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Pets and Lyme Disease: The Basics

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cat-71494_1280You have probably heard of it in humans, but may not realize it happens to pets, too. That is unfortunate, because Lyme Disease is one of the most common illnesses for pets—particularly dogs—and it’s transmitted by ticks. Why don’t you know more about it? Hopefully, it’s because you take the necessary precautions and see your vet frequently enough to avoid it. However, the fact is that it’s a real problem and it’s easy to miss because many pets don’t show symptoms.

This disease is caused by bacteria (borrelia burgdorferi) that deer ticks spread. Typically, the infection happens when a tick is allowed to feed for a few days; that’s when the bacteria is transferred. This leads to infections, the signs of which may not be obvious. Symptoms usually include:

Joint Inflammation

Lameness and Stiffness

Breathing Problems

Appetite Loss

Lethargy

Kidney Problems or Failure (Severe Cases)

Heart Disease (Rare)

If left untreated, things can turn deadly for your pet. First, it has to be diagnosed. To do this, your vet will have to thoroughly examine the animal. Search for ticks and signs that they’ve been feeding. If symptoms have appeared, the vet will have to go over your pet’s history, including when and where ticks might have been present. There will likely be blood tests, urinalyses, fecal tests, possibly X-rays, and more.

Because joint problems are the most common symptoms, your vet will need to make sure that it’s not arthritis, rather than Lyme Disease. Treatment includes antibiotics, or stronger treatments if your pet has a more severe case. Lyme Disease can be tough to cure, so it’s important to remain aware of the possibility, particularly if you have an outdoor dog.

Pets and Lyme Disease is a serious concern. Come to us at Pet Vet Hospitals and let us help you prevent this all-too-common problem.

Home and Hospice

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cat, cats, petsMost of us have to wait anxiously at some point while our beloved pet goes through surgery. It may be merely a routine spaying or neutering, or something more serious. It feels great to know everything went well and that your pet is healing. Then, it’s your turn to make certain the healing continues. Your vet will let you know what to do in order to take care of your recuperating cat, dog, or other pet. Whatever needs to be done, your vet and technicians can help.

Your pet may need to spend more time recuperating at the clinic. Once home, if your pet was under anesthesia, she may still be drowsy. Try to keep your pet calm in a quiet, comfortable place. Avoid strenuous play time, and settle for comforting down time. Your vet may want you to be more strict about this and place your pet in a carrier, or some other container to prevent movement. You can make this comfortable for her, though she may resist at first. Make sure there is proper food, water, and a way for your pet to relieve herself.

Your dog or cat may need to urinate or defecate more often as a result of fluids, or medications. If you need to restrict activity, only let them out when necessary. There may be food restrictions, as well. Follow your vet’s feeding advice carefully. It may mean less food, more water, or a special type of food. Also follow the medication administration to the letter.

Keep a watchful eye on stitches and wounds. Noticeable heat, discharge, or odors are potential problems and should be reported to your vet. Ask your vet if you may keep the area clean with a gentle swab of disinfectant from time to time. If a chew collar was given to you, make sure it stays on, as some pets will try their hardest to remove it.

It’s always a little stressful when your pet undergoes surgery and is healing. At Pet Vet Hospitals, we do everything we can to make sure your pet gets back up and playing as soon as possible.

The Lost and Found: Pet Microchipping 

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cat-71494_1280Every year, millions of pets go missing. Sometimes they run off and get lost or injured, sometimes they’re stolen, or worse. Even if these dogs make their way to shelters, there’s no guarantee that owners will ever see them again. All this leaves owners troubled at minimum, but more often devastated and heartbroken. Microchipping can help change all of this.

Since microchipping was implemented, studies have shown that shelters report significant increases in animal returns to owners. This tiny, high-tech, harmless little chip can prevent danger to your pet and pain in your heart. With the help of databases and the internet, recovering a lost pet is easier than ever.

This little device also helps reduce overcrowding at animals shelters. Not all lost animals make it to shelters, and those that do don’t always make it home. Since the introduction of the microchip, more shelter pets have been returned to their loving homes, significantly decreasing the chances of life at a shelter, or worse, death at a shelter.

For these reasons and more, veterinarians highly recommend microchipping. In fact, many shelters have begun having all pets microchipped by a vet, prior to adoption, as part of the animal’s health exam and vaccinations package, which is typically included in the adoption fees. In addition to returning pets and keeping families happy, reducing the number of homeless pets, and lessening the pressure on shelters, microchipping means fewer pets with diseases. The longer pets are lost, the higher are their chances of getting sick or injured, and some of them may never see a vet in time.

At Pet Vet Animal Hospitals, we utilize this state-of-the art technology and implant microchips for our clients’ health and safety. It’s quick, easy, and not painful at all. If your pet is not microchipped, please come in and have it done today for your pet’s future.