At Battletown Animal Hospital, we understand that buying medication for your pet can get costly and you naturally want to save money anywhere you can. It can also be a hassle to keep getting prescriptions filled. Fortunately, you can work around both of these problems when you register for an account with MyVetStoreOnline. We offer medications for nearly every veterinary condition as well as parasite prevention, supplements, grooming products, and more. We feel that ordering from your trusted local veterinarian is a far safer alternative than shopping with an unknown online pet store.

Commons Problems with Online Veterinary Supply Stores

Problems with disreputable online veterinary supply stores are common. In fact, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued a warning for pet owners to exercise caution when using them back in 2015. One flagrant violation involves filling a prescription for a pet without having examined her in person. Although the law requires this, some online vendors mislead their customers into thinking that a written health history form is acceptable in place of the examination. Other pet owners have complained about receiving expired medication, the wrong drug or potency of drug, and even medications for a different species of animal.

If your dog needs heartworm medication, it’s essential that he receives ongoing monitoring from a licensed veterinarian until the parasite is no longer in his system. Some online pharmacies dispense heartworm medication not knowing if the dog will receive any follow-up care. A veterinarian also needs to obtain a blood sample from a dog with heartworm, which is not possible without a personal visit. Finally, some or all employees of online veterinary pharmacies may not even have the proper training to dispense medication at all.

Visit Us First and Then Register for MyVetStoreOnline

If you suspect that your pet has a condition that will require medication, please schedule an appointment with Battletown Animal Hospital for a prompt evaluation. Our veterinarian will write a valid prescription that you can receive from our clinic right away. If your pet needs ongoing medication or supplements, it’s extremely convenient to establish monthly shipping with our online store. You can even request single dose shipments with our Easy Dose It program.

We guarantee that any medication you order from our online store has already received FDA approval. When you order from an unfamiliar online store, you just don’t have that reassurance. Additionally, we choose to partner with only reputable manufacturers who stand behind the quality of their products.

If we haven’t seen your dog or cat in the last year, please schedule a preventive care appointment by calling 540-955-2171. We will review the status of any current medications and let you know if your pet will require any new ones.

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Most people know someone who is allergic to dogs or cats, but did you know that companion animals can develop allergies as well? Fortunately, it’s not a case of a reverse allergy where pets develop allergies to people. Keep reading to learn more about the most common allergies in pets, the symptoms, and what you can do to help your pet feel better.

 

Dust Mites

Dust mites form due to animal dander and when people shed skin to be replaced by new skin. Due to their microscopic size of approximately 300 microns, no one can see a dust mite with the naked eye. Unfortunately, that doesn’t stop them from causing major allergies for both pets and people. When your dog or cat inhales dust mites, it can cause a serious skin condition known as atopic dermatitis as well as acute respiratory distress.

 

Fleas and Other Insects

Fleas can’t survive unless they attach themselves to a warm-blooded animal. They cause your pet to itch himself incessantly once they get into his fur. Pets with an allergy to flea saliva can develop a condition called allergic flea dermatitis. The good news is that you can prevent fleas by providing year-round protection with a product purchased from our online store. Your pet could also develop an allergy from an insect bite such as a bee or wasp.

 

Pet Food

Commercially prepared pet food often contains corn, dairy, meat, yeast, and wheat. Some pets are extremely sensitive to some or all of these ingredients and will develop typical allergy symptoms. If you’re concerned that your pet could have a food allergy, please discontinue feeding it to her and ask us about a grain-free or hypoallergenic alternative.

 

Pollen

Pollen counts are currently peaking because it’s early spring and will do so again in the early fall. Grass, trees, and weeds all release pollen into the air that can make your pet feel miserable for a while. We recommend keeping your dog or cat indoors as much as possible while the pollen counts are high if she has a known allergy.

 

Common Symptoms of Allergies in Dogs and Cats

If you see your pet scooting across the floor on her rear, she could be attempting to relieve an allergy. Scratching excessively is another common sign. Here are several other clues that you may need to bring your pet to Battletown Animal Hospital for allergy testing.

• Belching
• Breathing difficulty
• Cough
• Diarrhea
• Discharge from eyes and/or nose
• Ear infections
• Face rubbing
• Flatulence
• Hives
• Offensive odors
• Skin infections
• Vomiting

If your pet has some of these symptoms and they don’t resolve on their own in a few days, please schedule an appointment with us. We will determine the allergy triggers and help you create an action plan to avoid them in the future.

 

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Can you believe that it’s already time for Easter? It officially arrives on Sunday, April 1, but many people start decorating and celebrating much earlier than that. When you have a pet, it’s important to keep some basic safety tips in mind to ensure that your Easter celebration doesn’t end with a trip to the emergency veterinarian.

Tip #1: Keep Lilies and Other Easter Plants Out of the Reach of Pets

Lilies are especially popular decorations this time of year. They’re also highly toxic, especially for cats. It takes just a nibble of a lily plant for your cat to become seriously ill with liver failure while ingesting only one or two leaves can be fatal. 

We recommend not bringing lilies into your home at all this year if you have a cat, but if you must, be sure to place the plant in a closed room where your cat can’t get at it. Between a cat’s ability to jump several feet and their natural curiosity, your favorite feline could still get at the plant even when you place it up high. Lilies can also make dogs ill, although the consequences are typically not as severe.

Tip #2: Don’t Share Candy or Human Food with Your Pet

Your dog or cat sees the family enjoying Easter treats and naturally wants one for herself. Chocolate, an especially popular ingredient in Easter candy, contains an ingredient called theobromine that can cause seizures. The artificial sweeter Xylitol can also cause seizures and both ingredients can increase heart rate and lead to hyperactivity.

It’s also important to avoid sharing table scraps with your pet. Some have small bones that he can choke on while others contain spices, too much fat, or other ingredients your pet shouldn’t have. If you don’t think your guests can avoid giving into your dog or cat, be sure to keep him in another room until they leave.

Tip #3: Easter Grass is a Choking Hazard

Plastic grass is a staple of many kids’ Easter baskets. If your curious pet gets a hold of it, she could easily choke or develop a severely upset stomach. That’s why giving your kids a basket without the grass is a good idea. If you do decide to use artificial grass, make sure your pet is in another room when your kids receive their basket and let them know they should keep the basket in their rooms with the door closed.

Tip #4: Beware of Plastic Eggs

Artificial egg shells made of hard plastic are a curiosity to your pet. She may try to bite into one and get a fragment of plastic stuck in her throat, windpipe, or stomach. Your pet shouldn’t be around hard-boiled eggs either. If you plan to hide either for your kids or grandkids, make sure nothing is out in plain sight for your pet to stumble upon once the egg hunt is finished.

Emergency Contact Information

We wish you a happy and incident-free Easter. If you do need immediate help when Battletown Animal Hospital is closed, please call The Life Centre at 703-777-5755 or Valley Veterinary Emergency Service at 540-662-7811. We look forward to seeing you at your pet’s next regular check-up.

Photo Credit: LiliGraphie / iStock / Getty Images Plus

 

Although fleas and ticks can survive in any kind of weather, their numbers become much more prevalent in the spring. If you don’t already practice year-round flea and tick prevention, now is the time to start. As the parasites become more abundant with the higher temperatures, it’s important to know the symptoms of flea and tick infestation so you can seek immediate treatment for your pet.

What Are Fleas?
The wingless flea can live anywhere from two weeks to 12 months. They are so tiny that people typically can’t see them. Even so, they can jump up to two feet and they require a living host such as your pet to survive and to reproduce. Your dog or cat may have fleas if you notice any of the following:
  • Allergies
  • Biting, scratching, or licking more than usual
  • Droppings that look like tiny white eggs or grains of sand embedded in your pet’s fur
  • Hot spots and scabs
  • Loss of fur
  • Pale gums
  • Tapeworm present in the feces
Unfortunately, pets are not the only carriers of fleas. They can enter your home on a person when they attach to his or her body, clothes, or shoes. After jumping off the person, fleas search for warm places to burrow in your furniture, bedding, and carpet. If you suspect fleas in your home, wash your pet’s bedding and any other surface they might have touched in hot water to kill them. You should also vacuum your carpets and furniture. 

Fleas reproduce almost continually once they find a living host. Since they can consume blood volume that’s up to 15 times their own body weight, your pet could develop anemia due to the blood loss. Pets who already have allergies could develop a serious complication known as allergic flea dermatitis as well. 

Ticks Can Be Deadly
A tick is a blood-sucking parasite that most often attaches itself to the ears, feet, head, or neck of an animal host. Because they live in grass, on trees, and in tall bushes, it’s easy for them to jump and land on your pet’s body without you being aware of it. Even pets who don’t normally go outside aren’t completely safe from ticks since they can get into the house on another pet or on a person’s body.

A dog or cat who has received a tick bite often doesn’t show signs of it for quite some time. Additionally, you can’t usually see the tick until it has become fully engorged with blood from your pet. During this incubation period, your pet could develop Lyme disease, tick paralysis, or Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. We strongly recommend that you check your pet’s body daily by running your hands from head to tail as well as the underside every day.
 
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
It's a good idea to mow your lawn frequently, pick up yard waste, and keep bushes trimmed short. You can check for fleas with a special comb and complete the tick check that we recommended above as well. If you want to take a proactive approach, wash your pet’s toys and beddings in hot water weekly even if you’re not sure that fleas or ticks have gotten into the house.
 
Our veterinarians would be happy to recommend a specific parasite control product if you’re not sure which one is best for your pet. For your convenience, we also carry several flea and tick prevention products in our online store
 
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At Battletown Animal Clinic, we know that you take great care of your pet already. You bring him in for routine check-ups, feed him nutritious food, groom him, and make sure that he gets plenty of exercise. Despite this, you could be overlooking caring for his teeth and gums. Oral health is just as important for our pets as it is for us.

Dogs and cats need require regular toothbrushing at home and a professional cleaning under anesthesia at least once a year for optimal oral health. When they don’t receive these things, it significantly increases the likelihood of developing periodontal disease. This can lead to infection, bone loss, and tooth loss in addition to increasing the chances of your pet developing diabetes or heart disease.

A Common Yet Preventable Oral Health Disease
Did you know that approximately 80 percent of dogs and cats have some degree of periodontal disease by the time they turn three? Also known as gum disease, periodontal disease happens when plaque, tartar, and bacteria accumulate on your dog or cat’s teeth and attack her gum tissues. Besides regular brushing, selecting a pet food with a high concentration of protein and meat with little or no artificial fillers can help to slow or prevent the development of gum disease. Pets who already have severe tooth decay may need a dental-specific diet.

Even though regular professional care is important, the oral healthcare routine you follow with you pet at home makes the greatest difference. We recommend attempting to brush your pet’s teeth every day or at least several times during the week. Be sure to start slow if you have never tried to brush your pet’s teeth in the past. Allow her to lick and sniff the toothbrush and toothpaste to get used to it. The next day, place the toothbrush in your pet’s mouth and brush for a few seconds. The goal is to build her tolerance to the process so you can eventually brush for a full two minutes. 

For resistant or fearful pets, plan to wear a pair of rubber gloves and use a small finger brush when you first start with toothbrushing. We have found that pet owners who remain consistent with the routine and give their dog or cat a lot of praise eventually gain their cooperation. If you find that you’re still struggling after several weeks, don’t hesitate to ask a veterinarian or technician at Battletown Animal Hospital for additional advice.

Indications Your Dog or Cat Could Have Periodontal Disease
These symptoms are common to periodontal disease in pets:
  • Excessive drooling
  • Persistent bad breath
  • Reluctance to eat and/or difficulty chewing food
  • Staining on the teeth
Please contact us for an immediate oral health evaluation if you notice one or more of these symptoms. If your pet does have periodontal disease, we will let you know how to care for her teeth and gums going forward. We also check the condition of your pet’s teeth and gums at her preventive care exam.

Our staff uses anesthesia during your pet’s cleaning session and oral exam to ensure that he remains comfortable and cooperative. We also take a dental radiograph during this appointment, which provides us with a clear image of your dog or cat’s teeth, mouth, and jaw. This gives us with a baseline as well makes it easier to plan treatment. 

Happy Pet Dental Health Month! We hope to see you and your smiling pet soon.

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