Central Veterinary Associates Alerts Pet Owners of Recall of Raw Pet Food from Bravo!®

Central Veterinary Associates has announced that Bravo!®, LLC. of Manchester, Connecticut is recalling select lots of its dog and cat foods due to the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. In addition to the risks for pet, humans can also be subject to Salmonella by handling the contaminated pet product.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on November 14, 2013 to distributors, retail stores, Internet retailers, and directly to consumers. The product can be identified by the batch ID code (best used by date) printed on the side of the plastic tube. The following products are included in the recall:

● Raw Food Diet Bravo! Turkey Blend for Dogs and Cats Product Number: 31-102

Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes. Best used by date: 11-05-15, UPC: 829546311025

● Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs & Cats Product Number: 21-102

Size: 2 lb. (32 oz.) plastic tubes. Best used by date: 08-11-16, UPC: 829546211028

The following products are being recalled for cautionary measures, as they were manufactured in the same facility or on the same day that product tested positive:

● Premium Turkey Formula Bravo! Balance Raw Diet Product Number: 31-405, Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3-kg. plastic tubes. Best used by date: 11-05-15. UPC: 829546314057

● Bravo! Blends All Natural Chicken Blend Diet for Dogs & Cats Product Number: 21-105

Size: 5 lb. (80 oz.) 2.3-kg. plastic tubes. Best used by date: 08-11-16. UPC: 829546211059

Bravo! LLC has also voluntarily removed all sizes (2 lb., 5 lb. and 10 lb.) of Bravo! Chicken Blend, Bravo! Turkey Blend, Bravo! Balance Chicken Balance and Bravo! Balance Premium Turkey Formula frozen raw diet products with best used by dates between June 20, 2016 and September 18, 2016.

There are no reports of illness in pets or people as a result of the products. Pets that are infected with Salmonella may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will only have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.

“It is important for all pet owners who purchased these products to return them to the store for a full refund,” says Dr. John Charos, DVM, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “It is recommended that this product no longer be fed to your pets and to contact your local veterinarian as soon as possible if your pet becomes ill as the result of consuming this product.”

CVA keeps its hospital in Valley Stream open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including all major holidays. For more information or to make an appointment, call 1 (888) 4CVA-PET (428-2738) or visit www.centralvets.com.

Central Veterinary Associates Urges Pet Owners to Keep Pets Safe in Hot Weather

During the next few days of rising temperatures and sweltering heat, pet owners should take special care in ensuring their pet’s safety. Central Veterinary Associates offers these tips to keep pets safe and happy through the hottest summer days.

● Prevent heat stroke and passing out — Older, overweight and sick pets should not be allowed to spend a lot of time outside in the hot weather. Even young and healthy pets should be watched closely to make sure they don’t get heat stroke.

● Maintain your pet’s water supply — Always provide a bowl of clean, fresh water for your pet, both inside and outside. Keeping your pet properly hydrated will improve their health and prevent illness.

● Do not leave pets in a home without air conditioning — Without air conditioning, indoor temperatures will reach uncomfortable and often dangerously high levels. Always keep the air conditioning and any fans on for your pets.

● Do not leave pets in a car for any reason — Leaving your pet in a parked car can be a deadly mistake. Even with the windows open, temperatures will rapidly climb to a dangerous level. Leaving your pet unattended in a car will expose them to heat stroke, dehydration, brain damage, suffocation and ultimately death.

“It is imperative that pet owners take precautions and special care of their pets in the next few days,” said Dr. John Charos, President and Chief Executive Officer, Central Veterinary Associates. “The hot weather and dehydration can have serious effects on your pet’s health so it is essential to provide your pet with fresh water at all times and maintain a comfortable environment further.”

Central Veterinary Associates Urges the Public to Be Conscientious of Their Pets’ Dental Health

Dog and Cat Dental Issues Can Signal Underlying Health Concerns

Millions of pet owners may notice their pet’s dirty teeth or bad breath while playing and petting them, and typically do not take these issues too seriously. However, what many dog and cat owners may not realize is that poor oral care can affect a pet’s overall health. Central Veterinary Associates wants you to recognize “National Pet Dental Health Month” this February by ensuring that your pet receives appropriate dental care — it could end up saving their life.

Unbeknownst to many, poor dental hygiene ultimately affects a pet’s internal organs. If plaque builds up over time, it turns into tartar, which impacts areas of the mouth that can “seed” to other parts of the body. Tartar can also cause periodontal disease, which is an oral condition that affects the gums. It eventually results in the loss of teeth, along with extreme pain. Often, by the time dogs and cats reach their third birthday, 80% of them are diagnosed with some form of dental disease, according to recent studies.

The initial warning sign that indicates the need for more dental care is unbearable foul breath. If you notice a drastic change in the scent of your dog’s breath, it is crucial to bring them for a full dental exam at your veterinarian’s office. The examination will allow your vet to visually examine your pet’s face, mouth, teeth, and gums. An annual dental exam is recommended for all pets.

Another way to improve pets’ dental health is by brushing their teeth. Since dogs and cats do not “swish and spit” toothpaste on command, it is vital that you buy pet-approved toothpaste because it contains enzymes that break down plaque. Unlike human toothpaste, pet toothpaste is edible and has a flavorful taste, which makes it more appealing to pets. Make sure to brush your pet’s teeth daily to prevent dental diseases, plaque, and bad breath.

In addition to brushing, there are dental diets, dental chews, and oral rinses to help prevent dental disease.  All of these products, along with learning how to brush a pet’s teeth, can be discussed during a general checkup.

“Throughout my time as a veterinarian, I’ve had to discuss the importance of good dental hygiene with pet owners,” says Dr. John Charos, DVM, President/CEO, Central Veterinary Associates. “Owners do not realize the long-term hazards they may bring upon their pet if they do not take the time to properly care for their teeth, gums, and breath. Owners should consider visiting their vet for a full pet dental exam to better understand how dental health affects overall health.”

Central Veterinary Associates Offers Tips on Keeping Your Pet Safe This Winter Season

Within the next few days, the winter season will officially begin. Wintertime is the time of year when animals can become vulnerable to the weather. Central Veterinary Associates is offering pet owners tips on how to keep your pets safe and healthy this winter:

● Keep your cat inside. If cats are left unattended outdoors, they can freeze or become lost, stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to infectious diseases — including rabies — from other cats, dogs and wildlife.

● Before getting into your car, bang loudly on the hood of the car before starting the engine. Outdoor cats like to sleep underneath cars. When the engine is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the fan belt.

● Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are lost during the winter than any other season, so make sure that your dog always wears his identification tags.

● When your dog comes in from the snow, ice or sleet, be sure to wipe down his paws and his stomach thoroughly. Your dog may have rock salt, antifreeze and other potentially dangerous chemicals on its paws which, if ingested, can make them sick. In addition, their paw pads may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

● Never shave down your dog during the winter, as a longer coat will provide more warmth. When bathing your dog, be sure to dry him off thoroughly before taking him out for a walk. If you have a short-haired breed, consider getting him a coat or a sweater with a high collar or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly.

● Never leave your pet alone in a car in cold weather. The inside of the car holds in the cold, causing the animal to freeze to death.

● If you have a puppy that may be sensitive to the cold, it may be difficult to housebreak your pet outside. Train him inside on old newspapers. If your dog is sensitive to the cold because of old age, illness or breed, take him out only to relieve himself.

● If your dog likes to spend a lot of time outdoors, increase his food supply, especially the amount of protein, to keep him and his fur in tip-top shape.

● If you spill any antifreeze, be sure to clean it up immediately. Pets are enticed by the sweet-tasting liquid, although it is poisonous to pets. Ingesting antifreeze leads to illness in dogs and even death. If possible, use products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.

● Make sure your companion animal has a warm place to sleep, off the floor and away from all drafty areas. A cozy pet bed with a warm blanket or pillow is ideal.

“It is very important to keep your pet safe and healthy during the winter season,” said Dr. Aaron Vine, DVM, Vice President, Central Veterinary Associates. “The extreme cold may have an adverse effect on your pet’s health, so pet owners have to take the necessary precautions for their pets when taking them outside. In the event they become ill as a result of being exposed to the elements, please bring them to a veterinarian immediately. Here at Central Veterinary Associates, our animal hospital is open around the clock, and we guarantee that your pet will be seen the same day and given the highest standard of care and service.”

Central Veterinary Associates currently offers vaccinations against canine influenza and pet boarding services and provides emergency care in the event an animal becomes sick. The Valley Stream hospital is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. For more information, or to make an appointment, call (516) 825-3066 or visit www.centralvets.com.

January 2 Is National Pet Travel Safety Day

Central Veterinary Associates is reminding pet owners that January 2, 2014 is National Pet Travel Safety Day, and urges those who travel with their pets to take the necessary precautions for a more enjoyable trip.

Approximately 51% of U.S. pet owners take their pets with them when they travel, according to a study by Best Western International and the American Automobile Association (AAA). In order to help you prepare for any upcoming trips, Central Veterinary Associates urges you to review these ten helpful tips:

•    Consult your vet ― Let your pet’s veterinarian know about your upcoming trip and see what he/she has to say. Since your veterinarian is aware of your pet’s vaccinations and behavior, make sure they feel that it’s okay for your pet to travel with you.

•    Practice runs ― Before bringing your pet for a long ride, consider taking him/her for shorter rides around town and see how your pet handles them. If your pet does not seem comfortable, maybe a day of traveling is not a good idea.

•    Don’t forget to buckle up ― Many pet owners forget the importance of placing a seat belt on their pets. According to a study by AAA, 30,000 car accidents are caused each year due to unrestrained pets. Perhaps purchase a pet car seat, pet barrier or travel crate to ensure your pet’s safety― and your own―while driving.

•    Identification is crucial ― To ensure that you and your pet will not lose one another, remember to keep their identification up to date ― dog tags, microchips, etc. This way, if there is confusion during your trip and your pet is missing, someone can call you as soon as possible to let you know where your pet is.

•   Bring a first aid pet kit ― You never know when a pet will become ill or injured. Be sure to bring a first aid kit and your pet’s most recent medical records. Make sure to pack gauzes, bandages, and hydrogen peroxide in the kit. However, always remember to contact a professional veterinarian before treating a pet on your own.

•    Make pit stops, if possible ― The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends that pet owners stop every two to three hours on a road trip. This will give pets some time to stretch and go to the bathroom without feeling restrained.

•    Eat and stay hydrated ― We all know to expect the unexpected when traveling, which includes delays and cancellations. Take extra food and water for your pets, just in case. You never know how long you’re going to wait in traffic or for a flight.

•    Do your research ― Many airlines charge additional fees to bring a pet on board. Whether your pet will be flying in the cabin or as checked baggage, you want to make sure you have enough money to take them along and ensure that they will be comfortable. If you’re traveling outside of the country, you will also need an international travel certificate from a USDA-certified veterinarian, which CVA has on staff. For international travel, you will also have to know which vaccines and tests are required for your pet to enter the country.

•   Get a pet carrier ― Purchase a kennel or carrier that fits your pet. Make sure your pet can turn around and stand without hitting its head.  Each airline has a different kennel/carrier dimension restriction, and the United States Department of Agriculture does require each kennel to have food and water dishes, stickers that indicate “Live Animal,” upright arrows and proper bedding.

•    Exercise ― Prior to putting your pet in a kennel or carrier, allow time for exercise since they will be sitting in a small area for a while. Consider taking your pet for a walk or letting them roam around in an open field or backyard.

“Making sure your pets are prepared for travel is essential for their good health and safety,” says Dr. John Charos, DVM, CVA’s chief executive officer and president. “Doing your research and taking precautions will make traveling easy and stress-free for you and your pet. There is no reason a dog or cat should be injured or harmed after traveling. If you have any major concerns, please do not hesitate to contact your veterinarian.”

Central Vets’ Valley Stream location is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  For an appointment or to obtain an international travel certificate, please call (516) 825-3066.