News

Leptospirosis Cases on the Rise Again

HEALTH ALERT! We are seeing an increased number of leptospirosis cases the past month. These cases have been resistant to traditional medications used to cure this infection. This disease is caused by a bacteria that is transmitted in the urine of wildlife and rodents, particularly raccoons. Urine contaminated water, food, and soil can enter through mucous membranes and wounds. What’s even scarier is if your dog gets it, they can give it to you. It leads to both kidney and liver failure in both humans and dogs. Thankfully, cats are fairly resistant. Please make sure your dog is up to date on their lepto vaccination. If not, please call us to schedule his or her appointment today to get protected.

Picking the Right Pet Insurance

The pet insurance market can be confusing to navigate. There are many different plan and options you can choose from. This article can help you understand different plans and how to select the right company and coverage for your pet.

What kind of coverage choices are offered?

Accident/Injury– This kind of coverage covers just that. Things that would fall under this category include hit by car, lacerations, broken bones, etc. It does not cover illness.

Illness– This type of coverage includes sickness. This includes conditions like diabetes, infections, liver disease, and other health issues.

Complete– This combines accidental and illness coverages.

Preventative/Wellness– This provides benefits for exams, vaccinations, dental cleanings, and other things that are needed to insure a healthy pet over the years. Many preventative plans must be purchased in conjunction with injury or illness plans.

Some companies differ in what they may cover such as heritable or congenital conditions. Others may provide coverage in alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic work, stem cells, and aqua therapy. You will need to read coverage details to find what all is available under your plan.

An insurance company may limit payout on certain conditions regardless of the final veterinary bill. Read your plan carefully before selecting. Example: Company A will only cover $1000 for a repair on a broken leg. The surgeon’s bill may be $3000. You would be responsible for the other $2000.

Deductible

This can be variable between companies. A company may have specific plans you can choose from or may allow you to set your own deductible.

There is also variation in how the deductible works. Some companies have an annual deductible regardless of the number of visits and reasons while other companies may have a deductible to meet for each new condition. If the company offers a deductible per condition, this is typically for the life of the pet but is dependent on the insurance company’s policy. Be sure to read the fine print carefully and ask questions.

Coverage Percentage and Limit

Many companies offer different levels of coverage and limits. A company may allow you to select your set amount of coverage for the year or you may have the option to select unlimited coverage. Also, companies typically only pay a certain percentage of your bills. Some companies will allow you to select the amount covered on a percentage basis but others may not (example: 80% bill pay vs 90%).

Age Limit

Sign up for coverage may only be allowed for pets in a certain age group. Many do not allow you to sign up a puppy or kitten less than 8 weeks of age while other companies will not allow pets older than 13 or 14 years old. There are some companies that do not have age restrictions.

Premium

You will need to determine what works for your monthly budget. Many of the things above will influence your plan premiums. A high deductible with a lower percentage covered will result in a lower monthly premium than a low deductible unlimited coverage plan.

Premiums are also influence by geographical region, species, and age the pet is signed up for health insurance. A 5 year bulldog in New York will have a much higher premium than a 3 year old cat in Nebraska.

Reimbursement Options

Most companies require you to submit your claim paperwork and veterinary hospital invoices and then will reimburse you in a specified amount of time. This means that you are still responsible for 100% of the veterinary bill up front when you checkout. You will be responsible for submitting the claim. The insurance company often contacts the veterinarian for copies of medical history regarding the claim.

Trupanion does offer Trupanion Express (some hospitals may not have). This allows for pre-approval of claims and coverage can be applied directly to your hospital bill.

Other Considerations:

NO insurance will cover pre-existing conditions. Some may cover a condition in the future if it is considered completely treatable and your pet goes a certain amount of time since the initial problem.

Waiting periods– With most companies, there is a waiting period after you sign up before you can actually use your pet’s insurance. This varies between companies and can range between 14-30 days. Some companies may break this down even further. Example 14 day wait for illness, 30 day wait for injury, and 6 month wait period for orthopedic issues. A few companies offer free 30 day trials with an exam and this allows for immediate coverage. You typically must sign up within 24-72 hours after the exam in order to be eligible.

Fourth of July Safety Tips

While we love to celebrate the 4th of July, this is an extremely scary time for many of our pets. Fireworks and noise is very frightening for some animals and household festivities can be stressful and pose health risks. This time of the year has the most pets reported missing. Read further for tips on how to keep your pets safe over the holiday.

Prepare in Advance:

  • Make sure your pet has updated ID tags and microchip information.
  • If your pet is not microchipped, consider doing so. Collars and tags can come off.
  • Take a current photo of all of your pets just in case.
  • If your pet has a history of being anxious or you may think it will be a problem, speak to your veterinarian about anxiety medications, supplements, and desensitization techniques BEFORE the fireworks and holiday activity starts.
  • Make sure their environment is secure. Are fences in good repair? Any holes or areas they could push through? Do gate and door latches secure well?

Safety Tips:

  • Leave your pets at home. Fireworks and unfamiliar environments are extremely scary for some. Consider boarding or hiring a pet sitter if you are going out of town for an extended period of time.
  • Put in a safe, escape proof room or crate during fireworks and parties.
  • Choose a location in the house that is the quietest area if possible. Keep a radio or TV on to help block out some of the noise from outdoors.
  • Go outside with them for bathroom business. Keep on a leash if they are particularly anxious and could bolt (even in fenced yards).
  • Keep pets inside when fireworks are being set off.
  • Put notes on exit doors and gates to remind guests to keep these closed and secure.
  • Don’t let pets near the BBQ or around food tables
  • Do not feed or let guests feed your pet table scraps.
  • Keep them cool and offer water and shade if they are outdoors. This is a hot time of the year and heat stroke can easily occur.

After the Celebration:

  • Check the yard for old fireworks and sparklers before letting them outside. Even if you did not set off any fireworks, debris can drift over from neighbors.
  • Pickup any dropped food scraps or other debris that your pet may get into. This includes charcoal and glow sticks.

DOGGY DAYCARE ENTRANCE MOVING!

Starting Monday June 4, 2018 Doggy Daycare drop off and pickup will be through the North entrance of 400 hall.  Please follow these simple rules to help things go more smoothly.

Doggy Day Care Check-In Etiquette

Keep your pet on a leash at all times.

Keep your pet near your side at all times. Do not allow your pet to wander.

Do NOT allow your pet to approach other dogs or people.

Give other daycare attendees plenty of space. Allow at least 5-10 feet between you and the next person in front or behind you. We are trying to avoid congestion in the hallway.

 These rules are for all our daycare attendees’ safety. While your dog may be friends with another in the daycare yard, the excitement at drop off can be overwhelming for some individuals. Also, not all dogs coming for daycare are allowed in the yard at the same time as others. Not everyone is a friend with the other dogs. Some pets may be leash reactive or protective of their owners. This can create fighting and tension between dogs. We want this to be a fun and safe environment for all pets and owners. Please follow these rules accordingly.

Interview with Cytopoint User!

Cytopoint has been a revolutionary new allergy medication for our patients! A single injection lasts 4-8 weeks against environmental allergies that make your dog itchy, scratchy, and miserable. Jackson’s owner is sharing his story with Cytopoint.

Pet Care Center (PCC): How long has Jackson been fighting allergies?

Jackson’s Owner (JO): 2 years

PCC: What symptoms did he experience?

JO: Lots or itching, red skin, and was very irritable.

PCC: How fast did the Cytopoint start working?

JO: Within a day he seemed like started to feel better.

PCC: How long did it last for him?

JO: About 2 months.

PCC: How do you feel it has impacted his life?

JO: It provides him relief from the constant itching!

PCC: Do you feel it works better than other medications used in the past (compared to Benadryl, steroids, Apoquel)?

JO: Yes, Cytopoint has been the best medication by far for his allergies and it is more cost effective.

PCC: What are a few things you like about the Cytopoint shot?

JO: It works quickly, alleviates his symptoms, and gets him feeling back to normal!

If your dog is suffering from allergies, please ask us how this product could help impact his/her life.

LOW PREVALENCE DOES NOT MEAN NO PREVALENCE!!!!

It’s that time a year again when everyone starts worrying about parasites, particularly heartworm. However, did you know you should still be thinking about prevention 12 months out of the year? Did you know that heartworm preventatives aren’t actually preventatives at all but actually dewormers? Did you know most products also provide coverage against other parasites such as roundworms, hookworms, etc.? Did you know cats can get heartworm disease, too!?!? What about ferrets!?

While the weather gets pretty cold and nasty here in Nebraska, we still recommend year around product administration. Guessing when mosquitos are out and transmitting is a dangerious game of roulette. If you give your pet preventative at the beginning of October and the rest of the month is particularly warm, you leave your pet open to infection if you don’t give a second dose in November. Remember heartworm prevention is actually a dewormer. It does not protect “forward” but kills what they were exposed to the past month. Also, many of you are traveling with your pets. Are you making sure you are keeping them protected? It may be freezing in Nebraska but southern states still have a thriving and busy mosquito population.

Generally, the prevalence of heartworm disease in Nebraska is low but yearly analysis of data shows that heartworm positive dogs are on the rise in the area. This may be due to climate change but also we are seeing an influx of rescue dogs from the South after the hurricanes last year. These positive dogs are a reservoir for the disease and pose a risk to your pet (dog and cat alike).

Heartworm disease is transmitted via the bite of the mosquito. When a mosquito bites an infected dog, it is then able to transmit these to a new dog. A single dog can be bitten more than 80 times in a single evening! It only takes one bite from one infected to mosquito to pass the disease along. Even one heartworm positive dog in a neighborhood dramatically increases your pet’s risk. Most species of mosquitos can fly 1-3 miles from a breeding ground. Some of the bigger species can fly as far as 7 miles! Twenty five different species of mosquitoes in the United States can carry heartworm disease and each species is active at different times of the day and year.

Many have the ability to exist in microclimates. These consist of warmer areas often found in the city between buildings or protected from Mother Nature. So while it may be cold and blowing outside, mosquitos can be alive and well in these protected environments. They also still have to potential to pass on disease.

So how can you help protect your pet? Start with giving or applying a month preventative that kills the larva that is passed along by the mosquito. These products include Sentinel Spectrum and Revolution (among many others). Some topical flea/tick preventatives such as Vectra also help repel the bite of the mosquito. If they can’t bite they can’t transmit. In a recent study involving a resistant strain of heartworm, using a combination of heartworm prevention and topical repellent Vectra, eliminated the transmission of this resistant type strain.

Environmental control is important as well. Mosquitos can reproduce wherever there is as little as one inch of standing water. This includes water bowls, kiddy pools, and your neighbor’s ditch that never completely dries up. Make sure to empty, wash, and refill outdoor water bowels daily. Make sure to keep unused bird baths, kitty pools, or other items that can collect water dry and turned over so water does not collect. Resolve any landscaping issues that may result in retained areas of water.

Even pets that do not go outdoors can get heartworm disease! Mosquitos can easily fly through doors and windows and bite your pet. Remember it only takes one infected mosquito that carries heartworm to infect your pet. Make sure to keep screens on any open doors and windows to prevent intruders.

We may not have a lot of heartworm in Nebraska but unprotected pets are at risk. The disease is truly devastating and life threatening to those pets that contract it. Please be sure to contact us on how we can help protect your pet from a devastating disease.

Resources:

American Heartworm Society https://www.heartwormsociety.org

Companion Animal Parasite Council http://www.petsandparasites.org

2016 Heartworm Prevalence Map

 

New Flea and Tick Products are Here!!!

We are very excited to be bringing two new flea/tick products, Simparica and Catego, to our shelves at Pet Care Center! These affordable and effective preventatives will keep flea and tick problems away for your dogs and cats.

Simparica is a great tasting chewable tablet given orally once a month to dogs 6 months and older. It travels in your dog’s blood to safely deliver persistent continuous protection against fleas and ticks from day 1 to day 35. It starts killing fleas within 3 hours and keeps going strong for 35 days without losing effectiveness at the end of the month. Simparica provides rapid relief for pets with existing flea infestations. Even dogs with flea allergies have shown improvement with Simparica. Simparica also prevents and controls home infestations, killing fleas before they can lay eggs. In flea infested homes where Simparica is administered on a monthly basis for 3 months, a 95.6 % reduction in the flea population was seen in 14 days and reached 100% elimination by day 60.

Simparica starts killing ticks within 8 hours and keeps going strong for 35 days without losing effectiveness at the end of the month. This is important to help reduce the risk of transmission of potentially life-threatening tick-borne diseases.

For our feline patients, we are now carrying Catego on our shelves! This is a topical product that provides protection against fleas, ticks and lice for a full month. Catego was designed specifically for cats and only cats. It comes in one low-volume formulation for all size cats weighing over 1.5 pounds and is approved in felines over 8 weeks of age. Catego works fast and kills 100 % of fleas within 6 hours (97% in 3 hours).

Owner Pet First Aid Class

Dr. Amy Walton will be hosting a pet first aid course for pet owners at Pet Care Center of Lincoln. It will be 2.5 – 3 hours long and include hands on experience, power point presentation, and question time.

For ages 18 and older due to the nature of the content.

Topics covered include:
First Aid Kit Preparation
Bandaging
CPR
Heimlich Maneuver
Recognizing ER situations and applying first aid principles

CPR mannequins will be used. Do NOT bring your own pet.

Class size is limited to 20 participants. If you are unable to attend this session, she will be holding others in the future.

Class enrollment is $30/person.

To sign up and hold your spot, email Dr. Walton your contact information (name, email, phone number) to amy@petcarecenteroflincoln.com.
Check, cash, or paypal must be received by March 28th to guarantee your spot. No refunds after March 29th.
Paypal payments can be sent to skullcreekphotography@gmail.com