Posts in Category: Pet Health & Wellness
Disease prevention is a major concern for pet owners, but it can be a little confusing at times. Many health threats are a bit ambiguous, especially if a cat lives an indoor-only existence. Cat vaccines may seem like they aren’t necessary or important to many cats with limited potential exposure. The truth is, routine vaccinations play a critical role in disease prevention and maintaining lifelong health.Continue…
Hairballs are something that most cat owners accept as part of the territory of living with a cat. After all, they are covered in fur. Equipped with a super-unique tongue that easily lifts dead or loose hair, dirt and debris from their coat, cats strive to be extra-clean all the time. The barbs on the tongue that feel scratchy to us are pointed backwards, making it all but impossible for them not to swallow a mouthful of fur from their coat.
This is all normal feline behavior, but if your cat’s hairballs seem excessive or out of control they may have something else going on.Continue…
There’s nothing like an amazing meal, especially at Thanksgiving. Pies and baked goods, stuffing and mashed potatoes, and did we say turkey and gravy? It’s enough to make anyone salivate, including the family dog or cat.
Unfortunately, with every Thanksgiving meal comes a number of tempting dishes that are toxic to pets. The team at Highway Veterinary Hospital wants to ensure your holiday is pet emergency-free by raising awareness about the Thanksgiving foods that are bad for pets.Continue…
Your pet’s feces may not be the most glamorous thing to talk about, they deserve a lot more credit than you might think. Besides being a vehicle for eliminating waste from the body, pet poop holds a lot of information that can help you as well as our doctors at Highway Veterinary Hospital.Continue…
If your dog is the most big-hearted pet you know, you’re not alone. Our dogs are the heartbeat of the entire family and provide unconditional love and loyalty. But did you know that heart disease in dogs is diagnosed more than you might think. In fact, it is estimated that up to 10% of all dogs who are over 7 years of age have some form of a heart condition.
Heart disease accounts for a big portion of senior pet problems, although some conditions can also appear in younger dogs, too. It’s important to understand this disease that affects millions of dogs each year and the team at Highway Veterinary Hospital is here to tell you more.Continue…
If you have never heard or witnessed a reverse sneeze, you may want to consider yourself pretty lucky.
This canine phenomenon that sounds much worse than it really is, the reverse sneeze can be startling, to say the least. However, most pet owners don’t know that this bizarre phenomenon even exists until they’re woken in the middle of the night by this unique noise.
A quick YouTube search for a reverse sneeze may be educational for those that have never heard of it before. Owners of dogs with this condition understandably mistake the sound for choking or respiratory distress. Snorting, honking, snuffling, and even gagging noises can be highly distressing. Most of the time, a reverse sneeze is completely normal.Continue…
There are few things more joyful than a dog that’s happy to see you. But a whipping tail, floppy tongue, and dancing paws may conceal an embarrassing truth. If your dog pees when excited, you’re not alone. This issue is actually quite common among younger dogs, those that are newly adopted, or ones that simply need a bit more training.
In other words, this behavior, while certainly inconvenient, can definitely be handled with patience, understanding, and support.Continue…
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.Continue…
It’s easy to forget about your pet’s teeth and gums until an unfortunate odor starts emanating from their mouth. Of course, doggie or kitty breath is nothing new, but by the time this tell-tale funk is obvious, damage to the teeth and gums has already begun. In other words, pet dental disease isn’t one of those conditions where you should just “wait and see” if something develops. The following common signs of poor dental health are all a call to action.
Before We Get Started…
Oral bacteria combined with food particles create a film on the teeth called plaque. When it hardens, tarter will form. Plaque is fairly easy to brush off, but tartar removal is more serious. When plaque is ignored, tartar creeps between the gums and teeth where bacteria can flourish, causing bad breath.
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 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
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.