Posts Tagged ‘Little Creek Veterinary Clinic’

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we treat only cats and dogs,
but we love to hear about our clients’ other pets —
including turtles! 

Is a turtle the right pet for your home? Consider this:

Turtle graphic

Learn more about World Turtle Day from the founders,
here:
https://www.worldturtleday.org

And remember — 

Turtle owners should wash hands

Read Full Post »

Do you know the meaning of those initials in your cat’s vaccine record?

Cats receive a cocktail of vaccinations, typically rolled into one shot. Since many cats are allowed to roam outdoors unsupervised, it is especially important to keep cats vaccinated against Rabies and other diseases. This is a closer look at the components of the FVRCCP vaccine, sometimes known as the “feline distemper shot.”

FVR is for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, aka Feline Herpesvirus-1, a severe upper respiratory disease that, once contracted, often remains in the cat’s body. Recurrent outbreaks throughout the cat’s life are common. Signs include fever, congestion, runny eyes and nose, sores and crusts on the face, lip ulcers, mouth breathing, coughing, sneezing, and drooling. Vaccination helps reduce the severity of signs.

C is for Calicivirus, an upper respiratory disease that can cause fever, blisters on the tongue, and may turn into pneumonia.

C is for Chlamydiosis, a bacterial respiratory infection that is highly contagious. Signs include conjunctivitis, sneezing, runny eyes, excessive drooling, and coughing.

P is for Feline Panleukopenia, aka Feline Distemper, a contagious virus that causes fever, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, depression, dehydration, and can lead to death.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends that all cats living in the Norfolk/Virginia Beach/Chesapeake region receive their FVRCCP booster, along with the Rabies vaccine. The FVRCCP booster protects cats against the most common, and serious, feline diseases.

Note: Other vaccines are available to cats, including Rabies and Feline Leukemia. However, those vaccines are given in a separate injection and, for our purposes, are not considered part of the distemper combinations.

Lg Caduceus


Originally posted on January 26, 2017.

Read Full Post »

We’ve noticed an increase in the number of calls about new puppies during this period of stay-at-home orders. For many people, this is the perfect time to be at home with a new pup for training purposes — and the puppy provides its owners with excitement and a new cuddle buddy during unprecedented downtime.

Socialization with other pets and people can be difficult while practicing social distancing. The point of socializing is to meet others, and the point of social distancing is to stay away from them!

See this video on Socialization While Social Distancing.

The American Veterinary Medical Association has tips for socializing your kitten or puppy. Check out this list, so that you’ll be ready when the world starts to get back to normal.

Orange tabby cat with fawn puppy

What is socialization?

Socialization is the process of preparing a dog or cat to enjoy interactions and be comfortable with other animals, people, places and activities. Ideally, socialization should begin during the “sensitive period” which is between 3 and 14 weeks of age for puppies, and 3 and 9 weeks of age for kittens.

Advice to new puppy and kitten owners

Adopting a new kitten or puppy is a wonderful and exciting experience. It is also a time where a little extra planning can help a new pet develop the calm and confident temperament that will help them enjoy life to the fullest. The basic tenets of socialization are outlined below. The AVMA will be developing tools to help veterinarians and their clients create simple and fun plans tailored to the developmental needs of puppies and kittens in their first weeks and months of life.

  • When adopting a puppy or kitten, ask for a pre- and post-adoption socialization plan.
  • Create a socialization plan specifically for your dog or cat to prepare him or her for life in your household. Plan exposures to the animals, individuals, environments, activities and objects that will be part of his or her new life.
  • Provide regular positive and diverse experiences to encourage your dog or cat to enjoy new experiences without becoming fearful or aggressive.
  • Provide praise, play and treats to reward engagement. Allow the dog or cat to withdraw if he or she is uncomfortable. Move at a pace appropriate for your pet’s personality.
  • Well-managed puppy or kitten socialization classes are a good way to socialize your new pet within the sensitive period.
  • Puppies or kittens that are not fully vaccinated should not be exposed to unvaccinated animals or places they may have been (such as outdoor parks).
  • Continue to reward your dog or cat for calm or playful responses to social interactions throughout his or her life.
  • For dogs or cats with special behavioral needs, develop a plan with your veterinarian and/or another animal behavior expert.


    Image by Snapwire via Pexels.


Read Full Post »

The month of May isn’t just
for fans of Star Wars and
Cinco de Mayo.

Here’s what else is going on:

List of pet events in May

 

Read Full Post »

Reminder: If your pet runs out of its heartworm preventative,
it could end up with juvenile heartworms swimming through
its bloodstream and traveling to the lungs and heart.

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we filmed these two young heartworms in a patient’s blood sample (seen here under magnification):

Click for fullscreen view

Dogs and cats can be protected from deadly heartworm disease with a monthly dose of prescription heartworm preventative.

Did You Know?
It takes only a single adult heartworm to cause
a fatal inflammatory reaction in a cat’s heart.
Ask us about heartworm prevention for cats.

Heartworm disease is spread by mosquitoes and is a year-round problem. And while humans have been under stay-at-home orders, moquitoes are free to travel and dine wherever they like. 

Contact Us to refill your pet’s heartworm medication before it runs out.

The alternative to prevention just isn’t pretty. Here’s proof:

[Warning: Sensitive content ahead]

 

 

(more…)

Read Full Post »

There is more than one reason why a cat may lose weight in spite of a healthy or larger-than-normal appetite.

Today, we will focus on a condition called hyperthyroidism, which can cause cats to become emaciated even as they beg for more food.

What is hyperthyroidism?
The thyroid gland, located in your cat’s neck, uses dietary iodine to make thyroid hormones that help regulate important body functions, including:

  • Metabolism
  • Body temperature
  • Blood pressure
  • Heart rate
  • Gastrointestinal function

When a cat has hyperthyroidism, its thyroid gland is enlarged and it produces excessive amounts of thyroid hormone.

Illustration from Hill's Pet Nutrition pamphlet on Feline Thyroid Health.

Illustration from Hill’s Pet Nutrition pamphlet on Feline Thyroid Health.

Hyperthyroidism is most often diagnosed in cats older than 10 years. Untreated hyperthyroidism can have serious — even fatal — effects on organs such as the heart and kidneys.

What are the symptoms of hyperthyroidism?

  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Increased thirst
  • Poor skin and coat condition
  • Hyperactivity

Because some of these same symptoms can appear as a result of other diseases, such as diabetes or kidney failure, your cat will need tests such as a blood profile and urinalysis to determine the actual problem.

Did You Know?
An over-active thyroid is more common in cats than in dogs,
and an under-active thyroid is more common in dogs than in cats.

How is hyperthyroidism treated?
There are four types of treatment available today. Your cat’s doctor will discuss with you which treatment [or combination] is recommended, based on your cat’s overall health:
1. Daily nutrition
2. Daily medication
3. Radioactive iodine therapy
4. Surgery

What should I do if I notice the symptoms listed above?
Contact your cat’s veterinarian for an examination so that he or she can determine which tests to run. It may turn out that your cat does not have hyperthyroidism, after all — and that’s important to know!

Good to know:
Do not attempt to diagnose or treat hyperthyroidism — or any other condition — on your own. Hyperthyroidism, in particular, is notably tricky to manage and requires professional guidance.

Never give your pet a medication that has not been prescribed or approved by your pet’s veterinarian.

Questions? Contact Us


Sources of information for this article:
Feline Thyroid Health, pamphlet by Hill’s Pet Nutrition
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary


This article has been edited and updated from its original publishing date in April 2013.


Disclaimer: Information on this site is provided for educational purposes only, and is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure your pet. Information provided on this site does not take the place of a valid client-patient-doctor relationship, nor does it constitute such a relationship. Your pet’s veterinarian is the best source of information regarding your pet’s health. Your pet may require an examination and testing by a licensed veterinarian in order to provide proper diagnosis and treatment. Neither Dr. Miele nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic or its staff is responsible for outcomes based on information available on this site. Every pet’s condition is unique and requires the direct care and oversight of its own veterinarian.

Read Full Post »

April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

What is Lyme Disease? Lyme Disease is an illness caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which are carried in the midgut of deer ticks and transmitted to dogs through a tick bite.
Symptoms of Lyme Disease include lameness that shifts from leg to leg, swollen joints, lack of appetite, depression, fever, difficulty breathing. As the disease progresses, it can cause serious injury to the dog’s kidneys.

Why are we talking about Lyme Disease in April? In spring and summer, a stage of deer tick called the nymph [between larval stage and adult stage] is feeding on blood and is able to transmit the bacteria that causes Lyme Disease.
Nymphs are tiny — about the size of a poppy seed — and are fast-moving and difficult to detect. For this reason, they tend to go unnoticed longer and are able to attach to your pet [or you] long enough to transmit disease.

How do dogs get Lyme Disease? When a deer tick carrying B. burgdorferi feeds on a dog for at least 48 hours, the bacteria are “awakened” and travel out of the tick’s midgut, into the dog’s bloodstream, through the site of the tick bite. 

Baked bean? Nope – it’s an engorged, dead tick, thoughtfully preserved for the enlightenment of future generations of pet owners. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

This is not a deer tick, but it is a well-fed tick.

Here’s where it gets a little technical: While the bacteria, B. burgdorferi, resides in the tick’s gut, they are protected by a special coating called Outer Surface Protein A (OspA).  A dog that is vaccinated for Lyme Disease has — circulating in its blood — antibodies to OspA. When the tick ingests the blood, the OspA antibodies travel to the tick’s midgut and attack the B. burgdorferi there — before they’ve had a chance to awaken and mobilize.

So, rather than the vaccine-induced antibodies attacking an organism that has already entered the dog’s body, they instead attack the organisms outside the dog’s body, while still in the host. That is why we — cheekily — refer to it as “vaccinating the tick.”

Think of Lyme Disease vaccine as the vaccine that stops an organism before it reaches your pet: like an invisible force field! Pretty cool, huh?

But remember: deer ticks and other ticks can transmit nasty diseases in addition to Lyme Disease. There is no vaccine (yet) for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis (and the list goes on.) For that reason, Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends year-round tick control, like the Seresto collar or Nexgard chewables. 

 Contact Us with your questions about Lyme Disease.

Bonus Content: How to safely remove ticks from your pet


Originally posted on April 26, 2016. [Links and information updated.]

Read Full Post »

The American Red Cross has designated April
as Pet First Aid Awareness Month.

Every home should have a first aid kit for people. Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, says pet owners should also have a special kit for their furry family members. You can put together your own kit (using a watertight container) with these items:

  • Veterinarian’s contact information
  • Emergency veterinary hospital contact information
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Gauze rolls
  • Soft muzzle
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Cold pack
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rags or rubber tubing
  • Blanket or towel

Just as important as having the kit,
is knowing how to use it.
See the Suggested Reading section below
for resources on first aid techniques at home.

Nationwide Pet Insurance provides these tips on knowing how to respond in an emergency:

“While it’s important not to self-diagnose your pet’s symptoms, you must first determine the situation. Next, stabilize your pet, then take him to the veterinarian, who will want to know what happened and when, and if your pet is feeling worse, better or the same since the incident occurred.”

Note that First Aid does not mean you provide all the medical care at home in a true emergency. However, there are occasions, such as in heat stroke or burns, where some home treatment is necessary to stabilize the pet in order to transport him safely to the hospital.

Ask for your copy of “First Aid for Your Pet” [brochure; while supplies last] or purchase a first aid book, such as one from the list below.

Suggested reading:

The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats

Cat First Aid by the American Red Cross

Dog First Aid by the American Red Cross

Need to Know Now:
BluePearl Emergency Pet Hospital…..………757-499-5463
Pet Poison Helpline…………………………………….1-855-764-7661
(fee charged to your credit card)
Nationwide Pet Insurance…………………………1-888-899-4874


This post originally published June 24, 2011. Links updated.

Read Full Post »

April’s Animal Health Awareness Events

Much of the world is in limbo right now,
but Nature continues her work!

Check out what’s in store for April:

  • ASCPA’s Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Month
  • American Red Cross’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month
  • Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month [link]
  • National Frog Month [sounds ribbetting –get it?]
  • National Heartworm Awareness Month [link]
  • April 11 — National Pet Day
  • April 12-18 — National Dog Bite Prevention Week [link]
  • April 12-18 — National Animal Control Officer Appreciation Week
  • April 14 — National Dolphin Day
  • April 16 — Biomedical Research Awareness Day  [link]
  • April 17 — National Bat Appreciation Day [link, link]
  • April 17-23 — National Pet ID Week [link]
  • April 22 — Earth Day [link]
  • April 24 — Hairball Awareness Day
  • April 25 — World Penguin Day
  • April 25 — World Veterinary Day
  • April 26 — National Kids and Pets Day
  • April 29 — National Guide Dog Day
  • April 30 — National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

 

 

Read Full Post »

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 Norfolk veterinarian Dr. Donald Miele agrees that it does mean owners of those breeds should be aware of the greater likelihood of health problems, and that veterinary pet insurance is a worthy investment for owners of “brachy” breeds.


Learn more about Nationwide Pet Insurance


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

 

 

Read Full Post »

« Newer Posts - Older Posts »