Frequently Asked Questions
What kinds of cats do you treat?
At Sugarland we treat all breeds of cats including but not limited to:
- Burmese Cats
- Siamese Cats
- Domestic Short Hair Cats
- Domestic Long Hair Cats
- Russian Blues
- Maine Coon Cats
- Persian Cats
- Ragdoll Cats
- Scottish Fold Cats
- Sphynx Cats
- Tabby Cats
We also treat cats of all ages, including kittens, adult cats and senior cats.
How can I tell if my cat is sick?
Cats are inclined to hide signs of illness and pain which can make it difficult to tell that they are unwell, particularly in the early stages of their illness.
There are a number of different signs that your cat is unwell, some are more obvious than others. For example, some obvious signs of illness in your cat include:
- Continued vomiting
- Inability to keep meals down
- Not interested in eating their food
- Changes in toilet behaviour
- Blood in vomit
However, sometimes, the signs that your cat may be unwell might be more subtle. Some of these subtle signs include:
- Behavioural changes such as they may not be as affectionate or social and may start hiding
- Your cat might not be as graceful as usual
- They may be drinking water excessively
- They may be sitting hunched over or not lifting their heads up as high
- They may be grooming more than usual.
If you notice any of these changes, or any other changes in their behaviour, don’t be afraid to get in touch with your vet. It might be a very early sign of illness and may help prevent your cat from getting very unwell.
How much do cats sleep and how do I know if my cat is sleeping too much?
Cats are notorious for sleeping, in fact, on average, an adult cat may sleep between 16-18 hours every day. Though this might sound like a lot of sleep, a lot of this time is spent cat napping, and your cat will likely respond quickly to stimuli such as someone walking into the room.
It is important to understand your cat’s sleeping patterns so you can notice any changes in their sleeping behaviour and energy levels. If your cat doesn’t respond to stimuli, is sleeping longer than usual, or a lot less than usual, these can be signs that they are unwell.
How often should my cat go to the vet?
The amount you need to visit the vet with your cat is somewhat dependent on its age. In the first year of your pet’s life, you may be required to visit multiple times over a 12-month period. AS your cat gets older and is around 1-7 years of age, you may only need to visit your vet once a year for an annual check-up and any required vaccinations. And as your cat gets older, and is considered a senior cat, you may need to visit twice a year or so. This is because pets age faster than humans and their health can change quite significantly as well.
It is recommended that your cat visits a vet at least once a year to keep on top of its health. As cat’s are very good at hiding their illnesses, these check ups can help the highly trained veterinarian pick up on any signs of sickness.
What are some common illnesses and diseases that can affect cats?
There are many different illnesses that can affect cats. Some of these are more serious than others in nature. Some of the diseases and illnesses that can frequently affect cats include:
Like humans, cats can be affected by a wide variety of cancers. There is no single known cause of cancer, and it can be localised, where it is confined to one area of the body, or it can be generalised, where it is spread throughout the body.
Cats can also get a form of skin cancer known as squamous cell carcinoma. This most commonly affects lighter coloured cats and is usually caused by repeated exposure to the sun.
Cats can be affected by diabetes, which is caused by either the inability to respond properly to insulin or there is a lack of insulin. Insulin helps to carry glucose and other components from the cat’s food into its cells. However, when the cat is unable to produce insulin or its body doesn’t process it properly, it can affect the blood sugar levels, which can lead to further health complications.
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)
Feline Immunodeficiency Virus is a blood-borne virus that can sometimes take years for symptoms to show after the initial infection. FIV is most commonly caused by an infected cat biting another cat. It can also be transmitted from a mother cat to kittens via its milk.
FIV weakens the cat’s immune system and can make your cat more susceptible to other illness and infections.
FIV is more likely to affect outdoor cats as they have more of a chance of coming into contact with other infected cats.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease
This is the term used to describe conditions that can affect the urinary tract and bladder of cats. The exact cause of these is unknown some illnesses believed to contribute to Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease include bacterial infections, bladder stones and urinary tract infections. The most common sign that your cat may be experiencing Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease is a change in their urination habits, including the frequency and even location of where they are urinating.
Wounds and injuries
Wounds and injuries to your cat can be very serious. Common injuries can be fractures, cuts, and wounds, which can be caused by a wide variety of things, including animal attacks and road injuries. If left untreated, both wounds and injuries can have very serious repercussions for the health of your cat.
If your cat has been attacked by another animal and a wound, cut or scratch has occurred, there is a danger of it becoming infected from bacteria. Not all infections are obvious so if your cat has been involved in an accident, it’s important to see your vet.
What kinds of birds do you treat?
Our team is extensively experienced in the health and care needs of birds of all kinds. We can help with small cage birds, poultry, large parts, wildlife and birds of any type.
You can always call us if you want to check if we can help with your feathered friend. Call us on 07 4151 3550.
What are the signs that my bird may be sick?
Like many other animals, birds can be very good at hiding when they are sick or unwell. However, there are a number of signs, including changes in their appearance and behaviours that may indicate they are unwell. Some of these signs include:
- Reduction in appetite or changes to their eating habits
- Weight loss
- Fluffing/Ruffled feathers
- Discharge around eyes, nose or beak
- Cloudy eyes
- Drooping eyelids
- Difficulty in breathing
- Feather look dull in appearance
- Obvious signs of trauma
- Changes in the colour, texture or appearance of beak and/or nails
Any of the above can be a sign that your pet bird is sick. If you notice any of these signs, or any changes in their behaviour or appearance, it is best to book in to see your avian vet.
How should I take my bird to the vet?
It can be difficult to transport pets of any kind to the vet, and birds are no exception. To make it easier for you to transport your bird, there are some things you can do.
If you have a small, caged bird and their cage will fit in the car, then transporting them in this cage will make their experience a little more comfortable as it is familiar to them.
Otherwise, to help reduce stress for your bird, it is a good idea to let your bird familiarise themselves with a carrier or box you intend to transport them in.
If you are bringing your bird to the vet in its normal cage, try to refrain from cleaning out any papers you have in the cage for around 24 hours before your visit as your bird’s dropping can provide important information about their health.
If you have any questions or concerns about transporting your pet bird, you can call to discuss your options with us.
How often should my pet bird visit the vet?
It is recommended that you bring your pet bird in for an annual well being check-up. Like many other animals, birds can hide their illnesses well. These check ups provide the vet an opportunity to detect early signs of illness in your birds. Early detection and treatment can help prevent an illness developing into something more serious and can often be easier to treat.
How do birds get sick?
Even birds that are well looked after can still get sick. There are a wide variety of reasons that a bird may fall ill, some of which include:
- Unsuitable diet and nutrition
- Poor hygiene
- Poor living conditions and upkeep
What kinds of reptiles do you treat?
At Sugarland Animal Hospital, we treat a wide variety of exotic pets like reptiles. We commonly see many different varieties of snakes and lizards, but we are able to help you almost any species of reptiles, big, small, common and the not so common. You can chat with us today by calling 07 4151 3550 to discuss whether we can help with your pet reptile.
How can I tell if my pet reptile is unwell?
Like many other animals, when a reptile is unwell, it can be hard to spot as they are adept at hiding their illnesses. It is important to ensure that you monitor your pet reptile’s appearance and behaviour regularly.
Some signs of illness and disease are more obvious than others, including unusual discharge from the nose or mouth or vomiting, while some signs are not as obvious. Some of the less obvious signs that your reptile may be unwell include:
- Sudden weight changes, both losses and gains
- One or more limbs may be lame
- There may be swelling in areas of the body
- They may have changed their behaviour and activity levels, such as appearing to be agitated or sleeping more than usual
- Changes in their faeces
- Breathing patterns may have changed, and it may seem like it takes more effort to breath
How often should my pet reptile visit the vet?
We recommend that your pet reptile visits the vet at least once a year for an annual check-up. Though depending on the species and age of your pet, we may recommend that you visit multiple times a year.
Regular health checks for your pets are helpful as pets tend to age faster than humans, and over the course of a year, their health can change significantly. It also gives your vet the opportunity to spot any concerns or illnesses in their early stages, which can help to treat them more efficiently.
What can cause my pet reptile to get sick?
As there are many different species of reptiles, there are lots of different reasons that they may become sick or unwell. Some of the most common causes of illness in reptiles include:
- Unsuitable diets, which can lead to malnutrition and metabolic bone disorder
- Fungal Infections, this can occur from your pet’s skin becoming damaged
- Parasites, such as mites can attach to your reptile’s skin, particularly around the ears and noses.
- Poor temperature or humidity conditions can lead to many health issues, including mouth rot
If you’re unsure of the health of your pet reptile or their habitat, you can discuss their needs with a vet that specialises in reptile care.
How can I prepare my dog for a visit to the vet?
Like any other animal, taking your puppy or dog to the vet can be a scary and stressful situation for both you and your four-legged friend.
Unless it’s an emergency situation, we highly recommend booking an appointment by calling or booking online. This way you can reduce the total amount of time you are spending at the vet.
There are some things you can do to help prepare your dog for their veterinary visit, some of which include:
- Try to remain as calm and make as little fuss as possible, dogs are very good at picking up on any emotional changes in humans
- Try to spend time with your dog in the car while it’s stationary to get them used to being in the car. Often the car trip is more anxious for the dog than the actual visit to the vet
- Bring treats with you for positive reinforcement
- The new sounds, people and smells of a veterinary clinic can be overwhelming for any pet, so spend time talking softly to your dog, and paying attention to them
- Aim to familiarise them with being touched all over their body. It will help them feel more comfortable when being examined by a vet. Some of the things you can do include touching and lifting their ears, touching their feet, and rubbing their tummies.
We aim to ensure that a visit to Sugarland Animal Hospital is a positive experience for both you and your pet.
How do I know if my dog is unwell?
Like most other animals, dogs and puppies can be good at pretending they are well when they are not. Some signs of illness can be quite subtle, however, there are a number of common symptoms you can keep an eye out for, including:
- Lumps or bumps
- Constant Bad breath
- Changes to appetite or drinking
- Urine or defaecation changes
- Eye or ear problems
- Itching/ Skin irritation
- Lethargy/ Change in demeanour or activity levels
If you notice any other changes in your dog’s behaviour, it might be a sign that it’s time to see a vet. That way, if something is wrong, then treatment can begin right away.
How often should my dog go to the vet?
As dogs age a lot faster than humans, it’s important they visit a vet to check their health regularly. It’s recommended that dogs visit a vet at least once a year for an annual check-up. Dogs also require a number of different vaccinations, so this may increase the number of times your pup needs to go to the vet.
As your dog gets older, it’s health needs will change, and the frequency with which they visit the vet may need to be increased.
Is a dog the right pet for me?
Dogs are friendly, loyal, and loving companion pets. And with so many different breeds of dogs out there, you will be able to find one that suits you and your family well.
However, like any pet, owning a dog means you have a lot of responsibilities. There are many things that are necessary in ensuring they have the most optimal health possible. Some of the health needs of your puppy or dog will include:
- Annual check ups
- Puppy Training
- Heartworm Prevention
- Flea Control
- Dental Care
- A healthy diet
- Regular exercise
- Microchipping and Identification
- Bathing and Grooming
- House Training
- Pet Insurance
These are only some of new responsibilities you will have when you get a dog. You will need to dedicate a lot of time to ensure your dog is happy and feels safe and comfortable in their new environment as well.
What kind of dogs do you treat?
Here at Sugarland Animal Hospital, we treat dogs of all sizes, breeds, and ages. Whether you’ve got a brand-new puppy, a lively adult dog, or an elderly pooch, our team is qualified to help care for any kind of dog.
Do guinea pigs need to be vaccinated?
No, guinea pigs do not require vaccinations.
How often should my guinea pig see a vet?
It’s recommended that your guinea has a check up every 6 months, or as often as your veterinarian recommends. This will ensure that they live a long and healthy life.
Signs of illness in guinea pigs
Guinea pigs, like many other animals, are very good at hiding illness and pain. That’s why it’s a good idea to spend a bit of time observing them and getting to know their behaviours and routines when you get your pet. This will make it easier for you to spot any signs of illness. Some of the signs your guinea pig may be unwell include:
- Difficulty or abnormal breathing, including raspy, shallow, or fast breathing
- Bulging eyes
- Sunken eyes
- Hair loss or major changes in their coat
- Lumps and bumps
- Reduced appetite
- Weight loss
- Changes in behaviour
- Changes in their urination
These are only some indications that they may be unwell. If you notice any other changes to your guinea pigs behaviour it might be worth taking them in to see their vet. Ensuring that your guinea pig has regular health check-ups will also ensure their health remains good too.
Common health conditions of guinea pigs
Like any other animal, guinea pigs are susceptible to a variety of health conditions. Some of the common conditions that can affect guinea pigs are fleas, vitamin c deficiencies, skin conditions, and dental problems.
Dental problems in particular can be very common for guinea pigs as their teeth never stop growing. That’s why guinea pigs need roughage to chew on to help wear down the teeth. A supply of hay should be accessible at al times, as this offers them not only something to eat but encourages them to chew for a long time, which helps maintain their dental health.
What is the lifespan of a guinea pig?
With the right care, guinea pigs can live quite long lives, between 5-10 years. This is dependent on a number of factors, including their natural health and genetics.
Do I need to get my pet rodent vaccinated?
No, there are no required vaccinations for pet mice or rats.
What are the signs that my pet rat or mouse may be sick?
Just like many other small animals, rats and mice are extremely good at hiding when they are unwell, which can make it challenging to know that they are sick. In many instances, by the time you start noticing changes in their behaviour or other signs of illness, they may have been sick for quite a while.
Some of the things you can keep an eye out for that are signs of illness in rodents include:
- Difficulty or strained breathing
- Hair Loss
- Lumps or bumps on the body
- Regular scratching
- An increase in the redness around the eyes and nose area
- Snuffling or raspy sounds when breathing
- Faster breathing
- No longer grooming
In addition to keeping an eye out for any of these changes, it’s a good idea to have your pet rodent visit the vet at least once a year.
What kind of housing is best for my pet rodent?
Mice and rats don’t really need a fancy set up to be comfortable and happy. A wire style bird cage that has a detachable floor is a great option because there is a lot of space for your little squeaky pal, and plenty of ventilation.
Ventilation is key for mice and rats as they are prone to respiratory conditions, and with a wire cage, they have access to fresh air.
The cage should have wooden shavings or shredded paper in the on the floor, which should be changed every couple of days. You also want to provide levels, or toys and tunnels for them to play in.
What is the lifespan of pet mice and rats?
On average a pet rat will live between 2-3 years while a pet mouse on average will live around 1.5-2.5 years. The lifespan of your rodent will be dependent on many factors including, any existing health conditions, their genetics, and how well they are cared for.
Though their lifespan may be shorter than other animals, pet mice and rats are rewarding pets to have.
How often should my pet mouse or rat visit the vet?
When you first get your pet race or mouse, we recommend coming in to see us, that way we can identify any health conditions that may exist.
If your rodent is showing signs of full health after this initial check-up, we recommend an annual health check to monitor their health.
If you do notice any of the signs of illness or changes in their appearance or behaviour, then you should book in to see us as well!