We get so many questions about how to choose the right food for our clients’ pets. One of the most common questions we get is whether or not a grain-free diet is necessary for dogs. While cats are carnivores, dogs are actually omnivores, so they can eat many different ingredients and maintain a healthy diet. Many of the advertisements for pet foods really cater to the human’s that are purchasing it. Meat by-products, various grains, and “meat meal” are often thought of as low-quality ingredients because we as humans don’t find them appetizing. That doesn’t mean they are bad, though. In fact, some studies are finding that a grain-free diet could increase your dog’s risk of heart disease. Check out these articles for more information:
We just found out about this great app to help with pet poison questions! It’s called APCC by ASPCA. It is broken down into categories by species, then by type of potential poison (plants, medications, etc). It is then color-coded by severity of toxicity, and lets you know if you need to seek immediate medical attention for your pet. If you’re interested, check out the link below!
Did you know that 70% of cats over 4 have dental disease? Or-that toy breeds may be more prone to dental disease? Pet Periodontal disease can lead to pain, bad breath, and tooth loss.
In honor of National Pet Dental Month, we will be giving away a FREE dental kit–which includes a toothbrush, toothpaste and dental diet sample–when your pet has a dental during the month of February.
Let’s work together to keep your pets smile healthy. Call or email to schedule your pet’s dental appointment today!
We are excited to announce that we now have a facebook page. Please “Like” us on Facebook for helpful hints and fun tid-bits!
Also feel free to post pictures of your adorable pets!
In an effort to reduce the risks of vaccinations, while continuing to protect our pets from fatal infectious diseases, the nonadjuvanted rabies and feline leukemia vaccines are now being used on our feline patients at Lyndale Animal Hospital. Both of these vaccines should be boostered on a yearly basis. The city of Minneapolis requires all pet cats and dogs to be licensed and up to date with their rabies immunizations.
The feline leukemia vaccine is recommended in cats that go outdoors or are at risk of being in contact with cats of unknown disease status.
Vaccine site-associated sarcomas, a cancerous tumor that can form at the site of a vaccine injection, have been rigorously studied in veterinary medicine. In 1997 a Vaccine-Associated Feline Sarcoma Task Force (VAFSTF) was established to investigate this relatively rare, but aggressive disease, stimulate research and initiate changes in feline vaccine recommendations.
Although the cause for sarcoma formation in felines is not completely understood, experts currently agree that the tumors originate in areas where there is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation at the site of a vaccine injection has been linked to the use of adjuvants in vaccines. Adjuvants, like aluminum salts and gels, are typically used in inactivated vaccines to enhance the immune response to the antigens within the vaccine.
Scientific evidence suggests that in genetically susceptible cats, chronic inflammation from vaccine adjuvants can lead to a cascade of physiological events, ultimately causing certain cells types to transform into cancerous cells.
Studies have shown that vaccination with inactivated, adjuvanted rabies or feline leukemia vaccines are associated with increased risk of vaccine site-associated tumors in cats. This association does not exist with the feline distemper vaccine (also known as the Panleukopenia-Rhinotracheitis-Calici or PRC vaccine). Luckily, experts have developed nonadjuvanted vaccines that lower the risk of tumor formation in cats.
Ask us at your next appointment if you have any other questions about vaccines and their associated risks.
Heartworm is a parasitic worm that lives, as an adult, in the heart and pulmonary arteries of the dog (and very rarely, the cat). The parasite is transmitted to a dog by a bite from an infected mosquito.
Simply stated, an infected mosquito injects larvae into a dog’s skin where these larvae (called L3) then spend the next week or two developing into the next larval stage (L4). The L4 stage lives in the skin for three months or so until it develops to a young adult stage (L5) and is ready to enter the dog’s circulatory system. The young adults, migrate to the heart and out into the pulmonary arteries (if there is room) where they will become adult heartworms and mate, approximately 5 to 7 months after first entering the new host.
There are many safe and effective heartworm preventives that act by killing the L3 and L4 stages. The ivermectin products are also able to kill the younger L5.
Heartworm preventatives that we currently carry at our hospital include:
- Heartgard Plus (dogs only)
- Iverhart (dogs only)
- Revolution (dogs and cats)
- Proheart 6 (dogs only) – coming soon!
Testing for heartworm disease
Heartworm tests on the market do not detect infection with immature worms. This is why it takes 5 to 7 months from the time of exposure to get a valid heartworm test, therefore, there is no point in testing puppies less than 5 to 7 months of age. At that point, it is recommended that your dog be tested annually even if it is on heartworm protection year round.
For a further explanation of this and other information on heartworm disease, please click on the links below:
Ticks are blood-sucking parasites that can attach to dogs, cats and humans, and transmit deadly diseases. Adult ticks hang out in grasses and bushes and wait for an animal to pass by so they can attach and feed.
Ticks can carry and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis and Erlichiosis which can lead to long term complications and even death in severe cases.
These diseases can be prevented by using a monthly preventative on your pet.
Click on the following links for more information:
Tick Product Comparison:
There are many safe and efficacious products available that prevent tick-borne diseases if used appropriately.
Here is a list of the products that are carried at our hospital:
- Frontline (cats and dogs)
- Certifect (dogs)
- Vectra (dogs)
Here’s some information on what you need to know about potential parasitic threats to our furry friends and how to protect them.
Although your pets can get fleas at any time of the year, pets tend to be at higher risk of getting fleas during the spring through fall. Here are some examples of ways your pet can catch fleas:
- From other cats and dogs that your pet encounters at places such as parks, day cares, boarding facilities, and training classes.
- From wildlife such as rabbits, skunks, birds and raccoons.
- From a new home or apartment. Fleas can survive for months in carpeting or in the cracks between the boards of hard wood floors.
Fleas aren’t just a nuisance to people and their pets, they can cause serious disease in our cats and dogs. The following is a list of diseases caused by flea bites:
- Flea Allergic Dermatitis
- Flea Anemia
- Feline Infectious Anemia
- Cat Scratch Fever/Bartonellosis (a disease that cats can get from fleas and transmit to humans)
- Tapeworm infection
Luckily, flea infestations are easy to prevent. Many products are available that have been scientifically researched for safety and efficacy.
Here is a list of products that are available at our hospital for the treatment and prevention of flea infestation in dogs and cats:
- Ceftifect (dogs only)