When your pet gets sick, helping them feel better immediately becomes a pet parent’s first priority. Some pet owners jump on the internet and scour PetMD and WebMD Pets for answers, while others rush to the local pet store and read label after label of over-the-counter medicines. These methods often lead to more questions than answers. So, what can you do to ensure proper treatment of your pet’s aches, pains, and preventative health?

You can assure your peace of mind when it comes to your pet’s health, medicine, and best interest with help from a veterinarian. Always consult us or another vet before trying to treat your pet on your own and always get a prescription when ordering medicines from online stores.

Importance of Getting Rx from Veterinarian or Veterinarian Approved Online Store

We take the guesswork out of how to treat your pet. From dosage levels to what’s right for your specific pet, don’t take the risk of trying to treat them without consulting us first.

When you use a vet to diagnose your pet and prescribe medicine, you are receiving qualified and trusted advice tailored to your pet’s needs. From weight to breed, size, and medical history, we use professional and proven knowledge to most effectively assist your pet with her needs.

What’s the Difference Between Veterinary Rx Medicines and OTC Medicines?

Some of the most effective medicines are prescription only. Some illnesses and diseases can only be properly diagnosed and treated by vets. Some medicines are extremely beneficial when used correctly, but without veterinary guidance can cause serious health issues.

Over-the-counter medicines often have lower levels of active ingredients which can make determining dosage levels complicated and, at times, less effective.

The last thing any pet parents wants is to accidentally cause further damage to their pet’s health with an OTC medicine or prolonging their pet’s illness.

Why Are Some Medicines Only Available Through A Vet?

Many manufacturers don’t want to risk any pet’s health, which is why they want you to see us before giving your pet their product. This reassures them that pet owners will properly use their medicine to treat their pets and use their medicine under the right circumstances. Having a conversation with your veterinarian also never hurts and an exam can better diagnose a pet’s needs.

Why Order Your Medicine from Us?

Vets and online veterinary retailers take proper care to keep pet medicines available and shelf-stable. You don’t want your pet’s medicine to get too hot or too cold in shipping. You also don’t want the medicine to breakdown or spoil.

Ordering from a veterinarian also gives you the opportunity to ask questions and receive answers about your pet’s medication and health. Additionally, any medication ordered through our online store or us is guaranteed to be authentic.

Your pet’s needs change over time, which is why it’s essential that you bring your pet in for an annual exam and update your pet’s prescription. Ordering medicine on an expired prescription can put your pet’s health at risk.

We’re Here to Help You Keep Your Pet Healthy

From anxiety to flea prevention to pain management, we can help you create a safe plan for your pet’s veterinary needs. Protect those purrs and tail wags with the right prescription ordered from a trusted source.

If you have any questions about your pet’s health, prescriptions, or if an OTC treatment is the right choice, we will gladly help you. Give us a call to make an appointment. If it’s time to refill your pet’s prescription, save time and use our online shop.

Photo Credit: obewon

Ahoy! Keep Your Dog Afloat with Boating and Water Safety

Did you know that not all dogs instinctively know how to doggie paddle? Some dogs aren’t even capable of keeping their heads above water as they try to swim. As we reach the perfect time of year to enjoy some fun in the sun and some watery adventures, we want to make sure you have what you need to know to keep your dog safe in and around the water (water wings not included).

Boating Safety

Are you bringing your dog aboard for a boating trip? If so, here what you need to know to keep your pup safe and all paws on-deck!

1. A Life Jacket Could Save Your Pup’s Life

Even if your dog is a great swimmer, a life jacket is a must. If your pup were to slip and fall overboard, he may get knocked unconscious and not be able to swim. This one is a better safe than sorry necessity.

2. Plan for a Plunge

Dogs can be erratic. We see dogs that jump from car windows even though they’ve been fine riding with the window down for years. Make sure you know what you plan on doing if your dog decides to jump, or slips, off the deck. Do you have answers to these questions?

  • Who will monitor your dog while others are piloting the boat, skiing, etc?
  • Who will go in and lift the dog back on the boat?
  • Do you have a ladder or a diving platform to make it easier to get large dogs back onboard?
  • Can your dog swim well enough to paddle back to the boat?

3. A Fido Friendly First-Aid Kit

Does your boating first-aid kit have all the dog-friendly items you may need? Along with your standard alcohol swabs and bandages, make sure you also have: 

  • Styptic powder 
  • A fabric or soft muzzle
  • An extra leash and collar
  • A towel or blanket
  • Bottled water
  • A magnifying glass 
  • A flashlight.

4. Sun Safety

Dogs with thin or light-colored coats can get sunburned on their backs. Be sure to liberally massage (and reapply) a zinc-free dog-friendly sunblock into their fur, down their skin and remember all dogs’ noses are prone to sunburn. Apply a dog-friendly sunblock there, too - and remember to reapply as needed.

5. Water, Water Everywhere and Some in a Bowl to Drink

The heat this time of year can be dangerous for dogs. Bring as much water as you think you may need plus some extra. Keep your dog’s bowl full and out of the sun.

Dog Swimming Safety

Slow and Steady

Puppies and adult dogs can all use swim lessons when taking a dip is new to them. If you just adopted your dog, don’t rush the swimming process if it’s new to them. Before you plan a full day at the lake, take them to a nearby body of water with a gentle incline and let them slowly wade in. Ideally, you will be beside them.

Never force your dog into the water if he’s not up for it.

And it’s important to remember some dogs just aren’t built to swim. Frenchies, Boston Terriers, Bulldogs, and other short-snouted, top-heavy dogs may not be able to keep themselves afloat. They can also struggle to breathe. It’s important to keep a life preserver on these dogs.

Don’t Drink the Water

It can be tough, but try to prevent your dog from drinking too much lake water. If you’re headed to the beach, the same goes for saltwater (although most dogs find the salt off-putting).  Keeping clean, fresh, cool water available will help with this.

Rinse Your Pup Afterwards and Dry Those Ears

After your dog is done with his doggie dip, rinse him with fresh water. Gently dry out your dog’s ears to help prevent infection.

Always keep an eye on your pup when swimming or boating and never leave fish hooks or bait where your dog can reach them. Provide a shady spot where your dog can relax whether you’re lakeside, beachside, or on the boat.

We hope you have a blast with your furry best friend as you enjoy some fun in the sun!

Photo credit: Lisa5201

Did you know that Monday, July 15 is Pet Fire Safety Day? This event, which occurs on the same date each year, hopes to increase awareness among pet owners that their furry housemates can start a fire causing severe property damage, injuries, or even death. All it takes is something as simple as knocking over a burning candle, bumping the on button on the stove, or getting into an ashtray that contains a cigarette not fully extinguished. The problem is significant enough to cause the deaths of approximately 40,000 house pets every year.

Fire Prevention When You Share Your Home with Pets

Prevention is always the goal when it comes to pets and fires. While you might feel silly getting down on your hands and knees, this helps you see your home from your pet’s perspective. From your vantage point, you should be able to spot dangers such as the height of your stove relative to your dog’s size or whether loose wires exist anywhere in your home. When using hot items such as a clothes or curling iron, allow it to cool off and then put it away immediately. Additionally, supervise your pet around fireplaces and burning candles at all times.

If your home doesn’t have a working smoke alarm for every floor, now is a great time to invest in them. The alarm will alert you to the presence of smoke or fire immediately regardless of the time or your pet’s current whereabouts. While you hope that a fire never breaks out in your home, obtaining a window cling that states how many pets live inside and their species tells firefighters to look for your pets when fighting the blaze.

When you’re gone and your pet is home alone, consider placing dogs in kennels or cats in one room of the home with access to food, water, and a litter box. If you would rather not do that, place your pet towards the front of your home until you return. This makes it easier for firefighters to find him or her if a fire does break out. It’s also a good idea to do one last visual check to make sure your pet isn’t in close proximity to any potential fire hazards.

Make a Fire Escape Plan That Includes Your Pet

Fire is just one of several potential disasters that could cause the need to flee your home immediately. We recommend preparing a pet first-aid kit in advance and storing it with several servings of fresh food and water, toys, extra medication, and a leash and harness if you ever need to leave your home quickly. Having a disaster plan ready to follow should a fire occur will help increase the chances of everyone making it out safely, including your beloved pet.

Feel free to contact Battletown Animal Hospital if you would like additional fire safety tips or you would like to schedule an appointment for preventive care.

Photo credit: Pixabay

Leptospirosis is a "zoonotic" disease - this means that it can spread from animals to people. Fortunately, a simple vaccination against leptospirosis can give you valuable peace of mind for the protection of your pets and family.

How does my pet get Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis can be spread through an infected animal's urine. If your pet digs in soil or drinks stagnant water where mice, rats, raccoons or other rodents have urinated, even months later, they may be at risk for developing this disease. Dogs tend to be more at risk of developing Leptospirosis, as infection in cats is rare.

What are the Symptoms of Leptospirosis?

The most common symptoms associated with leptospirosis include:

  • Frequent Urination
  • Vomiting
  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Fever
  • Jaundice
  • Discharge from eyes or nose

Treating and Preventing Leptospirosis

If your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, we encourage you to call us at Battletown Animal Clinic. If your pet tests positive for Leptospirosis, often referred to as "Lepto", it's likely that our team will prescribe a course of antibiotics for your pet. You will want to avoid contact with urine, and keep other pets away from your pet.

If more advanced disease has occurred, your pet may require more aggressive treatment, such as anti-vomiting medication and intravenous fluids. When treated early, prognosis is good. Even with treatment, the kidneys and liver may experience irreversible damage.

If you have questions about Leptospirosis and your pet, please don't hesitate to consult with us for the best prevention plan.

Photo Credit: Pexels

Although the heartworm parasite can survive all year long, it becomes even more prevalent in the spring and summer after being somewhat dormant in the winter. That’s why year-round parasite protection is so important. If you do not yet have a heartworm prevention plan in place for your dog or cat, just schedule an appointment with Battletown Animal Hospital and we will help you decide on the most appropriate product.

Understanding Heartworm Transmission

A heartworm is a tiny parasite that can live inside the body of an infected mosquito. Transmission occurs when that mosquito bites your pet. Reproduction can happen very quickly once the heartworm makes its way inside of your pet’s body. The heartworm that was originally microscopic in size can grow to more than 12 inches and reproduce dozens of times. 

Although it is far more common for dogs to acquire heartworm, the disease has a deadlier course with cats. We suggest that puppies can start using preventive products for heartworm by the time they reach eight weeks old. It isn’t necessary at this early stage to complete any other type of testing.

By the time your puppy reaches the age of six months, we will complete a heartworm test to make sure she is heartworm negative before continuing or changing preventive products.

Heartworm Testing and Prevention

It only requires a simple blood test to determine if a dog has heartworm.  The past recommendations for heartworm prevention was to wait until the early spring to start using it on your pet and discontinue it in the winter. The American Heartworm Association now advises pet parents to keep up with preventive medication or products continually throughout the year. This can help to kill other parasites besides heartworm.

Common Signs of Heartworm in Companion Animals

With cats, the primary symptom associated with heartworm infestation is difficulty breathing. This is due to the parasite living in their lungs. Dogs display more varied symptoms because the heartworm can live in the ventricles of the heart as well as the heart itself. Typical symptoms of canine heartworm include loss of appetite, fatigue, coughing, vomiting, lethargy, and weight loss.

Heartworm infestation is painful and sometimes deadly for your pet. It’s also a long and costly process to treat it. That’s the bad news. The good news is that heartworm infestation is entirely preventable with a product appropriate to your pet’s species, breed, age, and lifestyle. Your pet’s annual check-up is a great time to discuss your concerns about parasite prevention. We also encourage you to contact us if your pet shows any of the symptoms of heartworm disease listed above.

Photo Credit: Pixabay