4/5/2018 10:09:00 AM |
When you bring your sweet, new puppy home you’ll probably be excited to show them off and introduce them to their new environment. But before you bring your puppy out in public, be aware that they should have their immunizations first. Puppies have weak immune systems, and are susceptible to a variety of viruses on the ground and in the air. It is important to make sure your puppy has their shots before you take them to public places such the park or dog-friendly restaurants. Even less popular areas in your neighborhood could have unnoticeable viruses lurking around from other dogs.
The best way to protect your puppy from these viruses is by vaccinating them. You may be asking, “What kind of shots does my puppy need? And when should I get them?” When you get a puppy, it’s recommended that you take it to the vet as soon as possible for an examination. Your vet will check your puppy’s ears, temperature, coat, mouth, teeth, abdomen, and weight. If your puppy is between 6 to 8-weeks-old, this is a good time for your puppy to get its first set of shots. Some veterinarians prefer that your puppy is 8-weeks-old before their first vaccine to ensure that the process is effective. The first shots will consist of some of the core vaccinations that your puppy needs.
All puppies need the core vaccines of canine distemper, adenovirus 2 (which prevents canine hepatitis), canine parvovirus, the parainfluenza virus, and the rabies virus. Core vaccines are crucial for protecting your puppy from the various life-threatening diseases he or she can contract. Below is a brief description of what each of these vaccines protects against:
• Canine distemper – Canine distemper attack’s a puppy’s gastrointestinal system, nervous system, and respiratory system. It can be contracted by sharing water dishes or even through the air. Distemper can cause fever, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, twitching, paralysis, and death.
• Adenovirus 2 – This vaccination protects against canine hepatitis which is a highly contagious viral infection that affects a dog’s liver, kidneys, spleen, lungs, and eyes. Symptoms range from a slight fever and congestion to vomiting, stomach swelling, liver pain, and jaundice. There is no cure for canine hepatitis.
• Canine parvovirus – Parvo is a highly contagious virus. Puppies younger than four months old (and unvaccinated dogs) have the highest risk of contracting it. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal system and can cause loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, and severe, bloody diarrhea. Dogs can die from the severe dehydration that accompanies these symptoms. If you think your puppy has contracted parvovirus, contact your veterinarian immediately. Your vet can keep your dog hydrated while they wait for the pup’s immune system to fight the virus. There is no cure for parvo.
• Rabies virus – Rabies is a viral disease that is usually transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal. Rabies affects the central nervous system and causes headaches, anxiety, hallucinations, excessive drooling, fear of water, paralysis, and death. It is important to treat a rabid animal within hours of infection, otherwise, it is likely to be fatal. Most states require a rabies vaccination.
• Parainfluenza virus - a highly contagious respiratory virus which leads to “Kennel Cough” in dogs. Symptoms can include a cough and a runny nose.
Puppy vaccinations protect against a number of dangerous diseases. After the first round of immunizations, your puppy will need to return to the vet every two to four weeks for four more rounds of core vaccines. There are also optional shots for your puppy, which include Bordetella, Lyme disease, and leptospirosis (consult your vet to see if these are right for your pup).
If your dog is over 16-weeks-old and isn’t up to date on shots, it is a good idea to get them vaccinated. Contact us to find out if you should start the vaccination process from the beginning. As your dog ages, consider the benefits of annual vaccinations.
Remember to keep up with your puppy’s immunizations to ensure their overall health and well-being. Contact us today to schedule vaccinations for your furry pal!
1/25/2018 10:20:00 AM |
The term brachycephalia refers to the flat nose and wide skull shape found in dogs. Dogs that fall into this category possess shorter-nosed and flat-faced skulls which can (unfortunately) lead to a health risks; the most common being airway obstruction.
Common dog breeds with this skull conformation include: the Pug, English Bulldog, French Bulldog, Shih Tzu, Boston terrier and Boxer. However, despite the number of potential risks flatter-faced dogs are becoming increasingly popular, with the Kennel Club reporting a 2,747% rise in the number of French bulldogs since 2004.
Not all flat-faced dogs will suffer from the same health problems, but since many do it is important to be aware of issues your beloved pup may face, as well as the signs to watch out for.
Brachycephalia, pronounced ‘brackee - cefalic’, comes from two Greek words, meaning “short” and “head”. Although owners generally want a dog that falls into this category because of their cute smushed faces, these adorable pups are more susceptible to health issues because of this feature.
Because the flat face is so popular, these dogs have been bred for their looks, but many suffer from airway issues as a result. The flat face is the result of a smaller upper jaw, in which the tissues inside are bigger than the jaw can allow. All of the airway issues that can result from this overcrowding are collectively referred to as "brachycephalic airway syndrome."
The bulk of health issues found in these types of dogs stem from the shape of their skulls. Because of their flat faces, the soft tissue in the nose and throat of these dogs are crammed into a smaller space than most other dog breeds. Because of this, there is comparatively more skin and other soft tissue around these areas; meaning the airway becomes narrowed or partially blocked as the tissue squeezes into a smaller space.
A result of having a short muzzle and a narrowed airway directly affects one of the most essential parts of any dog’s life, walks. Since dogs cannot sweat, they regulate their body temperature mostly through panting. Since these dogs have shorter muzzles, they are unable to cool themselves down as quickly as dogs with longer muzzles. As a result, it is advised to limit exercise on hotter days.
Other fairly common health issues you may find in this breed revolve around their skin, face and eyes; all of which stem from the shape of their skull.
If you are an owner of a bulldog, pug, shar-pei or even a mastiff you probably already know these dogs need special attention and care to one of the most favorable traits they all share - their folds! These deep skin folds found around their eyes and nose are poorly ventilated and unfortunately a great location for yeast and bacteria to develop. It is good to keep unscented baby wipes around the house to clean the folds at least once a day (preferably two).
Big prominent eyes are commonly found in many of these dogs and can be a potential issue if not monitored and treated properly. Dogs with prominent eyes have shallow eye sockets, giving them the ‘bulging’ eye feature. Because of this many dogs cannot blink fully, which results in areas of the cornea drying out since tears cannot distribute evenly. Corneal ulcers can develop over time and are extremely painful for even the toughest of our pups, so keep an eye out for behavioral changes such as squinting or an eye remaining closed, excessive blinking, sensitivity to light and rubbing at the eyes with a paw.
How to Care For Your Dog and What to do In Case of Emergencies
If you are an owner of a brachycephalic dog, here a few precautions you can follow to lower any risk of airway problems or other complications:
● Don’t over-exercise or let dog overheat - Limit walks or playtime outdoors when the weather is hot and/or humid; even brachycephalics who did not require surgery will struggle with breathing.
● Keep weight in a healthy range - Obesity can make brachycephalic problems even worse.
● Pay attention to normal snorting/snoring - If your pooch starts to make sounds that sound unfamiliar, they may be experiencing problems breathing. Be sure to contact your vet if this happens.
● Daily pampering - Use a washcloth to clean the facial folds at least once a day, but two would be preferred to limit yeast build up.
10/13/2017 7:30:00 AM |
A pet is a member of the family, wouldn’t you want them to be as happy and healthy as possible? A yearly veterinary health screening can make sure that your pet will stay healthy, or detect a condition early on. How your pet acts and how they really feel can go unnoticed. It is animal instinct to compensate and hide detectable signs or symptoms from their owners.
Taking your pet to annual health screenings will give your vet a baseline to determine what is normal and abnormal for your pet’s test work. Just like people, as your pet ages the importance of health screenings increases. It is vet recommended to take your pet for a health screening semi-annually as your pet gets older. Former tests that have been done for your pet throughout the years are prerequisites for determining the state of their current and ongoing health.
What Vets Look for During a Well-Visit
There are many conditions or diseases that may not be recognizable to the untrained eye or without proper health screening, such as blood work. Catching a disease in the beginning stages will allow for early intervention and improve chances for successful treatment for your animal. Here are a few conditions or diseases that your vet will test for during their health screening:
• Heartworm: A parasitical disease of worms surrounding your pet’s heart and blood vessels.
• Lyme Disease: A bacterial disease which affects the skin, joints, and nervous system.
• Ehrlichia: A bacterial disease which affects the kidneys and the respiratory system.
• Compete Blood Count (CBC): Tells the veterinarian the pet’s abilities to fight infection, produce red blood cells and platelets for blood clotting, and if an infection is present.
CBC’s may also use the baseline from previous health screenings to determine any deviations from normal results which also show metabolic diseases and how long they’ve been present in the body.
A health screening can help you understand what your pet needs. A physical examination and observing the pet’s weight will determine if you will need to change your pet’s diet or improve daily exercise. Lifestyle changes will help to decrease your pet’s chances of becoming obese or developing a respiratory condition. Well-visits can help your pet live a longer, healthier, and happier life. Contact your us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your pet and their health needs.
7/12/2017 2:18:00 PM |
Grooming your pet will help keep them looking their best, but did you know that there are many health-related benefits to regulatory grooming? The recommended time between grooming by professional groomers and vets, is four to six weeks for a long coated animal, and six to eight weeks for a short coated animal. Professionally trained groomers and vets have the skill set to appropriately clean and observe for signs of certain diseases. Some experienced pet groomers, to some extent, may help treat certain health conditions or abnormalities.
Long haired animals such as Shih Tzus, Poodles, and Persian cats are prone to developing mattes throughout their fur. These mattes can work their way to the skin’s surface, and may lead to worsened conditions for your animal. Mattes can cause skin infections known as hotspots if not treated at their beginning stages. Hotspots are usually defined as red, swollen, and moist areas, causing your pet discomfort if not properly cared for. Hotspots left untreated can spread throughout the body, further increasing pain and irritability. Getting your pet regularly groomed helps to prevent these hotspots from happening because groomers or vets will catch a matte forming before it reaches the skin. If a hotspot is found by a vet or groomer special topical ointment or powder is applied to help subside it. Regularly grooming and brushing your animal also helps distribute oils throughout your pet’s fur expelling dandruff and nourishing dry skin conditions.
Comfortable Grooming Experience and Treatment
Constipation can happen to any animal, at any age, with any coat type. Constipation can mean that your pet is unable to fully empty their anal gland. One noticeable symptom of this is your animal drags it’s posterior across the floor, also known as butt-scooting. Regularly taking your pet to be groomed, and explaining the symptom and it’s duration to your groomer or vet, will notify them to empty your animal’s anal glad. A vet or a professionally trained groomer will help relieve your pet of their compacted anal gland.
What to Expect From Your Groomer
Before grooming, your vet or groomer will most likely examine your animal before and after their bath. Before the bath determines what type of shampoos and conditioners will be used on your pet so their skin may gain the nutrients it requires. This will also determine the health of the inside of the animal’s ears, seeing if they need to be flooded for cleaning and infection protection purposes during their bath. They will also examine your pet after they have been bathed and dried, so they may note any abnormalities noticed during the bath to be careful of during the grooming and to notify you if it may require medical treatment.
Regularly grooming for a dog or cat also means that they will have regular nail trimmings, which is necessary to keep your pet’s kwik at bay. The kwik is the nerve inside an animal’s nail that will grow as the nail grows if not maintained. If a nail grows too long, the kwik will grow with it, and will cause pain to the animal if the owners ever decides to get their nails trimmed in the future.
Keep your pet looking and feeling their best by contacting your local groomer today. Your pet will thank you for it!
4/18/2017 3:42:00 PM |
“Dog breath” is so common that it’s probably seen in most cases as a dismissible quirk. Dogs don’t prioritize their health like we do, so it’s up to us to go the extra mile and provide them with necessary care. Brushing your dog’s teeth even just three times a week could extend their life by as much as five years.
Developing a New Hygiene Routine for your Pet
Brushing your teeth is a common practice. We know we have to brush our teeth in order to maintain our health, and because we’d like to prevent bad breath in most social situations. Bad breath is usually synonymous with bad health and hygiene, so why is bad breath tolerated in dogs?
If your dog is over thirty pounds, a regular toothbrush should work well to effectively clean teeth. For smaller dogs, buy a specialized finger brush. In both cases, you will need edible toothpaste as well; the regular toothpaste you use can be harmful to your pet’s digestion. It’s important to be calm and reassuring during the teeth cleaning process. If your dog appears anxious, and calming him or her down doesn’t work, save the cleaning for another day; you don’t want your pet to form a negative association with brushings.
The main target of teeth cleanings is removing plaque build-up, which typically requires working on the outside of the teeth. Don’t be too thorough, but do work slowly; the cleaning shouldn’t last more than two minutes. Afterward, consider giving your dog a treat, so that they look forward to the next cleaning!
It’s important to remember that while brushing your dog’s teeth can improve his or her life, the practice is not necessarily a cure-all. Sometimes bad breath can serve as a red flag of a more serious problem.
The Benefits of Regular Pet Teeth Cleanings
Regular dental cleanings can help avoid:
· Calculus (Tartar)
If your dog’s bad breath persists, you should consider a visit to your veterinarian for a check-up. It’s important to take any bothersome symptoms seriously when it comes to the health and well-being of your best friend.
1/10/2017 9:30:00 AM |
When you love your dog it may be tempting to feed them something from your plate, and while this is a safe practice most of the time there are certain foods that are toxic to canines. It’s also important to know what not to leave around the house, because dogs can be just as curious as cats. You shouldn’t let your dog consume any of the following foods:
· Chocolate. Chocolate isn’t just lethal to cats – it’s just as bad for dogs. Cacao, tea leaves, and the kola nut all contain Theobromine. If you want to give them something sweet, fruits besides grapes and raisins are a safe bet. Just make sure to cut apples up for them, because apple seeds are dangerous for their digestion as well.
· Onion and garlic. Onions, garlic, chives – these foods are toxic and can cause anemia in your pets. You should also be wary of letting your dog eat baby food; certain baby foods contain onion powder.
· Avocado. You’d think a nice dash of avocado would be a fancy addition to their breakfast bowl, but unfortunately avocados contain the toxin Persin. If you’re looking to add something green to their diet, celery is an excellent choice, as it’s a good source of vitamins which are good for the heart and can even fight cancer. Unsalted peanut butter is another great choice for a nice appetizer, and a few tablespoons of pumpkin puree can do wonders for your buddy’s upset stomach.
· Cherries. While the fleshy around the seed is safe to eat, the cyanide in the plant itself is dangerous for dogs. A cup of raspberries, which is high in fiber and provides vitamin C, would be a great substitute.
· Raw salmon/ trout. You’d think all fish would be fair game, but raw fish contains bacteria that can lead to fatality. Non-fatty, cooked meat is a welcome alternative however.
ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN
If you believe your dog has eaten something harmful, you should take them to an emergency vet immediately, and they will be given prompt care. The sooner you respond to symptoms, the more assured the results will be. As always, research is your friend when it comes to the diet of dogs. If you’re ever unsure if something isn’t safe for your dog to eat, don’t hesitate to consult a verified source. It’s better to safe than sorry!
10/17/2016 11:17:00 AM |
We're excited to announce the official launch of our Haymont Veterinary Clinic blog. We'll be posting helpful veterinary tips, news from the vet industry, news from our practice, and more about the latest in vets. We built our practice on the notion that we're there for our clients when they need us and we want our online presence to be a reflection of that principle. We hope this blog provides an extra level of service to our current and future clients. If you would like to stay up to date on the latest from Haymont Veterinary Clinic, simply click the RSS “Subscribe to feed” link located on our website and subscribe. Our subscribers will be updated when we make a new blog post. Here's to your pets future!