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"Of all possessions, a friend is the most precious."

- Heradotus

6 month injectable heartworm prevention infographicHeartworm prevention is an absolute must for pets. The tough part is sticking to the required monthly schedule for giving it to them. It gets even more fun when you aren’t sure if they actually swallowed the tablet or if whatever your other dog is smacking on in the corner is the rejected tablet in question. Fortunately, dogs and their people have a much easier option: an injectable heartworm prevention that only has to be done twice per year. That’s it.

ProHeart 6

The product that allows this simplified and more consistent approach to heartworm prevention is ProHeart 6. We’ve been administering this to our canine patients for a while now, and both their owners and our veterinarians have been very happy with it. It has improved consistency of prevention (a win for your dog!) while having a price point that is very similar to monthly preventatives over the same period of time (a win for you).

How Does it Last 6 Months?

The active ingredient, moxidectin, is delivered to the body in slow-release microspheres. These stay in the body for six months by being stored in your dog’s adipose tissue, or fat. ProHeart 6 has been specifically formulated to give slow, sustained protection from heartworms, so you don’t have to worry about it tapering off during months five and six. Your dog is protected for all six months.

Consistent protection is important throughout the United States, but in the hot, humid southeastern U.S., we really, really can’t afford to be anything but diligent. Mosquitoes transmit heartworms, and the high numbers of them in this part of the country have always meant more cases of heartworm disease in pets than in other areas–even in winter! Year-round protection matters here.

How to Get the 6 Month Heartworm Prevention

Our approach to administering this injectable option is the same as for any heartworm preventative. Your dog needs to have had a current heartworm test done so we know he/she doesn’t already have adult heartworms. The test is done with a small blood sample and also tests for common tick-borne diseases, too. Unlike many vet practices, we are able to run most of our diagnostics in-house using special equipment and tests. Heartworm tests are one type of many that we can give you a result during your visit!

If the heartworm test is negative and a wellness exam shows no other concerning health problems, your dog is likely a great candidate for a ProHeart 6 injection–just like with any other prevention!

 

New Clients Only Pay $1 for Wellness Exams! That’s a Savings of $64.

Come see us! We’d love to help you protect your dog from heartworms this year, especially as we enter the most mosquito-heavy seasons.

Did you know that diabetes in dogs and cats is a common illness? Just like with people, certain factors make some pets more likely to develop diabetes. The good news is that a primary factor, obesity, is completely within your control.

Stats on U.S. pet obesity which can cause diabetesObesity Greatly Increases Risk of Diabetes in Dogs and Cats

Fat cats and pudgy pups are much more likely to develop diabetes than their svelte counterparts. Not only that, they are also more likely to end up with arthritis, kidney disease, heart disease, dermatologic conditions, lipomas, and more. Unlike humans, pets don’t have the ability to go out and buy chicken nuggets on a whim, and without us, even their exercise is limited. This means that their weight and corresponding health are our responsibility.

A 2017 survey by the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention found that 60% of cats and 56% of dogs were clinically overweight or obese.

90% of pet owners of overweight cats and 95% of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pet as normal weight.

For diabetes in dogs and cats, prevention is worth more than a pound of cure… because there isn’t a cure. An early diagnosis and careful management can still allow pets to live happily for years. By comparison, late diagnosis and improper management can result in severe illness or death. This is why it’s so important keep your pets fit, be sure they have their annual wellness exams, and report any possible symptoms to your vet promptly.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Excessive water drinking and increased urination
  • Weight loss, even though there may be an increased appetite
  • Decreased appetite as diabetes gets worse
  • Cloudy eyes (especially in dogs)
  • Chronic or recurring infections

Watch our for pet diabetes or diabeetus.Help Your Pet Lose Weight

Even if your pet has been overweight for years, it’s never too late to turn back the clock a bit. The internet is full of advice on pet diets, and much of it is inaccurate or incomplete. The perfect starting point is to talk to your vet about nutrition and weight management to determine what is really appropriate for your particular pet based on their age, activity level, and any other possible medical conditions. Remember, vets learned a ton about the science of nutrition over several years in veterinary school, so use them as a resource!

Broadly speaking, be sure that you aren’t ever feeding “junk food” to your pets. Unhealthy table scraps, high-calorie but low-nutrition treats, and too many treats are common culprits. Meal portions may also be too big for your pet’s needs. Looking for options for healthy treats? Your own kitchen is a good place to start. Learn more in our article, “11 Natural, Healthy Treats for Dogs in Your Kitchen”.

This is where exercise also plays an important role. It doesn’t have to be a chore. Exercise can be so much fun for both of you! Play with your cats with their favorite toys to keep them active, throw a ball for your dog every day, or take them for a neighborhood walk that is good for both your bodies! And the added bonus: this is great bonding time for your pets and your family.

 

You’ve heard it before. “Spay and neuter your pets!” There are several reasons why it’s important, but did you know that your pet’s health is a big one? It’s not all about preventing unwanted litters of puppies and kittens. From testicular tumors to pyometra, the medical benefits of spaying and neutering your dogs and cats are clear.

Spaying and neutering helps to prevent cancers and other illness.

 

FACT: Unaltered dogs and cats are substantially more likely to develop potentially life-threatening illnesses.

 

Benefits of Spaying Dogs and Cats

Pyometra

Prevention of pyometra is a great reason to spay your pets. Pyometra is a potentially life-threatening infection of the uterus that can occur in any intact female cat or dog. A few factors that contribute to it include hormonal changes after estrus and the accidental introduction of bacteria to the uterus during estrus, when the cervix is relaxed.

Pet owners don’t often detect pyometra until it is advanced. At this point, the best chance your pet has of surviving this infection is to have an emergency spay surgery. The more advanced the infection is, the more risk is involved with the surgery. Unfortunately, pyometra is not terribly rare. It’s painful and quickly causes a systemic infection. Pyometra is an emergency.

Mammary Tumors

Yes, dogs and cats can get mammary tumors just like people can. In fact, they are one of the most common types of tumor in unspayed dogs. While less common in cats, they are far more often malignant when they do occur in our feline friends.

THE STATISTICS

Benefits of Neutering Dogs and Cats

Testicular Tumors

neuter cat raleigh, neuter dog vet, testicular cancer dogs catsAgain, we have a risk of tumors associated with intact pets. Testicular tumors are fairly common in older dogs, though more rare in cats. Most often, these tumors are benign, but there are actually several different types of cancer that can occur, and it’s not rare for more than one type to affect the same patient. Testicles that are not descended are at even higher risk to have malignant tumors. Benign or malignant, both testicles must be surgically removed by neutering to prevent painful or even life-threatening tumor growth.

27% of unneutered dogs will develop at least 1 testicular tumor in their lifetime.

There is also reason to believe that testicular tumors are hereditary, so dogs with any history of them should not be allowed to reproduce.

Behavior

Both male cats and dogs are at significantly higher risk of wandering off, getting lost, getting hit by a car, getting into fights with competing males that often result in infections and the spreading of disease, etc. It can’t be stressed enough how much neutering decreases roaming and related injury and illness in most males.

With cats, in particular, the spreading of disease is a big problem. Even the most innocent-seeming cats are likely to fight other cats when nearby females are in heat and males are on the prowl. Fighting cats often spread feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), for which there are no cures. Neutering can also reduce the urge for male cats to “spray”, or urinate to mark territory.

Spay & Neuter Your Pets for Longer, Healthier Lives!

Cat grooming is often best left to the most fastidious of grooming experts: cats. Cats are their own “glam squad”. Of course, you definitely should brush your cat’s coat to help prevent hairballs and mats. Sometimes they need nail trims, too. But even the most dedicated of felines might find itself in a mess that requires some extra human intervention.

Raleigh Cat grooming by Falls Village Vet If the thought of giving your cat a bath or shaving matted hair seems like a breeze, you clearly haven’t consulted with Fluffy.

When You Need a Professional Cat Groomer

There are a variety of reasons that cats might need some extra grooming help beyond the home basics. They range from typical challenges with long hair to medical needs. Sometimes it’s as simple as having a cat who loathes baths, but there are some who do just fine!

Shaving Mats on Cats is Dangerous

Long-haired cats are likely to get matted hair if they aren’t being brushed frequently. This is especially true as they get older and are a bit less flexible to reach some areas. If you catch them early enough, they can be brushed out. The problem with mats, though, is that if left alone, they can get worse and worse until they are pulling tightly and holding moisture on the skin at the same time. This means pain and discomfort from pulled hair and the risk of skin infections.

Don’t try to shave the mats yourself! Cats have very delicate skin. It’s not nearly as rare as we wish it was for us to have to suture large wounds caused by clippers at home. Shaving a cat is a careful process to avoid injury.

Sometimes a Special or Medicated Bath is in Order

For starters, even a bath that is purely due to kitty getting into a mess is not as simple as grabbing your dog’s shampoo and lathering up. Aside from the fearsome, flailing creature that some cats become at bath time, the most important concern is that some dog shampoos, especially flea shampoos, can be harmful to cats. The ingredients matter.

When it comes to skin conditions, veterinarians have a range of safe and effective medicated shampoos that can help to treat the problem. The causes can range from parasites to allergies, so check with your vet if you aren’t sure why your cat seems to have a skin issue. A proper diagnosis is important.

Sedation for Cat Grooming Overseen by Veterinarians

There are some cats who just get so stressed or are so difficult to handle for bathing and/or shaving that it is safer for all concerned to sedate the cat. Veterinarians can approve and oversee sedation cat grooming on a case-by-case basis. Any anesthesia for grooming requires the same approval process as with surgical cases. Your furry friend must have been examined recently by your vet, and recent blood work must show that the cat is healthy enough for anesthesia.

Cat Grooming in Raleigh, NC

We understand that beyond the home grooming basics, grooming your little lion can be a challenge. We’re here to help with everything from ear cleanings to medicated baths.

Questions about dog or cat grooming? Contact us!

Arthritis pain and othe pain is managed easily with laser therapy like for this pit bullArthritis pain in dogs and cats doesn’t have to mean high doses of prescription pain relievers as the only source of relief. This is good news given that your pet’s liver can be affected by long-term use of many medications. As veterinarians, we’ve long had to be precise with our recommended dosages and regular follow-up bloodwork for this reason. And while laser therapy doesn’t mean the end of medications, it can mean reduced medications. That, in turn, means reduced side effects. Cold laser therapy for arthritis pain in dogs and cats is a favorite weapon in our battle against pain in your furry family members.

What is Cold Laser Therapy for Dogs & Cats?

Cold laser therapy, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) or Class IV therapy, is a wonderful, non-invasive, painless laser that works beautifully to help reduce pain. It uses specific wavelengths of light to stimulate the body’s natural ability to heal. This results in reduced inflammation, reduced pain, and increased circulation. The laser does not get hot, so it is completely comfortable to patients.

Cold laser therapy works by increasing metabolic activity within cells. This means we are able to work with the body at its most basic level in a way that produces no side effects. It is beneficial for more than just arthritis. We love using it to speed healing to injuries or after surgeries, too.

We use the most popular kind of cold laser equipment called K-Laser. K-Laser also makes cold lasers that have been used on humans for years!

What to Expect from Your Pet’s Cold Laser Therapy Treatments

Cold laser therapy for arthritis pain is a wonderful treatment method, but the effects are cumulative since we’re working with the body to stimulate its own abilities to provide relief. We usually begin to see notable improvement in pain within a couple of weeks of treatments.

Each treatment takes mere minutes. Because it’s not a good idea to look directly at the laser light, everyone in the exam room, including your pet, gets to put on a pair of protective glasses. Pets look pretty cute in theirs! Us? Depends on how into the ‘80s you are! Then a technician will turn on the laser equipment and move the laser back and forth over the target area of the body for a set period of time, just a few minutes. Then you’re done!

Your veterinarian will make a recommendation for the frequency of your pet’s treatments based on their needs at the time. Often, you can expect two or three visits the first week, a couple of visits the second week, then decrease from there into the third week. By this time, pain relief is usually obvious. Your vet will make a recommendation on how often to return for maintenance treatments. It depends on the pet, but this could be once every two or three weeks on average.

Cold laser therapy for arthritis results will vary depending on the severity of the arthritis itself, so we aren’t always able to stop use of prescription pain medications, but we can often postpone them or reduce the dosage and/or numbers of medications being taken overall. Keeping up the schedule of maintenance treatments helps us to determine exactly if and how much medication your pet might still need by giving us a consistent baseline from which to work.

Overall, the benefits are wonderful with cold laser therapy:
Reduced pain. Reduced prescriptions. No side effects. Cool glasses.

Check out this video by K-Laser, and come see us to learn more!

foods toxic to dogs, foods toxic to cats, raisins bad for dogs and cats, raleigh animal hospital, raleigh ncAs much as we sometimes view our pets as human-like and happily to spoil, adore, and talk to them, it is very important to remember that in some regards they have very different biology than we do. The very same things that we enjoy can make them incredibly ill. This is especially true when it comes to food items. Foods that are toxic to dogs and cats are in every home, and it’s our job as their caretakers to be familiar with what they are.

Grapes and Raisins Can Cause Renal Failure

Both cats and dogs can become incredibly ill from consuming grapes or raisins, though dogs are most at risk. Exactly why grapes and raisins are toxic to your pets is not completely understood, but we do know that ingesting these can cause the kidneys to fail. Early intervention can save lives. Initial symptoms within the first few hours include vomiting and/or diarrhea leading to lethargy, dehydration, weakness, etc. Renal failure begins after that, at which point the affected pet often cannot be saved.

As with why these are toxic, it is also not clearly understood exactly how many grapes or raisins it takes to cause toxicity, but a mere 4-5 grapes have been associated with the death of an 18 lbs dog which is alarming.

Onions, Garlic, & Leeks

Of the household foods toxic to dogs and cats, onions, garlic, and leeks are mild to moderately toxic. Cats and certain breeds of dogs are more susceptible to the problems caused by ingesting these. Illness isn’t typically seen immediately following ingestion, so it may be a day or more before you see symptoms. Onions, garlic, and leeks can cause damage to red blood cells leading to anemia as the body is not able to distribute oxygen effectively. Gastroenteritis is also a common problem with allium consumption.

It is tempting to think that most pets, especially cats, would never want to eat something as pungent as an onion, but it is important to note that cooked onions can be quite mild and sweet. They are more tasty to pets but no less toxic.

Xylitol is Highly Toxic to Pets

Not sure what xylitol is? Think it’s not in your home? It probably is. Xylitol is a common sweetener found in everything from chewing gums, toothpastes, and sugar-free candies to even being used in some nasal irrigation solutions or flavored dental floss.

It is well documented that even low amounts of it can cause a severe drop in blood sugar and liver damage in dogs that can be life-threatening. There are no documented cases of toxicity in cats, but given that in many cases cats are more sensitive than dogs, it should be assumed that they would also have similar reactions to xylitol.

Read your ingredient labels, and keep this far out of reach of your pets. Seek help quickly if you know your pet has consumed xylitol.

Chocolate is Toxic to Dogs and Cats

Most people know that chocolate is bad for dogs, but given the prevalence of it in homes, it’s worth mentioning again. Also, many cat owners don’t realize that it’s dangerous for the kitties too.

The two culprits that make chocolate life-threatening for pets are caffeine and theobromine. These cause tachycardia, an abnormally rapid heartbeat, as well as other cardiac dysfunction. They also affect the central nervous system causing ataxia, tremors, and seizures.

If your pet gets into some chocolate, it’s important for you to contact your vet immediately. Your vet will also want to know how much chocolate was consumed and if it was unsweetened, milk chocolate, etc. This determines how much caffeine and theobromine the dog or cat consumed.

What You Should Do

If your pet consumes any of these foods that are toxic to dogs and cats, you should treat the situation as an emergency and call your vet immediately. If it’s outside normal business hours, contact your local Emergency Clinic or call the Pet Poison Hotline for advice, though they will most likely tell you to get to a vet.

 

See our list of healthy treats for your dogs right from your kitchen!

 

natural dog treats, healthy dog treats, foods safe for dogs

Healthy, natural treats for your dog that are already in your kitchen? Yes! No trip to the pet store required. Many fruits and vegetables make wonderful treats for dogs. Obviously, they are nutrient-dense foods which makes them great for health. They are often really convenient because many are staples you probably keep handy for your family anyway. And unlike many dog biscuits or similar treats, they are low in calories. This really helps to relieve the challenge that many of us face in striking a balance between treating our pups and managing a healthy weight for long term health overall.

So what are some simple, natural dog treats to incorporate into your routine? Here are some of our favorites!

Apples

An apple a day doesn’t necessarily keep the veterinarian away, and a whole apple would be a bit much for a dog anyway, but they are good for dogs just like they are people! Full of nutrients and fiber, these are great snacks. Just be sure not to let your pup have the seeds or the core.

Green Peas

Frozen or fresh, green peas are good treats, and most dogs love them. Hand your dog a couple as training treats or even put some in their bowl. Easy-peasy!

Carrots

Loaded with beta carotene and other vitamins, carrots are almost guaranteed to be in your kitchen anyway. Why not cut up some bite-sized pieces and use them as a healthy reward? Some dogs can be bad about swallowing without chewing (we’re looking at you, labs and beagles), so if yours is one, be sure that the carrot pieces are an appropriate size.

Green Beans

Dogs can eat green beans too! Just be sure that cooked green beans aren’t seasoned. Plain, please. These are a great source of greens and fiber.

Watermelon

Just like humans, most dogs love watermelon as a tasty, hydrating, and beneficial snack. Be sure to remove any seeds, and don’t give your dog the rind.

Cooked Sweet Potatoes

Cooked sweet potatoes may not seem to smack of convenience, but since they keep well in the refrigerator, it’s actually really simple to roast up some extra to share during the week with your furry family member. It’s best to keep them plain. Do not give dogs raw potatoes of any kind.

Bananas

We all know that bananas are loaded with healthy nutrients. Most dogs love them, too, so they are a natural choice that you probably keep handy all the time. Just be sure not to overdo it. Given their high sugar content, it’s best to give bananas to dogs in moderation.

Broccoli

Cruciferous veggies have well-known health benefits, and broccoli is a good choice for pups. Feel free to give them a few small pieces as a treat. These can be raw, roasted, or steamed, just unseasoned please. Like humans, dogs often have an easier time digesting high-fiber foods that have been cooked, but either is safe.

Cooked Squash

Cooked squashes are great natural treats for dogs! And since there are several kinds of squash that are safe for dogs, this is a good option year round. Butternut squash, yellow squash, or zucchini are all great. Even pumpkin! Just be sure to remove seeds, and for the butternut, the rind, as well.

Strawberries

Strawberries are sweet little vitamin C nuggets that dogs love. Like bananas, they are high in sugar, so just keep that in mind when you decide how many to give.

Blueberries

Like strawberries, blueberries are great, healthy, and easy little treats to share with your pup!

You Should Know…

When trying out new treats for your dog, it’s always best to start with small portions, and see how your dog’s GI tract responds.

There are also a number of foods in your kitchen that can be dangerous for dogs to consume, so check back soon for a list of common foods to avoid.

Would you know what to do if your canine friend was ever injured? We truly hope this never
happens to any of our clients, but we do want you to be prepared in case of an emergency. While
a serious injury will of course require immediate veterinary care, you may have to provide some
first aid before your dog can be transported. In this article, you’ll read some tips on what to do if
your canine friend ever gets hurt.

Evaluate

Pale gums, quick breathing, unconsciousness, seizures, weak or fast pulse, and difficulty
standing are all signs that a dog needs immediate medical care. Seizures, excessive bleeding, and
a change in body temperature are also red flags. If you aren’t sure if your dog’s injuries require
immediate care, always err on the side of caution, and take your pup to an emergency clinic right
away.

First Aid

In an emergency situation, you may need to act fast to save your canine pal. The last thing you
want to do is scramble for instructions, so we recommend downloading a few pet first aid apps.
That way, you’ll always have the information on your phone.

Poison

If your dog has ingested something toxic, call the ASPCA poison control center at (888) 426-
4435. Once they have the details, the staff will be able to advise you on exactly what to do next,
including inducing vomiting, if needed.

Moving Your Dog

Even if Fido is normally friendly and gentle, he might bite if he’s hurt. Talk to your dog before
trying to touch him. If he growls or bares his teeth, you may need to muzzle him. Once your dog
is secure, you can move him into your car. You can use a strong box or laundry basket to carry a
small dog. For bigger pups, use blankets or sleeping bag to make a temporary stretcher.

Call Ahead

Call your emergency clinic before leaving, so they will be expecting you. This will allow
veterinary staff to prepare for your arrival, and may save precious time.

Preparation

We strongly recommend getting a first aid kit for Fido. The kit should include his papers and
first aid brochures, as well as basic medical supplies, such as gauze, non-stick bandages, and
antiseptic spray.

Please contact us for all your pet’s veterinary care needs! We are always happy to help!

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