Fleas are a
constant source of irritation for our pets. Every year we see
numerous problems associated with fleas on our pets. The most
obvious is the constant scratching and chewing. This can progress to
baldness, open sores, or self mutilation. We also see animals who
are anemic due to excessive flea loads. Other parasites can be
transmitted by fleas, the most common one we see is tapeworms.
have been several scientific breakthroughs which will greatly improve our
ability in helping you overcome these flea associated problems. By
now, most of you are familiar with Program - the once a month
tablet which sterilizes fleas and thereby reduces the environmental
population. This product has been very effective in most situations,
however certain conditions can reduce its ability to control the flea
populations. This is especially a problem with cats that are not
confined to your yard.
Two new products
will help overcome this problem. Advantage, which is a spot
application product, and Front Line, which is a spray-on product,
will both be available in the next few months. Both products will be
effective for two weeks to one month for both dogs and cats. They
will be effective against adult fleas with 98 to 100% reduction of adult
fleas on the animal within 24 hours of application. both products
have been released outside California, however since our state has many
more requirements for approval, we don't expect Advantage will be
available until July or August, and Front Line until 1997.
We will be
carrying both products as soon as they are available. Call our
office to check with us for an update on the anticipated date of
Just like with us,
the clock continues to tick for animals - only their clock runs a little
faster. Compared to humans, the life span of a cat or dog is
relatively short and depends upon the size and breed of the animal.
A St. Bernard, for example, is considered a "senior" at the age
of 5 to 7 while a terrier would be considered middle aged. Age 7 to
10 is considered middle- aged for cats while over 10 is a senior.
You'll find that routine preventive medicine for your pet during their
senior years is better for them and less expensive for you. The real
reward, however, is the potential freedom from some old-age ailments that
could rob you and your pet of years of companionship and enjoyment.
The heat of summer is hard on our furry friends, especially on seniors, so
now is an ideal time to bring your older pet in for a geriatric
EFFECTS OF AGING
All living creatures' bodies change as they age.
Most changes result from deteriorating body functions such as loss of
vision. As the pet ages, the incidences ( and possibly the
intensity) of these ailments increase. Some older cats and dogs may
be suffering from varying degrees of several different problems!
Among the most common health problems seen in
older pets are:
tooth & gum disease
PROTECTING YOUR OLDER PET
Although many age-related changes like hearing loss
cannot be prevented, other diseases can be treated of prevented if caught
early enough. Therefore, the most important thing that you can do for
your canine or feline senior is to have them seen by the veterinarian
annually. An examination and a simple flood test often reveal
problems early, correctable stages
when they are easier and less costly to treat. Other tests may be
necessary depending upon your pet's health history. As a result of
these tests, the veterinarian will prescribe a maintenance program that
best meets the needs of your pet.
Now is a great time to schedule a geriatric screening for your
senior. A gently wagging tail or a soft purr will be your reward for
many years to come. Call us today to schedule a screening for your
canine or feline senior citizen. You owe it to yourself to keep your
beloved pet with you longer.
With summer, many of
our pets are spending longer and longer hours outdoors. During their
travels, our pets have an increased liklihood of coming in contact with
other animals, one of which may be infected with rabies. Without
the protection of a rabies vaccination, an animal exposed to a potential
carrier of rabies faces limited options. The following story
illustrates what we mean.
Mrs. Allen received a reminder card from her animal
clinic stating that Ruffles' rabies booster was due. Because of her
busy schedule, Mrs. Allen forgot to make an appointment. She also
believed that Ruffles was reasonably safe because he was contained in a
yard equipped with an invisible fence. "If he can't roam, how can he
get into trouble", she figured.
One afternoon, Ruffles spied a furry creature waddling
out of the
woods behind the
Allen's house. Being a terrier, Ruffles raced to the attack but the
raccoon was not as slow as the terrier thought. The encounter was
quick and each combatant landed several bites on its opponent before they
disengaged. Ruffles continued to bark defiantly at the retreating
intruder unaware that he had lost a square inch of his right ear flap and
had two deep puncture wounds on his right shoulder.
Mrs. Allen soon returned home and noticed Ruffles' blood
smeared shoulder and ear. Within 15 minutes, she and Ruffles were at
her animal clinic where Ruffles was soon examined by the
veterinarian. The look on the doctor's face foreshadowed the news
Mrs. Allen was informed of the prevailing facts:
the bite on Ruffle's shoulder was probably from a
Ruffles' rabies vaccination was not current.
Had rabies been prevalent in their immediate area, the Allens may
very well have been forced to put Ruffles to sleep. Fortunately
for Ruffles and the Allens, their local health department allowed the
doctor to administer a rabies booster but Ruffles had to be quarantined in
the Allen's home for six months. In a different area, he may
not have been so lucky. Of course, this entire situation, with all
of its worry and aggravation, could have been avoided had Ruffles been
current on his rabies vaccination.
Everyone is busy these days and it's easy to forget or put off that
appointment making phone call. Remember, all pets must be vaccinated
against rabies - that's the law! If you are unsure about your pet's
current innoculation status, please give our office a call today.
Chances are that your pet also needs some Other disease preventing
vaccinations as well. Situations like Ruffles' can be avoided with
just a little precaution.
If you are planning on leaving your dog in
a kennel this summer while you're at the beach or mountains, you should
have him vaccinated to obtain protection against Kennel Cough.
Sometimes called "Canine Cough", tracheobronchitis is a
contagious upper-respiratory disease whose symptoms include coughing,
sneezing, hacking and retching. The disease is spread through the
air by organisms that travel considerable distances and infect any
susceptible dog. One of the most common areas of infection are
boarding kennels. So if you're leaving Fido at a kennel for a couple
of weeks this summer, make sure you have him or her vaccinated prior to
admission to the kennel.
If your pet is traveling with you on vacation this summer,
be sure to bring a copy of its current rabies certificate with you.
This way, if your pet gets into a fight with another pet while you're
away, you have proof of vaccination that will save you lots of time and
"Every person has an indulgence,
but very few indulgences give things back. Pets do." Dr. R.
Brooks, a veterinarian from Fountain Valley, CA, in defense of his clients
who willing y spent $16,000 on a kidney transplant for their 8-year-old
"The great pleasure of a dog is
that you make a fool of yourslef with him, and not only will he not scold
you, he will make a fool of himself too."
More and more of our clients are telling us how bad the
ticks are this year. We are also seeing a lot of ticks on the dogs
and cats we treat. Ticks present potential risks to humans as well
as to our pets and their presence should not be taken lightly.
Ticks are most active from May through August, with peak
activity in July. Some folks have reported having problems all year
(possibly due to home infestations.) Here are some suggestions to
prevent ticks from bothering your pets:
Keep grassy areas clipped short. Ticks
usually attach themselves to long grass to await a passing animal or
Get a good flea & tick collar. There are
several good collars that inhibit ticks from attaching onto your
pet. We can suggest the right one for your pet.
Some sprays and repellents are available to keep
ticks off your pets. Ask us for your suggestions as to what
is best for your pet.
A Lyme disease vaccine is available for
dogs. Ask the doctor if this vaccination is best for your
We see a lot of pets this time of year who
seem to be itching themselves much more than normal. Your
chronically itching pet may be suffering from an allergy. Pet
allergies manifest themselves in a form of dermatitis that causes
the pet to scratch madly. There are three main types of pet
Allergic Inhalant Dermatitis - This
is caused by an animal's hypersensitivity to airborne irritants like
Flea-bite Dermatitis - During
the biting process, the flea injects its saliva under the pet's
skin. This irritation can cause the pet to itch and bite itself.
Contact Dermatitis - This is
caused by direct contact with an irritant such as a flea collar,
poison ivy, etc.
If your pet has been itching feverishly,
give our office a call. Please do not attempt a
self-diagnosis. A misdiagnosis could prolong your pet's suffering
and possibly cause complications.
Considering our earlier story about Ruffles, it's
probably a good idea to review what vaccinations Kitty needs to stay
healthy. The following are some suggestions but you should talk to
the doctor to seek the specific requirements of your cat.
RABIES - Cats may be at greater risk of
contacting rabies because of their roaming nature. Because rabies
can be easily transmitted to the human population, most states mandate a
rabies vaccination for your cat.
PANLEUKOPENIA - Also known as feline distemper,
panleukopenia is a highly contagious, often fatal disease. It is not
transmittable to humans of dogs.
FELINE LEUKEMIA -
FeLV is one of the most common causes of illness and death in
cats. It is a cancer-causing virus that often suppresses the cat's
ability to fight infections. Cats should be tested prior to being
vaccinated. FeLV is not transmittable to humans of dogs.
RHINOTRACHEITIS - This disease resembles the
common cold in humans but can cause serious problems fro older cats and
kittens. It does not cause disease in humans or dogs.
CALICI VIRUS - Calici has symptoms similar to
rhinotracheitis. Kittens and older cats are again at the greatest
risk. It does not cause disease in humans or dogs.
FELINE INFECTIOUS PERITONITIS - FIP is a
progressive and fatal disease. It is a serious problem in multi-cat
Your veterinarian is the most reliable source of
information about your cat's health. Never be afraid to ask the
doctor or any member of our staff questions. We're here to help you
and your cat remain happy companions for as long as possible.