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Keep Your Pet Safe This Howl-O-Ween

October 31st can be fun and tasty for us—but not so much for the family pet. Here are some ideas for keeping your animal companions safe and serene on Halloween:

• When expecting visitors, put your dog or cat in a quiet place away from the door. This will help prevent them from getting worked up.
• Keep candy far out of reach. Chocolate and the sweetener xylitol—often found in gum and peanut butter—can be very toxic to dogs and cats. Kids should also be reminded not to feed candy to pets.
• Putting your pet in costume? Make sure they feel comfortable in it before taking them out. If the costume has bells, noisemakers or strings, they can scare your pet or pose a choking hazard.
• Keep your pet indoors on Halloween night! This is especially important for black cats who are often targeted during the holiday. Also, make sure your pets are microchipped or have a collar with current identification in case they get scared and run off.

If you’d like to schedule an appointment to get your pet microchipped or have further questions about Halloween safety, call us at (602) 705-0534.


Year-Round Flea, Tick and Heartworm Prevention

Fleas, ticks and heartworm aren’t just a summer problem—year-round prevention is the key to making sure your pet is protected from these ailments. Don’t overlook the problems they can cause: fleas often trigger dermatitis, tapeworm and hot spots, one tick bite can transmit numerous dangerous diseases and mosquitoes carry potentially deadly heartworm.

Preventive medications are the key to battling these nasty parasites. For fleas and ticks, you should check your pet for these on a daily basis during this time of the year. This can be done while you are playing with your best friend or grooming them. Although they can be anywhere on your pet’s body, they prefer posting up near the head, ears, neck and paws. You can spot evidence of fleas if you notice little black specks that resemble pepper or bits of dirt.

Heartworm disease is very serious for pets, as it can result in heart failure, lung disease and even death. Heartworms are spread through mosquito bites, which results in worms producing offspring inside your pet. These worms live in the heart, lungs and blood vessels of an infected animal. Preventative medications are the best—and cheapest—way to combat heartworm. At 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital, we recommend ProHeart 6—ask us about this today!

For more information on fleas, ticks and heartworm, or to schedule an appointment, call us at 602-705-0536.


September is Animal Pain Awareness Month

Your dog, cat or other pet may be a different species, but we all process and feel pain in much the same way. That’s why the International Veterinary Academy of Pain Management has selected September as Animal Pain Awareness Month. In cooperation with veterinary professionals around the world, they hope to bring recognition to the issue of both acute and chronic pain in animals and encourage pet owners to look for symptoms of pain and discomfort.

While acute or urgent pain is obvious, chronic pain can be subtle and pet owners may see it as simply “getting old” or “slowing down.” Some signs to look for include:

• Heavy panting
• Decreased activity
• Reluctance to jump up on surfaces (cats)
• Overgrooming or licking a particular area
• Difficulty standing after lying down

At 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital, we know that pets often have peculiar ways of demonstrating their pain—that’s why we put so much importance on pain management. Along with traditional wellness services, did you know that we also offer acupuncture and laser therapy? We’d also like to highlight Galliprant, for pets with arthritis—contact us for more information on this.

If you’re interested in any of these services for your best friend, or if your pet is experiencing any of the above symptoms, make an appointment for them by contacting 602-705-0536 or schedule a visit online.


Brush Up on Your Pet’s Dental Health!

How important is it to take care of your pet’s dental health? By age three, 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have some evidence of periodontal disease, which can cause mouth pain, tooth loss, and at advanced stages, serious illness.

At 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital, we believe in preventing disease before it becomes a bigger—and more expensive—problem. In addition to annual dental exams and cleanings, we also recommend that you brush your pet’s teeth if you can. One of our veterinarians will be happy to show you how, and to get you started, check out these brushing tips. It’s easier than you think!

  • Get comfortable. Instead of standing over your dog, try kneeling or sitting in front of him or her. Practice lifting your pet’s lip to see their teeth and reward with praise.
  • Use a toothbrush and toothpaste made for pets. Human toothpaste contains ingredients that may hurt your pet’s stomach. Finger brushes work well for smaller dogs and cats; you’ll need a larger brush with a handle for big dogs.
  • Go slow at first.Start with rubbing your pet’s gums and teeth with your finger to see how well they tolerate it. Before using the brush, let them lick some of the toothpaste off your finger or the brush.
  • Brushing success. Brush teeth and gums gently and finish with the bottom front teeth. Focus on the outside of the teeth—the surface facing the cheek is the most prone to plaque and tartar buildup. When finished, offer lots of praise!

Getting used to brushing might take several sessions, so be patient. Your pet’s gums may bleed a little at first, but it’s only an emergency if they don’t stop.

During National Pet Dental Health Month in February, we offer a FREE oral exam with a nurse during the month. If you schedule your pet’s procedure within 90 days of that exam, you’ll receive 15% off the base price of $499.00* That’s a savings of $74.85!

Additionally, every pet scheduled for the complimentary oral exam will be entered to win a basket of dental goodies!

For more information or to schedule an appointment for your pet’s FREE oral exam, call us at 602.705.0534.

*Some restrictions apply. Pets must have current vaccinations, have had a recent full exam by the doctor before or at the time of the procedure, and blood testing must be done within 3 weeks of the procedure date.


Have a Purr-fectly Happy Howl-iday With These Pet Safety Tips

Better watch out—there’s lots of fun to be had during the holidays, but also quite a few hazards for your pet. Here are a few safety tips to keep your pet jolly this season.

  • Keep chocolate and all sweets out of reach. The darker the chocolate, the more poisonous it is to your pets. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener often found in candy and chewing gum, has been linked to liver failure and death in dogs.
  • Curb the table scraps. Gravy and any fatty meats like turkey skin and ham should be kept away from pets. They can be hard for animals to digest and even cause pancreatitis.
  • Christmas tree cautions. For many cats, the holiday tree is an endless source of fun…and danger. If you have felines in the house, consider tying your tree to a stationary object with fishing line to keep it from tipping. Water additives can be hazardous to your pets, so don’t add aspirin, sugar, or anything else to the water reservoir of your tree stand. Tinsel and other decorations can be tempting for your pets to eat, so putting them above your pet’s head height is advisable.
  • Mistletoe and other poisons. Nice for getting a kiss, mistletoe is nevertheless dangerous for pets. Amaryllis, balsam, pine, cedar, and holly are also on that list. Poinsettias, while not as poisonous as some plants, are still troublesome for animals if ingested.

Finally, make sure you have the location and phone number of your personal vet and the nearest 24/7 emergency veterinary clinic. Also handy: The ASPCA Poison Control Line: 1-888-426-4435 (a fee may apply). They also maintain a current list of substances that are hazardous to pets.

Have more questions about preparing your pet for the holidays? Call us at 602-705-0534.