Posts Tagged ‘preventative care’

Pyometra is a potentially fatal disease of female dogs and cats that can be prevented through ovariohysterectomy surgery [spay], in which the pet’s ovaries and uterus are removed. Intact (non-spayed) females are at risk for pyometra, which often presents 1-2 months after estrus [heat cycle]. Elevated hormone levels can lead to greater than normal secretions in the uterus, providing a breeding ground for bacteria.

Affected pets may have an “open” pyometra, in which pus, mucus, and blood may be seen draining from the vulva. Alternately, in a “closed” infection, the accumulated pus does not drain, and the pet may show more severe signs of illness. Symptoms of pyometra can include lethargyanorexia, depression, and excessive thirst. Additionally, pets with ”closed” infections may exhibit vomiting and diarrhea, shock, and collapse. However, fever is not always present.

In most cases, spay surgery is the preferred remedy for pyometra. Due to the illness, the risks of surgery are elevated because the infected organ must be removed from the body without introducing its contents to the body cavity. Adding to the risk is the pet’s poor general health as a result of the infection. For these reasons, prevention through early spay surgery is recommended.

Infected dog uterus and two normal uteri

 

If your female dog or cat has not been spayed and is showing signs of illness, especially after a recent heat cycle, talk to your veterinarian about whether pyometra is a concern.

 Glossary

  • anorexia – loss of appetite
  • estrus – the portion of the reproductive cycle in which female animals will accept a mate; “heat”
  • intact – not spayed or castrated
  • lethargy – tiredness, reluctance to move or engage in normal activity
  • ovariohysterectomy – surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus; “spay” surgery
  • pyometra – infection of the uterus
  • vulva – the external female genitals

Resources:
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice (Birchard, Sherding)
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary (Blood, Studdert)


This article is not a substitute for medical care. It is not meant to diagnose, treat, or cure any condition. If you believe your pet is exhibiting signs of illness or injury, contact your regular veterinarian or veterinary emergency hospital right away.

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Heartworm Disease is closer than you think
— so be sure your pet is receiving a monthly heartworm preventative.

Cases of heartworm disease are tracked nationally and reported on by several organizations. One such group, the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC), has discovered that three cities in Virginia are among the Top Ten cities in the U.S. to have experienced an increase in the number of positive heartworm cases in the past 30-45 days.

Alexandria, VA ranked #1 overall, for the highest percentage increase of positive tests in June. If that doesn’t feel close enough for pet owners in Hampton Roads, consider this: Newport News, VA was #3 and Hampton, VA was #4 on the national list!

Here is the complete Top Ten ranking:

1) Alexandria, Va.

2) Corona, Calif.

3) Newport News, Va.

4) Hampton, Va.

5) Paterson, N.J.

6) San Bernardino, Calif.

7) Fargo, N.D.

8) Springfield, Mass.

9) Laredo, Tex.

10) Topeka, Kans.

Heartworms in canine heart

Heartworm Disease is close to home in Hampton Roads, so be sure your pet is receiving a monthly heartworm preventative to protect against this deadly parasite.

Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic for an appointment to get your pet protected today.

Link to CAPC report: https://www.petsandparasites.org/about-capc/top-ten-cities-reports/

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Now that Thanksgiving is over, and you’ve finished eating

—  wait — 

you have finished eating, haven’t you?

Good.

We’re going to do some veterinary math.

The picture below illustrates a gaggle of Roundworms.

noodles 1

Roundworms. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic (VA).

How many worms make a gaggle?

Noodles 2

Roundworms. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic (VA).

In this case, seven.

If you feel sick after seeing these pictures,
imagine how your pet would feel if these worms were in its intestines.

The good news:
Roundworms are preventable with a monthly dose of
heartworm / intestinal worm medication,
like HeartGard Plus or Sentinel.

Contact Us to be sure your pet is protected.

 

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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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Heartworm Disease has been found in pets in all 50 states, including Virginia.

Dogs and cats are vulnerable to Heartworm Disease, which is transmitted by mosquitoes. As anyone who is familiar with southern Virginia knows, we have a mosquito problem. As a result, we also have a heartworm problem.

Heartworms not only live in the pet’s heart, they also migrate to the lungs. And although a dog can harbor over a hundred worms in its body, it takes only a single adult worm to cause a fatal inflammatory reaction in a cat.

Fast Facts:

Adult Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long

Adult Heartworms can live 5-7 years

A dog can have as many as 250 worms in its body

You can protect your pet with a simple-to-use monthly preventative, such as HeartGard Plus or Revolution.

Contact Us so we can help you get your pet protected from Heartworm Disease.
p12-tip6

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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.

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, we recommend year-round tick control, like the Seresto collar. Stop those little pests cold!

Ready to vaccinate your dog against Lyme Disease? Contact Us to schedule an appointment.

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Need a few scientific reasons to keep your pet on
year-round heartworm preventative?

Then check out this infographic by the American Heartworm Society:

HW 2 (764x735)

Click to enlarge

Still not convinced? Take a look at this:

Heartworm_Close_Up

Those are worms inside a dog’s heart. Heartworm is preventable,
with a simple once-a-month dose of heartworm preventative.
Contact Us to get your pet started today.

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