Do visions of Cujo or Ole Yeller jump into your head at the mention of Rabies? Hollywood can make up some scary things but Rabies doesn't need any help. It is spread through saliva contact to a way inside the body like broken skin (think BITE). Rabies attacks the nervous system. It is always fatal to animals and people who have been exposed have to undergo a series of injections. If not treated right away, it is fatal in humans also. If you see wildlife acting odd: unbalanced, no fear of humans or acting aggressively stay away! Bats are carriers of the virus, so if you get accidentally bit, seek medical attention right away.
Parvovirus - a deadly puppy threat.
Canine Parvovirus is a serious threat to unvaccinated puppies and adult dogs. There are few things worse than watching your little puppy fade away with bloody diarrhea and vomit and because it is a virus (think FLU) you can't take medicine and make it go away, it has to run it's course. Unfortunately, this disease attacks the immune system, strips the intestinal lining and causes severe dehydration. With constant fluid therapy and nursing care a lot of puppies can survive, it can take several days of intensive treatment. Click here to read more about it. We start vaccinating 6 week old puppies every 3 weeks for a total 4 injections.
Bordetella - Kennel Cough
Bordetella is an upper respiratory disease that is air born and very contagious. We have had cases of pets that only go out into their fenced in yard come in with coughing. The vaccine works like the flu vaccine in us, it may not totally prevent this disease, but the symptoms will be a lot less severe. Bordetella is also known as kennel cough because it breaks out where a lot of dogs spend time close together. We recommend the vaccine every 6 months if your dog is at high risk like boarding, bathing outside the home or going to the groomer. Cats can also catch a feline version and should be vaccinated yearly.
Leptospirosis is a deadly disease that attacks the kidneys. It is spread through urine, so standing water is a natural reservoir and it spreads from animal to animal including humans. Please read more about Leptospirosis and if your pet is at risk, call us to set up a vaccine appointment.
Heartworms are mean, nasty parasites. They will live in dogs and cats' hearts and lungs and can grow to be a foot long. If dogs contract the parasites, there is a treatment, but if cats get them - there is no treatment. FYI, the treatment is NOT just taking a couple of tablets (like intestinal parasites), but the prevention is that easy! Once a month you can give your pet a flavored chew or apply some drops on the skin of their back and that will keep heartworms at bay. Heartworm prevention needs to be given every month of the year.
Inappropriate Urination with Cats
Does your cat urinate outside of the box? For many owners, this is a real problem. First we have to rule out medical issues like bacterial infection, feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD) or bladder stones. Then we look at other issues: the cat box to cats in the household ratio and are they clean, is the box in a 'safe' area - away from children and dogs, is the cat a high stress cat that actually needs behavior therapy? Often, the resolution to the problem is NOT an antibiotic. Sometimes a diet change along with a few simple changes in the litter box upkeep is all that is needed. **Important: If you have a male cat and he is not urinating or having difficulty urinating, take him to a veterinarian NOW!
Chronic Renal (Kidney) Disease
Although this disease can effect dogs, cats are more likely to have long term health issues associated with chronic kidney disease. Early detection is the key to a longer, healthier life for these animals, that is why we want to do a yearly blood panel to check the levels of several systems, especially the kidneys. If you don't find out until your pet starts to lose weight, become lethargic or not eat as well, the kidneys may be up to 75% damaged already. With early detection we can help you implement some simple changes in diet and water intake and that may hold off some very debilitating effects for years. Find out more here.
Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)
Feline Leukemia is a virus that weakens the immune system and can be spread through the cat's saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces and milk. So, just about anything the infected cat does can spread the virus to un-vaccinated cats. This is why we recommend vaccinating kittens during their first 2 years, even if they indoor, just in case they slip out the door and are on the run for a few hours. All it takes is 1 bite, or cleaning themselves after getting urine or fecal material on them. The virus can even be spread through food and water dishes if your kitten finds a free meal while on the run. Since it is a virus, we cannot treat it or cure the cat. Find out more about what FeLV is here. To test if your cat has this potentially deadly disease all we need is 3 drops of blood and we can run the test while you wait.