Heartworm Awareness!

english cocker spaniel puppy sitting on ground beside grass
Photo by Johann on Pexels.com

Hello, it’s me Mr. Waffles! I’m here to talk to you about a very important topic…Heartworm Disease.

Heartworm disease is a very serious and potentially fatal disease in animals. Heartworms are worms that can grow to a foot in length and live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of pets. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets but can also live in other species including wolves, coyotes and foxes.

The mosquito plays an essential role in the heartworm life cycle and we have plenty of mosquitoes here! Adult female heartworms living in an infected dog, fox, coyote or wolf produce microscopic baby worms (also known as microfilaria) and they circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites, it picks up these baby worms and spreads them to other animals. It takes about 6 months for the baby worms to develop into an adult heartworm – which is why it is so important to test annually. Heartworms can live for 5-7 years in dogs and up to 2-3 years in cats.

Thankfully – the wonderful world of veterinary medicine has made a preventative so you don’t even have to worry about any of the above information! You can easily and inexpensively protect your pets. You can give your dog a monthly oral preventative in a tablet form, such as Iverhart Plus – which we carry in the hospital! We also have an injection called Proheart that lasts 6 months. For cats there’s a monthly topical called Revolution which also prevents fleas!

Check out the American Heartworm Society’s website for more information https://www.heartwormsociety.org/

xoxo Mr. Waffles


My Dental cleaning!

Hello friends! Today I wanted to talk to you about annual Dental cleanings for your pets. Most people think bad teeth just means bad breath and gingivitis, when actually it can also mean a lot of bacteria in your pets blood stream. When I first learned that damage to your pet’s liver, heart, or kidneys can often come from bad teeth, I was shocked. Now every year I get my teeth professionally cleaned along with my regular brushing. We furry family members don’t want you to worry so we hide our dental pain. A lot of my pet parents friends quite often remark about how well their pets eat after their first dental cleaning. Our team puts a lot of care into making a pet’s dental cleaning as stress free as possible, for pets and their families. For more information give them a call! I’d answer the phones but I don’t have thumbs. Until next time!

XoXo Waffles.

After Diagnosis: Hypothyroidism

Hello Friends! Today let’s talk about Hypothyroidism. This disease is most common in dogs and can be described as a slow down of the pets metabolism. This is caused by an immune mediated disease where the immune system attacks the thyroid or when thyroid tissue is replaced by fat. Symptoms include weight gain, lethargy, and often hair loss or dulling of the coat. After your pet is diagnosis your pet can be treated, but hypothyroidism does not have a cure. With daily hormone replacement pills your pet can return to a healthy lifestyle. Dosing is based off of your pets weight and how much of the hormone they are producing on their own. However this drug does need to be monitored with blood work every six months to ensure your pet is continuing getting an appropriate dose. If you are concerned about your dog, give us a call! Until next time!

XoXo Waffles

After Diagnosis: Diabetes

Hello Friends! Today let’s talk about what comes after a pet’s diagnosis of diabetes. Diabetes is a disease in which a pet doesn’t make enough insulin to regulate the blood sugar levels, and as the result the pet’s body no longer functions as it should. Not to worry, if properly maintained your pet can have a great quality of life. Just like in humans, diabetes is maintained through daily insulin injections after each meal. After starting insulin your pet will be seen every six months for a few tests, including a glucose curve. The glucose curve tracks your pets insulin levels throughout the day and can inform the veterinarian of any changes that need to be made to your pets dosing. Another important test is called a fructosamine level, this test shows insulin levels over the last six months. Both biannual fructosamine levels and glucose curves are important to help maintain a great quality of life for your pet. For more information on diabetes, give us a call! Until next time!

XoXo Waffles

Common Diseases of Pet Turtles

Happy chilly week friends, I hope everyone is staying warm. Today let’s talk about Turtles. Like many reptiles turtles can make great pets, but they also need routine veterinary care like our other pets. Your common pet turtle can be at risk for a number of illnesses including vitamin deficiency, shell infections, respiratory infections, abcesses and even parasites. Sometimes there is more than one issue can be going on. An example of such is a turtle suffering from a vitamin deficiency due to diet can develop respiratory issues alongside with swelling of the eyelids, lack of appetite and other symptoms. Turtles with respiratory issues are often seen with excess mucus inside their mouths, this can be seen as having bubbles in the mouth. Turtles can also have trouble breathing and are seen gasping, wheezing, and open mouth breathing. In severe cases the turtles buoyancy can be affected causing the pet to swim a little sideways. Annual exams with your veterinarian can help maintain your turtle in their optimum health. If you have any questions about your turtle, call and schedule an exam today. Until next time!

XoXo Waffles.

Separation Anxiety in Dogs

Hello Friends! Today I want to discuss separation anxiety in dogs. As we get closer to vacation season it is important to keep our furry friends comfortable, even when we are not around. When canines get overly attached or dependent on family members they can act out in various ways when separated. Common ways of showing this anxiety are destruction, urinating and defecating inside, and increased vocalization/barking. Destruction could be tearing up mom’s favorite running shoes, or wrecking the front door trying to get out to you. In addition pets may shake/shiver, salivate, or refuse to eat. Sometimes separation anxiety can be triggered by/ or hide in other anxieties, such as storm anxiety. Separation anxiety can be prevented by working with young puppies to feel comfortable at home with scheduled alone times. When pets do have separation anxiety owners can start by creating a set routine with pets, making a calming/ relaxing center for pets, and adding more enrichment for pets. For more information on Separation anxiety, schedule your pet for a consultation with our veterinarian. Until Next time!

XoXo Waffles.

What is a CBC?

Happy January friends! Today I wanted to discuss a common test run in animal hospitals, a Complete Blood Count. A complete blood count, also known as a CBC, is a blood test and it is used in healthy animals and ill ones as well. A CBC gives loads of information on the cells in our bodies. From red blood cells, to white, and even platelets. This simple blood test is important, it can help identify many aspects of your pets health when part of your pet’s annual visit. Doing an annual CBC can help identify dehydration, infections, cancers, and even blood parasites, sometimes before any symptoms have begun to show. Catching anyone of these items early can mean a large difference to your pets health. Remember friends, bloodwork isn’t just for friends under the weather. Until next time!

XoXo Waffles

The Word on Arthritis

Happy new year friends! Today let’s chat about Osteoarthritis, also known as arthritis. Osteoarthritis is a fancy term meaning pain and inflammation in various joints that can interfere with a pet’s daily life. There is not a single cause for arthritis. Factors like how a pet is built, weight, activity levels, and joint development can all be determining factors. Pets experiencing arthritis often having trouble standing up or sitting down, varying amounts of stiffness, and can even show aggression or reluctance when being touched in certain areas. Arthritis cannot be reversed, but there are things that we can do to help our furry friends. Depending on the pet your vet may recommend a diet change, pain medication, supplements, acupuncture, or lifestyle changes. To find out what is best for your pet, schedule an exam today! Until next time!

XoXo Waffles

When it’s more than just fluff

Happy December friends! With this cold weather I have noticed how easy it is to get a little extra around the tummy. Did you know that more than 50% of cats and dogs in the U.S. are obese? Canine and Feline obesity is a growing problem, cats and dogs spending more and more time inside and no longer having to work for food is causing a speedy incline. Pet obesity greatly increases the risk for diabetes, heart disease, cancers, wear and tear on joints, and overall shortness pets lives. Like with humans the best way to help your pet lose weight is to control food intake and increase exercise. In winter you can use food toys that encourage your pet to be active while getting food. It can also help to have specific meal times, pets quickly learn when food is or isn’t available and this way your family can keep track how much your pet is eating in a day. If you are concerned about your pets weight, schedule an exam today to speak with a vet regarding a plan that is best for your pet! Until next time!

XoXo Waffles

When is it too much: Cat regurgitation Edition

Hey Friends! Happy first week of December! All this food talk has made me think about a commonly asked question we get at the clinic. “My Cat often throws up after eating, is this normal?” Well friends, the simple answer is no. Just like when humans throw up after eating, it is very often a sign that something is wrong. It could be as simple as eating too fast, or needing a change of diet, to something much more serious. If your cat is vomiting once a month, or once a day call to schedule an exam. Until next time friends!

XoXo Waffles