Monday, February 8, 2016

Understanding And Preventing Heartworm Disease

One of the most common, dangerous and yet easily prevented diseases that our beloved pets can catch is heartworm disease. Learn about heartworm disease, the symptoms and preventative treatments here; to keep your pets healthy and active all year round.

What Is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworms are parasitic worms that live in the heart and nearby blood vessels, causing decreased blood flow to the heart and other major organs. In severe cases heartworms can grow up to 12in long and .8in thick in populations of over 200. Overtime, and if not treated, heartworm disease can cause:
  • Damage to the lining of the artery leading from the heart to the lungs (pulmonary artery)
  • Clogging of the pulmonary artery
  • Heart valve malfunction
  • Heart enlargement and failure; causing death

How Do Dogs Get Heartworm?

The spread of heartworm begins when an infected dog is bitten by a mosquito, which then results in that mosquito being infected. When that infected mosquito bites another dog, the mosquito spreads the infection. In the newly infected dog, it will take between six and seven months for the infective larvae to mature to adult heartworms. The adult heartworms mate and the females release their offspring into the host’s bloodstream, completing the lifecycle.

Heartworm disease is not contagious, meaning that a dog can’t catch the disease from being near an infected dog. Heartworm disease is only spread through the bite of a mosquito, which makes it difficult to monitor without an effective preventative treatment plan.

Symptoms of Heartworm Disease

Often very subtle and tricky to detect, the initial symptoms of heartworm disease can be very mild. Early in the disease progression, there may not be any symptoms at all, which is part of what makes heartworm such a difficult disease to diagnose. As heartworm disease progresses from stage one through to stage four, treatment methods become increasingly more severe and invasive.

Stage One: No symptoms or mild symptoms such as an occasional cough.

Stage Two: Mild to moderate symptoms such as an occasional cough and tiredness after moderate activity.

Stage Three: General loss of body condition, a persistent cough, and tiredness after mild activity. Trouble breathing and signs of heart failure are common. For class 2 and 3 heartworm disease, heart and lung changes are usually seen on chest x-rays.

Stage Four: Also called ‘caval syndrome’. The severity of the worm burden will physically block blood flowing back to the heart, due to the large mass of worms. Caval syndrome is life-threatening and quick surgical removal of the heartworms is the only treatment option. The surgery is highly risky, and even with surgery, most pets with caval syndrome die.

Heartworm Prevention

The good news is that this detrimental disease can be easily prevented and there are a variety of treatment options available. However, it is very important to understand that preventive treatments will not kill adult heartworms. If a heartworm-positive dog is not tested before starting a preventive, the dog will remain infected with adult heartworms until it gets ill enough to show symptoms. Also, giving heartworm preventive to a dog that has an adult heartworm infection may be harmful or deadly. Annual testing of all dogs on heartworm prevention is recommended. Talk to your veterinarian about the best time for your dog’s annual heartworm test.

Once your pet is cleared of heartworm disease, there are a range of options to provide your pet with year round protection from this deadly disease. These include:
  • Heartgard Plus chews can be fed to your dog, once a month, year round
  • Tablets can also be taken monthly; Generic Heartgard, or Valueheart
  • Alternatively, Revolution or Advocate external pipettes can be applied to the skin once a month. An added bonus in using these preventatives is they also treat fleas and various other intestinal worms.
  • More frequent preventative treatments like Dimmitrol tablets can be administered daily
Ever wondered what dog breeds have the best sense of smell? Click here to find out the top 3 pooches with the best noses.

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Final Days for Revolution Gift With Purchase

Revolution is a topical parasiticide for the treatment of fleas, American dog tick, ear mites and heartworm in dogs and intestinal worms, ear mites an heatworms in cats. For a few more days only get a FREE dog collar or poop bag holder with every Revolution for Dogs 6 & 12 pack purchase or a FREE dosing timer with every Revolution for Cats 6 & 12 pack purchase.

After some helpful tips on how to care for your pet this winter? Click here for our Top Five Winter Tips With Your Pet.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Friday, January 8, 2016

Top 3 Dog Breeds With The Best Sense Of Smell

Did you know humans have approximately 5 million scent receptors? Sounds like a lot until you compare that with our canine friends. All dogs have a very powerful sense of smell, however some breeds have a pretty outstanding talent when it comes to sniffing out different scents. Have a read of the top three breeds with the best sense of smell.

3. Scent Receptors: 220 million

Coming in at number three, the Beagle. He might be one of the smallest of the hound breeds, but the beagle has just has many scent receptors as the German Shepard. Beagles can follow air and ground scents and are not only popular with hunters, but also with the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, which employs the dogs to detect contraband in airports.

2. Scent Receptors: 220 million

Coming in at number two, Basset Hounds are considered to have the second best scenting ability. Basset hounds are low to the ground and get their name from the French word ‘bas’, meaning ‘low’. Along with their compact size, basset hounds use their long, heavy ears and loose skin beneath their chin, known as a dewlap to trap the scent.

1. Scent Receptors: 300 million

And first place goes to… the Bloodhound! Cousins to the basset hound, bloodhounds are framed for their man-trailing abilities and are so reliable that his evidence has even been admitted in court. With their large figure, long head, a nose with large open nostrils, long ears and cape of loose skin around the neck, it is no wonder this breed is the perfect tracking dog.   

Monday, December 7, 2015

How Cats Purr

Did you know that cats have no special apparatus in their body that makes them purr, Purring involves the rapid movement of the muscles of the larynx (voice box), combined with movement of the diaphragm (the muscle at the base of the chest cavity). These muscles move approximately 20 to 30 times a second when cats purr. 

As the cat breathes, air comes in contact with the vibrating muscles and that is what produces the purr sound. Each cat's purr is unique with some being very high pitched and others sounding like a low rumble. Some purrs are faint and some are extraordinary loud. How does your cat purr?

Monday, November 9, 2015

Top 5 Winter Tips With Your Pet

The snow is falling, winter is coming. The colder weather conditions can make exercising and entertaining your pet somewhat difficult. It is important to keep our fur friends entertained during winter otherwise the risk of weight gain, behavioral problems and boredom can occur; which may result in your pet adopting destructive antics and a low mood. Continuing your pet’s exercise regime and providing them entertainment indoors will ensure your pet has a safe and happy winter.

1. Flashing Lights

Pets can be difficult to see during winter’s darker days so if you are exercising outdoors with your pet grab your pet an LED Flashing Light. Easily clipping onto the D-ring of your dog’s collar, the battery powered LED’s emit a bright ambient glow, so you’ll be able to see your pet on the darkest of nights; and so will everyone else.  

 2. Dog Coats

When exposed to excess cold some dogs can get chills, respiratory problems and experience arthritis. When exercising outside with your pet in the cooler winter months, fit them with a WeatherBeeta Dog Coat that will provide warmth, comfort and protection against the elements. 

3. Play Toys

Got a dog who loves to play? Try the Prestige Super Tug or the KONG Puppy Flyer, these types of toys are perfect for interactive play and will strength the bond between you and your pet. For pets who like to play and snuggle with their toys, try the Play N Learn Tigger The Tiger, it’s soft on the outside and durable on the inside – ideal for dogs who love to tug, squeak and shake their toys. To keep your cat occupied, offer them a KONG Chase Craze that them with its rattle sound and bright feathers as it quickly rolls across the floor. 

4. Chew Toys

Dogs spend many of their waking hours hunting for food, so why not take advantage of this? Get your dog hunting for their meal by stuffing a KONG Puppy Activity Ball or KONG Dental Stick with some frozen food; it will have your pooch entertained for hours.

5. Indoor Play

Giving your dog the proper dose of exercise in the winter months can sometimes be difficult. Why not visit an indoor dog park, they are often held at doggy day care centers and they’re a great way of letting your dog continue to play and socialize with other dogs and get some exercise in too!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Do Goldfish Really Have A Three Second Memory?

The answer is…


In fact, goldfish have very good memories and can be trained to respond to various sensory cues such as color, light and music. Goldfish have also proven to remember things they are taught as much as a year later. Researchers have taught goldfish to play fetch, push levers, do the limbo, and even play soccer.

Have you ever noticed a goldfish getting really excited when it’s feeding time? If they are fed around the same time each day, they seem to anticipate the time leading up to feeding, which shows that they have a good sense of time. 

Goldfish also have shown to recognize their master (usually the one who feeds them) and be a lot more active around them. They even sometimes stop considering that person as any sort of threat, including if that person sticks their hand in the tank, however around strangers you may notice goldfish tend to hide away.

How cool!