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.

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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

Pet-Proofing Your Home

Terrier PicCommon-sense Precautions

So you adopted a new pet? Congratulations! The next step is pet-proofing your home- safety first!

There are many hidden dangers to your new friend within your home in the form of every-day objects. With a few simple precautions, you can protect your pet and prevent many of the common veterinary emergencies. Continue…

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posted in:  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Why is my cat spraying?

Elmo PicInappropriate urination

Help! My cat is spraying in my house and won’t stop! Why is he doing this?

This is often one of the smelliest and most frustrating problems that cats may develop. Getting to the root of the problem is key:

  • Is kitty “acting out” due to some change in the household
  • Showing marking behavior of an unneutered male
  • Is it due to medical causes such as a urinary tract infection or bladder stones?

Deciphering kitty’s reasoning for his actions is the first key step in changing the behavior pattern and restoring some sense of order to your household. Continue…

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posted in:  Behavior  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Cats Get Bored Too!

Cat Crown PicEasy Home Enrichment for Your Cat

Your cat spends its days within your home, 24/7. Have you ever wondered if he/she gets bored? The answer is absolutely yes! Without environmental enrichment (aka: something to do), your cat may turn to undesirable or destructive behaviors to entertain itself.

The good news is that enriching your home environment is easy! The goal is to maximize your cat’s quality of life through simple changes to your house and daily routine. Continue…

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posted in:  Behavior  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News