What is Parvo and What Can I do to Protect My Dog?

 

     Canine Parvovirus is an often fatal illness that is transmitted from dog to dog by contaminated feces. Because it has no fatty outer envelope to make it vulnerable like other viruses, parvo is particularly tough and can live in the soil for up to 2 years. That means the ground that looks perfectly safe and poo-free at the dog park or on your regular walk could be harboring parvovirus. When a dog with little to no immunity to parvo gets infected, it begins to work on the lining of the intestines and stomach, causing severe damage, vomiting, diarrhea, and eventually causing death from internal destruction and severe dehydration. This process is fast, and most untreated dogs die within a week or two from first symptoms. If parvo is caught soon enough, some patients may pull through with hospitalization and intensive supportive care. Continue…

What to Know About Heartworm

What is heartworm disease?

  Heartworm disease is caused by a specific type of worm that invades your dog and takes up residency between the heart and the lungs. It can block vessels going to the lungs and invade the heart, over time, causing heart disease.

  If your dog has heartworm, it may be found before your dog shows clinical signs by taking a heartworm test. If your dog starts to show signs, you might see: weight loss, coughing, labored breathing, lethargy, and more. Continue…

What is Heartworm and Should I give my Pet Heartworm Preventative?

If you’ve never heard of the heartworm before, you’re not alone. Many pet parents are unaware of this health risk to their dogs, and sometimes cats too! The heartworm is a parasite that enters your pet’s bloodstream via a mosquito bite. Once it reaches the heart, a heartworm can lodge inside and grow up to 12 inches long! The infection is often too far advanced to reverse when symptoms like coughing and exercise intolerance show up—in many cases it is fatal. Nevada used to have far less cases of heartworm infection than it does today, because of our arid climate—but many factors have contributed to the increasing frequency of heartworm infection here and in all 50 states. People travel with their pets and bring back infection, new pets move into the area, and La Niña has been bringing us wetter weather, which mosquitoes thrive in. Continue…

Getting Your Cats in see Their Veterinarian

If you are like most people who own cats, getting your cat into the veterinarian tends to be stressful for both you and your cat. Most cats maybe get checked out by their veterinarian every other year or less, and that is if the owner can catch him or her, get them in a carrier without getting bit or scratched, and drive to their clinic without them howling and hissing in the car. But most cats should have an annual exam. And what if they are sick and need to come in sooner? For most people, going through this process is uncomfortable and most people dread it.

There are some ways that we can help facilitate and reduce the stress of this process: Continue…

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posted in:  Pet Health

Senior Pet Arthritis Care

It’s that time of the year when the cold weather sets in and everyone stays inside in a warm, cozy home. Wintertime can also take its toll on our furry friends. Many senior cats and dogs have difficulty walking on the ice and can slip and hurt their muscles or joints. The cold can also make already existing ailments like arthritis worse, causing our pets to be less active. Dogs and cats are considered seniors at 7-10 years of age, depending on their breed. Continue…

The Benefits of Oravet Chews

Dental care is very important in our four legged-friends. The best way to keep your pet’s teeth white and sparkling clean is to brush their teeth daily (or several times a week if possible). The brushing action allows breakup of dental tartar on the teeth and many enzymatic veterinary approved toothpastes aid in tartar breakup as well. The problem is that maintaining a routine of oral hygiene for some dogs and cats can be a difficult or nearly impossible task.

To better understand the benefit of these chews, let me first explain the fundamentals of dental disease. Dental disease or periodontal disease refers to the health of the teeth (above and below the gum line), gums, and bone surrounding the teeth. When dogs eat, bacteria attach to the teeth and form plaque. Saliva and food supply nutrients for the bacteria to proliferate. This in turn causes bad breath and can cause a white/yellow biofilm on the teeth. Over time (within 72 hours), this plaque mineralizes and forms a yellow or brown hard substance on the teeth called calculus or tartar. Tartar won’t come off with brushing; it needs to be removed manually by a veterinarian. Both plaque and calculus formation can lead to bad breath and disease of the gums.

 

Oravet dental chews are moderately firm and help to break down plaque and clean the teeth as your dog chews. The leading ingredient, delmopinol, creates a barrier to protect against plaque, calculus build up, and bad breath. These chews do contain grain and soy, so they may not be appropriate for dogs with sensitive stomachs. Also, if your dog has any loose teeth, these chews should not be used because they could cause trauma to the loose teeth. Some dogs have been reported to have green stools due to the alfalfa in the chews. However, besides the shocking color, this has not caused any problems. Ask your veterinarian today if Oravet Dental Chews are right for your dog!

Why Get Your Pet in for a Dental?

By: Dr. Groenewg, DVM

Pet Dental Procedure - Fairgrounds Animal HospitalMost pets have some degree of dental disease as early as age 2. Dental disease is the number 1 disease in dogs and cats, as it is so common in our pets. However, dental disease is often overlooked by owners, especially when it is at its mild stage.

How does dental disease occur? Disease starts by bacteria attaching to the edge of the enamel and forming a biofilm, or a microscopic meshwork of bacteria, within a day. This is called plaque. The tartar that you see on your pet’s teeth, is the secondary step of that plaque becoming calcified. Disease starts when that plaque gets up under the gums and creates an infection; seen as a slightly more red line along the edge of the gums where they meet the teeth. Left alone, this is a chronic infection in your pets mouth and will overtime cause worsening signs like bone and gum recession. This causes the roots of the tooth to be exposed. The roots are very sensitive and when exposed to disease, hot or cold temperatures, etc. It can be very painful for your pet.

This isn’t all. Studies have shown that even a mild chronic infection has influences on the rest of the body. Dental disease left alone can lead to other diseases such as liver disease, bone infections, heart disease, and arthritis, and has been shown to have a connection with Diabetes. Providing dental care to your pet can improve overall function of other organs and create an overall healthier animal.

It is important to note that small breeds are not the same as large breeds. Genetically, they are more predisposed to dental disease. At 1 year of age, many small breeds already have some bone loss from dental disease. It is important to get them in yearly for dental cleanings. Cats are also different than dogs and can have different disease processes in their mouths, so it is important not to forget about your cat’s mouth.

When you take your pet in to get their dental done, a deep cleaning is performed with an ultrasonic cleaner. This removes calculus and the plaque both above and below the gum line. It is important to get under the gum line to the tartar that we cannot see, as this is where dental disease starts.
You can learn what to expect for your pets dental consultation here and  what a dental procedure looks like from start to finish here.

 

 

Your Pet’s Dental Consultation: What to Expect

Your Pet’s Consultation: What to Expect

Maybe you’ve noticed your dog or cat has some killer breath lately, seen brown tartar on their teeth, or have been enlightened on the great importance of your pet’s dental health and you want to know where to start. Next, you find out we offer complimentary dental consultations and you schedule one to get your pet on the path to a beautiful smile! You may wonder, what will happen during this visit? First, you should plan to spend about 15-30 minutes from checking in at the reception desk to completing the consult in the exam room. After check in, a technician will greet you in the room, examine your pet’s teeth and gums to assess the level of dental disease already present (if any), and ask you some questions to get an idea of your lifestyle and needs. She may ask about your pet’s dental homecare regimen, what you feed them, and if you’ve noticed any behaviors that might indicate oral discomfort.

If your pet just has mild tartar, your technician will recommend a dental scaling and polishing to remove the hardened build up that won’t come off with brushing. Unfortunately, pets won’t tolerate a scaling and cleaning while awake, so general anesthesia will be needed! Your technician can give you an estimate for the whole procedure after she assesses your pet’s teeth, and she can walk you through the process so you can feel at ease knowing your furry family member will be given the best care to ensure they are safe and comfortable. If your technician notices any teeth that are suspicious and may be dead or abscessed, it can be confirmed with radiographs during the cleaning. Also, some teeth that appear normal during the consult can be revealed by pocket probing and radiographs to be dead or infected at the root! Any bad teeth that need to be extracted can be done painlessly by aid of a local nerve block while your pet is under general anesthesia for their cleaning. Your technician can include in your cleaning estimate an approximate range of the additional time and cost expected for extractions.

Your Pet’s Dental Procedure: What to Expect

Even if there are teeth that need to be extracted, never fear! Your pet can emerge from a dental cleaning and extractions with a clean bill of oral health and a fresh start. Dogs and cats can still live normal happy lives and even eat hard food with missing teeth—in fact, they will be far more comfortable eating without those painful dead or abscessed teeth in the way! Good oral health can drastically improve quality of life and extend your pet’s lifespan, so don’t hesitate to call us for your complimentary dental consult today!

Senior pets and Veterinary Care

Dr. Jessica Groeneweg

  As dogs and cats age, they, like humans, tend to need more care and observation. On average, dogs and cats are considered geriatric at age 7. Large breed dogs tend to be considered geriatric at age 6. This doesn’t mean that they will start developing disease at those ages, but it makes the chances of disease or cancer more likely. Continue…

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Pets, Decorations and Family Visiting

holiday-pet-safety

By: Jessica Groeneweg, DVM

The holidays are busy times. As you set up decorations, keep in mind that pets are curious about the new things around the house. Christmas trees can be distracting to your pets, especially cats. Cats may want to climb the tree, knock down ornaments to play with, or hide under or in the tree. Please make sure that you keep an eye on your animals as they may cause damage to decorations and sometimes to themselves. Continue…

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posted in:  Holidays