Something Smells Fishy: The Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids for Pets 

In today’s world of omnipotent cure-alls, such as coconut oil and essential oils, it can be difficult to know what really works, what is all hype, and what has potential hazards associated with it. 

One magic cure that Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care can get on board with, though, is fish oil. There is plenty of peer-reviewed evidence that omega-3 fatty acids for pets can have positive effects, and while it may not cure everything under the sun, many pets can benefit from adding some fish oil into their daily routine.

Benefits of Fish Oil

The main benefit of fish oil comes in the form of the omega-3 fatty acids that it contains. While there are other sources of omega-3s, fish oil is a great, high-quality, easy to dose source of EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid).

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All About the Veterinary Services We Offer to Our Pet Families 

We so appreciate the fact that you follow our blog, whether you are a current client or someone who simply reads us for information and enjoyment. It is our goal to provide great information and resources that keep you informed about the latest in pet health and wellness. But did you know that Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care offers many services under one roof? That’s right!

If you are looking for a one-stop place for complete, holistic veterinary care, we can accommodate you! Let’s explore some of the options in animal health you can access at our facility.

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Making Informed Decisions About CBD Oil for Pets 

There is a lot of buzz about CBD oil for pets. With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, and with many states adding laws about the legality of hemp-derived CBD (North Carolina is still pretty vague on its stance), it is now a fairly accessible substance that seems to have everyone talking.

A lot of excitement and speculation exists around how CBD may be beneficial in the veterinary world. For everything from arthritis to seizures to anxiety, we are fielding questions about whether pets can benefit. CBD oil for pets is still a murky topic, though, and having all the information can help you as a pet owner to make some good decisions when it comes to this hot topic.

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High Pressure: Glaucoma in Dogs

It’s hard to look into your pet’s eyes and not see the pure love and admiration that they have for us, their people. That might be why it is so heartbreaking when our pet patients are suffering from eye problems.

Glaucoma in dogs is a relatively common diagnosis and one that can result in the loss of vision and even the eye itself if not addressed. Animal Medical Hospital & 24-Hour Urgent Care Center knows how important your pet’s eyes are and is there to help in the event of glaucoma in dogs as well as other animal eye problems

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Spooky, Creepy, and Crawly Pet Parasites

It’s that time of year when things go bump in the night. Spooky jack-o-lanterns, cackling witches, and distant screams make up a lot of the fun around Halloween. 

The team at Animal Medical Hospital loves fun scares as much as anyone, but we don’t want them to be because of your four-legged family friends. Pet parasites may be creepy, but they have no place in a fun Halloween season!

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How to Clean Your Dog’s Ears, and Why it’s So Important

A woman holds up her dog's large ears like angel wings

Much like brushing your dog’s fur, clipping their nails, or cleaning their teeth, ear cleaning is an important part of a dog’s basic grooming regimen. Keeping your dog’s ears clean is essential in keeping infections at bay and allows you to check the ears periodically for signs of trouble.

Fortunately, it’s easy to learn how to clean your dog’s ears, and with practice it can become second nature. Our team at Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care can get you started!

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Gear Up For Fun With Our Pet Travel Tips

A man drives with his dog in a convertible

Summer is almost over, but have you taken a vacation yet? Whether you’re planning a long road trip or a quick weekend getaway, leaving your pet at home simply isn’t an option for many pet owners. But is your furry pal up for the challenges of travel?

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When It Comes to Pet Dehydration, Prevention Is Key

Perhaps your pup’s practice is to gulp down a few swallows of water after a walk or playtime – no more, no less. Sure, they might sneak a drink when you’re not around, but really, how much are they drinking in a day?

The best way to gauge pet hydration is to measure how much water you put in the bowl every morning vs. how much is left at night (if any). Of course, you’ll have to subtract a few ounces for sloppy drinkers, those that love to splash, and evaporation. Only then can you know exactly how much they’re drinking, and whether or not it’s enough.

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What to Make of Lumps and Bumps on Your Pet’s Skin

When you find something abnormal on your beloved pet, it can be an anxiety-ridden moment. Is that a tick? A wart? Cancer? Or was it always there?

When it comes to lumps and bumps on your pet’s skin, Animal Medical Hospital & 24 Hour Urgent Care doesn’t expect you to have all the answers, that’s why we’re here!  

You can rely on us to help you know when to call us, when to relax, and what to do when it comes to pet lumps and bumps.

The Possibilities are Endless

There are many causes of lumps and bumps on the skin. We commonly see lesions caused by:

  • Bacterial infections
  • Parasites
  • Granuloma formation (reaction to foreign objects)
  • Abscesses
  • Benign tumors like warts and lipomas (fatty growths)
  • Cysts
  • Neoplasia

Even to the trained eye of our veterinary staff, it isn’t always possible to know which it might be just by looking.

When we see a pet with a new lump or bump, the affected area is assessed for location, size, shape, and physical characteristics. This helps to determine the most likely diagnosis and record the spot in the medical record.

Many times a test called a fine needle aspirate (FNA) will be recommended. In this procedure a small needle is introduced into the lump or bump to obtain a microscopic sample of cells in the area. This can help us to identify infection, inflammation, and may even reveal cancerous cells.

A FNA only yields a small, focal sample however, so it does not always give us an exact answer, nor can it rule out cancer entirely. A surgical biopsy (histopathology) is often recommended if a lump or bump is worrisome based on characteristics or FNA. Sometimes surgical excision and biopsy is warranted for seemingly benign growths as well due to excessive size or location in an irritating or cumbersome area.

Histopathology helps to give us more information about what the growth was, if it is likely to come back, if it was all successfully removed, and what other treatments might be needed. It can also help to give a more accurate prognosis.

Lumps and Bumps and When to Worry

It can be very hard to know which lumps and bumps are ominous and which are harmless, even to a trained eye. Of course, if you rushed your pet in for every tiny blemish, we would be seeing a lot of you. So when do you need to get your pet in and when can it wait?

We recommend examining your pet as soon as possible if:

  • The lesion is growing, changing, or spreading
  • The lump/bump is painful or firm
  • The skin is red or irritated
  • The bumps if bleeding or has discharge
  • Your pet has a history of cancer
  • Your pet is a high-risk breed (short coated breeds such as boxers, pugs, and pit bulls are prone to skin cancer)

It is never wrong for us to examine a new lump or bump. While they are not all an emergency, they all should be looked at in a timely fashion. Some seemingly innocuous growths can be serious, and when it comes to cancer time is essential.

Give us a call to make an appointment if you have any doubts at all about whether something should wait. No matter what the lump or bump turns out to be, acting quickly often helps us to deliver the best prognosis and get your pet back to normal as soon as possible.

An Invaluable Asset: Baseline Blood Work for Pets

When we suggest doing blood work on a healthy pet that has been brought to us for vaccinations and a wellness exam, we are often met with resistance from pet owners.

Animal Medical Hospital wants to assure you that our recommendations are always founded with your pet’s health and best interest at heart. We firmly believe that baseline blood work for pets, even healthy pets, is an important part of proactive pet care.

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