Fact or Fiction: A Close-Up On Dental Cavities in Dogs?

While cavities in dogs aren’t as common as they are in people, they do exist in about 5% of canine patients. Also known as dental caries, canine cavities occur when oral bacteria ferments carbohydrates on the tooth surface. While there are some other factors that are part of this tooth-decaying process, the fact is this diagnosis can be prevented.

All Things Considered

Part of the reason why you might not be aware of cavities in dogs is that there are some unique criteria involved. First, there must be a spot on a tooth for food to accumulate. Second, a dog must have eaten fermentable carbohydrates. Lastly, the presence of high salivary pH is necessary to trigger the fermentation process.

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Boo! Halloween Candy Safety For Pets

Halloween is right around the corner, and we couldn’t be more excited. There’s the pumpkin carving, the pet halloween costumes (and contests!) and the main event – trick or treating the evening away. Some of us even like to bring our (very social) pets along.

But, of course, one hazard that Halloween poses for pets is that of Halloween candy. Most of us know that chocolate can be toxic to dogs, but what else do we need to be aware of when it comes to fright night, candy, and our pets? Highway Veterinary Hospital is ready to explore this topic and provide you some tips to keep your pets safe. Continue…

A Pet Owner’s Guide to Canine Influenza

Canine influenza, or dog flu, can be a serious risk to dog health.Nobody wants to get the flu, but the threat looms over us all once the cool weather returns. Luckily, humans have everything from herbal teas to vitamin supplements to vaccines to help us decrease our chances of getting the flu. However, when it comes to canine influenza (also known as “dog flu”), things aren’t quite so simple.

The virus, which made its appearance in the U.S. in 2005, can spread quickly with little or no warning. More than 2,600 dogs have been diagnosed with canine influenza in 2018; because many pets remain asymptomatic, the number of actual cases is surely much higher. At Highway Veterinary Hospital, we want to make sure every owner knows how to protect their dog from this troubling virus.

Canine Influenza

Canine influenza is a highly contagious respiratory disease caused by the type A influenza virus. Common symptoms include:

  • Mild coughing
  • Discharge from the eyes and nose
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fever

Veterinarians usually diagnose dog flu once the owner observes the above symptoms. Sometimes, the disease is diagnosed after multiple dogs experience a sudden onset of symptoms after being together in the same area.

Dog Flu: Not Just for Dogs Anymore?

Influenza viruses receive great attention by both human and animal health care professionals due to their ability to spread rapidly and chances of animal-to-human transmission.

  • All influenza A viruses originate in wild birds and waterfowl; some can be transmitted to other types of animals.
  • A change in a horse influenza virus caused the first canine influenza outbreak in North America in the early 2000’s.
  • Cases of dog-to-human transmission of influenza have been reported.
  • Cats are susceptible to many avian and human influenza viruses.

Protect Your Pet

The number one way to protect your pet is to have them vaccinated. At Highway Veterinary Hospital, we currently use the bivalent vaccine, which protects against both strains of canine influenza found in North America. We’ve incorporated it into our puppy series and consider it a core vaccine.

You can also reduce your pet’s risk of infection by carefully monitoring situations where your dog is in close contact with other animals (e.g., dog parks, doggie daycares, boarding facilities). Don’t allow your dog to play with another dog who appears sick. If your dog begins displaying symptoms, please call us right away, and quarantine your pet inside your home until your appointment.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our team with additional questions about canine influenza.  

Caring for Our Community, Caring for Animals: The Big Red Doghouse Foundation

big red doghouse foundationAs a pet parent, we know that you feel strongly about the well-being of all animals. After all, our special furry family members bring so much joy, wonder, and fulfillment to our lives; it’s natural to want to do everything we can to keep them happy, healthy and as safe as possible.

That’s where the Big Red Doghouse Foundation comes into play. Highway Veterinary Hospital is pleased to announce our very first nonprofit endeavor that aims to help foundations that are focused on very important work: providing much needed services to those pets who need it most!

Keep reading to learn more!

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Protect and Serve: All About K9 Officer Dogs

K9Dogs have protected human societies for well over 10,000 years. The first record of dogs defending humans in battle was around 600 B.C., and dogs continued to serve and protect humans all over the world, from the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, to a variety of Far East cultures.

The natural progression of our dependence on dogs led to the first organized police dog program in Ghent, Belgium in 1899. Since then, K9 officer dogs have been an important part of police and military programs throughout the world.

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Tidings Of Comfort And Joy: How To Help Homeless Pets

help homeless petsDuring the holiday season, it’s natural to turn our thoughts toward the needs of those less fortunate. As pet owners and animal lovers, it can be difficult to think of the plight of so many pets who languish in shelters all over the country.

Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to help homeless pets in your community and beyond, and the benefits are well worth the effort!

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Uncanny Canines: All About Guide Dogs

guide dogsFrom cancer sniffing canines and drug and bomb detecting dogs, to dogs that protect our borders and keep our food supplies safe; and, to the best pal that sleeps at the end of your bed, there’s no shortage of amazing dogs out there. In honor of dogs and the wonderful services they provide for their human companions, we’d like to take this opportunity to pay homage to the original service canine: guide dogs.

Guide Dogs Defined

Guide dogs are professionally trained to assist the blind and visually impaired by avoiding obstacles, navigating traffic and urban obstacles, and generally helping their person get to where they need to go, safely. The dog and their human (handler) work together as a team; the handler knows where he or she wants to go, and the dog’s job is to get both of them there safely.

Guide dogs are trained from birth to about 18 months old, typically spending the first year of their lives with a “foster family” whose role is to provide a loving home, basic obedience training, and socialization. After about a year the dogs undergo their formal guide dog training, which typically takes 4-6 months.

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