Do I really need to give my dog heart worm prevention every month?

Q. Do I really need to give my dog heart worm prevention every month?

A. Yes! Monthly heart worm medication works as a “reach back” treatment. This means that it is treating what your pet (dog and cat) has already been exposed to. It takes 3 consecutive months of treatment to kill any one exposure. That means that if your dog was bitten by a mosquito in October then it takes 1 pill once a month for November, December, and January to kill that infection. This is why your dog needs to take it EVERY month and throughout the year. Also, the medication protects your pet from intestinal parasites which can not only make your pet very sick but is infectious to people. Yuck!

Guest VET: Dr. Annie Price of Ormewood Animal Hospital

Ormewood Animal Hospital
749 Moreland Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 963-5885
www.ormewoodanimal.com

 

 

Can I feed my dog scraps or “human food”?

Preferably not. It is a bad habit to get into and will create an annoying begging pup. Remember any extra calories add up! Studies have shown that pudgy dogs live on average 2-3 years LESS than their skinny counterparts. Some fatty foods can cause serious gastrointestinal problems such as vomiting, diarrhea, and even pancreatitis. Bones can cause intestinal rupture or get stuck in the esophagus or throat. I will never forget the bone I had to remove from the back of a dog’s mouth that was imbedded behind the jaw. There are foods that are poisonous to pets such as grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions or anything in the onion family, and broccoli. The sugar free sweetener xylitol is extremely poisonous to dogs.

If you absolutely must give your dog a treat, place it in his food bowl (not off your dinner plate) and stick with carrots, apples, and green beans.

Guest VET: Dr. Annie Price of Ormewood Animal Hospital

Ormewood Animal Hospital
749 Moreland Avenue Southeast, Atlanta, GA 30316
(404) 963-5885
www.ormewoodanimal.com

 

 

Why Does My Dog Eat Poop?

No one knows exactly why dogs consume feces (coprophagia) but there are a few theories.  These include exploratory behavior, creating a balance within intestinal flora, and that the feces just taste good to the pet.  The behavior usually starts in puppyhood, but can become habit forming and continue into adulthood.  To control the behavior, you can try sprinkling meat tenderizer onto the food of the dog whose feces are being consumed.  There are also several over the counter products which claim to stop coprophagia, but they have varied success.  The best method is to simply clean up all feces promptly so your dog doesn’t have a chance to eat them.

Guest VET: Dr. Star Gregory

How Often Should My Dog See the Vet?

-Dr. Star Gregory, DVM – Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls, Inc.
Unfortunately, the answers to these two questions are frequently not the same. Adult dogs need to visit their veterinarian every 6 months, that’s twice a year. Many pet owners believe that once a year is a sufficient time-frame between veterinary visits and it is not. Having your dog see a veterinarian just once a year is the same as you seeing your doctor every seven years! Our pets age faster than we do so we cannot apply the same protocols to them. A lot can change in 12 months. What many people do not know is that a physical exam is one of the most important things you can do to help your pet live a long healthy life. So if it has been more than 6 months since your dog has seen the vet, schedule his or her next appointment today.

My pet is an adult, do I still need to have her vaccinated?

Most people know that puppies and kittens need a series of vaccines, but what about when your pet is an adult? This is becoming a very common concern among pet owners who fear over-vaccinating their pets. While there is no textbook definition for over-vaccinating, some vaccines are labeled for use every three years versus every year to address this issue.

If you are concerned about vaccinating your pet unnecessarily, there is solution; vaccine titers. Your veterinarian can take a blood sample from your pet and have it tested to see if your pet has adequate titers from previous vaccinations to continue to protect them from disease. There is a downside though. Titers are not available for every vaccine, and they are usually much more expensive than the cost of the vaccine. Titers are normally available for Canine Distemper, Rabies, Canine Parvovirus, and Feline Panleukopenia. For other vaccines such as Lyme Disease or Canine Influenza, it is generally agreed that protection does not extend beyond 1 year, or in the case of Bordetella, 6 months.

In summary, if you are concerned about over-vaccination and have some extra money to spend, ask your veterinarian about vaccine titers. With the assistance of your veterinarian, you can keep your pet protected from disease and help your pet live a long healthy life.

Star Gregory, DVM

Zutilla Veterinary Housecalls, Inc.