A savvy consumer understands that no two products
are equal. Most of us routinely compare competitive products, study
their ingredients, mentally debate the pricing difference and then
make a purchasing decision. We don't always buy the cheapest, we
buy the best. When in comes to comparing pet products, this
practice uses our veterinary knowledge to do the same thing. As
a result, we only sell or suggest those products that are the best
value for you and your pet.
Regardless, we sometimes encounter a rather
frustrating problem when we prescribe a particular medication such as
a topical medication to treat fleas. Often a pet owner will say,
"Oh, I've tried something like that on Fido and it didn't
work" thus giving a blanket negative judgment to any similar
product. Upon discussion, we usually find that the pet owner is
comparing our recommended product to something they purchased in the
pet section of their supermarket.
The supermarket product may be packaged and applied similarly and
it may cost less, but chances are excellent that it will not live up
to your expectations. These products are not the same! We
recommend the best products available- usually those only
professionally available because they live up to the scrutiny and
expectations of demanding veterinarians. We also encounter the
same situation with other products like flea collars, tick collars,
and pet foods. Just as with flea medications, there is a world
of difference between these products. We only carry and
recommend the best products available - the ones that have been tested
and proven effective.
So please keep an open mind when we suggest a product. The
supermarket has thousands of great items but, when it comes to the
health and welfare of your pet, we handle the ones that are tested,
proven and effective. Ultimately, they are also the best value
for both you and your pet.
Deworming: The Best Defense for People
and Their Pets
We often include articles in this newsletter that
supports the human-animal bond. For all of the emotional comfort
they give us, pets can sometimes transmit diseases for which we must
be careful. For example, several of the common worms found in
dogs and cats can have serious consequences if they infect humans.
Among these are :
ASCARIDS: This rather broad category
describes many types of worms - many of which can be serious if humans
Many puppies are infected with the ascarids.
Toxocara canis and Anclystoma caninum. These puppies shed
eggs as young as 2 to 3 weeks of age and can contaminate an
environment for years.
Baylisascaris procyonis usually infects raccoons
but can also infect dogs and is a source of serious illness in
HOOKWORMS : Hookworms are a well-known
cause of cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) and, recently, have been
recognized as a cause of chronic enterocolitis.
TAPEWORMS : Tapeworms in people can result in
various diseases :
Echinococcus tapeworms can cause serious
disease. Infection is very serious and occurs through the
ingestion of infective eggs when people contact contaminated feces
or soil.The adult Echinococcus is
extremely small yet produces thousands of eggs that are
Human infections may also occur as a result of
contacting and ingesting infective eggs from the animals hair coat.
Human exposure can also occur through contamination of fruits and
vegetables grown in contaminated soil. It is a good idea to
wash your hands thoroughly after gardening.
Dipylidium caninum, the more common
tapeworm of dogs can also cause disease in people but of a less
severe nature. People can acquire tapeworms through
accidental ingestion of fleas that harbor the tapeworm's immature
stages. The tapeworm matures in the intestine and
gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach discomfort vomiting,
diarrhea, and cramps have been reported
What can be done to reduce the risk of infection?
Regular deworming of dogs and cats at strategic
intervals reduces the risk of infection and contamination of the
environment and thus helps prevent human illness. The Centers
for Disease Control and the American Association of Veterinary
Parasitologists recommend beginning deworming at a young age before
environmental contamination can occur and continuing at strategic
We have the dewormers to effectively eliminate the
risk of parasite infection to your pet. Strategic deworming
allows us to help ensure the health of your pet as well as the health
of you and your family. Please give our office a call if you
have any questions on this topic or to establish a deworming schedule
for your pet.
An anonymous couple has given the Texas A&M School
of Veterinary Medicine $2.2 million to try to clone the couple's dog,
Missy, a Border Collie/Husky mix.
Dr. Mark Westhusin, Professor of Veterinary Physiology
at Texas A&M said the so-called "Missyplicity Project" is
serious science. "There are a number of objectives and one of
them is to develop technology for cloning dogs", Dr. Westhusin
said. The research could lead to developing canine contraceptive
and infertility treatments and it could also lead to a more reliable
supply of dogs to guide the blind and assist in search and rescue
The research could last for years and the initial
grant could be increased to as much as $5 million.
It is not possible to completely treat a feline
behavioral problem unless we take a detailed medical history and
perform a complete physical examination with diagnostic tests.
The physical examination and diagnostic tests are critical for a
couple of reasons:
To rule out any medical problems that could
cause nonspecific behavioral signs (i.e. - hyperthyroidism can
cause agitation and increased motor activity in cats.)
To determine whether an underlying medical
problem is contributing to the behavioral problem (e.g. - a cat
with feline lower urinary tract disease that also has substrate preference
If a drug is contemplated to correct the
behavioral problem, we need to determine whether the cat can
tolerate the medication. This is especially important
because cats have difficulty metabolizing many drugs.
We need to know if there have been any environmental
changes in the cat's household. Rearranging the furniture, a new
baby, etc. can all affect a cat's behavior.
Most behavioral signs are nonspecific and become
meaningful only when examined in conjunction with a complete medical
history. You may even want to augment the history with a videotape
of the behavioral problem. This can be critical, particularly in
cats, because their behaviors are not as well understood as those of
If you have any specific questions about your cat's
behavior, give us a call so we can schedule the necessary procedures.
We have all heard the old axiom, "You can't
teach old dogs new tricks." A study recently conducted at
the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine
examined the behavior of some canine "senior citizens" and
found the following:
By age 16, all of the dogs studied exhibited one or
more of the following signs: disturbance of the sleep/wake cycle;
impairment of normal house training; reduction in interactions with
owner; or signs of disorientation, such as getting lost in the yard
62% of dogs aged 11-16 exhibited one or more of
Animals shoeing signs of disorientation plus at
least one of the other signs also exhibited a more severe behavioral
senility - a notable disturbance of memory or learning, or cognitive
Depending on the age group, 13 to 50 percent of the
dogs had cognitive disorder; the older the dog, the more likely the
disorder. Maybe you can't teach new tricks to your older dog
buy you can make his or her senior years comfortable and enjoyable.
The key to good health is finding and preventing problems before
they become serious. If you haven't had your older pet in for
a geriatric screening recently, give us a call today and we will
explain the details and benefits of this necessary procedure.
A pet infested with Heartworm has a big problem.
Left untreated the animal will possibly die due to the severe heart
abnormalities caused by the mosquito-transmitted parasite.
However, once detected, a pet's chances of survival are excellent but
the treatment can be expensive. The best remedy to Heartworm
disease is prevention which is easy and comparatively inexpensive.
All that is required is to administer a once-a-month preventative to
your pet. Manufacturers even give you little stickers to place on
your calendar which makes remembering much easier. An added bonus
is that several other parasites (like the ones we discussed above) are
also killed by this medication.
If your pet is not currently taking this monthly
preventative, we urge you to schedule a heartworm screening now! A
small amount of blood is all that is necessary for a preliminary
heartworm screening test. If your pet is infected with heartworm,
we can begin treatments immediately. If not, our veterinarian will
prescribe a heartworm preventative that is best for your pet.
Please give us a call if
you have any questions or need to schedule a heartworm test. Don't
leave your pet unprotected!
your pet struggle to rise from a sitting position? does your pet have
difficulty climbing and descending stairs? Does your pet appear to
have lost his or her desire for the physical activities that were once
such an important part of their life? If the answer is yes, please
give us a call today. There are several relatively new but well
tested medications on the market that can help restore your pet's
quality of life.
give us a call if you have any questions or desire additional
information on these medications.
In our attempt to provide our clients with up to date information on
their pets. I have done a complete overhaul of my site on the Internet.
You will now find articles taken from those we have published in our newsletter,
as well as those we have available at the clinic for out clients.
New articles will be added on a regular basis. In addition to our
original articles, you will find numerous links to other sites that have
information on a wide range of topics covering many species of animals.
These sites have been selected from a far greater number and are only included
as a link if the information they contain is accurate and informative.
We have already had visitors to the site from 30 countries around the
world. If you have access to a computer with an Internet browser
at home, at school, or at work, please take advantage of this new
resource we are providing. You can also submit email if you have
questions, however legal restrictions prevent making medical diagnosis
or specific treatment recommendations for individual pets. The address
of the site is http://www.community.net/~petdoc