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8 Steps to Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Vaccinations

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy At Balboa Veterinary Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the third step: Vaccinations. Proper and timely immunizations are extremely important to the well-being of your pet. Vaccines given at the proper time will help strengthen your pet’s immune system to fight off deadly diseases. So what exactly are vaccines and why should my pet get them? Vaccines help prepare the body’s immune system to fight the invasion of disease-causing organisms. Vaccines contain antigens, which look like the disease-causing organism to the immune system but don’t actually cause disease. When the vaccine is introduced to the body, the immune system is mildly stimulated. If your dog or cat is ever exposed to the real disease, his immune system is now prepared to recognize and fight it off entirely or reduce the severity of the illness. Essential Vaccinations for Your Dog Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza and Parvovirus (DHPP): Commonly called the “distemper shot,” this combination vaccine actually protects against all four diseases. Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals, including humans, are susceptible to infection. Rabies vaccinations for dogs are required by law in most states....

8 Steps to Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Microchipping

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Microchipping At Balboa Veterinary Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the fourth step: Microchipping. Remember, as long as there are pets, even those belonging to the most responsible parents, they will go missing. Microchipping will give you the best chance of finding your pet should they get lost. Each year, 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are euthanized in animal shelters, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Properly identifying your pet could make the difference between life and death of your beloved pet. Unfortunately, only 15% of dogs and 2 % of cats were reunited with their owners. Dog and cat microchipping is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects the microchip (about the size of a grain of rice) beneath the surface of your pet’s skin in between the shoulder blades. The process is similar to a routine shot, takes only a few seconds, and your pet will not react any more than he would to a vaccination. No anesthetic is required. The microchip is programmed with an identification number that is read by a microchip scanner....

8 Steps to Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Spay and Neuter

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Spay and Neuter At Balboa Veterinary Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the fifth step: Spaying and Neutering. In every community, in every state, there are thousands of homeless animals. In the U.S., there are an estimated 6-8 million homeless animals entering animal shelters every year. Barely half of these animals are adopted; the rest are euthanized. What’s worse is these are not the offspring of homeless “street” animals – these are healthy, sweet pets who would have made great companions. Many people are surprised to learn that nationwide, more than 2.7 million healthy, adoptable cats and dogs are euthanized in shelters annually. Spay/neuter is the ONLY permanent, 100 percent effective method of birth control for dogs and cats. Your pet’s health Through neutering, you can help your dog or cat live a happier, healthier, longer life. Spaying eliminates the constant crying and nervous pacing of a female cat in heat. Spaying a female dog also eliminates the messiness associated with the heat cycle. Neutering of male dogs and cats can prevent certain undesirable sexual behaviors, such as urine marking, humping, male aggression...

8 Steps to Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Proper Training

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Proper Training At Balboa Veterinary Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the sixth step: Proper Training. There are so many benefits to having a properly trained pet, especially a well-trained puppy who then becomes a well-behaved dog. Whatever way you choose to train your pooch, keep in mind that training never stops; he needs to constantly be taught new skills and continue to perfect old ones. To have a truly well-mannered dog, you need to reinforce the behaviors you want during the course of your life with her. If a puppy or new dog is not trained properly, they can easily be banished to the backyard, put in a shelter, or worse, being euthanized. These sad endings can easily be prevented by making the simple investment of training your dog; either through a professional trainer, a training school or from your own hand, training your dog is the best way to maintain a healthy, happy life together. So where does a pet owner begin the process of training? The majority of us are not professional animal trainers but there are some simple “real...

8 Steps to Keeping Your Pet Healthy: Skin Care

Pet Care Series: 8 Steps to Keep Your Pet Healthy – Skin Care At Balboa Veterinary Hospital, it is our mission to be the most reliable, responsible and respected providers of veterinary services to pets and their owners. It is through continuous education of our staff that we are able to better provide the care your pet needs to live a long healthy life. In our pet healthcare series, we will take a look at the eight steps you should take to ensure your pet remains in prime health. This week, we will take a look at the seventh step: Skin Care. We take such good care of our own skin because it’s the first thing most of us see when we look in the mirror. We will spend hundreds of dollars a month on expensive cleansers and creams for acne, anti-aging, anti-wrinkle, redness reducing, moisturizing, calming, luminating, free radical fighting… You get the idea. But what about your pet’s skin? Because they’re covered in fur, feathers or scales, we have a tendency to forget that there is skin (just like ours) under there. Your pet’s skin is an indication of her overall health. The skin is an organ and acts as a barrier to protect the body from infection and other harmful diseases. Excessive scratching, chewing and/or licking may be a sign of a skin problem. Other signs that may indicate a skin problem: Scratching, licking or chewing at scabs Redness or inflammation Hot spots (one particular area where itching is intense) Round, scaly patches on the face and paws Dry, flaky or otherwise irritated skin Hair loss,...