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Q:  What is the role of protein in a weight loss diet?

A:  While calories, or lack of them, are the key to weight loss, dietary protein provides a number of benefits that are especially important during weight management.  Increased protein intake stimulates endogenous protein turnover, which is linked to increased energy metabolism.  This results in a significant increase in the postprandial heat increment and a slight overall increase in energy expenditure.  Increased metabolic rate contributes to a negative energy balance and is associated with an increased satiety effect, which can help reduce food intake.  The best-documented benefit from increased dietary protein during weight loss is that it results in greater loss of body fat and reduced loss of lean body mass.  Since lean body mass is the primary driver of basal energy metablolism, preserving lean body mass helps with long term weight control by maintaining a higher energy requirement and reducing the risk for weight rebound (Nestle Purina Pet Care Company).

Q: How do I prevent and/or eliminate of fleas and ticks?

A: In order to get rid of and prevent fleas on your animal as well as in your home you must treat both.  For the pet you can get topical medications such as Parastar or Advantage Multi. Parastar prevents both fleas and ticks for 30 days and starts killing ticks in 1 hour.  Advantage Multi is prescription only and prevents not only fleas but prevents heartworms, roundworms, whipworms, and hookworms as well. Another option would be to get an oral medication such as Sentinel or Comfortis. Sentinel is a heartworm,whipworm, roundworm, hookworm medication that treats fleas by killing the pupa and the larva, so that adult fleas never mature. Comfortis is a flea only medication that prevents fleas for 30 days. For cats there is an injection called Program that also prevents fleas for a month. One of these coupled with a Capstar, which is a pill given to either cats or dogs that will start killing the adult fleas on the animal within 30minutes and last for 3 days, is effective at preventing fleas on the pet.

In order to prevent fleas in the home you must eliminate fleas inside and out.  The house may be treated but if the animal's yard is not also treated they will be bringing the fleas back inside.  To treat for fleas you can either purchase a pest exterminator at a local store or hire a professional.  You must also spray both the inside and outside at the same time, not a week or two apart.

For ticks you can also have the house and yard exterminated. To prevent ticks you can purchase Parastar or a Preventic Collar. Preventic Collars last for 3 months and must be worn with close contact to the skin in order to work properly.

Q: What are the signs of separation anxiety?

A: Dogs with this disorder are often well behaved when people are around, but when left alone they panic, showing one or more of these signs: destruction (urinating, defecating), excessive salivation or vocalization (barking,whining).  Some dogs exhibit signs when separated from the person or people to whom they are most attached-even if other people are around.

Q: What is a CBC and Blood Chemistry?

A: CBC stands for complete blood count. This is the most common blood test performed on pets and people.  A CBC gives information on hydration status, anemia, infection, the blood's clotting ability, and the ability of the immune system to respond.  This test is essential for pets with fevers, vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, pale gums, or loss of appetite.  If your pet needs surgery, a CBC can detect bleeding disorders or other unseen abnormalities.

Blood chemistries are common blood serum tests used to evaluate organ function, electrolyte status, hormone levels and more.  They are important in evaluating older pets, pets with vomiting and diarrhea or toxin exposure, pets receiving long-term medications, and health before anesthesia.

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