Heartworms are very common in our area and can cause fatal disease in our pets.
In dogs, these large spaghetti-like worms live inside the heart, and lead to progressive heart disease. Adult heartworms produce their tiny larvae that circulate through the bloodstream to the surface of the dog’s skin. Mosquitoes transfer heartworms by ingesting the larvae with their blood meal, and then injecting them into the next animal they bite.
When the larvae are transferred to cats they migrate through the lungs and produce a serious asthma like condition. In cats, even one adult worm in the heart can be fatal. Heartworms can even cause disease in people when their immune systems aren’t functioning normally.
All it takes is a single bite from a mosquito for heartworms to enter the body and start their damage. Preventative medications for both dogs and cats are available from your veterinarian. These preventatives are given monthly to eliminate the larva before they develop. Yearly blood testing is done to ensure the worms are not present.
Protect your pet from the devastation of this disease by working with your veterinarian to prevent heartworms.
Health problems in our animals can happen anytime, day or night. The OSU Veterinary Medical Hospital in Stillwater is staffed and ready to respond to emergencies 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Veterinarians are standing by to care for all species of animals, from dogs, cats, and horses, to food animals, wildlife and exotics. Animal owners and referring veterinarians know that around the clock staffing will insure immediate contact with a doctor and support staff, which is so valuable in those late night emergencies. With a wide range of diagnostic procedures available, patients can be assessed quickly and treatment started right away. Emergency patients can be stabilized overnight in the fully equipped intensive care unit, or undergo surgical procedures at any hour, if needed. Whether the emergency is a dog hit by a car, a cat with a blocked urinary tract, a lacerated horse, a cow having trouble giving birth, or a chinchilla having seizures, the veterinarians at OSU are standing by to provide the best care possible for your animal, all the time, every day.
Painful osteoarthritis can develop in our pets, much like it does in people. When the cartilage inside the joint becomes damaged due to some kind of trauma, the ongoing destructive process of arthritis begins.
You and your veterinarian can do many things to help slow the progression of arthritis. Weight management is critical to reduce stress on the affected joint.
As arthritis progresses, surgery may be necessary to end the pain. The Center for Veterinary Health Sciences diagnoses and treats a myriad of diseases associated with arthritis, including hip dysplasia, trauma to the joint, elbow dysplasia, anterior cruciate ligament tears in the knee, and medial patellar or kneecap luxation, among others.
No matter the cause of the arthritis, a tailored management plan can be developed to help minimize pain and maximize the quality of life for your pet.
Located across the street from the OSU veterinary medical hospital and college, the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab is home to an amazing team of scientists who use a wide array of specialties to unravel the mysteries of animal disease.
The lab takes in samples, or whole animals that have died, from veterinarians and owners, to determine the cause of death or find what evidence is present about a specific disease. They conduct a multitude of tests for many diseases and toxins.
They help food animal producers to determine the causes of production loss. They help to prevent the spread of disease by running needed tests for health certificates. The laboratory analyzes all sorts of samples for pathology, including analyzing surgical biopsy samples, diagnosing and staging various cancers, and preparing samples for rabies testing.
Animal owners and veterinarians have an invaluable resource for the protection of animal health in the Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab.
Adding a new pet to your home can be one of life’s biggest joys, however, with the new addition many things need to be considered. Realistic expectation of the animal’s needs including training, nutrition, health care, exercise and emotional stimulation will help to ensure that the new home will remain the animal’s permanent home.
It is important to consider the entire family, including other pets, in the decision to bring home a new pet. By planning a visit with your veterinarian to discuss all aspects of a new pet, you can ensure that you are prepared for your new addition.
Your veterinarian can help you develop a plan for success for training and health. Informed preparation for your new pet will help insure a happy and healthy transition from “new pet” to “lifelong friend.”
Obesity is an epidemic in our country, for us and for our pets.
When it comes right down to it, obesity comes from consuming more calories than we need to be healthy.
In our society we often view food as love, and as we become more sedentary so do our pets. It’s easier to give your dog a snack than to take them on a walk. The danger is that we are loving our pets to death.
Obese dogs live two years less than dogs of normal body condition. They also develop arthritis three years earlier. So by feeding our pets more than they need, we cause them to live shorter lives and suffer with chronic, unrelenting arthritis pain.
Our pets are just like us, and being trim starts with what we put in our mouths. Provide your pet with the correct diet, in the amount that is appropriate for their body mass, and don’t give additional treats. When you really think about it, taking your dog for a walk shows more love than giving them excessive food that hurts them.
Consult your veterinarian to determine what is best for your pet’s health. Help your pet live a longer, healthier life by keeping it fit and trim, and don’t forget to show yourself that same love.
The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is available for our animals to help diagnose a wide range of problems.
Injuries causing lameness in our pets can be difficult to diagnose when there is not an obvious fracture. Nuclear scintigraphy can be very helpful in these cases, seeing injuries an x-ray would miss.
When bones, ligaments, and tendons are injured they become very active metabolically, as they try to heal. With nuclear scintigraphy, radio-pharmaceuticals are given that selectively attach to the area of injury.
These chemicals emit radiation that is then detected to create a two-dimensional image, clearly showing injuries that would be invisible with a standard x-ray study.
This imaging technique allows the veterinarian to pinpoint the area of concern, and then develop a diagnostic and treatment plan accordingly. The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is a beneficial tool to help guide the diagnosis and treatment of lameness in our pets.
Talk with your veterinarian to see if this wonderful diagnostic aid could be helpful to your pet.
Many bacteria can cause food poisoning. Bacteria that can be normal in one animal can become a severe health risk when they enter another animal’s body.
E. coli 0157H7 is one of these bacteria, and is known for causing serious disease in people, specifically gastroenteritis and damage to the kidneys.
This strain of E. coli is a normal inhabitant of the intestines of livestock and doesn’t make them sick. Yet if this bacteria contaminates our food, it becomes a severe health risk to us. It can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, even kidney failure and death, particularly in children and the elderly.
Cooking meat to the proper internal temperature kills the E. coli bacteria. Completely cooking meats, as well as washing produce carefully before consumption, will help protect you and your family from this disease. As with many diseases hand washing is an important safeguard to protect you from transferring the bacterium to yourself or others.
Understanding this disease, and how E. coli 0157H7 is spread, will help you avoid the ravages of this serious food poisoning.
One of the few negatives about having pets is that our pets rarely out live us. With any luck, we will outlive many pets during our lifetime.
When our pets reach the end of life, hospice care is available if needed, much like that for people. The goal of hospice care is to keep the pet as comfortable as possible as life winds down.
In the final stages of life pain control, medical therapy, low level laser and ultrasound therapy, as well as massage can help to keep the good days outnumbering the bad days. With the realistic goal of quality of life over quantity of life, hospice care helps our pets never lose their dignity.
Veterinarians play a crucial role in the final stages of many pets’ lives by counseling pet owners on end of life decisions. As much as we grieve the loss of our beloved pets, we would never want them to live forever in pain.
That’s what hospice care for our pets is really all about, easing the pain at the end of life. Your veterinarian will be your support through all the stages of life with your pet, and help you and your pet with even the most difficult decisions.
The transition from middle aged pet to senior pet can creep up on you, and once our pets are visibly older they seem to age very fast. Being aware of your pet’s advancing age will help you make good choices for them, to maximize the quality and quantity of life you share.
Regular visits with your veterinarian can keep an eye out for signs of developing disease and provide early intervention. Dietary and physical activity adjustments can be made to reduce the strain on aging organs and joints.
Heart murmurs and changes in mental activity can develop in the aging pet. Cataracts cause loss of vision, but can be removed in dogs, much like in people. Dental health is a big problem in older pets. Regular dental care helps prevent halitosis, periodontal disease and tooth loss.
Pain from untreated bone issues and osteoarthritis can lead to decreased mobility and deteriorating health in our older pets.
Your veterinarian is your family’s “other doctor” and can help you honor your senior pet’s contribution to the family by providing life stage appropriate support in the golden years.