Dr. Risser's Column: March 2008

Dr. Risser's Column: March 2008

March 1st marks the first anniversary of the opening of Fall Creek Veterinary Medical Center! It has been a entirely enjoyable, often challenging, and thoroughly rewarding year. Many thanks to all of you and your pets that have offered us such a great start, and thanks to my staff who “make it all go.” We have made many new animal friends over this year and said goodbye to a few dear pets who have passed away. In it all, we are excited about the possibilities for our second year, and continue to appreciate the comments you send our way and your referrals of friends and neighbors.

The Recommended List

With spring finally approaching, we will be seeing nature coming alive again. But hyacinths also herald mosquitoes, warm days for roses also nurture fleas and ticks. Petunias and parasites, unfortunately, must coexist during warmer days. Some of the following will be my own recommendations for anti-parasitic products for cats and dogs, among the growing number of options out there.

I would love to do a “Dr. Risser Recommends…” list that includes my exquisite tastes in literature, film, and fine wine, but that makes several invalid assumptions:

  1. I have any real knowledge of any of those things whatsoever, much less good taste.
  2. My opinion counts for anything that anyone would care about.
  3. I have left the house or the practice long enough to experience anything cultured anyway.
  4. My ego, bruised by three preschoolers that can outsmart me daily, is strong enough to even recommend anything of substance.

So, instead, here’s the less cultured, but utterly practical, list of what I like best among what is out there. Keep in mind that we continue to stock some other products (also listed) if your personal favorite isn’t listed.

Heartworm Preventative:

Interceptor is my top pick for dogs. While Heartgard is a close second, I like the fact that Interceptor has broader protection against the intestinal parasites, particularly whipworms. With a lot of the neighborhoods in the general vicinity of the practice arising from reclaimed farmland, whipworms may be a greater threat here than in some other areas. I also recommend giving prevention year ‘round now, with unpredictable winter temperatures (blame global warming if you will) offering some threat for infection with heartworm and intestinal parasites even in otherwise “cold” months. We also stock Revolution (a topical which also treats fleas and ticks) and Sentinel (basically Interceptor with a “flea birth control” drug added).

Heartgard (oral) or Revolution (topical) are my top picks for heartworm prevention in cats. We truly don’t know the full incidence of heartworm disease in cats (they can be quite difficult to diagnose), but know that there have been many confirmed cases in Indiana.

Revolution has the benefit of also treating fleas, ticks, and ear mites, but is more expensive. Please contact the office for advice on heartworm preventatives in cats, including your own cat’s risk factors.

Flea/ Tick Preventative/ Treatment

Frontline remains my top pick for control of fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. It is applied topically, is very safe for pets and human family members, and is effective for a month. It has the added benefit of being waterproof, so swimming pets will continue to be protected. We also carry:

Advantage, very good in its own right, which is effective against fleas, but not ticks. Again, Revolution will also cover fleas and ticks when applied correctly.

Next month’s recommended list (if you can contain your curiosity long enough) will be for the following:

  • Urine/ Pet Stain eliminators for carpet
  • Dental Care treats/ chews
  • Shampoos for “normal” skin

We continue to feel privileged to care for your pets, and want to be available to address any concerns or questions you have. Please phone or e-mail anytime.