Tag Archives: dog

Preventative Care For Dogs

We recognize that your pet’s preventative health care can be a bit overwhelming! Preventative medicine plays a crucial role in keeping your furry family member happy and healthy. Listed below are the most commonly used preventative care practices utilized in our hospitals that may be discussed in your upcoming appointment.

Annual Preventative Care Exam
Annual exams are so much more than just vaccines! During the exam, the doctor will assess your pet from nose to tail. The personal attention your pet receives in the appointment allows us to use their current physical condition, the history provided, and our professional experience to formulate recommendations that we believe will help your pet live the best life possible. Many chronic conditions can be caught and managed early when your pet is evaluated on an annual basis. Every stage of life brings a different set of challenges and as your trusted pet care provider, we will be here to help you every step of the way!

Vaccines
We are committed to the long-term wellness of our pet patients. Below are the primary vaccines we recommend depending on the pet’s lifestyle. We will discuss these with you at your pet’s appointment to determine which of these are recommended.

  • DHPP Vaccine – This vaccine is used to protect your pet from 4 potentially fatal but preventable diseases (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvo).
  • Bordetella Vaccine – Bordetella is one of the more common causes of kennel cough/canine cough (infectious tracheobronchitis). The vaccine is also required by most groomers and boarding facilities.
  • Rabies Vaccine– A vaccine that is required by law due to the risk to people and the disease being very fatal.
  • Lepto Vaccine – This disease is spread through the urine of infected animals. It is also a bacterial infection that can be spread to people. As of May 2017, over 70 dogs in Maricopa County have been diagnosed with Leptospirosis so we highly recommend this vaccine for your pet.

Make sure to ask us about our Free Vaccines for Life program which is designed specifically for adult animals.  After a one-time Enrollment fee your pet’s vaccine costs will be free for the rest of their life. All you must do to keep the benefits going year after year is bring them in for their annual Preventative Care exam! Visit http://www.arizonapetvet.com/free_vaccines.php for more information on our program.

Fecal Testing
A fecal exam detects microscopic parasites found in the stool such as whipworms, hookworms and roundworms. A yearly test is recommended to allow for proper treatment if needed. Make sure to bring a fecal sample in a bag with you to your pet’s preventative care exam.

Heartworm Testing and Prevention
Heartworm is a preventable parasitic disease in dogs and cats spread by mosquitoes. In the last 3 years, Arizona has seen a significant increase in positive cases throughout the state. There are multiple ways to protect your pet, all of which are much simpler, safer, and more cost-effective than treating the disease if it occurs.  We recommend annual blood testing and monthly prevention to ensure your pet is protected.

Flea/Tick Control
Fleas and ticks are the two most common external parasites found in dogs and cats. They survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats and sometimes people. Flea and tick bites can lead to health problems including constant itching, hair loss (alopecia), hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), as well as infections and transmission of disease. Fleas and Tick prevention is as easy as a monthly flavored treat.

Nutrition
Proper nutrition is a key to keeping your pet happy and healthy! It’s estimated that 56% of dogs are overweight. Special diets are commonly used to impact nutritionally related conditions such as bladder stones, diabetes, pancreatitis, inflammatory bowel disease, weight management and much more! Food allergies are also very common and can cause skin, ear, and gastrointestinal problems.

Microchip
A microchip is a permanent method of electronic identification. The chip itself is very small, about the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted subcutaneously (just under the skin) between the shoulder blades at the back of your pet’s neck. Each chip has a unique number that is detected using a microchip scanner.

Dentistry
If you’ve had a whiff of your pets’ breath and said “Eeeewwww!” you’re not alone! Dental disease is the most common problems found during a pet’s annual wellness exam.

Left untreated, the bacteria can lead to issues such as gum disease, tooth infection, bone loss, chronic pain and infection of the kidneys, liver and even the heart. Veterinary dental treatment has evolved over the years. It requires general anesthesia so that the teeth can be thoroughly evaluated and cleaned. Dental x-rays are also taken to examine the health of the mouth. Talk with your doctor to see if dental treatment is necessary for your pet!

Senior Blood Work
Once a patient is 7 years old, annual senior blood work is highly recommended.  Annual blood work helps detect health problems, so treatment is begun before symptoms worsen. It also helps establish a baseline, which can be helpful in comparison with future testing if your pet becomes ill.

We hope this information helped clarify some of the things we may discuss in your pets upcoming preventative care appointment. We look forward to seeing you and your furry family member soon.

Pet Euthanasia – When It’s Time to Say Goodbye

As another year draws to a close, we wanted to take some time to address a difficult subject: pet euthanasia. No matter how much we all want to avoid it, eventually the day every pet owner dreads will come. We hope that day is a long time coming.

Preventive care like regular wellness checks, vaccines, and dental cleanings are key to keeping good boys and sweet girls healthy for years to come. That advice applies to pet parents, too!

One thing we can all agree on: the goal is to reach a gentle, loving end without pain. To have time say ‘goodbye, good boy’, or ‘we’ll miss you, sweet girl’.

Pet euthanasia days are hard for us, too. We have to focus on keeping you informed, while we carefully assess and tend to your pet’s care and comfort. Difficult decisions must be made. It’s our job to be calm, informative, and prepared so we can help ease the transition for everyone. Some manage this sad time better than others. We want you to know that sometimes, it’s really hard to fight back our own tears.

Whether it’s in the comfort of your own home, or the privacy of one of our treatment rooms, we’ll do our best to keep your pet comfortable while you say goodbye. You can count on AZPetVet to help you stay informed at every point through the journey.

Young or old or in-between, we’ll help you keep your pets looking and feeling their best. Hopefully, that will be for many years to come. From your pet’s first visit with us all the way to their last, it’s our honor to help you look after them along the way.

Different Types of Pet Loss

And please remember, you can lose pets in other ways. With the right preparation and the help of lots of caring people, most of these goodbyes don’t have to be permanent.

Lost pets pass through our doors daily. It’s always sad when we scan a scared stray dog or cat and their contact details are so out of date there’s little hope of them finding their way home. We share news through our network of Facebook pages and local rescues, so be sure to follow. Social media has helped us reunite many families!

Sometimes lost pets are brought to us injured. We care for them all, providing them the best medical help whenever possible, ensuring that we ultimately ease their pain and suffering – all while doing our best to help them find their family.

Make sure your pets have their best chance to return home if they escape the house or yard and get lost. Microchip your pets, have them wear collars and tags, and please keep your contact numbers current!

Moving to a new home or neighborhood? Those goodbyes are a bit easier (for us). We’re happy to introduce you and your furry (or not so furry) family to the team at one of our 21 locations in the Phoenix Metro area. They’ll welcome you with the WOW service you have come to know and love from AZPetVet.

How to Recognize Diabetes in Pets

diabetes sign with exclamation pointDiabetes is an endocrine disorder that affects the way the body produces or processes the hormone insulin, which helps the body turn glucose (sugar) from food into energy.

November is National Pet Diabetes Awareness Month, so we thought we’d take some time to review the symptoms of diabetes in dogs and cats.

If your dog is experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as they could be indicators that your dog has diabetes. Please note that these symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is required to make a proper diagnosis.

  • Change in appetite
  • Excessive thirst/increase in water consumption
  • Weight loss
  • Increased urination
  • Unusually sweet-smelling or fruity breath
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Urinary tract infections
  • Vomiting
  • Cataract formation, blindness
  • Chronic skin infections

Diabetes is the second most common endocrine disease in cats. If your cat is experiencing the following symptoms, make a veterinary appointment as they could be indicators that your cat has diabetes. Please note that these symptoms overlap with many other health conditions, so blood work is required to make a proper diagnosis.

  • Increased thirst (polydipsia) and urination (polyuria)
  • Inappropriate elimination (cats also experience increased urinary tract infections)
  • Change in appetite (increased or decreased appetite is an indicator of a problem)
  • Weight loss
  • Change in gait (walking)
  • Decreased activity, weakness, depression
  • Vomiting

Still not sure? Take the quiz and see if your pet is at risk

Diabetes can be managed. If your pet has symptoms, make an appointment with your veterinarian to make sure your pet can live a longer, healthier life.

Goodbye Summer – Hello, Fall!

It’s been a long, hot summer. That’s nothing unusual for Arizona, of course! We’ve shared a lot of tips over the past few months about keeping pets safe and healthy during the summer months. At the close of September, we’d like to take some time to look back at some of the pet safety tips you may have missed.

The Signs of Heatstroke in Pets

Summer Safety Tips for Pets

Dr. Amy Schomburg on Your Life Arizona

Monsoon Menace: Sonoran Toads & What Pet Owners Need to Know

4 Keys Ways to Boat Safely With Pets

Valley Fever in Dogs: Risks, Symptoms & Treatment

Pets & Pool Safety With Dr. John Graham

Why Pets Need Vaccinations

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Summer Pet Safety Tips – Pet Safety at the Park

A trip to the dog park is something that nearly every dog looks forward to! With the hot summer temperatures continuing well into September, it’s important to make sure your dog stays safe and well hydrated. AZPetVet’s Dr. Elizabeth Glicksman shares some insights and things to consider when visiting the dog park.

Beware of Parvo exposure – keep pets away from feces, and always pick up and dispose of their poop – it’s just good dog park manners! Parvovirus is very contagious and a serious illness that can cause lifelong damage to the heart muscle or even kill your pet. Puppies, adolescent dogs and canines who are not vaccinated are most susceptible to the virus. Make certain your pets are current on all shots before they are exposed to other dogs. Symptoms of parvovirus include lethargy, vomiting, loss of appetite, and foul-smelly or bloody diarrhea.

Make sure your pet is not getting overheated and stays well-hydrated. Watch where they’re getting water – if it’s not fresh, it could be contaminated. Leptospirosis bacteria could be lurking!

Bring fresh water from home to the park along with a collapsible bowl, reusable bottle or other convenient receptacle. Keep it in the fridge and grab it just before you go – your dog will love the cool water on a hot day!

Be a good pet parent – this means being aware of your dog’s location at all times and ready to intervene if they’re acting aggressive or agitated.

Remember it’s a great way for you and your pet to get outside, meet new friends and have fun!