Becker Animal Hospital | When Your Pet Is Ill
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When Your Pet Is Ill

Caring For Your Sick Pet

We recommend that the sick, injured, very young/small pets and post-surgical patients be kept inside the house, as apposed to the garage, porch or yard, as this will ensure a consistently warm and regulated environment for the pet. We also recommend:
1. Use an electric heating pad on low or medium heat under the pet’s bed, as your pets normal body temperature is 102.5 F, while a person’s is 98.5 F, so since the pet’s body temperature is higher, they tend to get chilled much faster than we do, especially if the pet is small and has short hair. An enclosed plastic carrier is an excellent home for your pet, as a heating pad can be placed under a towel with the back of the carrier over it. The carrier will then trap heat inside it. This will create an external heat source that the pet can rest right on top of, which is especially important for the very young and small pets. You can even put a towel over the carrier to further trap heat during especially cold weather. An external heat source along with canned or table food are the two most important factors in maintaining the pet’s health at home.
2. Feed a rich canned food or table food. Table food will not make your pet sick, it is actually a very digestible source of high-energy food that the pet uses to fuel their immune system and fight disease. Do not ever feed bones of any type-they can cause serious intestinal damage. Stir-fried hamburger meat, de-boned chicken, eggs, rice, potato, and pasta are excellent sources of protein and carbohydrates, and these supply much-needed energy for the young and/or sick. Feed all your pet can eat at least 2x daily, until it walks away and leaves food in the bowl – that’s its way of saying “I’m full”. Fast food chicken nuggets are an excellent food source for the sick or very small pet as it is high in fat and calories. Fruits and vegetables are fine but do not feed grapes or raisins-they may cause kidney damage. Food can be made, stored in the refrigerator and warmed as needed. Gerber’s baby food can also be given-use the beef or chicken. Dry food can be left out continuously for the pet to eat at any time.
3. Give Pedialyte, Gatorade, and water through a syringe into the mouth- 1 cup per 8 pounds of body weight per day will keep your pet hydrated, as most sick or injured pets suffer from some degree of dehydration. The fluids can be split into divided doses throughout the day. Always provide fresh water to drink.
4. Pepcid-AC tablets from HEB or any pharmacy given at ¼ to ½ tablet 3x per day will help to control nausea and vomiting, Robitussin-DM children’s/adult for coughing, Mucinex-DM for congestion/coughing and Imodium-AD liquid for diarrhea
5. For cats or kittens, feed a food that has a strong smell, as the high odor content will help stimulate the cat to eat. If cats cannot smell it, often they will not eat it. Tuna fish, sardines, canned cat food, Raw hamburger, are good examples of a food that may get a disinterested cat to eat, and you may even try putting some food in the pet’s mouth to stimulate the appetite. It is important for adult cats to not go more than three days without eating, as after this the cats own mobilized body fat may clog up the liver and result in a potentially fatal liver disease. Consult your veterinarian immediately if the above situation occurs.
6. If your pet refuses fluids or food, please call us right away as an intravenous treatment may be necessary to stabilize your pets condition.
Dr. Becker and his staff are here to help you and your pet. Please do not hesitate to call us for anything you may need. We are open late each evening, 7 days a week, and no appointment is necessary. Please come in anytime that is convenient for you.