AVMA on Preventive Care for Pets, Double-Defense Against Heartworm on WGN


Dr. Janet Donlin, AVMA CEO

It is truly an honor to talk with the CEO of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), Dr. Janet Donlin, about preventive care for pets on WGN Radio. Listen HERE as Dr. Donlin talks about catching illness earlier. And, today there are more tools to do that, like an inexpensive blood test called SDMA, which identifies kidney disease in cats and dogs sooner. Dr. Donlin talks about her own cat as an example. She says sometimes preventive care really is literally that: A checkup can prevent disease (and save pet caretakers money).

We talk about lowering fear, anxiety, and stress related to veterinary visits, too. Fear Free is an initiative in veterinary medicine doing just that, and Dr. Donlin says that veterinary visits don’t need to be scary for our pets. Veterinarians are doing something about it. And, soon you can be a part of this Fear Free initiative. 

The AVMA is an excellent resource. When and if something happens in the pet world, this is the authoritative place to go to learn more.

Dr.Byron Blagburn

Veterinary parasitologist Dr. Byron Blagburn is no ordinary professor, he’s distinguished university professor at Auburn University College of Veterinary Medicine. Dr. Blagburn tells us about a new protocol, called Double-Defense, that works toward protecting dogs from heartworm, but also prevents dogs from being bitten by heartworm-infected mosquitoes—any mosquitoes, really—in the first place.

Dr. Blagburn tells me something I’ll never forget: “You’re a good parasitologist.”

Heartworm can be best avoided by preventing mosquito bites to begin with

If you want real prevention, let’s stop the bite before it happens. And, on the human side, a multi-modal approach is common. So why not a “Double-Defense” for our dogs, too?

The idea is to use a typical heartworm prevention product and an additional product, like Vectra 3D, which almost always prevents the bite to start with, as Dr. Blagburn explains.

Truly vast differences between today’s dogs and today’s wolves

I talk about those commercials that suggest you should bring out the inner wolf in your dog, but those commercials are misleading.

I also mention the Windy Kitty Cat Cafe and Lounge, which is coming to Chicago, and the canine influenza virus, and that kenneling/boarding/daycare facilities should mandate the vaccine.