Ask a farmer what happens when they use the same pesticide for 20 years, it stops working! Advantage and Frontline use to be the 8th wonder of the world. Today they are readily available at pet stores large box store etc for cheap. Frontline lost their patent and is now available under 12+ different names fipronil + a magic ingredient. They still kinda work under ideal circumstances but you need flea contol that works under ALL situations. I recommend Comfortis, Vectra or Revolution. Bottom line ask your vet what is best for your specific situation,

 
 
It all makes sense now, unfortunately. Life is sometimes best viewed through a rearview mirror. Back in January, I remember noticing a peach color rose blooming in my front yard. Strange I thought but that was all. Usually after the first of the year most animal allergies quiet only the worse persists and only for a short time longer. I recall telling clients this should be the last allergy visit of the seaon only to see them back in February and March. I admitted I was wrong and  yet another treatment was necassary. I felt like we had a few weeks off in April and that was all! Then I heard on several occasions by human doctors this will be the worse allergy season EVER! That rose I saw and many others had a similar experience was a pseudospring following by cooler weather and a real spring that had pollen on steroids!. They announced people with allergies would have symptoms they had never had before and people without allergies could develop clinical signs this year. Over the past several weeks I have seen more flowers then ever wild and garden variety. My orchids bloomed like I had actually taken very good care of them. Then I saw fox tails around my neighborhood and removed four from one dogs ears. Something I usually to not ned to do untiil August or September. Then we had fires that one Fire Official said we do not experience until August of September. Finally, fleas are back, another early arriver that we do not see until the back portion of July.So, any good news? Well, if you are reading this, you have been warned. Talk to your veterinarian, they are you best resource to keep your pet healthy and minimze your expenses, not your aunt  in Nebraska or the kid at the pet store. Flea control is evolving quickly. Some of the biggest names that were only available at your  vet several years ago are inexpensive at the pet srores now. Bottom line, no longer top shelf. Again speak wih your vet and stay ahead of the curve. This looks to be an interesting and challening year!!!
 
 
Do you know why the drug companies that sell their medications to veterinarians will not guarantee or stand behind those same products purchased at an internet company or big box store? Yes, we are talking 800 Pet Meds and Costco. Because they can not get them legally! They need someone like me to divert products so they can attempt to alter the companies track and trace. Now some of these retail companies can not figure out so the veterinarian gets busted, cut off and sometimes worse with legal, civil and crimminal reprucussions. The reason is simple. Say company A says I will give you $30K for $25K of product. Cool I just made a quick $5K but, you know I know a printer and a compounding pharmacist. Yes, their are bad seeds in every industry. I will have them make up the box and pill and viola!!! I just made $25K with $5K in cost! Yes, that is the extreme but there are all kinds of variations not to mention mis and dis information. So, save yourself some $$$, get it through your vet and if you want ask them to meet you half way or match the internet price. Keep in mind, although the general impression is they are getting rich most of us at best are middle class servicing our school loans and paying the same bills you are so how do you combat this lost profit center? Raise prices on other services the general public can not access, something we dread doing. If we were in it for the money we would have been plastic surgeons and lawyers, sorry guys but you do make a boat load more then us. Finally, and most importantly you want to pay for a product that works the first time. You do not want to be one of the many I see daily that says really I would have never thought.... In general, most vets are honest and of highest moral integrity. We have to look you in the eye and do not want to see an unhappy pet owner and a miserable pet. Use us as a valuable resource to keep you aheard of the curve and save you some real money!
 
 
I wish I could have titled this "solved" but that would be a tad arrogant and few things in life are 100%. Shipping and handling yes but after that there is a slippery slope. Some things in life are learned by reading and watching, others by experience and still others are just stumbled upon. The following is a 20 plus years combo. First, do your homework about getting a dog, especially a puppy and learn about the specific characteristics of a breed. Learning by trial and error well we have all done that. Second find a trainer. Do your research but make sure you like them on a personal level so that you will trust their every word, Because thirdly you need to learn how to think like a dog and most dog owners do not know how to do that, they only think they do but they are thinking like a human. Your trainer they knows how to think like a dog. The most complex problems like you see on National Geographic with Cesar Millan start with the basics. Sit, stay, yes, no. Read that again. Notice those are all simple one syllabal one word commands. That is all they understand in the beginning. That and tone of voice. A firm NO works. A conversational explanation is confusing at best. Next comes the big debate. Veterinarians, in general say "No being around other animals until they have had ALL of their puppy vaccinations." A trainer will tell you "If you follow this advice you will miss the most crucial socialization era" Solution: split the difference. Get the first vaccination between 6-8 weeks of age and start introducing your new buddy to the world. Go for car rides, meet people, meet other puppies that know not to hang out with the rough crowd. Do not go to the dog park, beach or other areas where large numbers of dogs visit and expose your pet to life threatening viruses. The big concern is usually Distemper and Parvo virus. Unfortunate diseases associated with crowded, unsanitary conditions and unvaccinated dogs that wind up in shelters. If you work from home or can take your dog to work every day great, for the rest of us find day care. This is not necessarily forever but until they mature. A dog especialy a puppy or adolescent sitting at home for 8-12 hours aday alone is a recipe for disaster. Remember think like a dog. Imagine sitting in your home EVERY day ALL day. I would chew up the rug or door too! I have seen a variety of professional veterinary behavioralist diagnosis resolved with mental stimulation. This is not several long walks or several hours at the park but a good 8-12 hours at a well maintained facility that reinforces appropriated behavior aka doggy da. They will sleep good that night and be relaxed most of the next day. This regimen 2-3 times per week with walks, exercise etc. and separation anxiety, boredom, aggression and destructive behavior can be dramatically reduced. If you do have a major problem again find a trainer and watch a few episodes of the Dog Whisperer. You may learn a few tricks and be thankful that episode is someone elses problem. Also, keep in mind like the show some behavioral problems take awhile to resolve, so be patient. Few things in life will bring you companionship and unconditonal love like a dog. Given the proper attention, events that can test or fracture that love can be avoided with a little education and effort.  
 
 
Is it the economy? Somewhere along the way routine visits for cats has dropped dramatically across the entire veterinary industry. A number of veterinary companies took notice and launched campaigns but I do not feel they have had a substantial impact. Although I applaud the efforts of Boehringer Ingelheim and Veterinary Pet Insurance for their efforts. I noticed this several years ago when ordering vaccines. I used to be very proud that I saw, treated and vaccinated as many if not more cats then dogs. I certainly see more cats then my business partner (not sure if that is good or bad?) Yes, we do not vaccinate as often or with as many vaccines as we used to but it is the preventative annual or semi-annual visits that decreased. I still have many clients that do come in regularly but a large number only come in when they have a medical issue. Although difficult medical cases are what I live for, some of these may have been prevented with early intervention. Think about it, if a woman waits for her breasts to be painful before she goes in for a mammogram and there is cancer the odds are not in her favor. As aweful as this sound if you do have breast cancer you want to find out on a routine exam be scheduled for a procedure and be done with chemo and or radiation before you get a chance to think about it too much. You want to be a survivor like my mom, twice. Routine visits are the key. Routine dentals, routine weights, routine labs, routine question and answers with your veterinarian, routine palpation of the belly, routine listening to the heart and lungs. If a cat has a murmur they have a problem, you do not want to wait until they are gasping for air. If they have kidney disease you want to know early, just by changing their food you can possibly triple the time they survive. Now that is a substantial difference. Our domestic cats are small versions of the lions and tigers out there. They do not shows signs of illness until their illness is substatial. These are not meant to be scare tactics just tips to extend your pets life. So, if you have a cat, lets make sure your cat is a healthy as they look! Thank you.
 
 
Just finished removing an intestinal foreign body from a new clients dog. Part
of a tennis ball wrapped in cloth. X-rays were questionable for a foreign body
in multiple locations. After 20 plus years you just have a "GUT" feeling. I was
concerned about opening him up and finding nothing. Although would have felt
worse waiting since prognosis really gets substantially worse with each passing
day of waiting. Lessons learned, young mid to large breed dogs over represented,
be patient do a proper work up give medical management a chance but if you do
need to do surgery: cut early don't wait !!! Hope Finn has a rapid recovery!!!
 
 
Actually with the warmer months comes fleas and flies the intermediate host for our next guest, TAPEWORMS! I probably get more phone calls about this parasite then any other parasite. OMG there are these little white things on my animals rectum or on their stool (about 1/4 to 1/3 inch long) and they are moving!!! Usually right after they defecate. Can I catch them and they are so GROSS. Now the good news, no you probably will not catch them, you need to eat an infected flea or fly to complete the life cycle and they are relatively benign i.e. they probably will not make your animal sick. The perfect parasite able to peacefully coexist with their host without making them sick. Easy to treat too, either a shot or oral pills, two treatments two weeks apart.
 
 
Culver City just posted that they have positive identification of West Nile Virus in a dead bird. This and many other dangerous diseases can be transmitted to pets and people from a mosquito feeding on our blood. There are some very basic and easy steps to prevent these diseases.
1) Avoid being outside at dusk and dawn. This is the time that mosquitos are out and most active. If you have to be out wear long sleeves and full length pants. Use protective sprays like Deet.
2) Make sure you do not have standing water in and around your home. This can be in an empty flower pot, the way the gutter slopes in front of your home or overwatering your garden.
 
An ounce of prevention is worth alot more then a pound a cure and a heck of alot more economical. Save yourself the money and a migrane !
 
 
Remember, you have to be very careful when giving human food to your animals! Moderation is key!!! If you want to play it safe, stick with food and treats intended for your pet. Very small amounts, like a thimble full of chicken, beef or cheese is OK as long as they do not have a history of a sensitive stomach i.e. vomiting or diarrhea If they have a sensitive stomach a kiss and a treat will have to do ! Also remember, NO grapes or raisens  these can be deadly TOXIC in some cases. The ASPCA at www.ASPCA.org is a great resource for toxins but even they have been stumped on this one so far. Better safe then sorry! Enjoy the video !!!
 
 
See how cool you can be?  If you already have a pet then you already know.