Community Pet Hospital's Pet Care Blog
Is your cat at risk for contracting infectious diseases? Felines who have exposure to other cats, be it from exploring the neighborhood, staying at a boarding facility, or even sitting by your screen door, can be at risk of a wide variety of nasty kitty diseases. Perhaps the two most common of these are viral in nature.
FeLV and FIV in cats are serious and incurable diseases, but there are certainly things our feline-loving clients can do to protect their precious pets.
Feline Leukemia Virus
Feline leukemia, often abbreviated as FeLV, is a serious disease in cats that is caused by a retrovirus. It is thought to be a leading cause of feline deaths and is something every cat lover should be aware of.
Cats are exposed to feline leukemia virus through the saliva (even sneezing!) or blood of infected cats. Kittens may also become infected during gestation if their mother is infected with the disease.
While most of us look forward to sunshine, vacations, and other awesome activities, summer also presents a few challenges for us – and our pets. Warm, humid days, pesky pests, hot cars, and sunburns are all concerns that pet owners should be aware of this season.
To make your summer – and your pet’s – one that is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable, take some time to review these tips for summer pet safety.
The Great Outdoors and Summer Pet Safety
While the Willamette Valley may not see scorching temperatures like other regions, our warmer than average days can make for some additional risks when it comes to our pets. Animals are susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke, and being outside in direct sunshine or in an area without access to shade and water can spell danger.
We all know the importance of vaccinating our pets against communicable diseases, but what if our pets live indoors or never come into contact with other animals? The Reality
Core vaccinations are an important part of every pet’s health care plan, regardless of whether or not he or she routinely come into contact with the outdoors or other animals. Here’s why:
Community Pet Hospital of Tigard is proud to be recognized through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). While this special distinction isn’t on every pet owner’s radar, our alliance with this national organization ensures that our animal patients receive the best possible care. Only a small percentage of other hospitals receive this distinction, and we’re thrilled to pass on what it truly means for your pet to be cared for by an AAHA accredited provider.
The American Animal Hospital Association was formed in 1933 by veterinary professionals inspired by setting – and upholding – excellent standards. Beyond conducting and publishing current veterinary research, AAHA supports its members to achieve the greatness worthy of the alliance. Today, over 3,700 veterinary practices are AAHA accredited.
The Numbers Are In
Human hospitals follow strict protocols that elevate care, reduce mortality, and minimize complications. Veterinary hospitals are not required to be AAHA accredited, but when they are, pet owners can expect that best practices are always enforced. With third-party oversight, not only are high standards in play, but a pet owner can also expect better outcomes for their pet.
In other words, choosing an associated hospital leads to a better outcome. Who could argue with that?
There are many pros when it comes to living in Oregon, and depending on who you are, our climate may or may not be one of them. The rain we see in this area is a highlight to some, but there is no doubt that it brings its own set of challenges.
One thing that our wet climate brings to the forefront is an increased risk of certain diseases. The CDC has recently identified our area as a hotbed for the disease leptospirosis, which affects pets and people. Community Pet Hospital thinks it is very important for our clients to understand this disease and what can be done to keep leptospirosis and pets from intermingling.
An Intro to Leptospirosis and Pets
Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the spiral-shaped organism Leptospira interrogans. The bacteria gains access to the pet’s bloodstream by entering through the skin or mucous membranes.
While having “doggie breath” may not be associated with anything “minty fresh”, bad breath in pets is considered normal far too often. But did you know that bad breath is a common sign of underlying pet dental problems?
Pet dental care is one of the most neglected forms of health care among cats and dogs. This results in more than two-thirds of all pets developing dental disease.
Part of the confusion is the misinformation around pet dental products and the perceived difficulty of at-home care. That’s why your friends at Community Pet Hospital want to shed some light on the subject.
A Chew by Any Other Name
In the quest to fight periodontal disease, many owners rely heavily on dental products. While these products can help remove food, debris, and some plaque from the teeth, they’re not a reliable method of combating dental disease or promoting good oral health on their own.
The new year is a fantastic time to press the reset button and establish various goals for the coming months. Whatever your intentions for the new year, they’re more attainable when you have someone to support or assist you.
This is especially true for your pet. While not hung up on personal or professional changes, he or she might benefit from an upgrade in the health department. If it’s been awhile since you’ve addressed pet dental care, now is the perfect time.
Maintenance is Key
Good dental health for your pet starts at home. Daily tooth brushing stops plaque and tartar from building up, bonding together, and forming calculus. Left alone, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) can develop, leading to periodontal disease. These effects go beyond bad breath, however; systemic illness in the heart, kidney, and even the liver can result from poor oral health.
Many over-the-counter pet dental care products deserve their place in your arsenal. However, hard dental chews (such as antlers, hooves, and bones) can actually fracture teeth. Also, please keep in mind that dental treats and chews add extra calories to your pet’s diet.
Are you ready for the holidays? Between tree trimming, house decorating, and festive parties, there might be a collective wish for more minutes (or hours) in the day – there’s just too much to do!
We all get carried away when it comes to the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we can let safety slide. From upset routines to strange houseguests, hazardous decor to poisonous food, holiday pet safety must also include a sharp eye on festive plants.
The Risky Greens
The novelty of holiday plants is part of what makes them so dangerous. Bringing a new potted plant into your home may trigger an automatic canine or feline investigation. This is normal, of course, but especially for a kitten or puppy, the consumption of holiday plants can be extremely dangerous. Continue…
It’s likely that when you think of Thanksgiving, food comes to mind. Whether you’re hosting or traveling with your pet, there’s no doubt the season revolves around lots of food and delicious treats.
As a pet owner, it can be challenging to keep your fur friend away from all the savory, fatty, and sometimes toxic foods. Moreover, while you might know a little about which dishes can be harmful, pet pancreatitis is a less well-known threat that often goes unchecked until it’s too late.
An Overview of Pet Pancreatitis
If you’re familiar with the condition, you know that pancreatitis can lead to a painful emergency situation. Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. This organ is responsible for digestive enzymes and insulin production.
While there are no absolute causes of pancreatitis, it has been linked to certain factors, such as:
Oh, autumn…a time of hayrides, pumpkin flavored lattes, and beautiful strolls in the crisp evening air. Without question, fall is a fun season for pets and their owners. However, this time of year also brings unique risks that may come as a surprise to some. To make this the loveliest season ever, consider our tips for fall pet safety.
Don’t Forget Parasite Prevention!
A common mistake among pet owners is assuming that colder weather means no more parasites. Unfortunately, many of these pesky insects continue to thrive year round since there are always opportunities to find warmth (like attaching to a deer or your pet!). Thanks to climate change, our winters have also become milder, keeping the reproductive cycles of fleas, ticks, and heartworms active.
Just one lapsed month in heartworm prevention can put your beloved pet at risk. You’ll also have to spend time and money having your pet screened before he or she can resume a monthly medication. Therefore, it’s best to play it safe, and avoid an infestation in your home or on your pet!
Many of us don’t care to take a close look at our pet’s mouth, but we certainly notice when our doggy or kitty’s breath becomes a problem. Unfortunately, when pet dental health is neglected, many issues can soon follow. From periodontal disease and tooth loss to systemic infections and secondary diseases, good dental care is essential to protecting your pet’s overall health.
The Dental Exam
Between the scorching heat and stifling humidity of summer, we are all struggling to maintain our enthusiasm. While we know that the more pleasant temperatures of fall are on their way, Tigard’s pets are not so sure.
How can you keep your pet comfortable during these final “dog days” of summer? With frozen pet treats, of course!
Undoubtedly, the summer months pose numerous risks to your pet, including heatstroke, dehydration, burned paw pads, and more. When you know how to prevent such things from occurring, your pet can still have a great summer by your side. Continue…
If you’ve ever taken your pet on an airplane, you probably had to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (also known as a pet health certificate) ahead of time. But did you know you also need to have a pet health certificate just to cross state lines with your pet in a vehicle?
That’s right, all those quick trips up to Vancouver or Seattle with your 3 Great Danes riding happily in the back of your 2-door sports car were actually illegal without a pet health certificate. But never fear, your friends at Community Pet Hospital are here to help you learn the ins and outs of pet health certificates. Continue…
Many pet owners wonder why we schedule pets for once or twice yearly pet wellness exams, especially if the pet is showing no outward signs of illness. The truth is, preventive care is the cornerstone of health and wellness for both people and pets. Regular wellness care allows us to get to know your pet, address any questions or concerns you may have, and diagnose and treat and potential conditions before they become serious problems.
At Community Pet Hospital, we believe that all pets deserve access to high quality wellness care. The following is an overview of what we look for at regular pet wellness exams, and also what you can observe at home. Continue…
By Bobbie Kramer, DVM
We had just moved to Hillsboro, with our 4 cats and little old terrier Trixie. Poor Trixie
was having trouble with her hearing and vision, and didn’t really know where she lived
yet. When she went missing, we were so scared she’d be lost and alone, and that we’d
never find her. Fortunately, she was brought by a Good Samaritan to Bonnie Hayes
Animal Shelter in Hillsboro, after paying a small fee to bail her out, she was home with us
again. After that, we made sure her microchip registration was updated, and we licensed
her with Washington County.
The idea of having to have a license to have a dog really bothers some folks. But having a
current license for your dog isn’t just the law, it could save your pet’s life. Licensetagged
pets are more likely to be brought to the shelter for safe keeping, and can be returned to
their families much more quickly. Your license fee helps support the Washington County
Animal Services staff which runs Bonnie Hayes Animal Shelter as well as programs that
take care of stray animals, protects neighborhoods from dangerous dogs, investigates dog
bites and cases of cruelty and neglect. Washington County Animal Control plays a vital
role in keeping people and pets safe. Last year, they reunited over 1,100 lost dogs with
Many people have their pets microchipped to help identify them in case they are lost.
This is a fantastic idea, but having a tag, too, is vital, since not everyone has a microchip
reader. Your pet is much more likely to be returned to you if his license tag is up to date.
In Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, dogs over 6 months old are required
by law to be licensed. If you’ve just moved to town, you have 30 days to obtain a license
from the county you and your pet live in. Right now, there’s no requirement to license
cats. Veterinarians in Multnomah and Washington counties are required to send Rabies
vaccination information to the county, so Animal Control can check if your pet’s license is
A license is required even if your dog is always on your property, is always indoors, or
lives on a farm. Dogs are required by law to wear their license tags whenever they’re on
walks, at the dog park, or anywhere off of their home property.
Purchasing or renewing a license is easy. You can do it at the clinic when you’re here for
your pet’s vaccines, online, by mail or in person at Bonnie Hayes Animal Shelter. You will
need the following information when you order a dog license:
• Pet information (name, breed, color, age, etc.)
• Your veterinarian’s name
• Current rabies certificate
• Date of rabies vaccination and expiration date
In Washington County the fee to license your dog is much lower if your pet is spayed or
neutered, and discounts are available for multiyear licenses and for senior citizen
owners. A one year license for a neutered dog is $22. You don’t need a rabies certificate to
get a puppy license for pets less than six months old. Puppy licenses are free!
With spring in full force, it is not uncommon for people to find baby birds that appear to have fallen out of their nests. Would you know what to do if you found a baby bird on the ground? The best thing to do is contact the Audubon Society’s Wildlife Care Center at (503) 292-0304. Be sure to check out their webpage for more baby bird tips.
Do you use any topical pain medication? If so, please use caution around your pets! Read more at Veterinary Practice News.
Knowing when and how to say goodbye to your pet can be a very difficult decision to make. At the link below, Dr. Andy Roark offers advice on how to get through such a sad time.
Last week, we had information about diagnosing allergies in pets. This week, we’ve got a great link from AAHA about treatment options for allergies. Check it out!
“Very friendly and professional personnel. We love this place, and our dogs do too! ” —~ Amanda Vallejo
“Thank you for a commitment to Jovs health. You (as a group) are a bright star in what could be a dark night.’ —Charles Avery
“We come here with all our animals because of the quality of care we receive, and the great prices. Great staff. —Jennifer Ellwood
“Staff was very friendly and helpful. Our first visit has been awesome. The vet was very helpful and took time to talk and explain everything. Thank you. —Elizabeth
“Always friendly, kind, and informative. Thank you! —Vicky Kelly
“Dr. Christensen is always very thorough and kind to my pets. We appreciate her very much. She is a wonderful asset to the clinic. —Becky Goldman
“I have come to love the staff and the new owners. These people truly care and love animals. I ’m thankful to find these people I’ve had such bad experiences from the other clinics around the area with such high prices. —April Veneigh
“Our family pet, Griffey, receives unsurpassed, compassionate care at Community Pet Hospital! Thank you, Community Pet Hospital, for always being there for us humans and those very important animal members of our family. I love you guys!! —Karen Smith
“Thank you to both Dr. Johnson and his wife Bonnie. Your compassion helped so much in our time of need. I will recommend you to everyone as you are so good and really care. —Cheryl Stone
“The doctor and technician were so kind and gentle with my scardy cat. Thanks. —Margaret Krauss
“I would heartily recommend your Community Pet Clinic to anyone who is looking for an excellent veterinarian. —Michael Jordan
“By far the best Vet experience I’ve ever had. Everybody was just wonderful. —Courtney Bertrand
“Excellent! They were very loving and went out of their way to treat my dog! —Deanna Nebert
“5 STARS!! Great service and excellent receptionist! Sarah and Christine is who I worked with today. —Leroy Banks