Our own Dr. Ratterree gets a new family member
Aug 21
Our own Dr. Ratterree gets a new family member

Watch the story of our own Dr. Ratterree's new furry friend. 

Parvo In Dogs
Jul 29
Parvo In Dogs

Canine parvovirus is a highly contagious viral disease that can produce a life-threatening illness. The virus attacks rapidly dividing cells in a dog’s body, most severely affecting the intestinal tract. Parvovirus also attacks the white blood cells, and when young animals are infected, the virus can damage the heart muscle and cause lifelong cardiac problem

The general symptoms of parvovirus are lethargy, severe vomiting, loss of appetite and bloody, foul-smelling diarrhea that can lead to life-threatening dehydration.

Parvovirus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted by any person, animal or object that comes in contact with an infected dog's feces. Highly resistant, the virus can live in the environment for months, and may survive on inanimate objects such as food bowls, shoes, clothes, carpet and floors. It is common for an unvaccinated dog to contract parvovirus from the streets, especially in urban areas where there are many dogs.

Veterinarians diagnose parvovirus on the basis of clinical signs and laboratory testing. The Enzyme Linked Immuno Sorbant Assay (ELISA) test has become a common test for parvovirus. The ELISA test kit is used to detect parvovirus in a dog’s stools, and is performed in the vet’s office in about 15 minutes. Because this test is not 100% sensitive or specific, your veterinarian may recommend additional tests and bloodwork.

Puppies, adolescent dogs and canines who are not vaccinated are most susceptible to the virus. The canine parvovirus affects most members of the dog family (wolves, coyotes, foxes, etc.). Breeds at a higher risk are Rottweilers, Doberman pinschers, Labrador retrievers, American Staffordshire terriers and German shepherds.

You can protect your dog from this potential killer by making sure he’s up-to-date on his vaccinations. Parvovirus should be considered a core vaccine for all puppies and adult dogs. It is usually recommended that puppies be vaccinated with combination vaccines that take into account the risk factors for exposure to various diseases. One common vaccine, called a “5-in-1,” protects the puppy from distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis  parvovirus and parainfluenza.

Article: WebMD


Salt Poisoning
Jul 15
Salt Poisoning

Salt, while commonly used for cooking in the kitchen, is quite poisonous to dogs and cats. The use of salt to induce vomiting in dogs and cats is no longer the standard of care and is not recommended for use by pet owners or veterinarians! Other sources of salt can be found throughout the household: in homemade play dough, rock salt (for deicing), paint balls, table salt, sea water, enemas (containing sodium phosphate), etc.

Salt poisoning in dogs and cats results in clinical signs of vomiting, diarrhea, inappetence, lethargy, walking drunk, abnormal fluid accumulation within the body, excessive thirst or urination, potential injury to the kidneys, tremors, seizures, coma, and even death when untreated. Treatment for salt poisoning includes careful administration of IV fluids, electrolyte monitoring, treatment for dehydration and brain swelling, and supportive care.

Level of toxicity: Generally moderate to severe, life-threatening

Common signs to watch for:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Inappetence
  • Lethargy
  • Walking drunk
  • Abnormal fluid accumulation within the body
  • Excessive thirst or urination
  • Potential injury to the kidneys
  • Tremors
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Death

If you think your dog or cat have been poisoned by salt, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice.

Article by Pet Poison Helpline


Preventing ticks on your pets
Jul 08
Preventing ticks on your pets

Dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and tickborne diseases. Vaccines are not available for most of the tickborne diseases that dogs can get, and they don’t keep the dogs from bringing ticks into your home. For these reasons, it’s important to use a tick preventive product on your dog.

Tick bites on dogs may be hard to detect. Signs of tickborne disease may not appear for 7-21 days or longer after a tick bite, so watch your dog closely for changes in behavior or appetite if you suspect that your pet has been bitten by a tick.

Talk to your veterinarian about:

  • The best tick prevention products for your dog
  • Tickborne diseases in your area

To further reduce the chances that a tick bite will make your dog sick:

  • Check your pets for ticks daily, especially after they spend time outdoors.
  • If you find a tick on your pet remove it right away.
  • Reduce tick habitat in your backyard, by keeping yard free of trash. Clear  tall grass and brush from around home and edge of lawn. Mow grass frequently. Keep stray animals out of your yard.
  • How to remove a tick
    1. Use fine-tipped tweezers to grasp the tick as close to the skin’s surface as possible.
    2. Pull upward with steady, even pressure. Don’t twist or jerk the tick; this can cause the mouth-parts to break off and remain in the skin. If this happens, remove the mouth-parts with tweezers. If you are unable to remove the mouth easily with clean tweezers, leave it alone and let the skin heal.
    3. After removing the tick, thoroughly clean the bite area and your hands with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
    4. Never crush a tick with your fingers. Dispose of a live tick by putting it in alcohol, placing it in a sealed bag/container, wrapping it tightly in tape, or flushing it down the toilet.
  Note: Cats are extremely sensitive to a variety of chemicals. Do not apply any tick prevention products to your cats without first asking your veterinarian! 
Article by CDC

Ways to Help an Outdoor Cat Stay Cool
Jun 30
Ways to Help an Outdoor Cat Stay Cool

Cats are highly intelligent, and they can stay cool on their own if you give them the proper resources. Here are just a few ways to help your cat escape the heat:

  • Place a comfortable bed in a shaded area, such as a porch or under some low lying shrubs.
  • Put out two bowls of fresh water. One bowl should be fresh and cool, and the other frozen. The frozen bowl will melt slowly and provide cool water later in the day.
  • Throw ice cubes into a water bowl to cool it down and draw the interest of your cat. This may encourage her to drink more liquid.
  • When temperatures reach over 90 degrees Fahrenheit, you should refill the bowls every couple of hours.
  • Brush your cat daily  to allow the air to move freely through her fur, particularly if your cat has long hair.
  • Do not tie or confine your cat to an area with asphalt or concrete because these surfaces really hold the heat on a sunny day.
  • Wrap a towel around a bag of frozen peas and place it in her outdoor bed so she can lie on it to cool off.
  • Take a damp cloth and wipe it over your cat. If your cat will tolerate water, wet her with a spray bottle. Most cats will tolerate the damp cloth better.
  • Hold a cold compress around your cat's neck to help her cool off a bit more.

Create the Ideal Shelter

Even if your cat is an outdoor cat, consider bringing her inside during the hottest part of the day, which is typically from about 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you absolutely cannot have a cat indoors due to allergies or another reason, consider getting the cat a climate controlled cat house. The house is air conditioned in the summer and heated in the winter to offer your cat a place to escape extreme cold and heat.

Signs a Cat Is Overheating

 Cats left inside vehicles on hot days are the most common heat stroke victims. Temperatures inside a closed vehicle can reach about 104 degrees within about 15 minutes. CatHealth.com states that elderly cats, kittens and obese cats are more likely to suffer heat stroke. Signs that your cat might be overheating include:

  • Rapid breathing or panting
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Drooling
  • Dilated pupils
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Yowling

If you suspect your cat may be overheating, take her temperature.  A normal temperature for cats is between 99.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit. If your cat's temperature is above that range, take steps too cool her off. The quickest way to cool kitty down is to wet her fur. Put her in a sink or bathtub with a couple inches of room temperature water, or wet her down with a garden hose. You should then phone your veterinarian for further instructions. The vet may want to see your cat, depending upon how high her temperature is and which symptoms she exhibits. A temperature of 104 degrees is serious. A temperature of 106 to 107 means your cat is overheating in a dangerous way that may cause permanent damage or even death. If you cannot take your cats temperature, and they are experiencing any of the above symptoms, then please take your cat to your veterinarian.

Article by Lori Soard