Knowledge is Power: What You Need to Know About Canine Influenza

canine inlfuenzaLuckily, the flu hits people during certain months and takes a break that lasts through late spring to early fall. This allows us to mobilize quickly and protect ourselves with the flu vaccine before it begins to spread. Unfortunately, our dogs aren’t in the same boat. Canine influenza doesn’t have a “season” in which transmission is most likely. It’s a highly contagious respiratory virus, but with knowledge and awareness, you can protect your dog from it.

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The Future is Now: How Pet Microchips Change Lives

There are bicycles that pedal for us, trash cans that re-order food, phones that locate lost keys, and umbrellas that forecast the weather. Even if you’re not especially gadget or app-savvy, technology is present in most aspects of our busy modern lives. And if our lives are made easier, simpler, or faster via the latest development, well, maybe that’s a good thing.

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Common Pet Toxins Hiding in Plain Sight

pet toxinsA wide-angle lens of any pet’s surroundings would reveal a number of potentially dangerous objects, products, or plants. Indeed, pet toxins come in various packages, and many of them, such as antifreeze, fertilizer, and medications, keep modern life going. These necessities don’t have to go when sharing space with an animal, but managing indoor and outdoor environs is critical to safeguarding your pet’s health.

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With Summer Pet Safety Precautions in Place, the Livin’ Is Easy

summer pet safetyWe consider ourselves pretty lucky to live in a subtropical climate. Sure, we have an occasional cold snap in the winter, but we’d be hard-pressed to hear anybody complaining about it. The other side of this coin is a scorching-hot summer. Triple-digit temperatures and high humidity have the potential to dangerously impact pets. With our summer pet safety measures, you can prevent certain health hazards far past Labor Day.

First, the Obvious

When the sun is beating down, the car is no place for a pet. Internal temperatures can reach 120-degrees in no time, leaving unattended pets at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If untreated, brain damage, organ failure, or even death can occur. Continue…

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Recognizing a True Pet Emergency

pet emergencyWaiting for troubling symptoms to simmer down may not always yield terrible results. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to force your cat into the travel kennel, drive him or her to our hospital, only to find out that the terrible retching you heard earlier was just a hairball.

Pets, like us, endure minor illness or injury from time to time, and it’s not uncommon to “wait it out” to see whether symptoms either progress or subside. If you find yourself in a discomforting gray area, it may be best to bring your pet in (or, at the very least, call). But knowing the tell-tale signs of a pet emergency is equally important. Continue…

Understanding Veterinary Laparoscopy

veterinary laparoscopyLaparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery, has been the gold standard in human surgery for many years. However, in veterinary medicine this surgical technique is not yet common practice.

For a veterinary hospital, the ability to offer laparoscopic surgery involves a significant commitment, both in terms of the time it takes for the veterinarian to acquire the advanced training needed to use laparoscopic equipment, and in the financial investment of the equipment itself. A veterinary practice’s investment in offering laparoscopy can run upwards of $40,000, inclusive of the laparoscopic equipment itself, as well as the sterilization equipment needed beyond what is normally found in a veterinary practice. Continue…

Pet Dental Health: The Down and Dirty of Your Dog’s Teeth

Loree W. Hebert, Jr., DVM

It’s likely you’ve never thought much about your dog’s dirty teeth but pet dental care is actually a very important part of maintaining your dog’s health. Just like humans, pets accumulate bacteria on their teeth which can migrate beneath the gums and cause serious health problems, such as tooth loss and damage to organs including the kidney, liver, spleen, and heart valves.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3.

As a pet owner, you may notice bad breath, a broken tooth, dirty teeth or signs of a painful mouth. These can be signs of progressing dental disease, but dental disease may be present even without these signs, since the actual damage is occurring along and beneath the gumline. Continue…