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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“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