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Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Canine Influenza Virus has spread to Massachusetts, as there was a documented case in Boston last week. As your pet’s veterinarian,  we want you to know the facts and how to prevent Canine Influenza Virus (CIV).

Much like kennel cough, CIV is a highly contagious, airborne disease that causes inflammation of the upper respiratory tract in dogs. This results in coughing, fever, lethargy, loss of appetite, and nasal discharge. Most dogs will recover without incident within 7 to 10 days. Canine influenza is not transmissible to other species of animals including humans and cats. 

Risk factors for dogs contracting influenza include boarding, day care, grooming, and visiting dog parks.  There is a vaccine available helps protect against the two most common strains of canine influenza, and it’s called a bivalent vaccine.  Not every canine influenza vaccine protects against both known-strains, and vaccination should be discussed with your veterinary team.  As with any influenza vaccine, your dog may still contract canine influenza even after receiving the vaccine. However, the symptoms and risk of complications will be significantly decreased.

According to Dr. Carey, DVM, PhD, DACVIM, the Director at Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, 100% of nonvaccinated dogs exposed to the new strain (H3N2) of CIV will be infected with 80% showing clinical signs if exposed.  We strongly urge all dogs in daycare, boarding, or frequent grooming or travel to be vaccinated. 

The initial series is two boosters given three to four weeks apart, then yearly as needed.  There are few serious side effects to the vaccine beyond injection site soreness and lethargy.  

If your dog has been examined by one of our veterinarians in the last year, you can stop by at any time to get them vaccinated against Canine Influenza as a tech visit. No appointment needed.

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.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Avoid Memorial Day Mishaps

Memorial Day Weekend is in a few days, and while it’s a great time to celebrate with family and friends, we need to be cautious of our pet’s safety.  Fireworks are a Memorial Day tradition, and while most of us enjoy the noise and flashes from a firework display, this can be extremely frightening to dogs.  Here are some tips to keep your dog safe during the holiday weekend.
  • Keep your dog inside at all times.  It is easy to lose track of your pet when you’re entertaining guests.
  • Be cautious of alcoholic beverages.  Make sure all alcohol is kept out of reach and guests are mindful where they place their drinks.
  • Avoid offering table scraps.  Raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and avocados are common snacks found at barbeques, but these are all toxic to dogs.
  • Make sure your pet is wearing an ID tag or microchip.  If your pet becomes lost during the holiday commotion, they can be easily identified.
  • Stay clear of glow jewelry.  Dogs can chew up and swallow the plastic jewelry, which can cause excessive drooling and gastrointestinal upset.
  • Leave your pet at home when going to a fireworks display.  The combination of loud noises and unfamiliar people can be extremely frightening and traumatizing to your pet. 
Everyone at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod wishes you a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.  We would like to honor all of the men and women who sacrificed their lives to serve in the U.S. Military and continue to serve to keep our Country safe. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Summer Time Tips

As the weather warms up and summer approaches, we will be spending more time outside with our family, friends and pets!  Many of us will be having cookouts and spending our days at the beach.  Here are some helpful tips to keep your pet safe during these fun social gatherings.
  • Save outdoor time with your pet during the early morning or later in the day.  Pets can easily succumb to heatstroke, especially pets who are older, overweight, or brachycephalic (has a flat-shaped face).  Always provide plenty of cold water and shade.  Avoid walking on pavement when the sun is in full force, as this can burn your pet’s paws. 
  • Be mindful of food during barbeques.  Corncobs, chicken bones and ribs are just a few common foods that can cause obstructions if ingested by your pet, which may require surgery.  Keep food out of reach from your pet at all times and don’t forget to keep a tight lid on any trash cans.
  • Avoid bringing your dog for a day at the beach.  While this may sound like a great idea, we recommend limiting your dog’s beach excursions to either early morning or late afternoon.  It is too hot for your pet to endure an entire day at the beach, which can result in heat stroke.  Dogs can ingest sand, come in contact fish hooks and drink saltwater, all of which can become very serious and require veterinary care.
As pet owners, we naturally want to involve our pets during social gatherings or day excursions.  However, we must always place our pet’s safety first and foremost.  Often times, this means keeping your pet at home in a cool and safe environment. 


Thursday, May 12, 2016

The Importance of AAHA Accreditation

Did you know that Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is one of only three veterinary hospitals on Cape Cod that is AAHA accredited?  In fact, we are the only AAHA accredited veterinary hospital located in the Mid Cape.  The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only organization to accredit companion veterinary hospitals.  AAHA accredited hospitals hold themselves to higher standards, placing pets as their #1 priority.  What sets AAHA accredited practices apart from non-accredited practices?
  • Accreditation is voluntary – only hospitals interested in raising the bar strive for this accreditation
  • Accredited practices undergo regular comprehensive evaluations by AAHA veterinary experts who evaluate the practice on approximately 900 standards of veterinary care
  • Re-evaluations are required every three years to keep practices up-to-date
  • Only 12-15% of all veterinary practices in the United States and Canada are AAHA accredited
We encourage everyone to ask if their veterinary hospital is AAHA accredited, regardless of where you bring your pet.  The AAHA evaluation process gives us the opportunity to continuously improve our practice and provides an atmosphere in which all team members work together harmoniously.  If you’ve never been to Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, we encourage you to stop by for a visit!  We are confident that our hospital with both meet and exceed your expectations of a veterinary hospital.