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Warren Animal Hospital
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Make those pesky fleas flee – with effective and safe monthly products for all pets in your household, otherwise you just might find yourself losing a battle with those bloodthirsty, itchy, disease carrying pests! If your pet has a common skin condition known as flea allergy dermatitis, just a few bites from 1 or 2 fleas (which you may never see) can make your pet miserable with hairloss, itching, red skin, crusts, scabs and flakey skin that easily gets infected. Problems may start over the rump, the back and insides of the rear legs, but soon spread everywhere. If you are not diligent and declare all out war against fleas, treating each part of their life cycle, then you and your pet will lose. : ( Although adult fleas spend their entire lives on their “host”, the majority of the immature flea life cycle is in the environment. The flea life cycle is like a pyramid – there are many more (insecticide resistant) eggs than there are larva, and more larva than there are (all product resistant) pupa, and more pupa than there are adult fleas. It is absolutely necessary to effectively treat the environment – the entire house and a safe zone outside the house in the yard. For the house, a product containing an insect growth regulator (IGR) is necessary to keep those numerous flea eggs from hatching and completing their life cycle. We recommend at least 2 treatments applied 5- 8 weeks apart because no product will eliminate the protected pre-adult pupa phase and when they mature into new adult fleas – the new eggs they lay will also need to be treated to stop the life cycle from being completed. Many products are available for application on your pet – always strictly follow label instructions. We find that the name brand products last longer and work better than their generic counterparts because even if the active ingredient is the same, the carrier which allows the product to last a full month is different. Several combination products are available for both heartworm and flea control – our favorites are Trifexis and Revolution, but alas, no product provides flea, tick and heartworm prevention in one dose. Flea and tick combination products such as Nexgard and Bravecto are effective and would require a separate heartworm preventative such as Heartgard or Interceptor. Contact us if your pets need flea prevention and control. 
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Ticks – those creepy, crawly, itchy, blood-sucking arachnids that cause discomfort and spread pestilence and disease to your precious pets! Although they can be found all year round – some species are actually more active in the fall and winter- many species have a “population explosion” in the spring and summer and as they are often indiscriminate feeders will happily feast each of their hungry life stages on any passing animal (or human). Long grass, wooded areas, and dog parks are ticks’ favorite camping grounds, but even a nice backyard can play unwilling host to these parasites. Unlike fleas, ticks abandon their host after filling up on a rich, warm blood meal, so you may not even notice a tick bite. Some individuals are allergic to the tick’s saliva and may develop a swollen, red or ulcerated lesion at the area of previous tick attachment. Ticks can carry multiple, serious diseases such as Lyme disease, Ehrlichia, Babesia, Anaplasma, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Bartonella, etc., etc. Brush and check your pet daily to remove any “hitch hikers” as soon as possible. Ticks can attach anywhere on the body but favorite hiding places in dogs tend to be between the toes, behind the ears or in the ear folds, face, neck, armpits and groin. For cats, also check the face, neck, ears and rears. Several safe and effective products are available for tick control. While we do not like insecticide collars and many are ineffective – while still being a harsh chemical around the pet’s neck and head - the newer Seresto collar is safe and very effective. The chewables Nexgard and Bravecto are also excellent options. Some topical products like Frontline Plus and Advantix (dog only) are also effective. Some newer topicals are now available for cats as well. While many generic products are also available, they may not give the same results as the name brand because not only is the active ingredient important, but also very important is the carrier that is used to make the product last a full month and still be safe for your pet. * NEVER use a dog only medication on a cat!* Animal poison control receives numerous calls every year about cats that were sickened or poisoned from well intentioned, but misguided owners that have attempted to apply “just a small amount” of a dog only product on a cat. Be sure to read, understand, and follow all label instructions. Always be sure that you inform your veterinarian of all products you are using on your pets (and when you last used them) at each visit to avoid possible interactions and get the best results. We will be happy to recommend the best options for your pets’ health at their next appointment. Hope you all stay tick free!
Dr. Matha Warren

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5/18/17
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April Showers Bring May …..Parasites!!
Although parasites here in Tennessee are an all year long problem, their numbers greatly increase along with the warmer weather. Increased outdoor activities are fun and good for your pet’s health, but can increase exposure to external and internal parasites. Dog parks and areas where a lot of different pets congregate are especially prone to parasite contamination. Areas of standing water (including puddles) can be a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Mosquitoes incubate and transmit heartworms from dog to dog. If unprotected, your dog can develop heartworm disease due to these large, long worms that actually live in your dog’s heart and cause damage to the heart, blood vessels and lungs of your pet and will eventually lead to congestive heart failure and death if untreated. To be fully protected, your dog needs to be on an effective monthly heartworm prevention medication all year long. External parasites such as fleas, ticks and mites can cause itching and irritating skin (and ear) problems and some parasites can carry serious diseases! Have fun outdoors, but be extra vigilant in grooming your pet and keeping them protected with safe, effective medications. Always follow label directions and do not mix different products without a veterinarian’s advice. Never use a product on a cat that is not labeled specifically for cats and closely follow all age, weight, health etc. recommendations on the label. We have safe, effective prescription products for your pet at our online store and at our hospital. We will be happy to provide your pet with a specific recommendation for their health and wellness care. [ More information to follow on different parasites later.]
Dr. Warren

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Which chicken laid the fancy decorated egg for Easter? Wishing you and your pets a Happy Easter! Remember to keep all tasty chocolate goodies far out of reach of curious (and hungry) pets. Perhaps a pet treat filled toy search and fetch would be fun instead of an Easter egg hunt. Have a Happy Easter!
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Our 2017 Dog Rabies Clinic will be next week April 17- April 22.
Hours will be:
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 8:30-12:00 Noon and 2:00-5:30
Tuesday and Saturday 8:30- 12:00 Noon
Please have all dogs on a short (NOT Retractable!) leash or in a pet carrier.
Cost will be $15.00 Cash only.
Sorry, but since we have made a commitment to only use purevax, adjuvant free vaccinations for cats (which are more costly) we are not able to offer this special price for cats. Please bring your cats on a different week for their safety and mental health. : )

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By nature cats are athletic creatures that are especially designed for the hunt. However, in lieu of real prey or your furniture, your kitty can act on her inner predator in a safe and healthy manner through the use of toys. Luckily, cats are masters at entertaining themselves, so even the simplest of objects can engage them for a significant duration of time. Ping-pong balls and small cardboard boxes can entertain a feline for hours. Although, you must be careful when giving your cat objects to play with and avoid/remove any ribbons, feathers, string, tinsel, plastic beads, or other small pieces your feline could chew off and swallow. Another simple suggestion for cat toys are paper bags (remove any handles, so the kitty will not get caught and do not use plastic bags which they can chew); they are great for pouncing and interactive play. Much like a small child, your cat may become bored with his/her toys. So, it is important to rotate toys out occasionally and keep their play selection "fresh". Similarly, a variety of toys with different uses is important- one to carry, one to wrestle, one to cuddle, one to pounce, one to chase, etc. Finally, many of your toys should be interactive and involve a lot of "people time" to strengthen you and your cat's bond. More information to come.
Marlo
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June is adopt a shelter cat month.
Cats and kittens needing new homes are in abundance, but be prepared for the responsibilities and duties of becoming a cat owner in addition to the joy and love a new addition will add to your family. If you already are a cat owner, be sure to enforce a 2 week quarantine for your new pet before allowing physical contact with the new pet to allow any recently exposed, incubating diseases to become evident (and treated) before exposing your current pet to the new addition. Despite best attempts at shelters and first vaccinations being given, it is very common for shelter kitties to come down with a highly contagious upper respiratory infection that will need treatment. Usually infected kitties will have runny eyes and/or noses and some sneezing. Protect your resident cat from these symptoms! Keep separate eating, drinking and litterbox areas. A veterinary health check will be needed and vaccination protocol set for your new kitten; checking for external parasites and internal parasites is needed also. At home, use your pet carrier as a food station; tie the door open so it won’t accidentally close on your pet and place food and water in the front corner initially, then every week move it further back until it is in the back corner. Keep a towel in the carrier for comfort. This makes the carrier a good and safe place, so in event of travel, emergency, or veterinary trips, there is no stress getting your cat into their carrier. When things are a little hectic at home or company is too rowdy, your pet may decide to put themselves in their crate for a little secure “me” time. When traveling, keep the pet carrier on the floor or level surface. If you must secure the carrier on the seat, fold a large towel in a wedge shape and place underneath the carrier to keep it level and secure. This makes your pet more comfortable and secure. More tips to come later.
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Warmer weather and allergies go together.  Itchy pet?  Could be parasites like fleas or ticks or seasonal allergies. Strict monthly parasite control is essential.  We like the new chewables like Nexgard or Bravecto if your pet needs tick protection.  Several heartworm preventatives also provide flea protection.   Bathing your pet weekly in a hypoallergenic moisturizing shampoo helps remove allergens and soothe the skin, almost like hitting the “reset” button for the skin. We like DermAllay Shampoo for routine bathing.   Wiping feet (between toes as well), chest and belly daily after being outside can remove pollen and make your pet more comfortable.  Use a cool, damp, disposable paper towel to avoid yeast proliferation that will occur in a reused washcloth.  Prescription allergy medications are available to ease your pets itching –schedule an appointment if your pet needs the extra help of prescription medicine or is constantly scratching.  Happy Trails!
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Spring Forward and move those clocks ahead 1 hour to enjoy the beautiful spring-like weather with trees and flowers budding and blooming.  Time for longer walks with your furry friend, shake off those cold weather doldrums and get moving!  Pace yourself if you have been a little lax in the colder months with the outdoor exercise; start with short distances, then gradually increase as your pet (and you) gain strength and endurance.  Harnesses and gentle leaders (head halters) are great for walking your pet and give you more control while protecting your pet’s airway.  Just remember that trees and flowers are not the only things awakening and  make sure your pet is protected from emerging parasites – intestinal parasites (from microscopic eggs that hatch and the motile larva wash in the rain to expose your pet on their daily jaunts), mosquitoes that carry heartworm larva, and fleas and ticks just to name a few.  For pets that are escape artists and especially for cats that can’t wear or  will escape their collar, consider a microchip for permanent identification – sometimes “Spring Fever” may suddenly erupt in your normally laid back cat or dog and they may escape out the open door (while your hands are full of groceries or other bags of course).  Permanent identification can help to reunite escaped pets with their owners.  Play time is great, but nothing compares to a daily walk with your furry friends for peace of mind and body!
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2016-03-12
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Brrrr….. it’s cold out there!!  Bundle up to keep both you and your pet warm!  Consider protective foot covers for your pet – we have  “Power Paws” - socks with grip material on the bottom that can be Scotchgard treated for light outdoor use (no puddles please), and many companies have pet boots, etc.  Make sure all footwear and pet coats, etc. fit well and do not rub or bind.  If your pet’s feet are not protected, make sure to wipe their paws after being outside and remove any ice or ice melt chemicals from feet.  If at all possible go outside with your pet (protect yourself with appropriate winter gear – gloves, scarf, hat, coat, etc.)  and bring them back inside as soon as they have finished exploring and  eliminating – don’t turn them outside and get distracted – it’s too cold for inside pets to be outside for long.  Make sure outdoor pets are in excellent physical condition with plenty of shelter and refill water bowls frequently as they will freeze. Outdoor dogs that are in declining physical condition due to age or disease need to be protected from freezing temperatures indoors.  Keep pets supervised and away from active fireplaces and lit candles- singed whiskers, singed fur,  burned footpads or a house fire are not on anybody’s wish list.  Space heaters and electric cords can also be a fire hazard if curious pets or chewing puppies get too close.  Snuggle on the couch with your favorite blanket and cuddly furry companion for some winter warming and cozy companionship – just don’t share the hot cocoa!  Stay safe and warm. 
Call ahead for clinic hours in case of inclement weather.
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