Flea and Tick Prevention – What Works and Why it’s Important

It’s March, its 75 degrees and Fleas and Ticks are definitely already out. We have had a VERY mild winter. There was practically no reduction in the flea and tick population due to cold weather. Be prepared for one of the worst flea and tick seasons ever. Fleas are a nuisance but Ticks are MORE than just a nuisance. They can transmit Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, and other nasty diseases. It is much easier to prevent them than get rid of them. Spot-on topicals, pills, collars, shampoos, sprays; the list goes on. They all advertise that they are the best. But are they safe for my pet? Are they safe for me? Are they safe for my kids? Continue reading

Hypothyroidism or Why can’t my dog lose weight?

Hypothyroidism is defined as the disease state in humans and animals caused by insufficient production of thyroid hormone by the thyroid gland. It is very common in dogs but never happens in cats. For whatever reason dogs get hypo and cats get hyperthyroid but never the other way around. It is believed to be due to an autoimmune disease but it has not been proven. Golden retrievers and Doberman Pinschers tend to have this problem very commonly but I see it also very commonly in Labradors, Rottweilers and most other large breed dog. It does occur in small breeds but it is not as common. Most dogs tend to get this disease during middle age around 7-8 yrs old but they can be younger. Continue reading

Larva Migrans: Things that Make You Say “Ick!”

Zoonosis is a disease that is transmitted from other vertebrate animals to humans directly or through a secondary source such as ticks. Many serious diseases fall into this category such as anthrax, tuberculosis, Ebola and plague. In past articles I have discussed several diseases seen in Vermont such as rabies, Lyme disease and leptospirosis. In this article I will discuss a lesser known but still very important zoonotic disease called larva migrans. Continue reading

What are Vaccines and Which does my Cat need?

Last month we discussed canine diseases and vaccines and so this month, lets talk about cats. As I said last month, vaccines are made up of either live or killed pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that cause an immune reaction in the body. Then, during a natural infection, the immune system remembers seeing this pathogen and can kill it easier. This is immunity.

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