Harvey Animal Hospital

18479 Mack
Detroit, MI 48236



COVID-19 and Your Pets - What You Need to Know - 04/16/2020

The Corona Virus and Your Pets: 
What You Need to Know 

Pet lovers worried about their pets during the Corona Virus Outbreak 

                By now everyone is aware of The Corona Virus and the damage it can cause as it sweeps the globe causing havoc on human life. Countless people from all across the world are becoming ill and many are loosing their lives to this virus. It is a pretty scary situation and pretty scary time as Nationwide quarantines are being ordered. School closures and even business shutdowns as we wait in the safety of our homes for this sickness to be eradicated. Most of us has never experienced anything like this before in our lifetime. And not only are we concerned with our own health but many are concerned about their pets as well. Pet owners are wondering and worrying about their beloved pets and what this virus can do to animals. What exactly does this mean for our pets? 

A microscopic look at The Corona Virus 

             Do we need to worry about our pets at this time? The answer is Yes and No. First of all, there is absolutely no need to get rid of your pets or be cruel to strays because of this virus. There has been no evidence that pets can give the virus to humans. However, if you know of someone that is positive don't let them handle your pet as their fur can act as a vector much like a doorknob or light switch. If you have the virus, it is said to limit your pets exposure and if possible have someone else care for your pet for the time being, as it may be possible for humans to transmit the virus to animals. Since this strain of the Corona Virus is new, we are still learning about it. The AVMA states "The CDC has not received any reports of pets becoming sick with COVID-19 in the United States, and we have no information that suggests that pets might be a source of infection for people with the coronavirus that causes COVID-19." With that said, there has been reports from other countries of positive cases in animals. There has been a couple cases of dogs that tested positive that were living with humans that were positive, but these dogs did not show any signs of sickness. There has also been a few cats that tested positive that did show signs of sickness. Corona Virus is also suspected to be highly contagious to Ferrets, but there have not been any known cases. You can read more up to date information on the American Veterinary Medical Associations website. 

It is said that cats can contract the virus and show signs of sickness 

                  Until more is known about this strain of the Corona Virus it is best to practice excellent hygiene techniques, even  when you are at home with your pets. Wash your hands frequently, wear a mask and gloves when venturing out of your home. Practice social distancing, even for your pet, meaning don't allow strangers to pet your dog on walks. And if you feel that you may be sick be careful handling your pets. But we stress that getting rid of your pet is  NOT necessary. We can all work together, stay safe, and get though this gloomy time. Brighter days are ahead. 

Wash your hands frequently and take precautions seriously 

Whats the Deal with Grain Free Food - What Food is Best for Your Pet - 01/14/2020

What's the Deal with Grain Free:
What Food is Best for My Pet? 

How to choose the best food for your beloved pet 
                     So you have been feeding your pet a very expensive, organic, GRAIN FREE diet that you heard was the best out there.  You love your pet and you want to give him nothing but the best with no fillers. But now all of a sudden you are hearing that Grain Free foods are bad and are causing dogs to have heart problems! So you think to yourself. Is this True? How is this possible?  Now what do I do? Does my pet now have heart problems? What food is best for my pet?  Well let us help clarify things.
Grain Free Diets have been linked to heart disease in dogs 

            First of all, are the claims true? Can feeding a Grain Free Diet cause heart problems in your pet? Sadly, the answer is Yes. There has been a staggering number of confirmed cases of a heart condition called Dilated Cardiomyopathy (DCM)  that is suspected to be caused by the lack of an amino acid called Taurine in these diets. Taurine helps the heart function and when the animal is deficient in this amino acid the heart can become weak and not able to contract as strongly as it should. This can then result in Congestive Heart Failure and even sudden death. There are some breeds that are more at risk for Taurine Deficient DCM such as Golden Retrievers but any breed including mixed breeds can be affected. The FDA has issued a warning regarding these diets and they are conducting an ongoing investigation into these foods. The graph below illustrates some of the Dog Food Brands with the highest number of reported cases.  You can also find a complete list of the food at .https://www.fda.gov/media/128303/download .

Dog Food Brands with the most reported cases 

          So your dog has been eating a Grain Free Food, now what? Well first alert your veterinarian. They may have specific suggestions for a diet given your pets medical history. But it is recommended to change the food immediately to a well balanced commercial diet containing grains, that follow the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) guidelines. Studies have shown, that once on a well balanced diet containing the nutrients a dog needs including Taurine, the condition improved or was cured in most (but not all) dogs. If you are concerned about your pets heart health,  your vet can do radio-graphs and blood test, and if needed your vet may need to refer your pet to a Cardiologist. The Cardiologist will have the capabilities to look closer at your pets heart with a test called,  an echo-cardiogram, which enables them see the function of the heart more in depth.

There has also been a lot of buzz regarding the Raw Diet, so we want to touch on that here as well. Raw Diets or Home Cooked diets are not recommend as they are not balanced in the proper nutrition your pet needs. In fact, In a study by the research team at UCDavis  it was found that "Overall, 95 percent of the 200 recipes examined resulted in food that was lacking in the necessary levels of at least one essential nutrient, and more than 83 percent of the recipes had multiple nutrient deficiencies."  In addition to not being balanced nutrition you are also putting your pet at risk for food born illness such as salmonella or E. Coli poising, which is also a risk to humans.

Feed your pet a well balanced diet to ensure they receive the nutrients they need 

            Although  there is no credible evidence that proves Grain Free diets are better for your pet, media has portrayed grains as being "the bad guy", creating a notion that its just filler or even the myth of grains causing allergies. When in reality, grains are not fillers, they contribute key nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber and essential fatty acids. Grains also do not cause allergies. If your pet has a food allergy or sensitivity, they are going to most likely react to the protein source in the food such as chicken or beef, and minimal chance of them reacting to the grain source.

Trust your Veterinarian when it comes to pet health

       In conclusion, grains are not the bad guy. The fad of feeding a grain free diet or other buzz diets such as, the raw diet, can actually do harm to your pet as they do not contain adequate nutrition. The perception that has been falsely created that grains are fillers or cause allergies are incorrect. So what is the best food for your pet? A well trusted, commercial diet containing grain that follows the AAFCO guidelines by a reputable company that have animal nutritionist and veterinarians on staff is what is recommended. If you have questions about your pets nutritional needs or health, talk to your veterinarian, not the 19 year old cashier at the pet store, or people with no adequate or relevant education on Facebook. Your veterinarian is here to help you and help your pet live a long happy healthy life.

Pet Loss: Taking Comfort in Your Pets After Care - 10/24/2019

Pet Loss:
Taking Comfort in Your Pets After Care 
Sweet Old Dog being comforted by his owner 

                        Losing a pet is very hard.  And what can make it harder is wondering about the "unknown". It can be scary and unnerving not knowing what happens next. What happens after I leave him? Where do they take him? Are they handling him with care?  How do I know the ashes I receive are truly my pets remains? All these question are valid concerns and can make you sick with worry. Your pet has been a constant in your life and loved you unconditionally. And you want to make sure they are being cared for, even after you say goodbye. So we wanted to shed some light on this dark cloud to help our clients with these worrisome thoughts.  And even walk you though the process that you may have been too scared or upset to ask about, to hopefully give you some comfort and closure. 

Faithful Companion Pet Cremation Services Lobby

About Faithful Companion 

We first would like to tell you that we have taken great care in selecting a company for our patients After Care services. There are many companies out there that can provide these services, but we want you to know that the company that we have chosen for our beloved patients "After Life" care is nothing but Top Notch and utterly professional. We wanted to make sure the company we chose was empathetic and treated your pet like it was their own. That is why we are proud to say that Faithful Companion Pet Cremation Services is the company we trust with this delicate process. 

Private room where you can choose a keepsake 

What Happens After You Say Good Bye

When you leave your pet after you say your final Goodbye, a paw print is made and they are softly placed in a casket box with a cushion liner. Faithful Companion comes to pick up your pet immediately so your pet isn't sitting alone or stored inappropriately. They are then taken to Faithful's Crematorium where they are tagged and tracked by their superior system making sure the process is smooth and precise for each pet. Once the cremation has taken place, and your pet is ready to be returned home they will call you to make sure you are home to accept your pet. They will never just leave the remains on your door step. And they also kindly make sure you are emotionally ready as well. A Faithful Companion Representative, dressed polished and distinguished, will bring your pet right to you handling them with respect every step of the way. 

If a family wishes to be with their pet during the cremation process this is also an option. A Representative will meet you at the entrance, take you into one of their quiet rooms where you can choose from an array of keepsake items. Then you can go into a private room to be with your pet while the process takes place. They will graciously accommodate your wishes to help make this process as easy for you as possible.

If your pet should happen to pass at home, they will come directly to your home, and will respectfully transport your pet to the facility for you.

Faithful Companion Logo

The Facility

You can rest assured knowing that your pet is going to a clean and professional place and handled with care. We recently went on a tour of the Faithful Companion facility and it is nothing short of impressive. The place was beautiful and calming all at the same time. They walked us though the process and we can see that the representatives working were truly handling each and every pet gently, making sure to pay attention to detail, and give each pet their undivided attention. 

Loosing a pet can be one of the most difficult things to go though. And it can be frightening not knowing what happens after. But we hope that you will find Peace in knowing your furry family member will have the most dignified "After Care" experience with our chosen company Faithful Companion. 

What Vaccines Does My Puppy Really Need? - 05/10/2019

What Vaccines Does My Puppy Really Need? 
An Adorable Dachshund Puppy waiting with its owner at the vet for her first puppy shots

                     So you just got a new puppy! Congratulations on your new addition to the family. You bought a new bed so she will be comfortable, you bought some of the best quality puppy food on the market, you bought collars, leashes, treats, toys, bowls, etc. Your puppy has everything she needs right? Or does she?

Puppies can pick up sicknesses from other dogs. Make sure your Puppy is vaccinated 

The Importance of Puppy Vaccine Boosters

Scheduling your puppy for her first vet visit is very important. The Veterinarian will do a full examination to make sure your puppy is healthy, will check a fecal sample to screen for intestinal parasites or worms, give a de-worming medication and of course give your puppy her first vaccines. 

Puppies with no immunity are very vulnerable to deadly disease and viruses. It is very important to get your puppy vaccines and booster them as needed. The first vaccine is given introduces small amounts of antigens for that virus which stimulates antibodies production in your puppies body. The vaccine boosters are important to give as scheduled every 3-4 weeks as it builds up the antibodies which builds up the immunity to the virus. So in other words if your puppy receives one vaccine it is not fully protected and may still be vulnerable to the virus. Completing the vaccine booster series is the best way to have the most immunity for your puppy, and then getting the appropriate booster vaccine yearly or as needed.

An adorable puppy socializing outside

Puppy Vaccine Schedule 

Not sure when to vaccinate your puppy? The puppy vaccine protocol can be pretty confusing. But we made a great Graphic to make it easy for you! This graphic can be shared or even pinned to a refrigerator for reference. Check it out below.

Typical Puppy Vaccine Schedule
 (*Note* Protocols may differ in different circumstances and locations) 

When a puppy joins your family you want nothing but the best for your new family member. That should include Veterinary Care and Vaccinations. It is very important for your puppy to receive all of the vaccine boosters at the time they are scheduled for the most ideal immunity. You never know where a deadly virus can be picked up. On a walk, at the pet store, at the park, on the beach,  etc. So better safe then sorry and get your puppy vaccinated against these preventable sicknesses.

A little girl and her new puppy. 

Feline Kidney Disease - What You Need to Know - 03/13/2019

Feline Kidney Disease
What You Need To Know

Senior Kitty in Renal Failure
            There are two types of Kidney (Renal) Disease in cats, Acute and Chronic. Acute is more of a sudden onset due to injury or toxin ingestion such as eating a antifreeze or lilies. If caught early enough Acute Kidney problems can be reversed.  Chronic (Ongoing) Kidney Disease also known as CKD  or CRF (Chronic Renal Failure) is a disease that occurs in older cats and is a life long terminal illness.  There is no reversing the damage, but there is hope. With proper treatment you can slow the progression down and still have many happy years with your feline friend. 

Illustration of a Kidney Organ

What Do The Kidneys Do?

The Kidneys are a complex organ and do many very important things for the body.  One way they function is that they filter out chemicals and toxins that we don't want in our body and produce urine for our bodies to expel.  The Kidneys are also responsible for keeping us hydrated by determining how much water to keep in our bodies and how much to expel via urine. In addition, the Kidneys also maintain electrolyte balance, pH balance, conserves proteins, regulates blood pressure, and also helps make our Red Blood Cells. All of these tasks are vital for our body to function properly.

What is CKD/CRF?

When the Kidneys start to fail and cannot preform these tasks in our bodies it can be very devastating. A few signs to look out for are, excessive drinking, frequent urination, dilute urine, decreased appetite, weight loss, and even bad breath can be an indicator of CKD/CRF. However, most  of the time there are no symptoms until the disease is advanced. That is why it is very important to have yearly check ups and blood work preformed on your cat each year. Abnormalities in Kidney markers such as BUN, Creatine, SDMA, and Urine Specific Gravity are just a few values your vet will look for in determining CKD/CRF. Once diagnosed, you will need to keep  rechecking these values to monitor progression of the disease.

Siamese Cat that was Diagnosed with CKD/CRF

Now What?

Receiving the news that your Kitty has CKD/CRF can be very difficult to hear since the condition is considered a terminal illness. And the information can be very overwhelming. But there are things you can do to keep  the disease from progressing and maintain what is left of the Kidney function.
Treatment depends on what stage the disease is in, and the overall health of your kitty.

According to IRIS or The International Renal Interest Society, there are 4 Stages of CKD/CRF.

Staging the Severity of CKD/CRF Based on Blood Creatine Concentration 
                                                         Stage 1:     <1.6 mg/dl
                                                         Stage 2:     1.6-2.8 mg/dl
                                                         Stage 3:     2.9-5.0 mg/dl
                                                         Stage 4:     >5.0 mg/dl

Your Veterinarian will determine what Stage your Kitty is currently in and will devise a treatment plan to slow the progression of the disease. 

Diet -  One of the main ways Kidney Disease can be managed is though diet. Your Vet will prescribe a prescription diet that is low in phosphorous with moderate amount of protein such as Royal Canin Renal Care, Hills K/D formula's, Purina NF, etc. Kitties with a poor appetite can be given appetite stimulants to ensure they are getting enough calories and combat weight loss.

Phosphate Binder -  Cats in CKD/CRF cannot filter phosphorous properly and therefore, an excess can cause your kitty to feel sick and also promote the progression of the disease. Your Vet will prescribe a phosphate binder for your cat. This can be mixed right into the food and prevents the absorption of phosphate.

SQ Fluids -  Kitties with Renal Disease are at risk of dehydration since the Kidneys cannot concentrate urine properly. This is something that needs to be monitored closely as dehydration can be very serious. Encourage your kitty to drink water by placing more water bowls around the house and even providing water fountains. Kitties that don't drink enough to keep up with their damaged kidneys will need to receive Subcutaneous or SQ Fluids. This can be administered at home if you are comfortable with it.

Potassium Supplements - Since the Kidneys are not able to balance electrolyte levels in the body, Kidney patients can also be deficient in potassium and may need a supplement to correct that. Low potassium can make your kitty weak, imbalanced and even cause problems in the muscle tissue. 

Blood Pressure - CKD/CRF cats often suffer from hypertension as there are blood pressure sensors in the kidneys that help regulate blood pressure in the body. High Blood Pressure can further damage the kidneys as well as cause may problems on its own such as blindness. If your kitty has high blood pressure your Vet may prescribe blood pressure mediation for them. 

Treatment for CKD/CRF can vary depending on IRIS Staging and symptoms. There may be other medications that are also needed such as antiemedic or anti-vomiting medication if your cats disease is advanced and they are experiencing nausea and vomiting as well. 

Veterinarian writing out treatment plan for a newly diagnosed CKD/CRF Kitty 

Kidney Disease in Cats can be a very frightening diagnosis. The Kidneys work in many ways to help the body function properly and when the kidneys can't preform the tasks they need to, it can cause many health problems for the patient. Depending on the stage of the disease there is treatment that can slow the progression of the disease and try to preserve the kidneys from that point on. And with diligent care and treatment overseen by your veterinarian you and your kitty can have many more years together. 

Loved cat with Kidney Disease living comfortably with Treatment 

To learn more about CKD/CRF please visit the follow resources below: