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Laser Therapy for Dogs and Cats

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Did you know that laser therapy is one of the many services we provide for the well being of your furry friend?

Laser therapy reduces pain and inflammation anywhere in your dog or cat

Laser therapy can relieve pain, reduce swelling and increase range of motion using light to stimulate your pet’s cells.

Laser energy increases circulation, oxygen and blood flow to targeted cells, helping to remove swelling and reduce your pet’s pain faster.

It’s a painless, non-invasive way to start the healing process sooner, particularly when paired with the right medication.

What to expect from laser therapy

Treatments vary in length, but most sites require no more than 15 minutes each.

Although improvement is often seen after the first visit, patients may require several treatments depending on your pet’s health issue.

When we may suggest laser treatment for your dog or cat

Our veterinarians might recommend laser therapy for:

-Osteoarthritis

-Joint Pain

-Ligament Sprains

-Muscle Strains

-Puncture Wounds

-Post-Traumatic Injury

-Post-Surgical Pain

-Post-Surgical Pain

-Neck and Back Pain

-Hip Dysplasia

-Burns

-Chronic Wounds

-Rehabilitation

-Post-Orthopedic Surgical Recovery

Laser therapy, when paired with other treatment options, can be an effective way to jump-start the healing process and make your dog or cat more comfortable.

Contact us today and ask if laser therapy is right for your pet.

 

 

 

 

Meet Archie!

Meet Archie! In March Archie was found abandoned on the side of the road and picked up by a foster for Louisiana Lifelines 4 K9s. With the help of AARF in Seattle he was able to make the long trek to the state of Washington. Last week Archie walked down the runway at the 2019 Tuxes and Tails event that raised more than $1.5M for Seattle Humane through donations, auctions, raffles and more. Congratulations Archie and thank you so much to AARF, Louisiana Lifelines 4 K9’s and Seattle Humane for making this possible! (Images: Sunita Martini/Seattle Refined)

Reasons You Should Take Lyme Disease In Pets Seriously

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You’re looking forward to a trip to the park with your canine companion. The weather is perfect, and your dog is staring at you, eagerly waiting to get out. Before leaving the house, keep in mind that, depending on where you live, both of you could be at risk of contracting Lyme disease.

Left untreated, Lyme disease can cause pain, discomfort, and potentially life-threatening symptoms for your dog. This doesn’t mean you both have to be hermits, but you should be aware of the risks of Lyme disease and work to take preventive measures.

“The best way to prevent Lyme disease [in endemic areas] is through strict adherence to tick control and yearly Lyme vaccination,” says Dr. Beth Poulsen, a veterinarian at Lodi Veterinary Care in Lodi, Wisconsin. “Each can play an important role in protecting dogs from Lyme disease.”

The following are some key reasons why you should take Lyme disease seriously.

More Dogs Are Testing Positive for Lyme Disease

The good news is that most dogs testing positive on the Lyme test will not become clinically ill, says Dr. Zenithson Ng, a clinical assistant professor at the University of Tennessee, College of Veterinary Medicine. “Typically, less than 10 percent of dogs that have been exposed actually become sick.”

But that doesn’t mean your dog is home-free. “Lyme disease hasn’t been a serious issue in the past, but we’re seeing it more and more,” says Dr. Kristopher Sharpe, medical director of BluePearl Specialty and Emergency Pet Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. “Incidents are increasing, so people should be more aware.”

The number of dogs testing positive for Lyme disease is growing, according to the Companion Animal Parasite Council. Certain regions, including western Pennsylvania, New York state, northwestern Wisconsin, and northern Minnesota, have high incidents of Lyme disease. Nationwide, Lyme disease continues to expand beyond established endemic boundaries.

Dogs living in regions where Lyme disease is prevalent should be vaccinated, Poulsen says. “Lyme vaccination is administered after 12 weeks of age. The first vaccine requires a booster at three to four weeks, and then is a once yearly vaccine. The goal with vaccination is to help prevent active Lyme infection if a dog is exposed to disease.”
Ng says the vaccine for Lyme disease has been shown to be effective, but that tick prevention is the best bet against fighting Lyme disease.

There are several products on the market for tick control, including topical and oral medications, Poulsen says. “Historically, monthly topical medications have been the most effective means of tick control. More recently, oral medications have become available and are proving to be safe and more effective. Advantages of oral medication over topical include avoidance of residue from topical productions on skin/fur of dogs and ease of administration—most dogs will take them like a treat.” Discuss these options with your vet.

Ticks Can Transmit More Than Just Lyme Disease

Lyme disease isn’t the only infection ticks carry. Some can carry two, three, four, or more infections at once, says Sharpe, who is board certified in veterinary internal medicine. And they can be as concerning—or more concerning—than Lyme disease, he says.

“Other tick-borne infections currently seen in the United States include Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF), Ehrlichiosis, Babesiosis, and Anaplasmosis. In terms of the rate of disease, mortality, and severity of disease, RMSF is likely the most important tick-borne infection in the United States.”

Each of these diseases is caused by a different species of bacteria, Ng says. “Lyme disease is specifically caused by the spirochete organism, Borrelia burgdorferi, which is carried by deer ticks. RMSF is caused by Rickettsia rickettsii, typically carried by American dog ticks or brown dog ticks.”

Co-infections can be common and symptoms of the various tick-borne diseases can overlap, says Ng, which can make diagnosis more challenging. “Most common symptoms of the diseases carried by ticks—lethargy, depression, decreased appetite—are vague,” Ng says. These are symptoms that also fit any number of non-tick diseases.

People Get Lyme Disease, Too

We contract Lyme disease the same way our dogs do—by getting bit directly by a disease-carrying deer tick. So rest easy; just being in contact with your dog, or even getting licked, is not going to put you at risk, even if she does come down with Lyme disease.

“However, if your dog tests positive for Lyme, it means the disease is present in your immediate area, making prevention for you and your pet very important,” Poulsen says.

But you may be at an increased risk of exposure because of the ticks that have “hitched a ride” on your dog, explains Dr. Lori Bierbrier, ASPCA’s medical director of community medicine. “Especially if the dog spends significant time outdoors and then comes indoors onto shared spaces, such as beds and couches.”

When you get home from being outdoors with your pooch, check her body (and yours) for ticks then take steps to remove them.

Lyme Disease Could Lead to Kidney Failure

Contracting a life-threatening kidney disease called Lyme nephritis is a major concern for dogs with Lyme disease, Ng explains. “This is where the body’s immune system forms antibodies (the immune system produces these in response to foreign substances introduced into the body) to the organism and creates antibody complexes that become deposited in the kidneys and damages them. This results in kidney failure and inevitable death.” It’s a very rare disease, with Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers being the most susceptible, he says.

Symptoms associated with Lyme nephritis are worsening lethargy, decreased appetite, vomiting, and a change in urination and thirst, Bierbrier says.

Lyme Disease Causes Pain and Discomfort

Lyme disease in dogs tends to be associated with pain and discomfort, including stiffness and joint pain, Bierbrier says. “Dogs will often have difficulty walking and transitioning from lying down to standing. They may also be lethargic and have a fever.”

There’s also the discomfort associated with veterinary treatment—plus the inconvenience and added expense for you. “After Lyme disease is diagnosed the treatment is a four-week course of antibiotics,” Poulsen says. “Treatment does not always eliminate the organism from the body, which is why titers often remain positive even after treatment.”

Dogs with Lyme nephritis need more aggressive treatment, including hospitalization for intravenous fluids and injectable antibiotics, but this form of Lyme disease doesn’t tend to respond well to treatment, she says.

photo source: Pexels

source: Pet MD

Why Heartworm Prevention Is Important

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Keeping your dog free of heartworms is an important job. You should have your dog tested annually for the disease and keep her on prescription heartworm medication for dogs.

Have you ever wondered why your dog needs to be tested if they’ve been taking heartworm preventatives? Is it really that bad if you give it a few days late? Just how do these preventive medications thwart heartworm disease in your dog? Here are some facts.

Heartworm Preventatives Don’t Actually Stop the Initial Infection

You may be surprised to learn that heartworm preventatives do not stop the actual infection from occurring. That’s right—the prevention part actually refers to clearing up larval infections that have already happened so that the heartworms cannot grow into adults.

If an infected mosquito happens to bite your dog, your pup may still be infected with the larvae. But heartworm medications work to kill off the larval heartworms that made it into your dog’s body during the past month to prevent further infection.

The heartworms in the dog will die at certain stages of development, before they can become adult heartworms and cause disease. However, heartworm preventatives will not kill adult heartworms that are already present.

Breaking the Heartworm Life Cycle

The heartworm life cycle is complex. The dog is infected by early stage larvae that are transmitted by a mosquito carrying infected blood. This larvae goes through multiple stages of development within body tissue before migrating to the heart and lungs as an adult heartworm.

These adults produce microfilariae, the earliest life stage that circulates within the dog’s blood. Prevention kills only early stage larvae and microfilariae. This is why it is important to give your dog heartworm prevention every month. It kills the larvae before they develop into a stage that is immune to the medication in heartworm prevention.

Most heartworm medications require monthly administration, while others work longer (up to six months with an injectible product called moxidectin or Proheart®). There are many choices of heartworm prevention available, from topical products to chewable oral medications; many come in both dog and cat versions.

Monthly heartworm preventative medications do not stay in your dog’s bloodstream for 30 days. The active ingredients work to kill any larvae that have been in the system for the past 30 days, clearing the body each month. The medication is only needed once a month because it takes longer than a month for the larvae to develop to a stage where they reach the body tissues.

Why You Need a Prescription for Heartworm Medication

So, why do you need a prescription from your veterinarian to be able to purchase heartworm preventatives online? And why won’t your veterinarian give you the heartworm medications without first testing your dog for heartworm infection?

The reason for this is that your veterinarian wants to make sure your dog doesn’t have an active infection of heartworms before giving a heartworm medication. Dogs with heartworms can have a severe, possibly life-threatening reaction to the dying, circulating microfilariae (adult heartworm offspring) if given these heartworm medications. These microfilariae are only present in pets with adult heartworm infections.

Additionally, there are several other reasons your veterinarian requires a yearly test for heartworms before giving you a prescription for the heartworm medication. You may have missed a dose, or your dog may have spit the heartworm medication out or vomited it up, leaving your dog unprotected for a period that you were unaware of. If for any reason the dog became infected with heartworms, treatment to rid the body of the infection must be started as early as possible to prevent permanent heart and lung damage.

If you don’t test for the disease and your dog is infected, the heartworm disease will gradually progress and cause serious, life-threatening illness. This can happen even if you continue to give heartworm medication because those medications kill only early stage larvae. More mature larvae will continue to develop into adults, and adults will continue to produce microfilariae. It’s better to know as soon as possible so treatment can be started before the damage is too severe. Heartworm tests can be run in the veterinarian’s office and require only a small blood sample from your dog.

Heartworm Preventatives Should Be Given Year-Round

Veterinarians strongly recommend that dogs be given heartworm prevention all year round. In some parts of the country, where mosquitoes are less active in the winter months, you may be in the habit of only treating your dogs for heartworms half the year.

Due to unpredictable seasonal temperature changes, the American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention for animals in every state. Also, with dogs traveling with their owners more, the prevalence of heartworm across the United States is increasing. This is a good practice to help you stay in the habit of always protecting your dog from heartworms, no matter what the season.

Some heartworm preventatives contain medications that also remove other parasites, such as fleas, mites, ticks, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Depending on which heartworm medication you choose for your dog and cat, they may also be protected year-round from these parasites. Ask your veterinarian for help in choosing the best possible heartworm preventative medication for your pet.

In regions where heartworm infections are common, repelling mosquitos adds a second layer of protection that can be very valuable. Permethrin-based products such as Seresto 8 month flea and tick prevention collars and Vectra® repel mosquitos as well as fleas and ticks.

Heartworm prevention is an important part of your pet’s health care. Don’t risk their health by skipping doses.

Some heartworm preventatives contain medications that also remove other parasites, such as fleas, mites, ticks, roundworms, hookworms and whipworms. Depending on which heartworm medication you choose for your dog and cat, they may also be protected year-round from these parasites. Ask your veterinarian for help in choosing the best possible heartworm preventative medication for your pet.

In regions where heartworm infections are common, repelling mosquitos adds a second layer of protection that can be very valuable. Permethrin-based products such as Seresto 8 month flea and tick prevention collars and Vectra® repel mosquitos as well as fleas and ticks.

Heartworm prevention is an important part of your pet’s health care. Don’t risk their health by skipping doses.

photo source: Pexels

source: Pet MD

Blind Senior Dog Finds Help In A Puppy Friend To Show Him The Way

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At 11 years old, Charlie is very much a senior pup — but nowadays, his heart is fuller than ever.

A few years back, Charlie’s world went dark after he had both eyes removed as a result of glaucoma. He seemed to cope with the sudden change quite well day to day, though he nevertheless began to slow down and be less excitable.

Recently, however, Charlie’s spirit has blossomed anew in the light of a new love.

Charlie’s adoring owners, Chelsea Stipe and her husband, could tell he was still a happy dog, but suspected he’d benefit from having a canine companion in his twilight years. And they were right.

After bringing home a puppy named Maverick, everything about Charlie began to change for the better.

The two dogs quickly became inseparable friends — the younger’s energy and enthusiasm seeming to inspire the same in the older.

“Charlie has definitely been more playful and puppy-like since Maverick came around,” Stipe told The Dodo. “We’d buy him toys and he wouldn’t think about playing with them. Now, they’re just constantly playing with each other.”

Maverick may only be a few months old, but he seems to understand that Charlie is experiencing the world without the sense of sight, and has adapted to help him with that limitation.

“He knows Charlie is different,” Stipe said. “He’ll put toys in front of him. He’s very aware, when Charlie starts to move, to be on the lookout for him. When they walk together, Maverick helps keep Charlie in line.”

Maverick will often rest alongside Charlie, too, as if just to reassure him that he’s not alone.

Charlie and Maverick may be different, but it clearly hasn’t hindered their friendship.

If anything, it’s made it stronger.

“It’s amazing. They’re just such a great combo,” Stipe said. “They’re always together.”

Nothing could ever completely turn back the clock on Charlie’s life, of course (nor, given all those happy years, would anyone want to). Maverick, instead, has shown that joy and happiness still lie ahead on the road they’re now on together.

“Charlie’s an older dog. We used to think we could lose him any time,” Stipe said. “But now, with Maverick, it’s like he got this jolt in him, this zest for life again. If he had eyes, I know there’d be a twinkle in them.”

photo source: Chelsea Stipe/ The Dodo

source: The Dodo