Our Wonderful Veterinary Technicians

In the world of veterinary medicine, our wonderful veterinary technicians play such a crucial role in how we care for our patients and clients. They are multi-tasking, knowledgeable, proficient, talented and compassionate rock stars in our field! It is an understatement to say that our field would certainly not be the same (or even sustainable) without them!

The Many Roles of a Technician

Here at Hampton Veterinary Hospital, our technicians take on many roles throughout the day, including (but certainly not limited to!) the following:

Doctor’s Assistant

The technician takes the patient’s history, obtains their vital signs and restrains them for the exam.

Phlebotomist

Not only do technicians draw blood samples for analysis, they also are able to give intravenous injections and place intravenous catheters.

Laboratory Technician

Our techs perform microscope evaluation of ear debris, skin, blood urine and feces.

Radiology Technician

You guessed it!  It’s our multi-talented technicians who take x-rays of the patient and submit them for review.

Equipment Technician

Our techs are trained to use and maintain a multitude of medical equipment.  They are also responsible for the sterilization of surgical and non-surgical equipment, as well as sanitizing the exam rooms in between each appointment.

Dental Hygienist 

Technicians are the ones who perform dental cleanings, chart each tooth and take dental x-rays for each dental procedure.

Surgical Assistant

The technician performs surgical preparation of the patient and surgical suite.  They also assist the doctor during surgery when needed.

Anesthetist

It’s the technicians who administer and monitor anesthesia for all patients undergoing surgical procedures.

Treatment Nurse

Technicians are the ones who provide nursing care for the patients in the hospital including administering medications, injections and fluid therapy.

Expert at Restraint

Our techs are trained to safely restrain animals for examination and procedures, all while attempting to reduce any stress or anxiety the patient may have.

Groomer

Technicians perform nail trims and work to maintain overall hygiene of our patients.

Animal Husbandry Expert

Our technicians are trained to recognize and anticipate our patients’ needs and provide LOTS of TLC!

Wound Care Expert

Our technicians can clean wounds, remove sutures and place bandages.

Grief Counselor 

Technicians provide empathy and support to our clients during difficult situations.

Communicator

Technicians follow up with pet owners about their pet’s progress, questions, concerns; as well as communicate with laboratories and equipment companies to trouble-shoot, etc.

Teacher

One of the most important responsibilities of a technician is educating pet owners on topics such as diseases, preventative care, the importance of routine care, treatments, medications, etc.

Technicians play such a vital role in the lives of the pets and pet owners we interact with each day, as well as the lives of their colleagues.  They are the rocks of our day – they keep veterinarians grounded and focused, help keep them moving through the day as smoothly and efficiently as possible, and also provide comfort when a difficult case may bring the team/doctor down emotionally. They do ALL of this for the love of this profession. In a field with such high demand and expectation, schooling and continuing education, and constant risk of injury,  these wonderful humans are in it for their passion and aspiration to better the lives of the animals in their care. They risk bites, scratches, getting covered in bodily fluids– and these things do happen! – and they persevere through this, in the most efficient, graceful, and compassionate way.

Join us in thanking our wonderful technicians for all of the selfless, compassionate, experienced care that they provide our pets every day! We appreciate our techs, and the veterinary field would not be the same without them!

Is This Pain?

Comfort and quality of life are our major goals for our furry loved ones, but because they cannot often communicate with us in a way we understand, we may find ourselves asking – is this pain? Pain in our companion animals is often a result of trauma and disease processes, just as it is in humans. Though, it can be far more difficult to recognize. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the many manifestations and behaviors that can indicate pain in our pets.

Common Indicators of Pain

  • Withdrawal from surroundings or change in normal routine – hiding, seeking solitude, decreased responsiveness, unwillingness to move
  • Guards or protects a certain body part
  • Lameness, limping (can range from weight bearingto non-weight bearing)
  • Atypical aggressive behaviors – trying to bitewhen touched, growling/hissing, etc
  • Vocalizing – whining, whimpering, crying,groaning
  • Unsettled, restless; cannot seem to getcomfortable
  • Quiet, loss of brightness in eyes
  • Abnormal body positioning – lays curled up or sits tucked up (with all limbs underneath the body, back/shoulders hunched, tail curled around body)
  • Droopy ears, worried facial expression (archedeyebrows, darting eyes)
  • Eyes partially or mostly closed while awake
  • Not grooming (unkempt coat); or over grooming ina particular area
  • Decreased appetite, lack of interest in food

So What Can I do to Help?

Fortunately, we have a number of options to help animals that are in pain (both acute and chronic) to live more comfortable, happy lives. Multimodal approaches to managing pain are often most successful. Your veterinarian may recommend the following treatments for your pet, depending on the findings of a thorough physical exam, screening lab work and, possibly, x-rays:

Anti-inflammatory and Pain Medications

These medications are the most commonly used to help treat pain and inflammation in pets.

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy provides anti-inflammatory, pain relief, faster healing, improved blood flow, decreased scar formation, and improved nerve function.

Acupuncture

Just as in people, acupuncture can bean effective modality to control pain.

Thermal Modification

Icing in the first few days of incision/injury/trauma will reduce inflammation.  Heating after the first few days will increase blood flow and healing.

Joint Supplementation (for arthritis pain) 

Glucosamine is a building block for cartilage by keeping cells healthy and working properly.  Chondroitin blocks the naturally occurring enzymes that break down cartilage.

Fish Oil (for arthritis pain)

Omega-3 fatty acids help decrease inflammation in the joints.

Weight Optimization (for arthritis pain) 

Weight control is often the MOST important factor to reduce pain & inflammation from arthritis.  Fat is PRO-INFLAMMATORY, and also places more weight on sore joints.

Joint or “Mobility” Diets (for arthritis pain)

Prescription joint diets have many benefits: Omega 3 fatty acids, glucosamine/chondroitin, carnitine (to help burn fat, maintain lean muscle), anti-oxidants.

Why Should I Vaccinate My Pet?

Have you ever wondered, “Why should I vaccinate my pet?”  Administration of appropriate vaccinations to our canine and feline family members is of vital importance to your pet’s health.  As it is in people, vaccination helps to reduce possibility of infection, reduces symptomatic disease, decreases spread of disease through a community, and increases the likelihood of a longer & healthier life.  Depending on disease prevalence, climate, elevation, and other environmental factors, your veterinarian will recommend certain vaccinations for your pets.  At Hampton Veterinary Hospital in Hampton, NH, we recommend the following vaccinations:

Feline

Rabies

Due to the fact that Rabies is of public health concern for humans, cats, and dogs, Rabies vaccination is required for ALL PETS in the state of New Hampshire (and all other U.S. states).  There is no exception to this, regardless of whether or not your cat goes outdoors.  Bats, rodents, and other mammals with Rabies could enter your home and infect your pet… and then possibly you.  Hampton Veterinary Hospital vaccinates our feline patients yearly against Rabies.  Please contact your veterinarian if you are unsure as to whether or not your cat is up to date on their Rabies vaccination.

FVRCP/ Feline Distemper (Rhinotracheitis, Calcivirus and Panleukopenia)

This is a combination vaccine against a number of common viruses that cats can be exposed to.  We recommend FVRCP to be up to date on all cats because many of these viruses are quite hardy in the environment; so we can inadvertently bring one of them into our home on our clothing, shoes, bags, etc.  Once a kitten has had their series of FVRCP vaccinations, as adults we vaccinate cats with this vaccine every 3 years.

FELV/ Feline Leukemia Virus

This is a deadly virus that has no cure.  Once a cat becomes infected with FeLV it will significantly shorten their life span (< 3 years).  We recommend vaccinating all kittens when they are younger, just in case they ‘demand’ to go outdoors despite good intentions of keeping them inside.  However, we do not usually recommend vaccinating adult cats who are indoor-only, as this is not a hardy virus where they can only become infected through direct contact with an infected cat.

Canine

Rabies

(see above) — Puppies are vaccinated once between 12 and 16 weeks of age, per law, and this first vaccine is protective for 1 year.  Their subsequent vaccinations are then given every 3 years (per NH state law).

DHPP/ Canine Distemper (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parvovirus and Parainfluenza)

This is a combination vaccine against a number of common viruses that dogs can be exposed to.  We recommend DHPP to be up to date on all dogs regardless of lifestyle.  Once a puppy has had their series of DHPP vaccinations, as adults we vaccinate dogs every 3 years.  This vaccine is usually required to be admitted to boarding kennels, doggie-daycare facilities, and grooming parlors.

Bordetella/ Kennel Cough

Bordetella is a highly contagious upper respiratory bacterium, and it is the most common cause of “Kennel Cough”.  Since Bordetella is so contagious between dogs it is required to be admitted to boarding kennels, doggie-daycare facilities, and grooming parlors.  We recommend it for all of our canine patients because it can be transmitted during visits to the beach, dog parks, walking on the street, and even when coming to a veterinary office.  There are different ways this vaccine can be administered, but we prefer to use the more common intra-nasal route.

Lyme

Lyme disease is HIGHLY prevalent in New England, as well as most other areas around the United States.  It is a very difficult disease to treat in both humans and dogs, but at least with dogs we have a number of ways to proactively prevent Lyme disease.  Yearly lyme vaccination is critical to help reduce the likelihood that your dog will become infected with and develop clinical Lyme disease.  (Year-round administration of a safe and effective flea and tick preventative, such as every 12 week prescription Bravecto, is also key here.)  The Lyme vaccine includes a series of two vaccinations, followed by yearly vaccination in adult dogs.  For best protection, if this vaccine is not kept up-to-date, you may have to re-start the initial vaccine series if it is overdue by a few months.

Leptospirosis

This is a bacterium that is very prevalent in New England, however it is not as easy to identify as Lyme disease.  Many different types of mammals and birds can harbor and transmit Leptospirosis from their urine to groundwater or the soil.  All of our dogs drink out of various puddles, ponds, rivers, lakes, & streams — so they are all potentially at risk for becoming infected with Leptospirosis.  This is a disease that at minimum causes diarrhea… but it can also cause both liver and/or kidney disease in dogs.  If dogs become infected and do not receive appropriate care, they can die from Leptospirosis.   People can also become infected with Leptospirosis and it is possible that a person can get Leptospirosis from their infected dog.  The CDC reports about 100-150 people on average per year become infected with this disease.  The good news here for our dogs is that we have highly effective vaccinations against Leptospirosis.  The Lepto vaccine series includes a series of two vaccinations, followed by yearly vaccination in adult dogs.   For best protection, if this vaccine is not kept up-to-date, you may have to re-start the initial vaccine series if it is overdue by a few months.

CIV/ Canine Influenza Virus

There are two different strains of CIV that have been identified in the United States in the past 10 years.  Due to the fact that dogs have no natural immunity to either CIV strain, direct exposure to dogs with this upper respiratory virus will cause infection.  Symptoms of CIV infection vary from a simple cough to severe illness & death.  Up to 10% of non-vaccinated dogs that become infected with CIV have died in reported outbreaks.  To date there have been no reported cases of CIV in New Hampshire; however, experts feel that it is only a matter of time until we see CIV here as well.  Hampton Veterinary Hospital strongly recommends vaccination against CIV in dogs who are frequently around a number of different dogs (such as our personal pets who come to work with us every day), show dogs, agility dogs, and dogs who travel often with their families.  If you frequently board your dog at any boarding facility (including ours), take them to doggie-daycare, dog parks, or grooming parlors you may want to talk to your veterinarian about vaccinating your dog against CIV.

Just as in people, there are potential risks for vaccine reactions in dogs & cats.  However we see far less than 1% of our veterinary patients develop vaccine reactions.  The high level of protection that vaccinations provide to our four-legged loved ones well out-weighs the low possibility of side effects.  Our goal at Hampton Veterinary Hospital is to keep your pets happy & healthy as long as possible — routine vaccination is a vital way we help to achieve this for you and your family.

The Dog-Days of Summer (Common Pet Hazards)

The  dog-days of summer are upon us!  While this can be an amazing and fun season, it can come along with dangers for your pet(s). This blog reviews the more common summer injuries and conditions in pets, with tips on how to best avoid them, as well as knowing when to call your veterinarian.

Bite Wounds

Dog bites can happen any time of the year.  We tend to see this more frequently  in the warmer months as dogs are visiting dog parks, kennels, daycare, etc. Even if a dog bite appears minor, you should contact your veterinarian right away, as prompt care of the wound (cleaning, flushing, antibiotics, etc) is incredibly important; also, some bites can look minor externally but cause significant trauma and damage beneath the skin, sometimes needing surgical intervention.

Heat Stroke

Dogs cannot sweat through their skin (only a small amount through their paw pads), so heat can be especially dangerous. Heat stroke occurs when an animal’s body overheats.  This can manifest as excessive panting, inability or unwillingness to move around, drooling, reddened gums, vomiting, diarrhea (with or without blood), mental dullness/loss of consciousness, uncoordinated movement, and collapse.

Seek veterinary attention IMMEDIATELY. If you are able, apply rubbing alcohol to paw pads, dampen dog’s body with cool/cold water, get dog to an area with fans/air conditioning, etc.

TIPS:

  • DO NOT LEAVE YOUR DOG IN A CAR UNATTENDED!
  • Walk your pet at cooler times of the day (early morning, late evening).
  • Always provide ample amounts of fresh, cool water.

Paw Burns/Abrasions/Cuts

If your pet gets a peeling paw pad burn, or gets a bleeding cut/laceration on the paw pad, please call your veterinarian – these need to be medically addressed, and sometimes surgically repaired.

TIPS:

  • Do not walk animals on hot pavement; walk during cooler times of the day.
  • Booties can be used for short periods to protect paw pads from burns and sharp objects.

Porcupine Quills

If your animal comes into contact with a porcupine and gets quilled, please call your veterinarian immediately. Animals typically need to be sedated in order to remove quills effectively and safely. PLEASE DO NOT ATTEMPT TO PULL THEM ON YOUR OWN, and DO NOT CUT QUILLS.

Skunk Spraying

Skunks are everywhere in New England so it’s not uncommon for your pet to come in contact with them!  Skunk spraying is typically benign (but smelly!).  You can use the homemade remedy below to help remove the skunk spray and smell. However, if your pet gets sprayed in the face — especially if he/she begins squinting — please contact your veterinarian, as there is the potential for eye irritation and ulceration.

Homemade Skunk Remedy Recipe:

  • 1 Quart 3% Hydrogen Peroxide
  • 1/4 Cup Baking Soda
  • 2 tsp Dawn Liquid Dish Soap

Soak dog’s fur with mixture for 20 minutes. Use sponge on head/face to avoid eyes. Thoroughly rinse with water.

Swimmer’s Tail

Also known as Limber Tail Syndrome, this is a condition that occurs when the base of the spine/tail is strained or overly fatigued. It presents as a limber/weak tail, with minimal movement of the tail, and discomfort at the tail base or base of spinal area.

This is common in animals that overuse their tails, who get excited easily, and/or swim frequently.

If this occurs in your pet, please call your veterinarian to schedule an exam – often times, we prescribe pain medication/anti-inflammatories, and will recommend resting as much as possible, and trying to avoid situations where your pet will get overly excited and use its tail.

Ear Infections (Otitis) and Hot Spots (Moist Dermatitis)

Bacterial and yeast infections of the ear canals and/or skin are VERY common in the warmer months, especially in dogs that swim frequently, and/or have seasonal allergies.

ALWAYS contact your veterinarian if you suspect an ear infection, as they can become severe very quickly – symptoms include head shaking, ear scratching, ear odor, ear discharge/debris/redness, etc.  There are no over-the-counter products that will effectively treat an ear infection.

If your dog is an avid swimmer, talk to your veterinarian about ear cleaners that can help keep the ears happy and decrease risk of infection.

ALWAYS contact your veterinarian if you suspect a skin infection, as they can become severe very quickly – symptoms include excessive scratching, moist areas on the skin or in fur, skin odor, skin redness, etc.

If your dog is an avid swimmer, be sure to rinse with clean water (to rinse off chlorine, salt, algae, etc) and towel dry well after swimming.

Black Fly Bites

These are VERY common in dogs during later spring and earlier summer months, and appear as bullseye-looking red spots, typically on regions of the body without hair (groin, abdomen).

These are not anything to worry about and are not typically uncomfortable for your pet; however, if you are unsure, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Foreign Bodies, Pancreatitis and Gastritis

Foreign body ingestion and stomach/pancreatic upset is not uncommon during the summer months, as barbecues/family gatherings/etc. are very common. Be careful not to give your pet anything that could potentially upset their systems, and advise your guests to be cautious, as well. Common causes include corn cobs (they can get lodged in the stomach or intestines and need surgical intervention to remove), meats and other foods high in fat (pancreas and stomach upset), spices/herbs, meat bones (especially chicken and pork as these splinter), etc.

Animals do not typically tolerate abrupt switches in diet, or getting foods their system is not used to – diarrhea, vomiting and decreased appetite can be signs of an issue.

Firework/Loud Noise Phobia and Anxiety

Some dogs can be very anxious with loud noises such as fireworks and thunderstorms, which are quite common during the summer! If you believe your pet has anxiety, please contact us; we can discuss helpful tips for desensitization to noise, environmental modification, and possible medications that can be helpful.

If you have any questions, or are concerned that any of these conditions are occurring in your pet, please do not hesitate to call Hampton Veterinary Hospital at (603) 926-7978 or your closest emergency clinic.

Travelling With Your Pet

Travelling with your pet this summer?  Here is a list of things to consider before you go away.

What to Pack

  • A copy of your pet’s updated vaccines, including a current rabies certificate.  Clients of Hampton Veterinary Hospital can access their pet’s vaccine records electronically by signing up for our Pet Page App.
  • A collar or harness with identification tags, including rabies and town licensing tags (dogs).  Ideally, your pet should have a microchip.  If not, contact Hampton Veterinary Hospital about having one placed.  Don’t forget to make sure the microchip company has all of your current contact information.
  • At least one leash per dog, as well as one back-up leash.
  • Water & food bowls – soft-sided collapsible ones can pack easily into a car and are easily carried in a bag or backpack.
  • Food – pack enough for an additional 2-3 days per pet just in case you have to extend your stay.
  • Medications – bring them in their original packaging with appropriate labels.  Include extra should your time away run longer than expected.  Don’t forget to bring heartworm and flea/tick preventatives if your pet is due for their next dose while you are away!
  • Pet Crate or Carrier- many pets find these comforting, especially on long car rides and in unfamiliar surroundings.
  • Toys, blankets & bedding.

Other To-Do’s Before Travelling With Your Pet

  • Travelling by plane?  Contact the airline to ensure that you have all of the necessary information required.  Travelling internationally? Check with the country you are visiting as to what additional requirements they may have.
  • Research which hotels, motels, etc allow pets.  National chains that allow pets include RedRoof Inns, Motel 6, and La Quinta.
  • Concerned that your pet may experience either motion sickness and/or anxiety?  Contact your veterinarian well-prior to your trip for suggestions or medication refills.
  • Locate the nearest boarding options just in case!  Remember, Hampton Veterinary Hospital is an excellent option for boarding in the NH Seacoast area!

Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is one of the most common diseases seen in New England, and has been spreading quickly across the United States over the past 20 years.  According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, all 50 states had cases of confirmed canine Lyme disease in 2018.  In our small state of New Hampshire alone, there were 11,374 Lyme positive dogs reported.  

About Lyme Disease

Lyme disease was first diagnosed in 1983 due to an outbreak of arthritic symptoms in humans in the Lyme Connecticut area.  Lyme disease is a spirochete bacterium that is transmitted to dogs, humans, and many other mammalian species through tick bites.  The deer tick or the black-legged tick, lone star tick, American dog tick, and brown dog tick carry and can transmit Lyme disease.

Symptoms

Common symptoms of Lyme disease in dogs include intermittent lameness, decreased activity level, decreased appetite, and fever.  Dogs do not always show all four of these symptoms, but typically develop a combination of two or more when they become clinically ill.   Also, dogs who are not properly protected and are repeatedly exposed to Lyme-carrying ticks are at risk of developing certain types of kidney disease.  Before proper prevention was available, many dogs infected with Lyme disease died of a syndrome known as Lyme nephropathy.

Transmission

If a live tick is attached to a dog for over 36 hours, it can then begin to transmit Lyme disease.  Unlike people, dogs do not perform tick-checks on themselves; and they do not commonly develop the typical bullseye rash as seen in humans.  Therefore, we typically do not know that our canine loved ones have been infected with Lyme disease until they come up positive on a blood test or develop symptoms and are diagnosed by a veterinarian.  Plus, dogs spend much of their time sniffing around and playing in areas where ticks thrive, such as woods and tall grasses.  The key to reducing the risk of our pets developing Lyme disease is through prevention.

Prevention is Key

Just as it is with us, nightly tick-checks are very important to perform on our dogs to help keep them free of tick-borne diseases.  However, life gets busy and small ticks can be missed on a fur-covered dog.  Two other main keys to preventing our 4-legged loved ones from becoming infected with Lyme disease are through proper year-round preventives and vaccination.

Which Products to Use

Ticks are one of the hardiest creatures on our planet.  Contrary to certain “opinions” on the internet, homeopathic and holistic options are not effective to kill ticks or prevent them from transmitting tick-borne diseases.  Over the years, there have been many different types of (flea &) tick preventatives in a variety of formulations.

In 2014, the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)approved new prescription medications called Isoxazolines.  These are typically chewable tablets, which makes it easier to administer to dogs. By avoiding topical products, it also eliminates the possibility of local skin irritation and reduces contact of the product with human and feline family members. These medications have completely revolutionized our ability to protect our dogs from Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.  They are incredibly well-tolerated and work much faster and more reliably than any of the more traditional topical preventatives.  Here, at Hampton Veterinary Hospital, we recommend year-round use of Bravecto for the majority of our canine patients.  

Remember, prevention is the key to keeping our loved ones safe & healthy!

Heartworm Disease

Heartworm disease (HWD) is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs and cats that is spread by over 30 species of mosquitoes. Adult heartworms live in the heart and lung blood vessels of infected animals; one pet can have up to 300 worms! Heartworms live for up to 5-7 years and produce millions of offspring that live in the bloodstream until they develop.

Heartworm disease occurs all over the world, but has been increasing in prevalence in the United States, and spreading further and further across the country. New England has been seeing a significant increase in heartworm disease in the past 3-5 years. According to the Companion Animal Parasite Council, there were 674 reported cases in New Hampshire alone in 2018.

Signs

The signs of HWD depend on a number of variables, but are typically due to heartworms clogging the heart and major blood vessels. Signs can include:

  • A soft, dry cough.
  • Shortness of breath, exercise intolerance.
  • Weakness, listlessness, loss of stamina, collapse.
  • RARELY – swelling of the legs and belly, weight loss, and some animals may die suddenly during exercise or excitement.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis of HWD is done by a blood test that can be run in the veterinary hospital. Following diagnosis, further testing is recommended (such as bloodwork and x-rays) to determine if the dog can tolerate the appropriate treatment.

Treatment

In dogs, treatment of HWD is complex, expensive, and can be painful – it involves antibiotics (Doxycycline), an injectable arsenic-based compound to kill adult worms, and steroids to help decrease the inflammatory response when the worms begin to die. Strict rest for several months is incredibly important, as exercise and excitement can lead to dangerous and sometimes life-threatening clots. As long as the disease is not significantly advanced, this disease is treatable. However, in more advanced cases, prognosis can be poor due to substantial damage to the heart, lungs, blood vessels, kidneys and liver. Unfortunately, there is no current treatment for cats.

Prevention

Prevention is so important when it comes to heartworm disease, for both dogs and cats. Preventing the disease prevents damage to the heart and lungs, and avoids a painful and expensive treatment process, as well as strict activity restriction. By preventing this disease, you and your pet can enjoy a life of play and adventure without restriction!

Here are a couple of excellent options for preventing heartworm disease that we recommend here at Hampton Veterinary Hospital:

  1. Interceptor PLUS for dogs – a chewable tablet given monthly, year-round.
  2. Proheart Injection for dogs – an injection given here at Hampton Vet, and lasts 6 months.
  3. Revolution PLUS for cats – a monthly topical, applied year-round.

To learn more about heartworm disease, please visit The American Heartworm Society website.

Always remember, we are here to help! If you have any questions or concerns about your pet and heartworm disease, please don’t hesitate to contact us!

Common Pet Toxins

Toxins are often not the first thing on your mind when bringing a pet into your home, but there are many more than you may expect!  It is important to know the common pet toxins that can be present so you can take special care to keep them out of your pet’s reach. If you believe your pet has ingested or come into contact with any of these toxins, or if you are unsure, please contact your veterinarian or nearest emergency clinic immediately! Accurate and timely identification of the suspected toxin is very important— TIP: have the container, package, or label in hand; this can save valuable time!

Common CANINE Toxins

  • Chocolate, Coffee, Caffeine
  • Mouse and Rat Poisons (rodenticides)
  • Vitamins and Minerals (e.g. Vitamin D3, iron, etc.)
  • NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen/Advil, naproxen/Aleve, aspirin, etc.)
  • Cardiac Medications (e.g. Amlodipine/calcium-blockers, Atenolol/beta-blockers, Aspirin and other blood thinners, etc.)
  • Cold/Allergy Medications (e.g. Sudafed/pseudoephedrine/decongestants, phenylephrine)
  • Antidepressants (e.g. Prozac, Paxil, Lexipro, etc.)
  • Xylitol (e.g. gum, some peanut butters, etc).
  • Acetaminophen (e.g. Tylenol)
  • Anti-freeze

Common FELINE Toxins

  • Topical spot-on insecticides (be cautious not to use canine products on kitties!)
  • Household Cleaners
  • Antidepressants (e.g. Prozac, Paxil, Lexipro, etc.)
  • Lilies (EXTREMELY TOXIC – can cause acute kidney failure with just a lick!)
  • NSAIDs (e.g. ibuprofen/Advil, naproxen/Aleve, aspirin, etc.)
  • Cold and Flu Medication (e.g. TYLENOL!)
  • ADD/ADHD Medications (e.g. Adderall, etc).
  • Mouse and Rat Poison (rodenticides)
  • Anti-freeze
  • String, yarn, sewing needles, (gift) ribbon, hair ties (foreign bodies)

Common FOOD Toxins (Primarily Dogs)

  • Chocolate, coffee
  • Macadamia nuts, walnuts
  • Grapes & raisins
  • Raw yeast bread dough
  • Brewing hops
  • Products containing xylitol (gum, some peanut butters, etc).
  • Onions, garlic (Dogs and Cats)

Don’t hesitate to ask us for a more complete, detailed list of common pet toxins. And remember, we are always here to help! Here is a list of important numbers you may need if your pet comes into contact with a toxin:

Hampton Veterinary Hospital (603) 926-7978

Port City Veterinary Referral Center (603) 433-0056

ASPCA Pet Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435

Increased Thirst and Urination in Cats

Increased thirst and urination are symptoms of a number of common diseases, especially in cats over 10 years of age.  The medical terms for these symptoms are polyuria (excessive urine production) and polydipsia (excessive thirst).

When a cat presents at Hampton Veterinary Hospital for increased thirst and urination, as always, one of our doctors will perform a thorough physical examination.   Regardless of the cause, many times our feline patients with increased thirst and urination will also present with any combination of the following non-specific symptoms or findings on examination:

  • Weight loss and muscle atrophy
  • Increase or decrease in appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Change in energy level
  • Heart murmur

The most common diseases we see inolder cats that cause increased thirst and urination are:

These three diseases, as well as a number of less common causes, can easily be tested for by submitting blood and urine samples for a chemistry profile, complete blood count (CBC), thyroid level(s),and urinalysis.  If lab work rules-out these common medical conditions in older cats, then we typically proceed to taking x-rays and/or performing an ultrasound.

Aging, whether it be with ourselves or our four-legged loved ones, can be scary.  It is not uncommon for many people to avoid the doctor because they do not want to learn about medical issues that might shorten lives.  However, each of these diseases listed above can usually be treated to improve quality and length of life in our feline friends.  This is especially true if we screen for such issues and start treatment sooner rather than later.  So, please contact us should you be concerned about an increase in thirst and urination or any other medical issue your pet may be experiencing. 

My Dog’s Paws Smell Like Fritos – Is This Normal?

Dog owners know their pups produce a variety of odors, many of them less-than-pleasant. If you’ve ever noticed a distinct, corn chip-like aroma wafting up from your dog’s paws, you aren’t crazy. Many pet owners report their dog’s paws smell like Fritos, popcorn, tortillas, or other corn-based products – but why?

Here at Hampton Veterinary Hospital, we never shy away from life’s important questions, and we welcome the opportunity to help our readers figure out why their dog’s paws smell like Fritos!

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