Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Product Spotlight: Trifexis

There are a lot of products and medications available for your pets. How do you know what each one is for and if it is the right choice for your pet? The best way is to ask your veterinarian! We are also going to take a look at certain products and what the do and what possible side effects they may have. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make for your pet!

Today we are going to look at Trifexis!
Trifexis is a great option for dogs to help prevent common parasites (Image Source)

Trifexis is a tablet for dogs that helps prevent fleas and heartworms. It is recommended that this medication be given on the same day each month. Many dogs will find the taste appealing. Although it is beef flavored, it actually contains hydrolyzed soy as well as pork protein. This may help many dogs with specific food allergies. However, if your pet has known food allergies it is best to work with your veterinarian for a specific plan for you pet. Trifexis seems to be best tolerated when giving with a meal.
Trifexis has many jobs! (Image Source)

There are many benefits to Trifexis. One is that it has proven to work quickly against fleas. Many times within several hours of administration, you will start to see a large population of live fleas die off. Due to this fast action, adult fleas will be killed before they are able to lay eggs, which in turn helps decrease the population in your pet's environment. It is also very effective against preventing heartworm infestations. It is recommended that all pets be heartworm tested negative prior to starting heartworm preventatives and the American Heartworm Society recommends once yearly testing for all pets. You can find out more about the American Heartworm Society here. Another benefit of Trifexis is that it helps treat and control hookworms, roundworms and whipworms. These are some of the most common intestinal parasites we see in our pets.
These little tablets pack a big punch against common parasites! (Image Source)

As with many medications, there are some side effects to be aware of prior to giving this to your pet. The most common side effects including vomiting and diarrhea. If given with a full meal, it tends to decrease the likelihood of this happening.  Some pets may also exhibit lethargy (sleepiness) or itching on the skin. Anytime you are administering a new product to your pet, it is a good idea to monitor them for several hours afterwards. If you have any concerns please contact your veterinarian. For full review of safety and possible side effects you can visit the Trifexis website here.
Trifexis can come in many sizes, so you have the right fit for your dog! (Image Source)

Overall Trifexis is a great option for many pets. It can help prevent and treat some of the most pesky and serious parasites we see in practice. If you have any further questions be sure to contact your veterinarian. No matter what product you use make sure your pet is on year round flea and heartworm preventatives!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Disease Focus: Heartworm disease

It’s that time of year again.  The sun is shining, the flowers are blooming, and it means that mosquitos are going to start breeding and emerging as well.  Mid to late March is the time where veterinarians urge pet owners to get back into the routine of monthly heartworm prevention prior to the onset of mosquito season.  (We really recommend year round prevention).  I am surprised by how many clients are unaware of the true risk of heartworm disease, or the importance of monthly heartworm prevention given consistently.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a worm, an actual worm, that your pet can get from a mosquito bite.  When an infected mosquito bites your pet, it can inject baby heartworms, called microfilariae, into your pet’s blood stream with that bite.  These microfilariae go through several stages of maturation, and end up in the vessels of the heart and lungs as adult heartworms.  Heartworms don’t just stay put once they get there, and can cause a lot of damage migrating around your pet’s lungs.  As the amount of worms living in there gets larger and larger, they cause problems with blood flow.  Heartworm disease can cause lung damage and can ultimately lead to heart failure as well.

How does heartworm prevention work?

Regardless of what monthly heartworm prevention your pet is on, the heartworm prevention is meant to kill the microfilariae that your pet may have picked up by mosquito bites over the past month.  The medication does not stay in your pet’s system for a month, and can ONLY kill the “baby” stage of the worm, which is why the “monthly” timing is so crucial.

If you have missed a dose of heartworm prevention, but then resume it after that missed dose, your pet can STILL get heartworm disease, because that worm will mature past a stage the medication can kill, and keep maturing.  This is why your veterinarian will recommend yearly heartworm testing, even if your pet takes preventatives.

If you pet gets a heartworm, it can take six months before the test will show a positive result, because the heartworm testing can only detect adult heartworms.  So sometimes you can have a negative heartworm test one year, start prevention, and have a positive result the next year.

My pet stays inside, can he still get heartworms?

Indoor pets, and mostly indoor pets are still at risk.  We have all gotten mosquito bites while sleeping because a mosquito slipped inside.  Obviously the exposure to mosquitoes is reduced, but the potential is still there.  If you have chosen not to use heartworm prevention on your mostly indoor dog, a yearly heartworm test is even more crucial to try and catch any disease as early as possible.  Cats, indoor and outdoor, are also at risk, and are recommended to be on heartworm prevention.

What if my pet becomes infected with heartworms?

Pets that contract heartworms can be treated, but heartworms are really bad.  They can cause a lot of damage to your pet’s organs, and they are hard to kill.  Worse, is that the treatment is risky, and very costly, where the preventatives are not.  Your pet will need to go on a series of medications, and injections, and may require a few hospital stays in order to clear the disease.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Product Focus: Nexgard

There are a lot of products and medications available for your pets. How do you know what each one is for and if it is the right choice for your pet? The best way is to ask your veterinarian! We are also going to take a look at certain products and what the do and what possible side effects they may have. The more information you have, the better decisions you can make for your pet!

Nexgard is a monthly chewable that helps prevent fleas and ticks on your dog! (Image Source)

Today we are going to look at Nexgard!

As the weather is starting to warm up (we think!) it is time to starting thinking about flea prevention for your pet for the year. Nexgard is a wonderful new product that can help protect your pet from fleas and ticks.

Avoid fleas with this great (and delicious) monthly preventative (Image Source)

One of the most appealing aspects of this product, is that it takes the form of a delicious beef chew. Most pets think it is a treat and don't even notice they are getting medication. This makes remembering monthly flea prevention very easy. The company that manufactures this medication also makes Heartgard, so they two can be used together to have your dog fully covered for fleas, ticks AND heartworms. (Please note that it takes TWO separate products to cover all THREE of these preventatives. As of right now there is not a chewable product available that will prevent fleas, heartworms and ticks). Another great thing about Nexgard is you can give a bath anytime after (or before) administration. With topical medications, many times you need to coordinate the bathing schedule with the administration of the medication, however with Nexgard this is not an issue!

Most dogs love the taste, which makes giving it very easy! (Image Source)

While Nexgard is usually very well tolerated, as with any medication, there are a few side effects to watch out for. The most common includes vomiting or upset stomach. Nexgard does not have to be given with a meal, but sometimes giving the chewable after a meal will help prevent your pet from vomiting if they have a sensitive stomach. Several pets also seem to become a little sleepy after the medication is administered. This is usually temporary and they will be back to normal by the next day. Any time you are using a new product, it is always a good idea to observe your pet and let your veterinarian know right away if you have any concerns. For more information on the safety of Nexgard, you can visit the following website, here.

Who wouldn't want a delicious way to prevent fleas and ticks? (Image Source)

Nexgard (along with the Heartgard combination) has really made monthly flea prevention much easier. It is much more fun to give your pet something they enjoy eating and that will help protect them from pesky parasites. If you have any questions regarding this product, you can always talk to your veterinarian or visit the manufacturer's website here.