Give your pet something to smile about!

Give your pet something to smile about!

Let’s face it; we all want that “million dollar smile”, right? Did you ever think that maybe our pets want one too? Well, I can tell you that they do!

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Think about how your mouth feels when you don’t brush your teeth at least 2 times a day. I think everyone would agree that having an unclean mouth is NOT the best feeling! Did you know that your pet’s dental needs are just like ours? The best way to prevent dental disease is to brush your pet’s teeth at least once a day. Now I know what you’re thinking, “I can’t brush my dog/cat’s teeth!” We understand! Here we are few at home treatments to help prevent dental disease from taking over your pet’s mouth.

Now like I said, the best way to prevent dental disease is to brush your pet’s teeth. Keep in mind that you must use toothpaste designed for pets that does not contain fluoride – this can be toxic to pets! Pet toothpaste comes in many tasty flavors such as beef, poultry, malt and vanilla mint. There are also a variety of toothbrushes available for your pet, such as a long tooth brush making it easier for the big dogs. Or, if your dog doesn’t like the tooth brush, you could always try the finger brush.

So, brushing might not be an option, what’s next? Not a problem! We have products such as a food or a water additive, which makes things easier. The food additive adds a tiny amount of product sprinkled over your pet’s food once a day. The main ingredient is blue seaweed, which is a good product for helping to break down tarter build up. The water additive is a very convenient home care dental solution too. It helps to reduce tartar build up and its resultant halitosis. A difference in breath can be noticed in as little as 2 weeks!

“My pet likes to chew on things” – GREAT!! A great choice would be Clenz-a-Dent chews which are coated in chlorhexadine, a product that helps to break up that tartar build up. Not only is that GREAT, but while your pets chew on these rawhides, it’s also breaking some of that build up off the tooth! Plus, pets love them and they are safe if ingested. For our feline friends, we carry Greenies, which is a crunchy treat that cats LOVE!

Please keep in mind that if your pet has bad breath, this could also be a sign of infection and your pet may need to be examined or have a professional dental cleaning. Oral issues are very painful for our pets. If your pet acts like he is painful or not wanting to eat, please call your veterinarian.

If your pet needs a professional dental cleaning, we are currently running a promotion for FULL MOUTH dental radiographs as well as a professional dental cleaning for ONLY $299! Once your pet’s teeth have been cleaned, and their mouths are not painful, you could start any of these or all of these steps as a precautionary, preventative-measure to combat dental disease!

Have questions?? Feel free to email us info@turtlecreekvmc.com – we would love to help you with your pet’s dental care!

Give Cancer the Paw!

November is National Pet Cancer Awareness Month! As you might know, here at Turtle Creek we view the month of November as an opportunity to spread awareness about the seriousness of pet cancer, as well as sharing many educational opportunities with our clients. In this day and age, pets are living significantly longer, thanks to the research and technology that has evolved in veterinary medicine. So, what better way to enter the blogging world than with a blog about pet cancer?!

In our FIRST EVER blog post, I’m going to give you the cold hard truth about pet cancer. I’m going to try to help you understand which warnings signs could be more serious than you think.

 

FACT: Cancer is the uncontrolled growth of abnormal cells.
FACT: Cancer is the #1 disease related cause of deaths in pets.
FACT: Some breeds are more susceptible to certain cancers.
FACT: Cancer cells develop because of damage to DNA, which can sometimes be inherited. More often, though, a dog’s DNA becomes damaged by exposure to something in the environment, such as tobacco smoke, pesticides or other carcinogens.

 

Now that the facts are out, do you find yourself wondering which signs you should be looking for? Let me tell you:

  1. The obvious – what you see – LUMPS AND BUMPS. All lumps and bumps should be examined by a veterinarian, especially if they change in size or color, or do not resolve themselves (as in the case of insect bites). Your veterinarian might recommend a needle biopsy to let you know if this bump or lump has cancerous cells or not. Non-healing sores are also a concern and should be checked by your veterinarian.
  2. Weight loss or loss of appetite. Just like humans, when pets do not feel well, they do not want to eat.
  3. Coughing or difficulty breathing could be caused by a few things, but keep in mind that cancer metastasizing through the lungs present with the same symptoms.
  4. Unusually strong or abnormal odors. Cancer of the mouth, nose or anal regions can cause a very strong foul odor, it could also make chewing or swallowing difficult.
  5. Abnormal discharges. The gross stuff like blood, pus, vomiting, diarrhea or any other abnormal discharge should always be examined by a veterinarian.
  6. Depression, lethargy, the unwillingness to get up and exercise. If your pet isn’t acting like himself, talk to your veterinarian. Your pet is trying to tell you he/she doesn’t feel well without the ability to speak.

 

Now that you realize your pet can get cancer just like you can, here are a couple easy steps to help keep your pet healthy and reduce the risk of pet cancer.

  1. Most importantly, visit your veterinarian at least twice a year for wellness exams. Your veterinarian is highly trained in examining your pet from nose to tail. He/she might be able to find a problem before it becomes too serious. Don’t forget that your pet ages 7 years to your 1 year. Imagine what would change if you didn’t see a doctor in 7+ years!
  2. Spay and neuter your pet. I know what you’re thinking “that doesn’t make a difference!” but yes it does! Dogs who aren’t spayed before experiencing their 2nd heat cycle are 26% more likely to develop mammary cancer during their lifetime. Cats spayed before 6 months of age are SEVEN times less likely to develop mammary cancer. Neutering male pets significantly reduces their chance of prostate cancer and eliminates their chance of testicular cancer.
  3. Feeding your dog a healthy diet, providing regular exercise and avoiding known carcinogens will help reduce the cancer risk.

 

Now that you feel informed, do you find yourself wondering “how can I help spread awareness?” – let me tell you how. Each November we design a t-shirt about pet cancer to help raise awareness. All proceeds from sales are donated to Morris Animal Foundation (the leading researcher institute in pet cancer). Additionally, for a more fun and exciting way to help spread awareness, join us in April at our Hot Diggity Dog Jog event where we host a 1 mile fun run and a 5K benefitting Morris Animal Foundation. Lastly, please help us spread the word by sharing this information, and let’s all do our part in trying to prevent this deadly disease from taking the lives of our furry companions.