(PHOENIX) — As cases of the highly contagious, often fatal distemper disease surface throughout the Valley, the Arizona Humane Society is issuing a community wide health alert to pet owners within Arizona. While increased occurrences of distemper typically arise in the spring due to an increase in the number of litters of puppies, signs of the disease are appearing much earlier as cases have recently emerged as far away as Florida, Ohio and Georgia. There is also evidence to suggest that two new strains of distemper indigenous to Europe have made their way to the U.S. and while the typical incubation period for distemper is one to two weeks the new strains may have even longer incubation periods. In addition, distemper was once thought of as a disease that primarily affected puppies who have not had all of their "puppy" shots; however, there is evidence of older pets with unconfirmed vaccination histories becoming infected with the distemper virus. This extremely contagious whole body viral disease is shed in bodily secretions of infected animals and spread via inhalation. Once inhaled, the virus moves to the lymph nodes where it begins reproducing. The virus then spreads to the blood and the cell lining of the respiratory, gastrointestinal, urogenital and central nervous system of infected animals. Symptoms vary from dog to dog, but often include: discharge from eyes/nose, coughing, lethargy, lack of appetite, callusing of nose/foot pads, vomiting, diarrhea and seizures. While AHS vaccinates all animals upon intake into its shelter, it is imperative that the community is diligent and does the same by updating their pet's vaccinations as directed by their veterinarian. Distemper, just as the equally fatal parvovirus, is a community problem. Therefore, people must be very careful when taking their pets to communal areas such as dog parks or other public areas with unknown dogs. In addition, unvaccinated dogs are at high risk for contracting the disease. Currently, there is no specific treatment or cure for the distemper virus. For dogs suspected of having distemper, it is imperative that they be checked by a vet immediately and isolated from other dogs within the home. In the event your pet is diagnosed with the distemper virus a thorough cleaning of your home with disinfectant is necessary. AHS is taking every precautionary measure available to ensure the health of the animals in our care and in our community. In addition, AHS is working closely with our vaccination representatives as new information becomes available while also working in conjunction with Oklahoma State University regarding a research study so we can gain more information on the deadly virus.
We understand your pet holds a valued place in your life and your heart, so we have made it our goal to respect and honor that special bond by providing the best possible care for your pet. As part of that goal, we have chosen to be accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) and have our hospital measured against the most rigorous published standards in the veterinary industry.
Our hospital has been successfully evaluated by an AAHA practice consultant on approximately 900 standards that directly correlate to the care we are providing your pet. The standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure they remain consistent with changes in veterinary medicine and technology.
We are very proud of our doctors and staff for continuing to practice such high standards of care, and passing the AAHA accreditation with such high scores.
For more information about pet health care or AAHA accreditation, please visit www.healthypet.com.
Is your dog exposed to other dogs at the groomer, boarding facility, dog park, or any place dogs gather? If you answer yes to any of these, your dog may be at risk for canine influenza infection.
influenza spreads the same way that human flu spreads - through direct contact (kissing, licking, nuzzling); through the air (coughing, sneezing); and by contact with contaminated surfaces.
There is a new vaccine to help protect your dog from this virus. Please go to our petcare links for more information on this disease and the vaccine which we now have available, or go directly to www.doginfluenza.com.
Does your pet take Phenobarbital, Torbutrol or Bupernex? These are just some examples of controlled drugs.
As of October 1st, 2009, The Arizona Board of Pharmacy now requires us to obtain the following information from you, to report to them, before we can dispense these medications: your full name, address, phone number, gender, and date of birth. If you have a written prescription to take to the pharmacy they will require the same information. We have a form in our office we will have you fill out next time you pick up a refill of these special medications, or if the doctor dispenses any of these to you at an office visit. Please feel free to call us with any questions.
We now have a doctor available over the lunch hours from 12 noon to 2pm. Please call or e-mail us to schedule an appointment.
Xylitol (artificial sugar) is a sweetener used in many products including mouthwash, chewing gum, toothpaste, and various foods. Because it is toxic to pets, products containing xylitol should not be given to your dog or cat. For more information on items that can be poisonous, click the Pet Care Button on the left, and go to Vet Talk.
With all the foreclosures in our area we are seeing more green pools, which results in more mosquitoes. It just takes one bite from one infected mosquito to pass on heartworm to your dog.
Canine heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae (juvenile worms) of a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. As a mosquito feeds, these microscopic larvae are deposited on the dog and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the dog''s bloodstream. Adult heartworms can grow 10 to 12 inches in length and make their home in the right side of the heart and pulmonary (lung) arteries, often causing lung disease and heart failure.
Heartworm preventatives are effective when given properly and on a timely schedule. All approved heartworm preventatives are highly effective, safe, easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and often provide treatment for additional parasites. Prevention is always more safe and affordable then treating dogs with adult heartworm disease. It is important to test your dog for heartworm before starting preventative.
Please call us to schedule an appointment to check your dog for heartworms and get them started on heartworm preventative.
Motion sickness is a stressful condition that affects 1 out of every 6 dogs. It can prevent your whole family from taking a trip together, causing you to miss out on a great bonding experience. If you do leave your dog behind, it can be difficult to find someone you trust to care for him or her.
Now there is a new medication, "Cerenia". It is the first and only FDA-approved medication to prevent vomiting due to motion sickness in dogs. It is a non-drowsy medication, so even after a long car ride, your dog will be ready for fun! The best thing is Cereneia works! In a study of dogs suffering from motion sickness, Cerenia prevented vomiting in up to 93% of cases.
So, if you have a trip planned and want to take your dog, call us for more information.
Recently, Hill''s Pet Nutrition Inc. awarded first place honors to Gilbert Veterinary Hospital for the 2008 Pet Dental Health Contest. The grand prize was awarded to the hospital who uses innovative ideas to educate clients on the importance of dental health care for their pets, and who, as a team, strongly believe in the value of good oral health. So many parts of the body are affected by infection and disease in the mouth, and the Doctors and staff at Gilbert Veterinary Hospital strive to provide the best dental care to their patients. (For more on this story you can go to www.petdental.com)
Home delivery is now available. You can have your Hill''s dog and cat food delivered. Same great food, same great price with only a nominal delivery charge. You just click the blue button on the left, fill out the order form, and your food will come straight to your door. You can request automatic deliveries so you never run out of food. Please call our office if you have any questions. We are excited to be able to offer this service.
Gilbert Veterinary Hospital is proud to announce the recent award given to Kimberly Endres. She has won "Veterinary Technician of the Year" from the Arizona Veterinary Medical Association. Kimberly has worked in the veterinary field for the past 12 years and has been a technician at Gilbert Vet since 1999. Kimberly is a dedicated, caring technician whose attention to detail makes her invaluable. Kimberly was nominated and won this prestigious award in recognition of her dedication, compassion, and excellent medical and surgical skills. She is a true champion for animals and with her can-do attitude, she is a fine example of what a certified veterinary technician should be.
Kimberly is Gilbert Veterinary Hospital''s second "Tech of the Year". Jennifer (Cannon) Rose also won this award in 2003. Gilbert Vet is very proud to have 2 dedicated, skilled, recognized technicians.
Not only do we have wonderful techs, Dr Beverly Scott, the owner of Gilbert Veterinary Hospital, also won "Veterinarian of the Year" in 2004. The doctors and staff are outstanding!