Saturday, August 23, 2014

Obesity in Pets

Believe it or not, over 50% of pets are obese or overweight. That's not a good statistic! Obesity can lead to numerous health problems including osteoarthritis, insulin resistance, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, heart and respiratory disease, cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injury, kidney disease, many forms of cancer, and decreased life expectancy. Yikes!

The good news is obesity is reversible. Plus, if caught early, the risks of developing other obesity-related issues are greatly decreased. As part of your pet's annual exam, your veterinarian will evaluate your pet's body condition score, a measure of overall weight and health. However, you can evaluate your pet's obesity at home as well by asking yourself the following questions:
  • Can you feel bone along your pet's spine? 
  • Can you see or feel a waist line when viewing your pet from above or from the side?  
  • Are you able to count his ribs? Can you feel your pet's ribs at all?  
If you answered no to any of these questions, your pet may be obese or overweight. Click on this link to the Association of Pet Obesity Prevention for more information on how to fight pet obesity. There are also several companies, including Tagg and Whistle, that make activity monitors for your pet similar to a Step Tracker for people. 

If you are concerned that your pet may be overweight, stop in for a weight check or call us and we can help you get your pet back on the right track!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Marvin Memorial Walk

Animals end up in shelters for a variety of reasons, everything from economic issues, illness/death of an owner, family changes, moving, and more. The Rhode Island SPCA (RISPCA), like many rescues, is home not only to dogs and cats, but also to displaced exotics and even some farm animals. Their goal is to give as many animals as possible a second chance at a forever home, and the Marvin Memorial Fund is at the heart of it all.

Marvin was a very special dog who was given a very special second chance by the RISPCA. The “Marvin Fund” was established in the hopes of giving other dogs like Marvin, who are in need of food, shelter, or medical attention, a second chance.

The Marvin Memorial Walk for the Animals is the Rhode Island SPCA’s major annual fundraiser. It is being held at Goddard State Park on Saturday, August 23, 2014 at 10:00am (Rain Date: Sunday, August 24, 2014).  Please show your support for these animals in need by attending the walk and/or making a donation to the Marvin Fund.  The NorthPaws Parade is our team page to help raise money for this great cause. To donate, please click on this link: The NorthPaws Parade. Thank you and we hope to see you there!

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why am I so Itchy?

Pets become allergic to a substance when their immune systems begin to recognize certain everyday things (considered allergens) as foreign and dangerous, and their body overreacts to this stimulation. Allergens can either be inhaled, ingested, or from direct contact with a pet’s skin. After exposure to an allergen, pets will often develop itchy skin, runny eyes, ear infections, sneezing, vomiting, diarrhea, snoring, swollen paws, or excessive licking. Many animals who are extremely itchy will become very uncomfortable and can develop secondary skin infections from the trauma associated with constant scratching. No fun!

An allergy can develop at any time in a pet's life, and the allergen can be one of any number of substances inside the house, in the outside environment, or in their food. Blood tests or skin tests may be performed to isolate some allergens, or your veterinarian may prescribe an elimination diet if they suspect a food allergy is the cause. There are some oral medications that can help decrease or eliminate symptoms, including antihistamines. In other cases, topical treatments or allergy injections may be warranted.

If you are concerned your pet may have an allergy, don't hesitate to contact your veterinarian. Allergies can be frustrating to diagnose, but it is best to catch them early before secondary problems arise. For further questions about allergies and the types of testing that are available, visit Spectrum Lab.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Stem Cell Therapy at NorthPaws

Stem Cell Therapy isn't just for science fiction movies anymore. We now offer this service at NorthPaws! Stem cell therapy has helped a significant number of dogs and horses, and NorthPaws Veterinary Center is one of only a few facilities in the area offering this procedure. 

In most cases, stem cell therapy is used to help treat osteoarthritis. Stem cells are the precursor cells of the body and originate from an animal’s own tissue. Using Vet-Stem, stem cells can be isolated from an animal's fat sample and then injected directly into the affected joints. Because the injected cells are derived from the animal’s own tissue, they are not seen as foreign matter and thus are not rejected by the body. The introduction of stem cells into a joint provides anti-inflammatory benefits, promotes the healing of damaged tissue, and helps slow the progression of disease. Want to learn more? Visit Vet-Stem for more information, or call us today to discuss how stem cell therapy might help your pet.