Sierra Veterinary Clinic: Pet Blog

Tips on caring for your pets from the Veterinarians and staff of Sierra Veterinary Clinic in Stockton, California.

The Importance of a Comprehensive Panel

The Importance of a Comprehensive Panel

Cooper's Story

My dog Cooper is 4 years old. In October I noticed a few things that were not normal for him. He was shedding a lot more hair and was waking me up more at night to go outside to use the facilities. When I brought him in, I spoke to Dr. Patterson and Dr. Yao about the issues he was having they suggested that we send out a comprehensive panel with urine just to make sure everything looked the way it is supposed to. The next day Dr. Yao sat me down and told me that Cooper was in stage 1 Kidney Disease. I was upset because there’s not much you can do but to slow down the progression of the Disease by changing his diet. I knew that this was going to be a challenge. Explaining it to my daughter was hard. She was no longer allowed to sneak Cooper snacks. I explained to her that there were still foods he could have like bananas, apples, green beans and carrots. We now make Cooper banana ice cream once and a while.

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Is your dog's dry nose a sign of illness?

Is your dog's dry nose a sign of illness?

Questions that come up regarding our pets is why is my dog's nose cold, hot, wet or dry? Is he or she sick?

Possible reasons for a wet nose may be due to humidity. Their noses can act as a barometer and adjusts according to how much fluid is in the environment. Another reason may be that they are sweating. Ways that dogs sweat is through their paws and their noses. When their noses are dry it can also be due to the dryness in the air. Again, like a barometer. If your pet is not feeling well a dry nose may be due to a fever or dehydration.

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Is your pet in pain?

Is your pet in pain?

We are all getting older, and that includes your pets. As pets and people age, those nagging aches and pains seem to get worse and worse. There are many factors which can contribute to joint pain in your pet, including lack of physical exercise, poor diet, weight control, and some medications. As we deal with this cold winter weather, joint pain which may normally be manageable can be magnified, to the point where it begins affecting your pet's daily life.

Symptoms of your pet's pain can be easy or difficult to identify. Obvious symptoms include lethargy, stiffness, limping, or reluctance to move. Other behaviors which indicate your much your pet might be suffering include aggressive or defensive reactions when touched, unusual barking for no reason, or uncharacteristic hiding.

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What is diabetes, and how does it harm my pet?

November is National Diabetes Month, and along with veterinarians across the nation, we're focusing on this disease that claims the lives of many thousands of pets every year.

Unfortunately Diabetes Mellitus (DM) is becoming more and more common among both dogs and cats. Left untreated, this condition is fatal. However with proper treatment and careful management, pets who suffer from this disease can continue to live normal, healthy lives.

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What you should know about Roundworms and Hookworms

If you have a pet, you may have heard of Roundworms and Hookworms. These are intestinal parasites that many pets are born with, and some contract after birth through contact with infected feces or other surfaces in parks, playgrounds, or even your backyard.

Both Hookworm and Roundworms are zoonotic parasites, meaning that they are easily passed from pets to humans, most often to children. Children seem to be more vulnerable than adults since they often play on the ground and sometimes place dirty objects into their mouths. The parasites are usually passed between species as eggs, which hatch into larvae and then begin to move throughout the body.

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Modern treatments in ear care are helping to speed healing and reduce the need for ear canal surgery

Ear infections are very common in dogs. Typical symptoms include but are not limited to head shaking, scratching, swelling or closure of the ear canal, discharge, odor, inflammation at the ear flap, and formation of a hematoma or fluid filling in between the two layers of the ear flap.

Many different things can trigger ear infections. Allergies are a common predisposing issue. The lining of the ear canal is just an extension of the skin. So anything that causes skin inflammation can result in an ear infection. Certain activities such as swimming can predispose a patient to ear maladies.

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Routine health exams are critical to pet wellness

Physical examinations are recommended at least annually for pets less than 7 years of age, and twice a year for seniors. We at Sierra Veterinary clinic want to play a central role in maximizing the quality and quantity of years for your cherished companions; and are pleased that you have chosen us as your pet care provider.

A through head to tail evaluation can help to identify issues early on, giving a better chance for a positive outcome. Factors such as diet, dental care, body condition, mobility, heart health, preventative care, and others are all essential facets of wellness for your canines and felines, and should be routinely discussed. Additional lab work may be recommended depending on your pet’s age or condition.

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Simple things to keep your pet healthy and happy in the New Year and for years to come

Keep current identification information on your pet. It can save his or her life. We routinely have lost dogs or cats brought into the clinic. Most of them do not have collars with current contact information or microchips. Visible identification is the easiest way for someone to return your pet if found. Microchips are magnificent because unlike collars, they don’t fall off. Please remember to update the information with the microchip company when you move.

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Keeping your pet at a healthy weight will help to extend his or her life

A healthy body condition is just as important for our companions as it is for us. Obesity in animals can lead to a multitude of health problems including heart disease, joint and bone maladies, diabetes, constipation, and others. January is healthy weight month at Sierra Veterinary Clinic. We have chosen this issue to help your pet start off right in 2014.

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Advances in Veterinary Medicine

As pets are becoming more and more a part of the family, veterinary medical advances are enabling the level of care to parallel and even in some cases surpass that of human medicine. This is driven by the human animal bond. Pet caregivers often have pictures of their cherished companions on their phones, are housing them indoors, and even welcoming them in their beds. It only makes sense that they would demand a higher level of care, and want their canines and felines to live as long as possible.

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Heartworm shouldn't be ignored

Autopsy of heart infected with heartworm

Canines and felines are now more at risk for Heartworm than ever before. The recent change in rainfall patterns has allowed mosquitoes to flourish in our area. On average Sierra Veterinary clinic diagnoses 6-7 cases of canine Heartworm per year. It is only May, and we have already identified this deadly disease in 5 dogs. In the past, many of the pets had traveled outside of California; now most of the patients are just local inhabitants. Please protect your cherished companions with routine preventatives.

Heart-worm is a deadly disease that is transmitted by mosquitoes. Even indoor pets can be exposed to mosquitoes, and it only takes one bite by an infected mosquito to create a problem.

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Dogs can benefit from using a treadmill

Exercise is important for dogs, just like it is in people. Increasing your canine’s activity level is not only a good way to maintain a healthy weight; but it can help to prevent joint and bone disease, improve heart health, and protect against diabetes. Treadmills also have the advantage that they can be used regardless of the weather, light, or time of day. This is also a great option for pet owners who are not physically able to walk their companions. Aquatic, or water filled tanks with a treadmill at the bottom are now more commonly used for physical therapy in patients that are recovering from bone or joint surgeries, as well as others who are covering from trauma.

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