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Canine Influenza: How To Protect Your Pet

You may have heard in the news or online about the outbreak of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV) in dogs. The current outbreak appears to have started in Georgia and Florida at a dog show.  Other dogs in 12 states have tested positive, many from exposure to the original dogs.

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Signs and Treatments of Allergies in Dogs and Cats

dog scratching allergiesWhen we think of allergies, especially during springtime, we think of people sneezing and coughing with watery, itchy eyes.  Dogs and cats, however, don’t experience the same signs. They often show the following signs:

  • Rubbing at face
  • Scratching at ears
  • Chewing paws
  • Scratching at armpits
  • Chewing over the tail, behind the ears, and in the groin region
  • Gastrointestinal signs- vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss

The signs causing your pet’s discomfort depend on the cause of the allergy.  Food, fleas, and environmental materials can all cause reactions.  The most common allergens that affect dogs and cats are the ones that affect us, too.  These are called

The most common allergens that affect dogs and cats are the ones that affect us, too.  These are called inhaled allergies or atopy:

  • Molds
  • Pollens
  • Grasses
  • Trees

At Cypress Creek Pet Care, we are using the latest products to help ease your pet’s suffering.

Apoquel, an oral pill, has proven very effective in dogs to block the itchy symptoms from inhaled allergens.  Given twice daily to start, then daily to maintain, we have found over 80 percent of dogs receive benefit.

Cytopoint, an injection for dogs, is newer on the market and has a different mechanism of action than Apoquel.  It is injected monthly at the clinic and directly helps the immune system fight the allergens that are inhaled.

You may have noticed the lack of pet allergy products for cats.  Most products are not studied in cats. Our doctors at Cypress Creek Pet Care can recommend other products to help your kitty.  Transitioning your cat to an ‘indoor cat’ can help; however, it’s important to remember we all breathe air and our homes are not air tight.  We also bring in pollens and molds on our clothes.

cat allergies, cat itchingThe next common cause of allergies is reactions to fleas.  Any pet can react to a single flea bite.  But you don’t see any fleas?  What about a person that is allergic to bee stings – all it takes is one!  That person is not surrounded by bees, but imagine if that person was bitten daily; even weekly?

How can we prevent reactions to fleas?

  • Topical products like Frontline, Advantage are very useful: These can create oily residue on the pet.  They also can fade with frequent washing and bathing
  • Oral products have become more popular: At Cypress Creek Pet Care, we recommend Nexgard and Trifexis for dogs and Revolution for cats.  Ask your veterinarian for more information on oral pet allergy treatment options.
  • Treating your house and yard: While helpful when infested, one to two fleas can be missed, lay eggs, and the cycle continues while your pet suffers.  Premise treatment alone is not effective.
  • Bathing and dipping: This style of treatments removes the fleas from the pet for that moment. Chemicals in these products can also absorb into the pet and the person using them.  They have no repellent activity.

Less common are food allergies.  Food allergies in dogs and cats only make up about five to 10 percent of the cases of allergies.  If your pet seems to have a reaction to a certain type of food does NOT mean the food is poor quality.  The pet is likely reacting to an ingredient or ingredients in that food.  Signs to look for can be:

  • Itchiness similar to inhaled allergens
  • Gastrointestinal signs:
    • Vomiting
    • Diarrhea
    • Weight loss
    • Itchy rear

“Ears and rears” is a popular phrase dermatologists give to food allergies.

How do we figure this out?  Our pets need to eat. This is the hard part – a few things to try if your pet is shying away from their food.

  • Put the pet on a single protein and single carbohydrate food
    • The protein and carbohydrate have to have never been fed before
  • No treats, no flavored toys during the trial
  • Trials can take 2-3 months

Think about a person with a peanut allergy.  They react to ANY peanut, no matter how small. The food allergic pet is similar.  So, during the trial, to make sure of a correct diagnosis, we have to be very strict.

After the trial, a new protein or carbohydrate can be added every one to two weeks.  If a reaction occurs, we recommend eliminating that particular food.

This process is very difficult in multi-pet households and those with children or other family members who may not be on board with the food trial. Our veterinarians can discuss types of food and methods of doing this pet food allergy test at home.

Allergies can be very frustrating.  We hate to see our pets suffer from scratching and frequent infections.  Gastrointestinal signs are also not pleasant to watch.

Call us today at (512) 236-5665 to set up a consultation and create a plan tailored to your pet’s needs.

Cypress Creek working toward Fear Free Certification

The doctors and staff at Cypress Creek Pet Care are proud to announce their participation in the Fear Free Program for dogs and cats.FearFree_Corp_RGB_large copy

The Fear FreeSM training and certification program helps veterinarians modify their procedures, handling, and facilities to help pets feel safe and comfortable while receiving the medical care they need.

Founded by veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, the Fear Free training program was developed by board-certified veterinary behaviorists, veterinary technician behavior specialists, board-certified veterinary anesthetists, well-known veterinary practice management experts, and boarded veterinary practitioners experienced in Fear Free methods.

Cypress Creek’s own Dr. Hopper has already become certified, and the Technician department is currently taking the 9-hour long modules to earn their certification. Each module contains videos, protocols, and recommendations and concludes with a 20-question test.

Our goal is to attain Fear Free Practice Certification when it becomes available in 2018. We hope you and your pet see a difference! As the Fear Free program says, “…let’s take the PET out of petrified.”

For more information about the Fear Free, contact us or visit: http://www.fearfreepets.com/.

November Pet Wellness Tips from the Cypress Creek Pet Care Team

The team at Cypress Creek Pet Care want to keep you informed about current issues affecting your pets. Read on to learn more about the Zika Virus, VetSource and the upcoming holiday season. 

kennel coughZika Virus– According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC), there have not been any cases of animals ill from the Zika virus nor has any spread from an animal to a human of Zika ocurred.  Zika is a virus spread by the Aedes mosquito that causes birth defects in people.  For more information, click here.

shop-onlineVet Source –  Do you want one less errand to run?  Order your pet’s prescription food from our online pharmacy, VetSource.  You can put your order on an automatic shipment and forget about it.  To learn more about how to schedule auto-refills, visit our website.

Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays are around the corner!

  • While we are full for Thanksgiving boarding, we still have some room for Christmas and New Years.
  • Be careful of fatty holiday foods!  High fat foods can cause stomach upset and even lead to pancreatitis which can require long expensive hospital stays.
    • Other holiday dangers:  alcohol, chocolate, yeast dough, Christmas tree water.
    • For more information and other hazards, visit Winter Holiday Hazards For Pets.

Dental Disease: How to keep your Pet’s mouth healthy

pet dental cleaning, pet teeth cleaning, dog dental disease, cat dental diseaseOur pets benefit from dental care just like we do. What happens if you don’t brush your teeth for a day, a week, a month, a year? Can you imagine the smell, the gum swelling, the buildup? That is what happens to our pets.

Plaque forms daily. Layers upon layers over time form hard, concrete-like calculus. The calculus causes the gums to become inflamed, called gingivitis. This is a dark red line that starts at the edge of the gum where it meets the tooth. Then the inflammation spreads to the bone that holds the teeth in place, and becomes periodontal disease.

Many of us have heard our dentists tell us we have pockets or receding gums, which is periodontal disease. Once this occurs, the process cannot be reversed, but can be stopped. Without intervention, the bone loss causes loosening of the tooth. The entire process is painful, leads to infection, and loss of the tooth.

What can you do to prevent this?

Brushing with pet- appropriate toothpaste. Cypress Creek Pet Care has toothpaste in vanilla-mint, chicken and salmon flavors that are okay for pets to swallow. Let us show you!

Routine check-ups. Every annual wellness exam at Cypress Creek Pet Care includes a full mouth exam. Let our doctors assess when your pet needs a professional cleaning.

Regular cleanings and x-rays – We humans see our dentists at least yearly, and some of us go in more often than that. Regular cleanings under the gum line will remove the calculus and x-rays assess problems below the gum line. Anesthesia is needed to fully clean those hard to reach places and perform x-rays. Dogs and cats won’t say “AHHHHH” for the hour or more it takes to perform these procedures. Dental health month is October. Give us a call to make your pet’s appointment.

cat dental cleaning, cat dental disease, dog teeth cleaning Stay away from hard TOYS . Any toy or chew that won’t bend or allow the tooth to sink or break like safety glass (Greenies) will fracture a tooth, even just the tip, eventually. Good toys and chews include Kongs, Gumabones, rope chews, greenies, and soft raw hides. At CCPC, we carry a special rawhide, made by CET, that has the same enzymes in it as the toothpaste. Come on in for a sample.

For more information about dental disease. check out What to Expect if your Pet needs Dental Care

Elimination Disorders in Cats

elimination disorder in catsCats are very special animals. They are solitary, yet social. They bond closer to places than people. Dogs are almost the opposite. Therefore, when cats feel stress or change in their world, they will change the two things that they do control: where they urinate and defecate.

We as their caregivers need to be detectives and try to figure out what the cat wants. Maybe they are already telling us they want more boxes, in more quiet places, not in the laundry room which has lots of traffic, and funny detergent smells. Maybe they don’t like to feel trapped in a box with a cover. Does Kitty want a shorter box because her joints have arthritis?

Sometimes inexpensive aluminum trays can be used while determining what the cat wants. These are inexpensive and can be folded over to a good height for the cat. If kids or dogs might get into the box, a cardboard box that is larger than the litter can be placed over it and a hole cut for the cat. Many companies also make furniture for litter boxes- the sky is the limit!

We must also be mindful that medical issues can make a cat not want to use their box. Lower urinary tract inflammation, infections, bladder stones, kidney diseases, and inflammatory bowel diseases can be uncomfortable. The cat then associates the discomfort with the box.

A good diagnostic plan involves getting samples of the offending substances and ruling out medical issues before behavioral ones. Getting to the cause early in an issue such as elimination disorders is crucial. Once housesoiling becomes a habit, it is harder to stop. Let us know how we can help.

Cypress Creek Pet Care is now Cat Friendly Certified

Cypress Creek Pet Care implements Cat Friendly Practice Program

What does it mean for cat owners to choose a Certified Cat Friendly Practice?

Cat Friendly Designation Elevates Cat Care

cat friendly practiceThe cat is king. With cats being the most beloved pet in the country, there is a growing need to improve the health care and overall well-being of the feline population. Whether it’s a routine checkup or special visit, the staff at Cypress Creek Pet Care is committed to ensuring that cats get the best care. And, to further its dedication, the clinic recently implemented the Cat Friendly Practice (CFP) program to offer pet owners more at every phase of the cat’s health care process. “We are committed to providing quality care to our feline patients,” said Dr. Susan Hopper of Cypress Creek Pet Care. “When we heard about the CFP program, we knew it was time to take a fresh look at the practice to determine what could be done to make the veterinary visit more positive for cats and cat owners.”

Program Puts Cats First

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) pioneered the CFP program to provide a framework for creating a positive practice environment for cats, including medical care that supports the cat’s unique needs and knowledgeable staff members who understand feline-friendly handling. “The AAFP realizes that cats present unique challenges before, during, and after a veterinary visit,” said Dr. Susan Little, DVM, DABVP (Feline) & President, American Association of Feline Practitioners. “Some things that can cause a cat anxiety include aversion to carriers, sensitivity to new sights and smells, and the added stress of an unfamiliar location or experience. Understanding these obstacles helped to shape the CFP program and its dedication to putting the needs of cats first.” At a CFP-designated clinic, the veterinary staff incorporates cat-friendly features into the physical environment of the practice including special waiting rooms or waiting accommodations, feline-sensitive examination rooms and ward facilities, and equipment appropriate specifically for cats. Staff members also approach cat care in a different manner. The staff learns how to understand the needs of the cat such as how to interpret a cat’s facial expression and body language. Furthermore, the staff is well-trained in alternate techniques to calm an anxious cat and ensure that exams and procedures do not escalate anxiety.

Cypress Creek Pet Care Boosts Cat Care

“We evaluated every aspect of the practice and its environment from the perspective of the cat,” Dr. Hopper said. “We can proudly say that from the minute they walk through the door, our patients and clients will be part of a welcoming, comfortable experience that will ultimately lead to the improved health of our feline patients.”

For more information about Cypress Creek Pet Care, visit us at www.cypresscreekpetcare.com or call 512.331.8555.

Fleas

With the recent rains and warm temperatures, our clients have been noticing more issues with fleas on their pets. Fleas are not just a nuisance; they can eat enough blood to be deadly. They also can potentially transmit tapeworms, which look like grains of rice on a pet’s stools and cause itchiness as they crawl out. Fleas also can contain Bartonella, the bacteria the causes Cat Scratch Fever.

fleas

The following are some comments and concerns our doctors hear about fleas:

I am safe because I don’t have carpet and my pets don’t go outside. Fleas will come in just like spiders, scorpions and flies can. Protecting your inside pets is just as important as the outside ones. They also love any nook and crevice in a floor. We see a lot of infestations in apartments with indoor only cats.

Why do I keep seeing fleas when I am using a flea prevention product? The life cycle of a flea is four stages: egg, larva, pupa and adult. It would be great if in one day all the fleas would grow into an adult, jump on our pet, and be killed instantly. It takes as short as 9 days or many months for the cycle to go from egg to adult.

I am seeing more fleas than ever before. The safe products that we recommend at Cypress Creek Pet Care affect the neurological system of fleas, not mammals like us or our pets. Therefore, they move slowly as they die and are more visible.

I have use “X” twice and I am still seeing fleas. Should I switch products? Once an infestation has occurred and you see fleas, it takes 3 to 4 months to get it under control. Any product you change to the third month will then appear to be more effective. This is a good reason to use flea prevention year round so you never have to deal with a problem again.

The doctors and staff at Cypress Creek can advise you on what flea prevention product would be best for your situation.

For more information: Fleas- Know Your Enemy

Kennel Cough

Kennel cough is actually a term that we use to describe a hacking cough that can be so harsh as to phlegm. Kennel cough is caused by bacteria, viruses and other microscopic organisms. It is highly contagious between dogs and can take as short as 2 days and as long as 14 days to show signs.

kennel cough

Any dog that breathes the same air as a dog with kennel cough has a chance of contracting it. Even dogs that play at dog parks are susceptible.

The following are the known agents that can cause kennel cough:

• Bordetella Bronchiseptica (bacteria)
• Parainfluenza virus
• Adenovirus type 2
• Canine distemper virus
• Canine influenza virus
• Canine herpesvirus (very young puppies)
• Mycoplasma canis (a single-cell organism that is neither virus nor bacterium)
• Canine reovirus

There are vaccines for only Bordetella Bronchiseptica, parainfluenza, adenovirus, distemper and influenza (H3N8 strain only). The “DHPP” that puppies and adult dogs are vaccinated for contains the distemper, adenovirus and parainfluenza vaccines.

Bordetella, or sometimes referred to as “kennel cough”, vaccine is given orally, intranasally or by injection. It is best given 4-7 days before exposure and lessens the severity when appropriately given. Dogs that are vaccinated the day they arrive at a kennel situation, therefore, do not receive the same protection as those that were vaccinated before arrival.

What do we do at Cypress Creek Pet Care to prevent your dog from contracting this family of coughing agents?

• We require vaccines for distemper, adenovirus, parainfluenza and Bordetella.
• We separate all dogs that start coughing from the other dogs.
• We regularly bleach all the kennel wards, every surface, to kill any agents. In between bleaching, all kennels are cleaned daily while a pet stays with us.
• Our staff washes their hands between every pet. Leashes, bowls, and all blankets/towels are washed and disinfected daily.
• Dogs are walked independently and individually outside so as not to spread diseases by direct contact.
• When an outbreak in Cedar Park occurs, we test a random set of patients to assess which agent is responsible for the outbreak so we can target treatment and prevention.

The recent outbreak in our area in July 2015, however, has no known agent on the DNA tests that have been done. . Please let us know if your pet has contracted a cough so that Cypress Creek Pet Care can continue its diligence.

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I am new to Cedar Park and needed to find a new vet for my pets, one of whom has special needs. As soon as I took the tour, I was hooked. Friendly, knowledgeable staff, and the cleanest vet clinic I've been in. -Chelaine

Loved the TLC and patience given! -Kathy

The staff and Dr.'s are always friendly and we are taken back almost as soon as we get there.-Anonymous

I have been coming to Dr. Schubert for 8 years and she has shown nothing but genuine concern and caring for my animals, through life and death. The staff is also personable and caring, always putting your pet first. -Anonymous

You definitely get the feeling as though they treat your pet as if it were their own. -Sean

We are new to having a fur companion and had lots of questions and concerns regarding our puppy. CCPC addressed the ones that we could remember along with what to expect and their recommendations.  -Christel

My pets are part of my family, and Dr. Bouloy really understands. He and his staff are always caring and never too busy to make me and my furry babies feel like we are their main priority. I always leave with a comforted feeling! -Katie

We did not see a Dr.... we brought our doggies for grooming and they were in need of attention! She did a GREAT job with both of them and we shall be coming on schedule now that we found her. Thank You! -Carol