Since we have been covering heartworm preventatives and now have a handy chart, we will use the next several blog posts to talk about each product in a little more detail. We hope this helps you to make a more informed decision as to which product is best for your pet. This week we will discuss ProHeart 6.
This is a big topic, especially during the summer. This is probably obvious since we have discussed it many times already. We stress how important prevention is, so which one is the best?
The answer is that in our region, they all are. As long as your pet is on a preventative, he or she will be protected from heartworm disease. The choice most often comes down to what is most convenient.
Convenience is different for everyone. Maybe you need a product that will do everything you need and is given once a month. Or maybe convenience means your pet likes the way it tastes. For some, convenience is bringing the pet to the clinic every six months for an injection.
To help you make this decision, I have formed a simple comparison chart of products available at Satilla Animal Hospital. Hopefully, this will help you in determining the best way to meet your pet's needs.
For more detailed information, click here to see our earlier blog post on the differences in each product.
We already know that in Southeast Georgia, heartworm prevention is a must. Flea prevention is often considered just as important because we can see how miserable these pests make our friends. What about ticks? We may rarely see them and we just pull them off and keep going. We may see a little red bump, but that too usually heals. So what is the risk of not using tick preventative?
First, ticks can carry diseases, such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Rocky Mountain Spotted fever, and other blood parasites that can cause a severely sick animal. The signs typically include lethargy, weakness and joint pain. While it is true that these diseases are rarely diagnosed in our clinic, the risk may be reason enough for some people to choose a tick preventative.
Ticks can also cause paralysis. This is because some ticks can carry a toxin that when released will cause a pet to become completely paralyzed. The prognosis for this is usually good, but not always. In most cases, the tick is removed and the pet will regain use of its limbs in a day or so. Although the outcome is usually good, it is a very scary ordeal for a pet owner. This is another good reason to consider tick prevention.
Some heartworm products prevent heartworm disease and fleas. But unfortunately, currently there is no product to prevent heartworm, fleas and ticks with just one pill or solution. This means that administering tick prevention always requires the use of at least two products. This is why many pets are not protected.
As a veterinarian it is our responsibility to try to inform owners of the risks. What you do with that information is completely up to you. I can honestly say I do not push tick prevention on my clients when they tell me that they have never seen a tick on their pet. If this is truly the case, the pet may live such a sheltered life that the chance of them encountering ticks is very rare. In that situation the pet may not need tick prevention. However, if you have seen even one tick on your pet, that can enough to cause disease. The decision is up to each pet owner, but the responsibility of informing them lies on the veterinarian. Hopefully, you find this information helpful and can make an informed decision for your pet. As always, if you have questions about ticks and their diseases or prevention, contact us on facebook, the website or in person at Satilla Animal Hospital in Waycross, GA.
Some of you are probably skeptical of a veterinarian offering advice on how you can spend less money with them. Who does that? Well, the honest to goodness truth is that I would be very happy only providing preventative care to pets. Pets will occasionally become sick and there will always be mystifying cases to solve, despite best preventative practice. Therefore, job security and my interest is safe even if everyone followed these tips. Believe me, I would much rather fill my day vaccinating healthy animals than praying that a very ill animal responded to therapy. Hopefully you are convinced, but either way, here is the list:
1. Spay or Neuter your pet
As covered in an earlier blog, spaying and neutering adds years to a pet’s life and prevents some cancer and other diseases. Also most animals seen on emergency for being hit by a car are not spayed or neutered.
2. Heartworm prevention
Heartworm prevention will obviously cost money, but there is an option for almost every budget. Heartworm treatment can cost up to 1000 dollars for a sick animal and can be prevented.
3. Flea prevention
Fleas can cause anemia, but more than likely, the cost incurred will be due to treating a patient who has a skin infection and or “hot spots” related to flea bites and scratching.
Vaccinating helps to eliminate severe disease early on and later in life. It is rare for a pet who is vaccinated on a determined schedule becomes sick with certain viruses.
5. Don’t feed from the table/ Feed a quality pet food and the RIGHT AMOUNT
We covered this topic too. Good pet food is created to have everything your pet needs in it. It also doesn’t have a lot of extra things that your pet doesn’t. Feeding pets human food can lead to mild diarrhea and urinary issues or critical gastrointestinal disease and even bladder/kidney stones, which may require surgery. Finally, obesity is a growing problem in the pet population and these pets (just like humans) are at higher risk of many diseases like diabetes.
6. Annual bloodwork for older patients
The definition of older pet can vary. Ask your vet if unsure, but typically I consider it very important in pets 7 and older. Annual bloodwork does two things. It helps us determine a disease process early before it causes the patient to be ill. Secondly, running bloodwork before a patient is ill allows us to determine what normal parameters are. These vary from pet to pet and knowing this can help determine when a pet may be sick due to changes, or when they are normal but distract us from the actual cause.
In all fairness this is probably not an all-inclusive list, and it is by no means a guarantee. I can promise however, that if all of our clients followed this information, we would see a lot less sick animals and those clients would spend a lot less on vet bills. I would be able to continue (slowly) paying off my student loans due to the steady stream of preventative visits and we would all be happier J. If you have questions about the list visit us at Satilla Animal Hospital in Waycross, GA. Or find us on social media.
July 4th is, in my opinion, one of the best holidays of the year. We get to fire up the grill and visit with family. The sun is out and the weather is warm. There are firework displays and summer is in full swing. It is often a time when people get to take vacation and most of us have the day off from work. Ironically, those responsible for the entire holiday are still hard at work. Our servicemen and women are the reason we get to celebrate this holiday and we should remember and celebrate them this, and every, 4th of July.
I would also like to take this time to say thank you to the foundations that provide service dogs for the men and women who risk their lives for our freedom. Southeastern Guide Dogs is one such organization that raises and trains puppies to help our soldiers when they return home. They have a program called Paws for Patriots that places dogs with members of the armed forces when they return home. These dogs range from seeing-eye dogs to emotional support dogs. After talking to clients who depend on these pets, it has become obvious that these dogs are vital to many soldiers' recovery. It is heartwarming to know that these dogs can help support those who help support us.
Most of us can’t imagine the sacrifice made by our troops. We may think we know but, unless we have actually been in those combat boots, we can’t even begin to imagine. Service dogs can greatly improve the quality of life for our troops once home. So this 4th of July remember why we are celebrating this great holiday and be sure to thank the servicemen, women and dogs that keep us free.
Monday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Tuesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Wednesday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Thursday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Friday 8:00am - 5:30pm
Saturday 9:00am - 12:00pm
511 S City Blvd
Waycross, GA 31501
Visit one of our satellite clinics!