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Archive for February, 2014

Springtime is around the corner, and already we are seeing new litters of pups.
Whether you plan to breed your female dog, or she becomes pregnant by the roving Romeo up the street, you should know about eclampsia.

Eclampsia (also known as hypocalcemia, milk fever, and puerperal tetany) is a life-threatening imbalance of calcium in a lactating (milk-producing) dog.
Lactating female dogs need an adequate amount of calcium in their diet to replace the calcium lost through nursing their pups.
If you suspect your dog is pregnant, or you plan to breed her, ask your veterinarian about your dog’s nutritional needs. In non-lactating dogs, too much calcium can also lead to a dangerous imbalance, so check with the vet before adding calcium to your pet’s diet.

Fast Facts:

  • Small dogs with large litters are at greatest risk.
  • Any breed can be affected, but small and toy breeds experience eclampsia more often than large breed dogs.
  • There is a higher incidence in first litters, but eclampsia can recur in later litters, also.
  • The onset of signs is usually sudden and severe.
  • Eclampsia typically occurs 1 to 4 weeks after whelping (giving birth), but it has also occurred in dogs just before whelping and late into nursing.
  • To aid in your dog’s recovery, you may be advised to hand-feed the pups until weaning.
  • Eclampsia is rare in cats.

What to look for:

  • Restlessness, anxiety, excessive panting, whining
  • Staggering or stiff gait (manner of walking)
  • Muscle tremors, convulsions, seizures
  • Rigid legs
  • Hyperthermia (greatly increased body temperature)

What’s the worst that can happen?
Delayed treatment or neglect can lead to coma, cerebral edema (abnormal accumulation of fluid in the brain), and death.

Suspected eclampsia should be treated as an emergency.

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Ike needs a new home!

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This sweet, handsome Tuxedo cat is tired of living with dogs! Ike spends much of his day hiding from the dogs in his house; he would be much happier in a cats-only home (with one or zero roommates.)

Ike is up-to-date on his vaccinations; he is 5 years old, neutered and microchipped. Ike behaves well for nail trims, check-ups, and vaccinations. We have enjoyed providing his veterinary care for the past two years, because he is so easy-going and lovable.

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Although Ike has enjoyed going outdoors, we believe he can be made an “indoor cat” as long as there are no stressors in the home.

Ike’s current owner reports that he is playful, friendly, and likes to be petted. She is sad to let him go, but believes he will be more comfortable in a different environment.

Are you able to bring Ike home? Maybe you know someone else who can. Please share this message with your friends, so we can find a new family for Ike

Contact us if you can help. Serious in-town inquiries only; owner will not ship this cat out of town.

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Pet dental care

It’s never too late to start brushing your pet’s teeth, but persuading Fluffy and Spike to go along with it can be a challenge. Here are 8 great tips to help you ease your pet into a new part of its daily routine:

  1. Introduce a brushing program gradually: training your pet for this procedure may take several days or weeks.
  2. At first, dip your finger into beef bouillon for a dog or tuna water for cats, and rub your finger over the pet’s mouth and teeth.
  3. Make these initial sessions brief and positive.
  4. Introduce gauze on your finger with the same beef or tuna flavor and begin rubbing the teeth in a circular motion.
  5. Before graduating to a soft-bristle toothbrush, put a small amount of pet toothpaste on your finger and allow your pet to taste it.
  6. Place the toothpaste on the toothbrush and allow your pet to lick the bristles.
  7. Apply a small dab of toothpaste to a moist toothbrush and begin brushing gently at a 45° angle away from the gumline.
  8. Do not use a toothpaste designed for people; it contains ingredients that may upset your pet’s stomach.

     February is National Pet  Dental Health Month.
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Tips reprinted from the Pet Owner’s Guide to Oral Care, available at our clinic.

This article originally appeared on Feb. 15, 2012.

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Nexgard 4

Merial (the maker of HeartGard Plus and Frontline) has introduced
a brand-new weapon in the war on fleas: NexGard.

NexGard uses a unique ingredient (afoxolaner), which fleas and ticks have not had a chance to “get used to.” Many researchers and pet owners are beginning to suspect that fleas are becoming resistant to chemicals which have long been on the marketplace.

To answer this concern, Merial has developed NexGard.

NexGard is a safe, once-a-month chewable treatment that kills adult fleas and the American dog tick for 30 days. It is approved for use in dogs and puppies 8 weeks of age and older, weighing at least 4 lbs. (NexGard is not for use in cats.)

NexGard is the first and only chew that kills both fleas and ticks.

NexGard is beef-flavored, but it won’t trigger your pet’s beef allergies. And unlike Comfortis, it does not need to be given with a meal.

NexGard is a prescription drug, sold by your veterinarian.

We are currently making NexGard available for dogs weighing 60-121 lbs. If you would like to be one of the first to try NexGard for your pet, please Contact our office.

BONUS for HEARTGARD PLUS users: Receive a $25 rebate when you purchase 6 doses of HeartGard + 6 doses of NexGard. Rebate forms are available at our office.

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Shopping Entertainment Education

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You’re going to want to bring the kids to this one!

And guess what? You can bring the dog, too!

Get all the details here.

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You may be aware that Xylitol is a sugar alcohol ingredient of gum and candy that is harmful to pets.

But did you know that Xylitol is also found in medicines, dental products, and homemade desserts?

Check this partial list of Xylitol sources, then go here for a more complete list.

  • chewing gum
  • breath mints
  • mouthwash
  • toothpaste
  • sugar substitute used in baking bread, muffins, cupcakes
  • over-the-counter medications
  • dietary supplements and vitamins
  • nasal spray
  • prescription drugs, including sleep aids, sedatives, antacids, smoking-cessation gums, stool softeners
  • prepared foods such as Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks, Zipfizz energy drink-mix powders, Nature’s Hollow products

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So what’s the big deal?
Xylitol causes hypoglycemia and hepatic necrosis in pets.

Hypoglycemia is an abnormally low level of sugar in the blood. In severe cases, hypoglycemia leads to convulsions and coma.

Hepatic necrosis — in which the cells of the liver die off — leads to liver failure, if not caught in time.

We consider Xylitol ingestion to be an emergency. If you suspect your pet has eaten a product containing Xylitol, contact your nearest veterinary emergency hospital or the Pet Poison Helpline at 1-800-213-6680.

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Ten Pet Cancer Early Warning Signs

  1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
  2. Sores that do not heal
  3. Weight loss
  4. Loss of appetite
  5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
  6. Offensive odor
  7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
  8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
  9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
  10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Other diseases can mimic the signs of cancer, so it’s important to have a veterinarian examine your pet. He will help you determine which steps you should take to uncover the cause of the pet’s illness. In some cases, a referral to a specialist, such as a veterinary oncologist, may be necessary.

These tips and more information are included in VPI‘s pamphlet “Pet Cancer Awareness,” available at our office. Or Contact Us and we’ll mail a pamphlet to you.

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This article originally posted on February 21, 2012.

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