Archive for the ‘Pet Health’ Category

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.

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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.

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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

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Does your pet’s mouth look like this?
If so, she is ready for a teeth cleaning!
(Click photo to enlarge.)

Tartar-encrusted teeth.

Red, sore gums.

Bad breath.

Bacteria galore.

You let your pet kiss you with that mouth?

Okay — we understand: a smooch from our beloved pet is hard to resist.

But when the signs of dental disease start adding up,
it’s time to do some math:
a professional teeth cleaning = healthier mouth and healthier body.

And a veterinary dentist can take Xrays of your pet’s mouth
to check the health of your pet’s tooth roots
and the bone surrounding the roots, also.

Best of all, your pet gets a clean mouth and
fresh breath — the better to kiss you with!

Contact Us to schedule your pet’s
dental exam with Dr. Miele and
learn more about professional
teeth cleaning by a veterinarian.



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Protect your pet

It’s safe to say that most, if not all, households have a supply of medications on hand, for the human residents of the house. Many of these homes also feature pets — and to a curious dog or cat, your medication could look like a delicious treat.

Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinarian who is board-certified in toxicology [a science dealing with poisons], has 3 recommendations that everyone can follow to reduce the chance that their pet will become a victim of accidental medication poisoning.

  1. If you use pill boxes, put them out of your pet’s reach. Cats and some dogs can climb onto the counter and grab hold of whatever they find there, so remove the temptation.
  2. Hang up backpacks, purses, and briefcases because they often contain basic (but dangerous) items like pills, Tylenol, xylitol gum and candy, coins, and cellphones with batteries.
  3. Ask house guests to keep medications in sturdy containers, out of the pet’s reach. “It’s really easy for dogs to chew into [plastic bags and suitcases],” warns Dr. Lee.

And if you suspect your pet has gotten into your medication? Take action right away by calling the Pet Poison Helpline — there is a fee for service, but the information they provide can help save your pet’s life.

Pet Poison Helpline 
Call 1-855-764-7661
Open 24/7
$59 incident fee applies 

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You may have noticed that human health trends tend to be applied to our pets — for example: antioxidants, probiotics, and grain-free diets. But not all trends are actually healthy for our pets, because dog and cat physiology and nutritional requirements are different from our own. Pets are not little people in fur coats, so we must evaluate the pet health trends that come along.

In some circles, it is becoming popular to add coconut oil to a pet’s diet. But is this a good idea? For the answer, we turn to a veterinary nutrition expert, Dr. Angela Witzel Rollins, who discussed coconut oil with attendees at a recent veterinary conference. 

Dr. Rollins said, “I often have clients ask me if they can use coconut oil as their pet’s fat source. I have to tell them no, because it lacks essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6[.]”

She also noted that coconut oil is 90% saturated fats, which makes it a solid at room temperature. Too much of this oil in a pet’s diet could lead to pancreatitis, a serious illness requiring hospitalization.

Finally, Dr. Rollins stated that no studies have been done regarding the use of coconut oil in dogs and cats, which means that there is no official evidence of the health benefits of adding coconut oil to a pet’s diet.

So for now, skip this health trend. 


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At the end of last October, we revealed the new look for Oxyfresh Fresh Breath for Pets — formerly known as Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution.

Since then, Oxyfresh has changed its product name and label again, to avoid confusion with another similarly-named product on the market. The new product name is Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive.

Here’s a sneak preview of the new label:

Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive

Evolution of Oxyfresh, with the current Dental Care Water Additive label

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, says, “The label is different, but the Oxyfresh inside is the same one that you’ve come to know and trust.”

Questions? Contact Us so we can help!


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