Popular Sweetener that can Poison Your Dog

For some folks, the start of a new year is a catalyst to lose weight and this may mean switching from plain old sugar to lower calorie sweeteners. Xylitol is one such sugar substitute that is safe for human consumption, but is toxic for dogs. In fact, it can be deadly. Learn more.

5 Tips to Spot Heart Disease in Cats Sooner

Heart disease in kitties is sneaky business. Without any warning symptoms, it can lay a cat low with life threatening, and sometime even life ending issues. Why is feline heart disease so difficult to detect in its early stages? In part, it has to do with the relatively sedentary lifestyle of cats. Learn more.

Dr. Ernie’s Top 10 Cat Dental Questions… And His Answers!

For some inexplicable reason, Dr. Ernie gets fewer questions from cat clients about their kitty’s teeth and mouth than inquiries from dog guardians. Dr. Ernie has a few theories on this phenomenon. Learn more.

5 Tips for a Healthier Dog Smile!

Dogs have 42 smile generators. Keeping those 42 teeth strong, healthy, and happy is essential to preventing illness, pain, and may extend longevity. Each February, U.S. veterinarians celebrate National Pet Dental Health Month to raise awareness about the dangers of oral diseases such as gingivitis, tooth abscesses, and mouth tumors. While I’ll be the first to admit it’s not a thrilling party theme, it is an incredibly important topic that directly affects every dog’s quality of life. Learn more.

Excessive Licking

Dogs obviously cannot verbalize how they are feeling to us beyond perhaps a bit of whining or barking, and that’s pretty non-specific and really difficult to interpret. If you have a dog that licks a lot, you might be left wondering why. Here are some explanations of why your dog might lick too much.

Infectious Diseases

Infectious diseases are those caused by some sort of organism like a virus, bacteria, parasite, etc.  Many of these infections are highly contagious and potentially fatal; therefore, we must keep them on our radar screen. Learn more about the infectious diseases that can affect your cat and what you can do about them.

10 Signs of Cancer in Dogs

It is is notoriously difficult to detect cancer early in pets, but there are signs to watch for. Early detection is key when dealing with cancer, so learn to spot the signs.

Study Shows that Vomiting in Cats is often a Sign of Serious Disease

If you’ve had a cat for more than a month, you’ve surely experienced the delight of feline vomit in an inconvenient location. While some might think this is “normal”, this study suggests otherwise. Read more here.

5 Tips to Help Stop Dog Barking

Living with a dog that barks constantly can be a nuisance. Check out why your dog might be so talkative and what you can do.

Five Great Ways to Challenge your Dog’s Mind

Just like you, your dog needs both physical and mental exercise. Read this article to learn fun and simple ways to challenge your pooch this summer. Bonus – these tips get you outside as well!

10 Common Causes of Kidney Disease in Cats

In their lifetime, over 1 in 3 cats will get kidney disease and it can have devastating effects on our feline friends. The good news is that your vet can test for many of the diseases related to the kidneys. Read about 10 common causes of kidney diseases and learn what you can do. 

Our Top 10 Summer Safety Tips for Dogs

Summer weather is almost here and we aren’t the only ones celebrating! Our dogs look forward to warmer days and more time outside as well.  Help your pooch make the most of summer by keeping these tips in mind. Here is a hint – water plays an important part! Want to learn more? Check out the full article.

Checking for Ticks

Just because the temperature is dropping, doesn’t mean your dog wants to play inside now. One of dogs favorite things do as the weather changes is play in the giant piles of leaves that fill up the yard. However, it’s extremely important to be aware that tick season is not over. While you mostly find ticks in tall grass, they also lurk about in the leaves your dog loves to play in. So here’s a simple reminder to always be checking your pets, as well as yourself for ticks year round!

Halloween Dog Safety

When we celebrate the holidays, we often want to make our dogs a part of the festivities. Halloween is no exception. In fact, for some pet parents, the dog’s Halloween costume is as important as their own. However, for all the fun that may come along with this time of year, it’s not always a positive experience for dogs.  Here are some more tips for you dog. 

Pet Obesity

Some people might look at an overweight pet and say, “oh, how cute.” While it’s true that any pet can be cute, pet obesity is nothing to be fawned over. It’s not healthy and will ultimately lower a pet’s life expectancy. Here are 5 reasons why pet obesity is a big concern. 

Halloween Cat Safety

Halloween is an interesting holiday. Also known as All Hallows’ Eve, it is a celebration observed in a number of countries on 31 October (the eve of All Hallows’ Day or All Saint’s Day). Halloween has evolved to include any number of local traditions that many may not even be familiar with. Regardless of your traditions, there seems to be one common truth about Halloween: It can be a dangerous time for cats.  Here are some tips for your cat.

Natural Disasters

Natural disasters remind us that people are not the only ones in danger. Pets are also caught up in the destruction and chaos that often accompanies tragedy. We have five tips to help you be better prepared to protect your pet in the aftermath of a disaster; make sure to talk to your veterinarian about what you need for your pet in case of disaster. Click here to learn more.

Senior Cat Health

Unfortunately, your cat is not likely to ever walk past a mirror, catch a glimpse of herself, and vow to eat less and exercise more. And not every cat is going to be up for taking leash walks. So here are some simple tips to get your senior cat up and moving more.

Fall Pet Tips

Ahhh, Fall! This time of year means football, crisp air and colorful foliage. It’s a great time to get outside with your pet; for a dog, there’s nothing like a romp in the leaves, while for cats, midday sunbeams have never felt better as the days get shorter and the nights get colder. When it comes to keeping your pet healthy and helping him enjoy fall to the fullest, there are some things to keep in mind. Read on for our top fall pet tips.

Help Your Dog with Loud and Scary Sounds – Like Fireworks!

The 4th of July brings cookouts, ice cream cones and fireworks! Great fun for us but not always for our pets. The good news is we can help our dogs get used to loud noises, like fireworks.  Here are some tips on what you can do to help your dog enjoy the holiday too!

Why Do Dogs Eat Grass?

Have you ever wondered why dogs eat grass? The answer can be as simple as they like to, but that might not be the only reason for the behavior. Check out this article to learn more.

7 Causes of Cats Sneezing

Achoo! While all cats sneeze sometimes, frequent sneezing could be a sign of a bigger issue. Follow this link to learn some of the surprising reasons cats might sneeze.

Potential Toxins and Poison Control Services

The ASPCA Poison Control Hotline can be reached at (888) 426-4435. They are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A $65 consultation fee may be applied to your credit card. Below are links for more specific types of toxins:

Pet Insurance

Here is a list of some pet insurance providers:

Grief Resources

Losing a pet can often feel like you’ve lost a member of the family. We at Big Lick Veterinary Services offer crematory services for all of our clients.

The grieving process can often be prolonged and difficult. Below you will find a list of resources to aid your family during this time.

  • Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine Pet Loss Hotline, T/Th 6-9 PM ET at (540) 231-8038
  • ASPCA National Pet Loss Hotline at 1-877-GRIEF-10