Heartworm (again)

Hey there, Mo here again.

I know I keep harping on this subject, but we just had a dog come in for it’s first exam, vaccines, and heartworm test.  The dog seemed to be very healthy and happy, and was not showing any signs of disease.  Well, the heartworm test came up positive, and on microscopic exam, microfilaria (baby heartworms) were found.   I can’t imagine what it must feel like to have these things swimming through your veins all the time, not to mention the adults living in your heart and the arteries of your lungs!

Long story short, there is a sentiment going around that Ashland doesn’t have heartworm disease, that indoor dogs are not susceptible, or that treatment is only required for part of the year.  None of this is true!  Please please please keep your dogs on heartworm preventative year round – the tablets are sooo much cheaper than either the treatment or worse, the life of your dog!

Thanks for listening to me rant again,


Happy Holidays!

Hey there, Mo here again.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving!  We are still amidst the holiday season, which means you will be having family to visit, having lots of good food, and decorating our homes.  A couple of things to keep in mind this holiday season when it comes to us, your furry friends:

– If you have people over to visit, especially when there are young children, be careful what your friends have access to from the dinner table.  Many things that taste great to you may be toxic to your pets, including onions, garlic, grapes and raisins.  Any food out of the ordinary can make your friends sick, so it is best to keep holiday dinners to your people guests.

– If you have a young puppy or kitten, make sure they don’t have access to the cords to your decorative lights.  For some reason, these are very tempting chew toys, and if they are successful this can cause severe burns, fluid accumulation in the lungs, and death.  Try to plug them in where your pets don’t have access, or block off areas within reach.


– Tinsel is a classic decoration for the tree.  With it constantly flashing with the reflection of the lights and moving with breezes in the house, your kitty friend may find this an irresistible play toy.  However, if they swallow it, it can bind up and even cut through their small intestine, which will mean needing an emergency surgery to remove the tinsel and possibly portions of small intestine.  It is probably best to avoid this decoration if you have cats in the household.

Hope that helps, and have a happy holidays!


Aaaargh! Foxtails!

Hey there, Mo here again.

Well, apparently we aren’t going to get any rain, and things are drying out.

I wanted to remind everybody that as the grasses are drying up, foxtails are starting to be a real problem.  For those of you new to the area, foxtails are grass seeds that are shaped like little arrow heads so that they can migrate into the skin but that have little barbs to prevent them from backing out again:



These things get in our fur underneath our bellies, in between the toes, up our noses, in our ears, and a whole other array of places I don’t even want to  mention.  Once in the fur, they can burrow into our skin and even through the body wall into our chest or abdomen, and establish an infection.

If you see a small hole in the skin that is draining blood or pus and just won’t seem to heal, chances are good that your furry friend has a foxtail in there.  Let my friends at “a” Street Animal Clinic know right away if you see this, because the wound won’t heal without removing the grass seed, and the secondary infection can make us really sick.

Another thing to think about is having the hair on the underbelly and in between the toes clipped close to the skin during the summer so the seeds have less to grab on to and to make them more noticeable for you to pull them off.

Hope you don’t have a problem with them, but if you do just let us know at the clinic and we will help you out.



Time to think about heartworm prevention

With the weather warming up, it is important to think about heartworm disease and its effects on your friends.  Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and as you may have noticed as that buzzing around your ear keeps you up all night, even indoor-only animals are susceptible.  The mosquitoes inoculate animals with microfilaria (immature heartworms) that can eventually develop into adult worms in the arteries of the lungs and in the heart:

The disease is virtually 100% fatal if not treated, and the treatment itself can be life-threatening.  The good news is that heartworm prevention, a flavored tablet given once a month that most dogs see as treats, is very effective at preventing the disease if given consistently.

If it has been some time since your pet has had the preventative or if they have never received it, we recommend having a heartworm test done prior to beginning the preventative.  This is to prevent a potentially significant inflammatory reaction from death of existing heartworm larvae, and also to identify animals carrying the disease so that treatment can be instituted as quickly as possible, before congestive heart failure develops, complicating treatment.  It only takes a few drops of blood and a few minutes to test, a small price to pay for the longevity of your best friend!

Please call us anytime if you have any questions or would like to set up an appointment.



Fall: A Perfect Time for Dog Walking

Everyone knows that Summer can be just downright hot in the Rogue Valley.  As a cat, I much prefer the cool crisp Fall air to walk my doggie friends.  Actually, as a cat I know very little about walking dogs, but I would assume that Fall is just the best time of year for that sort of thing.  What I’m trying to say is… I hope you’re all enjoying this wonderful weather and taking time to get outside with your furry companions.  While roaming around the woods outside Ashland, I’ve been marveling at all the beautiful colors of the leaves on the trees.  My human friends at “a” street animal clinic used their opposable thumbs to snap these jazzy pictures of the trees changing colors outside of the clinic!

Stay happy!