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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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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Androscoggin Animal Hospital Looks Back at Our Top Pet Care Blogs of 2018

If you’ve ever read one of our pet care blogs, you know that we always have an eye on pet safety. The prevention of illness or injury tops our list of priorities, and we want our valued community of pet owners to know that we’re always here to answer questions and address concerns. To that end, we’re proud to deliver relevant information to our clients each month in the form of our pet care blogs.  

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Making Senior Pet Care a Priority

Senior pet care is vital to your pet's lifespanThey’re always delighted to see us, they forgive us instantly, and snuggling with them is one of the best parts of our day. There’s no doubt that our pets mean the world to us. Whether we raised them from babyhood or adopted an older pet, providing the best care as they age should be a top priority for every owner.  

At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, we can’t think of anything better than seeing a cherished pet live a long and happy life. We’re always here to support you and your pet, which is why we want to outline some of our top senior pet care strategies.

A Changing Landscape

In general, dogs and cats are considered “senior” between 6-9 years of age. Specifics can vary depending on factors such as breed, size, and species. Senior pets are at greater risk for many of the same illnesses and conditions that tend to affect older humans (e.g., cancer, arthritis, diabetes, heart disease). Typical signs of aging may include: Continue…

Why Preventive Care for Cats is Important

Preventive care for cats promotes cat health and a happy catWe love the fun, unique personalities of cats. But behind their mysterious behaviors lies a very important secret: it can sometimes be hard to tell whether your cat is well or not.

We’ve all heard the adage “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and this is never more true than with the health of our pets. Cats need preventive care, and avoiding illness is always easier on you and your beloved feline (not to mention your wallet). So, let’s take a look at why preventive care for cats is so important!

Survival Strategy

The reason it can be difficult to tell when your cat is sick has to do with their survival strategy. In the wild, cats who are perceived as weak can become a target for predators. In order to survive, they’ve developed a deep natural instinct to hide signs of pain or discomfort.

This, of course, means you may not know your cat is sick until an illness has become advanced. This leads us to the importance of preventive care for cats. Continue…