Kidney disease affects many of our pets - nearly 1 in 3 cats and 1 in 10 dogs. Healthy kidneys help to filter and remove waste from the body, help maintain normal red blood cells, and balance the body’s fluid and minerals. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when your pet suffers from gradual and permanent loss of these functions over time. Amazingly, symptoms of CKD may not occur until kidney function is reduced by 75%.
CKD often goes undetected due to a lack of symptoms, or very subtle changes in your pet’s water intake, appetite or energy level. Other disease processes may also disguise CKD symptoms. That’s why regular veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are so important. Thankfully, your veterinarian now has a valuable tool to identify CKD much earlier than before.
A new blood test, called SDMA, can identify CKD months or years earlier than traditional methods. This test is now included in all of the blood chemistry panels that are recommended at Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital- at no additional cost. Early detection is very important to identifying the cause, and in creating the best treatment plan for your pet.
If your pet is diagnosed with CKD, there are a number of treatment options available to improve his quality and length of life. These treatments typically include feeding a high-quality kidney-friendly diet, increasing water intake, and medications. Frequent veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are also recommended as your pet ages and his kidney function changes.
If you would like more information about CKD, or if you think your pet may be suffering from CKD, please call our office to schedule an appointment- (717) 766-7981..
Are you a proud owner of an older cat? Many cats are now living longer thanks to preventative healthcare and advances in veterinary medicine. You may begin to see normal signs of aging in your older cat around 10-12 years of age, which is the human equivalent of 55-60. As your cat ages, he will appreciate a few changes to his (your) home to make it safer, more secure and accessible.
Keep in mind that there are some disease-related changes in older cats which may look like normal aging, but actually require medical intervention. To ensure your older cat is aging gracefully, physical examinations and bloodwork screenings are recommended twice a year. Seek veterinary advice sooner if you have any concerns with changes in your older cat’s behavior.
Your older cat has changing needs. Making some changes to your home can help your cat feel more comfortable and safe. For information or advice about the special needs of your senior cat, please contact your veterinarian. Further information can also be found at the Cornell Feline Health Center.
The 4th of July brings cookouts, ice cream cones and fireworks! Great fun for us but not always for our pets. At least one in three dogs suffer from noise aversion. Does your dog react to loud noises (fireworks, thunder, construction noise or street noise) with any of the following behaviors?
- Trembling or shaking
- Pacing or restlessness
- Lip licking
- Refuses to eat
- Excessive vigilance/hypervigilance
- Vocalizing (whining or barking at the sounds)
- Brow furrowed and ears back
- Owner seeking behavior and abnormal clinginess
- Freezing or immobility
The good news is we can help our dogs get used to loud noises, like fireworks.
1. Desensitize your pet to loud and scary noises. Here are some tips on what you can do to help your dog enjoy the holiday too!
2. Use a Thundershirt. The Thundershirt maintains pressure around the core of the body (similar to swaddling an infant) to reduce stress and anxiety.
3. Calm your dog during noisy events with the first and only FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs, Sileo. It's specifically made to calm dogs during noise events without sedating them, so you can still enjoy quality time with your best friend.
If you see your dog exhibiting one of the behaviors above, ask us how we can help treat your dog's noise aversion so that your entire family can enjoy the 4th of July!
Make sure your pet's identification tags and microchip information are up to date today! Dogs and cats are more likely to escape from their home on the Fourth of July than any other day of the year.
To help ensure a safe return, make sure your pet is wearing a secure collar (even indoor pets) and ID tag. The tag should include your name, current phone number and any relevant contact information.
Microchips are also great at reuniting lost pets, so make sure the microchip number is registered and includes your current contact information. Not sure how to do this? Start here and enter your pet's microchip number.
We would like to send a warm welcome to our new associate, Dr. Jenn Cornbower. Dr. Cornbower is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. Her special areas of interest in veterinary medicine include dentistry and preventative medicine. Dr. Cornbower grew up in the Lehigh Valley and recently moved to the area. She currently lives with her black cat named Grover. In her spare time she enjoys horseback riding, swimming, crocheting and playing the violin.
Chuck is a young male cat available for adoption through Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital. Chuck was rescued by one of our clients who happened to notice that a trash bag thrown from a vehicle was moving.
Despite being thrown out as garbage, Chuck is a handsome, loveable boy! He loves rolling on his back and is very affectionate. Chuck is approximately 10 months old, current on vaccines, and scheduled to be neutered next week.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Chuck, please contact our office at 766-7981. Please feel free to share the information on your Facebook page so that we can find him a living, permanent home. Thank you!
Mirage is a young female kitten available through adoption at Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital. Mirage was abandoned at our office and we don't have much information about where she came from.
Mirage is timid when you first greet her, but if you're slow and gentle, she starts running her motor. She is quite a purr baby! Mirage is approximately 7-8 weeks old. She has received her first vaccinations but will require additional boosters as she grows. She is ready to find a loving, forever home!
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Mirage, please contact our office at 766-7981. Please feel free to share the information on your Facebook page as well. Thank you!
Sam is a cat available for adoption through our office. He is a very handsome guy and a true lover! Sam was an owner surrender. His previous living arrangement was not healthy for him and his haircoat was full of large mats and he was a bit overweight. Sam is about 3 years old, neutered and front declawed. He is healthy except for a few pounds that he's working to lose!
Our staff adores this guy, but he does need a new forever home and a family that loves him. Ideally, we would like to find him a home without dogs or cats. Sam seems timid with new things, but as soon as he realizes that everything is okay and he won't get hurt, his fine.
If you are interested in meeting or adopting Sam, please contact our office at 766-7981. Please visit our Facebook page for more photos and videos, and feel free to share the information on your Facebook page as well. Thank you!
Here are a few videos of Sam in action:
Sam Video 1
Sam Video 2
Sam Video 3
If your pet gets stressed out at the mere mention of the veterinary clinic, check out these ‘do’s’ and avoid these ‘don’t’s’ to make for a smooth clinic visit.
Practice makes perfect
If your dog or cat is showing signs of anxiety each time they visit the veterinarian, try a practice visit. Depending on the level of anxiety your pet experiences, follow each of the steps below, provided rewards and praise after completing each step.
World of worry
It’s very important to remember that your tone of voice, body language and stress level will affect how your pet reacts to an environment. They will be looking to you to see if everything’s all right. Whenever you’re preparing the visit the veterinarian, it’s crucial that you act as if everything is going great.
Handling begins at home
In order to perform a physical examination, the veterinarian and/or staff members may need to restrain your pet. A dog that has never been physically restrained will naturally struggle against being held, even at home where he or she feels safe.
Of courses being restrained can increase anxiety and stress, and in some situations may even cause a dog to lash out. To help prevent this from happening, it’s important you handle your dog or cat on a regular basis by checking their ears, mouth and feet. Massage sessions are especially helpful to desensitize handling issues and are a great way to relax your dog or cat while at the veterinary clinic.
Your perseverance and patience will pay off. Remember to use lots of rewards and positive reinforcement for good behavior and your pet will be well on your way to enjoying a fear free visit to their veterinarian in no time.
Spring is finally starting to bring warmer weather and that means summer isn't too far away! When planning your vacation, don't forget about your pets! If your pet isn't traveling with you, you'll want to make sure your pet's caretaker knows how to handle any emergency medical decisions. A Pet Care Emergency Authorization Form includes your contact and travel information, the name of the designated agent who is in charge of your pet's care in your absence, information about your pet's health and vaccine history, and how emergency medical decisions should be handled. It would be a good idea to share a copy of this form with your pet's regular veterinarian as well, prior to your departure.