Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site 

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Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site    

509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405

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Spring 1998 Newsletter

IN THIS ISSUE

Do You Have a Flea Fighting Problem?

Anyone that has ever competed knows that to be victorious you must first start with a good Game Plan. Good Game Plans take into consideration all of the various strengths and weaknesses of the opponent.  Several strategies are then developed to defeat the adversary.  Such is the case when fighting fleas.  With the right Game Plan, you and your pet can enjoy a flea-free existence.

To be flea-free, begin with a Game Plan that protects your pet, home, and yard. Follow these suggestions:

1. Your pet - There are orally administered products on the market formulated to bread the flea's life cycle by preventing flea eggs or larvae from developing into adults.  However, these products have no effect on adult fleas that may currently exist on your pet.  These fleas continue feasting on your pet. Treat the existing fleas with a topical solution that contains a flea adulticide and generally protects your pet for 30 days.  Since all animals (like people) possess individual differences, some products may not be suited for your pet.  Before starting any flea control program on your own, ask us to design an individualized program that best meets the needs of you and your pet.

2. In your home and yard -  When vacuuming an area you suspect may have fleas, throw the bag out immediately.  Outside your home, deny fleas their natural habitat by removing any piles of damp twigs or grass from around your home.  There are wonderful products that we can recommend to treat fleas inside and outside your home.

We have the products and expertise to create a winning Game Plan for you and your pet.  With our help you ad your companion animal can lead a flea-free existence.  Call us today! Don't let fleas spoil your Spring and Summer!

FLEAS CAUSE:

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

When a flea bites, it leaves behind elements in its saliva that irritates the skin causing severe itching.  Some animals will itch so savagely that they scratch open their skin creating an ugly, raw sore.

Tapeworms

Fleas transmit tapeworm larvae that maature in the animal's digestive system. Pet owners should look for dried-out segments that resemble rice granules or sesame seeds in the pet's bedding or present on the fur surrounding the anal area.

If you suspect your pet may be infected with tapeworms, give us a call immediately.  If you observe any raw sores on your pet and notice that they have been itching chronically, don't hesitate to call.

Great Animal Quotes

"Don't accept your dog's admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful." Ann Landers

THE FLEA IN HISTORY

Fleas have been tormenting animals and humans since pre-historic times. Their fossilized remains have been found in the same excavations as dinosaur bones.  Can you imagine the "hot spot" Tyrannosaurus Rex could give itself?!  The flea is connected to some of the greatest tragedies in human history.  In the 6th century, fleas spread the Bubonic Plague that killed over 100 million people in the Middle East, Europe, and Asia.  Eight centuries later, fleas transmitted the infamous "Black Death" (again the Bubonic Plague) which claimed 75 million people - nearly 1/2 of Europe's entire population!

TICK CONTROL

If you live in an area or plan to visit a location where ticks are abundant, it is essential that the veterinarian tailor a tick control program for your pet.  The use of a collar, dip, spot-on, spray, or bath may be recommended.  Additionally, to control ticks you should:

  • Keep your lawn mowed and free of brush and debris. Area sprayings may be required
  • Check pets for ticks before bringing them inside.  remove embedded ticks using fine-pointed tweezers and destroy them in a jar of alcohol or call our office for assistance in the tick's removal.
  • If your animal shows any unusual medical or behavioral problems, call our office immediately.
ALL ABOUT CATS

Why do cats...Scratch the Furniture?

     Does your cat have the desire to claw only the finest furniture, wallpaper, and draperies?  If so, you're not alone.  Scratching is an innate feline behavior, and it is something that all cat owners must learn to deal with.

     Cats scratch for several reasons.  First, scratching keeps their claws in shape.  You schedule a weekly manicure, your cat schedules a scratching session with the sofa.  Not only does scratching sharpen the claws and remove the old outer husk of the nail, it also feels good.

     Scratching also serves as a territorial marker.  Cats may scratch in preferred sleeping spots or any other place where they spend a lot of time.  Doorways and window sills often get scratched, especially when an indoor cat spots an intruder outside.  He scratches in a vain attempt to let the other cat know that this is his territory.  Scent is another aspect of territorial scratching.  The sebaceous glands in a cat's paws leave an odor at the scratched area - another way the cat can stake his claim.

A good substitute to the antique chair your cat currently favors is a tall (at least 3 feet high) scratching post.  Cats like to scratch things that are rough so choose a post that is covered in material such as sisal of burlap.  Avoid carpet as cats cannot distinguish this from the carpet on the floor.  Instead use the underside of the carpet which is rough. Some cats like scratching bare wood or logs covered with bark.

To teach your cat to use the post, run your fingernails up and down it.  The sound and motion will attract your cat.  give your cat a treat whenever he scratches in the appropriate place.  Always praise your cat when he uses the post and discourage him with a water squirter when he attempts to use anything else.

Put the scratching post in a convenient area.  Once you have found a good place that your cat favors, don't move it. Cats may protest if you change what they consider the natural order of things.     Source: Bowtie Press

 

 

HEARTWORM DISEASE

Some Quick Facts

  • Heartworms enter an animal's bloodstream through the bite of a mosquito which injects heartworm larvae, called microfilariae, into the bloodstream.  They eventually travel to the heart and mature from 6 to 14 inches in length.

  • Undetected heartworms may cause extensive damage to the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys.

  • Symptoms include a diminished appetite, weight loss, a chronic cough and fatigue.  By the time symptoms occur, the disease is usually well advanced and may be difficult to treat.  Heartworm disease is potentially fatal in severe cases.

  • Heartworm Disease is usually detected with a blood test that shows the presence of microfilariae in the bloodstream. However, approximately 15% of pets may harbor adult worms without any microfilariae in the bloodstream.

  • Treatment of Heartworm Disease is possible but may be expensive.

Prevention is the best way to deal with Heartworm Disease.  An easy-to-give monthly preventative is available for your pet.  Some thpes of Heartworm preventatives also help to prevent intestinal parasites as well.  If your pet is on this preventative, keep him or her on it.  If your pet is not on this medication, give us a call today.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PUPPY

Spring is a great time to select a puppy for your family.

When choosing a puppy, these tips may prove helpful:

  • Is the facial expression relaxed with no sign of fear?
  • Is the fur shiny and soft? Does it feel clean and smooth?
  • Are the muscles well developed and symmetrical?
  • Do the feet show any signs of deformity that could lead to lameness?
  • Are the legs straight and not splaying suggesting poor growth?
  • Is the relatively hairless skin on the belly pink and unstained?
  • Are the eyes clear and bright and free of any discharge?
  • Do you detect an odor from the ears?  Is there a waxy discharge?
  • Is the pet's hair oily or flaky and does it come out when it is stroked?
  • Are the gums pink and odor free?
  • Is the anal region clean and dry?

When selecting a puppy, you should ask for a "pre-purchase examination."  This allows us to look at the puppy prior to your purchase. We can help you select a healthy puppy that will be your loyal companion for years.  Give us a call!