Pet Care Tips

Your pet means the world to you, and their health and wellness means the world to us. That’s why it’s our goal to partner with you to keep your pet healthy for years to come.

From proper nutrition and grooming techniques to pet immunizations and more – here are some popular articles on pet health and wellness.


The Benefits of Multiple Pets

The More the Merrier!

You’re a pet lover so you already understand the many benefits of having furry family members. They bring joy, companionship and comfort to our lives every day. But did you know that multiple pets can enrich each others’ lives as well as yours?

With some exceptions, pets are generally happier in pairs. Two pets may entertain one another and learn from each other. Adding a dog or cat to a single pet household can help reduce the incidence of separation anxiety, which often arises from the fear of being left alone. An additional pet can also help revitalize an aging or older dog.

If you’re considering adding a new Pet to your family, here are some tips to help make a more successful transition.

1) Consider the type of pet that will make the best addition to your entire family. For instance, if you already have a cat and would like to add a dog to the family, consider a breed with a calmer temperament. If you’re adopting an older dog, consider one that has been raised with or is friendly toward cats.

2) Make sure all pets are healthy and current on their vaccinations and test negative for parasites.

3) Before bringing your new dog into your home, try introducing them on neutral territory, either at an unfamiliar park or in a neighbor’s yard where they are likely to be less territorial. Many shelters can set up a meet-and-greet between the pet you have and the one you are interested in adopting to make sure they are compatible.

4) Make sure to spend quality time with all pets, both reassuring your existing pet and bonding with your new pet. Make sure they get time alone with you as well as time together.

5) Give plenty of positive reinforcement for good behavior.

6) Considerations should also be given to additional investment in both time and costs associated with food, grooming, boarding and veterinary care.

7) The only thing better than one cat is two or three more!


Untreated Heartworm Disease Can Be Fatal

A tiny bite from just one mosquito is all it takes for the parasite to enter your pet’s body and bloodstream. Over time, heartworm larvae can grow into long worms that live in the heart and major vessels surrounding the heart. The heart muscles get weakened and the pet’s lungs slowly get obstructed. If left undetected or untreated, the worms can even cause sudden death. This is why heartworm preventives are important and should be administered year-round. Tablet or topical treatments are available for you to administer once a month, or the veterinarian can give your pet a preventive injection every six months. A yearly heartworm test and preventives are crucial for minimizing your pet’s risk of contracting this serious disease.

Symptoms

In the early stages of the disease, your pet might not show any symptoms. In fact, in most cases, a pet will show no initial signs of having the disease. But the development of a persistent cough, a reluctance to exercise, fatigue after light exercise and a decrease in appetite and weight can be indications that the disease is present. Cats’ symptoms of heartworm disease can include vomiting, rapid breathing and weight loss.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Following a heartworm test, your veterinarian will perform a complete blood count and urinalysis if your dog is diagnosed with the disease. The medication for treatment (immiticide) is used to kill adult heartworms and stop them from reproducing and involves multiple special injections by a veterinarian and strict exercise restriction. You will be instructed to limit your dog’s activity during treatment and keep its blood pressure and heartbeat low. Too many worms in the lungs can clog blood vessels and potentially cause death. In addition, routine blood work will be done by your veterinarian to monitor the progress. After treatment, year-round heartworm preventives will be recommended to prevent re-infection.

There is no approved treatment in the United States for heartworm disease in cats and so prevention of the disease is particularly crucial.


Atopy or Food Related Allergic Skin Disease

Atopy and food-related allergic skin disease are caused by reactions to inhaled, ingested, or absorbed "allergens" (pollen, mold spores, dust, dust mites, food, etc.). This is similar to "hay fever" in humans. However, instead of the sinus and nasal signs in humans, pets may manifest the disease as skin irritation that can include the entire skin surface and ear canals.

Allergic pets may constantly scratch and bite at the skin. Some may chew or lick at themselves until wounds form. Other signs include: rubbing, redness of the skin (especially on face and feet) ear infections or inflammation, hair loss, thickened or darkened skin may develop under the armpits, on the abdomen, inside the earflaps, or around the anus, the irritated skin can easily become infected by bacteria or yeast which already exist on normal skin.

These types of allergies are often diagnosed by a combination of symptoms, examination findings, history, and response to treatment. Specialized allergy testing will usually reveal what is causing the reaction, that can be helpful in treatment and reducing reoccurrence of the outbreaks.

Treatment may include numerous medications, special diets and topical skin treatments are available to reduce symptoms and discomfort.

Allergic skin disease can be difficult and frustrating to treat. For some pets, it becomes a recurrent problem that requires careful home care and compliance with all veterinary instructions for relief of symptoms.