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Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo is kicking off our new Wellness Diagnostic Packages

Give your pet the gift of great health this holiday season!  Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo is kicking off our new Wellness Diagnostic Packages with our Healthy for the Holidays Promotion!  For a limited time, we are offering comprehensive wellness packages* at up to 40% off our previous pricing of services purchased a la carte’!

Pet Preventative and Wellness care is the key to helping our animal companions live longer, healthier & happier lives.  This type of care encompasses healthy diet and exercise, preventative medical treatments such as vaccines, flea, and heartworm preventions, as well as wellness examinations and labwork.  While many owners understand the need for a healthy lifestyle and preventative vaccinations, they are often not familiar with the idea of and need for veterinary wellness screening.

Wellness care means care provided to your pet when they are not sick in hopes of keeping your pet healthier and happier longer.  It includes annual examinations, wellness blood tests, fecal screens, and even X-rays and ultrasounds. These exams and diagnostics help our doctors confirm that your pet is indeed healthy while establishing “baseline”/normal labwork values which can be tracked over the years.

Perhaps one of the most important functions of wellness diagnostics is the early detection of illness and disease.  Subtle changes in labwork can signal to a veterinarian that something may be wrong with a pet who otherwise appears healthy.  Just as it is with people, early detection is key to delaying progression of disease, or even providing a cure for many conditions.

Now is a perfect time for pet owners to take this important step toward ensuring their pet’s long-term health.  Through December 31, 2022 we are offering comprehensive wellness packages tailored to your pet’s needs based on their species and stage of life.  These discounted packages include a complete veterinary physical exam as well as comprehensive labwork and other diagnostics to help make sure that your pet’s bodily systems are healthy and there are no indications of early disease or illness.  

Our Healthy for the Holidays Wellness Packages for 2022:

Young EssentialsSenior EssentialsSenior Comprehensive

Comprehensive Physical Exam Young Wellness Blood Panel Fecal Parasite Screen Heartworm Test Tickborne Disease Test (dog) Feline Viral Screen (cat) Urinalysis

Comprehensive Physical Exam Senior Wellness Blood Panel Thyroid Test Fecal Parasite Screen Heartworm Test Tickborne Disease Test (dog) Feline Viral Screen (cat) Urinalysis Blood Pressure Intraocular Pressure Test (dog)

Comprehensive Physical Exam Senior Wellness Blood Panel Thyroid Test Fecal Parasite Screen Heartworm Test Tickborne Disease Test (dog) Feline Viral Screen (cat) Urinalysis Blood Pressure Intraocular Pressure Test (dog) Chest X-rays Electrocardiograph Screen Abdominal Ultrasound

*Healthy for the Holidays Packages are intended as wellness screens for pets free from obvious serious illness.  Wellness packages are not offered for ill pets in need of medical workup.

 If you are interested in take this important step for your pet’s health, contact Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo at (760) 736-3636 for more information or to make an appointment!

Click here for more information on these great packages! 

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

1691 Melrose Dr. Suite # 110

San Marcos, CA 92078


February is National Pet Dental Health Month-Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, a time to highlight the importance of good oral health in our canine and feline companions. 

Periodontal disease is the number one health problem in pets in the United States.  By the age of two, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs show some signs of this disease.  Despite its prevalence, this preventable condition is largely under recognized by pet owners, so treatment often does not begin until the disease is significantly advanced and may have caused permanent damage.

Untreated, periodontal disease can have body-wide effects in both humans and pets.  Local disease effects include inflamed gums, bad breath, acute and chronic oral pain, tooth root infections, jaw bone infections, pathological jaw fractures, and an increased incidence of oral cancers.  However, dental disease is also known to produce body-wide effects because it puts sufferers in a chronic state of infection.  These systemic effects include kidney, liver, heart, and lung disease, and even diabetes mellitus.  It is well-documented that the effects of periodontal disease go far beyond “bad breath”; it can affect your pet’s comfort, well-being, and even shorten their lifespan.  

Periodontal disease is generally described in two stages.  The early, easily reversible stage called gingivitis and the later stage of the disease process known as periodontitis.  The disease process starts with plaque, a biofilm made almost entirely of bacteria which collects on teeth.  Plaque is soft and to a certain extent can be removed with regular (once or twice a day) brushing.  When plaque remains on the teeth it collects and calcifies, becoming a hard yellowish substance called calculus (or tartar).  It is calculus that is at the heart of significant periodontal disease.  It cannot be brushed off and requires professional intervention to remove.

Plaque and calculus are laden with bacteria, up to 100,000,000,000 bacteria per gram!  It is this bacteria which leads to the progression of periodontal disease.  The most dangerous effects of this disease are largely not visible on the surface of the tooth.  The bacteria present in plaque and tartar quickly begin to creep below the gumline into an area known as the subgingival sulcus.  As the resulting infection progresses, the process begins to eat away at the connection between the tooth and the gingiva (gums), and even into the bone that holds the tooth root (which makes up ½ to 2/3 of an adult tooth) in place.  This process starts as infected gums, but eventually leads sub gingival infection, loose teeth, tooth root infection, bone loss, pain, and systemic (body wide) infection.

Since most of this disease process takes place below the gumline, simply chipping away visible tartar or “anesthesia free” dental cleanings are largely ineffective. Properly preventing or treating periodontal disease starts with a thorough veterinary dental cleaning and oral health assessment under anesthesia.  This cleaning should include full-mouth X-rays (to diagnose signs of sub-gingival infection/damage), veterinary oral examination, sub-gingival pocket assessment, hand scaling above and below the gumline, ultrasonic scaling, thorough polishing, and fluoride treatment. 

Once the teeth have been properly cleaned, a comprehensive home care program can begin.  This program ideally includes, daily tooth brushing and may also include dental chews, water/food additives, or even dental health diets.

While the effects of periodontal disease can be significant, the good news is that it is largely preventable with a good home-care program and regular veterinary care.  As with most disease processes, the earlier you address this condition the better.  Early diagnosis and treatment will result in much less oral disease and a much happier, healthier pet!

If you have any questions about Periodontal Disease or other pet health questions, please contact our hospital at (760) 736-3636.

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

1691 Melrose Dr. Suite # 110
San Marcos, CA 92078

Summer Camp 2021 – Can We Go?

With rates of COVID-19 trending down in California, and schools opening back up for in-person instruction, will our kids be able to enroll in summer camps this year? Dr. Jaime Friedman’s latest blog gives a positive outlook for our kids getting out there and being social again. Take a look at it HERE

Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG), in partnership with Rady Children’s Health Network, is dedicated to offering outstanding healthcare for your kids, from birth through age 18. Have you checked out our website?  We can help you find a doctor, explain why CPMG is right for you and allow you to view videos on our doctors and other health topics.

We’re also very social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ask us a question, leave us a comment or make a suggestion for future posts. We love hearing from you!

COVID-19 or a common cough?

We are all so worried about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 right now. What f your child has a cold and cough? Dr. Stephen Carson explains some very practical things you can do to help alleviate your child’s symptoms. Watch his video HERE

Children’s Physicians Medical Group (CPMG), in partnership with Rady Children’s Health Network, is dedicated to offering outstanding healthcare for your kids, from birth through age 18. Have you checked out our website?  We can help you find a doctor, explain why CPMG is right for you and allow you to view videos on our doctors and other health topics.

We’re also very social! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Ask us a question, leave us a comment or make a suggestion for future posts. We love hearing from you!

Heat tips from Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

With their cute round faces, big eyes, and fun personalities, short-snouted breeds such as French Bulldogs, English Bulldogs, Pugs and Boston Terriers have become increasingly popular in recent years.  These dogs, along with other flat faced breeds such as Boxers, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, and Japanese Chins are known as Brachycephalic dog breeds.  This term refers to the shape of these dogs’ muzzles, which are significantly more compact than other dog breeds.

While charming and adorable, flat-snouted dogs carry with them a special set of dangers vs their longer-nosed cousins.  Their flat faces mean significantly shortened facial bones and a shortening of the overlying soft tissue.  These structural differences mean both their soft palate (the soft tissue in the back of animals’ throats) and their nasal passage are more compacted, often resulting in a partially blocked airway. This particular set of structural abnormalities is known as Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome.  The end result is a relatively obstructed airway which affects the dog’s ability to respirate.

In addition to needing efficient breathing to provide oxygen to the body, dogs rely heavily on their respiratory tract to dissipate heat.  Breathing, in the form of panting, is the primary way in which dogs cool their bodies down.  This means that efficient breathing is essential for thermoregulation.  For Brachycephalic breeds, this vital function is restricted, often severely, which put these dogs in jeopardy during hot weather or extreme exercise. 

It is important that owners of Brachycephalic breeds understand the restrictions of their dogs’ anatomies.  For starters, these dogs should NOT be asked to participate in activities that require higher respiratory and cardiovascular output. This includes activities such as hiking, running, and jogging, especially during warmer weather.  While all dogs need exercise, flat nose breeds benefit from regular exercise that is slow and steady vs fast and/or intense. 

In addition, it is important to note that these breeds are especially susceptible to heat exhaustion and heat stroke.  The best way to deal with this problem is to prevent it and to know the signs of danger.

All dog owners should know the signs of heat-related injury and owners of Brachycephalic breeds should know these can occur much more quickly in their dogs vs. their longer snouted cousins:

Signs of Danger include:

  • A noticeable rise in breathing volume or a “gurgling” sound when they breathe
  • Excessive panting and/or panting that appears labored
  • Bright red gums
  • Excessive drooling
  • Glazed eyes
  • Difficulty walking/walking very slowly
  • Vomiting and/or bloody diarrhea
  • Lack of coordination or staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

Heat exhaustion and heat stroke are life threatening and should be considered a veterinary emergency.

The best way to “treat” heat related injuries are to simply prevent them.  The following advise will help prevent heat stroke in your dog:

  • Be aware of the forecasted temperature and keep your pet out of the heat; for some sun-loving dogs, this may mean locking them indoors during the heat of the day
  • Limit outdoor exposure during the hottest months of the year
  • ALWAYS have cool water available.
  • Walk dogs, especially brachycephalic breeds, on a harness.  This will prevent blockage of the airway which is essential for efficient respiration and efficient body cooling
  • Offer a cooling pad or cool areas for your pet to lie down if they need to cool off
  • DO NOT exercise your dog or allow them to play outdoors when it is warm outside.  Remember that flat-nosed breeds have a lower heat tolerance, so they should be exercised only when it is cool outside.

In addition, studies have shown that brachycephalic dogs who are physically fit are better able to respirate and are better able to manage their body temperatures.  This means that healthy weight and exercise are important to preventing heat related injuries.  Heed the following advise regarding conditioning your Brachycephalic dog:

  • In general, squatty flat-nosed dog breeds are not designed for strenuous exercise.  Avoid running/jogging, hiking, and similar exercise requiring significant respiratory output
  • Healthy weight is essential to the wellbeing of all dogs.  Your dog, regardless of breed, should have a visible waist and a “tummy tuck” behind their chest when viewing from the side.  In addition, your dog’s ribs should be easy to feel when lighting running your fingers down their sides.  You should not feel a layer of fat over your pet’s ribcage
  • Keep your pet physically fit.  While it is inadvisable to require strenuous exercise (such as jogging, running, and steep hiking) of a dog with a significantly flattened snout, exercise is still important.  Your pet should have mild to moderate exercise daily, ideally twice daily
  • If you are just starting an exercise program, do so slowly and allow your dog to buildup endurance over time
  • Always exercise your brachycephalic breed dog a harness.  This allows them to keep their already restricted airway as open as possible
  • When exercising (regardless of ambient temperature) always pay attention to your dog’s breathing.  If it becomes louder or seems strained or labored, stop the exercise and allow your dog to rest/cool down. Head home once they are cooled off
  • Take water with you during exercise with your dog.  This will allow you to help them cool down 

In general, it is important to remember that brachycephalic breeds often have significantly compromised respiratory tracts.  This affects their ability to exercise, handle extreme stress, and to cool their bodies.  Neglecting these considerations can put your dog in a life-threatening situation.

If you have any concerns about heat-related injury in your pet or any other concerns about your pet’s wellbeing, contact your veterinarian immediately for expert advise and treatment.

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

1691 Melrose Dr. Suite # 110
San Marcos, CA 92078

Foxtails and Your Pets-Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo

This time of year, many dog owners are hitting trails to enjoy the beautiful weather with their canine friends.  Unfortunately, a fun day on the trail can turn into a painful experience for your pooch from a seemingly innocent source.

Foxtails are a frequent sight on trails, open spaces and yards in Southern California.  These invasive weeds are named for their clusters of spiked seed pods which resemble the tail of a fox.  Foxtails usually appear in our landscape in early spring.  Like the rest of San Diego county, they start out soft and green but by then end of the season they have dried to a brittle brown.

The dried, spiked clusters of the foxtail eventually break down into individual spikelets.  The pods are spiked and barbed, qualities that help them penetrate the tough San Diego ground.  Unfortunately, these qualities also allow them to wreak havoc on your pets.

Foxtails are a common emergency in veterinary medicine this time of year.  When a dog comes in contact with a foxtail, the barbs along the spikelet attach to the fur.  These barbs allow the foxail to move only one way: forward, while the sharp tip on the spikelet allows it to pierce skin or penetrate dense fur.

Foxtails will attach to almost any part of the dog that brushes against them.  Common sites of infestation are ears, eyes, nose, and between the toes.  They can also burrow beneath the skin along the body on thick coated dogs.  Occasionally veterinarians even see foxtails buried in tonsils or under the gums of dogs who enjoy chewing on these plants. 

Once embedded, these seeds rarely work their way out.  Their burrowing properties wreak havoc on infected pets and continue causing painful damage until they are removed. Veterinary intervention is usually required to treat foxtail infestation.  Sedation or surgery may be necessary, along with treatments to help with pain and infection resulting from “foreign body” invasion.

Signs of foxtails include:

A painful, infected ear

Head tilting or shaking

Acute, severe sneezing

Nasal discharge or bleeding

Squinting, painful eye

Red, painful bumps between toes or under the skin

There are some simple steps that owners can take to help their dog avoid a painful foxtail experience.  The simplest prevention is to avoid them altogether.  We find foxtails along trails, in open spaces, and in unlandscaped areas.  They are common in late spring through summer and can be identified by their bushy clusters of spikes resembling the tail of a fox. Foxtails can even be found in our yards, so carefully inspect unlandscaped areas for these invaders.
Even if you practice diligent avoidance, carefully check your pet after walks or hikes.  Common sites of infestation are between the toes, the legs, the underbelly, the eyes, and the nose.  With long coated dogs, it is a good practice to brush them out after hikes, as well.  Keeping your pet’s feet trimmed short can help prevent these dangerous hitchhikers; some owners even purchase hiking boots for their dogs to protect their feet on trail.

Dogs are not the only ones affected by foxtails.  Occasionally we see outdoor cats who have picked one up.  We most commonly see foxtails invade cats’ eyes, under their third eyelid.  Symptoms include painful swelling, redness, and discharge out of one eye.

Foxtails are not only painful but can be very damaging to your pet.  If you think your pet may be infected, contact your veterinarian immediately to prevent further pain and injury.

-Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo

Advanced Veterinary Care of San Elijo 

1691 Melrose Dr. Suite # 110
San Marcos, CA 92078

Teen physical activity rates too low

Teen physical activity rates too low

 While physical activity has endless proven benefits, 80% of teens are not meeting the exercise recommendation of one hour of vigorous exercise per day. In the U.S. daily P E is no longer a requirement at many schools, meaning teens need extracurricular physical activity or hobbies in order to reach the guidelines. 

 Kids and teens can greatly benefit from getting adequate physical activity. Exercise can improve attention span, mood, and sleep; reduce risk for chronic diseases later in life, and even help to normalize elevated cholesterol levels. Participating in sports teams can also be beneficial socially and help to improve communication and teamwork in a supportive environment. 

 While 60 minutes per day is the recommendation, it’s not necessary to complete the full hour at once. A few short bursts of activity have been proven to be as effective as a longer stretch of activity. For example, 60 minutes can easily add up by walking to school, taking the dog for a walk, and doing a short circuit workout. 

 If your child isn’t interested in traditional sports teams, there are plenty of options for getting movement in during the day. There are apps that can facilitate home workouts (check out the 7-minute workout), YouTube has hundreds of thousands of home workout options, and of course- simply talking a walk, jog, or bike ride can be easy and being outdoors has its own benefits. Your local community center or YMCA can be a great resource for workout opportunities.  

More exercise ideas for teens: 

  • Dance/ Zumba Classes
  • Walking 
  • Skateboarding 
  • Weight lifting 
  • Aerobic classes 
  • Bicycling 
  • Yoga
  • Resistance training – body weight
  • Hiking
  • Martial Arts 
  • Swimming 

Although sixty minutes per day is the recommendation, doing some exercise is always better than none. Starting with a few days per week or even 10-20 minutes per day can be beneficial. 

If you don’t have teens yet, getting younger children in the habit of exercising (through play) can be beneficial into the teen years, and for life.  Most families find it helpful to have activity scheduled ahead of time. Doing activities together as a family, such as going to the gym at the same time, hiking together, or participating in local runs or walks, or attending Walk with a Doc can ensure there is some physical activity on the schedule. 

Children’s Primary Care Medical Group is now offering Walk with a Doc, a free weekly walk for kids, teens, and families, at two convenient locations in North County. Walk with a Doc is offered in Vista on Thursdays at 4:15 at VIDA School and La Costa on Tuesdays at 4:00pm at Stagecoach Park. A healthy snack is always provided.  Check out for more information. 

 If you need assistance helping your kids or teens improve their health habits, contact the W.E.L.L. Clinic at Children’s Primary Care Medical Group. The W.E.L.L. Clinic specializes in helping kids, teens, and families make habit changes to improve health in the following areas: nutrition, physical activity, sleep, stress management, and screen time. To make a W.E.L.L. Clinic appointments in La Costa call 760-633-3640, and for Oceanside call: 760-547-1010. 


Guthold, R., Stevens, G. A., Riley, L. M., & Bull, F. C. (2019). Global trends in insufficient physical activity among adolescents: a pooled analysis of 298 population-based surveys with 1·6 million participants. The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health. doi: 10.1016/s2352-4642(19)30323-2

  • NOTE 6/23/20: because of COVID-19, group sports and gym activities are not available right now. But many of the other suggestions for physical activity can be done with your immediate family, individually or outside with proper six foot distancing and wearing of face coverings. 
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