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Archive for the ‘Pet Health’ Category

Now is the perfect time to start your dog on flea and tick control, according to Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. Fleas and ticks have been spotted on Hampton Roads-area pets already this Spring, and the bugs will multiply rapidly as the hot, humid summer climate sets in.

Dr. Miele advises starting pets on flea and tick control early — because seeing even one flea is the tip of the iceberg. When you see evidence of fleas (such as flea “dirt” or the adult fleas, themselves), keep this pyramid in mind:

That’s what is living in your house!

Right now, and for a limited time, Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is offering 3-pack NexGard chewables for dogs 4-10 lbs at a price so low that not even the top online pet pharmacies can beat our deal!

Contact Us at 757-583-2619 to get more information on NexGard for your dog.

Click to enlarge.

NexGard is sold by prescription only, so if we haven’t seen your dog recently — or ever — it must come in for a check-up first, just like with any other prescription medication. Dogs that are seizure-prone or have a history of seizure activity should not take NexGard.

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Dr. Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian and owner of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, attended a lecture on the role of veterinarians in emergencies and natural disaster response.

He learned that the major challenges pets face after a widespread disaster (such as hurricane, flood, tornado) are: lack of adequate food and shelter, lack of access to medical care, the increased rate of infectious diseases, and the exacerbation of existing disease.

Disaster clean-up and recovery efforts can take a minimum of 2 to 3 weeks to effect change, and often take longer. For those people displaced, life may not return to normal for 4 to 6 months, according to Dr. Jenifer Chatfield, an expert on emergency response. What will happen to chronically ill pets during those 4 to 6 months? More on that, later.

In an emergency, veterinarians may volunteer to assist with recovery efforts in their community, or they may work to re-open their medical practice as soon as possible, to provide for pets’ healthcare needs. At the community level, human needs for food, clean drinking water, shelter, and medical care are met first. Then care can be extended to pets. Knowing that a hierarchy of assistance exists will help you make better disaster planning decisions.
Challenges for Pets During Disasters
*Infectious diseases may spread more rapidly.
-Leptospirosis is contracted through contaminated water and displaced wildlife
-Rabies is spread through displaced wildlife, which comes into more frequent contact with homeless pets
-Distemper, Influenza, and Parvovirus spread among pets kept in close quarters, such as at shelters
*Parasites increase in number
-Fleas, gastrointestinal parasites, and heartworms spread more easily when pets do not receive their regular doses of preventative
*Existing, chronic diseases are left untreated and worsen
-Diabetes, congestive heart failure, kidney or liver failure, pancreatitis, and more, worsen when drugs and special diets are no longer available to treat them. This can happen when people are trying to get life back on track and pet care may not be given high priority.

Not all disasters can be foreseen, but when you have advance warning, be sure to have a plan in place.

*If you evacuate, where will you go and how soon will you leave?
*If evacuating — whether to a shelter, hotel, or another home — will you be able to bring your pets?

*When preparing supplies, such as food and drinking water, include your pets’ needs in the calculations.
*When severe weather is forecast, find out from your pet’s veterinarian if you can stock up on prescription drugs and diets, to last through several weeks of recovery.
*If evacuating, bring your pet’s flea and heartworm preventatives.
*Be certain that your pet’s vaccinations are up-to-date, or schedule an appointment with the veterinarian to bring all vaccines and preventative treatments current.

More information
Learn about Norfolk’s emergency shelter for pets and people here.
Get a helpful planning guide from Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.
Get facts on infectious diseases for dogs and cats, including Rabies.

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(Article courtesy of BluePearl Specialty + Emergency Pet Hospital)

We’ve all had bad hair days and sometimes even a “fashion emergency.” But did you know that pets sometimes suffer grooming emergencies? It sounds a little funny, but improper grooming actually sends pets to BluePearl ERs all the time.

Here are some great tips for preventing this from happening to you (or to Fluffy or Fido.)
* Keep your pet’s nails trimmed.
* Look for matted fur, but don’t clip it yourself.
* Always prevent fleas and ticks.
* Begin grooming at a young age, so all this will seem normal to your dog and cat.  
We have a lot more details on what you can do to groom your cat or dog properly and safely — read the full article here.  

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Protect your dog from fleas and ticks this summer
with NexGard chewables.

NexGard protects your dog from fleas and ticks with an easy, tasty monthly chewable treat. Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is the place to purchase NexGard for dogs weighing 4 – 60 lbs*. 

NexGard is available by prescription only. Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends NexGard chewables, especially for dogs that have dry, irritated, or inflamed skin, which are not ideal surfaces for topical flea treatments.

Contact Us to learn more about protecting your dog with NexGard.

*Our online pharmacy will ship orders for dogs over 60 pounds.

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Time to check for heartworm disease!
Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today!

Prevent Heartworm

It’s March—Springtime is around the corner! Worms in your garden…and worms in your pet? Eeew! Hold on, let’s explain…

The worms you find in your garden mulch are not the same worms that cause heartworm disease in pets. Mosquitoes carry heartworms. And all it takes is one mosquito to bite your pet to become infected.

Here’s the good news about heartworm disease: It’s an illness that can be easy and affordable to prevent. The bad news is, if you don’t prevent it the right way, your pet is at high risk of getting sick. Heartworm disease is dangerous to your pet and some signs of the illness are tough to spot. Your pet may be acting fine, but they may have so many heartworms inside their body that it can become life threatening.

You may be thinking, “my pet stays indoors, so there’s no need for heartworm prevention.” But, Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, warns that heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, which get into everyone’s homes! One mosquito bite is all that’s needed to spread the disease to your furry friend.

Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’ll do a thorough exam, including a simple heartworm test, to make sure your pet is at his/her optimum health. And we’ll talk about the best way to prevent heartworm disease, so your pet stays healthy, happy and safe!

Make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam today! Contact Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

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Is it your imagination, or does your “brachy” dog have more problems than the Labradoodle next door? According to Nationwide Pet Insurance, you are not imagining it.

Let’s break it down:

A dog’s skull falls into one of three categories:
Dolichocephalic, mesaticephalic, or brachycephalic, as illustrated by the photo below.

Click to enlarge. Image can be found at http://www.onemedicine.tuskegee.edu

Brachycephalic (or “brachy”) dogs are those breeds with a flat, broad head. These breeds include —

  • Affenpinscher
  • Boston Terrier
  • Boxer
  • Brussels Griffon
  • Bulldog breeds
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
  • Japanese Chin
  • Lhasa Apso
  • Mastiff breeds
  • Pekingese
  • Pug
  • ShihTzu

Nationwide Pet Insurance compared data for brachycephalic dog breeds versus dogs with longer skull types (dolichocephalic and mesaticephalic) and discovered that the dog breeds known for their flat, broad skulls showed a higher prevalence of certain diseases.

That means that more brachy dogs suffered the following conditions — 

  • otitis externa (ear infection)
  • pyoderma (skin infection)
  • atopic/allergic dermatitis
  • conjunctivitis (eye infection)
  • canine cystitis (bladder infection)
  • anal gland impaction
  • fungal skin disease
  • malignant skin neoplasia (cancer)
  • pneumonia

Does this mean you should stay away from brachy breeds? Not necessarily, as they can be very lovable and faithful companions. But according to Norfolk veterinarian Donald Miele, VMD, it does mean that owners of those breeds should be aware of the greater likelihood of health problems, and that veterinary pet insurance is a worthy investment.

*****************************************
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or suggest treatment for any disease.
Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information on your pet’s health.

 

 

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In Part 1 of “Is there a grain of truth behind the health claims of grain-free pet foods?” we waded into the debate over a popular trend in the pet food marketplace. We discussed what grains are good for and why grain-free pet foods have become favored among pet owners. We reviewed your pet’s 6 basic nutritional needs. And we defined gluten as a mixture of proteins found in grains such as wheat, barley, brewer’s yeast, and rye.

Now, we’ll go a bit deeper, and answer the question, “Should you change your pet’s food?”

First big question: Do pets experience gluten intolerance? Cats – never. Dogs – almost never (it’s only been proven in one particular line of Irish Setters!)

Second big question: Don’t grains cause food allergies? Perhaps, but those instances are far less common than allergies to animal-sourced proteins. The most common culprits in food allergies are chicken, beef, and dairy proteins.

The bottom line, according to Kara Burns, an expert in pet nutrition, is that grain-free pet foods are no more beneficial than a pet food with grains.

Bonus big question: Should you switch your pet back to a grainy diet? Not necessarily. Consider whether your pet’s nutritional needs are otherwise being met by the diet of your choice.

Are your pet’s skin and furcoat healthy? Poor health can look like this:

  • red, inflamed skin
  • skin sores
  • large, flaky dandruff
  • odor
  • fur loss
  • itchy skin
  • chronically irritated or infected ears

Does your pet maintain a healthy weight? Poor health can look like this: 

  • obesity (cannot feel ribs; no definition of waist from above, or between chest and belly when viewed from the side
  • underweight (prominent ribs, spine, and hip bones)

Does your pet have a healthy gut? Poor health can look like this: 

  • flatulence (gas)
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea or chronically soft stools

The symptoms listed above may indicate that your pet’s food is not providing the proper nutrients, or perhaps your pet is unable to digest and utilize the nutrients provided. Of course, other disease processes can cause the same symptoms; your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information.

So while feeding a grain-free diet may not be necessary to maintain your pet’s good health, it can be adequate as long as your pet’s nutritional needs are being met. If your pet digests the food well and is healthy, there is not a pressing need to change diets. The biggest change you might notice, however, is that grain-free diets can cost more than traditional pet food.

*This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, or recommend treatment for any condition or disease. Your veterinarian is the best source of information about your pet’s health.

This article is based on the peer-reviewed article researched and written by Kara M. Burns, MS, MEd, LVT, VTS — “Grain-Free Pet Foods: Fact vs. Fiction” published in Veterinary Team Brief, Vol. 5, No. 2.

Read more from PetMD.

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