tests available to determine the cause of the allergy.  Once the cause is known, treatment to desensitize the pet can begin.  There is no reason to have your pet continue to be miserable when proper treatment may well resolve the problem.



The majority of us look forward to our Summer getaways.  Whether your vacation takes you toward the beach, to the mountains or to some exotic location, these travel tips may prove helpful.

  1. Make your kennel reservation ASAP! Those that procrastinate are often disappointed.  Find out what vaccines or tests your pet may require prior to the kennel stay.  It is a good idea to give the kennel your vacation phone number and our phone number in case of an emergency.
  2. If your pet is traveling with you on vacation, follow these suggestions:
    • Make sure that the hotels along your route accept pets. Confirm this when making reservations.
    • Take along some of your pet's toys and bed.  These items will help your pet adapt to its new and possibly changing surroundings.
    • Bring a copy of your pet's rabies certificate.  If your pet should tangle with another animal or bite someone while away from home, this proof of inoculation could save you from having to quarantine your pet.
    • Carry some water from home for the animal to drink in transit.  Do not allow children to share soft drinks with Fido or Kitty.
    • Make sure you give your pets their required medications while on vacation.  You are never on a "holiday" from administering this protection.
    • If you are unfamiliar with the area where you will be vacationing, check with your rental agent or the hotel to see if your pets require special flea or tick protection.
    • Place your vacation address and/or phone number on your pet's collar.  Pets sometimes get lost while on vacation and this information could expedite your pet's prompt return.
    • Provide your pet with plenty of shade and water during bright sunny days.
    • Never leave pets waiting in the car for you.  They can overheat in as little as 5 to 10 minutes.  Heat stroke can be deadly!

Have a great holiday!


If Kitty really needs a bath, prepare the water first.  The water should be warm- not hot.  It is also a good idea to put a rubber mat in the bottom of the sink to keep Kitty from slipping.  It is a good idea to use sterile eye lube to prevent shampoo from getting in your pet's eyes.  Place cotton balls in your cat's ears to prevent water from accidentally running inside of them.  Fill the tub only a couple of inches deep.  Place the cat in the water and hold it gently yet firmly.  (Some groomers suggest tying a leash to the spigot to secure the cat prior to bathing.)  Using a cup to pour water, wet Kitty carefully from head to tail.  Apply the shampoo. (Note: As stated above, cat's hair is unique so DO NOT use either dog or human shampoo on your cat!)  Finally, rinse the cat thoroughly and dry her with a clean towel until she is damp.  Keep your cat in a warm area until completely dry.


Why do cats... hate getting wet?

     Wet cats are not happy cats!  (That 's an understatement!)  There is a good physiological reason why cats do not enjoy getting drenched. Unlike their canine friends, cats lack the oily coat and guard hairs that prevent dogs from getting soaked to the skin.  This does not mean, however, that cats stay away from water.  On the contrary, many cats love to fish and have been seen hooking fish out of streams with their paws.  Some cats have even been observed using their tail to lure fish to the surface!  Indeed, the ancient Egyptians left behind evidence on the walls of royal tombs illustrating cats "fishing" along the Nile!

     As you can see, cats really don't mind getting wet but it must be on their terms and for their own benefit.  Needless to say, a bath does not usually fall into this category!


Dogs that Jump-up:

Reasons Why & A Solution

     It never fails! You put on your beautiful ( and probably expensive) light colored slacks and go to a friend's home.  You walk in and are immediately greeted by a friendly Lab who plants both dirty feet on your waist!  You don't know who to bop first - the Lab or the Lab's owner!  Some believe that the dry cleaners of America, in cahoots with the nation's Panty Hose manufacturers, have planted some little gene in dogs that forces them to jump-up.  That idea may play well to the conspiracy theorists but the fact is that many animal behavioralists believe that jumping-up is actually a dog's attempt to show its dominance!  The taller a dog stands, the more status he has.  If he can stand over or jump on a rival, he is dominant.  What humans think is a sign of affection is caused by a totally different reason from the dog's point of view, especially if the dog is large or aggressive.

     Obviously, controlling this behavior is important.  It is best to start training the dog while it is still young and manageable but older dogs can also be trained.  Begin by always greeting your dog calmly.  If your dog attempts to jump up, turn aside and ignore him.  Don't yell or try to knee him.  Dogs will work for any kind of attention, positive or negative, but they hate being ignored.  Replace the jumping behavior by having your dog sit when you arrive.  Reward the sit with a treat or praise.  Teaching your dog to sit rather than jumping-up may not be popular with your dry cleaner but it will save you a lot of embarrassment.


Vaccinating your pets is the best and most cost effective way to prevent disease.  The following are some diseases for which your pet may be immunized.  The doctor will suggest the ones suitable for your pet.


Rabies - Legally required by the state







Lyme Disease




Rabies - Legally required by the state.

Distemper - feline










     Take the quick quiz to discover the answer.  Circle the answer that best describes your pet, then total your points.

1. How difficult is it to feel your pet's ribs when you run your hands along its sides?

  1. Difficult                           3
  2. Fairly easy                      1
  3. Very easy                       0

2. How much daily exercise does your pet receive?

  1. Little or no                        2
  2. Less than 30 minutes         1
  3. 30 Minutes or more          0

3. Has your pet been spayed or neutered?

  1. Yes                                   1
  2. No                                    0

4.How often does your pet receive treats, snacks or table scraps?

  1. Multiple times                   2
  2. Once a day                       1
  3. Rarely or never                 0

Total score:________________

   Note:  This test is for your guidance only.  Regardless of your total score, it is recommended that you discuss your pet's specific needs with the doctor.

   If your score was above three, your pet may need to lose weight.  Call for an appointment to see the doctor who will recommend the weight loss program best for your pet.

How to prevent diseases spread by ticks

In most sections of the United States, ticks are most active from May through August, with peak activity in July.  However, they're a year-round problem in some areas.  Ticks are responsible for transmitting four dangerous diseases to people and pets:  Lyme Disease; Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever; Tularemia: and Ehrlichiosis.

If you are living in or visiting tick-infested areas, follow these helpful suggestions:

  • Wear light colored clothes to help detect ticks before they attach to your skin.

  • Wear shirts with long sleeves and long pants when outdoors.

  • Tuck shirts into pants and trouser legs into socks.

  • Apply tick repellent to skin and clothing.

  • Use either a good collar or repellent to help keep ticks off your pets.

  • Around the home, keep grassy areas clipped short and apply appropriate insecticides to discourage tick infestation.

  • Examine yourself and your pets thoroughly for ticks at least daily.

We have the products, repellents, and the expertise you need to keep your family and pets protected.  Stop in and we will be glad to help you.