April is “National Heartworm Awareness” month. Heartworm disease is a severe and potentially fatal disease caused by foot-long worms that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected dogs. It causes severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Mosquitoes spread the disease. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up baby worms, which develop and mature into “infective stage” larvae over a period of 10-14 days. Then when the mosquito bites another dog, the infected larvae are deposited onto the surface of the animals skin and enter the new host through the mosquitoes bite wound. Once inside the host, it takes approximately 6 months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms. Once mature, heartworms can live for 5 to 7 years. In the early stages of the disease, many dogs show few symptoms or no symptoms at all. Initial Signs of heartworm disease may include mild persistent cough, inactivity, fatigue, loss of appetite and weight loss. As the disease progresses, dogs may develop heart failure and fluid buildup in the abdomen. If there are great numbers of heartworms present a sudden blockage of blood flow to the heart can develop. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage and can affect a dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. That is why prevention is the best option.
How often should we have our pet’s teeth cleaned and what are some of the signs that a cleaning is needed?
Dental health is a very important part of your pet’s overall health and dental problems can be the cause of many other health problems. During your pet’s earlier years, their teeth and gums should be examined at least once a year to check for early signs of a problem and to keep your pet’s mouth healthy. As they age, you may have them checked and cleaned twice a year to prevent periodontal disease and infection from spreading throughout their body.
Some signs to look for include bad breath, broken or loose teeth, extra teeth or retained baby teeth, teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar, abnormal chewing, drooling or dropping food from the mouth, reduced appetite or refusal to eat, pain in or around the mouth, bleeding from the mouth or swelling in the areas surrounding the mouth.
January: National train your dog month.
Q: When should you start training?
A: According to the American Veterinary Society of Animal Behavior, puppies can start socialization classes as early as seven to eight weeks of age.
There are many reasons for training your pet. The most obvious reasons for training your dog are to instill good behaviors and prevent inappropriate ones from developing; here are some other ones to know about.
–Life skills: training your dog gives the two of you a common language and teaches your dog how to navigate our world.
–Freedom: training is your dog’s passport to the world. The well-trained dog can go to more places, meet more people and have more adventures because he follows the rules.
–Ambassador skills: dogs and humans alike enjoy being around a polite pup that knows how to hang.
–Peace of mind: when your dog has mastered training, you don’t have to worry that he’s going to run out the door and not come home or drag you down the street until your shoulder is sore.
–Bonding: working through basic training exercises as a team helps to cement your relationship with your new best friend.
–Mental exercise: dogs need to work their bodies and their brains. Even though many basic training lessons don’t require much physical exertion, the mental aspect of figuring out the exercise can tire even the most active puppies.
Did you know?
Dogs can often dream. They actually experience dreams similar of dreaming to humans – including rapid eye movement (REM), (the stage of dreaming we tend to remember). Paw movement and twitches are also just some of the ways you can spot a dreaming dog. Even more amazing Harvard experts suggest that your dog is quite likely to be dreaming about you! How sweet!
Did you know?
Cats with extra white thick enamel, less damaging saliva, less food retention between teeth and mostly sugar-free diet, Cats have better chompers than humans. (This doesn’t mean they can’t have dental problems, so pay attention to your furry friend’s teeth!)
Happy Halloween month to everyone! With that being said PLEASE make sure that you keep your beloved four legged family members safe. Statistics show that more animals go missing on this night more than any other! If you haven’s done so already, stop in the office and have your pet micro-chipped so that if they do go missing we have a way of getting them back to you! Also make sure they stay out of all the halloween candy! 🙂
Just a reminder that with springtime and warmer weather comes fleas and parasites!! Especially with how inconsistent our weather has been over the last couple of months, you need to make sure that your beloved pets are protected because these pests will be pesky earlier than normal this year! If you find that you are running low or are completely out of your flea and heart worm medication come on up to the office and we can take care of that. 🙂
Otherwise enjoy the sunshine and warmer weather with your four-legged family members!
Here at Interlachen Animal Hospital Doctor Andy truly does stress how he is your “Neighborhood Vet”
… and he truly does mean it.
Meet Roxy Kai and her loving owners. Mrs. Coffae brought in Roxy for a suture removal
and to go over some test results. But she also brought along her adorable kiddos as well! Last week we got to meet
her adorable kittens Sheldon and Penny- just like the characters from Big Bang Theory!
6-month-old Natasha, a Siberian Forest cat, was the most pleasant-smelling pet the veterinarian had ever treated.
Daryl Humdy of Oakland, Calif., came home last month to a laundry catastrophe. His 6-month-old Siberian Forest cat, Natasha (pictured left), accidentally went through an entire wash cycle. The incident resulted in severe hypothermia and a trip to the emergency animal hospital, earning Natasha the title of “Most Unusual Claim of the Month” by Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI).
“My roommate was loading his laundry and left the lid to the washing machine open while he went to the next room to grab more clothes,” Humdy told VPI. “He came back, threw his clothes in and shut the lid to the washing machine without realizing that Natasha had jumped into it while he had been away.”
Natasha went through the full 35-minute wash cycle. Humdy arrived home just as his roommate was pulling out his clothes to find a soaked and visibly shaken kitten. Humdy immediately rushed Natasha to the emergency clinic.
“Natasha was shaking and crying. I knew she was frightened, and I was frightened for her,” Humdy says.
At the veterinary hospital, Natasha was treated for hypothermia and shock—fortunately she didn’t have any broken bones or other more serious injuries. The veterinarian said she was the most pleasant-smelling pet the team had ever treated. Natasha has since made a full recovery.
“Natasha’s ordeal shows the importance of pet-proofing your home for kittens and puppies,” says Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Like young children, young pets are naturally curious. In addition to familiarizing new pets with their surroundings, specific action should be taken by pet owners to prevent potentially harmful and even fatal events from occurring.”
Natasha’s incident was one of more than 80,000 claims VPI received in December and employees dubbed it the “most unusual.” Honorable mentions include a blue heeler dog that sustained blunt trauma after being chased down and kicked by a mule, a poodle that was hit by a bicycle and a St. Bernard that ingested a holiday ornament. All pets considered for the award made full recoveries.
As the most unusual claim submitted, Natasha will be in the running for the 2013 VPI Hambone Award. Other nominees include:
- Chance the Labrador retriever who was butted by a goat
- Ariel the Himalayan kitten who got trapped under a garage door
- Annie the Yorkshire terrier who was stranded outdoors during one of the worst storms in North American history.
Sure any other vet can say they love their patients like its their own but Doctor Andy truly does. Here is Doctor Andy with our Accountant, Michelle Green’s, dachshund. Dexter was loving on Doctor Andy even after he underwent his annual wellness exam and vaccines. The pup even got a dental!!
Don’t let your pet miss out on the Holiday fun!
Try a Pup-Cake made just for your pup!
Peanut Butter & Carrot Pup-cakes
Make 20 mini cupcakes
1 cup all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup shredded carrots
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
8 oz Low fat cream cheese plus 1 TBS honey
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
Preheat oven to 350º.
In a medium sized bowl, mix together the flour and baking soda. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well until combined. Put liners in a mini cupcake pan. Using a small cookie dough scoop, scoop a rounded teaspoon of batter into each cupcake cup. Bake for 12-15 minutes (until firm and beginning to brown).
Remove from oven and allow to cool completely. Pipe frosting of choice onto cupcakes and top with shredded carrots.