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

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

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.

Continue…

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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

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…

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posted in:  Behavior  |  Canine  |  Feline  |  VMA Modesto News

Feeding Your Guinea Pig

IMG_3626You have a new guinea pig: congratulations! Guinea pigs are inquisitive and rewarding pets, but proper feeding is critical to their long-term health and well being!

The basics: what do I feed my guinea pig?

Your guinea pig is an herbivore, which means he eats only plant material like hay. Herbivores need to have food moving constantly through their digestive systems to avoid serious health problems. Continue…

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posted in:  Diet/nutrition  |  Exotics  |  guinea pig  |  rabbits  |  VMA Modesto News