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Morris Foundation for Animals Golden Retriever Research
University Animal Hospital Nominated for Small Business of the Year in Tempe!
Tempe Chamber of Commerce Finalist Award University Animal Hospital
University Animal Hospital Celebrating 50 Years of Accreditation 

Boarders of the Month: Rain, Sunny & Windy

Owner’s Testimonial:

I choose to board my pets here because I know they treat them like family which is the most important consideration for us. We always know they will be cared for just like they are at home which gives us peace of mind.

Staff comments:

“Rain is a goofball and Windy and Sunny are gentle, sweet, and loving. Windy can still have spurts of energetic spunk!”

“Sunny is so cute when he carries his blankets around. Windy loves her playtime in the yard. Rain is a lovable goofball.”

“Rain gives great hugs and kisses and has a sweet silly soul. Sunny is such a gentleman and loves being with his spunky friend Windy. They are two peas in a pod! Sunny loves carrying around his blanket so he can tuck himself in at night.”

“Sunny and Windy are such a happy pair. They both love to play! Sunny is a big lovable lap dog and Windy loves to give lots of kisses! Rain is such a sweet snuggle bug. He loves to play and then afterwards, loves to cuddle.”

“Rain is very sweet and loves to come out and play. He always has a big smile on his face along with Sunny and Windy. They are all very happy and sweet pups!”

“A great group of kids, love when they board with us. They are always happy to see you and give kisses. They love being out in the yard for their TLCs and I am always sad to see them go home!”

“This trio is quite the mix of different personalities, all great in their own way. It been so fun getting to know each of them and watching them get older. Rain is a spunky pup that likes to be independent but also won’t ever turn down some cuddle time. Windy is playful and will soak as much attention that you can give her. Sunny is best oversized lap dog, he just wants to be near you and he will be perfectly content. I can’t get enough of these 3 kiddos!”

What Immunizations Does My Pet Need?

 

Just like humans, pets also need to be kept up-to-date on their vaccines. August is National Immunization Awareness Month and we are talking all about the important ways you can help to keep your pet protected from many different illnesses.

Pet vaccinations are crucial in protecting your furry friends from the most common pet illnesses. Without proper vaccinations, pets are left vulnerable to preventable ailments that can devastate their respiratory, gastrointestinal and immune systems.

Here is the list of immunizations that we offer at University Animal Hospital:

K9

Core Vaccines

  • Rabies (required by county law)
  • Da2PP (Distemper, Adenovirus/Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, Parvovirus

Elective/Lifestyle Vaccines

  • Bordetella (Kennel Cough)
  • Leptospirosis
  • Influenza (H3N2 and H3N8)

Feline

Core Vaccines

  • Rabies (not required by county law)
  • FVRCP

Elective

  • FeLV

The frequency with which you should update your pet’s immunizations depends on factors like lifestyle, species, age and medical history. Some vaccines should be administered on a yearly basis, whereas others are only needed every three years. To learn what is best for your dog or cat, contact University Animal Hospital at 480-968-9275.

Work Like A Dog

August 5 is National Work Like A Dog Day and we are so thankful for all the furry friends out there putting in the hard work. While we are working like dogs, so are they. Is your dog ready to start their career? Here are the top four jobs for your doggos!

Therapy Dogs

The sole purpose of a therapy dog is to make people feel better. You can find them in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, etc. They help calm the nerves of their owners by making contact and being there for them through treatment. This is a special job meant for pups who love to play in a calm manner and are good at cuddling.

Acting Dogs

A famous pup? Sign us up! Everyone LOVES movie dogs. Those animals go through a crazy amount of training and they sure win our hearts over in every production. They come in all shapes and sizes. If this is something your dog would be good at, consider getting them an agent! Yes I know… dogs have agents!

Search & Rescue Dogs

These dogs have an amazing sense of smell! You know this would be great for your dog if they can smell the bacon you are making from miles away. This job is quite serious since these dogs work in disaster situations on a daily basis, such as retrieving lost humans.

Guide Dogs

There is a school meant just for training guide dogs. They have an incredibly important job as they play the eyes for those who are blind or help walk those who are injured. They help save lives! There are currently over 10,000 pups who are employed as guide dogs.

If your dog isn’t cut out for any of these careers, don’t worry, because working like a dog can just mean they are a great pet to have around. With their unconditional love for you, what’s better than that!

How to Make Sure Your Pet is Ready for Safe Anesthesia

You may be understandably anxious if your vet tells you that your beloved pet needs a procedure for which anesthesia is required.

But although there is always an element of risk involved, safety precautions and monitoring have improved enormously in recent years. Provided your pet has been in good general health and is thoroughly checked out beforehand, you can look forward to the procedure with confidence of a good outcome.

Why is Anesthesia Recommended

Your vet will always avoid anesthesia when it is possible to do so, but there are some necessary procedures which can’t be performed without it.

These are interventions or examinations which will cause pain to the animal or which require it to be immobilised if the procedure is to be carried out safely and accurately.

Common examples include dental treatments, diagnostic scans and of course any kind of surgery. More rarely, there may be no alternative to anesthesia if an animal requires emergency treatment for an acute condition or an accidental injury of some kind.

The Risks of Anesthesia

Most animals which undergo anesthesia experience either very minor and temporary ill-effects, or none at all, but a small proportion may suffer adverse reactions of some kind.

These range from nausea and vomiting to much more serious and potentially life-threatening issues including heart attack and stroke.

Keeping Your Pet Safe

Preparation

The key to safe anesthesia is thorough preparation. Your vet will carefully examine your pet and take blood samples to check for any existing or developing condition which might affect their suitability for the procedure.

The vet will also review your pet’s medical history, particularly any previous experiences with anesthesia, and discuss with you any health or behavioral issues which may be relevant. If an animal’s general health is not felt to be good enough, anesthesia for non-urgent procedures may be postponed to allow corrective treatment to be given.

As the owner of an animal, it’s also important that you help the vet as much as possible in preparing your pet for anesthesia.

You should make sure that your vet has all relevant information including any over the counter medications or supplements you may be giving your pet, and follow any advice your vet gives you about these.

It’s also important to maintain your pet at a stable and healthy weight and to make sure your pet eats and drinks in accordance with your vet’s guidance in the days preceding the procedure.

During the procedure

Once anesthetized, your pet will be carefully monitored at all times. The vital signs to be checked will include respiration, heart function (by ECG monitor), body temperature and blood oxygenation and pressure.

Equipment, fluids and medication will be immediately at hand to support the animal’s breathing and circulation as necessary.

After your vet has completed the procedure your pet will continue to be closely monitored and kept warm and comfortable while they wake naturally from the anesthetic.

Find Out More

No competent vet will lightly undertake a procedure requiring general anesthesia and will only do so in cases where the benefits clearly outweigh the risks.

In the common instance of a simple but necessary treatment, eg dental work, for a generally healthy animal, this is normally a simple calculation. But the decision may be much more difficult in the case of older animals or those whose general health is giving cause for concern.

In either case you should be confident before authorizing any procedure that you fully understand the need for anesthesia and are comfortable with the preparations and arrangements in place to monitor your pet’s health.

At the University Animal Hospital we pride ourselves on treating your pet as we treat our own and we will be very happy to discuss any questions or concerns you may have about anesthesia or any other heath issue.

If you want to know more you can call us today on (480) 968-9275 or contact us online.

Valley Fever: Know the Symptoms and Treatment for your Pets

New residents moving from other parts of the United States to the Southwestern United States may have never heard of Valley Fever. But quite a large number of dogs and other animals will contract Valley Fever every year. It’s important to learn how your pet contracts Valley Fever and how to recognize the symptoms.

What Is Valley Fever?

Valley Fever is caused by a fungus found primarily in low Southwestern U.S. desert regions. Animals inhale the spores of the fungus from the air or by digging, in construction areas where the soil has been disturbed or when high winds carry spores.

When the animal inhales the spores (either a few or a lot of them), the spores continue to grow inside the lungs until they rupture, discharging hundreds of new spores. The infection continues to grow until the animal’s immune systems respond and kill the infection. But animals with weakened immune systems may not be able to stave off the ever-multiplying spores.

Where Is Valley Fever Found?

In the United States, Valley Fever is found in Southwestern U.S. low desert regions. It is common in Arizona, interior deserts of California, New Mexico and southwestern Texas.

What Animals Get Infected?

Dogs are the most common animal to develop Valley Fever. Other animals who may get Valley Fever are apes, cats, cattle, horses, llama, monkeys, native wildlife (like cougars or skunks) and zoo animals.

How Is It Spread?

Valley Fever is not contagious. It can only be contracted by an animal inhaling the spores. Even pets living in the same household can’t spread the disease. But if both of your dogs exercise in an outdoor area where the spores are found, both dogs may inhale the airborne spores.

What Are the Symptoms?

Symptoms in dogs include:

  • Coughing
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Low energy level/lassitude
  • Weight loss

Their cough can be a hacking cough or a honking (like a goose) cough caused by swollen lymph nodes pressing up against their windpipe.

If the infection spreads, known as a disseminated disease, Valley Fever often spreads to the bones causing limping or paralysis. They might also have seizures, swollen lymph nodes that you might feel, swollen testicles or heart failure might strike a younger dog.

Cats with Valley Fever usually have a non-healing skin lesion. It might look like an abscess and drain pus. Valley Fever is much less common in cats – for every 50 dogs diagnosed, only 1 cat will present with Valley Fever.

How Is Valley Fever Diagnosed?

If your pet has symptoms suggestive of Valley Fever and has been in low desert areas recently, be sure to mention their travel history. Your veterinarian is likely to utilize the following tests:

  • Valley Fever blood test, also known as the cocci test
  • Bone or joint X-rays, if your pet is limping or lame
  • Chest X-ray if your pet has a severe cough
  • Complete blood count

The Valley Fever blood test might have to be repeated in 3-4 weeks to confirm the diagnosis. If tested early in the course of the disease, the test might come back negative.

When cats present with an abscess or draining lesion, the Valley Fever blood test will also be utilized along with a biopsy of the lesion. Chest x-rays detect lung lesions, even if the cat is not coughing.

What Are the Treatment and Prognosis?

The outlook is good for dogs whose infection is limited to their lungs. Dogs who have disseminated disease may need a yearlong course of medication. Most return to normal health. Extensive disease throughout the body is associated with a poorer prognosis.

Follow-up is recommended after treatment has ended, particularly in animals with disseminated disease. Relapses may occur.

Symptoms and Treatments for Feline Viral Infectious Disease

Your cat will come into contact with bacteria and parasites on a regular basis. And when it comes to feline viral infections, once it enters a cat’s body – it takes command of the cat’s own cells to begin reproducing and spreading the virus throughout the body. Sometimes, the host cells are killed off and the assault will result in various forms of viral infection – at other times, the virus can remain dormant or as a mild infection in your cat for many years without any outward or physical signs.

Some feline viruses are very resilient and don’t respond well to treatment, while others such as cat flu can be treated and destroyed easily. Preventing feline viral infections with regular vaccinations is the most effective way to combat the many forms of this group of feline disease. Since antifungals and antibiotics will have no effect on viruses, your veterinarian will need to diagnose the specific virus infection and provide clinical treatment with antiviral drugs, if possible.

Common Feline Viral Infectious Diseases

FELINE HERPES (FVR)

Feline herpes is the leading cause of upper respiratory infections in cats and is also know as FVR or feline viral rhinopneumonitis. FVR will affect most cats at some point in their lives. Common symptoms include watery eyes, nasal discharge, sneezing, fever, and fatigue. This virus is often spread among cats that share the same food, water, or litter box.

The virus is usually transferred to a cat from the body secretions of an infected cat, or passed to new born kittens from the mother. The virus can be spread by any discharge from the mouth, nose, or eyes of an infected cat. Since this virus is incurable, treatment will focus on managing the disease and any accompanying symptoms. Your vet may prescribe antiviral or antibiotic medicines to limit the progression of FVR and other medications to manage discomfort and discharge symptoms.

FELINE CALICIVIRUS (FCV)

Often, upper respiratory, oral, or eye infections in cats are caused by Feline Calicivirus (FCV). There are over 40 strains of this virus, with the severity of each being the main difference. If your cat has nasal congestion, sneezing, or eye and nose discharge, along with lip, tongue, or nose ulcers, FCV may be the underlying cause.

FCV is very contagious and is spread between cats by secretions from the body. As with FVR, the secondary infections and other symptoms are treated, as there is no cure for FCV. Your veterinarian may prescribe anti-inflammatory medications along with antibiotics to reduce fevers and symptoms. Increasing your cat’s water intake is important to avoid dehydration.

FELINE IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS (FIV)

When a cat’s immune system has been weakened, the culprit may be Feline Immunodeficiency Virus or FIV. The seriousness of this virus is when your cat’s natural defense system is so compromised that the pet is left exposed to other potentially fatal viral infections. If your cat is experiencing weight loss, fatigue, fever, and multiple infections, FIV may be the underlying cause.

Open wounds are commonly the point of initial infection, as FIV is spread via blood or saliva from one cat to another. This incurable virus is managed with routine visits aimed at strengthening your cat’s immune system. Dietary changes, antiviral medications, and specific supplements are used to manage symptoms and prevent other infections from arising.

If your cat is displaying the symptoms of a viral infection, contact your University Animal Hospital for a complete diagnosis and custom treatment plan for your pet. We offer a full range of specialty services from dentistry to laser surgery, and state-of-the-art diagnostic equipment, including endoscopy, digital x-rays, ultrasounds and EKGs. Inquire about pet grooming, preventative pet care, and boarding services. For medical emergencies, call 480-968-9275 or bring your pet directly to the hospital.

Are You Ready For a Second Dog?

Have you already gotten your kids one puppy and now they want another? Saying no to cute little rescue dogs can be quite difficult. Before giving into your children (or your significant other), consider the pro’s and con’s of bringing another pet into your home since it is a big responsibility.

 

  • What if you get the same breed/same sex dog?

 

This can cause many problems within the household, since they can become aggressive with each other over where the owner’s attention is going. It is similar as if you adopted the same breed because they may be “hard wired” differently and may act strange around each other. Do your research on what breeds work well with each other.

 

  • Is your first dog ready for a sibling?

 

If you’re still working through behavioral problems with your current dog, adding another pup into the mix will only make matters worse. The first few weeks will be especially challenging as your resident dog transitions into no longer being an only pup.

Any training challenges will be intensified, especially with double the energy level, and when you add that on top of whatever issues your second dog comes with, it won’t be long until you’re hopelessly overwhelmed.

 

  • Do you have the time?

 

You and your current pet probably have a little routine going. So, imagine adding a new bundle of joy into that mix that may just throw everything off. Your new puppy will require individual attention and training. A lot of people think a second dog will save them time, because playful dogs can exercise themselves, but it doesn’t usually work that way.

 

  • Do you have the room?

 

Double the dogs, double the room. This might not matter as much if you have smaller dogs, but if you like big mutts, space may be an issue. You’ll need extra room both inside and outside.

If you plan on crate-training, you’ll need space for two crates, and your yard needs to be big enough to give the dogs plenty of room to run around together. When people and animals are forced to share cramped spaces, it’s easy for tempers to flare.

Adding another furry friend to your life will require extra work and the transition period may be rocky, but if you do it right, double the dogs will mean double the fun.

Why Does My Dog Kick After He Poops?

Dogs are so much fun to watch, especially when trying to decipher why they do certain things. So your dog just used the bathroom and now he is doing the “post poop kicking.” Why, you might ask would a dog do such a strange thing? We thought we could help clear up any confusion or common misconceptions. You cannot always control your animal’s silly habits, so it’s best to learn the reason behind why they do what they do.

We know that wastes can be a dog’s calling card in the wild. The reason for the frantic kicking? This is your dog’s way of trying to hide the evidence. Dogs doing this might appear to be sneaking and trying to stay low profile.

But dogs doing the “post poop kicking” do not usually seem submissive. They are kicking to be assertive. They want to put out in the world what they have done, not hide it. As dog’s mark their territory, they are doing the same by putting the “paw down” after doing the number 2. It is like puppy graffiti. Other dogs tend to stay away from other dog’s businesses and territories.

If your dog starts tearing up the grass, then you can try redirecting their attention to something else. You can do this by giving them a treat or an incentive. If your dog realizes you are watching them, they will most likely stop this behavior! For more information on fun dog habits, visit www.universityvet.com

 

How to Spot the First Warning Signs of Feline Hyperthyroidism

What is Feline Hyperthyroidism?

The two thyroid glands in cats are responsible for the production of a number of hormones which regulate the metabolism and are involved in the function of all the body’s major organs. Healthy thyroids are therefore essential for the general health of your cat.

The condition known as hyperthyroidism occurs when one or both of the thyroid glands become too active, and produce excess amounts of a hormone called thyroxine (T4).

This is usually a treatable condition and diagnosis is typically uncomplicated with blood testing. If you suspect that your cat may be affected you should seek qualified veterinary advice as soon as possible.

What Kinds of Cat May Be Affected?

All breeds can suffer hyperthyroidism, but it is generally something which affects older animals.

Less then 10% of cases occur in cats of less than 10 years of age, and the average age for the onset of the condition is 12 years.

How Can I Tell if My Cat Has the Condition?

An over-active thyroid leads to an increased metabolic rate. Weight loss, increased vocalization, hyperactivity, increased appetite, vomiting and soft stool are characteristic early symptoms. But any of the body’s organs may be affected, and a wide range of symptoms can develop.

You may notice a rapid heart rate and changes in behavior such as restlessness or aggression.

Digestive disturbances such as vomiting, diarrhea and more frequent visits to the litter box are also sometimes apparent.

Less common symptoms may include breathing problems and muscular weakness.

How is Hyperthyroidism Diagnosed?

In some cases enlarged thyroid glands in the neck may be detectable to the touch of an examining vet, but the other symptoms of hyperthyroidism can be caused by a wide variety of other conditions.

The level of thyroid hormone in the blood is a key diagnostic measure. Thyroid levels sometimes fluctuate, so multiple blood tests may be required before a final diagnosis can be made.

In rare cases, where blood tests are inconclusive, diagnosis may be made by scanning the thyroid glands with specialized imaging technology.

What are the Treatment Options?

Hyperthyroidism can have serious health implications for your cat, including heart and kidney disease, so it is very important that the appropriate treatment is applied as soon as possible.

Medication

Orally administered drugs are often effective in reducing the blood levels of the thyroid hormones. The disadvantage of these medications is that the hormone levels will rise again if the treatment is discontinued, and affected cats must generally stay on the drugs for life.

Radioactive Iodine

A specialized treatment may be the administration of radioactive iodine. The compound travels through the bloodstream to destroy the thyroid tissue while allowing the thyroid glands to continue their normal hormone production.

This is a safe and effective procedure, but it has the disadvantage of requiring the cat to remain hospitalized for a period of time.

Find Out More

Hyperthroidism is a serious condition, but it generally responds very well to treatment, so if you are concerned that your cat may be suffering from thyroid problems, or have any questions about the information above, please call (480) 968-9275 or visit us at https://universityvet.com

Treating Tick Fever in Your Pet

Most pet owners realize that a tick bite can leave a pet with the debilitating effects of joint inflammation caused by Lyme Disease. But, few realize that another tick-borne illness, called tick fever, can also cause serious medical problems for pets. Tick fever, or Ehrlichiosis, is carried by ticks that is common to most parts of our nation. The organism is within the bacterial family rickettsia. This organism thrives and can multiply within the living cells of your pet.

There are two very common forms of the rickettsia organism – one is carried by the Brown Dog tick and is common to the West Coast and Eastern states – Ehrlichia canis. Another common form is transmitted by the Lone Star tick found mostly in the Eastern and South Central U.S – Ehrlichia ewingii.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) offers helpful guidelines for avoiding tick-borne disease in both pets and humans, and also states that “dogs are very susceptible to tick bites and to some tick borne diseases. They may also bring ticks into your home. Talk to your veterinarian about the best tick prevention products for your dog.”

Which Pets Can Get Tick Fever?

While some ticks feed on a wide range of pets, Brown Dog tick and the Lone Star tick are found on dogs. Often these ticks will attach to your pet while walking in woodland areas, grassy meadows, or areas along river banks and streams. While these ticks may have a preference for canine blood, they will also bite and feed off humans and other animals.

These pests are three-host ticks. After one feeding they will usually drop from the host before they enter the next stage of development from egg to larvae, and finally as mature adults. It is not uncommon for a female tick to lay thousands of eggs on the surfaces they inhabit.

Symptoms and Treatment of Tick Fever

Your pet will likely go through three distinct phases of the tick fever illness. In the early, acute phase, your dog may have a low-grade fever, bruising, and joint pain. Following this phase the tick may lie dormant and your pet may not show any symptoms for many months. Finally, the dog will enter a chronic stage of illness, characterized by eye inflammation, lameness, tender abdomen, internal bleeding, and neurological issues.

Seek the medical help of your local veterinarian to treat tick fever in dogs. While diagnosis is difficult in the early stages of the disease, in the chronic phase a blood test to determine platelet count is performed. Also, consideration of your pet’s symptoms and possible environmental exposure to ticks can help in diagnosis and a treatment plan.

Depending on the severity of your dog’s symptoms, your veterinarian will seek different treatment options. Early phase treatments are very effective and may include antibiotics such as Doxycycline and Tetracycline. Within 2-3 days, your pet should be improving well.

Preventing Tick Infestation in Pets

  • The single most important step to preventing tick borne disease is preventing the tick from biting and transmitting the infection. New oral tick preventations are very effective in stopping this process and keeping your dog safe.
  • Treat your lawn and house with a tick treatment periodically. There are granules and sprays, along with natural options such as Diatomaceous Earth that are effective in ridding your home of fleas and ticks.
  • Spot check you pets periodically for ticks, especially after walking in wooded areas or parks. Remove any ticks you find on your dog’s skin.
  • Keep your home’s landscape groomed with short grass, trimmed bushes, and eliminate accumulated vegetation and debris from your yard

For further information on treatments for tick fever, contact University Animal Hospital.