Introducing, Bravecto: The First Oral Chew for Flea and Tick Protection

The veterinary industry has been anxiously waiting, and finally our wish has come true! The team at the Animal Hospital of Colorado Springs is thrilled to announce the arrival of Bravecto, the first oral chew that delivers up to 12 weeks of flea and tick protection in a single dose. No more messy topical gels, no more wrestling with your dog to apply products to their backs…just easy, comfortable doses in a treat that your pet will actually enjoy eating! Best of all, it only has to be administered quarterly instead of months, allowing ongoing protection without the added risk.

What Bravecto Protects Against

Bravecto works to keep your dog protected! You can rest assured knowing that this product:

  • Kills fleas
  • Prevents flea infestations
  • Kills ticks, including black-leg ticks, American dog ticks, and brown dog ticks for 12 weeks, and lone star ticks for 8 weeks

This product is recommended for dogs and puppies age 6 months of age or older, and weighing at least 5 pounds.

Who Should Use Bravecto?

We don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see an upgrade on the products we’ve been using to protect against fleas and ticks all these years. We recommend Bravecto for:

  • Pet owners who often forget monthly applications. There’s less risk involved when only 4 applications are required yearly instead of 12!
  • Pets who are not being protected because they will not accept topical treatments. Many pets are afraid of their topical applications because of the smell and feel.
  • Pets who need a lot of baths or have a lot of adventures. If they are washed too soon after application of a topical preventative, it can lose its effectiveness. This eliminates that concern!

If you’re interested in trying this innovative new flea and tick preventative product, contact our team today and ask for Bravecto. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and get your pet started on a new form of protection.

National Deaf Dog Awareness Week

What Is Deafness?

Deafness in dogs can either be a temporary partial or total loss of hearing—due to a wax build-up in the ear canals—or permanent hearing loss due to a host of causes such as severe, untreated ear infections, congenital defects, old age and injuries. One or both ears may be affected.

What Is Deafness Caused By?

Temporary hearing loss can be caused by a wax build-up in your dog’s ear canals. This is especially common in dogs with narrow ear canals, such as poodles. Certain dogs with lots of hair around their ears can have their ear canals blocked by hair, which collects wax and eventually forms a plug. A foreign object in a dog’s ear canal can also impede the ability to hear.

Permanent hearing loss can be caused by old age, drug toxicity, injury or untreated ear infections. A dog can also be born without the ability to hear, because of a genetic or anatomical problem.

Certain breeds also have a high occurrence of inherited deafness that usually turns out to be permanent. These are usually piebald, spotted or merle-colored breeds.

How Is Deafness Diagnosed?

We can initially examine your dog’s ear canal for wax accumulation, infections, inflammation, injury or foreign object. For more serious cases, one common procedure is BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response). During the procedure, small electrodes are placed under the skin of a dog’s scalp to measure (visibly on a computer screen) his auditory response to outside stimuli.

When Should I Be Concerned About My Dog’s Hearing?

The following signs may indicate that your dog may be suffering from some form of hearing loss:

  • Your dog doesn’t know you’re in the room until you physically touch him or he sees you.
  • Your dog turns the wrong way when you call him.
  • He shows no response to outside stimuli, such as the doorbell ringing or other dogs barking.
  • His head shakes.
  • He shows no response or seems confused when given familiar vocal commands.
  • He barks excessively.
  • He paws his ears or appears to have itchy, painful ears.
  • A smelly discharge comes from his ears.

Note: You can test your dog’s hearing by stepping quietly behind him and clapping once loudly to check his response. Contact us today with any questions you may have.


Why Dogs Bark and Growl

Does your dog growl or bark when a stranger approaches your house or when something goes bump in the night? If so, you’re not alone.

Most dogs will vocalize when they are exposed to new or different situations, including strange people or animals entering their territory; being separated from their pack, mother or even your family members; or new or alarming sounds. Dogs may also bark or growl when they see prey, such as squirrels, and they may bark for attention, food or if they are anxious. Dogs often growl when they are fearful or trying to assert themselves in a situation. If the dog’s fear or assertiveness is alleviated by growling or barking, the dog will learn that his behavior is acceptable and the behavior may become more frequent or severe. Some medical problems may cause growling or barking and older pets experiencing senile changes may have barking problems. Intense and continuous barking may be considered compulsive. Check with your veterinarian to evaluate your pet’s barking or growling problem. Behavior training and drug therapy may be helpful in reducing barking for pets with medical, geriatric and compulsive disorders.

Socializing your puppy can help

Acclimate your puppy to a variety of different people, environments, situations and noises to help lessen anxiety as your puppy grows. Make sure your puppy spends time alone so that he doesn’t develop separation anxiety while you are away from him. Proper training is essential to preventing behavior problems, such as growling and barking. Ask you veterinarian for more information about puppy training.

Correcting a barking or growling problem

Correcting a barking or growling problem first requires that you have effective management of your dog. Once you have achieved this, you can begin to train your dog to lessen his barking or growling behavior by using rewards for quiet behavior. The reward should be something that the dog really likes such as a favorite treat, tummy rubs, or a favorite toy. Punishment is generally ineffective in correcting barking problems. Too much punishment may even exacerbate the behavior and cause the dog to be fearful or aggressive.

Begin your training with situations that you can easily control (such as a family member making a noise that causes the dog to bark) before moving on to difficult situations (such as a strange animal in your yard). When your dog barks at the stimuli (for instance, a doorbell ring), immediately interrupt the barking. When the dog is quiet offer the dog a reward for their behavior. Without the reward there is no incentive to remain quiet.Reward your dog when, at your request, he has stopped barking. Only reward the dog when he is quiet and gradually increase the amount of time that the dog needs to be quiet for him to receive a reward.

As the barking or growling problem decreases, make sure to direct your dog to more appropriate behavior, such as play, and the problem should lessen over time. Don’t forget to discuss training options with your veterinarian to find the one that will work best for your pet.


National Pet Memorial Day is Sunday

People love their pets. We quickly grow attached to our pets. National Pet Memorial Day is an opportunity to bring closure to the departure of our beloved pets. This special day for pet lovers was established by the International Association of Pet Cemeteries and Cremoratories (IAPC). It allows us to fondly remember our departed pet(s). There are all kinds of pets. Sure dogs and cats are by far the most popular. But, pets also include rabbits, fish, turtles, ferrets, crabs, snakes, hamsters, gerbils, and a huge assortment of other animals. Your pet would want you to cherish their memory, then move on. Use this special day for this purpose.

There are ways to commemorate National Pet Memorial Day:

  • Spend a few minutes reflecting upon pleasant memories of your pet.
  • If you buried your pet somewhere, go for a visit
  • Contribute to an animal protection group
  • Create a small memorial in a flower garden in your yard
  • Plant a tree or a shrub as a living memorial


Is Your Cat Missing the Litter Box?

You have a problem. Your cat is thinking outside the box, and not in a good way. You may be wondering what you did to inspire so much “creative expression.” Is your cat punishing you? Is Fluffy just “bad”? No, and no. House soiling and missing the litter box is a sign that your cat needs some help.

According to the Winn Feline Foundation, house soiling is the number one complaint among cat owners. The good news is that it is very treatable.

An accredited veterinarian can help you determine if the problem is medical or related to social or environmental stressors. In addition to a complete physical exam, the doctor will ask you specific “where and when” questions.

Health factors

Tony Buffington, DVM, PhD, a specialist in feline urinary disorders at The Ohio State University, and founder of the Indoor Cat Initiative says that many veterinarians recommend a urine test for every cat with a house soiling problem. The urinalysis will determine if blood, bacteria, or urinary crystals are present — signs that your cat might have feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).

FLUTD is very common and can cause painful urination. Cats that begin to associate the litter box with pain will avoid it. Other medical possibilities include hyperthyroidism, kidney disease, diabetes, and arthritis and muscle or nerve disorders that might prevent your cat from getting to the litter box in time.

Environmental factors
If there is no medical cause, the next step is to look at environmental factors. Start with the litter box. Your cat might be avoiding the litter box because it is not cleaned well enough, you’ve changed the type of litter you use, or there is only one box for multiple cats.

Another possibility is that your cat is “marking” — spraying urine, typically on vertical objects such as walls and furniture, or in “socially significant” areas near doors or windows. Both male and female cats mark. The most common offenders are cats that have not been spayed or neutered.

Buffington says that stress can cause elimination problems too. For example, subtle aggression or harassment by other house cats or neighborhood cats may be an issue.

More Information About Feline House Soiling

Indoor Cat Initiative

Even unremarkable changes in your home can make your cat anxious or fearful. Look around. Did anything change right before your cat started having problems? Did you get a new pet? A new couch? Maybe you just moved the old couch to a different part of the room, or had a dinner party. Cats are sensitive creatures and changes that seem small to you can throw your cat off his game. Check with your veterinarian about finding solutions that work for both you and your cat.