Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Health Benefits of Pets

We all know our pets make us healthier. Just petting them can lower our blood pressure and heart rate, making us feel calm and relaxed. Results of a recent study published in the journal Pediatrics show that children exposed to dogs during their first year of life had fewer health problems. Specifically, children who lived with a dog had fewer respiratory infections, fewer ear infections, and needed fewer antibiotics than children who lived in pet-free households. The study concludes, "during the first year of life, animal contacts are important, possibly leading to better resistance to infectious respiratory illnesses during childhood."

Friday, August 23, 2013

Surgical Laser

The surgical laser is just one of the tools we use to provide your pet with the best care possible.  At VACC our surgeons are happy to have the option of using the surgical laser for their surgical procedures.The surgical laser offers the following benefits:

  • reduced pain
  • reduced bleeding
  • faster recovery

For some procedures, such as a feline declaw, the surgical laser is always used, with great results. In addition to reduced bleeding, pain, and recovery time, the patients also have less swelling than they would if the procedure were done using traditional methods. The surgical laser also allows our surgeons to remove tissue with great precision. As you can see in the photo below, the surgical laser was used to draw a smiley face on the surface of the egg yolk without rupturing it.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Severe Allergic Reactions in Dogs

Recently at VACC, we saw a patient who was having an allergic reaction to greenhead bites. The family was visiting a Cape Cod beach when the dog started shaking her head excessively. A short time after, her face swelled up, and her family called us. As you can see in the photo below, her face was very swollen by the time she got here. She also had multiple welts on her legs where she was bitten by the flies.

Luckily they were able to get here quickly, and after a steroid injection and some observation she was able to get back to her vacation.
Severe allergic reactions like this can be dangerous because the swelling can potentially obstruct the dog's airway. If you notice your dog has any of the following symptoms, get her to a veterinarian right away:

  • facial swelling
  • hives
  • difficulty breathing
  • loss of consciousness
Severe allergic reactions can be caused by many things, including insect bites or stings, vaccines, medications, foods, or certain chemicals. Sometimes the reaction can be treated with over-the-counter Benadryl, but it is still important to contact your veterinarian to get the proper dose, and often Benadryl alone will not be enough to stop the reaction.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Mosquitoes and Heartworm Disease

Mosquitoes are an unfortunate reality of summer. While they may just be annoying to you, they can be dangerous to your pets. Mosquitoes transmit heartworm disease, which can be deadly if left unchecked.
The best thing you can do to protect your dog is to use a monthly heartworm preventive.
Watch the video below to learn more about the disease.