Celebrate Pet Dental Health Month with a February Pet Dental Appointment

The best way to prevent periodontal disease and safeguard your pet’s health and wellbeing is with regular at-home and professional dental care.

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Celebrate Pet Dental Health Month with a February Pet Dental Appointment

When was the last time you brushed your pet’s teeth?

If you answered, “never,” you’re not alone. Many pet parents simply aren’t aware that their cats and dogs need at-home dental care and regular dental checkups just like people. In fact, pets suffer from some of the same dental ailments and diseases as us. Just like us, they can lose teeth, get cavities, develop abscesses, break or crack their teeth, and develop gum disease without proper care.

Leading up to Pet Dental Health Month in February, our veterinarians at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital like to spread awareness about pet dental health and encourage pet parents to schedule dental exams and cleanings for their pets.

What's the Big Deal About Gum Disease?

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, most dogs and cats suffer from some form of dental disease by the time they’re three years old. This means most dogs and cats are facing some pretty serious general health concerns.

Gum disease (periodontal disease) is a bacterial infection of the gums that occurs when plaque and tartar are allowed to build up along the gum line. This buildup creates pockets between the teeth and the gums where bacteria thrive. Gum disease can cause oral pain and discomfort in addition to persistent bad breath, red/swollen/bleeding gums, tooth and jaw bone decay, and tooth loss.

Beyond the mouth, the bacteria associated with gum disease can enter the bloodstream leading to systemic problems and infections. Left unaddressed, bacteria from periodontal disease can damage your pet’s internal organs, ultimately shortening their lifespan.

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How to Prevent Periodontal Disease in Pets

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The best way to prevent periodontal disease and safeguard your pet’s health and wellbeing is with regular at-home and professional dental care.

At home, you can care for your pet’s teeth by brushing regularly with a specially designed pet toothbrush and toothpaste formulated specifically for cats or dogs. You can also provide your pet with dental-friendly treats, chew toys and other preventative products recommended by veterinary dentists.

We also recommend calling for an appointment if your pet is due for their annual wellness or geriatric exam OR if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms at home:

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth
  • Red or swollen gums
  • Difficulty chewing or favoring one side of the mouth
  • Discolored teeth
  • Pawing at the mouth

During your appointment, our veterinarian will closely examine your pet’s teeth and gums. We will then discuss any abnormal findings and if your pet could benefit from a professional dental cleaning appointment which includes scaling and polishing the teeth, removing plaque and tartar buildup and taking dental X-rays to screen for problems that could be occurring inside the teeth or below the gum line.

To learn more about caring for your pet’s teeth or to schedule a pet dental appointment at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we welcome you to contact our office today.

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5 Essential Tips for Traveling with Pets This Season

Everyone loves including furry family members in holiday travel plans, but it’s important to take a few steps to ensure they’ll be safe on the road and have a happy holiday, too!

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5 Essential Tips for Traveling with Pets This Season

‘Tis the season of holiday travel. For many families, this includes traveling with pets. Everyone loves including furry family members in holiday travel plans, but it’s important to take a few steps to ensure they’ll be safe on the road and have a happy holiday, too!

Pet Travel Checklist

1. Pack for Your Pet
Remember to pack all your pet’s essential items. Your list should include:

  • Food, medications, and supplements (pack more than you’ll need for the intended length of your vacation)
  • Water for the road
  • Collapsible bowls
  • Collar, leash and harness
  • Favorite toys, blankets, or bed for comfort
  • Doggy bags or your kitty’s litter box

2. Bring Documents
If you’re crossing state lines in a car or taking public transportation, your pet will need papers to travel legally. This typically includes vaccination records, your pet’s local registration, and/or a pet health certificate.

If you are traveling internationally, your pet will need an international health certificate specific to that country. These requirements are listed on the USDA Pet Travel Website and you will need an appointment with Dr. Romano to obtain the health certificate for your destination. He is a USDA Accredited Veterinarian and is able to perform these exams for pet travel.

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3. Research Veterinarians
You never know when an emergency will happen. Before you leave, research emergency veterinary hospitals located along your travel route and at your destination. This way, if your pet falls ill, gets injured, or ingests something toxic, you’ll be able to get them help right away – without wasting time locating a nearby veterinarian. Be sure to bring your pet’s medications with you to any veterinary appointment so that the veterinarian can prescribe any new medication safely.

4. Security and Identification
When your pet is in an unfamiliar place with new surroundings and landmarks, it’s much easier for them to become disoriented and lost. Make sure that dog’s leash or harness fits securely. For cats, be sure to use a high-quality carrier that will keep them securely inside and do not open the carrier in an unfamiliar and/or insecure location as the cat can escape.

Make sure your pet’s ID tags are up to date and include a phone number that you’ll be able to answer while you’re away. Also, be sure that your current contact information has been registered with your pet’s microchip number. If your pet has not yet been microchipped, we strongly recommended getting a microchip for your pet before you leave.

5. Schedule Extra Time
When you travel with pets, you’ll definitely need to stop more often. Look up safe, convenient locations for pet-friendly pit stops before you leave. Plus, plan to schedule extra time for travel to allow for plenty of breaks to get out of the car, stretch your legs, and walk your leashed dog or cat around.

Schedule a Pre-Travel Appointment at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital

Depending on where and how you plan to travel, your dog or cat might require vaccination prior to your departure. Schedule a pre-travel appointment with a Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital veterinarian to make sure your pet can travel safely this holiday season.

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Is My Pet Overweight?

With their fluffy, round physiques, chubby pets have taken over the internet with cute pictures and their own social media accounts. “Chonky” pets, however, aren’t as cute as the internet would like you to believe. We love all animals and, of course, we think they’re all cute, but obesity is a serious health problem for cats and dogs.

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Is My Pet Overweight? Signs Your Pet Needs to Lose Weight

With their fluffy, round physiques, chubby pets have taken over the internet with cute pictures and their own social media accounts. “Chonky” pets, however, aren’t as cute as the internet would like you to believe. We love all animals and, of course, we think they’re all cute, but obesity is a serious health problem for cats and dogs.

Is My Pet Fluffy or Chubby?

According to a 2018 survey from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention, an estimated 56% of dogs and 60% of cats in the United States were either overweight or obese.

To determine if your pet needs to lose weight, there are a lot of signs that you might be able to see if you know what you are looking for. The Animal Hospital Association of America (AAHA) has created a chart that can help you determine the healthy weight of your pet, but these general tips can help you determine if your pet needs to lose weight:

1. Shape from above
When viewed from above or the side, both cats and dogs should have an obvious waist. The chest should be the widest part of the body, which should narrow in front of the hind legs. A sausage or rounded shape is a telltale sign of extra weight.

2. Hidden Ribs
You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs. As you run your fingers along their ribcage, there should be a very faint layer of fat overlying the ribs. If there is a thick layer of fat or you can’t feel the ribs at all, then your pet is carrying around too much weight.

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3. Abdominal Tuck
When viewing your pet from the side, there should be an abdominal tuck present.. If there is a flat or bulging shape to the abdomen, then your pet should shed a few pounds.

4.Tailbase Fat
The bones at the base of the tail are easily felt in a healthy-weight pet. If these bones are hard to feel or unable to be felt, then this indicates excessive fat in this area and hence a need for overall weight loss.

5. Disinterest in Physical Activities
Cats and dogs – even seniors – should show some interest in active play. If yours doesn’t or tires quickly, this could indicate that they’re carrying around extra weight. Lethargy can also be a sign of other health problems. If your pet seems unusually tired or inactive, schedule a checkup.

How Obesity Affects Your Pet's Health

A few extra pounds on pets can do major damage to their health. Overweight pets are more likely to suffer from diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, joint disease, liver disease, and other avoidable health problems. They also tend to live much shorter lifespans. Thankfully, your pet’s weight can be easily managed with a balanced diet and regular exercise. If you are interested in finding more information about the importance of a healthy lifestyle for you and your pet, One Health produced a terrific editorial that explores the health correlations between pets and their owners.

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Weight Management and Nutritional Counseling for Overweight Pets in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, our veterinarians assess weight, body condition score, and fitness during every exam to help our clients keep their pets at a healthy weight. If your pet is overweight or suffering from obesity, we will work with you to develop a nutrition and exercise plan to help your cat or dog shed pounds and get back into shape. If you’re concerned about your pet’s weight or dietary needs, we welcome you to schedule a weight management appointment today.

The Houseplants That Could Poison Your Cat

It’s extremely important to select plants that are safe for your pets. In this article, we’ll focus on which plants are toxic and which are safe for cats.

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The Houseplants That Could Poison Your Cat

It’s extremely important to select plants that are safe for your pets. The lists of toxic and non-toxic plants vary depending on whether you share your home with cats, dogs, or both. For the purposes of this article, we’ll focus on houseplants in feline-friendly homes. (Though, there are no guarantees on whether the non-toxic plants you choose will be safe from your kitty.) 

Do Cats Naturally Avoid Poisonous Plants?

Although cats tend to be picky eaters, they’re highly curious and playful. So, they might not see your newest houseplant as a meal, but they will likely view it as a perfect play-thing to be pounced, swatted, and chewed. Some plants that are poisonous for cats have to be ingested to have any adverse effects, but brief exposure to other toxic plants (lilies for example) can be fatal. 

Cats are agile, natural explorers, and it’s almost impossible to put a plant in a location that a cat can’t reach. So, it’s best for cat owners to completely avoid introducing toxic plants into their homes. 

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The Most Common Houseplants That Are Poisonous for Cats

There are hundreds of plants that are toxic to cats.  While most only cause mild signs, such as vomiting or oral irritation, some are truly toxic and can cause organ failure.  The most dangerous plants that need to be avoided are marked with an asterisks. (*)

These are some of the most common plants to avoid in your homes and gardens:

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  • Aloe
  • Amaryllis
  • Azalea*
  • Carnation
  • Castor Bean*
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Cyclamen*
  • Daffodil*
  • Dieffenbachia
  • Foxglove*
  • Hyacinth
  • Hydrangea
  • Ivies
  • Kalanchoe
  • *Lilies – Especially Easter Lily, Star Gazer Lily, and Tiger Lily*
  • Marijuana
  • Oleander*
  • Poinsettia
  • Rhododendron
  • Sago Palm*
  • Tulips
  • Yew

Visit the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Center to view a complete list of plants that are toxic to cats and also a list of plants that are safe to have in and around a cat-friendly home. (You can view lists for dogs and horses, too!) If you’re planning to add a new plant to your house or garden, we recommend looking for plants listed on the ASPCA’s list of plants that are non-toxic for cats.

Signs of Poisoning in Cats

Symptoms of poisoning in cats can range from mild to severe. If your cat comes into contact with or ingests a toxic plant, you might notice any of the following signs or symptoms of poisoning:

  • Scratching or itchiness
  • Irritation around the mouth
  • Watery, red eyes
  • Swelling
  • Vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Drooling
  • Trouble swallowing
  • Difficulty breathing

If you notice any unusual symptoms, behaviors, or bite marks on a toxic plant’s leaves, take action immediately.

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What to Do If Your Cat Ingests a Poisonous Plant

If you suspect your cat has ingested or come into contact with a toxic plant, contact Animal Poison Control and seek emergency veterinary care right away. Quick action is the best way to avoid any danger to your cat after a toxic plant ingestion.  We are available at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital to help with any questions you might have.  After hours, contact our local 24/7 specialty hospitals. 

 

Mental Health and Suicide Awareness in the Veterinary Profession

Please note that this month’s topic is a delicate one and a difficult one to write about, but nonetheless important. I felt it was necessary to bring the information to light in the small venue that is this Blog.

Please note that this month’s topic is a delicate one and a difficult one to write about, but nonetheless important. I felt it was necessary to bring the information to light in the small venue that is this Blog.
-Peter Romano

Mental Health and Suicide Awareness in the Veterinary Profession

When the average person thinks about the job of a veterinarian, they probably focus on the more positive aspects, like helping to keep pets healthy, petting animals, and saving fuzzy lives. But being a veterinarian is a difficult and, at times, anxiety-provoking job. Veterinarians have to make tough decisions every day. They share the saddest moments with pet owners, and – true animal lovers at heart – they bear the emotional weight of it all.

Due to these and other factors, suicide rates among veterinarians are disproportionately high. Compared to the general population, female veterinarians were 3.5 times and male veterinarians were 2.1 times more likely to die as a result of suicide, according to a study from the CDC that included more than thirty years of data.

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Why Is the Suicide Rate So High in the Veterinary Profession?

Although every individual’s story is unique, veterinarians tend to face common factors that can increase the stress, anxiety, burnout, and depression that lead to suicidal thoughts.

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The job itself has its own stressful responsibilities. It entails long work hours and heavy workloads. As veterinarians often oscillate between happy and sad appointments throughout the workday, the nature of the profession puts high demands on emotional energy.

In addition, financial burdens are a common denominator among veterinarians. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) found that on average, in 2019 veterinarians graduated with $150,000 in student loan debt, and more than 10% of graduates faced over $300,000 in debt. Coupling this with comparatively low entry-level wages, entering the profession can be burdensome for many veterinarians.

With constantly improving treatments and advancing medicine, there are often viable treatments available for pets that some owners simply cannot afford. Although most veterinarians view entering the profession as an enthusiastic expression of their love and compassion for animals, they must acknowledge the financial limitations of pet owners when practicing medicine. It is difficult to wrestle with the emotional fallout of offering high-quality care options and then being unable to provide that care. Besides the personal struggle this entails, these situations have also catalyzed a surprising amount of aggressive cyberbullying directed toward veterinarians.

Suicide Prevention, Crisis Help, and Training for Veterinarians

The high rate of suicide among veterinarians has not gone unnoticed. Groups such as Not One More Vet, Vets4Vets and many others have developed as a response. These groups have been created to help support veterinarians and other members of the veterinary community who are struggling with the challenges of the profession. They offer resources in addition to a private place where veterinarians and staff can access support, lean on one another, and share their experiences. The AVMA has also taken steps to improve mental and emotional health outcomes for veterinarians. They provide free crisis management resources, suicide prevention training, and a cyberbullying hotline to members.

Acknowledging the mental health aspects of any profession is a vital part of leading a balanced life. A veterinarian or not, if you or someone you know is struggling, don’t be afraid to reach out, ask a professional healthcare provider for help, or call the national suicide prevention hotline.

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What Happens During a Pet’s Dental Procedure?

If you’ve decided to schedule a pet dentistry appointment for your pet, you’ve taken a big step toward safeguarding their health and happiness. This article will help you prepare for your pet’s dental appointment so you know what to expect.

What Happens During a Pet's Dental Procedure?

Pairing professional dental cleanings with at-home dental care is the best way to protect your pet from periodontal disease and all of the health complications (like tooth decay, tooth loss, systemic infection, and organ damage) associated with it. If you’ve decided to schedule a pet dentistry appointment for your pet, you’ve taken a big step toward safeguarding their health and happiness. While our veterinarians and staff at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital are always here to answer your questions, this article will help you prepare for your pet’s dental appointment and know what to expect.

Preparing for Your Pet's Dental Appointment

For our patients’ safety and comfort, pet dental cleanings and exams are performed with pets under general anesthesia. This also allows for proper cleaning of the teeth under the gumline where bacteria and inflammation like to hide.

We’ll always schedule an exam and laboratory tests prior to your pet’s appointment to rule out any potentially dangerous underlying conditions and to ensure your pet is healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. During this exam, we’ll also weigh your pet to determine the proper anesthesia dose that will be administered during his or her upcoming dental appointment.

In addition, our veterinarian will provide you with a few instructions for the night and morning before your pet’s appointment. These might include food and water restrictions or potentially the administration of oral medications to ensure your pet’s safety.

What Happens During a Pet Dentistry Appointment?

One of our veterinarians will examine your pet on the day of the procedure. Once they are cleared for anesthesia, they will be given an injectable sedative and then general anesthesia will be administered. The anesthesia and Oxygen will be delivered through a tube placed in your pet’s airway. This tube protects your pet’s airway by preventing oral bacteria from entering their respiratory system.

We will then perform a visual oral examination and take dental radiographs (X-rays) which enable us to detect and address potential problems occurring inside a patient’s teeth or below the gum line. After documenting any disease, we will begin cleaning, scaling, and polishing your pet’s teeth to remove plaque and tartar buildup above and below the gum line. A member of our experienced staff will be dedicated to monitoring your pet’s vital signs and progress throughout the entire anesthesia, using state-of-the-art medical equipment, for the duration of the procedure.

If there is significant disease like loose teeth, broken teeth, tooth root infections, bone loss or other painful processes, we may recommend extraction of the tooth to relieve the pain and to prevent the disease from spreading to other teeth in the future. One of our veterinarians will explain if your pet might need extractions.

Post-Dental Recovery Instructions for Pets

Following your pet’s appointment, we’ll provide you with verbal and written recovery instructions that will vary based on the extent of your pet’s dental treatment. We will provide you with medications and administration instructions, if necessary, and we might recommend feeding your pet a diet of soft food for a short period of time.

To learn more about the importance of pet dentistry or to schedule your pet’s next cleaning, we welcome you to contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital today.

How to Choose Safe Pet Toys for Your Cat or Dog

Pet toys are supposed to be fun, not dangerous. Unfortunately, pet toys (even those found in pet stores) can be dangerous for pets. Read on to learn what to avoid and what to look for in a safe pet toy.

How to Choose Safe Pet Toys for Your Cat or Dog

Pet toys are supposed to be fun, not dangerous. Unfortunately, pet toys (even those found in reputable pet stores) can cause dangerous situations for pets. Read on to learn what to avoid and what to look for in a safe pet toy.

8 Common Pet Toy Hazards

To choose safe pet toys, be aware of the potential hazards. The following pet toy features can be dangerous for pets.

1. Buttons, Eyes, Feathers, and Bells

These features might look cute, but pets easily remove and swallow them. They’re a choking hazard and can also cause intestinal blockages or perforations.

2. String Toys, Ribbons, and Yarn

Despite the photographic evidence, these are not safe for pets. They all carry a risk of strangulation and of intestinal blockage if swallowed. In addition, these objects can get wrapped around teeth and cause gum and tooth problems.

3. Stuffing

Avoid toys that contain stuffing (polystyrene beads, cotton batting, foam, or nutshells). Ingesting these can lead to intestinal blockages. You’ll find plenty of stuffing-free pet toys available.

4. Squeakers

Pets frequently tear open toys and swallow squeaker capsules. If you purchase a toy with a squeaker, make sure it’s very tough and watch your pet carefully to make sure they do not tear it open.

5. Batteries

Never give a pet a battery-operated toy. Ingestion of batteries can be life-threatening

6. Splinters

Avoid toys made of hard plastic or wood, as these materials can splinter easily. These splinters can get caught in between teeth, under the tongue and even penetrate through the gums. If swallowed, these splinters can result in a perforated intestine

7. Chemicals

Toys with a strong chemical smell or aromatherapy might pose a chemical risk to your pet. These toys could irritate or harm a pet’s eyes, nose and gastrointestinal tract.

8. Rawhides

Although these have been popular choices for chew toys, rawhides can actually be quite dangerous. They put your pet at risk of choking and suffering from dangerous intestinal blockages if swallowed.

9. Antlers, Hoofs or Other Animal Bones

These hard objects lead to many broken teeth which can be quite painful, and could also lead to tooth root infections which often requires surgical removal of the tooth.

Tips for Choosing a Safe Pet Toy

  • Go Tougher Than Necessary – Choosing hard to rip/tear toys will ensure your pet can’t destroy them and swallow the pieces.
  • Consider Your Pet’s Size – Choose toys that are appropriate for your pet’s size.
  • Look for Activities Other Than Chewing – Puzzle games or noise-making (squeaker-free) toys provide stimulation that discourages chewing.
  • VOHC-Approval – If you’re looking for a product to help your dog’s teeth, look for approved products from the Veterinary Oral Health Council.

When in Doubt, Ask an Expert

If you’re not sure what toys are safest for your dog or cat, we always welcome you to talk with a veterinarian at Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital. We can help you select the most appropriate toys for your pet based on species, size, and age.

Are There Different Types of Veterinarians?

When you adopt a pet, it’s important to consider the veterinary care your new animal will need and the type of veterinarian that can provide it. There are several types of veterinarians with different training and credentials.

Are There Different Types of Veterinarians?

When you adopt a pet – whether it be a cat, dog, lizard, or pot-bellied pig – it’s important to consider the veterinary care your new animal will need and the type of veterinarian that can provide it. There are actually several types of veterinarians with different training and credentials.

5 Different Kinds of Veterinarians

1. Companion Animal Veterinarians

This is the most common type of veterinarian. Companion animal veterinarians specialize in the care of small animals like cats, dogs, and some pocket pets. They are called General Practitioners and would be the equivalent of your family doctor. They’re qualified and trained to provide most types of care to pets including medical and surgical services, diagnostics, and treatments.

2. Veterinary Specialists

If companion animal veterinarians are the General Practitioners of human medicine, then veterinary specialists are the Orthopedic Surgeons and Oncologists of veterinary medicine. Veterinarians can choose to specialize in any of over 20 recognized fields of study, including cardiology, dentistry, anesthesiology and more. In order to become certified or boarded in any specialty field, these veterinarians undergo advanced training in post-veterinary school programs.

3. Exotic Animal Veterinarians

These veterinarians are specially trained or have a special interest in caring for exotic animals including pocket pets, reptiles, amphibians, and birds. Some exotic animal veterinarians treat pets while others treat animals at a zoo or other wildlife habitats. Some of them also obtain additional training to become an exotic animal specialist.

4. Livestock, Food, and Large Animal Veterinarians

These veterinarians focus on the care of large animals and livestock such as horses, cattle, sheep, pigs, and goats. They’re trained specifically to meet the needs of these types of farm animals. Some large animal veterinarians work at a Large Animal Veterinary Hospital while most others travel around in a specially-equipped vehicle to see their patients where they live.

5. Laboratory Veterinarians

There are many other veterinarians who work behind the scenes in fields such as infectious disease diagnosis, pathology, animal feed production, pharmacology research and many more. These veterinarians are not as visible to the public but are vital for the well-being of all animals.

What's the Difference Between a Veterinary Hospital and a Veterinary Clinic?

When choosing a veterinary practice for your pet, you’ll see different terminology in the names such as:

  • Veterinary hospital
  • Animal hospital
  • Veterinary clinic
  • Animal clinic

There’s no major difference between the terms “veterinary” and “animal,” but there is a difference between hospitals and clinics. Typically a veterinary or animal hospital refers to a full-service veterinary practice, and a veterinary or animal clinic refers to a practice that offers paired back or limited services.
The difference in titles has no bearing on the quality of care, but “hospitals” do offer a broader range of care services.

Veterinary Care You Can Count On in Sleepy Hollow

At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we provide our patients with a full range of veterinary services including emergency care and access to board-certified veterinary surgeons and internists. To learn more about how Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital can take care of your pets, schedule an appointment with one of our veterinarians today.

Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Vaccine

Yes, parasite preventatives can help safeguard your pet from parasites, like ticks, and the diseases they carry, but these preventatives aren’t 100% protective – especially if pets don’t receive properly timed administration or doses. Thankfully, there’s another layer of protection to shield your dog from Lyme disease with a Lyme vaccine.

Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Vaccine

Yes, parasite preventatives can help safeguard your pet from parasites, like ticks, and the diseases they carry, but these preventatives aren’t 100% protective – especially if pets don’t receive properly timed administration or doses. Thankfully, there’s another layer of protection to shield your dog from Lyme disease with a Lyme vaccine.

What Is Lyme Disease?

Lyme disease is a tick-borne illness caused by a spiral-shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi. This bacteria is transmitted to dogs (and humans) through the bite of an infected tick. Lyme-infected ticks are endemic in the Northeast United States, putting us and our pets at risk.

Signs and Symptoms of Lyme Disease in Dogs

Although many dogs infected with Lyme disease do not exhibit signs and symptoms, the effects of Lyme can be severe.

Symptoms include:

  • Fever
  • Joint swelling
  • Lameness
  • Decreased activity
  • Loss of appetite

A blood test is used to diagnose Lyme disease. If your dog tests positive, treatment with a month’s long course of antibiotics and additional testing will be recommended. If left untreated or in some severely affected dogs, Lyme disease can lead to permanent damage of the kidneys, joint cartilage, brain and spinal cord and in rare instances cardiovascular complications.

Protect Your Dog from Lyme Disease with a Simple Vaccine

In the past, Lyme vaccination was tricky because the bacteria that causes the Lyme actually changes once it enters the dog’s bloodstream. A technologically-advanced vaccine has been developed that attacks the Lyme-causing bacteria while it’s still inside an attached tick, effectively preventing transmission.

Lyme disease transmission can be significantly decreased with this advanced Lyme vaccine, which we recommend for all at-risk dogs living in the Northeastern United States. You can reduce your dog’s chances of contracting Lyme disease by using parasite preventatives and avoiding brushy, grassy, or wooded areas, but vaccination is a simple way to give your pet superior protection.

Why Isn't There a Lyme Vaccine for People?

A Lyme vaccine was available for people in the 1990s. Unfortunately, its release coincided with bad press about vaccines, incorrectly linking them with autism. Although the vaccine was effective, it was taken off the market. Today, two pharmaceutical companies are working on developing a human-grade Lyme vaccine, but it’s unclear when it will be available.

Get Your Dog a Lyme Vaccine for Tick Season

If your dog has yet to be vaccinated for Lyme disease, we recommend scheduling an appointment before your pet starts rolling in the grass and enjoying the warmer weather that comes with tick season. To schedule an appointment, contact Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital.

Novel Coronavirus and the Safety of Your Pets

Amidst the worry and fear of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many pet owners have been left wondering whether their pets could be affected. Although more research is needed, there is currently no evidence that dogs, cats, or other domestic animals can either contract or transmit COVID-19.

Novel Coronavirus and the Safety of Your Pets

Amidst the worry and fear of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, many pet owners have been left wondering whether their pets could be affected. Although more research is needed, there is currently no evidence that dogs, cats, or other domestic animals can either contract or transmit COVID-19.

Canine and Feline Coronaviruses Are Not the Same

Within the coronaviridae virus family, there are certain viruses that can affect animals like cats and dogs. These viruses, however, are different from COVID-19 and cannot be transmitted to humans.

Recommendations for Keeping Your Pets and Family Healthy During the Pandemic

Although there’s no evidence that our pets can contract or transmit COVID-19, the AVMA still recommends that pet owners take precautions during the outbreak.

People and pets should follow federal and local social distancing guidelines. Restrict your pet’s contact with people and animals from other households. Since COVID-19 can survive on different surfaces for various lengths of time, pets that encounter sick humans or contaminated animals should not be allowed to have contact with other humans.
You should also have a supply of pet essentials (food and medications). If you become ill, you’ll need to self-quarantine with your pets.

Worries about novel coronavirus aside, there are many zoonotic diseases that can be passed between humans and animals. It’s always smart to practice proper hygiene when you come into contact with any animals. Be sure to wash your hands before and after playing or snuggling to keep your pets and your human family members healthy.

New Safety Protocols Allow Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital to Continue Serving You and Your Pets

Veterinary hospitals are still considered essential businesses in New York State and are allowed to remain open to serve the needs of their clients and their pets. At Sleepy Hollow Animal Hospital, we’ll continue providing veterinary care to our patients as long as we’re legally allowed to do so. While remaining open during the pandemic, we have adjusted our service, sanitization, and safety protocols to protect both our clients and our veterinary staff.

We recommend rescheduling non-essential appointments for a later date. If your pet needs vaccinations or urgent care, however, we’re continuing to admit patients while limiting human contact with curbside drop-offs and medication pickup services. If you are sick, we ask that you reschedule your pet’s appointment at this time. We always welcome you to contact our office for more information.