Monday, April 21, 2014

Heartworm in Texas

Did you know that if you live in Texas and your dog stays outside or goes outside that he has a 100% chance of getting heart worms? In our climate, where it never gets cold enough to kill off all the mosquitoes, your dogs are at high-risk. In Texas, heart worms are not something your dog *may* get; heart worms are something your dog *will* get - it's only a matter of time. And heart worms, if left untreated, will kill your beloved dog. The adult heartworm lives in the right chamber of the heart and pulmonary artery which routes blood through the lungs where carbon dioxide is removed and oxygen is added to the red blood cells. I have actually seen hearts so chucked full of worms that only a trickle of blood can get through. This all begins with a single mosquito bite! The mosquito bites an infected dog and picks up some microfilaria from the blood meal. The microfilaria live about two weeks in the salivary glands of the mosquito. Now is that a tiny worm or what? When the mosquito bites a dog or cat it punches a little hole with some pinchers. It then releases some saliva that prevents the blood from clotting. As the mosquito sits back sipping at the blood some microfilaria find their way into the wound. The microfilaria then begin to migrate through the tissue following veins to the heart. As the larva migrate they molt and continue growing in size ( since insects have a rigid exterior they must molt or shed the exterior to grow in size). This process takes about six months to reach adult size in the heart and begin giving birth to offspring, the microfilaria. The process then can continue. Note: The offspring cannot grow to adults without coming out of the animal and spending time in the mosquito at cooler temperatures. In other words, the mosquito is necessary. If it released one microfilaria into the wound only one adult heartworm would lodge in the body of the pet. The more times the pet is stung by infected mosquitos, the more heart worms they can aquire. Treatment is expensive: $400-600, so preventing heart worms is much less costly in the long run, not to mention healthy for your pet! That is why it is essential to give your dog Heart worm preventative each and every month. It is not optional! Before starting your dog on a preventative program, you must have her tested for heart worms. Use the stickers that come with the heart worm preventative and put them on your calendar, so your dog receives the medicine the same day every month. Now you can relax, knowing your dog is protected. Call us today at 940-855-0451 to set up your appointment!

Friday, April 11, 2014

Vectra 3D

We are proud to announce that we sell Vectra 3D. It is the latest addition to our flea and tick arsenal. Biting ecto-parasites have been a growing concern in the northeast for the last 5 years or so … and just like with everything else, these parasites are evolving past our preventative products. Many flea and tick products lose efficacy in the 4th week after application … they don’t kill fast enough … some of them only kill if the animal is bitten … They simply aren’t working to our satisfaction anymore. How is Vectra 3D different? Using Vectra 3D once monthly, year round will provide your dog with powerful protection against fleas, ticks and mosquitoes, including after bathing and swimming for 30 days … not up to 30 days … Unlike other products, there is no protection drop off after 21 days. I’ll say it again: Vectra 3D protects your dog, and household for 30 days. This product works by effectively preventing disease transmission. It is a flea, tick and mosquito REPELLENT/KILLER. Applying Vectra 3D will begin to kill fleas already occupying your animal in 6hrs. We all know that the longer these ecto-parasites remain on your dog, the greater the chance your dog could get sick. Vectra 3D effectively prevents all stages of the flea life cycle, controlling adult fleas, flea eggs, flea larvae and adolescent fleas essentially breaking the life cycle at every juncture. This product also repels and kills 3 different species of mosquitoes including those that transmit heartworm disease to dogs and cats. It also repels and kills 4 types of ticks that transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, anaplasmosis and tick paralysis. All of these diseases are now very prevalent in the northeast. Vectra 3D is proven effective even after bathing, swimming, and exposure to rain! You don’t have to wait 2 days before and after exposure to water to apply Vectra 3D. It drys in 4 hours, so if you apply it right before bedtime … it will be dry and your dog will be ready to go for your 6am walk. Does Vectra protect against mosquitos? Simply hold the tube upright, place thumb and index finger around the applicator tip (under the large disk). With your other hand, grasp the stem of the applicator tip (above the smaller disk). To puncture the tamper proof seal, press down firmly until both disks meet. The product is now ready to use.tubed flea and tick prevention with vectra Vectra 3D is made for dogs and cats, but it is very important to give this medication properly as the Vectra 3D for dogs CANNOT BE USED ON CATS! Vectra 3D for dogs is toxic to cats during the 4 hour necessary dry time. If you apply the liquid as directed (at night before bed) … simply keep the dogs and cats separate for the duration of your slumber. They will be able to once again socialize by morning without consequence. If your cat does come into contact (i.e. the dog product is applied accidentally to the cat, or the cat grooms the dog where the medication was applied before the required drying period is over) contact your veterinarian immediately to avoid any harmful effects. Before deciding to carry this product in our clinic, we did extensive research, met with company representatives, and we are currently dosing our own pets. We have been very pleased with the results, and our full confidence is behind this product. Please feel free to e-mail us or call us if you are interested in more information, or if you would like to purchase this product. This product is only available for purchase through your veterinarian. Online pharmacies are not allowed (by law) to sell this product. If you come across such a pharmacy please notify your veterinarian as this is an illegal use/distribution of this product.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Thunderstorm Phobia in Your Pets

Thunderstorm phobia or anxiety in dogs is a fairly common and very real problem for many dogs. Dogs with thunderstorm phobia become extremely frantic and overwhelmed with fear during storms. Astraphobia is the technical term for this: the fear of thunder and lightning. Owners who see their dogs experiencing this fear usually feel helpless and frustrated. Find out what causes thunderstorm phobia in dogs and learn how to manage it for the sake of your dog and your own peace of mind. There is no way to know for certain what causes a dog to become afraid of thunderstorms. However, based on what we do know about dogs, we can speculate. There are probably multiple reasons for thunderstorm phobia, and the reasons vary from dog to dog. The most obvious reason is due to the loud noise of the thunder. Many dogs suffer from noise phobia, and the thunder is just one of several frightening noises (others include fireworks, gunshots, etc). However, the cause of fear may not be limited to noise. Changes in barometric pressure and humidity can affect your dog's senses and possibly even cause discomfort in the ears. Arthritic dogs or those with orthopedic disorders may experience more pain than usual. Another possible reason for thunderstorm phobia is association with a traumatic experience. You may not know what happened, but it is possible that something very stressful or frightening occurred in your dog's past during a thunderstorm. Finally, genetic make-up may be a contributing factor to fear of thunderstorms, or even the sole cause. Thunderstorm Phobia Signs if your dog seems anxious, hyperactive, destructive or reclusive during storms, you are probably dealing with thunderstorm phobia. The signs are usually quite obvious, so you probably already know your dog is phobic of storms. Many dogs will pace, pant or quietly whine. Some are clingy and seek attention. Other dogs will hide, frozen with fear. All of these signs can go unnoticed at first, and you may be unknowingly encouraging the behavior. Your dog's fearful behavior may be subtle at first but can become worse with time, eventually becoming full-blown panic attacks that are very dangerous for your dog. It is not uncommon for dogs with thunderstorm phobia to urinate and/or defecate inappropriately. Telltale signs of anxiety and fear can begin long before the storm arrives, so take note of signs that occur during normal weather. Your dog is probably the best weather forecaster you can find. Preventing and Treating Thunderstorm Phobia, there are some things you can do to prevent your dog from reacting adversely to the triggers of thunderstorms, or at least minimize the reaction. First of all, never leave your dog outside during storms. Next, examine your own behavior and that of other people in the home. Your dog will react to human anxiety, fear and stress, even if it is not related to the storm. Do your best to remain relaxed and upbeat. Perhaps the most important thing you can do is to go about your usual routine. Do not pay special attention to your dog when he is exhibiting signs of fear or anxiety. Though it may seem like your dog needs comforting, coddling and praising your dog reinforces and rewards the unwanted behavior. There are ways you can indirectly comfort your dog during thunderstorms (or other sources of fear and anxiety). One thing you can try is to provide a comfortable hiding place in the quietest part of your home. A crate with a soft bed inside and covered with a sheet might make your dog feel safer. Try playing music or white noise to drown out the noise. Consider trying a CD like Through a Dog's Ear. In addition, using Dog Appeasing Pheromone (DAP) in the "safe place" might also help. Some dogs benefit from a type of wrap, like the Thundershirt, that is believed to provide some comfort during times of anxiety, stress and fear. If your dog does calm down and stops reacting to the storm, respond with calm praise and rewards. Consider distracting your dog from the remainder of the storm by practicing basic commands or playing a game of tug-of-war. Dogs with severe thunderstorm phobia will need the help of a professional. A veterinary behaviorist can help you establish a desensitization or conditioning program. Talk to your primary veterinarian about potential treatments, including herbal therapies such as Stress Away. In most cases, prescription medication is very successful in conjunction with desensitization or conditioning. Though many dog owners shy away from these types of medications, the benefit outweighs the means in serious cases. Your vet may prescribe an anti-anxiety medication like Xanax (alprazolam) or Valium (diazepam) that can be given at the first sign of a storm. Some dogs will need to be on longer-term medications that are given daily to keep anxiety under control. Because thunderstorm phobia is likely to become worse over time, it is important to take action when you first notice the signs. Do not wait to address the phobia until it is very severe - it will be that much harder to reverse. Just as stress is a health risk for humans, the same applies for dogs. Thunderstorm phobia can become a very serious problems that will adversely affect your dog's health and quality of life. Act now for the sake of your dog.