Episode 2: Heartworm Prevention

Episode 2: Heartworm Prevention

Hi everyone! I’m happy to share with you the second installment in my video series about pet health. Today, I will be exploring a very important topic: Heartworm prevention. Heartworms are parasites that can really compromise and threaten your pet’s health; prevention is the best (and most cost-effective) medicine.

After watching the video, I invite you to please share your comments below and if you feel that someone you know may benefit from the video, please share it and pass the website along.

Preventative Healthcare

Why Preventative Healthcare is as Important For Pets as it is For Humans

Preventative medicine in humans is key to a happy and prolonged life. This is also true for pets. People wouldn’t dream of letting years lapse without a check up at their doctor, yet we prolong preventative vet visits for our pets all the time. As pet owners and guardians, it is our responsibility to know our pets and their breed-specific needs. Some of those needs are common sense, like food, water, and exercise. There are other needs that can only be identified by a trained professional. That’s why a good veterinary clinic is a critical partner in your pet’s welfare.

Our clinic can help you put your pet on the path to good health. We can teach you about your pet’s needs and help you develop a plan to meet them. Here are four simple steps to help your pet live a healthy, happy, and prolonged life:

1. Know your breed

Each breed comes with its own set of health concerns of which you need to be mindful. Unfortunately, many owners aren’t in tune with what their particular breed requires. They think all pets are the same! This simply isn’t true. What is good for one breed may be terrible for another. One breed may have degenerative issues that others do not.

This is where the help of our clinic can be invaluable. Not only can we alert you to the potential risks of your particular breed, but we can also perform laboratory and diagnostic testing to make sure those issues are kept at bay.

2. Dental care is key

We have all encountered a pet with stinky breath.

Clean teeth are not only important in resolving your pet’s bad breath, but can also prevent gum disease and pain. For example, a dog’s teeth should be brushed twice a day. There is also a range of dental supplements that can enhance your pet’s dental hygiene.

Give us a call – we would be more than happy to walk you through all of your pet’s dental options!

3. Your pet’s weight is important

Just as in humans, obesity in animals can have a severe impact on their health. Luckily, there are a few easy things to keep in mind when it comes to pets and food:

  • Human food should never be given to animals
  • Keep cooked bones away from dogs. They can damage their internal organs as they are digested.
  • Know which foods can produce allergies or pose serious risks to your pet. For example, chocolate can be deadly for dogs and cats.

4. Understand the needs of a senior pet

Senior pets need extra care to preserve their quality of life. Ensuring that they stay active and maintain a proper diet is even more critical for your older pet. Keep in mind that health-related problems tend to present more suddenly in older animals. You will want to visit the vet more often for preventative checkups to catch little issues before they become bigger challenges.

As we all know, pets cannot tell us when something is wrong. It’s up to us to be attentive to changes in their condition, such as:

  • Lack of energy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Infrequent urination
  • Excessive coughing
  • Hair loss or itchy skin
  • Stiffness, lameness, or difficulty rising

If your pet shows any of these signs, please call the clinic to make an appointment as soon as possible.

Your turn

There are many preventative measures that you can undertake to make sure your pet lives a long and happy life. If you have any questions about what was discussed, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section below and I will be sure to respond promptly.

If you found this post useful, please share it with your friends on your social media networks!

Also, feel free to make an appointment today for your pet, or just come by and visit. We’ll be happy to see you!!


Diarrhea in Dogs

What causes diarrhea?

Diarrhea is not a disease; rather, it is a symptom of many different diseases. Many mild cases of diarrhea can be resolved quickly with simple treatments. Others are the result of fatal illnesses, such as cancer. Even diarrhea caused by mild illnesses may become fatal if treatment is not begun early enough to prevent severe fluid and nutrient losses.

How serious is diarrhea in dogs?

We attempt to determine how sick the dog has become as a consequence of the diarrhea. When the dog is systemically ill (i.e., more than one body system is involved), some of the following may be noted:

  • Vomiting
  • Dehydration
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain
  • High fever
  • Lethargy
  • Bloody and/or watery diarrhea

What types of tests are performed to find the cause?

If diarrhea is associated with several of the above signs, we perform a series of tests in the hope that a diagnosis can be made. This permits more specific treatment. Diagnostic tests may include radiography (x-rays) with or without barium, blood tests, stool cultures, biopsies of the intestinal tract, and exploratory abdominal surgery. Once the diagnosis is known, treatment may include special medications and/or diets, or surgery.

If your dog does not appear systemically ill from diarrhea, the cause may be less serious. Some of the minor causes of diarrhea include stomach or intestinal viruses, intestinal parasites, and dietary indiscretions (such as eating garbage or other offensive or irritating materials). A minimum number of tests are performed to rule out certain parasites and infections. These cases may be treated with drugs to control the motility of the intestinal tract, drugs that relieve inflammation in the intestinal tract, and, often, a special diet for a few days. This approach allows the body’s healing mechanisms to correct the problem. We expect improvement within 2-4 days; if this does not occur, a change in medication or further tests are done to better understand the problem. Please keep us informed of lack of expected improvement so that we may manage the situation properly.

Promote Dental Health


February is National Pet Dental Health Month!

Dental Healthcare is critically important for your pet, and February is National Pet Dental Health Month. We are pleased to be offering our patients an exciting Dental Health Promotion through the end of March.

Read on to learn more!

At Centre Street Animal Hospital, we are switching to a more human-based dentistry style in order to:

  • Preserve the safety of our patients
  • Facilitate better planning of a medical or oral surgical plans, resulting in a better outcome for the patient and all the medical caregivers
  • Support improved communication and financial planning

As with other health considerations, we seek to partner with you to provide preventative care, to ensure the vitality and long life of your pet.

Our Dental Promotion

Let’s Rejoice on Preventative Medicine!

Our National Pet Dental Health Month Promotion is being offered for a significantly discounted, flat fee for dentistry procedures including:

  • The initial Oral Examination (see below).
  • Everything related to the general anesthetic including the IV fluids, medications, advanced manual and electronic monitoring of the blood pressure, EKG, blood gases, pulse oximetry.
  • The full Dental Cleaning (see below) and prophylaxis, include ultrasonic and manual scaling, polishing and fluoride application, as well as hospitalization, advanced technology patient warming, hospitalization and all post-op medications.

Please Note: If oral pathology is noted during these routine procedures, dental x-rays will be advised as needed and will involve additional costs. The presence of oral pathology during the dental cleaning may warrant oral surgery or specialty attention. Upon discharge, an estimate of oral surgery or preparations for a referral to a specialized dental practice will be discussed. A follow-up appointment should be scheduled one to six weeks from the dental prophylaxis appointment.

By breaking down these procedures, we ensure a more accurate assessment, better hospital planning, and ultimately better patient care.

What Can You Expect

Typically, in an Oral Examination we perform, we look for: developmental anomalies, an accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease and oral tumors. Sometimes, we will perform or recommend x-rays of the teeth to help detect any abnormalities.

The dental exam and evaluation will also include a pre-anesthetic blood screen if you are thinking of having your pet’s teeth cleaned. We need to be sure your pet is healthy before administering anesthetic. Although complications resulting from modern anesthetic are rare, we require a blood screen within the last 4 months as part of an anesthetic safety evaluation.

This also sets a baseline for your pet’s health to be included in his or her file. If your pet ever becomes ill in the future, we run more blood work and compare the results to the baseline screen. It also informs us of any effect to the organs that previous poor dental hygiene may have caused.

Dental Cleaning

To Keep Teeth Strong and Healthy!

This is what we are trying to get away from-dentistry and oral surgery or advanced dental/specialty procedures.

During a dental cleaning, we scale and polish your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and calculus, just as dentists perform this work on your teeth.

An anti-plaque substance, such as a fluoride treatment, is applied as a barrier sealant. These applications help strengthen and desensitize teeth making it easier for your pet to chew their food properly and decrease the frequency of need for future dental procedures.


Be in the know!

  • Neglecting dental care results in residual bacteria on the teeth, which will lead to:
    • Bad breath
    • Tarter
    • Red, swollen gums
    • Excessive salivation
    • Abnormal eating habits
    • Lack of energy
    • Damage to internal organs
  • If left untreated, this bacteria can reach your pet’s vital organs through the bloodstream.
  • You need to ensure regular brushing and the use of quality dental care products (such as chews) to help promote good oral hygiene in your pet.
  • The American Animal Hospital Association reports that proper dental care may add as many as 5 years to your pets life.