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Allergies, Fleas, Ticks, Rat bait and much more....
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Spring is here, and with the change in seasons, your pet’s skin will be more sensitive than usual. Just like people, itchy skin can drive your pets crazy and make it hard to enjoy their day to day lives. Some of the more subtle signs your pet may show when he or she is itchy include:

  • Feet licking or chewing

  • Restlessness

  • Reddened skin

More severe symptoms include:

  • Constantly scratching or biting themselves

  • Hair loss

  • Sores or scab development

There are many things that may cause your pet to be itchy, but the two most common causes are:

  • Parasites- flea allergy is the most common cause of itchiness in dogs and cats. Other parasites that can cause skin problems include mites and lice

  • Allergies- plants, food, pollen and dust are just some of the things that can cause your pet to become very itchy.

Fortunately there are many things you can do to make your itchy pet’s life easier. Firstly, make an appointment to see your vet so they can diagnose what is causing your pet to scratch and make them more comfortable while their skin settles down. Secondly, make sure their flea control is up to date- monthly flea treatments are recommended as fleas on your pet make any underlying irritations or allergies worse. Thirdly, washing your pet in a low allergen shampoo such as those available in the Dermcare range will get rid of any allergens that have contacted the skin. Finally, if you are concerned about food allergies, there are special diets available through our recommended pet food companies Hills and Royal Canin. The molecules in these foods are broken down into small particles so that your pet’s immune system won’t cause an allergic reaction.

If you would like any more information, please call the clinic and ask our friendly staff for assistance.


 
First lets understand the life cycle of the flea. There are only 4 stages of the life cycle of a flea. 
Of the overall flea population, only apx 5% are adults. Flea eggs are pearly white, and are too small to see with out a magnifying glass. 
Fleas lay their eggs on dog/cat, but they don't stay there, instead they fall into the environment, preferring bedding, carpets and mats. 
Depending on the temperature, they hatch into larvae between 1-10 days later. Flea Larvae are slender, apx 2-5 mm in length, they feed on dead skin and the organic debris found in their environment. 
They avoid direct sunlight, and prefer to burrow
into carpet fibers, or under organic debris (grass, leaves soil). It takes 5-11 days for them to pupate. Moisture is essential to the early stages of the flea life cycle. Larvae die by being dried out. 
The next stage, the mature larvae make a silk like cocoon to complete it's development. The cocoon is sticky, so quickly gets covered in debris from the environment allowing it to blend in. In warm, or humid climates, they become adults in 5-10 days. Pr-emerged adults fleas can survive up to 140 days inside the cocoon, during this time they are resistant to insecticides applied to the environment. Which is why in some cases a re-infestation can happen after proper treatment has been applied. 
Once hatched, the adult flea will immediately seek a host, it must have a blood meal within a few days or it will die. It's attracted to humans and pets by body heat, movement, and exhaled carbon monoxide. Following the first blood meal. a female will begin egg production with in 36-48 hours, and continue up to 100 days which can mean a single female flea can produce thousands of eggs!
This entire life cycle (adult flea --> egg --> larva--> pupa --> adult) can be completed in 7 - 21 days with the proper temperature and humidity conditions.  This adds to the problem of flea control.
There are many treatments available on the market to treat and kill before and after infestation. Fleas collars, powders, spray, drops, tablets, the list goes on, it can be confusing which is best for you and your pet.. Many on the market are mislabeled and unreliable. Some work great!  Washing pet bedding regular, vacuuming carpets, and upholstered furniture help fight the battle against fleas. Some of the treatments for dogs are deadly to cats. For the best advice of what would work best for you and your pets come in and ask for some advice. We would be only too happy to help.
Yep it's that time of year again, Ticks are up and attaching them selves to us and our pets. Ticks to do not discriminate for age, breed or gender, it only see's dinner.
Some pets show no sign of a parasite, where others will exhibit signs of irritation, including, Redness, inflammation, scratching, chewing. Many tick species have adapted to suppress the host's response.
The more serious effects are systemic illness, caused by infectious micro organism, sensitive reactions, and some tick saliva that causes paralysis, and anemia.
Our pets pick up the ticks from our environment, very rarely from other animals. Different ticks prefer different environments, so it depends on your geographical area to what type of tick you would come across.
It is believed that ticks are attracting by Heat, Smell and Movement.
Be Vigilant, we've had treated for a few Paralysis Tick
already this season.
 
Signs of tick paralysis
 (Your pet may show only one or two of these signs!)
~Seek veterinary attention immediately – tick paralysis is life threatening!~
•    Slightly weak in the back legs
•    Looks like a drunken sailor – unable to stand properly on the back legs
•    Cannot stand at all on the back legs
•    Change in voice (bark or meow)
•    Unable to swallow properly – may dribble water or food or cough/gag 
•    Change in breathing patterns. Cats often only show this extremely Dangerous sign. 
•    Vomiting
•    Depressed, slower, disinterested, decreased exercise tolerance
•    More unusual signs – lame in one leg (tick under armpit) or facial signs (droopy lips, eyes or ears)
 
Yikes! I’ve found a tick!
•    Telephone us, or bring your pet in for more information, (if already removed) bring the tick in for identification.
•    Do NOT use kerosene or anything else that will burn the skin of your pet on the tick.
•    REMEMBER that animals can show symptoms of tick poisoning 24-48 hours after a tick has been killed – keep them cool and quiet after finding a tick and watch diligently for any signs as above.
If your animal is showing any signs of tick poisoning it will need veterinary attention as soon as possible!!  The sooner treatment is started, the better the chance of survival and the lower the costs involved!!
 
Tick paralysis prevention
Come in a see our Range of Products, and we can can Advise you on which one would be best for your Pet.
 
Tick Comparison Table


 

What types are there?
There's two major types of rat bait, 1st generation (such as Ratblitz) has the active ingredient Warfrin, the 2nd generation (Ratsak/Talon) has the active ingredient Brodifacoum.

How Does Rat Poison Work?
Rat bait acts as a anticoagulant (Prevents the blood from clotting), by depleting the suply of Vitamin K in the body. The fat soluble vitamin K is essential in the formation of clots in the blood stream. It can take 1-5 days after ingestion to begin to see sign or symptoms of rat bait poisoning.

How will rat bait affect your pet?
Rat bait prevents the blood from clotting by lowering the body's supply of vitamin K. Vitamin K is essential in the formation of clotting agents in the blood stream. It can take up to 5 days after ingestion to begin to see the symptoms of poisoning.

What are the signs of rat bait toxicity?
  • pale gums or pinpoint hemorrhages on the gums.
  • lethargy.
  • bruising under the skin, ear or eyes.
  • blood in vomit, urine or feces.
  • bleeding from the nose.
  • Continuous bleeding from open wounds.
more severe symptoms are:
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Couching or respiratory difficulties
  • Lameness
  • Seizures or muscles tremors
What to do you suspect your pet has rat bait toxicity?
Whether you witness ingestion or just notice symptoms of toxicity, you should bring the product package and your pet to the veterinarian immediately to begin treatment. The sooner treatment begins the higher chances of recovery.If the poisoned patient is a mother with babies drinking her milk, bring the young as well. As it is possible the poison may pass from mothers milk to infant.

Treatment?
A gastric lavage can be performed, followed by IV fluids, Clotting abilities in the blood are monitored through out treatment. Vitamin K1 is preferably given as a oral treatment, and the treatment is continued for 3-6 weeks. In more severe cases of intoxication, blood transfusions and hospitalization may be required.

Prognosis?
The earlier treatment begins the higher the chance of recovery. If treatment begins early the chance of recovery is high, once symptoms begin the chances are lower, but still possible if treatment begins immediately. Other factors also including, amount ingested, time since ingestion, and whether it was thrown up (some animals will try to throw up the poison, or its source).
Check our new website, all new info and features including: making appointments ONLINE!   You don't have to wait for opening hours.


Was a huge success fundraising for the RSPCA!
Sugarland Animal Hospital raised close to $100!
Thanks to all of those that helped support this awesome cause.

Basic dog biscuits

These basic biscuits can be customized to cater to your canine’s palette

Ingredients

  • 2 ½ cups whole wheat flour (substitute regular flour or oats if your dog is sensitive to wheat)
  • 1 tsp. salt (or less)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. Beef or chicken Bouillon granules (can substitute beef or chicken broth/stock)
  • ½ cup hot water
  • Bacon or chicken broth, eggs, oats, liver powder, wheat germ, shredded cheese, bacon bits

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Dissolve bouillon in hot water
  3. Add remaining ingredients
  4. Knead dough until it forms a ball (approximately 3 minutes)
  5. Roll dough until ½ inch thick
  6. Cut into slices or bone shapes (you can purchase a bone shaped cookie cutter to make shapes with)
  7. Place dough pieces on lightly greased cookie sheet
  8. Cook for 30 minutes
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