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 • UT College of Veterinary
   Medicine

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EDUCATIONAL INFORMATION:

TIPS ON SELECTING A HEALTHY PET 

Birds

A healthy bird:

  • has shiny, clear eyes
  • has sleek, smooth feathers
  • has spirited movement

Trouble signs in your bird:

  • if it is puffed up and sluggish
  • sits on both feet with its eyes closed
  • its eyes are dull
  • its droppings increase, change in color or consistency
  • its breathing is labored

Cats

A healthy cat:

  • eyes should be clear of film
  • ears should be clean and not sensitive to touch
  • nose should have no discharge
  • mouth should have healthy pink gums
  • coat should look healthy

Trouble signs in your cat:

  • its gums and tongue look pale.
  • its gums are red and puffy
  • there are skin lesions
  • it refuses food
  • its thirst increases
  • its urination is frequent

Cautions for cats:

  • no chocolate- a 6 oz. bar could kill a 5 pound cat.
  • a single Tylenol tablet could kill a cat.
  • the taste and smell of antifreeze appeals to cats but can be deadly.
  • do not use rodent poison in your home.
  • never feed your cat raw poultry or fish.

Did you know that cats sweat through their paws and not their pores?

Dogs

A healthy dog:

  • eyes should be clear of film or discharge.
  • nose should be cool; no crusty deposits around nostrils.
  • mouth should have healthy firm gums and no offensive odor.
  • skin should be free of growths, scabs, and scales.
  • dog should be alert and responsive.
  • dogs should be curious about an unexpected noise.

Trouble signs in your dog:

  • its stomach looks distended
  • lying down appears difficult
  • it's panting rapidly
  • defecation is strained
  • the "whites" of the eyes look yellow
  • it refuses food
  • it drools excessively.
  • it circles excessively

Cautions for dogs:

  • do not tie up your dog if he's wearing a choke collar.
  • never give a dog chicken bones
  • all tobacco products can be toxic for dogs
  • after wet weather walks, dry your dogs feet to prevent fungal infections.
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