These answers are not all-inclusive and are not meant to replace the care of your veterinarian. If your pet has any changes in health or behavior, please contact Cook Veterinary Hospital at 719-633-7769 or an emergency hospital if it is outside of regular business hours.
Emergency or not?
Q: I worry about my pet a lot. How do I know if it’s an emergency?
A: If your pet exhibits any of the following signs, seek IMMEDIATE veterinary attention:
Abnormal heart rate
Restlessness or panting
Swelling of the abdomen/bloated appearance
Vomiting food or water (lethargy, restlessness, behavior changes)
Diarrhea that is dark, tarry, bloody, or raspberry jam colored
Inability to walk/dragging limbs
Deep wounds or lacerations where bleeding can not be controlled
Eating toxic substances (rat poison, chocolate, cleaning supplies, etc)
If your pet exhibits any of these signs (but none of the above), seek PROMPT (within 24 hours) attention:
Loss of appetite but still drinking (if refusing both food and water for more than 2-3 hours, needs to be seen immediately)
Vomiting (normal attitude, normal appetite)
Diarrhea (watery to loose that is not bloody, pudding or looser)
Wounds or lacerations where bleeding can be controlled
Q: Do I have to come in for a recheck? My pet is doing great!
A: If your pet has had surgery or if Dr. Ramsel has specifically requested a recheck, we do ask that you bring your pet in for a follow-up visit.
These visits are usually very brief, so we don’t charge a recheck fee unless there are additional problems to be addressed. However, the follow up visit gives us a wealth of information, even if your pet is doing well.
We routinely request rechecks for the following conditions:
post-surgery (lump removal, spay, neuter, dental with extractions, orthopedic surgery, abdominal surgery, etcbasically anything where your pet received stitches)
eye, ear and skin infections
abnormal lab results
ANY condition that is not resolving within the amount of time the veterinarian advised that you should see improvement in.
Q: Isn’t there something I can give at home, so I don’t have to come in?
A: We recommend that you call a veterinarian prior to giving your pet any human medications.
Although veterinarians often use human medications for animals, there are many “benign” medications for us that can cause irreparable harm and even kill our four-legged friends. Some medications should not be taken with certain health problems. For example, a pet that has vomiting or diarrhea or who may need surgery should not be given aspirin. Acetaminophen, which is in Tylenol and Vicodin and other medications, kills cats even at an infant’s dose. These are just a couple of examples, but many more exist, so please give us a call prior to giving your pet any human medication.
Q: I was told at the pet store that I could give my dog “dog aspirin” and it wouldn’t hurt it. Is this true?
A: Dog aspirin is the same as buffered human aspirin.
It has the same side effects as human aspirin, such as bleeding from the stomach and small intestine, increased risk of stomach ulcers, increased risk of bleeding (since it prohibits platelet binding, which is why we use it as a “blood thinner”), and liver and kidney damage. Also, it’s often not the most effective pain reliever that we can give. If you are concerned that your pet is in pain and cost is a limiting factor, please talk to us to discuss alternative options that may work better for you and your pet.
What's for dinner?
Q: What foods do you recommend?
A: Many pets have different needs based on their age and health conditions.
We feed our pets Science Diet, Purina Pro Plan/Veterinary Diets, and Royal Canin. However there are other brands that are nutritionally balanced and may work with your pets’ digestive system better.
Over the past few years, there have been many marketing campaigns discussing the roles of fillers or fiber, glutens, and preservatives in our pet foods. Fibers often play a role in the health of beneficial bacteria in the intestines, the health of the colon/large intestine, helping a pet feel full, and they can also help a pet who has problems with diarrhea or constipation become more regular.
Glutens are used as a source of highly digestible protein (the outer hull, which is the fibrous indigestible part of the grain seed has been removed) and to provide an appealing texture for many of our baked goods, like breads and cookies. In our homemade treats, the gluten is in the flour. For people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease, they often have problems processing wheat gluten and may in fact be allergic to it. As with those of us who do not have celiac disease, our pets who aren’t allergic to wheat gluten are able to utilize it and it doesn’t pose a problem for them. For pets who are allergic, they often show signs of skin problems, vomiting, and/or diarrhea. Remember, though, that there are many ingredients added to pet foods, so if your pet has a food allergy, it may be to the wheat gluten and/or to one or more of the other ingredients.
Preservatives come in many shapes and forms. One of the most commonly used, as well as one of the oldest preservatives, is salt. Many of our artificial preservatives were created in the late 1970s and 1980s when scientists attributed much of our problems with heart disease to salt. Other methods of natural preservation include drying and canning. Most commercially available dog foods have recognized the worries that consumers have about artificial preservatives, pesticides, etc. and they have formulas that address these concerns as well as making sure that the diet is completely and nutritionally balanced for our pets needs.
Q: Do you offer payment plans?
A: Not typically. However, payment plans may be available for unique circumstances.
We provide an estimate for services that are needed by your pet so you can plan your budget. We accept several forms of payment including Visa, Master Card, American Express, Checks, Cash, and Care Credit.