The last Saturday of April marks the thirteenth annual World Veterinary Day, an annual event focused on the importance of the veterinary profession and animal health. This year’s theme, ‘vaccinate to prevent and protect” focuses on the importance of animal vaccination, and commemorates the remarkable achievement of vaccines.
“The impact that vaccines have had on world animal and human health has been immense. Diseases have been greatly reduced and countless lives saved,” shares Peter Jones, President of the British Veterinary Association.
World Veterinary Day is a great time to look over your pet’s health records and ensure that their vaccinations are up to date. Vaccination schedules and guidelines vary depending on your pet’s age, health, breed, and potential risk factors, so work closely with your vet to determine the best regime for your pet. As an integral step to preventing illness and increasing longevity, it’s important that you follow your vet’s recommendations closely.
Vaccines provide “veterinarians with the tools to substantially improve the health and welfare of animals and to contribute to human wellbeing. Vaccination has been one of the most important interventions in disease prevention that has ever been developed. ”concludes Peter Jones. Join us in celebrating World Vet Day and by ensuring your loved ones are protected through vaccination.
To learn more about World Vet Day visit: www.worldvet.org
Arizona Pet Vet – A Family of Animal Hospitals
National Pet ID Week is April 14-20th and it’s a great time to make sure that your pet is properly identified. According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), only 33 percent of pet owners regularly use identification tags on their pets. Statistics show that one in three pets get lost at least once during their lifetime and without identification, the chances of being reunited to their owner are quite low.
According to Dr. Emily Weiss, vice president of shelter research and development for the ASPCA, “…personalized ID tags that contain contact information for the dog or cat owner can help assure lost animals are quickly reunited with their owners.” With so many options to choose from for identifying your pet, there is no reason not to wear I.D. at all times.
The Classic Connoisseur
The classic metal collar tag is a popular option, easily customized with your pet’s name, your phone number, address, and even your vet’s clinic details. There are styles to suit every personality and budget, from playful tags to those with QR codes to solid gold and jewel-encrusted models. Whatever your fancy, there’s bound to be an option that appeals to both you and your pet.
The High-Tech Hound
If you’re looking for something a little more high tech, you might consider the USB collar tag. Available in a variety of colors, shapes, and designs, the USB collar stores all of your pet’s care and contact information in an easily accessible format. These waterproof tags can even store photos, information about the commands they know, and details about their diet, medications, and health. The biggest drawback to this relatively economical option is that the collars may still get lost.
The Hip and Chipped
If you are looking for an identification solution that won’t get lost or wear out, check into the microchip. These tiny chips, smaller than a grain of rice, are implanted beneath your pet’s skin in a quick procedure that doesn’t even require anesthesia. All kinds of pets can be micro chipped, from cats and dog to reptiles and birds. Each device has its own unique number and is recorded in a database along with contact information and often, details about the veterinarian clinic. It is important to point out that a microchip is only valuable if you have correct contact information on file. Should you move or change phone numbers, the microchip company will update your contact information for a small fee.
Even if you choose to microchip your pet, a traditional pet collar and ID tag are still recommended.
Celebrate National Pet ID week by adorning your faithful companion with a new collar and ID tag and make sure that it’s up-to-date, easy-to-read, and always on!
April is Lyme Disease Prevention Month and a great time to learn how to keep your pet tick-free. Lyme disease, the most common tick-transmitted disease, is a bacterial infection that can cause serious complications and fatalities if untreated. While most prevalent in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, and upper Midwest regions of the U.S., there have been cases in all 50 states. Ticks can also carry a host of other potentially dangerous diseases, including Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, ehrlichiosis, and anaplasmosis or dog fever. Ticks can live year round in many areas (especially areas where year-round temperatures stay above 40 degrees) and can be brown, black, or even tan. While commonly associated with woodland areas, ticks can live in any number of places, including urban parks, trails, and backyards.
Talk to your vet about tick prevention recommendations; they may recommend a monthly pill, coat treatment, collar, or even vaccination to help prevent tick attachment. Frequent grooming and daily inspection of your pet’s coat, feet, and ears are the best ways to know if your pet has been bitten. If you find an attached tick, use tweezers to grip the tick as close to your pet’s skin as possible and steadily pull the tick straight out (do not twist). You can also purchase tick removal tools to make the job easier. If you’re not comfortable removing ticks on your own, don’t hesitate to contact your vet for assistance. Lyme disease can be transmitted within 24-48 hours of a bite so prompt attention is critical.
Symptoms and Treatment
The symptoms of Lyme disease can vary, but include a lack of appetite, depression, fever, breathing difficulties, swollen lymph nodes, arthritis, and lameness (often intermittent or shifting from one leg to another). Some animals will show no symptoms at all while the worst cases of Lyme disease can result in devastating kidney failure. If your vet concludes that your pet has Lyme disease, they may prescribe antibiotics or other treatment and will want to keep a close eye on your pet to watch for potential relapses.
Contact your vet today to make sure your pet is protected from ticks this season.
Arizona Pet Vet – A Family of Animal Hospitals
In honor of Pet First Aid Awareness Month, we have a few tips to help you and your pet have a safe and healthy spring.
Know the signs
Heavy and excessive panting, a bright red tongue, elevated heart rate, difficulty breathing, inability to get up, and sometimes vomiting–these are all signs of heat stroke. Heat stroke can quickly lead to seizures, coma, and death if not treated promptly so it’s critical to act quickly. The cooling spray from a garden hose or a cool compress applied gently to their paws and underside can bring rapidly bring their temperature down. Call your vet immediately anytime you suspect heat stroke and continue cooling your pet until you reach their office.
Plants, chemicals, medications, certain foods, and artificial sweeteners are just a few of the things that can be toxic to your pet. If you suspect your pet has eaten something poisonous, contact your vet or emergency animal care hospital for immediate medical care. Be sure to bring the suspected item with you so your vet can quickly identify what your pet is reacting to and treat it accordingly.
Frantic mouth pawing, coughing, or breathing distress can indicate that your pet is choking and requires immediate attention. If you can see an object lodged in your pet’s mouth, carefully try to remove it with your fingers or tweezers, being cautious not to push the item deeper into their throat. If your attempt to dislodge the item is unsuccessful, position your pet properly and perform the Heimlich maneuver. If your pet is unconscious, you may need to perform CPR.
Create a “go bag” to bring with you on every outing with your pet. Stock it with a portable water container, emergency food supplies, your vet’s contact information, a copy of your pet’s vaccination and health records, any daily medications prescribed for your pet, and first aid supplies. Visit the American Red Cross for a downloadable pet first aid supply list.
Keep current on all routine wellness checks and vaccinations and communicate regularly with your vet on any pet health concerns that arise. Use a leash whenever you’re in a public place to eliminate the risk of accidents or aggressive attacks from another dog. Check your pet’s collar regularly to ensure a proper fit and perform routine inspections of your home to make sure that all hazards are out of reach. Lastly, create an emergency action plan for you and your pet and practice what you would do in the event of a tornado, fire, flood, or evacuation. Going through these steps in a drill will make an emergency less stressful for you both.
The Arizona Animal Welfare League and the American Red Cross offer special dog and cat first aid courses to help you respond quickly and competently in an emergency. From how to handle choking and basic first aid treatments to proper CPR techniques, these classes can mean the difference between life and death for your pet. Visit https://aawl.org/pet-cpr-first-aid or www.redcross.org/training to find a class near you.