(Reprinted from the American Heartworm Society):
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body.
Dogs. The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, heartworm prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.
Cats. Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.
Sadly, the flower we have come to associate with the spring season, the Lily, can pose a serious danger to your cat or dog.
Not all lilies are dangerous, and it’s important to know the difference. The following lilies are HIGHLY TOXIC to cats and dogs! Even small ingestions of the petals, leaves or even the pollen and water that collects in their container can result in severe, acute kidney failure. Also, dogs who dig up lily tubers can be harmed.
LIST OF DANGEROUS LILIES
The more dangerous, potentially fatal lilies are true lilies of the Lilium or Hemerocallis species. Examples of some of these dangerous lilies include the following:
If your dog or cat has injested a dangerous amount of lily, they may present wtih vomiting, foaming at the mouth, hiding, distress or difficulty breathing. Immediate treatment for poisoning from a true lily is essential, so if you suspect lily toxicity, please bring your pet and a portion of the plant to us right away.
LIST OF LESS-DANGEROUS LILIES
While not completely harmless, the following lilies pose less threat to a cat:
However, these "beningn" type of lilies can cause minor symptoms including tissue irritation to the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus. If your cat eats a benign lily, have them flush out their mouth with something appetizing such as broth and call us if symptoms persist.
Enjoy the beauty of springtime, but with caution!
Dear Valued PHAH Patients:
We are excited to announce that we have added additional space to our practice (in the same building and under one roof), which allows us a second entrance/lobby and more parking space for our patients.
We will maintain our original entrance (now called the EASTSIDE ENTRY), which faces Early Street, and will now offer a second entrance option (called the NORTHSIDE ENTRY), which faces Irby Avenue.
Please note: You will be instructed which entrance to use when you make an appointment by phone or online. The link to the map and parking options will be included in your follow-up text and/or email.
We thank you for your continued patience as we saw construction and congestion resulting from all the improvements and new build in our neighborhood.
We remain the same, family-owned practice where everybody knows you and your pet by name. But now with more room to have a more pleasurable check-in experience and of course more parking.
Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital is excited to offer easy online appointment scheduling through our "Next in Line" app. Just click on the button above on our website header banner and it will take you to a scheduler. This works even for first time patients. Of course you can always call us if you prefer to speak to a human! 404.812.9880.
With progress and convenience comes a busier Early Street. To make parking a breeze, please note: We are now providing FREE Valet Parking from 2-6 pm on MondayFriday. When self-parking, please note we have a new option below—parking in the HANOVER BUILDING directly across Early Street from our building:
And of course we have four spots in front, as well as alongside the building and parallel parking on the street.
Thanks! From your friends at PHAH!
As the weather gets nicer and begs more outdoor activity with your pet, it is important to understand the risks of ticks.
Ticks bites on both pets and humans can lead to Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever--which cause very dangerous and uncomfortable symptoms such as anemia, arthritis and even paralysis. Ticks are therefore something to be understood and avoided. Here are some facts about ticks as they affect your fur baby.
Ticks are ectoparasites, which means they live by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. They attach by inserting their mouthparts into the skin. Many ticks additionally secrete a sticky substance that keeps them attached. The places where ticks attach can become red and irritated, which is easier to spot on a human than it is on an animal with fur.
After all your attempts to prevent ticks from biting your animal, you may find a tick. There is a right way and a wrong way to get rid of ticks.
Don’t just pull them out by hand or try to burn them. Instead, use fine-tipped tweezers placed close to the skin. Carefully pinch the tick's head with the tweezers, and without twisting, pull it straight out. Be careful not to crush or squeeze the tick's body, which can accidentally cause the tick’s bacteria-filled blood to get into your pet’s bloodstream.
Once the tick has been removed, place it in a jar of insecticide or rubbing alcohol.
Do not flush the tick down the toilet or sink, as they can survive water.
Because ticks can carry so many diseases, protect yourself from contact by wearing gloves and thoroughly wash your hands after you're finished
After removal, clean the area of the bite with an antiseptic. The bite area may itch, causing your pet to scratch or chew at it, so continue to monitor the area to make sure it doesn’t become infected or abscessed.
Lastly, continue to monitor your pet after you remove a tick from their skin--as symptoms of tick-borne diseases may not show up for several days or weeks. Stay on the lookout for fever, loss of appetite, lethargy or any stiffness in the limbs.
If you have any concerns, please call us.
Veterinary Medicine is complicated, arguably more so than human medicine. In addition to having multiple types of animals, there are many different breeds of cats and dogs who have special considerations. Unlike human medicine, which has specialization within age groups (pediatricians up to geriatric specialists)—a veterinary practice must consider the unique needs of animals as they age.
At Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital, we maintain a “lifecycle” approach to care. There are special concerns with puppies and kittens in terms of vaccinations, food, at-home care, reproduction planning and training. Similarly, there are unique needs throughout the life of our pets as they grow, age and live their very best life. It is important to stay ahead of these issues as your pet matures and to look for key milestones in development.
While all breeds of cats and dogs are similar in that they have a relatively short infancy and "childhood", different breeds have different guidelines for when they are considered “senior”, and we must base our recommendations accordingly.
At the end of life, there are special things to consider from joint pain, weight management and overall maintenance of vitality.
It has been our greatest honor to be entrusted with the care of an animal from the beginning. However, we are cognizant of your pet’s age when we welcome a new patient family, no matter how old that pet is when we begin our relationship.
The benefit of a continued relationship with a doctor and a practice is that we maintain all records on your pet and can help you proactively manage the health and well being of your fur baby.