Author Archives: Barton

Holiday Pet Weight Gain & Obesity

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Pet Obesity TipsPack your bags.

Pack your car.

Pack your sleigh.

But don’t let your pet pack on the holiday pounds!

Holiday season is upon us — a busy time of year for festivities, family and of course, lots of eating! Did you know that if a ten-pound cat ate just one ounce of cheddar cheese from your hors d’oeuvres, it would be the same as if a person ate three and a half hamburgers or four chocolate bars? Gaining those “holiday pounds” is not just a problem for humans, but also for our four-legged friends.

Research shows that pets are more likely to gain unwanted pounds during this holiday period than any other time of year. What pet can resist a potato chip, onion dip or chocolate? (Wait, you know better than to feed them that!)

Obesity is the leading medical problem in pets. When a pet is too chubby, not only may they have little energy to walk or play, but also studies have shown that pets who are overweight may have a shortened life span.

How can you tell if your pet is at the right weight?

It can be hard to know because for many pets, they don’t get a big round belly. Instead, the extra fat is well hidden inside your pet’s body, tucked between their vital organs. So let us check! Our veterinary practice team has a trained eye to best assess your pet’s weight. Bring your pet in for their yearly exam and we’ll take a look at their body condition and nutritional needs. If we determine your pet needs to lose a few pounds, don’t worry. We’ll come up with a plan that will keep you and your pet sailing through the holiday season.

Call us today to schedule your pet’s yearly checkup. 208-356-4271  Happy Holidays and remember, pack your suitcase, pack a trunk. It’s even fine to pack a sleigh. But don’t let your pet pack on the pounds!


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Pet Vaccines

Highly contagious canine influenza, or dog flu, can affect dogs of any breed, age, sex or health status. Environments such as dog shows, dog parks, pet day care centers, and grooming facilities are particularly risky.

It is caused by the canine influenza virus (CIV) and can occur year-round. Almost all dogs exposed to the virus become infected, and the majority (80% of infected dogs) develop flu-like illness. It can be difficult to diagnose and potentially difficult to treat. In some cases, CIV symptoms can be severe. Prevention remains the best course of action. CIV is not contagious to people.


The canine influenza virus travels from infected dogs to uninfected dogs through:

  • Direct contact.
  • Coughing, barking and sneezing.
  • Contaminated objects: clothing, kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes.
  • People handling or moving between infected and uninfected dogs.


Range from mild to severe: persistent coughing, sneezing, nasal or eye discharge, lethargy, reduced appetite and fever.


Secondary bacterial infection can develop and may cause more severe illness and pneumonia.


  • Talk to your vet about your dog’s risk of exposure and if the canine influenza vaccine is right for your dog.
  • Avoid exposing your dog to obviously sick dogs.
  •  If there is a CIV outbreak in your area, avoid taking your dog to areas where dogs gather.
  •  If your dog show signs of illness, isolate it from other dogs and seek veterinary care.
  •  Wash your hands after handling any dog and especially after handling a sick dog.
  •  Do not share equipment or toys between sick and apparently healthy dogs.


Provide supportive care to keep the dog as comfortable as possible.Medications may be necessary for severe illness or secondary bacterial infections.


Most dogs recover within 2-3 weeks.


Canine influenza vaccine (Vanguard CIV H3N2) may be given to healthy dogs 8 weeks of age and older. Dogs should be given a 2 dose series 2-4 weeks apart and then an annual revaccination with a single dose is recommended. The vaccine does not prevent infection but it will reduce the severity and duration of the infection.

upper valley vet logo This information is provided from the AVMA website ( and Zoetis Animal Health along with your local veterinarian, Upper Valley Veterinary Clinic. Please contact Upper Valley Veterinary Clinic if you have further questions regarding Canine Influenza. 208-356-4271

Dogsicles Recipe

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Help your pets with the Summer Heat – try these “Dogsicles” !

1 quart chicken broth

1/2 lb chicken breast, thawed

3 oz (for small dogs) or 5 oz (for larger dogs) paper Dixie cups

Put the chicken broth and chicken in a large pot.  Boil until chicken is cooked through and soft. About 20 minutes.  Remove pan from heat and carefully remove chicken breast.  Cut or shred the meat into very small pieces or use a food processor to chop.  Return the chicken and any juices to the pot.  Allow the broth to cool completely. Continue reading