What to Expect During Your Pet’s Ultrasound

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If your vet orders an ultrasound for your pet, there is no need to panic or sound the alarm. The pet ultrasound is a routine procedure that can offer clarity for your pet’s medical condition. Your vet can walk you through all the necessary steps, so you feel confident about what to expect from the procedure. In the meantime, the information in this blog can give you a starting point of reassurance. Before and Day of the Ultrasound The following are several important tips to remember before and on the day of your pet’s ultrasound appointment: First and foremost, follow any instructions your vet gives to you, and make sure the vet knows about any and all special circumstances about your animal, such as anxiety issues. The more your vet knows about your pet, the more the vet can take all the right precautions to make the procedure run smoothly….

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Second Opinions: When You Should Ask Your Vet for a Referral

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When your pet is sick or injured, no doubt your first step is to call your local vet.  Most likely, they know your animal pretty well, especially if you have an established relationship.  And not only does the vet know your pet, but they know hundreds of other animals and have all the medical experience that goes with it.  So, when that sick or injured pet needs care, chances are that your local vet can provide it. However, in certain instances your pet may need care beyond what your vet can provide, or you or your vet may feel more comfortable seeking the opinion of another veterinary professional.  In these situations, talk to your vet about his or her referral services.   What Is A Vet Referral? A vet referral is a recommendation from your local vet telling you to consult another doctor, typically a veterinary specialist.  It is different…

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Why Young Puppies are at Risk for Heart Disease

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When you think of heart disease, you probably picture a middle-aged man– not a frisky little puppy.  The reality is that heart disease, including congestive heart failure, is not only found in humans but can strike other animals as well.  Though you might associate congestive heart failure with being overweight and sedentary–and that is not necessarily wrong–congestive heart failure can occur in dogs that look outwardly healthy, and it can even be found in puppies.  Heart disease in dogs is a serious matter, and just like in humans, it cannot always be cured. However, with proper treatment heart disease in dogs can be managed, allowing your dog to live for many more years in relatively good health.   What is Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs? Congestive heart failure in dogs is a condition caused by other forms of heart disease.  When the heart starts to fail, it no longer properly…

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5 Tips For Finding the Best Veterinary Surgeon for Your Pet’s Needs

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Pet surgery can be a stressful event for both you and your pet.  The surgery may come as the result of an acute injury or accident, a long-term condition, or a progressive illness. But, no matter the cause, it is difficult to put your beloved animal under the knife.  Choosing a veterinary surgeon may add to that stress, as it is just one more decision you have to make at an already difficult time. However, knowing that your furry friend is under the care of a vet you trust will make the situation that much easier. Here are a few guidelines to help you find the best veterinary surgeon for your pet’s needs:     Explore your vet’s website. Oftentimes, your vet’s web page will list which types of procedures they perform in-house, saving you the trouble of searching for another doctor.  At the Animal Medical Center of Somerset we…

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The Dangers of Skimping on Preventative Care for Your Pet

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Most adults make it a point to see a doctor for an annual physical, allowing the doctor to keep tabs on factors including our weight, eyesight, and hearing.  Parents would not dream of skipping a child’s wellness visit to ensure that their children are growing and developing properly. Pet owners should have that same mentality concerning their pets. After all, pets are members of the family, too, and just like humans, it is important to monitor pets as they grow older.  Pets can develop many of the same conditions as people, including diabetes and a variety of cancers. They are also at risk of contracting certain parasites and pests. Unlike people, pets cannot tell us when something is wrong, so pet owners need to seek out preventative care for the animals they love.  While preventative care services might seem like a large investment up front, keeping your pet healthy saves…

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Understanding Pain Management Options for Pets

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Think about the last time you experienced pain. Did you cry out? Did you tell someone or try to hide it from others? Did you administer a remedy to ease the pain? Was this experience of pain similar or different from prior experiences of pain? It might take you some time to formulate answers to all of the above questions. That makes sense because pain is tricky to define. Even though you speak a different language, your pet’s experience of pain may not seem all that different from yours. Sometimes, the types of pain your pet experiences may seem obvious, such as pain from a recent trauma, disease, or surgery or an old-age condition, e.g., arthritis. Other times, the pain may not seem as obvious, and you have to dig for behavioral clues. An animal’s instinct is to show strength against potential predators and, therefore, hide its pain. The sooner…

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Laser Therapy for Dogs: Five Types of Conditions That Benefit

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All dog owners want their pets to have the best quality of life possible. When your pet is in pain, finding a way to relieve their suffering becomes a priority. The good news is that laser therapy may be a viable solution for pain relief for your pet. A variety of conditions benefit from laser therapy including: -acute and chronic injuries -sprains or strains -arthritis -muscular or skeletal abnormalities -swelling due to back disc problems -regenerative benefits for nerve tissue after surgery What Is Laser Therapy? Laser therapy, sometimes known as low level laser therapy, uses specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to stimulate the natural healing ability of the body. Positive effects of laser energy include pain reduction, improved healing time, increased circulation, and decreased swelling.  Often prolonged use of pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs can have severe and lasting side effects on dogs. Laser therapy can be a safe and…

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Pet Heart Murmurs: Are They a Sign of a More Serious Problem?

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A veterinary checkup is a lot like a human checkup. A doctor examines the patient for overall health and wellness, making sure that all of the major systems are in working order.  As with human physicals, most of the time things are just fine. But, sometimes the examination reveals hidden symptoms, even in patients who seem perfectly healthy. One such symptom is a heart murmur, which can present itself in both healthy and unhealthy animals.  As a caring owner, just how concerned should you be if your pet is diagnosed with a heart murmur? What is a Heart Murmur? A heart murmur is an irregular heartbeat. When your veterinarian listens for a heart murmur with a stethoscope, they will typically hear an irregular whooshing sound in between your pet’s regular heartbeat.  That sound is caused by turbulent blood flow in the animal’s heart, and may or may not be cause…

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5 Benefits of Getting Your Pet Tested for Diabetes

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Diabetes is a chronic disease that affects more than 370 million humans worldwide, resulting in debilitating complications like nerve damage and blindness. What many people don’t realize is that dogs and other pets can also develop diabetes, which can significantly affect their quality of life. Fortunately, there are some telltale symptoms to watch out for and steps you can take to diagnose and treat diabetes in your pet. For example, there are certain dog behavior changes that may signal diabetes, like increased thirst and frequent urinary accidents. If you’ve noticed any unexpected pet behavior changes, seek veterinary attention as soon as possible to test for diabetes. What is Diabetes? Diabetes is a disease that occurs when the body is unable to produce enough insulin, a hormone made by the pancreas. Insulin’s job is to help glucose enter cells so it can be used for energy, but when the body doesn’t…

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How to Recognize the Signs of High Blood Pressure in Pets

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Watching your pet play, eat, and move around makes you feel good about your loved one’s well-being. However, when your pet is under the weather, you want to reach out and help in any way you can. Not knowing just how under the weather your pet is can lead to much uncertainty. For your peace of mind, contact your veterinarian today. One of the tell-tale signs of poor health is high blood pressure. Just as a doctor checks your blood pressure, a veterinarian keeps an eye on your pet’s blood pressure for normal rates, especially if your pet has other serious health conditions. What Causes High Blood Pressure in Your Pet? If your pet suffers from chronic kidney disease, it is likely your pet also has high blood pressure, or hypertension. This is because the kidneys are responsible for controlling blood pressure and can no longer do their job when…

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