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Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital Blog



Hot Tip on Tick Bite Prevention

Spring and summer may be the time of most Lyme disease activity for ticks, but summer is the time when most humans are outside hiking and walking with their dogs. As such, we are concerned about ticks and Lyme disease as well as an ever expanding list of new tick-borne diseases for you and for your dogs.

The issue isn't that ticks carrying the bacterium which causes Lyme disease are as particularly pervasive as they are in New England and the upper Midwest. Yet we are concerned. Our concern stems from one simple fact: in the Bay Area there are pocket areas where rates are so high that every single day dogs will surely get infected.

Lucky for us, right here in our back yard is one of the foremost tick and Lyme disease experts, Dr. Robert S. Lane at UC Berkeley. Dr. Lane has spent decades studying medical entomology, parasitology and tick-borne diseases. Over time we've watched his research, and taken note of what he has to say, particularly his recommendation for using a small dose of Permethrin to prevent tick exposure while hiking.

Permethrin spray is old school for a pesticide chemical, composed of synthetic compounds made to mimic the pyrethrins that are isolated from chrysanthemum flowers. Its advantage is it's very short lived, and ticks hate it. Permethrin breaks down in soil and breaks down in sunlight. Of course, all pesticides are by their nature toxic in some way to some organisms, or they wouldn't be an effective pesticide; so the trick is repelling the ticks and keeping humans and dogs safe.

Urgent note of cat-caution however: high concentration of Permethrin can be fatal to cats. So, take appropriate care around felines and make sure they are not exposed to the spray. We have a new tick collar that has a cat-safe synthetic form of pyrethrin tested and approved for them. These are especially useful for cats and dogs if you live in a wooded area and have lots of ticks near your home. Otherwise, ticks are not such a big deal for cats as they are for dogs and for people who visit wooded areas.

The technique for using Permethrin spray is very inexpensive and simple. For people: What Dr. Lane's team does is put all the outer clothes and shoes and socks for the whole crew into a garbage bag the night before, and spray one spritz of permethrin into the bag opening. No need to saturate the clothes, a single spritz will spread to all the clothes overnight in a dark plastic bag. By the next day you can wear them and ticks will be repelled. As soon as they touch the clothes they dance the "hot-foot-dance" and drop off to the ground. For your dog: just put a light spray over the large fur surfaces and legs of your dog before the hike. Shield the eyes and hold the can not-too-close while sweeping quickly from front to back. Again minimum spray, 3-4 spitzes total. Dr. Lane says no-one has ever had a tick bite since they've used this method and they are in the woods looking for ticks!

With such a simple solution, there's no reason to avoid hiking with your dog. Get out there. Get that exercise. Go on a nature adventure. Just take the Permethrin precaution before heading out.

Beat Heartworm at its Peak

Summer is the peak season for heartworm. If you don't treat your dog or cat for heartworm every month as recommended, please at least do so this month and next month.

The Western Tree Hole Mosquito is an incredibly common pest mosquito and the most important carrier of heartworm. Three months after the peak season for Tree Hole Mosquitos is the peak season for spreading heartworm. In other words, that's now.
 
The risk increases in locations along creeks or near open space where coyotes roam. But even indoor pets are at risk. Why? Bay Area coyotes are highly infected with heartworm and serve as a reservoir host. The mature mosquito picks up heartworm from the coyote, and then seeks the indoors where it is easier for it to fly.
 
It's also easy for humans to forget prevention, mostly because they don't realize what's at stake. Heartworm is a parasitic roundworm that can infect your animal through the pulmonary artery that supplies the lungs, and the right side of the heart, congesting the area, slowing blood flow and compromising your animal’s health.
 
Typically, they will not show any symptoms of an early heartworm infection. If your dog develops an advanced case of heartworm, you may begin to see them coughing and suffering from exercise exhaustion, weight loss, fainting, coughing up blood, and, in the worst cases, congestive heart failure. If your cat develops heartworm, the symptoms are primarily respiratory in nature, coughing mostly. If your animal presents any of these symptoms, call us for an appointment immediately. Remember, we're now open until 11pm on weekdays.
 
The good news is that there is a treatment for canine heartworm. The bad news is that treatment is no guarantee—particularly with heartworm disease advanced enough to cause symptoms. The other bad news is there is no treatment available for feline heartworm. Therefore, the best and most affordable approach you can take to heartworm is preventing it altogether. We recommend a monthly year-round treatment purchased directly through your veterinarian.
 
We all get busy and forget the routine things sometimes. If this means you, or if doing it each month isn’t currently feasible, we recommend that you at least do it during heartworm’s highest risk months of the year (which is now). You may be reading this just in time to protect your beloved canine from a terrible infection.
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New Evening Hours!

You wanted weekend hours; you got it. Now, you want evening hours?  Guess what?  We are very pleased to announce that starting August 5th, we now offer new evening hours for your convenience.

Monday through Friday to 10 pm.
 
These new hours apply to regular veterinary appointments, urgent care, or for an emergency. 
 
There is one distinct difference between regular hours and evening hours. After 6pm, the entrance to use for the new evening hours is around the corner at 520 Santa Cruz Ave.
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We are still open the same weekend hours:
     Saturday 8am - 5pm
     Sunday 9am - 5pm
 
Only now, instead of closing at 6pm during the week, we are open until 10pm. It is our hope these new hours will make it easier than ever to give your furry family members the best care possible.
 
Call for your appointment today!
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Is your Pup a Pin-up?

Is your dog just the cutest? Calendar cute? Can you imagine a picture of your canine in a calendar?

 
We're teaming up with the American Cancer Society on the production of the Bark For Life calendar. Submissions are being accepted now for an 18-month calendar, which will cover July 2013 through December 2014.
 
Proceeds go to the American Cancer Society to help save lives and fight against cancer. All proceeds are tax deductible. What could be better than a great cause, a tax deduction, and a showcase of your canine as a calendar dog!
 
You'll want to hurry though. The deadline's coming up!  The cover is already sponsored. You can sponsor a calendar month for $200 (and you will receive 1 free calendar), or you can sponsor a calendar day for $20 (and you receive 1 calendar for half price). 
 
To submit a photo of your dog, you'll want to submit two photos of only the dog (alas, no humans). It's better if the dog can be looking up (looking down looks sad). Photos need to be 300dpi, which is high resolution, so a cellphone photo just won't cut it. After all, we want your dog to look fabulous!
 
DEADLINE: photos need to be paid for and photo files emailed by 5/5/13 (May 5).
 
Check (made to ACS) get snailmailed to:
    T. Barker, 155 Doherty Way, Redwood City, CA 94061
Photo/s get e-mailed to tbarker61@comcast.net. 
 
Questions:  415.238.3736
 
So, act soon, and thanks for your support!
 
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Are you "pet ready" for the next earthquake?

Learn what you need to know! Join us for an exciting half-day of information and training from veterinary professionals and emergency response experts, and even experience live demonstrations with search-and-rescue dogs to get you inspired and ready for the next earthquake as a pet owner. 

 
Adobe and Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospitals are teaming up to teach you what you need to know, with special appearances by Los Altos Hills County Fire District and FEMA Urban Search and Rescue to bring you the best information available so you know you are ready. 
 
"Pet Ready!" is Saturday, April 27, 1:00pm to 4:00pm, on the Foothill College Campus. Sponsored by Adobe and Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospitals, there is no cost to you to attend. 
 
So, come on down. Bring a friend or neighbor. Find out the differences between being prepared for humans and being prepared for pets (hint: some standard practices for people might actually harm pets). The Foothill College Student Chapter of the National Association of Veterinary Technicians in America (SCNAVTA) are hosting the event, including a rare public tour of the veterinary tech lab. The vet tech students will also show you proper bandaging techniques. 
 
RSVP not required, but the first 50 people who RSVP to <foothillscnavta@yahoo.com> will get free parking (otherwise, metered parking costs $3cash). For more information visit <http://www.midpen.com/petready>.
 
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