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ANIMAL PRINT BLOG

 

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THE NEW SERESTO COLLAR REPELS FLEAS AND TICKS, IS WATER PROOF, AND LASTS 8 MONTHS - ASK US ABOUT IT !

 

 

Chicago veterinary practices have experienced a tremendous rise in the number of dogs experiencing respiratory diseases. These dogs are presenting with high fevers (103 to 105 degrees Fahrenheit), moderate to profound lethargy, nasal discharge, depressed appetites and labored respiration. These patients were suspected to have Canine Influenza caused by the Influenza virus H3N8 strain.

The virus can persist on toys, bedding, clothing, leashes and other objects for days. Regardless if they display illness or not, all dogs infected with the virus will shed the virus in their respiratory secretions for 14 days. People exposed to dogs with Canine Influenza should wash their hands and change their outer clothing to minimize the spread of this virus to other dogs.

A Canine Influenza (H3N8) vaccine exists and aids in reducing the shedding and severity of the infection.    Dogs that travel, who have contact with other dogs, frequent boarding or training facilities, or go to dog parks may benefit from this vaccine. Call us (609-720-0100) to see if your dog should get this vaccine.

If your pet is experiencing flu-like symptoms, like coughing, runny nose and lethargy, please contact us as soon as possible for medical advice. This disease can progress quickly and it is best to medically address it as soon as possible to increase your pet’s chance of a swift recovery.

Pet owners can follow these important steps to help keep their pet healthy:

  • Give pets sufficient exercise.
  • Make sure they have plenty of fresh, cool water at all times.
  • Make sure they get regular yearly checkups with their veterinarian, and are up to date on vaccines, especially rabies.
  • Get pets spayed or neutered at a young age!
  • Keep dogs on leashes when outside – another animal may be too much temptation.
  • Know how to perform CPR and provide basic first aid until veterinary care is available.
  • All dogs should be on heartworm preventatives year round.

Dogs’ noses act as sweat glands and can become wet as a means of discharging heat. In addition, nasal cavity discharge can accumulate on the nose. Clear discharge can occur with temperature changes and also with some allergies. Discolored discharges may indicate possible infection, neoplasia, foreign body or bleeding disorder in the nasal cavity and should be evaluated as soon as possible. A wet or a dry nose by itself is not necessarily a sign of illness!

 

 

1 in 3 pets goes missing during its lifetime, and without proper ID, 90% never return home.  Dogs may get loose and run away from home.  Pets can also escape during a car trip to the park, vet's office, or groomers. Occasionally a dog or cat might be stolen, or they get lost during moving to a new house. A microchip for dogs & cats gives the best protection with permanent ID that can never be removed or become impossible to read.

Microchipping is a simple procedure. We simply inject a chip , about the size of a grain of rice (12mm), beneath the surface of your pets skin between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine vaccination and takes only a few seconds. Most pets do not react at all! Some will feel a quick pinch.  No anesthetic is required. A microchip implantation takes just seconds in our clinic, and then your pet has permanent ID that will last its entire lifetime!

 

You will see new reminder items when our records show your pet is due for some diagnostic laboratory blood tests.  These tests fall into 4 categories:

1.Your pet's previous lab work (such as a pre-anesthetic profile associated with an routine surgical procedure, or bloodwork associated with an illness your pet endured), revealed a POSSIBLE problem.  You are being sent this reminder to alert you that it's time to recheck your pet's lab work, to verify that there IS or IS NOT a concern with your pet's internal health.  Abnormalities in lab work that commonly show up that need to be double-checked include elevated kidney values, elevated liver values, elevated white blood cell counts, depressed platelet counts, etc.  Rechecking your pet's lab work will indicate whether the abnormality has resolved, or will need to be managed in future.

2.Your pet has been diagnosed with a chronic medical ailment, such as diabetes or compromised kidney function, and the values need a routine recheck.  Blood tests are critical to proper management of your pet's chronic health problem. We want to insure your pet's comfort and longevity.

3.Your pet is on long-term anticonvulsant medications, such as phenobarbital or potassium bromide, or is on hormonal supplementation for hypo/hyperthyroidism, or is on a long-term Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory drug for chronic pain.  Serum anticonvulsant medication levels MUST be checked biannually, as well as a Complete Blood Count and a General Chemistry Panel.  If  the levels get too low, and therefore may be ineffective, your pet may start seizing again.  If the levels get too high, the anticonvulsant drug can become toxic and may induce the very seizures it is designed to prevent.  The only way to know if the dose of anticonvulsant is correct is to check the serum levels.  The only way to make sure the anticonvulsant isn't causing problems with your pet's internal organ function is to do blood work.  Pets on thyroid or other hormone supplements must also be checked periodically-if the dose is too low, your pet will receive no benefit and you will waste your time and money; if the dose is too high, your pet's health could be seriously harmed.  Non Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (known as NSAIDs) do a very good job of relieving pain and inflammation but they ALL can cause digestive upset,  liver, kidney and blood count changes.  Therefore, pets on long-term NSAIDs MUST have blood work done at least every 6 months.

4.Your pet is 7 years of age or older, and needs routine blood screens to verify normal internal organ health.  All senior pets (7 years +), and, especially geriatric pets (10 years +), should have their internal health assessed via blood work at least annually.  The earlier a developing problem is detected, the easier and less expensive it is to manage (Just like in people)!

Nassau Animal Hospital has in-house laboratory testing capabilities; we are able to process most of our patients' lab testing needs right here at our hospital.  This means fast turn-around, and accurate results for you, our client!

Please call or email us today, to discuss your pet's lab work needs, and get an appointment scheduled.

Periodontal Disease in Pets

Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats – by the time your pet is 3 years old, he or she will very likely have some early evidence of periodontal disease, which will worsen as your pet grows older if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Early detection and treatment are critical, because advanced periodontal disease can cause severe problems and pain for your pet. Periodontal disease doesn’t just affect your pet’s mouth. Other health problems found in association with periodontal disease include kidney, liver, and heart muscle changes. It starts with plaque that hardens into tartar. Tartar above the gumline can often easily be seen and removed, but plaque and tartar below the gumline is damaging and sets the stage for infection and damage to the jawbone and the tissues that connect the tooth to the jaw bone.

What can I do at home for my pet’s oral health?

Prevention of the most common oral disease in pets consists of frequent removal of the dental plaque and tartar that forms on teeth that are not kept clean. Regularly brushing your pet’s teeth is the single most effective thing you can do to keep their teeth healthy between dental cleanings, and may reduce the frequency or even eliminate the need for periodic dental cleaning. Daily brushing is best, but it’s not always possible and brushing several times a week can be effective. Most dogs accept brushing, but cats can be a bit more resistant

– patience and training are important.

Oral health in dogs and cats

Your pet’s teeth should be checked at least once a year for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. Some pets become irritable when they have dental problems, and any changes in your pet’s behavior should prompt a visit. Always be careful when evaluating your pet’s mouth, because a painful animal may bite. For more information, call or visit us in the office.

 

Cat skin and hair conditions may be the first sign of vitamin deficiency in felines. If your cat is deficient in Vitamin A, Vitamin B5, and/or biotin, its skin and hair can appear dull and graying, and hair loss can result. Vitamin deficiency in cats is not the only cause of cat skin and hair problems. Certain skin conditions can be caused by certain food sensitivities or allergic reactions to plants and pesticides. Fleas, mites, stress, parasites, diabetes, thyroid disorder or cancer can cause other cat skin and hair conditions. Most cat skin and hair conditions can be treated successfully through topical or oral antibiotics, diet changes, and a number of homeopathic treatments. Fortunately, most cat skin and hair conditions can be prevented. Inspecting the skin and hair at least once a week for outdoor cats and twice a month for indoor cats will alert any cat owner to differences and possible medical emergencies. Visually inspect the skin and hair of a short-hair cat as well as physically touching the skin to feel for any lumps. The same should be done with a longhair cat, except the hair needs to be parted with a comb in order to inspect it more thoroughly.

Contact our office to learn more about the different types of cat skin and hair conditions, treatment, and prevention.

You’re probably already aware of the risks posed by warm weather and leaving pets in hot cars, but did you know that cold weather also poses serious threats to your pets’ health?

Here are some tips to keep your pets safe during cold weather:

Winter wellness: Has your pet had his/her preventive care exam (wellness exam) yet? Cold weather may worsen some medical conditions such as arthritis. Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian at least once a year, and it’s as good a time as any to get him/her checked out to make sure (s)he is ready and as healthy as possible for cold weather.

Know the limits: Just like people, pets’ cold tolerance can vary from pet to pet based on their coat, body fat stores, activity level, and health. Be aware of your pet’s tolerance for cold weather, and adjust accordingly. You will probably need to shorten your dog’s walks in very cold weather to protect you both from weather-associated health risks. Arthritic and elderly pets may have more difficulty walking on snow and ice and may be more prone to slipping and falling. Long-haired or thick-coated dogs tend to be more cold-tolerant, but are still at risk in cold weather. Short-haired pets feel the cold faster because they have less protection, and short-legged pets may become cold faster because their bellies and bodies are more likely to come into contact with snow-covered ground. Pets with diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, or hormonal imbalances (such as Cushing’s disease) may have a harder time regulating their body temperature, and may be more susceptible to problems from temperature extremes. The same goes for very young and very old pets. If you need help determining your pet’s temperature limits, consult your veterinarian.

Stay at Home or Take With You

While you may want your pet with you on overnight trips, many pets don't enjoy being away from home. How do you know what's best for your pet? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Has she been on an airplane or long car ride before?
  • Does she enjoy traveling or does she get stressed or scared?
  • Will she enjoy the destination?
  • Will you be able to give her the time and the attention she needs while you're there?
  • Is she healthy enough to travel?

If the answer to any of the above is no, consider a trusted pet sitter or a boarding hotel.

Arriving with your pet

Wherever you're traveling to, it's a good idea to be sure your destination is pet-friendly, pet-proof and safe before letting your pet explore the exciting new location. Holiday plants like poinsettias, mistletoe and holly can be toxic to your pet. Holiday trees, ornaments, tinsel, electrical cords and ribbons can also be dangerous. Keepyour pet away from foods containing chocolate, grapes, macadamia nuts, onions or garlic. Also keep alcohol or caffeinated beverages out of reach. Make sure all household chemicals, such as antifreeze, are safely put out of reach should your pet be spending time in the garage.

Give your pet a chance to get used to his new surroundings. Keep a watchful eye on children and other pets that want to be friendly. Your pet still needs your attention, and reassurance that you won't leave him behind. Follow regular mealtimes and walks, provide lots of attention and make it a fun time for your pet, too. Having your best friend with you can make your holiday visit or vacation especially joyful.

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