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Seeing parasites in our pets’ poop grosses just about everyone out. The dangerous parasites are actually the ones you don’t see. Generally, when pet owners see diarrhea or worms they call their vet—which they should—but not all pets with parasites have obvious signs. The stool of a pet with only a few worms may look normal but contain dozens of eggs, and the eggs of the roundworm can survive in soil for 6-10 years. Not only does that make a backyard a source of parasite infection for animals, it means that children who play there and adults who garden there can be exposed. In humans these parasites can cause more serious problems, including gastrointestinal illness and even blindness.

There are several types of worms that may affect our pets and the most common in our region are roundworms, hookworms, and whipworms. Roundworm can spread to people and in some cases migrate into the nervous system and eyes causing blindness. Hookworm can cause skin rashes as the young parasite migrates under human skin. Many people mistakenly think that because they don’t see any diarrhea, their pet doesn’t have parasites but this may not be true. When only a few worms are present their pet may have normal stool but pass several hundred eggs. When a dog is kept in the same yard, the eggs may begin to accumulate, constantly re-exposing the dog and any other animals in the yard. Since the eggs of roundworm cam survive a very long time—even though winter’s ice and snow, a yard that is heavily infested is a risk to humans especially when they eat with unwashed hands after cleaning up after pets. Many pet stores carry “de-worming medications” but these products rarely target all of the varieties of worms. Veterinarians can check a stool sample for the presence of parasite eggs and know exactly which parasites your pet is carrying and what medication will be safest and most effective. Your Veterinary doctor can also set up a preventative program with you to keep everyone safe.

HERE is the good news. Parasite problems can be easily controlled in our pets and good parasite control plus good hygiene can protect your family. Talk to your Veterinarian to set up an appropriate de-worming schedule.

Winter Grooming

  • If you normally have your pet’s fur clipped or shaved, keep the length longer in winter to keep your dog warm.
  • Nails may require more frequent trimming since your pet is spending more time indoor on soft surfaces.  This applies for cats too.
  • If you bathe your dog at home make sure he is completely dry before going out.
  • Examine the pads of your pet’s feet for signs of cracking or irritation. If you find your pet has cracking call your veterinarian before applying anything to check which products are safe.

Thank you for disposing of your prescription medications appropriately! Due to legal changes, we can no longer accept donated medications that have been dispensed for patients. We very much appreciate your intentions. To safely dispose of your pet’s unused medications, you may choose one of the following methods:

1. The State Trooper Barracks in Batavia, NY (down the street from our hospital) has a box for medication disposal. All medications are accepted.

2. National & Local Prescription Drug Take Back Events occur regularly at various local locations. These are advertised in local newspapers and on radio stations periodically.

3. You may dispose of certain medications yourself. These medications may be mixed in a closed plastic bag with an absorbent, unpalatable material such as kitty litter, used coffee grounds, or soil. This mixture (in the closed bag) can be mixed with a little water and then be disposed of in household trash.

a. The following medications SHOULD NOT be disposed of using this method and must be brought to the Trooper Barracks:

  1. Phenobarbitol
  2. Alprazolam (Xanax)
  3. Tramadol
  4. Hydrocodone
  5. Proin

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8 Things You Can Do to Protect Your Dog This Summer

  1. Never leave your dog in the car;
  2. Make sure your dog has unlimited access to fresh water;
  3. Make sure your dog has access to shade when outside;
  4. Take walks during the cooler hours of the day;
  5. When walking, try to stay off of hot surfaces (like asphalt) because it can burn your dog’s paws;
  6. If you think it’s hot outside, it’s even hotter for your pet – make sure your pet has a means of cooling off
  7. Keep your dog free of external parasites (fleas, ticks) and heartworms – consult your veterinarian about the best product for your pet;
  8. Consider clipping or shaving dogs with long coats, and applying sunscreen to exposed skin. Consult your veterinarian to see if these measures would be appropriate for your dog
  9. If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to call us!! We’re here to help both you and your pet.

Keep Your Pet Safe Year Round!

Mosquitos, fleas and ticks all carry diseases that can seriously harm your dogs and cats. Protecting your pet from these parasites is critical. Check out our summer buy more, save more offer today by calling (585) 344-4974.

imgres-1Fireworks, picnics, and other Fourth of July traditions can be great fun for people but these festivities can be frightening and even dangerous for animals. Noisy fireworks and sparklers can startle animals and cause them to bolt and run away; more animals are lost on July 4th than any other day of the year. Barbecues are wonderful to share with people but be cautious about sharing with your pets. Corn cobs and steak bones can get stuck half way through the digestive tract, causing a foreign body obstruction, which requires surgery to remove the stuck item. Summer heat can cause heat stroke in our pets quickly after sitting in a hot car or lots of activity on a hot day.

Whether or not you’re planning your own Independence Day celebration, it’s important to take precautions to keep your pets safe both during and after the July 4th festivities.

Make sure your pets – cats and dogs alike – have identification with up to date information. If your pets aren’t already micro chipped, talk with your veterinarian about microchipping. This simple procedure can greatly improve your chances of recovering your pets if they become lost. We are running a microchip special until July 3rd and discounting microchipping $10.00.

Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid or make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors. Signs of overheated pets include increased panting, lethargy, and vomiting. NEVER leave your pet in the car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.

We at State Street Animal Hospital hope you have a great Independence Day with your friends, family, and pets!!

“Your pet ate WHAT? Why didn’t you call me sooner?”

billionphotos-2312543How often we want to say this but don’t want a client to feel worse than he or she already does. Many people think that when a poison is consumed their pet will fall over frothing at the mouth in the first hour. While this can happen, it is rare. Many poisons take hours or days to show their evil effects. Antifreeze toxicity shows few signs in the first few hours after consumption and during this time, the effects can be treated with potentially little permanent damage. After 12 hours the poisoning is almost irreversible and will cause severe, usually fatal, kidney failure. Rat poison may not show symptoms for several days. The most common symptoms are bleeding, bruising, and signs related to severe anemia, seen 2-3 days after consumption – at this point, toxicity may be expensive to treat.

Both of these examples are important because if we know a pet has gotten into these substances right away, we may be able to reverse or prevent problems, saving both your pet’s life and money (from more extensive treatments that would have been needed to treat the toxicity). If your pet consumes something it shouldn’t, PLEASE, don’t wait. Call your Veterinarian or the Animal Poison Control Center

Lately, a common question posed to the doctors at State Street Animal Hospital has been about the use of essential oil in our pets. Essential oils, which are concentrated oils extracted or cold pressed from plants, are used for many purposes in humans including as skin and digestive remedies.  People use these oils in aromatherapy and sometimes in direct application to their skin. So, if people find these products useful, why not use them to benefit our pets?

While there may be some benefits to using essential oils in veterinary care, it is important to remember 2 things:

  1. “All Natural” does not mean safe!  Many natural agents such as snake venom and arsenic are highly toxic. Many essential oils, likewise, are irritating, toxic, or may even cause cancer, while others are more safe to use.
  2. Animals have a much better sense of smell than humans – anywhere from 40 to 100 times more acute. A pleasant odor to us may be overwhelming and unpleasant to our pets.

What does this all mean?  Certain essential oils may be a great addition to your pet’s care. Please consult with your veterinarian to discuss any concerns or questions you have to help pick the right oil for your pet.

What is Xylitol?  Xylitol is an alcohol used as a sugar substitute for its sweetness in diet and diabetic-friendly foods. It’s in your sugarless gum, sugarless mints, and sugarless desserts like pudding.  Xylitol is safe for us but very toxic to your pets, especially dogs. Even a small amount can be lethal.

How can xylitol affect your pets?  Xylitol causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar, followed by severe liver damage.  Because Xylitol is quickly absorbed – it can enter a dog’s blood stream within 15 minutes of consumption!   A single stick of gum can cause life threatening problems for a small dog and one pack of gum can kill a large dog.  Even when caught early, treating xylitol toxicity requires close monitoring for 72 hours, which may be expensive and is not always successful.

Protect your pet—keep sugarless products out of reach.  Beware of purses and book bags because dogs can often smell the gum and may go searching through such areas to find the source of that yummy smell. Lastly, be aware of what human tid-bits your dog is getting.  If the product is labeled sugarless, then most likely it contains xylitol.  If in doubt about whether a product contains xylitol, wait to feed it and always check the label!

Reason #1 for scheduling your pet’s dental: Yuck, dog breath!

Bacteria in the mouth cause infection and odor.  Nobody enjoys putrid dog breath or smelly kitty kisses.  Keeping those teeth clean means a happier, healthier relationship for everyone.

Reason #2 for scheduling your pet’s dental: Clean teeth help keep the whole body healthy.

The bacteria that cause awful breath and gingivitis can also enter the blood stream and cause infection in other organs, such as the heart valves (endocarditis) and kidneys (pyelonephritis). Keeping those teeth clean helps the whole body stay healthy.

Reason #3 for scheduling your pet’s dental: infected teeth hurt.

If you’ve ever had a toothache, you know—if you haven’t had one, trust us, you don’t want one.  Chronic pain can make animals less sociable.  We’ve had several cases where owner’s have mentioned how much happier, friendlier or more active their cat became after the dental.

Reason #4 for scheduling your pet’s dental: save those teeth. We would rather save teeth than remove them.

If we can get the tartar off before the tooth root is damaged we can save the tooth.  Once the root is infected and the tooth is loose we have to pull it to eliminate a source of constant pain and infection.  Early intervention is key to preserving healthy teeth.

Reason #5 for scheduling your pet’s dental: Save money in the long run!

Dental disease is a source of chronic bacterial exposure to other organs in the body leading to infections, which need medical care.  Painful teeth effect how an animal eats and digests potentially effecting weight and gastrointestinal health.  Chronic dental problems lead to more teeth needing to be extracted and greater expense when a dental is done—so, keeping teeth healthy in the long run is a good investment in overall health.

February is Pet Dental Health Month.  We want to encourage people to have their pets’ teeth cleaned and cared for.  Therefore we will be offering a 20% discount on all dentals scheduled during the month of February.

 

dog trainingIf you use treats to train a dog, you will always need them to get the dog to obey your commands.

The principles that govern the laws of learning have shown this to be completely untrue.  Treats are an excellent means o reinforcing a behavior.  Clear and consistent reinforcement is necessary when you initially begin teaching any animal a new behavior.  For some animals, a vocal reward, toys, or petting may serve as good reinforcers, but food is for many animals the most salient reinforcement there is. The rules of learning show that when first teaching a new behavior, reinforcing every singe time the behavior is performed on cue will lead to the fastest rate of learning.  Once a behavior is learned, intermittent reinforcement is the best means of maintaining the behavior and making it most resistant to extinction.  This means that you only have to use the treats periodically once the behavior is learned.

People who believe that an animal is not responding because it knows there is no treat available have usually failed to use reinforcement appropriately or don’t realize that the animal has actually not learned the behavior.  It is common for pet owners to think that an animal has learned a command long before it actually has.

FACT: When used correctly, positive reinforcement training with food rewards is far more likely to be effective and has less chance of doing harm than most other forms of training.