AAHA PetsMatter: Sept/Oct 2011 Hiking, Hunting, and more!

Hunting, Hiking and Heartworm

Are you certain that your dog is protected from heartworm this season?

Although heartworm prevention techniques, including mosquito avoidance and drugs that kill heartworm larvae, have been recommended for years, the number of dogs diagnosed with heartworm continues to increase. One factor that contributes to the persistence of this preventable disease is “prophylactic failure,” which means that animals develop the disease even though they received a prophylactic drug to prevent heartworm for at least 1 year or season.

Canine Obesity: What You Need to Know

  • Obesity (the storage of excess fat) is usually caused by excessive food intake and insufficient exercise.
  • Estimates show that 40% to 50% of dogs are overweight and 25% of dogs are obese.
  • Dogs can develop many obesity-related health problems.
  • By examining your dog, veterinarians determine whether he or she is overweight or obese and help you create a weight-loss program.
  • The most effective weight-loss plans involve increasing activity and feeding fewer calories.

Georgia Study Looks at Causes of Death Among Dog Breeds

An extensive retrospective study by the University of Georgia analyzes causes of death for dozens of dog breeds.

The scientists looked at data from nearly 75,000 dogs whose deaths were recorded in the Veterinary Medical Database (VMDB) between 1984 and 2004. They categorized the deaths by organ system and pathophysiologic process, and hypothesized that these could be segregated by age, breed and body mass.

Animal Communicator Offers Tips to Talk to Your Pets

Like most veterinarians, Cindy Houlihan talks to the animals that visit her hospital, The Cat Practice, in suburban Detroit. But Dr. Houlihan goes one step further. To make her patients less fearful, she explains each procedure to them. “I’m going to draw blood and as soon as we’re done, you’ll be able to go home,” she tells a patient. “I know you won’t like it, but if you lay still, I won’t have to start over and we’ll get you home faster.”


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