Our Covid-19 Procedures

It has been about two months (give or take) since our world changed; about two months since schools and businesses closed; two months of quarantine. The way we run things here at Crossroads Animal Hospital has drastically changed,too, but the main thing to remember is that we are still here for your pets!!! Over the last two months, we have had to adopt a new way of doing things. We have gotten into a good groove and things, for the most part, are running smoothly now. We have written this to explain how we are operating on a daily basis.

Call us if you need to make an appointment for your pet. We are scheduling appointments for everything except technician appointments for nail trims. The scheduling changes we have had to make no longer enable us to allot time for nail trims. For tips on how to trim your pet’s nails at home, please check out the videos on our website (https://www.crossroadsanimal-hospital.com/videos.pml ).

What changes have been made at Crossroads?

~ We are doing curbside service for all appointments and for food and medication pick up. More about that coming up!

~ Our regular appointment times have been extended. This allows extra time for phone conversations and also the technicians going outside to get pets and bring them back to you at the end of the appointment.

~We are all wearing face masks all day. When the technicians come out to the sidewalk to retrieve your pet and to give your pet back, they are wearing PPE (Personal Protective Equipment)- masks, gowns and, in some cases, gloves. Gloves aren’t worn when retrieving dogs because gloves can cause leashes to be slippery and we do not want your dog to get loose.

~Every pen and clipboard touched by anyone gets disinfected after use.

~We’ve always been big hand washers, for obvious reasons! But we are washing more now and we also have hand sanitizer everywhere.

~Our doors are locked. We are not allowing anyone into the building. We are doing everything by phone.**EXCEPTION- We will allow one HEALTHY person into the building in the event of an emergency or euthanasia. You will need to wear a mask when coming in and we will ask you to stay in the exam room for the entire appointment. This is to minimize the number of staff members you come in contact with. Exam rooms are disinfected after you leave.

~ Payments are taken over the phone, credit card/debit card payments where the number can be read to us over the phone. We do not write card numbers down for security purposes. When you read your card number, it is directly entered into the credit card terminal.

What is curbside service?

steps for your appt (5)steps for your appt (3)

IMPORTANT: Curbside service does not mean “drop off.” If you are here for an appointment, it is very important that you wait in your car/in the parking lot while your pet is in the building with us. Here are a few reasons why:

1. If your pet becomes uncooperative, we may ask you to come inside.
2. If an emergency arises, we may ask you to come inside.
3. If we need to call you for any reason, we want to be sure you are able to answer your phone and that you’re not driving while answering your phone.
4. Lastly, to avoid a kenneling fee and to help us keep our schedule on time, you need to be in the parking lot to check out and to retrieve your pet from the technician.

If your doctor decides to admit your pet for diagnostics, then you will need to sign an Authorization and Consent Form. ONLY then will you be able to leave.

If you are picking up food and/or medications, please do not park in front of the door. While it’s not marked as a fire lane, we still need to keep it clear as if it were marked. Please park in the parking lot on the hill and walk down to retrieve your item(s) from the table. Just be aware of others that are also picking up items and maintain social distancing. We attach an invoice to everything so be sure to check and make sure it’s your name. And, we usually wait to make sure you have taken it, so look inside and give us a little wave! 🙂

We do not know when we will be able to return to business as usual due to the fact that we cannot maintain 6 foot social distancing in our exam rooms. Your understanding and cooperation are very much appreciated! We are so happy that we still get to see your pets and help take care of them. We miss you, our clients, and face to face interactions with you. We hope you are all staying safe and healthy.

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O(no)titis!

Persistent scratching and head shaking. A foul or yeasty odor. Redness and pain. We all know those tell-tale signs of this common dog and cat ailment. Otitis. This is a general term for inflammation of the ear canal, but can be diagnosed as many different forms: allergic, bacterial or fungal, traumatic. Even the location of otitis can be classified as external, middle or inner.

Dog and cat ear canals
Dog ear canal from VIN. Cat ear canal from catwatchnewsletter.com

Unfortunately, otitis is a very common issue that we see on a regular basis in the veterinary field, most of the otitis we see is external otitis, which means inflammation and/or infection of the external ear, more commonly called the ear canal. A thorough ear exam and ear cytology are the first line of defense when it comes to diagnosing and treating the problem. An otoscope and specula (see below) are MUSTS when it comes to examining the ear canal. Unlike humans, dogs and cats have both a vertical and horizontal component to their ear canals, so you can imagine that some light and magnification go a long way in viewing the entire ear canal. Sometimes foreign objects like blades of grass, foxtails, ticks (eek!) or hair/wax balls can get deep into the ear canal and be a source of otitis. If properly identified, these can be removed promptly and allows for much quicker healing.

Otitis blog
Otoscope (the long, silver part) and specula (the cone). 

An ear cytology is also extremely important in diagnosis. A cotton-tip-applicator (similar to a Q-Tip) is used to take a swab of the ear canal and this material is then examined under a microscope. An ear infection can be caused by yeast or fungus, bacteria or small parasites (mites), and determining which is present will allow us to pick the right medications for your pet!

Ear-Jayda
Using a cotton-tip-applicator

Now we wish it was always a simple answer for why otitis occurs – like the above foreign objects getting in the ear canal, a recent swim in the lake or maybe too zealous of a bathing, but sometimes there are factors that can lead to chronic otitis, and these cases can be much more difficult to manage. Conformation (anatomy of the ear canal), allergies (either food or environmental) and endocrine (hormonal) diseases are the top causes. Different clues, such as seasonality of infections, concurrent skin infections or itching and findings on otoscopic exam will help to guide us in the right direction, but often additional testing is required. Blood work, food trials, sedated ear flushes, cultures and even consultation with a veterinary dermatologist may be recommended to rule out chronic, underlying causes.

However, one of the biggest factors in chronic otitis, are ear infections themselves!!! Inflammation and irritation that occur during an ear infection can cause permanent changes to the skin and glands within the ear canal, predisposing that dog or cat to getting additional or more frequent infections. A smaller, more narrow ear canal, excessive wax production and abnormal skin barriers make yeast and bacterial overgrowth easier. Stopping or minimizing this snowball effect is critical, which brings us to treatment.

Ear
Ear 

Almost always, a topical medication is going to be applied to the ear canal. Daily or long-term medications are available, but their use depends on the type of infection present. If a large amount of pus or waxy debris is present, frequent at home flushes with an appropriate cleanser is usually going to be recommended. Steroids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications are also routinely prescribed to decrease swelling and provide comfort. Occasionally, if a middle ear infection is suspected (the ear drum has been ruptured) oral antibiotics will also be prescribed, and possibly for a longer period of time. As you may imagine, it isn’t always easy or fun to clean and medicate ears in our pets, but compliance is critical. If you are having any difficulties, please don’t hesitate to call or schedule an appointment to get some tips on application!

Skin issues, including ear infections, are some of the most frustrating and difficult cases to “cure”, often impossible, but being aware of the signs, having them evaluated and treated as promptly as possible, and knowing a little about the disease process itself, improves our pet’s comfort and happiness. If you have any questions or feel like your pet may be one suffering from otitis, give us a call at (603) 437-1010 to schedule an appointment!

What to Expect When Your Dog is Expecting

You think your dog is pregnant, but you’re not 100% sure. What do you do? Have no fear, we are here to help!

How can you tell if she’s pregnant? Here are some signs and symptoms that she’s expecting:

1. Decreased activity- She may want to sleep more than usual and not play as much.

2. Appetite changes- At the beginning of her pregnancy, she may not want to eat much, she may even vomit occasionally (doggie morning sickness). Towards the end of her pregnancy, she may want to eat a lot. She may also get picky with her diet as her hormones change.

3. Unusual behavior- Some dogs may want to be with their owner more often, even becoming clingy. But some dogs may want to be left alone and become irritable when they get attention. Again, every dog is different and it’s because of changing hormones.

4. Enlarged or discolored nipples- If she is pregnant, you will notice that her usually flat areolas will become more rounded. You may also notice a change in color to her nipples, they become pinker, as blood flow increases to the area. Closer to delivery, she may even start leaking milk.

5. Weight gain and enlarged abdomen- If your dog starts gaining weight for an unexplained reason, she may be expecting. This happens later in the pregnancy as the puppies grow, so if you are seeing this, it is probably a good idea to schedule a veterinary appointment to have her examined.

6. Nesting behaviors- An expecting mother may start to shred bedding and other materials to create a nest. This is where she is planning on delivering puppies. If she is in this phase of her pregnancy, it’s best to keep her away from small children as she may be irritable.

Kubiak (6)
Here’s mom in her whelping box.

Dogs are usually pregnant for approximately 63 days and they have trimesters, just like humans. Their trimesters are about 21 days long, though. If you think she may be pregnant, it’s a good idea to have her examined by a veterinarian 2-3 weeks after she was bred. At this appointment, the doctor will answer any questions you may have and can tell you, in more detail what food to feed, behaviors she may exhibit, and what to expect on her due date. At about 45 days, your veterinarian may want you to bring her in for an x-ray. This will check on the bone structure of the puppies and the vet can count how many puppies she’s having.

When it’s time for your dog to whelp (give birth), it’s best to watch from the sidelines and let nature take it’s course. Your dog’s mama mode will kick in and she will know just what to do. It’s best to not interfere, unless an emergency arises. Signs of an emergency could include abdominal contractions greater than 30 minutes with no birth or greater than 3 hours between puppies.

 

 

If you have any questions or concerns about your dog’s pregnancy, we are happy to help. Call to schedule an appointment at (603) 437-1010.

**The mom, Jada, in the pictures above had 10 puppies (6 girls and 4 boys), successfully.  They were born 12-31-2018, New Year’s Eve babies!  All of the puppies came in for their 8 week check ups with Dr. Kulhanek in February and have gone on to new homes. Thank you to Meagan K. for the pictures!!

The Positive Impact of a Therapy Dog

Hi, this is Traci, a Client Care Rep here at Crossroads. I’m also in charge of our social media and our website. I wanted to take a minute to share a special dog with you. My daughter attends Highland Goffe’s Falls (HGF) Elementary School in Manchester, NH and they have the privilege of having a therapy dog at their school! “Why would they need a therapy dog?” you might ask…well, one major benefit is helping kids read. Some children have trouble or anxiety reading out loud in front of their peers. That’s where Remington comes in! He is the ears they need to listen to them as they learn to read. No judgment, no pressure, just a sweet Golden Retriever to lay down and listen.

Remington 2

I recently interviewed his handler, Gail Dubois, to find out just how much Remington helps the students at HGF.

What is a typical day like for Remington?

Remington’s day starts around 5:00 am when he wakes up with his family. They drop him off at my house around 6:30 am. He stays with me until we leave for school around 7:30. When we get to school his day is started. We stop in to the office to visit first and then make our way around to visit staff. Although Remington has a schedule, we always try to find time for special requests that we might receive. He is scheduled in 20, 30 and 45 minute increments depending on the group and activity. While some kids may read to him, others may take him for a walk, play with him on the field or playground. We might spend some quiet time with someone brushing him or make a trip through a classroom or two to say hello and check on friends. We definitely are stretched thin but always show up to the 4 Autism classrooms at the same time every week as we have become part of their Friday routine.”

Remington 3
Remington and his cousin, who is also being trained as a therapy dog.

Did he need special certification and/or training? Did you?
“Remington’s certification is through Therapy Dogs International and requires a significant amount of training with testing at every level. As his handler, I am part of his certified team. My daughter, Hannah, who is his owner, is also certified as a handler. We trained him together, each taking him to classes and through testing.”

How old is Remington?

“He is 4 and a half years old and has been certified for 2 and a half years.”

What do you think is his favorite part of what he does at HGF?
“Remington loves every minute he is at school and definitely enjoys his fair share of snacks while we are there. He is excited to get to school in the morning and is capable of adapting to the needs of the students he is with. A full day is exhausting for him (and me as well) so he is equally happy at the end of the day to retreat to someplace quiet!”

How do the students react to him?
“Remington and I won a Life Changer of the Year Award this past year (2018) for his work in school. He has been a positive influence on students who work with him and some of the transformations have been incredible.”

~You can find out more about the Life Changer of the Year Award, and see the beautifully written nomination from the school principal here: http://app.lifechangeroftheyear.com/nomination_detail.cfm?NominationID=313

Remington 4
This is the day Remington and Mrs. Dubois were recognized at HGF for the Life Changer Award. 

I have seen Remington and Mrs. Dubois walking around outside during morning drop off. While waiting for the car line to start moving, children will pop out of the car windows just to wave to him. One can easily see he is a proud member of the HGF family.

Studies have proven that having an animal around can significantly change a person’s day. Having a pet with you at work helps to relieve mental, emotional and physical stress of your workday. Dogs are being trained to help people with PTSD. And let’s not forget service dogs that help their owners with disabilities. Unless you are allergic to animals, pets are good for your health! Having an interaction with pets during the day can help reduce high blood pressure, cholesterol and anxiety. Petting an animal releases “feel good” hormones in humans including oxytocin and serotonin.

Now you may be thinking “Wow! It makes sense to have a therapy dog at an elementary school!” And wouldn’t it be great if more schools had therapy dogs?

Why are you muzzling my dog?

Putting a muzzle on a dog can create some controversy. We are here to tell you that muzzles are not a bad thing, they do not make your dog a “bad dog” for needing one. They can be used for multiple reasons, and not just to prevent biting. They are a safety measure that ensures people and dogs stay safe. There are different kinds of muzzles. We are going to explain the different kinds and why we use them.

Let’s start with a basket muzzle. This particular muzzle is a good one to use if you have a dog that notoriously eats non-food items. It does not fit snugly on a dog’s snout, so they are able to open their mouth, just not enough to ingest anything. We have clients that understand that their dog is fearful at the vet and they come in with a muzzle already on! One particular dog comes in wearing his basket muzzle because he had an incident at home and his owners are taking every precaution to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Also, our hospital manager had her dog wear a basket muzzle around her house while introducing a new cat. She did not want the dog to hurt the cat while they were getting to know each other. The dog didn’t mind at all, and was even able to drink from his water bowl while wearing the basket muzzle.

 

Basket muzzles can also be used in training for behavior modification. A trainer can use this muzzle and slip treats in it as rewards. This is not a quick fix for bad behavior, and owners should work with a professional trainer to get advice and tips to modify any unwanted behavior.

The most common muzzle we use in hospital is a nylon muzzle. It goes over the dog’s snout, leaving the nostrils open, they’re able to open their mouth slightly and it clips in the back of the head. If a dog gives us a warning growl during their exam, that will usually warrant a muzzle. We have to keep in mind that a dog is an animal, and animals can bite when they experience fear or anxiety. By muzzling them, we are preventing a possible bite from happening. One reason being: once a dog bites a person and breaks skin, there is a rabies quarantine period (10 days for dogs up to date on their rabies vaccine, 60 days if they are not up to date), followed by a 10-day post-bite visit to the vet. No one wants to have to bring their fearful dog back to the vet so soon!

We also have a muzzle for brachiocephalic dogs, or dogs with “smushed” faces, such as pugs, French bulldogs and Boston terriers. This muzzle fits their face without covering their nose out. It fits their small, round heads well. The picture below is not the best, but that’s because we didn’t have a great model for it.

Again, we muzzle for protection, not because the doctors and techs are afraid of your dog. We’re not shaming your dog or trying to make you feel bad. Seeing a person get bit by a pet is not only sad for both the person that received the bite but also for the dog. Most bites happen due to fear. We work very hard to try to keep stress at a minimum for these pets. We will do whatever it takes to make a dog comfortable. We don’t ever want our clients to feel sad or angry when a muzzle is needed. Unfortunately, we have seen dogs bite their owners while here because they are so fearful. If you are here for an appointment, and your dog requires a muzzle, remember: it’s not a bad thing. And ask questions. We are happy to discuss why it’s necessary.

Training and Socialization

Hello everyone. Charlotte Grove here, coming to talk to you about training and socialization. I am going to be a year old in May, and for the past few months, I have been going to training classes with my mom (Dr. Grove). She brings me to work every day and, to be perfectly honest with you, I can be bratty sometimes. But, since I started training, I have been a lot better and I even get rewarded more! I used to bark for treats, beg for food, bark at people coming into the doctor’s office, steal things off the floor. I never got what I wanted though. No one listened to me. Now that I have learned some patience, and some commands, I get more treats! Who knew being good would get me what I wanted???

Charlotte training (2)

So let’s talk training. We puppies, we have no idea how to behave with humans. Since birth, we’ve only been in close proximity to our siblings and our mom. I’m sure there were humans around, but we only remember the dogs. Then, at 8 weeks old, we are taken from everything we are used to and go live with humans. Some of them have other pets, some of them have little humans, some are alone. Imagine someone speaking to you in a language you don’t understand and expecting you to do what they said. It’s a whole new world for us and we need to learn how to behave. Some pet owners have time in their days to spend training their new 4-legged friend. Some don’t and that’s okay! There are many qualified dog trainers in your area that can help you. Trainers will help you by teaching you and your dog some commands-sit, stay, lay down, leave it, etc. They can also help you teach your dog how to act properly on a leash. All things you will use in the future. Some can even help you teach your dog some tricks, which helps us bond- roll over, speak, paw, etc. No matter how you train your pooch, just make sure you do. It’ll help prevent some issues in the future-pulling on a leash, nipping when taking a toy away, food aggression, and then some.

I have been getting some socialization in since I was adopted. Mom brings me to work and I get to play with other staff dogs. I can play a little rough, though, so I have to be supervised. But the more I play, the better I get. I even have sleep overs now! I spent a night at my friend Jayda’s house and I have spent a few nights with my friend Lambeau. I love sleepovers! And, because of my socialization, I am not afraid of other dogs. And I am not territorial either.

Charlotte and Lambeau
Charlotte and Lambeau

So you see, training and socialization are good things. It doesn’t mean your dog is bad. It just means your dog needs a little help adjusting to their new environment. We know our new humans love us and want what’s best for us. And we aim to please!

Talk to your veterinarian or a technician if you have any questions or concerns about training. I was also told to remind you that if you want to bring your puppy into Crossroads for a “happy visit” it is encouraged. No appointment needed! Just bring your puppy in to socialize with staff and other dogs in the waiting room (as long as they aren’t sick). Show them that going to the vet is not always about being examined. The staff may even be able to give your dog a treat or two!

Thanks for reading and happy training!!!

Love, Charlotte

Essential Oils and Your Pets

Recently, there have been a lot of articles floating around the internet about essential oils and whether or not they are safe to use on pets. The truth is, there is no solid yes or no answer to this question.

Are some more harmful than others? It depends on what they are mixed with and/or how they are diluted.

Are they problematic if they are diffused in a diffuser? Again, they can be, it depends on the scent and your pet’s health. Keep reading, we will get into that.

Some Facts

Some people like to use a more all-natural product for flea and tick prevention. Here are the common essential oils recommended on the internet for flea and tick prevention and why they can cause issues for pets:

D-Limonene

– Minimal to moderate efficacy to control fleas.

– It needs to be diluted properly.

– If not diluted properly, can cause: dermatitis, oral irritation, lethargy, vomiting, salivation, ataxia (the loss of full control of bodily movements) and muscle tremors.

– It can penetrate skin and cause decrease in blood pressure leading to hypothermia.

Melaleuca (tea tree oil)

– Can provide antibacterial and antifungal properties, but at high concentrations that are often toxic to animals.

– No efficacy for fleas has been established.

– Ataxia, weakness, tremors, depression in pets.

Pennyroyal Oil

– Google states effective against fleas and ticks, however it’s not proven.

– Contains volatile compound called pulegone which is highly toxic, particularly to the liver.

– Applied directly to an animal can cause depression, vomiting, liver failure, diarrhea, nose bleeds, seizures and death.

-NEVER TO BE USED ON ANIMALS.

 

The truth of it is, dogs and cats can experience adverse effects of essential oils even if used at the proper label instructions. Leading experts in the veterinary field, like Dr. Richard Gerhold, DVM, MS, PhD, confirm that there is no support for the use of essential oils as parasite control. Fleas and ticks are more than just a nuisance; they can transmit debilitating, even deadly, diseases. Some of these diseases can be transmitted to people as well.

Many essential oils and liquid potpourri products, including oil of cinnamon, citrus, pennyroyal, peppermint, pine, sweet birch, tea tree (melaleuca), wintergreen, and ylang ylang, are poisonous to pets. Both ingestion and skin exposure can be toxic. And not just dogs and cats, either. They can cause issues with rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters as well.

– So, should you get rid of all essential oils in the house?

Not necessarily. Just be sure to use caution with them. Use them in a secure room, where pets are not going to be exposed to them. Keep the oils out of reach of animals and secure the diffuser so it can’t get knocked over. Pet-proofing is important.

  • If you have a pet with respiratory issues, such as asthma, it’s best not to use them at all.
  • If you have a bird, do not use them at all! Birds have sensitive respiratory tracts and oils may cause serious problems.
  • Dogs and cats have a more developed sense of smell. So even the smells can cause them discomfort.

If you are using essential oils directly on your pets, please discontinue and give us a call. If it’s alternative medicine you are looking for, our Dr. Hertel can help guide you in the right direction. He is familiar with other all-natural products that are pet friendly. And anytime you see articles floating around on social media that you are questioning, just call us, (603) 437-1010. We are happy to help.

Heartworm Disease in Pets

Have you ever wondered why we recommend preventives for heartworm for dogs and cats? It’s not a very popular disease here in the northeast, but with more and more dogs being adopted from the south, where it’s prevalent, we are seeing instances of it more often. This disease is transmitted by mosquitoes. All a mosquito has to do is feed off of an animal that is positive, such as wolves, coyotes, foxes or pets that are positive, and then feed on a pet that is not treated with heartworm prevention. This is why yearly heartworm tests are recommended and why monthly preventatives are recommended by your veterinarian. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) recommends it also.

Roxy

When should I test my dog?

*Let’s say you adopt a cute 8 month old puppy from down south. You bring him home, fall in love and make him a member of your family. You get him established at your veterinarian’s office, your doctor recommends a heartworm test and he tests negative for heartworm disease. Great! Now your doctor says “I want to test him again in 6 month,” Why? you may ask. Answer: It takes at least 6 months for a dog to test positive after being infected.

*Or, you have an adult dog, not on prevention, but you want to start. Your veterinarian will want to test her before putting her on heartworm prevention, then test again in 6 months. Reason being the heartworms need to be at least 7 months old before the infection can be diagnosed. Another test will be needed at 12 months and, as long as she is on prevention all year, she’ll only need to be tested annually.

What are the signs and symptoms of heartworm in dogs?

In the early stages of the disease, dogs may not show any clinical signs at all. The longer the infection goes undetected, the more likely symptoms will occur. Here’s a snippet from www.heartwormsociety.org:

AHS_Logo_TM_highres

Signs of heartworm disease may include a mild persistent cough, reluctance to exercise, fatigue after moderate activity, decreased appetite, and weight loss. As heartworm disease progresses, pets may develop heart failure and the appearance of a swollen belly due to excess fluid in the abdomen. Dogs with large numbers of heartworms can develop sudden blockages of blood flow within the heart leading to a life-threatening form of cardiovascular collapse. This is called caval syndrome, and is marked by a sudden onset of labored breathing, pale gums, and dark bloody or coffee-colored urine. Without prompt surgical removal of the heartworm blockage, few dogs survive.

What are the signs and symptoms of heartworm in cats?

Ham and Joey

First of all, let’s mention that cats are an atypical host for heartworms. Most heartworms in cats do not survive to adulthood, however even immature worms can cause damage in cats. Unfortunately, the treatment used to rid the infection in dogs is not safe for cats. However, cats can be helped with monthly preventatives and good veterinary care.

Signs of heartworm in cats may be subtle or severe. Symptoms may include:

*coughing

*asthma-like attacks

*occasional vomiting

*lack of appetite

*weight loss.

In more severe cases, an affected cat could have difficulty walking, have some fainting or seizures, or suffer from fluid in the abdomen. In some cases the first sign could be sudden collapse or sudden death.

How do you treat a dog that is heartworm positive?

First we need to confirm a diagnosis. After testing positive on the heartworm test, an additional blood test is needed. Treatment is expensive and complex, so we need to be sure the original test was not a false positive.

Dogs must be otherwise healthy in order to start treatment. Exercise has to be very limited! Over exertion can increase the amount of damage done to heart and lungs by the heartworms.

Mya in a kennel
Strict cage rest is sad

Treatment is done over the course of 90 days, with additional blood tests after that. If your dog tests positive, your doctor will go over the schedule that is to take place. The days of treatment require hospitalization for monitoring, to be sure there’s no side effects of the medication. The injection can be painful, so your dog may be given pain medication as well.

Here is a breakdown of cost to treat a heartworm positive dog (injections are based on weight) versus treating monthly with a preventative:

For a 24lb dog, the total estimated treatment would cost approximately $1500 which is equivalent to:

22 years of protection with Heartgard Plus chew tabs given once a month

20 years of protection with ProHeart6 injections every 6 months

6 years of protection with Revolution topical treatment given once a month

For a 49lb dog, the total estimated treatment would cost approximately $1800 which is equivalent to:

20 years of protection with Heartgard Plus chew tabs given once a month

19 years of protection with ProHeart6 injections every 6 months

7 years of protection with Revolution topical treatment given once a month

For a 75lb dog, the total estimated treatment would cost approximately $1950 which is equivalent to:

18 years of protection with Heartgard Plus chew tabs given once a month

15 years of protection with ProHeart6 injections every 6 months

8 years of protection with Revolution topical treatment given once a month

It is not fun to watch dogs go through the treatment of heartworm disease. It’s so much easier (and much more cost effective) to treat with prevention on a monthly basis.

More information can be found at https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources/heartworm-basics or on our website at www.crossroadsanimal-hospital.com

As always, we are here for you if you have any questions or concerns about heartworm in your pet.

What to do if your pet has a seizure

Has your pet ever had a seizure? It’s a scary thing to witness. Your four-legged baby has no control over their body; whether they’re having muscle twitching, stiffness, or losing their bowels, there’s nothing you can do to stop it. The best thing you can do for your pet is to remain calm. Try to take notice of what is happening (muscle twitching, body stiffening, foaming at the mouth, losing bladder or bowel control, eye movement) and try to time how long the seizure lasts. Unless your pet is at risk for injury, don’t move him/her. If their head is banging on the floor, you can carefully slide a towel underneath, but be very careful around the head, especially the mouth. They can bite unexpectedly and for no reason. However, if a seizure lasts more than 3-5 minutes, this is considered an emergency and you should take your pet to either an emergency clinic or your regular veterinarian. Just try to keep the environment as calm as possible.

Joey

Once the seizure is over, it’s important to know that your pet may be “out of it” for a few hours. It takes a lot out of them to have a seizure, it’s mentally and physically exhausting. Some pets actually get a burst of energy and will run around for a few minutes after a seizure. And some seizures are so minor (staring off at nothing or attempting to bite at something in the air, for example), you may not even know what it is.

Regardless of the severity, or frequency, you should definitely call your vet after a seizure has happened. There are blood tests that can be done to see if your pet has epilepsy, which is defined as a neurological disorder marked by sudden recurrent episodes of sensory disturbance, loss of consciousness, or convulsions, associated with abnormal electrical activity in the brain. Some pets need medication to control seizures. Your veterinarian will work closely with you to help monitor the severity, frequency, and characteristics.

Chowder

We want to share this information with you so if you witness a seizure, you can know what to expect. Just remain calm and call your veterinarian if you have any questions or concerns.

Sincerely,

The Crossroads Animal Hospital Staff

Giving Pets as Christmas Gifts

Hello,

We are Charlotte and Mya, we belong to Dr. Grove and Emily and we are the newest additions to the Crossroads family. We were both adopted by our families and we were lucky enough to land in homes where we are loved and cared for constantly. Plus, we get to go to work with our moms and play together. I (Charlotte) was adopted into a family with 2 little kids and I love playing with them as much as possible! I (Mya) was adopted by Emily and her boyfriend and I am the only dog in the house so I get all the love and play time I want from them.

We were just wondering, are you planning on giving a loved one a puppy or a kitten (or any pet) as a gift this holiday season? While it seems like the perfect time to give them what they have been asking for, it’s also a good idea to make sure they know what to expect.

Charlotte5
Charlotte with Santa

There are so many instances when pets given as gifts end up in a shelter a few months later because the new owner had no idea of all of the time and effort that goes into being a pet owner. Here are some important things to remember:

  • Having a puppy or a kitten is like having a newborn baby. We require multiple meals a day, lots of time to play, training, love and attention! It’s important to make sure the recipient of such a little bundle of joy has the time to devote to their new addition.
  • We require multiple trips to the vet in our first few months. This is to ensure that we are growing at a healthy rate, there aren’t any heart murmurs, and we receive all of the necessary vaccines and preventatives to keep us healthy. We will also need to be spayed or neutered (if you adopt from a shelter, though, puppies and kittens are usually already spayed or neutered and have some vaccines).
  • Make sure this is what the recipient really wants. We have feelings, too, and it would be really hard to think we have found our forever homes and fall in love with our new family only to end up in a shelter a couple of months later.
  • We are an investment! While we don’t know exactly how much it costs to own us, we know that we require food, toys, vet visits, maybe some training sessions, leashes, collars, designer clothes (haha), maybe some doggie day care, spa days/grooming, and something called insurance (we’re not sure what that means, but we know our moms signed up for it, so we assume it costs money).
Mya in her sweater
Mya in her sweater

Obviously, if the person you are getting a pet for lives with you (and you will be helping to care for him or her) or has had pets in the past or has already done their research, then you will probably be their most favorite person in the whole world! Having a little furry companion can be very rewarding and also so much fun! We love our families for our whole life, so we hope for the same in return.

We know some of you may celebrate a holiday other than Christmas, so we want to wish you all a wonderful holiday season!

Lots of kisses,

Charlotte and Mya