Archives for February 2017
Look at those beautiful white teeth!
Keep the teeth of your puppy or kitten healthy with regular brushing. Stats on a lack of the habit look grim: by the age of 5, about 85% of all pets show signs of gum disease. But knowing that we should brush and actually doing it are two different things. How do you even get started on this important part of good oral care for your pet?
Start Early. Your introduction will probably be easier with a kitten or puppy, so it’s recommended that you start early. Helping an older dog or cat get used to the habit of teeth brushing may take a little more time and patience, but it’s not impossible.
Start Slow. No matter your pet’s age, the key to starting any good habit is to start slowly and be persistent. One way to introduce the concept is to leave a pet toothbrush with a little pet toothpaste on it within your pet’s reach – like on the floor. Your sweet kitten may sniff it and walk away while your precocious puppy may enthusiastically lick the toothpaste off the brush in three seconds flat. Your mature regal pet may ignore the whole thing in hopes it will disappear. (“Toothbrush? What toothbrush?”)
Any of these reactions is perfectly normal – you’re only concerned with a happy introduction. After a few days of the random toothbrush within reach, you can start to actually brush your pet’s teeth. Your tool of choice may be an angled toothbrush, a “finger” brush that fits over your index finger, or even a clean rag that’s wrapped around your finger.
Choose your time wisely. After a good long walk or play session, your pet should be settled down, more relaxed and hopefully ready to try something new.
If you only brush one or two teeth and your dog starts to back away, your time’s up. Put away your brush or rag, hand over a treat and praise her with your soothing voice. You want to continue with your happy introduction, and tomorrow’s another day.
Slowly, your pet should get used to brushing. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth once daily. At least once every week or so, examine inside your pet’s mouth and look for:
1. Unusual or new bumps in mouth
2. Increased drooling
3. Red or swollen gums
4. Missing teeth
Watch for any change in appetite or eating habits. Pets should visit the vet to have teeth examined professionally every six to twelve months.
Just as in humans, bad oral health can lead to problems like heart, liver or kidney disease. The fringe benefits of brushing your pet’s teeth are certainly worth your time – good oral health positively affects the life span of your pet. That’s why we’re offering free oral exams between right now and the end of March.
When you come for your pet’s appointment, you can find out more about your pet’s dental health with complimentary educational materials, help with a home dental plan, and if needed, an estimate for a professional cleaning.
Give us a call – and let’s get started!
Town N Country employees spent their Saturday at the CanSculpt event at Holly Hill Mall in Burlington. The event provides food donations to Allied Churches of Alamance County’s food pantry, for example, our Snoopy sculpture is made of 987 items: cans of veggies, pork n beans, boxes of cereal, bouillon, mac & cheese and chocolate bars! We’ve named our masterpiece “Paws for a Cause”.
If you like what you see, please stop by the mall and give us a vote for the People’s Choice Award. Simply pick up a ballot at the Allied Church of Alamance County food pantry, located across from the cookie stand.
Voting starts Sunday, February 10 through Friday, February 17 from noon to 6 pm!
Here at Town 'N' Country Animal Hospital, we strongly encourage all pet owners to give heartworm prevention medication to their dogs and cats, year long. We see heartworm disease in both dogs and cats each year at our practice. Incidence maps from the American Heartworm Society show that we are in an area with a moderate number of cases of heartworm disease.
Highs Temps and Lows. We have our share of strange weather here in North Carolina. We might have a high of 65 degrees one day, and a low of 30 degrees two nights later. With weather swings like this, it is very difficult to predict what the mosquito population will do. It doesn’t take many days of warm weather for mosquitoes to be out and about again. Any time there may mosquitoes around, it is important to have pets on year round prevention.
Prevention – Sort Of. We talk about heartworm prevention medication as if it prevents your dog from getting heartworms. That’s sort of true, but not exactly. Your pet can be bitten by a mosquito at any time. If that mosquito is infected with heartworms, it will pass the heartworms to your dog. The heartworm “prevention” that you give your pet will kill the heartworms before they have a chance to develop into adults, causing disease in your dog or cat's heart and lungs. So, preventions don’t exactly prevent your dog or cat from getting heartworms, but it does prevent them from getting heartworm disease.
If you give your pet a dose of heartworm prevention on October 1, and they get bitten by a mosquito on October 10, but you don’t plan to give them another dose of heartworm prevention until April 1, he or she could very easily contract Heartworm Disease over the winter.
Cross Your Heart and You're Entered! We want to spread the word that heartworm prevention IS necessary during the winter, even in the South. That's we we've teamed up with Elanco® (the makers of Trifexis®), to bring you the Cross My Heart Pledge. We will be have the pledge on our Facebook page.
From now until February 13th, share the image on your Facebook page, then come back to our page and leave a comment that you have taken and shared the pledge. Each person who shares will be entered in a drawing for a chance to win one of those amazing RTIC Soft Pak 30 Gray Cooler*, one of those coolers that keep ice cold for up to five days! We will announce the winner on our Facebook page, on February 14, 2017.
So – make the "Cross Your Heart" pledge, share, then cross your fingers that you're the winner of that RTIC cooler! Either way, when you keep your pledge and consistently give your pet heartworm prevention, you and your pet really do win.
Go here to share!
*Valued at $139.00.