How do you know your pet is sick?

The Pet Health Network that our clinic has an an option for all of our pet owners to read on great articles about your pet and pets needs. In this case would be how do you know when your pet is sick? Top 10 signs your pet could be ill.

Overview
As is the case with people, a dog’s health changes with age. Unfortunately, our pets age much faster than we do.

Symptoms
Regardless of your dog’s age, you play a key role in helping her combat illness and remain as healthy as possible. Remember, your dog cannot describe symptoms to you, but she can show you signs of disease. Awareness of the signs of the most common diseases is one way to help reduce your pet’s risk of being affected by them. It’s a little scary to consider that at least 10% of pets that appear healthy to their owners and their veterinarians during annual checkups have underlying diseases.1

The top 10 signs that your dog may be ill:

  1. Bad breath or drooling
  2. Excessive drinking or urination
  3. Appetite change associated with weight loss or gain
  4. Change in activity level (e.g., lack of interest in doing things they once did)
  5. Stiffness or difficulty in rising or climbing stairs
  6. Sleeping more than normal, or other behavior or attitude changes
  7. Coughing, sneezing, excessive panting, or labored breathing
  8. Dry or itchy skin, sores, lumps, or shaking of the head
  9. Frequent digestive upsets or change in bowel movements
  10. Dry, red, or cloudy eyes

If your best friend shows symptoms of being ill, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Unfortunately, you may not always recognize that your dog is sick. Often, even the most well-intentioned dog owners attribute the subtle signs of disease to aging.

Diagnosis/Treatment
Because signs of disease are not always obvious, your veterinarian may recommend preventive care testing as part of your dog’s annual exam.

Preventive care testing often includes the following:

  • Chemistry and electrolyte tests to evaluate internal organ status and ensure your dog isn’t dehydrated or suffering from an electrolyte imbalance
  • Tests to identify if your pet may have heartworm, tick-borne or other infectious diseases
  • A complete blood count to rule out blood-related conditions
  • Urine tests to screen for urinary tract infection and other disease and to evaluate the ability of the kidneys to concentrate urine
  • A thyroid test to determine if the thyroid gland is producing too little thyroid hormone
  • An ECG to screen for an abnormal heart rhythm, which may indicate underlying heart disease

Additional tests may be added on an individual basis. Your veterinarian will recommend the right course for your best friend.

Prevention
Preventive care screening not only helps to detect disease in its earlier stages, when it is most likely to respond to treatment, it also can help you avoid significant medical expense and risk to your dog’s health if an illness goes undetected. In addition, by establishing your pet’s normal baseline laboratory values during health, your veterinarian—and you—can more easily see when something is wrong with your pet. Annual screening is the best preventive medicine!

For more information about preventive testing, contact your veterinarian—your best resource for information about the health and well-being of your pet.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

Reference: 

1. Rehm M. Seeing double. Vet Econ. 2007;48(10):40–48.

If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian – they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets.

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Pet Laser Therapy at Prairie Ridge

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Pet Laser Therapy at Prairie Ridge

While laser therapy for pets may sound like something straight out of science fiction; it is, in fact, becoming a common and effective treatment for companion animals across the country. Dr. Yetter and the Prairie Ridge Animal Clinic staff are excited to introduce therapeutic laser services to our patients. And, while you may not think you are as excited as we are; it’s probably because you don’t know what pet laser therapy is and why it is so incredible.

Often called low-level laser therapy, cold laser therapy or Class IV laser therapy, by any name, is still a relatively new concept that is being used more recently to treat dogs with arthritis, tendon or soft tissue injuries and to promote wound healing. Cold laser therapy is a noninvasive procedure that uses light to stimulate cell regeneration and increase blood circulation.

Cold laser therapy is used to treat multiple ailments and injuries in dogs and cats.  Treatable conditions include:

  • Joint injuries
  • Ligament or tendon injuries
  • Fractures
  • Muscle sprains or strains
  • Skin lesions or abrasions
  • Post-trauma wounds
  • Post-surgical incisions
  • Arthritis
  • Musculoskeletal diseases
  • Nerve injury

Cold laser uses a beam of light to stimulate damaged cells to produce more energy.  The overall cellular function is increased, allowing for rapid absorption of nutrients, elimination of wastes, and reproduction of new cells.  The new cellular activity aids in:

 

  • Alleviating chronic or acute pain
  • Reducing inflammation
  • Reducing swelling
  • Increasing circulation
  • Speeding up healing and recovery
  • Release of endorphin, the body’s natural pain reliever

Dogs find laser therapy relaxing and tend to enjoy the treatment. After laser therapy, dog owners might see their dog go upstairs more often, play with a ball he’s not picked up in months or go back to getting on the couch for his nightly snuggle with family members. And, when dogs have better mobility, medications can often be reduced.

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

 

Heartworm Prevention is Key


If you don’t give your dog heartworm preventative, now is the time to start! Heartworms are becoming more and more common near Mason and Fulton county. There are several different types of heartworm preventative medications available; topicals, chewable pills/tablets, and injections. In the long run, it is much healthier for your dog and much cheaper for you, to provide monthly heartworm preventative instead of having to treat for heartworms later.

Continue…

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Dental Disease and Teeth Cleanings in Pets

The Tooth, The Whole Tooth, and Nothing but the Tooth

Does your pet’s breath have an offensive odor? Did you know around 80% of pets we see have periodontal disease by age 3? Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth. This disease starts with plaque buildup on the teeth and eventually leads to gingivitis.
Brushing your pet’s teeth or using special dental products designed to clean the teeth (dental chews) will help keep the plaque from hardening into tartar. The more tartar that accumulates the more plaque is allowed to accumulate; it’s a vicious, endless cycle. At this point, a professional dental cleaning may be required to manage it. 

Continue…

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Laser Therapy for Pets

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Laser Therapy for Pets

Not many people are aware of how common laser therapy is becoming for cats and dogs. Dr. Yetter and the staff here at Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic are using it more and more frequently with patients, both canine and feline. Laser therapy can be used on practically any condition or disease that causes pain and/or inflammation.

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Tips for a Safe Thanksgiving

Big shepherd dog stealing from table in the kitchen

The mouth-watering smells of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie slowly wafting through the house this Thanksgiving is enough to drive you (and your pets) crazy! However, with delicious human food comes serious risk for your pets. Prairie Ridge Veterinary Clinic is here to provide owners with some Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips to pet-proof your home this holiday season and keep your furr-amily safe from hazardous foods. Continue…

Colic in Horses: Symptoms and Treatment

horsecolicWhat is Colic?

Colic literally means “pain in the abdomen” or “pain in the belly” but is actually a symptom instead of a diagnosis. There are several different types of colic, with the most common listed below:

Impaction: The intestine is blocked by a compact mass of food, sand, parasites or dirt. Impaction is fairly common, usually treated with mineral oil or another laxative and resolves easily with proper treatment. This can be caused by a diet with course fiber or roughage with low digestibility.  Continue…

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Blue-Green Algae – How Toxins in Water Can Affect your Pet

Dog swimming in the water.

If you take your dog swimming in lakes or ponds during the summer, listen up! During hot weather in late summer and early fall, lakes and ponds can accumulate a dangerous type of algae that floats seemingly innocent on the surface. This species grows in “blooms” that give the water a blue-green color.  Continue…

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posted in:  Pet Safety