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  • Trusty Vet - Research Park

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  • What is the point of blood testing?

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    retrieversmall

    Working with animals can be quite a challenge since they are unable to verbalize what may be bothering them. While a physical examination is certainly an integral part of evaluating you pet’s health, the internal organs can have problems that can be present that may go undetected on a physical exam. Your pet’s blood contains cells, proteins, and enzymes that when evaluated individually and in relation to each other can indicate organ dysfunction, infection, hormonal imbalances, or inflammation.

  • Your Pet’s Exposure Risk For Diseases

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    82132

    Scientific and technological advancements have led to better protection against diseases across the medical field including veterinary medicine. However, not every dog or cat is susceptible to the multiple diseases that exist. This is why a visit to your veterinarian and a discussion of your pet’s lifestyle is so important. We can help recommend the appropriate vaccinations to protect your dog or cat from infectious diseases.

    Every pet needs to be vaccinated for Rabies without question. Every dog needs protection from Distemper and Parvovirus beginning at 6-8 weeks of age to include four puppy booster and annual vaccinations thereafter. Every cat needs protection from fatal upper respiratory and neurologic viruses in the combination FVRCP vaccine beginning from 7-8 weeks of age to include three kitten boosters and annual vaccinations thereafter.

    The other vaccinations available related to exposure risk in North Alabama include Feline Leukemia and Bordatella vaccines for cats, and Leptospirosis, Lyme, Influenza, and Bordatella vaccines for dogs. With the exception of the Bordatella vaccine, these vaccines require two initial immunizations followed by annual boosters thereafter to provide appropriate immune response and protection for your dog or cat.

    Apr 11 Tags: Untagged
  • Is Your Itchy Pet Driving You CRAZY????

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    50399We all know what time of year it is when we start to see that yellow film on our cars. That’s right, allergy season and that can mean misery not only for you, but also for your pet.

  • Spaying Your Kitten or Puppy

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    Kitten croppedIt is common knowledge that there is an overpopulation of dogs and cats in our community. That reason alone should be enough to encourage responsible pet ownership to include spaying of kittens and puppies.

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Recent Posts

  • Introducing A New Pet Into Your Home

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    061218k0022It is an exciting time when you introduce a new furry friend into your home.  When going to get your new pet, it is best to leave your current pet at home.  Car travel can cause stress to your current pet as well as the new pet.  Forcing the two to interact so suddenly in this stressful environment can cause or worsen anxiety  and can potentially cause fighting.  

    Jan 21 Tags: Cats, Dogs, Pet Care Tips
  • Tips For Keeping Your Geriatric Dog Happy

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    geriatricMost dog owners are familiar with the term “senior” when it comes to describing their pet’s age, but as dogs are living longer thanks to advancements in veterinary medicine, a new term, “geriatric” is being used to classify older dogs.  For the body sizes of 25#, 50#, and 100# in dogs, pets are considered geriatric at the ages of 13 years, 11, years, and 9 years respectively.  Special considerations must be thought of to keep our geriatric pets healthy and comfortable as they advance in age.

    Just as in humans, vision and hearing begin to decline in geriatric dogs.  You may find that you dog does not greet you as regularly when you arrive home or is hesitant to move in dimly lit rooms.  Leaving the furniture arranged as your pet is accustomed and keeping lamps on to light their paths at night is one way to help prevent falls and bruises from reduced vision.  A gentle pat to wake your sleeping companion when you arrive home would be a kind way to say hello rather than trying to shout their name to come greet you.

    The embarrassment of urine leakage is also something that geriatric dogs face as their urinary sphincter begins to weaken with age.  One way of managing this is with a drug called Proin that helps to tighten urinary sphincter tone.  This drug must be used cautiously in geriatric pets due to potential side effects, so an organ screening would need to be performed prior to or shortly after beginning the medication and then periodically throughout your dog’s life.

    Finally, difficulty with rising from a sitting position and stiff joints are a very common problem in geriatric pets, even the littler ones.  Joint supplements containing glucosamine and chondroitin sulfate are the first line of defense against arthritis by keeping cartilage and joint fluid healthy.  Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs provide relief of arthritis pain and inflammation.  Adding non-slip rugs help with slipping issues and re-usable bags can have their sides trimmed away to make a flat sling that can be placed under the lower back so that you have handles to help larger dogs with rising.  Give us a call to describe this better or stop by and we’ll show you how.

  • Protecting Your Dog From Diseases

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     blackdog

    Did you know that many of your pet’s risk of diseases can be in your own back yard, your favorite pet store, or even the dog park you take your pet to?

    Something as innocent as allowing your puppy to play in a puddle of water, playing fetch with your dog at the river, letting your pet play in a wooded area, and most importantly taking your dog to the dog park can pose health risks to your dog.  These are the most dangerous places for your pet if they are not vaccinated regularly and kept on a monthly heartworm and intestinal parasite preventive.

    One of the most common parasites many pet owners are unaware that their pet can get is Giardia. This parasite leads to symptoms of abdominal pain, weight loss, and most commonly diarrhea that is excessively smelly.  Most owners are not aware of the fact that letting their precious fur baby drink from the puddled rain water or any standing water in the yard puts their pet at risk for this disease.   The Giardia can even be transmissible to owners that do not follow proper hygiene rules.  The best way to prevent your pet from getting this organism is not allowing them to drink from any standing water and to provide a fresh clean water bowl every day.

    Two other common conditions are Leptospirosis and Lyme’s Disease.  These can cause irreversible damage to your pet’s health.  Lyme’s Disease is transmitted by a species of ticks.  Most people are not aware of the damage something so small can cause.   Leptospirosis , commonly referred to as Lepto, is transmitted by wild animals such as possums, raccoons, rats, and squirrels.  It is commonly found in the soil and once again it lives in the waters that your pet plays in and drinks from.  With the continual urban sprawl, there is even risk for backyard pets that are frequent diggers.  Vaccinations are available to prevent against Leptospirosis and Lyme’s Disease.  Although we cannot protect your pet from all dangerous things, we can, as their advocate, inform you of the risks they may be exposed to and help you to protect them from the things mentioned.

    Jan 28 Tags: Dogs, Pet Care Tips, Puppy
  • Rabbit Nutrition

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    mon146044Information for this blog was obtained from www.veterinarypartner.com.  This is an excellent source for husbandry information for all small mammals.  Rabbits are the third most popular pet behind dogs and cats.  Rabbits require a large percentage of fiber in their diets to maintain gastrointestinal health.  In general, any diet modifications should be made slowly over a period of at least one week.  Oftentimes, rabbit owners make the mistake of overfeeding commercial pellets that are high calorie.  Commercial pellets designed for adult rabbit maintenance should contain 18% or higher fiber, 13-14% protein, and fat content of no more than 3% and should be fed at no more that ¼ cup per 4 pounds of body weight per day.

    Two especially important sources of nutrition for rabbits are an unlimited supply of timothy grass hay and fresh leafy greens at a maximum of 1 cup of packed greens for every 2 pounds of body weight.  The timothy hay provides essential fiber necessary for dental and gastrointestinal health as well as proteins, vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates.  For rabbits that have only been fed commercial pellets, introduce the timothy hay first and once your rabbit is eating the hay well for at least four weeks, add in the leafy greens.  Introduce one green at a time and wait three days before introducing a new one.  Greens should be washed thoroughly to remove pesticides.  Offer three different types of greens including red and green cabbage, carrot tops, parsley, romaine lettuce, endive, radicchio, collard greens, kale, and mustard greens daily once your pet has been introduced appropriately.

    Fruits and vegetables are considered “treat” foods and should be fed at a maximum of 1 tablespoon total per 2 pounds of body weight.  Ideal fruits and vegetables include carrots, apples, strawberries, pears, peaches, squash, tomato, papaya, mango, blueberries, and raspberries.  Avoid starchy foods such as bananas, grapes, beans, corn, peas, and potatoes.  Find at least one treat food that your rabbit likes and feed a small amount daily to check on how good your rabbit’s appetite is.  If they will not eat the treat food, there may be something that needs veterinary attention.

  • Time to say goodbye?

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    mon138026
    As our companion dogs and cats begin to age, they may develop illnesses or diseases which can begin to affect their quality of life.  In some cases, early detection blood screening is helpful in catching these diseases early and postponing progression.  There are other illnesses though such as cancer or heart disease that can develop slowly under the radar and may not be noticeable until your pet’s quality of life begins to decline.

    When I have an owner bring their pet to me with concerns over quality of life, I certainly examine the pet, but more importantly, I discuss with the owner the pet’s behavior at home.  There are three criteria I consider in evaluating a pet’s quality of life.  First, is your dog or cat still acting as a companion and coming around to be scratched and given affection to?  Second, is your cat or dog willing to eat regularly and if so, able to keep food down without vomiting?  Finally, is your dog or cat able to go to the bathroom (posture) without falling or having to sit in their own waste?  If any of these are questionable, I would begin to consider medical intervention and if that is unsuccessful, humane euthanasia.

    Many pet owners struggle with the decision to end their pet’s life by humane euthanasia.  I explain to pet owners in this predicament the process of euthanasia to help them in their decision making.  In my experience, it is a peaceful process where their dog or cat will fall asleep first in their lap or on a soft blanket and then their breathing and heartbeat will stop after they have lost consciousness.  I also explain that I consider it our gift to our companions to end their suffering peacefully.  Most owners usually find comfort in knowing these details 

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Huntsville, Alabama 35806