Weekly Scoop
September 23, 2020

Does your pet need a vet specialist? What vaccines are most important and why?

Our intent is NOT to take the place of your Vet's recommendations or directions. They know what is best for your pets. However, these articles will provide you with additional knowledge and new knowledge is always helpful.

Included in this edition of the newsletter:

  • What do board-certified veterinary specialist do?
  • Three Charlotte Area Vet Specialists
  • What are vaccines and why do they matter?
  • What is heartworm disease?
  • 13 Tricks to get your uncooperative dog to take a pill
  • How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Yes, Even to a Difficult Cat)

A huge thanks for your continued support and feedback!

It takes a village!
Terry Richardson
What do board-certified veterinary specialist do?
American Veterinary Medical Associations (AVMA)
A board-certified veterinary specialist is a veterinarian who has completed additional training in a specific area of veterinary medicine and has passed an examination that evaluates their knowledge and skills in that specialty area. Currently, there are 22 AVMA-Recognized Veterinary Specialty Organizations™ or RVSOs comprising 41 distinct specialties. Veterinarians can be specialists in many areas, including behavior, ophthalmology, internal medicine, surgery, dentistry, and more. The RVSOs are referred to as colleges, but they're not schools or universities.

A board-certified veterinary specialists' expertise compliments that of your animal's primary care veterinarian. You may be referred to a board-certified veterinary specialist if diagnosing or treating your pet's health problem requires specialized equipment and/or expertise that your animal's primary care veterinarian does not have.

It's critical you, your veterinarian, and board-certified veterinary specialist communicate and work together to provide the best care for your pet.

Veterinary specialties
Here's a list of AVMA-Recognized Veterinary Specialty Organizations™ with very brief descriptions of what these specially trained veterinarians do. For more information about the specialties, click the link to go to the website of the specialty college responsible for certifying veterinarians in that specialty:
Anesthesia and analgesia: veterinary specialists who are experts at assessment and mitigation of anesthetic risks, delivery of anesthetic and analgesic drugs, maintaining and monitoring physiologic well-being of the anesthetized patient, and providing the highest levels of perioperative patient care including pain management.
Animal welfare: veterinary specialists with advanced training and experience in animal welfare.
Behavior: veterinary specialists with advanced knowledge of animal behavior and behavior modification.
Dentistry: veterinarians who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of dental, oral, and maxillofacial diseases.
Three Charlotte Area Vet Specialists
Speciality & Emergency Veterinary Care
At Carolina Veterinary Specialists, pets are our passion. We deliver excellence in veterinary care at our 6 locations in North Carolina and South Carolina – because your pet deserves the best.
  • Surgery
  • Internal Medicine
  • Cardiologist
  • Neurology
  • Oncology
  • Radiation Therapy
  • Ophthalmology
  • Avian & Exotics

Our board-certified veterinary specialists offer a wide range of referral-based specialty veterinary services. 
Specialty Veterinarians
We are a specialty veterinary hospital in Matthews, NC. We are here to provide compassionate veterinary care for the pets and their families in our community!

Our internists are board-certified specialists trained in the diagnosis and treatment of various disease such as:
  • immune-mediated diseases
  • resistant infections
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • disturbances with the endocrine system
  • and many others conditions.

Specialty & Emergency Veterinary Care
Charlotte Animal Referral & Emergency (CARE) is a state-of-the-art veterinary facility in Charlotte, NC offering 24/7 emergency care and board-certified specialty care. Specialty services include:
  • internal medicine
  • cardiology
  • critical care
  • neurology
  • surgery
  • oncology
  • ophthalmology 
  • ultrasonography and echocardiography, endoscopy
  • non-invasive surgical procedures
  • rapid-scan CT imaging
  • high-field MRI
  • and others
What are vaccines, and why do they matter?
American Veterinary Medical Associations (AVMA)
Vaccines are products designed to trigger protective immune responses and prepare the immune system to fight future infections from disease-causing agents. Vaccines stimulate the immune system's production of antibodies that identify and destroy disease-causing organisms that enter the body.

Vaccines provide immunity against one or several diseases that can lessen the severity or prevent certain diseases altogether.

Experts agree that widespread use of vaccinations within the last century has prevented death and disease in millions of animals. Vaccinations protect your pet from highly contagious and deadly diseases and improve your pet's overall quality of life.

5 reasons to vaccinate your pet
  1. Vaccinations prevent many pet illnesses.
  2. Vaccinations can help avoid costly treatments for diseases that can be prevented.
  3. Vaccinations prevent diseases that can be passed between animals and also from animals to people.
  4. Diseases prevalent in wildlife, such as rabies and distemper, can infect unvaccinated pets.
  5. In many areas, local or state ordinances require certain vaccinations of household pets.

Do vaccinations ensure protection?
Are there risks to vaccinating my pet?
Why do puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations?
Finish the series?
Which vaccinations should my pet receive?
How often will my pet need to be vaccinated?
What are antibody titers, and do they replace vaccinations?
Do vaccinations have side effects?
What is heartworm disease?
American Heartworm Society
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in pets in the United States and many other parts of the world. It is caused by foot-long worms (heartworms) that live in the heart, lungs and associated blood vessels of affected pets, causing severe lung disease, heart failure and damage to other organs in the body. Heartworm disease affects dogs, cats and ferrets, but heartworms also live in other mammal species, including wolves, coyotes, foxes, sea lions and—in rare instances—humans. Because wild species such as foxes and coyotes live in proximity to many urban areas, they are considered important carriers of the disease.

Dogs. The dog is a natural host for heartworms, which means that heartworms that live inside the dog mature into adults, mate and produce offspring. If untreated, their numbers can increase, and dogs have been known to harbor several hundred worms in their bodies. Heartworm disease causes lasting damage to the heart, lungs and arteries, and can affect the dog’s health and quality of life long after the parasites are gone. For this reason, prevention is by far the best option, and treatment—when needed—should be administered as early in the course of the disease as possible.

Cats. Heartworm disease in cats is very different from heartworm disease in dogs. The cat is an atypical host for heartworms, and most worms in cats do not survive to the adult stage. Cats with adult heartworms typically have just one to three worms, and many cats affected by heartworms have no adult worms. While this means heartworm disease often goes undiagnosed in cats, it’s important to understand that even immature worms cause real damage in the form of a condition known as heartworm associated respiratory disease (HARD). Moreover, the medication used to treat heartworm infections in dogs cannot be used in cats, so prevention is the only means of protecting cats from the effects of heartworm disease.

How is heartworm disease transmitted from one pet to another?
What are the signs of heartworm disease in dogs?
How significant is my pet's risk for heartworm infection?
What do I need to know about heartworm testing?
When should my dog be tested?
What happens if my dog tests positive for heartworms?
How do monthly heartworm preventatives work?
When do I start my dog on heartworm prevention?
Do I need a prescription for my pet's heartworm preventative medication? If so, why?
Is there an effective natural prevention for heartworm?
Is there a vaccine for heartworm disease?
Many more answers to your questions
13 Tricks to get your uncooperative dog to take a pill
DogLab Blog
Getting your dog to take his pill can be one heck of a battle. One that you may find yourself losing.

Most dog’s hate swallowing pills.

This is something that has always puzzled me. I mean, my dog will happily eat cat poop. But a pill? Nope. Apparently that’s where she draws the line.


How do you give your dog a pill?
Surely there has to be an easier way…

There is.

Our favorite method is to use Greenies Pill Pockets.

Not feeling pill pockets? That’s cool…

Read the full article to learn the best tricks for getting your uncooperative dog to take his pills…
  1. Speak to your vet
  2. Open the pill bottle away from your dog
  3. Wash your hands
  4. MIx it in with your dogs meal
  5. Put the pill inside another pill
  6. Hide the pill in a treat
  7. Treat, treat, pill, then treat...
  8. Combine pill time with your daily walk
  9. Work for it
  10. Pretend to eat it
  11. Bring a friend
  12. Crush it up
  13. Use your hand to administer

Here are 8 of the best foods that you can hide a pill in:
  1. Peanut butter
  2. Plain yogurt
  3. Pill pockets
  4. Marshmallows
  5. Hot Dog pieces
  6. Liver Pate
  7. Chicken Hearts
  8. Sardine
How to Give Medicine to a Cat (Yes, Even to a Difficult Cat)
Dr. Debora Lichtenberg, VMD
Hard truth: There is no “one technique” that enables all people to give pills to all cats. Here’s my best advice.

As a veterinarian, I’ve been tasked with medicating thousands of cats over the years. And whether I’m trying to show people how to give medicine to a cat or medicating my own beloved felines, it’s a challenge!
Many fabulous cats have shared my household over the past 40 years. I lost count at 50 (not all at the same time).
Quite a few of these cats lived in my home or shared a big feline life in my big barn of a veterinary hospital because their families had given up on them.

And why did these people give up on them?
Because often they didn’t understand exactly how to give medicine to a difficult cat — or they simply didn’t want to bother with it.
I am here to tell you this is a serious topic indeed, and one that’s close to my own heart. Many cats are euthanized because people can’t give their cat a pill. That’s not good.

The Veterinarian’s Job
  • Honestly discuss with you how much you know about how to give medicine to a cat.
  • Ask how much experience you’ve had medicating this particular cat.
  • Go over all the formulations available for the specific medication, such as pill, liquid and transdermal.
  • If the cat needs polypharmacy (many medications for a complicated illness or multiple illnesses), talk honestly with you about which medications are the most important or consider having several meds compounded together when possible.
  • Have a veterinary technician spend time with you to show exactly how to administer the medication to your cat.

It’s easy for vets to send home a week’s worth of pills and not talk to the client about it. In many cases, these cats will not get their full dose of medication.

So, What’s the Trick Here?

It’s time for a hard truth …
There is no “one technique” that enables all people to give pills to all cats.
Below, we’ll discuss a few different methods, starting with willing cats (easy enough) and then working our way to the unwilling cats (impossible to pill).

First, let’s run down a few important facts:
  • Fact: Some cats can’t be pilled.
  • Fact: Some people are physically or emotionally unable to pill a cat.
  • Fact: It’s important to establish the medication routine early so the cat will be able to get the meds they need in some form or other.
  • Fact: The human–animal bond is very important, and giving medication shouldn’t jeopardize that.
  • Fact: It’s up to you and the vet to work this out.
Your sitters and walkers love caring for your pet family!
Thanks for tipping. They greatly appreciate it!
LIttle Friends Pet Sitting and Dog Walking | 704.340.8102 info@littlefriendspetsitting.com | littlefriendspetsitting.com