Q: What are the most common dental problems in pets?
A: Over 70% of all dogs and cats over five years of age suffer from periodontal disease, which means that they have loss of the supporting structures of the teeth. In most cases this process is uncomfortable, and it will eventually lead to problems such as loose teeth, bacteria in the blood stream, and damage to the kidneys, heart and liver. The majority of dogs and cats seen at this practice over the age of 5 have one or more painful teeth in their mouth.
Q: Why is my pet's breath so bad?
A: Bad breath is usually associated with bacteria in the mouth that produce sulphur containing compounds such as hydrogen sulfides and methyl mercapatans. These compounds not only smell bad, but they also are damaging to the oral tissues. Professional cleaning along with home plaque control gives the best results. Bad breath that returns very shortly after a cleaning indicates that there may be some deep-seated problems that may have been overlooked. Bad breath is occasionally seen with medical conditions such as kidney failure and diabetes.
Q: How can I help my pet lose weight?
A: First, visit your veterinarian to be sure the weight gain is not caused by a medical condition. Then, switch to a reduced calorie formula diet (the veterinarian can suggest one) and curb the amount of treats. Adding vegetables to your pet's food will add bulk to a meal without adding calories. Visiting the veterinary hospital for frequent weigh-ins will help keep you and your pet on the right track.
Q: What are heartworms? How do pets get heartworm disease?
A: Heartworms are parasites that are spread by mosquitoes. All dogs in our area are at risk for developing heartworm disease. Heartworms live in the pulmonary artery of the heart and will eventually cause heart failure. Prevention is easy, and is one of the most important things you can do for your dog. If your dog is diagnosed with heartworms, our doctor can discuss treatment options specifically for your pet. This disease can be treated if the infection is diagnosed early.
Q: The boarding kennel wants my dog to have the "kennel cough" vaccine. What is that?
A: 'Kennel cough' is a bacterial infection involved in infectious tracheobronchitis and is spread by airborne bacteria. A dog may come in contact with this bacteria through contact with other dogs in places such as kennels, dog shows, or veterinary hospitals. It is recommended that dogs that will be in these situations be vaccinated one week prior to exposure.
Q: When can I get my pet spayed or neutered?
A: Generally, puppies and kittens can be spayed or neutered between 4 and 6 months of age. Call Biloxi Animal Hospital to schedule your pet to be spayed or neutered today!
Q: Who should I contact for an after hours emergency?
A: For after hours emergency care please contact Gulf Coast Vet Emergency Hospital at 228-392-7474.