February is Dental Health Month
Heartworm disease in our canine companions is easy to prevent; however, once it's been established, it's extremely difficult and expensive to treat. By giving our dogs monthly heartworm prevention all year round, we almost completely eliminate the risk of infection.
One aspect of the canine annual wellness visit here at Dr. Brown's is a simple blood test called a SNAP 4Dx. This tests for heartworm disease, as well as three tick-borne illnesses prevalent in our area -- Lyme disease, Anaplasmosis, and Ehrlichia. We perform the test right here in the office, ensuring that every dog is negative for heartworm and can safely continue taking monthly preventative.
For more information on heartworm disease, visit the link below for the American Heartworm Society.
American Heartworm Society Home
Recent studies have found that more than half of the nation's dogs and cats are overweight or obese, with the most common causes being inadequate exercise, poor diet, or simply being given too much food. Overweight pets are much more prone to further medical issues, including arthritis, diabetes, thyroid conditions, respiratory problems, and cardiac disease. They are also more likely to have a shortened life expectancy.
It is our goal at Dr. Brown's to ensure that all pets are as healthy as they can be! We have a list of pet foods we recommend for premium nutrition, and we will always work with owners to help them develop a plan of action if their pet is experiencing trouble with their weight.
For more information and statistics, visit the link below for the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention. If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment with one of our doctors for a weight management consultation for your pet, please call us at the office.
Association for Pet Obesity Prevention
Bartonella - A Zoonotic Disease
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, domestic pets are susceptible to infection with various species of the bacteria Bartonella. Feral and shelter cats are the most commonly infected, as transmission usually occurs through contact with fleas.
We have started testing cats for Bartonella if they have chronic upper respiratory diseases; significant stomatitis and gingivitis; ocular diseases such as uveitis, conjunctivitis or corneal ulcers; and chronic vomiting or diarrhea. Testing requires a small volume of blood, and infected cats are treated with a course of antibiotics.
Bartonella is of particular concern because it is a zoonotic disease, which means that it can be transmitted between animals and humans. The most common presentation of this bacteria in humans is Cat Scratch Fever, which can cause swollen lymph nodes, pustules, muscle pain, and fever.
The Pet Health Network is a network created by IDEXX, which is the reference laboratory that we use for all of our outside diagnostics. They have a wealth of credible information on various topics including common diseases in dogs and cats, parasites, toxins, surgeries, and wellness care. They even offer a page called "Diseases Near You" so that you can see the prevalence of a certain disease in your area as well as information about the disease.
So before you feel like you have to refer to "Doctor Google" for questions about your pet's health, check out the Pet Health Network instead for reliable pet information!
Pet Health Network
Call us at the office and we will be happy to help you.