Pain and Dental Disease-October 2017

October is Dental Month at Elkwood Animal Hospital!

10% off all dental cleanings, extractions, and medications for dental procedures!

Dental Disease is Extremely Painful:

The most stunning part of most dental procedures is how middle age to older animals act after them. Owners often comment that their pet is “acting like a puppy again” after a dental procedure at our hospital. What most people don’t understand is that dental disease is very painful for animals.

Our pets do a great job of hiding their pain. They cannot tell us with words. So, sometimes they will act grumpy or react when you touch around their mouth, but most of the time, those are the only signs of dental disease that owners will see. This is because animals in the wild are conditioned to hide their pain to survive. There is no doubt however that pets with dental disease suffer.

Most owners believe that their pet acting grumpy as he or she gets older is due to old age. Most of the time, it is due to the pet feeling painful. Pets with dental disease experience pain while eating, drinking, playing, and even at rest. Infection in the mouth causes some of the bodies most sensitive nerve endings to be constantly stimulated. Pets can get headaches from this constant stimulation. Infection is a powerful force in the body. It can spread from the teeth to the jaw and cause the bones in the jaw to disintegrate along with the tooth roots. This will cause permanent damage to the jaw bones making it impossible for the jaw to function properly.

Animals three years old and older need a dental exam once a year. Our goal is to stop the infection before the headaches and destruction of the mouth take place. Once calculus (hardened plaque) has formed on the teeth, it is time for a dental cleaning. By removing this hardened tartar, we take away the bacteria’s hiding place. The bacteria likes to live under this hard shell on the teeth and infect the gum along the gum line. That is the beginning of dental disease. Doing dental cleanings at this stage is very helpful for your pet because they do not have to experience the pain that comes with the infections of the teeth. Please be proactive about this disease. Your pet relies completely on you for his or her health. If you take care of your pets teeth, you will have a happier, healthier pet for many years to come.

July is Healthy Joints Month.

Healthy joints make all the difference..

 

In July, we are focusing on helping our patients with their painful joints! Arthritis is very common in our middle age and geriatric patients. It limits the fun things they can do and makes normal activities like walking and playing painful. We want to help! We are offering 10% off all our joint and mobility therapies. This includes: cold laser therapy, joint supplements, joint injections, Adequan therapy, pain medications, and joint  pain medications.

 

 

 

In the month of July, we are offerring 10% off:

  • Dasuquin Advanced and Moviflex (joint supplements)
  • NSAIDs and other pain medications for achy joints
  • Cold laser therapy (to decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and speed healing)
  • Adequan (to strenthen and rebuild the cartilage in the joint)
  • Joint/Mobility foods
  • Joint injections (Hyaluronic Acid)

May is 10% off Welless Bloodwork Month!

How do you know what’s really going on with your pet’s body?

 

Yearly bloodwork can take the mystery out of how healthy your pet is and is the only way to detect organ disease BEFORE your pet starts showing abnormal behavior. This is one of the most under used services we offer. So, this month, we are offering a discount! We want to help your pet live a long happy life and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your pet’s body is functioning well.

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Wellness Bloodwork Month: 10% off all Wellness Bloodwork

Package A (recommended for young animals: 1-5 yrs) –$74.95 →  $67.46

($7 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package B (recommended for adult animals: 5-8 yrs) –$129.95 → $116.96

($80 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package C (recommended for geriatric animals: 9-15 yrs) — $169.95→ $152.96

($139.29 savings from in house labwork prices!!)

April’s Parasite Month Preventative SALE!!!

Elkwood Animal Hospital’s Flea and Tick, Heartworm, and Gutworm Preventative SALE!!!

 

Trifexis:

Trifexis is dosed by weight. Bring your dog in for a weigh in today and get some BOGO heartworm, gutworm, and flea preventative.

Trifexis is dosed by weight. Bring your dog for a weigh in today and get some BOGO heartworm, gutworm, and flea preventative.

BUY 6 Months of Trifexis (all the same size) and get 6 months FREE!!!

Heartworm, gutworm, and flea prevention all year for half the price. This product is one of the best if not the best product of it’s kind on the market. Guaranteed to work! Simply give one tablet by mouth once a month WITH FOOD.

 

 

Heartgard and NexGard:

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Image result for heartgard chewables for dogsBuy six months of Nexgard and Heartgard and get $40 off instantly and $15 rebate.

Buy twelve months of Nexgard and Heartgard and get $80 of instantly and a $50 rebate.

                                                  Heartgard and Nexgard together provide protection from heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, fleas, and ticks.

Feline Revolution:

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Buy six months of Feline Revolution and get two doses free and $30 off instantly.

Buy nine months of Feline Revolution and get three doses free and $60 off instantly.

Heartworm And Tick Disease Testing:

Does your dog need a heartworm/lyme/anaplasma/ehrlichia test. They are $15 per test on April 22nd (Typically, they are $49.)!  Call and make your appointment today (540-439-9016).

Why is Parasite Prevention Important?

The Importance of Your Pet’s Yearly Fecal Exam

We recommend that every pet have a fecal checked for intestinal parasites yearly. One major reason for this is that intestinal parasites can harm your pets by decreasing their ability to absorb nutrients, causing vomiting or diarrhea, or even damaging their intestines. The other important reason to check your pets for parasites is that many of these infections are zoonotic, which means that they can spread to people. Young children are often especially at risk of developing parasitic infections, as their hygiene can be less than ideal.

What are the most common parasites found in fecal samples of dogs and cats?

Roundworms:

Roundworms are one of the most common worms seen in fecal exams of young puppies and kittens.t.canis This is because the worms are spread from the mother to the babies across the placenta. We assume that every puppy and kitten is positive for roundworms, which is why we put every patient on a safe dewormer to give consistently until they are six months of age.

If untreated, roundworms can cause young animals to have a “pot belly” appearance and to grow more slowly than they should. Animals will sometimes vomit up worms or have worms in their stool. The immature form of the worm also travels through the lungs, so some animals will cough or show respiratory distress.

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Zoonotic risk

Roundworms are a very important zoonotic disease, often seen in children. Disease occurs when children eat an egg, released in the stool of an affected animal,  from the environment. These eggs survive in soil for many years, and can often be found at parks or playgrounds. After the child eats the egg, the larvae are born and migrate throughout the child’s body. This can cause disease in any number of organs: liver, lung, brain, or eye. Because the eggs are so difficult to kill once they are in the environment, it is very important that we prevent our pets from spreading them.

Hookworms:

Dogs and cats have many different ways to become infected by hookworms. The eggs can be eaten HookwormMouthfrom the environment or from consuming another animal. Hookworm larvae can also burrow into an animal’s skin and enter the body that way. Similar to roundworms, hookworms are also spread from mother to baby. However, instead of crossing the placenta, hookworm larvae are passed to the baby through the milk. Again, this makes hookworms very common in young animals. This is another reason why we always deworm puppies and kittens.

Hookworms are nasty parasites that slash at the intestines and drink the blood of the animal. They inject anti-coagulants into their wounds to create small bleeding ulcers that they feed from. This can cause animals to become anemic from lack of red blood cells. Affected animals are often pale, thin and sick in appearance. Young puppies and kittens can even die from hookworm infections. Respiratory disease is also possible, again secondary to the larvae traveling through the animal’s lungs.

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Zoonotic risk

Similar to how they infect dogs and cats, hookworm larvae can enter the skin of humans. However, they become lost inside the human skin and cannot find their way to the GI tract. Instead, they migrate around the skin, causing a red itchy lesion. This is one of the most common skin infections seen in tourists to tropical locations. Another common place for infection is in children’s sandboxes, which should always be covered when not in use.

Whipworms:

Whipworms are much more commonly seen in dogs than cats. Dogs become infected when they eat whipworm eggs from the environment. Whipworms also can damage the intestines and cause diarrhea. The most difficult part of treating whipworm infections is that their eggs are incredibly hardy and can live for years in the environment. For this reason, dogs should be on a monthly heartworm prevention that is labelled to protect against whipworms (i.e Sentinel, Trifexis, or Interceptor).

Zoonotic risk: None proven

Coccidia:

Coccidia

Microscopic View of Coccidia

Coccidia are single-celled protozoan parasites that commonly infect dogs and cats, especially puppies and kittens. They cause diarrhea, dehydration, vomiting, lack of growth, and possibly death. Coccidia can be picked up by eating eggs from the environment or from hunting and eating other infected animals. Coccidia is also very hardy in the environment and is resistant to most disinfectants, so it can be difficult to get rid of the eggs once they are released from the animal in the stool. Treatment for coccidia is a medication called Albon, which is different from the treatment for most other intestinal parasites.

Zoonotic risk: None

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Microscopic View of Giardia

Giardia:

Giardia is another protozoa that can cause diarrhea in dogs and cats. Cysts are picked up from the environment, often from a contaminated water source, or from the animal grooming itself. Treatment for giardia often involves a combination of medications, as well as bathing to remove cysts from the animal’s coat. We will often treat asymptomatic animals from the same household, since the parasite is so contagious and can be difficult to control.

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Zoonotic Risk

Very low. Humans can develop giardia infections as well, but it has not been demonstrated to travel between dogs/cats and humans. It is suspected that humans can only spread giardia to other humans, and dogs and cats have their own species as well.

 

 

Tapeworms:tapewormhead

Tapeworms can be difficult to diagnose from a fecal sample, as their eggs are often too heavy to show up in a fecal float test. However, they are often recognizable as “small grains of rice” in the animal’s feces. Dogs and cats catch tapeworms from either predation of other animals or eating fleas (often when grooming them off of their coats). Fortunately, severe disease from tapeworms is uncommon and treatment is simple. Regular flea prevention and not allowing pets to hunt will keep them from developing tapeworm infestations.

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Zoonotic Risk

Although rare, tapeworms, especially Echinococcus species, can cause a significant risk for humans who ingest their eggs. In this scenario, people may become the intermediate host of the parasite, and develop large tapeworm cysts somewhere in their body. This can require drainage, surgical removal, or long-term treatment with anti-parasitic medication.

 

 

How can we prevent intestinal parasites?

The best way to prevent intestinal parasites is to keep your pet on a monthly heartworm preventative that also kills GI worms. Each of these preventatives vary in their spectrum, so ask your veterinarian which one may be appropriate for your pet. Flea prevention is also very important, both to prevent flea infestations and tapeworm infections.Yearly fecal exams allow us to pick up on parasites that may not be addressed by monthly preventatives, such as coccidia, giardia or tapeworms.

Feel free to ask your veterinarian if you have more questions about these intestinal parasites. Also, enjoy 10% off fecal testing and heartworm testing for the month of April, as well as discounts and bargains on flea/tick and heartworm/gutworm preventatives! Click here to learn more about our BOGO deals on heartworm and gutworm prevention.

Busting Myths About Cats & Vet Visits!

Even though there are more cats than dogs in American households, cats still visit the vet much less often than dogs. We at Elkwood Animal Hospital want to help change this! Our cats are also members of the family, and deserve excellent veterinary care just as much as our canine companions.

Myth #1:

Cats Don’t Get Sick As Often As Dogs Do

Cats are very good at hiding signs of illness. Our cats do get ill, with stomach upset, parasites, diarrhea, urinary tract infections, diabetes, kidney disease, and more. Sometimes we don’t notice they are having trouble (because they would rather be seen as self-sufficient and independent!) until they don’t make it to the litterbox like they should, can’t seem to get enough water so raid the dog’s bowl, or feel so ill they just don’t want to get up and look out their favorite window. Having an annual vet check can help find the subtle early signs of illness so we can keep our cats feeling their best more of the time.

Myth #2:

Indoor Cats Don’t Need Vaccines

Cats are just as susceptible to rabies and nasty respiratory and gastrointestinal viruses as dogs are, and just because your cat is inside doesn’t mean he or she shouldn’t be protected from these deadly diseases. Indoor cats are often on the front lines of “defense” of the home when a bat sneaks in a window or chimney, or a strange animal enters the garage, or even the front door! Even if the cat never leaves the premises, sick (and rabid) animals can show up at our door or window any time and risk exposing our cats and our families to diseases which are preventable with vaccinations.

Myth #3:

Traveling To The Vet Is Too Stressful

This is a tough one, but not insurmountable!

A lot of the stress of coming to the vet comes down to the cat carrier and the car ride. If your cat is a kitten, NOW is the time to get him or her used to the carrier and short car rides, so that travel is much less stressful later on. Use the carrier as a special bed at home, leave it out with cuddly blankets and maybe tuck some treats inside from time to time, for kitty to discover. You’ll find this goes a long way to make the carrier a cozy place to be rather than a threatening transportation device. Taking practice rides in the carrier that just go around the block and conclude with a special meal or treat back at home is another great way to get younger (and older!) cats used to travel.

Talk with our veterinarians about anti-anxiety options for travel as well. Feliway is a common, side-effect free option for lowering stress levels in the carrier, car, and vet clinic. We also have nutraceuticals (with natural anxiety relievers) or medications that may be helpful for individual cats to make their annual vet trip.

We are working every day to make sure your time in the clinic as stress free as possible, as well. Let us know tips that work for your cat and we may be able to accommodate their individual needs. Also, don’t forget we make house calls! This lets your cat get the care he or she needs with no travel required!

 

In January 2017, we’re making felines our focus! We’re offering special discounts (10% off most care!) on wellness care for your cat, to make sure preventive care, routine screening tests, and parasite prevention can reach as many cats in our client households as possible. Have a cat who has never actually been to see us yet? These new cat patients are eligible for 15% off their services!

Call us to set up an appointment or find out more!

 

Is Anxiety Ruining Your Pet’s Summer?

This month’s Health Focus is Freedom From Anxiety!

Summer brings celebrations that often feature fireworks, explosions, and gunshots, but these things are frequently scary for our pets, who don’t understand the loud noises and bright flashes. Even if the fireworks don’t start weeks early in your neighborhood, Mother Nature is usually ready to deliver light shows of her own featuring lightning, thunder, and barometric pressure changes. Car rides or kennel boarding for summer trips can top it all off to make this a scary time of year for many pets.

Fortunately, there are a wide variety of things that can be done to help your pets be at their best and most comfortable. See below for some of the things we’re recommending this summer.

Team Up – Consult With A Vet

Our veterinarians are here to help with behavior, training, and phobias as well as your pet’s other health concerns. Set up a consult to discuss your pet’s particular fears, triggers, or problem behaviors and what can be done to help. Sometimes there is training that can help calm fears or manage frightening situations, other times there may be medications that can make things better or easier. Did you know there’s a great anti-nausea medication for pets that can calm queasy stomachs and turn that reluctant car rider into an eager copilot? Or a jacket that can help provide a snug “hug” for a pet and may make thunderstorms easier even without ANY additional medications? Our vets are here to help your pets’ well being in all ways, including their sense of comfort in stressful situations.

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Pheromones – Pill-Free Relief

Pheromones are chemicals processed through a pet’s olfactory system (the same system that processes smell, such an important sense to our dogs and cats!) that can have a direct calming effect on the brain without the use of oral medications. Specific products for both dogs and cats are available, and replicate chemicals that have a calming effect on the brain. For dogs, Adaptil® products are available as collars that can be put on in the morning if the weather is calling for thunderstorms so they can work gently throughout the day. Feliway® products for cats are available in a room spritz or even set-it-and-forget-it plug-in diffusers that are especially helpful for times when you’re having house guests, or that week around the 4th of July when there are stray fireworks going off in the neighborhood.adaptilfeliway

Nutraceuticals – Calm By Nature

There are some great non-prescription products out there that can be helpful as well. Some proteins and amino acids have been studied to support our pets’ sense of calm and healthy brain chemical balance. For example, the product Zylkene® makes use of a protein from milk, and Solliquin Chews use the amino acid L-Theanine from green tea and other botanical extracts to promote balanced behavior and relaxation. While we recommend you check in with our doctors before starting on any supplement for your pet, these products are over the counter and do not require a prescription. Consider adding them to your routine to help your furry family members to be more comfortable.zylkenesolliquin

This June we are offering 50% off the Behavior Consult exam with the veterinarians, and 10% off anxiety and calming aids, including all the products mentioned above! Help you and your pets have a great summer, and call us with any questions or to schedule a consult!

Feline Health Month!

Cats need regular veterinary care too! Join us this month for specials for your feline friends, and make sure these family members get just as much of the attention they need and deserve as their canine compatriots!

In addition to the services listed below, our wellness labwork screening panels are also discounted, and highly recommended!

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Parasite Prevention Month!

Our focus in April this year is making sure we keep your pets and your family free from dangerous parasites!

We are offering 10% off our regular parasite testing, which includes:

• 4Dx testing, which screens for heartworms, as well as tick-borne diseases (Lyme, Ehrlichia, & Anaplasma)

• fecal testing, which screens for intestinal parasites

We also have some amazing specials on the routine parasite prevention your pets need to stay safe from parasites year round. The coupons below can be brought in and redeemed for extra savings on these preventatives, and there may be additional rebates available as well!

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**Note! The above special (Heartgard and NexGard) has been extended through the end of May! Click here!

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November Microchip Special

We believe in microchip identification for all pets! Getting lost pets home is our health focus for November, and we are offering 10% off our microchip placement with lifetime registration!

WHY MICROCHIP?

As many as one third of all pets may find themselves lost or separated from their owners at one point in their lifetimes. Dogs get excited and run off to explore; fences are damaged in storms; delivery people or family friends accidentally leave a door open and a pet who normally stays indoors is suddenly out, scared, and lost – all of these can happen and create a very scary situation!

Pets should wear collars and tags with contact information as well, but collars and tags can come off or can be removed, while a microchip stays with your pet for a lifetime. Tattoos sometimes fade, and sometimes they could be altered. A microchip is programmed with one unique number, and are in place for life.

Microchip implantation is a reliable way to ensure your pet’s identity is known wherever they may turn up – when a lost pet visits a shelter, animal control,or a good Samaritans who bring a found animal to a vet, the animal can be scanned for the microchip and its unique identification number that can set him/her on the path to getting back home.

HOW IS IT DONE?

The microchip is inserted with a quick and simple injection in the loose skin between the shoulder blades of cats and dogs. (Other species may have different locations) After that simple process, your pet’s ID is in place for life. A physical exam is not required for microchip placement!

Once the chip is placed, a scan is done right away to be sure everything is functional! Microchip scanners are made to be universal now, and able to pick up chips from any manufacturer. Having your pet’s chip scanned every year is also a great idea, to make sure no changes have occurred and help ensure your peace of mind.

HOW DOES MY PET GET BACK TO ME?

Once a lost pet’s chip is scanned, the person or organization will use the number from the chip to help get the pet back home. Through phone numbers and websites, the microchip number allows the pet’s rescuer to find the contact information for the pet’s owner. The American Animal Hospital Association manages the http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org/ which is a universal search site anyone can use, and one of the easiest ways to look up information on a scanned microchip number.

Each microchip contains a unique ID number – but no other information. Your personal information is NOT stored in your pet’s chip! ID numbers will need to be registered and kept up to date so that the number leads back to the pet’s human family members.

You will receive a lifetime registration form to complete and submit when your pet gets the microchip. Your pet’s number will initially be linked to our hospital, and then to you when you register. Make sure to keep your registration information up to date with us and with the microchip company!

Again, in November we are offering a 10% discount off all our microchip services! And every new microchip implanted includes lifetime registration! Please call us with any questions or to schedule to have your pet microchipped today!  540-825-1777

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