| Services (View All Topics)|
Canine Wellness Care
We treat our dogs as one of the family therefore it is important to maintain their health. We recommend that your dog comes in atleast annually for an examination. Starting with the first visit as a puppy the doctors will make the appropriate recommendations to support your pet during all life stages.
During a wellness exam the doctor will check your pet for irregularities and abnormalities starting at the head with the eyes, ears, face, mouth and teeth, and moving onto the limbs and chest (lungs and heart), before finally examining the coat and skin. During the appointment the doctor will discuss all aspects of your pet's health including; their finding upon physical exam, nutrition, behavior, vaccination protocol and any concerns you may have.
The vaccines that recommended are Canine Distemper, Canine Adenovirus-2 and Parvovirus. This vaccine is given starting between the ages of 6-8 weeks and is continued every 3 weeks until the puppy is at least 16 weeks old. Thereafter, the combination vaccine is repeated every 1-3 years.
Rabies vaccination is given first once the puppy is 12 weeks of age and boostered one year later. After that, the Rabies vaccine is repeated every three years.
Canine Distemper is a serious, highly contagious disease. It weakens the immune system, leaving infected dogs vulnerable to other infections. Symptoms include fever, coughing, green nasal and eye discharge, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, loss of appetite, thickened toe pads, muscle twitching, seizures, and blindness. Puppies are most susceptible. Distemper is fatal in up to 90% of cases. For the dogs that recover from the disease, most have serious permanent neurologic problems. Fortunately, the vaccination is very effective if given prior to the dogís exposure.
There are two forms of Canine Adenovirus, CAV-1 and CAV-2. Vaccination with CAV-2 provides protection against both. CAV-1 is the cause of Infectious Canine Hepatitis, which damages the liver. CAV-2 is one of several organisms that can cause Infectious Canine Tracheobronchitis, or Kennel Cough. Just as you would expect, the main sign is a persistent cough. Its spread mainly in places where large numbers of dogs are in close proximity, such as kennels, shelters, grooming facilities, or dog shows.
Canine Parvovirus (CPV) is a highly contagious disease affecting the digestive system. It can also weaken the immune system and damage the heart. Signs include fever, lethargy, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration and loss of appetite. It can be fatal, especially in puppies born to un-vaccinated mothers. Parvovirus treatment usually requires hospitalization.
Rabies is an incurable disease of the nervous system that is nearly always fatal. Worse yet, it is transmitted between most animal species, including humans. Although rabies transmission requires direct body fluid contact, even indoor pets can be at risk since sick wild animals may enter homes. Regular rabies vaccination is mandated by law in most states.
The Kennel Cough Complex, also known as infectious tracheobronchitis, is a treatable respiratory illness. It can be caused by CAV-2, Canine Parainfluenza, and Bordetella bronchiseptica, mycoplasma organisms and possibly other viruses. The combination vaccine normally given to dogs includes CAV-2 and Parainfluenza. Dogs at high risk of exposure to kennel cough can receive a more potent vaccine, given as nose drops or as an injection that protects against Bordetella as well. This is recommended for dogs that are boarded, groomed professionally, or taken to dog shows.
Leptospirosis is a serious illness that damages the kidneys and liver and can be transmitted to people. Unfortunately, the vaccine provides only moderate protection and must be boostered annually. In the past it was believed Lepto vaccines were connected to a higher incidence of allergic reactions. Studies have now shown that the greatest risk of allergic reactions is seen in small breed dogs receiving multiple vaccines at once. We see very few allergic reactions with our vaccines.
Heartworm, Ehrlichia, Lymeís Disease
Although we do live in this unbearable heat three months out of the entire year, pesky mosquitoes, fleas, and ticks find ways to get into our air-conditioned homes. Your cat and dog are the perfect free rides into the human world. But what you may not have known is that these creatures harbor life-threatening diseases that are easily prevented. This combination test is recommended for your pet annually. The following will give you a basic overview of three very common diseases associated with these pesky critters.
Lyme disease is a bacterial disease spread by ticks. While it is most prevalent in the Northeastern U.S., it has been found in all but a few states as well as other parts of the world. The name has nothing to do with fruit, but comes from the place where the disease was first reported, Lyme, Connecticut. Lyme disease affects people and dogs. It is rare in other domestic animals.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacteria Borrelia burgdorferi. It is transmitted to people and dogs by the bite of ticks, most commonly the black-legged deer tick. Wooded, brushy areas outdoors are likely locations for these ticks. The tick lives by attaching to a host and feeding on blood. While attached, it can spread Lyme disease through its saliva. Research has shown that in most cases, the disease is not transmitted until the tick has been attached for 48 to 72 hours. Lyme disease is not spread directly from one person to another or from a dog to a person.
Over the last couple of years, we have seen a significant rise in the number of heartworm cases diagnosed in Arizona. This is likely due to the increase in mosquitoes we have seen. Heartworm Disease is a potentially life-threatening parasitic infection. Found worldwide, it infects wild and domestic dogs, sea lions, ferrets, and cats.
Heartworm Disease is caused by a worm, Dirofilaria immitis, and spread by mosquitoes. When a mosquito feeds on an infected animal, usually a dog, it ingests microscopic larvae in the blood. These microfilaria mature in the mosquito for about two weeks. When the mosquito bites a susceptible animal the
infectious larvae are injected into its tissues. They migrate through the animalís body, maturing into adult worms over a period of months. The adult worms live in the heart and major blood vessels where they reproduce to create new microfilaria. The time from infection to appearance of microfilaria is about six months.
Dogs are highly susceptible to heartworm infection, while it is much less common in other domestic animals such as cats and ferrets.
Fortunately, effective preventive medications are available to protect dogs, cats, and ferrets. Most are given monthly and can be started as early as 4-6 weeks of age. Pets started on preventive medications before six months of age are tested after they have been on the medication for at least six months. Pets that begin heartworm prevention after six months of age should be tested before the preventive is given the first time, and again after six months. Annual retesting is recommended.
Please click on the following link to watch a video about heartworm disease
Ehrlichia Canis, Ehrlichiosis, Tick Fever
Ehrlichiosis is a disease spread from the bite of a tick. The brown dog tick is the primary host of this serious disease, which was first seen in military dogs returning to the US from the Vietnam War. The organism that is carried by ticks and causes the Ehrlichiosis infection is called a rickettisa, which is similar to bacteria. This disease should be taken very seriously as untreated cases can result in death.
There are three phases of the Ehrlichiosis infection. The acute phase occurs in the first two to four weeks of infection. Fever, weight loss, nervous system anomalies, respiratory distress, bleeding disorders and other symptoms can be seen during this initial stage. The second phase of the disease is referred to as the subclinical stage. The symptoms that are seen in the acute stage are normally not present in this stage and basically subside. Dogs that are infected may continue to shed the organism, they may totally eliminate the organism during this stage or they may progress to the chronic phase of the disease. Many of the symptoms present in the acute phase may return along with lameness, anemia, swollen limbs and blood clotting problems. Each progression from one phase to the next makes treating Ehrlichiosis more difficult and this is why early detection is very important for treatment to be successful.
The number one key is prevention. Consult your veterinarian for flea and tick control products, mow your lawns often, decrease exposure time by keeping your pet indoors, be aware of any and all water sources in the area that may be breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
We currently offer a combination test that test for these 3 diseases and is recommended for your pet annually. The following will give you a basic overview of three very common diseases associated with these pesky critters. The cost of the test is less than $60.
Pets have teeth too! The only difference with pets is that they are not able to brush and floss their own teeth. Good oral health is an important part of good general health for your pet. By the time most dogs and cats are 1 year old, they have some degree of gingivitis. Prevention is the key to maintaining healthy teeth and gums.
Dogs should mainly be offered dry food. The firm crunchy nature aids in reduction and removal of plaque and stimulates the gums to prevent gingivitis.Good oral hygiene can slow the progression of dental disease. Feel free to ask one of our staff members how you can care for your petís teeth!
Without good oral hygiene, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) develops. This is the first stage of dental disease. With progression, there is breakdown in the gum tissue attachment and pockets develop below the gum line where bacterial infection sets in. This is called periodontal disease. Over time the bone becomes weak, the teeth can become loose and need extraction. Also, bacteria associated with periodontal disease can spread to other parts of the body and cause infections in the heart, liver, kidneys and lungs. Because periodontal disease is below the gum line, a professional teeth cleaning under anesthesia is the only way to properly treat periodontal disease.
Signs of oral and dental diseases in dogs and cats: Bad breath, also called halitosis, loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar, disliking having the mouth touched, drooling, bleeding from the mouth and loss of appetite.
If you are concerned about your petís oral health please contact us for a FREE oral exam.
Annual fecal testing is recommended for your pet.
A fecal test checks for intestinal parasites, microscopic protozoa, and occult blood. May parasites, particularly protozoan parasites, are not prevented through traditional "wormers" and most parasites can't be seen without the aid of the microscope. Parasites affect your pet's health, and can put your family at risk in some cases! A fecal test is only $28!