Posts Tagged ‘eagle pack’

Time for Your Pet’s Check-Up

Tuesday, August 8th, 2017

When did your pet get his last wellness check? It may have been a while; it’s easy to let well-vet visits and annual check-ups get lost in the daily shuffle when your pet is happy and healthy. Though your pet seems healthy, it is important to attend to routine vaccinations and check-ups. August is National Immunization Awareness Month, so as you get your own health in check, take time to swing by the vet; this will ensure you and your pet have a healthy year.

Why Are Annual Vaccines Necessary?

Vaccines are used in human and pet medicine to strengthen a patient’s immune system against dangerous and deadly diseases. In recent years, you may have noticed the number of vaccines your pet needs have increased. The reason is that as veterinary medicine advances, so do the variety of vaccinations that are available to immunize your pet against disease. In other words, if there was a vaccine to immunize against heart worms, wouldn’t you want it?

As for whether or not vaccinations are necessary on a schedule is dependent upon the pet. The recommendation is to update most immunizations annually as the longer a pet goes without a vaccine, the weaker his immune system becomes (some immunizations are needed every few years). Though getting increasingly more vaccines year-after-year seems costly, two consequences of not getting vaccines that are more costly are: your pet becoming seriously ill or losing your pet (in which case, the costs are emotional).

What Vaccines or Boosters do Pets Regularly Need to Get?

Though there are many vaccines available, there are only a handful of core vaccinations. These are considered to have high efficiency.  Vaccines include:

  • Distemper: Canine distemper is a severe, airborne virus that can cause permanent brain damage in dogs as well as other problems. Feline distemper is also severe and can be fatal.
  • Parvovirus (canine): This is a contagious disease and can cause severe vomiting, bloody diarrhea, and death.
  • Calicivirus (feline): A contagious upper respiratory condition leading to oral ulcerations, fever, joint pain, and anorexia in felines.
  • Rabies: Rabies is fatal to cats and dogs; there is no treatment other than prevention.
  • Adenovirus, types 1 and 2 (canine): Type 1 is spread through canine urine and feces and leads to hepatitis, which causes severe liver damage and death. Type 2 is spread via coughs and sneezes.
  • Feline Herpesvirus: Herpervirus causes a highly contagious respiratory problem called feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR).

There are also non-core vaccinations that are highly recommended but that can be administered on a case-by-case basis. Variables for non-core vaccinations include your pet’s health and age and risk of exposure. A few non-core vaccines include those for feline leukemia, bordetella (feline & canine), canine influenza, and lyme disease (canine).

What if My Pet is Indoors?

A common question when it comes to pet vaccinations is whether or not pets that live exclusively indoors need routine vaccinations. Individual veterinarians may have differing recommendations for the frequency of vaccinations, but the recommendation is still yes. Though indoor pets have less exposure to potentially deadly viruses than outdoor or indoor / outdoor pets, there is always risk be it from your pet getting outside, to encountering an ill animal, to having an already-compromised immune system.

Consult your veterinarian to determine what vaccines your pet needs and how often. If you haven’t had your annual check-up yet, or if it’s been a while, make an appointment this August and get on the health bandwagon during National Immunization Awareness Month.

Vaccines are one essential way to boost your pet’s immune system. Feeding your pet a diet rich in natural ingredients is another important and easy way to contribute to your pet’s immune health and overall wellness.

Can My Pet Get Zika Virus?

Wednesday, July 12th, 2017

It’s summer, which means pesky insects are abundant, making now the best time to learn what’s “bugging” your pet. One of the most widely reported concerns is Zika virus. Zika is spread by mosquitos and is known mostly for causing issues in pregnant women’s fetuses; however, it’s important to know if Zika can harm your pet. Learn what other insect-spread issues are prominent in the summer and how to naturally prevent them.

Can Cats & Dogs Get Zika?

Currently, there is no evidence that animals play a role in spreading Zika virus. According to the CDC, studies show some breeds of animals can become infected with the virus; however, they show no signs of illness and have not shown to be able to transmit the virus to humans. What’s more, “there have not been any reports of pets … becoming sick with Zika virus.”

So, for now, it’s safe to assume that your pet (or their young if they become pregnant) is not vulnerable to Zika; however, mosquitos do carry other viruses (such as West Nile Virus (WNV)) and diseases that can substantially compromise your pets’ health.

What Pest-Transmitted Illnesses are Problems for Pets?

Dogs, it seems, are safe from West Nile Virus. While they can become infected, they show no clinical signs of WNV. Cats, on the other hand, can show mild signs of WNV including: fever, lethargy, and smaller appetite.

Another not-so-common mosquito-transmitted infection pets can get is Lyme disease. Signs of Lyme disease, which are depression, smaller appetite, and lethargy, are relatively similar to those that appear in cats infected with WNV.

The main mosquito-borne illness that is a threat to dogs and cats is Heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is known to have potential lasting effects and can even shorten your cat or dog’s lifespan. Signs of Heartworm disease include:

  • Coughing (both)
  • Swollen belly (both)
  • Poor appetite and weight loss (both)
  • Poor energy / fatigue (dogs)
  • Labored breathing and rapid heart rate (dogs)
  • Pale gums at late stages (dogs)
  • Difficulty walking (cats)
  • Asthma attacks (cats)
  • Fainting (cats)

Year-round treatment is a good way to help prevent your cat or dog from being bitten by an infected mosquito.

How Can I Naturally Protect My Pet from Disease & Infection?

While there are no non-medical heartworm preventative medications, there are natural (chemical-free) options for creating a mosquito-free environment around your home.  A natural approach to repelling mosquitos is preferred by many pet owners because it is a long-term solution for a never-ending problem. Certain oils, herbs, and other solutions have time-honored reputations for being effective in repelling mosquitos (and other insects). These include:

  • Lemon eucalyptus oil, which has been proven to be more effective than the leading chemical-derived mosquito repellent. Look for a pet-safe lemon eucalyptus oil to use around your home.
  • Geranium oil and soybean oil are also effective natural solutions and are available in pet sprays.
  • Citronella oil is most often found in lotions, sprays, and candles. Being near a candle or incense burner lowers the risk of being attacked by a mosquito, but it’s noted that Citronella shouldn’t be the only repellent solution you use.

Any oil or herbal solution you choose to keep your home and yard mosquito-free should be carefully researched. Make sure you have a pet-safe solution of whatever it is you use; after all, your main goal is to naturally keep your pet comfortable, healthy, and safe throughout the summer.

If natural solutions to your pet’s health are a priority, then make sure what you feed them is made with all natural ingredients. Eagle Pack pet food takes pride in making a wide variety of cat and dog foods that are all natural.

husky puppy in Eagle Pack branded sled

Ways to Protect Your Pet

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Summer is right around the corner, which means it’s a great time to make sure you are doing everything you can to ensure you pet stays safe and healthy. This ranges from evaluating the tag and collar your pet has to ensuring your pet is tick and flea-free.

Protect Your Pet from Being Stolen or Lost

Even the most loyal and well-disciplined cat or dog is at risk of running away or of being stolen. Sometimes, pets can escape while you are out of town, and if your pet does not have proper identification, then it is possible you will never see your pet again.

Happy small dog with his tongue out

Though there is no way to guarantee a lost or stolen pet will be returned to you, having some form of ID on the pet helps increase the likelihood that pets and their owners will be reunited after a separation.

  • Collar and ID Tag: Your cat or dog should wear a properly fitted collar at all times. There are breakaway collars for cat owners who are concerned their outdoor kitties might get caught on something. In addition to the collar, your pet should have an ID tag that includes helpful information be it the pet’s name and your phone number, or the pet’s name and the name and number of your veterinary clinic.
  • Microchip: If you are opposed to collars and tags, microchips have been very successful in helping pet owners reunite with their pets. Your veterinarian installs your pet’s microchip. Should your pet ever be lost, a scan of the microchip will reveal your information, and you can immediately be reunited.

Note that there are occasions where a friendly neighbor isn’t the one who finds your lost pet. If your pet ends up at the city pound, then an ID tag or a microchip could save your pet’s life.

Protect Your Pet from Parasites 

As the weather gets warmer, the parasites become more problematic. Fleas and ticks love making nests in your cat or dog’s hair or fur. Even more annoying, fleas and ticks are everywhere. They are outside in the grass; they are in your home in the carpet or in the bedding. Neither indoor nor outdoor pets are immune from picking up a parasite.

dog thinking about fleas and ticks

Help prevent fleas and ticks by:

  • Combing your pet with a flea comb
  • Keep your pet’s bedding clean
  • Give your pet regular baths
  • Consider using a flea prevention product with your veterinarian’s guidance (note that elderly and pregnant animals can be harmed by certain flea and tick products)

Keeping your home clean and your grass routinely mowed will also help keep fleas and ticks at bay.

Protect Your Pet with Routine Checkups 

It is easy to forget to schedule regular wellness checks with your vet especially if your pet is healthy; however, an annual visit is important so that your pet can stay caught up with vaccinations. Additionally, your pet gets a professional evaluation on overall health including weight, skin condition, oral care, etc.

Any potential issues can be addressed. You can also use your annual visit to consult with your vet about any concerns you might have or about questions regarding parasite prevention, microchips versus tags and collars, spaying and neutering, staying safe in harsh weather, disaster preparedness, and more.

Be proactive about protecting your pet; with a proper ID, flea and tick prevention, and regular wellness checks, you can keep your pet safer, healthier, and happier.