Healthy Pet Topics in La Crosse

Healthy Pet Topics in La Crosse, WI

Our team at La Crosse Veterinary Clinic wants to help keep your pet friends healthy throughout their entire lives. We know you have questions about health-related topics, such as diet, disease and parasite prevention, and household concerns, so we have created this page to address some of those concerns. If you have additional questions, feel free to call us at (608) 781-3466 before your pet’s next visit. Check out the topics below to learn more about each topic.

Seasonal Pet Tips

The changes in weather can be fun, but they can also create potential risks and challenges to pets. Below are some seasonal tips to help keep your pet safe and happy throughout the year.

Seasonal Pet Tips for Cats and Dogs

Parasite Control

Both internal and external parasites can cause a number of health problems for pets, but the good news is that we can help you protect your pet. In addition to intestinal worms, heartworms and ticks are two of the most common parasites seen in pets, see below to learn more.

Heartworm: Heartworm disease is a worldwide concern for both indoor and outdoor pets and is spread by mosquitoes that are infected with one of the life stages of the heartworm. When an infected mosquito bites an animal, the heartworm larvae enter through the bite wound. Over time, these larvae mature into adult worms (internal parasites) in the heart, causing potentially-fatal blockages. La Crosse Veterinary Clinic recommends preventatives like SentinelHeartgard Plus to protect your pet from heartworms, as well as yearly blood testing to make sure that your pet is free of disease.

Ticks: In our area ticks thrive almost everywhere. However, they are most common in high grass and wooded areas. Ticks are external parasites that usually latch on to the head, neck, ear, or feet areas. If not removed within 24-48 hours, ticks can cause Lyme disease, which can result in depression, fever, lameness, and even kidney failure. In the spring, summer, and fall months, always check your pet for ticks when they come in from outside. If you ever find a tick imbedded on your pet, gently grasp it with a pair of tweezers (near the mouthparts where it is attached to your pet, not by the fat part of the tick body) and twist it out, making sure to remove its head and mouth.

Safe Table Foods for Dogs and Cats

Table Foods

While some "people foods" are both harmless and even healthy for pets, there are others that can be toxic. The section below highlights a few foods that are safe/healthy for dogs and cats and some that aren’t.

Chocolate: The rich, sweet smell and taste of chocolate can be very tempting, even for pets, but unfortunately, chocolate is poisonous to dogs and cats. Chocolate contains an alkaloid called theobromine, which is what causes the poisoning, and the darker the chocolate, the higher the toxicity level. Chocolate toxicity can result in vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death, if consumed in large amounts.

Garlic: When ingested in a concentrated form in large amounts, garlic can be toxic to pets, affecting their red blood cells and causing gastroenteritis. Signs of garlic toxicosis include weakness, vomiting, and drooling. Some effects of poisoning may also be delayed for several days.

Grapes and Raisins: Both grapes and raisins have been found to cause sickness in both dogs and cats, although the exact toxin is still unknown. In large amounts, grape/raisin poisoning can even lead to kidney failure. Symptoms to look include repeated vomiting, lethargy, and depression.

Avocados: Avocados are mildly toxic to dogs and cats, due to the presence of the toxin called persin. Signs of avocado toxicity in dogs and cats include vomiting, and diarrhea. Keep in mind that the seed of an avocado can cause obstruction if ingested, due to its large size.

Some Fresh Fruits and Vegetables: Fruits and vegetables have many health benefits for humans, so it’s unsurprising that they are also beneficial to pets. Some of the safe fruits and vegetables for pets include apples, green beans, bananas, cucumbers, and carrots. Just be sure to cut them in small pieces before feeding them to your pet.