Summer in New England is such a wonderful time of year but it does come with some potential hazards for our furry family members. To beat the heat and still enjoy the sunshine with your pets, here are some helpful tips:
Prevention is key! Heartworm, intestinal parasites, fleas and ticks can ruin anyone's summer vacation. We recommend year-round treatment with parasite prevention but warm weather can definitely see an uptick in certain parasite activity (think ticks). There are a variety of new preventatives available through the clinic, so stop by or give us a call. We'd be more than happy to come up with a prevention plan that best suits you and your pet.
Watch for signs of overheating in your pet, such as excessive panting, increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, drooling, weakness, difficulty breathing, and collapse. Higher than normal body temperatures (greater than 104 degrees) can cause vomiting, diarrhea and even seizures. If your pet starts to exhibit any abnormal symptoms, please get him or her to a veterinarian right away!
Short-nosed, or brachycephalic, pets are less tolerant of high temperatures and are at a greater risk of heat stroke. Older pets, as well as those with underlying heart or lung disease or obesity, can also struggle in hot weather and will do much better indoors in front of the AC.
Never leave your pet alone in a parked vehicle! Even with the windows rolled down all the way, inside a parked car, the temperature can be up to 20 degrees warmer. Heat stroke can happy very quickly and can be fatal. Plus, leaving a pet in a parked car is illegal in Massachusetts and may result in a fine of up to $150 for first time offenders.
Supervise pets around pools. Believe it or not, not all pets are good swimmers. Pools also can contain chemicals, such as chlorine, which can be harmful if left on fur or ingested.
Keep unscreened doors and windows closed. Not all pets are aware of their surroundings and it is possible for them to fall out of any unscreened windows. Be sure to double check any screens to make sure they are well-secured as well.
Be cautious on hard surfaces, such as asphalt and pavement. Pets can easily burn the bottom of their paws. Try to stick to grass and dirt where possible and keep walks on hot surfaces to a minimum.
Barbeques and cookouts are perhaps one of the best parts of summer! Just make sure your pets don't get into any of leftovers. Corn cobs don't digest easily and can get stuck in a dog's intestinal tract, wooden skewers and cooked bones can actually penetrate soft intestinal tissues, and fatty foods can potentially cause diarrhea and pancreatitis.
Thunderstorms and fireworks are also a potentially source of stress for pets during the summer months. Thundershirts can be helpful and there are new anti-anxiety medications that can help to keep pets fear-free during these noisy events. Give us a call or swing by the clinic for more information.
February is National Pet Dental Month!
Dental health is a very important part of your pet's overall health. Dental disease can contribute to and, in some cases, be caused by other health problems. This is why we perform an oral examination on your pet every time he or she comes in for an office visit!
Causes of dental disease
When we think of dental disease in humans, most of us think of cavities. While cavities can occur in dogs and cats, they are much less common. We do, however, share many similar dental problems, such as:
Periodontal disease is the most common dental condition in dogs and cats, an in fact, one of the most common diseases treated by veterinarians, period. Most pets will show signs of periodontal disease by 3 years of age. If untreated, periodontal disease can progress to a much more painful condition, and can ultimately result in problems with the liver, kidneys, and heart.
Periodontal disease starts with plaque. If plaque is left on the teeth it hardens into tartar. Tartar can be seen not only above the gumline, but below it as well. It is this "invisible" tartar that can result in infection and severe damage to the root and surrounding bone, ultimately requiring extraction of any affecting teeth.
Early periodontal disease can be treated by a thorough dental cleaning (under anesthesia, click here for more information as to why). Dental x-rays can also help to determine the extent of periodontal disease and whether or not extraction of affected teeth may be needed.
Signs of dental disease:
Your pet should evaluated by a veterinarian if you notice any of the following:
Periodontal disease is preventable! Daily brushing is the single most important thing in keeping your pet's mouth healthy. Just like us, your pet will still require regular cleanings by your veterinarian, but daily brushing can significantly reduce the frequency of such procedures.
This time of year is full of joy. It's a time of festive decorations, decadent food and celebrating with friends and family. But did you know that some of these things can also pose a hazard for your pet? Here are some tips to keep your Holidays happy and healthy for all members of the family.
Monday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Wednesday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Thursday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Friday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm
Saturday 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
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Arlington Animal Clinic
Arlington, MA 02474
Phone: (781) 646-0758
Fax: (781) 646-8724
After Hours Emergencies:
In the event of an animal emergency outside of our normal business hours we recommend:
BluePearl Specialty & Emergency Medicine for Pets
180 Bear Hill Rd
Waltham, MA 02451
Angell Animal Medical Center - West
293 Second Ave
Waltham, MA 02451