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.

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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.  

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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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

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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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…

Crate Training

PITA cageCrate Training Your Pet

Have you ever thought about crate-training your dog or cat?

There is a lot of misconception about crating pets, ranging from concerns about “locking them up” or that “it’s too small a space- he can’t possibly be comfortable in there!”

In fact, when introduced properly to your pet, a crate can become a safe retreat for your pet, a place where he can go to get away from things he is scared of or to rest and relax in peace. Continue…

Lumps & Bumps- What is this mass on my dog?

Canadian_Golden_Retriever[1]You were petting your dog this morning and found a bump that you’re sure was not there last week- is it serious? The short answer is: possibly.

Dogs tend to develop lumps and bumps as they age; whether these are something to worry about or can be safely ignored can be difficult to tell based on the appearance alone. Continue…