Dr. Bob's Animal Health and Information  Site



Dr. Bobs Pet Health and Information Site




Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site 

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Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site    

509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405


Spring 2000 Newsletter




News from

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

     During the last several weeks, we have been seeing the steady increase in animals presented with the seasonal problems of springtime.  This year we have seen an unusual number of pets with ticks.  Unfortunately, a few have developed Lymes disease and some other tick-borne diseases.  We are strongly recommending you pick up and use one of our Preventic Flea Collars as we have found these to be the most effective measure in discouraging ticks from infesting your pets.  Of course, common measures like avoiding brushy areas and thoroughly checking and removing any ticks whenever your pet is in an environment where it may pick up ticks are the best steps you can take.  A new test which combines Heartworm testing and testing for Ehrlichia canis (one of the tick-borne diseases) will be available in the very near future.  We recommend testing all dogs that have not been tested within the last 3 years.  The other new product we are considering stocking is called Revolution.  This product is a spot application product that claims effectiveness in eliminating fleas, eliminating intestinal parasites, and preventing heartworm disease.  If you might be interested in this product, call our office and our staff will tell you the anticipated cost and other specific information.  If there is enough demand for it, we will carry it.  Finally, don't delay mowing any weeds you might have where your pet stays.  With the wet spring, we anticipate a bumper crop of foxtails.  The seed of this common plant causes many problems for our pet cats and dogs.  If you remove the plants before they have a chance to go to seed, you will help prevent unnecessary problems for your pet.

Robert L. Linville, D.V.M.

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital







Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition of worms residing in the heart and major blood vessels of dogs and other species of mammals including cats, wolves, foxes, and ferrets.  Of all these animals, it is the dog that is recognized as the reservoir of infection because infected dogs have the most number of heartworm offspring called microfilariae swimming around in their bloodstream.  Heartworm disease is easily spread when a mosquito bites an infected dog for a blood meal thus inadvertently ingesting microfilariae which are then passed along to the next animal the mosquito bites.  These microfilariae then travel through the animal's blood stream until they develop into an adult form of the worm.  Final development usually occurs in the pet's heart, pulmonary vessels, or lungs where the heartworm continues its life cycle - all the while causing their host pet considerable damage!



The good news about heartworm disease is threefold:

1. There is a test that your pet can undergo to determine if he or she is infected.  The veterinarian will counsel you to determine when your pet should undergo this test.

2. A preventive medication is available in several forms. Again, the doctor can advise you on which form best meets the needs of your companion.

3. If your dog is diagnosed with heartworm disease, there is a recognized remedy.  However, as common sense dictates, prevention is always better ( and usually cheaper!) than treatment.



Canine heart disease is one of those problems that can be successfully managed and treated if detected early.  Heart problems can be diagnosed through a clinical evaluation by a veterinarian.  dogs with mild to moderate heart problems typically experience heart enlargement, coughing, lethargy, and difficulty breathing.  A severe heart problem is usually characterized by difficulty breathing (even at rest), fainting, profound tolerance to exercise, loss of appetite and weight loss.

The best way to protect your pet is to have Fido undergo an annual physical examination.  During this examination, we often detect problems while they are still treatable.  Additionally, you should ensure that your dog  gets a moderate amount of exercise on a regular basis and has a balanced diet.

Please give us a call if you have any questions about Canine Heart disease or would like to schedule a physical examination for your pet.  Proper care and veterinary supervision can help you watch your dog grow to a "hearty" old age.

(Source: Merial)



Working couples and retirees, families and singles, have discovered that cats are wonderful companions.  Their entertaining antics and affectionate behaviors make them endearing additions to our home and to our lives.


Cats come in all colors, coats, and breeds.  Some cats are quiet and appear somewhat independent but all cats need and desire attention.  Cats are easily housebroken and therefore do not have to be walked.  As a result, many apartment owners and condominium associations allow cats.


Generally, cats adapt well to a variety of households.

Selecting a Kitten: Here are some tips in selecting a kitten:
  • A kitten should be neither too shy nor too aggressive.
  • A healthy kitten actively seeks affection from people.
  • Each breed has certain characteristics.  Some are more inquisitive and lively while others may be more vocal.  Do your homework.  If you plan on getting a purebred cat, understand the breed's traits and how they relate to your lifestyle.
  • When you finally select a kitten, we recommend that our veterinarian perform a thorough examination to determine the pet's health status.  This is especially important if introducing a new kitten into a multi-cat household. At this time, we will also discuss with you what is necessary to keep your new kitten healthy and happy.
Cats are great fun and wonderful companions.  If you have any questions regarding  the selection of a new pet, fell free to call us for our advice.  We obviously have a lot of experience with animals and are happy to pass along our knowledge to you.


Heartworm Disease affects cats differently than it does dogs.  For one thing, the number of infective larvae developing into adults is significantly higher in dogs than it is in cats.  Also, the number of worms found in an infected cat is dramatically lower than in dogs and the lifespan of the heartworm in a cat is considerably shorter.

There is a fairly easy blood test now available to test cats for Heartworm Disease.  Unfortunately, there is no safe treatment to kill a cat's heartworms.

Readers of advertisements in some leading consumer magazines like Better Homes & Gardens are aware that there is a heartworm preventive medication for cats.  We suggest that, because heartworm affects cats differently from dogs, your cat's needs should be discussed with the veterinarian to determine if this preventive is best for your pet.

Please give our office a call if you have any questions about heartworm and your cat.

(Information on heartworm disease was obtained from the American Heartworm Society.)

What You Should Know About Lyme Disease

Lyme disease is an infectious disease spread primarily by a tick as small as the period at the end of this sentence and no larger than the head of a pin.  It is caused by a bacteria called a spirochete that is in the saliva of a biting tick.  In humans, the disease can appear to be a simple as the Flu or as serious as Alzheimer's Disease.  In animals, Lyme Disease can mimic flu-like symptoms of chronic arthritis and can lead to joint damage, heart complications and kidney problems.  Studies indicate dogs are 50% more susceptible to Lyme Disease than humans.

Lyme disease has been reported in 45 states but the disease is mainly clustered in the mid-Atlantic, Northeast, North Central and Pacific coastal regions of the United States.  Ninety-four percent of human cases are reported from California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

The best method to prevent Lyme Disease is to avoid areas of long grasses and underbrush - the natural habitat for ticks.  You should also check your dog after he/she has been outside and remove any ticks.  It takes approximately 24 hours once the tick is attached before it releases the bacteria into the dog's bloodstream.  Your dog should also wear a god tick collar.  Since not all tick collars are created equal, we can recommend the one that offers the best protection for your pet.  a vaccine is available to protect dogs.  We suggest you consult with our veterinarian for advice regarding the vaccination of your pet.

(Source AVMA)



Does  your pet:

  • have swelling below the eyes?  This may be the sign of an abscess.

  • have a foul smelling mouth?    This odor may be a sign of gingivitis and periodontitis.

  • have reddening tissue along the gum line?  This may represent inflammation or infection.

  • have any fractured or loose teeth?  A broken tooth with nerve exposure may result in infection.

If you have any questions about the dental health of your pet, please give our office a call.

Are You Ready for flea Season?

The simple fact is that fleas inflict pain and suffering on our pets and, if you are unlucky enough, they will inflict pain and suffering on your family as well.

In search of a blood meal, adult fleas jump on your cat of dog.  These fleas ultimately produce eggs which drop from your pet onto the  ground or carpet.  The eggs eventually develop into adults and jump onto you or your pet.

Fleas can cause your pet to suffer from some serious medical problems like flea allergy dermatitis or

tapeworms, and in some extreme cases, anemia.  fleas and the problems they cause account for more than 50% of the dermatologic cases presented to veterinarians and more than 35% of the total small animal  veterinary effort.

Because of our experience, you should consider our practice ad your Flea Fighting Experts!  WE have the best and latest products to kill fleas and keep them from  returning.  give us a call today for the latest information on flea control products to protect your pet and your family.