Current Topics

flea-65x65Flea Facts:  One female flea who lays 20 eggs per day (20-50 eggs per day is average) can be responsible for an infestation of more than 20,000 adult fleas and more than 160,000 pre-adult fleas in 60 days.  Fleas are an environmental problem, not just a problem on your pet.  It is much easier and more cost effective to prevent a flea infestation in your house than it is to get rid of one.

We, at Oak Hills Animal Hospital, recommend using Frontline Plus monthly on all of your pets from April through November.  Frontline Plus is the only product available that kills all three stages of the flea life cycle to prevent an infestation.  You may purchase Frontline Plus at Oak Hills Animal Hospital at any time.  Over the counter flea products are often ineffective at best and dangerous, particularly to cats, at worst.

If you are already battling a flea problem schedule an appointment with us so we can start a comprehensive plan to eradicate the problem quickly and effectively using a three tier approach.

american_dog_tick_picture_from_top-65x65Tick Trivia:  Ticks carry serious diseases that can be transmitted to your pets, including Ehrlichiosis, Lyme disease, and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.  We are seeing more ticks on patients at Oak Hills Animal Hospital earlier in the summer this year than in past summers.  This is indicating we are in for a worse than normal year for ticks in the Cincinnati area.

In order for ticks to transmit diseases to your pets they must be attached to them for 48 hours or more.  When first attached ticks are very small and difficult to find.  You do not see them until they become engorged with blood from your pet and become larger.  This risk to your pet’s health can be eliminated by using Frontline Plus monthly this summer and fall.  When attached to a protected pet, the tick dies before being able to transmit any disease.  Frontline Plus is available at Oak Hills Animal Hospital at any time.

heartworm-65x65Heartworm Heartbreak:  Heartworm disease is a deadly disease that is carried by mosquitoes.  An infected mosquito bites a dog and injects larvae into the bloodstream.  These larvae travel to the heart and grow into large adult worms in the right chambers of the heart.  The adult worms then produce offspring perpetuating the infection.  Serious and often fatal heart disease is the result.  The incidence of heartworm disease in the Ohio River Valley for dogs not taking a heartworm preventative is 9%-11%.  The significance of heartworm disease in cats is controversial.

While heartworm disease is treatable there are significant risks with the treatment. It causes considerable discomfort for the patient, and it is very expensive.  Last summer two dogs were successfully treated for heartworm disease at Oak Hills Animal Hospital.

Prevention of heartworm disease involves once a year heartworm testing and a monthly oral preventative medication.  Heartworm prevention for the lifetime of your dog costs less than treating one heartworm infection, and your dog does not have to suffer the effects of the disease and the treatment.

Dogs must be tested for active heartworm infection before starting heartworm preventative medication.  Starting preventative medication in a dog that is infected with heartworm could result in anaphylactic shock and death.  Heartworm tests are performed by appointment at Oak Hills Animal Hospital with no additional office call or exam fees.  We have heartworm prevention medication available for dogs that have been tested.

ti3fuq-2-95-65x65Canine Parvo Virus:  Canine parvo virus is a virus that attacks the intestines of dogs.  It destroys the intestinal lining allowing bacteria into the bloodstream resulting in septic shock.  Vomiting, diarrhea, and depression are the early clinical signs which rapidly progress to total collapse and death if untreated.  Puppies are the most severely affected.  Even with aggressive treatment some puppies may die.

What makes this virus so insidious is that it persists in the environment for up to 2 years.  Fortunately, there is a very effective vaccine against this virus.

Puppies should be vaccinated against parvo virus once a month, starting at 6 weeks old, for 4 consecutive months to have immunity to the virus.  Then they should get a parvo vaccine booster once a year.

For puppies that are not vaccinated, it is not a matter of if they will get parvo, but of when they will get parvo.  Vaccinating for parvo virus is inexpensive.  Treatment for parvo virus is very expensive and is sometimes not successful inspite of aggressive measures.

Appointments for vaccinations can be made at Oak Hills Animal Hospital at any time.  It is the best thing you can do for your beloved friend.  Remember, your pets depend on you.