Tag: Heartworms

The State Bird of Texas Should Be the Mosquito

Ahh… Southeast Texas. Clear Lake right outside our back doors, Galveston just down the road, and Houston not too far when you need a night on the town. We’re right in the middle of fabulous shopping, great restaurants, and a variety of outdoor leisure – we’ve got it all! But this ideal location means we also have these wonderful little monsters that thrive in the marshes and torment us all summer – they also never go away. I spend a good amount of time in the marshy wet lands all year long, and even in November and December I am usually donning the fancy aroma of OFF! to keep from being eaten alive.  Now, I only have myself to blame for being subjected to this form of torture, but at least I know my perfect duck hunting pup June doesn’t have to go through the same since we started using the Double Defense program last summer.

We all know mosquitoes carry some terrible diseases that can gravely affect humans, like malaria, West Nile and Zika virus. But did you know the same mosquitoes spread heartworms to dogs?

In the past, preventing your dog from getting heartworms was as simple as giving them a tablet every month but heartworms have begun developing resistance to these medications. These resistant strains of heartworms have now been found in all 50 states. The American Heartworm Association is the leader in keeping us up to date with the newest heartworm prevention protocols and allowing us to pass these on to you in order to protect our pets as much as we can.  They are recommending that veterinarians offer a topical preventative that repels mosquitos to use along with your monthly heartworm prevention. This is called Double Defense, and is a protocol that not only the AHA is recommending, but AAHA is backing this as well. Vectra 3D for dogs, by Ceva, not only repels and kills mosquitos but it also kills and repels fleas, ticks, and flies. Keep in mind-while oral preventatives work wonderfully, they have no repelling action and do not prevent your patients from being bitten, thus contracting a disease. When you consider a dog can be bitten over 80 times by mosquitoes in a single evening, it’s not hard to see the importance of protecting your dog against mosquito bites just like you protect yourself and your family.

Vectra 3D for Dogs used in conjunction with an oral heartworm prevention gives mosqitos and heartworms the one-two punch. After a dog is exposed to an infected mosquito, heartworm preventives work on the inside to kill larvae before they grow into adult heartworms. That’s very important. Add in a single application of Vectra® 3D for Dogs and you’ll be helping by killing mosquitos before they bite, knocking out fleas in less than 2 hours, and repelling and killing ticks – what’s better is Vectra kills by contact, so your pet does not have to be bitten in order for the pests to die. Together, they provide a double defense. It’s like brushing your teeth and flossing. Each can help you maintain good oral hygiene, but together they work to give you the most protection.by: Kaitie Barczak

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Early Detection- Why Diagnostic Tests are Important for Your Pet(s)

By Tara Sansing

Did you know?

  • If detected early, 75% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications alone over a one year period.
  • Kidney disease is one of the major causes of illness and death in dogs and cats, but symptoms do not usually appear until 2/3 of kidney function has been lost. If caught early, the animal can live with condition for many years.
  • If a liver problem is detected at an early stage of the disease and is administered proper treatment, the chance of your pet’s recovery is in your favor.
  • Early detection of diabetes is extremely important because an early therapy regimen can be more effective and easier on the animal. Detecting and monitoring diabetes early can also prevent damage to other organs.

Our pets can’t talk and often seem perfectly fine when something is wrong. So how do you know when there is a problem? The answer is early detection.

Early detection is not one test, a series of tests, or just one visit. It is a new way of caring for your pet, just like human medicine allows us to care for ourselves. Medical advancements enable us to diagnose potential diseases before they become a serious issue including heartworm, thyroid disease and intestinal parasites in our pets.

While a physical examination is vital to your pet’s healthcare, there are several conditions that cannot be diagnosed by simply looking, listening and touching. Chemistry and hematology blood tests provide a detailed look at your pet’s health from the inside. Since our pets age almost seven times faster than we do, we recommend that these tests be performed annually.

Here is a breakdown of critical diagnostic tests we recommend to ensure that your pet is as healthy on the inside as he or she appears to be on the outside.

Fecal Exam
We check your pet’s stool once a year for signs of intestinal disease and parasites. We will examine the stool for outward signs of disease such as blood, mucous and abnormal consistency. We’ll also send a sample of your pet’s stool to the lab so that they can test it for the presence of parasites including hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, coccidia and giardia.

Heartworm Test
Each year, we draw a few drops of your pet’s blood so that it can be tested for heartworms. The test can be run in the clinic and only takes 10 minutes to process which means that you can get results right away! Heartworms can be fatal in both cats and dogs and are spread by infected mosquitoes. Even pets that stay indoors are at risk because mosquitoes often slip into the house and can infect unprotected pets. It is important to perform this test annually even if your dog or cat is on heartworm prevention year-round as even one missed dose or late dose of preventative can put them at risk.

Serum Chemistry Panel and Complete Blood Count (CBC)
It is important to perform this test annually to detect and prevent disease as early as possible. These blood tests can tell us if your pet is anemic, fighting infection and whether or not their internal organs are functioning properly. In some cases, treatable diseases such as diabetes can be detected with these tests.

Urinalysis
Like a blood test, a urinalysis can give us an understanding of what is happening on the inside of your pet. A urinalysis once a year can help us to diagnose underlying diseases such as bladder infections, diabetes and renal failure.

These tests will help your pet live a long, healthy life but staying on top of internal disease. Once we have the results of these tests, we will have a better picture of your pet’s internal pet health and we will be well on our way to detecting disease as early as possible.