Dogs make our lives whole.
Q: Does my indoor cat need flea control?
If you don't want fleas, YES. Even an indoor cat can get fleas. They can be brought in on clothing or on other pets that do go outside. To effectively prevent fleas, every pet in your household should be on flea control. Many flea controls for cats also protect against intestinal parasites and heartworms. One flea can multiply into hundreds of thousands in a very short time. By using a safe and effective parasite control product you can protect your pet and household from a devastating infestation. We can recommend a monthly preventive that will provide the best parasite protection for your cat. For more information on this topic you can visit the Companion Animal Parasite Council website: www.petsandparasites.com
Q: Why does my pet need an exam for a vaccination?
As pet advocates, we want to provide the highest level of care for every patient. Vaccinations are superior at preventing infectious diseases but they are best administered when your pet is healthy. We will complete a vitals assessment and make sure your pet's health is optimal at the time of vaccination. We base our treatment on what is best for your pet because your pet's health is our priority.
Q: How do microchips work and what are their benefits?
A microchip is a very tiny device about the size of a grain of rice that is inserted under your pet's skin, typically between the shoulder blades. It works similar to a bar code that stores an identification number that is unique to your pet. It can not be used for tracking the location of your pet and it does not store any information other than your pet's identification number. You will also be given a tag that your pet can wear on their collar that has the identification number and contact number for the microchip company. Your pet's identification number will be registered to the contact name and information you provide the microchip company. If a person finds a lost pet, the person can call the phone number on the tag and the microchip company will use the identification number to locate the owner. If the pet is not wearing the tag, the pet can be taken to a veterinary office or shelter where staff can use a microchip scanner to read the number that is contained in the chip. The microchip company can then use the number to locate the owner and take steps to help ensure the pet is returned safely home. Our HomeAgain microchips use a 15 digit number and are accepted internationally. Microchips do work and we have seen many lost pets successfully reunited with their owners! For more information on microchips and the services provided through registration, please visit the HomeAgain website.
Q: Why do you recommend annual and semi-annual exams for my pet?
Our pets age must faster than we do so it is a good idea to have your pet examined by a veterinarian every 6 months to catch early signs of disease or health issues. On average, one year of a pets' life equates to 7 years of a humans' life. Therefore their health can change considerably in 6 months time.
Q: What should I do if my pet has eaten something it shouldn't have?
Call your veterinarian immediately with the product name, how much was eaten and how long ago the incident occurred. Your veterinarian will be able to give advice on what the course of action should be based on the information you provide. Keep the Pet Poison Control Helpline number close at hand, 1-800-213-6680.
To learn what items can be poisonous to pets and how to protect your pet from accidental ingestion of harmful substances, look to the ASPCA Pet Poison Control website for helpful information.
Q: What kind of parasites can my pet get and how can I prevent them?
Cats and dogs are susceptible to a number of different parasites but fortunately most of them are preventable. Some parasites that you might find on your pet's skin include fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.While these insects themselves may only cause mild to moderate itching from their bites, they can also transmit other parasites or infections that can affect your pet on the inside. Ticks may carry infectious diseases such as lyme disease, mosquitoes can transmit heartworm larvae, and the ingestion of fleas may lead to a tapeworm infection. It is important to give your pet monthly prevention to kill and repel fleas, ticks, and mosquitoes.Our doctors recommend using Vectra or Bravecto year round.
Other common parasites are found the intestinal tract of dogs and cats and can include tapeworms, whipworms, hookworms, roundworms, and giardia. Tapeworms can be transmitted through flea ingestion and the other intestinal parasites are commonly picked up from the pet's environment.To help prevent your pet from contracting an intestinal parasite, be sure to use a monthly prevention as discussed above. Also be sure to promptly pick up after your pet and check to see that the play area is clean and free of feces and don't forget to provide plenty of fresh, clean drinking water. We recommend Sentinel or Trifexis to our owners and you can read more about these products on their websites.
Heartworms are some of the more serious parasites that can infect our pets. Heartworm larvae are transmitted through mosquito bites in the skin. The larvae then make their way through the bloodstream to the heart or lungs where they can grow up to a foot in length and affect blood flow and breathing.If left untreated, a heartworm infection can potentially be fatal. The good news is that heartworms are almost completely preventable through the use of a monthly heartworm preventive product. Products such as Heartgard, Trifexis, and Sentinel are commonly used and have the added benefit of also preventing other intestinal parasites as well. Trifexis and Sentinel also help control fleas. It is important to remember to use these prevention products every month all year long.
For more detailed information regarding parasites, please visit The Companion Animal Parasite Council.
Q: What do I need to bring with my pet when boarding?
We encourage you to bring whatever will make you, and your pet, more comfortable while apart. We have pet cots and soft bedding here but you are welcome to bring your own. We request that belongings are labeled and you do not bring items that are irreplaceable as we will launder anything that becomes soiled. Please be sure to bring any medications your pet will need during their stay. More details on our boarding services can be located under our "Services" page.
Q: What is your return policy for food and medications purchased at Atlantic Animal Hospital?
Most of the food manufacturers offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee. This means you can return the opened bag of remaining food to the place of purchase for a full refund.
We will always provide a return for unopened, undamaged bags of food that are unexpired and were purchased at our office.
We are not legally permitted to restock prescription drugs that have left our possession.
Most over the counter products are backed by a guarantee from their manufacturer. We will provide a return for unopened, undamaged bottles of shampoo or conditioner that are unexpired and were purchased at our office.
We offer limited return of heartworm preventions and flea controls. They must be in their original blister packaging, be undamaged, unexpired and have been purchased at Atlantic Animal Hospital.
The above guidelines help us ensure that we are meeting our legal obligations with regard to prescribing and dispensing medications and adhere to manufacturer guidelines for return of products.
If you are interested in donating a product that cannot be returned you can do that at our office and they will be provided to the Coastal Animal Rescue Effort to help with the medical needs of the animals in the rescue.
If you need to dispose of unused or expired medications, please check out this FDA link for helpful guidelines on proper disposal.
Q: I don't think my flea control is working, what should I do?
Fleas are frustrating and virulent in our area. They are gross and no one want s them in their home, or on their pet. In addition, they spread parasites and can cause anemia when left untreated. Use this guide to help keep these pests at bay.
1.Make sure you are following the label directions for your pet's specific flea control.
2.Make sure ALL animals in the home are on flea control. Indoor cats that are not on prevention give fleas hitching a ride on your dog a place to jump to and begin perpetuating the flea life cycle.
3.The manufactures of most flea controls are happy to answer questions and discuss the potential for product failure. Below is a list of some of the products we carry and their customer service numbers so their technicians can assist in answering your questions.
4.Call us! If you are still having problems then you may need to plan a scheduled, multi-step attack on those fleas. This could mean scheduling yard treatment, home treatment and pet treatment at set times to break the flea life cycle and provide a more successful outcome. We can provide recommendations, discuss the products that are safe for your pet and help you get this frustrating situation under control.
Here is a helpful flea control guide so you can understand the life cycle and how your prevention is helping in the battle against fleas.
Elanco- Trifexis, Comfortis (1-888-545-5973)
Virbac- Sentinel and Sentinel Spectrum (1-800-332-2761)
Merck- Bravecto (1-800-224-5318)
Zoetis- Revolution (1-888-963-8471)
Ceva- Vectra 3D (1-800-999-0297)
Q: What is Leptospirosis?
Leptospirosis is prevalent throughout the world and 5 to 7 serovars, or strains, of this bacteria have been found in the United States. It is a zoonotic disease, which means it is potentially transferable and contagious to humans.
There has been a recent re-emergence of this disease in our area. Where it was previously believed to be only a disease of large, sporting, and swimming dogs due to it's presence in water and transmission by urine, we have recently been diagnosing it in smaller dogs as well. The organism is shed in the urine of infected mammals and is thought to be carried in our area mostly by deer and rodents.
The symptoms are vague and nonspecific and can include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, fever, elevated liver or kidney enzymes, and even ocular signs. Not all of these signs occur in every animal affected, and no two animals may be affected in the same way. It is treated with a two week course of antibiotics and is treatable, and curable, if diagnosed in the early stages.
We recommend that all of our canine patients be vaccinated for it, even those that do not board, get groomed, or socialize with other dogs. The vaccine is safe but there is a higher reported incidence of allergic reactions to this vaccine. Therefore, we pretreat our patients with Benadryl prior to vaccinating them.
Once your dog receives the initial vaccination, they will need a second booster vaccination in three to four weeks. Once the initial and booster vaccinations are completed then your pet will be protected for a year and we will administer vaccination on an annual basis. The vaccination is $15 with a vaccination exam of $30. This exam is needed to check your dogs basic vitals and verify that he is healthy at the time we administer a vaccination.
We require all dogs that are groomed, boarded, dropped off for care or come to doggy day care at our facility be updated with this vaccine by December 1, 2015, but we are also strongly recommending that our entire canine population be current on this vaccination due to the seriousness of the infection and it's potential spread to humans. Cats cannot be infected experimentally or naturally so they do not need to be vaccinated.
More information regarding Leptospirosis can be found on the Centers for Disease Control website. If you have any questions regarding Leptospirosis, or any other pet care concern, please do not hesitate to contact us at 910-256-2624 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: Can I tour your boarding and doggie daycare?
We are happy to provide tours upon request when it will not interfere with our staffs ability to provide the best care to the animals. We offer tours between the hours of 9:00am- 4:00pm Monday- Friday. If you desire a tour outside of these hours, please call in advance to see if accommodations can be made.
You can also take a virtual tour of our facility. Click here!
Q: Why does my pet need an annual heartworm test if I have been giving him heartworm prevention?
This video from The American Heartworm Society explains it best. Click Here!
Also, at Atlantic Animal Hospital, we provide a complete diagnostic test to detect Heartworm (D. immitis), Lyme (B. burgdorferi), Ehrlichiosis( E.canis, E. ewingii) and Anaplasmosis (A. phagocytophilum, A. platys). It is the same price as your standard heartworm test but with the added benefit of screening for tick borne infections.
The Companion Animal Parasite Council and the American Heartworm Association recommend annual heartworm and tick borne disease screening to keep your pet healthy.
Q: Is Bravecto safe for my pet?
The products we recommend have undergone rigorous safety trials, FDA or EPA studies and field tests to help ensure their safety and efficacy. The same is true with Bravecto, an oral flea and tick prevention, manufactured by Merck Animal Health. Click here to learn more about the measures taken to ensure a safe and effective product.
Bravecto- Just the Facts