By: Park East Staff
Last Sunday, Park East Animal Hospital was pleased to take part in the annual Halloween Howl at Carl Schurz Park. This is a great event that supports dog runs in the park - and is also a lot of fun! There were adoptable dogs to meet and a costume contest that everyone enjoyed. The Park East table was well stocked with trick-or-treat goodies for all the costumed pups, as well as information and friendly smiles for their human friends. We hope you enjoy the slideshow below as much as we enjoyed taking part in the Howl!
Leptospirosis is in the news today, with three people confirmed infected in the Bronx. "Lepto" is a zoonotic disease, meaning that it can spread to humans, and it also poses a risk to dogs. In humans and pets, leptospirosis is contracted via contact with the urine of infected animals, especially rodents.
This contact most commonly occurs either by direct exposure to areas where rodents nest or in areas of standing water such as lakes, ponds, pools, or fountains. Once a pet is infected, its urine also becomes a vector for the disease. In a dense city environment, this makes the prompt recognition and treatment of leptospirosis extremely important.
Know how your dog normally behaves, and be alert to any of the following signs:
If your pet is exhibiting these symptoms, or if you feel that your pet's lifestyle might increase their risk of exposure, please contact us at Park East to speak with a veterinarian.
The doctors and staff at Park East Animal Hospital would like to remind all pet owners of the importance of oral hygiene for their dogs and cats. Regular brushing and professional cleaning can keep your pet’s teeth healthy and his breath smelling fresh.
If a pet’s dental needs are neglected, plaque and tartar can build up on the gums and teeth. Bacteria accumulate around tartar deposits, often leading to periodontal disease. Periodontal disease, which affects the gums, bones and connective tissues around the teeth, can cause tooth loss. The same bacteria can enter your pet’s bloodstream and cause or aggravate lung, kidney, liver, and heart problems.
In order to prevent dental disease, it is important to have your veterinarian perform regular oral checkups. At Park East, every visit includes an oral exam, performed as part of your pet's complete physical examination. If your veterinarian finds any buildup of tartar, also called calculus, a full dental cleaning may be recommended. While your pet is under general anesthesia, his teeth are cleaned with an ultrasonic dental scaler, much like the one your own dentist uses, and then polished. Polishing smooths the surface of the teeth to help discourage future tartar formation. Your pet may then receive a fluoride treatment to help strengthen the teeth and prevent tartar buildup.
At Park East Animal Hospital we also offer dental radiographs, which are an essential tool in the maintenance of your pets’ oral health. Two thirds of dogs’ and cats’ teeth are under the gingiva (gums) and are not visible. Detailed radiographic and physical examination of the teeth, gums, and jaws are performed. Dental radiographs allow assessment of the teeth (fractures or internal disease), the surrounding soft tissues (periodontal disease, tumors, etc.), the joints, and bones.
It is also necessary to take preventative measures at home through daily teeth brushing and formulated food selections. Tartar cannot be removed by brushing at home, so it is very important to begin your routine of at-home dental care after your pet’s teeth have been professionally cleaned. If your pet is still young, it is a good time to begin training so that he will tolerate having things in his mouth without biting or snapping. Simply running your finger gently over your pet’s gums and teeth will prepare him for brushing in the future.
Dry food can also help in the fight against dental disease; whenever your pet crunches on the food, the scraping cleans his teeth, acting like an edible toothbrush. Ask your veterinarian about the different types of pet food and treats which are effective in keeping your pet's breath fresh and teeth clean. Hill’s t/d prescription diet food and Purina DH, which are formulated for the nutritional management of dogs and cats with dental disease, help prevent bad breath, gingivitis, and plaque and tartar buildup. Treats that are great tasting and help keep your pet’s teeth clean, such as VOHC approved Veterinary Formula Greenies for dogs and cats, are also available.
Good dental hygiene promotes good health. Call today to schedule a dental assessment and help increase the length and improve the quality of your pet's life.
Welcome to the Park East blog! Contributions from our doctors and staff will be archived and organized here for your reading pleasure. Timely advice and reliable information from your trusted veterinary team.