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Monthly Archives: May 2018

What to Do When a Pet Gets Fleas

Fleas and ticks are the two most common external parasites found in dogs and cats, and both will cause your pet to scratch themselves more frequently. These nasty little guys survive by feeding on the blood of dogs, cats and sometimes people. Flea and tick bites can lead to health problems including constant itching, hair loss (alopecia), hypersensitivity (allergic reaction), as well as infections and transmission of disease. Here are some tips to help you get rid of these nasty pests:

Step 1: Treat the pet’s environment. You must kill fleas and ticks where they live when they’re not on your pet. Hire a professional exterminator. Be sure to explain that you have a flea or tick problem and that you have pets.

Step 2: Kill fleas and ticks that are on your pet. When used as directed, flea and tick control products are safe and effective at preventing re-infestation of your pet. There are several excellent products available for cats and dogs. Ask your vet for a product recommendation that will be suitable for your pet.

Step 3: Prevent re-infection. Treatment with a product like Frontline Top Spot will kill and repel ticks for one month, and fleas for up to three months. Use Frontline Top Spot topical treatment on dogs as young as ten weeks of age and cats as young as twelve weeks of age. Pet beds, carpets, blankets and other items must also be sanitized to kill any eggs that may be hiding.

Step 4: Break the reproductive cycle of fleas. In the past, controlling fleas and ticks has been difficult, however, new products are available which make external parasite control manageable. Your vet can recommend a safe and effective product for your pet.

Remember – fleas and ticks are NOT just summer time problems. While it does get cool enough during the winter to decrease flea and tick activity, it does not get cold enough to kill them. Fleas and ticks can live very happily indoors during the winter months, so be aware and check your pets frequently year round.

Questions or concerns? Talk to your veterinarian.

Microchip Your Pets Awareness Month

pet microchipDespite our best efforts, pets have a knack for getting lost. That’s why it’s important to have your pets microchipped. One tiny chip can mean the difference between a lost pet ending up in a shelter (and potentially being euthanized) and finding their way home.

What are microchips? Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that use radio frequency waves to transmit information about your pet. They’re implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades.

How do they work? Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. The animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number.

How long do microchips last? Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.

Where can I get my pet microchipped? At any of our AZPetVet locations!

What if I move? You will need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless. You may be charged a small fee to process the update.

What do I do if I adopt a pet who’s already been microchipped? If you know what brand of chip your pet has, contact the corresponding registry to update the information. If you don’t know what type of chip your pet has, find a vet or animal shelter that can read it.

If you have the number of your pet’s microchip, but have forgotten where you registered your contact information, you may be able find the original registry here, then call to have the information updated. If you don’t have the number, ask your vet to scan your pet for the chip number and any other information.

Gabriel’s Angels & AZPetVet – All Our Favorite Events Have Dogs

It’s no surprise that AZPetVet has a bit of a thing about animals. That’s why we always get a little extra excited about working with organizations like Gabriel’s Angels. Each year, they help thousands of Arizona’s at risk children through pet therapy. Since AZPetVet helps thousands of Arizona’s pets each year, we’re kind of a great match!

In fact, AZPetVet’s cofounder, Dr. Wayne Anderson, has been a trusted advisor to Pam Gaber, the founder of Gabriel’s Angels since it was just Pam and Gabriel. Of course, our family was much smaller then too – today we have more than 21 hospitals!

When Pam and Gabriel first set paws in the Crisis Nursery and fell in love with the children, the children fell in love with Gabriel right back. Pam knew that working together, she and Gabriel could make a big difference in little lives. She was right. Today, the Gabriel’s Angels serves more than 13,500 kids each year through more than 125 different nonprofit agencies. We couldn’t be more proud.

Today, we have Gabriel’s Angels therapy teams stop by different AZPetVet locations to meet the staff. They’ll share stories about their work, and the children they serve, while the team oohs and ahhs over the dogs. It’s clear why everyone loves them!

This year, as part of our Giving Back Initiative, AZPetVet became the title sponsor for the 2018 Unleash the Love Breakfast. This highly anticipated fundraising event is held every April, and features highlights of the work they’ve done, the goals for the next year, and of course – DOGS. With more than 50 therapy teams on hand, how can anyone resist helping and donating? Here’s to many more years of dogs and angels!

The Importance of Dental Health

Virtually no one likes going to the dentist…but we all know it’s important! Dental care for humans and animals alike is something that should never be ignored. Proper dental hygiene is a critical part of keeping your pet healthy and happy, helping to avoid potentially life-threatening issues that come with dental disease. Want to know just a bit more? Dr. Tressa MacLennan from our Scottsdale location did a quick segment with a brief overview! Check it out:

Seasonal Allergy Symptoms in Pets

symptoms of allergies in petsCoughing, runny eyes and nose, stuffiness and congestion – people agree that seasonal allergies are miserable!

But did you know that pets can suffer from seasonal allergies, too?

Pets with seasonal allergies will exhibit very different symptoms from people. Here are some of the top symptoms to look for:

  • Constant scratching and licking 
  • Chewing of feet and pads
  • Scratching or rubbing of the face
  • Inflamed ears or recurrent ear infections
  • Recurrent hot spots in dogs and facial scabs in cats
  • Asthma-like wheezing and respiratory problems (more likely in cats)
  • Foul odor from skin or coat may indicate secondary infections

Environmental allergens that are inhaled or come in contact with skin and cause irritation are known as atopy. Seasonal examples of atopy include ragweed, which will usually occur in the fall months. Reactions to spring pollens from trees and other plants will most commonly occur during April and May when trees and flowers are in full bloom.

Scratching is the single most common symptom of allergies in pets. Dog will often chew their feet and pads, which is a huge tip-off that they’re dealing with an environmental allergic reaction to pollens, mold or dust mites. This condition is known as allergic dermatitis.

Ear infections in dogs are also quite common symptoms of allergies. If you notice your dog or cat scratching at their ears, it’s likely that some form of allergen is causing irritation.

There are many products and treatments available to help ease allergy symptoms. Consult your veterinarian to find the best solution for you and your pet.