Bumps on Pets: When You Shouldn’t Worry and When to Hurry In

Finding a new lump or bump on your furry friend can be a little worrisome. While many bumps on pets are perfectly harmless, our minds often to jump to a worst case scenario.

So how are you to know when it’s time to worry and when a new blemish is no big deal? Let the team at Dickinson Animal Hospital & Pet Wellness Center help! 

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GACK! Are Hairballs Normal?

hariballsNo sound is quite as unsettling as the midnight “hack,” “gag,” or “bletch” from Fluffy the cat. Not only is the sight and sound of hairballs being coughed up disturbing, it often also seems equally distressing for our cats. So, what are these mystery lumps of fur, and are they a normal and healthy function of being a cat?

Defining Hairballs

Despite their name, “hairballs” or trichobezoars are not orb shaped as the name implies. Instead, they’re typically thin and cylindrical, a shape formed by emerging through the esophagus. Hairballs are essentially wads of undigested hair along with digestive fluids, bile, and sometimes undigested food.

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Chin Up: Home Pet Dental Care You Can Smile About

The field of veterinary dentistry has made enormous strides in recent years, and the addition of exams and professional cleanings can add vitality to your pet’s overall wellness. A critical piece of the puzzle, however, is routine maintenance between cleanings. Most owners know a bit about at-home pet dental care, but Fluffy needs more than just a dental chew here and there.

Without Help

Ignoring plaque and tartar buildup on your pet’s teeth can lead to significant health problems, including inflammation, infection, and eventual tooth decay and loss.

An initial indicator of dental disease is the smell of your pet’s breath. Since the majority of cats and dogs over the age of two have dental disease in one form or another, it’s important not to let this slide. Poor oral health can have surprising effects on the health of your pet’s heart, liver, and kidneys.

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