Most of us are used to the many ups and downs of seasonal allergies that affect our daily lives in this subtropical climate. Of course, allergies can stem from a number of exposures. But, did you know that allergies can even affect your pets’ well-being. That’s right – your beloved four-legged friends can suffer from them too! And just like you, these allergies can become problematic if you’re not aware of the symptoms to look out for or how to treat them.Read more »
For pet owners, often when we sit down to have a snack or eat a meal, and there are some lingering eyes on us (or at least our plates). It’s your pet. They smell something tasty, they see you enjoying it, and they want whatever you have. So, they look up at you with those sweet big eyes, just begging for you to toss them a bite (though some may be more aggressive in their tactics, simply jumping up and taking a bite for themselves). That look is just heart-melting! And of course, many of us cave to those desperate looks because we love them, and we eventually break down to share a special treat with them. Of course, this isn’t a healthy habit and can in fact be dangerous for your pet.
Not all human foods are safe to share with your pet. Some pose very serious risks that can result in everything from stomach upset, to seizures and even death. We know it’s hard to resist giving your pet a table treat when they flash those innocent eyes and start whimpering. But, you must resist, as there are several food items that are absolute no-no’s, no matter how much your pet begs. Here are just a few of the most common human foods that you should never feed your pet:Read more »
Your pet is a member of the family. They’re our best friends, roommates, dinner dates and often our favorite companions for adventures. But, unlike other members of your family, your pet can’t tell you when something’s wrong or that they’re unwell. So, how do you know when it’s time to seek medical attention? Is your pet really sick, or are they just being moody? Are they limping due to a sprain, or is there an underlying infection? Are these possible symptoms something I should monitor, or does my pet need immediate emergency care?
When assessing your pet’s health and/or illness, a good rule of thumb is to always watch for any dramatic behavioral shifts. Contact your veterinarian if you notice any of the following signs, especially if they last more than one or two days:Read more »
Urinary tract infections in cats is a surprisingly big deal. It’s tough on both your pet and all family members, as it can be quite stressful and financially burdensome. In fact, urinary tract issues are one of the most common reasons cats are given up to shelters, or worse.
Fortunately, you can get ahead of a more serious situation and seek medical solutions if you learn the signs and symptoms of urinary tract disease.Read more »
Unless you know what to look for, it can be pretty easy to miss urinary problems in a cat or dog. They’re so good at making us believe that everything is alright! These problems are relatively common, though, so as a responsible pet owner, you’ll want to know the signs. Here are a few basic points you should know:Read more »
If you have ever witnessed an animal in pain, you know how heartbreaking it can truly be. The worst part, perhaps, is that they don’t even understand why they’re hurting. They don’t have the same perspective we do; all they know is the physical sensation of pain. Fortunately, we do know that animals experience the same levels and types of pain that humans experience, which gives us the necessary insight to help them manage or alleviate that discomfort. Continue reading for an overview of the pain management options we offer here at our Haines City veterinary hospital.Read more »
Veterinary endoscopy is a non-surgical procedure that allows us to view the inside of your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. It’s just like the procedure that is performed on humans, but we consider it to be particularly advantageous in veterinary medicine because our patients are not able to tell us what’s bothering them.
Veterinary Endoscopy in Haines City, Florida
How does veterinary endoscopy work?
This procedure involves the use of an endoscope, which is a flexible tube with a light and a camera on the end. In order to make the most of the procedure and keep your pet comfortable, general anesthesia is required for endoscopy. So, once your pet has been anesthetized, the scope will be inserted through the mouth and will be advanced through the esophagus and into the stomach and duodenum.
The benefits of endoscopy include:
- It’s painless. Your pet won’t feel a thing!
- It’s non-invasive and requires little to no recovery time for your best friend.
- It gives your veterinarian the chance to take biopsy samples for further analysis.
- It provides answers and invaluable insight into your pet’s overall health.
- If a foreign object is found (common in mischievous puppies and kittens), it can be removed without surgery.
Why has my veterinarian recommended endoscopy for my pet?
There are a number of gastrointestinal symptoms that warrant an endoscopic procedure. So, if this has been recommended for your pet, don’t panic. It’s not necessarily a bad sign. It just means that he or she needs to take a closer look in order to be able to help your furry sidekick. At Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, we will make sure to walk you through every step of your pet’s evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment, so there’s no room for the scary guesswork.
If your pet is experiencing unexplained weight loss, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, or other signs of persistent gastrointestinal discomfort, give us a call at 863-421-2338 to request a consultation. We would love to discuss your pet’s needs with you and help you determine whether or not veterinary endoscopy is the right choice for you.
Like human medicine, veterinary practices have come a long way over the last century. We are now able to offer cutting edge services that can save or extend your best friend’s life, and one of those advanced medical treatments is a blood transfusion. If your pet is in an emergency situation, be prepared with the knowledge and understanding of how the process works for veterinary blood transfusions in Haines City, Florida.
Veterinary Blood Transfusions in Haines City, Florida
First and foremost, if you are currently experiencing an emergency with your pet, contact us immediately at 863-421-2338. There’s no need to continue reading. If our team examines your pet and determines that he or she does require blood, our supply is ready and available for use.
Where Does the Donated Blood Come From?
Each veterinary hospital and blood bank operates differently, but here at Heart of Florida Animal Hospital, our donors are companion animals (just like your own best friend!). They live at home with their owners and enjoy the same levels of affection and care that would be expected under any other circumstances.
Before our donors give blood to our in-hospital supply, they are screened for all applicable diseases, and they receive all routine preventative care so that they are in optimal health and their bodies are adequately prepared to donate.
Does Your Pet Need a Blood Transfusion in Haines City, Florida?
There are a number of reasons why pets might need a transfusion of blood or blood products. Sudden trauma that results in heavy bleeding is one of those reasons. Another can be chronic illnesses, including certain cancers, kidney disease, autoimmune disorders, and more.
To learn more about animal blood transfusions or our other veterinary internal medicine services, give us a call at 863-421-2338.
Vaccines are an important part of puppy parenthood. As your new best friend grows, these vaccines will help them fight against disease or lessen the effects if they do become affected. Vaccines are intended to be given on a strict schedule so that they have the immunity needed by the time they reach a specific age. You may be wondering what exactly you should expect from this procedure. You may wonder if you need anything specific for it. You might also be scared thinking about how your puppy is going to react.
Here is what you should expect when it comes to puppy vaccines.
The first round of shots that your pup is going to get include Distemper, Parvo, Corona and Bordatella.
During the Shots
During the time that the shots are administered, the dog is generally not in pain. Much like a human, they have a small pinch, then the shot is over. Your veterinary team will be quick and try to make it as painless as possible on the little one getting them.
Should I be worried about a vaccine reaction?
Side effects can occur, but please understand that this is very rare. Below are some of the warning signs of a vaccine reaction. While it is important to keep an eye out for any of these or other symptoms that are out of the ordinary, your pup will typically be just fine returning to his or her normal activity level on the same day of the appointment.
Possible indicators of a vaccine reaction include:
- Loss of consciousness
- Swelling anywhere in the body – injection site, legs, face
- Hives anywhere on the body
- Difficulty breathing
It is important to contact your family veterinarian if you notice any of these symptoms. He or she can provide you with more information on other things you should watch out for after the first round of shots.
Understanding Puppy and Kitten Immunity
It is important to keep any young pets away from other unknown animals; their immunity simply has not matured enough yet. When you’re unsure of whether or not these other pets have had their shots, then you must wait until your puppy or kitten have had all 3 of their booster shots before introducing them. This will reduce the chances of having your pet catch anything.
First vaccines are usually given around 6 to 8 weeks of age, though some may come in a bit later depending on when the owner gets the pet. It is important to bring them in for these shots as close to that date as possible. This can help them boost their immunity to many devastating diseases. One of the biggest for pups is Parvo. This disease only has less than a 20% survival rate. With the series of boosters, they reduce their chances tremendously of getting the disease.
Contact us today to schedule your pets first shots with us here at Heart of Florida Animal Hospital. You want to make sure you stay on top of the care that your pet needs, shots are just one of the many things that your pet should get throughout their lifetime.
Every pet owner knows that a healthy pet needs fresh, clean drinking water, every single day. Many are also aware of the strange, often picky, drinking habits that cats and dogs may have. But, as the summer temperatures continue to rise, it’s important to understand the vitality of proper, healthy hydration and the threat of dehydration.
It goes without saying – water is absolutely essential to all life. Animals, like people, need water to help keep their organs hydrated and to help flush out toxins. When it comes to pets, cats especially need to maintain adequate amounts of water, as they are more prone to kidney problems such as kidney stones and even kidney failure.
How Much Water Does Your Pet Need?
Your pet should be drinking water every day. The amount of water that they need to intake depends on their weight, level of activity and diet. As long as fresh, clean water is provided, daily, dogs are usually pretty good at self-regulating their hydration. However, with these hot, summer temperatures, they should be drinking more than usual to stay fully hydrated.
Cats are a bit pickier with their water. Most rely on their food for their water intake. Now, if they were in the wild, this wouldn’t be a problem, as raw meat contains up to 70% water. However, when cats rely on dry food, which only contains about 10% water, then you need to make sure that they are properly supplementing.
Signs of Dehydration Include:
- Dry Mouth
- Sunken Eyes or Bags Under Eyes
- Loss of Appetite
Any sudden change in behavior is cause for concern and should be addressed by your veterinarian. If your pet’s drinking behavior changes suddenly, they start drinking too much water, or stop drinking water it could be a sign of a more serious illness.
If You Believe Your Pet is Suffering from Dehydration:
- Give them fresh, clean water and check to make sure that they have it every single day.
- Monitor your pet’s drinking habits, especially in the heat!
- Do the skin test – gently grab a fold of their skin (on the back of their neck or between their shoulder blades). If the skin quickly goes back into place, then your pet should be alright, but if the skin goes back slowly, then they could be suffering from dehydration.
- Ask your veterinarian.
How to Keep Your Pet Hydrated
If your pet seems uninterested in drinking water or drinks very little water (especially after running around in the sun), here are a few things that you can try to get them to drink:
- Change the water ensuring that it is fresh every day.
- Change their water bowl. Sometimes, the type of bowl, be it metal, plastic, ceramic, etc., can alter their interest.
- Change the location of their water bowl, but be sure that it is kept out of direct sunlight.
- Try a pet water fountain so that they have a constant stream of clean, fresh, running water. This will also keep the water cool and may taste better since it’s filtered water.
- Add wet food to your pet’s diet, or try adding water to their dry food. Wet foods can be up to 80% water.