Cat Health and Wellness: The Cornerstone of a Happy Life

Cat health is an important part of cat veterinary careCats are amazing creatures. They are also, however, masters at hiding signs of pain or discomfort. This means we may not know something is wrong until it’s too late, which is why we want to take a moment to focus on cat health and wellness.

Survival Instincts

In the wild, cats who show weakness or disease are targets for predators, so it’s no surprise that they’ve developed a survival instinct to hide their pain. This means the best way to ensure your kitty is healthy (even if they seem ok) is with regularly scheduled veterinary exams.  

The Importance of Wellness Visits

The purpose of wellness exams (or preventive care exams) is to make sure your cat is in good health and to prevent problems from developing later on. Cats age much faster than humans, so it’s important that they be seen at least once a year. Young pets, senior pets, and those with chronic conditions should be seen more frequently. Continue…

Lifelong Pet Health: Protect and Extend the Years You Have Together

pet healthWhile not all illnesses or injuries can be thwarted, many health concerns that affect pets are often preventable. This is a big part of why we pay close attention to dental health, weight gain, and exposure to various contagious diseases at your pet’s yearly or bi-annual wellness exam. Additionally, lifelong pet health is impacted by dangerous parasites that can live on or inside an otherwise health animal. With a proactive approach to parasite prevention, your pet’s overall longevity and vitality can be assured.

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The Reactive Care Clinic

Reactive: Acting in response to a situation or something bad after it’s already happened.

Proactive: Acting in advance to prevent something bad from happening.

We know you love your pet. We do too. Keeping your pet healthy is kind of a passion with us.  We also really love Stranger Things!  So, just for fun, lets take a tour of the “Upside Down” of veterinary medicine.

Welcome to the Reactive Care Clinic. Where exams, blood work and heartworm tests, stool exams and parasite control, vaccinations, dentals, spay/neuter surgeries, weight loss or any other preventative measures are not a priority. Don’t expect any irritating reminder calls either.  At the Reactive Care Clinic, you can expect… Continue…

Periodontal Disease in Pets: Preventable but Irreversible Once it Begins

Taking care of your pet’s oral health doesn’t have to be difficult. Like anything else, once you make it part of a regular routine, brushing your pet’s teeth at home is a breeze. Without daily or weekly attention to plaque and tartar build up, your pet’s teeth and gums could become prime targets for decay. Fortunately, periodontal disease in pets is avoidable, and with our easy care tips, your pet’s wellness won’t be compromised.

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Pet 911: When is it a Pet Emergency?

pet emergencyMost pet owners are prepared for wellness visits and preventive care, but we also know our adventurous pets can sometimes be involved in accidents or become ill. Sometimes, these situations require emergency care and, in extreme cases, surgery. The key to successful recovery is often how quickly your pet is brought in for evaluation and treatment.

Sometimes, however, it’s hard to recognize when a pet emergency is happening. To give you a quick guide to pet emergencies, including those that might require surgery, the team at AFVCC put together a list of problems that require an immediate trip to the pet emergency room.

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Fleas – The Essential Facts

 

Think fleas are just a summer problem? Not so but somehow this myth persists despite our best efforts. Arm yourself by reading our primer and learning all the things flea that your mother never taught you.

 

  • Fleas and their predecessors have been around since the Cretaceous era (65 million years ago).

  • Fleas used to be bigger (Up to 2 cm long). Today’s fleas are smaller (1.5 to 3.2 mm) but more athletic.

  • Fleas don’t have wings, but they can jump 50 to 100 times their body length.

  • Some people have theorized that humans evolved their hairlessness not just to attract a mate and cope with life on the hot savannahs but also as an adaptation to rid themselves of fleas and other external parasites.

  • The flea life cycle has four stages (egg, larvae, pupae and adult). More than half of the fleas in your house are eggs. That means for every adult you see, there are 100 more preadults waiting to emerge.

  • Fleas need a blood meal to reproduce.

  • Once a flea is on your pet, it will rarely leave since it needs to feed every 12 hours.

  • Once a flea has fed for 24 hours it will die of starvation within 2 – 4 days without a blood meal.

  • Fleas might bite you, but they are species specific and can’t survive on human blood alone

  • Adult fleas may need blood, but their larvae can survive on anything from dead bugs to poop to vegetable matter.                  

  • Fleas are hardy. They have a dormant stage in which preemergent adults can survive in a cocoon for up to 5 months

  • Fleas can’t survive out in the snow and cold, but they do just fine in your home or on a warm and furry host, even outdoors.

  • In your home, the flea life cycle can complete in 12 – 26 days.  

  • Fleas carry diseases such as Plague, Typhus, Cat Scratch Fever and Mycoplasma haemofelis (which effects the red blood cells in cats causing anemia and fever).

  • Fleas also transmit one of the more common tapeworms that plague pets.

  • Many pets are allergic to flea saliva and develop a severe dermatitis from as little as one bite.

  • The best way to deal with flea problems is prevention. Keep your pet on a quality anti-parasitic product all year.

  • If you already have a flea infestation at home, consult your veterinarian. The products and science of flea prevention and treatment change very quickly. Your veterinarian can make sure you get the best, less environmentally impactful product available.

The Scary Consequences of Not Doing that Dental

 

Don’t wait for the telltale signs of bad breath before scheduling dental care for your pet. By the time an unpleasant odor is evident they will be well on the way to serious dental disease.

Think Dog Breath = Early Disease. Bad Breath = Bad Disease.

 

    • Gingivitis:   Is defined as inflammation of gum tissue caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. This is the start of dental disease and provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive.  Inflammation, swelling and bleeding gums are the body screaming for dental care before things get worse.

      • Inflammation: The presence of inflammation and bacteria will cue up your pet’s immune system. With chronic inflammation, the immune response never shuts off which can damage heart, lungs and kidneys.

    • Gingival Recession: Untreated gingivitis and inflammation damages tissues causing  gums to pull away from teeth.  This exposes  sensitive tooth roots which do not have the same protective enamel as the crown and are more susceptible to damage.

    • Bone Loss:   Once the more vulnerable roots have been exposed, destructive bacteria release toxins which then eat away surrounding bone.

    • Root Abscess: The combination of inflammation, bacteria, gum recession and bone loss can lead to tooth root abscesses resulting in the loss of affected teeth.

    • Tooth Loss: As the cascade of damage continues, teeth will begin to wobble.  A decrease in appetite, weight loss and general malaise brought on by pain follows.

    • Oronasal Fistula: Severe dental disease can damage enough bone to create an opening between your pet’s mouth and nasal tract. At this stage, chronic respiratory issues are added to dental pain and disease.

    • Jaw Fracture: Continued bone loss can lead to fracture of the lower jaw.

    • Organ damage and Systemic Disease: This is the end game for untreated dental disease. Bacteria and chronic inflammation wreak havoc on the kidneys, liver, heart and overall health robbing your pet of not only quality but quantity of life.

5 Whys of Pet Wellness Visits

  • Animals mask illness.

    • Domesticated, well maybe but first and foremost your dog, cat, rabbit, bird etc… is still an animal and the number one rule in the animal kingdom is that the critter that shows weakness gets eaten first. Even if fluffy lives on the couch that fact is hardwired into his/her brain.

    • Wellness visits are our chance to circumvent to the “no talk rule.” They give us the information we need to catch brewing illnesses before they become major problems.

  • Preventative care costs much less than sick care.

    • Don’t like the cost of vaccines? Paying for the cost of treating Parvo, pneumonia or heartworm disease, far outweigh the cost of prevention.

    • Simple economics. Prevention is always less costly than treatment plus your pet doesn’t suffer damage to the organs that many diseases cause.

  • Your pet will live longer.

    • Good preventative care that catches problems early extends lifespan.

    • Good dental care adds even more.

  • Some of the things we prevent can make you sick too.

    • Most of us let our pets sleep with us so it’s a good idea to make sure they are healthy and parasite free.

  • It’s just the right thing to do.

    • Come on! Pets give us so much unconditional love, protection and service. Let’s do what we can to give them a long and healthy life in return.

Ready to Care for Breed-Specific Conditions? The Most Common Pet Health Problems  

You might like the look and temperament of a certain pet breed, only to find out that there are serious pet health problems associated with it. Of course, not every pet will suffer from issues that affect the breed in general, but it is important to acknowledge the health prospects of a prospective pet, both before and during the adoption process. The more information you have in the beginning, the more compatible you and your pet will be in the long  run.

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Is Pet Anxiety Normal at the Start of the School Year?

pet anxietyIt might seem a bit early, but it’s good to be prepared if your pet will experience any changes to the household dynamic this coming school year. During the summer months, the house may be absolutely brimming with squeals of laughter, blobs of peanut butter and honey, and a never-ending parade of activity. But what happens when the school year starts?

Confusing quiet, discomforting boredom, and pet anxiety are normal at the launch of the academic year, but these anxieties can be prevented – and the team at Animal Kind can help you prepare.

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