I’ve got good news and bad news. First, the good: summer is almost here. Now the bad: it’s time to do battle with nasty pests and seasonal allergies on behalf of our pets. Fortunately, we have everything you need to keep your cat and dog happy, healthy, and safe this summer.
Take these three steps now to get Fido or Fluffy ready for the summer:
Step 1: Protect from heartworms. Mosquitoes hatch in warm weather. They’re the most dangerous parasite for pets because they carry heartworm, which can be deadly. If your dog or cat isn’t on a year-round heartworm medication regimen, now is time to start. Many heartworm treatments also protect your pet from dangerous intestinal worms including whipworm, roundworm, and hookworm. Talk to your veterinarian about which medication is right for your pet then shop with us — we stock a wide range of heartworm medications.
Step 2: Fight fleas and ticks. The two most irritating pests—fleas and ticks – flourish in the summer. Flea bites not only make your pet miserable, they can transmit tapeworms. And if your pet has a flea infestation, your home may be infested too and that is a huge nuisance.
Ticks may be a little less irritating than fleas (no less gross, though), but they’re more dangerous because they can transmit Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and Ehrlichosis.
Prevention is your best defense when it comes to fleas and ticks. Look for broad- spectrum treatments that prevent fleas and ticks from getting on your pet, and kill all stages of existing fleas and ticks – both adults and immature forms. There are several new preventatives that combine medications with new, more convenient dosing processes. Be sure to get your vet’s recommendation first. Click here to see VetRxDirect’s flea and tick newsletter.
Step 3: Treat allergies. It’s allergy season for humans and pets alike. Pets can develop allergic reactions to flea bites, grasses, pollen, mold, and even foods. How do you know if your pet has allergies? Look for symptoms including skin irritation, scratching, wheezing, and ear infections. We have a many oral and topical allergy treatments for dogs and cats. Talk to your vet about what treatment is best for your pet’s condition.
Here’s to a fun, healthy summer for you and your pet!
Just as it is for us, skin is the single largest organ for both dogs and cats. As a result, it is subject to a whole host of problems, the most common of which is dermatitis. Although all domesticated animals with feathers or fur scratch and lick every now and then, when the itching is nearly nonstop, the problem may be a diagnosable disorder. There are many reasons why your furry friend is scratching incessantly. Fortunately, all of them are treatable.
Types of Dermatitis in Pets
Environmental, parasitic, infectious, and allergic reactions are quite common in pets, but may be difficult to diagnose, since there are many causal agents. The nutritional form of the disease, on the other hand, is typically much easier to treat. Often the result of cheap pet foods, these brands do not contain the protein, vitamins, and minerals your dog or cat needs with each meal. As a result, his coat may become dry and dull and hair loss may ensue. Dry, flaky skin is another common symptom.
Signs of Nutritional Dermatitis in Pets
As much as their owners may love them, millions of cats and dogs live their entire lives in discomfort because they consume low quality pet foods. Most of these economical brands are chock-full of unhealthy fillers and ingredients our pets literally cannot stomach. In more extreme cases, diarrhea, vomiting, and loss of appetite inevitably ensue. But for the average cat or dog, itching and scratching are the most common symptoms of nutritional dermatitis.
Even after their pets exhibit the aforementioned symptoms, some owners are reluctant to switch their pet’s food. It isn’t because they don’t care. In most cases, they believe the labels on the cans, bags, and boxes describe nearly every food as “complete and nutritionally balanced.”
How to Fight Nutritional Dermatitis in Pets
Our cats and dogs are mainly meat eaters. So, when you feed them foods that contain corn, wheat, and soy, it’s no wonder they have trouble processing it. Proper nutrition can and often does improve minor health issues, such as dry skin. It can also make a remarkable difference in comfort and quality of life. With that said, improved eating habits alone may not be enough to restore your pet’s coat and skin. When combined with a healthy diet and prescription medications, supplements can help clear up most acute or chronic skin problems.
What are omega fatty acids for pets?
Americans have always adored panaceas. Hey, who wouldn’t A single pill or nostrum that can solve all our problems…what could be better? Omega fatty acids are the latest catholicon pet owners have embraced with open arms. A blend of acids derived from natural oils, they are said to support heart and skin health. But do they really work?
Although they may not be a cure-all, there is amble evidence to suggest fatty acid supplements are salubrious for both humans and their pets. When taken on a daily basis, they can be used to treat the itching and scratching often associated with dry and flaky skin.
Common Omega Fatty Acid Supplements for Pets
Omega 3, 6, 9 for Dogs and Cats:Sold in soft gel capsules, this daily supplement provides all the healthy benefits of fatty acids in a single dose. Although it is formulated for management, Omega supplements can also help restore normal coat and skin health in pets that suffer from pruritis and seborreheic diseases and conditions. This particular medication contains heavy doses of Vitamins A and E and other natural antioxidants, which have been proved to add moisture to dry skin.
Optima 365: A dog or cat with dry or unhealthy skin will invariably have a dull, lackluster coat. Some pets even experience increased shedding because their skin is dry and flaky. A daily supplement can help correct these problems in short order. Most contain Omega fatty acids, which can produce real results in only a few weeks.
Sold in chewable tablets and liquid form, Optima 365 is an oral supplement for dogs and cats. Numerous laboratory tests have shown that it can significantly reduce shedding, particularly in aging dogs. Skin and coat health should improve soon after the supplement is administered.
Essential Fatty Acids: A topical solution sold in spray form, this Essential Fatty Acids supplement contains omega fatty acids mixed with natural moisturizing factors. It is designed specifically to replenish the epidermal barrier in dogs and cats to restore proper moisture balance to skin immediately following medicated or routine shampooing.
Have you tried any of these products or any other omega fatty acid supplement with your pet. Let us know you experiences and suggestions in the comments section below. Thank you.
We’ve all been bummed out by receiving “0 results” when searching for a product or drug, but did you know VetRxDirect is also concerned by this message. Our system quietly logs every single search query and tabulates the results so we can quickly identify needed pet medications.
Recently, our system notified us of three important products missing from our inventory. Specifically, these exact terms were at the top of the list: ofloxacin, minocycline and Bactrim.
We did our homework and located the following products which now appear on our online pharmacy:
Ofloxacin Eye Drops: Ofloxacin is an ophthalmic solution medication used in dogs and cats primarily to treat bacterial infections. It is now available in a 5mL and 10mL Dropper Bottle at VetRxDirect.
Minocycline Capsules: Minocycline is an antibiotic used in dogs and cats to treat many bacterial infections as prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian. These capsules are now available in 50mg and 100mg strengths at VetRxDirect. Many pet owners and veterinarians may be searching for minocycline as a possible replacement for Doxycycline.
Sulfamethoxazole and Trimethoprim Double Strength Tablets: These tablets are the generic drug of Bactrim and are a broad-spectrum antibiotic used in dogs and cats to treat many infections as prescribed by your pet’s veterinarian.
Please continue to use our search function to easily find your pet’s medication and help us identify needed products for dogs and cats.
Let us know which products you’re having trouble finding by leaving a note in the comments section below. You never know, we might be able to find the medication and add it to our site.
Most cats experience symptoms of renal deficiency later in their lives. The chronic or sudden condition occurs when the kidneys can no longer remove waste products from the blood. When these toxins accrete, the buildup can cause uremic poisoning, which is a leading cause of death in domesticated cats.
Causes of Renal Failure in Cats
Sudden renal failure is often the result of a blockage in the lower urinary tract or a bladder defect, most of which are congenital. An injury such as a pelvic fracture or trauma to the abdomen can also cause kidney problems. Rapid dehydration due to shock is another common explanation. And when blood flow to the kidneys is reduced due to heart failure, your feline friend may experience signs of renal failure. Lastly, poisoning, especially from imbibing antifreeze, can result in kidney problems.
There are three main differences between the chronic and sudden forms of the disease: the former takes several years to develop, almost always involves older cats, and can be managed with the right prescription medications. The most common cause of chronic renal problems in cats is nephritis, which is a failure of the renal tubules. Infectious diseases such as feline peritonitis and leukemia are also culprits.
Symptoms of Renal Failure in Cats
Feline renal failure could accurately be described as a silent killer, since cats do not begin to show signs of the disease until irreparable damage has been done. Symptoms of uremic poisoning, for example, are not normally reported until about seventy percent of the cat’s nephrons (the filtering units in their kidneys) have been destroyed.
One of the first and most common symptoms of feline renal failure is an increase in micturition. Even cats that have been be housebroken for decades may urinate on the rug if they have kidney problems. It is not their fault, of course, since the malfunctioning organs rob them of control. Because they are no longer able to conserve water, your feline friend may visit his litter box several times each day. And when the box begins to stink, he may be forced to relieve himself outside of it.
The increase in urination is a result of increased fluid intake, which is caused by the inability of the kidneys to literally hold their water. Bacterial infections are also far more common in cats with renal failure because the vital organs are not doing their job, i.e., removing waste from the bloodstream.
As the disease inevitably advances and renal function deteriorates, your cat will retain dangerous amounts of waste products, such as nitrogen, acids, and ammonia. This may lead to uremic poisoning, which can be fatal. Other symptoms of the disease include sluggishness, loss of appetite and consequently weight, oral ulcers, a dry and/or dull coat, and malodorous breath. At the last stages, the patient may experience anemia, diarrhea, vomiting, and gastrointestinal bleeding.
Diagnosis of Renal Failure in Cats
Veterinarians utilize a number of effective techniques and tests to determine whether or not your cat’s kidneys are failing, including X-rays, ultrasound, bloodwork, and urinalysis. Although there is no cure for either the chronic or sudden form of the disease, early detection and treatment can slow the progression of renal failure and extend your pet’s life by several years. Let us take a moment to discuss two of the most popular prescription medications for feline kidney failure.
Lactated Ringer’s Solution:Also known as subcutaneous fluids or sub-Qs, Lactated Ringer’s solution are fluids administered under the cat’s skin, i.e., with a needle and IV line. As unpleasant as the process is for most pet owners, it is absolutely necessary, since it helps provide hydration after blood flow through the kidneys is reduced. Without it, your pet may vomit frequently, suffer from diarrhea, and even stop drinking. It is important to note that sub-Qs won’t cure damaged kidneys, but they can help your pet get the most out of the remaining healthy kidney tissue.
Most cats respond positively to the treatment and experience few side effects. More often than not, they feel better after hydration and can survive for several additional years, which is why it is the most popular treatment for both forms of the disease. The only cats that cannot safely take sub-Qs are those with serious or chronic heart problems. Extra fluids can put additional pressure on their already compromised systems and may lead to sudden expiration.
Rebound OES: No matter how much your cat drinks, he/she may still experience symptoms of dehydration if the kidneys are failing. Rebound is an effective and easy-to-use electrolyte and fluid replacer administered in liquid form. Formulated by veterinarians and feline nutritionists, it helps combat the symptoms of dehydration that are associated with renal failure, abdominal trauma, surgery, and gastrointestinal disorders.
According to a recent study, more than two-thirds of the people suffering from some form of arthritis are over the age of 65. In other words, arthritis is predominately a gerontic disease, or one that affects the elderly disproportionately. But even this definition is inadequate. The fact is just about every active species on Earth suffers from the disorder. Paleontologists have discovered evidence of osteoarthritis, the most common type of the disease, in dinosaurs. Homo sapiens have been documenting cases of arthritis for nearly seven thousand years now. How about our furry friends?
Because they cannot complain about their pain, cases of feline and canine arthritis have gone untreated since prehistory. There is little doubt dogs and cats have been suffering from the disease since they were first brought into human settlements. Because they are bigger and they age at a slightly faster rate, canines are more likely to be diagnosed with arthritis than their feline counterparts. According to some estimates, about twenty percent of adult dogs suffer from some form of the disease.
The most common cause of chronic arthritis in dogs is inflammation, which is caused by infection or biomechanics and is almost always degenerative, i.e., it gets worse over time. In most cases, pain and discomfort occur because there is not enough cartilage surrounding and protecting the moving joints. When these sensitive, connective, and unprotected bones rub together, the patient invariably experiences discomfort or even acute pain.
Most of dogs diagnosed with arthritis have osteoarthritis, which is often purely mechanical. Degraded and deteriorating joints cause pain because of cartilage loss, and the patient simply cannot move around like he/she used to. Natural consequences of decreased physical activity include weight gain, lethargy, chronic muscle injuries, and depression. Yes, your pet dog can become depressed if unable to enjoy an active lifestyle.
What are the symptoms of arthritis in dogs?
An animal with arthritis will find it more difficult to perform almost every activity, from running and jumping to walking up the stairs or even sitting and standing. Anything putting additional pressure on joints will hurt and thusly will be avoided as the disease progresses. Fortunately, the chronic condition can be treated, but not cured. Just like their people, pets respond to pain-relieving drugs known as analgesics. Depending on the degree of degeneration, your dog’s doctor may prescribe a number of medications designed to increase comfortable and manage pain in your dog. These tablets and pills are more than mere stopgap solutions, they can actually help him recover and build up his strength a bit.
Novox (carprofen) Caplets:A non-steroidal anti-inflammatory prescription medication, Novox (carprofen) helps relieve pain and inflammation in dogs suffering from chronic arthritis. Lab tests and studies have returned mostly positive results and few negative side effects. The most common corollary is a simple stomach ache that may eventually lead to ulcers. It is for this reason that the medication should always be given with your pet’s favorite food. Dog lovers should do their best to administer Novox (carprofen) caplets once a day at the same time each day, which may greatly reduce the risk of potential side effects.
ArthriEase-GOLD:A popular supplement with humans, glucosamine, one of the primary ingredients in ArthriEase-GOLD, helps promote joint tissue health. This product also includes chondroitin sulfate used to improving symptoms of arthritis, hyaluronic acid which acts like a cushion and lubricant for joints, and MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) used to help control pain.
Once again, most forms of arthritis are degenerative. They will get worse over time. But with the right prescription medications and supplements, it is possible to alleviate joint and muscle pain in our pets. Affordable and relatively easy to administer, all of the medications we discussed today may improve the quality of your dog’s life and allow your pet to live out the remaining years in fine fettle.
Protect Your Pet – Heartworm InfoGraphic Presented by the American Heartworm Society
One of the most serious diseases your pet can contract, heartworms are transmitted by the bite of an infected mosquito. If left untreated, the larvae will grow into mature worms that settle in the heart and the lungs. An affected dog or cat will tire easily, cough incessantly, and may succumb to the disease after a long and painful period of time. Because there is only one approved treatment for heatworms in dog and zero in cats, prevention is key.
Heartworm Tests for Dogs and Cats
It is important to start your canine or feline friend on a monthly heartworm preventative. First, your veterinarian may need to test your pet for heartworms before safely prescribing a preventative. Dogs should be tested every 12 months and pets should be on a preventative 12 months a year.
Advantage Multi: Available in both feline and canine versions, Advantage Multi protects your pet from heartworm disease and other parasites, including fleas, hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms. A single dose once a month is all you need to kill these fearsome freeloaders before they mature. Always consult your veterinarian before administering any prescription medication. In most cases, Advantage Multi is completely safe for puppies and kittens over two months old. On rare occasion, an animal may have an underlying health condition that prevents early treatment. The topical drug is safe, affordable, and easy to apply.
Heartgard Plus:Formulated for dogs, Heartgard Plus kills heartworms, hookworms, and roundworms. These tasty chewables are safe for dogs six weeks or older, although it is important to consult your veterinarian before administering any prescription medication. This goes double if your pet is pregnant or has any underlying medical condition, especially a chronic one.
Like other preventatives, these once-monthly chewables contain FDA-approved drugs to control heartworms and other parasites.
Iverhart Max: Because it is a common disease, there are a number of safe and effective chewables used to prevent heartworm disease in dogs. Iverhart Max tablets are flavored chewable tables sold in monthly doses. In addition to guarding them from heartworm disease, they can also be used to treat hookworm, tapeworm, and roundworm infestations. Although the label says it is safe for dogs eight week of age and older, it is always best to consult your veterinarian before you give your canine friend any drug or supplement. If he has an underlying medical issue, a new medication could cause complications.
Sentinel (milbemycin oxime / lufenuron) is a palatable one-a-month prescription heartworm and flea preventative pill for dogs and puppies. Sentinel also controls some intestinal parasites. See the product’s package insert and ask your veterinarian for more information.
Sentinel’s arrival on our shelves is just in time for spring. Now is the time when many dog owners make appointment with their pet’s veterinarian for spring exams, including a heartworm test. This is also a good time to ask your veterinarian if your dog should switch to sentinel or stay on his/her current heartworm preventative. Your veterinarian who has examined your pet is the best source for this information.
Recently, VetRxDirect received the following 2 out of 5 star rating review from user evan-990 over at ResellerRatings.com:
“Cannot get them to send me invoices with vets name and date of order. My pet insurance will not accept anything less, so I have been unable to send them claims.”
All of us at VetRxDirect want to provide a pet meds pharmacy where our customers can easily place online orders and receive fast, accurate deliveries at affordable costs without hang-ups.
In response to the above review, VetRxDirect now lists your pet’s name and veterinarian on our mailed invoices. You will now be able to easily submit our invoices to pet medical insurance plans after you receive your pet’s order. Be sure to follow the insurance company’s instructions when submitting claims.
Here is an example of a product line item on VetRxDirect’s improved invoice:
All of our invoices clearly display the order date at the top of the page.
If you have any other suggestions or ideas for invoice improvements, please let us know in the comments suggestions below.
As much as human beings complain about getting older, we don’t have it nearly as bad as our pets. Because they have much shorter life spans, they experience accelerated aging, which often results in age-related illnesses. Arthritis, heart disease, diabetes, hearing loss, and other chronic and degenerative diseases often affect our canine friends from middle age on. One of the most serious disorders is glaucoma, since it can lead to complete and total blindness.
What is glaucoma in dogs?
The eye is one of the most sensitive and sophisticated structures in the body of most mammals. And like any other organ, it wears out over time. Glaucoma occurs when the ciliary body produces more fluid in the eye than is needed. This fluid helps our pets keep their eyes clean and protects them from dirt and dust and other debris that might cause damage. But when this vital lubricant becomes superfluous, it can increase the pressure on the retina and the optic nerve, which often adversely affects or impairs vision.
What are the types of glaucoma in dogs?
Since it is highly heritable, some breeds are susceptible to primary glaucoma. Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and other breeds are far more likely to suffer from the disorder as they age. And after the first eye is damaged, the other one follows suit in about half of all cases, resulting in total blindness.
Secondary glaucoma occurs when another eye disease causes trauma to an eye that is affected with the disease. A disease such as uveitis, for example, can result in severe and expedited symptoms of glaucoma if it is not treated as soon as possible.
Like most age-related conditions, glaucoma can be either chronic or acute, depending on how quickly and aggressively the symptoms develop. In most cases, an eye that is affected with acute glaucoma is incredibly painful, and therefore much easier to detect. Even though your dog can’t talk, your furry friend will blink and squint and even cry from the pain. In advanced cases, the eye will not look normal. Because the pupils may be enlarged, it often results in a fixed, blank stare, much like a shark’s eyes. In other words, they will appear lifeless or dead.
Symptoms of Glaucoma in Dogs
Overproduction of fluid and the inability to get rid of it can cause a whole host of problems. They include headaches, excessive blinking, a cloudy appearance, dilated pupils, redness in the whites of the eyes, and partial or total vision loss. Many of these signs are obviously difficult to discern, since your pet cannot articulate them to you. But there are a few simple tests any dog lover can use to check his best friend’s eyes.
No, you won’t need an eye chart! Simply stand a few paces away and move a favorite toy from side to side. Do not use food, since your dog’s heightened sense of smell will enable him to follow it without his eye. But if you use a ball or a rubber bone, he won’t be able to focus on it if his vision is impaired, in which case he should be taken to the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Treatment of Glaucoma in Dogs
Both acute and chronic forms of the disease can and often are extremely expensive to treat. Surgery is an option, but it is quite costly and potentially dangerous, which is why most dog owners choose to manage the pain with eye drops. Most require a prescription, including the following drugs.
Dorzolamide Eye Drops for Dogs:A generic drug available in drop form, Dorzolamide can help decrease the pressure in eyes that are affected by primary glaucoma. These eye drops can also be used to help prevent the disease in an unaffected or good eye. The success rate of the treatment always depends on the extent of the damage and how early and often doses are administered.
Latanoprost Eye Drops for Dogs: Like the aforementioned medication, Latanoprost is a generic ophthalmic eye drop that helps reduce intraocular pressure, since that is what causes glaucoma and the consequent vision problems. For optimal results, it must be given on a daily basis, or as instructed by your veterinarian.
Flurbiprofen Eye Drops for Dogs: An anti-inflammatory eye drop solution, this generic drug can help alleviate the most painful symptoms of canine glaucoma. The prescription medication must be administered on a regular basis to be effective. Flurbiprofen Sodium can be used to treat both the primary and secondary types of glaucoma. Veterinarians recommend using it in affected and unaffected eyes, since it may prevent or at least slow the development of the disease in good eyes.
If your dog has been prescribed eye drops for glaucoma share your story in our comments below where members of our online community learn from each other.
Congestion. Coughing. Fever. We’ve all felt it – the dreaded flu. Cats get the flu, too. Only, when cats get the flu some chicken soup and a few days in bed don’t help them overcome this pervasive, long-term infection. Every cat owner ought know about this illness and recognize the symptoms. Read on…
What is the “cat flu?”
The “cat flu” is a group of feline upper respiratory infections, most caused by one of two viruses: feline viral rhinotracheitis (FVR) or feline calicivirus (FCV). You might also hear these infections referred to as cat herpes or feline herpes.
Symptoms of feline respiratory infection include:
Chronic nasal discharge
Loss of appetite
Discharge from the eyes
How do cats get upper respiratory infections?
Feline respiratory infection is spread through cat-to-cat contact in multi-cat households, shelters, and boarding situations. When cats share food and water bowls, groom themselves, cough, and sneeze they shed the virus, which other cats can pick up. Once a cat is infected with the feline herpes virus she carries it for life and may experience flare-ups of the illness throughout her lifetime. Even when the infected cat isn’t experiencing symptoms, she can transmit the virus to other cats throughout her life.
What do I do if my cat gets a feline respiratory infection?
If you think your cat has the cat flu, visit your veterinarian right away for an exam and treatment recommendations. Because this virus is so contagious, it’s important to confirm the diagnosis – don’t just rely on your own judgment of the symptoms! Then take action including isolating your cat from any other cats so the disease does not spread. If your cat doesn’t get treatment, this virus can lead to more serious medical conditions.
How can I prevent my cat from getting a feline respiratory infection?
Unfortunately, you can’t completely protect your cat from feline respiratory infection, but there are some things you can do:
Make sure your cat has all his vaccinations and is good physical shape
Try to limit the amount of time your cat spends in boarding situations
Reduce stress on your cat because stress can cause flare-ups of feline respiratory infection