Company Blog

How to reduce thunderstorm induced stress and anxiety in your pet

While not every dog or cat is afraid of thunderstorms, it is definitely not out of the ordinary for pets to become nervous and scared when theythunderstorm hear the roar of thunder. If you have a puppy or kitten, you may not know whether or not your pet has this phobia since most pets develop this fear between the ages of two and four years old. Unfortunately, your dog or cat could become more anxious as they get older as thunderstorm fear can worsen as dogs and cats age. Since the Nashville area frequently experiences thunderstorms during the spring and summer months, our staff at 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share a few tips to help ease the anxiety storms can bring to your pet.

Provide a safe place inside your home.

Provide your pet with space where they feel comfortable and safe. If your pet sleeps in a crate or spends time in a crate while you are not home, your pet may feel comforted by being in their crate. If you have a wire crate, try covering it with a sheet or towel to make it more like a haven for your dog or cat. Don’t forget to put your pet’s favorite items, such as toys and bedding, as well as food and water bowls, in the space.

Provide a distraction for your pet.

While not every pet will respond to play during thunderstorms, you can try to play with your pet to engage them and distract them from the weather outside. Be sure to use their favorite toys and to give your pet their preferred treats when you play. 5 Points Animal Hospital also recommends that you play soothing and calming music such as “Through A Dog’s Ear” or “Through A Cat’s Ear” to help reduce the stress and anxiety caused by loud crashes of thunder and lightning.

Use research-based products to reduce stress and anxiety.

Studies have proven that dogs can be calmed during thunderstorms by using the baby swaddling principle. A tight garment, such as the Thundershirt, can give your pet a sense of comfort by providing mild pressure to the body.

Pheromone therapy with products such as Feliway and Adaptil can also be helpful in reducing storm anxiety.

For more advice or questions on how to reduce your pet’s storm anxiety call 5 Points Animal Hospital at 615-750-2377. We are happy to discuss your pet’s specific needs and ways that we can help your pet be more relaxed and comfortable during thunderstorms

Protect your pet from heartworm disease

Heartworm disease can have devastating health effects on your pet. When it comes to heartworm disease, prevention is the best treatment. Avoiding heartworm disease consists of monthly preventative treatments and an annual heartworm screening test. At 5 Points Animal Hospital, your pet’s health is our top priority. We want to help you understand what heartworm disease is and what you can do to help keep your pet safe from heartworm disease.

 

What are Heartworms?sick German Shepard with doctors hand

 

Heartworms are parasites that are transmitted by mosquitoes when they bite your dog. When a mosquito bites your dog, it transfers heartworm larvae into your dog’s bloodstream. Once this happens the larvae will grow until they reach adult stage approximately seven months later. The adult heartworms will then move to your dog’s heart and lungs, where they will reproduce quickly, compromising your dog’s pulmonary system. Initially, there are no symptoms of the disease, but once the lungs and heart are infected, your dog may develop a cough, raspy breathing, and they will become winded easily when taken out for a walk. If not treated, heartworm disease, also known as dirofilariasis, is potentially fatal.  Some infected pets show no signs of heartworm disease.

 

Heartworm disease has been recorded in all 50 states, so there is nowhere in the United States where you can avoid this parasite. That’s why, no matter where you live, it is important to protect your pet from heartworm disease.

 

Preventative Treatment

 

It is impossible to tell if a mosquito is carrying the heartworm parasite. The best option for your pet is preventative care. This is done by giving your pet heartworm preventative every 30 days and making sure that your pet receives an annual wellness checkup and annual heartworm screening test. Because heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal illness, we at 5 Points Animal Hospital strongly recommend bringing your dog in for annual heartworm testing to ensure that your pet is free of the disease. The American Heartworm Association also recommends that pets be tested annually for heartworm disease even if they are on monthly heartworm preventative.

 

It is our goal at 5 Points Animal Hospital to help you to provide the best care possible for your pet.  Please ask your pet’s veterinarian which heartworm preventative would be right for your pet.

Our online pharmacy can be helpful for providing heartworm prevention that will protect your pet from heartworm disease.  You may also purchase your pet’s heartworm prevention in the clinic.

Please protect your dog from heartworm disease. If you have questions about heartworm disease or prevention or to schedule a wellness exam or heartworm testing call us today at 615-750-2377. We look forward to helping you protect your pet!

Canine Flu in Nashville: What You Need To Know

Man’s best friend is definitely the canine. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) about 60.2 million U.S. households own a dog as a pet for a grand total of 89.7 million! It is our responsibility as pet owners to provide the best care for our pets that we are able to offer.  Part of caring for our pets includes prevention of life-threatening diseases through appropriate vaccination. This is particularly important when a species-specific virus such as CIV is spreading and reaches your area.  Unfortunately, there have been confirmed cases of CIV in Nashville.

Canine Influenza: What You Need to KnowBlack lab laying on a couch looking at the camera

  • Canine influenza [https://www.cdc.gov/flu/other/canine-flu/keyfacts.html#what], or dog flu, is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs.
  • Both strains of canine influenza have been reported in Tennessee, and now Metro Nashville.
  • These viruses are not seasonal.
  • Canine flu H3N8 originated in horses, spread to dogs, and now spreads between dogs.
  • Canine flu H3N2 originated in birds, spread to dogs, and can now spread between dogs and from an infected dog to cats.
  • Dogs housed in kennels and shelters are most at-risk.
  • Almost all dogs exposed to canine flu will become infected.
  • The CDC assessed canine influenza as “low risk” of becoming a threat to humans.
  • Canine influenza can lead to pneumonia in otherwise healthy dogs.
  • The virus is spread through respiratory droplets produced through coughing and sneezing of infected dogs.  The virus can also be spread indirectly via people or objects (clothing, bowls, leashes, collars, kennels).

Signs and Symptoms of Canine Influenza

It may be difficult to recognize the signs and symptoms of canine flu, especially if your pet already has respiratory issues. The most obvious signs are cough and runny nose, however, fever, lethargy, eye discharge, and reduced appetite may also occur. Some dogs may have no symptoms at all while others develop pneumonia and severe illness. Secondary bacterial infections may also arise during the infection. The severe form of this disease which includes the symptoms above including pneumonia can be life-threatening or even fatal. Since it is spreading across the U.S. and cases are now reported in Nashville, pet owners should have dogs checked out for any changes in health. Coughing in dogs is most often caused by kennel cough, collapsing trachea, bronchitis, asthma, and heart disease—all reasons to visit the vet!

Pet Diagnosis, Treatment, and Routine Care

As with any other disease, prevention is best!  If your dog has not already been vaccinated for CIV, please make an appointment today to have your dog vaccinated.  Call us at 615-750-2377 to schedule your dog’s appointment to be vaccinated.

If your dog has symptoms that point to canine flu, it’s important to call your veterinarian. Your dog may be just fine at home with supportive care, but he or she may need fluids or medications to help with recovery. Seeing your vet and having your dog properly diagnosed may help to stop the spread of canine flu among your own pets and other dogs you may have contact with. Let your vet know that your dog is showing symptoms so that the clinic can take necessary precautions.

Trust 5 Points Animal Hospital with Your Dog

We urge you to take your ill dogs and puppies to the veterinarian so proper diagnosis and treatment can be completed.  Trust your furry loved ones with 5 Points Animal Hospital, we can help prevent canine flu in your healthy dogs too. Bring in your dogs to be vaccinated and prevent canine flu altogether. Schedule with 5 Points today by calling 615-750-2377.

Remember to exercise caution when caring for your pets, making sure to wash hands, maintain routine care at your local veterinarian, and keep them updated on all vaccinations.

Still have questions about canine flu? Contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital to ask the experts.

Pet Safety Tips for Spring

Springtime has arrived in the Nashville area, which means longer days and spending more time outside with your pet. In order to fully enjoyfamily with dog outdoors the warmer weather of spring, it is important to keep in mind certain safety practices. As the most comprehensive veterinary clinic in East Nashville, 5 Points Animal Hospital places a high priority on educating our clients on how to keep their pets as healthy and happy as possible. We would like to share with you a few pet safety tips for the spring season.

Be aware of holiday candy and decorations.

This season includes some major religious holidays, such as Easter and Passover, and food plays a big role in these celebrations. Cat owners should be careful of the possibility of their cats attempting to eat both real and fake plants. One of the most dangerous plants for cats is the lily. This flower can be fatal to your cat if he ingests it, according to the ASPCA, and if your cat eats plastic decorative grass, he can suffer from dehydration, nausea, and even an obstructed digestive tract. If you have a dog, you should also keep an eye on what he eats. Make sure to keep holiday candy out of reach from your pets.

Secure your windows.

Although it seems like a cliché, it is true that dogs love to hang their heads out of a moving-car-window; however, this, as well as riding unsecured in the back of a pick-up truck, can be very dangerous. Whenever your pet is riding with you in your car, you should always keep him safe by securing him in his crate or wearing a specially-designed harness as a seatbelt. You should also check your windows at home to make sure sturdy screens are properly installed before you open them. Cats are especially prone to jumping out of opened windows.

Store toxic chemicals out of the way.

Many homeowners have a traditional spring cleaning routine they do every year. When you are taking care of these tasks, make sure your pets cannot get into your cleaning products. Even if they claim to be all-natural, most contain chemicals that can be harmful to your animals. This includes paint, solvents, mineral spirits, and other home improvement products as well as gardening products such as fertilizer and insecticides.

Keep your pets safe this spring by staying aware of these tips. Contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital for all of your veterinary needs.

Fun Tablet Apps for Cats

It never fails that whenever you sit down to play a game on your iPad, your cat becomes so fascinated with what is on the screen that he tries to play along with you. If your cat seems to enjoy tablet games as much as you do, you will be happy to learn about a few apps that are made just for felines. To help you narrow down which apps would be the most fun for your cat to play with, 5 Points Animal Hospital would like to share some of our favorite ones from this PC World article, “Seven Apps for Playful Cats.”

Pocket Pondcat poking at a computer screen

If your cat loves to stalk your fishbowl, he will enjoy Pocket Pond. This is an app that gives him a digital bowl to watch and attempt to catch. Add more fish and buzzing dragonflies to inspire your cat to go into attack mode while you raise and feed the koi in the pond. Once your cat has grown tired of swatting at the fish and the flies, he can relax alongside you as you gaze into the rippling water. Available for iPhones, iPads, and Android devices, Pocket Pond is an app you can enjoy just as much as your cat.

Paint for Cats

Have you ever wondered whether or not your cat could be the next Van Gogh or Picasso? You can find out with this iPad app that combines paint splatters with mouse chasing gameplay. Once your cat has finished chasing the rainbow-hued mouse all over the screen, you will have his artistic masterpiece to save to your photo album and share to your social media accounts.

Laser Chase

Although your cat loves it when you get out your laser pointer for him to chase, you can get bored moving the pointer around after a while. This Android app does the work for you as it gives your cat a dancing red dot to chase down. You will have fun watching him frolic while you keep score. Every time your cat catches the red dot, he gets ten points.

Cat Playground

With multiple games included in this Android app, your cat can play Catch a Mouse, Laser Chase, Whack a Mouse, and Go Fishing. This app is perfect for cats that get easily bored as the four games provide a variety of play action. Our cats love the Go Fishing game because of the splashing sounds they hear every time their paws hit the screen.

App technology is not just for humans anymore as these tablet apps will provide hours of fun for your cat. For more information about toys and games for your feline friends, contact us today at 5 Points Animal Hospital. Our expert staff is happy to help you find a variety of fun ways to give your cat the exercise he needs.

Come See Us!

5 Points Animal Hospital | 1103 Woodland St., Nashville, TN 37206 | Click to Call Us Now