Holiday Season and your pets

I hope you are all enjoying this holiday season. I just wanted to remind you that there are some added dangers for your pets this year.

Poisonous plants – poinsettias, mistletoe, decorative berries, lilies.

Foods left out on tables & counters where your pets can get to them – chocolates, foods with artificial sweeteners, grapes, chunks of cheese or meat. These may be toxic to your pets or can cause serious stomach and pancreas problems.

Decorations – cats & dogs will eat tinsel, ribbon, string, rubber bands, ornaments, small ( & large) toys. These can all cause serious stomach or intestinal blockage that can require surgery.

Please remember to thoroughly pet-proof your house & remind your guests not to leave anything out where your pets can get to it.

While you and your pets are celebrating, please remember all the sad pets in shelters or with rescue groups. Adopting a pet from one of these organizations or donating to them is a really wonderful thing to do.

Flea Alert

We are seeing lots more fleas recently than we have seen all year. The fleas love this rain & humidity and it is not cold enough to make them go dormant. We are also noticing that fleas are becoming resistant to the older topical flea products like Advantage & Frontline. We are now recommending some new flea products: Activyl (topical flea control for dogs & cats), Nexgard (oral flea & tick control for dogs), Comfortis ( oral flea control for dogs & cats), and Trifexis ( oral flea control & Heartworm prevention for dogs). I recommend oral products if there are young children in your house. Please come in or call us at 408-264-3550 to discuss what would be best for you & your pet.

Note: If your pet has fleas and it comes indoors, you will need to treat for at least 3 months to eliminate fleas in your house.

On-line Pharmacies: BUYER BEWARE!!!

Did you know that prescription drugs are the second most common counterfeited items & are sold by on-line pharmacies? Many drug companies will not stand behind medications purchased at on-line pharmacies (even the big name ones) because these pharmacies are receiving these drugs thru unknown or illegal sources. Even if they are not counterfeit they may be expired (& repackaged in counterfeit packaging with a later expiration date) or may have been exposed to excessive heat, cold, or moisture. We have called drug companies on behalf of our clients who have bought medications on-line and then complained that they didn’t work. It turned out that the medications had lot numbers that didn’t exist so they were either repackaged or counterfeit. The drug companies are actively trying to trace and stop this practice.
If you really want to buy a medication on-line we will write you a prescription but we will not be able to fax it for you. We cannot appear to support the purchase of drugs that may be counterfeit or are not supported by the drug manufacturers in case there are any problems or reactions to the drugs.

Ear infections in dogs

One of the most frustrating problems for owners is when their dogs get ear infections – and to make matters worse, they tend to be recurrent. Although dogs can get infections from Foxtails in their ears or swimming, the most common reason is due to allergies – pollens, dust, and even food. Even though it would seem that the dog should have skin involvement and both ears would be affected, that is often not the case. Allergies can cause infection in just one ear, and it is often always in the same ear.

The signs you may notice are: scratching of the ear, discharge, or just a funny smell. It is important to bring your dog in as soon as you notice this since ear infections are much easier for you to treat if they are diagnosed early. We will throughly examine the ears to make sure there are no Foxtails in there and also to make sure the eardrum is not ruptured. A ruptured ear drum is very painful and a much more serious condition.

When you come in, we will do an ear slide to look for yeast and bacteria. This is the only way that we can determine the appropriate medication for your dog. These medications include special ear cleaners, topical medications to put in the ears, and possibly pills or tablets. Recheck appointments will usually be scheduled several weeks later & repeat ear slides will be done to make sure the infection is entirely cleared up. The ear may visually look clean, but if yeast & bacteria are still present, the ear infection will return very quickly.

Please call us at 408-264-3550 if you think your dog has an ear infection or if you are,having trouble treating your dog.

We know how frustrating ear infections are to treat so we are here 7 days a week to help you out.

CHECK OUT NEWS & SPECIALS NOW FOR UPCOMING DENTAL DISCOUNTS

We will be offering discounts on dentals from Jan 2 – March 31 2015. Check out “News & Specials” for details.

Caring for older dogs & cats

Older dogs & cats are prone to a variety of debilitating diseases & conditions. These include kidney failure, heart disease, dental disease, arthritis, cancer & senility. The good news is that improvements in veterinary care, diagnostic tests, new medications combined with early diagnosis & treatment make it possible for your pet to live a happier and longer life.

Warning signs to look for include: changes in appetite or water consumption, weight gain or loss, repeated vomiting, bad breath, drooling, whining, stiffness or difficulty going up or down stairs. Also any new or changing lumps or growths should be checked out immediately.

If you notice any of these things, please give us a call at 408-264-3550 . We are here 7 days a week to answer your questions and to help you & your pet.

Halloween & your pets

I love Halloween but it can be a dangerous time for our pets.

All that candy lying around is a big temptation for dogs. Chocolate is very toxic to dogs & can be deadly. Even other kinds of candy (& their wrappers) can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even stomach or intestinal obstruction. Please be sure to keep your pets in another room when candy is out.

Dogs & cats can get upset with all the children in costumes coming to your door – another reason to keep them in another room. This is a time when dogs & cats will escape from the house or can bite someone. If your pet is likely to escape, make sure it is microchipped.

Lastly – if you have a black cat, please keep it inside. There are some very sick people out there.

Have a Happy Halloween (which includes no emergency visits to you veterinarian).

You & your cat – Who’s in Charge Part 2

4. There’s a Cupboard Full of Cat Stuff

Do you let your cat do this? You’re owned.
Every cat-owned human has one: a cupboard, cabinet or drawer full of cat items. What do cats need, exactly? Well, because felines can be finicky about pretty much everything, you never know what treat, toy or grooming tool your cat might be into on any given day. So you must stock myriad things to suit his mood.

5. Your Phone Is Full of Cat Photos
Quick, pull out your phone and count how many cat pictures you have versus how many pictures you have of human family members. How far do you have to scroll through photos filled with fur to get to your smiling kids or spouse? Enough said.

6. You Maintain Multiple Water Sources
Why should your cat have to walk all the way downstairs to get a drink of water? If a cat owns you, this is a reasonable question. Do you have water dishes, fountains or cups of water in multiple rooms in the house? If your cat sticks his nose in your water glass, do you shoo him away or do you let him drink to his heart’s content and then go get yourself another glass? If you answered the latter, your cat probably owns you.

Sure, you might try to tell yourself you’re in charge but, really, when it comes right down to it, are you? Despite your best efforts to the contrary, it’s probably a good idea for you to resign yourself to being a kept human. It’s a battle you’ll never win.

More on Vetstreet.com:

You and your cat : Who’s in Charge? Part 1

Are you a cat owner? Are you sure about that? Who caters to her resident feline’s every need? Who dotes upon her demanding little dictator? Who can be put in her place with just one look of disdain from the kitty in the corner?

If any of the following scenarios sound familiar, the “owner” status in your home may have shifted without your even realizing it.

1. The Cat Eats What the Cat Wants to Eat
Be honest: How many different types of cat food have you presented to your feline friend, only to have him turn up his tiny little nose at it? Humans who are owned by cats know that once you have figured out the magical formula of food, you stick with it. That may be one flavor on odd days of the week and another flavor on even, heated for eight seconds in the microwave and served on special china, but, hey, he’s eating with gusto, right?

2. You Don’t Move the Cat — Ever
You can be certain you’re an owned human if you regularly work around your cat, wherever that happens to be. This includes waiting until later to fold laundry if he’s snoozing in the basket, stepping over him while preparing lunch if he’s lying on the kitchen floor, forgoing the vacuum cleaner if he’s anywhere nearby or selecting another chair if your regular seat is already occupied.

3. You Just Keep Buying Cat Toys
How many little mice, balls, and crunchy, bouncy or squeaky cat toys have you purchased over the years? Your cat plays with them for only a minute before he grows bored, yet you still keep bringing home toys for that one fleeting moment of joy. You know this, but you don’t care. It’s worth it to keep your cat content.

FLEAS FLEAS FLEAS

All of a sudden, we are seeing a lot of dogs & cats coming in with skin problems. Some of this is due to allergies but we are also seeing LOTS of FLEAS. If you are using a topical product (Frontline, Advantage, or Activyl) make sure that you continue to apply it EVERY month. Also, Advantage & Frontline have been around for awhile and some people are noticing that fleas may be becoming resistant to it. If that seems to apply to you, then you should switch to Activyl, which is a newer product, or Nexgard, which is a new chewable product that quickly kills fleas & ticks. If you are using Sentinel or Program – these products do not kill fleas but just prevent them from reproducing – then you may need to add in a topical or oral medication for a few months to get the fleas under control. As the weather gets more humid or if it rains, the fleas will really multiply, so now is the time to get them under control.

If you are having problems or have any questions, please call us at 408-264-3550 , so we can help you chose the most effective products for your pets.