Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Puppy

Thank you for choosing Pekin Veterinary Clinic to care for your new pet.  In order to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a healthy adult, it is important to provide the best “preventative medicine” possible.  Below is a list of all the procedures and vaccinations we recommend for your new puppy.  We will be happy to remind you when the annual exam and vaccinations are due.

DHPP VACCINATION:  A combination vaccine to protect against four very contagious viral infections, including parvo virus.  Boosters are given every 3-4 weeks until your puppy is 16 weeks.  After the puppy series, your dog will require a booster at 1 year, then every 3 years thereafter.

LEPTOSPIROSIS VACCINATION:  A series of two vaccines to help protect against a potentially fatal bacterial infection that can also affect humans.  After the puppy series, your dog will require an annual booster.  This bacterium thrives in moist areas and is spread by the urine of carrier animals, including most wild and domestic mammals.

BORDETELLA VACCINATION:  A vaccine (or series of 2 for injectable) to help protect your puppy from kennel cough.  This vaccine is recommended for any puppy that will be interacting with other dogs, such as at groomers, puppy classes, kennels or dog parks.  Your dog will then require an annual booster.

RABIES VACCINATION:  This vaccine is required by law and is given after 12 weeks of age, followed by a 1 year booster then every 3 years thereafter.

LYME VACCINATION:  A series of 2 vaccinations in addition to vigilant tick prevention to help prevent Lyme disease.  This vaccine is recommended for dogs with tick exposure.

VACCINE REACTIONS:  If you notice a reaction such as hives, vomiting and/or swelling of the face shortly after your puppy received a vaccine, please contact us immediately.

FECAL EXAM:  Intestinal parasites are very common in new puppies and are not only harmful to your pet, but some are contagious to people.  Therefore, we recommend at least 2 fecal exams to identify any internal parasites your new puppy may have.

DEWORMING TREATMENTS:   Your puppy will receive a broad spectrum of deworming medication every 2 weeks for a total of 4 treatments.  Based on the results of your puppy’s fecal exam, you may need to treat with additional medications.

FLEA AND TICK PREVENTION:  Fleas and ticks are not only a nuisance to you and your pet; they can also carry diseases and cause skin allergies.  We recommend using monthly, year round preventive medication and annual testing for tick borne diseases.  We can help you decide which medication will work best for your pet.

HEARTWORM PREVENTION:  Heartworm disease is an easily preventable disease, using a monthly, year round preventive medication.  Heartworm disease is endemic in our area and is carried by mosquitoes.  We require an annual blood test which also screens for tick borne diseases.

MICROCHIPPING:  A microchip is a permanent form of identification for your pet.  If your pet gets lost or injured, the microchip number will allow animal control, shelters, veterinarians and good Samaritans to locate and reunite you with your pet.

SPAY/NEUTER:  There are multiple medical and behavioral advantages to spaying or neutering your pet.  Recommended age is 5-7 months.  Pre-surgical blood work is recommended prior to this surgery to serve as a baseline as well as being safe for anesthesia.  Discounts are given to those pets that are spayed/neutered prior to 8 months of age.

DIET:  Your puppy is growing rapidly and needs a high quality puppy growth formula.  At six months, you should switch your puppy over to adult dog food.  It is important not to overfeed in order to maintain a lean body condition during growth.  This will encourage optimal joint and bone health especially in large breeds.

DENTAL HEALTH:  Now is a great time to get your puppy accustomed to the tooth brush.  We recommend daily brushing for your pet.  Please ask us for a demo on how to brush your puppy’s teeth!

The teen years can run from 1-2 years old.  We recommend vaccinations based on your dog’s specific risk factors and lifestyle.  Annual exams also include a wormer/fecal, heartworm/lyme blood test, body weight and a physical exam. The main vaccinations are DHPP, lepto, bordetella, and rabies vaccination. Ideally a complete blood count and organ screening blood test would be done for baseline values for future reference.

The adult years can run approximately 3-7 years.  These years end when the dog starts experiencing some aging issues.  Vaccination is done according to the risk factors/lifestyle of your dog.  Annual exams include a fecal, heartworm/lyme blood test, body weight and a physical exam including a thorough dental exam.

In the senior years, a fecal and annual physical exam including a thorough dental exam should be done. In most giant breeds a General Senior Profile (blood work) is considered at 4 plus years of age. In most large breeds of dogs, the start time for this blood work is around 6 years. The smaller dogs may begin their adult samples after age 7 or 8.  Senior work ups should include a complete blood count, chemistry evaluation (including kidneys, liver, pancreas, etc.) urinalysis, a thyroid test, fecal, body weight and heartworm/lyme test.  Vaccination is done according to the risk factors and lifestyle of your dog.

We look forward to getting to know you and your new pet.  If you have any questions or concerns about your pet, please feel free to contact us.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Seasons Greetings from Pekin Veterinary Clinic

Pets as Presents

It's hard to resist the joy of giving your favorite loved one the pet they've always wanted for Christmas. However, the result of many of these well intentioned gifts is animals that are unwanted, uncared for and oftentimes sent to shelters. 

An animal of any kind (even one as small as a fish or a hamster) is not a light, last minute purchase. Bringing a new life into the house should be well thought out and discussed with the entire family. 

Holiday pets often get ignored in the holiday rush. Christmas morning is filled with so many presents, lots of food, family and relatives coming over...then there's New Years in a few days. You think it's stressful on you? Thank about what a pet who's never been in your house before would be thinking. A new pet needs lots of quiet and calm. A new puppy or kitten needs to watched constantly and settle into a routine so they can become a happy member of the family. This is impossible to accomplish on Christmas. The new pet will just end up confused and scared. 

You should never pick an actual pet for another person, even a child. Bring the child along to pick out the animal and let it be a family event. All animals (even hamsters and fish) have distinct personalities and letting your entire family help with the choice makes the animal more special to them. Besides, don't you want to see how the puppy interacts with your entire family? That great puppy you pick out for your son might not like kids. Your son might decide the puppy you like plays too rough. Your kids may decide they'd rather have a cat! 

New Puppies

Almost every child asks Santa for one, however a dog is MAJOR purchase and a new puppy needs lots of attention and care. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas/New Year holiday, the puppy probably won't get the attention it needs. That's not even taking into account all the ribbon, trees, rich Christmas foods, chocolate and other dangers the puppy could unintentionally get in while your family is busy with their other gifts. 

Alternate ideas: Give the kids a stuffed puppy and tell them the new puppy is coming. Wrap a puppy bowl, collar, crate and other puppy supplies with a "certificate" to get a puppy at a later date. All of this stuff should be set up and ready for the puppy when it comes home anyway. This way, you and your family can set it up while you tell them about the responsibility of a new dog. Another great idea is a few books on puppy care (especially if you have an older child).

New Kittens

Kittens don't take quite as much attention as puppies but they can still get into a lot of trouble at Christmas. Kittens are notorious for swallowing tinsel and ribbon and getting lots of stomach problems. Small kittens scare easily and the safest retreat will probably be up the tree which can be dangerous. 

Alternate ideas: Cat care kits, litter boxes, cat toys, books on kitten care. The litter box and a bed for kitty should be in place before he gets to his new house. You and the kids can decide where to put it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Pet Gifts

Are you looking for a gift for your canine friend that is sure to get the tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season? For the safety conscious pet, you could always get them a new travel carrier or car seat harness. Or for the sophisticated pet, try some baked doggie goods from your local doggie bakery. If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats! For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

December Employee of the Month

Amber is our December Employee of the Month. She is a Veterinary Assistant and has recently graduated from the Vet Tech Institute at Hickey College in St. Louis, MO. She is one of the newest members of the Pekin Veterinary Clinic team. She loves her job and every aspect of it. She also enjoys small animals, including exotics. She is especially interested most in performing dentals, physical therapy and assisting in surgery. She also has two Associate Degrees in Equestrian Science and Horse Science Technology.

In her spare time, she enjoys training and showing horses as well as giving horse back riding lessons. She enjoys both english and western styles of riding. She owns an Australian cattle dog, Cory, who she teaches how to herd horses who she has adopted during tech school.

Over the years, she has had many pets including reptiles, hamsters, fish, horses, dogs and cats, to name a few. She currently has two Great Danes named Riley and Windslow in addition to Cory. She has six horses. She has three quarter horses, Bailey, Gunner, and Remington. She also has a Missouri Fox Trotter, Five-gaited Saddlebred, and an Arabian Stallion. Animals have always been a huge part of her life. They are a good judge of character and are always there for you when you need a friend the most. Becoming a technician has made her more able to return the favor to them in a variety of ways.

In any additional spare time she has, she likes to work out, read and socialize with friends, play the violin, play volleyball, and watch football. We are very honored to have Amber has a part of the Pekin Veterinary Clinic team!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Gift Certificates from Pekin Veterinary Clinic Make Great Holiday Gifts!

Looking for a great gift for the pet lover in your life? Try a gift certificate for Pekin Veterinary Clinic or for Aboard the Ark pet boarding or grooming services. There's no better gift then to pamper the companions that have shed so much joy in our lives throughout the year. Click the link or call us at 309-346-1375 for more information! 
Click here for information about Aboard the Ark!

National Mutt Day!

Today is National Mutt Day! National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. There are millions of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, which are desperately searching for a new home. Consider a mixed breed pet for your next furry family member!