ACHOO! Updates on Canine Influenza Virus (CIV)

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canine fluIf you’re like many Lone Star State pet owners, the latest outbreak of canine influenza virus (CIV) across the South, and now here in Texas, may have you concerned. The latest strain of canine influenza has been making its way across the states since early 2015. While CIV has been around for a few decades, the most recent strain infects almost all unvaccinated dogs who are exposed to it.

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Heat Stroke in Pets – Causes, Signs, Treatments, & Preventions

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With summer right around the corner, heat stroke in pets is a real concern. Considering that, we would like to help you prevent some of the dangers that can occur when your pet is exposed to high temperatures for too long.

Heat stroke can occur if a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F. Body temperatures above 106°F without previous signs of illness are most commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat.

The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is 109°F. It is important to remember that dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do, since they only have a relatively small number of sweat glands located in their footpads. Their primary way of regulating body heat is through panting.    Continue…

The Heat in the Street: How to Protect Pet Paws During the Summer

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Sunscreen? Check! Hat? Check! Most of us are pretty aware of UV and warm weather dangers that come with summertime outdoors. Like us, our pets are also susceptible to dehydration and heat illnesses, but we often overlook one of the most sensitive areas of concern: their paws.

Sometimes it can be easy to forget that pet paws are subject to injury because they certainly take a lot of wear and tear. We see our pets pounce, leap, and race across surfaces that would have us grasping our feet in pain. However, in actuality, paws are not so tough. In fact, paw pad injuries are quite common.

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Pet Microchipping: Why Should I Microchip My Pet?

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What Is Pet Microchipping  and How Does it Work?

A microchip can save your pet’s life. This tiny little device is about the size of a grain of rice and sends out radio waves that contain a unique identification number.  Similar to receiving a vaccine, the microchip is usually inserted under the skin’s surface between the shoulder blades of your pet using a needle.

When microchipped, if your dog or cat (or pig or goat or bear) were to stray from your peaceful abode, a veterinary clinic or shelter would scan your pet and you would be contacted to be reunited.  A microchip does not have the capability to tell you where your animal is located (wouldn’t that be great!), and the microchip cannot be used to collect information sensitive information that can be tracked or measured by third parties or governments.   Continue…

What You Need to Know About Allergies in Pets

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allergies in petsWatching a pet suffer from allergies can be tough. The endless scratching, repeated ear infections, and anal gland issues are just a few of the symptoms that can make pets miserable. Not only are allergies in pets uncomfortable, they can also put them at risk for secondary infections and other health problems if left untreated.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help your pet. By learning what is causing your pet’s allergies and taking charge of the symptoms, you can make life a whole lot better for your pet, and yourself!

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Fleas – Understanding and Knowing How to Control Them

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fleas
Although fleas and other pests are a year round problem, they are especially prevalent beginning in the spring when temperatures begin to rise. After first finding fleas on your pet or in your home, a shocked response typically follows. Knowing the correct steps to take is crucial for getting fleas off your pet, and out of your home, as quickly as possible.

Controlling Fleas

There are two main elements when it comes to flea control:

  1. Eliminating fleas from your pet
  2. Controlling fleas in your environment

First, it is important that all pets in your home are on a flea preventative. Today, treating your pet for fleas has never been easier. The advances in flea products make them effective and cost efficient when compared to successive flea dipping from the past. With the many choices we have today, your veterinarian can determine the product that will be safest and most effective for the type of pet you have. Continue…

Rattlesnakes and Pets: A Dangerous Combo

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The warm sun and longer days are wonderful for most of us, including our cold-blooded reptile friends who become more active during spring. It also stands to reason that we spend more time outdoors with our furry friends this time of year.

Because we live with rattlesnakes, understanding their behaviors, habitat, and other qualities can help prevent negative encounters – especially when you’re out on the trail with Spot.

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The Dangers of Chocolate for Pets

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With Easter just around the corner, and with endless other reasons to buy chocolate throughout the year, it is important to remember that dogs and other pets can react differently to this tasty treat than we do!

While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion can still often result in significant illness for dogs. Chocolate is toxic because it contains an alkaloid called ‘Theobromine.’ Theobromine is similar in nature to caffeine and is often used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous when ingested in large amounts. Continue…

A Primer on Heartworm Prevention for Safety’s Sake

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Our coastal climate is just one reason to love the Houston area, but it also gives rise to the prevalence of awful flying, buzzing pests. Beyond their irritating bites, mosquitoes are responsible for the spread of some serious diseases. Zika, malaria, and West Nile Virus (to name a few) are terrible for humans, but it’s heartworm prevention that we’re most concerned with for our pets.

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Pet Dental Care – The Importance of Oral Hygiene

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Angela Ellini, CVA II, Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital

Why should we worry about pet dental care?

The truth is a healthy mouth is a healthy body! Studies show 85% of adult pets have some stage of dental disease. The bacteria found in dental plaque and tartar can also have harmful effects on the heart, lungs, kidneys, and liver. Being proactive with your pet’s oral care can make a difference in their health.

Knowing When to Take Action

It is important to be able to recognize the signs of dental disease before progression into larger, more severe problems. Pets can experience tooth and bone loss, gum inflammation, and infection which may go unnoticed because they cannot verbally tell us when something is wrong. Due to their instinct for survival, a pet will often mask their pain. Continue…