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Traveling with Your Horse

By Our Blog

As you prepare to head out to enjoy your horses at the local horse shows, trail-rides, or rodeos, please keep in mind that traveling with your horse comes with several regulations and safety concerns. Don’t forget to have your horse tested for Equine Infectious Anemia. This annual blood test (Coggin’s test) must be drawn by a veterinarian and can take 7-10 days (longer during spring months) to receive results. It is required for sale, transport out of state or to attend any advertised/organized events. Minimum required time is 2-3 days and additional fees apply in order to expedite the testing and results.

If you will be crossing state lines, you must have a signed certificate of veterinary inspection, or health paper. These are required for all interstate travel and some advertized/organized events. Each horse traveling with you must be examined and listed on the certificate; along with the destination address and a current negative Coggin’s test are required. Coggin’s test and health certificate requirements vary by state therefore advanced notice of travel is advised. Horses MUST be examined within 10 days prior to a health certificate being written. Health certificates are good for 30 days from the time of issuance. It is also required by the states to have a separate certificate for each state destination. Failure to comply with these state laws can result in fines as high as $1000.

Another important consideration for your horse traveling is the safety of your trailer. Make sure to have your trailer professionally inspected. Ensure all electrical components are working properly. Test the brakes and emergency backup braking system. It is also very important to inspect your tires and make sure they are properly inflated. Poor trailer maintenance is one of the leading causes oflivestock trailer accidents on the road. Also make sure the towing vehicle is appropriate for the load you are trying to haul. For more information about roadside safety with your horse trailer check out

A Word of Caution about Internet Pharmacies

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Television commercials, pet supply catalogs, and internet pharmacies that promise a “DEAL” on pet prescriptions may be misleading. Please be aware of these risks when deciding to order from an online pharmacy.

If purchasing drugs through such pharmacies, please be aware of these risks:

  • The drug manufacturers may not guarantee medications
  • Some medications may be foreign drugs that may not have the same quality and purity
    assurance as the United States does
  • Some medications may be imitations of approved drugs
  • Selling prescriptions directly to consumers without a veterinarian-client-patient
    relationship may pose a health risk to patients
  • Warehouses are not temperature regulated and many products need to be in a certain temperature range

Oakwood Veterinary Service offers an in-house pharmacy so you can enjoy these benefits:

  • Check your pet’s medical history and confirm that your pet is well enough to take the medication. Weak, sick, or older pets should not take certain medications
  • Review your pet’s medical record to ensure that tests are current. For example, your pet needs a heartworm test with a negative result before taking a heartworm preventative. Also, certain arthritis medications require current routine blood tests to check liver function
  • Confirm the appropriate dose
  • Verify that the pharmacy you are using is licensed with the State Board of Pharmacy. Our
    doctors strongly prefer to only write a prescription that will be filled by a company with a
    state pharmacy license
  • Record prescriptions in your pet’s medical record so we can carefully monitor its
    interaction with other medications your pet may be taking

The staff at Oakwood strives to provide the highest quality medications for your pet. If you have any questions or concerns, please speak with any staff member.

Frequently Asked Questions Post Surgery

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My pet had surgery and now doesn’t want to eat. What can I do?


  • Most pets will not eat their regular dog food after surgery, especially if it is dry kibble.
  • Try mixing canned dog food into normal diet, or alone for a couple day to enhance flavor. Always remember to gradually switch back into normal diet.
  • Use canned food such as; Hill’s Science diet A/D, which is readily available here at Oakwood.
  • Offer a cooked diet having a 1:1 ratio of a protein source and carbohydrate source. The protein source can be any meat (example: chicken breast, turkey breast, lean hamburger) that is low fat and should be cooked and any residual fat skimmed off. The carbohydrate sources typically include; white rice, potato, and pasta.
  • Hand feeding by placing a small portion of their food in the mouth to stimulate appetite.
  • Warming food slightly in a microwave will make the food more aromatic; remember to stir the food before feeding and test the temperature to ensure that it is not too warm, should be luke warm.
  • Trying baby food is also an option as well, choose flavors such as; chicken, beef, turkey, veal.
  • Remember that most pets will not eat well the first day or two after they get home from surgery


  • Offer aromatic foods that contain fish such as tuna or smelly cat foods
  • Try canned food such as Hill’s Science diet A/D, which is readily available at Oakwood
  • Hand feeding; place a small amount of food in the mouth so that they get the flavor
  • Warm the food slightly in a microwave as the food will be more aromatic; remember to stir the food before feeding and test the temperature with your finger; it should be only luke-warm.
  • Some cats will only eat dry food, try kibble if your cat normally has been fed that food
  • Petting and stroking your cat frequently will help to stimulate appetite
  • Remember that most pets will not eat the first day or two after they get home from surgery
  • If your cat has not eaten for 1-2 days post surgery, please contact the staff here at Oakwood Veterinary Services so we can access your cat to prevent the development of serious liver problem (hepatic lipidosis).

When should I expect a bowel movement from my pet post surgery?

  • Many pets will not have a bowel movement for the first several days after surgery
  • Reasons that your pet will not have regular bowel movements after surgery include:
    • Fasting period prior to surgery
    • Many animals do not eat well during their hospital stay
    • Decreased appetite after returning home for the first few days
    • They are fed highly digestible food that produces little stool
    • Pain medications that contain narcotics (tramadol, fetanyl patches, morphine) and can be constipating
  • If a pet does not have a bowel movement by the 5th day post-operative here are some options to try at home as well as contacting Oakwood Veterinary Services:
    • Miralax© – ½ to 1 tsp with meals, twice daily (medium and large canine patients), 1/8 to 1/4 tsp with meals, twice daily (cats and small canine patients)
    • Metamucil 1 tsp per 25 Kg mixed in with each meal (canned foods)
    • Canned pumpkin to increase fiber content

How do I know that my pet is in pain following surgery?

  • Cats are typically harder to access than dogs; often do not express any symptoms.
  • Crying
  • Biting if you get near the surgical site or even the pet themselves wanting to bite the incision site
  • Looking anxious
  • Restlessness and not wanting to sleep; pacing
  • Lack of appetite
  • Hiding; mostly seen in cats.
  • The most severe pain is usually for the first 2 to 3 days after surgery and then it is usually more of dull pain depending on the type of surgical procedure performed.

What can be done for pain at home for my pet?

  • Prescription pain medications are used to keep your pet comfortable after a surgical procedure. Your technician should go over those medications prescribed at pick up.
  • Apply a cold compress (if pet allows) to the surgical site. This may be helpful for the first 48-72 hours to help numb the area and reduce inflammation which can extend the duration of the local pain sensation.
  • Pain medications used commonly in humans and dogs, such as Tylenol can kill a cat with even a single large dose as they lack the necessary enzymes in their liver to metabolize this drug. Please use the medications which are prescribe to you from Oakwood Veterinary Services, please contact our office before the use of any other medications.
  • Anti-inflammatory medications can be used.

Is it okay if my pet is licking the incision?

  • It is NEVER okay for your pet to lick their incision site.
    • Licking actually delays the healing process; it does NOT help the healing process at all!
    • Licking can cause an infection at the surgical site; redness and inflammation are typically signs of infections.
    • Licking can remove the sutures or staples and cause the incision to open, which in return can be extra expenses out of your pocket for office visits, wound management care, application of sutures/staples and possibly more medications prescribed.
  • It’s important for your pet to be wearing an E collar at all times till the surgical site is completely healed. If you didn’t receive an E collar at pick up, please contact Oakwood to schedule fitting for an E collar at that time.

My pet has been vomiting since having surgery. What should I do?

  • Please call our office to report any vomiting. (309)949-2144.
  • Causes of vomiting after surgery:
    • Anesthesia can cause stomach upset that can create vomiting and will usually pass after 24-48 hours.
    • Limit the amount of food and water for the first day to help eliminate vomiting and regurgitation. Sometimes after animals go home from surgery, they will eat and drink too much causing them to regurgitate.
    • Some medications such as antibiotics or pain medications can cause stomach upset and vomiting after surgery. It is usually best to give medications with a meal to avoid stomach upset, unless directed otherwise.
    • If your pet is vomiting for longer than 24 hours please call to schedule a recheck exam.
    • Causes of regurgitating after surgery:
      • The most common reason for regurgitation following a surgery is caused by acid reflux while under anesthesia. The acid reflux can cause esophagitis (heart burn). Usually esophagitis will resolve in 2 or 3 days. Please call if condition persists.


At Oakwood Veterinary Services it is very important to us that your pet has a smooth recovery. Please don’t heists to call us to call if you have any questions, or simply give us an update. Contact us (309) 949-2144 Or if after hours, please contact Animal Emergency Center (563) 344-9599

Pet Insurance

By Our Blog

Did you know an injury or illness claim happens every 4 minutes? It’s a fact accidents happen and pets get sick.

Pet insurance helps with unexpected emergencies, hit by car, exploratory surgery, X-rays and illnesses. Pet insurance will also help with routine wellness visits, such as Heartworm testing, core vaccines, and blood screening.

Many owners purchase pet insurance to help them afford veterinary health care. Our staff will gladly provide you with copies of your pet’s medical records for submission to your insurance company. Simply discuss the matter with our receptionists at your next appointment or contact us for more information.

Pet Insurance University is a web site that can help you evaluate which plan is best for you and the nees of your pet. Their website is

The following is a list of pet insurance companies you might like to explore:

Obedience Training

By Our Blog

Why is obedience training important?

Obedience training is, in fact, critical when it comes to nurturing a healthy human-animal relationship and creating a socially compatible pet. The basic elements – sit, down, stay, come, and heel – help produce a good canine citizen. In a practical sense, obedience-trained dogs have easier lives, and are easier to live with, than their untrained peers. If dogs desist from jumping up on strangers, sit or lie quietly when asked, and walk politely on lead, they’re bound to spend more time with their owners going to picnics, ballparks, and other public places, and will spend less time alone at home. Obedience training is an education in good manners that, almost literally, opens many doors for otherwise confined dogs. Rather than thinking of obedience training as a series of pointless rituals, think of it as a tool to help dogs cope in the real world.

Training can be fun!

When training is positive and fun, both you and your dog can enjoy the process as well as the results. To teach your dog anything new, the task must hold some kind of reward when successfully completed. It’s unrealistic to imagine that your dog will perform a task simply because it pleases you – though some do seem particularly eager to please. For less owner-oriented dogs, even petting may not be a potent enough reward, especially when the dog is excited and would rather cavort than be petted by you, his momentary obstacle. In order to convince your dog that training exercises are fun, consider what he’ll work hardest for. For most dogs, the most compelling reward is a small but delicious treat.

Training Places around the Quad Cities and surrounding area: