We both want healthy animals. Here are some tips to ensure your pet is healthy, happy and strong.
Posted on Thursday, May 09 '13
Pet Pointer: The Truth About The Deadly Disease- Heartworm Infestation
There is only one drug that is approved for treatment of heartworm disease. The drug is expensive and only produced in limited quantities. The disease is life threatening and dogs in Texas not on heartworm prevention are at high risk of contracting the disease.
- Indoor pets are just as at risk as outdoor pets
- Pets may not show signs until late in the course of heartworm disease.
- Heartworms in dogs are easy to prevent, but difficult and costly to cure
- Dogs are infected only by the bite of an infected mosquito. There is no other way dogs get heartworms.
- There is no way to tell if a mosquito is infected. Testing your dog annually is the only way to detect if your pet is infected with the deadly disease!
- Heartworm disease has been reported in all 50 states.
- The bite of just one mosquito infected with the heartworm larvae will give your dog heartworm disease.
- Pets that live in Texas should be on heartworm preventive Spring, Summer, Fall and WINTER- not just in the summer.
- For less than the cost of going to Starbucks for a weekly coffee, you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog.
Posted on Thursday, April 11 '13
Pet Pointer: Keep Rat/mouse Baits Out of the Reach of Pets
Rat bait toxicity is one of the most common forms of poisoning we see in our animal ER. Rodents are always a problem in Texas, but especially during the warm months. There are 3 different types of rat poison available for over-the-counter use, and many of us routinely use them. All 3 types are toxic to pets, so if you use them, please make sure you set them in a place that your pet can’t get to.
The most common type of rat poison is the type that affects the body’s ability to properly clot blood, so these patients show signs of bleeding. Another type of rat poison alters vitamin D metabolism, which causes calcium to accumulate in the blood stream in dangerously high levels. If diagnosed early enough, poisoning with this type of product can be treated, but requires several days of intensive care in the hospital.
The third type of rat bait affects the central nervous system and causes seizures. There is no antidote for this type, and treatment is directed to controlling seizures. Again, this requires hospital treatment.
If your pet ingests any type of rat poison, contact us as soon as possible. BRING THE BOX OF RAT BAIT WITH YOU, so that it can be determined what the active ingredients are to ensure proper treatment. Pet owners will often place rat baits in areas THEY THINK are not accessible by their pet, only to find out that their pet has dug, or burrowed or wiggled their way through the barricades, shelves or barriers to find and consume the rat bait.
Posted on Thursday, March 07 '13
Pet Pointer: Avoiding Pet Medication Mistakes
If your pet is taking a prescription medication- mistakes can be made. It is important to talk to your veterinarian to make sure your pet receives the proper medication and dosage. Your doctor won’t mind at all if you ask lots of questions. It is important that there is not any confusion about your pet’s medications.
When starting a new medication
* Find out the name of the drug, and how it works. * How much and how often should you give the medication? * Should it be given with food? * Should it be refrigerated? * What should you do if you miss a dose? * What side effects should you watch for? * Find out if you should give all the medication if your pet is better.
When storing your pet’s medication
* Keep separate from your own medication. * Store in a cupboard away from your pet (you would be amazed how often we hear that the bottle was chewed up). * Keep the medication in its original container. * Don’t give your pet human medication unless directed by your veterinarian.
Make sure your veterinarian knows
* Any medications your pet is allergic to. * A list of medications, vitamins, supplements your pet is presently on.
Posted on Thursday, December 20 '12
Pet Pointer: 10 Subtle Signs of Sickness in Cats
Cats are unique in that they are masters at hiding illness.
Illness and physical pain may only be recognized as a change in behavior. It is important for you to be aware of your cat's normal routine and behavior, and identify even subtle changes in behavior. There are many illnesses that can be treated if caught in an early stage.
Subtle Signs of Illness in cats Include:
*Unexplained weight loss or gain *Changes in grooming *Changes in your cat's activity *Inappropriate urination/ elimination behavior or litter box use *Changes in sleeping habits *Bad breath *Changes in vocalization *Signs of stress *Changes in interaction *Changes in food and/or water consumption
Posted on Wednesday, October 10 '12
Pet Pointer: Jerky Treats from China LInked with Canine Illness
The FDA has received more than 2000 complaints in the past 5 years for illnesses in dogs after eating chicken, duck and sweet potato jerky treats made in China. There has been an increase number of complaints with 50% of the complaints occurring in 2012. Over half of the adverse effects seen after consumption include problems such as vomiting and diarrhea. About a third of the dogs developed kidney problems and the remainder developed more serious problems such as liver, neurologic and blood disorders.
In response to persistent complaints the FDA issued a preliminary animal health notification in late 2008, and a cautionary update in November 2011. The FDA has performed extensive testing to rule out contaminants, but so far no contamination has been discovered.
Two thousand complaints is a small number considering that over the past 5 years it has been estimated the treats have been fed to 15 million pets. But, If your dog experiences any problems after eating jerky treats from China, take your pet to the veterinarian and save the package of treats for potential testing. The FDA is looking for more information concerning any adverse reactions after eating the treats.
Posted on Friday, May 18 '12
Pet Pointer: Tips for Avoiding Heatstroke in Your Pet
Walk your dog early in the morning, evenings are too hot
Avoid walks and other outdoor activities for the overweight dog, older dog and bracheocephalic breeds (dogs with squashed in faces)
Don’t allow your dog to ride in the back of the pick-up truck
Never tie your dog up in the yard
Make sure your yard has shade and adequate water
Supply large amounts of water
Never leave your dog in the car, even for a few minutes
Remember that strictly Indoor dogs may not be able to tolerate any extended time outside, keep them indoors
Monitor your pet outdoors if your pet is a at risk breed or has conditions that put it at risk
Consider a wading pool filled with water for the outdoor dog
Posted on Thursday, April 19 '12
Pet Pointer: Removing Skunk Odor From Your Pet
If your pet is sprayed by a skunk, try this recipe for getting rid of skunk smell.
1 quart of 3% HYDROGEN PEROXIDE. Use fresh, unopened hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen Peroxide eventually turns into water after it’s been opened for a while. ¼ cup BAKING SODA 1 teaspoon of LIQUID SOAP
Combine ingredients in an OPEN container. It will explode if stored in a sealed bottle.
Using gloves, wash dog with lukewarm water and the mixture while the mixture is bubbling. Work well into the fur, being sure to concentrate on the area that was sprayed.
KEEP THE MIXTURE AWAY FROM THE PET’S FACE AND EYES. If pet was sprayed in the face, try any over-the-counter douche.
Let the mixture stand for 10 minutes before rinsing off.
Rinse thoroughly, and repeat if necessary.
You may also substitute vinegar for hydrogen peroxide
Posted on Friday, December 09 '11
Pet Pointer: Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (Feline Aids Virus)
The Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) poses no public health threats because the virus is species-specific, affecting only cats. The major cause of transmission in cats is through bite wounds although there is evidence that FIV can be transmitted casually among cats who live together in close proximity.
Queens that become infected during gestation may transmit the virus either in utero (while kittens are in the uterus) or later via nursing. Free roaming outdoor cats, especially the males, are at the highest risk for infection.
The acute phase can last for several days to many weeks. Symptoms include possible fever, depression, lethargy, GI symptoms, possible gum and/or mouth infections and enlarged lymph nodes. In some cats, the acute phase is undetected.
Cats who are asymptomatic are clinically free of the disease but are carrriers of the virus, and act as a source of infection for other cats. This stage is known to last for at least 6 to 10 years.
The terminal phase is reflective of a general wasting syndrome, cancer or opportunistic infections. Terminal signs include weight loss, persistent diarrhea, gum disease, infections of the mouth, chronic respiratory disease, enlarged lymph nodes and chronic disease.
Antibody tests are available to test for the presence of FIV-specific antibody, but rest results must be evaluated by the veterinarian depending upon the type of test, symptoms, history, etc.
Treatment is supportive, primarily directed to the management of complications related to FIV infection. At this time there is no specific antiviral treatment for FIV
An FIV vaccine exists, but the efficacy of the vaccine is still under investigation. We do not recommend vaccination at I-20 Animal Medical Center at this time. The best form of protection is to keep your cat indoors. If you bring a new cat into the household, always test for FIV and Feline Leukemia prior to introducing to your other cats.
Posted on Friday, December 09 '11
Pet Pointer: Osteoarthritis
You may have noticed that as your larger breed of dog gets beyond the age of 6 or so, he or she may start to have progressive difficulty standing, their back legs may start to look thinner, and they just aren’t as playful or active. Certain breeds of dogs (Retrievers, Rottweilers, and Shepards especially) can have hips and elbows that may not properly form as puppies; over time, joint inflammation that stems from structural instability and weight gain will exacerbate the pain of arthritis. Arthritis can occur in any size dog or cat however. Although arthritis is not curable, just as with humans, drugs which help with pain and inflammation (NSAIDS) and supplements which help to lubricate joints, will vastly improve the quality of life. As with all drugs, NSAIDS may have side effects, but with proper monitoring of liver and kidney function via scheduled labwork and exams, these can be minimized. Never give any human aspirin type medication without first consulting your veterinarian, as some that are fine for people can be quite toxic to pets.
Posted on Friday, December 09 '11
Pet Pointer: Don’t Forget to Give Heartworm Prevention
A recent Gallup survey found that almost half of dog owning households are not taking preventive measures to protect their dogs from heartworm disease.
An American Heartworm Society study also found that of those owners who opt for preventive pills given monthly, one in three missed a monthly dose.
Pet owners should give heartworm preventive year round in Texas. Mosquitoes are present in Texas, even winter months, so the general rule in Texas is: Never stop giving heartworm preventative.