Category Archives: Medical Advice

Diabetes in Pets

November is National Pet Diabetes Month. Are your pets at risk? The likelihood of your cat or dog developing diabetes is anywhere between 1 in 100 and 1 in 500 and experts say those numbers are increasing. Diabetes mellitus, the clinical name for “sugar diabetes,” is a disease that affects glucose in your pet’s blood and is caused by a shortage of insulin or when the body can’t process insulin properly. Diabetes in dogs is usually type 1 while diabetes in cats is usually type 2 but can progress to type 1. The food that your pet eats is broken down into small components that the body can use. One of the components, carbohydrates, is converted into sugar or glucose. If there is too little insulin or the insulin cannot be processed correctly, then the glucose is not able to enter the cells and provide energy. Because the cells cannot absorb glucose, a diabetic pet may always want to eat but still look malnourished. If your pet exhibits the following symptoms, he or she may have diabetes: -Excessive drinking or urination, -increased appetite (early stages) or loss of appetite (late stages), -weight loss, -lethargy or weakness, and -vomiting or other intestinal problems. If your pet has these symptoms then let us or your veterinarian know so we can get started on creating a plan for your and your pet. Although diabetes is not curable, it can be managed with daily insulin injections and changes in diet (and exercise for dogs). Oral medications have shown to be not particularly helpful. Successful management of your pet’s diabetes means that he or she can live a happy and healthy life. Making sure that your pet is eating a proper diet, gets regular exercise, and maintains a healthy weight can be a big help in preventing diabetes. For more information about pet diabetes, visit http://www.petdiabetesmonth.com.

What causes pet periodontal disease?

What causes pet periodontal disease? Pet periodontal disease starts when bacteria form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. These bacteria can then travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys and liver.

Virbac has expanded its voluntary recall of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables

While we don’t carry this product, we think it is very important to share this information in case anyone bought this product somewhere else. Virbac has expanded its voluntary recall of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables following its initial recall notice in April 2013. According to PetMD, additional specific lots of the heartworm preventive are being recalled because they might not fully protect dogs in the upper third of each weight range. PetMD cited a letter distributed by Virbac saying that 14 lots of Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables were below Ivermectin potency levels prior to their expiration. Another 17 lots are being recalled out of caution even though they remain within specification. Virbac directs consumers who have questions about the recall to contact Virbac Technical Services at 1-800-338-3659, ext. 3052. Please help us share this information. If anyone needs it, we are fully stocked with Sentinal. We believe that Sentinel is a superior product because it gets two additional parasites: It kills whipworms, which infect about 20 percent of dogs, and it controls fleas, preventing an infestation in the home. To read more of the details, go to: http://www.aahanet.org/blog/NewStat/post/2013/08/22/925558/Virbac-issues-expanded-recall-for-Iverhart-Plus-Flavored-Chewables.aspx

It’s Safest to Obtain Pet Medications from a Veterinarian

By Dr. Lee Pickett Some of our clients request prescriptions so they can buy their pets’ medications online or from a retail pharmacy. While we comply, we recognize that purchasing drugs this way does present several risks. First, the pharmacist, who has little or no training in animal pharmacology, may change the drug or dose, rendering the medication ineffective or toxic. One state’s veterinarians reported that more than one-third had experienced situations in which the pharmacist had substituted a different drug or changed the dose without consulting the prescribing veterinarian. In some cases, the pet died because of the error. Also, most manufacturers do not guarantee products sold by an online pharmacy. If stored or shipped under adverse conditions, such as freezing winter temperatures or summer heat and humidity, the medication or vaccine can be inactivated. Finally, when you buy online, you may receive products that contain adulterated or counterfeit ingredients, made by companies that ignore federal and state drug laws. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy evaluated over 10,000 online pharmacy sites and found that only three percent complied with pharmacy laws and practice standards. If you are determined to buy online, make sure your Internet pharmacy is certified by visiting www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vet-vipps/find-a-vet-vipps-online-pharmacy . But before you do that, check our price. We’re competitive, and sometimes we’re actually less expensive. And if you’d like it sent to your home, just ask.

Acupuncture For Pets

Acupuncture, a traditional Chinese medicine therapy, is used in conjunction with conventional Western medicine to treat dogs and cats with pain or weakness associated with degenerative joint disease (including osteoarthritis due to hip dysplasia), spondylosis, intervertebral disc disease and traumatic nerve injuries. Veterinarians also use acupuncture in allergic skin disease, lick granulomas, seizures and kidney failure, and in birds with psychological feather-picking. To learn more, please call us or go to: http://www.bernvillevet.com/our-services/acupuncture

Hey Reading PA: February is National Pet Dental Month!

February is National Pet Dental Month Brushing Dog teeth Pet Dental Month is a prime time to schedule preventive annual cleaning for pets. About 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3, according to the American Veterinary Dental Society. It’s a fact, regular dental care, including professional cleaning, keeps the mouth pain-free, promotes good overall health and prolongs life!

Some Diet Pet Foods are High in Calories, by Lee Pickett, VMD

Some Diet Pet Foods are High in Calories, by Lee Pickett, VMD Lee Pickett  Is your pet overweight, and have weight management diets been ineffective? If so, you may be feeding a high-calorie diet food. That’s because products with names like “weight management” and “weight control” often are relatively high in calories. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regulates pet foods and defines terms used on the labels. AAFCO requires dry cat foods labeled “light” (or “lite”) to contain no more than 3250 kilocalories (abbreviated kcal and referred to as “calories”) per kilogram (abbreviated kg, about 2.2 pounds) of pet food. Light canned foods may contain no more than 950 kcal/kg. Caloric density of light dry dog food is limited to 3100 kcal/kg, and of canned food, 900 kcal/kg. AAFCO also requires the manufacturer of a light food to report the calorie content on the label. Importantly, AAFCO has no requirements for foods with names like weight management or weight control. So these foods can – and generally do – have more calories than light foods. See www.hillspet.com/weight-management/calorie-comparison-chart.html for examples. So the next time you purchase pet food for your overweight pet, check food labels for calorie content and choose a diet that is truly light. If your pet still doesn’t lose weight, consult us about feeding schedules, prescription food even lower in calories than light food, and possible blood work to rule out hypothyroidism and other diseases that affect weight.

BE SAFE THIS NEW YEAR’S EVE WITH YOUR PET!

food spread
Chocolate and alcohol may seem like necessities during a New Year’s Eve party, but they’re actually quite dangerous for our pets. As always, if you suspect your pet has eaten any of the following foods, please note the amount ingested and contact us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.
  • Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine These products all contain substances called methylxanthines, which are found in cacao seeds, the fruit of the plant used to make coffee and in the nuts of an extract used in some sodas. When ingested by pets, methylxanthines can cause vomiting and diarrhea, panting, excessive thirst and urination, hyperactivity, abnormal heart rhythm, tremors, seizures and even death. Note that darker chocolate is more dangerous than milk chocolate. White chocolate has the lowest level of methylxanthines, while baking chocolate contains the highest.
  • Alcohol Alcoholic beverages and food products containing alcohol can cause vomiting, diarrhea, decreased coordination, central nervous system depression, difficulty breathing, tremors, abnormal blood acidity, coma and even death.