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What You Should Know About Lyme Disease

If you live in Connecticut, you’ve almost certainly heard of Lyme disease – you may even know someone who’s had it, or have had it yourself. This disease (also called “Borreliosis” after the bacteria which causes it, Borrelia burgdorferi) is spread by the bites of affected ticks and can cause symptoms such as fever, a rash, joint pain, and nerve pain.

But Lyme disease doesn’t just impact humans – our pets can also be affected. Dr. Nicole Belward, one of Pieper Veterinary’s board-certified Internal Medicine specialists, talks about how to recognize the signs of Lyme disease and how to protect your pets from tick-borne illnesses.

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Posted 4/5/2019

New at Pieper: Fluoroscopy

Pieper is proud to announce that we’ve been able to expand our Diagnostic Imaging department to include a new tool: Fluoroscopy. Using a piece of equipment called a C-Arm, we’re able to take a continuous, real-time “movie” made of X-ray images. These are very useful for guiding and increasing precision in orthopedic surgeries, neurosurgery, interventional procedures, and contrast studies (which is shown here).

In this video, we can see a contrast study of a dog swallowing. We’re excited to utilize this technology to help provide our patients with the best care possible!

Posted 3/29/2019

Five-Question Friday: Rabies

Police in Groton, CT announced recently that a family dog in the area tested positive for rabies. Rabies has become rare in the US thanks to the rabies vaccine and public awareness, but this deadly disease is responsible for almost 60,000 human deaths worldwide every year.

Dr. Benjamin March, one of Pieper's primary care veterinarians, answered some questions for us about the dangers of rabies, and how we can help protect both our pets and our human families.

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Posted 3/28/2019

Hill's Pet Food Recall Expanded

Hill’s (Science Diet) has updated their January food recall, which included several varieties of canned food found to have high levels of vitamin D. To see the updated list of all affected foods, please review https://www.hillspet.com/productlist .

Due to multiple recalls over a short period, Pieper Veterinary has elected to temporarily remove Hill’s canine canned diets from inventory until additional information from Hill’s is available. We recommend discussing options with your veterinarian. To continue feeding a Hill’s canned canine diet, please purchase from https://pieperolson.vetsfirstchoice.com/ or another online vendor during this time period. If you would like to transition to a comparable diet, please contact your veterinarian to discuss alternative options. Please remember, all diet changes should be gradual to reduce the risk of causing gastrointestinal upset.

We checked in with Dr. Nunez, a veterinarian and one of the owners of Pieper Veterinary, to find out more information about how we can help our pets during this recall.

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Posted 3/21/2019

The Dangers of Xylitol

Lexi the Labrador is one very lucky dog! This lovely girl was at home when her feline sibling knocked over a pack of Icebreakers gum, which Lexi quickly scarfed down. Unfortunately, the gum contained an ingredient called Xylitol. Xylitol is a sweetener that is common in gum, but for pets it can be deadly – even just a few pieces of gum can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure, and seizures. 

Thankfully for Lexi, her family acted fast and brought her straight to our Middletown ER where Dr. Urbonas, our head of emergency services, started treating her. Lexi was already hypoglycemic by the time she came in, and was admitted to the hospital for fluids, medication, and round-the-clock monitoring.

Thanks to the quick action of her family and the care from Dr. Urbonas and our ER staff, Lexi recovered and was able to return to her family after a few days at Pieper and making a full recovery.

Because Xylitol is a sugar substitute, it is often used in “sugar-free” foods like candies, breath mints, gummies, and baked goods – even typically dog-friendly treats like peanut butter can sometimes contain xylitol, so make sure to ALWAYS check the ingredients list. If you ever suspect that your pet has eaten anything with Xylitol, please contact your local ER vet ASAP!

Posted 2/5/2019

Hill’s Pet Nutrition Recall

Hill’s Pet Nutrition is voluntarily recalling select canned dog food products due to potentially elevated levels of vitamin D. While vitamin D is an essential nutrient for dogs, ingestion of elevated levels can lead to potential health issues depending on the level of vitamin D and the length of exposure, and dogs may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, excessive drooling, and weight loss. Vitamin D, when consumed at very high levels, can lead to serious health issues in dogs including renal dysfunction. Pet parents with dogs who have consumed any of the products listed and are exhibiting any of these signs should contact their veterinarian.

Posted 1/31/2019

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