Pet Health Maintenance in Riverdale and Wayne

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Veterinary Internal Medicine

Despite the very best preventive veterinary care, animals can become sick. When this happens, it is stressful for both you and your pet, especially because you can't simply ask your companion what's wrong. You need a skilled veterinarian whom you can trust to accurately diagnose and effectively treat your pet.

While the focus at Animal Care Center of North Jersey and Companion Veterinary Hospital of Wayne is your pet's wellness, an important part of the hospitals' services includes the diagnosis and non-surgical treatment of diseases that can affect your pet's internal organs and body systems. Dr. Debra Morris is board certified in internal medicine and has extensive knowledge and training in diagnosing and treating internal medical problems. Furthermore, the experienced veterinarians and medical staff—supported by advanced diagnostic technology—are able to identify and effectively treat a range of complex internal medical diseases.

As part of the hospitals' commitment to provide you with access to the best medical care for your pet, we have also invested in the latest advanced diagnostic technology. After performing a thorough examination, diagnostic tests are sometimes necessary in order to identify the underlying cause of your pet's illness. It is the hospitals' policy to review any recommended tests with you before they are performed, as well as discuss all the available treatment options and fees.

Allergies and Skin Problems in Dogs and Cats

Allergies are quite common in cats and dogs of all breeds and backgrounds, usually from food or irritants like dust or pollen. The most common symptom associated with allergies is itching of the skin, either localized or generalized. Other symptoms include respiratory distress or digestive problems causing vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea.

Flea allergies are common in dogs and cats. A normal pet experiences only minor skin irritation at the site of the bite. On the other hand, a pet that is allergic to fleas has a severe, itch-producing reaction when the flea's saliva is deposited in the skin. Just one bite causes such intense itching that your pet may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to hair loss and open sores or scabs on the skin. The area most commonly involved is over the rump or base of the tail.

It is important to be able to identify the first signs and symptoms of allergies and dermatological conditions. These include:

  • Scratching, licking, chewing or biting the skin, feet and ears
  • Red, raised, scaly areas on the skin
  • Bumps, crusts or pus-filled vesicles on the skin
  • Increased skin pigmentation
  • Thickened skin
  • Loss of hair
  • Salivary staining (brown color)
  • Head shaking

If your pet exhibits any of these symptoms, please make an appointment to have him or her seen by one of the clinic's veterinarians. At Animal Care Center of North Jersey and Companion Veterinary Hospital of Wayne, we provide dermatology consultations, allergy testing, hypo-sensitization (allergy shots) and medicated baths. We will evaluate your pet, determine the most effective method of treatment and explain how you can prevent future problems. If left untreated, allergic reactions and skin conditions can become serious medical concerns. Call (973) 835-3733 (Riverdale) or (973) 832-7474 (Wayne) if your pet is experiencing any allergic symptoms.

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Glaucoma Prevention

Glaucoma is a common condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye increases, resulting in damage to the optic nerve, followed by impaired vision and blindness. There are two types of glaucoma. Primary or chronic glaucoma is hereditary or develops as your pet ages. Secondary or acute glaucoma develops as the result of an injury or illness. Because secondary glaucoma can progress rapidly, it is considered an emergency situation.

Symptoms of glaucoma include:

  • Redness in the eye
  • Tearing or discharge
  • Eye sensitivity to light
  • Pain
  • Cloudy-looking eye
  • Bulging eyeball

The experienced veterinarians at Animal Care Center of North Jersey and Companion Veterinary Hospital of Wayne recommend that your pet receive a glaucoma exam as part of his or her regular wellness care. The exam is not only an effective screening measure for chronic and acute glaucoma, it can also help set a baseline measurement of your pet's normal intraocular pressure (IOP). Establishing an IOP baseline is important because the normal measurement can vary between species, breeds and even individual pets.

The glaucoma exam is a non-invasive, simple procedure that should not cause your pet any pain or discomfort. We apply a mild anesthetic eye drop to ensure your pet is comfortable during the exam.

Nutritional Counseling

Proper nutrition along with fresh, clean water is an essential ingredient for your pet's overall good health. As your pet's caregiver, nutrition is the most significant health variable that you control. Frequently many diseases can be treated by dietary changes.

Feeding your pet the highest-quality food you can afford is one of the best ways you can contribute to his or her health and vitality. Making the best nutritional choices for your dog or cat not only effects general health, but will improve the quality and length of your pet's life. We carry a wide range of Hills and Royal Canin Prescription foods and supplements.

To support your efforts, your veterinarian performs a thorough body condition evaluation during every physical examination and gives recommendations based on what is observed. We can also provide you with important information on proper serving size, nutrient needs and feeding strategies for your individual pet, as well as help you navigate pet food claims so you can make the most informed choices.

Vitamins and Supplements

About 30% of dogs take supplements for both age related problems and to achieve optimal health. Here are the most common supplements and their applications.

Vitamins – PetTabs & PetCal - daily vitamins are used when feeding home cooked diets, during periods of stress or increased activity, or simply to provide optimal nutrition. PetCal contains extra calcium for pregnant or nursing animals.

Wellactin/AllerG3 - Omega 3 Fatty Acids – Also known as fish oil, this is the most common supplement in dogs and cats. An antiinflammatory, it decreases joint inflammation and improves the skin and coat particularly in animals with allergies. It is also used to treat kidney and heart disease.

Dasuquin – Cosequin – is used for joint pain and arthritis. The brand Dasuquin is by far the best and the most economical product available. Studies show that many brands of cosequin are either present at very low levels or are not well absorbed. Because Dasuquin produces the highest blood levels it is effective at a lower dose. Dasuquin is useful in all types of joint pain from puppies with knees problems to geriatric patients with arthritis.

Senelife – As dogs and cats are living longer, dementia or senility have become more common. Senelife is a natural product that reduces brain aging and lessens the effects of senility including poor sleep habits, barking or meowing a night, alertness and urinating and defecating in the house. If your pet is showing signs of senility, try Senelife for one to two months and continue if an improvement is noted.

EFAC – is a liquid contained in a capsule that is applied to the gums to reduce inflammation. As dogs and cats get older not only do they develop tartar but the gums become inflammed. EFAC is used after the teeth are cleaned where there is also gum inflammation, in animals with inflammed gums but little tartar or in animals whose health does not allow the teeth to be cleaned. It is most effective where applied locally because it attracts white blood cells to promote healing. It is also absorbed through the skin and provides relief to any inflammation, including joints.

Denamarin – is usually used to improve liver function but has also been shown to help with senility.

Proviable – is a probiotic, lactobacillis bacteria used to treat diarrhea by replacing harmful bacteria in the gut with healthy bacteria. It can also be used to treat urinary tract infections in cats, certain skin infecions especially in puppies and for boarding animals to maintain skin and intestinal health.

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Laser Therapy

Reducing pain and promoting healing is one of the medical team's top priorities. To that end, we have invested in a therapeutic laser which we use to help patients following surgery or an injury and to assist with managing a range of chronic and acute conditions.

Laser therapy is a painless, FDA-approved medical procedure that uses low-level lasers to stimulate the natural healing capabilities of the body's cells. This form of laser therapy is effective at promoting healing on a cellular level as well as decreasing inflammation after surgery, injury or in areas of the body affected by chronic illnesses such as arthritis or acute conditions such as otitis. It can also be used to increase joint mobility and relieve the aches and pains common to older pets.

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