Ticks, like mites, are external parasites and a member of the Arachnid family. Ticks live on the blood of mammals and birds.
Dogs are very susceptible to picking up ticks and thus susceptible to tick-borne illnesses. Vaccines are not available for all tick-borne diseases, which is why a tick preventive product is highly recommended. Using tick preventative products may help keep ticks off your pet and from coming into your home.
Please note: Cats are sensitive to chemicals in some tick preventative medicines. Please consult with our team before using any topical tick treatments.
Ticks go through four life stages: egg, larva, nymph and adult. During each stage the tick may feed on a different host. Ticks can live for three years as they progress through the four stages of their life.
Ticks find their host by sensing breath, body odors or body heat, as well as moisture and vibrations. Ticks wait for a host on the tips of grass and shrubs and attach when a host brushes past. Therefore they tend to hide out in tall grass or plants in wooded areas waiting for prospective hosts. Once a host is found, the tick climbs on and attaches its mouthparts into the skin, beginning the blood meal. Once locked in place, the tick will not detach until its meal is complete.
Though they are known vectors of disease, not all ticks transmit disease – in fact, many ticks do not even carry diseases. However, the threat of disease is always present where ticks are concerned, and these risks should always be taken seriously. In Minnesota, most of the tick-borne disease is spread by deer ticks, with the most widely recognized being Lyme Disease.
Most tick-borne diseases will take several hours to transmit to a host, so the sooner a tick is located and removed, the lower the risk of disease. The symptoms of most tick-borne diseases include fever and lethargy, though some can also cause weakness, lameness, joint swelling and/or anemia. Disease may be hard for a pet owner to discern, so please check with our team if you have concerns. A simple blood test can identify these diseases and keep your pet safe.
You may find Flea and Tick remedies on our online pharmacy, complete with home delivery! If you have any questions on your pet's health and Ticks, please give us a call or find us on Facebook.
Fleas are external parasites, more specifically they are wingless insects with mouthparts adapted for piercing skin and sucking blood. They are generally 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch long and reddish brown. The flea body is hard and polished which helps the flea survive pressure from scratching.
Fleas have long legs, adapted for jumping. In fact a flea can jump vertically up to 7 inches and over a foot horizontally.
Fleas go through four life cycle stages of egg, larva, pupa, and imago (adult). The life cycle begins when the female lays eggs after feeding. Eggs are laid in batches of up to 20 or so, usually on the host itself, which means that the eggs can easily roll onto the ground. Because of this, areas where the host rests and sleeps become one of the primary habitats of eggs and developing fleas. The eggs take around two days to two weeks to hatch.
Fleas carry and transmit many diseases. Young, geriatric and debilitated animals are most susceptible to flea infestations. Fleas are generally found along the back and tail of the animal. Sometimes fleas may be easily spotted on the abdomen or a pet owner may notice pepper like substances in the pet's fur.
Treating for fleas is challenging as it is not just your pet, but the pet's environment that will need to be treated. Flea eggs will be found where the pet commonly lays or sleeps. Once hatched the flea will seek a host. Once a flea finds a host, it is unlikely to leave unless forced off by insecticides or grooming.
Controlling a flea outbreak requires treating your pet and the pet's environment. Long-term and consistent topical treatments will keep your pet free of fleas.
If your pet develops symptoms of flea infestation, please contact our office and we will provide you with information and assistance. We understand!
You may also find Flea and Tick remedies on our online pharmacy, complete with home delivery!
Periodontal disease is dental disease which is found in 65-85% of dogs and cats over 3 years old.
Some breeds of dogs and cats are more predisposed to periodontal disease. Age is also a factor with young geriatric animals at higher risk. Diet and preventative maintenance play a role as well.
As in humans the disease begins with plaque build-up on the teeth. As plaque hardens it forms into tartar which results in inflammation of the gums – both above and below the gum line. The inflammation may lead to infection causing the gums to pull away from the teeth, exposing some of the roots.
Signs of dental disease:
Persistent bad breath
Bleeding, swollen gums
Reluctance to chew
Unwillingness to play with object using the mouth
Treatment for dental disease:
Very few pets show signs of dental disease until severe problems exist. An annual dental exam by our team can help detect oral disease before it becomes a problem.
If not addressed, the build-up of infection in the gums can travel through your pet's digestive tract to the rest of the body, such as kidneys, liver and heart. It is best to remove plaque before it hardens to tartar.
Your pet's teeth will be cleaned just as a dentist would clean your own teeth, however anesthesia is used to keep your pet still to allow for the procedure to be completed.
You can help your pet maintain a healthy mouth by regular brushing of your pet's teeth. Most pets can easily be trained to allow you to brush their teeth. Dry food, dental chews, and other chew toys also help keep tartar build-up off your pet's teeth.
Please visit our online Pharmacy for your pet's dental needs, or call us with any questions.
The primary purpose of a vaccine is to stimulate your pet's immune system to produce protective antibodies. The antibodies formed will offer protection in case of exposure to the infection. Vaccinations offer a strong and lasting immune response.
Vaccines contain antigens that stimulate the immune system. Viruses and bacteria are the basis for vaccinations, and are in modified, killed or recombinant form.
Puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations because of the presence of maternal antibodies, which provide for instant but short-term protection. When the maternal antibodies begin to wane, your pet may be susceptible to infections.
Vaccinations do not result in immediate coverage; it make take up to 14 days to provide maximum protection.
Reactions to vaccines are uncommon, but do occur. Reactions are generally minor such as irritation and swelling at the injection site, or reduced appetite and activity levels. While treatment for these minor reactions is not necessary, you can let us know so we can make a note in your pet's chart.
Moderate reactions that should be brought to our team's attention right away are symptoms such as facial swelling, hives, noisy breathing, and mild reactions lasting longer than 24 hours.
More severe reactions are vomiting, diarrhea, difficulty breathing, profound lethargy, or collapse – any or all should be considered an emergency for your pet and you should seek immediate attention.
The most common intestinal parasites are Hookworms and Roundworms. Young kittens or puppies are most susceptible to worm infestation, but pets of all ages can become infected. Most puppies and kittens are born with Roundworms that are acquired from their mothers before or shortly after birth. In fact, puppies as young as two weeks can possess a dangerous number of worms in their system.
The life cycle of a Roundworm begins when your pet ingests feces infected with Roundworm eggs. This may occur by accident while your pet may lick its paws or fur if contaminated. The eggs hatch in the intestine and penetrate the lining of the intestines. Some larva may migrate to other portions of the body, become encapsulated and remain dormant.
Adult female worms that reside in the intestines will lay thousands of eggs. The eggs will pass through the digestive tract and complete the life cycle lying in wait for the next host. Symptoms of Roundworm infection
Loss of appetite
Dull, rough hair coat
If humans come in contact with larva, serious disease can occur, resulting in loss of vision – especially in children due to visceral larva migrans (meaning the larva migrate through the intestines into other tissues of the body).
Hookworms also enter your pet's body through ingestion, but can enter through your pet's skin as well. Once inside your pet's body the larva migrate to the intestine, attach to the intestinal lining and live on blood. The adult female Hookworm may lay up to 20,000 eggs in a single day. The eggs pass into the environment through feces and quickly hatch completing the life cycle.
Symptoms of Hookworm infection
Loss of appetite
Hookworm infections in humans can cause severe skin reactions.
A veterinarian will examine a stool sample under microscope to detect small worms. Also it is not uncommon to be able to see some worms with the naked eye.
Other parasitic worms
Whipworms and Tapeworms are also worms that infect our pets and live similar life cycles as the Roundworm and Hookworm. Mice, Bats and Fleas are intermediate hosts for worms. Tapeworms are more common in pets that are hunters and consume wild animals such as mice. Please be sure to let our team know if your pet is active in this way; they can prescribe preventive medicine and a control program. Our online pharmacy also has dewormers available for home delivery.
Geriatric refers to an aging or senior pet. Canines have a complex aging formula based on breed and size. The old adage of 1 human year equals 7 dog years is not accurate in all cases. For Felines, 9 years and older is considered a senior pet.
Felines that are well cared for and live in the home can live 18-20 years. Most cats will live 15 years.
Comprehensive physical exams with blood work and urinalysis one or two times a year will ensure optimal health for your senior pet. Aging pets tend to have common maladies that could be detected early with testing.
Arthritis is a common problem for senior pets. Providing soft padding and keeping your pet at a healthy weight will help. Also keep plenty of fresh water for your senior pet and consider special diets for longevity. We can discuss exercise and weight with you and provide pain medications if necessary. Please see our online pharmacy for your pet's wellness needs in the golden years.
Feline Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease in cats is caused by infection with a worm that is transmitted by mosquito. It is emerging as an important infection in cats, since it may only take one to two worms to lead to congestive heart failure.
Cats that spend time outdoors in warmer areas in higher mosquito populations are more susceptible to the disease. Indoor cats are also susceptible to Heartworm disease as some mosquitoes actually prefer an indoor environment.
Your cat's immune system is better equipped to fight Heartworms than that of a canine. Sometimes the feline immune system will prevent the Heartworm from maturing and completing it's life cycle.
Signs of Feline Heartworm Disease
Cats that have Heartworm infection are sometimes thought to have asthma. Sometimes Heartworm disease will go undetected until death.
While our clinics offer specialized tests and x-rays to help detect Feline Heartworm disease, there are no approved remedies. The best solution is a program of strict prevention by using a product to inhibit Feline Heartworm infection which is available in our online pharmacy.
Canine health starts early in life. Puppies should be acclimated to collars and leashes when young. Some dogs will do better with harnesses; your trainer or veterinarian can assist you with a selection of collars.
Young puppies can be walked briefly a few times a week. Early training will benefit the dog throughout life. Starting with short walks a few times a week and building up distance and frequency will ensure the puppy will enjoy exercise. Walking distances will vary with breed, size and age of your dog.
Dogs confined to small spaces or apartments will need more scheduled exercise than dogs that have large yards or playgrounds.
Meadow View offers Canine Rehabilitation for dogs before/after surgery, suffering from hip or elbow dysplasia, or arthritis. We have a certified Canine Rehabilitation Practitioner on staff and offer expert rehabilitation therapy services, as well as overall exercise programs for healthy pets. You may learn more on our Canine Rehabilitation page.
Please see our online pharmacy for weight management, dietary aids, respiratory needs and other items related to your pet's health.
Canine Heartworm Disease
Heartworm Disease is the result of a blood infection by a worm after an infected mosquito has taken blood from the Canine.
Heartworm starts its life cycle as a small organism and is carried by infected mosquitoes that have ingested the Heartworm after feeding on an infected Canine. The Heartworm forms into a larva while inside the mosquito. Within 4 to 6 weeks the mosquito can then infect the next Canine from which it takes a blood meal.
The Heartworm larva will live in the dog's skin around the mosquito bite for up to two weeks. After which time the larva enter the blood stream and migrate through the blood stream for about 2 months before arriving in the pulmonary artery. The larva will take another 3 months to mature into Heartworms. The worms continue to live in the heart and produce microscopic offspring (microfilaria) that are released into the bloodstream. At some point a mosquito may pick up the microscopic heartworm organism to complete the life cycle, which is set to start all over again in 4-6 weeks when the mosquito takes a blood meal from a dog.
The entire life cycle takes 6 to 7 months. The adult Heartworms can live 3 to 5 years inside your dog.
All canines are at risk of Heartworm infections. The Heartworm cycle is only active when the temperature is above 65 degrees, however please remember that the heartworm can be alive in your pet from the previous summer cycle.
Signs of Heartworms
Some canines only show a decline in general condition
Effects of Heartworms Heartworms cause damage to the blood vessels around the heart. The inflammation spreads to the lungs, leading to coughing and breathing difficulties. If left untreated the worms continue to multiply and move through other chambers of the heart impairing the heart's ability to move blood. Eventually, the Heartworms begin to migrate to the liver which will result in the death of the canine.
Diagnosis Our clinics can perform a simple antigen blood test to detect the Heartworm. There are additional tests that can be performed to detect the stage of the Heartworm disease. If your canine does have Heartworms, we will consult with you and discuss treatment and recovery options.
Avoiding Heartworms There are many medicinal options available to prevent Heartworms, available in tablet, chewable or topical treatments. We have many in stock. Also has an online pharmacy that you may use to have the products delivered to your home. Please check out preventive products and dewormers.