If you love sun, heat, and humidity, Northwest Arkansas is the perfect place to spend your summer. Even in the drippy heat of a Southern summer, it’s relatively easy for humans to cool down or keep hydrated, but when it comes to our pets it’s up to us to make sure they stay protected from the dangers of overheating.
By reviewing the principles of pet heat safety, you can make sure your four-legged family member enjoys the dog days of summer in good health.
With summer in full swing, many families are gearing up for the annual vacation. Whether you are headed to the mountains, the beach, the city, or to an exotic locale, there is plenty to think about, prepare, and plan for. Pet owners have the added concern of what to do with Fido or Fluffy while they are away from home.
Finding the perfect place for your beloved pet to stay while you are gone is a top priority, and your team at Animal Medical Clinic is here to help you every step of the way. We’ve broken down the various pet care options available to most pet owners, and hope to help you come to the best decision for your pet.
Pet Care Options
In a perfect world, our pets would accompany us on all of life’s adventures, but in reality this is rarely the case. Bringing a pet along on vacation can create a whole host of complexities, and sometimes it’s just not possible.
There is no doubt that ticks are just plain creepy. These blood-sucking masters of camouflage not only give you the heebie-jeebies simply by virtue of what they are, but they’re also the carriers of life-threatening infectious diseases that can affect your cat.
Ticks carry all sorts of these diseases. More common ones such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever get a lot of attention, but those of us in Arkansas may need to worry about less common tick-borne diseases, such as Cytauxzoonosis – also called Bobcat Fever. This is a tick-transmitted disease that we see quite often in cats here at Animal Medical Clinic.
So what exactly is this “Bobcat Fever” all about? The disease, formally known as Cytauxzoonosis, is a disease of cats caused by a single-celled protozoal organism called Cytauxzoon felis.
The onset of a big storm is unsettling for most people, but what about pets? Some animals interpret ferocious winds, dark skies, and frightening thunder claps as major threats to survival (and rightly so). To be sure, taking care of an anxious pet during a storm can seem like a nightmare, but you can depend on our steps to help soothe your petrified pet.
Animals can acutely feel rises and drops in barometric pressure, and many rush to find shelter long before the first pelts of rain. While symptoms can definitely vary based on the stimulus, previous exposure, and overall disposition, pets with known anxiety and storm phobias typically display panicked behaviors. Excessive barking, hiding, shaking, pacing, and general skittishness are just a few reactions you’ll see from a pet during a storm.
Ben Franklin’s famous quip about prevention being worth a pound of cure is never more true than when discussing heartworm prevention. Indeed, if your pet is on a monthly preventive throughout the year, you not only save money in the long run, but you could also save your pet’s precious life.
Heartworm disease is very costly to treat and can be fatal to both cats and dogs. Because mosquitoes are so prevalent in Arkansas and the surrounding states, heartworm prevention should be a huge priority for all pet owners in our area.
What are Heartworms?
Dirofilaria immitis are parasitic worms deposited into the bloodstream by infected mosquitoes. Over time, these microscopic worms grow and breed within the host animal, eventually taking up residence in the heart, lungs, and surrounding blood vessels. Organ damage, heart failure, lung disease, and death are among the horrendous effects of heartworm.
Spring has sprung in Northwest Arkansas! As wonderful as it is, spring is not without its challenges for pets and pet owners—particularly when it comes to external parasites such as fleas and ticks.
Flea and tick prevention is critical to the health and well-being of your pets, and the staff at Animal Medical Clinic want to make sure that you have all of the information you need to protect your pet.
Why Flea and Tick Prevention Is so Important
The old adage “prevention is the best medicine” couldn’t be more true when it comes to fleas and ticks. These external parasites are more of a threat than the annoying itching they cause; they can transmit diseases to both pets and people alike.
By now, most of us are aware of the link between the food we eat and our overall health. The link exists for pets as well. In an era where obesity, diabetes, and degenerative diseases plague people and pets alike, food choice may be more critical than we think.
Because we believe strongly in prevention here at Animal Medical Clinic, we are going to take last month’s topic of pet dental health one step further by taking a closer look at how your pet’s diet affects his or her teeth and gums.
You Are What You Eat
Providing your pet with a nutrient-dense diet in the form of a high quality, commercial kibble is the first step toward good oral health. Various studies over the years indicate that dry food may be better for a pet’s teeth than soft food, due to its potential for scraping plaque from the teeth. A 2007 study found that larger pieces of kibble scrape more plaque than smaller pieces. Continue reading
It may seem like a completely gratuitous act reserved only for the most dedicated pet owners, but brushing your pet’s teeth can actually extend – or even save – his or her life. That funky doggie or kitty breath that you’ve grown “accustomed” to may indicate that something’s amiss - and it’s a sign that should never be ignored. The good news? You can prevent systemic illness with knowledge about the benefits of pet dentistry.
Change the Stats
A majority of pets over the age of 3 show signs of periodontal disease, but this doesn’t have to be the case. A strong resolve and a bit of elbow grease can do wonders to reverse the fate of your pet’s future. With our approach to pet dentistry, you can ensure your pet has what he or she needs for optimal health, wellness, and longevity.
As we move toward the end of the year, events start piling up on all of us. Recitals, gift exchanges, and volunteering can take up every free moment – a reality that is not lost on your furry friend. While you’re away from home celebrating all the season has to offer, your pet could inadvertently find trouble. Sure, he or she could be waiting patiently for you by the door, but it’s also possible that trouble lurks behind every ornament or gift-wrapped bundle. Because of the various pet holiday hazards facing all animals, we offer the following tips.
Keep your pet happy, safe, and healthy this holiday season by avoiding our top ten pet holiday hazards:
Older pets can be highly expressive, but unfortunately, they can’t tell us how they’re feeling. Through close observation, we can gain some clues about general health, but nothing compares to routine wellness exams. Critical to prevention and the early detection of age-related illnesses, twice yearly wellness visits are integral to senior pet care.
The Truth About Blood Work
Depending on your pet’s breed, lifestyle, and physical health, most pets are considered senior between ages 7 to 9. At that point, we may recommend semi-annual exams to ensure every facet of wellness is covered.
As your pet ages, it’s important to compare the results from blood tests spread between visits. Routine blood work includes a full chemistry profile, a complete blood count, and urinalysis. These baseline values inform us of any age-related changes. Tracking even the most subtle shifts can reveal illness before any noticeable symptoms develop. As a result, this can lead to more effective (and more affordable) treatment options.