Pets and the Solar Eclipse

Pets and the Solar Eclipse

With the August 21st solar eclipse soon approaching we are told not to look at it without special glasses. This is because the sun sends powerful UV rays towards the earth which are most powerful when looking directly at the sun, on any day, not just during the eclipse. The UV rays damage the retina, the nerve complex in the back of the eye responsible for sight.
The retina does not have any pain receptors so you will not feel pain as the damage is being done. Even a sliver of direct sunlight causes damage, so when the sun is just partially blocked, damage can still be done to the eye. Special glasses are the only way to safely view the eclipse.
Pets do not naturally look directly at the sun and if they do it is only briefly, not long enough to cause damage. Good luck trying to keep solar glasses on your pet (cats-forget it!). If you are concerned, you can keep your pet inside during the short period of time the eclipse is happening but it is very unlikely they will be in danger during this period of time. has a complete guide for how to view an eclipse safely

Dr. Ken Upton

Fleas, Mosquitos & Ticks, OH MY!

Summer Parasites that “bug” Your Pet and Advice from Your Vet in Chula Vista!

Fun& sun but for your pet it is parasite season.

Fleas – When a flea gets on your pet, it bites your pet every 10 minutes. Depending on the product, the topical flea medication takes 45min to 6 hours to kill the fleas (36 bites per flea until it dies). The oral medications usually kill the fleas on the first bite.
Mosquitos – Mosquitos are outside but also get into your house. The study by the American Veterinarian Association showed that indoor pet were as likely to get this parasite as outdoor pets.
These parasites are much more prevalent this year due to the rain. They transmit heartworm disease that can be fatal or very costly ($1000-2000) to treat.
Ticks – Ticks bites are painful – can cause Lyme disease and are preventable.
All of these parasites, fleas, heartworms, and ticks are controllable with easy & cost-effective medication.
Our prevention medications are competitive, if not less, than most internet prices and have a warranty that gives you the comfort that the medications will work and if they do not, you will not have to pay expensive costs of treatment. The manufacturing company will cover the costs to treat your pet. Other online pharmacies and Costco do not cover this warranty. It is only through the manufacturer company sold by the Veterinarian. Of the vast selection of products in the marketplace, we will help you choose the best one for your pet.
We have an online pharmacy where we can offer many more brands than we can carry on-site. These also carry the guarantee. With your budget in mind, another cost-effective option is to auto-ship the RemindMe option through our online pharmacy. You can pay for the one monthly dose each month and we will send you a future dose to your house each month. Then you don’t have to pay for all six or 12-months up front.

Heat and Your Pets

HEAT can kill your pet

Summer…Beach, barbecues, errands, and shopping for barbecues, fun. Taking your pet with you seems like a good Idea and companion on the errands. Look harder at the stats.

Point 1; did you know that a parked car outside at 78.F will get to 100-120.F in just a few minutes. O.K so how about a very sunny day? 90. F to 160.F in less than 5-10 minutes.

Most shopping takes longer the 5-10 minutes. Even if you are going to 7-11.
Heatstroke is very serious and can happen very fast. At best you can get your pet to a veterinarian very fast. At worst your pet dies.
If you see a pet in a car on a hot day, is excessively panting and you believe is in danger (it is illegal to leave a pet in a car with closed windows or in distress), call the police with the color, model, make and license plate number.
If the pet is in imminent danger, get a witness and extract the pet from the car while waiting for the police.

Point 2; walking your pet on asphalt is not the same as you walking with shoes on. A 86F day is about 135F on the pavement. You could fry an egg at that temperature. Watch for your pet prancing on the asphalt or cement or trying to walk in the grass. These are strong signs that your pet is in pain from the heat. A great option is getting booties for your pets’ feet

Certain breeds are more sensitive to the heat (Bull dogs, Boxers, Pugs, Sherpas).
If your pet is uncomfortable and panting, lethargic, vomiting, fells hot to the touch of the gums or ears, any of these signs-your pet needs to see a veterinarian NOW.

Ken Upton, DVM

Fleas, Ticks and Worm Medications

Pacific Pet Hospital in Chula Vista, Ca discuses Fleas, Ticks and Worm medications.

The daunting challenge for owners of what products to use to protect their pets from fleas, ticks, and worms. Here is the vast array of products ; Dogs; K-9 Advantix 11, Advantage Multi, Advantage, Vectra 3D, Comfortis, Trifexis, Activyl, Bravecto, Tri-heart, Frontline, Frontline Plus, Frontline Gold, Heartgard, Heartgard Plus, NexGard, Sentinel, Iverheart Max, Vet-kem, Ovitrol, X-Trend, Spot On, ProHeart, Revolution, Simparica. 24 different products!
Cats; Advantage Multi, Advantage 11, Cheristin, Actival Spot on, Frontline Plus for Cats, Frontline Tritak, Heartgard, Program injectable, Vet-Kem, Ovitrol, X-Trend, Spot On, Revolution. 13 different products! Really…unless you spent 8 years in college to get your veterinary degree and ideally an additional 2 years to get your masters in parasitology this list is not comprehensible. Pet owners spend about $379 million a year on these products.
So here is the scoop; for years the only way pet owners had to protect or control parasites on their pets were pouring a dip made of pyrethrums over their pet every month. This was time-consuming and pungent smelling and was not for cats (cats could be killed from this chemical). A Huge change- Advantage Spot On was invented. No pungent baths, safe for cats, once a month application of a small amount of liquid to the back of the neck of your pet. The main problem is it did not kill ticks and washed off if you bathed your pet between applications.
Thus came Frontline; same application once a month, killed fleas and ticks and did not wash off with a bath in between application.
O.K… now Advantage lost a large part of the market. So Advantage added the permethrins (Advantix) that killed fleas and ticks. The only problem I see with this is that the product in Advantage (kills only fleas) and the permethrins (kills fleas and ticks but is more toxic). So why spend the extra money when you could just use the old stuff. The permethrins made Advantix toxic to cats so it was only for dogs. Maybe you should research or better yet talk to your veterinary about the other 37 products available. More animal pharmaceuticals companies got into the game and totally confused us all.
The best product is the one your veterinarian has researched, with the least side effects to your pet, the ease of giving it and the most cost-effective for the protection of your pet.
Dr. Ken Upton

What to Do When Your Pet Goes Missing

Pacific Pet Hospital in Chula Vista Helps Owners Find Lost Pets

Panic, fear, helplessness. When you first realize your pet is missing it is a combination of all these feelings. One in four pets will go missing or become lost according to the ASPCA. The one major thing you have working for you to be reunited with your pet is identification tag/microchip and social media. The ASPCA says the best chances to find your pet is it has a collar with identification and a cellular number or a microchip which is inexpensive and can be implanted by your veterinarian.

What should I do?

First, contact the local animal shelters within a 60-mile radius and file a lost pet report. Visit the local shelters daily. Many shelters have very good websites and post new pets that have been impounded.
Social Media; you can post on many different sites that are concentrated in your area. You will be surprised at how many people will try to help you. Here is a list of the ones I felt were most helpful;

Reuniting with Your Pet

According to the Humane Society, 93% of dogs and 75% of cats reported lost were reunited safely to their homes. Most because of collars with current information, microchips and owners actively looking for them. The good news is that the odds are in your favor of finding your pet with the new groups that will help you.
Good advice from the Veterinarian Community is to get your pet microchipped. It cannot fall off or be unreadable if your pet gets lost. You can call us today at 619-586-5237 to schedule an appointment fo your pet to be microchipped!

Dr. Ken Upton