Does Your Senior Pet Need a Supplement?

Heathly Aging Pet Supplement

Courtesy of jenny downing/Flickr

“Ahhh, my aching knees!” “My poor back!” “I can’t remember where I left my bone!” If your aging dog or cat could talk, he’d sound like a lot of older folks who suffer from age-related aches, pains, and dementia.

Of course, getting older is a fact of life for people and pets. While no one has found the fountain of youth, there are ways to make your pet more comfortable as she ages.

Adjust activity levels – Aging dogs and cats still need exercise, but for dogs especially, lengthy walks and rambunctious play at the dog park is often more than senior dogs can handle.  Consider taking a few shorter walks and throwing the ball for your dog in the backyard instead.

Visit your vet more regularly – Many veterinarians like to see older dogs and cats every six months instead of annually. This helps them keep on top of current health issues and spot new problems early on.

Focus on feeding – Appetites and nutritional needs change as pets age. Some pets need less food, others may need more, and many just need a different formula. Talk to your veterinarian about switching to a high quality geriatric dog or cat food. Also ask about how much you should feed your pet and how often.

Give your dog a boost – Getting into the car, jumping up on the couch, and going down the stairs are hard for pets with arthritis and aging joints. If your pet has trouble getting around your house, look in to ramps, stairs, and other devices to make favorite places more accessible.

Add a supplement – Nutritional supplements can help ease age-related problems including aching joints, deteriorating eyesight, and cognitive problems. Ask your veterinarian if your pet could benefit from a supplement.

The makers of the popular Ocu-Glo products for improved eyesight offer a full line of  all-natural nutritional supplements. Among many others, we stock Healthy Aging Vet, specially formulated for geriatric dogs and cats.

Healthy Aging Vet enhances brain function, may relieve inflammation due to exercise, supports eye health, and helps maintain a normal emotional balance in older cats and dogs.  The natural active ingredients in Healthy Aging Vet are bilberry, Korean Ginseng, and Gingko Biloba.

What makes this line of nutritional supplements so popular is that they’re made in the U.S.A. with all natural, pharmaceutical grade ingredients so you can have confidence giving them to your pet.  The small capsules are easy to dose, too – just pop them in a pill pocket or peanut butter and down the hatch they go.

To your senior pet’s health!


Urinary Incontinence in Dogs

Unfortunately some dogs are prone to bladder leakage or not being able to hold their bladder for long periods of time. This is called urinary incontinence. Large breed, female dogs are especially likely to experience urinary incontinence after being spayed because they no longer produce certain hormones. Some male dogs can also develop urinary incontinence; it’s just not as likely. There are a few treatment options available for your pet, but unfortunately the availability of some through VetRxDirect is changing. Please read further about this recent issue and the other possible treatments for urinary incontinence in dogs.

Hormone-dependent urinary incontinence in female dogs:

The urinary sphincter is a part of a dog’s urinary tract and tightens to form a closure when a dog is not urinating. This is what makes a dog able to hold their bladder and to not have any leakage. Spaying a female dog means removing their ovaries and most likely their uterus too. These organs are responsible for producing estrogen and progestin hormones. Sometimes, this decrease in estrogen over time can cause a female dog to become incontinent, or not be able to fully close their urinary sphincter. There are also instances where intact (not spayed) female dogs can experience urinary incontinence related to a decline in estrogen with age.

Hormone-dependent urinary incontinence in male dogs:

Male dogs may also develop urinary incontinence, and it can be caused by being neutered. The neutering process involves removing the testicles, which are responsible for producing the male hormone, testosterone. Testosterone, like estrogen, helps control the urinary sphincter and provides the dog with bladder control. Just like female dogs, male dogs who are not neutered may also develop urinary incontinence due to a decline in testosterone.

Treatment for urinary incontinence in dogs:

There are many other causes of urinary incontinence in dogs, ranging from nerve-related, physical abnormalities, and urinary tract infections. This is why it is important to go through all testing for your dog to find the cause of their urinary incontinence. For dogs with hormone-dependent urinary incontinence, the treatment options can be broken down into two categories: hormone replacement and adrenergic agonists. Below is a short list of possible treatment options for urinary incontinence in dogs, but it does not include all possible treatment options. Each dog requires a specific therapy determined by your dog’s veterinarian.

Male Hormone Replacement: Testosterone shots are a possible treatment for male dogs with urinary incontinence. Testosterone will cause the urinary sphincter to tighten and regain control again. Testosterone shots are usually given through your veterinarian, and they are not available through VetRxDirect.

Incurin (estriol) for urinary incontinence in dogs

Incurin is Available at VetRxDirect Pet Pharmacy

Female Hormone Replacement: Female dogs have two options for hormone replacement: estriol and diethylstilbestrol. Incurin is the brand name product for estriol for dogs, available through VetRxDirect, and it is given to replace estrogen levels. Diethylstilbestrol, commonly known as DES, is a synthetic drug which mimics the body’s natural estrogen, estradiol. There are no manufactured products containing DES, but it is compounded by pharmacies, including VetRxDirect. Diethylstilbestrol is usually given daily for 7-10 days and then reduced to a weekly dose. Both Incurin and DES work by acting as estrogen on the urinary sphincter, causing it to tighten and regain control over urination.

Adrenergic Agonists: Adrenergic agonists can be effective for both male and female dogs. Adrenergic agonists resemble epinephrine or adrenaline and cause the urinary sphincter to tighten, preventing leakage and controlling the bladder. There are several adrenergic agonist drugs available but only phenylpropanolamine has a veterinary approved product, called Proin.

Others: There are many other possible treatments for urinary incontinence due to non-hormonal causes. Your veterinarian will best know which medication is right for your dog based on the cause and potential side effects.

VetRxDirect’s discontinuation of Proin sales:

Phenylpropanolamine, the active ingredient in Proin, can be a precursor to methamphetamine production, so it’s sales and use are controlled under the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005. Most regulatory bodies have tightened the control over the sales of Proin over the years because of its use to create meth. Due to continual changes in state reporting and monitoring of controlled substances, such as Proin, VetRxDirect has made the difficult choice to discontinue selling Proin. The decision was made by weighing the risks versus the benefits of selling Proin. VetRxDirect would like to support the Combat Methamphetamine Epidemic Act of 2005 in reducing the availability of methamphetamine ingredients in the United States to decrease drug addiction and abuse. This decision unfortunately affects our dedicated customers who have purchased Proin and seen benefits in their dog; however, Proin may still be purchased from licensed veterinarians. VetRxDirect has other treatment options to consider as listed above. We apologize for any inconvenience this decision may cause, and we hope to be a continued trusted source for your pet’s medications.

Tips for Hiding Pills from Pets

Tips & Tricks for Hiding Pills

Do you want to take the difficulty out of giving pets pills? Does your pet make a fuss out of eating their medicine? I have personally had issues giving my dog her medicine if its not a flavored, chewable tablet. Some capsules can be sprinkled onto dog food, but it doesnt always cover up the taste of the medicine. I have searched for a better way to get her to take those pesky pills. I have now found solutions to getting the medicine into my dog: Kinn products and Greenies Pill Pockets. We carry the Kinn and Greenies product lines because we believe these products are truly the best. The Greenies line is a trusted source for all pet treats, and the Kinn products allow you to make custom pet treats with your own recipes to hide their medications, including any compounded medications.

Pill Concealment Products for Hiding Pills

Pill Pockets by Greenies:

Greenies has formulated an easy way to give your pets medications by putting them into a hollowed out tasty treat. There are many different flavors for cats and dogs Pill Pockets, and are even available in formulations with real meat! There is also an allergy formula for the more sensitive pets. Pill Pockets come in capsule or tablet sizes for convenient use. To use Pill Pockets, you just have to place the pill inside the hole in the treat, then close the open end by pinching it with your fingers. The treat is then ready for your pets happy eating!

Kudose Pill Concealer by Kinn:

The Kudose pill concealer is a top of the line product for making pills into treats. In a few minutes, you can hide your pets medications into a custom-made treat they will beg to have. You have the power to decide what ingredients are in your pets treats with the Kudose pill concealer. You can make the treats organic, natural, low fat, or grain free! You can make the treats with or without medications. The treat recipe you choose is placed into the bottle, and you then place a Kudose Kapsule (the capsules made for the pill concealer) into the bottom. You can either add a pill into the capsule before filling it with your delicious treat recipe and hide your pets pills, or you can simply fill it with all treat filling. This product is a great way to eliminate preservatives, fillers, and additives from your pets treats, while ensuring your pet gets their full dose of medicine. You can also reduce the anxiety of medicine time with your pet and make them excited about getting a treat. Kinn believes in their products and even offers a 100% money back guarantee if you decide its not for you and your pet. To show you how the Kudose pill concealer is used, we’ve have provided a 50 second video:

Krocodile Pill Splitter and Crusher by Kinn:

If your pet has to take part of a pill or have their medication crushed into their food, you know how frustrating it can be. Inexpensive human pill splitters wear out easily and arent always good for the large pills some dogs have to take. Kinn has brought a pill splitter and crusher into one quality device. The Krocodile pill splitter and crusher allows you to split tablets easily. This pet piller is strong enough for you to step on if you have troubles with your hands. You can also use the Krocodile Kroc Bellys, which are small baggies for you to place the pills in before you crush them. This is a great way to reduce contamination between your different pets pills and it ensures your pet receives their full dose of medication. Below is a video about Kinn Krocodile:

Kase Pill Dispenser by Kinn:

My husband and I camp during the summer and taking our dogs medications with us can be a hassle. The Kase pill dispenser can resolve issues of traveling with pet medications and with giving medications on the go! The Kase pill dispenser is a small metal device which holds six treats or pills with an easy to load and release design. The Kase pill dispenser allows you to get the treat or medication out easily and with one hand. This makes giving pet medications easier when youre on the go, have arthritis, or have general difficulty with your hands. The Kase pill dispenser also protects your pets costly medications from being damaged from breaking during travel. The video below shows how convenient the Kase pill dispenser is to use:

Have you used Pill Pockets or any of the Kinn products to help give your pet pills? Please leave a reply below or jump on over to a product page at VetRxDirect Pet Pharamcy and leave us a product review. We love to hear how products are working directly from pet parents. Thank you.

Dogs and Fireworks

Noise Fear, Anxiety, and Phobia in Dogs

The summer flies by too fast and Independence Day is already almost here! The 4th of July brings great celebrations but the fireworks and noise can make some dogs anxious. Not only do fireworks cause fear of noises (noise phobia); alarms, thunderstorms, gunshots, and other loud noises can be frightening. My dog was in a house fire 2 years ago (she was thankfully unharmed) and she now has a great fear of smoke detectors or any other beeping alarm. For those who have experienced a pet with a fear of certain noises, you know how hard it can be to watch your pet be frightened. There are many medications, prescription and over the counter (OTC), marketed to help with anxiety in dogs, but which medications are actually effective for the fear of noises?

What is normal in dog fears?

It is very hard to define a “normal” in dogs because each one is different and there are differences between breeds. Some breeds may be more prone to having excessive fears or to being more reactive than others. Some dogs may also be more prone due to their training and environment. Fears are normal in dogs and are a part of instincts: Fears were learned by all animals to keep them alive. Fears are a response to something putting your pet in danger and cause a fight or flight response. When your pet is anticipates the event they fear, it is called anxiety. A phobia is a response to a fear that is exaggerated or unhealthy. Fear, anxiety and phobia are commonly confused terms and it can be hard to explain the differences between them. Below is an analogy which may help you understand the differences between the terms.

     Thunderstorm Phobia

  • Fear= the thunderstorm. This is a normal fear because storms are dangerous for animals and the fear causes them to seek shelter to prevent themselves from getting hurt. An example of a behavior of fear would be if a dog wants to come inside the house or their doghouse because it is storming and behaves relatively normal once they are in. This is normal because it is obviously safer for them to be inside.
  • Anxiety = how the pet acts before the storm happens. This would be when the animal senses an incoming storm and paces, hides, or doesn’t act normal before the storm comes. Anxiety is due to the anticipation or waiting for the storm to come because they sense it and know it is something dangerous.
  • Phobia = when the animal is inappropriately afraid. It is normal for dogs to want to come inside or lay low when a storm comes because they know it’s safer. However, if a dog starts panting excessively, hides, excessively licks their lips, becomes aggressive, or shows other abnormal behaviors then it is classified as a phobia.

Behavior modifications before medications in dogs:

The first part of treating noise phobia and anxiety is to change your pet’s behavior during the fearful event. Below is a strategy and some tips to reduce your dog’s fear of noises.

  • Identify the problem causing your dog to be frightened. You can make a journal or record of when your pet gets frightened and what was happening around them. After a while you may notice similarities and identify a cause of their fears.
  • After you have identified the cause of fear, you should try to avoid it. Some things cannot be avoided such as fireworks or thunderstorms, but gunshots and alarms can be prevented. Try to keep your pet away from the noises causing their fear. When it’s storming or fireworks are going off, you can take your dog to a quiet dark room to help reduce their fear. Having a safe room or crate with a blanket over it can be helpful in noisy situations.
  • Don’t get upset or mad with your dog- it only makes their fear worse. By disciplining your dog, you are showing them there is a reason to be afraid.
  • Don’t reward your dog too much. Trying to comfort them or give them treats while they are hiding rewards them for their inappropriate behavior. Don’t give them treats or physical rewards while they are behaving in a fearful or anxious manner.
  • Distract your dog by working on some training exercises. You can work on your dog’s sit, stay, lay down, and other tricks while the noisy event is happening. This can help distract them and keep their mind off their fears. It is a great time to reward your pet while they are working on training exercises. Rewarding your pet during this time teaches them appropriate behaviors during fearful events.
  • Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations they have.

When changing your dog’s behavior doesn’t work:

Some dogs may respond well to behavior changes during the noisy events and others may not. Some dogs can be too anxious, depressed, or hyperactive to even try helping them. When this happens, you should make an appointment with your veterinarian to discuss your dog’s anxiety and fear. Your veterinarian can decide if there are any other behavioral changes you can make or if medications are the best option.
There are many different treatment options for phobias and anxiety in dogs. They include antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, melatonin, dog appeasing pheromones (DAP), milk proteins, plant extracts, supplements, and aromatherapy. Each of these treatment options can work for certain dogs but it just depends on the situation and some may work better than others for your dog. The natural products have the advantage of being OTC but they are also disadvantageous because they aren’t always approved by your veterinarian. It is best to consult your veterinarian prior to starting an OTC anxiety medication in your dog. In general, the OTC products are better for mild cases of phobias and the prescription medications are usually reserved for moderate to severe cases.

Below is a table of OTC and prescription medications used for noise phobia in dogs. Please note VetRxDirect does not sell the prescription anti-anxiety medications because they are controlled substances.

Dogs and Fireworks OTC and Rx Pet Meds

Click Anywhere on the Table for a Full-Size Version

What products have you found to be helpful with dogs and fireworks? We’ve concentrated on dogs today, but please leave any comments about your cats and noise phobias so all pet parents can learn. Thank you.


A Series About Heart Failure: Vetmedin

Why is Vetmedin used in heart failure?

Heart failure is a very complicated disease in dogs and often requires multiple medications. The medications used in heart failure can be difficult to understand. This article aims to address one of the medications used in congestive heart failure, called Vetmedin. Vetmedin is the brand name product for the drug pimobendan but there is no generic currently available. It is important to thoroughly discuss all aspects of Vetmedin and the other medications used in heart failure, so the series will be broken up by class for each article.

Vetmedin for Congestive Heart Failure in Dogs

Vetmedin belongs to a class of drugs called phosphodiesterase III inhibitors (also known as PDE III inhibitors). Along with the human drug, milronone, it is used in dogs with congestive heart failure. PDE III is an enzyme found in the body that usually degrades cAMP. By inhibiting the breakdown of cAMP, PDE III inhibitors increase the force of contraction the heart has each time it beats, as well as relaxes the blood vessels  it pumps blood to. Vetmedin can also slow down the heart so the ventricles can fill with more blood. Vetmedin can help in two different ways;  helps the heart get more blood out to the rest of the body and decreases the resistance it has to pump against. By doing this, it helps with the symptoms of heart failure in dogs, but it does not cure it. Vetmedin has a benefit of not increasing the calcium levels inside the heart cells, making it safer compared to other drugs like milrinone. This is why Vetmedin is used much more commonly in dogs, and VetRxDirect does not carry milrinone.

What are some important things I should know about Vetmedin?

Since Vetmedin increases the force the heart has, it can also cause the heart to get off rhythm which is also called arrhythmias. Vetmedin also relaxes the arteries which may cause low blood pressure leading to falling or fainting. Less serious side effects of Vetmedin include hyperactivity, drooling, and constipation, rash, and anemia. There are also a few reports of Vetmedin causing diabetes. As with most drugs, but especially drugs for heart failure, it is important to weigh the benefits and risks of taking the medication. If you are concerned about the side effects of Vetmedin, consult your veterinarian to see if they think the side effects are likely to happen.

How should I monitor my dog while they’re on Vetmedin?

While your dog is on Vetmedin you should monitor their general mood. Often times, owners can tell if their pet isn’t feeling well. Since this could indicate worsening heart failure or side effects of Vetmedin, it is important to keep in contact with your veterinarian about their overall mood. Vetmedin has a narrow dosage range and overdosage can occur somewhat easier than other medications. Signs your dog may be overdosed on Vetmedin include vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite. If your dog experiences any of these symptoms you need to call your dog’s veterinarian.

What’s new about Vetmedin?

Vetmedin is now available in more dosages from VetRxDirect to tailor to more dogs and thier needs. Vetmedin now comes in 1.25mg, 2.5mg, 5mg and 10mg doses!

This article only addresses one of the medications your dog might be on for congestive heart failure. Tune in for articles about all of the other medications used to better understand the medications your dog may use.

Is your dog on Vetmedin? How has it helped with his or her congestive heart failure? Please leave any remaining questions you have by leaving a reply below. Thank you.


  • Plumb, D. Pimobendan. Plumb’s Veterinary Drug Handbook 7th ed. Pharma Vet Inc. Stockholm, WI. 2011. Pages 637-638
  • Vetmedin Accessed 05/01/2014.

Pet Eye Medications: Glaucoma

Pet Eye Medications Flickr Image

Courtesy of Eric Schmuttenmaer/Flickr

What is inflammation in your pet’s eye?

Many animals can suffer from allergies or diseases that affect their eyes. As a result, they may suffer from inflammation of the conjunctiva, the moist tissue that covers the eye. Eye inflammation can be caused by many different sources such as bacteria, viruses, allergies, cancer, and others. Conjunctivitis, or eye inflammation, can affect dogs and cats and may be detected according to many symptoms: squinting or frequent blinking, redness, discharge from the eye, swelling, etc. Talk with your veterinarian if you believe your pet may be suffering. There are many treatment options available depending on the source of the inflammation.

Blepharitis, inflammation of the eyelid, can also occur in pets. It can be detected as scaly, flaky skin near the eye with intense itching and scratching. Watery mucus or pus may drain from the eye. This can be seen with or without conjunctivitis and has similar causes.

What is glaucoma in the pet’s eye?

Glaucoma is different than eye inflammation but also can occur in dogs and cats. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye with excess pressure in the eye. Excess pressure is a result of too much fluid known as the aqueous humor within the eye. Aqueous humor is a fluid that the eye makes in order to transport nutrients and to maintain the shape of the eye. Glaucoma may be caused by a blocked drainage of the fluid which can lead to a buildup of pressure within the eye. Bulging eyes are often a sign of this pressure buildup. Other signs may include excess squinting or rubbing, watery discharge that is usually clear, or a cloudy or bluish color to the eye. Unfortunately, glaucoma is not a curable disease. Glaucoma often begins in one eye and may spread to the other eye over time and eventually may lead to blindness if the pressure isn’t reduced. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any bulging or signs of glaucoma in your pet’s eyes.

What tests will your pet’s veterinarian perform?

It is important to talk to your veterinarian if you suspect your pet is suffering from inflammation of the eye. They can help determine the cause of inflammation by doing a full examination of your pet’s eyes. The veterinarian can detect foreign materials, test any discharge for bacteria, and also detect any scratches to the eye using a fluorescein stain. He may also need a biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and complete blood count to rule out certain infections. Glaucoma is detected by measuring the intraocular pressure (IOP) within the eye and an internal eye examination using special instruments. There are many treatment options available.

What treatment options are available for your pet?

The treatment option will be selected after the source of the inflammation is determined and will be based on the cause of inflammation. If your pet has a bacterial infection, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics. If the source of inflammation is due to allergies, avoidance of the allergen is the recommended solution. If there is a blockage causing increased pressure in your pet’s eye, surgery may be necessary to reverse the cause. Below are some of the common medications used to treat numerous types of inflammation.

Prednisolone is a corticosteroid used for short periods of time to reduce inflammation, itching, and redness in the eyes of dogs and cats. Long-term topical application of this medication may result in glaucoma. Only use this medication as directed by your veterinarian. It comes in many forms: tablets, oral liquid, eye drops, or injections. Some side effects seen when using prednisolone ophthalmic solution may include blurred vision, eye irritation, and excess discharge from the eyes.

Flurbiprofen is a non-steroidal eye drop that can be used in dogs and cats to treat certain kinds of eye inflammation by reducing puffiness in your pet’s eyes. This medication is not used for the treatment of glaucoma.

Latanoprost can be used to help reduce eye pressure caused by glaucoma. It helps by increasing the drainage from the eye and reducing excess pressure. It is important to use this medication as directed because overuse can lead to development of tolerance. Tolerance to latanoprost may make the medication ineffective in treating glaucoma.

Diclofenac sodium is a product used to treat inflammation of the eye belonging to the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug class, also known as NSAIDs. It inhibits an enzyme called cyclooxygenase (COX) which is needed for the production of prostaglandins. These prostaglandins can cause excess inflammation and pressure buildup in the eye. Damage to the tissues can lead to the production of prostaglandins, but by using diclofenac sodium, you can inhibit this overproduction.

Some pets may experience a large amount of discharge coming from the eyes. Before using any products, gently clean your pet’s eyes. If using multiple products, it is important to wait a few minutes between each application in order to ensure the medication remains in the eye and is not washed out by the next medication or excess tear production. Apply any ointments after applying solutions. Ointments may make it difficult to get the solution into the eye and allow the drug to reach its target area.

When will your pet’s veterinarian prescribe other pet eye medications?

The medications listed above are just a few of the options available for inflammation of the eye. Your veterinarian is the expert about what medication option is best for your pet. If you notice any changes in your pet’s eyes, schedule an appointment today with your veterinarian.

How to apply eye drops and eye ointments to pets?

Eye Solutions and Suspensions:

  1.  Wash your hands.
  2.  Shake your container. Suspensions need to be shaken in order to assure uniform distribution of the drugs in the container. Suspension tend to settle over time.
  3.  Tilt your pet’s head backwards.
  4.  Hold the dropper tip directly over the eye. Make sure not to touch the dropper tip to your pet’s eye. It will help to keep the medication sterile and to prevent contamination.
  5.  Gently pull the lower lid away from the eye to form a pocket.
  6.  Place 1 drop into the pocket.
  7.  Release the eyelid slowly.
  8.  Wait several minutes before administering a second drop or medication. If drops are placed too quickly into the eye. Most of the medication will be blinked out of the eye. The medication will not be as efficacious as needed for the treatment.
  9.  Replace the cap on the container and store according to the package guidelines. Some medications may need to be refrigerated or protected from light. Contact your veterinarian regarding storage requirements.
  1.  Wash hands
  2.  Gently pull the lower lid away from the eye to form a pocket.
  3.  Gently squeeze a small amount of ointment inside the lower lid. Do not touch the tip of the tube to the eye or your fingers.
  4.  Close the eye gently.
  5.  Replace the cap on the container and store according to the package guidelines. Some medications may need to be refrigerated or protected from light. Contact your veterinarian regarding storage requirements.

Helpful tip when applying multiple pet eye medications:

If your pet is using multiple eye products, solutions and suspensions are generally applied first. Applying an ointment before a solution or suspension product will make it difficult for the drop to come in contact with the eye. It is important to remember to always follow the directions given to you by your veterinarian.

What pet eye medications are you currently giving your cat or dog. Can you share any secrets with us on how you manage to apply the medications? Please let comments below or leave a product review on any of our pet eye med product pages. Thank you.

Erika Bitschura

Student Pharmacist


Flee Fleas! How to Get Rid of Fleas

Fleas. Just the word makes your skin crawl. And while I know it’s uncomfortable, it’s time to talk about fleas because the warm weather brings these nuisance bugs out in force. Read this quick Q&A for the topline on protecting your pet.

Q. Is there just one kind of flea?

A. No. There are more than 2000 types of fleas. The most common type of flea in North America is the “cat flea” – it loves dogs and cats. Fleas are hearty too, they can reproduce rapidly and some can live as long as 12 months.

Q. Are fleas dangerous?

A. Some pets just suffer itching and discomfort when they have fleas. Others are actually allergic to flea bites and can have a severe skin reaction called Flea Allergy Dermatitis. Fleas also can transmit tapeworm. Anemia is another issue for some pets with large infestations because one flea can consume up to 15 times its body weight in blood.

Q. When is flea season?

A. Fleas like warm, humid environments so spring and summer are prime flea season throughout much of the U.S. In the bottom tier of states, fleas are a year-round problem.

Q. How can you tell if your pet has fleas?

Dirt left by fleas as seen on a white dog

Courtesy of Cuyahoga Falls Veterinary Clinic / Flickr

A. If you see these signs, check your pet for fleas carefully.

  • Excessive itching, scratching and biting skin
  • Small, quickly moving brown bugs on the pet’s body
  • “Flea dirt” or flea droppings on the skin
  • Scabs and hot spots
  • Hair loss

Note: some pets can have fleas but not itch or scratch. If you see flea dirt or strange residue on your pet’s skin or coat, check for fleas.

Q. How can I protect my pet from fleas?

A. The market is full of effective flea preventatives. There are specific flea prevention and treatment products for dogs and for cats. You should not use canine flea control products on cats and vice versa. Some canine flea control products are lethal to cats.

Start by talking with your pet’s veterinarian who will recommend the best flea control program for your pet and your environment. Some preventatives are available over-the-counter, others require a prescription. There are oral, topical, and collar options  – many are applied to your pet just monthly. Once you have a plan, stick with it to give your pet the best protection.

Q. How do you get rid of fleas on your pet?

A. Shampoos, sprays, and dips are available to treat pets that already have fleas. Again, talk to your veterinarian who can suggest the best remedy based on the severity of the situation and your pet’s condition.

Q. What do you do if you have fleas in your house?

A. Unfortunately, if your pet has fleas, there’s a good chance your house does too. Fleas can easily jump from one host to another and their eggs drop off your pet’s body on to your carpeting, couch, and bedding. If you have fleas in your home, clean your home thoroughly including all bedding, rugs, carpets, and upholstery. If you have a severe infestation, talk to your local pest control professional about a fogger or spray.

What’s your flea prevention plan for your pet? Do you like a particular product? Share your views by leaving a reply below. Alternatively, please leave ratings and reviews on any flea products available at VetRxDirect. Thank you.

Thanks for reading and good luck!


It’s Tick Season. Are You Ready?

We’re about to enter high tick season which runs from April through November in most parts of the country. So it’s time to arm yourself with the facts to protect your pets from these parasites.

Deer Tick on my dog Flickr Picture Courtesy of B D

Courtesy of B D / Flickr

Why is tick prevention so important? Ticks carry a variety of diseases that are dangerous to pets — in particular to dogs — including Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, and ehrlichiosis.

Know Your Enemy

Do ticks live in your area? If so, what kind? It helps to know what you’re up against. Check the tick maps provided by the CDC to learn what ticks live in your area and how to identify them.

Distribution of the Brown Dog Tick During Tick Season in the U.S.

Courtesy of the CDC

It’s a good idea to conduct regular tick checks of your pets, especially if your pet spends a lot of time outdoors. Every day, run your hands slowly over your pet’s body including her head, armpits, and inside her ears. Don’t forgot to check yourself too!

What to do if you find a tick on your dog or cat:

  • Use a pair of tweezers or the Tick Twister to grab the tick by head where the mouth enters your pet’s body, then pull backwards steadily until the tick is extracted from the body. Don’t grab the tick by the body, twist it, or pull too quickly. Disinfect the wound and apply an antibiotic cream approved by your veterinarian. Keep it clean and disinfected until it has healed.
  • If your pet has several ticks or is infested with them, you can try a medicated shampoo or dip to kill the ticks on contact.
  • Watch for signs of tick borne illnesses in your pet. Symptoms may not be evident for up to three weeks. If you think a tick has bitten your pet and she’s behaving differently – loss of appetite, lethargy – talk your veterinarian right away.

Don’t Wait Until Tick Season: Prevention is the Best Medicine

Your goal should be to prevent ticks from ever latching on to your dog or cat. Fortunately, there are lots of effective preventative medications on the market. Your best bet is to talk with your veterinarian about which one is right for your pet and your area of the country. Be sure that the medicine you use repels the types of ticks in your area.

Here’s a quick overview of your options to fight ticks:

Oral Tick Preventatives – The market is full of preventative oral medications you give to your pet monthly to kill adult ticks and prevent eggs from hatching.

Topical Tick Preventatives – If you’d rather not give your pet a pill each month, ask your veterinarian about topical tick treatments that you apply to the skin each month.

Environmental Products to Kill Ticks – Keeping your bushes, trees, and lawn trimmed reduces the area ticks have to breed and helps keep the tick population at bay. If you have a tick infestation in your yard, consider using environmental products or hiring an exterminator to address the problem. Be sure to read the directions and understand how the products affect pets and people before you use them.

Seresto – One of the newest ways to protect your pet from ticks is the Seresto collar. It has a unique combination of ingredients and an innovative delivery system that protects your pet from ticks for up to eight months. It’s available for cats, too.

We stock a full range of tick preventatives and treatments to keep your pet safe and healthy. Which tick products do you use? And how are they working? We welcome your feedback and so do our other pet parents. Share your experiences with ticks by leaving a reply below. Alternatively, please leave product reviews on any of the tick products available at VetRxDirect. Thank you.

Down with ticks!


Phycox Super Sale – Order Today, Ships Today!

Limited Time Sale on Phycox Soft Chews at VetRxDirect!

Save big on Phycox Soft Chews! On sale for a limited time at Purchase the 120 count bottle + 10 count bottle for only $44.99 after coupon + FREE, Fast Same-Day Shipping & Handling!

Use coupon code PHYCOX130 during checkout.*


Like humans, dogs can have inflamed, painful joints caused by the wear and tear of daily life. Phycox’s proven joint support and inflammation/discomfort relieving supplements combines high-quality Glucosamine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, and Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM) for fast acting results.

  • Reduces inflammation and discomfort due to normal daily activity
  • Contains the natural inflammatory phycocyanin
  • Provides beneficial antioxidants and Omega 3 fatty acids

Don’t wait! Get your discounted Phycox Soft Chews high-quality and safe joint supplement at VetRxDirect. The perfect support solution for canine joint mobility and healthy bone structure.

Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to be the first to hear about specials and other limited promotions.

*Coupon expires 10/31/13 or while supplies last, whichever comes first. Limit one per customer. Customers must be signed into an account at to validate one-time use coupons. Coupons cannot be combined or used with any other discount or offer. Coupons are not valid on telephone orders and cannot be applied to previous orders.

Chondroprotec (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan) Now Available at VetRxDirect

Chondroprotec (Polysulfated Glycosaminoglycan) Sterile Solution is now available and ready to ship after your veterinarian’s prescription authorization.

Order today by visiting our Chondroprotec product page.

Many customers have called lately asking for generic Adequan Canine Injectable. While Chondroprotec in not proven as a generic bioequivalent of Adequan, your dog’s veterinarian may prescribe Chondroprotec for extra-label use. Extra-label use of prescription drugs by veterinarians is a very common and acceptable practice in many situations.

Has your veterinarian prescribed Chondroprotec? What successes has your dog experienced. Let us know in the comments section below.