Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
Click here for our web site!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Leptospirosis and Pets

Leptospirosis and Pets
By Dr. Ian Kupkee

As South Florida temperatures begin to rise, the veterinary community is likely to see an uptick in cases of Leptospirosis. Leptospirosis is caused by a bacteria which is spread through the urine of wild mammals. Although rats are the most common carriers, it is also spread by opossums, mice, skunks, squirrels, and raccoons. While cats are capable of contracting Leptospirosis, feline cases of the disease are extremely rare. Dogs, on the other hand, are always keen to explore the scents associated with wild animals. This common practice of “checking pee-mail” is often how our pets come into contact with this potentially deadly pathogen.

While Leptospirosis is found all over the United States, the bacteria thrives in warm, subtropical climates. It can survive for long periods of time in standing water, including pet bowls that are left outdoors. Humans are also at risk; Florida reported four human cases of Leptospirosis in 2015, one of which was here in Miami-Dade County. Left untreated, Leptospirosis attacks the liver, kidneys, and lungs. It is nearly always fatal. Thankfully, there is a canine vaccine to protect our pets from this nasty bug. It is often included in the Distemper combination vaccine, and has a one-year duration of immunity. If you are unsure as to whether or not your dog is protected, call your vet and find out if their vaccines are up to date. Your veterinary team can advise you on how to best defend your pet from this increasingly common, and deadly infectious disease.
Raccoons are some of the most common carriers of Leptospirosis

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Meet Weezer, our April Pet of the Month!

This April, our Pet of the Month is Weezer! Weezer is a two-year-old dachshund mix who was adopted from Miami Dade Animal Services. He may be small, but this guy fought a battle with Canine Distemper and won! He was also recently featured on CBS 4, during a segment on the current rabies alert in East Kendall. He was due for his rabies vaccine, and once again, he was very brave! Click here to check out the segment.

Despite his celebrity status, Weezer still loves hanging out at Wood Tavern in trendy Wynwood with his dad. While he was perfectly happy to stop by for a photo shoot, he had no time to sign "paw"-tographs. After all, it's Happy Hour somewhere!

Congratulations, Weezer, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet of the Month!

"Can we speed this up? My fans are waiting at Wynwood!"

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Community Cats

Community Cats

Many South Floridians share their lives with so-called community cats. Such cats are not members of any one particular household, but roam outdoors, sticking to familiar neighborhoods and feeding stations. They vary in temperament from truly feral cats who live like wild animals, to friendly strays who were likely abandoned by their owners. While many of us do not mind providing food and water for these special souls, there are a few essentials to keep in mind.

Cats can begin reproducing as early as five months of age. They often become pregnant with their next litter while still nursing a current litter! It is therefore crucial to make sure all community cats are spayed or neutered. Miami-Dade Animal Services performs these procedures free of charge, so schedule the surgery before your visitor becomes a village!  If you share your home with indoor cats, place the community cat’s food and water bowls as far away from the house as possible. Your indoor kitty may perceive the newcomer as a threat, and resort to undesirable behaviors such as urinating outside the litter box to mark his or her territory. While community cats are happy to create their own outdoor restrooms, many will use a litter box. Not all of our neighbors appreciate community cats, especially if their yards are routinely fouled by our feline friends. This simple addition can go a long way towards keeping the peace, and ensuring community cats have as little negative impact as possible.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay Free Images

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Meet Rex, Our March Pet Of The Month!

World, meet Rex, our March Pet Of The Month!

Rex is a Yellow Lab who will be six years old on the 28th.  When he's not swimming, cuddling, and playing with his two-legged big brother, Rex can be found sitting upright on the sofa. That's the cue for his household humans to stop what they are doing, and bring on the belly rubs! With his birthday coming up, chances are he'll be getting lots and lots of them.

Congratulations, Rex, and Happy Birthday in advance. Be sure to share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!

Was Rex the cutest puppy ever or what?!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

February is Pet Dental Health Month!

Every so often, a client will express a degree of surprise when I recommend routine dental cleanings, and home dental care for their pets. Folks my age, give or take a decade, were taught from a young age that while “doggie breath” was unpleasant, it was normal. Many of us (including me!)  were even told “a dog’s mouth is cleaner than a human’s.”  While much of the folklore with which we grew up has withstood the tests of both time and science, we now know that dental disease is a genuine threat to the overall health of our pets.  The good news, however, is that it’s easily preventable.

Like their human counterparts, dogs and cats should receive regular, professional dental cleanings. The frequency of these cleanings will vary depending the pet’s species, breed, diet, and certain genetic factors. Home dental care can reduce the buildup of tartar and dental plaque, and decrease the number of professional cleanings needed.  Untreated dental disease can lead to cardiac problems, kidney failure, and systemic infections.  Ask your veterinarian what his or her recommendations may be for for keeping Fluffy’s teeth healthy and strong. Like many other aspects of pet health care, an ounce of dental disease prevention is often worth a pound of cure.

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Meet Lucy, Our February Pet Of The Month!

World, meet Lucy, an eight-year-old sweetheart who's the object of her family's affection. When she's not wrapping her people around her proverbial little finger, Lucy enjoys sunshine, luxurious baths, and of course, posing for fabulous photos.

Congratulations, Lucy, and share with all your friends - you're our Pet Of The Month!

This gal *knows* she's a star!

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Surviving Your Puppy's Adolescence

Surviving Your Puppy's Adolescence

It’s no secret that raising a puppy requires copious amounts of both time and patience.  Chewing, crying, destructiveness, demands for attention, and potty-training mishaps are all just par for the course.  But they’re sooooo cute! And the difficult phase only lasts few months, right? Wrong. Once your new edition is finished being a puppy, he enters a new, and often far more maddening phase of development: adolescence. Starting anywhere between nine and twelve months of age, that sweet little puppy will become - gasp! - a teenager.

Like human teenagers, adolescent dogs may test the resolve of their superiors. They often revert to the types of behaviors we thought they had long outgrown.  Like the rebellious, back-talking teen-aged child, teen-aged puppies often leave us scratching our heads, wondering where we went wrong. Obnoxious puppy behaviors such as play biting and jumping on guests may return with a vengeance. This is when behaviors such as growling, food guarding, and blatant disobedience of commands tend to appear seemingly out of nowhere. It is also when dogs are most commonly surrendered to shelters. Unaware of the existence of this challenging phase, many people assume they have either failed as dog owners, or are stuck with a “bad dog.”  These scenarios are rarely the case. The solution to the Terrible Teens is a combination of consistency, patience, and preparation. Do your research on canine adolescence as soon as you bring your puppy home. As with most other situations, you’ll be happy to have a plan when you need one.
Zohan at 14 months. He swears he wasn't eating the Halloween pumpkin, but note the debris field on the floor near his tail...