“Vaccinations are still the foundation of preventive medicine for dogs and cats,” said Dr. Al Paredes.
Dr. Kevin Adney agrees; “Vaccinating a pet is considered to be a beneficial medical procedure by most veterinarians trained in the science of canine and feline medicine. Vaccinations, in fact, carry very little risk of adverse reactions in your pet. However, as with any medical protocol, the rare instance of an adverse reaction always exists.”
A large majority of the United States’ 90 million cats and 74.8 million dogs make at least a twice-yearly visit to the veterinarian. Those visits often include at least some vaccinations to keep the family pets from suffering from serious infectious diseases. We asked Dr. Al Paredes and Dr. Kevin Adney, Veterinarians in Palm Harbor, Florida about vaccines and protecting pets against the risk of disease.
Pet Vaccinations – How They Work
“Dog and cat vaccines protect your pets against disease by allowing pets to build up a protective immune response before exposure to the disease the vaccine protects against. There are a few different ways which vaccines function,” Dr. Paredes reported. “They typically provide
1) a killed form of the infectious agent which cannot cause the disease, or
2) a tiny portion of the infectious agent which, by itself, cannot cause the disease, or
3) a live, but modified form of the infectious agent which has been custom-made so that it does not produce disease.
All three of these types of vaccines allow the animal to react mildly to the vaccine in such a way that it provides protection to the pet against the actual disease itself. Some vaccines (such as the Bordetella vaccine) can cause mild symptoms of the disease in the pet for a short time, but also produce immunity against a much more serious case of the disease.”
Normal Pet Vaccinations Reactions
Dr. Adney stated, “An overwhelming majority of pets have no ill effects from the vaccinations at all, but it is not a cause for alarm if your pet has mild symptoms after vaccination. Symptoms may include:
lethargy and listlessness for a short time,
very mild fever,
mild swelling or discomfort at the site of the injection.”
Abnormal Pet Vaccinations Reactions
Dr. Richard B. Ford, DVM, MS, DACVIM, DACVPM (Hon) said at the 2008 ACVIM Forum* “Vaccination is, in fact, a medical procedure. Despite a relatively good safety record, there is always some degree of risk in administering biological agents in a dog or cat.”
Dr. Paredes and Dr. Adney concurred, saying, “In rare instances, a pet may suffer from an abnormal, allergic reaction after vaccination. Symptoms that warrant a return trip to the veterinarian pet clinic that administered the vaccine are:
itching or developing a rash or “hives”,
swelling of the face and/or eyelids
the formation of a specific type of tumor, known as a sarcoma (especially in cats.)”
Sarcomas are known to be extremely locally invasive and aggressive in nature. However, vaccination sarcomas are rare. The current estimate of vaccination caused sarcoma is less than 1 in 10,000 cats according to a study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association by Drs. GE Moore et al (Vol. 231, 2007).
Good Reasons for Vaccinating Your Pets
Despite the fact that vaccinations can cause adverse reactions in some pets, many of the diseases routinely vaccinated against can, and do, cause serious and life-threatening disease in dogs and cats. Moreover, some of these diseases also pose a serious health risk to people. Protecting family pets against these diseases can also help to protect the pet owner themselves as well as the general public. “In some cases,” Dr. Paredes cautioned, “vaccines are mandated by law, as with vaccination against rabies.”
We offer very reasonably priced vaccination packages for dogs and cats. Call us at 727-785-7200 for pricing or visit our prices and special offers page at http://dayandeveningpetclinic.com/price-list/
Get our special offer discount coupons for vaccinations and spay neuter service at www.spaVet.com
Fleas are a major concern of pet owners. Dr. Al Paredes, veterinarian at Day And Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, FL often gets questions about how to remove and prevent flea infestations both in the home and the yard.
Dr. Paredes recently was asked by a reader of his blog, “When you have a moment would you comment about the use of diatomaceous earth as an organic non-pesticide approach to killing fleas in the “back yard”?
Here is what Dr. Paredes had to say. “Diatamaceous earth works to kill fleas by absorbing the lipids of the insect, therefore dehydrating it and causing it to die. Make sure to use the food-grade version as the others may be chemically treated and unhealthy for a pet. According to many websites, it is EPA approved to put into your yard. It is thought that diatamaceous earth only kills adult fleas, so it does not eliminate any other life cycle so you will have to apply is every 20 days or so until your infestation is eliminated.”
This is a very informative website regarding the product: http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/defaq.html
Typically, Dr. Paredes recommends using Borax within the pet’s environment to help eliminate fleas. Diatamaceous earth can be extremely costly and can be difficult to find in smaller quantities.
Fleas are really troublesome. They can not only infest your pet, but they can invade and take over your home. Fleas are pretty easy to spot in your pets’ fur and you can easily notice your pets’ scratching as a sign of their discomfort.
If your dog or cat’s skin becomes red and inflames, it could be a sign that your pet is allergic to fleas’ saliva. Cats can become infected very easily because they swallow about half of the fleas on their coats when they groom themselves.
If your pet has fleas, you can be sure your pet is also experiencing the presence of fleas in its environment; in the home and in the yard. We have safe and effective products to guard your pest and kill and prevent fleas, but you should also be treating your pet’s environment as well. Ask us to suggest safe, effective products for your pets, and ask about any specials we have on those products when you visit.
Give us a call at Day and Evening Pet Clinic at 727-785-7200 if you have questions we can answer for you. We love to help our patients and their owners. Or leave your comment or question below and we’ll be happy to answer it.
Pet health care tip. The holidays are here, and festive Christmas tinsel, ribbons and strings of lights are up, or going up, in homes across the city. What do these items have in common?
“To your dogs and cats, these things are toys, and your pets don’t know that they are dangerous,” said Dr. Al Paredes, veterinarian at Day and Evening Pet Clinic in Palm Harbor, Florida.
Ingesting tinsel and ribbon can cause choking, and a string of lights that is plugged in can cause electrocution if your pet chews on them, and is a choking hazard as well with small plastic holders and light bulbs on the wires.
Likewise, ornaments of glass, metal, plastic, or paper with glitter or paint can be toxic, even deadly, if chewed and swallowed, and choking can occur on small sharp edged pieces.
Don’t tie ribbons around dog or cat treats and leave them under the tree. They will be found easily by your pet, and the ribbon and packaging can cause choking. Also, don’t hang Christmas stockings within reach of your pets. The things inside those stockings, like chocolate or candies containing Xylitol artificial sweeteners can be toxic to your pets, and the small gifts inside the stocking can be a choking or poison hazard to both dogs and cats.
Take precautions to watch your pet when they are around areas where decorations and gifts tied with ribbon can be easily reached. We want your holiday, and your pet’s holiday to be joyous and happy. Keep them in an area where they cannot get to the decorations and gifts when you are away from home or not able to watch out for them when you are busy.
If you suspect that your dog or cat has ingested something that can harm it, call us at Day And Evening Pet Clinic at 727-785-7200 and bring your pet in right away for an examination. We are here to help you when you need us.
Happy Holidays to you all,
Dr. Al Paredes & Staff
Pet Care Tip – Foods That Are Toxic To Dogs And Cats
Who can resist giving tidbits to a soulful pair of puppy or kitty eyes that plead for a bite of what you are eating, despite the fact that some human foods are toxic poison to your pet. The holidays are particularly touchy when your guests can hardly resist sneaking bits of food to your begging pets. While they mean well, it is best to ask that they not indulge your pets right up front so there is no question what your rules are.
Veterinarian Dr. Al Paredes says what you and your house guests don’t know CAN kill your dog or cat. Here’s a list of what NOT to feed your pets.
Foods That Are Most Toxic To Dogs and Cats
Avocados contain a very toxic component called Persin to most animals that can damage lung, heart, and other tissue in many animals.
Beer & Other Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages can damage an animal’s liver and brain, and the effects can be deadlier on animals than on humans since they are much smaller than we are.
Two types of nuts are especially toxic: walnuts and macadamia nuts. The toxic effects can include vomiting to paralysis to death. Within 12 hours of eating the nuts, the pet starts to develop symptoms such as weakness , an elevated heart rate, an inability to stand or walk, vomiting, and hyperthermia (elevated body temperature.) These symptoms can be even more severe if your dog eats some chocolate with the nuts and can lead to kidney failure, and death.
Chocolate contains theobromine, and it can kill your pet if they eat it in large quantities. Dark and unsweetened baking chocolates are especially dangerous because these do not have the extra ingredients used in making milk chocolate which reduces the amount of theobromine in a serving. Giving your puppy a piece of chocolate candy, chocolate cake or chocolate icing could cause him to become ill. It can also cause a dog or cat’s heart to beat very rapidly or irregularly especially if the animal is being especially active after eating chocolate.
Candy and Artificial Sweeteners
Candy, cookies, drinks, gum or anything containing Xylitol (a common sweetener found in some diet products) can cause a sudden drop in an animal’s blood sugar, loss of coordination and seizures. If left untreated, the animal could die.
Coffee, tea, soft drinks, some candies and baked goods or any product that contains caffeine stimulates an animal’s central nervous and cardiac systems. This can lead to heart palpitations, restlessness, and even death, depending on how much the animal consumes.
Grapes and Raisins
Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. As little as a single serving of raisins can kill them. The toxic effects are cumulative. That means even if a dog eats just one or two grapes or raisins regularly, the toxin that builds in his system will eventually kill him.
Onions, Garlic, Chives
Onions can destroy an animal’s red blood cells and lead to weakness, anemia, and breathing difficulties. Their effects are also cumulative as the toxins build up in the system over time.
Raw Yeast Dough
Raw Yeast dough can rise in your pet’s digestive system causing gas to accumulate. This can be quite painful and can even cause the stomach or intestines to rupture. The risk diminishes after the dough is fully cooked because the yeast has fully risen, so pets can have small bits of bread as treats. However, the amount should be limited because of the high calories.
Raw/Undercooked Meat, Eggs and Bones
Both raw meat and raw eggs can contain bacteria like Salmonella and E. coli that can be very harmful to pets. Also, raw eggs contain an enzyme called Avidin that decreases the absorption of biotin (a B vitamin), and that can cause skin and coat problems. Feeding your pet raw bones can be very dangerous for a domestic pet, who might choke on bones, or sustain a grave injury should the bone splinter and become lodged in or puncture your pet’s digestive tract.
Large amounts of salt can produce excessive thirst and urination, or even sodium ion poisoning in pets. Signs that your pet may have eaten too many salty foods include vomiting, diarrhea, depression, tremors, elevated body temperature, seizures and even death. In other words, keep those salty chips to yourself!
Because pets do not possess significant amounts of lactase (the enzyme that breaks down lactose in milk), milk and other milk-based products cause them diarrhea or other digestive upset.
Medicine Meant For Humans
A very common cause of pet poisoning is from animals ingesting a prescribed or over-the-counter medicine or drug meant for humans. So hide these medicines from your pets as diligently as you would hide them from a child.
Read The Label
Before you decide to give your pet any leftovers that have been processed (like that last few bites of canned beef & vegetable soup) you should read the label. Many processed foods contain high quantities of sodium (salt) and onions or onion powder for flavor. Some can even contain Xylitol or other artificial sweeteners that may be dangerous to your pet.
If you see signs that your dog or cat seems distressed in any way, bring them in to see us right away. You can call us at 727-785-7200 to discuss what you are observing that is causing you concern about your pet
During the hours our vet clinic is closed the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center is a good resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think that your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435.
Don’t put off calling or bringing your dog or cat to the pet clinic if you suspect they have eaten something they shouldn’t. Foods that are toxic to dogs and cats can cause damage quickly, so fast treatment is the best option.
Hi, I’m Dr. Al Paredes, and I’d like to welcome you to Day and Evening Pet Clinic and tell you an interesting story about one of our clients and a pet Pit Bull puppy that we treated recently.
Well, yesterday we had a young man come in and say that his engagement ring disappeared. He and his wife [to be] had a little debate over where it went, and they finally decided that their young Pit Bull puppy ate it. So he brought him in to get an X-ray.
We took some X-rays and found the wedding ring and we were able to get the dog to vomit the wedding ring out. We gave him a little peroxide to induce that, and he’s a happy man again. He has his wedding ring back, and they are happily engaged once again.
If you like to see the X-ray, I could show you the X-ray.
Here’s the lost jewelry item here in the stomach of the dog [pointing to the X-ray.] We were able to get it out without surgery, and the dog was pretty happy and the owner was very happy, and the fiancé, she was very happy also.
It ended up with a happy ending. It’s kind of a cute story.
If we can be of help to your pet, give us a call at Day and Evening Pet Clinic 727-785-7200. A brief exam can insure that your pet and family remain healthy and happy.
Wishing you and your pet the best of health!
Dr. Al Paredes DVM
Veterinarian in Palm Harbor FL