Lucerne Veterinary Hospital Blog

Veterinary Rehabilitation: A Valuable Tool for Pet Health

Lucerne_iStock_000019808130_LargeDid you know that Lucerne Veterinary Hospital offers veterinary rehabilitation therapy as part of our offerings to our pet patients? Pet rehab therapy is very similar to human physical therapy, and is an integral part in the management of any orthopedic procedure or chronic condition in the veterinary world.

What is Veterinary Rehabilitation?

Physical rehabilitation is a common modality for treating injury or disease, and to decrease pain. This may involve decreasing inflammation and muscle spasms and increasing strength and range of motion. A veterinarian who has been trained in veterinary rehabilitation understands the relationships between muscles, bones, tendons, ligaments, and nerves within the body and is able work with the pet to encourage healing and pain relief. Continue…

Heartworm Prevention: Protecting Your Dog, Year Round

Lucerne_iStock_000003834718_LargeFebruary may seem like a strange time to discuss heartworms. After all, we tend to associate mosquitoes – which carry the disease – with warm weather and lakeside fun; and let’s face it, it’s not exactly lakeside fun season. However, heartworm can be a threat to your pet year-round, due to the disease’s six-month incubation period.

Heartworm occurs in animals in every state – and, despite popular opinion, can be found in indoor-only pets, too (mosquitoes get into the house, right?). Even here in Maine, where heartworm isn’t nearly the problem that it is in the Southern states, pet owners should remain vigilant to the threat of the disease, as animals already infected with the disease are commonly found visiting our state, either as tourists with their families, or in the population of rescue animals transported across state lines for adoption. Likewise, wild animals, like coyotes and foxes, can also carry heartworm and serve as a reservoir for the disease, as well.

Also, it was recently confirmed that there exists a resistant strain of Heartworm – so far it has only been documented in the Mississippi Delta area, but this strain is resistant to all the preventives currently on the market. One thing that may have promoted this resistance is having dogs on sporadic or insufficient prevention, and one way we can try to slow the spread of this resistance is to keep as many dogs as possible on regular heartworm prevention, year-round. Continue…

Pot and Pets: What You Need to Know

Lucerne_iStock_000045727868_LargeNo matter where you live in the United States, old conceptions about the dangers of marijuana and the state and municipal laws that criminalize its use have been challenged. Whether we’re discussing the legal use of medical marijuana or the recent legalization of recreational pot, such as in Colorado and Washington State, many pet owners are additionally tasked to understand the risks and dangers regarding pot and pets.

Of course, most of us have heard anecdotal stories – coming back from class to find the dog or cat “stoned” from getting into your stash. But, beyond the general onslaught of misinformation out there about pot and pets, it’s important to explore marijuana’s effects and how it can pose risks to your pet. Continue…

posted in:  Pet Health

Are You Prepared for a Pet Emergency?

Lucerne_iStock_000022610052_LargeMost of us have known someone whose pet has experienced an emergency. Indeed, you may have had to respond to such a frightening and serious situation with your own pet. In these cases, we are almost always caught off guard and sometimes do not know how to act on our pet’s behalf.

We often hear that medical emergencies are best dealt with through quick thinking, remaining calm, and applying our emergency preparedness tools and first-aid skills. This is also true for pet emergencies.

Unfortunately, our pets cannot directly tell us what is wrong, and symptoms can sometimes be subtle. That’s why it is even more important to have a solid understand of what constitutes a pet emergency and how to intervene. Continue…

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