Bulldog dressed up      Keep Pets Cool This Summer!

We all know that summer heat can be as hard on our pets as it is on us. But did you know that it can be extra stressful for elderly pets, and those with certain conditions, such as heartworms, congestive heart failure, or anemia? Since dogs cool off by panting, it’s harder for certain breeds, especially those with super-short muzzles, like Pugs and English Bulldogs, to keep a normal body temperature. Heavy-coated animals will get overheated quicker than short coated breeds. It’s like they’re wearing a thick sweater, and can’t take it off! Persian cats have the double-whammy, with their short noses and long coat.
Horses, for the most part, adapt to our Southern heat, as long as they have access to shade, fresh water, and a salt block. Fans and water misters can help keep them cool.  Hose them down and use a sweat scraper to remove extra water after exercise, or any time they appear heat stressed.  Avoid riding during the hottest part of the day.

Take sensible precautions for your pets, especially those with special conditions.  Shade and fresh water are essential for outdoor pets.  Fans and kiddie pools can help keep  them from overheating, but they may need more than that when temperatures become extreme (you may need to bring them indoors).  Never, ever leave pets in a car when it’s warm outside, even with the windows down.  Get summer clips for heavy coated dogs, and even cats if they go outdoors much.  Walk your dog in the morning, before temperatures soar upward.

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Routine Annual Blood Work

Our furclipartry friends unfortunately age much quicker than we do. While we perform comprehensive examinations, we are unable to see what is going on internally. This is where routine annual blood work comes in.

We can catch early signs of medical conditions (such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease) that we would otherwise be unable to identify on exam, often before your pet is ever sick. When caught early many conditions can be managed or cured with a simple diet change or medication.

If the blood work is normal, then we will have a baseline should your pet later become sick.

Microchip saves a life!

Although Independence Day is a time of celebration for our nation, it can be quite scary for dogs that do not understand the bright lights and loud booms.  Pets can panic and do things they would not normally do.  We know of two dogs that did exactly that this past 4th of July.  Fortunately, both were reunited with their owners, but the stories could have had tragic endings instead.

In one case, Bo, an adult German Shepherd, escaped his yard, ran loose, and ended up in a drain pipe, very frightened.  Fortunately, the person who found him was able to take him to a local shelter, where he was later found by his owner and returned home.  Imagine if no one had made the effort to take him to the Rescue site.  In the other case, Bella also escaped, traveled at LEAST 3 miles, and was found by someone who noticed her Save This Life microchip tag.  The Good Samaritan Google searched the tag number, Bella’s owners were notified right away, and the family was happily reunited in less than 24 hours.

Pets can easily become separated from their owners, for many reasons.  Having a microchip put in your pet ahead of time literally can SAVE HIS LIFE!  And, give you some peace of mind, knowing you can be notified when your pet is found.

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Pain relief cream meant for humans proves deadly for cats

Five cats became seriously ill and three of them died after being exposed to their owners’ pain relief cream.

Two developed kidney failure and recovered after receiving veterinary treatment, but the cats that died had high levels of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug flurbiprofen in their systems, according to necropsy results. The owners reported using the cream to treat themselves for arthritis pain; they never directly administered the medication to the cats.

According to the AVMA, ibuprofen is the human drug pets most commonly ingest.

CANINE FLU OUTBREAK

An entirely new strain of influenza virus that affects dogs is causing illness and deaths in the Chicago area. This new strain is called H3N2, and is just different enough from the H3N8 strain that the vaccine for H3N8 may not be protective. Neither virus causes human disease, however, the newly-identified canine H3N2 virus also causes disease in cats.

So far, testing at the University of Georgia Laboratories has not detected canine influenza virus in dog cases from the state of Georgia. Respiratory illnesses may be caused by many other agents, such as Bordetella bronchiseptica, Canine adenovirus-2, and Mycoplasma, as well as allergies, heartworms, and cancer. It’s important to see a vet if your furry friend is having trouble breathing or coughing repeatedly.
Listen out for news regarding any cases of this new strain of flu in our area, as well as the latest recommendations on vaccinating to protect your pet.

Fun Feline Factoids

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Kittens’ eyes are usually blue at birth, but can later change to brown, orange, green, or amber. You can usually tell what color they will be when the kitten is around three months old.

A kitten with green fur was discovered in Denmark in 1995. It was thought to be a genetic mutation, but the unusual color was actually caused by high levels of copper in the water supply.

Cats have more than 100 sounds in their vocal repertoire, while dogs have ten. A cat’s cerebral cortex is more complex than a dog’s.

Cats have around 300 million neurons, almost twice that of dogs. (and they know it, too!) Maybe this is why they so obviously consider themselves superior to dogs!

Welcome to our Veterinary Care Blog!

Thanks for checking out our new Blog!  We look forward to bringing you new ideas and information on pet care, and how to best take care of your fur-babies!  We also look forward to hearing from you, and welcome your comments, questions about our veterinarians or vet services, or ideas for topics that interest you.

Since it’s summer, and lots of you are traveling for vacations, we’ll start here…

Q: What should I consider when deciding to travel with my pet?

A: Your pet’s comfort.

1.  If your pet doesn’t travel well (whether for medical or temperament reasons), consider instead having a pet- sitter at home, or board your pet at a reliable facility. A mild sedative may help an anxious traveler.

2.  Be sure your pet has an ID tag and a microchip, and that all information is current.

3.  Update your pet’s vaccinations and flea protection. You will need a health certificate (signed by a veterinarian) if you are traveling across international (and some state) borders.

4.  Check ahead and be sure that pets are allowed and welcomed wherever you are staying. Take a portable kennel and use it when you leave your pet unattended. If you leave your pet in a hotel room, be sure  management knows how to reach you, and put the “Do Not Disturb” sign on the door.

5.  Always clean up after your pet! Those who don’t spoil it for everyone else.

Safe travels, all!