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Wrong. While some parasites are visible to the naked eye, such as adult roundworms, usually only eggs or cysts are shed in the feces. Even a trained laboratory technician must use a microscope to find them. In southeast Idaho, roundworms are very common. We also see tapeworms, hookworms, giardia, coccidia, and occasionally strongyloides and whipworms. Here’s the catch with parasites – even though you can’t see them, some of them can infect you and your family. Giardia causes severe nausea and diarrhea in humans, and roundworms may cause blindness in children. Screening and prevention, therefore, are critical to the health of your entire family. Call your veterinarian today about fecal testing for parasites. July and August are Parasite Awareness Months at Community Animal Hospital, and fecal tests are discounted.
Yes and no. Annual vaccination protects against feline distemper and severe respiratory diseases. All cats that go outdoors, or have contact with unknown cats, should also be vaccinated for feline leukemia. Even so, outdoor cats are susceptible to FIV, the virus that causes feline AIDS. There is no effective vaccine for FIV. If your cat has any outdoor access, be sure to have him tested for viruses, including FIV, at least annually. Keep in mind that outdoor cats are also susceptible to internal and external parasites, such as roundworms and ear mites, and vaccines do nothing to prevent these. Ask your veterinarian about appropriate preventive medications. May and June are Feline Health Awareness Months at Community Animal Hospital. Feline wellness exams, vaccines, and viral testing are discounted.
Feline leukemia is a common viral disease in cats. It is the cause of more cat deaths, directly or indirectly, than any other infectious organism in the cat population. Feline leukemia is spread from cat to cat via saliva, blood (frequently from bite wounds), and from mother to fetuses during pregnancy. The virus may remain dormant in an infected cat for weeks to years, so your cat could have the feline leukemia virus even though he appears to be healthy, and if so, he could transmit the virus to other cats. Once clinical disease occurs, a variety of disorders may result, including severe recurrent respiratory infections and lymphoma (cancer). Ultimately, feline leukemia is incurable and fatal. A quick blood test is required to test your cat for feline leukemia (and usually other diseases concurrently). Talk to your veterinarian about testing for feline leukemia and prevention of the disease. If your cat tests negative but is at risk for exposure, vaccination is an effective preventive. If your cat tests positive, your veterinarian will discuss methods of managing the disease and preventing further spread of the virus.Don’t despair when your dog is showing these symptoms. With treatment, your dog may act younger and happier than you dreamed possible.
The answer is yes to both. Ticks are very common in Idaho, even in pets that never leave their backyards. Ticks have the potential to transmit several quite serious diseases. Fleas are not as common here as in other parts of the country, but we do see them, especially on cats that go outdoors. Fleas may transmit serious diseases that affect people as well as pets. Fleas also carry tapeworms. Some years are worse than others for fleas; last year, for instance, we diagnosed many more flea-related illnesses than usual. This year, due to the very mild winter, we are seeing strong tick activity far earlier than usual. The key is easy, affordable prevention! Ask your veterinarian today for recommendations on flea and tick control.
Yes! There are many ways to provide dental preventive care at home. Brushing is the single best thing you can do for your pets’ teeth, and even a few times a week can make a huge difference. Be sure to use toothpaste and brushes approved by your veterinarian, and work into the brushing routine slowly. There are oral antiseptic rinses and water additives that help reduce plaque and tartar buildup and minimize gingivitis. Rinsing sounds strange (no, your pet does not have to gargle), but it’s quicker and easier than you might think. Some dental chews help manage tartar buildup; there are many of these on the market these days, and not all are created equal. Ask your veterinarian for recommendations. Your veterinarian may also recommend a special diet for your pet to manage dental disease, such as Science Diet’s new Healthy Advantage diet or Hill’s prescription t/d.Dental preventive care at home will greatly benefit your pets’ oral health, and therefore their overall health. Keep in mind, however, that preventive care only goes so far. We humans brush and floss, but we still need to see the dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings, and the same holds true for our furry family members. If it’s been a year or more since your pet was examined, call your veterinarian today to schedule a check-up. February is Dental Promotional Months at Community Animal Hospital. Save 10% on dentistry!
Dental radiology is becoming more and more common for dogs and cats, and for good reason. The advantage of radiographs, or x-rays, is the ability to visualize the tooth roots, abscesses, masses, retained teeth, retained roots, root resorption, cysts, and other conditions that may not be visible to the naked eye. Therefore, a tooth that appears perfectly healthy at the surface may be revealed as the source of your cat’s reluctance to eat, thanks to radiographs. With a tooth that is of questionable health on visual inspection, radiographs help determine whether the tooth is structurally sound and worth preserving, or whether it is beyond all repair and requires extraction. Almost all dogs and cats will develop dental disease to some extent in their lifetime. When you are planning a dental cleaning for your pet, discuss dental radiology with your veterinarian, and ask whether it is available. It makes a big difference to your pet!
February is Dental Promotional Months at Community Animal Hospital. Save 10% on dentistry!
Cats and dogs are incredibly stoic when it comes to discomfort in the mouth. Despite painful teeth, roots, and gums, they often eat, drink, play, and act as if nothing is wrong. This is a result of deep-seated feral behavior; no matter that cats and dogs have been domesticated for ages, deep down they have wild instincts. And in the wild, complainers get eaten. So our furry family members try their best not to complain. This is not to say they don’t feel pain! Multiple studies indicate that pets experience pain similar to humans; they simply handle it in vastly different ways. In short, if your cat has dental disease to the extent that extractions are needed, then yes, she does have some oral pain. Professional dentistry with dental radiographs and oral surgery would benefit her, not only to make her more comfortable, but extend her life expectancy as well. Call your veterinarian today to schedule dentistry.
January and February are Dental Promotional Months at Community Animal Hospital. Save 10% on dentistry!
Yes and no. Brushing is a great idea, but before you get started, make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your dog’s teeth checked. More than likely he needs a dental cleaning, and he might need to have some teeth extracted. Dogs do not generally develop tooth decay like humans do, but they do form tartar and calculus (crusts of tartar build-up), gingivitis, and periodontal disease. Not only can periodontal disease lead to pain, discomfort, and tooth loss, it can also affect organs elsewhere in the body because of bacterial travel through the bloodstream, resulting in heart disease, liver or kidney disease, or other complications. Once your dog’s teeth have been cleaned and polished, diseased teeth have been extracted, and his periodontal disease has been addressed, it is time to start dental preventive maintenance at home, such as brushing, oral rinses, and special dental chews. Use a toothpaste formulated for dogs rather than human toothpaste. Talk with your veterinarian to formulate a dental home-care plan that will best address the needs of your dog, so that you may help maintain his teeth for a lifetime. January and February are Dental Promotional Months at Community Animal Hospital. Save 10% on dentistry!
No. There are GPS collar tags that allow a pet’s location to be determined remotely. Microchips, however, do not have GPS capability. But microchips do help lost pets get home! Microchips provide a permanent identification number which is registered along with your contact information in a database. If your pet is found and scanned, the number may be used night or day to find your contact information, so that you and your pet may be quickly reunited. This is especially important in case your pet loses its collar, which is quite common when pets become lost. Microchips have helped many, many pets return home quickly and safely. If your pet does not have a microchip, call your veterinarian today to schedule microchipping; it’s quick and easy! November and December are Microchip Promotion Months at Community Animal Hospital. Save 16% on microchipping!
Yes! Call your veterinarian today to have your dog evaluated for arthritis, and other age-related problems. There are many treatments for arthritis in dogs and cats, involving diet and supplements, various medications, and even acupuncture. Typically a “multimodal” approach, using a combination of therapies, is most effective in managing arthritis. Your veterinarian will likely recommend diagnostics, such as bloodwork and x-rays, to determine what approach is best for your pet. Remember; never give medication to your pet, including over-the-counter medication such as aspirin, without asking your veterinarian first because many human medications can be toxic to pets. September and October are Senior Health Awareness Months at Community Animal Hospital, when you can save 30% on Senior Wellness screening packages.