Q?Should I get my dog the Bordetella/kennel cough vaccine?

If your pet is a regular at day care, grooming facilities, or the dogpark, those shots every 6 to 12 months to prevent canine infectious tracheobronchitis (aka, kennel cough) may be inconvenient. But the vaccine against Bordetella is important in protecting your pet from the hacking cough and snotty nose brought on by the easily contracted bacteria that causes the highly contagious disease in dogs.

Q?What is heartworm disease and why should my dog be tested?

Heartworm disease is a serious, potentially fatal illness. This is why it’s important to proactively protect your dog.

  • Infection is possible wherever there are infected mosquitos.
  • Dogs that spend a lot of time outside during mosquito feeding periods may be particularly at risk. However, even dogs that are mostly indoors are at risk.
  • Changes to the environment and natural climate conditions, as well as animals moving from high incidence states to other locations, have increased the potential for heartworm infection in more areas around the country.
  • Unprotected, virtually 100% of dogs infected with heartworm larvae develop adult heartworms.
Q?Does my strictly indoor cat really need rabies vaccines every 3 yrs and feline leukemia combos every year?

The feline leukemia vaccine is NOT necessary in an indoor cat. An indoor cat won’t come into contact with FeLV + cats, so the vaccine is considered unnecessary. Rabies on the other hand is a different story. Even indoor cats need rabies vaccine. Indoor cats can be exposed to rabies if a bat gets in the house. And if you live in an area where there actually are rabid animals, if your cat bites someone and they don’t have a current rabies certificate, animal control *can* impound your cat and quarantine them for 10 days, at your expense. So the general recommendation is that a rabies vaccine is necessary, the leukemia (and the ones for FIV and FIP) are not.

Q?My dog got stung by a bee what should I do?

Take the stinger out if it is still in, ice the area and then watch your dog. Benadryl (with no Tylenol) might be a good idea in case your dog is allergic to bees. The amount to give is 1 mg per pound. (example, I have a 75 pound dog, I give him 3 regular benadryl which are 25 mg each).

But many dogs are allergic and if the reaction is severe enough he could swell up and you might need to head to the vet. So just keep a close eye on your pooch for the next 12-24 hours.

Q?My dog has diarrhea. What should I do?

What I would recommend is to collect a sample of the diarrhea and bring it to the Vet for a fecal exam for parasites. That way you can rule out any intestinal parasites. Most likely even if your dog does not have any parasites your Vet will prescribe Metronidazole which will help to get rid of the diarrhea.

In the mean time I would advise you to fast your dog for a full 24 hours. Your dog needs a full 24 hours of no food to rid the body of the diarrhea. No food, no bones, no treats, no toys from which pieces can be swallowed. HOWEVER, offer plenty of cold water (frequently!) to keep your dog hydrated.

Once you have fasted your dog for the full 24 hours then you should feed a bland diet.

You can boil either chicken and rice or hamburger and rice. It is very important that you rinse off all the fat before boiling and please do not add seasoning or anything extra that will cause diarrhea! You want to keep it as “bland” as possible!

Here are some questions your Vet is going to want to know:

1) When did the diarrhea start?

2) Did you change anything in his/her diet? ie- new food, new bone, new treats, etc.

3) Did he/she get into something he/she should not have?

4) On heartworm prevention year round?

5) Any vomiting?

6) Eating/drinking/acting like normal?

7) And of course they are going to want to see the fecal sample!

Q?Why should I vaccinate my dog for Leptospirosis?

Does your dog love drinking from puddles? It’s scary to think that a fun stroll through the woods or swim in a favorite watering hole can lead to a terrible illness, but it can –– for you as well as your dog. Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria spread through soil, water, and the urine of infected animals, and if not caught early it can be deadly. There is a vaccine available for the most common subtypes of the bacteria that infect dogs, but it’s not always a recommended part of the routine vaccination protocol. Ask your veterinarian if the leptospirosis vaccine is right for your dog.