34% of dogs in the United States have some kind of intestinal parasite.
Fecal tests are an essential tool to ensure that your pet and your household are not infected and exposed to intestinal parasites.
Have you ever wondered why ABC Veterinary Hospital recommends annual fecal testing and what exactly is tested for? We recommend “fecals” because they are an important part of your pet’s annual exam. Fecals allow us to check your pet for intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are a major cause of morbidity in pets and also a concern for people. According to this reasearch study at Kansas State, 34% of dogs in the United States have some kind of intestinal parasite, and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that 14% of people in the U.S. have been infected with the roundworm toxocara. As a result of toxocara infections, approximately 700 people lose vision every year. Fecals are an important tool to ensure that your pet and your household are not infected and exposed to intestinal parasites, respectively.
Annual Fecal Exams are Essential to Screen Your Pet for Parasites
Fecal exams allow us to check your pet for intestinal parasites. Intestinal parasites are a major cause of morbidity in pets and also a concern for people because some infectinons can be transmitted from pets to people.
What is toxocariasis?
Toxocariasis is an infection transmitted from animals to humans (zoonosis) caused by the parasitic roundworms commonly found in the intestine of dogs (Toxocara canis) and cats (T. cati).
Who is at risk for toxocariasis?
Anyone can become infected with Toxocara. Young children and owners of dogs or cats have a higher chance of becoming infected.
Approximately 13.9% of the U.S. population has antibodies to Toxocara. This suggests that tens of millions of Americans may have been exposed to the Toxocara parasite.
How can I get toxocariasis?
Dogs and cats that are infected with Toxocara can shed Toxocara eggs in their feces. You or your children can become infected by accidentally swallowing dirt that has been contaminated with dog or cat feces that contain infectious Toxocara eggs.
The key to choosing healthy food for your pet is understanding the labels on pet food. Many of claims on pet food packaging can be confusing. What does "All Natural" or "Real Chicken Flavor" actually mean? Protein in pet food can come from a variety of sources including scraps and by-products left over from meat processing. An expensive bag of "gourmet" dog food could actually contain chicken feet as it's protein source.
The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) establishes a national standard for ingredients, definitions, and nutrient levels, but they have no enforcement authority. What this means is that the AAFCO doesn't regulate pet food, but it does provide the standards for what goes on pet food labels.
If you want to choose the healthiest food for your pet,
then you'll need to understand the pet food labels.
Rattlesnakes are widespread in California and are found in a variety of habitat throughout the state from coastal to desert. They may also turn up around homes and yards in brushy areas and under wood piles. Generally not aggressive, rattlesnakes will likely retreat if given room or not deliberately provoked or threatened.
Rattlesnake bites can cause severe injury – even death. Most bites occur between the months of April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors, but there are precautions that can and should be taken to lessen the chances of being bitten.
The dos and don’ts regarding rattlesnakes:
Rattlesnakes are not confined to rural areas. They have been found in urban areas, on riverbanks and lakeside parks and at golf courses. The following safety precautions can be taken to reduce the likelihood of an encounter with a rattlesnake.
Leash your dog when hiking. Dogs are at increased risk of being bitten due to holding their nose to the ground while investigating the outdoors.
Get the rattlesnake vaccine for your pet. The vaccine buys you valuable time to get your pet in for treatment.
Be alert. Like all reptiles, rattlesnakes are sensitive to the ambient temperature and will adjust their behavior accordingly. After a cold or cool night, they will attempt to raise their body temperature by basking in the sun midmorning. To prevent overheating during hot days of spring and summer, they will become more active at dawn, dusk or night.
Wear sturdy boots and loose-fitting long pants. Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking through brushy, wild areas. Startled rattlesnakes may not rattle before striking defensively.
Children should not wear flip-flops while playing outdoors in snake country.
When hiking, stick to well-used trails. Avoid tall grass, weeds and heavy underbrush where snakes may hide during the day.
Do not step or put your hands where you cannot see. Step ON logs and rocks, never over them, and be especially careful when climbing rocks or gathering firewood. Check out stumps or logs before sitting down, and shake out sleeping bags before use.
Never grab “sticks” or “branches” while swimming in lakes and rivers. Rattlesnakes can swim.
Be careful when stepping over doorsteps as well. Snakes like to crawl along the edge of buildings where they are protected on one side.
Never hike alone. Always have someone with you who can assist in an emergency.
Do not handle a freshly killed snake, as it can still inject venom.
Teach children early to respect snakes and to leave them alone.
Rattlesnakes belong to a unique group of venomous snakes known as pit vipers and the rattlesnake is the only pit viper found in California. The term “pit” refers to special heat sensors located midway between the snake’s eye and nostril. These special thermoreceptors detect differences in temperature which help the snake pinpoint prey while hunting. The term “viper” is short for Viperidae, the family in which scientists categorize the rattlesnake. Pit vipers are venomous and rely on the use of venom to kill prey to eat. The rattlesnake’s prey of choice is chiefly rodents and other small mammals and this is an important factor in terms of keeping rodent populations in an ecosystem in check.
Keeping snakes out of the yard
The best protection against rattlesnakes in the yard is a “rattlesnake proof” fence. The fence should either be solid or with mesh no larger than one-quarter inch. It should be at least three feet high with the bottom buried a few inches in the ground. Slanting your snake fence outward about a 30-degree angle will help. Keep vegetation away from the fence and remove piles of boards or rocks around the home. Use caution when removing those piles – there may already be a snake there. Encourage and protect natural competitors like gopher snakes, kingsnakes and racers. Kingsnakes actually kill and eat rattlesnakes.
Why Is A Rattlesnake Bite Deadly?
Rattlesnake venom is “hemotoxic” which means that it attacks the blood vessels. The toxin spreads quickly and results in swelling, rapid blood loss and death. Getting your dog emergency help is key to surviving a poisonous snake bite. On-going medical care following a rattlesnake bite is very costly as it includes tests, IV fluids, medications and a hospital stay.
If your dog has been bitten, you will notice these symptoms almost immediately:
panting or drooling
weakness and inability to walk
Depending on the size of your dog and how much venom they received, death could take only a few short hours.
What to do if your dog is bitten by a rattlesnake:
Don’t panic, but act fast.
Pick your pet up (if you can) and immediately drive them to the nearest animal hospital. Allowing them to run or jog back to the car increases their heart rate which enables the venom to spread more quickly through the bloodstream.
Alert the hospital.
On your way to the animal hospital, call them to let them know you’re coming and that your pet was bitten by a rattlesnake. Not all animal hospitals keep antivenin onsite, so they may direct you to another hospital that can help your pet.
What Are The Benefits To Vaccination?
The rattlesnake vaccine won’t eliminate the need for medical attention, but it will slow down the spread and reaction to the venom, giving you more time to get your dog the help it needs. The vaccine is proven to be relatively safe with very few side effects. If you live in a high-risk area or do a lot of hiking, traveling or outdoor activities, then you should consider getting the vaccine as a preventive measure.
Contact ABC Veterinary Hospital to learn more and schedule an appointment for your pet.
Cleaning your dog's ears is an important part of routine grooming for your pet. Keeping your dog's ears clean will minimize infection and excess wax buildup. I show you step by step in the video how to correctly clean your dog's ears. I also provide the signs of infection that you need to watch for.
Share this page to help educate people about Pet Dental Disease.
Dental disease can lead to serious health complications for your pet.
Dental disease when untreated can lead to serious complications of the heart, lung, and kidneys. Bacteria from dental disease can have serious, even fatal consequences for your pet. Most pet owners understand the importance of a regular grooming and exercise routine for their pet, but proper dental care is often overlooked.
With February being National Pet Dental Health Month, this is a good time to begin a maintenance plan for your pet’s oral hygiene. We are providing $100 off and Double Rewards for your pet's first dental exam and cleaning. Everyone that clicks the Facebook share button and share's this page will also earn Double Rewards and be eligible to win prizes in our January sweepstakes. Read more -->
What you need to know about Canine Influenza (Dog Flu)
You may have heard about the recent outbreak of a new type of dog flu. This highly contagious and, for some dogs, potentially serious respiratory infection is called canine influenza virus H3N2, or CIV H3N2 for short. If exposed to CIV H3N2, 80% will develop clinical disease and 20% will spread it without showing symptoms. The virus affects capillaries in the lungs so your dog may cough up blood and have trouble breathing. Read more -->
One of the more embarrassing things that dogs do is to lick their "private" parts in public. Both male and female dogs do this less than appealing behavior that annoys pet owners.
In the canine world a moderate degree of licking is part of normal grooming behavior. For example, a dog may lick the genital area of urinating as a means of cleaning the area. In this case, licking is related to elimination and is not persistent. Usually a quick swipe takes care of business.
It is not as common for dogs to lick the anal area; however, if the dog's stool is sticky or watery, the dog may feel the need to tidy up a bit. Normal bowel movements are not usually followed by licking.
Why you need to know!
Frequent or sustained licking of the genital area may indicate that a medical problem exists.
If your dog exhibits any of the following signs,
contact ABC Vet now to schedule an exam.
Swollen or red penis, vulva, or anus
Presence of pustules (pimples) or red bumps on the skin
Dr. Barry Neichin
Chief of Staff
ABC Veterinary Hospital
San Marcos CA
When he's not busy with his duties at the hospital, Dr. Neichin can be found outside, either on the trails hiking and camping or in the water snorkeling and skin diving, as well as spending time with his two children. His family also includes Tonka, a Golden Retriever; Leo, a miniature Golden Doodle; Cosmo, a Siamese, and Ruffles, a rabbit. More about Dr. Neichin -->