The Prevalence of Diabetes in Pets

Diabetes continues to be one of the most prevalent diseases affecting people, but did you know diabetes is also on the rise among cats and dogs? Diabetes impacts 1 in 200 cats and approximately 1 in every 200-500 dogs. While this disease is more common in senior pets, we’re also seeing many cases among younger animals.

If you’re wondering what causes diabetes in pets and what the symptoms are, you’re in luck because November is National Pet Diabetes Month. In observance, the team at Oak Forest Veterinary Hospital wants to help you learn more about this condition and its prevention.


Leptospirosis: What You Need to Know

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease of dogs and other mammals that primarily affects the liver or kidneys. Infections is uncommon in areas where widespread
vaccination of dogs has been practiced for many years. Outbreaks of the disease are still seen from time to time.

How is Leptospirosis Transmitted?

Leptospira bacteria are carried mainly by rats and other rodents, but can also affect almost any mammalian species, including people. Infected or recovered “carrier” dogs may act as a source of the infection.

Ingestion of infected urine or rodent-contaminated garbage is the most important means of transmission, but some forms of the bacteria can penetrate damaged or thin skin. For instance, when dogs swim in contaminated water, they may become infected through their skin. The incubation period (from infection to onset of clinical signs) is usually four to twelve days. Continue…

Pet Vaccines: Helping Your Pet Live a Long and Wag-Full Life

By Audrey Wojtkowski

Recently there has been a lot of talk about fully vaccinating children and the dangers of over-vaccination. But what about your fur-child? How do you know which vaccines are appropriate for your pet? What about
preventative care beyond pet vaccines? How can we catch diseases early enough to treat and allow your pet to live a longer life?

Pet Vaccinations in a Nutshell

Let’s start with the basics: what is a vaccine? A pet vaccine is a segment of the virus or bacteria that will help to prepare the body’s immune system to fight off the disease should it ever be exposed in the future.  

There are so many diseases that your pet can be vaccinated for that it can be overwhelming when your veterinarian is poking your pet. If you aren’t sure what your fur-baby is being vaccinated for, or if you are confused you should always ask for clarification. Continue…

Pet Vaccines 101: Keeping Them Well

pet vaccinesPets have never had it so good. Unlike their predecessors, modern dogs and cats have access to the best in veterinary medicine, allowing them to live longer, healthier lives than ever before. Besides enjoying scientific advances in the areas of surgery, cardiac care, oncology, physical therapy, and more, today’s pets benefit from preventive care in the forms of nutrition, wellness exams, and of course, regular pet vaccines.

It may seem like an inconvenience to bring your puppy or kitten into the veterinarian’s office every few months for shots, and then back for boosters every year, but having a long and healthy life for your best pal is well worth the effort.


Canine Parvovirus (CPV)

One of the viruses that we vaccinate every puppy for is Canine Parvovirus (CPV).  Parvovirus, more often referred to as just Parvo, is a virus that affects the gastrointestinal tract of puppies and young dogs.  This disease primarily affects those who have not been vaccinated, but improper vaccinations and a lack of boosters can also lead to your dog or puppy contracting the disease.

Canine Parvo Prevention

It is important that your dog or puppy is vaccinated appropriately in order to prevent the disease.  AAHA (American Animal Hospital Association) recommends vaccines every three to four weeks starting at 6 to 8 weeks and boostering every three to four weeks until your pet is over 14 weeks old.  Older puppies without vaccine history should be given a vaccine when you initially bring him in and boostered three to four weeks later. Continue…

Heat Stroke in Pets – Causes, Signs, Treatments, & Preventions

With summer right around the corner, heat stroke in pets is a real concern. Considering that, we would like to help you prevent some of the dangers that can occur when your pet is exposed to high temperatures for too long.

Heat stroke can occur if a pet’s body temperature exceeds 103°F. Body temperatures above 106°F without previous signs of illness are most commonly associated with exposure to excessive external or environmental heat.

The critical temperature where multiple organ failure and impending death occurs is 109°F. It is important to remember that dogs cannot control their body temperature by sweating as humans do, since they only have a relatively small number of sweat glands located in their footpads. Their primary way of regulating body heat is through panting.    Continue…

The Dangers of Chocolate for Pets

With Easter just around the corner, and with endless other reasons to buy chocolate throughout the year, it is important to remember that dogs and other pets can react differently to this tasty treat than we do!

While rarely fatal, chocolate ingestion can still often result in significant illness for dogs. Chocolate is toxic because it contains an alkaloid called ‘Theobromine.’ Theobromine is similar in nature to caffeine and is often used medicinally as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous when ingested in large amounts. Continue…

Prevent a Pet Emergency on Valentine’s Day

Valentines chocolate_iStock_000000406874_MediumEveryone knows that the top destination on Valentine’s Day is a pet emergency clinic. It’s just so romantic and cozy; you’ll want to freeze time…or NOT!

While we love seeing you and your pet, we would prefer it not be in an emergency situation! With this in mind, we offer some Valentine’s Day safety tips so you (and Cupid) can remain on track.

The Elephant in the Room

We hate to call out chocolate, but it really is the most common cause of pet poisonings on Valentine’s Day (not to mention Easter, Halloween, and Christmas!). Sure, nothing says “I love you” like decadent chocolates in a red, heart-shaped box. However, your pet is better off without these sweet treats.


Ringing in a New Year with Our Top Five Pet Blogs of 2016

OakForest_iStock_000089139143_LargeAnother year has passed and with it, we often reflect upon ways we can improve our health, get back into exercise, and just be more present and available – especially with those we love. One of the reasons why we choose to focus on pet health blogs is to encourage you to improve your pet’s quality of life and expand your knowledge as a responsible, loving pet owner. (And we know you do!)

Whether we place our focus on puppy and kitten care or the importance of weight management and good nutrition, we hope we help you better understand and make the changes that lead to optimal pet health.

If you want to make this the most pawsitive year yet for your fur friend, we are here to give you a leg up with our five most popular pet blogs of 2016.


Rabies and Pets: An Overview

Baby RaccoonRabies…the word alone strikes fear into the hearts of many. Rabies and pets are definitely an unwanted combination, which is why most states, including Texas, require this vaccination for all cats and dogs.

In general, rabies is frightening because it’s fatal, and it can be transmitted to humans. However, beyond the image of a “mad dog” foaming at the mouth, how much do you really know about rabies and pets? Continue…