May Monthly Focus: Heartworm Disease and Protection

Where are Heartworms found?

Heartworms have been found in all 50 states, although certain areas have a higher risk of heartworm than others. Some very high-risk areas in18157007_1296604147043948_90092617426822473_nclude large regions, such as near the Atlantic and Gulf coasts, and along river tributaries. Most states have “hot spots” where the heartworm infection rate is very high compared with other areas in the same state. Factors affecting the level of risk of heartworm infection include the climate (temperature and humidity), the species of mosquitoes in the area, presence of mosquito breeding areas and presence of animal “reservoirs” (such as infected dogs, foxes or coyotes).

Heartworm Testing:

Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive disease. The earlier it is detected, the better chance the pet will recover. There are few, iwhen-to-do-a-heartworm-testf any early signs of disease when a dog or cat is infected with heartworms, so detecting their presence with a heartworm test administered by a veterinarian is important. The test requires just a small blood sample from your pet, and it works by detecting the presence of heartworm proteins. Some veterinarians process heartworm tests right in their hospitals while others sent the samples to a diagnostic laboratory. In either case, results are obtained quickly. If you pet tests positive, further tests may be ordered.

Heartworm Facts:

Can I skip giving my dog his preventative during colder months, when there aren’t any mosquitoes?

A: The American Heatworm Society recommends year-round heartworm prevention. One reason is, there’s already a serious problem with people forgetting to give their dogs the heartworm preventatives. It’s a universal problem. heartworm-preventionNow if you use it year-round, and you miss a month, your dog will probably still be protected. But if you miss more than one or two months your dog could become infected. The other reason not to stop is that many of the preventatives today also include an intestinal parasite control for roundworms, whipworms or tapeworms. You want your dog to be protected against those at all times.

How can I prevent my dogs from getting heartworms?

A: For less than the cost of going to Starbucks for a weekly coffee, you can prevent heartworm disease in your dog. There are monthly pills, treat_photomonthly topical treatments that you put on the skin, and there’s also a six-month injectable product. The damage that’s done to that dog and the cost of the treatment is way more than the cost to prevent heartworm disease. A year’s supply of heartworm preventative will cost about $50 to $100 depending on a dog’s weight.

What are the symptoms of heartworm infestations in dogs?

A: Initially, there are no symptoms. But as more and more worms crowd the heart and lungs, most dogs will develop adownload cough. As it progresses, they won’t be able to exercise as much as before; they will become winded easier. With severe heartworm disease, we can hear abnormal lung sounds, dogs can pass out from the loss of blood to the brain, and they can retain fluids. Eventually, most dogs will die if the worms are not treated.

Can people get heartworms from their dogs?

A: It can only be passed on by mosquitoes. It’s a specific parasite that only affects dogs, cats, ferrets and other mammals. In rare cases, 18119543_1296577887046574_4347796156893153825_nheartworms have infected people, but it does not complete its life cycle. The heartworm will migrate to the lung and cause a round lesion that looks like a tumor. But these are very rare cases.

If one of my dogs has heartworms, can it give it to my other dogs?

A: No. Again the only way heartworms are transmitted is though the bite of an infected mosquito.

Heartworms in Cats:

Signs of heartworm disease in cats can be very subtle or very dramatic. Symptoms may include coughing, asthma-like attacks, periodic vomiting, lack of appetite or weight loss. Occasionally anheartworm-in-cats affected cat may have difficulty walking, experience fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid accumulation in the abdomen. Unfortunately, the first sign in some cases is sudden collapse of the cat, or sudden death.

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Senior Screening

Senior Pets

Your dog or cat is considered a “senior citizen” at age 7!

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Mayfair Animal Hospital recommends yearly blood work and a urinalysis on all senior patients.  This helps to detect problems not evident on physical exams, and also provides a baseline for what is normal for your pet as he or she ages.  If detected early, 75% of common diseasenior cat 02ses in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modification

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Discount Month!

Mayfair Animal Hospital is offering a 10% discount on senior screening during the month of April.  Please call us to schedule an appointment (919) 467-6146.senior dog

 

Regular preventative care is even more important for senior dogs and cats to help prevent or delay the onset of diseases that older pets are more susceptible to including kidney disease, heart disease, liver disease, cancer, organ failure, osteoarthritis, hormone disorders to name a few.

What is Included in Senior Wellness Screens

At Mayfair Animal Hospital, our specialized senior care screenings will help us determine the health of your pet and check for potential underlying conditions. For dogs and cats seven years and older, we recommend:

A Physical Exam – an important part of the senior care program. Our veterinarians will perform a comprehensive physical exam to check for any abnormalities.

Blood Chemistry Testing – measures the levels of various substances in the blood, and aids in diagnosing common diseases such as diabetes, liver, and kidney disease.

Complete Blood Count (CBC) – provides a detailed look at the different blood cells, and helps us diagnose anemia, infection, or dehydration.

Thyroid Screen (T4) – helps our veterinarians diagnose thyroid disease which is a common ailment in older dogs and cats.

Urinalysis – gives us detailed information about kidney function, aids in the diagnosis of diabetes, checks for urinary tract infections, and can alert us about any abnormalities that could lead to kidney or bladder stones.

We are here to help you in providing your pet with the best and most comprehensive senior veterinary care so that he or she has the healthiest and happiest quality of life throughout their golden years. Please give senior dog 02us a call today to schedule a senior wellness screening for your senior dog or cat.

 

Fleas and Ticks

Fleas and Ticks

Spring is here, ana_60_header_fleasd with it comes an increase in pesky creatures that bring discomfort and disease to our pets.  Ticks and fleas are present in our area all year, but you can expect to see an increase with the arrival of warm weather.  Prevention of tick bites and flea infestation is an important part of your pet’s health care.

Ticks

Tick bites transnexgardmit many diseases to our pets including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasma, and Ehrlichia.  North Carolina often has one of the highest rates of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever in the country and diseases like Lyme Disease continue to spread into our state.  These diseases cause serious illness and sometimes death in our pets, so their prevention is extremely important.  The best way to prevent these diseases is with effective tick control products.  There are many options that include both oral and topical treatments.  Our staff will be happy to discuss with you the product that is best for your pet.

If you find a tick on your pet it should be removed with tweezers.  Grasp the tick as close as possible to the prevent-tick-disease-cat-fbskin and use slow, steady pressure to pull it out.  It is best to wear protective gloves when you remove a tick because you can become infected with tick borne diseases from blood or tick saliva.

 

There is a vaccine available for Lyme Diseases in dogs and our staff can discuss this vaccine with you to determine if your dog should be vaccinated.  However, it is important to remember that most tick borne diseases have no vaccine to prevent them.  This means tick bite prevention is extremely important for your pet’s health.

Fleas

Fleas are the other adinfo_flea_life_cyclecommon parasite we see increase with warm weather.  It is important to remember that most of the flea’s life cycle is not on your pet, but rather in the environment.  This means that by the time you see one adult flea, there is usually a big flea problem in your pet’s environment.  It can take months to get a flea infestation under control.  Preventing the problem in the first place can save both you and your pet a great deal of misery!

Ask us about convenient products for both tick and flea control.

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February: National Pet Dental Health Month

National Pet Dental Health Month

Feb Monthly Focus (1)click the link to request an appointment

Have you ever taken an online test to determine your “Real Age?” If so, perhaps you’ve noticed that among all the questions about diet, exercise, and family health history, there are also questions about how often you visit your dentist and floss your teeth. That’s because healthy teeth and gums are essential for overall general wellbeing. This is true for our pets as well. For people, we know that gingivitis and periodontitis can increase the chance of dying by 23-46%, and may be associated with diseases such as Diabetes, heart disease and possibly even cancer. In fact, risk of premature death is twice as high in people under 50 years of age with advanced periodontal disease.

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We do not yet have similar data for cats and dogs, but we do know from experience that maintaining a healthy mouth improves quality of life for our pets and strengthens the human/companion animal bond. (it’s difficult to get up close & personal with serious dog breath!)

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Unfortunately, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3, and this will only worsen if effective preventive measures aren’t taken. Preventive care can help protect your pet and catch problems before they become more serious. This includes both home dental care and professional dental services. February is National Pet Dental Health Month and we will be providing a $25 discount on professional dental services throughout the month. Professional dental services at Mayfair Animal Hospital are performed under general anesthesia and include a thorough oral health evaluation, scaling and polishing the teeth, dental X-rays, and treatment of problems that are identified.

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We will also be highlighting Pet Dental Health on Facebook, so make sure you check our page daily for more information on ways we can partner together to take care of your dog’s or cat’s pearly whites. If you will give us a call or stop by, we’d be happy to discuss options for home care as well.

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While we will be talking more about dental health this month, the doctors and staff at Mayfair Animal Hospital understand that oral health care is a year-round, lifelong concern. It’s just one of the ways we want to work with you to make sure your pet lives a long and happy life!

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Adventures of Hank and Myrtle!

Say hello to Hank and Myrtle, Mayfair Animal Hospital’s bull and cow!

Our unofficial mascots of the hospital, Hank and Myrtle, are hanging on the wall in the front lobby!  Take a peek at how cute they are:

Hank Myrtle

Cow Knowledge

Cows are members of the sub-family ‘Bovinae’ of the family ‘Bovidae’. This family also includes Gazelles, Buffalo, Bison, Antelopes, Sheep and Goats.

  • A cow is a female animal that has had at least one calf.
  • A heifer is a female animal that has never had a calf. Once a heifer has a calf, she automatically becomes a cow.
  • A bull is a mature male animal that is used for breeding.
  • A steer is a male animal that has been castrated.

Our Hank is a “bull”.  Myrtle is a “heifer”.

Lobby Hank and Myrtle

Hank and Myrtle get to see all the clients and patients that come in.  Stay tuned for their adventures here in our front lobby!