Summer Fun With Your Pet
Summer is here, and with it comes plenty of opportunities for fun in the sun (and shade!) for you and your pet. At Veterinary Medical Associates, we want you to have a safe, fun-filled summer with your furry sidekick. Keep reading for summer activities for you and your pet.Continue…
An Act of Love: Why Microchipping Your Pet Matters
Pets wear snazzy collars as a way to highlight their style and personality, but they’re useful, too. Not only necessary for their leash, but collars show proof of license, rabies vaccination, and ownership. Despite their obvious utility, collars can be removed on purpose or fall off accidentally. As a result, pets need an added layer of security in case they get lost or go missing. Microchipping your pet is an incredible act of love that never stops working to prevent permanent loss.
All It Takes
One small moment can change a pet owner’s life forever. Whether you lose a grip on the leash at the park or your pet nudges their way out through a cracked front door, their fate could become sealed in a short time. In addition to simply roaming around without a clear way to return home, pets can get stolen by strangers, re-adopted, or seriously injured.
The Little Things
Microchipping your pet is a type of insurance against permanent loss. Not a substitute for their ID tag and collar, microchips add another layer of protection. We include microchipping as part of our puppy and kitten wellness plans.
About the size of a grain of rice and enclosed in biocompatible glass, microchips are implanted between the shoulder blades. They do not track location or transmit data of any kind. Instead, radio frequency identification (RFID) technology stores a unique identification number. When a handheld scanning device is placed over the area, an LED screen on the scanner will display the chip’s number.
Animal shelters and many animal hospitals have these scanners and use them all the time to either look for the existence of a chip or read its number.
Does It Hurt?
The mechanism to implant the chip is similar to a routine vaccination, and can be done at your pet’s next wellness exam. Sometimes we can microchip pets during a surgical procedure, like a spay/neuter or dental cleaning. Perceived as a valuable, yet low-cost, preventive measure, microchipping your pet is an essential component of responsible ownership.
Other Key Points
Once a pet’s unique identification number is keyed into a national database, their owner’s name and contact information will be revealed. However, this step is not automatic. It is up to the individual pet owner to register their pet’s microchip with the manufacturer and update any information if it ever changes. Without this crucial step, microchips are ineffective at facilitating a safe return home. A shocking number of microchips are never registered or updated every year.
Your pet is an integral part of the family. They deserve to have a chance to get home safely if they ever get lost or go missing. Microchipping your pet is a part of a great defense against permanent separation.
When pets are picked up by animal control or brought to shelters by well-meaning civilians, only a small percentage of them ever return to their original home. With millions of pets entering the shelter system every year, be sure that your pet can be returned to you by way of their microchip.
Microchipping Your Pet
This process is fast, easy, relatively, cheap, and totally worth the peace of mind. If you have any questions about microchipping your pet, please give us a call at (209) 527‑5855. Veterinary Medical Associates is always happy to help you!
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.
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.
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.
What is Canine Influenza?
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.
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…
Heartworm Disease in Dogs
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.
House Training a Puppy
House 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…
Pet-Proofing Your Home
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…