Podcast: Preventative Care - Fleas, Ticks, and Titers... Oh My!

It's that time of year - summer has arrived and we’re all scrambling to get our pets up-to-date on their flea/tick/heartworm preventatives. Not to mention the vaccinations, check-ups, and prescriptions for allergy meds. Before you get caught up in the chaos, take a few minutes to listen to our latest podcast. Dr. Patrick Mahaney will be talking about:

  • What to expect from fleas and ticks in 2016
  • What’s safe and what’s effective when it comes to flea and tick prevention
  • Saving money on pet meds: are online pharmacies the way to go?
  • Titers: what are they and are they the right move for your pet

 

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When Your Pet Goes Missing: A Pet Parent's Worst Fear...

We all adore our pets, obviously. They’re adorable. But nothing makes you appreciate your pet more than them going missing. Once, about 6 months after I adopted Kayden, a fearfully shy dog that wasn’t exactly clicking in my home, he slipped his collar in Embrace’s parking lot. Lucky for me, he froze in fear, then came to me after I squatted down and put my hand low for him to sniff. But, in that moment, I had an epiphany about how much I loved him, what a great dog he is, and how far he’d come. He’d come close to being lost, and I realized we’d be lost without him.

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Infographic: 6 Summer Safety Tips

Everyone seems to feel like they know what’s right, what’s safe, and what’s real when it comes to summer dangers like leaving pets in a car or preventing heat stroke, but the facts and the myths can get a little muddy. If you want the straight facts in one easy to share infographic, we’ve got it ready.

Know someone who might need a reminder about sunscreen safety for pets? Share this. Want to give someone a heads up about preventing sidewalk burns? Post this to their wall. It’s a subtle, even, dare I say, cute hint. No one will suspect you’re calling them out for their mistake or misinformation. We promise. :)

Embrace Summer Infographic

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Ready for Summer?

Summer DangersCome summer my dogs have always alternated between the sunny spot in the driveway and the shady spot in the cool ivy. What a relief it must be to feel the cool leaves on your warm belly on an 85 degree day. The kids are usually in the kiddie pool as Kayden pants in a shady corner, sneaking in for a lap of water from the pool when it’s empty. You can tell it’s really warm when he welcomes getting sprinkled by the hose.

Summer is in full swing, and, as a pet insurance company, we have to be the practical-minded folks thinking about more than beach hair and Summer Shandy. Of course, we still relax pool side, but it’s often while working from home, processing claims for flea and heartworm prevention and maybe Lyme disease. This month we’ll be talking about all things summer as it pertains to our pets. Everything from travel and heat safety to parasite prevention and water safety.

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Spring Skin Hassles for Pets

Spring has sprung and so have all of the things that make our pets itch and rub and shake. Allergy season is upon us. Animals can be allergic to all of the same things that make us sneeze. But, while our organ of anaphylaxis (the organ system that is most commonly affected) is our respiratory system, dog's and cat's organ of anaphylaxis is their skin. So, when my eyes start burning and I can’t stop sneezing, I know I am going to see a lot of itchy animals.

The system affected is not the only difference. The chemicals responsible for causing the signs of allergies are also vastly different. In humans, histamines play a big part. Histamines are chemicals released when we encounter the allergen, which is the inciting agent of allergies. This why antihistamines are so effective in treating human allergies. They counter the affects of histamines.

For dogs and cats, histamines play only a minor role. It has been reported that antihistamines only work in about 10% of dogs/cats, but truly there has been no proof that they work at all on pet allergies. Benadryl has the benefit of causing the dog to be drowsy and thus causing the dog to itch less, which does have a value, but steroids have been our mainstay in treating allergies. They are inexpensive and stop the itch quickly, but they can cause the dog to drink and urinate more and are not to be used long-term.The signs of allergies in dogs and acats are due to a number of different chemicals - leukotrienes, cytokines, and kinases. Drugs can be made to block these chemicals. One such drug, Apoquel, works as quickly or quicker than steroids and without the side effect. It is changing the way we treat allergies. (The one downside is that the manufacturer wildly underestimated the demand and has been playing catch up since its rollout. It now looks to be more available, but if your vet says they don’t have any...believe him/her!)

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