Educational Articles

  • An agility trial is a competitive canine sporting event where dogs of various breeds navigate obstacles and are judged on speed and accuracy. Agility training can be a fun activity with many benefits for you and your dog.

  • Having your dog accompany you during travel may add enjoyment to your trip. It is important to keep your dog's safety in mind when traveling, so be sure to check with the airline well in advance of your trip. For pets that are too large to travel in the cabin, you have two options: checked luggage or manifest cargo. Take direct flights whenever possible and try to avoid connections and layovers. Have your dog examined by your veterinarian in advance of the trip. Flight requirements may include written proof of certain vaccinations, blood tests, or anti-parasitic treatment that has been performed within a specified time period. Your dog's travel carrier will be its home for much of your trip, so it is important to choose the right carrier. By applying a few common sense rules, you can keep your traveling dog safe and sound.

  • Albuterol sulfate is a bronchodilator, used off label, to treat asthma and cough related to bronchoconstriction. It is administered as an inhalant in cats and by mouth, as a tablet, in dogs. The most common side effects include nervousness, shaking, fast heartbeat, and dizziness. Use with caution in pets with diabetes, hyperthyroidism, high blood pressure, seizures, heart disease, abnormal heart rhythms, or pregnancy. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

  • Blue-green algae, also called cyanobacteria, is found in fresh and brackish water of ponds and lakes. This microscopic bacteria can also grow in backyard fountains, garden pots, bird baths, and anywhere water is stagnant.

  • An allergy is a state of over-reactivity or hypersensitivity of the immune system to a particular substance called an allergen. Most allergens are proteins from plants, insects, animals, or foods. In the dog, the most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body). The symptoms of allergies can be confused with other disorders, or occur concurrently with them. Therefore, do not attempt to diagnose your dog without veterinary professional assistance.

  • Allopurinol (brand names Lopurin┬«, Zyloprim┬«) is a drug used to prevent the recurrence of uric acid and calcium oxalate uroliths (stones) in dogs. This medication works by decreasing the production of uric acid in the body. It is also used in the treatment of leishmaniasis in dogs and cats and is usually combined with other drugs. Be sure to tell your veterinarian about any medications (including vitamins, supplements, or herbal therapies) that your pet is taking.

  • Alprazolam is a medication given by mouth as a tablet or liquid used off label in cats and dogs to treat anxiety and phobias. Common side effects include sedation, increased appetite, or uncoordinated walking. This medication should not be used in pets with a paradoxical reaction and should be used with caution in debilitated, geriatric, pregnant, lactating pets, or in pets with liver or kidney disease, or glaucoma. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Aluminum hydroxide is commonly used off label to treat high phosphate levels in pets with kidney disease. It is given by mouth, with meals, in the form of a liquid gel, powder, or a compounded capsule. The most common side effect is constipation, and therefore should be used in caution with pets with a gastrointestinal obstruction or pets prone to constipation. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Amantadine is an antiviral medication given by mouth in the form of a tablet, capsule, or liquid, that is mainly used off label for its pain control effects in pets. Common side effects include agitation and gastrointestinal effects. It should not be used in pets that are allergic to it, or that have untreated glaucoma. It should be used with caution in pets with liver, kidney, or heart disease, or in pets with eczema or seizures. If a negative reaction occurs, please call your veterinary office.

  • Aminocaproic acid is a medication that blocks the breakdown of blood clots, and is used to treat postoperative bleeding, especially in sighthounds. It is given by mouth in the form of a tablet or liquid, or it can be given by injection by your veterinarian in the hospital. Side effects are uncommon but can include vomiting, diarrhea, or decreased appetite when they do occur. Do not use this medication in pets that are currently experiencing clotting in the vessels, and use with caution in pets with heart, liver, or kidney disease. If a negative reaction occurs, call your veterinary office.

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