Man's Best Friend
Man’s best friend? We sure think so, and we have little doubt that the dog lovers of Summit County would disagree with us!
Keep your pup happy and healthy by staying up-to-date on vaccinations, maintaining a healthy weight and giving them plenty of exercise and love.
Some of your most frequent questions are answered below, but as always, be sure to give us a call if there’s anything you can’t find the answer to.
To schedule your dog or new puppy appointment, click here or call us at 970.453.0821.
General Dog Health
Your dog should see the veterinarian for a full check-up, vaccines and a heartworm blood test every year, and immediately if she/he is sick or injured.
While many of us may object to our pet’s bad breath, we should pay attention to what it may be telling us. Bad breath is most commonly an indication that your dog is in need of a dental check up. Dental plaque caused by bacteria results in a foul smell that requires professional treatment. After a professional cleaning, the teeth and gums may be maintained in a healthy state by brushing the teeth regularly, feeding a specially formulated dental diet and treats, and avoiding table scraps. Your veterinarian can give you more tips on minimizing dental disease and bad breath.
You can clean your canine’s teeth with a dog toothpaste once daily. Stop by and see us for a free toothbrush, use a child’s soft toothbrush or your finger.
Some dogs are prone to periodontal disease, a pocket of infection between the tooth and the gum. This painful condition can result in tooth loss and spread infection to the rest of the body. Veterinarians can clean the teeth as a regular part of your dog’s health program.
While bad breath caused by dental disease may not be too serious if caught early enough, some odors may be indicative of fairly serious, chronic problems. Liver or intestinal diseases may cause foul breath, whereas a sweet, fruity smell may be indicative of diabetes. If your dog’s breath smells like ammonia or urine, kidney disease is a possibility. Any time you notice your pet has bad breath accompanied by other signs of ill health, such as loss of appetite, vomiting, weight loss, depression, excessive drinking or urinating, schedule a visit to the veterinarian.
Fleas and Ticks
Daily inspections of your dog for fleas and ticks during the warm seasons are important. Use a flea comb to find and remove fleas. There are several new methods of flea and tick control. Speak to your veterinarian about these and other options.
This parasite lives in the heart and is passed from dog to dog by mosquitoes. Heartworm infections can be fatal. Your dog should have a blood test for heartworm every spring—this is crucial for detecting infections from the previous year. A once-a-month pill given every month will protect your dog. Now we also have injections available for longer duration Heartworm protection.
Medicines and Poisons
Never give your dog medication that has not been prescribed by a veterinarian. For example, did you know that one regular-strength ibuprofen tablet can cause stomach ulcers in a ten-pound dog? Keep rat poison and other rodenticides away from your pet. If you suspect that your animal has ingested a poisonous substance, call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center for 24-hour animal poison information at (888) 426-4435.
Spaying and Neutering
Females should be spayed—the removal of the ovaries and hormones produced by the ovaries—and males neutered—removal of the testicles—between six and twelve months of age, depending on the breed. Spaying before maturity significantly reduces the risk of breast cancer, a common and frequently fatal disease of older female dogs. Spaying also eliminates the risk of an infected uterus, a very serious problem in older females that requires emergency surgery, hospitalization and intensive medical care. Neutering males prevents testicular and prostate diseases, some hernias and certain types of aggression.
Core vaccines for dogs include distemper combo, leptospirosis, and rabies vaccines. Bordetella (“kennel cough”) is a lifestyle based vaccine.
Dogs are commonly exposed to worms and possible infestation—even in urban areas. Microscopic eggs produced by intestinal worms are passed in an infected dog’s feces. Most puppies, even from healthy mothers in good homes, carry roundworms or hookworms.
The key to treatment is correct diagnosis. This will ensure that the medication is effective against the parasite your pet has. A dewormer that eliminates roundworms, for example, will not kill tapeworms. Your veterinarian can best determine the culprit—and prescribe the appropriate medication.