The Importance of the Canine Influenza Vaccine

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At River Oaks Animal Hospital, East Lake Animal Clinic, and Pet Care Center of Apopka, we have been vaccinating for canine influenza for three years, ever since this virus became a cause for concern. All around the country the news is reporting canine influenza epidemics, especially in the Midwest, and we hope that just by watching the news you will start to understand why it’s so important to have your pet protected from this!

With all the media coverage of canine influenza right now, we want to set the record straight about a few things. All over the news and the internet, we keep seeing high prices quoted for this vaccine and we want to make sure that our clients aren’t skipping this critical preventive care due to those quoted costs! We’ve seen national news sites quoting costs of $100+ for vaccines, but at our animal hospitals, we offer the vaccine for:

  • $40 for the first time the vaccine is given – comes in a package of 2 for first administration and then a booster 3 weeks later, for no additional cost.
  • $28.55 for an annual booster every year following.

Our veterinary team believes firmly that every dog should be vaccinated against the canine influenza virus, without exception. This is not a situation where you can determine the need of the vaccine based on where your dog goes or what they do. No matter what, an unvaccinated dog is at risk because they have no immunity to this potentially fatal virus.

Get Your Canine Influenza Vaccine

If your dog has not been vaccinated against canine influenza, please contact us today to schedule their vaccine appointment. This vaccine is so important to everyone’s health. Please, act now.

Orthopedic Surgery: Cruciate Ligament Repair

Cruciate Ligament Ruptures are among the most common injuries that dogs experience, but they are also serious and often painful as well! The veterinary teams at our Central Florida Vets animal hospitals—River Oaks Animal Hospital, Pet Care Center of Apopka, and East Lake Animal Clinic—are equipped to provide specialized orthopedic care for our patients who have experienced a cruciate ligament rupture or other serious knee injuries. The majority of our critical care cases are handled by our River Oaks Animal Hospital location as this facility is one of only a few hospitals in our area that has an oxygen chamber for post-surgical recovery.

What is a Cruciate Ligament Tear?

The cruciate ligament is the connective band of tissue, or the ligament, that connects the thigh bone with the lower leg bone and helps the knee to bend in a straight line. This can be disrupted, either stretched or torn, due to a genetic disposition toward this injury or because of an athletic activity that results in unstable footing or quick pivoting. It can also be caused by repetitive actions, and obesity is sometimes a factor in this type of injury as well.

Meet Sasha

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Just one week after surgery to repair a torn cruciate ligament, Sasha is walking well and weight bearing! Good job, Dr Greer. We so love this dog, who is so gentle. Nothing is more exciting than to see a dog come out of the cruciate ligament, or ACL, surgery, successfully and embark on a smooth recovery. Remember, each pet is an individual and their treatment and recovery from this type of condition will be different for everyone. We’ll be happy to discuss your pet’s personalized care with you. Please contact us with your questions!

Buster and the Eyelid Tumor Removal

Introducing our brave patient Buster! Just look at that sweet little face.

Buster

Buster recently was diagnosed with a tumor under his eyelid. Eyelid tumors are common in older dogs, and while the majority of these tend to be benign, or non-cancerous, it is important for them to be professionally evaluated. These tumors generally develop in the glands that line the eyelids. Often these tumors don’t cause a lot of problems, but they can be irritating to pets. If they are, removal is recommended.

Eyelid Tumor Removal

Generally, there are two different methods used for eyelid tumor removal, and the choice between one method and the other depends on the tumor itself. Veterinarians will often use a local anesthetic to remove as much of the tumor as possible, and then follow up with cryotherapy to remove the remainder of the tumor cells. The second method is often used when a tumor or growth is more aggressive and this involves sedating the patient and removing the tumor surgically.

At our Central Florida Vets practicesRiver Oaks Animal Hospital, Pet Care Center of Apopka, and East Lake Animal Clinic—we operate on a case-by-case basis, choosing methods of removal based on the individual pet’s needs and condition.

Sweet Buster’s Prognosis

After having a surgical removal of his eyelid tumor, Buster is doing well! His Mommy, who practices alternative therapies in her own workplace, has been using them on him to help him feel good as new and to speed up his healing process. We’re so glad Buster’s prognosis is looking good!

Pets and Your Health, Pt 1.

Could your pet’s unhealthy habits be making you sick? Find out how you can minimize the health risks of pet ownership. Make sure you and your pet are…

Let your pet start the spring on the right paw by being a responsible pet owner. Exercise your pet on a leash in public areas and be sure to pick up after their accidents. For that outdoor loving cat consider building an outdoor exercise enclosure and keep them safe while keeping your neighbors happy. Don’t forget your annual parasite prevention especially for pets that leave the yard frequently! 

Pets & Lawn Fertilizer

People use fertilizer to make their lawns and gardens grow healthy and green. We would like to remind you to keep your pet off of the lawn for at least three days, or thoroughly water the lawn and let it dry before letting your pet out. Dogs and cats will eat grass sometimes, and if they eat fertilizer, it could have deadly results. Signs of fertilizer poisoning are vomiting and lethargy.

Avoiding Easter Hazards!

With the arrival of the holiday season our pets are often prone to new un thought of risks. Nothing makes a holiday more memorable than a panicked trip to the vets. But pet owners need not fret. Here’s what you need to know to have an emergency-free celebration this Easter.

Festive Foods:
One of the biggest risks to pets at Easter time is “CHOCOLATE”. The canine nose is an expert in sniffing out all the lovely sweet goodies in an instant. And birds, cats & dogs alike are drawn to the bright colors & shiny wrappers. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and parrots. Baker’s chocolate has the highest concentration of theobromine. How a pet reacts to chocolate depends on its size, as well as the amount and type of chocolate eaten. Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of chocolate toxicosis, and while rare, too much chocolate can even be fatal. Carob chocolate is a natural, delicious and pet friendly alternative.

Foil packaging, ribbon and pretty sparkly plastic wadding are irresistible to cats and birds, while a big shiny Easter egg appears as a fun ball for a dog.  Pets love to play with these items and they will sometimes swallow them. Known as linear foreign bodies in vet speak, they are indigestible and can cause a partial or complete obstruction. They are often sharp and run the risk of cutting through the wall of the intestinal tract which can cause peritonitis.

While we all love our pets and wish to include them in the festivities, it is important to remember that now matter how much they beg, what they want may not always be what is best for them. Rich fatty foods can cause an upset stomach, vomiting or even pancreatitis in the extreme. Onions either raw or cooked can be poisonous to cats and dogs. As little as one bite of an onion can cause some of the red bloods cells to be destroyed (haemolytic anaemia) symptoms can include pale gums, reddish urine and lethargy.

It is important to remember never to feed your pets cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. The same applies to feeding your pets fish which might contain bones. Bowls of nuts and raisin-laden fruitcakes or chocolate covered sultanas are also common holiday treats. Macadamia Nuts are toxic to dogs. Although one nut is not likely to harm your dog, a number of them could require a trip to the emergency ward. Dogs who ingest macadamia nuts could suffer weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

Foods that are healthy for us may not be so good for our beloved pets. Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats and dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure and even death. While avocadoes are harmful to dogs, cats, birds and Guinea pigs. They contain a toxic fatty acid called persin which can cause vomiting, gastrointestinal irritation, congestion, respiratory disease, fluid accumulation around the heart tissue and may cause death, especially in small animals and birds. So please be careful when serving fruit platters or salads this Easter.

One very real concern to pets are products containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol. This absolutely needs to be avoided. It will cause low blood sugar if ingested in toxic amounts and has been known to cause fatal liver failure.
During the festive season it is easy to forget the dangers of leaving alcoholic drinks within reach of our pets. It may seem harmless enough to offer your best mate a frosty cold one to celebrate alongside the humans. But alcohol poisoning is a very real danger to our pets. Problems equate to the amount of alcohol ingested compared to weight. Even a very small amount of alcohol can cause severe poisoning in a small pet. The yeast contained in beer can also lead to bloating and abdominal pain.

The good news is there is now a specially designed non alcoholic doggy beer on the market called *Paw Rex* It is made with beef stock so dogs love it and even comes in a six pack.

It is also important to remember that most cats and dogs are lactose intolerant so avoid giving them any dairy products. Specially designed lactose free animal products are an available alternative.  It’s up to us to make sure hazards are kept out of reach and that visitors or children know the risks. Remember prevention is better than cure. For healthy Easter treat alternatives to spoil your best friend, please visit our Pet Gourmet section in this special Easter addition of Pet Scene Magazine.

Unexpected Hazards:
With all the coming and going and busy rush that comes with the holiday seasons it is easy for opportunities to arise to get our pets into trouble. It is not uncommon for visitors who are not used to pets to leave gates or doors open. This welcomes the opportunity for your pet to flee the house with all its strange new smells, noise and people. An open window makes for a great escape root for cats or free flying birds. Many pets wind up getting lost or struck by vehicles as a result of this careless mistake. If you have a pet that becomes nervous around new people or strange activity it may be a good idea to plan in advance to have area of the house or yard which is separate where they can feel safe and secure. Visitors who aren’t used to living with pets may inadvertently leave their medications within reach. This brings opportunities for serious problems. Dogs are not deterred by childproof caps and can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble. Warn guests to keep medications well out of reach.

Traveling with pets:
If your going out of town with your pet this Easter there are a few things to remember:

* Make sure your pet is in a cool well ventilated position and never left alone in a closed car, temperatures can sore very quickly.

* Make sure your pet is secured in either a pet crate or safety harness.

* If your pet suffers from motion sickness it’s recommended that you consult with your vet prior to travel to arrange an appropriate treatment.

* Make sure you plan for toileting and drink breaks. Our pets need to refresh too. 

* If you are planning to go out on the water these holidays be sure to pack your pet a life vest.

* If you are going on holiday this Easter with your pets, be sure you have a full supply of any medications they may be taking with you.

The humble Easter Lily
Many cat owners will be surprised to learn that lilies ( Liliaceae) are extremely toxic to their feline friends. The exact cause is unknown, however even the smallest amounts if ingested by cats can  be fatal, while dogs who ingest large amounts only develop signs of mild gastrointestinal upset. Early warning signs of Lily toxicity include vomiting, depression and a lack of appetite. There is no antidote, but with early detection and aggressive treatment the cat stands a better chance of survival. Cats may sometimes appear to be improving after the first onset of symptoms, but 24-72hrs later crash and become critically ill as they go into acute renal failure. If you suspect there is a chance your cat may have ingested this plant it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated cats die within 3-7 days. Cat owners should never grow Lilies in the garden and should ensure that lilies are never part of floral arrangements. This is important to remember these holidays with the popular Easter Lily appearing  in most flower arrangements.

We hope that these tips will help you and your pets have a happy and safe
holiday season.

Sneezing…watery…running eyes and nose…itchy and scratchy skin. Its allergy time.  Did you know that your pet suffers from seasonal allergies just as you do?  We offer services for your pet to test for allergies, fleas, ticks and other critters to keep your pet looking and feeling their best.

All Paws Pet Talk with special guest Marty Becker!

Easter Lilies and Cats

Easter Lilies can be a beautiful decoration in the spring season, but did you know that all parts of the lily plant are considered toxic and dangerous to your cat? If ingested, it can cause severe kidney damage and even death. Please be advised that cat owners should remove lilies out of reach of your cat and consider an alternative to the lily such as Easter Orchids and Easter Daisies.