FearFreeLogoThe Cimarron Animal Hospital Team is committed to providing a Fear Free veterinary experience, to the best of our ability, for every pet we care for.  See our Fear Free Initiative

Cats are notoriously stressed about coming in to the vet, so many people just wait until their cat is sick before they face the daunting, heart-wrenching experience.  But, cats need wellness exams as much as, if not more than, dogs, since they hide their illnesses until they are critical!

Here are some tips for getting cats into the Veterinary Clinic with less stress for both of you:

  • Leave the cat carrier out for your cat to enjoy all of the time!
    Feed your kitty in the carrier
    Every day, put treats in the carrier for your kitty to discover
    Keep soft, clean bedding in the carrier
    Sometimes, cover the carrier with a towel or carrier cover (Cat Cozy)
    Put a spritz of Feliway in the carrier once a day
  • Wipe the carrier or spritz once with Feliway 30 minutes before travel
  • Always carry the carrier from underneath— never use the handle. It’s too much rocking and swaying!
  • Cover the carrier when traveling– most cats would prefer not to see the world racing by while they are standing still!
  • Practice driving around the block or around town and ending up right back home!

Start these techniques with your kitten! If you have an adult cat, start Today!

  • Bring your cat’s favorite treats with you.
    Give a bite when you arrive in the waiting room
    Give a bite when you settle into the exam room
    Toss a few around the room to encourage exploration and natural hunting instincts- it lets off “steam”!
    Save the rest for your Pet Care Team!  This way, they will have more opportunity to give treats to help make the experience more pleasant.
  • Ask your Veterinarian for a Kitty or Doggy Calming Kit that can be given before the visit to help “take the edge off”.
  • Consider additional short-acting sedation in the clinic if needed.

For more suggestions,   Click Here

Cat Carrier Training Video

To Request an Appointment at Cimarron Animal Hospital Tucson for your cat’s Less Stress check Up, Click Here

MacDaniel, Ramsies - 7Dental Treatment Staging: Cleaning, X-rays, Tooth-by-tooth Assessment now, Periodontal treatment, Extractions later- just like at your dentist! 

 75% of dogs and cats have more dental disease than can be detected in the awake pet—usually because they don’t let anyone do a thorough  360-degree tooth-by-tooth examination while they are awake!

This means that 75% of veterinary  patients needs more dental work done than is anticipated.  This can result in an uncomfortable, unexpected financial “surpurise” for a Pet Parent.

At Cimarron Animal Hospital, we can Stage your pet’s dental treatment if you are not financially ready to cover the whole expense at the time of his dental cleaning (after all, that’s expensive enough– with anesthesia and all…).

We will first clean the teeth and do a tooth-by-tooth examination with dental x-rays.  Then, we will call you to let you know what else needs to be done in terms of treating existing periodontal or endodontic disease such as tooth infections, abscesses, or resorptions.  If you are ready to have everything done at once, while we have your pet anesthetized already, we will proceed with the recommended treatments.  If not, then we can delay the rest of the treatment (extractions, for instance) for a later date.  The Doctor will let you know, based on how severe the disease is, how long it would be OK to delay.   If you have the recommended treatments done within that time period, we give you an  $ 85.00 credit toward the second anesthesia– as if the treatment had been done the same day!

Meanwhile, the Doctor may recommend pulse therapy antibiotics or pain medication and Dental Home Care treatments to keep your pet comfortable until the dental treatment can be completed.






Spring is about spring in Arizona.  Unusually warm temperatures are going to wake hungry, cranky rattlesnakes from their short winter’s nap.  It’s time to consider…

Rattle snake vaccines are available for dogs. But are they Safe?  Effective?

Safe?  Yes.  There are virtually no side effects.  Rare irritation at the injection site.

Effective?  Honest truth: We aren’t sure. But, it’s all we’ve got besides ways to decrease our dogs’ risks.

Theoretically, they make scientific sense.  They work in the lab….   Rattlesnake vaccines work by inducing antibody production against rattle snake venom in the dog.  Each antibody produced can neutralize a unit of venom.  But, each dog responds differently to the vaccine, producing its own unique amount of antibody.  So there is no way to ensure that each dog vaccinated with produce enough antibody to neutralize all the venom that it receives during a bite.

Also consider that snakes inject variable amounts of venom when they bite.  This is based largely on when they last bit something (for food or self-protection).  If they have not fed in a while (especially early in the Spring when they are just coming out of hibernation), their venom sacs will be full. That’s a lot of venom to neutralize.

The vaccine is not protective against Mohave Rattle Snakes, a less common, but significant threat in Arizona.

So, why isn’t it a more predictable product, you ask?  Scientists can’t really inject venom in an unvaccinated dog, evaluate response, then vaccinate and re-envenomate the same dog with exactly the same amount of venom to compare responses.  First, that would be  pretty inhumane.  Second, once a dog has been envenomated, its response to the next bite will be different regardless of being vaccinated or not.

So what good is it?  The vaccine will impart at least some protection against the venom.  Some amount of the venom will be neutralized. That may be enough to protect a dog against pain and the most devastating effects of a bite: massive tissue loss, hemorrhage disorders and kidney failure.


( Very painful swelling, usually around the head, face, front legs.  Sometimes there are visible weeping punctures- sometimes not.  After a couple of hours there is significant bruising.)


Cimarron’s Recommendation: Consider Rattlesnake Vaccinating your Dog If: 

  • Your dog is at high risk for Rattlesnake bite (lives in a desert yard, runs in washes, hunts with you).  It’s the best we can do.
  • Especially if your pet is in an outside environment for long periods of time unsupervised.


  • A walled yard is not “safe”.  Snakes can find he smallest breaches, and every wall has a gate or drainage hole.

More Information about Rattlesnake Vaccine: Here

For Arizona dogs, the best time of year to get Rattlesnake vaccines is in Early March– before snakes become active after their long winter’s nap.  Vaccinate again in late Summer / Fall to maintain immune boost through the active Fall months.


The Tucson Cimarron Animal Hospital Team is committed to providing a Fear Free veterinary experience, to the best of our ability, for every pet we care for.

Working Toward aFearFreeLogo See our Fear Free Initiative

Here are our suggestions for Fear Free Veterinary Visits:

  •  Bring your pet’s favorite treats with you.
    • Give a couple small bites in the car
    • Give a bite when you arrive in the waiting room, while practicing “Sit” and “Lie down”
    • Give a bite when you settle into the exam room, again while practicing calm behaviors
    • Save the rest for your veterinary care team!  This way, they will have more opportunity to give treats to help make the experience        more pleasant!
  • Do not feed your pet after 6:00 pm the night before a visit so they are more willing to take treats along the way.
  •  Practice Riding in the Car, if your dog is not a big fan.

* Let him eat treats in the car, without turning it on

* Gradually get him to get in the car for treats

* Let him eat treats with the car on, without driving

* Reward calm behavior in the car with treats.

  •  Ask your Veterinarian for a Canine Calming Kit for anxiety or carsickness if needed
  •  Visit your Veterinary Clinic during slow times, when things are calm. Call your clinic ahead of time, to make sure the place is going to be quiet.

Practice calm behaviors like “Sit”, “wait”, and “Down”

                 * Practice getting on and off the scale, giving a treat for a calm “Sit” on the scale.

                * Practice walking through doors that make that your pet nervous.

                * Practice being on the Exam table. Make sure your pet’s favorite treats are always there! Ask your  veterinary care team if you can just practice without an exam – only loves and pets.

                * Let your Vet Care Team give treats too! Either use yours or let them “spoil” your pet with something new and different!  Speak up if your pet has any food allergies or is on a Prescription diet!

  •  Schedule Mini Training Sessions for your Pet with your Veterinary Behavior Technician/ Assistant for special issues like these:
    • Fear of nail trims
    • Fear of ear exams
    • Fear of face handling

             Cimarron’s Veterinary Assistant Leeanne is a PetSmart Certified Trainer and has over 20 hours in veterinary behavior modification continuing education just this year!  A short, 15 minute session only costs  $15.  She does training by appointment during our quieter hours, to teach pets to be calmer.

Request An Appointment here      Mon and Wed 9:00am-  2:00pm

                                                                 Tues                  12:00pm- 2:00pm

                                                                Thursday         2:00pm- 5:00pm

  •  Some Tools that can help:

* “Happy  Doggy Pheromones” such as Adaptil in the carrier, in the car on your vet and in their                        exam rooms mimic the soothing scents of mama’s milk glands (really!)

              * ThundershirtsR/ Anxiety WrapsR—their firm swaddling effect calms many anxious dogs.

               Natural Supplements such as  Zylkenetm and Composuretm  given at home for 2-24  hours before a visit can really help with mild anxiety.

              * Prescription oral medications may be needed for pets with more significant anxiety. Anxiety medications need to be tailored to each individual pet (just like humans!) since pets react differently to                          different medications.  If one type of medication or one dose doesn’t work something different can be tried                    next time until you find the right combination of treatments that makes both you and your pet the most                          comfortable.

Injectable medication or additional oral medications can also be given by our Veterinarian once you are in the clinic if your dog is still very anxious. This is a very valuable tool in allowing a stress free examination, blood collection or other testing. It may cost a little more, but you and your pet will both enjoy the experience much more!

If you have questions about helping your pet have a more Fear Free Veterinary Experience, please contact us!  Remember, the Fear Free Veterinary Visit really starts at home.  Let us know if your pet has Veterinary Anxiety when you make your appointment!

520 886-1125     info@cimarronah.com    Send Inquiries here   

Request Appointment

♥♥♥   It’s the month of love! Hugs! Kisses!   ♥♥♥

If your pet’s bad breath makes them positively un-kissable, it’s time schedule their yearly checkup today!

It’s that time of year again. A month about love, hugs, kisses and chocolate. And when it comes to your pet, 3 out of 4 of those come out way on top! (Chocolate is a no-no, but you already knew that!)

What if your pet’s bad breath makes them positively un-kissable? Bad breath may mean there is an issue with your pet’s teeth and gums. But it may also be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Either way, if dental conditions are left untreated, you may put your pet at risk for problems in their mouth (periodontitis) or with internal organs (heart disease, just to name one!).

The challenge most pet owners face is that even if their pet’s breath smells fine, some dental conditions are hard to spot. Keeping your pets healthy from tooth to toe shows the world how much you love them. What is the best way to keep your pet in tiptop shape? Regular check ups with your vet, High quality diet, and Healthy Teeth and Gums!

Dental Treatment Discounts Feb 1 – March 15, 2015!  Call for details.

Schedule your appointment today for your FREE Dental exam for an estimate for your pet’s Comprehensive Dental Assessment under anesthesia/ Cleaning and Treatment!


“Nah.  She’s perfectly fine”.

Cats are The Masters of Concealing Illness!  Being both a predator and a prey species in the wild makes them uniquely adept at compensating for illness to survive and not showing signs of weakness.

Regular Physical exams by your veterinarian can identify many problems that your kitty may not be “telling” you about.  Commonly discovered issues include: painful dental disease, obesity, ear infections and osteoarthritis.  Annual Wellness blood and urine screening can identify conditions such as: kidney disease, liver disease, pancreatitis and even diabetes!

“Well, if he has any of those conditions, there’s nothing we can do about it anyway.”

All of these conditions can be treated, managed, or outright cured with the right care!  Identifying issues early allows us to remove painful conditions sooner, so your cat can be happy and active.  Early detection of metabolic diseases and age-related organ failure lets us make lifestyle and nutrition changes that slow down the progression of those conditions so your feline friend can continue to be a happy, active member of your family longer.

“It upsets her too much to bring her in”

Here are some great suggestions to help  get your cat more accustomed to coming in to the vet.




And don’t forget the Feliway for trips to the Vet!

If your cat hasn’t been in to see the vet within the last year, it’s time!

Don’t let your kitty slip into a state of “sick beyond repair” when we can do just as much to help cats live longer and better as we can dogs!

Cats are prone to Stress / Anxiety– especially those in multi-cat households!  Here are some tips to help reduce your cat’s stress level.

  • 1.Create high places and private spaces for your cat
  • 2.Create a refuge where your cat can feel safe
  • 3.Follow these litter box tips:
    • Provide one per cat plus one additional in your home
    • Place in a location where there are multiple entries and exits if your home has more than one pet
    • Should be at least 1.5x your cat’s body length
    • Scoop at least once daily
    • Clean once a week with mild detergent, rinse and dry throughly then fill with clean litter
  • 4.Place litter boxes far from food bowls and in quiet places

  • 5.Praise good behavior – don’t punish your cat for accidents
  • 6.Give your cat something to scratch, which releases pheromones and makes her feel happy
  • 7.Keep her in shape – overweight cats can’t move or jump
  • 8.Create a play area with toys and other items to keep her active. Giving her things to hunt in the house helps relieve pent up needs.

  • 9.Indoor cats can get bored, so give yours a view of the world outside
  • 10.If you have more than one cat, make sure you have enough food, water, litter boxes and safe places for everyone
  • 11.Consider Feliway “happy kitty pheromones” in diffusers around the house or in your cat’s favorite room.
  • 12.Talk to your veterinarian about the following therapies:
  •      “Composure” Nutritional supplement with L- theanine
  •      “Zylkene”  Nutritional supplement with caseine
  •      Hills c/d Multicare Stress formula food
  •      Psychoactive medications as a last resort

CD stress Logo

Cats are often afflicted by stress.  As both predator and prey animals in nature, their nervous systems are “geared up” for “Flight or Fight” at a moment’s notice!  Cats living in multi-cat households are more likely to be stressed due to inter-pet conflicts.

Cats who are stressed are more susceptible to chronic inflammatory conditions and weakening of the immune system.  Feline Interstitial Cystitis (FIC) is a common, painful inflammatory condition of the urinary bladder that causes cats to urinate outside of their litterboxes, vocalize when they urinate or have blood in their urine.  Stressed cats are more likely to have relapses of upper respiratory symptoms.  They are irritable, reclusive, antisocial.


This new food formula is a spin off of the long trusted c/d formula used to treat Feline urinary syndrome (FUS) for decades.  This new formula not only helps stress- induced FIC by controlling the chemistry of the urine, but has the added benefits of  tryptophan and alpha-casozepine to also reduce the stress levels that CAUSE the FIC in the first place!

Everyone knows the old wives’ tail about the tryptophan in your turkey dinner making you sedate.  C/d Multicare Stress is super-dosed with L- tryptophan– way more than your Thanksgivnig dinner!  Tryptophan is the amino acid precursor to serotonin, one of the brain’s key relaxation hormones!  More tyrptophan mean more opportunity for more serotonin!

Alpha-casozepine is a product of the digestion of casein, a milk protein that is implicated in several hormone mechanisms in the brain.  It seems to stimulate GABA receptors in the brain, which blunt anxiety responses.  It also may have an role in increasing Dopamine, a reward signal hormone for the brain.

  • This prescription fromula is not only the diet of choice of many veterinarians for cats with FIC, but will serve as an adjunctive treatment for any cat that is experiencing stress symptoms such as irritability, “jumpiness”, hiding from or fighting with other pets in the house,  even without urinary signs!

A fabulously promising new way to treat kitty anxiety!  Just feed your cat!  No pills, medications, etc!

Ask your kitty’s veterinarian if this formula might be a good option to try with your stressed/ anxious kitty cats!

Read the scientific publication about the key ingredients in Hills c/d Multicare Urinary Stress formula HERE


old dogSeptember is Senior Wellness Month at Cimarron Animal Hospital Tucson a month dedicated to addressing the specific concerns and problems of our senior pets. We try to screen all pets past the age of 9 years for any underlying “senior” problems. As a direct result of vaccinations, neutering and improved nutrition, our pets are living longer and fuller lives. With the blessing of longer life comes the reality of a higher incidence of age related diseases.

Our senior wellness program focuses on early identification and prevention of the most common  causes of death and disabiity in older animals: heart disease, liver disease, kidney disease, thyroid disease, diabetes. This program allows us to detect problems before they become critical.

 Senior Wellness Comprehensive Exams at Cimarron Animal Hospital include: 

  • Complete Physical Exam
  • Complete Blood Count
  • Diagnostic Chemistry
  • Urinalysis
  • Pancreatitis Screen
  • Cardiac Screen
  • Thyroid Screen
  • Diabetes Screen
  • Nutritional Counseling
  • Weight Management
  • Pain Management (arthritis is common in both cats and dogs!)
  • Preliminary Arthritis Screening option

During September, Cimarron celebrates Seniors by offering this Senior Screening program at a 15% discount!* This early detection system will increase the quality of your pet’s life by making the “Golden Years” Happier and Healthier.

* Includes Comprehensive Exam, Senior Wellness Lab Tests and Arthritis Screening Radiographs

Dogs can develop painful conditions over time.  My clients often say that they don’t believe that their dogs are in pain “because they aren’t whining, and they are eating and drinking fine.”  While it’s true that some of our house dogs are very communicative and will whine or cry out when they are injured,  most dogs don’t “say” anything when pain develops slowly over time.  They just carry forth, bravely, to please their masters, until the pain is too much to bear.  Then they will show their discomfort in subtle ways.

Arthritis and Dental disease are common causes of chronic pain in dogs.


Dogs have variable pain tolerances, just like people.  Some will limp with the tiniest bit of discomfort, while most dogs will just


  • Shift their weight off a sore limb
  • Lick a painful area excessively
  • Avoid jumping up on furniture or into the car
  • Decrease their activity
  • Walk with a stiff or stilted gait
  • Get up slowly and carefully
  • Muscle loss in the painful limb
  • Have an abnormal sway at the hip

If you notice your dog showing any of these signs, don’t make excuses for them!  It’s not “just old age”, it’s a disease of old age, that can be treated!  Dogs rarely have to be euthanized “because she can’t walk” any more!  We have terrific medications that can keep your pet comfortable and active through her senior years!  Please visit your veterinarian for an Arthritis Screen (and probably radiographs) to determine whether your pet’s lifestyle could be improved with arthritis treatments!

(CAUTION: There are a number of conditions that can look like arthritis pain, but are not – like heart disease, for one.  These conditions are also treatable, but can’t be dismissed as “he just has arthritis”.  Pain medication and joint supplements won’t help and you may be sacrificing years with your pet by ignoring a condition or treating it improperly.  ASK for the Arthritis Screen radiographs to confirm that you and your vet are, indeed, treating arthritis signs!)

Personal Experience: My Giant (90#) niece dog injured her knee when she was middle-aged.  By age 9, she was pretty lame.  She did really well with a single medication for 3 years!  She was still able to run with her kids and chase the local wildlife!  When that wasn’t enough, her parents gave her some additional medication and bought her another year of comfort and tail wagging happiness.  We lost her cancer– completely unrelated to her arthritis, because she was able to be with us long enough to get cancer, because we kept her happy and active until she was 14!  That’s a big improvement over survival times of giant breed dogs 10 years ago, before medications were readily available for dogs!


Signs of dental pain commonly seen include:


  • Eating on one side of the mouth
  • Dropping food while eating
  • Eating food whole, when she used to be a chewer
  • Refusing dry food/ getting “finicky”
  • Lip smacking/ licking
  • RARELY: Decreased appetite, weight loss

Your veterinarian’s oral exam may uncover some conditions.  Often there can be painful disease under the gum line that can only be identified with oral radiographs.  Choose a vet who offers dental radiographs (anesthesia is required in pets) for your pet’s oral / dental care!  Because many dogs are quite stoic and will continue to eat despite aggregious dental disease, a dental check up with dental radiographs and a cleaning are the best way to keep your pet’s mouth and whole body healthier for years!  Best way to “buy” years of companionship!