We are welcoming Dr.Cody to the South Town Animal Hospital team! Dr. Cody graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She lives locally with her husband, 3 children, and four cats. The beautiful kitty above is Triscuit, and she was ready to pose! Dr. Cody loves reading and movie night with her family. We are super excited to have her see our amazing patients!
Videos of surprise puppies or kittens on Christmas morning are flooding the internet. People open the box that meows and break into tears of joy. While this seems like a unique and fun gift, one must ultimately consider the responsibilities that comes with owning a pet.
Before surprising a loved one with a pet, be sure it is thoroughly discussed and the responsibilities are understood. Never ever make an impulse decision with an animal – they’re a serious commitment. Instead of giving a pet as a surprise, agree to pay the adoption fee for a pet that has been considered and visited. Most important if you are choosing to get the pet for a child, consider the age and responsibilities of the child. Is the child old enough to care for this pet? In addition, be aware that responsibilities may fall back on you as the gift giver, if the receiver not be prepared to be a pet owner.
Overall, it is best to be prepared before giving a pet as a gift. Pets give us unconditional love and joy, but in return we must have the ability to properly care for them.
At South Town Animal Hospital, we have professional and personal standards on how we care for your pet. Oftentimes, these actions happen behind the scenes and are not witnessed by pet owners. This is your opportunity to learn about the special little things that make a big difference for your pet.
We do these things because we truly care. The love that we have for animals and our profession is a lifelong passion for many of us. Thank you for allowing us to care for your family and trusting us to do what we love.
Since our pets are not able to tell us when they are uncomfortable or in pain, knowing how to recognize the signs of discomfort in our furry companions is one of the many responsibilities we have as pet owners. Another important responsibility we have to our pets is knowing our options in aiding their pain relief.
Recognizing pain or discomfort in your pet is the key. Keep in mind that, they can sometimes be good at hiding or masking their pain. Some of the indicators of discomfort are changes in behavior, bodily functions and your pet’s breathing. If breathing becomes rapid, panting, or short this can be an indicator of pain issues. Also, a more general sign may be a change in your pets general demeanor including a lack of desire to socialize. With any of these changes there can be irregular patterns occurring in activity level, eating, drinking or bathroom use which may be signs that your pet is in pain.
Cats are more likely to hide when in pain and will seek out spaces they don’t normally use, such as under beds or in closets. In dogs, you may see their ears or tail back or down. Both cats and dogs can become unusually irritable and may want to play less. These can all be signs that your pet is in discomfort and needs visit to the veterinarian.
Bringing any information you think that may have contributed to your pet’s discomfort to the appointment can be helpful. There are an infinite number of reasons your pet may be uncomfortable and this information may help the doctor better identify what may be causing the pain. Anything from normal aging to a bee sting or a sprained paw could be the cause of discomfort.
Diagnosing may include lab work and/or digital radiography. After which options for pain management can be provided. There are a variety of routes to explore in managing pain, and it will differ if it is short-term acute pain or chronic pain. Treatment options fall under the following: medications, supplements, laser therapy, other therapies and possibly surgery.
At South Town Animal Hospital, the Veterinarian can prescribe medications and/or supplements. South Town carries Standard Process which are “.. supplements made with whole food and other ingredients to provide the body with nutrients that are found in nature but aren’t always found in the average pet diet. These formulas supply vitamins, minerals, trace minerals, and phytonutrients in forms as close as possible to how nature intended – providing whole food nutrient solutions that support the body’s amazing ability to heal itself.”
In addition, South Town provides laser therapy which promotes healing in the body and is performed by trained veterinary professionals over a period of multiple short sessions. Laser therapy speeds up cellular healing to help with numerous conditions such as wounds, allergies, sprains, strains and fractures, post-surgical healing and pain relief, ear infections, geriatric care, and arthritis.
Other therapies include water therapy and physical therapy. ‘The Puddle Pet Aqua Fitness and Nutrition’ facility is conveniently located next to South Town Animal Hospital. At The Puddle, certified swim instructors aid your pet in supervised swims in an indoor heated pool. The warm water helps promote circulation and relaxes tired muscles. Swim therapy aids in pre- and post- surgical management support, relieves pressure on the joints, strengthens and retrains muscles, exercises the cardiovascular system, aids in weight loss, increases range of motion, and improves confidence, relieves anxiety, and reduces stress.
If your pet requires more physical stimulation than swimming can provide, there are certified pet physical therapists. Using a variety of different methods, physical therapy can help with pre- or post- operative support, as well as a number of other conditions. Speak with your Veterinarian if you think this is what your pet needs. They can provide you with a referral to a specialist.
Surgery may be an option, but surgical pain management is typically done as a last resort in the veterinary field. Usually surgical pain relief will be done after supplements or prescription drugs or other therapies aren’t quite managing the pain and more is needed in aiding your pet.
Overall, there are many routes to pain relief for your pet. Seeking advice and/or treatment from your Veterinarian will help guide you to the best options for your pets health and comfort level.
At South Town Animal Hospital, we monitor your pet’s health annually through regular lab work. This basically includes blood work and testing of a fecal sample. Early detection is our goal since most animals typically do not show signs of illness. It is best to catch any potential issues early with healthy prevention.
For all dogs is usually a heartworm test. It is important to test for heartworm yearly. If a pet is positive it can be dangerous to give preventative medication. At South Town Animal Hospital, we provide a discount to your annual blood test when you purchase a year of heartworm prevention from us.For cats viral testing for FIV and Feline Leukemia is important. These tests are especially recommended for outdoor cats.
As pets age, we practice the “senior at seven” rule, which means once a pet reaches seven years of age they are considered a senior. More in-depth monitoring panels will be suggested to help provide an ‘overall’ picture of your pet’s health and are recommended yearly or semi annually. These panels check values such as liver, kidney, pancreas, calcium levels, muscle enzymes, thyroid, glucose, platelets, red blood cells and white blood cells. Bloodwork can help indicate or detect infections, anemia, organ disorders, and immune system health issues. In addition, blood work can be required to monitor the effects that certain prescription drugs may have on your pets vital organs.
As important as blood work is, there is another type of testing that can be crucial to your pet’s well being which is checking a fecal sample for parasites your pet may have picked up. Having internal parasites can cause your pet to feel unwell and have symptoms such as bloating and diarrhea. Since parasites can be transmissible to humans as well – it is all that more important to check.
Considering pets are unable to physically tell us what is happening, finding clues and getting a closer look with further diagnostics is critical to diagnosis and the longevity of our pets lives. At South Town Animal Hospital we are big proponents of preventative care versus reactive care. This helps aid our mission of healthy pets longer lives.
Spring is upon us and with it comes allergy season. Humans aren’t the only ones who get allergies. Our pets can too. As our environment has changed and foods are processed, luckily allergies can be managed a few different ways. We can walk you through how to manage your pet allergies and how to choose the right treatment for your and your pet.
What are the signs of allergies?
What could my pet be allergic to?
Some common allergens include, but are not limited to:
What should I do if I think my dog is allergic to something?
The first step is to consult your veterinarian for treatment. They will help you determine if it’s an allergy or another condition such as fleas, mites, or some type of infection. Determining if it is an allergy helps to know whether or not medication or a lifestyle change is needed. There is a possibility it can be something as simple as a examining your pets diet. Managing the itch can be a case by case scenario. When you bring your pet in for an exam diagnostics may be needed. Treatment options can range from antihistamines, injections, prescription medication and/or specialty food.
What should I do if I think my cat is allergic to something?
Cats too can develop allergies just like dogs and people. Our feline friends metabolize medications different than dogs, but there are treatment options which range anywhere from non allergen food to antihistamines and/or medications. Our veterinarians are here for you to discuss safe treatments. Cats can also develop symptoms such as gum disease and bladder infections that can be linked to allergies.
Treatment options –
South Town Animal Hospital provides multiple allergy treatment options:
Cytopoint is an allergy treatment in the form of an injection. It typically offers 4-8 weeks of relief from allergy symptoms, and offers a chance for the skin to heal from any sores developed due to allergies.
Apoquel is an allergy treatment in the form of a oral tablet. It can relieve itching within 4 hours and effectively controls itching within 24 hours. The oral tablet is taken daily to control allergy symptoms.
Standard Process has a supplement that boosts the immune system. This all natural product is an oral tablet given daily to aid the immune system and the body’s normal detoxification mechanisms.
Atarax (Hydroxyzine) is an antihistamine used to treat allergy symptoms such as skin issues. It is an oral tablet that helps relieve skin lesions.
These are just a few options that we have to treat allergy issues. There are other treatment options depending on the diagnosis. Allergies can be a frustrating condition. At times managing the itching and medicals conditions can be difficult. Let South Town Animal Hospital help ease your pets discomfort so you and your family can get a good night sleep.
Heartworm disease: It’s something many dog owners have heard about but are not always sure exactly what it is. Heartworm disease is caused by foot-long parasitic worms that are spread through the bite of a mosquito. When fully grown these large adult worms live in the heart, lungs, and blood vessels of dogs causing potentially fatal blockages.
Mosquitos deposit the larvae into dogs when they take a blood meal. It takes 6 months for the larvae to mature into an adult. The adult worms produce “baby worms” called microfilaria which are picked up by mosquitos and the life cycle continues. Heartworms can live from 5 to 7 years in your pet!
Since there are virtually no early signs or symptoms of heartworm disease, testing yearly is vital. Symptoms are not present until the heartworms increase in size and numbers and create blockages in the heart or lungs. Some symptoms include coughing, reluctance to exercise, fatigue, decreased appetite and weight loss. Unfortunately, sudden death may be the only symptom.
Year-round prevention and annual screening is very important in protecting your pet from infection. Initial testing is vital before starting heartworm prevention.This is due to the fact that the medication can cause a mass die off of the microfilaria which in return can cause shock and potentially death for your pet. For this reason, heartworm preventative must be prescribed by a veterinarian after testing.
Heartworm disease is becoming more prevalent in Illinois. In some clinics in the Chicago area, there has been reported an average of 51 to 99 cases per clinic in 2016.
If your pet tests positive for heartworm disease, your veterinarian will order a follow up test to confirm the diagnosis. It is important to keep a heartworm-positive dog on very low activity to help decrease damage to the heart and lungs. There is treatment for heartworm disease but it is complicated and takes several months. The treatment is an arsenic type of medication and is costly. Monthly prevention is much more cost effective and an easier way to keep your pets heart healthy.
Overall, it is best to screen yearly for heartworm disease and to give heartworm preventative products such as Heartgard and Sentinel. Our knowledgeable staff is here to provide you with further information or answer any questions that you have on heartworm disease or prevention. We are here to keep hearts healthy for “Healthy Pets, Longer Lives”.
The new year brings a time for making better choices, this includes making the right choices for your pet. Change can be difficult, but it is often necessary because we all want what is best for our beloved Fydo and Scruffy! The staff at South Town have put together some tips to start the new year off in a great direction!
Eat a Healthier Diet!
Good nutrition makes you feel your best! Eating a proper diet provides all the right energy so that your furry friend can tackle things like fatigue and illness. Measuring your pet’s caloric intake is important! We can help you measure your pet’s exact daily caloric needs so that your pet is not eating too much or too little calories. Each different brand of food contains a different amount of calories. It is important to evaluate what is in your pets food to distribute an appropriate portion. Contact us and our doctors will be happy to put together the correct calorie intake per your pets weight.
Quality food is also just as important. Make sure you read the label on the back of your pet food. It is vital that your first few ingredients are protein based. Chicken, beef, turkey, and other meats should be the first ingredients listed on the back of the bag. Providing a balanced diet is vital to your pets health.
Get outdoors! Go for a walk outside with your pooch! Dogs love to go for walks, play fetch, and socialize! People can take their feline friends outdoors too! Make sure that they are also on a leash or in an enclosed area for safety.
In addition, most cats also enjoy a good toy to throw around. For a fun activity, you can just sprinkle a little catnip on your cat’s favorite toys and watch them go wild! If you have a cat that is a real thrill seeker, try using a laser pointer. Caution to any toys that have strings and feathers. Cats are often brought in to see the doctors for those types of toys from being ingested.
Your dog may also enjoy play dates with others at a dog park or daycare facility. If your cat is a social butterfly, many daycare facilities offer kitty playtime too. Be sure that your pet is up to date on vaccinations, such as rabies, distemper, and bordetella. Other vaccines may be required per the facility of your choice. Make sure to check in with your provider or here at South Town to ensure that your pet is ready to play!
Another activity you can do with to get your pet moving is swimming! Have you heard about The Puddle, located right next door to South Town Animal Hospital? The Puddle offers a clean, safe and relaxing environment that promotes a healthy lifestyle for your canine and feline friends. The Puddle offers swimming, massage therapy and top of the line food and nutrition products for your pets!
Get that physical!
Keep Up On Preventive Health Care. Keep your pet protected against illness by getting annual exams, vaccinations, and important blood work! Depending on your pet’s lifestyle, certain vaccinations may be recommended to keep illnesses at bay. And, just like people see their doctor – for your pet, a thorough examination by a veterinarian, along with blood work, is crucial in catching medical problems at it’s soonest. The doctor is medically trained in finding anything that is abnormal about your pets health or behavior. Trust in us to catch and treat anything that may be harmful to your beloved pet!
Groom, Often. Nails, hair, teeth!
When you start to hear a “clickity clack” on the floor, it’s time for your pet to have a nail trim! Are you a cat owner? Most times, there are no clickity clacks, but if you look at your cat’s nails and if you see long, clear or white tips- it’s probably time for a nail trim! Keeping your pet’s nails short is always best! Longer nails make it harder for your pet to walk around. They also can make it more painful to walk around as they can bend more easily and offset your pet’s natural walk!
Groom often to keep your pet’s coat fresh and clean! Matts can easily appear especially under armpits and the neck area. Bathing and get regular haircuts depending on your pets breed can be critical for healthy eyes and skin.
Update Your Pet’s Microchip Information!
Lastly something that is often forgotten is how important it is to keep contact information up to date. It is vital to update your pet’s microchip information when you get a new home address, phone number or email address. If your pet is lost, his microchip will be scanned, and the information in the microchip will be contacted. If you are not sure which microchip company to contact for updating your pet’s microchip information – no problem! At South Town Animal Hospital, we can scan your pet to find out!
In wrapping things up we want to make sure that your pet is happy and healthy. Good nutrition, exercise, and coming in for regular exams is vital to a healthier year! In addition keep your records as up to date as possible by making sure that your pets microchip registration is current.
Please contact South Town Animal Hospital at (847)695-7387 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions about making 2018 the healthiest year yet!
This is the time of year where we truly count our blessings. We spend time with our families and surround ourselves with the ones we love, including our fur babies. Some pets are not so fortunate. That is why we are always thankful that there are organizations like Anderson Animal Shelter to take care of those pets in need. They give a warm bed and a bowl of food to any hungry pet that walks through their doors. That is why we want to support organizations like Anderson Animal Shelter in our community by making a monetary donation to assist in the needs of the shelter on behalf of our clients and their pets. We are blessed that Anderson Animal Shelter is here to help those in need. If you are interested in checking out all that Anderson Animal Shelter does for the community please stop by any of their three facilities or check out their website at http://www.andersonanimalshelter.org . The animals at Anderson Animal Shelter will thank you with warm kisses and belly rubs! Happy Holidays to all!