Begging For a Bite of Holiday Dinner?

Before the holiday pounds sneak up on your pet, schedule your pet’s yearly checkup today.

Holiday season is upon us— a busy time of year for festivities, socializing and of course, lots of eating! And gaining those “holiday pounds” is not just a problem for humans, but also for our four-legged friends! In fact, research shows that pets are more likely to gain unwanted pounds during this holiday period than any other time of year. What pet can resist juicy ham, yummy cookies or a perfectly cooked roast? And what about the fruitcake? (Well, maybe they’d pass on that.)

But you say, “I just give him a bite or two.” The problem is that one or two bites from each meal, every day, seven days a week can really add up the calories! Obesity is the leading medical problem in pets. When a pet is too chubby, not only may they lack energy and mobility, but also they can develop arthritis, diabetes, cancer, skin issues, urinary tract problems and heart disease. Studies have even proved that pets who are overweight may have a shortened life span. All of these problems because of extra, unnecessary fat!

How can you tell if your pet is at a good weight?

It can be hard to spot because for many pets, they don’t get a classic, big round belly. Instead, the extra fat is well hidden inside your pet’s body, tucked between their vital organs. The good news is our veterinary practice team has a trained eye to best assess your pet’s weight. Bring your pet in for their yearly exam and we’ll check their body condition and nutritional needs. If we determine your pet needs to lose a few pounds, don’t worry. We’ll come up with a plan that will help you and your pet through the holiday season.

Call us today to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup. Together let’s make this holiday season a good, healthy one!

Halloween Safety Tips for Pets

Fall is finally here, and that means a couple of things—Halloween and candy!

As you can probably tell, the shopping malls and pet stores are stocking up with Halloween costumes. And along with the costumes comes the candy. It is important to keep your pet safe from the dangers of the Halloween festivities. Here are some tips to make sure everyone, including your pet, has a happy Halloween!

• Cats and Dogs should NEVER eat chocolate or candy. Chocolate and candy contain harmful chemical compounds that make cats and dogs very ill. The plastic components of lollipop sticks and other candy can also be dangerous to pets, potentially causing intestinal blockage or intestinal ruptures if ingested.
• Strangers in costumes can distress and provoke even the friendliest of animals to become aggressive. If your cat or dog shows signs of stress, keep your pet in a quiet place during the trick-or-treating hours.
• Candles and Jack O’ Lanterns within a pet’s range are a fire hazard. Wagging tails or frightened cats dashing through the house can easily topple over a candle or carved pumpkin, causing burns or a fire.
• The constant sounds of door knocking and door bell ringing can be stressful for many pets. Sometimes, cats and dogs will experience stress-related diarrhea or appear visibly scared and anxious. Have a safe and quiet area ready for your pet if they appear distressed.

By taking these few precautions, you can ensure that everyone will have a happy Halloween—even your pet! If your pet is experiencing an emergency, please call our office as soon as possible.

Is that a skin tag, a tick, a tumor or a toenail? Let’s check!

Your pet’s yearly checkup is vital to their health. Make that appointment today!

October is the month for witches, pumpkins and things that go bump in the night. But what if your pet has a bump…on their skin? Your pet may have bumps. Lumps. Missing fur. A black spot. A funny-looking toenail. Are these things nothing, or something of concern?

For even the most observant owners, it’s tough to know what skin issues are ok and what needs further evaluation. Yes, your pet may have skin disease and you may not even realize it. For example, your pet’s missing fur may be a bald spot from a tumble or a fungus. Eeew! We can run a simple lab test to figure out which one it is!

And if your pet has a little bump, it may be cancer. If it’s left unchecked, the bump may become larger and harder to remove, which may put your pet’s health at risk. But if we take a look early enough, we may be able to remove it with a big sigh of relief!

And finally, that black “spot” you thought was a freckle on your pet, may be a tick! If our team removes it within a certain amount of time, your pet will likely not be infected by a tick-borne disease. Phew!

Skin is the largest organ of your pet’s body, and there’s a lot to examine. When you bring your pet in for their yearly checkup, we’ll assess every part of it, from nose to tail! We’ll look for spots, rashes, warts, skin tags and everything in between to make sure your pet stays healthy…and cancer-free.

It’s time to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup. We’ll perform a thorough skin check and a few other easy tests if needed to keep your pet healthy and happy! Make an appointment today!

Protect Your Pet During Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Season

As the warmer months are approaching, it’s important to start protecting your pet and home from fleas and ticks. Fleas live outdoors and hitchhike their way inside on pets or people. Fleas live in moist, shady areas, including lawn thatch, mulch, leaf litter, woodpiles, crawl spaces, and under porches or decks. Fleas also thrive on common wildlife such as squirrels, rabbits, groundhogs, and opossums that can spread fleas to your pet.

Flea Prevention

The easiest and most effective way to prevent fleas and ticks is by using a monthly flea and tick preventative. However, fleas thrive in warm environments, and they may lay dormant in your house; fleas and their eggs can be commonly found in carpeting, bedding, and furniture. If a flea infestation has already occurred in your house, preventives would be needed year-round.

To avoid a flea infestation, your pet must be on flea preventatives and be given the preventative consistently for six consecutive months. Many medications are in a combined form with the monthly heartworm medication. Not only is this convenient, but it reduces the cost of two medications! Although fleas are more prevalent in summer months, they can survive year-round in a home.

Tick Prevention

Ticks can transmit serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis. Many of these diseases have symptoms that are vague and/or mild until the disease has progressed. Many flea and tick preventatives starts killing ticks upon contact and will kill all four North American species of ticks (Deer tick, Brown dog tick, American dog tick and the Lone Star tick).

Heartworm Prevention

Heartworm disease is another dangerous condition to dogs and cats; although heartworm disease is preventable, it can be potentially fatal. With this disease, parasites attach themselves to the heart, and can cause symptoms such as persistent cough, fatigue, reduced appetite, and weight loss. We can help you protect your pet from heartworm disease with daily or monthly preventatives, including tablets and chewables, topicals, and a six-month injectable product available only for dogs. All of these methods are extremely effective, and when administered properly on a timely schedule, heartworm infection can be completely prevented.

At Randhurst Animal Hospital, we’re offering 5% off flea, tick, and heartworm testing for dogs and cats. Call us today at  847-398-5800 for more information about our prevention specials, and how to protect your pet from fleas, ticks, and heartworm this season. We are here to help!