Weight No More: Get The Skinny On Pet Weight Management

iStock_000065156107_MediumAccording to the Association For Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 52.7% of dogs and 57.9% of cats in the U.S. are classified as clinically overweight. Excess weight can lead to similar health concerns for both pets and people; osteoarthritis, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and certain types of cancer.

The Pet Experts at Naperville Animal Hospital are here to help. Together we will explore the ins and outs of pet weight management and what you can do to help your pet live a happy, healthy, and long life. Continue…

Making the Most of Your Pet’s Wellness Exam

Naperville_iStock_000037246336_LargeIf you are like many pet owners, the moment you begin to think about your pet’s wellness exam may coincide with a moment of dread. Thoughts like, “How am I going to put Fluffy in her carrier?!?” or, “Will Banjo try and run when I get the leash?” start to flood our mind as we feel the panic start to set in. Some of us also feel a sense of worry about seeing our pets age, and perhaps feel a tinge of avoidance when the annual exam rolls around.

However, wellness exams, like our own yearly physicals, are important to keeping your pet healthy. And, when you are prepared, these exams can provide opportunities for enhanced well-being for our pets, slow down the progression of age-related conditions, and even help diagnose issues before they take a turn for the worst. Continue…

Outbreak 2015: The Update on Canine Influenza & Kennel Cough

dog under a blanket on whiteIf you are a dog owner and have been paying much attention to the media, you have probably heard about the recent canine influenza/kennel cough outbreak affecting dogs in the Chicagoland area. Read on to learn what you need to know about your dog and the 2015 outbreak.

Traditional Kennel Cough

The occasional kennel cough outbreak affects all kennels and boarding facilities. This highly contagious upper respiratory disease is an infectious tracheobronchitis that affects dogs specifically. Many viruses and bacteria can combine to result in the disease, making each outbreak a little bit different. Continue…

Preventing Pet Obesity: Nutrition & Exercise

Dog and cat eating food from a bowlJanuary is often a time of self-reflection and lifestyle assessment. Where have I neglected my health and wellness, you may ask? What can I do better?

And, while you are on the theme of health and lifestyle, have you considered checking in with your pet’s health, weight, and exercise schedule, as well? Has Mittens been putting on some winter bulk? Have those daily dog walks fallen to the wayside?

If you have struggled with keeping your pet at his or her optimum weight, or are starting to notice signs of obesity, here are important points of focus to get your pet’s weight under control. Continue…

The Facts About Leptospirosis

Sick as a dogLeptospirosis is a serious bacterial infection that not only affects pets, but people as well. Sadly, diagnosed cases are on the rise, making it increasingly important to know the facts about Leptospirosis and how to protect yourself and your pets.

What is Leptospirosis?

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by a bacteria found in the urine and bodily fluids of those carrying the infection. Many animals, including humans, can contract it. Wild animals such as raccoons, squirrels, opossums, and mice are frequent carriers. Pets can become infected when contaminated water or other substances contact the skin or mucous membranes.

What Does Leptospirosis Do?

Leptospirosis most commonly affects the kidneys and liver. Infected pets may have a fever, vomiting, a painful abdomen, diarrhea, depression, and other nonspecific signs. If not treated most pets will become very sick and may even die. Continue…

Diagnostic Screening for Your Pet: Early Warning System for Disease

 

Screening blood1 iStock_000004528468XSmallHave you ever had a diagnostic screening test? You know, when your doctor insists on checking your cholesterol levels, taking your blood pressure, or testing for glaucoma–even though you feel perfectly healthy?

Screening tests are a common strategy used to identify those who have a certain condition or disease even though they are not necessarily exhibiting symptoms.

These diagnostic screening tests are a powerful tool in both human and veterinary medicine, as many diseases respond better to treatment when they are caught early in their course. Many of the tests also provide valuable wellness information that allows your vet to make recommendations for diet or lifestyle to maintain wellness. Continue…

The Problem with Online Pet Pharmacies

 

You may be asking yourself, “Why shouldn’t I order my pet’s prescription online?  Good prices, direct shipping, what’s to lose?”  Be aware that it may not be as good as it sounds. Take the following into account before choosing where to purchase your next veterinary prescription:Screen shot 2012-12-26 at 3.53.39 PM

  • When your veterinarian prescribes a medication, he or she can dispense it in a safe manner, ensuring your pet has had any recommended screening performed, looking out for drug interactions, and keeping the product in an appropriate manner.  This does not always happen with online pharmacies.
  • The FDA says, “buyer beware” about online pharmacies.  There has been much concern about the quality and authenticity of drugs that can be obtained online.
  • If you have a problem or question, your veterinarian is able to address it directly.  Not all veterinary pharmacies can claim the same.
  • Websites that sell prescription veterinary products without the need for a prescription are breaking the law, plain and simple.  If they are ignoring the law in this respect, where else are they cutting corners?
  • Many drug company warranties such as those for heartworm prevention are invalidated when the product is purchased through such venues.

Talk to us or to your veterinarian.  He or she truly has your pet’s best interest at heart. And you may be able to walk out the door with your pet’s medication for little more than ordering online.

Our on-site pharmacy is well stocked and able to fill prescriptions before you leave. We are also a compounding pharmacy which means that we can tailor your pet’s medication to their unique needs. This gives us the ability to adjust the dose and method of delivery or to offer solutions for pets that are difficult to medicate, such as adding flavors or ordering transdermal medications.

Talk to us or to your veterinarian about the options they offer. Sometimes convenience is not worth the risk, and your pet’s medications fall into that category.

Baby, It’s Cold Outside!

 

Old Man Winter may be in town, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy the Great Outdoors with the family pet.  If you are going to be spending time outside, however, there are some special precautions that must be taken in order to ensure everyone has a great time!  Take the following into account when spending time in the elements this winter:

  • Be sure that your pet has access to water.  Just because it is cold out doesn’t mean hydration is not necessary.  Don’t forget that many water sources freeze in the winter.
  • Pay attention to the paws!  Your pet’s paws may become sore or even cut when walking on frozen ground and ice.  You might consider investing in some protective doggy boots if trekking for long periods in these conditions.
  • Many ice-melting products are not pet-friendly!  Use a pet-approved product for your own property and be sure to clean any potential contamination from your pet’s fur and paws upon your return home.
  • Steer clear of antifreeze.  Even a tiny amount of this sweet substance can be lethal.
  • Be extra careful around frozen lakes and ponds.  If your pet should fall in accidently, it may not be able to get out.  Hypothermia is also a concern.
  • Use extra care in icy areas for both you and your pet.
  • If your pet begins to shake or shiver, it is time to end your outing.  Just because your pet is wearing a fur coat doesn’t mean it can’t get cold.  Just like you, the more active your dog is, the warmer it will stay.  Your pet may benefit from wearing doggy booties or a coat.
  • Try to target your outdoor activities for the warmest part of the day.  There is a big difference between going for an hour long walk at noon and walking in the evening after the sun has gone down!

Don’t keep your pup all cooped up until Spring!  By getting out, you will enjoy the season and keep you and your pet healthy and fit.  Just be aware of weather-related dangers so that you can head outdoors worry-free.

 

Heartworm Disease: How Much Do You Know?

Dog and CatHeartworm disease is no joke.  It is a very serious problem for pets that, with a little effort, is almost completely preventable.  Here are a few facts regarding heartworm disease so that you can better understand how to protect your pet:

  • Heartworms grow inside the heart, lungs, and associated vessels.
  • Heartworm disease is transmitted by female mosquitoes.
  • Both dogs and cats can become infected.
  • Heartworm disease has been found in ALL 50 states.
  • Pets that are infected may not exhibit any signs until serious problems and even death occur.
  • There is a treatment for heartworm disease in dogs, although the treatment is expensive and can have a high risk of complications.  No treatment is currently available for cats.

Contact us and we can help you to decide what the best preventative plan is for your pet.  By educating yourself you can protect your dog or cat from this scary disease.

Fall Fitness for Your Pet

Boy and dog playing in leavesThe weather has finally started to cool off any you can think about enjoying some time outdoors with your pets!  Here are some suggestions for fun activities that you and Fido can enjoy together:

  • Take a hike:  Get out and enjoy the beautiful fall colors with your pet.  Many parks and trails welcome leashed pets.
  • Play some football:  NFL players aren’t the only ones who are ready to play.  Many dogs enjoy chasing a ball and tumbling in the grass!
  • Rake some leaves:  Make yard work a fun and interactive chore.  You’d be surprised how much fun running through leaf piles can be.
  • Take a trip to the dog park:  If your pup enjoys the company of others, the autumn is a great time to visit the dog park.  It’s not so hot as to hamper long, active play but it is not so cold yet that the weather ruins a good time.

Fall can be an enjoyable time for you and your pet to spend some quality time together.  Take advantage of the weather, because winter is right around the corner!

Visit our website for more tips on keeping your pet happy and healthy.