The Truth About Fleas

To steal a famous movie line, “They’re baaack.” Actually here in Central California they never really leave. I am referring to fleas, as you might have guessed. Flea populations in our neck of the woods do decrease some in the wintertime however for our predominately indoor companions, these bloodsuckers can hang around all year long.

Fleas are a very successful parasite whose adult population loves nothing more than to hang out on your dog or cat’s skin merrily sucking out blood meals as needed to produce eggs which then fall off the animal into the environment. The eggs develop into larvae, which further develop into pupae, which later become new adult fleas. Five percent of the flea population are adults on the animal-the other 95% reside in the environment. Yuk! I know. 

The good news is we have very effective preventative medication that will not only kill those blood-sucking adult fleas but as a result, stop the life cycle from continuing in your companion’s environment. Here at VMA we use and recommend Bravecto for flea control on your dog or cat. This amazing product need only be given once every three months to eliminate fleas. And to top that off, Bravecto also prevents ticks, which not only are disgusting bloodsuckers themselves but also can carry other diseases that can be very bad for your dog.

Stay ahead of the flea on-slot and prevent those ticks as well. It is easy now that we have a product that has been proven highly effective and one that the fleas have yet to develop a resistance against. This can not be said for many of the other flea prevention/treatment products.

For more information about Bravecto and flea control, please call us at 209-527-5855. 

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posted in:  VMA Modesto News

Coronavirus and Our Companion Pets

We have all heard a lot on the news lately about coronavirus and COVID-19, the specific human coronavirus currently infecting humans and causing concerns globally.

Should we be concerned about our 4 legged companions?

According to Dr. Niels Pederson of UCDavis School of Veterinary Medicine and a renowned expert on infectious diseases, the short answer is no. “Although coronaviruses occur in virtually every species of animal, including humans, you won’t get or give the coronavirus to your pet Although coronaviruses can jump from one host to another, the process is slow and requires significant genetic change. There is no evidence that coronaviruses of our common veterinary species have entered humans or vice versa.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), no animals in the United States have been identified with COVID-19, and there is no evidence that companion pets can spread COVID-19.

Continue…

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posted in:  Canine

What should I feed my bird?

All of our companions need to eat and what they eat is hugely important to their overall health. No group of companion animals reflects this truth more than birds. Many of these species, particularly the parrots, macaws, and cockatoos have a potential lifespan of decades, making proper diet and care vitally important to long term health. Most often, we head to the pet store for “bird” food and end up with a bag of seeds. Seeds are simply not an appropriate base diet for your bird. 

Why Not Seeds?

Seeds are loaded with fat and as a result, make your bird fat, which can lead to multiple disease processes including liver disease, heart disease, gout, poor skin & feather quality and many other problems. While high in fat, seeds can also be deficient in some important vitamins and minerals, which, over months to years, can affect nearly every aspect of your bird’s health.  Continue…

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posted in:  VMA Modesto News

Dental Care

One of the most important things we do as veterinarians is helping you provide the very best quality of life for your companion. To achieve this goal, we need to evaluate our patients on a regular basis. This is especially important when it comes to disease processes that are insidious in their presentation. They can be hidden from “view” until the disease has progressed far down the line.

Dental disease is just such a process. As is the case with us humans, teeth need to be cared for in our companions. It is always best to prevent dental disease as opposed to having to treat it. Obviously, teeth are inside our companions’ mouths and relatively out of sight. And unfortunately, as we all know: out of sight, out of mind,  This is one of the reasons it is important to have your companion examined by your veterinarian on an annual basis in the younger years and semiannually as they age.

If dental disease is discovered, it is a quality of life issue and needs to be addressed. Left untreated, dental disease can lead to systemic disease that can affect the liver, the kidneys, the bladder, and the heart, not to mention the pain your companion endures when they suffer dental abscesses which are commonly associated with advancing dental disease.

Once dental disease is cured, regular cleaning, polishing and fluoride treating of the teeth will go a long way in preventing a recurrence.  

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline

Caring for Our Aging Companions

Aging is an inevitable consequence of life, true for us humans as it is for our companions. With the aging process, there are physical changes that can affect many body systems some are preventable to some degree while others are less so. I would like to discuss here the aging process specifically in reference to canines and felines.

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posted in:  Canine  |  Diet/nutrition  |  Feline

What is Canine Influenza?

french bulldog dog very sick with ice pack or bag on head, eyes closed and suffering , thermometer in mouth , isolated on white background

As many of you may be aware, there is a strain of canine influenza virus that has made it to our region and is infecting our canine companions.

Continue…

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posted in:  Canine

Handling the Heat

To quote a relatively popular song by the late Glenn Frye, “The Heat is On.” This is not only true for us two legged creatures, but also definitely applies to our four-legged companions.

With temperatures in the Central Valley reaching, on average, the mid nineties and even higher most days, there are necessary precautions, both general and species specific, that we as caretakers need to take in order to prevent disaster. I will touch on some of both. Continue…

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

images[10]What Is Heartworm Disease?

Canine heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae (juvenile worms) of a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis.

As a mosquito feeds, these microscopic larvae are deposited on the dog and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the dog’s bloodstream.

Adult heartworms can grow 10-12 inches in length and make their home in the right side of the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries, often causing lung disease and heart failure.

Adult heartworms can grow 10-12 inches in length.

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Seeds vs. Pellets

What should I feed my bird?

IMG_3210Do you have a pet bird? Chances are if you don’t, you know someone who does. Birds are becoming increasingly popular pets, but often there is no guidance for how to feed your new companion. Continue…

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posted in:  Birds  |  Diet/nutrition  |  Exotics  |  VMA Modesto News

House Training a Puppy

PITA PuppyHouse Training a Puppy

Having trouble house training your new puppy? You’re not alone!

This is a very common issue with puppies, often times requiring patience, consistency (and cleaning supplies) for any accidents along the way. Below are a few tips to help your puppy understand what is expected from him. Continue…

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posted in:  Behavior  |  Canine  |  VMA Modesto News