What’s “Bugging” Your Pet?!?!

As we enter the spring and summer months, pests on pets becomes a real concern!  Fleas and ticks are a common concern, as are heartworms and other parasites.  It is important, as a pet owner, to be able to make an informed decision to prevent pests from feasting on your beloved pet.

Many people believe that, because their pets are indoor animals, that there is no risk of parasitic infestation.   Even indoor animals can get fleas, ticks, heartworms, and other parasites!  A common misconception is that heartworms are only a problem on the east coast or more southern states.  We have actually had confirmed cases of heartworm in the Black Hills region in animals that have never left the state.  Pets can pick up tapeworms, roundworms and other worms from animal carcasses, catching mice, eating deer and rabbit feces, as well as eating their own and other pets’ feces.

Products We Offer to Keep Pests from “Bugging” Your Pet!

Bravecto Flea & Tick Prevention and Treatment for Dogs:

  • Easy oral flavored treat!
  • Starts killing fleas and ticks in 2 hours.
  • Lasts for 12 weeks (3 months!)
  • Fewer doses needed and easier to remember!
  • Safe in puppies as young as 8 weeks.
  • Safe for breeding, pregnant and lactating females.
  • Safe for Collies!

Ovitrol Flea & Tick Prevention and Treatment for Dogs: 

  • Topical application flea and tick medication.
  • Lasts for 30 days.
  • Starts killing fleas in 15 minutes.
  • Repels mosquitos.

Frontline Flea & Tick Prevention and Treatment for Cats:

  • Topical application flea and tick medication.
  • Lasts for 30 days.
  • More effective than collars.

Profender for Cats – treats hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms

  • An easy topical dewormer for cats and kittens.
    • DO NOT reapply for 30 days.
  • No second treatment needed.

Drontal PLUS for Dogs – treats hookworms, roundworms, whipworms and tapeworms

  • An oral tablet dewormer for dogs and older puppies.
  • If worms are known/suspected to be present a second dose IS recommended 3-4 weeks after the initial dose.

Drontal Feline for Cats – treats hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and tapeworms

  • An oral tablet dewormer for cats and older kittens.
  • If worms are known/suspected to be present a second dose IS recommended 3-4 weeks after the initial dose.

Pyrantel for Puppies & Kittens – treats roundworms and hookworms

  • An oral liquid dewormer.
  • Safe for puppies and kittens.
  • Three to four doses are recommended for puppies and kittens, 3-4 weeks apart.
  • If worms are known/suspected to be present a second dose IS recommended 3-4 weeks after the initial dose.

Cestex for Dogs and Cats – ONLY treats tapeworms

  • An oral tablet dewormer.

Nemex for Dogs and Cats – treats roundworms and hookworms

  • An oral tablet dewormer.

Heartguard & TriHeart for Dogs – treats roundworms, hookworms and heartworms

  • An oral tablet dewormer.
  • Is given monthly and provides monthly protection.

 

Treatment of the common below diseases can be costly and fatal to the pet.

  • Flea Allergy Dermatitis.
    • For many pets with fleas, sound veterinary advice on effective flea control resolves the problem. Unfortunately, some pets have bigger problems: They are allergic to flea saliva, which causes skin irritation and inflammation that can lead to more aggressive scratching and chewing, followed by infection.
  • Ehrlichia.
    • Ehrlichia, along with anaplasma or other so-called rickettsial diseases, are caused when ticks infect the animals they feed on with microscopic organisms. Dogs with Ehrlichia are typically brought in for fever, lethargy, depression, lack of appetite and weight loss.
  • Lyme Disease.
    • Most people are familiar with Lyme disease in humans, but many are not aware that dogs can be infected, too. Lyme disease is also caused when ticks infest the animals they feed on with the microscopic organisms associated with the disease. Dogs with Lyme disease can have symptoms that include fever, shifting leg lameness, swollen joints, enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, depression and lack of appetite.
  • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.
    • Dogs all over are brought to the vet with fever, joint and muscle pain, not just in the Rockies. In fact, less than 5 percent of human cases of this disease are from the Rocky Mountain region; the southern Atlantic coastal states account for the highest number of cases in humans, although Oklahoma and the Pacific Northwest share a relatively high ranking as well.

Heartworms

Heart worm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition that affects dogs and cats, as well as many other species of animals.  It is caused by parasitic worms (heart worms) living in the major blood vessels of the lungs and, occasionally, in the heart.  These worms are transmitted (as microscopic larvae) through the bite of an infected mosquito.

Heart worms are spread through the bite of a mosquito, and dogs increase the risk of infection for other dogs, cats and other animals. When a mosquito bites an infected dog it draws blood that contains immature microfilariae [pronounced micro-fill-air-ee-ay]. These microfilariae mature inside the mosquito to become infective larvae. When the mosquito eventually bites another dog or a cat, the larvae enter the new host. In dogs, these larvae often mature to become adult heart worms, which produce more microfilariae and continue the heart worm’s life cycle.

Heart worm disease can cause a variety of medical problems affecting the lungs, heart, liver, and/or kidneys. Severe complications can lead to death. Although a safe and effective treatment is available, it can be a costly and complicated process depending on how long the dog has been infected and how severe the infection is.

Despite the fact that heart worm disease is virtually 100 percent preventable, many dogs are diagnosed with it each year. The American Heart worm Society (AHS) estimates that one million dogs in the United States have heart worm disease today, and that this number may be rising.

How does Heart worm Preventative Work?

Heart worm preventatives do not actually prevent mosquitoes from infecting your dog with heart worm larvae. These preventatives actually kill different stages of heart worm larvae that already have infected your dog. Different types of heart worm preventatives kill different stages of heart worm larvae. Therefore heart worm preventatives can have different schedules of administration (monthly or every 6 months).

Call today to find out about pest prevention options for your pet!  307-746-4995

Why is Rabies a Big Deal?

A question we are frequently asked at the clinic is, “Why does my animal need rabies?”  Rabies vaccinations are required by law for domestic animals for public health reasons.  Rabies is transmissible to humans and is fatal, which is why Salt Creek Veterinary Clinic requires that our patients are vaccinated for the safety of our staff and other clients visiting the clinic.  Animals that are unvaccinated and have bitten someone (including veterinary staff) must be quarantined, and in some instances euthanized.  Humans who are bitten must undergo painful and expensive treatments when bitten, the cost of which is often put on the animal’s owner.

What is rabies?  Rabies is a neurological virus spread by saliva and blood that is fatal in all mammals, including humans.  Symptoms in humans can appear similar to the flu at first and include: Fever, Headache, Nausea, Vomiting, Agitation, Anxiety, Confusion, Hyperactivity, Difficulty swallowing, Excessive salivation, Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing, Hallucinations, Insomnia, Partial paralysis.

When a person is bitten by an unvaccinated animal, they must undergo treatment within 3-10 days of being bitten.  The treatment includes 3-4 painful and expensive shots that are designed to prevent the viral infection from taking hold.  These are usually effective in preventing the virus from spreading, but in some instances it is not effective and the patient still dies.  Rabies shots include:  A fast-acting shot (rabies immune globulin) to prevent the virus from infecting you. Part of this injection is given near the area where the animal bit you if possible, as soon as possible after the bite; and, a series of rabies vaccines to help your body learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. Rabies vaccines are given as injections in your arm. You receive four injections over 14 days.

If your unvaccinated animal does bite someone, you are liable for quarantine costs, emergency medical costs for injuries, and rabies treatment expenses.  The cost to quarantine your animal can be upwards of $200.  Euthanasia and a rabies test can cost over $150.  Treatments for humans start at $3500 in Weston County and that does not include wound care, emergency room fees or other charges.  Rabies vaccinating a dog for 16 years costs $105, which is significantly more cost effective than paying for quarantines and medical care.

Vaccinating your pet is required by law and it protects you from legal liability and it protects those around you and your pet.  It is significantly less expensive to keep your pet vaccinated than it is to risk an unvaccinated pet biting you or someone else.  Rabies can be transmitted by an animal that appears to be healthy and it is fatal to other animals and to humans.  If you have any questions about rabies vaccinations or suspected rabies, contact your veterinarian or veterinary clinic for more information.  To schedule your pet for a rabies vaccine with Salt Creek Veterinary Clinic, call 307-746-4995 today!

If you are bitten by an unvaccinated animal, seek medical attention immediately! 

NOTE: Rabies vaccines are only legally considered current if given by a veterinarian or veterinary technician.  While giving the rabies vaccine at home will protect your pet, it does NOT legally protect you if your animal bites another animal or human. Check your local laws for requirements on re-vaccination requirements.

Rabies is a deadly virus spread to people from the saliva of infected animals. The rabies virus is usually transmitted through a bite.

Animals most likely to transmit rabies in the United States include bats, coyotes, foxes, raccoons and skunks. In developing countries of Africa and Southeast Asia, stray dogs are the most likely to spread rabies to people.

Once a person begins showing signs and symptoms of rabies, the disease is nearly always fatal. For this reason, anyone who may have a risk of contracting rabies should receive rabies vaccines for protection.

The first symptoms of rabies may be very similar to the flu and may last for days. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Agitation
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Hyperactivity
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Excessive salivation
  • Fear of water (hydrophobia) because of the difficulty in swallowing
  • Hallucinations
  • Insomnia
  • Partial paralysis

When to see a doctor

Seek immediate medical care if you’re bitten by any animal. Based on your injuries and the situation in which the bite occurred, you and your doctor can decide whether you should receive treatment to prevent rabies.

Even if you aren’t sure whether you’ve been bitten, seek medical attention. For instance, a bat that flies into your room while you’re sleeping may bite you without waking you. If you awake to find a bat in your room, assume you’ve been bitten. Also, if you find a bat near a person who can’t report a bite, such as a small child or a person with a disability, assume that person has been bitten.

Rabies infection is caused by the rabies virus. The virus is spread through the saliva of infected animals. Infected animals can spread the virus by biting another animal or a person. In rare cases, rabies can be spread when infected saliva gets into an open wound or the mucous membranes, such as the mouth or eyes. This could occur if an infected animal were to lick an open cut on your skin.

Animals that can transmit the rabies virus

Any mammal (an animal that suckles its young) can transmit the rabies virus. The animals most likely to transmit the rabies virus to people include:

Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

At the time a rabid animal bites you, there’s no way to know whether the animal has transmitted the rabies virus to you. For this reason, treatment to prevent the rabies virus from infecting your body is recommended if the doctor thinks there’s a chance you have been exposed to the virus.

Treatments and drugs

By Mayo Clinic Staff

There’s no specific treatment for rabies infection. Though a small number of people have survived rabies, the disease is usually fatal. For that reason, if you think you’ve been exposed to rabies, you must get a series of shots to prevent the infection from taking hold.

Treatment for people bitten by animals with rabies

If you’ve been bitten by an animal that is known to have rabies, you’ll receive a series of shots to prevent the rabies virus from infecting you. If the animal that bit you can’t be found, it may be safest to assume that the animal has rabies. But this will depend on several factors, such as the type of animal and the situation in which the bite occurred.

Rabies shots include:

  • A fast-acting shot (rabies immune globulin) to prevent the virus from infecting you. Part of this injection is given near the area where the animal bit you if possible, as soon as possible after the bite.
  • A series of rabies vaccines to help your body learn to identify and fight the rabies virus. Rabies vaccines are given as injections in your arm. You receive four injections over 14 days.

Determining whether the animal that bit you has rabies

In some cases, it’s possible to determine whether the animal that bit you has rabies before beginning the series of rabies shots. That way, if it’s determined the animal is healthy, you won’t need the shots.

Procedures for determining whether an animal has rabies vary by situation. For instance:

  • Pets and farm animals. Cats, dogs and ferrets that bite can be observed for 10 days to see if they show signs and symptoms of rabies. If the animal that bit you remains healthy during the observation period, then it doesn’t have rabies and you won’t need rabies shots. Other pets and farm animals are considered on a case-by-case basis. Talk to your doctor and local public health officials to determine whether you should receive rabies shots.
  • Wild animals that can be caught. Wild animals that can be found and captured, such as a bat that came into your home, can be killed and tested for rabies. Tests on the animal’s brain may reveal the rabies virus. If the animal doesn’t have rabies, you won’t need the shots.
  • Animals that can’t be found. If the animal that bit you can’t be found, discuss the situation with your doctor and the local health department. In certain cases, it may be safest to assume that the animal had rabies and proceed with the rabies shots. In other cases, it may be unlikely that the animal that bit you had rabies and it may be determined that rabies shots aren’t necessary.

You can reduce your risk of coming in contact with rabid animals. Here’s how:
  • Vaccinate your pets. Cats, dogs and ferrets can be vaccinated against rabies. Ask your veterinarian how often your pets should be vaccinated.
  • Keep your pets confined. Keep your pets inside and supervise them when outside. This will help keep your pets from coming in contact with wild animals.
  • Protect small pets from predators. Keep rabbits and other small pets, such as guinea pigs, inside or in protected cages so that they are safe from wild animals. These small pets can’t be vaccinated against rabies.
  • Report stray animals to local authorities. Call your local animal control officials or other local law enforcement to report stray dogs and cats.
  • Don’t approach wild animals. Wild animals with rabies may seem unafraid of people. It’s not normal for a wild animal to be friendly with people, so stay away from any animal that seems unafraid.
  • Keep bats out of your home. Seal any cracks and gaps where bats can enter your home. If you know you have bats in your home, work with a local expert to find ways to keep bats out.
  • Consider the rabies vaccine if you’re traveling. If you’re traveling to a country where rabies is common and you’ll be there for a long period of time, ask your doctor whether you should receive the rabies vaccine.

Spaying and Neutering: Keeping your pet healthy and lowering the risk of cancer!

Did you know that spaying and neutering your pet does more than just prevent unwanted pregnancies?

Females that are not spayed have a much higher risk of many types of cancer, such as mammary cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer.  Females who have not been spayed are also at a higher risk of serious vaginal and uterine infections, including pyometria which can be fatal.  Females in heat will bleed, which can be messy and inconvenient.

Males who are not neutered are at an increased risk of cancers like testicular and prostate cancer.  Males that are seeking a female in heat are more likely to run off which increases their chances of being hit by a vehicle.  Neutering also helps prevent males from marking (urinating to mark territory) and can help with many behavioral challenges like aggression, fighting, humping, dominance, escaping/running, and more!

Call today to schedule your spay or neuter!  307-746-4995

According to http://www.spayusa.org:

Top 3 Reasons to Spay and Neuter

  • It helps to reduce companion animal overpopulation. Most countries have a surplus of companion animals and are forced to euthanize or disregard their great suffering. The surplus is in the millions in the United States. Cats are 45 times as prolific, and dogs 15 times as prolific, as humans. They do not need our help to expand their numbers; they need our help to reduce their numbers until there are good homes for them all.
  • Sterilization of your cat or dog will increase his/her chance of a longer and healthier life. Altering your canine friend will increase his life an average of 1 to 3 years, felines, 3 to 5 years. Altered animals have a very low to no risk of mammary gland tumors/cancer, prostate cancer, perianal tumors, pyometria, and uterine, ovarian and testicular cancers.
  • Sterilizing your cat/dog makes him/her a better pet, reducing his/her urge to roam and decreasing the risk of contracting diseases or getting hurt as they roam. Surveys indicate that as many as 85% of dogs hit by cars are unaltered. Intact male cats living outside have been shown to live on average less than two years. Feline Immunodeficiency Syndrome is spread by bites and intact cats fight a great deal more than altered cats.

According to http://www.aspca.org:

  1. Your female pet will live a longer, healthier life.
    Spaying helps prevent uterine infections and breast cancer, which is fatal in about 50 percent of dogs and 90 percent of cats. Spaying your pet before her first heat offers the best protection from these diseases.
  2. Neutering provides major health benefits for your male.
    Besides preventing unwanted litters, neutering your male companion prevents testicular cancer, if done before six months of age.
  3. Your spayed female won’t go into heat.
    While cycles can vary, female felines usually go into heat four to five days every three weeks during breeding season. In an effort to advertise for mates, they’ll yowl and urinate more frequently—sometimes all over the house!
  4. Your male dog won’t want to roam away from home.
    An intact male will do just about anything to find a mate! That includes digging his way under the fence and making like Houdini to escape from the house. And once he’s free to roam, he risks injury in traffic and fights with other males.
  5. Your neutered male will be much better behaved.
    Neutered cats and dogs focus their attention on their human families. On the other hand, unneutered dogs and cats may mark their territory by spraying strong-smelling urine all over the house. Many aggression problems can be avoided by early neutering.
  6. Spaying or neutering will NOT make your pet fat.
    Don’t use that old excuse! Lack of exercise and overfeeding will cause your pet to pack on the extra pounds—not neutering. Your pet will remain fit and trim as long as you continue to provide exercise and monitor food intake.
  7. It is highly cost-effective.
    The cost of your pet’s spay/neuter surgery is a lot less than the cost of having and caring for a litter. It also beats the cost of treatment when your unneutered tom escapes and gets into fights with the neighborhood stray!
  8. Spaying and neutering your pet is good for the community.
    Stray animals pose a real problem in many parts of the country. They can prey on wildlife, cause car accidents, damage the local fauna and frighten children. Spaying and neutering packs a powerful punch in reducing the number of animals on the streets.
  9. Your pet doesn’t need to have a litter for your children to learn about the miracle of birth.
    Letting your pet produce offspring you have no intention of keeping is not a good lesson for your children—especially when so many unwanted animals end up in shelters. There are tons of books and videos available to teach your children about birth in a more responsible way.
  10. Spaying and neutering helps fight pet overpopulation.
    Every year, millions of cats and dogs of all ages and breeds are euthanized or suffer as strays. These high numbers are the result of unplanned litters that could have been prevented by spaying or neutering.

Obesity: The number one cause of illness and death in pets!

Did you know that an overweight pet has increased risk of heart disease, kidney failure, pancreatitis, cancer, dental disease, joint problems, back pain, and other illnesses?

Salt Creek Vet Clinic now offers a Weight Management Exam for $20! 
It includes: a technician examination to evaluate the general health of your pet, a professional analysis of your pet’s current and ideal weight, a weight-loss plan customized to your pet’s individual needs, a discount on Hill’s Science Diet Foods purchased the same day, $10 off a dental cleaning scheduled the same day, and $10 off a follow-up appointment reserved the same day!  The value is up to $55.00!

Meal Feeding:  Feeding your pet in “meal feedings” as opposed to “free feeding” can greatly help weight loss and blood glucose management!  When you free feed, your pet will typically eat more than they need to eat because they munch throughout the day.  Feeding a set amount twice a day helps to regulate their diet and caloric intake, as well as regulate the peaks in their blood sugar throughout the day.  This applies to cats and dogs of all ages.

Science Diet has a variety of foods for every animal:  from prescription diets for animals prone to urinary tract infections, kidney problems, food allergies, etc… to plain old lamb and rice formula, sensitive skin and stomach, or hairball prevention.  Science Diet now has the Metabolic food which allows you to promote weight-loss and healthy nutrition, while feeding a larger amount of food to your pet!

Vaccines: Preventative Medicine

Why Vaccinate?

Protect your cat or dog from infectious diseases by keeping vaccinations up to date.  Vaccinations stimulate your pet’s system to develop immunity.  Because they prevent disease but do not cure disease, they must be administered BEFORE your pet is exposed!  Your animal’s vaccination schedule depends on several factors: the age and health of your pet and conditions in his/her environment.  We would be happy to help you plan a vaccination schedule so that your pet’s vaccinations are up to date.

Did You Know…

  • Most vaccines need to be boosted every year.
  • Feline leukemia is one of the most common causes of illness and death in cats.
    • We recommend vaccinating all cats who are outdoor fulltime or even occasionally, as well as cats that are exposed to cats who spend time outdoors. 
  • Worms are actually quite common in Wyoming.
    • We recommend regular deworming to prevent worm-related health issues.
  • Heartworms can happen to your pet.
    • We recommend treating all of your pets for heartworms.
  • Cats are at a much higher risk of getting rabies.
    • Cats often eat animals that can carry rabies, such as mice, and so we highly recommend vaccinating your cats against rabies on an annual basis.
  • The average cost of rabies treatment for a human bitten by an unvaccinated animal ranges from $7,000 to over $20,000.
    • It is far less expensive to vaccinate your animals than it is to pay for treatments if your pet bites someone.

Dianna Williams 11-21-14