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Know the Signs of Cancer in Dogs and Cats

Cancer in Dogs and Cats is More Common Than You Might Think

Cancer is, unfortunately, a natural part of life, and many people don’t realize
that dogs and cats can get cancer, too. According to the American Veterinary
Medical Association (AVMA), dogs get cancer at roughly the same rate as humans.
The AVMA also reports than nearly 50 percent of dogs over the age of 10 will develop
some form of cancer. When it comes to cats, according to the Animal Cancer
Foundation (ACF), 1 in every 5 cats develop cancer in their lifetime. Some common
types of cancer in cats are lymphoma, feline leukemia virus, and breast cancer.

Because of the veterinary medical advances in diagnosing and treating cancer in
dogs and cats, regular wellness exams are more important than ever in order to help
with early intervention, and treatment. Happily, with early detection, diagnosis, and appropriate treatment, some forms of cancer in pets can be cured. Other cancers can only be managed to slow the spread of the disease and keep your pet’s life as normal as possible. The biggest factors determining the treatment for pet cancers are:

● The type of cancer, location and the rate of spread to other parts of the body.
● The stage of the disease and how far it may have spread in the pet’s body.

Sadly, some forms of cancer in dogs and cats may not respond to treatment. If
your dog or cat is diagnosed with cancer, your veterinarian will discuss the best
treatment option(s) available for your pet, as well as the risks and side effects
associated with each option, so you can make the choice that’s best for your family,
your pet and their quality of life.

Early Cancer Warning Signs in Dogs & Cats

Consult your veterinarian if you observe any of the following signs in your dog or cat:
● Abdominal swelling
● Bleeding from the mouth, nose or other body openings
● Difficulty breathing or coughing
● Difficulty eating
● Difficulty urinating
● Lumps, bumps or skin discolorations
● Non-healing wounds or sores
● Persistent diarrhea or vomiting
● Sudden changes in weight, especially weight loss
● Unexplained swelling, heat, pain or lameness
● Visible mass or tumor on the pet’s body

What’s Next After a Pet Cancer Diagnosis

If your dog or cat has been diagnosed with cancer, your veterinary team will be at
your side to help you make the best decision for your pet, your family and to ensure
the animal’s quality of life. Recommended treatments may be a single type of
therapy or a combination of therapies. These may include surgery, chemotherapy,
radiation, cryosurgery (freezing), or immunotherapy. In certain cases, your
veterinarian may refer you to a board-certified veterinary oncologist (cancer
specialist) for the best care possible.

Since your pet’s overall health is important, your veterinarian may also recommend
dietary changes and/or complementary therapies such as acupuncture that may
help your pet better respond to treatment. Pain management is also an important
aspect of any cancer treatment and will be determined on a case by case basis.

As veterinary professionals and animal lovers, we understand you want the best care
for your pet at every stage of their life. To help ease the possible financial concerns, our interest-free payment plans may be of assistance during the care and treatment of your pet. We’re here to help, so your pet can remain comfortable, happy, and as pain-free as possible.

[disclaimer]
Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or
treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may
have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a
medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary
emergency hospital immediately.

Top 10 Most Popular Dogs in the United States

What is the most popular dog in the United States? Here’s the top 10.

The American Kennel Club released its list of the most popular dogs in the U.S., and
while many breeds retained their ranks, there were a few changes this year. The
ever-popular Labrador Retriever remains top dog among Americans and has
retained its rightful position as the most popular dog in the United States for
another year in a row. A few notable breeds have been knocked off their pedestals
this year and are no longer in the top 10 most popular breeds; including the Boxer
and Dachshund. In their place, two breeds have worked their way into the top 10 —
the French Bulldog and the German Shorthaired Pointer.

Is your dog one of the 10 most popular breeds in the U.S.? Check the list below to
find out:

1. Labrador Retrievers

Step aside Julia Roberts and Sandra Bullock, America has a new sweetheart — the
Labrador Retriever. The most popular dog breed in the United States, Labrador
Retrievers are known for glistening yellow, glossy black, and luscious brown coats.
These pups are social butterflies and usually have no issues making new friends —
human or dog! In the past, these dogs were bred to assist fishermen with their work.
Now, these dogs are also used for hunting, search and rescue, and as assistance
dogs. With energetic, loving personalities and an always wagging tail to match, it’s no wonder Labrador Retrievers rank number one out of the top 10 most popular dogs!

2. German Shepherds

German Shepherds are a fan favorite thanks to their loyalty, intelligence, and loving
personalities. Not only can this breed be great for families, but they’re also
incredibly dedicated working dogs. They’re often used on police forces, as assistance
dogs, and search and rescue teams. With long, thick black and brown coats, German
Shepherds leave their mark on the world by leaving tufts of hair wherever they go.
Brushing is a must with this furry breed!

3. Golden Retrievers

The Golden Retriever has been among the top 10 most popular dog breeds in the
U.S. for years, and it’s easy to see why. With a thick, luxurious coat that gives the
breed its name, these dogs are easygoing, energetic, and very loving, which makes
them perfect for families. With a broad head and soft eyes, it’s hard not to fall in love
with these furry friends!

4. French Bulldogs

One of the more rare breeds on the top 10 list, French Bulldogs were created to be a
mini version of the regular Bulldog. With their signature bat-ears and small but still
muscular body, French Bulldogs continue to steal our hearts with their easygoing
and fun personalities. Similar to their bigger counterparts, French Bulldogs do enjoy
playing, but they are also equally happy spending the day snuggled up on the
couch.

5. Bulldogs

With highly distinguishable features, Bulldogs stand out of the crowd with their
famously wrinkly faces, pushed-in noses, and hanging chops on the sides of their
mouths. Their iconic and expressive features have propelled the Bulldog to appear
among some of the biggest college mascots and famous cartoons. Despite their
somewhat fierce appearance, Bulldogs make adorable and loving pets.

6. Beagles

With big, floppy ears that droop low over its head, Beagles continue to make
America melt with their sweet faces and curious nature. Beagles are known for
being compact and sturdy. They let their noses guide them through life, as they
were once bred primarily for hunting purposes. Due to this heritage, if they catch
onto a new scent, they may occasionally try to bring you along on a walk.
Cheerful and affectionate, beagles are great companions to other animals and
children — putting them high on the list for the most popular dog in the United
States.

7. Poodles

Forget movie and cartoon stereotypes — poodles are far from snobs! Poodles may
embody the glitz and glamour of the dog show world, but don’t be fooled. They were
initially bred to work. Today, poodles still carry many characteristics of their hard-
working ancestors. This breed is intelligent, friendly, and loving, which makes them
perfect for families that can keep them entertained and active. Known for fluffy
coats and signature hairdos, regal-looking poodles are playful, goofy, and
nonallergenic, earning them the title of one of America’s most popular dog breeds.

8. Rottweilers

With a broad chest and a muscular body, a Rottweiler’s appearance can be
deceiving as they can be the biggest teddy bears and great cuddlers. Rotties can be
very protective of their families, but a well-trained dog will be calm and even a little
aloof toward strangers. Intelligent and energetic, this breed thrives in families that
can give them the attention and love they need.

9. German Shorthaired Pointers

The German Shorthaired Pointer is not just a great hunting partner; they also make
fun and loving family dogs. With a short, dense coat that comes in a beautiful
combination of brown, black, and white, German Shorthaired Pointers steal hearts
with their floppy ears and enthusiastic personalities. This breed is incredibly
intelligent and active, but they don’t need to be running after game to burn energy.
German Shorthaired Pointers are perfect walking or running companions and will
always happily trot alongside you.

10. Yorkshire Terriers

Yorkshire Terriers are the definition of fitting a whole lot of fun into one tiny package.
These popular lap dogs may be small, but they have big personalities and are feisty,
loving, and occasionally a little bossy. With long hair in shades of steel blue and tan,
these pups fit perfectly into stylish totes. Yorkies will always be great companions
and conversation-starters whenever you’re out and about.

While all dogs are good dogs, some breeds are more popular in the U.S. for their
various characteristics and signature looks. However, no matter the breed, any dog
can be a great addition to the family when given lots of love, training, and plenty of
pets on the head and belly rubs!. Interested in a little dog breed trivia? Pop on over
to this American Kennel Club’s quiz on the most popular breeds.

How to Prevent Dogs from Getting Ticks and Fleas

Effective Parasite Prevention For Pets

Nothing feels quite as good as scratching an itch, but when the itch keeps itching, it
can drive you batty! Our dogs and cats rely on us to take care of their needs, so it’s
important to be aware of excessive scratching. Fleas and ticks are the two most
common external parasites found in dogs and cats. Both can cause your pet to
scratch themselves more frequently.

Fleas and ticks are nasty little guys that survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats,
and sometimes people. They can also lead to health problems and carry disease. For
instance, flea bites can lead to health problems including constant itching (Flea
Allergy Dermatitis), anemia, and tapeworms. Tick bites can cause infections and
transmission of diseases such as Rocky Mountain spotted fever and Lyme disease.
Prevention, prevention, prevention is the key!

Common Methods for Preventing Fleas and Ticks

Flea collars: Wearing a flea collar will be enough to protect your pet, right? Sorry,
not in every case. Flea and tick collars don’t always work, they have to be replaced
regularly, and allergic reactions are more common than you might think. Ask your vet for a preventative recommendation that will be suitable for your pet and lifestyle.

Adding garlic to a pet’s food to prevent fleas and ticks. Not really a great idea.
Garlic belongs to the Allium family (which includes onions, chives, and leeks), so it
can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Fleas and ticks will bite anyway
because it’s what they do. They find you and your pets delicious, so the garlic will just
add flavor. (Just for the record, feeding garlic to your pet will not prevent fleas and
ticks anymore effectively than you eating garlic would serve as protection from
vampires. Plus fleas and ticks are real threats; vampires are imaginary.)

Doing nothing to prevent fleas and ticks. After all, they’re a normal part of a dog’s
life, right? This is also a bad idea. If you’ve ever had a flea infestation in your home,
you’ll understand just how invasive and itchy these tiny critters can be when they’re
making a home around (and on) you and your pets!

Pets can develop severe hypersensitivity (allergic) reactions after even a mild flea
infestation. Trust us, now you’ll be hypersensitive every time you see your pet
scratching themselves. Fleas can also transmit tapeworms to dogs
and cats. Ticks can transmit many diseases, including canine ehrlichiosis (tick fever).
Talk with your vet about creating a parasite prevention treatment plan that’s
suitable for your pet’s needs.

Fleas in Arizona

Fleas and tick populations tend to increase in warm and humid climates. Even in dry climates like Phoenix, fleas and ticks can still pose a threat to your pet, putting them at risk for serious
health concerns. They look for hosts to bite because they need blood to reproduce.
Arizona’s arid desert climate is true for only part of the state. We also have forests
and grasslands, which are ideal breeding grounds for fleas and ticks. With so many
people and pets engaged in weekend trips away and outdoor pursuits like camping,
hiking, and biking, it’s easy for pets (and you) to pick up a few hitchhikers along the
way.
Fleas can be found living in shrubbery or piles of leaves and other debris, but they
also love carpeting, pet bedding, and dark, protected spaces under furniture.
Ask your vet about a parasite prevention program that’s suitable for your pet and lifestyle.

Ticks in Arizona

Ticks tend to live outdoors near the animals they feed on (deer, coyotes, possums,
raccoons, etc) but they’ve been known to hitch a ride on people and pets. If you are
going hiking or camping, pay special attention to ticks by checking
kids, people, and pets throughout your trip!

Checking your pets for ticks: Carefully examine your pet’s ears, groin area, and
spaces between their toes – ticks love to hide in nooks and crannies of the body
while they engorge themselves on the host’s blood. Undiscovered, a tick can feed
for days on its host, increasing the chance of spreading pathogens and disease. In
fact, a female tick will expand up to 10X her original weight.

Creepy crawly tick fact: While most male ticks die after mating, the females die
after laying anywhere between 2000-18000 eggs. That reality is more than enough
reason to establish a regular parasite prevention routine for your pets that allows
them to live a happy and healthy life!

Ask your vet about recommending a parasite prevention routine that’s suitable for
your pet and lifestyle.

*Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or
treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have
regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency,
call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately.

Benefits of Acupuncture for Pets and What It Treats

Acupuncture therapy for pets: What does it treat?

Acupuncture has been steadily gaining popularity among individuals seeking alternative treatment for various medical issues, including pain, headaches, and blood pressure problems. The ancient Chinese practice utilizes needles to stimulate specific points of the body, which increases blood flow in those target areas; triggering the body’s natural painkillers.

Now, as more pet owners search for holistic methods to lessen their furry friends’ ailments, many are turning to pet acupuncture to ease pain and discomfort. It’s all about giving pets the tools to live happier and fuller lives!

What are the benefits of acupuncture for pets? 

Proper acupuncture that’s performed by a certified veterinary acupuncturist can provide numerous health benefits for your beloved pet. You may want to consider this form of natural treatment if your furry friend is suffering from discomfort, whether it’s musculoskeletal, respiratory, skin, or gastrointestinal.

In veterinary medicine, acupuncture has been successfully used as a complementary treatment for the following medical problems:

  • Arthritis or degenerative joint disease
  • Allergic dermatitis and other skin disorders
  • Respiratory disease
  • Pain control
  • Gastrointestinal disorders
  • Neurological diseases such as paresis, paralysis, or back issues
  • Behavioral problems
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Reducing pain after surgery

Will my pet be uncomfortable?

It’s easy to assume that acupuncture can be an uncomfortable or even painful experience for your pet. Acupuncture utilizes thin and lightweight needles, so it’s unlikely your pet will feel much during the treatment, which lasts between 5 and 30 minutes. While many pets require gentle restraint during a session, as the patient adapts to the treatment, less restraint may be necessary. Some pet owners have found that their pup or feline have even fallen asleep during the treatment!

Although pet acupuncture is not meant as a replacement for general veterinary medicine or other medical procedures, acupuncture may be an ideal complement to your pet’s treatments and medicines. With pet acupuncture, it’s important to be patient as it’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach. The goal is for your pet to remain symptom-free between each session.

The number of acupuncture sessions recommended by your veterinarian will vary depending on the condition being treated. It may take several pet acupuncture sessions before you notice a significant change in your pet’s demeanor or apparent pain level. Most patients will see a positive response after 4 to 8 treatments. Others with conditions like arthritis may require regular sessions year-round to maintain the positive results. However, each case is unique to a pet and their specific needs. Talk with your veterinarian to determine what to expect from acupuncture treatments.

Are you interested in trying acupuncture for your beloved pet? Find a location near you and set up an appointment for a consultation!

Disclaimer: Not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. If you think your pet has a medical emergency, call or visit your veterinarian or your local veterinary emergency hospital immediately. 

Most Common Age-Related Diseases in Senior Pets

Who has heard the saying “Aging is a Disease”? We definitely have! Aging is a natural process that happens to all of us, but that doesn’t mean aging itself is a disease. What’s true is that senior pets are more susceptible to specific health conditions as a result of aging. Thanks to the advancements in veterinary medicine, our fur babies can live longer and happier lives – with some extra TLC! Here are some of the most common age-related diseases, symptoms to look for, and how they can affect your pets. 

  • Arthritis: We know how much dogs love to take walks, and cats love to jump onto their perch. If your pet begins limping on those walks or is hesitating to run and jump on their perch, they may be showing early signs of arthritis. Arthritis is a common disease amongst senior pets, where one or more of the joints are inflamed, resulting in continuous pain and muscle stiffness. Some large breed dogs such as German Shepards, Labrador, and Golden Retrievers have a genetic predisposition to develop the disease in their elbows and hips. The best way to help prevent your pet from developing arthritis is weight management, which can help decrease the stress put on certain joints. In some cases, we can prescribe medication to help reduce swelling and pain. If you are noticing any changes in your pet’s physical abilities, please contact us immediately so we can discuss the options available to keep your pets feeling their best.
  • Vision Loss: Just as our vision can become impaired with age, so can our pets! The most common diseases that cause vision loss in pets are diabetes, glaucoma, and cataracts.  Vision loss can be hard to detect in pets because they often adapt by compensating with their other senses. Depending on the cause of vision loss, it can make it more challenging to prevent. Some common symptoms of vision loss include bumping into objects, cloudy, discolored or inflamed eyes, and even clumsiness and disorientation. 
  • Dental Disease:  Did you know that dental disease is the number one medical problem in dogs and cats? Yes, you read that, right! Dental disease (also known as periodontal disease) is an inflammatory disease from leftover bacteria in the mouth, causing symptoms such as bad breath, problems eating, red gums and bleeding, and in severe cases, loss of teeth. If dental disease is left untreated, it can have adverse effects on the large organs in the body – including the heart, liver, and kidneys. To help fight dental disease, annual dental cleanings, and daily home care are highly recommended. Talk with us at your next appointment about preventative care and treatment options. 
  • Cognitive Dysfunction: You may notice that your pet is beginning to have more of those “senior moments.” It may be that your pet is moving slower than usual, appearing to be more anxious or even seems disoriented and confused in familiar spaces. These behaviors can be the beginning signs of cognitive dysfunction – very similar to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Cognitive dysfunction is a neurological disease related to the aging of the mind, that can slow down all mental and motor functions as well as trained behaviors. The symptoms are typically mild and come on gradually, making it difficult to initially detect. If you suspect your pet is developing any of these symptoms or notice changes in their behavior, contact us right away.
  • Heart and Kidney Disease: With age, many of the large organs in the body are known to slow down. Heart and kidney disease are similar in that they both consist of progressive loss of the organ function. Some common symptoms of heart disease are lethargy, coughing, and rapid breathing. Similarly, common symptoms of kidney disease include lethargy, decreased appetite, and increased urination and thirst. Both of these diseases are tricky to detect because the symptoms can either appear gradually or very suddenly. While both can be preventable, treatment may consist of oral medication and changes to their diet.

Ultimately, you cannot stop the aging of your pups and kitties; but what we can do is work together in an effort to detect these disease symptoms sooner rather than later. As your trusted partner in pet health care, we want to help ensure your pet leads the healthiest and happiest life possible!