Take your Cat to the Veterinarian Day

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Kennel Cough

7/28/14

Kennel Cough

We have been seeing a large number of cases of “kennel cough” over the past 1-2 weeks.  Kennel cough is a bronchitis that causes a honking type of a cough and can be severe enough to lead to a pneumonia.  Kennel cough is HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS between dogs.  Kennel cough can be caused by a bacteria or a virus or sometimes both.  We do have vaccines that can prevent 2 major pathogens that cause kennel cough, the bordatella vaccine and the canine flu vaccine.  If you have plans to take your dog to the kennel or groomer, please make sure your dog has these vaccines.  They should be vaccinated at least 2 weeks prior to needing the immunity.  If your pet has never had these vaccines, it is usually a 2 part initial series spaced 3-4 weeks apart to develop the maximum immunity.  If you have further questions, please call us at 570-424-6773.

Thanks,

Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital

Jeremy Wentz, VMD

www.bartonheights.com

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posted in:  For The Dogs  |  Pet Safety

Pet Insurance

Due to increased access to specialized veterinary care for your pets, pet insurance has become a more common purchase for pet owners.  Some of the companies, such as Trupanion, will pay 90% of the bill for sick visits.  This allows the best care possible and makes veterinary care services more manageable financially.  Trupanion will be offering in the near future an option to have the insurance company pay the 90% directly to the veterinary hospital. This will make affordability greater for some of the expensive procedures.  Currently the pet owner pays the full amount and is reimbursed.

Please call Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital to find out more information regarding pet insurance in Stroudsburg.

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Parasite Prevention for Pets: Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm

Most of us are glad winter has finally reached its end. But the cold weather does have its benefits. Just like many of us don’t like the cold, parasites don’t like it either. As a result, most pets don’t have as many parasite problems in winter. Granted, we still do see problems with fleas on indoor pets and, on the warm winter days, ticks can still find your pet, too.  But as spring warms up and we begin to thaw out, so do the bugs, making springtime parasite prevention for pets a must

Heartworm Disease and Prevention

Infected mosquitoes carry heartworms and, if they bite your dog or cat, they will transmit the disease into your pet’s bloodstream by laying eggs. These eggs will travel in the bloodstream and develop into worms that will end up in the vessels near the heart.

If there are enough worms, the end result can be life threatening heart disease or in cats lung problems can appear that resemble asthma. Indoor and outdoor pets are both at risk. All it takes is for one mosquito to get in the house and your pet is at risk. Mosquitoes like to bite animals with the highest body temperature. Dogs and cats have a higher body temperature than people, so they are more likely to get bit.

Thankfully, there is a way to prevent heartworm disease. A monthly preventative can be given to your pet. For cats, we recommend Revolution monthly, which treats heartworm disease, prevents flea problems, kills ear mites and prevents roundworms in the feces. For dogs, we recommend Sentinel, which treats heartworm disease, sterilizes fleas so they cannot reproduce and clears 3 intestinal parasites every month when it is given.

Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks love the warm weather as well. Ticks transmit three main diseases in this area; Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, and ehrlichia. All three diseases can be very serious and can impact your pet’s health.

We see these diseases primarily in dogs, as it is believed that cats are immune to tick-borne illnesses.  We recommend Advantix, a monthly topical application, and the Seresto collar, which lasts for eight months, as the best flea and tick preventative for dogs. For cats, we recommend the Seresto collar, which lasts for eight months and guards against fleas and ticks. We also recommend Revolution, a monthly flea and heartworm topical medication.

If you have not been using parasite prevention for pets, please call us as soon as possible to get the proper parasite prevention for your pet. Your pet’s life may depend on it.

Sugar free gum is toxic to dogs and cats!

Xylitol, A Sugar Substitute

Xylitol is a five-carbon sugar alcohol commonly used as a sugar substitute in chewing gum, candies, nicotine gums, toothpastes, and baked goods. It is also available in a granulated form at grocery stores   as a sweetener.

Why is xylitol (artificial sweetener) so dangerous for dogs and cats? Ingestion of xylitol causes low blood sugar by affecting insulin release throughout the body. Low blood sugars can be seen 10-15 minutes after eating.  The low blood sugar can be compounded further into liver damage if higher levels are ingested. The liver is the main organ of metabolism.

Sugar – Free chewing gum is the most common cause in the dog—- (commonly ingested from “purse digging”)

If xylitol ingestion occurs or think it may have occurred then consult your veterinarian immediately.

Fat Cat, Skinny Cat: When to worry about your pets weight loss

Is your cat too heavy or too skinny?

Either extreme can be a health concern.  Being overweight can lead to health problems and being underweight can be a result of a health problem.

Fat Cat: Does Your Pet Need A Diet?

Intentional weight loss that is part of a planned weight reduction program for an overweight pet is not a reason for concern. As long as your cat is losing at a rate that has been established by your veterinarian as acceptable. Usually a loss of no more than one percent of body weight per week is perfectly fine. For example, at this rate of weight loss, a 15-pound cat would lose up to a third of a pound every two weeks.

However, since every cat is an individual with his or her own medical needs, it is important to establish your cat’s safe rate of weight loss with your veterinarian.

Skinny Cat: How Much Weight Loss is Too Much?

With a large number of household cats sporting a few additional pounds and the resulting national push to get pets to a healthy weight, it may be hard to see weight loss as anything but a good thing. In a cat however, there are times when weight loss is a cause for concern.  This is because weight loss can be one of the first signs of serious illness.

Common causes of unexplained weight loss in a cat include conditions such as diabetes mellitus and hyperthyroidism. Diabetic and hyperthyroid cats will most times have weight loss with an increase in appetite. Other signs include an increase in thirst and urination.

Other causes of unexplained weight loss can include kidney disease, heart disease, some forms of cancer and certain infectious diseases. Appetite can be variable in these cases ranging from normal to increased or decreased. Some will have changes in thirst and urination, changes in behavior or changes in appearance as well.

Because every cat will have a unique presentation for illness, it is important to have him or her examined by your veterinarian, particularly in cases of unexplained weight loss. Early diagnosis and treatment of disease is often the key in providing a long and happy life for your feline friend.

Weight loss is a concern whether your pet is overweight or losing weight too quickly.  The best way to determine whether your pet is losing weight in a healthy manner is to have your pet monitored by your veterinarian.

Title: New Dogs and Cats | Low Cost Veterinary Care, Poconos, PA

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Low Cost Veterinary Care for New Dogs and Cats

Did you receive a new puppy or kitten for Christmas? If you did receive a new pet, it is time to start thinking about the first trip to the veterinarian.  We want to make that first trip to the veterinarian as low stress and positive as possible, both low stress on the wallet and a pleasant experience for you and your pet.

 Reducing Stress: How to Get Your Pet to the Vet

Dogs and cats usually are stressed when it is time to get in the car and go to the veterinarian.  The car ride can cause anxiety and being in a different location can cause stress.  For cats we recommend getting a carrier and placing a towel in the carrier.  We also recommend spraying the towel with Feliway (a pheromone spray that can be purchased at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital)  which will help reduce your kittens stress.  Below is a helpful video offering 5 simple steps for cat owners to use cat-friendly carriers.

For dogs we recommend a leash or carrying them.  We also recommend giving treats as a positive reinforcement technique both during the visit and after the visit.

 Preventative Health Plan: Low Cost Vaccinations for Dogs

Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital has also designed a low cost option for routine vaccines and neutering and spaying your dog (cat plans are going to be introduced in the near future).  We call this option our preventative health plan.

https://www.bartonheights.com/downloads/wellness-canine-puppy.pdf

https://www.bartonheights.com/downloads/wellness-canine-adult.pdf

We have discounted our services and broke up the remaining cost into 12 easy payments. Vaccines and preventative health exams are included at a lower price to help make health care more affordable. With routine preventative care your pet will be on track to a longer healthier life.

Please call us at 570-424-6773 for more information about our low cost care.

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How to Save on Pet Meds: Do Online National Pet Pharmacies have the Best Deal?

Online, national pet pharmacies such as 1-800-PET-MEDS and big box retailers such as Petsmart, Walmart, and Target want you to believe that they have the lowest price on medications for your pet.  But most of the time your veterinarian has the best price on medications.

Your Best Deals on Pet Meds are Local:

Veterinarians receive special offers from the drug companies that allow us to have better pricing on some of the common pet medications such as flea and tick preventative and heartworm preventatives. Not only can your veterinary hospital offer competitive pricing on these medications, but you also get professional advice about the best medication for your pet.

Veterinarians get special promotions with Advantix where clients can buy 6 tubes and get 2 free. Rimadyl offers a rebate on purchases from a veterinarian. Other specials on products occur throughout the year.

And there’s more…

The veterinary staff can help make sure you are using the best products for your pet so they do not have any reactions or side effects.  Your veterinarian can also help rectify any problems if your pet has a problem with a medication.  This is something retailers and online stores cannot perform.  So if you are searching online at national pet pharmacies for a great deal on pet meds, call your local veterinarian…Give us a call and we can help you and your pet!

https://www.bartonheights.com/store/

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Pets and Weight Loss

Happy New Year!

We all make resolutions for the New Year.  So let us involve our pets in those resolutions.  A whopping 52% of dogs and 58% of cats are overweight or obese!  Being overweight contributes to a bunch of health problems, including diabetes, arthritis, kidney problems, and thyroid problems.  Fat cells are active and have been linked to a process that actually causes inflammation and disease. 

There are 2 big things you can do to help your pet achieve an ideal weight.  One is exercise, so walk your dog every day. The other is diet, take a measuring cup and see how much you feed your pet and then decrease the amount by 25% (and do not cheat by giving more treats!). If your pet is still hungry, you can give them green beans or carrots as treats.   Once you do this monitor the progress by weighing your pet monthly.  If you are not sure about the status of your pet’s weight, please call us so we can help you in the weight loss process.  Your pet’s health and longevity depends on it!!

Decorating Hazards

Happy Holiday!

As we are all decorating for the holidays, a quick reminder about the hazards encountered with the holidays and pets.  The holidays are busy and stressful and we may not give our pets as much attention as other times of the year.  I know my dog gets jealous and will act out by destroying the kid’s toys or chewing on things he is not supposed to chew on.  Thankfully, he has never had an issue.  That is not always the case.  It actually happened to my mom yesterday where her dog swallowed a sock.  Fortunately, we noticed it soon enough and made him vomit so it did not get stuck in his intestines.

A few years ago, I saw an Airedale who was not as fortunate.  The owners had just decorated the house and went out to dinner.  One decoration they used was 50 feet of garland.  When they returned home they noticed the garland was missing.  It was easy to figure out what had happened, as the Airedale had 10 feet of garland sticking out of his mouth.  The remaining 40 feet was in his stomach.  Garland is held together with a thin metal wire in the center that could not be chewed apart, so I assume he just kept swallowing until he was full!!  With surgery we were able to get him back home the next day.

Have a Happy and Safe Holidays from all the staff at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital!

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