What’s This Lump on My Pet?

Lumps and bumps on pets are a common cause of veterinary checkups. You may be petting your fur friend and suddenly find a small lump under the skin. Or, you may notice that an old bump on the skin is now bleeding, or has changed in color. Masses, cysts, skin tags, and other issues that appear on or underneath your pet’s skin is a frequent concern among pet owners.

If you are asking yourself, “What’s this lump on my pet,” we can help answer the question. Many of these are benign, but there is cause to be concerned with certain skin growths. The team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital takes a closer look at these anomalies. 

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Charity Spotlight: All About the AVMF Veterinary Care Charitable Fund at Androscoggin Animal Hospital

A floofy gray dog sits on a vintage, mint green sofa

At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we’ve seen it all when it comes to pet illnesses and injuries. Each member of our staff entered the field of veterinary medicine out of a deep love for animals, and a desire to help them heal and to see them thrive. There’s nothing more heartbreaking than having to watch a family struggle to afford paying for their pet’s medical bills, or worse having to make the decision to decline treatment. 

Helping our beloved patients and their families, and giving back to our community are both extremely important to us, which is why we’ve joined forces with the Animal Veterinary Medical Foundation (AVMF) Veterinary Charitable Fund.

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Funky Feet: When Your Pet’s Paws Smell Like Fritos

Have your ever gotten a whiff of your pet’s paws and thought to yourself, “corn chips?” That’s curious, right? Sure, dogs don’t always smell particularly wonderful, but why this recognizable scent? “Frito paws” is a common complaint from many dog owners and can usually be easily explained. 

If you’ve wondered why Fido’s paws smell like corn chips, then you have come to the right place. The team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital can help uncover the reason behind this phenomenon and offer some suggestions for taking good care of those pet paws.

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The Ins and Outs of Puppy and Kitten Vaccines

Gray kitten in carrier

Our fur babies are important to us and, if you have a new puppy or kitten, we bet you are reveling in the joy and fun of it all. Of course you want to give your new pet a great start in life, and you and your veterinary healthcare team can make sure that happens. 

Puppy and kitten vaccines is the place to start. Androscoggin Animal Hospital shares some of the ins and outs of vaccines, why they are important, and a bit about how they work. 

Why a Series of Vaccines?

Vaccines are important at any age. Adult pets need to be protected from infectious disease just as puppies and kittens do. With adults, we vaccinate much less often, and we carefully balance what vaccines are needed based on age, breed, and how and where an adult pet is active

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Permanent ID: The Incredible Benefits of Pet Microchips

When you adopt a pet from an animal shelter or rescue, they are almost always microchipped. That’s because those of us in the veterinary field understand the incredible power of this tiny piece of technology to reunite lost pets with their loving families.

Studies show that 1 in 3 pets will go missing at some point in their lives. Out of the hundreds of thousands who wind up in animal shelters each year, many are never returned to their owners. 

Pet microchips are slowly turning this sad statistic around, one pet at a time.

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Meeting Your Cat’s Needs Can Reduce Destructive Feline Behaviors

Some cat owners hit the lottery with their cats. They are peaceful, loving, and agreeable when it comes to demanding the perfect balance of food and attention. Other cat owners wonder what they’re doing wrong when they see messes outside the litter box, shredded toilet paper, and couch cushions with claw marks all over them. The differences between certain feline behaviors can hinge on ensuring that all of their environmental needs are met.

Expressing Themselves

Contrary to popular belief, cats are incredibly social animals. Although they may prefer living with littermates, most cats are capable of coexisting with other pets and enjoy the company of their human family members.

Cats are also quite territorial, which can cause problems in some homes. With their highly developed senses of hearing and smell, cats can anticipate threats, and will fight tooth and claw to defend their territories. While it can sometimes be difficult to determine signs of stress or pain in cats, they do employ obvious responses to territorial threats, like hissing, yowling, puffing up, and tail thrashing.

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No Fear: How Our Fear Free Initiative Benefits Your Pet

For as long as we’ve been taking care of pets, making your pet’s visit a fear free experience has been a top priority. We care deeply about our pet patients, and helping them through a veterinary exam or treatment with as little stress and anxiety is important to us. A fear free experience at the vet also makes future vet visits easier on you!

Since the Fear Free initiative was launched in 2016, veterinary hospitals across the country have been participating in a certification program that trains veterinary teams how to provide a fear free experience for pets.

Androscoggin Veterinary Hospital is proud that our staff and doctors have undergone this special training to ensure that your pet’s visit is as stress free as possible.

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What All Dog Owners Need to Know About Canine Leptospirosis

Leptospirosis has been well documented over the last century. Despite our understanding, the disease continues to affect all mammals (although it’s rare in cats). Clusters or hotspots commonly occur outside of Maine, but canine leptospirosis is ubiquitous, and it’s a zoonotic disease. That’s why it remains an absolute priority that your dog – and the people around them – are protected from this bacterial infection.

In the Elements

Leptospirosis is a disease caused by numerous strains of the bacteria leptospira. Typically found in contaminated water or soil, leptospirosis can also be passed on through direct contact with an infected animal.

Cases of canine leptospirosis may result after drinking from a contaminated water source, like a puddle or a shared water bowl at the dog park. Urine from an infected animal can pass the disease, and a dog can pick up the bacteria from practically anything on the ground outside.

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A Heart To Heart: Heartworm Prevention in Pets

The winter thaw is on the horizon, and with that comes a whole host of creepy, crawly, and voraciously hungry bugs. Although we may all be looking forward to balmier weather, the mosquitoes that come with spring and summer are definitely not welcome! Not only are they annoying you, but they could pose a serious and deadly risk to your pets.

With their bite, mosquitoes can transmit a roundworm called heartworm that can cause shortness of breath, lethargy, collapse, exercise intolerance and even death in dogs and cats. Heartworm is found in all 50 states and year round – including Maine! So we thought it a prudent time to have a heart to heart about this health concern for our pets.

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Securing the Future with Pet Health Insurance

Our pets are a part of our family, and the unconditional love, devotion, and hours of joy and laughter they provide are simply irreplaceable. It’s no wonder that we go to extreme lengths to keep our furry friends healthy and prevent illnesses, and to treat them when they face illness or injury. Fortunately, advancements in veterinary medicine have allowed us to rise to the challenge. Pets can now receive a level of healthcare previously only reserved for humans.

While it’s wonderful to be able to offer your pet the best in veterinary care, the cost can be overwhelming especially when it is an unplanned expense. While a Petly Preventative Care Plan can help with the expense of yearly costs, more and more, clients are turning to pet health insurance as a way to offset the expense of life-saving medical care.

While pet health insurance is not the right choice for everyone, the team at Androscoggin Animal Hospital wants you to have all the facts so you can make the best decision for you and your pet.

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