Sabal Chase Animal Clinic

Sabal Chase Animal Clinic
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Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Why Does My Dog Need a Heartworm Test?

Every year, compliant dog owners bring their dogs in for a check-up, and are informed that they need a heartworm test.  Understandably, this is especially confusing for pet parents who religiously give the medication every month.  If they know their pet has been taking the prevention, why must they take the test? It’s a good question to which there are two answers.

The first reason is that, quite simply, it’s the law.  Veterinarians in the state of Florida must perform this test every 12 months in order to legally dispense the medication.  The spirit of the law is to protect your pet’s health.  If heartworm prevention is given to a dog that has already contracted the disease, it is possible for the dog to become dangerously ill.

The second reason is that no preventatives are 100% effective, even when they are given properly.  Pharmaceutical companies know this, and as a result, provide their consumers with a guarantee that acts as a goodwill gesture.  If a pet owner is giving the medication properly and consistently, and the product fails to protect your pet against heartworm disease or intestinal parasites, the pharmaceutical company will pay for your pet’s treatment!  The guarantee is only valid, however, if there is a solid purchase history and a previously negative heartworm test on file.  Since heartworm treatment is risky, and the cost can easily exceed $1000, it is in the consumer’s best interest to do the test.  Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, so here in South Florida, our pets are at risk all year round.  It is therefore very important to remember to stay compliant with this basic, yet vital component of care.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Back to School

Does Your Pet Have the Back-to-School Blues?

Summer is a time when many families decide to bring home a new pet.  When children are home from school, and routines are more relaxed, more time can be spent helping the new pet adjust, and teaching children about the responsibilities of pet ownership.  When the school year starts, and routines change drastically, the pet can easily become confused or develop separation anxiety.  This is especially true of pets who were brought home as puppies or kittens, and are now entering adolescence.

If you suspect your pets have the back-to-school blues, be sure to include them in the morning routine.  Feed them one of their main meals at this time, as they are more likely to sleep throughout the day if their belly is full.  Designate a special toy that is only given to them by the children, and only as the children are leaving for the day.  Look for toys marketed as food  puzzles or brain teasers that will allow your pet to entertain himself.  A “cat sitter” DVD with images of birds and squirrels can keep a bored kitty entertained for hours.  Allow both pets and children to play together and blow off steam as soon as the kids get home.  When it’s time for homework, encourage the pet to sit quietly near the children as they study.  Making the afternoon routine predictable and fun will give your pets something to look forward to, and make it easier for them to cope with being alone throughout the day.

Eros is not impressed with homework! 

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

September Pet of the Month

Johnnie is an eight year old neutered male kitty who just might be one of the coolest cats around!  Whether he’s relaxing at home with his mom, or or getting a check-up here at Sabal Chase, nothing seems to faze this fabulous feline.  Not to mention, he’s awfully darn cute!  Congratulations, Johnnie, and share with your friends - you’re our pet of the month!