America’s #1 Dog Killer: The Importance of Heartworm Prevention

As pet owners, we all want to provide our furry friends with the best possible care. We feed them, bathe them, and take them for walks, but what about protecting them from deadly diseases like heartworm? April is Heartworm Awareness Month, and it’s the perfect time to learn about this silent killer and how we can prevent it from harming our beloved pets.

What is Heartworm In Pets?

Heartworm disease is caused by a parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. It is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito and can affect dogs, cats, and other animals. While heartworms are more prevalent in dogs, they can also cause serious health problems in cats, such as respiratory distress and vomiting. In severe cases, heartworms can lead to heart failure and even death.

Heartworms can grow up to 12 inches long and live inside a pet’s heart, lungs, and blood vessels. The adult worms produce microfilariae, which circulate in the pet’s bloodstream and can be picked up by mosquitoes, starting the cycle all over again.


What Are The Symptoms Of Heartworm Disease?

It can take several months for a pet to show signs of heartworm disease, and by then, the damage may already be done. Symptoms can include coughing, lethargy, weight loss, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, pets may collapse, have a seizure, or go into shock. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms appear, the disease may have progressed to a point where it is more difficult to treat.

Preventing Heartworm Disease

The good news is that heartworm disease is preventable. By giving your pet a monthly heartworm preventative medication, you can protect them from this deadly disease. These medications are safe, effective, and easy to administer. It’s important to note that heartworm preventatives should be given year-round, even in the winter months when mosquitoes may not be as prevalent.

Preventative Pet Care At Signature Veterinary Services in South Orange County, San Diego

At Signature Veterinary Services in South Orange County, California, we believe in the power of prevention. Our experienced veterinarians can provide your pet with heartworm testing and preventative treatment. We offer a range of options, including chewable tablets, topical solutions, and injections. We will work with you to determine the best option for your pet’s needs and lifestyle.

As we celebrate Heartworm Awareness Month, we encourage pet owners to take action and protect their furry friends from this deadly disease. Schedule an appointment with Signature Veterinary Services today to ensure your pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.


Protecting Your Pets from Poisoning: Common Household Items To Look Out For

As pet owners, we want to ensure that our furry friends are safe and healthy at all times. However, sometimes we may not realize that some of the items in our home can be toxic to our pets. March is National Poison Prevention Month, and our team at Signature Veterinary Services wants to do our part to help pet owners learn about how to protect their pets from poisonous items commonly found in their homes.

Five Common Household Items That Can Be Poisonous To Your Pets

Chocolate: Chocolate contains a substance called theobromine, which is toxic to pets, especially dogs. Symptoms of chocolate toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and even death. It is important to keep all forms of chocolate, including baking chocolate, out of reach of your pets.

Cleaning Products: Many household cleaning products can be toxic to pets if ingested or inhaled. Products such as bleach, ammonia, and drain cleaners can cause respiratory distress, skin irritation, and even death. Always make sure to store these items in a safe place, and keep your pets away from them while in use.

Plants: Some plants can be poisonous to pets if ingested. Examples include lilies, azaleas, and daffodils. Symptoms of plant poisoning can include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. If you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic plant, seek veterinary attention immediately.


Medications: Many human medications can be toxic to pets. Pain medications, such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen, can cause liver and kidney damage. Antidepressants can cause lethargy, vomiting, and seizures. Always keep medications out of reach of your pets, and never give them human medication without consulting with a veterinarian.

Certain Foods: Some human foods can be toxic to pets. Examples include grapes and raisins, which can cause kidney failure in dogs. Onions and garlic can cause anemia, and fatty foods can cause pancreatitis. Make sure to keep these foods out of reach of your pets, and never feed them human food without consulting with a veterinarian.

Identifying the Warning Signs of Poison Ingestion in Your Pets and How to Keep Them Safe

It is important to be aware of the potential hazards in your home that can be toxic to your pets. Always keep toxic items out of reach, and if you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, seek veterinary attention immediately. With a little bit of caution and awareness, you can help keep your pets safe and healthy.
If a pet owner suspects that their pet has ingested something poisonous, it is crucial to act quickly to ensure their pet’s safety. Some common signs to look out for include vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, seizures, and difficulty breathing. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, it is essential to seek veterinary attention immediately.

Emergency Pet Care In San Diego, California

In cases where a pet has ingested something poisonous, Signature Veterinary Services can provide prompt and effective treatment. Our team of experienced veterinarians can diagnose the problem, provide supportive care, and administer medications as needed. With our 24/7 emergency care, pet owners can rest assured that their furry friends are in good hands. Call Us to speak to someone from our team and discuss your pets care or to Schedule an Appointment today!

Pet Dentistry: Common Issues

As pet owners, we want our furry friends to be happy, healthy, and comfortable. One aspect of their health that is often overlooked is their dental health. Just like humans, pets can suffer from dental problems that can lead to pain, discomfort, and even serious health issues. In this blog, we will explore pet dentistry and common dental issues in pets.

What is Pet Dentistry?

Pet dentistry is the branch of veterinary medicine that focuses on the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of dental diseases in animals. Just like humans, pets can suffer from dental issues such as gum disease, tooth decay, and oral infections. These problems can be caused by a variety of factors including poor dental hygiene, genetics, diet, and age.


Common Dental Issues in Pets


1. Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is the most common dental issue in pets. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth and gums. If left untreated, periodontal disease can lead to tooth loss, bone loss, and other serious health problems. Signs of periodontal disease in pets include bad breath, bleeding gums, loose teeth, and difficulty eating.

2. Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is another common dental issue in pets. It is caused by the buildup of plaque and bacteria on the teeth. Over time, this can lead to cavities and tooth decay. Signs of tooth decay in pets include bad breath, swollen gums, and visible cavities.

3. Oral Infections

Oral infections can be caused by a variety of factors including trauma, foreign objects in the mouth, and periodontal disease. Signs of an oral infection in pets include bad breath, drooling, difficulty eating, and swollen or bleeding gums.

4. Broken Teeth

Broken teeth are common in pets, especially dogs. They can be caused by trauma, chewing on hard objects, or advanced dental disease. Signs of a broken tooth in pets include drooling, difficulty eating, and pawing at the mouth.

Preventing Dental Issues in Pets

Preventing dental issues in pets is essential for their overall health and wellbeing. Here are some tips for preventing dental problems in your pet:

Pet DenaSchedule Your Pets Next Dental Appointment With Signature Veterinary Servicestistry: Common Issues

Pet dentistry is an important aspect of your pet’s health that should not be overlooked. By preventing and addressing dental issues in your pet, you can ensure that they are happy, healthy, and comfortable.

To ensure your pet’s dental health, make sure to promptly schedule a dental check-up with a veterinarian at Signature Veterinary Services. Our skilled dental professional will then come to your home in our mobile clinic to provide a stress-free dental check-up for you and your furry companion. Call to Schedule an Appointment today!


Pet Safety for Celebrating New Years

It’s a brand-new year! In order to ring in the New Year well, it’s imperative to keep your pet safe during celebrations. Consider the following safety tips for pets on New Year’s Eve.

5 New Year's Eve Pet Safety Tips

1. Get a Pet Microchip

We strongly encourage everyone to microchip their pets. While collars and ID tags are important, microchips greatly increase the chances of being reunited if a pet becomes lost or stolen.
With all of the fireworks, unusual activity, and noise of New Year’s Eve celebrations, it’s not uncommon for pets to become frightened and escape their yards and houses. Be sure your pet has a microchip – just in case.

2. Keep Your Pet Indoors

It’s just as important to also keep your pet inside on New Year’s Eve. Whether you’ll be home or away, your pet should be safe and secure inside your home since it is easy for pets to break (or dig) out of yards when they are scared.

3. Create a Quiet Space for Pets

You can help your pet have a better start to the new year by making a space inside your home where they can peacefully enjoy the evening. This is especially important if you will be entertaining or throwing a party in your house. Make sure your pets are secure in a closed-off room where they have everything they need and the television on or calming music playing to drown out scary noises.

4. Keep Treats and Drinks Away From Pets

Alcohol and many festive foods are poisonous for pets. Do not leave drinks or treats unattended in your home.

5. Make a New Year's Resolution for Your Pet

Celebrate the new year with your pet by making a pet-friendly resolution. You can resolve to go for more walks, learn a new trick, spend more time playing, or get a little more time snuggling on the sofa.

Pet Health for the New Year With Our Mobile Veterinary Clinic in San Diego County

Don’t forget to schedule your pet’s wellness and preventative care appointment this year! It’s important for your pet to get examined regularly and screened for early signs of disease in addition to keeping their vaccinations and parasite preventatives up to date. To learn more about wellness care for pets and everything our mobile veterinary clinic has to offer, we welcome you to contact Signature Veterinary Services today.

Top 10 Reasons For Choosing a Mobile Vet

It used to be normal for doctors to come to their patients’ homes for appointments, but today, house calls are a rare occurrence. With veterinary care, however, there are still mobile veterinary clinics that bring veterinary care right to your doorstep.

Top 10 Reasons to Choose a Mobile Veterinary Clinic

1. Less Stress for Pets

Many pets experience fear, stress, and anxiety whenever they visit an unfamiliar place. For many pets, these negative feelings are even more pronounced at the veterinary clinic. With mobile vet care, your pet can completely avoid the stress of leaving home.

2. Less Stress for You

It can also be stressful for pet parents to bring their pets into the veterinary clinic. Whether you’re worried about driving, a busy schedule, or handling your pet in a waiting room around other animals, you don’t have to experience these same anxieties with house call appointments.

3. More Accurate Examinations

Since pets are relaxed and at ease in their homes, our examinations are usually more accurate and create a more accurate baseline of your pet’s health.

4. Better for Multi-Pet Households

With mobile veterinary care, you can schedule all of your pets’ appointments at the same time instead of making several trips or bringing multiple pets in at once.

5. No Compromised Quality

Mobile veterinary clinics bring everything your pet needs right to your doorstep.

6. No Transportation Problems

If you don’t have reliable transportation, then you don’t have to worry about how you’re going to get your pet to a veterinary clinic.

7. Quicker and More Convenient for You

You also won’t waste any time commuting to and from your pet’s appointments.

8. Comfortable Sick Pet Care

When your pet is sick, you don’t have to move them from their bed to visit the veterinarian.

9. Easier Pet Hospice Care

Additionally, terminally ill pets can get the care they need to stay comfortable and happy right in the comfort of their own homes.

10. Better End of Life Care

Pets can have a dignified end of life in their favorite place, surrounded by their whole family.

Mobile Veterinary Care in Carlsbad, California

Signature Veterinary Services brings high-quality care and all of the convenience and benefits of mobile veterinary care to pets – right at their doorsteps. To learn more about mobile veterinary care or to schedule a house call appointment for your dog or cat, we welcome you to contact Signature Veterinary Services today.

Essential Tips for Caring for Senior Pets to Celebrate Adopt a Senior Pet Month

November is National Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and we like to use the opportunity by raising awareness about the joy of caring for an elder pet in addition to providing essential tips for optimal senior pet care.

5 Tips for Taking Excellent Care of Your Senior Pet

1. More Frequent Checkups and Health Screenings

By age 7 dogs and cats are considered seniors, and this means they should have more frequent veterinary exams and health screenings. These exams make it possible for us to proactively detect, diagnose, and treat age-related illnesses rather than waiting until they cause your pet painful or life-threatening symptoms and/or are less successfully managed.

2. Dietary Adjustments

Senior pets benefit from a diet formulated specifically for them. These formulas typically contain slightly fewer calories to help with weight management in addition to a host of additional nutrients that can help to address age-related health concerns.

3. Exercise Modifications

Senior pets still want to play and need to stay active. However, you might need to modify their physical activities. Swimming is an excellent, low-impact activity for aging pets. Additionally, for joint health, we recommend taking more frequent short walks during the day instead of a single long walk.

4. Environmental Changes

You can also help your senior pet feel more comfortable by making some changes around your home. Provide them with elevated food and water bowls to reduce pressure on their joints. Additionally, invest in an orthopedic pet bed as well as stairs to help your pet get up onto the sofa, bed, or into the car.

5. Stress Reduction With Mobile Veterinary Care

Visiting the veterinary clinic can be a highly stressful experience and this stress can have adverse effects on your pet’s health. When senior pets require more frequent checkups, this can be even more difficult to contend with. That’s why we recommend mobile veterinary care for all pets, especially seniors. With mobile veterinary care, we bring the clinic to your doorstep, providing your pet with all the care they need at the comfort of their home.

Mobile Veterinary Care in Carlsbad, California

Signature Veterinary Services is a mobile veterinary clinic providing comprehensive care to pets living in and around Carlsbad, California. To learn more about establishing your pet’s care with our mobile veterinary clinic or to schedule an appointment for your senior pet, we welcome you to contact us today.


Pet Obesity Awareness Day: Nutritional Counseling & Weight Managment At Signature Veterinary Services

Oct. 09 is Pet Obesity Awareness Day, and what better way to celebrate than by getting your pet on a healthy diet? Here at Signature Veterinary Services, we specialize in nutritional counseling and weight management for pets, all from the comfort of your home. We know that it is important for owners to be able to provide their pets with the best possible care, and that includes making sure they are eating right and maintaining a healthy weight.

How Do I Know If My Pet Is Overweight or Obese?

If your pet is obese, there’s a good chance you’ll be able to see it. According to the experts, dogs and cats are considered overweight if they are at least 10%–20% heavier than their ideal weight. So if your pet is starting to look a bit too round in the middle, or if you’re having trouble seeing their waistline, they may be considered obese. Our Doctors at Signature Veterinary Services recommend pet owners use an easy tool called Purina Body Condition System. Too much body fat can lead to chronic health problems and a shorter lifespan in your pet. The Body Condition Score uses both visual and hands-on evaluations to assess fat cover, providing a more accurate assessment of a pet’s overall health rather than just their weight.

Common Symptoms Of Pet Obesity

When an animal becomes obese, they are at risk for a variety of health problems. The most common symptoms of pet obesity are endocrinopathies, metabolic abnormalities, cardiovascular disease, functional alterations, and joint disorders.
Obese animals are also more likely to suffer from respiratory distress, high blood pressure, and various types of cancer.
If you notice your pet is overweight, it is important to take them to the veterinarian for a check-up to determine the root of the problem and start them on a weight loss program as soon as possible.

Educate Yourself As A Pet Owner To Make Sure You Are Doing Your Part For Your Pet

Unfortunately, too many pets suffer from obesity due to their owner’s poor understanding of pet nutrition. As your pet’s primary caretaker, it is important for you to understand how to properly feed them in order to prevent obesity and other health problems.
Once you have a plan, here are some tips to help you get started:
These are just a few tips to get you started on the path to better pet nutrition.

Pet Obesity & Nutritional Counseling At Signature Veterinary Services

For more information, or to schedule an appointment with our mobile clinic, contact us today! Pet obesity is a preventable disease that affects millions of dogs and cats in the United States. Just like humans, our pets need regular exercise and a balanced diet to maintain a healthy weight. Call Signature Veterinary Services to talk to one of our experts, and ask about Nutritional Counseling for your pet. Do your part to help stop obesity before it starts.

The Best Supplements for Pets: Why Healthy Nutrition Matters

If you’re like most pet owners, you want to do everything in your power to ensure that your furry friend lives a long and healthy life. And one of the most important things you can do is make sure they are getting the right nutrients in their diet. Signature Veterinary Services is here to discuss some of the best supplements for pets, and why they are so important!

What Nutrients Should I Include in My Pets Diet?


One of the most important nutrients for pets is protein. Protein is essential for muscle growth and repair, and it also helps to keep the immune system strong. If your pet is not getting enough protein in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like animal-based collagen or whey protein powder.

Omega-Fatty Acids:

Another important nutrient for pets is omega-fatty acids. Omega-fatty acids help to keep the skin and coat healthy, and they also have anti-inflammatory properties. If your pet is not getting enough omega-fatty acids in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like fish oil or
krill oil.



Yet another important nutrient for pets is fiber. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system healthy and can also help to regulate blood sugar levels. If your pet is not getting enough fiber in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like psyllium husk or chia seeds.

Vitamins & Minerals:

Finally, vitamins and minerals are also important for pets. Vitamins and minerals play a role in everything from bone health to energy levels. If your pet is not getting enough vitamins and minerals in their diet, they may benefit from a supplement like multivitamins or mineral-rich kelp powder.


Why Does Your Pet Needs Supplements

Just like humans, when pets don’t get the right mix of nutrients from their food they may become sick or experience other health problems. Lucky for you, there are a number of supplements available on the market that can help promote good health in your pet.

How To Find the Right Supplements For Your Pet

It is important to remember that not all supplements are created equal. We recommend doing your research to find the best quality products for your pet. Be sure to look for supplements that are made with natural ingredients and free from fillers, binders, and artificial additives. And always talk to your veterinarian before making any changes to your pet’s diet.

Your pet is unique and special, and our doctors at Signature Veterinary Services are here to help you find the right diet for your special furry friend. Call Signature Veterinary Services to schedule an appointment for Nutritional Counseling and talk to an expert on pet nutrition today!


How Is My Pet's Dental Health?

Your pet might not need to take a bath every single day, but many pet owners don’t realize that their pets need regular dental care to keep their teeth, gums, and bodies healthy – just like we do. In fact, most dogs and cats already have some form of periodontal disease (gum disease) by the time they reach age three. Periodontal disease can wreak havoc on a pet’s general health, even leading to premature death.

Signs and Symptoms of Dental Problems in Pets

We recommend scheduling a dental exam sooner rather than later if you notice any of the following signs or symptoms in your pet:

How to Care for Your Pet's Teeth

The best way to protect your pet from periodontal disease and the health risks associated with it is to take good care of their teeth and gums.

Pet Dental Care at Home

At home, we recommend brushing your pet’s teeth daily (or as frequently as possible) using toothpaste formulated for pets and a toothbrush designed for your dog or cat. Additionally, you can provide your pet with dental-friendly treats and chew toys in addition to using water additives and dental-friendly kibble.

Professional Pet Dental Care

Professional pet dental care is similar to dental care for humans. During a routine pet dentistry appointment, our veterinarian thoroughly examines your pet’s teeth and gums for signs of tooth decay or other issues. We then clean your pet’s teeth by scaling and polishing the surfaces of the teeth to remove any accumulated tartar and plaque. This deep clean also extends slightly below the gum line to help combat periodontal disease.

Mobile Pet Dentistry in Carlsbad

With Signature Veterinary Services, we bring everything your pet needs to keep their smile happy and healthy right to your doorstep. We provide comprehensive pet dentistry services and treatments. To learn more about pet dentistry and the importance of dental care for dogs and cats, we welcome you to contact us today.

How to Prepare for Flea and Tick Season

Thanks to our warm weather, fleas and ticks can be active year-round in Southern California. However, we are moving into the time of the year when they are most active. So, it’s important to prepare your home, yard, and pet to help keep your pets and you safe from parasites like fleas and ticks and the diseases they carry.

6 Tips to Prepare for Flea and Tick Season

1. Use a Preventative

The best way to protect your pets from parasites is with preventative medication. These come in several forms including oral tablets, topical ointments, and collars. It’s best to speak with a veterinarian before selecting a product for your pet because we can advise you on which products will be effective for your pet and safe for the other pets and small children in your household.

2. Do Not Mix and Match Parasite Preventatives

Parasite preventatives should not be shared among different pets in your household. Preventatives for dogs are formulated differently from those intended for cats, and dog parasite preventatives can actually be very dangerous for cats. Additionally, different sized pets will need different doses and formulations.

3. Clean Up Your Yard

Fleas and ticks thrive in grassy, brushy, and woody areas. Keep your yard free from debris and ensure all your shrubbery and grass is well trimmed to reduce parasite populations in your pet’s immediate environment. Additionally, fleas and ticks tend to concentrate around bird feeders and birdbaths. If you have these features in your yard, place them out of the way of the areas where your pet plays.

4. Clean Outdoor Pet Places

In addition to keeping your yard clean, be sure to thoroughly clean any outdoor kennels or pet houses, as these are usually highly susceptible to housing fleas and ticks.

5. Be Mindful of Where You Play and Walk

When you take your pet out for a walk, avoid areas that are brushy, have tall grass, or are heavily wooded. These are prime locations for pets to pick up fleas and ticks. Instead, pick a well-groomed walking path or stick to the sidewalk during the coolest parts of the day.

6. Even Indoor Pets Are at Risk

We can bring fleas and ticks inside on our own clothing or pets can pick them up when they go outside to the bathroom.

Schedule a Parasite Prevention Appointment With Our Mobile Team

If you want to ensure your pet is adequately protected from fleas and ticks this season, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Signature Veterinary Services in San Diego. We’ll come your home in San Diego, Orange, or Riverside Counties and can recommend a preventative product for your pet that will be effective and safe for the entire household.