The staff at Bear Valley Animal Hospital is proud to have put together important information to help you take care of your pet.Request Appointment
Read about illness, disease, prevention, and other important topics in our education library.
Accidental Ingestion of Toxic Foods
Supervising your pets, limiting their access to toxic foods, and recognizing the signs of ingesting toxic foods are all essential to preventing potentially dangerous situations.
In general, signs of toxic food ingestion include changes in eating, drinking, urination, defecation, respiration, energy, and neurologic signs. If you suspect that your pet may have eaten a toxic substance, call your veterinarian, or after business ours, the nearest animal emergency clinic.
Further information can be found from the Humane Society of The United States or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Allergies in Dogs and Cats
Allergies in cats and dogs are usually indicated by excessive scratching, chewing, licking, or rubbing of the affected area(s) and can also be caused by the environment, parasites, or food.
No cure is available for allergies, but limited exposure to allergens and consistently addressing symptoms from allergies are effective in management.
Arthritis is characterized by difficulty walking, rising from resting position, limping, popping/cracking at joints when moving, muscle atrophy, urinating/defecating in inappropriate places, the unwillingness to walk, jump, or use stairs, irritation/depression, the loss of appetite, and/or weight gain.
Your veterinarian can help diagnose arthritis and develop a treatment plan to help your pet.
Diabetes Mellitus is a lifelong illness that requires daily intervention.
Common clinical signs of Diabetes Mellitus include:
- Increased drinking and urination
- Weight loss
- Increased appetite
Treatment is possible but requires a joint effort from the veterinary staff and owner to provide treatments and consistent monitoring of the pet's health.
Often detected by scratching or one or both ears, unpleasant odor, excess moisture, pain or discomfort, inflammation, and shaking of the head. There are multiple causes of ear infections and must be identified and treated accordingly by your veterinarian.
Ethylene Glycol Toxicosis
Ingestion of ethylene glycol is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary intervention. Ethylene glycol is found in anti-freeze, coolant, and anti-rust agents.
Signs and symptoms present within 30 minutes of ingestion and may initially appear similar to alcohol intoxication (incoordination), but can worsen to seizures and coma, and eventually lead to kidney damage.
Early detection and treatment is essential. If your pet has ingested ethylene glycol please contact us immediately.
Heartworm Disease is a serious disease that affects both dogs and cats. Read some quick information about heartworm below:
- Transmitted by mosquitoes.
- Heartworm prevention is available by prescription and requires an exam and testing.
- Prevention of heartworm is easier and less expensive than treatment.
More information can be found here, provided by the American Heartworm Society.
If the environment is causing your pet to heat up faster than he is able to cool himself off, he may become susceptible to heat stress.
Signs of heat stress in dogs include excessive panting, excessive salivation, abnormal tongue/gum color, restlessness, unsteadiness, and collapse. If you suspect that your pet is experiencing heat stress, seek a veterinarian immediately.
Holiday Hazards for Pets
Watch out for these common holiday hazards include:
- Toxic or dangerous foods
- Potentially harmful decorations
- Extreme temperatures
- Stressful situations (parties, boarding, etc.)
Further information can be found from the American Veterinary Medical Association or the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Examples of intestinal parasites include roundworm, hookworm, tapeworm, Giardia, and Coccidia. Usually transferred from ingestion of contaminated feces, food, water, and/or soil, but can also occur in-utero or from nursing from an infected mother. Intestinal parasites can cause malnutrition, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and/or anemia.
Lily Toxicity in Cats
Lilies have an unknown toxin in lilies leads to kidney failure that can be lethal.
- Just two leaves from a lily plant can cause poisoning in cats, and even the pollen from a lily plant can have these toxic effects on cats.
- Cats are commonly exposed to lily pollen from grooming the pollen off their coats. Due to cats' extreme sensitivity to lilies, it is recommended to keep lilies out of and away from cat households.
- Some examples of lilies include Easter lily, tiger lily, Japanese show lily, Rubrum lily, and day lily.
- Some "lilies" are not "true lilies" or "daylilies" and will not cause kidney failure; however, many have other properties that cause other types of toxicity.
For more information on lilies and their toxicity to cats, please read some more information from the FDA.
Noise Anxiety in Dogs
Some dogs become frightened or anxious from loud noises like fireworks or thunderstorms. Behaviors displayed include shaking, hiding, seeking comfort from the owner, and attempting to escape the home.
In these situations, ensure that your pet is indoors, comfortable, and unable to escape. For severe cases, some owners seek prescribed medication to help relieve stress in their pets.
Recognizing signs of pain in your pet is the first step in ensuring they are cared for and given relief as soon as possible. Most pets are reluctant to outwardly express that they are in discomfort.
Depending on the source of discomfort, our pain management services include treating the source, providing pain medication, and therapeutic laser therapy.
If your pet escapes, there are some steps you can take beforehand to ensure their safe return home.
- Pet Tags: If your pet has up-to-date information on its tags, people who find your pet are able to contact you.
- Microchipping: If your pet is microchipped, and the microchip company has your updated information, shelters are able to identify your pet and contact you.
You should also have a recent photo of your pet with you to distribute to shelters or in case there is a dispute about ownership.
Overweight animals have an increased risk of developing many health issues, including heart, joint, and metabolic disorders. Some breeds are genetically predisposed to obesity.
With regular check-ups, your pet's veterinarian and you can help your furry friend maintain a healthy weight. Read more information about pet healthy weight from the American Veterinary Medical Association, click here.
Puppy & Kitten Vaccines
Some key points for vaccination for your puppy or kitten are listed below:
- Puppies and kittens are recommended to receive a series of booster vaccines to ensure healthy adolescence.
- Our recommendation is to begin the series as early as 6 weeks of age and to booster every 3 weeks until the series is complete.
- Canine Parvovirus is especially common in our area and it is highly encouraged to vaccinate against this virus, particularly in young dogs and puppies.
Seizures in Dogs
Seizures result from abnormal brain activity, often with an unknown cause.
They are often characterized by collapse, convulsions, thrashing, salivating, rigidity, and/or inability to control urination and defecation.; severity and duration vary. After or while observing a seizure, it is highly recommended to immediately go to a veterinarian. Seizures should not be ignored. It is important to note what you see or even take a video before, during, and after a possible seizure to help your veterinarian best treat your furry friend.
Summertime Holiday Hazards
Remember to take precautions for the upcoming summer holidays if you know your pet does not enjoy celebrating as much as everyone else.
Keep in mind the following topics in mind: pet escape, heat stress, noise anxiety, toxic foods
Vaccines stimulate the immune system to provide immunity against indicated preventable diseases. It is essential for young pets, whose immune systems are still developing, to receive vaccines. We recommend beginning vaccines as soon as 6 weeks of age, and giving booster vaccines every 3 weeks until all boosters are completed.
We recommend giving healthy adults annual vaccines to protect against illness.
Xylitol Toxicity in Dogs
Xylitol is an artificial sweetener found in many sugar-free items like chewing gum, jell-o, and peanut butter. Peanut butter is normally a safe treat for dogs, but if it contains xylitol, it can be dangerous for your dog. Be sure to always check the product label if you give your dog peanut butter as a treat or to give medicine.
Xylitol is toxic to dogs, and can cause dangerously low blood sugar, weakness, incoordination, and, in severe cases, death if left untreated.
Read more about xylitol from the ASPCA here.