Common Conditions – Canine

Ear infections

Your pet may have an ear infection if you note ANY of the following – odor from the ears, excessive wax, head shaking, head scratching, head tilt or drooping ear. It is MUCH easier (and cheaper!) for us to treat these if you bring them in sooner rather than later - please do not delay in scheduling your pet’s appointment!

Skin allergies

Allergic disease in our pets primarily presents as skin problems from red spots, hair loss, foot licking, darkened skin, and many others. We have much better success treating the infections and discomforts that come with skin disease today in veterinary medicine than ever before, but examining the problem early in the course of the problem goes a long way to saving you money and finding comfort for your pet.

Fleas

We treat fleas in both dogs and cats every day of the year. Even one flea on your pet can mean a large problem in your home. Please see us for advice on flea treatment and prevention. There are many confusions surrounding flea preventions and treatment as generics become available (it may seem the same, but when it comes to flea treatment it IS NOT!) . Please know that treating your pet with the best and safest products are our priorities as well as finding you the best value. Too often we hear stories of people who have spent lots of money trying ‘xyz’ and their pets have continued to have problems! Please call us or stop in for advice on how to effectively treat your pet and your home before everyone is itching/scratching and tapeworms begin to spread. We know that it is tempting to purchase from online pharmacies but because we have seen too many counterfeit and adulterated products, we offer price matching (see a receptionist for guidelines) as well as free shipping to your door for prescriptions over $39.

Intestinal parasites

2% to 10% of pets in our area have intestinal parasites. Even indoor cats are at risk. In many cases, the pet doesn’t show any clinical signs to suggest a problem. In other situations, you may note scooting, diarrhea, or weight loss. The Companion Animal Parasite Council recommends parasite testing 2-4 times per year depending on your pet’s environment and life style.

Hot spots and skin infections

Hot spots and skin infections can happen FAST! If you notice red bumps, hair loss, or a moist area of fur that your pet won’t leave alone, please don’t delay in scheduling an appointment.

Periodontal (dental) disease

One of the best ways to keep your pet comfortable and living a long, healthy life is to keep his or her mouth healthy. See here for more information.

Stomach upsets

Acute severe vomiting (over 2-3 times a day), or stomach upset accompanied by lethargy, loss of appetite, or diarrhea should be seen on an emergency basis. We keep open emergency slots in our schedule and always accept work-in appointments if your pet becomes acutely ill. If you need care after-hours, please contact an area emergency clinic. Chronic intermittent vomiting should also be evaluated without too much delay. In either case, please remove food access for at least 8 hours (no more than 6 hours for a puppy/kitten or more than 24 hours in an adult or geriatric pet) until your visit, but KEEP WATER AVAILABLE!

Intestinal inflammation / diarrhea

Acute and chronic stool changes can have a variety of causes and should be promptly evaluated by your veterinarian. Please bring a fresh (less than 24 hour) fecal sample from your pet to your appointment.

Bladder diseases

Urinating more often, increased licking, or an odor or altered color to the urine are signs of disease and discomfort. Surprisingly, a large percentage of pets can have a urinary tract infection with NO clinical signs. We recommend routine urinary testing for the health and well-being of your pet.

Arthritis

Whether it is slowing down in general, getting up or down more slowly, or hesitating more on the stairs, your pet may be telling you that they are in pain. It is important to let your veterinarian know about your observations so that we may suggest exercises or treatments to keep your pet active and strong. Up to 75% of Labradors and other large breeds are euthanized due to mobility problems and the earlier we start therapies, the less likely your pet will be one of these statistics.

Lameness

Any pet that is limping is in pain. They usually do not vocalize like you might if you had an injury. Do not ignore this important communication from your pet and have him/her evaluated before an acute condition may become chronic.

Thyroid disease

A large number of dogs have HYPOthyroidism (an underfunctioning thyroid gland) that may zap their energy, cause weight gain, or cause skin problems. At your pet’s annual wellness visit we may discuss clinical signs and routine blood tests to evaluate this well hidden disease.

Lumps/bumps

Many lumps/bumps that you may find on your pet are not a threat to their health, but others may be. There is a common misconception that you can diagnose a lump or bump based on the way it feels, but this is unfortunately not true. Please schedule an appointment if you note any lumps or bumps on your pet’s skin.

Eye infections

Discharge, red eyes, or squinting are always a cause for immediate evaluation. We must work fast with some conditions such as glaucoma to preserve vision and comfort. Schedule an appointment immediately if you have any concerns about your pet’s vision or comfort.

Heartworm disease

1 in 50 pets in Union county has heartworm disease and these pets contribute to spreading the disease to pets that aren’t on prevention. Please keep your dogs and cats on heartworm prevention monthly (more info)