Leptospirosis – Deadly Bacteria in Wild Life Urine

When wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, coyotes, deer, and rodents urinate, they excrete bacteria in their urine – one of the bacteria found in their urine is called Leptospirosis. This bacteria is often times deadly to our beloved dogs. When dogs go to parks or on hikes and drink the random standing puddles of water, they get infected with this awful bacteria. Often times, the rain makes this more prevalent and helps spread this bacteria around – what looks like a typical puddle of rain water, may really have Leptospirosis in it.

Symptoms of infection include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, dogs may suffer from kidney failure and pass away – time is of the essence and dogs need treatment as soon as possible.

Once a dog is infected, the dog may even spread the bacteria to other pets through their own urine and even humans too – yes, you read that right – YOU can get Leptospirosis (lepto) too!

Besides avoiding free standing water and puddles, the best way to protect your dog is to vaccinate them against the bacteria. You never know what that one random lick on a Saturday hike with your pup may lead to – we recommend every dog owner to be safe by vaccinating their pet, and not sorry.

If you suspect your pet may have Leptospirosis/Lepto, please call us 24/7: 925 937 5000

CareCredit Financing for Veterinary Care


CareCredit knows pets are family too. That’s why they offer veterinary financing to help keep your most cherished family members in top shape, and why we accept it!

Whether you use it to cover annual expenses like preventative care check-ups or for unexpected costs like pet prescriptions and emergencies, the CareCredit healthcare credit card makes it easy to give your pets the care they need, when they need it.

Here are just some of the many small and large animal veterinary procedures you can use your CareCredit healthcare credit card for:

  • Annual check-ups
  • Spay and neutering
  • Teeth cleaning
  • Parasites
  • Medication
  • Diagnostics
  • Emergency services
  • Care of chronic pet diseases and conditions
  • Vaccinations
  • Microchipping
  • Pet Food and Nutrition
  • Surgical Procedures
  • Each of our departments – general, internal medicine, oncology, neurology, dentistry, surgery, emergency – including consult fees, diagnostics, treatments, etc

CareCredit.com/VetMed

Valentine’s Day Pet Dangers

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, but sometimes those festivities can turn dangerous for our pets. Here are some Valentine’s day treats that can harm our beloved pets:

  • Flowers: lilies, roses,
  • Treats: chocolate (besides the cocoa, ingredients like Xylitol, nuts, raisins, coffee, alcohol, marijuana, can cause further harm to your pets)
  • Alcohol
  • Medication: headache/hangover medications, erectile dysfunction meds, hormonal birth control

If you suspect your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, please call us asap – we’re open 24/7: 925 937 5000

Lost or Found Pet/Animal in Contra Costa County

So you’ve either found or lost a pet and don’t know what to do. We’ve put together this quick guide to help get you on the right path of finding your beloved pet or reuniting the furry friend with their human.


LOST PET
1) Post on Craigslist all the details: a photo, collar description, pet description, special needs, phone number to call/email address to email, reward if any, and the last place/time/date the pet was seen
                  https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/laf

2) Post on Facebook: Fido Alert all the details: a photo, collar description, pet description, special needs, phone number to call/email address to email, reward if any, and the last place/time/date the pet was seen.
                  https://www.facebook.com/fidoalertca/posts/556819701146442

3) Post on your own Facebook, Instgram, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts

4) Create a lost pet poster; you can print and post these around town, deliver them to veterinary/pet related businesses in the area, put them on cars, etc
                  http://search.petfbi.org/lost-pet-flyer.aspx

5) Contact your local Animal Shelter and let them know your pet is missing. You can google COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL +ZIP CODE to find your closest one. IE: COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL 94598. Be sure you contact them DAILY regarding your lost pet!

6) Visit local animal businesses like shops, stores, grooming, and veterinary hospitals. Ask if they have seen your pet, and if you can leave a flier (step 4).

7) Don’t lose hope! Some pets return in hours, others in years. We always recommend microchipping your pet as a collar can be lost, but a microchip is forever.



FOUND PET

1) Call your local animal hospital and ask them to scan the pet for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip, the hospital can help you locate the owners right away.

2) Post on Craigslist some details: a not-so-detailed photo, pet description, phone number to call/email address to email, and where the pet was found. Consider having the owner verify something about the pet – a special patch of fur, collar description, etc – this way you know you are reuniting the pet with their rightful owner.
                  https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/laf

3) Post on Facebook, Fido Alert: a not-so-detailed photo, pet description, phone number to call/email address to email, and where the pet was found. Consider having the owner verify something about the pet – a special patch of fur, collar description, etc – this way you know you are reuniting the pet with their rightful owner.
                  https://www.facebook.com/fidoalertca/posts/556819701146442

4) Post on your own Facebook, Instgram, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts

5) Contact your local Animal Shelter and let them know you found a pet; you can discuss with them if it’s best you bring the pet to them or keep it at your home until the owner is found. You can google COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL +ZIP CODE to find your closest one. IE: COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL 94598.

ADOPT ME: Meet “MAX”

Max was surrendered to us in late 2014 when his humans could no longer care for him. He’s a gorgeous tabby, 2008 model, neutered and about 11lbs. Max came to us with a urethral obstruction which means he needs to be on a special diet (wet food). Max is loving, sweet, gentle, kind, and LOVES humans. He doesn’t have the same feelings for animals, but we feel that if he were to be slowly integrated into a household, he would do well with others in the long run. Max is a gentle and shy soul and unfortunately the noises and smells here at EVH can be a bit overwhelming.

Max’s ideal home would be a quiet place, with no other pets. We think he would do great with someone enjoying their golden years and looking for a low maintenance furry friend.

If you are interested in meeting and possibly giving Max a happy life full of belly rubs and cuddles, please email ACSUTU@ENCINAVET.COM

thank you to Barbara of Share the Joy Photography (FACEBOOK / WEBSITE) for volunteering her time for Max

Fear Free Veterinary Visits for Cats and Dogs

Encina Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing the very best customer service, and that includes keeping your pet cool, calm, and fear free, with each visit to us.

We’ve put together some tips to help you reduce the fear/stress your pet may have with visiting us:

*CATS:

  • Leave their carrier out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the carrier is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt by you in the carrier can help keep the pet feeling safe in the carrier when in use).
  • You can also purchase FELIWAY (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray FELIWAY on a towel or blanket, put it in the carrier, and this may help keep your cat calm while traveling in the carrier).
  • Bring a blanket or towel to cover the carrier with to help keep it dark for the pet and not overwhelm them with sights while driving in the car or waiting in the waiting room
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your cat, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • We try to use exam rooms 6 and 7 primarily for cats as it’s farther away from the chaos of our pharmacy area and more removed from the lobby. Don’t hesitate to request one of these two rooms!

    ** SMALL DOG

  • Leave their carrier/leash out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the carrier/leash is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt by you in the carrier can help keep the pet feeling safe in the carrier when in use).
  • You can also purchase ADAPIL (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser, collar, or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray ADAPIL on a towel or blanket, put it in the carrier, and this may help keep your pet calm while traveling in the carrier).
  • Bring a blanket or towel to cover the carrier with to help keep it dark for the pet and not overwhelm them with sights while driving in the car or waiting in the waiting room
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your pup, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • You may choose to limit food intake before the appointment with us to help increase the effectiveness of treats while here with us. If you’re pup has some favorite treats, don’t hesitate to bring some with you!

    ** LARGE DOG

  • Leave their leash out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the leash is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt/towel/blanket by you in the car can help keep the pet feeling safe due to familiar smells).
  • You can also purchase ADAPIL (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser, collar, or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray ADAPIL on a used/worn towel/blanket/shirt, and place this in the back of your car where your pup stays while you’re driving).
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your pup, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • You may choose to limit food intake before the appointment with us to help increase the effectiveness of treats while here with us. If you’re pup has some favorite treats, don’t hesitate to bring some with you!

    If you have any questions or concerns – give us a call. We’re committed to providing you with the best care possible – including before you walk through our doors.

    We are the only 24 hour, 7 days a week veterinary emergency hospital in Walnut Creek, California: 925 937 5000

  • The Flea Life Cycle

    We all shudder at the thought of having a flea problem in our home. A basic knowledge of the flea life cycle helps us understand why year-round flea prevention is important to help keep them at bay. Although many generally think of fleas as a problem on the animal, you will see that the majority of the fleas are present in the environment and they wait to hatch until the environmental conditions suit them.

    The different stages of flea development
    Eggs- Although they are laid on the host dog or cat, they fall off and hatch in the environment. They prefer high humidity and warm temperatures.
    Larvae- They hatch in the environment and feed off of flea dirt (excrement). They molt several times before forming a cocoon for pupating.
    Pupae- This is the dormant stage for the flea, where they can reside in the environment and wait for the right time to emerge when the conditions (temperature, humidity) are right. They are very difficult to kill in this stage.
    Unfed adult flea- A mature flea that is seeking a new host. It can live for months without feeding but is actively seeking a host.
    Fed adult flea- This flea can now reproduce and begins to produce eggs within 1-2 days of feeding. An adult female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day and live for 4 to 6 weeks. A single flea can bite your pet every 5 minutes, meaning that even a single flea can cause severe itchiness and discomfort for a pet that has a flea allergy.

    Why does the life cycle matter?
    • The flea spends the majority of its life in the environment, which means you may not see fleas on your pet but there may be a significant flea problem. Veterinarians often look for telltale signs of fleas on a pet (flea dirt, rashes on the rear end or groin area) because directly visualizing a live flea is uncommon unless there is a heavy flea load.
    • Flea eggs and larvae often develop in dark, humid areas such as under furniture or in between cushions, in carpet, in between hardwood floor boards, and outside under brush piles and bushes. This means that successfully treating the environment may be very difficult because the common sprays and “bug bombs” do not reach the areas where the immature stages of the flea are living. Instead of treating the environment, we often focus on consistently using a monthly flea product on all animals in the household for several months so that the fleas in the environment are killed as they mature and jump on the pet to take a meal. It may also help to vacuum and dispose of the vacuum bags and wash bedding or pillows in hot water. For severe infestations it may be best to consult with a professional pest control company.

    Approach to flea control
    • Use a flea product year round on all animals in the household. This prevents a flea infestation from setting up in your home over the winter and maturing in spring when the temperatures rise.
    • There are many options for flea preventatives that can be tailored to your pets’ lifestyle and preferences. Consult with your veterinarian for the best product for you and your pet.

    Marissa Woodall, DVM

    Meet Dr. Susan Trujillo!

    As you may know, Dr. Liz Milauskas will be taking the summer off to spend time with her newborn baby. In her place, we are happy to welcome Dr. Susan Trujillo! Dr. Trujillo has been with Encina Veterinary Hospital on and off for over 7 years.

    Dr. Trujillo was born and raised in Castro Valley. She earned her doctorate of veterinary medicine from Colorado State University in 1992. After graduating, Dr. Trujillo returned to the Bay Area and began her career – she has yet to practice elsewhere! For 23 years, Dr. Trujillo has been proudly caring for the pets of the Bay Area with a special interest in dentistry and dermatology. During her time away from the hospital, Dr. Trujillo enjoys showing dogs in agility, conformation, rally and obedience; she also enjoys hiking and skiing in the mountains.

    While we’re missing Dr. Liz, we’re happy to feature a familiar face around here in her absence – welcome back to Encina Veterinary Hospital, Dr. Trujillo.

    Riley the Dog’s Prosthetic Orthopedic Foot

    Riley is a 1 year old mixed canine who was recently adopted from Guatemala! With the help of OrthoPets: Orthotics and Prosthetics for Animals, Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Carl Koelher will be creating a prosthetic foot for Riley the dog. Here’s a few pictures of the process:

    Why Does My Pet Need a Rectal Exam?

    We’ve all been there before. Bella comes to the vet for a regular checkup or maybe she has another pesky ear infection. Bella is very excited to come and get treats and attention. She is then disappointed to find that she must tolerate a full physical exam. As the friendly veterinarian is performing the part of the exam we usually save for last, you and Bella both wonder if it is really necessary to perform a rectal exam. After all, you are just there for an ear infection! I am here to tell you that it is absolutely necessary and you are not getting your money’s worth out of the physical exam if a rectal is not performed.

    – The first thing a veterinarian evaluates on a rectal exam
    is the quality of the stool. An owner may describe that there is blood in the stool but a veterinarian will be able to determine if it is actual blood or maybe just red dye from something the pet ingested.
    For better or for worse, veterinarians have a lot of experience looking at poop and can learn a lot about your pet’s health by examining it.

    – Another thing we evaluate is the anal glands. We can detect
    and relieve an anal gland obstruction or treat an abscess. We can also find a tumor of the anal glands or colon early, before your pet shows any signs, which allows for the best outcome in treating these tumors.

    – A rectal exam allows us to feel lymph nodes inside the
    abdomen (the sublumbar lymph nodes) and helps us diagnose cancers and inflammation or infection that can cause these lymph nodes to enlarge.

    – A rectal exam is a must for a pet that has sustained a
    trauma such as getting hit by a car because it allows us to feel for pelvic fractures. We can also feel certain bony tumors.

    – In male dogs, a rectal exam involves feeling the prostate
    for enlargement or pain which may be signs of infection or cancer.

    – We can feel the urethra in female dogs via a rectal exam.
    This allows us to detect any abnormal thickening or stones lodged in the urethra. Sometimes stones are lodged in a position that overlaps with the pelvis on x-rays and a rectal exam is the easiest way to find them.

    – Part of assessing a dog’s neurologic status is checking the anal tone of the dog. Decreased anal tone can be a sign of disease in the spinal cord.

    As you can see, while rectal exams aren’t a veterinarian or a pet’s favorite past time, they are vital for assessing the health of your dog and diagnosing disease early in its course.

    Alina Kelman, DVM