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Heartworms? Not my Pet!

It is a common misconception that indoor pets, especially cats, do not need to be placed on heartworm preventative. If you have ever swatted at or been bit by a mosquito in your home, then your pets are at risk of contracting the disease.

Here at VMC we recommend starting puppies and kittens on heartworm preventative starting at 8 weeks, and continuing the preventative every 30 days for the remainder of the pet’s life. Here are some simple ways of remembering to give it:

  • Mark it on your calendar: Some preventatives come with a sticker to place on the date that your pet is due for it.
  • Put a reminder in your phone on the day that your pet is due.
  • Write the date on the individual blister pack of the preventative – this will help in remembering that you gave it or still need to give it.

What products are available for heartworm preventative?
There are oral, topical, and injectable preventatives available. ProHeart6* is the injectable version that is administered in our office every 6 months. The oral preventatives available are Trifexis*, Heartgard, Sentinel, Iverhart, and Triheart. Topical products available are Revolution* and Advantage Multi.  *These products are available in our office.

Each product provides preventatives such as flea, tick, and intestinal parasites. A comparison chart is available here.

The American Heartworm Society (AHS) recommends testing every year to ensure that the heartworm preventative chosen is working. Though preventatives are highly effective, they are not 100% and pets can still become infected. Whenever a dose is missed or is late, the pet is vulnerable to contracting the disease. Pets can also leave themselves unprotected if they spit out the pill or rub off the product while owners aren’t looking. An annual examination and heartworm testing are necessary to renew the prescription and be able to purchase more preventative.

Heartworm disease is very prevalent in our area therefore it is recommended to keep your pet on heartworm preventative monthly even throughout the winter.  There is no treatment for cats so prevention is critical. The treatment for dogs is very expensive and uncomfortable and also requires very strict confinement during the course of the treatment.
Here is a chart on the lifecycle of the heartworm for the dog and the cat.

HWLifeCycle-VET

We are always here to answer any of your questions and ensure that your pet stays happy and healthy. Please do not hesitate to call us with any questions regarding your pet’s care.

For more information on heartworm disease, visit the American Heartworm Associations website at www.heartwormsociety.org

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The Importance of Dental Radiographs

Today’s topic is on Dental Radiographs and the importance of having them done with your pet’s routine cleaning.

 

Full mouth dental radiographs give us a lot of information on the structure and health of each tooth from the crown to the root.  Many times, a tooth can look very healthy to the naked eye but it is with radiographs that we find a diseased root that can cause pain or discomfort to our furbabies.

(Figure 1)

Here is an x-ray where an abscess was found.

(Figure 2)

The eruption of the abscess was found on examination of the mouth.

(Figure 3)

There was also a deep pocket found which indicates a problem.  The tooth needed to be extracted and the pet needed to be placed on oral antibiotics to help get rid of the infection.  If not extracted, the pet would likely be in discomfort, have trouble eating, and require antibiotics +/- extraction in the future.

(Figure 4)

Here is an x-ray where resorptive lesions was found.  The middle tooth is healthy, no abnormalities with it.  Note one root of two missing on the tooth to the right and not seated nicely within the jaw like the middle tooth.  On the left tooth, it isn’t seated nicely either and there is also a chunk missing on the right side of the tooth.

A resorptive lesion simply means that the body has begun to resorb it’s own tooth read more. The cause is unknown, but most cats above the age of 6 will have at least one. These can be quite painful and are normally found best by radiographs but can also be found by probing the tooth in which the cat (even under anesthetic) will be reactive in some fashion. These are important to extract due to the pain they can cause and likelihood of regression if restored.

Dental radiographs are just as important in pet’s health as it is in our health. It is a small price to pay in order to prevent a pet from having any further discomfort and to prevent them from having to go under general anesthesia a second time for a problem undiagnosed during a prophylactic cleaning.

 

 

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Scarlett Update – Home Found!

scarlett2We are proud to announce that Scarlett has found a permanent home.  She now lives on Lake Wylie with a large fenced yard and has several furry friends to play with, including another dog and several cats.  Thank you to everyone that helped her find her forever home including The Animal Adoption League.

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New Extended Hours

New Extended Hours

Due to the volume of daily appointments and to offer our clients the freedom to choose more hours for appointments, we have expanded our hours.  We all know that our furry friends like to get sick at the most inopportune times.  So, now we are open 10:00 pm on weekdays.  And on the weekends we are open from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm. Saturdays we function on a walk-in basis and Sundays we see pets by appointment discover this info here

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