Dogs and cats get heartworm disease when an infected mosquito bites them. The heartworm then gets inside of their body and can reproduce, which only worsens your pet’s symptoms. The illness is much more prevalent in dogs, but cat owners also need to know about the symptoms so they can prevent and treat it if necessary. Puppies can start on preventive heartworm medication at eight weeks old without any type of testing. At six months of age, a puppy needs to test negative for heartworm infection before a veterinarian can prescribe preventive medication.
Fleas are wingless insects with a lifespan ranging from 14 days to one year. Although tiny in size and not always visible to the human eyes, fleas can jump as high as two feet. They can’t survive and reproduce without a living host. The following symptoms are common indications of fleas or ticks in dogs and cats:
- Droppings that resemble grains of sand or tiny white eggs on the fur
- Excessive biting, licking, or scratching
- Fur loss
- Gums appear pale
- Scabs and hot spots
You’re most likely to spot these blood-sucking parasites on your pet’s head, neck, ears, and feet. Ticks live in tall brush and grass, making it easy to jump onto your pet’s body. Unfortunately, indoors pets aren’t immune from ticks since they can get into the house from another pet or a person.
Dogs and cats typically don’t show obvious signs of a tick bite. To make matters worse, you often can’t see them until they have become engorged with your pet’s blood. In the meantime, they can transmit diseases such as tick paralysis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever. If your pet goes outside, we recommend running your hands the entire length of his body every night. Be sure to check the underside for ticks as well.
Preventing Fleas and Ticks
You can reduce the flea and tick population in your yard by mowing the lawn frequently and picking up rake clippings and other yard waste. Using a flea comb and doing a tick check daily is the best way to ensure that these parasites don’t have a chance to do serious damage. We also recommend washing your pet’s bedding and toys in hot water weekly.
Dr. Kendrick or Dr. Neece are happy to recommend the most effective flea and tick prevention products based on your pet’s species and lifestyle. Keep in mind that we also offer a range of flea and tick products in our online store.
The American Veterinary Medical Association declared February as National Pet Dental Health Month several years ago to underscore the importance of oral healthcare. Did you know that up to 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats develop periodontal disease by the time they are three years old? This is alarming because untreated periodontal disease can cause infection by spreading to other areas of the body. It can also cause your pet to lose teeth, making it more difficult for him to chew food and get the nutrition he needs to remain healthy.
Between work, family responsibilities, and caring for your home, you have precious little time to add another errand to the list. However, you can’t very well let your cat run out of specialty food or your dog go without needed medication. When you shop with MyVetStoreOnline through Country Club Pet Hospital, you don’t have to take time out of your already busy schedule to get your pet the things he or she needs. You can set up an account in less than a minute and then order from one or several of the following product categories:
- Make sure that your dog, cat, or other type of pet gets the required vaccines for her species on time. Vaccinations prevent your pet from developing a serious or life-threatening illnesses. They also protect more vulnerable animals from picking up what would otherwise be a highly contagious virus. Optional vaccines are also available depending on your pet’s lifestyle, age, and species.
- Schedule an appointment for adult dogs and cats once a year and senior pets twice a year. Adults are between one and seven years old. Although your pet isn’t necessarily a senior by age seven, this is the average age that we start seeing age-related health and behavioral changes.
- Puppies and kittens need to come in several times during the first year for their vaccines and a health check. The preventive care exam allows us to detect and monitor your pet’s health issues as soon as possible. It also gives you the opportunity to discuss any concerns you have.
- Don’t overlook the importance of good oral hygiene. Not only does it prevent gum disease and other problems leading to tooth loss, it reduces the risks of diabetes and heart, kidney, and joint dysfunction. If you’re consistent with your routine and expectations, your pet should eventually accept having his teeth brushed.
- When you consider that millions of pets are euthanized annually because they can’t find a home, spaying or neutering your pet is just the right thing to do. Altering your dog or cat also stops aggressive mating behavior and reduces the risk of mammary gland or testicular cancer.
- Prepare an emergency kit for your pet in case of severe weather, fire, or another type of emergency. It’s better to gather her supplies and food in advance than panic in a sudden emergency and leave everything behind. The kit should contain several days’ worth of food and water, medications, toys, and bedding.
- Managing your pet’s weight is essential to her long-term health and longevity. That means feeding him nutritious food, limiting treats, and making sure that he gets enough exercise. Avoid pet foods with artificial fillers since these don’t provide any nutritional value.
- Protecting your pet from parasites has a huge effect on his quality of life. This includes both internal and external parasites such as fleas, ticks, and heartworm. Dr. Greetan or Dr. Kornowski would be happy to recommend a specific product to control each type of parasite.
Your pet is a part of your family and you naturally want to include her in the holiday festivities, including giving her a new toy as a gift. At Country Club Pet Hospital, we urge you to consider the following factors when choosing a present for your pet:
• Your pet’s size is a big consideration when it comes to giving him chewable toys. A small rubber ball may be fine for a poodle, but a large breed dog might choke on it.
• Stitches, plastic eyes, ribbons, and ties attached to toys can quickly become a choking hazard if your dog or cat is able to get the item loose. Be sure to remove these items before giving your pet the toy to ensure her safety.
• Your pet should understand the difference between his toys and items that belong to other people in the household. One way to teach him what is safe to play with is to give him plenty of positive reinforcement when he reaches for his own toy. Pet-proof your home as much as possible so he doesn’t have access to children’s toys, TV remotes, office supplies, and other things that could hurt him if ingested. Be sure to take away items that aren’t his immediately if he does get into them.
• If you choose to give a stuffed toy, make certain that you know what is inside of it. Stuffing material and beads could both present a choking hazard if your pet rips the toy apart. It’s best to supervise your pet with any new toy until you know how she will interact with it.
Shop at Our Online Store to Guarantee Toy Safety
Country Club Pet Hospital makes it easy for you to complete your holiday shopping for your pet by ordering your gifts from My Vet Store Online. Our Internet store offers several categories of products, including treats and toys. At this busy time of year, it’s one less trip you have to make to a crowded pet store or mall.
Cancer is the leading cause of death in dogs and cats, particularly when the animal is over age 10. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, 50 percent of senior dogs and 33 percent of senior cats die of some type of cancer. No matter what the age of the pet, a cancer diagnosis often comes as a complete shock to his owner. That is because dogs and cats are good at hiding their symptoms and don't have the ability to verbalize that something is wrong.
As a concerned pet owner, it's up to you to know the signs of cancer so you can seek immediate treatment if your pet displays any of them. While having some of these symptoms doesn't necessarily mean your pet has a tumor, it's always best to have them checked out at Country Club Pet Hospital.
• Abnormal swelling on any part of the body
• Labored breathing
• Difficulty eliminating as usual
• Loss of appetite and/or weight loss
• Inability to chew or swallow food
• Unusual body odors
• Non-healing sores
• Bleeding from any bodily opening
• Walking with a stiff gait
• Not as active as usual and tires easily
While dogs get cancer more often, the disease tends to be more aggressive in cats. Early diagnosis and treatment affords your pet the best chance at sending the cancer into remission.
The Top Five Locations for Cancer in Pets
Skin, mammary gland, head and neck, lymphoma, and testicular cancer are the top five types diagnosed in dogs and cats. With mammary gland cancer, 85 percent of tumors are diagnosed as malignant. However, getting your pet spayed before age one greatly reduces the chances of her developing it. The same is true of testicular cancer, which is common in dogs but rare in cats.
Preventive Care Catches Tumors Early
Your pet doesn't always display symptoms when she has developed cancer. This is one reason that regular veterinary check-ups are so important. We encourage you to visit Dr. Kendrick or Dr. Neece at Country Club Hospital at least once per year for a wellness exam in addition to scheduling an immediate appointment if you notice any of the above symptoms.
October is National Pet Wellness Month. This purpose of this awareness campaign is to help pet owners understand the importance of preventive care. Visiting Country Club Pet Hospital once a year when your pet is not sick or injured gives Dr. Kendrick or Dr. Neece the opportunity to check for unknown health issues, follow-up on previous treatment plans, and monitor her weight, growth, and behavior. We recommend bi-annual preventive care exams for senior pets due to their changing health needs. If you have a puppy or kitten, Dr. Kendrick or Dr. Neece will discuss the preferred vaccine and exam schedule at her first appointment.
How You Can Promote Wellness at Home
Here are several things you can do to promote health and longevity in your pet in addition to regular veterinary care:
• Feed him nutritious food specific to his species and avoid sharing food meant for humans. Train him not to beg for food and don't give in when he gives you sad eyes. Treats are fine as long as you give them in moderation. Manage your pet's weight by making sure that he gets daily exercise and feeding him a set amount at certain times during the day.
• Care for her oral health needs by brushing her teeth regularly and scheduling a dental cleaning and exam as part of her annual check-up.
• Spay or neuter your pet by six months of age. Not only does this prevent unwanted litters of puppies or kittens, altering a pet helps to decrease uterine and prostate cancer as well as aggressive mating behavior.
We Look Forward to Your Visit
Dr. Kendrick, Dr. Neece, and the entire staff of Country Club Pet Hospital look forward to seeing you and your pet at her next wellness exam. Together, we can ensure that your pet remains your faithful companion for years to come.
Although your cat probably thinks it should be every month, September is officially Happy Cat Month. The love and care you provide your cat makes a big difference in his longevity and overall well-being. Cats are wonderful companions who really ask for so little in exchange for the purrs, snuggles, and unconditional love. In honor of this special month, here are some things you can do to give your cat the happy life he deserves:
• Provide several places to sleep and hide throughout your home. Cats need a place to retreat when they feel fearful in addition to wanting privacy from time to time.
• Get your cat microchipped and provide her with a collar and identification tag. This greatly increases the chances of a happy reunion should she ever become separated from you.
• Feed your cat nutritious food, limit treats, and make him work for his food sometimes. Place it inside of a toy or in different places around the house to satisfy his natural hunting instinct. This also gives him much-needed exercise.
• Make sure your cat has plenty of toys and spend a few minutes each day playing with her. Cats are just as entertained batting at a piece of string as they are with an expensive toy from the pet store. Playing with your cat encourages exercise, mental stimulation, and the human-feline bond.
• Place scratching posts in a few different areas of your home to give your cat the chance to sharpen his claws as well as release the natural need to scratch. This saves your furniture too.
Regular Veterinary Care is the Most Important of All
A 2013 study by the American Association of Feline Practitioners indicates that more than half of all cats don't see the veterinarian regularly. Although more than 80 percent visit the vet during their first year of life, cat owners seem to only bring them in when they are sick or injured after that. At Country Club Pet Hospital, we encourage all cat owners to schedule a preventive care exam at least once a year. This is important for early diagnosis, monitoring, and treatment of feline diseases as well as to track your cat's growth. Dr. Kendrick and Dr. Neece look forward to seeing you and your cat soon.
It's August, which means that National Immunization Month is here. Just like people, animals need vaccines to protect them from the devastating effects of several contagious diseases. Keeping up with your pet's regularly scheduled vaccines is one of the most important things you can do to ensure her long-term good health. This is true even if she mostly stays inside. Many serious animal illnesses are spread through airborne contact, which means your pet could pick up a virus through an open window. Germs can also spread quickly among unvaccinated pets in places such as grooming salons, boarding kennels, and dog parks.
Essential and Optional Vaccines for Cats and Dogs
The feline distemper shot, also called the FVRCP, protects cats against the serious and highly contagious diseases of Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, and Panleukopenia. The canine distemper shot, also called the DHPP, protects your dog from Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus. Most states also enforce mandatory rabies vaccinations for both cats and dogs.
For cats, Dr. Kendrick or Dr. Neece may recommend a vaccine for Bordetella, Chlamydia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), and Feline Leukemia based on your cat's lifestyle, breed, and other factors. For dogs, your doctor may advise you to get a vaccine for Bordetella, Canine Influenza, Canine Virus, Leptospirosis, or Lyme Disease. Dr. Kendrick and Dr. Neece always take your feedback into consideration when making these recommendations.
Kittens and puppies should start their FVRCP or DHPP series between six and eight weeks of age. This involves getting the original dose followed by several boosters to ensure strong immunity. If your adult cat or dog is behind on his shots, we can get him caught up at Country Club Pet Hospital. We are happy to discuss your pet's vaccination schedule at his next well visit exam, by phone, or through electronic messaging.
As we welcome this year’s Texas summer heat with its joys of swimming, barbecuing and playing ball, we must also remember to take precautions for our pets.
Although there’s not a precise temperature that’s considered “too hot” for our pets, the high 80’s and above can pose serious health risks for them. One of the most serious risks is heat stroke/exhaustion. Caution must be taken with all pets, but overweight and brachycephalic (animals with short noses such as bulldogs, frenchies, bostons, etc.) pets are at a significant elevated risk for heat stroke/exhaustion, even if only exposed for short periods of time. Keep an extra close eye on these pets!
So what should you look for?
- elevated body temperature
- excessive panting
- pale gums
If you see any of these signs, please give us a call or go to an emergency veterinary hospital immediately.
A less frequently considered summer risk is the one posed by hot concrete. Concrete/black top absorbs and holds on to heat very effectively and can easily burn and blister your pets’ paw pads. The general rule to follow is: if it’s too hot for you to stand on with bare feet, it’s too hot for your pets’ paws. Keep an eye out for limping, paw pad discoloration, excessive paw chewing and reluctance to stand. Paw pad injuries are prone to infections and slow to heal so give us a call if your pet shows any signs of paw pad burns or blisters.
Summer should be fun, make sure it’s fun for your pets too!
Did you know that July is National Recreation and Parks Month? Although this awareness campaign is directed at getting humans to exercise and enjoy the great outdoors, it's important to remember that pets also need physical activity. Besides keeping his weight at a healthy level, regular exercise helps to decrease digestive disorders, joint problems, diabetes, heart issues, and other serious health concerns for the animal member of your family.
It only takes a few seconds for your pet to be lost forever, like when you're busy with other things and she slips out the front door to take off after a squirrel. The experience is so common that the American Humane Society estimates one in three pets will get lost at some point in her lifetime. That's over 10 million pets every year who can't find their way home. In many cases, it's because the pet didn't have proper identification. Even a collar with current contact information on it can catch on a fence or come off by the pet's own force.
Did you know that March is National Nutrition Month? Although originally started to promote the importance of human nutrition, the veterinary industry has adapted it to its own needs. As a pet owner, providing the best nutrition for your dog, cat, rabbit or other animal is the single most important thing you do. That is because the food you select has a major impact on your pet’s long-term health.
Pet owners sometime make food buying decisions based on convenience or price without considering what is best for the individual animal. For example, many dog and cats have skin or coat issues, a sensitive stomach, or problems with their joints. This requires selecting a species-specific food that addresses these unique concerns. Pets also have different nutritional requirements based on their stage of life.
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Country Club Pet Hospital
2250 Matlock Rd
Mansfield, TX 76063
Phone: (817) 477-4143
Fax: (817) 394-5087
Mon-Fri: 6:30am - 6:00pm
Sat: 7:00am - 12:00pm
Still selling eggs for $4/dozen