International Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day - 08/06/2018
Dr. Sandra Wu
August 22, 2018 is Bring Your Cat to the Vet Day, but “My cat hates going to the vet, she seems fine, why should I bother bringing her?”
We all know how much cats hate to travel, but it is essential to your cat's health to make that annual trip for the physical examination. Here are some major reasons why:
- Cats age faster, even than dogs in the first few years. In the first year, cats become 15 in human years; after the 2nd, they are 24 human years. Every year thereafter they gain another 4 years. A lot of changes can happen over these years. Annual examinations help us to detect changes and provide preventative care.
- Cats are survivors who know how to mask disease and pain until they are so far gone, it makes it difficult for anyone to help them. By bringing them in routinely, we can examine and evaluate them for earlier signs of disease. By detecting diseases earlier, we have a much better chance at helping them.
- They are not just “fluffy.” More than 50% of cats are overweight, which puts them at risk for diabetes, heart, kidney and lung disease. We can help regulate a diet and exercise plan to keep your kitty from becoming a statistic.
- Adult cats have 30 teeth that most owners never brush. And those mouths get gingivitis and cavities that can be so painful, their teeth chatter when we touch them. Let us check out those teeth and make plans to keep them healthy.
So how do I get unwilling “Fluffy” to the office?
- Get a carrier that feels safe - a hard-sided carrier with top and front doors that can have the top removed. Try stuffing your cat into a tiny carrier door and you'll understand why it's nice to have the top hatch through which you can lower her into the carrier. Being able to lift the top off at the office so she can still hide in the towels make her feel safe.
- Leave the carrier out for a week before using it so your cat can get used to the smell. You can place treats in the carrier so he associates good things with it. He may even climb in it to check it out on his own, it makes a nice hidey-hole!
- If your cat is a bit resistant or aggressive about getting into the carrier, we can occasionally provide medicine or recommend products like Feliway to calm him down before coming. Call us for sugggestions.
- And if all else fails and there is no way you're getting your cat to come into the office, we also do housecalls! Call us to set up an appointment for a doctor to make the trip to your cat instead.
Call us to schedule an appointment or request an appointment on line.
We are working on special offers for this event, so stay tuned to Facebook and check your e mail for details.
Cruciate Ligament Injury - 07/11/2018
Copyright 2018, Veterinary Information Network, Inc
Gross and Dangerous: TICKS! - 06/13/2018
If I say tick, most people’s immediate response is something along the lines of eww, or yuck, or gross.
They are truly disgusting, and we have been seeing a lot of them on both dogs and cats in the office this spring.
It appears that although the weatherman cannot predict whether or not it will rain in the next hour accurately, the parasitologists have hit the nail on the head with their prediction of a bad tick season this year. And, unfortunately, the cool, damp spring is not helping matters any.
Most pet owners are worried about Lyme disease and with good reason. The incidence of infection with Borrelia Burgdorferi, the bacteria that causes Lyme disease is way up this year in our area. While Lyme Disease is an important problem for dogs and their owners, there are many other tick borne diseases that we need to be concerned about. Different ticks carry different parasites and we have seen spikes in positive tests for Anaplasma and Ehrlichiosis as well as Lyme disease this spring.
Along with emerging diseases spread by ticks, we are seeing changes in the species of ticks that we are seeing in our area.
Lone Star Ticks, named for the single white spot on the back of the bug (not for the state of Texas) are emerging as a problem, especially out east.
They are problematic because many tick preventions are not as effective against this species as one would like. They also spread diseases like Tularemia and Human monocytotrophic ehrlichiosis.
If that’s not bad enough, they also can cause a serious and sometimes lifetime allergic reaction to red meat.
That’s right, as bizarre as it sounds, a protein in the saliva of the Lone Star Tick can cause it’s bite victims to become allergic to all red meat.
A new species of east Asian tick has raised it’s ugly head in New Jersey and we are girding ourselves for it’s appearance on Long Island in the near future.
So, what can we do to keep ourselves and out pets safe?
Stay out of tall grass when possible.
Treat your yards if you are in high tick areas.
Use an effective tick control product.
We recommend Simperica oral chews or Seresto collars for our pets.
Pyrethrin treated clothing for humans.
Ticks need to attach for a period of time to spread disease.
Check your pets and yourselves daily for ticks.
A useful tool is a tape lint roller up and down your pet after it comes in.
Ticks will stick to the tape.
If you find an attached tick, gentle traction with a small tweezer, close to the skin will get the tick to release.
Do not crush it with your fingers.
If you need it identified, put it in a plastic baggie and bring it to your veterinarian.
Have your dog tested regularly for tick borne diseases.
It’s a simple blood test.
We have effective vaccinations against Lyme disease, the most common tick transmitted disease in our area.
If your pet is at risk, vaccination is imperative.
H3N2 Dog Flu and You - 05/11/2018
Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) has been a cause of canine cough in the US since 2003. The original strain of the virus was first seen in racing Greyhound kennels and rapidly spread throughout the country and is now endemic to many states including Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New York. The original strain of CIV is s subtype of an Influenza A virus, identified by it’s protein receptors as H3N8. It causes a dry hacking cough, similar but more serious than that associated with Bordetella, the bacteria that causes Kennel Cough. It is easily spread through direct contact, nasal aerosols (think coughing and sneezing), and fomites (objects and clothing that has been sneezed or coughed on). Since it was a new virus on the block, all dogs were susceptible to infection, there was no immunity. A vaccine was quickly developed and we were able to control infection in our pet populations. The game changed again in 2015 with the appearance of a new strain of the virus, H3N2 CIV. Unlike human influenza viruses, this was not simply an annual mutation of the virus but an entirely new strain. The H3N8 is still around. Originally appearing in the Midwest, H3N2 has since started to spread. We monitored the spread of the outbreaks (somewhat more severe than the original CIV infections) and since there was no spike in cases in our area, we did not change our vaccine protocols. However, an outbreak of H3N2 CIV has been identified just last week in Brooklyn and so now we are trying to get the word out to dog owners so that they can protect their pets. While flu season in people is winding down, dog flu season is just getting started. That’s because the risk factors increase as the weather gets warmer. We see increased exposure for dogs that go to boarding, day care, dog runs, grooming, social groups, or now, go into Brooklyn and they need to be protected against this virus. What does this mean for your dog? If your pet has any of the above risk factors, we recommend vaccination against both strains of CIV. An initial series of 2 vaccinations is followed by annual boosters. If you are anticiapating a high risk situation (boarding for example) the series should be completed at least 2 weeks prior to potential exposure. If your dog has had the H3N8 vaccine, it just needs the new vaccine. If it has not had a flu vaccine in the past, it will need to be vaccinated against both strains, which can be done at the same time. We will be setting up some clinic times for flu shots so that we can keep the cost down for owners. Patients of ours that have been seen in the past 6 months and have no health issues can just receive the flu shots without and examination or office call fee. If your dog is not a patient of ours, we will perform a courtesy examination during clinic hours to make sure that it is healthy enough to vaccinate before we administer the vaccines. Details for vaccination clinics will be posted on our facebook page so keep an eye out. We will also be reaching out to our clients via text or e mail to let you know when the clinic hours will be available.
The Results Are In! - 04/23/2018
Our April 12th Free Pee Jubilee was a huge success! Thanks to all our clients who had the messy job of catching the urine, our staff for processing all those samples, and Stanley the Sedivue for analyzing all of them. Amidst the dozens of pee jokes all day, Stanley tested 58 samples of urine, which means we learned more about 58 dogs (sorry, nobody managed to collect any cat urine!) that day. By evaluating urine, we can screen for lots of diseases and possibly prevent some life threatening ones. Out of these 58 samples, we found abnormalities in 28 of them! We found 10 urinary tract infections, 10 with crystals, 9 with an abnormal pH. And, except for one known diabetic, all of those dogs were clinically normal; the owners were not expecting to hear anything was wrong with the urine.
This result surprised us as well and confirmed our belief that something as simple as a urine sample can give us so much insight into our pets' health. Since our pets are very good at hiding illness, we all learned that getting that small sample can help us provide better health care for our patients. So the next time we ask you to bring in a sample, please try to get one, it could make a huge difference to your pet!
Dr. Sandra Wu