Tag Archives: veterinary services Anthem

Heartworm 101

Heartworm preventionAs residents of Arizona, it once seemed that heartworm disease was not a big problem for our furry family members. It was easy for us to assume our furry family members are protected from heartworm disease since mosquitos are typically found in wet climates. However, the fact is that heartworm cases have increased exponentially over the last several years, having been documented in all 50 states – including a record of 397 positive cases right here in Maricopa County in 2018. With this in mind, we wanted to share some information about heartworm disease in order to help you make informed decisions on these important areas that impact the health and wellness of your pet.

What exactly is heartworm disease? Heartworm is a serious parasitic disease found primarily in dogs and cats. In reality, we are talking about actual worms, and potentially many of them (up to several hundred!). The worms can be up to a foot-long and live directly within the heart or the neighboring large blood vessels for years. As heartworm disease advances, it can result in a myriad of health complications for our pets including severe lung disease, heart failure, damage to other organs, and can even be fatal.

How does a pet get heartworm? All it takes is a bite from a mosquito that is carrying the disease. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell if a mosquito is a carrier of the disease, which is why prevention is the best protection we can give to our pets.

What are the symptoms of heartworm disease? Although there are minimal symptoms in the beginning stages, the longer the infection is present the more likely symptoms will arise. The most common symptoms are coughing, fatigue and decreased appetite. Because symptoms are usually well hidden in the early stages, prevention is key to help avoid the life-long impact that heartworm disease can have on our pets.

How do we prevent heartworm disease? Heartworm prevention is as easy as a monthly oral or topical medication that you can pick up at your next appointment. Heartworm medications cannot prevent infection from occurring but instead treats the disease by clearing out any existing heartworm larvae that were transmitted since their last monthly treatment. We also recommend an annual blood test to help ensure that the preventative is working as expected. With an annual test at our hospital combined with your commitment to providing the monthly preventatives at home, we have the best shot of protecting your pet from this preventable disease.

Why you should incorporate a heartworm preventative into your pet’s wellness plan:
We understand that adding a heartworm preventative can feel like a big step, adding a little bit of expense and time each month. However,
prevention is incredibly easy in comparison to the alternative – once your pet is infected with heartworms, treatment is costly and difficult for both you, and especially, your pet. Treatment includes antibiotics, steroids, preventatives, and monthly injections to kill the adult worms, as well as hospitalization for your pet, and ongoing treatment and testing.

Talk with us at your next appointment for more information on the preventative options for your pet. As always, we’re here to be your trusted partner to help ensure that your pet’s healthcare plan provides them with a happy and healthy life by your side! Find an AZPetVet location near you.

National Poison Prevention Week: Signs of Poisoning in Pets

It’s National Poison Prevention Week – so it’s a great time to review the signs and symptoms of poisoning in dogs and cats. Pets are notoriously good at hiding pain, however, in the case of ingestion of a toxic substance, the signs can vary based on the particular poison.

If you think your dog or cat has been poisoned or may have ingested a toxic substance, call your veterinarian immediately for assistance! The sooner your dog or cat gets medical treatment, the better the outcome. 

According to the Pet Poison Helpline, the most common signs of poisoning generally include (but are not limited to):

Gastrointestinal signs

  • Nausea & Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Drooling/excessive salivating
  • Lack of appetite/refusing food

Internal bleeding

  • Coughing of blood
  • Vomiting blood
  • Pale gums
  • A racing heart rate
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Collapse

Kidney failure

  • Bad breath that smells of urine or ammonia
  • Lack of appetite/refusing food
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Absence or decreased urination

Liver failure

  • Jaundice/yellow discoloration of the gums
  • Weakness or collapse
  • Dullness, confusion, acting abnormally
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Black-tar appearance in stool

For more information about potential toxins in the home, click here.

Outside of your personal veterinarian, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center: 888-426-4435

National K-9 Veterans Day

National K-9 Veterans Day is celebrated each March 13th, in honor of the official birthday of the US Army K9 Corps, formed in 1942.  Joseph White, a retired military working dog trainer, originated the idea for the day to honor service dogs who risked their lives for their trainers
and for the safety of our military men and women each day.

Today K-9 forces are an active part of military, police, and rescue duties. Training for each service dog is tailored to meet the demands of the job so the animal and its handler can carry out his or her duties to the fullest. We salute the efforts of all K-9 Veterans and handlers!

In Celebration of Professional Pet Sitters Week

In honor of the 25th Annual Professional Pet Sitters Week, here are a few reasons why you might need to call a professional pet sitter:

  • If you’ve ever had to drop everything to travel at the last minute for work or an emergency
  • If you’ve ever needed someone to take care of your pet while you go on vacation
  • If you’ve ever felt like you can’t travel because you have no one to look after your pet
  • If your pet is older and gets stressed out by change in environment or travel
  • If your pet has health issues and can’t risk exposure to other animals
  • If you get stressed out thinking of leaving your pet in a kennel

Reasons to love professional pet sitters while you’re away for a few days or even longer:

  • No disruption to your pet’s daily routine
  • No stressful environment changes for your pet
  • No calling in favors with family, neighbors or friends
  • No wrestling with pet carriers or potentially stressful car rides
  • Your pet will have regular attention, exercise, and TLC
  • Your pet’s medications and health will be monitored
  • You’ll get regular updates, so less to worry about
  • Your home will look lived in, so less risk of crime

Thanks to all the Professional Pet Sitters!

What To Do If Your Pet Gets Lost

lost dog posterOh, no! Your pet is missing – here’s what to do if your pet gets lost. With the right preparation and the help of lots of caring people, pets can be returned quickly.

First – canvas your neighborhood with a photo and your contact information. Put notices up where people are most likely to see them – near mailboxes is always a good bet. Share your news on social media sites, and be sure to post in Straydar or on NextDoor.

Next, call local vets and let them know to be on the lookout. Why? It’s the first place people often go to check for a chip. 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 because they’ve been injured. We care for them all, providing them the best medical help whenever possible, ensuring that we ultimately ease their pain and keeping them calm and comfy – 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, especially when you’re moving to a new home or neighborhood. 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.