Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Summer Safety!

It is great to see so many people out and about and it is great to see them enjoying the beautiful weather with their canine companions. The staff at PetWell knows how fun this can be but unfortunately we all have experience dealing with the negatives associated with fun in the sun. Things like heat stroke, sunburn, solar-induced cancer and dehydration. These types of things happen more than we’re aware of, and the reality of the issue is that they can all be fatal.

The good news is that they are all preventable!

It’s as simple as considering your furry family members and their needs prior to venturing out into the sun – Needs that your dog may not be aware of themselves.

We strongly recommend limiting your dog’s exposure to sun and heat during the months of May through September.

This does not mean that they can’t go outdoors, but it does mean that you must use discretion prior to assuming that your pups can handle long hours in the sun just like you.

Please consider providing plenty of water for your dog whether in the yard or at the park.

Please consider using a dog-safe sunscreen, especially on the lightly haired regions of the body like the abdomen, the ears and the nose. This is especially important for white dogs and dogs with thin or sparse fur.

Dogs with dark or thick fur get hot more quickly and cannot cool down as well, and therefore should spend even less time in the sun.

All dogs should avoid heavy exercise during the day and into the evening. We recommend exercising in the morning prior to the heat of the day. Also, on this topic, please consider that your dog likely took the entire winter off from exercising too, so start out with some short periods of exercise prior to jumping right into a 10K!

We’ve all heard about the risks of leaving your dogs in the car. We strongly recommend NOT leaving your dog in the car for even one minute. If you must leave your pup in the car, then keep it running with the air conditioning on.

Finally, please consider that asphalt gets hot! Do your best to avoid walking on hot asphalt with your pups. Burns and blisters on the foot pads are common this time of year and can be easily avoided with a little forethought.

At PetWell we encourage you all to have fun in the sun. After all this is the greatest time of the year! Taking these tips into consideration can help ensure that your summer is safe and fun. Please feel free to call or email with any further questions or concerns!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Fleas: The harsh truth...

If you live in GA, and most of you do, its only a matter of time before your pet is constantly exposed to fleas.  Did you know that you live in the flea capital of the United States?  Flea's live year-round in Georgia and whether your pet is showing symptoms or not, fleas are present.

Some of you might say; "Well, I've never seen a flea on my pet." 

This is a good thing but it doesn't mean that your pet doesn't have fleas.  The adult flea (The bug that you can see with the naked eye) represents only 5% of the flea population.  This means that you can not visualize 95% of the flea population including eggs, larva and pupa.  These are the things that live in your carpet, couch and in your pets bedding.  These flea offspring also live in the cracks of your floors and in that spot under your bed where your pet sleeps. Fleas also live in your yard, under trees, in mulch, also under crawl spaces, decks and stairs.

Some may be mildly offended by the notion that I am telling you that your pet has fleas despite the fact that you've never seen them.   Please allow me to clarify, I am not saying that all pets are INFESTED.  I am simply saying that it is bold to suggest that your pets don't have fleas as these bugs have been around for millions of years with only one goal:  Find a host.

It is also bold for us (Veterinary Scientists) to think that we can 'prevent' flea infestations.  Again, fleas have been in existence for a very long time and no topical or oral chemical is going to eradicate these bugs. 

Each female flea can lay up to 20 eggs per day.  Flea eggs hatch in about 21 days and those new fleas start laying promptly.  The flea population can grow exponentially in just one month and that's if you start with only one flea!

Here are the facts:  fleas exist and they thrive in our climate.  There are 2 big flea 'blooms' each year in this area of the country (SE United States)  One in September and one in April.  The best way to prevent a problem in your yard, in your home and on your pet is to use a flea management product year round. 

Flea management products include but are not limited to:  Frontline, Capstar, Comfortis and Sentinel.  Notice that I did not call these products flea prevention...Using these products in appropriate combinations can really limit the chances of an out of control flea population.  Using these products as directed, year-round, virtually eliminates the possibility of an infestation :)

Once again allow me to give you a reality check:  No flea management product provides a force field around your pet.  The manufacturing company's actually rely on the fact that fleas are going to jump on your pet at some time.  If fact, all flea management products require the flea to be on your pet for for the product to work.

In a nut shell, at PetWell we believe that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound cure.  In the case of fleas we believe that an ounce of management is worth a pound of cure.  Fleas can cause significant gastrointestinal and dermatological issues in your pets.  Issue's that usually require multiple veterinary visits each requiring workups, medications and ultimately exorbitant bills.   The stress of these trips to the vet is un-necessary and can be prevented simply by utilizing a monthly flea preventative year-round.

Please feel free to write, email, call or stop in to learn more about flea management products as we'd be happy to customize a flea management protocol for your pets.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Longer Saturday Hours

Hey everyone!

We're extending our hours! :) 

People have been inquiring and now we're responding:  We will be open until 4pm on Saturday starting on the first Saturday in March.

Looking forward to seeing you...

Dr B

Monday, January 31, 2011

February is Dental Month!

Did you know that 85% of dogs and cats over the age of three have dental disease?

Most dogs and cats do not receive the daily brushings that help prevent tartar accumulation and infection. Once bacteria begins to colonize it forms plaque, which leads to tartar, gingivitis, and bad breath. From this point, additional health concerns arise.

Untreated periodontal disease can lead to compromised kidney, liver, respiratory and cardiac function. You may greatly reduce the rate at which dental disease develops by brushing your pet’s teeth on a regular basis. You should incorporate this into your young puppy or kitten’s routine. Practice opening your pet’s mouth and using a finger-brush.

Even with multiple brushings daily, people visit a dentist semi-annually for specialized evaluations and treatments. Just like humans, pets require regular professional dental cleanings. Even though routine

at-home care will lessen the frequency at which this anesthetic procedure will need to be performed, it will not eliminate bacteria and infection once it is already present. The staff at PetWell is happy to demonstrate tooth brushing techniques and advise you on canine/feline-specific oral health products. If a professional cleaning is recommended, PetWell is fully equipped with an experienced team to provide these services.

Please feel free to take advantage of the promotions offered by both Doguroo and PetWell during the National Pet Dental Month.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

A word about Canine Influenza:

What is Canine Influenza?

Canine influenza is a newly emerging (last 8-10 years) infectious disease caused by a flu virus in dogs. Just like the human flu, Canine Influenza is highly contagious and 100% of dogs will get the virus if they come in contact with it.

What are the signs of Canine Influenza?

Persistent Coughing
Low-grade fever
Nasal discharge
Lack of energy
Loss of appetite

How serious is Canine Influenza?

This virus is typically mild but some cases can become quite serious. Pneumonia can occur in about 20% of cases along with a very high fever (104°-106°). A small number of dogs have succumb to the disease or complications associated with the disease. Most dogs don’t show signs of this disease until they have already been spreading the disease for one week!
Is you dog at risk for contracting Canine Influenza?

Dogs at a greater risk include dogs that:

· Came from a shelter, rescue center, breeding kennel or a pet store.
· Board regularly or go to day care
· Attend group training
· Go to grooming facilities, dog parks
· Come in contact with other dogs

At PetWell we believe that being proactive in an effort to prevent Canine Influenza is the best way to avoid an outbreak. Immunized dogs have a significantly decreased risk of contracting this disease. Furthermore, immunized dogs pose a lesser risk to the dogs that they come in contact with. We are urging you as responsible pet owners to talk to your veterinarian about this disease and determine if the Canine Influenza vaccination is right for your pet.

Thanks for reading and we hope to see you soon!

Resolution 2011

I'm going to post one blog per month! I think that that is very do-able. I think I got overwhelmed last year with PetWells' growth, my familys' growth, etc. Blogging just wasn't a priority.

Please feel free to write, email or call with topic suggestions. The first and second topic are predetermined as January will be canine influenza awareness month and February is Dental Healthcare month. Please stand by for more information on canine influenza as I'll be posting soon...

Thanks again and happy new year to everyone!

Dr B

Friday, April 2, 2010

Weekend hours!

Hey everyone!

Just a quick note to let you know that I will not be in the office this weekend! We will be checking messages though so call or email if you have questions or concerns...


Dr B