August 22nd is National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

Stitch and NB w logosDespite outnumbering dogs as pets, cats are far less likely to receive routine veterinary care. As a result, at a time when veterinary medicine is better than ever, cats are getting sick often with preventable diseases. Cats are also extremely good at masking pain and illness so its not always apparent when they are not feeling well. It's astounding that feline veterinary visits have declined by 30% since 2001. Schedule an examination for your cat within the next two weeks (offer ends (9/5/15) and mention this e-mail in order to enter into our gift basket drawing. The basket includes an MVH gift certificate, a Feliway diffuser to keep your cat happy at home (retail value of the diffuser is over $50), treats and more. Did you know that we are a certified Cat Friendly Practice? This means that we do everything we can to minimize a cat's stress surrounding veterinary visits. For more information and for tips to getting your cat comfortably to the vet, click here.

August is National Immunization Awareness Month

LukaMeet Luka, she was found as a stray in Moorpark just last week and is very special to us all. Luka already had a home lined up but when she tested positive for the feline leukemia virus, her future home could no longer accept her and her life expectancy was decreased to only about  1-3 years. Very thankfully, one of our own team members, who does not have any other cats in her household, will provide her with the best home possible for the rest of her limited life. Luka's story reminds us of the very real presence of preventable diseases in our community. If enough outdoor cats are not vaccinated against the feline leukemia virus, an epidemic can quickly occur. Vaccines are a very important part of protecting our communities from preventable diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that, "This is what makes vaccines such powerful medicine. Unlike most medicines, which treat or cure diseases, vaccines prevent them." When a specific antigen first enters a pet or person's system, the immune system produces antibodies designed to fight it. This takes time and typically the immune system can't work fast enough to prevent a pet or person from getting sick. However, the immune system remembers that antigen and will prevent it from causing disease in the future. Vaccines typically contain weakened or killed versions of the same antigens that cause disease. They are strong enough to cause the body to produce antibodies and immunity but weak enough to not cause disease. There are some vaccines for pets that we recommend regardless and some that we recommend depending upon their lifestyle. Please contact us if you have any questions about vaccines for your pets. In some cases, when pets can no longer be vaccinated, titer blood tests can be performed in order to determine the level of a pet's immunity. Also, many people discontinue vaccine schedules when their pets become elderly. However, pets who are very young or very old have the weakest immune system and are at the highest risk of contracting disease from preventable viruses. We recommend a consistent vaccine schedule throughout a pet's life.

Flea and Tick Prevention Month

SophieGrassDuring the month of July, we are celebrating flea and tick prevention with several promotions. We recommend flea and tick prevention year-round for multiple reasons. Fleas can thrive all year long because of our weather although many people notice an increase in flea infestations during the summer. Flea eggs develop best in higher humidity and in temperatures of 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, prevention throughout the year is a much better option than treating an infestation after it occurs. Fleas and ticks can cause harmful and deadly conditions. Preventatives can help shield your pet from these pesky parasites especially during the summer months when their exposure often increases. Call us to ask about various savings or promotions for flea and tick preventatives for dogs and cats. Also, during the month of July you can try Nexgard for free. Some exclusions apply. Nexgard is a chewable treat for dogs that is administered once monthly to kill fleas and ticks. Also, any pet parents who takes home Nexgard during this month will receive a ballot to enter into a contest to win 1 of 10 BBQ prize packs that each include a brand new grill, patio furniture, and food gift card. These packs have a retail value of $7,500!

Some Nut Butters Can Be Deadly

ZoePeanutButterSome peanut and other nut butters containing the artificial sweetener, xylitol, have recently been introduced onto the market. Xylitol is incredibly toxic to dogs, even in small amounts. Xylitol toxicity results in dangerous low blood sugar (hypoglycemia) and death of the liver (hepatic necrosis). Signs of low blood sugar can include weakness, lethargy, collapse, vomiting, tremors, and seizures. These signs typically occur 1-2 hours after a toxic amount has been ingested although signs of toxicity can be delayed in rare cases. Signs of low blood sugar almost always occur prior to hepatic necrosis. In the past, xylitol has typically been found in sugar-free chewing gum and breath mints. However, there is currently a variety of foods or products that contain toxic artificial sweeteners including: Nuts 'N More nut butters, Krush nutrition peanut butter, chewable multivitamins, chewable tablet and dissolvable medications, Jell-O sugar-free pudding snacks, Zipfizz energy drink-mix powders, Nature's Hollow (jams, syrup, ketchup, honey, etc.), Dr. John’s products (hard and soft candies, chocolates, drink mixes, etc.), Clemmy’s Rich and Creamy ice cream products, SparX Candy Be diligent about checking labels to ensure that your pet has no access to products containing xylitol or another toxic artificial sweetener, sorbitol. In the US, ingredients in foods are listed by weight, with the heaviest ingredient first. If xylitol is one of the top ingredients in the list, extreme caution should be taken.  However, the regulations for drugs and dietary supplements is different and xylitol is commonly considered as an "inactive ingredient" or "other ingredient." Such ingredients are not required to be listed in order of predominance and are sometimes not listed at all. Please contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's safety.

Anniversary Success

Our 25th anniversary party was a huge success and we would like to thank everyone who attended and contributed to the event with a special thanks to our practice manager, April (right), and receptionist, Nicole (not pictured), who both worked tirelessly on the event.

Noelle (left) and April (right) at our wheel of Paw-some.

We would also like to thank some of our sponsors including Merial, Roadrunner Pharmacy, MWI, Zoetis, Victor Medical, Nutramax, Merck, Henry-Schein, Virbac, and Idexx Laboratories. 4All of our vendors and sponsors at the event did a great job making the event fun, lively, and educational. Big thanks to Hill's Pet Nutrition, Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS), Waggin' Tails Grooming, Agility Demos by Lilyan and Paula, Golden Retriever Rescue, Love Swirls Cotton Candy, Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center, Send Rover on Over, Top Dog Hot Dog Cart, Trupanion Pet Insurance, Caricature Art by Lilyan, Deborah Krasner Dog Trainer, Balloon Art by Julie R., Lime Light Photo Booth, and Face Painting by Camille. 2Moorpark Veterinary Hospital was established in 1990 by Dr. Al Schwartz. Since then, we are proud to have welcomed Dr. Natalie Barrett to the team. Both Dr. Barrett and Dr. Schwartz are leaders in veterinary medicine who regularly attend conferences on the latest developments in pet health. 6Our motto at Moorpark Veterinary Hospital is "Caring for your pets and caring about you." This anniversary party and the level of care we provide everyday would not be possible without the combined efforts of our entire team. We go through great lengths to handpick each member of our "work family" and could not be more proud of our current group. We are incredibly pleased to have provided care to people and pets for 25 years and look forward to continuing to provide exceptional care in the future.  
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