Vaccination and other
Many people do not realize how important annual preventative medicine is to their pets. At Angelcare, we focus on client education in the exam rooms. We want our clients to be informed about WHY we are recommending vaccines or dentals or heartworm tests, etc. Many diseases can be prevented - and years added on to your pet's life - if you know the basics for Why.
Vaccines For Dogs:
- Distemper: This is a virus which infects the respiratory, gastrointestinal, and nervous systems. Symptoms can be but are not limited to: Coughing, thick Discharge from the eyes and nose, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Fever, Depression, and Seizures. This disease is spread through the air and even if treated, can be fatal.
- Hepatitis: This disease, caused by canine adenovirus type 2, infects the liver. It can be fatal but is preventable!
- Leptospirosis: Caused by a question-mark shaped bacterium called spirochete, it infects the kidneys, and is spread from animal to animal through urine. Humans can get this from their animal.
- Parvovirus: This is a very contagious virus of the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms include: Vomiting, profuse Bloody Diarrhea, extreme Listlessness, and Anorexia which leads to dehydration and death. This virus is spread through infected fecal matter.
- Parainfluenza: (Canine Infectious Tracheobronchitis) - This virus is similar to canine distemper and plays a role in kennel cough (which is caused by the bacteria Bordatella bronchiseptica), especially if the animal already has a more serious chronic respiratory disease or is exposed to secondary infecting agents, stress, or has poor hygiene. The virus alone causes sever damage to the respiratory tract, which, in turn, allows secondary bacterial infections. It acts in synergy with Bordetalla and Canine Adenovirus 2 (canine hepatitis) to produce "kennel cough," is airborne, and is usually not cleared up completely for about 3 months. Signs of mild infection can include: fever, cough, and serous (clear) nasal discharge. Severe infection can produce: lethargy, conjunctivitis, tonsillitis, and anorexia.
- Corona: This virus is carried through the fecal matter and the symptoms are similar to that of parvovirus, but are not usually as severe.
- Bordetella: A respiratory bacteria which is spread through the air. It is one of the components of kennel cough.
- Lyme Disease: This is a bacteria that can be transmitted to both dogs and humans through the bite of a deer tick. Symptoms include: Fever, Swollen Joints, Joint Pain, Lameness, and Lethargy. Dogs most at risk are those who go camping, hunting, or simply live in wooded areas. The vaccine has been sometimes known to give the virus, so when you come in, we can decide if your beloved pet is at risk or not.
- Rabies: This virus attacks the nervous system of both animal and man. This virus is 100% Fatal to its victims. It is transmitted through a bite wound of an infected animal. Most common carriers are skunks, bats, and sometimes raccoons, but be cautious of stray animals as well. There are 1- and 3-year vaccines now made for the Rabies Virus. It is The Law that your pet be current with its Rabies Vaccine.
Vaccines for Cats:
- Feline Panleukopenia: Commonly referred to as Feline Distemper, it is a highly contagious viral disease. Symptoms can include: Fever, Weight Loss, Depression, Loss of Appetite, Vomiting, Diarrhea, Dehydration and can lead to death. The most effective means of control is implementation of vaccination programs early.
- Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (FVR): The most severe and widespread upper respiratory disease of cats. Highly contagious and very serious in young animals. Signs include: Fever, Tearing, Discharge from eyes and nose, Open-Mouth Breathing, Coughing and Salivation. Treatment is limited to supportive and symptomatic care. Prevention is key, as cats who have recovered from this disease become carriers for life.
- Feline Calicivirus (FCV): Another major upper respiratory virus. Highly contagious and widespread. Signs of the disease include: Fever, Pneumonia, Ulcer or Blisters on the tongue. Limited to supportive and symptomatic care, and cats who recover become carriers for the disease. Prevention is key in controlling the disease.
- Feline Chlamydiosis (Pneumonitis): A bacteria that causes feline respiratory disease. Extremely contagious, especially in kittens. Symptoms: mild-to-severe Conjunctivits, Excessive Tearing, Sneezing, heavy Salivation, and Coughing. Cats may have lung involvement but generally do not show signs of pneumonia. Antibiotics can treat but like FVR and FCV, cats become carriers of the disease with or without showing clinical signs.
- Feline Leukemia (FeLV): Feline leukemia is the leading cause of death in cats and kittens. The disease breaks down the immune responses, so the cat cannot fight off infections it normally would be able to resist; much like HIV in humans. Transmitted by cat-to-cat contact, there are vaccines available to prevent the disease. Even indoor cats are at risk. Cats must be tested for Feline Leukemia before a vaccine can be given, but testing can be done after 8 weeks of age.
- Ringworm: A fungal infection which causes dry, flaky skin and hair loss. Common in multi-cat households and catteries. It is transmittable to humans.
- Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP): A viral disease, seen often in young adult cats. Once clinical signs are exhibited, the disease is progressive and leads to death. There are two types of the disease: wet form and dry form. The wet form causes large amounts of fluid to build up in the body cavities, especially the abdominal cavities. The dry form signs depend on the body organ affected: intestines, kidney, liver, lungs, eyes, or nervous system. No cure exists for this disease, so talk with us today to determine risk and a vaccination schedule.
Intestinal Parasites: Both Dogs & Cats
- Roundworms: Common in puppies because they can get them form their mother during birth or even through her milk. Adult dogs get them through eating grass or stools that are contaminated with the eggs. Annual or bi-annual intestinal parasite screenings are used as a preventative for adults, but these worms can be vomited up or passed in the stool at any time. They look like spaghetti, and their presence needs to be eliminated quickly. Our veterinarians will de-worm your new puppy several times, breaking the life cycle of the worm.
- Hookworms: These parasites cause severe anemia because they suck blood from the lining of their intestines. They can be picked up from the ground either as your pet eats the grass which is lined with the eggs, or when your pet licks himself and ingests the eggs. Routine intestinal parasite screenings can identify the eggs.
- Whipworms: These parasites are difficult to find. It can take 2-4 weeks before the adult produces eggs that can be missed on intestinal parasite screenings. They are difficult to remove from the environment as well. De-worming medications can be given as prevention.
- Tapeworms: These parasites have a very unique life-cycle. The tapeworm segment must pass through a host to infect the dog. The most common host is the flea. The dog licks or grooms themselves and swallows the flea which contains the tapeworm egg. The egg can now mature into an adult within your dog. It is extremely hard to find the tapeworm egg on an intestinal parasite screening. Most often the segments - which are flat white segments, but when exposed to air and dry look like segments of brown rice - are found when passed through the stool. If you should find what looks like tapeworm segments, bring in a stool sample, and we can treat your pet.
- Coccidia: These are intestinal protozoan parasites that cause bloody diarrhea. Usually found in dogs under one year of age, and can be treated.
- Giardiasis: This is an intestinal disease that can affect all warm-blooded animals. Diagnosis can only be confirmed through observation of the disease under a microscope. Symptoms can be: profuse Watery Stools that may contain mucous or blood, Listlessness, and weight loss. In its acute form, it can cause severe abdominal cramping and life-threatening dehydration from fluid loss. It can be treated, but may take many weeks.
All of these parasites are treated through prescription medication. Over-the-counter de-wormers can be very hazardous, if not properly administered. We are more than happy to examine your pet and make sure the proper medication and dosage are sent home. Some Heartworm Disease Preventatives actually treat some of these parasites, so please ask us when you come in for your exam.
Pre-anesthetic and/or Diagnostic Testing
Diagnostic Testing can identify hidden health problems. Testing reduces risk - and we recommend some or all of the following tests to determine your pet's health status, so we can make the best medical decisions, especially before administering anesthesia. Although performing these tests does not guarantee that complications won't occur, it does reduce the risk to your pet and provide you with peace of mind.
Before animals undergo any kind of surgery, a dental health cleaning, etc, they should have a work-up to check for any possible complications.
Pets over 4 years of age should be tested annually to at least identify what is the normal range, so a problem can be identified later on.
The top 4 Reasons to test your pet
1.) Peace of mind: Testing can significantly reduce risk and ensure your pet's health and safety.
2.) Pets can't tell us when they don't feel well. A healthy-appearing pet may be hiding symptoms of a disease or ailment. For example, a pet can lose up to 75% of kidney function before showing any signs of illness. Testing helps us evaluate the health of your pet's liver and kidneys, so we can avoid problems related to anesthesia.
3.) Testing can reduce risks. If results of the pre-anesthetic are within normal ranges, we can proceed with confidence, knowing the anesthetic risk is minimized. On the other hand, if results are not within normal ranges, we alter the anesthetic procedure to safeguard your pet's health.
4.) Testing can help protect your pet's future health. These tests provide baseline levels for your pet and become part of his or her medical chart for future reference.