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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.

Leptospirosis Outbreak: What You Should Know

More than 40 dogs have been diagnosed with leptospirosis in the Valley recently. Leptospirosis is a highly contagious zoonotic disease, meaning it can easily pass from animals to humans and vice-versa. It’s transmitted most commonly through urine and contaminated water, so dogs that visit places like dog parks are more susceptible.

Keep an eye out for the following symptoms:

  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weakness
  • Tremors and/or shaking
  • Fever

If your pet shows any of these signs, bring them to 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital as soon as you can.

Leptospirosis can be treated with antibiotics, but it’s also preventable with a vaccine. This outbreak poses a threat to humans and animals alike, so we highly recommend getting your dog vaccinated if you haven’t already.

Give us a call at 602-705-0534 to schedule your pet’s vaccine today.

Pre-Surgery Blood Work Can Save Your Pet’s Life

Last month, a woman in Glendale lost her dog following a routine spay procedure at a nearby veterinary hospital. Though we don’t know the dog’s full health history or what exactly caused her death, we’d like to remind you that pre-surgery blood work can detect health problems that, if not addressed, could lead to complications during or after anesthesia and surgery.

Even if your pet is young and has always appeared to be in perfect health, you shouldn’t skip pre-anesthetic blood work just to save a few extra dollars. This blood work can detect underlying health issues that can be worsened by anesthesia, like genetic and congenital organ problems. Based on the results of the blood work, we can adjust our anesthesia dose or the type we use, and we can further explain the safety or risks of the planned procedure and can recommend next steps. Typically, when we do detect a problem from blood work, we do not perform the procedure that day as originally planned. We first determine what is causing the issue, treat the issue and then reschedule the surgery for another date.

When we conduct blood work before we administer anesthesia to a patient, we ensure that surgeries at 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital are as safe as possible for each individual pet.

To learn more about surgical procedures at 43rd Avenue Animal Hospital, give us a call at 602-705-0534 or contact us online.