Archive for the ‘Medical Updates’ Category

Have a healthy and happy holiday season – avoid these pet holiday hazards!

Monday, December 17th, 2018

The holidays should be full of good cheer, not stressful visits to the vet.  Don’t let a pet emergency ruin your holiday season.  Below are a list of holiday pet hazards to avoid this holiday season.

Adding a Heading Can Help!

Table scraps: Avoid feeding your pet table scraps during holiday celebrations.  Some foods can be toxic to pets, like chocolate, onions, garlic, raisins and grapes.  Other foods can be too rich for your pet and can lead to pancreatitis.  Any foods offered to pets outside of their normal diet have the potential to lead to indigestion, vomiting and diarrhea.

Yeast Dough: If you are baking bread this holiday season, make sure you let it rise out of reach of your pets.  If ingested it can cause painful gas, deadly bloat and even alcohol poisoning.

Xylitol:  Ingestion of xylitol, an artificial sweetener commonly found in chewing gum, candy and baked goods, can be life threatening to dogs.  Be sure to keep any xylitol containing products away from pets. (more…)

The truth about pet foods: Are pet food manufacturers tricking you?

Monday, November 19th, 2018

Pet food labels can be deceiving

Most misconceptions and myths about pet foods arise from difficult to understand pet food labels and marketing efforts. There are very few regulations on pet food labeling practices, which makes informed decisions about pet foods even more challenging.  It is important to base decisions about pet foods on scientific research and nutritional expertise and not entertaining websites and buzz words.

What should you look for on a pet food label?

The most important thing you need to look for on a pet food label is the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) statement. (more…)

One of the most common reasons for visits to the animal hospital is gastrointestinal abnormalities

Sunday, October 28th, 2018

Did you know that that one of the most common reasons that pet owners visit an animal hospital is because of gastrointestinal issues?

Does your dog or cat have episodic loose stools? Is it difficult for you to pick it up on your walks or in the yard? Does your pet vomit with any degree of regularity?  If you answered yes to any of these questions we can help.

Dogs and cats should not be having loose stools or vomiting with any degree of regularity, since they are frequently eating the same diet every day. Certainly, young puppies and some dogs in early adolescence are less discriminate about their dietary habits and may develop very episodic gastrointestinal distress. (more…)

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018

Are grain-free pet diets dangerous? 

The FDA reports a possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease in dogs.

GRAIN-FREE! NO BYPRODUCTS! ORGANIC! HIGH PROTEIN! RAW FOOD! HOME COOKED DIET!

There are a lot of buzz words when it comes to pet foods.  But what does it all mean?  There are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there about what to feed our pets.  Unfortunately, we are discovering that there may be some dangerous consequences to these hyped up food trends.

The FDA reports a possible link between grain-free diets and heart disease.

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Right pawed or left pawed? Which is your pet’s preference?

Monday, August 6th, 2018

Is your cat or dog left-handed or right-handed? What can that tell you about his or her behavior and health?

Our handedness is a part of our identity.  For those of you lefties who make up approximately 10% of the population, your handedness can be a point of pride and a source of frustration, having to live in a world designed for right-handed people.  It is suggested that your handedness may even be linked to certain personality traits.  But have you ever thought about whether your furry friends might have a paw preference?  And if so, could there be a link to certain personality traits or health implications?

How do you know if your pet has a paw preference?

There are a number of tests that can give you a sense of whether your pet may have a paw preference.  It is best to track paw preference over time to determine if there is a strong bias.  Some dogs or cats can be ambidextrous, showing no bias.

For dogs, the first foot placed forward when walking from a standing or sitting position, is often the dominant paw.  Dogs will typically use their dominant paw to remove a blanket from the head, a piece of tape from the nose or to stabilize a toy. (more…)

Why do dogs eat grass?

Monday, June 18th, 2018

Grass certainly doesn’t seem like a delicacy.  In fact, it tastes downright terrible. (Who hasn’t tried grass sometime when they were a kid?).  So why do dogs tear into it with such passion?  Not much is known about why dogs eat grass, but studies indicate that it is a common and normal behavior of most domestic dogs.

It is estimated that 79% of dogs engage in plant eating behaviors, with grass being the most frequently eaten plant.  Of those grass eating dogs, 86% eat grass on a daily or weekly basis (Cliff et al. 2008).  Grass eating is observed in both wolves and dogs, suggesting that the behavior was preserved through domestication and is innate (Price et al. 2009).

What drives grass eating?

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Heartworm Awareness

Friday, May 18th, 2018

April is the official Heartworm Awareness Month, but whenever the temperature is above freezing it is Heartworm Awareness Month. 

At long last the winter chill is starting to abate! But with the coming of warmer weather, comes greater concern for transmission of heartworm disease to our pets.

Although heartworm disease is a concern year round, April is Heartworm Awareness month. We have discussed heartworm disease before (Carlson blog – heartworm prevention),  but we wanted to once again draw attention to this very concerning, yet very preventable disease.

How do our pets become infected with heartworm disease?

Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.

Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote, or wolf produce microscopic baby worms called microfilaria that circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites and takes a blood meal from an infected animal, it picks up these baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over a period of 10 to 14 days. (more…)

Can I catch a cold from my cat?

Wednesday, February 7th, 2018

To make a long answer short: technically yes, but it is very rare.

If you and your cat have an upper respiratory infection (URI or in layman’s terms “cold”) around the same time, it is likely coincidental.

There are some environmental factors that can make it more likely for you and your cat to develop URI symptoms around the same time.  For instance, stress or cold weather can suppress the immune system and make it more likely for an individual (cat or person) to develop a URI. However, the causative agent (i.e. virus, bacterium, etc.) will almost invariably be different between you and your cat.

Cats can carry diseases that infect people.  These are termed zoonotic diseases.

It is very rare for these zoonotic diseases to cause upper respiratory symptoms in people.  Most zoonotic diseases that cats carry are transmitted to people through biting, scratching or contact with stool.  Some of these diseases can be serious, so it is important to bring your cat in for annual health evaluations and vaccinations to keep both you and your cat healthy. (more…)

Canine Influenza outbreak caused by a new strain of virus H3N2 from Asia

Sunday, August 27th, 2017

Midwest Canine Influenza outbreak caused by new strain of virus

April 12, 2015 By Joe Schwartz

ITHACA, N.Y. – The canine influenza outbreak afflicting more than 1,000 dogs in Chicago and other parts of the Midwest is caused by a different strain of the virus than was earlier assumed, according to laboratory scientists at Cornell University and the University of Wisconsin. Researchers at Cornell say results from additional testing indicate that the outbreak is being caused by a virus closely related to Asian strains of influenza A H3N2 viruses, currently in wide circulation in southern Chinese and South Korean dog populations since being identified in 2006. There is no evidence that it can be transmitted to humans.

The outbreak in the Midwest had been attributed to the H3N8 strain of virus, which was identified in the U.S. dog population in 2004 and has been circulating since. The H3N2 virus had not been previously detected in North America. The outbreak in Chicago suggests a recent introduction of the H3N2 virus from Asia. (more…)

Senior Pets – Part 3 of 3

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2017

Dog patient

In our three part series of posts on Senior and geriatric pets we focused on:

Part 1: Describing/defining a senior or geriatric pet

Part 2: Important Conditions and Focus Areas for an aging pet

Now in part 3 of our 3-part series we will focus on Medical Management / Early Detection and Screening

Medical Management / Early Detection and Screening

Although the list of medical conditions can be very long in our older pets, many of them can be managed successfully. We advise our patient’s caregivers to consider a senior health care plan that will target early detection and treatment.

Early detection will allow for prompt, specific care for your pet that will prevent, delay, or temper an illness, extend life span, promote increased quality of life and extend the human-animal bond.  It begins by defining baseline values for your pet as they move into their senior life stage. This will help set the foundation to provide the best preventive and medical care for the years ahead. It continues with frequent evaluation, therapy and monitoring as medical conditions require.

Physical Examinations

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