As winter approaches, it is important to remember some of the dangers that colder weather presents to our pets. Pets are susceptible to hypothermia and frostbite when they are not adequately sheltered from the cold and should be kept indoors in colder temperatures.
Outdoor cats often seek shelter under the hood of cars and can be severely injured by fan belts and other engine parts, so please bang on the hood to scare them out before starting your car. Antifreeze can have a sweet taste, leading to potentially deadly ingestion by pets. Please keep all antifreeze out of the reach of your pets and dilute and cover any spills right away. Salt used to melt ice can be irritating to the paws and harmful if ingested, so wipe your pet’s paws clean after any exposure to salt, antifreeze or other chemicals.
National Black Cat Appreciation Day was yesterday, August 17. Did you know that black animals are less likely to be adopted than their light-colored shelter mates? Black cats are often overlooked by potential adopters because of old myths and superstitions that they are bad luck. Please remember that these beliefs are not true! A black cat could be the perfect addition to your family.
The lower adoptability of black pets is known as Black Dog Syndrome. In addition to superstitious beliefs of black cats, black pets are also less likely to be adopted because of size, unclear facial features, the “genericness” of black pets, and more. Fight the stigma and adopt a black cat (or dog) today!
The doctors and technicians at Aston Veterinary Hospital are committed to lifetime learning. This allows them to continually enhance their knowledge and skills and learn the most up-to-date information about various topics to better help your pets.
Several staff members have recently attended continuing education conferences. Dr. Becker returned from the AAHA Conference in Tampa, Florida, where she attended lectures about emergency and critical care medicine. Dr. Hiller went to the Penn Annual Conference in Philadelphia and attended lectures about dermatology and endocrinology. Two of our technicians, Liza and Mary Anne, also attended the Penn Conference and listened to lectures about ophthalmology and blocked cats.
As the year goes on, our staff will continue to attend different conferences. Our primary goal is to provide your pets the best veterinary care. Test our knowledge and ask us some questions.
By Dr. Cafaro and Dr. Hiller
Summer’s peak heat and humidity is upon us, so it is important to remember a few safety tips to keep your dogs and cats comfortable and reduce the risk of heat stress or stroke. First, NEVER keep your pet in the car unattended. The temperature in the car can rise to over 120 degrees within minutes. It is also important to limit exercise in high temperatures and allow access to shade—especially in overweight dogs or dogs with respiratory illnesses.
For a complete list of tips to keep your pets safe, please read this article on Heatstroke Risks.
By: Dr. Cafaro
As the warmer weather brings us and our pets outside, it is important to know that bees, wasps, spiders, and other insects can all sting or bite your pet, but not all pets will have an allergic, life-threatening reaction. Stings in most pets cause mild swelling, redness, and discomfort which is self-limiting. Cool compresses to the affected area may speed up recovery. Some pets can develop an allergic reaction to these bites or stings which results in facial swelling, hives, difficulty breathing, or vomiting. If you notice these allergic reactions please seek emergency care immediately.
Still want to know more? Take a look at this Bee Stings 101 article.
Our pets can be reservoirs for parasitic infection which can not only be a health problem for them, but can be a source of human infection. During the warmer months we all enjoy spending more time outdoors. Our pets may venture to the park for a hike, to the beach for a swim, or to the dog park for a play date. All of these places are a potential source of infection with all types of parasites. Fleas and ticks are external parasites. Roundworms, hookworms, whipworms and giardia are common types of intestinal parasites. They can be contracted through contact with infected feces, soil or sand. The eggs of these parasites can live in the environment for many years in some cases. This contamination puts our pets and our children at risk due to their tendency to play on the ground.
The best ways to prevent infection with intestinal parasites are frequent hand washing, dispose of your pet’s feces promptly, have your dog’s and cat’s stool sample tested regularly, and use a monthly broad spectrum anti-parisiticide such as Heartgard or Revolution.
Please contact us at 610-494-5800 for more important information on how to keep your pets and your children safe!
Mosquito season is upon us! Everyone knows that mosquitoes are pests, but did you know that they pose a dangerous threat to your pets? Mosquitoes can transmit a serious and potentially fatal disease to cats and dogs called heartworm disease. In heartworm disease, long worms live in the heart, lungs and surrounding blood vessels. This can result in severe lung disease, heart failure and other problems that can persist, even after the worms are gone.
There is no treatment for heartworm disease in cats; and in dogs, the treatment can be expensive and complex. Therefore, heartworm prevention is our best option! Monthly preventatives are available for both cats and dogs. Please give our office a call at 610-494-5800 and ask how you can make sure that your pets are protected.