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…

Fork in the Road: How Is a Cat Friendly Veterinarian Better than the Rest?

cat friendly veterinarianA great deal goes into choosing the right veterinarian for your pet. Sometimes, close proximity plays a part in the decision. Other times, the recommendation of a close friend or colleague informs the best possible choice.

Because we understand and value this important decision, Androscoggin Animal Hospital went through the training, education, and evaluation necessary to earn the title of Fear Free Certified Professional. We maintain the distinction of a Cat Friendly Practice, and we’re thrilled we can pass the best possible care onto your cat. So, what are the benefits of having a cat friendly veterinarian?

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Veterinarian Tips 101: All About Pet Poison Prevention

Our four-legged friends tend to be active and adventurous, and we love that about them! However, at times they can get into things they shouldn’t. Hopefully, your pets have never ingested anything that caused a pet emergency, but it’s always good to be prepared.

With that in mind, and in celebration of Pet Poison Prevention Week, Androscoggin Animal Hospital has put together a few tips and ideas for how to prevent pet poisoning in and around your home.

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At-Home Pet Dental Care

Most of us brush our teeth twice a day and see the dentist at least annually, but many of our pets don’t have the benefit of regular pet dental care. It’s true, we love their smiles no matter what they look like. But did you know that it’s not only a great smile and fresh breath that counts?

It is estimated that over 85% of pets over the age of 3 have some form of dental disease. Dental disease can be present without you even knowing it and can cause bad breath, bleeding gums, infection under the gumline, tooth loss, and even compromise your pet’s internal organs.

If you already have an at-home pet dental care program, congratulations! If not, let Androscoggin Animal Hospital help you prevent dental disease with a team approach.

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Keeping Them Well: Pet Wellness Care for Your New Pet

new petA new year has begun, and we’re sure that some of you have added a new pet to your family this holiday season! New pets are such an exciting way to add love and fun to your home, but they also take some adjustment as you become familiar with your pet’s health needs and personality. There’s a lot to learn about keeping your new pet healthy – from exercise and nutrition to pet wellness and preventive care. At Androscoggin Animal Hospital, it’s our job to help you learn the best ways to keep your new pet healthy, and we’re excited to get started!

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Testing 1, 2, 3: A Spotlight on Pet Baseline Lab Work

As pet owners, we try to make the world a wonderful place for our dear, furry companions. By making sure they have a nutritious diet, get their vaccinations, sleep in a cozy bed, and receive plenty of snuggles and playtime, we hope that we are giving our best pals the life they deserve. But what if there was something more we could be doing to ensure their long-term health and vitality?

Teaming up with your veterinarian for regular wellness care and diagnostic testing is a simple and extremely effective way to give your pet a better quality of life. Pet baseline lab work is essential for the early diagnosis, treatment, and even prevention of health issues before they become serious problems.

The Importance of Pet Baseline Lab Work

Running tests on a pet who isn’t feeling well is an obvious move, but don’t discount the importance of regular health and wellness screenings for healthy pets, as well. Lifestyle, age, and genetic predisposition all play a role in a pet’s susceptibility to disease. Annual wellness exams and diagnostic tests such as blood panels, urine and fecal testing, and other important screenings are indispensable tools for monitoring your pet’s health over time.

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ER, Urgent Care, or Specialty Center? Which Type of Specialty Veterinarian Does My Pet Need?

There’s no doubt that veterinary medicine has come a long way in recent years. Our society’s growing respect for pets has corresponded to advancements in the field, and providing high quality medical care is now considered an essential element of modern pet ownership. Not only do today’s pets have access to preventive care on par with their human companions, but they also enjoy the best in diagnostics, surgery, physical therapy, emergency care, and more.

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