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Heartworm in Dogs

Many pet parents have heard the term “heartworm” before, but may not know what it is, how pets get it, and why testing and preventative care is so important.

What is Heartworm Disease?

Heartworm disease is a serious, progressive disease that affects pets. It is also potentially fatal if left untreated. In infected pets, heartworms live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels and arteries and can cause severe heart failure, lung disease, and other problems with organs in the body. Heartworms are easy to detect and easy to prevent, but difficult to cure.

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Pet Identification

Pet identification is the fastest way to return a pet to their home if they become lost.

Personalized pet ID tags are a great form of identification because they can be read by anyone that finds the pet. A quick read of a pet ID can jumpstart a reunion with pet and home. ID tags or personalized/embroidered collars are a popular option of pet identification for pets. However, a tag or a collar can become lost, leaving your pet without any form of ID.

Microchip identification is recommended to use in addition to a pet ID tag to ensure that a missing pet can be identified, even if they lose their collar. The small microchip is implanted under the pets skin where it cannot fall off, be removed, or become impossible to read over time. It has a unique ID number that is registered with the owner’s contact information. Lost pets are scanned for a microchip if brought to a veterinarian or an animal shelter. The unique ID will then be displayed and can be used to contact a pet owner.

Whether you use a pet ID tag, a microchip, or both, it is important to make sure your contact information remains up to date. If you get a new phone number or if you move to a new house, be sure to update this information on your pet’s identification.

Proper identification ensures a happy reunion pet and pet parent.

Personalized engraved ID tags are available at The Hungry Puppy, starting at $4.99.

The Hungry Puppy Wellness Clinic offers microchipping for $19.99 (no office exam fee required). To schedule an appointment for a microchipping, you may call the Wellness Clinic at 732-938-4470 ext. 103 or request an appointment on our website.

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Anxitane is a chewable tablet for pets to help manage anxiety.

Any animal that experiences frequent states of fear or anxiety is likely to be stressed and may be suffering.

Anxitane at a Glance:
1. Helps keep dogs and cat calm and relaxed
2. Clinically proven to reduce anxiety levels in dogs and cats
3. No known contraindications with other therapeutics
4. Palatable for dogs and cats

Primary Causes of Anxiety in Pets:

Inherited behavioral tendencies – nervousness and shyness are generally believed to be inherited traits.

Inadequate early environmental experiences – an animal that is not exposed to a variety of stimuli in a non-threatening manner during the first four months of life may be less likely to cope with the stimuli later in life.

Inadequate socialization – an animal that is not introduced to a variety of people and other animals during the first four months of life are more likely to be afraid when they encounter others as adults.

A learned aversion due to a particular experience – an unpleasant or aversive experience can lead to a lasting fear of that particular stimuli.

Medical or behavioral pathology – systematic illnesses can lead to anxiety. Chronic painful conditions and cognitive dysfunctions can also be associated with increased levels of anxiety.

OR any combination of the above

The Anxious Pet

The anxious animal is hyper-vigilant even in the absence of specific stimuli. They may act afraid or anxious, generally anticipating the “problem situations.” Animals with specific fears or phobias may show signs of a fear response to similar stimuli. For example, a fear of thunderstorms may cause a similar fear response to loud noises like fireworks. Anxiety and fear can be accompanied by physiological signs such as trembling, salivating, diarrhea, involuntary urination, and emptying anal glands. Some animals may use aggression to cope with fearful or stressful situations. The anxious animal may not be able to calm down until they are far from the frightening stimuli.

The earlier the intervention, the better the chance of successful treatment.

Behavioral Modification

To initiate behavioral modification, the specific causes of anxiety need to be identified and eliminated where possible.

Desensitization and counter conditioning are methods of behavioral modification that may be used to change the animal’s response to the stimulus.
Desensitization – the process of making an animal less sensitive or reactive to a particular stimulus. This is done by presenting the stimulus that normally causes fear at such a low level that it does not cause the fear response. Over time, the level of the stimulus is increased until the animal can experience the full level of stimulus without the initial fearful response.

Counter conditioning – the process that helps an animal change a negative response to a stimulus by pairing the event with a powerful, opposite emotional response.

Combining desensitization and counter conditioning is an effective technique for reducing an animal’s fearful and anxious response to specific stimuli.

Medical Intervention

Medical intervention is necessary when the anxiety is too intense that behavioral modification is too difficult to apply. Medical intervention includes pheromones, psychotropic drugs, or nutraceuticals. The purpose of these are to raise the animal’s threshold for exhibiting anxiety and fear. This will ideally make it easier to apply behavioral modification techniques.

A nutraceutical is a food or dietary supplement that provides health benefits in addition to its basic nutritional value. Anxitane is a nutraceutical. It has been proven effective in clinical trials of anxious and fearful dogs and cats. Pet parents consider it a good first intention option because it is safe and not habit forming.

When to Use Anxitane

Anxitane should be considered a first intention product for treating dogs and cats with mild fear or anxiety-related behaviors. It can be used long-term, but it can also be used on an as-needed basis. For example, anxiety relief for travel and car rides.

Anxitane can be used in combination with several other anxiolytic products.

It is helpful for:
Dogs with…
– fear of noise
– fear of travel
– fear of people
Cats with…
– hypervigilance or tenseness
– physical signs of anxiety like trembling, salivating, and mydriasis (dilation of the pupils)
– hiding and attention-seeking behavior

Suggested dosage, by animal and weight:
Cat – Anxitane S – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog under 22 lb. – Anxitane S – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog 22-55 lb. – Anxitane M-L – ½ tablet twice daily
Dog 55+ lb. – Anxitane M-L – 1 tablet twice daily

While results can be seen within the first month of treatment, allow 8 weeks to see maximum benefits.

At the end of two months, the intensity of anxiety is reduced by 60%, allowing the pet to participate more in behavioral modification and enhances clinical improvement. If the animal does not show improvement after 6-8 weeks, rarely will they show subsequent improvement without the addition of other medicine.

The active ingredient in Anxitane is Suntheanine, which is found naturally in green tea. Its calming properties have been recognized in China for thousands of years. It is proven effective and has no documented side effects. The palatability of the tablet makes administration easy and pleasant for the pet and the parent.

When Not to Use Anxitane

Anxitane does not seem to be effective for separation anxiety or cases where the dog is destructive when left alone.

Anxitane should not be used for anxious dogs showing signs of aggression. Reducing their fear may also reduce their inhibition and increase the chance for aggression.

Anxitane is currently available at The Hungry Puppy

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Treatibles Dog Chews

Treatibles – Dog Treats Made with Hemp

Treatibles is the first company to create phytocannabinoid infused products for pets.

What is Phytocannabinoid Oil?
Phytocannabinoid oil is extracted from medical grade hemp grown in the USA. Phytocannabinoids have been studied for many years, and it has been found that naturally occurring phytocannabinoids are “safe and well-tolerated in humans and animals and is not associated with any negative public health effects.”

Phytocannabinoids promote healthy joints and digestion. They also help with general anxiety, separation anxiety, loss of appetite, seizures, end of life comfort, and more.

How does it work?
All animals have and endocannabinoid system. This system helps in maintaining the physiological, neurological, and immunological systems of the body. If there is a deficiency of endocannabinoid production, the system’s receptors will utilize the addition of phytocannabinoids to help create balance within the system. This provides support for relaxing, repairing, and restoring. It is important for the overall health of animals.

Dogs have the highest concentration of cannabinoid receptors in their brains and bodies. This makes phytocannabinoids particularly helpful for them.

I don’t want my dog to get high
Don’t worry, they won’t! Hemp derived phytocannabinoids do not contain psychoactive compounds and do not cause the high that is associated with cannabis. Treatibles chews are virtually free of THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), which is the psychoactive cannabinoid found in medical cannabis. You can give your dog Treatibles with the ease of mind that they will receive the health benefits without any psychoactive side effects.

Treatibles are compassion certified and are made from human-safe, USA-sourced ingredients. They go through rigorous protocols to ensure the highest quality for their products. From the raw materials to the finished product, they engage in third party lab testing for quality control.

“Facilitate calm and balance.”

The chews are made with wholesome plant-based ingredients. Treatibles come in three flavors, blueberry, pumpkin, and turkey, and are available in Small/Medium and Large chews. The Small/Medium chews have 1 mg of Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil per chew. The Large chews have 4 mg of Phytocannabinoid Rich Oil per chew.

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Poison Prevention Awareness Month

March is Poison Prevention Awareness Month!

This month is dedicated to raising awareness about the different things that we may have in our homes that could be potentially poisonous to our beloved pets. It’s important to be aware that there are certain things we think are fine but could be potentially dangerous to our pets.

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Meet the Vet

Did you know The Hungry Puppy has a Wellness Clinic?
If not, now you do!

The Hungry Puppy Wellness Clinic offers low-cost solutions to your pet’s wellness needs. From wellness exams to vaccines and prescription medications to acupuncture, the Wellness Clinic has what you need to maintain your pet’s health.

The veterinarian at The Hungry Puppy Wellness Clinic is Dr. Carolyn Santore. To get to know Dr. Santore a little bit more, we asked her a few questions. Check out her answers below!

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