Traveling With Your Pet

School is out and summer is officially right around the corner!  And for many people, that means summer vacation.  Whether you’re traveling hundreds of miles from home or just going up the road a bit, there are a few things to consider before taking your pet with you on summer vacation.

First, make sure your pet likes to travel and is allowed where you’re going.  If not, find a good boarding facility or a reliable pet-sitter.  Second, make sure your pet is up to date on vaccinations.  This will help protect them from diseases spread by wildlife or unvaccinated dogs or cats they may encounter.  Next, ensure that your pet’s ID tag and microchip information are current; including several phone numbers and the city you are from can increase the likelihood your pet is returned to you in the event they become lost.

If you plan to cross state lines or international borders with your pet, he or she will likely need a health certificate.  This health certificate must be signed by an accredited veterinarian after he or she examines your pet.  Lastly, keep your pet up to date on heartworm and flea/tick prevention.  While your pet is susceptible to diseases spread by mosquitos, fleas and ticks year-round, summer is prime time for these insects and arachnids!

For more information on the above suggestions, call your local veterinarian and visit https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Traveling-with-Your-Pet-FAQs.aspx

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Atopy- Allergic Inhalant Dermatits

My dog is biting and chewing and smells like a dirty tennis shoe! What is going on? The short answer is allergies. Instead of getting itchy, runny eyes, a runny nose and sneezing like we get with allergies, your dog will develop other signs.

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These signs will vary with the season and what your dog is allergic to. However, pets that are allergic to house dust mites, food, or other indoor allergens can have trouble year round.

We can diagnose what your pet is allergic to with a blood test that checks both inhalant and food allergens. This will help you with avoidance which is the first step in treatment. Allergy testing will also enable you to desensitize your pet with allergy serum injections or oral medicine.

Other treatments include antihistamines, fatty acid supplements, medicated shampoos, steroids, Apoquel, and Cytopoint. So, if your pet is itching, licking, and smells like an old tennis shoe, give us a call and we will help!

Torn or Ruptured ACL – Not Just an Injury for Athletes!

Sports news is full of stories of athletes facing surgery to repair a torn or ruptured ACL. But, did you know it’s one of the most common causes of rear leg lameness in dogs?

A torn or ruptured cranial (anterior) cruciate ligament can occur when a dog jumps down off an object (furniture, from a vehicle, deck, etc.), steps in a hole, or tries to stop suddenly. He/she will become suddenly lame, but may toe-touch when trying to walk slowly or stand.

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The injury can be diagnosed on a physical exam by performing an Anterior Drawer Test or Tibial Thrust Test. A positive test results in a discussion of the four (4) different surgical options, and a determination of the best course of action.

If your pet becomes lame, please schedule an appointment with us for a physical. We can plan a course of action to get him/her back on all four legs!

“Dental Disease Is More Than Bad Breath”

As veterinary dental month comes to a close, the focus of our pet’s dental health should not decline. Dental disease is more than bad breath and tartar on the teeth and can have a great impact on your pet’s overall health.

Periodontal disease is the most common clinical illness our adult pets face. Periodontal disease is the infection and inflammation of the structures that support the tooth within the jaw. Periodontal disease begins with the formation of tartar on the teeth, as the tartar gets under the gum line the damage to the tooth structure begins. Some of the early signs include bad breath, gingivitis (redness of the gum) and bleeding of the gums. If left untreated periodontal disease can lead to loose and painful teeth, tooth root abscess, or osteomyelitis (infection of the bone).

Periodontal disease can be difficult for pet parents to recognize in the early stages. Early signs may include bad breath and possibly loose teeth. Since our pets can’t tell us when a tooth hurts only a thorough oral exam can diagnose early stages of periodontal disease. Your veterinarian should examine your dog’s teeth during their annual examination. In addition, your veterinarian may recommend a thorough oral exam under general anesthesia including cleaning all of the teeth and taking dental x-rays to allow for the early detection and treatment of periodontal disease.

Most human dentists recommend that you have your teeth cleaned and examined twice a year and have dental x-rays completed once a year, and we brush our teeth twice a day! So the next time you visit your veterinarian ask about your pet’s dental health and what can be done to keep your pet’s teeth healthy and pain-free.

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 Resource:  American Veterinary Dental College

By: Dr. Andy Mack

‘Weight. I’m fat?!’

Data from Nationwide reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the seventh straight year. Here are the top 10 obesity-related conditions our portly pets are suffering from.

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Last year brought some heavy news for pets—and their health. In a press release Nationwide reports that its members filed 1.4 million pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to obesity—racking up more than $62 million in veterinary expenses. And obesity-related claims swelled 24 percent over the last four years.

Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 630,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 most common dog and cat obesity-related conditions. Here are the weighty results:

In 2016, Nationwide reports that it received more than 51,000 pet insurance claims for osteoarthritis in portly pooches—the most common disease aggravated by excessive weight—and the average treatment fee was $310 per pet. Cystitis, the most common obesity-related condition in less-than-svelte kitties, garnered more than 5,000 pet insurance claims, with an average treatment cost of $443 per pet.

 

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Jan 26, 2018
By dvm360.com staff

The Truth About Grain-Free Diets

Grain-free diets have become increasingly popular within the pet food industry in recent years.  Clever marketing has lead us to believe that going grain-free is more natural for our dogs and cats and can result in fewer food allergies.  But is this true?  How can we know if our pet would benefit from a grain-free diet?

The first thing to know is that there is no evidence to support the claim that grains are harmful to our pets.  Quite the opposite, in fact!  Just like for humans, many grains – particularly whole grains – contain nutrients (vitamins, minerals, proteins, etc.) that are beneficial to dogs and cats.  Okay, but what about allergies?  Grains, especially corn, cause allergies in dogs, right?

Actually, no.  Or at least, very rarely.  Food-related allergies are one of the least common allergies in dogs, and in most cases, it is the animal protein to which dogs are allergic.  Even more rare in dogs are gluten allergies/sensitivities.  Two ways to know if your pet has a food allergy are allergy testing through a laboratory such as Spectrum Labs and performing a food trial.  So, next time you visit the store, look for pet foods that emphasize high-quality nutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, minerals) more than the ingredient list.

-Dr. Amanda Wagner

References:

Grain-free diets: big on marketing, small on truth. Cummings Veterinary Medical Center at Tufts University. http://vetnutrition.tufts.edu/2016/06/grain-free-diets-big-on-marketing-small-on-truth. Published June 14, 2016. Accessed January 31, 2018.

 

Myths and Misconceptions Surrounding Pet Foods. The Ohio State Veterinary Medical Center. https://vet.osu.edu/vmc/companion/our-services/nutrition-support-service/myths-and-misconceptions-surrounding-pet-foods. Accessed January 31, 2018.

 

Spectrum Labs. http://www.vetallergy.com Accessed January 31, 2018.

 

Fire Safety Tips for Pets

Fire Safety

1. Place a pet alert sticker in the window of your home.

Include how many pets are in the home, what types, and any important information for locating them.

2. Keep pets near entrances when away from home.

This will make it easier for firefighters to find them. Make sure collars and leashes are easily accessible.

3. Include pets in your escape plan.

Create an escape plan and practice it regularly. Someone will need to be in charge of getting your pet out of the house if there is reasonable time to do so. 

4. Have your pet microchipped and keep tags up to date.

In the event your pet is able to escape, this will make it easier to find him or her after the fire. 

5. Do a fire prevention scan of your home.

Inquisitive pets can start fires. Never leave open flames unattended, consider removing stove knobs, and invest in flameless candles.