Stop Parasites in Their Tracks!

As we welcome summer back, we unfortunately have to deal with all those pesky parasites again. Since your pet will probably be spending more time outdoors to enjoy the sunshine, it’s important to make sure they’re up-to-date on their annual vaccinations. Ticks, mosquitoes, and fleas are linked to many serious and potentially-fatal diseases, such as Lyme, heartworm, and dermatitis, and now that we’re seeing more ticks in the Windsor area, it’s even more critical to keep your pet protected.

0001_preventive_Clearwater

More on Lyme Disease 

With the recent tick epidemic in our area, we want you to be educated on the dangers of Lyme disease now, more than ever. Lyme is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the world, caused by a bacteria species that is transmitted by ticks. About 18 hours after an infected tick attaches itself to an animal, the disease begins to take effect. Ticks tend to thrive in areas with brush and tall grass, so always get in the habit of checking your pet for ticks after those strolls through the woods. Some of the most common symptoms of Lyme disease include lameness, lack of appetite, and depression. In more severe cases, the disease can result in kidney damage and even kidney failure.

Below is a list of other symptoms associated with Lyme disease:

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fever
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Stiffened walk with arched back

Parasite Prevention Options for Your Pet

Clearwater Animal Hospital offers a number of parasite control products to protect your pet from ticks and other parasites. These include tablet, topical, and injectable preventatives as well as sprays and collars. To provide your pet with the pest protection, we recommend that you keep your pet on a preventative product all year-round. Schedule an appointment today, and we’ll be glad to give you our product recommendations to keep your pet protected from parasites.

Clearwater Animal Hospital Offers Laser Therapy

SM_FB_AD_ClearwaterHave you heard of laser therapy? The veterinary team at Clearwater Animal Hospital utilizes this incredible state of the art therapy option to help with a variety of health conditions that our pet may experience. Laser therapy has been shown to reduce pain, minimize swelling, and decrease healing time, making it an ideal option for pet’s suffering from chronic painful conditions.

How Does Laser Therapy Work

Laser therapy, which has been in use for many years in human medicine, is a recent, exciting addition to the veterinary world. Laser therapy uses a beam of cold laser light to penetrate the injured tissue, stimulating the cells in the area to promote healing. We often use laser therapy in the following applications:

  • Allergies
  • Arthritis
  • Degenerative joint disease
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Inflammation
  • Post-surgical care
  • Trauma treatment
  • Wound treatment
  • …and more

If you are wondering whether your pet may be a candidate for laser therapy treatments, our veterinary team would love to talk with you about your options. We invite you to explore our laser therapy section on our veterinary services page to learn more, or contact us to schedule your pet’s laser therapy consultation with a member of our veterinary team.

HOW TO: Pill Your Cat

 Here is a “How To” video by Dr Jammu on how to successfully pill your cat at home. Steve was a very good boy for his first movie debut!

HOW TO: Place Cat In Carrier

 Here is another “How To” video on how to easily put your cat into their carrier to make it as easy on you and your kitty as possible, and so no one get scratched or stressed out! Steve is such a good sport!

Easter Dangers for Pets

As you’re putting up your Easter decorations or getting your Easter baskets ready, be sure to keep the following items away from your pet’s reach:

iStock_000016141071_Medium

Easter Lily (and related Lily plants): The Easter Lily is a common finding this time of year. This plant, and related plants in the lily family, are highly toxic to cats if ingested. Another spring flower often used in cut flower arrangements and daffodils are also toxic to cats.

Easter grass: Cats love anything that moves. This stuff moves easily in the breeze, makes interesting sounds, and, for some cats, it is simply irresistible and must be eaten.

Chocolate: This is more of a dog hazard, as many dogs have a sweet tooth, a great nose, and the determination to find chocolate — hidden or not. The toxic components in chocolate are theobromine and caffeine, and the level of toxicity is based on the type and quantity of chocolate consumed.

Xylitol: It is important to note that xylitol, an artificial sweetener used in many candies, chewing gums and baked goods, is potentially very toxic to dogs and ferrets.

If you suspect that your pet has ingested any of the items mentioned, please contact  us immediately.

 

Protect Your Pet During Winter and Cold Weather

Dog on a winter walk

Keep pets indoors and warm 

The best prescription for winter’s woes is to keep your dog or cat inside with you and your family. The happiest dogs are those who are taken out frequently for walks and exercise but kept inside the rest of the time.

 

Don’t leave pets outdoors when the temperature drops. 

During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, windchill can threaten a pet’s life. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.

 

Take precautions if your pet spends a lot of time outside

A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.

 

Help neighborhood outdoor cats 

If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give them a hand.

 

Give your pets plenty of food and water 

Pets who spend a lot of time outdoors need more food in the winter because keeping warm depletes energy. Routinely check your pet’s water dish to make certain the water is fresh and unfrozen. Use plastic food and water bowls; when the temperature is low, your pet’s tongue can stick and freeze to metal.

First walk in the snow

Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars 

Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.

 

Protect paws from salt 

The salt and other chemicals used to melt snow and ice can irritate the pads of your pet’s feet. Wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them and irritates his/her mouth.

 

Avoid antifreeze poisoning 

Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and keep antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. Coolants and antifreeze made with propylene glycol are less toxic to pets, wildlife and family.

 

Speak out if you see a pet left in the cold 

If you encounter a pet left in the cold, document what you see: the date, time, exact location and type of animal, plus as many details as possible. Video and photographic documentation (even a cell phone photo) will help bolster your case. Then contact your local animal control agency or county sheriff’s office and present your evidence. Take detailed notes regarding whom you speak with and when. Respectfully follow up in a few days if the situation has not been remedied.

 

 

SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/protect_pets_winter.html

 

Aging Dogs

489485339

How Do I Know When My Dog Is a “Senior”?

Most dogs enter their golden years between seven and 10 years of age, with large/giant breeds becoming seniors earlier than small breeds. Many breeds experience a graying of their coat as they age, particularly around the muzzle—but there are other, more subtle signs that your dog is aging.

Her hearing may not be as sharp as it once was, her fur may be thinner, and she may take a little longer to get up and out of bed in the mornings. It is also perfectly normal for an older dog to sleep more than he used to and to tire more quickly when playing. In healthy dogs, these changes occur slowly, over time, at a gradual pace that you probably won’t even notice.

How Often Should My Older Dog See the Vet?

It is important that dogs have an annual checkup or “wellness” visit with their vet. This is even more important as they age, so talk to your vet about whether such visits should become more frequent. ASPCA experts recommend that healthy senior dogs see the vet every six months. Make sure the exams are thorough—vets should listen to your dog’s heart and lungs, take their temperature and examine your dog’s skin, fur, ears, eyes, mouth, teeth and internal organs. They may also order routine screening tests for early detection of problems.

What Health Issues Are Common in Older Dogs?

There are many health issues more common to aging dogs, including:

  • kidney and liver disease
  • more frequent intestinal problems
  • prostate disease and testicular cancer
  • breast cancer and infected uterus
  • diabetes
  • arthritis and degenerative joint disease
  • cognitive problems

What Lifestyle Changes Will Help My Older Dog?

Dogs, especially older ones, tend to love routine. But for the sake of her health, your vet may recommend the following changes:

Aging animals undergo metabolic and body composition changes. Some of these are unavoidable, but others can be managed with diet. Dog foods formulated for seniors should be lower in fat, but not lower in protein (ask your vet for a recommendation).

Since smaller dogs live longer and don’t experience age-related changes as early as bigger dogs, size is used to determine when it’s time to feed your canine a senior diet: Small breeds/dogs weighing less than 20 pounds—7 years of age
Medium breeds/dogs weighing 21 to 50 pounds—7 years of age
Large breeds/dogs weighing 51 to 90 pounds—6 years of age
Giant breeds/dogs weighing 91 pounds or more—5 years of age

More frequent feedings are easier on a dog’s digestive system than one or two large meals a day.

Some vets feel that aging dogs benefit from the addition of dietary supplements, also known as “nutriceuticals.” Common nutriceuticals added to senior food formulas include glucosamine, omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene and extra vitamin C and vitamin E. Speak with your vet about whether your dog needs additional supplements for specific health issues.

What Can I Do to Make My Senior Dog More Comfortable?

– Older dogs are unable to regulate body temperature as effectively as young dogs, and should be kept warm, dry and indoors when not outside for exercise. Likewise, senior dogs are extra sensitive to heat and humidity. Please take precautions to protect them from conditions that could cause heatstroke.
– An arthritic pet may appreciate ramps in the home, extra blankets and an orthopedic bed.
– If your dog is losing his sight or hearing, remove obstacles and reduce his anxiety by keeping floors free of clutter.
– Regular tooth brushing (with special dog toothpaste, please) will help cut down on excessive plaque that can lead to a host of problems, but many senior dogs will require professional cleanings under general anesthesia.

What Symptoms Should I Be Concerned About in My Older Dog?

If you notice any unusual symptoms, please don’t wait for your regularly scheduled checkup to see your vet. Call right away. Symptoms to watch out for and promptly report include incontinence, lumps, constipation or diarrhea, shortness of breath, coughing, weakness, unusual discharges, changes in weight, appetite, urination or water intake, stiffness or limping, increased vocalization and uncharacteristic aggression or significant behavior change.

 

Soure: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/dog-care/aging

Clearwater Animal Hospital Custom Wellness Plans

Our Wellness Plans cover all of your pet’s preventative care, including their first year’s medical needs, including full vaccines, bloodwork, heartworm testing, nail trims and unlimited exams, all for an affordable monthly payment.

We offer plans that are custom depending on the type of pet you have, cat or dog, your pet’s age and if surgery is needed for your pet, such as spay, neuter or dental..

157653954 (2)

We also have wellness plans for kittens and puppies. We know that a kitten’s and puppy’s first year at the vet can be costly, so we decided to offer a wellness plan for them as well. Spaying and neutering at 6 months is also included, another expense you won’t have to worry about! Contact us today for more information about our custom wellness plans!

Car Sickness In Pets

Does your dog throw up in the car when you go for rides? He may be experiencing typical motion sickness, just like some people do. Motion sickness usually begins very shortly after starting the car ride. The dog will begin to drool and then vomit. It’s not serious, but certainly not something that we like to clean up! To solve the problem, first try acclimating the dog to car rides. Do this by simply putting him in the car for a few minutes each day without going anywhere. Then try just going down the driveway and back, and the next day going around the block. Gradually build up the distance and time the dog rides in the car.

188096361

Sometimes this will help to decrease the dog’s anxiety over riding in the car and may help to decrease vomiting. If that doesn’t work, there are some over-the-counter medications you can try. The medication will need to be given about an hour before the car ride. Ask your veterinarian for a recommendation as to what drug to try and the dosage for your pet.

 

(Never give any medications to your pet without your veterinarian’s advice!) These drugs are safe, with drowsiness usually the only major side effect. But since your dog isn’t driving the car, that shouldn’t be a problem! If over-the-counter drugs don’t work, your veterinarian may be able to suggest another method for curing the car sickness.

 

Source: http://www.aaha.org/pet_owner/pet_health_library/dog_care/general_health/car_sickness.aspx

 

Custom Wellness Plans for Your Pet

At Clearwater Animal Hospital, we offer custom wellness plans to fit all of your pet’s needs. By providing your pet with one of our wellness plans, not only will you be providing your pet with the veterinary care that he/she needs, but you will also be budgeting the care with affordable monthly payments. By doing this, you will also increase the likelihood that ailments and illnesses will be caught earlier, which should reduce the extent and cost of any treatment needed.

Our custom wellness plans depend on the type of pet you own. We have kitten services, for your feline’s first year, and adult services that cover between one and seven years old. We also offer services for your puppies first year and adult services that cover from one to seven years old.

With our custom wellness plans, your pet will receive routine preventive care, that includes laboratory testing for the most common worms found in dogs and cats, including roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Also included in our wellness plans is spaying and neutering, depending on your pet’s gender.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment, to determine which wellness plan is right for your pet.  (519) 250-7700