Ask the Vet - Why Should I Care About Flea Prevention?
What are fleas and how are they spread?
Fleas are insects that live and reproduce on a variety of hosts including dogs, cats and wildlife. Ctenocephalides felis, the cat flea is not host specific, meaning it can live on and affect multiple species including both cats and dogs. An adult flea can lay up to 50 eggs per day while on its host. The eggs eventually hatch into larvae which can infest carpets, upholstery and under furniture. In the wild, they can lurk in sheds and under covered spaces. The larvae molt into adults when environmental conditions are favorable (year-round in warm, humid environments).
My pet lives inside, therefore they are not at risk for getting fleas, right?
WRONG! Say for example, there are other pets in your appartment building or stray animals around where you live or say you go to dog parks or are around other animals that may not be on flea prevention or maybe there are wildlife around where you live!! All of these scenarios could put your pet at risk.
Ask the Vet – Feline Leukemia
I am looking to adopt a new kitten from a breeder. The breeder is recommending that I have him tested for Feline Leukemia. What is Feline Leukemia and why should I test for it?
Feline Leukemia virus is a retrovirus because of the way it behaves within infected cells. All retroviruses produce an enzyme which permits them to insert copies of their own genetic material into the cells that have been infected.
Cats at greatest risk of infection are those that may be exposed to infected cats which include:
- Cats living with infected cats or with cats of unknown infection status
- Cats that are allowed outdoors unsupervised and may have been bitten by an infected cat
- Kittens born to infected mothers
Ask the Vet – Heartworm Testing
I give my dog his heartworm prevention all year long. Is it necessary to still do a heartworm test every year?
We recommend that you still get your dog tested every year. We run a 4DX blood parasite panel which not only tests for heartworm disease, but also tests for three tick-borne diseases - Lyme, Anaplasmosis and Ehrlichia. Your dog can be exposed to these diseases and not show symptoms until permanent damage has been done to the body. These tick borne diseases can also affect your dog’s blood, immune system and even their kidneys if left untreated.
Ask the Vet – Lump On My Dog
I have noticed a lump on my dog's chest recently and I think it has gotten bigger. Is this something I should be concerned about?
Any lump on a pet should be examined by a veterinarian, especially if it is changing in shape and/or size.
Your veterinarian will most likely do a fine needle aspirate of the growth and look at the cells under a microscope to determine what it is. Sometimes, the veterinarian will send the slides to a laboratory to have a histopathologist review and confirm their findings.