September Mews-Letter (Archive)

Hampden Veterinary

September Mews-Letter

Office Hour Update:

In addition to our normal business hours, we have extended our office hours on Wednesday and Fridays to better accommodate you and your pet! You can find a veterinarian in the office Wednesday mornings from 9- and all day Fridays. We hope that by extending our office hours we can better serve you and your pet’s needs.

LINK TO OFFICE HOURS ON WEBSITE

Other Office News:

We will be closed on Friday September 11th 2015 for maintenance of our parking lot. Please make sure to call the office for refill prescriptions and food orders by 11am on Thursday September 10th. We will be available again on Monday the 14th. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Back to School Blues & Empty Nest Syndrome for Pets

It’s back to school and fall is around the corner. Our pets can feel a little blue and lonely after a summer of having the children home and vacations with the family. If a child has gone off to college for the first time, this can have an even larger impact on our pets. Take time out to make sure your dog or cat is not having some “start of school depression” or the “puppy/kitty blues” from losing their two legged partners in crime. Making sure that they are getting attention and exercise will be crucial to limiting destruction and disaster in your home. If a child has left for college, new routines, or sleeping arrangements may need to be made. Dogs and cats who have been sleeping with one child for years can feel major stress or sadness that their friend is not home. If the predominate “playmate” for the pet has left the home, make sure that other family members are stepping in to come up with a new routine for the pet. Life gets busy and hectic but 5 extra minutes with your four legged kids may be all you need togive to make your pet feel less blue. Cats can hide their stress better than dogs at time but taking time out to make sure your pets are handling the transition well can help them maintain a good immune system and prevent illness.

Canine Cough:

Many of you may unfortunately be aware that the greater Bangor and Bangor area has been experiencing an outbreak of canine cough. This highly contagious disease is typically caused by one of the many infectious agents such as canine adenovirus, parainfluenza virus, or a bacteria called boredetella bronchiseptica. It is a highly contagious infection that is spread by nose to nose contact or contact with aerosolized droplets. Remember an average dog can sneeze 20 feet in one single, germ loaded sneeze! Patients will have a dry hacking cough but should still have normal eating habits and normal energy levels. Patients usually recover within several days of onset but should be quarantined from other dogs for 3 weeks. Puppies and geriatric dogs can be more susceptible to pneumonia and secondary complications. If a dog becomes lethargic, has heavy breathing, a wet productive cough, fever, or stops eating this can be a sign of more serious illness. Routine vaccinations for the infectious agents that cause canine cough can help prevent the disease or lessen the severity and duration of the disease. Pets going to groomers are also at risk of contracting this disease. Even if there are no other dogs at the groomers (remember the cloud of germs spreading from one sneeze). Viruses and bacteria can be on the floor, walls, or door of any building where an infected dog sneezed! If your dog needs to be seen at the Hampden Veterinary Clinic for coughing, we will assess your dog in the comforts of ourbeautiful parking lot. This is to try and reduce the risk of spreading this highly contagious disease in our office.

 

Feline Cough:

Can you tell if your cat is hacking up a hairball or if they are actually coughing? Even non veterinary medical professionals have a hard time knowing the difference between the sound of throwing up a hair ball and the sound of a cough in a cat. If your cat sounds like it’s going to hack up a hair ball yet nothing happens… chances are they are having a coughing spell. Cats will often stretch out their necks, scrunch up their shoulders and cough. They can even bring up some phlegm and move their mouths. You can sometimes hear a soft wheeze or huffing noise if you are close to the cat. ( CAUTION: If you are trying to tell the difference between vomiting vs coughing do not put your face in front of the kitty during the episode and don’t attempt to pick them up either, if it is vomit you will be enabling them to spread the vomit even more than usual!) If you don’t see any yellow liquid or an actual hair ball, chances are, it’s a cough. Coughs in cats typically are due to lower air way disease such as infection, feline asthma or less commonly can be a sign of heart disease. Feline asthma is one of the leading causes of coughing in cats. Cats with feline asthma can have a coughing spell from triggers such as pollen, dust, cigarette smoke, scented candles, or aerosolized cleaners. The dust from certain litter can also be potent cough triggers. In many cats, changing the litter to unscented and low dust particles can lessen the coughing and asthma attacks. Recent observations have also shown that systemic environmental allergies and food allergies in cats can trigger asthma reactions. These cats responded well to immunotherapy (uniquely formulated allergy vaccines) and were often able to stop oral or inhalant asthma therapies. Treatment for asthma can vary from oral bronchodilators, antihistamines, steroids to inhaled treatments. Heart disease in cats is a more silent disease and is rarely diagnosed based on the clinical sign of coughing. More often than not cats with heart disease are diagnosed when they are in failure or when they throw a blood clot from the heart. Feline cardiac disease is often called the “silent killer” since cats can have severe heart muscle disease with no murmur. We do have a blood test that can help us tell if your cat’s heart is diseased or in distress. Cats with coughs will often have chest x-rays and possibly blood work to rule out cardiac disease. The pro BNP is an easy, quick blood test that we can do that could help rule out cardiac distress. While x-rays can help us diagnose infections, asthma, or lung masses. If you think your cat is coughing or you have any questions please schedule an appointment with us!

 

Hampden Veterinary - 9 Commerce Court Hampden Me 04444