886 S Pine St, PO Box 277

Grantsburg, WI 54840

Phone: (715) 463-2536

1(800) 924-0588

140 Evergreen Square SW

Pine City, MN 55063

Phone: (320) 629-7474

October is Pet Wellness Month

10/10/2016

October is Pet Wellness Month

 

Back in 2004, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA) started Pet Wellness Month along with Fort Dodge Animal Health. The purpose of the campaign, which has been held each October for the past 12 years, is to educate people on the pet aging process and the importance of preventive care exams. According to the AVMA, dogs and cats age at a rate that is five to seven times that of humans. It recommends bi-annual wellness visits for this very reason.
 
At the very least, senior pets over the age of seven should come in twice a year for a check-up. This is the time when Dr. Palmquist starts looking for age-related issues such as arthritis, diabetes, hip dysplasia, and kidney disease. Although younger pets can develop these conditions as well, they are much more prevalent in the senior population. Puppies and kittens also need to be seen more often than once a year. This is necessary to monitor their growth and get them started on a vaccine schedule.

What to Expect at Your Pet’s Preventive Care Exam
State and federal laws require dogs and cats to have certain vaccinations. For dogs, these include canine adenovirus, canine parvovirus, distemper, and rabies. Required vaccines for cats include feline calicivirus, feline panleukopenia, rabies, and rhinotracheitis. You also have the options of several optional vaccines, such as Lyme disease and feline leukemia. Dr. Palmquist considers your pet’s species, age, general health, lifestyle, and unique risk factors when recommending specific non-core vaccines. 

In addition to checking vaccine status and administering original vaccines or boosters, the preventive care exam is the ideal time to discuss protection from parasites. Preventing your pet from being infested with fleas, ticks, heartworms, or other common parasites is much better than having to treat them after the fact. We also inspect the following areas on your pet: 

Teeth, gums, jaws, and mouth to look for tooth decay, oral tumors, and other common problems 
Urinary tract to spot any infections 
Reproductive system 
The nose and eyes to look for allergy symptoms 
The condition of the coat and skin 
Legs, paws, and paw pads 
Stomach to determine any gastrointestinal problems 

This is not an all-inclusive list, but gives you a good idea of the type of head-to-tail exam you can expect at Grantsburg Animal Hospital or Wild River Veterinary Clinic. If we spot any areas of concern, we will let you know the plan of action to diagnose and treat it. We know you love your pet and want to see him or her live a long and healthy life. Our staff is happy to help you achieve that goal. 

Photo Credit: Jupiter Images / Getty Images

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September 28 is World Rabies Day

9/23/2016

September 28 is World Rabies v1

The 10th annual World Rabies Day takes place on Wednesday, September 28 this year. Started by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AMVA), the purpose of this event is to raise awareness about the symptoms and prevention of the deadly disease of rabies. Approximately 6,000 animals and more than 50,000 people contract rabies each year. Although most human victims live in underdeveloped nations, animals who get rabies are often domesticated pets in the United States. As serious as this disease is, the AMVA is trying to stress the point that it’s entirely preventable.

How Do Dogs and Cats Develop Rabies?

Your pet acquires rabies through contact with the saliva of an infected animal. When domesticated pets get the disease, it is typically due to being bitten by a bat, coyote, fox, raccoon, or skunk. Dogs and cats who live near wooded areas or who are allowed to roam outdoors without supervision are at the highest risk of being bitten by an infected wild animal. Keeping up-to-date on your pet’s vaccine schedule and limiting unsupervised time outdoors are the best ways to lower the risk of acquiring rabies.
 

Common Symptoms of Rabies
Most dogs and cats display the first symptoms of rabies two to eight weeks after contact with an infected wild animal. These include: 

Aggressive behavior 

Disorientation 

Foaming at the mouth 

Fever 

Jaw and throat paralysis 

Increased biting, chewing, or licking of the skin 

Irritability 

Pain when someone touches them 

Personality changes 

Seizures 

Some domesticated animals die suddenly shortly after contracting rabies, but it is more common for the disease to progress at a slower pace. However, some of these symptoms may also indicate the presence of another illness. That is why it’s important to contact us at Grantsburg Animal Hospital immediately if your pet displays even one of them.
 

Prevention: Because Rabies Has No Cure or Treatment
If we confirm rabies in your pet, he or she should be euthanized as soon as possible. This not only prevents needless suffering, it also protects other people and pets from getting the disease. You also need to contact the Burnett County Health Department to report the rabies diagnosis.
 
Wisconsin state law requires that all pets be fully immunized against rabies. At Grantsburg Animal Hospital and Wild River Veterinary Clinic, we give the first round of vaccinations at four months of age for puppies and kittens. The cost is just $19. We also provide boosters and can get your pet caught up on the rabies vaccination if necessary. Our veterinarians have had two bats test positive for rabies within the past few years, so the danger is ever present. 

Photo Credit: Jarun011 / Getty Images

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