Pet First Animal Hospital

2212 53 Avenue East
Bradenton, FL 34203


Welcome to our blog!  Here you can view helpful veterinary care, tips, and veterinary information.  Updated monthly!

The 411 on Fleas - 06/29/2017

Fleas are tiny non-flying parasites that do not physically enter the body.  Fleas survive by living off of the blood of their mammal and bird hosts.  Fleas tend to be more prominent during the summer because they like warm temperatures and high humidity.  It’s easy to spot a flea by their brown, tiny bodies, and they can jump surprisingly far due to their tiny, yet powerful back legs.  

The thing is, once you find one flea either on your pet or in your home, you probably already have an infestation.  As if that’s not bad enough, your pet is already suffering because they get so itchy from their bites.  If your pet is allergic or exceedingly hypersensitive to their bites, the itchiness can be very harsh and can result in medical problems such as alopecia, irritation and tenderness, and secondary skin conditions.  In acute cases, your four legged friend could also be immune sensitive to the flea saliva and have itchiness all over the body from just one tiny bite.

There are also flea baths available as an alternative, but they aren’t right for every pet.  If you are thinking about a flea bath, consider how they are done first.  Your pet will need to be able to endure being soaking wet, soapy and sudsy for ten minutes, because that is how long it takes for the shampoo to do its job of killing the fleas.  After a bath, you’ll need a flea comb to actually remove the dead fleas after killing them.

Killing the fleas on your pet is only half the battle.  And remember, if you have multiple pets, it’s very likely they are all infested since fleas do have those powerful hind legs to help them jump long distances from pet to pet.  You will also need to treat your home, inside and out!

To treat the inside of your home, you’ll need to wash all bedding in hot soapy water, all carpet should be vacuumed (and if your vacuum has a vacuum bag, make sure to throw it away!).  Next you’ll need to steam clean your carpets.  All of this sounds fun and inexpensive, right?!

After steam cleaning, you should probably fog the inside to make sure to kill all of the potential remaining fleas.  After all, you don’t want to risk a new infestation.  Since your dog and some cats go outside, you will also need to spray chemicals specifically targeted for fleas in your yard as well.

When you come in for an appointment to see Dr. Taylor for your pet’s flea problems, he will give you some guidance on the best ways to tackle the problem and you’ll be able to leave with some flea treatments to get started on eliminating the fleas right away.

Fleas are annoying and persistent.  There is no instantaneous way to get rid of them either.  The good news is, there are pills and topical chemical treatments that are available that work fast and are sold right here at Pet First Animal Hospital.  John Taylor, DVM highly recommends these to kill fleas on your pets.  To find out which pill or topical treatment is best for your pet, schedule an appointment right away with Dr. Taylor to start getting rid of those pesky fleas immediately.

The moral of the story here is, if you just give your pet a flea treatment either orally or topically once per month, on time, you won’t have to worry about infestations.  It’s better to prevent an infestation than to try and get rid of one. To find out more information and to schedule an appointment with John Taylor, DVM at Pet First Animal Hospital, please contact us at (941) 753-2995 or by email at

Tips on Introducing a New Cat to a Home with a Current Cat - 05/30/2017

So you’ve made the decision to adopt or foster another cat.  First off, how exciting and congratulations!  Before you actually bring the new cat home, there are some useful tips that you should consider trying to make the process as smooth as possible for your new cat and your current cat.  Cats are naturally territorial animals, so more than likely they will not particularly like each other’s company at first. This is to be expected, but don’t let it discourage you from adopting another cat. All you need is persistence, patience, and supervision.  With that being said, here are some tips to help you get through the process of introducing a new cat to a home with a current cat:

·         On the first day, you should already have a small room such as a bathroom or office set up for your new cat.  Your new cat will spend about a week or so in the bathroom and excluded from the rest of the house and your current cat.  This is so that your new cat can become comfortable with his or her new house, and also so that both cats can become familiar with each other’s smells.  In the small room that you have set up for your new cat, you’ll need the essentials (a litter box, food, and water), along with a bed or soft blanket, perhaps a scratching post, and several toys.  Spend as much time as you can with your new cat…but don’t forget about your current cat. Make sure you spend time with your current cat so that he or she knows you still care!

·         After several days to a week have passed, you can put each cat’s food bowls near (but not up against) the door where the new cat is temporarily housed.  This way, the cats can both do something they enjoy (eating!) with each other’s smell close by.  Try this for a few days, and gradually move the food bowls very close to either side of the door.

·         Another great method to try would be to tie a toy to both ends of a string and allow the cats to play with the toy on either side of the door.  This is another pleasurable experience that they can do together, even if there is a door separating them.

·         After this seems to be going well, go ahead and let your new cat roam the main parts of the house (living room, kitchen, dining room) while your current cat stays in the small room you had separated for your new cat.  Again, this will help with each cat being able to become better acclimated to each other’s scent.  You can do this a couple of times per day for a few days.  

·         Once this seems to be going well, go ahead and introduce the cats in the same room.  It is advised to do this introduction in a larger room of the house, and at opposite ends of the room.  You should expect some hissing.  If either cat shows any signs of aggression such as flat ears, spitting, or attacking, do something to “break up the fight”, but…and this is VERY important…you do not want to personally break up any cat fight or interact with a cat that is showing signs of aggression because you will more than likely get bit or scratched! If the cats do end up showing signs of aggression, go ahead and throw a soft pillow next to them or clap your hands loudly to startle them off and separate themselves from each other.   Just keep trying this technique of introducing them to each other in the large room until things are going smoothly.

·         Make sure that each cat has their own litter box, and if you have room for an additional litter box, that would be ideal. Also make sure that each cat has their own food bowl.  

Your cats may never fully like each other, but they can learn to tolerate each other’s presence and accept the fact that they have to live together.  However, many cats do end up liking each other and you’ll be pleasantly surprised one day to find them curled up next to each other on the couch!  If you have any questions or concerns and feel as if the cats really aren’t acclimating to each other as well as they should, you should bring your cats in to see Dr. Taylor at Pet First Animal Hospital to rule out any medical conditions and discuss any alternative ways to help this process go smoother for you and your cats.  

(via - 05/02/2017


Choosing a Veterinarian - 04/24/2017

If you have recently adopted a pet or moved to a new area and already own a pet, you are going to need a veterinarian.  There are certain things that you can do to ensure that you are choosing the best veterinarian for your family pet.  Here are some helpful tips that you can use if you are in search of a new veterinarian:

·        Find a list of veterinarians that are AAHA accredited.  AAHA accredited veterinary hospitals are evaluated on approximately 900 standards of care in order to become accredited. AAHA accredited hospitals are known to be the best in the veterinary medicine, and are always on the cutting edge of breakthrough veterinary medicine.  You can search online for AAHA accredited veterinary practices by copying and pasting this link into your browser:

·        Check online reviews.  The most popular places to look for reviews are on Google +, Facebook and Yelp! If a practice has 70 positive reviews and only 3 negative reviews, you can probably feel confident that your experience will be positive as well.  Also, if you find a practice with only 3 reviews that are all mediocre, you will probably get mediocre service.  Read into the reviews to see what people are saying about the service and staff!

·        Get recommendations from your neighbors. Find out why they like the vet that they take their pet to.

·        Stop by the clinic that you are thinking about choosing. How does it smell?  Do you see any urine or feces on the ground?  What about hair collecting in corners?  Does the staff have clean uniforms?  Are staff members friendly and helpful when you walk in? Will they let you tour the facility? How does their property look?  Are the grounds well kept?  Are you able to meet the veterinarian? (You might have to schedule an appointment to meet the veterinarian though, since their schedules are typically pretty busy).  How long has the practice been in business?  What is the veterinarian’s specialty?

·        Find out if the veterinary practice has financing options. Ask if they accept CareCredit, or other healthcare credit cards.  There could be a point in time where you have an unexpected veterinary emergency that will be costly.  Different veterinary practices offer different financing options, but at Pet First Animal Hospital, we offer CareCredit with 18 months no interest on services/products totaling over $200.  This is very helpful to many of our clients.

·        Is boarding offered?  This might be particularly important if you travel a lot.

·        What about grooming?  If you have a breed that is high maintenance, this could be important to you.

·        Does the practice offer estimates?  It’s always nice to know what you could be getting into, and know that you have options, especially regarding costly major medical procedures.

Although it’s always nice to have some guidelines to go by, always trust your instincts.  If it feels right, it probably is!  If you have any questions, or know of a new neighbor who might need a veterinarian in Bradenton, Florida, please refer them to Dr. John E. Taylor at Pet First Animal Hospital.  We do have an awesome referral rewards program for clients who send their friends and family to us!

(via - 04/06/2017


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