Tick Free Is the Way to Be

Preventing Ticks and Tick Hiding Places on Your Pet

After a long sweltering summer, fall is finally here. We all look forward to the leaves turning, the weather cooling down, and finally getting out and about without dripping in sweat. It is often in the fall that your furry family members get the most outdoor time. With all the hiking, pumpkin patch visits and orchard exploring, there are many more opportunities for ticks to burrow into your furry friends.

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Pet Obesity Awareness Day

Identifying and Combating Pet Obesity

In North America, obesity is the most common preventable disease in dogs and cats. Approximately 25-30% of the general dog and cat population is obese, with 40-45% of pets aged 5-11 years old weighing in higher than normal.

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International Snakebite Awareness Day

Avoiding, Identifying, and Caring for a Snakebite


Snakebite awareness day taking place in September might not be a coincidence because September is a peak month for snakebites! Snakes are less active in the daytime during the hottest summer months, meaning fewer interactions with people and pets. As the temperature cools down, snakes increase their daytime activity, leading to more “uh-oh” moments, like snake bites.

It is important to be able to identify a snakebite in order to take proper care of your pet. First, always call your veterinarian.  This call could be one to save your pets life.

Keeping your Pet Safe from a Snakebite

“It is our responsibility to keep our pets safe.”

When we, humans, see a snake we often take off in the opposite direction at a high rate of speed. When our pets see a snake, they don’t always have the same response. A pet has a tendency to be more curious than frightened and this can result in a snakebite. With this being the case, it is our responsibility to keep our pets safe. The following steps can be taken to keep your pet safe from a snakebite.

  • Consider a Vaccination- We offer a rattle snake vaccine here at Whitesburg Animal Hospital, PC. If you have any questions, reach out to us.
  • Keep Your Dog on a Leash
  • When Hiking, Stay on the Trail
  • Avoid Dense Grass or Large Rocks

My Pet Has Been Bitten by a Snake. Will He/ She Die?

“There are approximately three thousand species of snakes in the world with less than five hundred venomous species.”

It depends on the species of the snake that bit your pet. In North America, there are about twenty-five species of venomous snakes. The most common venomous species of snakes in North America include:

  • Rattlesnakes
  • Copperheads
  • Cottonmouths or Water Moccasins
  • Coral Snakes

Signs of a Snakebite

“The puncture wounds from the fangs may not be visible due to either the rapid swelling or the small mouth size of young or small snakes.”

Non-Venomous Snakebite- Swelling and bruising around the bite are the most common clinical signs. In some cases, it may still be possible to see the paired puncture wounds from the fangs in the center of the wound. The bite may be very painful and may become infected if not treated by a veterinarian. There will be very little progression of the swelling unless infection develops. Most swelling resolves within forty-eight hours in uncomplicated cases.

Venomous Snakebite- Clinical signs with Venomous snake bites vary based on the species of snake. As a general rule, there is extensive swelling that often spreads rapidly. Bleeding or a bloody discharge often occurs at the site of the bite. The puncture wounds from the fangs may not be visible due to either the rapid swelling or the small mouth size of young or small snakes.

What First Aid Treatment Should I Do on My Way to the Veterinarian?

First aid is aimed at reducing rapid spread of venom in the body.

  • If possible, carry the dog rather than allowing the dog to walk.
  • Bathe the wound with cold water to control swelling
  • If a limb is affected, apply a tourniquet using a tie, stocking, etc. Loosen for approximately half a minute every five to ten minutes.
  • Keep your pet quiet and warm on the journey to the veterinarian. 
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Protecting Your Pet from Poisoning

Common Toxins Found the Kitchen, Bathroom, or Bedroom

Poisonous Foods 

The kitchen is a common place to find your pet searching around for something to eat, but did you know which of these foods are toxic to your pet if ingested? While some foods may cause only minor discomfort, others have the potential to cause severe illness or death. The table below will help you identify a few of the most toxic foods and the severity of the problems they may cause. 

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It’s Time to Talk About Boutique, Exotic and Grain-Free Diets in the News

Boutique, exotic, and grain-free diets as they relate to heart disease; a hot button topic with equal amounts of frustration on all sides. Pet parents who are just trying to do what is best for their pet turn to bloggers, pet food companies, friends, and veterinarians for advice and unfortunately are left with more questions than answers as they often receive conflicting advice. The primary reason for this is that nutrition is very complex and the science behind the recently reported rise in heart disease in dogs is far from settled. In this blog I hope to clear up some of the confusion surrounding this topic.

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Protect Your Pet Against Canine Influenza

The doctors of Whitesburg Animal Hospital, PC are committed to alerting you to any changes in disease patterns in our community.  While there have been no recently reported cases of canine influenza in our immediate area; several cases have been confirmed across the United States.

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10 Early Warning Signs of Pet Cancer

Today we’ll be sharing the 10 early warning signs of pet cancer from the Veterinary Cancer Society in recognition of Pet Cancer Awareness Month.

If you notice any of these signs, be sure to make an appointment with us right away so that our veterinarians can do a complete physical examination on your pet. It is important to remember that while these can be warning signs of cancer, they can also indicate other health problems as well – if your pet has one or more of these symptoms it does not automatically mean he or she has cancer. That is why it is so important to bring your pet in for an exam and diagnostic testing.

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The Myths and Facts of Heartworm Disease in Cats

Heartworm Disease in Cats

Heartworm Disease in Cats

You probably already know how important heartworm prevention is for your dog. But did you know that your cat is also susceptible to heartworm infection? Here we will discuss common myths and misconceptions about how heartworm disease affects cats.

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FAQ About Heartworms

How Are Heartworms Transmitted?

Heartworm Disease

Heartworms are transmitted by mosquitoes. The adult female heartworm lives in the infected host and produces baby heartworms called microfilariae which circulate in the bloodstream. When a mosquito bites an infected animal, it picks up the microfilariae which develop into larvae within 10 to 14 days.  Then, when the infected mosquito bites a dog or another susceptible animal, these mature larvae enter the new host through the bite wound. In six months they will mature into the adult heartworm and the whole process starts again. The adult heartworm will live five to seven years in dogs and two to three years in cats

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The Fear Free Veterinary Experience

At Whitesburg Animal Hospital, providing the highest standard of care is our number one priority. We constantly strive to better serve you and your pet, which is why a majority of our staff is now Fear Free certified. Fear Free is a multi-modal approach to veterinary care that encompasses your pet’s emotional and physical well being. We have made many changes around the hospital, but there are things you can do as well to help us make your pet’s next veterinary visit an enjoyable experience. Here just a few things you can do for your next visit:

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