by Connie G.
Coming Soon to a Pet Near You?
Imagine you were told that, without taking any steps to protect yourself, you had a better than one in four chance of contracting a deadly disease. Imagine you were able to prevent that from ever happening by taking a simple pill every 30 days. Imagine that pill costs as little as $6/dose ... less than a pizza, less than a specialty coffee drink at Starbucks, less than a month of Netflix. Taking that pill would seem like a no-brainer, right? And yet, a 2015 study by Merial showed that 63.5% of dogs in the United States left veterinary clinics without heartworm preventive.1 Even in the South, where heartworm disease is endemic, 56% of dogs were not being protected.
The current American Heartworm Society guidelines recommend year-round protection against heartworms, and once-yearly testing. At Kingsland, the discussion is typically had at every wellness exam, and often, even when a pet is brought in for other concerns. We recommend year-round heartworm prevention to every dog or cat (yes, cats can get heartworms, too!), even for pets who only venture outdoors for exercise and potty breaks.
Age is Not a Disease
by Connie G.
We’ve all heard it, or even thought it ourselves:
“Fido is sleeping more, but that’s normal – he’s not as young as he used to be.”
“Fluffy seems to be uncomfortable, but that’s normal – she’s getting older.”
“Spot’s appetite has been off lately, but that’s normal – he’s older, you know.”
While some, or all, of those symptoms may be present as a pet ages, it does not make them “normal,” and they shouldn’t be dismissed as insignificant signs of a benign condition.
Thanks to better care, including food, veterinary care and living conditions, our pets are living longer than they ever have. As they age, senior/mature pets need extra care and attention. Their bodies are changing more quickly, often internally where we can’t easily see what’s going on. Attentive veterinary care is more crucial than ever, and can uncover problems before they become advanced or life-threatening. Appropriate care can ensure a pet’s golden years are healthy, comfortable, productive years!
Holiday & Winter Toxins
Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT & Renee Schmid, DVM
During the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, it is easy to let your guard down when it comes to preventing toxic exposures to your pet. While the holidays bring more challenges to the already difficult winter months, we cannot forget about outdoor toxin concerns frequently seen this time of year. Below is a list of holiday-related decorations, plants and food items that the veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline recommend keeping away from pets.
Holiday Ornaments and decorations:
When decorating for the season, consider your pets. Holiday decorations such as old-fashioned bubble lights may contain poisonous chemicals. If a pet chews on them, the liquid inside could be dangerous to their health. Methylene chloride, the chemical in older bubble lights, can result in depression, aspiration pneumonia, and irritation to the eyes, skin and gastrointestinal tract. Glass ornaments that shine and shimmer are often an enticing toy for your pet. However, if they were to bite in to, or break one during play, the small glass pieces can lead to lacerations to the skin and mouth, as well as damage to the esophagus and gastrointestinal tract. Homemade dough ornaments pose a risk for causing elevated sodium levels that may lead to severe neurologic abnormalities. If any of these types of tree decorations are being used for your tree, it is recommended to keep them towards the upper portion of the tree, where they are less likely to be accessed by your pet. Many animals develop electrical burns in their mouth from chewing on strands of lights, particularly cats and puppies. It is ideal to minimize dangling light strands to make them less appealing to pets.