Cedar Pet Clinic Blog

Protecting Your Pet’s Heart

Heartworm disease is one of the most serious illnesses your dog or cat can contract. This disease slowly steals your pet’s ability to breathe and steadily takes their life. Without proper preventative care, no dog or cat is immune from heartworms. While your pet probably occupies a huge spot in your heart, heartworms grow, multiply, and expand to fill your pet’s heart. These parasites damage organs and prevent blood from circulating around the body.

Luckily, pet owners have the ability to protect their pets from this fatal disease.

What Should All Pet Parents Know About Heartworm Disease?

All it takes is one mosquito bite for a dog to cat to become infected with heartworms. When an infected mosquito bites a pet, it deposits heartworm larvae into the bloodstream. The larvae grow and develop into long, thin, strand-like worms. Heartworms go on to reproduce and multiply, eventually interrupting the natural circulation of blood, clogging the lungs, and damaging the heart, kidneys, and liver.

What else should you know? Over time, one heartworm larvae can produce up to 250 worms living inside your dog or cat. Heartworms grow from 4 to 12 inches and live up to seven years.

As these worms thrive, they cause major damage to vital organs, making it hard for pets to breathe and eventually stopping the heart.

Is there a treatment for heartworms?

There is currently no treatment for heartworms in cats.

For dogs, there is a treatment, but it’s costly and complicated. The most common treatment is three rounds of melarsomine dihydrochloride, which contains trace amounts of arsenic. While this kills the heartworms, they remain trapped in a dog’s bloodstream. Even after they begin to breakdown, they can still cause heart failure.

How Can You Prevent Your Pet from Getting Heartworms?

Heartworm disease is deadly, but you can protect your cat or dog through prevention. Visiting us for an exam is the first step to protect your pet. We can check your pet for heartworms and prescribe a preventative medicine that works for your pet. Preventative prescriptions come in chewable, injectable, and topical forms.

1. Chewable and Oral Prescription Heartworm Prevention

Heartgard and other chewable preventative medicines can be given to pets at home. Many have flavor additives that make them more palatable for pets. There are also oral medicines that can be given to dogs and cats with meals.

2. Injectable Heartworm Prevention

ProHeart 12 and other injectable heartworm preventative prescriptions are convenient and effective. We can administer one quick shot and your dog is protected from heartworm for an entire year. Since year-long protection is more effective, this method is a one-and-done with your pet’s annual exam.

Injectables like ProHeart 12 are excellent for busy dog parents. Their long-lasting protection means that you don’t have to risk forgetting to give your dog a monthly chewable.

3. Topical Medications

Topical heartworm preventatives can be given to a dog or cat with just a few drops on the back of the neck. They work by being absorbed into your pet’s skin and killing heartworm larvae.

One drawback of topicals is that they can transfer or wipe off from contact. It’s easy to forget your dog has medicine on its neck and accidentally stroke this area, which can be dangerous for unsuspecting adults and children. Sometimes dogs and cats can lick or groom the area where the medicine is applied, which can also cause vomiting and diarrhea.

Pay careful attention to where you apply any topical medicines and caution anyone interacting with your pet to stay away from the area. Monitor your pets closely to make sure they aren’t licking or rubbing the medication off of their fur. 

You Can Prevent Your Pet from Getting Heartworms

Your pet only has one life and one very important heart, and one mosquito can take that all away. Heartworm disease is deadly and heartbreaking. Don’t risk running out of your pet’s preventative medicine or letting your dog or cat go unprotected. Schedule an appointment and we’ll be happy to discuss your options. We can provide your pet with a year’s worth of heartworm protection during an exam with ProHeart 12. Give us a call today.

 

 

Image credit: Dominika Roseclay | Pexels

 

What You Should Know About Pet Allergies This Spring

Spring is in the air, and along with beautiful flowers come common allergens: ragweed, pollen, and mildew. Do you know who feels the effects of these springtime irritants? Your pets. Just like us, dogs and cats can have seasonal and non-seasonal allergies, which is why we want to explain how these affect your pet and what you can do to help.

What Causes Pets to Have Allergic Reactions?

An allergic reaction occurs when a pet’s body misidentifies an allergen as a harmful intruder. The body’s immune system responds by trying to neutralize and get rid of the allergen. This reaction causes a release of histamines that cause sneezing, hives, and digestive issues.

What Are Common Signs of Allergies in Pets?

Pets experience a wide range of allergies and the symptoms that come along with them. From internal issues like an upset stomach to external ones like developing a rash, recognizing the symptoms can help you better understand your pets allergies.

Gas, diarrhea, hives, rash, and vomiting can be signs that your pet is allergic to something in his or her diet. One of the most common signs is your dog scratching or rubbing their face, tummy, or bottom. Cats also experience itchy regions as the result of a food allergy.

Fleas aren’t fun and they’re even worse for dogs and cats that are allergic to them. Flea allergies cause the bite area to itch and sting for hours to days after getting bitten. If you notice your dogs or cat has bald patches, dry, chapped skin, and excessively bites and chews, your pet may have and be allergic to fleas.

When your pet has seasonal or environmental allergies, you’ll notice itchy, watery eyes, and scratching from head to tail. Does your dog or cat groom excessively after spending time outside? They may be feeling itchy from contact with grass, even just the type on your lawn.

How Do We Diagnose and Treat Your Pet?

Allergic reactions can seriously impact your pet’s quality of life. Nearly all of these allergies cause excessive scratching so it can difficult for pet parents to figure out why their companion is suffering. We can help diagnose your pet and prescribe a medicine that can help reduce symptoms.

If your pet has a severe or chronic allergies, we can run tests or help plan an elimination diet. We can also administer allergy shots, prescribe antihistamines, corticosteroids, or topical medicines.

What Can You Do If Your Pet Has Seasonal Allergies?

If your dog or cat suffers from seasonal allergies, there are simple ways you can reduce symptoms and exposure.

  • Keep your windows closed in the morning and evening.
  • Avoid walking your dog right after dawn or before dusk.
  • Wipe your dog or cat off when they come inside.
  • Use a hypoallergenic air filter in your home.
  • Use a dehumidifier to remove moisture from the air.
  • Vacuum often and run household linens through the wash regularly.
  • Provide your pet with a supplement that helps repair and calm the skin.
  • Wash pet bowls frequently.

Don’t Let Your Pet Sneeze Away the Spring

Your pet deserves to enjoy a life without itchy skin and watery eyes. If you suspect your pet has allergies, make an appointment to see us soon. We can help put a spring back into your pet’s step this season!

 

Image credit: Katarzyna Modrzejewska | Pexels

5 Easy-to-Keep New Year’s Resolutions for Your Pet

We all know that the “new year--new you” idea often disappears by February. But we also know that you love your pet. So, we wanted to offer some New Year’s resolutions that are simple, easy to keep, and will help your pet start off the year happy, healthy, and full of fun! And when you partner with your pet for a better life, we know you’ll find the results fulfilling.

1. More Walks & More Playtime

Dogs, cats, and other pets love attention. And playtime can be the best way to make your pet feel loved while helping keep her in-shape and healthy. That’s why this is our top resolution for your pet this year!

For cats, try to keep your kitty’s heart rate elevated for 10-15 minutes two or three times per day. Let your cat run, jump, swipe, and pounce after a feather attached to a wand. Your cat wants to get in touch with her inner kitten and inner hunter.

Nothing beats a walk with your four-legged friend. Skip the backyard and pull out the leash and get walking. Aim for at least 30 minutes a day for healthy adult dogs. When you do this, your dog will get a sparkle in her eye and her heart will benefit from the cardio.

2. Make Your Pet’s Health a Priority

Your pet can’t call us to make an appointment, so you’ll have to help her out with this one. Your pet’s health means everything, so don’t procrastinate when it comes to bringing her in to see us. We’ll make sure she has everything she needs to stay healthy.

We can make sure she has all her vaccinations that prevent deadly diseases.

Some of the most important vaccinations your pet needs are:

  • Rabies  
  • Parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Parainfluenza
  • Hepatitis
  • Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis
  • Calicivirus
  • Panleukopenia

Be sure your pet enjoys 2020 parasite-free. We can help you find the right flea and tick prevention along with heartworm prevention. Keeping your pet free of these pests will keep her thriving while preventing diseases that can rob her of her health and life.

3. Choose a Diet for Your Pet that Supports a Healthy Life

We know, we know… a New Year’s diet resolution. While diets aren’t fun, proper nutrition and maintaining a proper weight can help your pet in incredible ways.

A healthy, balanced diet keeps excess weight off your pet’s joints which can keep her playing and having fun without the side effect of pain. 

A quality diet also helps your pet maintain a shiny coat and healthy skin, which can help protect her from the cold and prevents dry, itchy skin.

We can advise you on a diet for your pet from ingredients and brands to portion size and treats. We can also decide if your pet could benefit from supplements to support her joints and memory.

4. Become Mindful of Your Pet’s Mental Health

Often we focus on the physical when it comes to health and resolutions, but your pet’s mental wellbeing matters. Cats, dogs, and other pets do experience stress, boredom, and depression. If you notice a change in your pet’s mood, appetite, or behavior, she may be struggling with one of these issues.

Adaptil and Feliway can help your pet cope with stress while treat puzzles can reduce restlessness and increase mental stimulation. Need more help or to find if your pet could benefit from prescription intervention? We can help with that, too.

5. Commit to Your Pet’s Dental Health

Here’s a reason to smile: when you commit to your pet’s dental health, you can lengthen her life. Dogs and cats should receive dental cleanings twice per year. This can help your pet avoid periodontal disease which can weaken her heart and cause her to lose teeth. Proper dental hygiene also reduces the risk of chronic pain.

Give Your Pet a Year Filled with Happy Memories!

Start the year off wagging, purring, and smiling from ear-to-ear! It’s 2020 and your pet is ready for her best year, yet. Give us a call to make an appointment to start following through with your pet’s resolutions this year. 

 

 

 

Image credit: Krysten Merriman | Pexels

After-Hours Emergencies

After Hours Veterinary Care
1014 Dale Street North
St. Paul, MN 55117
(Inside Como Park Animal Hospital just north of downtown St. Paul)
24-hour care for multiple species
651-487-3255

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1163 Helmo Avenue N
Oakdale, MN 55128
651-501-3766

 

Animal Emergency & Referral Center of MN
1542 7th St. W.
St. Paul, MN 55012
(located 2 blocks east of 35E)
651-293-1800