Busting open Heartworm Disease

Heartworm is a deadly disease that is spread from infected mammal to infected mammal by mosquitoes. Actually, 7 out of 10 mosquitoes around an infected canine’s kennel test positive for heartworm.  Some veterinary clinics recommend only giving heartworm medication during high mosquito incidence seasons but here in Placer County we have such a high incidence that we recommend medication year round. It is important that pets are given their prevention on time because there is short window that they can miss before it becomes ineffective. Fun fact heartworm prevention works so well that it is 99% effective if given correctly. Another fun fact you can buy 7 years of heartworm prevention for the cost of treating one time. That is why your veterinarians are so adamant about keeping your pets on medication. The treatment for heartworm disease can be hard on the pets that go through it because they should have limited activity for the entire course of treatment which can last up to 6 months.

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The Importance of Annual Exams

Let’s talk about the importance of annual exams! Just like with human doctors, veterinarians recommend and will usually require annual exams for vaccines and for most other routine care. A regular health check is helpful even if your dog or cat does not have an ongoing medical condition and seems perfectly healthy.

“During a routine visit, a veterinarian typically performs a physical exam in which he or she carefully checks the pet’s body from “nose to tail.” During this exam, the vet will take the pet’s temperature; look closely in the mouth, eyes and ears; and gently feel along the body for signs of any internal issues. He or she might take a blood sample, and if your pet needs them, or administer vaccinations.
Such an exam—performed annually—gives the vet a good idea of your pet’s healthy condition. Then, at future visits, any early signs of potential health issues will be easier for your vet to spot.” – Animal Behavior College

Just like with human health, prevention is the key to treating a multitude of conditions that can affect our dogs and cats. By scheduling an annual well check for your cat or dog, you can work with your veterinarian to keep your pet in tip-top shape.

We send out reminders monthly in the mail, and also call if you happened to have missed our postcards, to remind you when your pets vaccines and annual exams are due.

We are also now offering wellness plans, that all include unlimited free exams! All of these plans cover your core vaccines for the year, and a whole range of other treatments depending on which plan is best suited for your pet. We have pamphlets and information for you at the clinic, but feel free to call if you have any questions!

Leptospirosis on the rise!!!

Although we as a clinic have not seen any cases of leptospirosis recently, we wanted to put the word out there that it is on the rise, and remind you to be sure and vaccinate your dogs!!


“Veterinarians in Illinois, California and Arizona have reported an increase in Leptospirosis cases. Dogs ingest the bacteria by drinking standing water contaminated by infected animal urine. Some reports suggest that dogs can even become ill from simply licking their paws after an outing. Pups who share water bowls – or drink from the same water source at the dog park – can easily transmit the bacteria to their pals.” – iheartdogs.com
Leptospirosis symptoms are similar to the flu, and include an increase in thirst and urination, fever, vomiting, diarrhea and yellowing on the skin. Dogs can also become depressed or display signs of anorexia. Lepto also causes liver and kidney damage, and if left untreated can be deadly. 

Most veterinarians agree that the best way to protect your pets is to vaccinate them against the bacteria. Lepto is an annual vaccine and is fairly inexpensive.

If you have any questions about lepto or vaccinating please contact us!!

Endangered Species Series

Last week, Dr. Pam and Alyssa had the opportunity to attend the Western Veterinary Conference in Nevada where they were able to visit an exhibit called The Photo Ark by Joel Sartore.

“National Geographic photographer Joel Sartore started the Photo Ark in his hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska, in 1995. Since then, he has visited 40 countries in his quest to create this photo archive of global biodiversity. To date, Joel has completed portraits of more than 6,000 species, most photographed on either a plain black or white background.” – National Geogrpahic Website

We decided to help Joel in his quest by starting to do our very own ‘endangered species of the week’ series. Every week we will feature a new endangered species with a little bit of information about them. This week we have decided to feature the David Bowie spider: 


Heteropoda is a species of huntsman spider of the Heteropoda genus. It was described to inhabit from the Cameron Highlands District in peninsular Malaysia and named in honor of singer David Bowie. Heteropoda davidbowie is found in West Malaysia (Cameron Highlands), Singapore, Sumatra and possibly Southern Thailand.

Bowie was apparently selected for the honour because of his musical contribution to the arachnid world – the 1972 concept album The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars. Peter Jäger, the German spider expert who discovered the Heteropoda davidbowie, said that naming spiders after celebrities helped draw attention to the marginal status of many species as human activity destroys their habitats.

Environmental authorities have traditionally proved reluctant to include spiders on lists of endangered animals, but campaigners like Mr Jäger argue that their decline undermines nature’s genetic diversity.

Keep an eye out for next weeks endangered species on our instagram and Facebook!!

The Effects of FIV

Recently, we had a very sick kitty present with sores in her mouth, unable to eat or drink, underweight, and had thick discharge coming from her eyes. The kitty ended up having FIV (Feline Immunodeficiency Virus), otherwise known as feline AIDS, and unfortunately it passed away.

Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) causes a highly contagious and potentially fatal retroviral infection that weakens a cat’s immune system, making it susceptible to illness and secondary infection. Feline leukemia is a very common disease. It is often called the “friendly cat” disease as it is commonly spread from cat to cat through casual contact, such as grooming or sharing food or water. Feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) are among the most common infectious diseases in cats. In a study of more than 18,000 cats, 2.3% of them were positive for FeLV.

While all cats are at risk, lifestyle, sex, and vaccination status all play an important part in reducing exposure to this contagious disease. The following will increase your cat’s risk of contracting FeLV: Not having been vaccinated against feline leukemia; Spending time outside, unsupervised; Exposure to a cat or kitten whose infection status is unknown; Living in a multiple-cat household; Not having been spayed or neutered; aggressive behavior toward other cats; Symptoms of oral disease; Past or present abscess wounds.

Cats with feline leukemia do not always appear sick! In the early stages of the disease, most cats show few signs; the only way to know for sure if they are infected is through a simple blood test. As the disease advances, the following symptoms may occur: weight loss, loss of appetite, lethargy, pale gums, bad breath, runny eyes or nose, vomiting, oral disease.

Please click this link for more information:

http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/your-cat-felv-and-fiv-retroviruses-101

source http://www.pethealthnetwork.com

The Truth about Marijuana Ingestion in Animals

As we all know, California has jumped on the train along with Colorado and Alaska with the delegalization of marijuana this year. We are not as interested in what this means for you personally, but more what this could mean for your pets at home. 

Recently, we read an article that stated “treatment of marijuana intoxication among dogs has skyrocketed since the delegalization of marijuana in Colorado in January 2014, vets say.” One veterinary clinic said ” we used to see it once or twice a year, now it’s once or twice a month.” With the laws changing, and the increase of marijuana use and products containing marijuana available, pets are at a much higher risk of ingesting marijuana.


We as a clinic haven’t noticed a dramatic increase yet, but we have treated several cases of marijuana ingestion over the last year. One of the biggest things you as an owner can do to help us best treat your pet is to be honest! We are here to treat and care for your animals in the best way possible – and that starts with being informed. Some of the symptoms of marijuana ingestion can be similar to the ingestion of mushrooms, which can be fatal to your pet, so if you know that your animal ate marijuana please tell us so we can treat your pet in the most appropriate way possible!

We would also like to point out that in doing some research for this post we found a plethora of “articles” promoting the use of marijuana in dog treats and similar readings. We strongly suggest not treating your dog medically without conferring with a doctor first!! Dosing and reactions in animals in regards to medications, vary greatly from humans and the wrong dose or wrong product could be harmful to your pet. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to call us and we will advise as best we can!

Avoid the scare of a lost pet: Microchip!

Hi everyone, we wanted to take a few minutes to talk to you all about the importance of Microchipping your pets!

microchip-sign-on-dog_0

A few days ago we had a found dog come into the vet that was not microchipped, and we had no tags or other information with which to identify him! If someone finds a dog and brings him/her to us we are required to have Placer County come pick up the pet at the end of the day. We are not able to keep found pets overnight. Luckily, for this pup the people that found him were willing to house him overnight and he was identified on our facebook page and went home today.

If your pet’s collar breaks or its collar tag falls off or becomes hard to read, a microchip permanently identifies your pet to help your pet get back to you if it’s lost or stolen. A microchip is placed between your dog’s or cat’s shoulder blades under a veterinarian’s supervision. Implantation is quick, easy and virtually painless – similar to a vaccine injection – and can be performed during a regular clinic visit.

pet-microchip

After your pet has been chipped, you must enroll your pet’s microchip ID number with your contact information so that you can be reached if your pet is found. When your pet is found and taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, its microchip will be scanned. When the microchip number is read by the scanner, AKC Reunite will be contacted and we will contact you to reunite you and your pet.

And as always, if you have any questions, please feel free to stop by or call!