Outbreak of Parvovirus in Michigan

What Happened In Michigan? As most of us have most likely heard through various media outlets, there has been an outbreak of a fatal virus in dogs who have been residing in Michigan.  It has been reported that dozens of dogs, most less than 2 years of age, have presented with vomiting, diarrhea, and severe dehydration. These symptoms are the hallmark of an unfortunately common illness in dogs called canine parvovirus (CPV) which is all too often fatal. What makes the situation in Michigan particularly concerning is that all of the dogs that died were tested for CPV in the clinics and shelters using rapid tests and all of the test results were negative. What We Know Now Due to nature of the illness it didn’t take long for The Michigan State Veterinarian, Dr. Nora Wineland to get involved in looking for the cause. On August 23rd she released an update stating, “We are still in the early stages of this investigation, but some of the first samples submitted to the Michigan State University Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (MSU VDL) were positive for canine parvovirus.” The MSU VDL was able to use more sensitive testing than that available in the shelters […]

Foxtail Season Is Here

Every year between June and August we see many dogs with these pesky pokey little grass seeds (foxtails) working their way into feet, ears, and even under eyelids. Sometimes they require surgery to be removed. You will see grass seeds typically growing in clumps (but can be more sparse) under trees, along sidewalks, and in any grassy areas such as parks.

Pet Insurance

Why pet insurance? Pet owners must be prepared to take on the financial responsibility of maintaining a pet’s health and well-being. An unexpected illness or accident can take a toll on your finances. Public demand for optimal pet care has advanced veterinary emergency medical procedures and treatments. This has in turn increased the costs of veterinary care. While medical expenses are often covered for humans through insurance, most pets are not so fortunate. Pet insurance provides a sense of security for pet owners by ensuring that they will have help paying for unexpected veterinary expenses. What type of coverage do I need? The type of coverage you need depends on a number of factors: Factor Consider This: Your budget Are you financially prepared to pay for extensive veterinary care? Monthly payments & emergency funds If you are unable to meet large, unexpected veterinary expenses you may wish to purchase a more extensive policy. Specific Breeds Do you own a breed that is more susceptible to certain illnesses or conditions? Make sure that these conditions are covered by your policy. You may have to pay a higher premium for certain breeds. Pet’s present and past medical history Many insurance companies will […]

Seeds of Grass

  Grass awns or grass seeds don’t sound terribly hazardous to your pets health.  But, these small arrow shaped seeds can result in penetrating trauma and abscess formation when stuck in the skin. During the summer and fall months, certain types of grasses produce seeds with barbs that behave similar to a fish hook, they attach easily to the hair coat and are difficult to remove. Once attached, these pesky little seeds hitch a ride, presumably to find a new place to grow. However, the barbs prevent backward movement particularly in dogs with curly or dense coats and the seeds move continuously forward until they penetrate the skin, resulting in an abscess or an infected wound under the skin. Though they most commonly affect the feet in between the toes, grass awns can attach and migrate anywhere in the body.  Occasionally they will also get in a pet’s ear canal or behind one of their eyelids. Signs of Trouble Signs of grass seed injury when the feet are affected include sudden onset of pain, limping, excess licking of a paw, or a red swelling typically found in between the toes. These wounds can be painful and difficult to heal without […]

2021 Pandemic Plan Update

We at Seattle Veterinary Associates wish to thank you, our bonded pet parents, for your patience and understanding during the past 12 months.  This has been a very difficult year for all of our community, challenging each of us in so many different ways. Yet, through it all we have remained fully open, ready to serve you, and steadfast in our goals for personal safety in the face of an unprecedented pandemic.   It is our mission “to make the lives of the people and their pets we serve better” each and every day.  We feel so fortunate to have accomplished this purpose with minimal health impacts upon our working teams and you, our clientele. Now, there appears to be significant hope for a return of more normal interactions in the manner of how we can provide veterinary care for your furry loved ones.  We can all see and feel it as the weeks go by and public and worker vaccinations steadily increase. The home stretch seems in view. Accordingly, SVA is planning for changes later this spring that will allow for face to face visits again once our teams are fully immunized against Covid19.  This process has already begun and […]

No Pot for Pets

In Washington state, Initiative 502 legalized the sale and recreational use of small amounts of licensed and regulated marijuana-related products for adults aged 21 and over.  Regardless of its legal status, veterinarians have been aware of it as a toxicant for as long as it has been a commonly used medical and recreational substance.  Trupanion, a Seattle-based pet insurance provider reported that the number of marijuana toxicity cases in all states increased by 50% per capita from 2014 to 2015.  In April 2017, they also reported that Washington state had the highest frequency of marijuana toxicity claims per pet, closely followed by California, Colorado, Oregon, Massachusetts, and New York.  In early 2019, the ASPCA Poison Control Center observed a 765% increase in case reports from the prior year.  With many states legalizing marijuana in at least some form, this is not surprising.  Because dogs think that most things are potentially edible, they represent the majority or marijuana toxicities.  Cats are probably too busy getting high on catnip and plotting world domination.  So, what happens after your dog eats your stash?  Well, the good news is that the lethal dose of marijuana is quite high.  Be aware though that producers have […]

Pandemic Puppies

Getting a pandemic puppy? Already have one by now?  You are not alone, believe me.  During the past 6 months our family veterinary practice has seen a flood of these cute little fur babies arrive to help our community cope and find some joy for themselves during such stressful, challenging times.   It seems that being isolated at home and fairly restricted to indoors, many of you think it is an ideal moment and great timing to raise a puppy.  And you are absolutely right!  Puppies can brighten your life and provide so many positives at a time when we all can truly use some help getting through our days.  Dogs make superb companions, and the benefits from having a relationship with a dog cannot be overestimated. Dogs offer us a unique form of unconditional love, while giving us tremendous daily comfort, companionship and emotional support.  There is much scientific evidence that stroking a dog can provide physiological changes in our bodies including lowering our blood pressure and heart rate, plus diminishing our anxiety levels.  While there is no data to prove that dog ownership will extend your life, there is substantial proof that having a canine buddy will enhance your […]

Visiting the Vet During COVID-19

During these challenging times, we all have had to adapt to a new way of life. This includes when your furry family member needs to visit the vet. Veterinary clinics are experiencing unprecedented need for veterinary care as the number of pet adoptions in recent months has skyrocketed. We are glad to see so many animals in new loving homes and are happy to help cater to all of their needs. This being said, we are all working hard to meet the growing demand. As we strive to take the best possible care for your pets,there are a few steps you can take to help streamline your visit to the vet.  Remember to plan ahead for services that are coming due and call to schedule your appointment ahead of time whenever possible. Book your appointment at least two weeks ahead. Likewise, prescription refills and other phone or email requests may take longer to process due a significantly higher call/email volume. If you have not received a reply regarding a request in 2 – 3 business days, then follow up and make sure that your request is being processed. You can take advantage of ordering quickly though our new online pharmacy here […]