Spike Says: National Pet Dental Health Month

4 02 2009

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, so I thought I would share some of my pal, Lola’s tips for a healthy happy puppy smile.

1. 80% of humans brush their teeth at least twice a day, but very few pet owners brush their pets teeth.

2. Signs of gum disease includes yellow & brown build up of tarter around the gum line, inflammation & bad breath

3. One of the most common dental problems is broken or chipped teeth, some of which is caused by aggressively chewing on hard objects. Older & senior dogs are more prone to have this problem.

4. More then 80% of dogs & 70% of cats show signs of oral disease by age 3, now that’s a big deal in dog & cat years!!

kiss-dog-kids





Spike Says: Check Out Luv My Pet Discount Rabies Vaccinations This Month

3 02 2009

Your local Luv My Pet Veterinary will giving their annual discount rabies vaccines ($5+$2 medical disposal fee) this month.  Luv My Pets’ locations can be found here.  They are usually inside your local Petco store.

luv-my-pets-logo





Spike Says: Happy Groundhog Day!

2 02 2009

Remember, if that rat looking thing sees his shadow, expect six more weeks of winter.

Lucky for us, rain and clouds are predicted for Georgia, so I suspect that we will be smelling flowers soon.

Right, General Lee?

general-beauregard-lee





Spike Says: To Change Your Dog’s Food, Do It Gradually

30 01 2009

Outside of dire circumstances, like the current peanut butter/salmonella issue or the dog food of Chinese production of a year or two ago, you should not change your dog’s food immediately from one type or brand to another.  A perfect example of when this tactic will come in handy is the transition from puppy food to adult food.  When you have about three day’s worth of the old food left, mix a small amount of the new food with the old food at your dog’s next feeding.  Over the course of the next week or so, gradually increase the amount of the new food as you decrease the amount of old food.

Though many dog foods are similar, you do not want to shock your dog’s system with an immediate and drastic change from one food to another.  Trust me, both you and your dog will appreciate the extra care you take to transition from one food to another.

full-dog-bowl-w-puppy





Spike Says: Check Out My Guest Post Over On Lola The Eco Dog’s Blog

29 01 2009

Recently, Lola and I were chatting, and I offered to write a guest post on her blog about the probems many people encounter with their new puppies.  She posted it last night, so head on over and check it out.

Lola The Eco Dog





Spike Says: Vote For Me And Help The Humane Society Spay & Neuter

28 01 2009

This year to celebrate Spay Day 2009, I have begun raising money for a shelter for a local shelter.  To help me help the Humane Society’s Mountain Shelter, you can donate by voting for my picture here.

puppy-spike-at-toilet





Spike Says: Vaccination Schedule

27 01 2009

From the UC-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine:

Canine Core Vaccines

  • Canine Parvovirus, Distemper Virus, and Adenovirus-2 VaccinesFor initial puppy vaccination (< 16 weeks), one dose of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 is recommended every 3-4 weeks from 6-8 weeks of age, with the final booster being given no sooner than 16 weeks of age. For dogs older than 16 weeks of age, two doses of vaccine containing modified live virus (MLV) CPV, CDV, and CAV-2 given 3-4 weeks apart are recommended. After a booster at one year, revaccination is recommended every 3 years thereafter, ideally using a product approved for 3-year administration, unless there are special circumstances that warrant more or less frequent revaccination. Note that recommendations for killed parvovirus vaccines and recombinant CDV vaccines are different from the above. These vaccines are not currently stocked by our pharmacy or routinely used at the VMTH. We do not recommend vaccination with CAV-1 vaccines, since vaccination with CAV-2 results in immunity to CAV-1, and the use of CAV-2 vaccines results in less frequent adverse events.
  • Canine Rabies Virus VaccinesIn accordance with California state law, we recommend that puppies receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine at 16 weeks of age. Adult dogs with unknown vaccination history should also receive a single dose of killed rabies vaccine. A booster is required one year later, and thereafter, rabies vaccination should be performed every 3 years using a vaccine approved for 3-year administration.

Canine Non-Core Vaccines

  • Canine Parainfluenza Virus and Bordetella bronchisepticaThese are both agents associated with kennel cough in dogs. For Bordetella bronchiseptica, intranasal vaccination with live avirulent bacteria is recommended for dogs expected to board, be shown, or to enter a kennel situation within 6 months of the time of vaccination. We currently stock the intranasal vaccine containing both B. bronchiseptica and CPiV. For puppies and previously unvaccinated dogs, only one dose of this vaccine is required (recommendations differ for the parenteral, killed form of this vaccine). Most boarding kennels require that this vaccine be given within 6 months of boarding; the vaccine should be administered at least one week prior to the anticipated boarding date for maximum effect.
  • Canine Distemper-Measles Combination VaccineThis vaccine has been used between 4 and 12 weeks of age to protect dogs against distemper in the face of maternal antibodies directed at CDV. Protection occurs within 72 hours of vaccination. It is indicated only for use in households/kennels/shelters where CDV is a recognized problem. Only one dose of the vaccine should be given, after which pups are boostered with the CDV vaccine to minimize the transfer of anti-measles virus maternal antibodies to pups of the next generation. The UC Davis VMTH does not stock the distemper-measles combination vaccine as situations requiring its use do not arise commonly in our hospital population.
  • Canine Leptospira VaccinesMultiple leptospiral serovars are capable of causing disease in dogs, and minimal cross-protection is induced by each serovar. Currently available vaccines do not contain all serovars, efficacies against infection with the targeted serovar are between 50 and 75%, and duration of immunity is probably about 1 year. However, leptospirosis is not uncommon in Northern Californian dogs with exposure histories involving livestock and areas frequented by wild mammals, the disease can be fatal or have high morbidity, and also has zoonotic potential. Therefore, we suggest annual vaccination of dogs living in/visiting rural areas or areas frequented by wildlife with vaccines containing all four leptospiral serovars (grippotyphosa, pomona, canicola and icterohemorrhagiae), ideally before the rainy season, when disease incidence peaks. The initial vaccination should be followed by a booster 2-4 weeks later, and the first vaccine be given no earlier than 12 weeks of age. In general, leptospiral vaccines have been associated with more severe postvaccinal reactions (acute anaphylaxis) than other vaccines. Whether the recent introduction of vaccines with reduced amounts of foreign protein has reduced this problem is still unclear. Vaccination of dogs in suburban areas with minimal exposure to farm animals or forested areas is not recommended. Anecdotally, the incidence of reactions has been greatest in puppies (< 12 weeks of age, and especially < 9 weeks of age) and small-breed dogs. A careful risk-benefit analysis is recommended before considering vaccination of small breed dogs at risk of exposure to leptospires.
  • Canine Borrelia burgdorferi (Lyme) VaccineThe incidence of Lyme disease in California is currently considered extremely low. Furthermore, use of the vaccine even in endemic areas (such as the east coast of the US) has been controversial because of anecdotal reports of vaccine-associated adverse events. Most infected dogs show no clinical signs, and the majority of dogs contracting Lyme disease respond to treatment with antimicrobials. Furthermore, prophylaxis may be effectively achieved by preventing exposure to the tick vector. If travel to endemic areas (ie the east coast) is anticipated, vaccination with the Lyme subunit vaccine could be considered followed by boosters at intervals in line with risk of exposure. The UC Davis VMTH does not stock the Lyme vaccine or recommend it for use in dogs residing solely in Northern California.

Man, that is a lot of shots.  And a lot of trips to the vet.  I am glad I do not remember all the puppy shots.