Heartworm Disease

      The heartworm is a parasite that lives in a dogs heart and bloodstream. It is transmitted through the bite of the mosquito. Indoor dogs as well as outdoor dogs risk exposure.

    Early infections are usually without symptoms and can be detected only by a blood test. This test can be performed in our hospital and takes approximately six to ten minutes to show a result. We recommend testing every other year if the pet is kept on a preventative year round. Heartworm prevention is simple. Heartworm infestation is dangerous; untreated dogs die and treated dogs go through weeks of discomfort while the worms are killed and expelled from their bodies. Keep your pets safe. Keep them protected.

Flea and Tick Season has Arrived

    Due to the large amount of rain and the high humidity, flea and tick season is now upon us. Fleas and ticks can be irritating for your pet as well as yourself. Not only are they irritating but they can cause health problems such as tapeworms from fleas and Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from ticks.

    Our recommendation for flea and tick control is new Frontline Plus. Merial, the makers of Frontline, has added an extra ingredient which will not only kill adult fleas and ticks but also kills flea eggs and larvae as well. Frontline Plus for pets under eleven pounds has not been manufactured yet. Merial suggests that pets in this weight bracket remain on Frontline 22 until a Frontline Plus is available.

Frontline is fast acting, long lasting and waterproof. We advise using it monthly during the warm season.

By protecting your pet from fleas and ticks you are protecting yourself as well.

Urinary behavior problems in cats

     One of the most common problems seen with cats concerns urinating in inappropriate places.

     A  cat that is urinating outside of its litterbox should have a urine sample checked and a thorough exam which may include blood tests.  Urinary accidents and spraying can be medical, behavioral or both.  Problems such as bladder infections, diabetes, liver or kidney diseases, need to be taken into consideration. 

     Cats and dogs do not urinate in unacceptable places out of spite.  They do it instinctively when physically and mentally stressed.

     If you would like help determining the cause or treatment for an elimination problem, call the Wisconsin Cat Club at 1-414-375-8852.

Is your new Kitten Healthy?

    Spring and summer is a popular time for many people to acquire new kittens.

Many kittens produced are the offspring of feral cats or cats that have never been vaccinated against highly contagious diseases.

    If you plan to adopt a kitten or cat you should try to find out something about its past. If there is no history we highly recommend having the kitten or cat tested for Feline leukemia virus (FeLv) and Feline Immunodeficiency virus. (FIV). This is a simple blood test we perform in our animal hospital. This test should be done before any vaccinations are given or before routine surgeries such as spaying, neutering and declawing as both these

viruses are potentially fatal.

    Feline leukemia virus is one of the most common and harmful of all cat viruses. It's very contagious and is spread primarily by saliva during cat fights, grooming or mating. The virus is also spread by blood, urine, and feces. Kittens can become infected while still in the womb, when the mother cat bites the umbilical cord or during nursing.

    The main effect of this virus is that it disrupts the cat's immune system. Infected cats are at high risk for developing cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

Indoor cats are at a low risk while outdoor cats are at a high risk.

At this time there is no effective treatment for cats infected with FeLv.

Feline Immunodeficiency virus is also a highly contagious virus spread primarily by saliva from bites during cat fights or breeding. Like the Feline Leukemia virus, kittens can become infected inutero, from the mother cat's saliva and from nursing.

    This virus also disrupts the cats immune system. A cat positive with FIV may show signs of chronic respiratory disease, chronic infection of the mouth, gums and tongue as well as chronic eye disease, skin disease, reproductive disease, urinary tract infection and other systemic diseases. presently there is no vaccine to protect and prevent cats from getting the FIV virus.

ASPCA issues poison alert for pet owners

 Most pet owners do not know that small amounts of chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts and bread dough can be fatal if ingested by a dog.

    Many cats are poisoned in the spring from plants including daffodils and lilies. A cat that eats an Easter lily will die unless it receives prompt medical attention.

    Other common houseplants such as philodendron, dieffenbachia, cyclamen, corn stalk plants, sago palms and bird of paradise all contain toxins and are dangerous if ingested by animals.

    The ASPCA offers the following guidelines to protect pets from poisonings:

Keep all drugs out of your pet's reach in closed cabinets. Painkillers, cold medicines, antidepressants, vitamins and diet pills can be lethal to animals, even in small doses. Never give your pets

medication unless you are directed to do so by a veterinarian. Human medicine is not for pets.

    Always read the label before dispensing medication. Some flea products for dogs can be deadly if given to cats.If you suspect that your pet has ingested something poisonous, seek medical attention immediately.

In an emergency, pet owners can call the ASPCA Animal Poison control Center, the nation's only animal control center staffed by veterinarians and veterinary toxicologists that operates 24-hours-a-day, 7-days-a-week. The number is: 1-900-680-0000 or 1-888-426-4435. Since the center receives no state or federal funding, there is a charge of $45.00 to help maintain their expert veterinary staff 24 hours a day.


Heat Stroke

    The combination of high temperature, high humidity and poor ventilation can be fatal to dogs and cats. Dogs and cats do not sweat as people do. Thus, the cooling benefits of water evaporation from the skin

are not available to them. Panting and radiation of heat from the skin surface are their main means of controlling body temperature. If the air temperature and humidity are high and air circulation is reduced, these protective mechanisms are inadequate. Body temperature can then increase dramatically, resulting in collapse and severe shock. Animals not treated promptly may die.

    Dogs with short or pug noses such as Boxers and Bulldogs, Pekingese and Pugs, are especially susceptible to heat stroke, since their restricted breathing doesn't allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss.


Pets need Dental care too!

    Like humans, your pet should have periodic dental exams. This enables us to determine whether your pet should have its teeth professionally cleaned. Dogs and cats rarely have cavities. However, they are prone to develop plaque, a calcium based deposit which causes infected gums and loose teeth. Left untreated infection soon affects your pets vital organs which can lead to death.

    Symptoms of your pets need for professional dental treatment are redness of the gums, a strong unpleasant odor from the mouth, build-up of a yellowish or brownish coloration on the teeth and trouble chewing food due to loose or infected teeth and sore gums.

    Smaller dogs and cats live 15 to 20% longer when they receive life long dental care. Larger dogs live 1 0 to 15% longer.

    With modern anesthetics and preanesthetic blood screening, there is little cause

to worry about complications while anesthetized. There is a far greater risk leaving dental disease untreated, especially periodontal disease. The most common cause of heart disease in dogs is infected teeth.

    Our dentals, include cleaning the plaque from the teeth with the use of an ultrasonic scaler, polishing

and a complete oral exam. If extractions are necessary it will be discussed at the initial exam.

Poison Prevention

    Dogs and cats often explore their environment with their mouths. Despite the fact that we take every precaution to protect our pets and keep them out of mischief, accidents can and will happen.

Our homes contain a large list of problems that can be safe for us but deadly for our pets. Some foods that are okay for humans but not for our pets are yeast dough, alcoholic beverages, chocolate, macadamia nuts and onions. Other problems that exists are cleaning supplies, plants, insecticides, anti-freeze, rodent poison, lawn care chemicals, and construction materials such as paint or varnish.

    Symptoms can vary depending on the pets' size, type of product ingested, and amount ingested. Often times, your pet will vomit and have diarrhea. Some products can cause burning on the inside of the mouth and throat. Many plants can affect the heart rhythm and even cause it to stop.

    In spite of all of your efforts, and your pet does ingest something poisonous, you should get medical attention immediately. In case of an emergency call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, open 24 hours a day and seven days a week- 1-900-680-0000 (charges apply)

Flea treatments and what you should know about them

At one time shampoos, powders, sprays and flea collars were popular to control fleas. The most popular treatments today are the "spot" medications which are applied on the pets skin and will

control fleas for a month or more.

The formulations spread by mixing with a pet's skin oils, which migrate as a result of body movement and gravity. Some products flow into the sebaceous glands of hair follicles, where they are stored and secreted over time, others remain on the skin's surface. Advantage (irnidacloprid) from Bayer and Frontline (fipronil) from Merial, the two market leaders, will spread over the pets body in less then twelve hours and kill more than 90% of fleas by then.

Buyers should be wary of over the counter knockoffs. Many contain permethrin, which is less effective on dogs and is toxic to cats. It would be wise to pay a little more for a proven product such as Advantage or Frontline then to buy a cheap copycat brand that may not work or and might be dangerous to your pets.


    The tapeworm is a parasite found in the intestines of dogs and cats. The tapeworm has a head and a long flat body made up of segments. The segments are passed in the stools of animals leaving the head still attached to the animal's intestinal lining, where it produces new segments.

    You may or may not notice an illness in your pet. Infected animals may show signs of digestive upset, poor appetite, poor hair coat and skin, weight loss or signs of abdominal discomfort.

The most common diagnoses of tapeworms is actually seeing the segments in the feces of your pet or segments clinging to the hair around the anus area. When first passed the segments are yellow to white in color and resemble a grain of rice. When dry or dead, they may look brown in color.

    Tapeworms are not passed directly from pet to pet but require an intermediate host in which to develop. Common intermediate hosts are fleas and small animals such as mice, rats, squirrels and rabbits. A pet infested with fleas is also likely be a good candidate for tapeworm infestation. Licking and chewing by the pet and thus ingesting the flea starts the tapeworm cycle.

    Over the counter wormers are not available for tapeworm treatment. Your veterinarian will either use an injectable wormer or a pill form to rid your pet of tapeworms.

Treatment will destroy the tapeworms already infecting your pet. Reinfection is controlled by eliminating or reducing contact with intermediate hosts.