Turner Veterinary Clinic News
Heartworm is a common parasite in dogs, cats, ferrets, and several mammal species. During National Heartworm Prevention Month, we urge you to learn more about the transmission, symptoms, and treatment of this parasite. Left untreated, heartworm disease can cause serious illness or the death of your beloved pet.
What is a Heartworm and How Does It Get Inside Your Pet?
A heartworm is approximately 12 inches long and lives inside the blood vessels, heart, and lungs of animals who are infected with it. The most typical course of transmission is through a mosquito. When a female heartworm is present inside of a dog or cat, she can reproduce thousands of microscopic worms that travel to the bloodstream. A mosquito ingests some of these baby worms when it stings an infected pet and feeds on his blood. Heartworm transmission occurs the next time the mosquito bites a pet.
Symptoms of Heartworm in Dogs and Cats
Heartworms can live up to seven years in dogs and up to three years in cats. However, the two types of animals exhibit entirely different symptoms when infected. The first signs in dogs include early fatigue, appetite loss, persistent cough, and weight loss. Dogs with advanced heartworm disease will have a swollen belly, bloody urine, and labored breathing.
Cats tend to display either subtle or dramatic symptoms with no middle ground. Common symptoms include vomiting, appetite and weight loss, and coughing that develops into asthma. As the disease progresses, an infected cat may experience problems walking as well as fainting and seizures. Some cats show no symptoms of heartworm infestation until they collapse and die.
Diagnosing and Treating Heartworm Disease
If you’re the pet parent of a puppy or kitten, schedule an appointment with Dr. Huelsebergen at Turner Veterinary Clinic when she is six months old. Dogs should be tested annually thereafter and started on a heartworm preventive as soon as possible. You can greatly reduce your cat’s risk of getting heartworm by keeping her indoors.
We encourage you to speak to Dr. Huelsbergen to establish a heartworm protocol for your pet as soon as possible. For your convenience, our clinic offers several different types of heartworm prevention products in our online store.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Although originally started to promote the importance of human nutrition, the veterinary industry has adapted it to its own needs. As a pet owner, providing the best nutrition for your dog, cat, rabbit or other animal is the single most important thing you do. That is because the food you select has a major impact on your pet’s long-term health.
Pet owners sometime make food buying decisions based on convenience or price without considering what is best for the individual animal. For example, many dog and cats have skin or coat issues, a sensitive stomach, or problems with their joints. This requires selecting a species-specific food that addresses these unique concerns. Pets also have different nutritional requirements based on their stage of life.
Although the Food and Drug Administration has specific regulations about what must be included on a pet food label, it can still be challenging to interpret. Most pet foods contain some combination of carbohydrates, fats, minerals, preservatives, and vitamins. However, it can be difficult to know the actual percentage of each of these that the pet food contains or to know how much your pet specifically needs.
In honor of National Pet Nutrition Month, we encourage you to schedule an appointment at Turner Veterinary Clinic to discuss your pet’s nutritional needs with Dr. Huelsbergen. You’re also welcome to ask for a nutritional assessment at the next wellness exam. We will let you know if your pet appears to have specific dietary restrictions and whether he or she is at a healthy weight. A nutritious diet and regular exercise help to prevent serious health conditions as well as provide your pet with the highest possible quality of life.
Image Credit: Damedeeso @ iStock
Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats.
Does your pet have it?
It’s time to schedule their yearly checkup today and find out.
It’s that time of year again. Love, hugs and chocolate are on everyone’s mind. For your pet, the first two come out way on top! (Chocolate is a no-no, but you already knew that!)
Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats, affecting 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of three. Although most dogs and cats will develop some sort of dental disease, small dog breeds, such as Cavalier King Charles Spaniels, Dachshunds and Toy Poodles, are more prone to developing periodontal disease than larger breeds.
If your pet has bad breath, it may mean there is a problem with their teeth and gums. This can also contribute to more severe medical conditions. If dental issues are left untreated, you may put your pet at risk for problems in their mouth (periodontitis) or with internal organs (heart disease). The challenge most pet owners face is that even if their pet’s breath smells fine, some dental issues are hard to spot.
As Thanksgiving approaches, we all prepare to indulge in festive treats and a hearty Thanksgiving meal. But as pet owners, we must remember that our furry friends should not indulge in the same way. This Thanksgiving, we have compiled a list of foods your pet should avoid. Read on to learn how to keep your pets safe while you enjoy a delicious feast.
As pet owners, we can attest that flea infestation can not only be annoying but also extremely dangerous to our pets. Fleas can cause severe skin irritation, anemia, and even transmit deadly diseases. As we approach the fall season, it's essential to be proactive in preventing fleas before they become a problem. In this article, we will discuss the flea life cycle, the dangers of fleas infesting your pet, signs to look out for, the benefits of flea prevention, and why you should purchase flea prevention medication from us, your trusted veterinarian.
Back to school season is an exciting time for kids, but for pets, it can be the source of anxiety and stress. After a summer filled with playtime, cuddles, and attention, the sudden decrease in activity can have a profound impact on our pets. It's common for pets to experience separation anxiety when their families head back to work and school, and it's important for pet owners to recognize the signs and take steps to help their pets adjust. In this blog post, we will discuss some strategies to help your pets ease into a quieter home.
As pet owners, it's crucial to prioritize the mental and physical health of our beloved companions. One of the most common causes of stress in pets is summer thunderstorms and fireworks. During these events, pets exhibit various behaviors that indicate fear and stress.When experiencing a thunderstorm or fireworks, pets may pant excessively, bark or howl, tremble, hide, or even become destructive. These behaviors can be alarming and cause stress to both the pet and the owner.So what can you do to help alleviate your furry friend's stress during these situations?
The holidays are a time for family, friends, and fun. But for pet owners, they can also be a time to spoil their furry friends! There are so many ways to make your pet's holiday season special. In this blog post, we will discuss five of the best ways to spoil your pet this year. From gift ideas to treats to activities, we have you covered!