Newsletter

Eastside Veterinary Associates - Medical Articles The veterinarians and staff at the Eastside Veterinary Associates are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

VIDEO: Feline Heartworm

Dog owners are well aware of the threat of heartworm disease, but many pet owners would be shocked to know that their cats are in danger as well. Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and are capable of infecting cats in addition to dogs. Unfortunately, our cats rarely show physical signs of this infection and are more likely to die due to their body’s reaction to the parasite. The good news is that your veterinarian can help you prevent this deadly feline disease.

Cats are abnormal hosts to heartworms and these heartworms will live shortened lives. You might think that this is a good thing but, heartworms actually can cause more serious and severe disease in cats than they do in dogs. It is not unusual for a dog to live for years with 50 worms in their heart. But a cat with a single heartworm can die suddenly, often with no apparent clinical signs whatsoever. In addition, your “inside only” kitty is just as susceptible as the outdoor tomcat. Watch this video to learn more.

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Study Suggests Dog Ownership Reduces Asthma Risk

A new study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences says that the presence of household dogs may help reduce the risk of asthma developing in children. Scientists found that exposing mice to dust from homes with dogs changed the composition of gut microbes significantly in the mice. The mice were then exposed to common allergens, and the findings show that mice that had been exposed to the dust from homes with dogs had fewer allergic reactions than mice exposed to dust from homes without.

According to Susan Lynch, an associate professor in the division of gastroenterology at the University of California and the senior author of the study, the presence of dogs in a home may allow the GI tract to be inoculated, and lead to a more mature immune response. The findings, she said, are consistent with previous research based on human observations, and are likely to apply to people. Dr. Lynch hopes the study could lead to the development of microbial based therapies to prevent asthma and other allergies.

VIDEO: Warming Weather May Bring Pesky Parasites

Most pet owners know that the return of springtime temperatures will also hasten the return of itching and scratching due to fleas. What many owners don't know is that besides the irritation, fleas can also spread numerous serious diseases and parasites such as tapeworms. Although fleas seem to hold an upper hand, your veterinarian can help you win the battle against these pests. Watch this video to learn more.


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Researches Warn Against Raw Meat Diets for Pets

A new study published in the Journal of American Veterinary Medical Association cautions pet owners against raw meat-based diets, saying that the diet may “lack nutritional balance and cause illness.” The study notes that, while many who feed their pets a raw meat-based diet believe it is a more natural option for cats and dogs, there are significant risks involved.

Researchers noted that raw meat-based diets often do not provide adequate nutrition for pets, and can carry food-borne illnesses, which have proved fatal in some cases. In one case, salmonella was found in 48% of raw meat-based diets. The researchers ultimately concluded that, in the case of raw meat-based diets, “the risks outweigh any minimal benefits.”

April is Heartworm Awareness Month

Pets and their people love being outside in the summertime - and so do mosquitoes. Because mosquitoes are the most common carriers of heartworm disease, keeping pets up to date on preventive heartworm treatments during mosquito season is especially important.

Heartworms are exactly that—large worms that live in the hearts of cats and dogs. Known as Dirofilaria Immitis, heartworms are long, spaghetti-like worms that range in size from 6 to 10 inches. Heartworms are almost always transmitted by mosquitoes. A mosquito bites an infected dog or cat; that mosquito picks up microfilariae, a microscopic version of the heartworm. When that mosquito bites your dog or cat, the heartworm microfilariae are transmitted to him / her. Within 70 to 90 days, the microfilariae make it to your pet's heart and, once mature, begin reproducing. The cycle then begins again.


Cycle of heartworm transmission / reproduction

Heartworm disease cycle.

Signs of heartworm disease in pets vary based on the age and species of the pet and the number of worms present. Because the worms are usually located on the right side of the heart and lung, coughing and shortness of breath are common signs in both dogs and cats. Dogs that have just acquired the disease may have no signs, while dogs with a moderate occurrence of the disease may cough and show an inability to exercise. In extreme cases, dogs may experience fainting, weight loss, fever, abdominal swelling and death. In cats, the symptoms of heartworm disease are similar to those of feline asthma, including coughing and shortness of breath. Some cats may exhibit no signs of the disease, while others may suddenly die.

When it comes to preventing heartworm disease, pet owners have a number of options. Before beginning preventive medication, pet owners should have their pets tested for the presence of heartworms. If heartworms are present, a treatment plan should be discussed with your veterinarian.

Most heartworm prevention is done by administering your pet a once-a-month heartworm preventive medication. Many of these monthly products are administered as a chewable treat. Some are combined with other preventive medications. Your veterinarian will recommend the product that is best suited for your pet.

If you would like to have your pet tested for heartworm or you would like additional information about the disease, please call the hospital.

VIDEO: Modern Veterinary Anesthesia

Do you worry whenever your pet might need surgery? Of course you do...the Internet is full of all sorts of information about the dangers your beloved animal might face when under anesthesia. But, how true is that? Are pets dying every day while undergoing routine spays, neuters and other procedures? Watch this video to see the real story and understand how veterinarians and animal hospitals are working hard to make sure that your four legged friend's surgery goes smoothly and safely!

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TV for Dogs

Does Spot give you those same sad puppy eyes every morning that you leave for work?

DogTV may have just the trick. DogTV is the first cable network to deliver programming specifically designed for dogs, 24 hours a day. The shows typically consist of three to six minute programs of grassy fields, bouncing balls, or people rubbing down their dog’s bellies. Each of the shows are scientifically designed to appeal to the needs and senses of dogs, ultimately delivering images that provide similar levels of distraction and pleasure that we find in our own TV shows.

Can I have your attention?

Although there is still controversy on the true impact and effect of these doggy channels, the fact that many dogs are staying amused by the programming is enough to peak many pet owner’s interests. However, just as you wouldn’t raise your kids entirely in front of a TV screen, a similar line of thinking holds true for your dogs. Nothing can replace the quality care and time you give to Fido in the backyard, but DogTV may provide just the help you need for those sad morning moments.

The Good and the Bad of Hepatitis C Discovery in Dogs

First, the bad news: Researchers have discovered a hepatitis C-like virus in dogs. Now, the good news: this discovery could lead to important new research and development on the causes of the virus in humans. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 200 million people are affected by hepatitis C worldwide, with over 3 million infections in the United States alone. New research reveals that our fury friends may be both the reason and the cure.

Hepatitis C

The discovery of the virus in dogs marks the first time a hepatitis-like infection has ever been detected in non-human primates. Such a discovery gives researchers hope that there is much more to be uncovered and understood about the evolution of the virus, and ultimately, its prevention and cure. The new studies also indicate that the virus could have been introduced to humans centuries ago through contact with dogs or other similar species. But don’t worry, there is currently no proof or risk that dogs can infect humans with the virus today – only that they could lead in the hepatitis discoveries of tomorrow.

Lyme Disease: Seven Myths You Should Know

Lyme Disease: Seven Myths You Should Know

April is Prevent Lyme Disease in Dogs Month.

It is important to understand the risks your pet faces when it comes to ticks. Common misconceptions can lead pet owners to avoid the right preventative measures needed to protect beloved pets from Lyme disease. Here are a few persistent myths dispelled:


Myth 1: I don't live in a wooded area, so my pet can't get ticks.

Even if your pet doesn’t play in wooded areas and places with high grass or brush where ticks are commonly found, ticks are actually able to live their entire life cycle within your home. Woodpiles near or inside your home provide the perfect environment for ticks to survive. Small rodents such as mice can also transport the ticks indoors. Even if ticks don't make their way into your home, they can still live in low grass and trees—such as the back yards of most suburban homes.


Myth 2: I haven't seen any ticks on my pets, so they aren't at risk.

Often ticks are only easily visible on your pets once they're engorged. However, the tick's life cycle includes the larva and nymph stages where they're not as easily noticed. Even when adult ticks have been removed, they may have already laid eggs on your pets, continuing the tick infestation.


Myth 3: I've only found a few ticks on my pet, so I'm sure he's fine.

You can be diligent about checking for and removing ticks, but it still only takes one tick bite for a pet to contract Lyme disease. When you find ticks on your pet, there's a good chance the pet has had other ticks that you have missed.


Myth 4: I apply a flea and tick preventive to my pet monthly, so I don't need to worry about Lyme disease.

No prevention medication is 100 percent effective. Talk to us about your pet's habits and environment, and we can discuss whether you need to take additional steps to prevent Lyme disease.


Myth 5: During the colder seasons, I don't need to worry about applying flea and tick prevention.

Because most insect populations decrease once cold weather sets in, you might assume ticks will follow suit. In reality, ticks are much hardier—and their population can increase during the fall season. Ticks can also survive through the entire winter even when frozen in the ground. For the best protection, continuously apply preventives throughout the year, including the colder months.


Myth 6: My pet was treated for Lyme disease, so now she's cured.

Once your pet is diagnosed with Lyme disease, an antibiotic is usually prescribed. Do not assume that once the antibiotic course is finished, the Lyme disease is cured and your pet is no longer at risk of experiencing Lyme disease symptoms. It can take multiple courses of an antibiotic to successfully treat Lyme disease. Any pet diagnosed and treated for Lyme disease should be routinely screened for tick-borne diseases every year.


Myth 7: My pet has already contracted Lyme disease, so he can't receive a Lyme disease vaccination.

Pets that have been treated for Lyme disease run the risk of reinfection, so it's important to continue applying preventives and check pets for ticks. Another preventive measure is to have your dog vaccinated against Lyme disease. Although there are more benefits to giving the vaccine before exposure occurs, the vaccination will help prevent reinfection.

Cats May Offer Clues for HIV Vaccine

Researchers in Jacksonville have discovered a link between feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) that may be a key to developing a vaccine for HIV. Janet Yamamoto, a professor of immunology at the University Of Florida College Of Veterinary Medicine, recently discovered a protein in the FIV virus triggers an immune response in blood from HIV-infected people.


Cats May Offer Clues for HIV Vaccine


Yamamoto, who discovered the first FIV vaccine in 2002, said that the possible HIV vaccine will need to be tested in two animals before it can be tested on humans; monkeys will likely be the next test subject. Provided animal testing goes well, the vaccine could be tested on humans within the next five years. “We can use those animals as a model,” Yamamoto explained, adding that monkeys and cats cannot transmit the disease to humans.