Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Tips for Flea and Tick Prevention

Fleas and ticks are not just an annoyance, they can pose a serious health threat to both pets and humans.  Fleas and ticks can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other zoonotic diseases from animals to humans so choosing the right preventative for your pet is key to keeping your pet, home, and family safe.  With so many products available on the market, it’s important to consult your veterinarian to ensure you select the safest and most effective preventative.  For your pet’s safety, we recommend the following:
  • Always check with your veterinarian prior to using any product (especially over the counter).
  • Use caution when using preventatives on pets who are pregnant, older, very young, or taking medications.  Your veterinarian will provide expert advice on the appropriate preventative in any situation.
  • Never use any preventative on cats that are indicated for dogs only. 
  • Double check the weight range prior to administering any preventative.  Giving a small pet a dose for a larger animal can have detrimental results.
  • Follow the directions that are indicated on the product.  Never apply more or less than the recommended dose.
Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod offers a wide variety of flea and tick preventatives in hospital.  From topical, oral and collars; we have you covered!  Our online pharmacy offers an assortment of products as well.  Remember to keep your pet safe and use flea and tick preventatives throughout the entire year! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Dangers of Xylitol

Many pet owners believe they are aware of what is toxic to dogs.  Chocolate, caffeine and grapes are just a few that dog owners are well aware of.  However, many dog owners are not aware of the danger of xylitol.  Xylitol is an artificial sweetener commonly found in many sugar-free products.  When ingested by dogs, xylitol may cause vomiting, weakness, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, hypoglycemia, liver failure and even death.  Below are a few common products that may contain xylitol:
  • Sugar-free gums
  • Candies
  • Breath mints
  • Children’s chewable vitamins
  • Toothpastes
  • Mouthwashes
  • Baked goods
  • Some peanut and nut butters
Signs of xylitol toxicity appears quickly – usually within 15-30 minutes of consumption.  If you suspect that your dog has ingested xylitol, contact your veterinarian immediately.  If you do use products containing xylitol, store them in a safe place that is completely out of reach of your pets.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Vehicle Safety Tips

Many of us who have dogs frequently take our beloved pups out for car rides.  While this can be a great way to bond and spend time with your pup, it’s important to be aware of your pet’s safety whenever you’re in the car. 
  • Never leave your pet unattended in the car.  Even when the temperature outside is at a pleasant 70 degrees, the temperature in the car can climb to 90 degrees in 10 minutes.
  • Remove your pet’s leash when riding in the vehicle.  A coworker recently reported that her puppy nearly choked himself to death because his leash got wrapped around the center console.
  • Never allow your dog on your lap or to wander the car.  Keep your dog in a secured carrier or in the back seat while traveling.
  • Turn off power windows.  It may seem harmless to let your pet stick their head out in the breeze, but overly excited dogs have jumped out of moving vehicles.  A dog can easily close the window causing the window to close on their neck.
  • Make sure to have fresh water and a bowl in case your dog becomes thirsty. 
Everyone at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod wishes you and your four-legged family members a happy and safe summer!  If you’re planning to take your pet for a ride along in the car, ask yourself if you’ll need to stop anywhere.  If the answer is yes, it’s best to leave your pet home where it is cool and safe.