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Monthly Archives: May 2017

Here’s a Tip: Get the Chip

shutterstock_505654414Sometime, pets get out. Sometimes, they GET OUT and GET LOST. One tip: get the chip.

May is the national awareness month for chipping your pets. Dogs and cats can be chipped, so their people can be properly identified and contacted. While the technology has been out for quite some time, some pet owners still have questions. The Humane Society has done a great job of answering those questions…let’s take a look:

What are microchips? Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet. They’re implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades.

How do microchips work? Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. The animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number.

How long do microchips last? Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.

Where can I get my pet microchipped? We’re so glad you asked! You can chip your pet any of our AZPetVet locations!

What if I move? You need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless. You may be charged a small fee to process the update.

What do I do if I adopt a pet who’s already been microchipped? If you know what brand of chip your pet has, contact the corresponding registry to update the information. If you don’t know what type of chip your pet has, find a vet or animal shelter that can read it.

Be Kind to Animals Week

It’s Be Kind to Animals Week! At AZPetVet, we believe everyone should be kind to animals every day. It’s at the heart of everything we do! This wonderful resource offers many amazing ways that you can be kind and support animals. Teachers and parent take special note – there are free lesson plans for children of all ages. Together, we can make a better world for animals and people too.Be Kind to Animals Week

7 Tips for Celebrating National Pet Week

National Pet WeekWelcome to National Pet Week! While every day is a great day to celebrate your pet, here are some reminders of what it means to be a good pet owner. Remember, you are their beloved and best advocate, so be up to the task!

1/ Choose a pet that’s right for you and your lifestyle. Do you have the time, the temperament and the space in your life for a pet? If so, you’re in for a rich reward. Love dogs? Great – but remember to consider the age, breed and activity levels of the types of dogs you like. Love cats, bunnies, birds or maybe something a bit slithery? Each animal has specific needs, so be sure you’ll be able to meet them before you commit.

2/ Socialization is key to well adjusted animals. What is socialization? Quite simply, it’s making sure that your pet is prepared for interacting with other people, other pets, places and activities. Training classes and trips to the park are two great ways to introduce your pet to the world. (Make sure their vaccinations are up to date)

3/ Give your pet regular exercise. You’ll both benefit! Obesity is a huge issue for people and animals, so why not make the commitment to get fit and stay fit by exercising together? Get outside and walk, run and play! Hint: studies show that dog owners may get more exercise than those who don’t have a dog.

4/ Love your pet? See your vet! Regular check-ups by your vet are vital and not just because pets need vaccinations. Around half of pet owners do not take their pets to the vet unless it’s sick or injured. Don’t make that mistake – it’s best to catch potential health problems early, before they get serious and potentially expensive. Make the call.  (Find the AZPetVet location nearest you)

5/ Population control – you play a role! Sadly, millions of pets are euthanized each year because they don’t have homes. Talk to your vet about when to have your pet spayed or neutered. Pet owners can avoid unplanned breeding by spaying/neutering, containment or through managed breeding.

6/ Emergencies happen. Be prepared. Do you have an emergency plan for your home? If not, it’s a great time to make one – and don’t forget your pets! What happens if your pet becomes ill or is injured? You can read more about what to do in an emergency here.

7/ Give your pet a lifetime of love. Just like people, as pets age, they’ll need more care. Regular veterinary exams can detect problems in older pets before they become advanced or life-threatening. Don’t forget to adjust their food intake as they age – ask your vet about the best types for your pet’s age, size and breed. Together, you can enjoy a longer and healthier lifetime full of love.

How to Protect Your Pets From Heartworm Disease

heartworm preventionHeartworm disease is most commonly found in dogs, cats and ferrets, as well as foxes, wolves, and coyotes. Humans may also be at risk, although in rare instances. It’s serious and potentially fatal for pets. With the increase in mosquitos in our state, it’s important to be aware of the risk of heartworms, and take appropriate precautions for your pets.

Untreated, heartworms can cause severe lung disease and heart failure, as well as damage other vital body organs.

What are Heartworms? Heartworms are just as disgusting and horrifying as the name suggests – they’re up to a foot long, and they live inside the heart, lungs, and arteries.

Adult female heartworms also produce tiny baby worms called microfilaria that circulate through the bloodstream of affected animals. Baby. Worms. Think about that…

How is Heartworm Disease Transmitted? Mosquitos are nature’s vampires. Basically, little flying monsters that suck blood when they bite, and leave you itching like mad. When an infected animal is bitten by a mosquito, it not only ingests the blood, but also the microfilaria contained in the host’s blood. Over the next 10-14 days, the microfilaria mature into infectious larvae.

The mosquito is now highly infective, primed and ready to transmit the larvae the next time it bites an animal. It will take about six months for the larvae to mature into adult heartworms, and from there, the cycle begins all over again.

  • Mature heart worms can live for 5 to 7 years in dogs and up to 2 or 3 years in cats.
  • Each mosquito season put animals at risk for developing the disease or growing numbers of worms in already infected animals.

Signs of Heartworm Disease in Dogs In the early stages, many dogs will show few symptoms or worse, no symptoms at all. The longer the infection is present, the more likely symptoms will develop. Get your dog tested, and onto a course of preventive treatment if your vet recommends it. Signs of heartworm disease may include:

  • Mild persistent cough
  • Lethargy/avoids exertion
  • Fatigue after moderate activity
  • Decreased appetite
  • Weight loss

As the disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and a swollen belly as excess fluid builds up in the abdomen. Dogs can also develop a sudden blockages of blood flow in the heart, leading cardiovascular collapse. This is marked by the sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, and dark, bloody or coffee-colored urine. Without prompt surgical removal of the blockage, few dogs survive.

Signs of Heartworm Disease in Cats While most heartworms do not survive to adult stage in cats, it can happen. The signs can be very subtle or very dramatic. Symptoms may include:

  • Coughing or asthma-like attacks
  • Periodic vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Weight loss

Occasionally an affected cat may have difficulty walking, experience fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid build-up in the abdomen. Sadly, the first sign in some is only the sudden collapse or death of the cat. There is no medication for treating heartworm infections in cats, so prevention is the only option.