I see advertisements that tell me I can buy my pets drugs cheaper on the Internet, why should I purchase from my veterinarian?
Often times the medications being sold over the Internet are manufactured for use outside of the United States, as the quality control standards are of a lower requirement than those required in the United States. Dispensing medications to your pet with out a proper examination and sometimes necessary testing can prove to be fatal to the animal. Many drug manufacturers guarantee their products and effectiveness only if purchased from your pets veterinarian. For example, if your pet contracts heart worm disease and is being treated with medications purchased through a licensed veterinarian, the drug manufacturer will reimburse the pet owner for any veterinary bills. Lastly, if you consider hidden fees such as shipping, handling and insurance, the cost of medications are very similar to what you would pay buying directly from your veterinarian.
What should pet owners know about vaccinations?
What are today's most common disease threats for dogs?
- Parvovirus/Corona virus
- Para influenza
- Lyme disease
- Kennel Cough
What are today's most common disease threats for cats?
- Feline Leukemia Virus
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus
- Panleukopenia Virus
- Feline Calicivirus
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis
- Kennel Cough
Are vaccines safe?
How often should you vaccinate?
What are five easy steps to keep your cat healthy?
- Schedule a physical examination. During that time your vet will check a variety of things, such as ears, eyes, teeth and body condition. The heart and lungs will be examined along with checking for parasites and fleas. Your vet will also ensure your cat is eating properly.
- Have your cat tested for feline immunodeficiency virus and feline leukemia.
- Protect your cat from parasites and infectious diseases such as ear mites, fleas, ticks, mosquitoes and fecal parasites.
- Vaccinate and take preventive measures to guard against disease. Your vet will help you with those vaccinations and a time schedule.
- Spay/neuter your cat.
What is heart worm?
When a mosquito bites a dog infected with heart worms, the mosquito ingests first-stage heart worm larvae (immature heart worms). Once inside the mosquito, the first-stage larvae develop into ineffective larvae with in a few weeks. When such an “infected” mosquito bites a normal dog, the ineffective heart worm larvae are transferred to the normal dog, thus infecting it with heart worms.
Once inside the dog’s body, the worms migrate to the pulmonary arteries and heart where they can grow to as long as 14 inches. The mature heart worms begin producing larvae which then enters the dog’s bloodstream. The adult heart worms remain alive and can obstruct blood vessels, heart chambers and valves. This can cause serious problems with the lungs and other vital organs. Untreated heart worm disease is usually fatal.
The symptoms of heart worm infection include chronic cough, fatigue diminished appetite and weight loss. Unfortunately these signs often do not appear until the infection is severe.
The best way to prevent heart worm infection in your dog is to use heart worm preventative. There are several options to choose from:
- Heartguard Plus (ivermectin) Chew-able once a month tablet prevents Heart worm disease and controls roundworm and hookworm infections in dogs.
- Interceptor (Milbemycin Oxime) Once a month flavor tablet to prevent Heart worm disease, control adult hookworm infection and remove and control adult roundworms and whip worms.
- Proheart 6 Injectable is the newest heart worm prevention. This is an injection which last for 6 months.
As indicated above heart worm preventatives are often given monthly, starting 30 days prior to and ending 30 days after the mosquito season. The mosquito season in this region usually last from May through August or September. A common regime is to start your dog on heart worm preventative in April and continue through September or October. Dogs may also be kept on the medication year round for convenience. Dogs that travel south during the fall or winter need to remain on heart worm preventative year round.
Dogs that have never used heart worm preventative must be tested for heart worm larvae prior to being placed on heart worm preventative. A blood sample is drawn in the office. Consult with your veterinarian to learn more or contact us at the phone number or email address listed below.
Tell me about fleas and my pet
Did you know that starting flea control in the spring is the best defense against summertime fleas?
Fleas are small, brown or black, wingless insects with flattened bodies. Several types of fleas infest the hair coats of animals, and some may occasionally feed on people. These bloodsucking insects cause considerable irritation and distress to infested pets. Severe infestations may lead to anemia from blood loss. Fleas spread the common dog and cat tapeworm, and carry several viral and bacterial diseases. Flea bites also cause skin allergies, rashes and sores on both pets and their owners.
The best place to look for fleas on your pet are the hindquarters, base of the tail, stomach and groin regions. Sometimes no fleas are found but only tiny, black granules that resemble black pepper. This material is flea feces and consists of digested blood (“blood crumbs”). To distinguish this material from dirt, smudge it on white paper or add a drop of water to it. If you see a reddish-brown color, your pet has fleas, even if you can find none.
Life Cycle: After taking a blood meal, fleas drop off the animal and deposit their eggs in cracks, crevices and carpeting. A single breeding pair of fleas may produce 20,000 fleas in 3 months. Eggs hatch after 2 – 12 day into larvae that feed in the environment. Larvae molt 2 times with 2 – 200 days and the older larvae spin a cocoon in which they remain for 1 week to 1 year. The long period during which the larvae remain in the cocoon explains why fleas are difficult to eradicate from the environment. A hungry adult flea emerges from the cocoon.
Flea Control: There are many different products available to win the battle against fleas. To control or eradicate fleas, you must apply the flea treatment correctly and at proper intervals. All pets and the environment itself must be treated to effectively control or eradicate fleas.
Seasonal Tips for Pets
Are winter salt removal items a danger to my pet?
Snow removal products should be stored out of the reach of pets and small children as their toxicity varies considerably. Be sure to remove snow and salt from your pets paws, immediately. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.
Are pets at risk for frostbite?
Yes, pets can experience frostbite. Snow and salt should be removed from your pets paws. Frostbitten skin is red or gray and may slough. Apply warm, moist towels to thaw out frostbitten areas slowly until the skin appears flushed. Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible for further care.
Holiday Tips for Pets
Do you have any holiday safety tips for cats?
The holiday season is a time for celebration, but can also be a time of trouble for your family cat! Mistletoe and artificial snow are poisonous; Christmas ornament fragments can perforate the stomach; string, ribbon, and tinsel if swallowed may cause painful intestinal problems; frayed light cords cause shock or burns. Don’t spoil your holiday with a medical emergency.
Are there other Holiday dangers for my pet?
Plants and other items associated with the winter and holiday season can be toxic to your pets. What follows is a general guide. Please consult your veterinarian, animal poison control, and the manufacturer for specifics. Remember, the earlier you seek treatment, the better for your pet!
Low Toxicity – – – Holiday dangers
Poinsettia leaves/stems; balsam/pine/cedar/fir; angel hair (spun glass); Christmas tree preservatives; snow sprays/snow flock; tree ornaments; super glue; Styrofoam; icicles (tinsel); and crayons/paints.
Moderate Toxicity – – – Holiday dangers
Certain fireplace colors/salts; plastic model cement may be harmful. Moderate to high toxicity holly berries and leaves; bubbling lights (methylene chloride); snow scenes (may contain salmonella); aftershaves/perfumes/alcoholic beverages; and chocolate (dark is more toxic than milk).
Highly Toxicity – – – Holiday dangers
Mistletoe (especially berries); epoxy adhesives; and antifreeze. Please note that some items have special problems. For example, whereas angel hair is usually considered to be of low toxicity, it can irritate eyes, skin, and the gastrointestinal tract; the content of Christmas tree preservatives varies and often effects depend upon the amount ingested. Chocolate, of any type should never be given to a pet. Antifreeze deserves special mention because even a very small amount can be rapidly fatal to pets.
Do you have any suggestions for traveling with pets during the holidays?
If you plan to take your pet with you during holiday visits, make sure that your pet is welcome first (with all the activity, it may be better to board your pet or hire a pet sitter). Holiday treats, such as rich, fatty food scraps, bones from fish, pork and poultry, alcoholic beverages and chocolate, can be harmful or toxic to pets. Do not allow friends and relatives to give your pet special treats it could ruin everyone’s holiday (including your veterinarian’s). Do not allow pets to play with ribbons, yarn, or six-pack holders and don’t put ribbons or yarn around your pet’s neck. If you want to decorate your pet, invest in a holiday collar. These last for many years, are more attractive, and are a lot safer! Cover or tack down electrical cords.