Capitol Illini Newsletter
In the Spring 2014 Issue ...
“But Kitty wants to go outside.”
We all want what is best for our pets. It may seem fun to let our feline friends to play and nap outside. However, there are many dangers awaiting outside of the home for cats. Some of these dangerous encounters:
- Coming in contact with wild animals who carry parasites and disease. This can include rabies virus, heartworm disease, intestinal parasites, fleas, and ticks.
- Fights with outdoor cats increases the risk of feline leukemia virus (FeLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).
- Encounters with predators, like dogs and coyotes, who could seriously harm or kill your cat.
- Possibility of being struck by a motor vehicle.
- Exposure to poisonous substances like lawn chemicals, antifreeze, and rat and mouse bait.
The American Society of Prevention of Cruelty of Animals (ASPCA) estimates a cat allowed outdoors live an estimated one-quarter as long as a cat living exclusively in-doors. Of course, cats don’t understand that they are safer staying inside and may try everything to escape the home. Your cat can learn to be happy indoors if you provide him or her with an enriched environment. To learn more about enriching your cat’s environment or questions on how to deter your cat’s urge to go outside, please talk with your Capitol Illini veterinary team.
“Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal illness.”
Heartworm disease is a serious, potentially fatal illness. This is why it is important to protect your dog and cat. Heartworm disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states and the number of cases of heartworm disease continue to rise.
What is heartworm disease?
Heartworm disease is a disease transmitted by mosquitos. It only takes a bite from one infected mosquito to infect your pet.
What happens when infected?
Once infected, the larval heartworm, microfilariae (immature heartworm), will travel through the bloodstream to reside in the area of the heart and lungs. They will grow into adult heartworms, sometimes growing up to 14 inches long!
My pet stays indoors, is he still at risk?
Dogs that spend a lot of time outside during mosquito feeding periods may be at particular risk. However, even dogs (and cats) that are mostly indoors are at risk.
What are the signs of heartworm disease?
Recently infected dogs may exhibit no signs of the disease. Heavily infected dogs may eventually show clinical signs such as mild, persistent cough or exercise intoler-ance. Cats may exhibit clinical signs that may mimic other feline diseases such as feline asthma or allergic bronchitis.
How can I prevent heartworm disease in my pet?
Please consult with your pet’s veterinarian for the best preven-tative for your pet. Heartworm prevention is safe, easy, and inex-pensive. There are a variety of options for dogs and cats, including monthly tablets and chewables, monthly topicals, or six-month injectable product for dogs. While treatment is possible for dogs, it is a complicated and expensive process. Currently, there is no treatment of feline heartworm disease.
Now available at Capitol Illini:
ProHeart 6 is the only available injectable heartworm prevention for dogs that pro-vides six continuous months of protec-tion.
Is ProHeart 6 right for your dog?
1. Do you find “leftover” heartworm pills or topical applicators you have not given your dog?
2. Most heartworm preventatives must be given every 30 days to remain effective. Have you every accidently been late giving your dog heartworm preventative medication?
3. Have you ever missed a dose com-pletely?
If you answered yes to any above ques-tions, discuss ProHeart 6 with your dog’s veterinarian today.
It is estimated about fifty percent of pets today are over-weight or obese. Everyone wants to have their dog or cat live a long and healthy life. Keeping your pet at a healthy weight can help your dog or cat live a long and enjoyable life.
As few as a few pounds above your dog’s or cat’s ideal weight can put him at risk for developing serious medical conditions. Some of these common disorders related to excess weight are:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Respiratory and Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Many forms of cancer
Excess weight is caused by consuming more calories than the body’s energy requirements. Energy require-ments are based up activity level, genetics, gender, repro-ductive status, age, and environment.
Pet weight loss can be achieved by calculating the dog’s or cat’s calorie needs. Once the calorie requirement is calculated, a diet plan can be made. This will include food to feed, amount to be fed, and scheduling monthly weigh-ins at the clinic. Ideally, the pet should lose 1.5-2% body weight per week. Any questions on selecting a diet plan for your pet, contact the Capitol Illini veterinary team.
With summer here, make sure your four-legged friend has plenty of clean, fresh water! Also, provide outdoor pets with plenty of cool shade.
Did you know??
Many hamsters only blink one eye at a time?
Cats have over 100 vocal sounds, while dogs only have about 10?
Ferrets are currently the third most popular pet? There is an estimated 8-10 million ferrets being kept as pets.
There are more than 350 different dog breeds worldwide?
Meet the Staff: Stephanie Patterson
Stephanie joined the Capitol Illini veterinary team in August 2013 as a veterinary assistant. Currently, Stephanie is a service member of the Illinois Army National Guard, which she first became in August 2012. This has given her a new outlook on her future. In Stephanie’s free time, she enjoys fishing, football, baseball, and spending time with family and friends. Stephanie also enjoys spending time with her cats Missy, Sas-sy, and Luna! In the future, Stephanie plans to pursue a career in the veterinary field and hopes to attend school to become a veterinary technician.