It’s March—springtime is around the corner! Worms in your garden…and worms in your pet? Eeew! Hold on, let’s explain…
The worms you find in your garden mulch are not the same worms that cause heartworm disease in pets. Mosquitoes carry heartworms. And all it takes is one mosquito to bite your pet to become infected.
Here's the good news about heartworm disease. It's an illness that can be easy and affordable to prevent. The bad news is, if you don't prevent it the right way, your pet is at risk of getting sick. Heartworm disease is dangerous to your pet and some signs of the illness are tough to spot. Your pet may be acting fine, but they may have so many heartworms inside their body that it can become life threatening.
You may be thinking, “My pet stays indoors, so there’s no need for heartworm prevention.” But, heartworms are carried by mosquitoes, which get into everyone’s homes! One mosquito bite is all that’s needed to spread the disease to your furry friend.
Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’ll do a thorough exam, including a simple heartworm test, to make sure your pet is at his/her optimum health. And we’ll talk about the best way to prevent heartworm disease, so your pet stays healthy, happy and safe! Make an appointment for your pet’s annual exam today!
Any pet owner that has experienced a bleeding ear knows just how much a pain in the butt they can be. Such was the case with Murray, who gave his owners an eye opening insight into the world of ear injuries.
Murray came in as an emergency exam. He and his owner had been outside hiking in the woods when his owner noticed blood in the snow. By the time they reached our office both of them were covered in blood - all from a tiny, little cut on the end of Murray's left ear pinna. Murray was taken to the treatment room while his owner cleaned up. On examination Dr. Timmer found only the little cut on the very edge of Murray's ear. She cauterized the wound with silver nitrate and wrapped his ear to his head.
The problem with ear cuts such as Murray's is that the ear pinna has GREAT circulation with plenty of little capillaries running through it. Add on top of that a dog shaking their head or bouncing around and it's near impossible for the blood to clot and the wound to stop bleeding. Blood specks get thrown everywhere and these tiny little cuts end up making quite a big mess. The most important thing for Murray as he went home was that his bandage keep his ear covered in place and only gentle activity - nothing that would get his blood pressure elevated (the most difficult restriction for a young active guy like Murray). Once the ear stops bleeding for 48 hours he can return to his normal activity :)
The West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group is a free resource that meets the second Tuesday of every month from 6:30-8pm. Losing a pet never gets easier. Just know you're not alone.
February is upon us and with it comes Dental Month! By the age of three-years-old, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have dental disease. Professional cleaning removes tartar and bacteria, improving your pet's health inside and out. Pets that receive good dental care can live up to 20% longer!
Dental disease is graded in 4 stages. In Stage 1 we see inflamed and swollen gum tissue around the teeth, with plaque and tartar usually present. In Stage 2 the inflammation progresses to an infection that starts to destroy gum and bone tissue around the teeth. This can be uncomfortable and bad breath may be noticeable. By Stage 3 the continuing infection destroys more tissue around the teeth, causing bleeding of gums and loosening of teeth. At this stage, the discomfort and pain can affect eating habits and behavior. Then in Stage 4 the infection is extensive and tears down even more of the attachment tissues (gum and bone). At this point the pet is painful and teeth are at risk of being lost.
The good thing about dental disease is that it is easily preventable! The best thing you can do to help keep your pet's mouth healthy is brushing their teeth once daily. When introduced early enough or correctly, most pets come to enjoy having their teeth brushed! It becomes a treat for them and another bonding experience with you. There are also dental chews and water additives that can help keep bacteria, tartar, and plaque at bay. So go ahead, try adding some dental care to your pet's routine. They will thank you (most likely with kisses, *fresh breath* smelling kisses, which you will also thank yourself for :-) ).
Throughout February every dental patient in our hospital gets to take home a complimentary dental product to continue the good work at home. Home dental care can help increase the amount of time in between professional cleanings. There are literally no downsides to providing oral care for your pets at home, everyone wins. Start small. Start with whatever will be easiest to incorporate in to your everyday life and progress from there. Have you had success at home? We'd love to hear about it.
This little cutie is named Merry. Merry came in to our hospital as an emergency exam. Can you guess why? If you look closely, you can see Merry is wearing an unwanted accessory...a fish hook! Somehow Merry managed to get a fish hook stuck in the lower right side of his mouth. Despite being hooked, Merry was in bright spirits and was as sweet as ever. Merry got to hang out with us for the day so we could remove the fish hook and give him some time to recover. Merry was anesthetized with gas anesthesia so that Dr. Jones could take a closer look at the situation. She shaved away the hair surrounding the hook and cleaned the area thoroughly. From there she made a small cut in the skin and slid the fish hook through the skin of his outer right cheek. Then she cut off the barb to remove the fish hook completely. The small hole left behind was closed with tissue adhesive. Merry received an injection of an antibiotic and recovered from the anesthesia perfectly! Hopefully Merry has learned his lesson and from now on will wait for his owners to bring the fish to him.
Get in touch
4268 Three Mile NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49534
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 8:30 am to 6:00 pm
Tuesday, Thursday: 8:30 am to 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am to 12:00 pm
After hour emergency services are available to clients of record until 10:00 pm. Our main line will direct to the doctor on call.