Archive for February, 2019

True or False: Only senior pets are at risk of dental disease.


A 3 year old cat or dog is still pretty young —
but they’re already at risk of periodontal disease.

Schedule time each day to brush your pet’s teeth, as part of an at-home healthy mouth plan.

You brush your teeth every night, but your pet can’t brush its own teeth — you get to do that! Yay!

Need help or inspiration? Check out these tips on brushing your pet’s teeth, to help prevent or slow down periodontal disease. 

Not sure about the state of your pet’s mouth? Contact Us to schedule an exam for your pet with Dr. Miele.

Double-click the image to enlarge.

Infographic courtesy of ASPCA Pet Health Insurance. Take a look at how their customizable plans can be made to fit your budget.


Read Full Post »

If you’ve ever wondered what all those funky initials stand for in your dog’s annual “distemper shot,” we’ve got the answer for you.

You may see any of the following combinations:

  • DA2PP
  • DHPP

All of those abbreviations are variants of the distemper-combination vaccine, which may include extra vaccines given according to a pet’s lifestyle.

So what do those letters actually stand for?

D is for Distemper, a highly contagious virus that can cause death in dogs. Distemper affects the respiratory and nervous systems. Signs include coughing, fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.

A2 is for Adenovirus type 2 /
H is for Adenovirus type 1 (aka Hepatitis)
. Adenovirus 2 and Adenovirus 1 are so closely related that a vaccine against one will work against both diseases. Adenovirus 2 is a respiratory illness that causes coughing, retching, and conjunctivitis. Hepatitis affects the liver and leads to fever, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. In some cases, Hepatitis will damage the kidneys, also.

P is for Parainfluenza, a very contagious respiratory disease. Signs include a dry, hacking cough.

P is for Parvovirus, a deadly virus that spreads quickly among dogs. Signs include vomiting, bloody diarrhea, loss of appetite, and lethargy. In some puppies, Parvovirus attacks the heart.

C is for Coronavirus, a severe intestinal disease that often mimics the signs of Parvo and can occur in puppies vaccinated against Parvovirus. Corona also can appear in conjunction with Parvo, worsening the disease symptoms. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weight loss, lethargy, and excessive thirst.

L is for Leptospirosis, a bacterial infection spread by wild animals. Dogs often acquire the disease by drinking contaminated water outdoors. Signs include high fever, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and eyes), bloody stools, exhaustion, and hemorrhage. If your pet becomes infected with Leptospirosis, you can get sick from it, too.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends that all dogs living in the Hampton Roads region receive their distemper-combo booster, along with the Rabies vaccine. The distemper-combo booster protects dogs against the most common, and deadly, canine diseases.

Is your dog due or past due to receive its booster vaccinations? Contact Us to schedule an appointment with our veterinarian today!

Note: Other vaccines are available to dogs, including Rabies, Bordetella, Canine Influenza, and Lyme Disease. However, those vaccines are given in a separate injection and, for our purposes, are not considered part of the distemper combinations.

Coming up next: Alphabet Soup, Part 2: What’s in your cat’s FVRCP vaccine?

Lg Caduceus

(This post originally appeared on our blog on January 24, 2017 — but we like it so much, we’re running it again!)

Read Full Post »

Tooth or Consequences: Why Your Pet Needs Dental Care

Why should you care about your pet’s dental health?

Because oral infections are painful, smelly, and costly to treat.

Prevent nasty oral infections with regular tooth brushing — or use a gel like VetzLife — and an oral care water additive.

Dr. Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, recommends this water additive by Oxyfresh.

Here’s good news you can use: Some pet insurance plans help pay the costs of routine teeth cleaning!

Click image to enlarge — then click again when image opens on new page

Click image to enlarge — then click again when image opens on new page


Infographic courtesy of Nationwide Pet Insurance.


Read Full Post »

Are you wondering whether it’s okay to pause your pet’s intestinal worm protection during the chilly winter months?

Don’t do it! Worms can be found in the cozy, warm intestines of dogs and cats, even during the winter, and their eggs can be deposited into soil where your pet might pick them up. Fleas and houseflies are also carriers of intestinal parasites, like Tapeworms and Roundworms, respectively.

Dr. Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, discovered eggs of Tapeworms, Roundworms, Hookworms, and Whipworms in the stool samples of numerous patients over the past month. Take a look at what we’re finding in cats and dogs this winter:

Click any photo to enlarge for detail.
All photos taken at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic
(Norfolk, VA) under microscope.

If your pet has been off its heartworm / intestinal worm protection this winter, Contact Us to request a parasite screening as the first step to getting your pet protected again.

Read Full Post »

Knock out your pet’s itchy, dry
winter skin with this 1-2 punch!

Combine the cleansing, hydrating power of HyLyt Shampoo with the itch-busting, moisturizing spray Dermal Soothe to have your pet looking and feeling better this winter!

HyLyt Shampoo and Dermal Soothe spray are both available for purchase at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Contact Us for more information.

Read Full Post »

By Dr. Marc for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
(Shared by permission)

Dr. Marc is a veterinarian guest blogger for Pets Best Insurance, a pet insurance agency for dogs and cats.

First let’s start with clarifying what shivering (or trembling) is versus what a seizure is.
A seizure is when the dog suddenly loses all body control, paddling their legs, jerking or convulsing. It can last for a number of minutes. To learn more, visit Dr. Fiona’s blog post on dog seizures.
Shivering is when a dog can make eye contact with you and respond to you, but its body is shaking. Shivering can vary from minimally, to a lot, but the dog still has control of its body.

6 Reasons Your Dog May Shiver

1) The most common reason a dog shivers is due to being cold. A normal dog’s temperature may be as high as 102.5 F. Since a dog’s body is warmer than a persons, just touching your dog won’t accurately let you know if they’re cold or not. So be careful during the winter months with dogs being outside, especially little dogs.

2) Dogs shiver due to anxiety or fear. Thunderstorms, fireworks, travel, or any type of environmental change can cause dogs anxiety or fear. If your dog has severe shivering and anxiety in these situations, they may benefit from an anti-anxiety medication during the stressful periods. Your veterinarian can help you evaluate your therapeutic options.

[Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, recommends natural supplements to help with storm stress. Already a client? Contact Us to learn more.]

3) Dogs shiver with excitement. For example there may be a squirrel outside they really want to go chase. Or before being fed, they see the food going in the bowl and they start shivering with anticipation.

4) Dogs shiver because it’s a learned behavior. This occurs when a dog shivers and it results in a desired response. For example, every time Fluffy shivers, mom says, “poor Fluffy.” Fluffy then gets picked up, wrapped in a blanket and showered with attention. Fluffy quickly learns that just by shivering she gets the attention she wants.

5) Shivering can result from medical and physiologic problems. The pain or illness can cause dogs to shiver. It’s important to find the underlying problem so that it can be addressed. In addition to shivering from the pain, the pain itself can induce anxiety in the dog, resulting in more shivering.

6) There are also some toxins that can cause a convulsive response in the animal. This convulsive like behavior could be misconstrued as shivering, when in reality it may be a much more serious issue.
If your dog’s shivering seems out of the ordinary, or like it’s resulting from a serious issue, you need to visit your veterinarian. They can help if there is a medical issue or possibly prescribe medication to help.

Pet insurance makes necessary veterinary care more affordable; Pets Best Insurance reimburses you off your veterinary bill, from 70% to 100%! Considering Pets Best? Read pet insurance reviews here.

This article originally appeared on the Pets Best blog here.

Read Full Post »

Engorged tick – not a common sight in winter – but a possible one

I can imagine what you might be thinking as you read this post: “Why would anyone talk about ticks in winter? Ticks are a summertime problem!”

Keep reading! By the end of this post, you’ll understand why I’m talking ticks in winter.

Here are TEN TICK FACTS you may not know (yet):

  • Ticks are found on every continent on Earth — including Antarctica
  • Ticks carry the second highest number of dangerous human diseases (Mosquitoes are still #1. Yay.)
  • Ticks can be carried by birds, which may “help” different types of ticks migrate from one state to another
  • Ticks can survive freezing temperatures
  • Ticks can live underwater (Flushing ticks won’t kill them!)
  • Ticks can live up to 3 years
  • Lone Star tick bites can cause a red meat allergy in people
  • Brown dog ticks like to live around the foundations of houses and in urban areas
  • Cats can get ticks and Lyme Disease
  • Differing species of ticks emerge throughout the year

More about that last fact: the Black-legged tick (or deer tick) which carries the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease, is active in different life stages all year.

Spring/Summer: Larvae hatch from eggs and begin looking for their first blood meal. Also during this time, older nymphs begin feeding and are able to transmit Lyme Disease-causing bacteria.

Autumn/Winter: Adult deer ticks feed on deer, dogs, cats, and people and can transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.

[View the lifecycle chart created by the Minnesota Department of Health here.]

Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic to discuss flea & tick prevention* for your dog or cat. We can recommend products that are safe to use year-round.

There are many products on the market — let us help you sort through them!

(*This offer is open to clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, [Norfolk, VA] only.)

Tick facts courtesy of Dr. Elyse Persico, and Dr. Holly Gaff & the Tick Team at Old Dominion University

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »