Category Archives: Medical Advice

Diabetes in Pets

November is National Pet Diabetes Month. Are your pets at risk? The likelihood of your cat or dog developing diabetes is anywhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 500 and experts say those numbers are increasing. Diabetes mellitus, the clinical name for “sugar diabetes,” is a disease that affects glucose in your pet’s blood and is caused by a shortage of insulin or when the body can’t process insulin properly. Diabetes in dogs is usually type 1 while diabetes in cats is usually type 2 but can progress to type 1.

The food that your pet eats is broken down into small components that the body can use. One of the components, carbohydrates, is converted into sugar or glucose. If there is too little insulin or the insulin cannot be processed correctly, then the glucose is not able to enter the cells and provide energy. Because the cells cannot absorb glucose, a diabetic pet may always want to eat but still look malnourished.

If your pet exhibits the following symptoms, he or she may have diabetes:
-Excessive drinking or urination,
-increased appetite (early stages) or loss of appetite (late stages),
-weight loss,
-lethargy or weakness, and
-vomiting or other intestinal problems.

If your pet has these symptoms then let us or your veterinarian know so we can get started on creating a plan for your and your pet. Although diabetes is not curable, it can be managed with daily insulin injections and changes in diet (and exercise for dogs). Oral medications have shown to be not particularly helpful. Successful management of your pet’s diabetes means that he or she can live a happy and healthy life. Making sure that your pet is eating a proper diet, gets regular exercise, and maintains a healthy weight can be a big help in preventing diabetes.

For more information about pet diabetes, visit https://www.petdiabetesmonth.com.

What causes pet periodontal disease?

What causes pet periodontal disease? Pet periodontal disease starts when bacteria form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. These bacteria can then travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys and liver.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Don’t turn your nose to Fido’s or Fluffy’s bad breath! That odor might signify a serious health risk, with the potential to damage not only your pet’s teeth and gums but its internal organs as well.

To address the significance of oral health care for pets, the AVMA and several veterinary groups are sponsoring National Pet Dental Health Month in February.

Starting in February we will be sharing information about how you can identify pet dental health problems and how you can proactively minimize the risk of them occurring. Stay tuned!

Why are Your Pet’s Vaccinations So Important?

Vaccinations are a critical part of preventative care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper and lyme disease. Each dog and cat is different, so when necessary our veterinarians develop custom vaccinations plans for each pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered.

Dogs

All dogs must be vaccinated for Rabies as required by Pennsylvania State law. We also vaccinate all dogs in our practice for distemper, lepto, parvo and bordetella. Because Pennsylvania has one of the highest rates of Lyme disease in the United States, we also vaccinate for Lyme disease. Finally, we recommend the Canine Influenza vaccine for dogs in a high risk group.

Cats

All cats must also be vaccinated for Rabies as required by Pennsylvania State law. All cats in our practice are also vaccinated for distemper and the upper respiratory disease viruses. Finally, cats which go outdoors are vaccinated against feline leukemia.

IMPORTANT RECALL: Virbac issues expanded recall for Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables

While we don’t carry this product, we think it is very important to share this information in case anyone bought this product somewhere else.

Virbac has expanded its voluntary recall of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables following its initial recall notice in April 2013.

According to PetMD, additional specific lots of the heartworm preventive are being recalled because they might not fully protect dogs in the upper third of each weight range.

PetMD cited a letter distributed by Virbac saying that 14 lots of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables were below Ivermectin potency levels prior to their expiration. Another 17 lots are being recalled out of caution even though they remain within specification.

Virbac directs consumers who have questions about the recall to contact Virbac Technical Services at 1-800-338-3659, ext. 3052.

Please help us share this information.

To read more of the details, go to: https://www.aahanet.org/blog/NewStat/post/2013/08/22/925558/Virbac-issues-expanded-recall-for-Iverhart-Plus-Flavored-Chewables.aspx

Pet ownership may contribute to healthier hearts

According to a new scientific statement from the American Heart Association (AHA), pet ownership likely contributes to a lowered risk of heart disease.

The organization reviewed previous studies to confirm its opinion about the positive correlation between owning pets and maintaining healthier hearts. While the AHA did not propose that previous research proves definitively that owning a pet is a direct cause of lowered heart disease risks, the organization did discuss several reasons why pet owners might have healthier hearts.

The AHA mentioned other previous research indicating that pet ownership may contribute to lower blood pressure, improved cholesterol levels, decreased incidence of obesity, and bodies that are better able to handle stress.

The link between pet ownership and better health is especially true with dogs, the AHA said based on previous research it analyzed. The organization cited a study of more than 5,200 adults finding that dog owners were 54 percent more likely to get the recommended level of physical activity than non-dog owners.

While the AHA believes in the positive correlation between pet ownership and decreased heart disease risk, there is more research to be done concerning whether pet ownership can help people with pre-existing heart disease, said Glenn N. Levine, MD, professor at Baylor College of Medicine and chair of the committee that wrote the statement.

Spring is in the Air!

Now that we’re getting ready to play outside, vaccinations are a critical part of preventative care for your pet. Vaccines protect our pets from many diseases including rabies, distemper and lyme disease. Each dog and cat is different, so when necessary our veterinarians develop custom vaccinations plans for each pet. Our veterinarians will determine which vaccinations your pet needs and how often they will be administered.

cat dog spring