The Danger of Transporting Pets

Bringing a new dog or cat into your home is a time of discovery and joy; that is unless the discovery centers on pet illness.

In the past, most pets were obtained from local sources (i.e. nearby shelters or breeders) and therefore tended to only have diseases that were common to the area.  These days, however, some breeders will send their puppies or kittens hundreds or thousands of miles to their new owners or to pet shops.  Animals in shelters may also have traveled great distances.  This is especially true in parts of the country, like the Northeast, that have managed to gain better control of the animal over-population problem.  Animals are now often transported from facilities that are overflowing to those that have available space in another part of the country.

While this is obviously beneficial for the animals that would otherwise have been euthanized, it can occasionally present some problems for their new owners.  If your new pet becomes sick, it is now quite possible that the illness may be something that your local veterinarian does not see on a regular basis.

So, what can owners do to protect their new pets?  Try to find out your pet’s travel history and pass it along to your veterinarian.  This information can be a life-saver by helping your vet determine whether any screening tests should be run. Background info is also extremely helpful in producing a quick diagnosis so that the appropriate treatment and pet medications can be administered in the unfortunate event that your pet does fall ill.

Top Ten Reasons to Vaccinate your Pet

Vaccination has become a hot topic in human and veterinary medicine these days. Choosing which diseases to vaccinate against should be an informed decision owners make with the advice of their veterinarian. Your pet’s health, lifestyle and geographic region may affect which vaccinations are deemed necessary. However, there are many good reasons in favor of vaccinating your pet:

1.)   It’s the Law: It’s mandatory to have your pet vaccinated against rabies in every U.S. state. Even pets kept indoors can potentially be exposed if they get out unexpectedly or an uninvited animal gets in the house (i.e. bats).

2.)   Your Health: Several diseases can be transmitted from pets to humans such as Rabies and Leptospirosis. Vaccinating your pet helps reduce the risk of human infection and is especially necessary if there are young, elderly or immuno-compromised members in your household.

3.)   Boarding and Doggy Daycare: If you ever plan on boarding your dog or dropping them off at doggy daycare, they must have an updated Bordatella vaccination. This vaccine protects against kennel cough, which is highly contagious among dogs. Although kennel cough is usually mild, it can sometimes lead to severe pneumonia.

4.)   Risk of Lyme Disease: Lyme disease is an insidious disease spread by ticks. Lyme disease can cause low blood platelet count, joint disease and pain.

5.)   Risk of Leptospirosis: Bacterial organisms in wildlife cause Leptospirosis, which can lead to liver and kidney failure. This disease can be prevented with regular vaccination.

6.)   Risk of the Deadly Parvovirus: Parvovirus is a severe, life-threatening infection that causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting to the point of shock and even death. Parvo is extremely contagious and puppies are most at risk. This awful infection is almost 100% preventable with vaccination.

7.)   Risk of Distemper: Distemper can cause severe neurological, dermatologic and respiratory disease. Most Dogs that contract distemper are euthanized due to the progressive nature of the disease. Distemper can be prevented with vaccination.

8.)   Risk of Contracting Hepatitis:  This virus can cause severe liver disease and is nearly 100% preventable with appropriate vaccinations.

9.)   Risk of Rabies:  Contraction of this disease nearly always results in death due to euthanasia or neurological problems in animals and people.  This disease is preventable with vaccination.

10.)  Vaccinating can Save Money: Most veterinary vaccinations are relatively inexpensive. Vaccinations are definitely substantially less expensive than the cost of treatment for the diseases they protect against.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.  Many dangerous diseases seen in dogs and cats are completely preventable with the right vaccinations. Vaccinating gives pet owners peace of mind and helps pets lead safe and healthy lives.



Pet Owners Willing to Pay the Price for High-Tech Vet Care

The unconditional love for man’s best friend has more and more Americans spending their money on advanced technology veterinary care.  Pet owners have more options than ever when it comes to helping their pets fight serious illnesses and injuries, if they’re able and willing to foot the bill.

Advanced medical care at a specialty veterinary hospital closely mirrors that of a human hospital, housing specialty doctors and high tech equipment like 3D imaging scanners and underwater therapy treadmills. Pets are undergoing chemotherapy, heart surgery, advanced physical therapy, as well as a host of other state-of-the-art medical treatments to buy more time with their devoted owners.

According to the ASPCA, Americans spent more than $12 billion last year on veterinary care for their pets at retailers like This money oftentimes goes to high-tech treatments that range in the thousands of dollars. This price tag may seem extreme to some, but increasingly, many more pet owners are willing to cut back elsewhere in their budget in return for a few more years of tail wagging companionship.

FDA Center for Veterinary Medicine Launches Twitter Account

The FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) announced the opening of their Animal Health Twitter account. The CVM hopes to connect and keep in touch with interested parties through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to simple questions relating to  the CVM and animal health. The CVM Twitter account can be viewed at: