Your pet seems healthy, and has never had any health problems before, so why do we suggest routine blood work at their annual wellness examinations? Although it may sound simple to rely on your pet’s behavior to tell whether or not they’re sick, the truth is that pets are hard-wired to hide signs of illness or injury.
Pet blood work, along with regular wellness exams, is the key to detecting hidden health problems in your pet and nipping them in the bud before they become more serious.Continue…
Dogs have some pretty endearing habits, but eating poop (either their own or another animals’) is not one of them. Although the behavior is mostly normal, no one wants their dog to raid the litter box or gulp down a stinky snack from the yard or sidewalk.
At All Creatures Veterinary Hospital, we are often asked the question “Why do dogs eat poop?”. Although there is no one answer, we can offer some insight into this unpleasant culinary choice.
Why Do Dogs Eat Poop?
Poop-eating, technically known as coprophagia, may be normal, but that doesn’t make it any less upsetting. Watching your sweet pup happily gobble down their own feces or the feces of other animals can be an unpleasant shock to witness.
Ancestrally, however, coprophagia served an important role – collective poop eating kept the den clean, and mother dogs and wolves routinely clean up after their puppies in this way.
For most problems facing a sick or injured pet, there are usually various ways to treat them. Without a doubt, veterinary medicine has come a very long way in the recent past. However, one of the most effective treatments is, perhaps not surprisingly, one of the oldest modalities for people and pets alike – acupuncture!
Acupuncture is not new to the western world, and yet, employing it on sick or injured pets is relatively novel in the U.S. If you’ve ever wondered about the numerous benefits associated with pet acupuncture, we are here to help you.Continue…
Looking at a map of heartworm disease in the U.S., it’s easy to see what a threat this condition poses to our pets. Over the last two decades, the incidence of heartworm disease has jumped an average of 6-25 cases per clinic per year in the New York area. Considering how many animal hospitals there are in our region, these statistics are anything but promising.
The best defense against heartworm disease is the timely administration of preventive medication. Without this, the number of cases each year will continue to grow, leaving our best friends exposed to a range of health problems – including death.
Mosquitoes in Brooklyn
Mosquitoes are an ever-present threat to the health of people and pets in Brooklyn and beyond. Just last summer, the New York City Department of Health sprayed more than a dozen Brooklyn neighborhoods with pesticide in an attempt to control the spread of West Nile Virus. Mosquito traps and water pools tested positive for the disease in 17 Brooklyn zip codes.
Mosquitoes transfer heartworm disease from animal to animal. Once an infected mosquito deposits the microscopic worms into the bloodstream of a host, it can take about 3 months for the larvae to develop. Without a heartworm preventive to kill off the worms, larvae will grow inside the blood vessels surrounding the heart and lungs, severely compromising the health of a pet.
Why We Test
We test for heartworm disease during annual exams. Without a negative result, it’s highly dangerous for a pet to start heartworm medication.
Even pets who spend all their time inside should be routinely tested and given a monthly dose year-round. Remember, mosquitoes are extremely pesky and can work themselves inside any apartment or house, exposing pets to the disease.
A Positive Result
Many pets won’t display any symptoms of heartworm disease. Once the worms have matured, however, some dogs may develop a cough or have trouble breathing. It’s also common for pets to lose interest in food and to appear weak or lethargic. A previously excitable pet will become tired after minimal exertion.
Cats may vomit, experience severe coughing spells, and display respiratory distress. Some cats may also die suddenly from heartworm disease.
Treatment vs. Prevention
Heartworm-positive dogs can undergo treatment for heartworm disease, but it’s both expensive and risky. Hospitalization, medications, anti-inflammatories, and cage rest for at least a month are all common treatment protocols. Surgery may even be required to remove heartworms from the heart and lungs.
Unfortunately, cats cannot be treated for heartworm disease.
Preventing heartworm disease is easy. Simply remember to give your pet their monthly dose throughout the whole year. We recommend setting up alerts on your phone or placing stickers on your calendar as a reminder.
Heartworm Disease in the City
Mosquitoes are most active at dawn and dusk. While these times are great for walking your dog in the middle of the summer, be mindful of mosquitoes. Likewise, clean up any standing water on your property and ensure that all windows and door screens are free of holes. Stay up-to-date on your pet’s flea and tick medications, as these can also repel mosquitoes.
Please contact us with any questions or concerns. The team at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn is always here for you and your pet.
Veterinary care has come a long way in the past 20 years. Pets are treated with significantly more respect than in past generations, and treating and managing pain is high on the list of priorities. Advancements in post-operative recovery, chronic pain management, and new options for age-related conditions have significantly improved the lives of modern pets.
Laser therapy for pets is one such treatment modality (also called cold laser therapy, low level laser therapy, and photomodulation therapy). Although laser therapy has been used in human medicine for over 40 years, it’s only just begun to reach its potential in the veterinary world.Continue…
Spring fever? Not yet, but it will be here before your know it! Soon you will start seeing flowers in planters, a warm breeze from time to time and definitely more bikes on the road.
Our pets feel this change in the air just as much as we do, and they are usually ready to get outside and enjoy some spring breezes and sunshine, too. But a little extra time outside can also remind us that parasites that live on our pets are ready for warm weather, too.
As we enter peak season for bugs, it’s time to focus on flea and tick prevention so that we can guard against potentially life threatening diseases, health concerns, and major discomfort for your pets and for you! All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn shows you the way.Continue…
If you’ve snuggled up on the couch with your pet recently and noticed that their breath was – ahem – less than fresh, it may be time to schedule a pet dental exam. Bad breath is one of the signs of dental disease in pets, a common, but preventable problem.
Dental disease in pets is so common, in fact, that by the time pets are 4 years of age, over 85% of them have some form of periodontal disease.
Unfortunately, pets are very good at hiding signs of pain and discomfort from even their closest people. And make no mistake – dental disease is painful for your pet; aside from bad breath, dental disease in pets can cause swollen, bleeding gums, diseased and infected teeth, tooth loss or fracture, and even systemic disease when bacteria from the mouth enter your pet’s bloodstream.
That’s why All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn believes in prevention. Luckily, dental disease can be controlled and even prevented with a team approach, which includes regular preventive dental exams, regular professional dental cleanings, and regular at home care – including daily tooth brushing.
Here, we’ll show you how.Continue…
2018 certainly had its ups and downs, but at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn, we couldn’t be happier with the past 365 days. It has been a pleasure to serve our wonderful Brooklyn pet community, and each day has given us a chance to grow and give back to each of you.
Speaking of growing, we are thrilled that so many of you are reading our monthly pet care blogs. Writing and publishing the blog has been a privilege and we hope that it’s given you timely, interesting and relevant information about how to keep your pet their healthiest.
With that in mind, we looked at which blogs you found most engaging, and we’ve compiled All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn’s top 5 pet care blogs of 2018 here for your reading pleasure. Enjoy!
With many cats now living into their late teens and early twenties, we have even more time to love our kitties. Making that time together the best it can be is one of our most important goals at All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn.
Keep reading to see why senior cat care is so important, and what things you may need to be aware of when caring for your sweet feline.
Cats are mysterious creatures. Many people see them as fiercely independent and not in need of much care or human interaction, but nothing could be further from the truth.
Studies show that cats thrive and are happiest with regular and loving social interaction from the people in their lives. If your cat is hiding away, or your well socialized cat is suddenly not interested in as much interaction with you, it’s possible that one of their most basic survival instincts is at play – that of hiding pain and discomfort. If this occurs, it’s even more urgent to bring your kitty in to see us, as senior cats often hide because of treatable and manageable conditions. Continue…
As a caregiver of a pet who is ailing, you may find yourself wondering what to expect in the last days and weeks of their life. Watching your pet struggle with illness or old age can be difficult, which is why we wanted to provide some information on end of life care to offer some solace during this tough time.
What Is End of Life?
If you’ve had pets or you are familiar with pet care, you may realize that a pet’s life is loosely categorized into three stages: puppy/kittenhood, adult, and senior. The fourth stage is end of life, and has less to do with age and more to do with the pet’s condition. End of life care for pets focuses not on curing disease, but on maximizing comfort and minimizing suffering while providing a collaborative partnership with the pet’s owner. At All Creatures Veterinary Hospital of Brooklyn, we provide end-of-life-assistance through hospice care and palliative care. Continue…