Understanding Canine Intestinal Parasites & Giardia in NYC

Understanding Canine Intestinal Parasites & Giardia in NYC

A Pet Owner’s Guide  

Canine intestinal parasites and Giardia are prevalent issues for dog owners in New York City (NYC). In a bustling city with many parks and sidewalks that allow dogs, responsible pet owners are concerned about parasites. They worry about the potential risks their pets may face.

Parasites can be harmful to dogs and cause health issues. Taking precautions to protect their furry friends is important for pet owners. Parasites can affect dogs in Central Park, Staten Island, and other areas. Learn about the symptoms, prevention, and treatment options for parasites in dogs in NYC. 

What are Canine Intestinal Parasites & Giardia?  

Canine intestinal parasites are organisms that live in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract and feed off their host’s nutrients. In our area this includes roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, and tapeworms. Giardia is a parasite that can cause stomach issues in dogs. Roughly 11% of dogs in NYC have Giardia at any time.

Intestinal Parasite & Giardia Effects on Dogs

City dogs can get sick from intestinal parasites. This can cause symptoms like diarrhea, vomiting, weight loss, fatigue, and in severe cases, death.

Giardia infection can lead to similar symptoms, often with intermittent diarrhea being the most common sign.

Common Symptoms to Watch For

  • Diarrhea – Particularly if the diarrhea is persistent or bloody.
  • Vomiting – Frequent vomiting or vomiting accompanied by lethargy.
  • Weight Loss – Unexplained weight loss despite a regular appetite.
  • Lethargy – Noticeable decrease in energy levels and activity.
  • Visible Worms – Visible in the stool or around the dog’s anus.

Intestinal Parasite & Giardia Prevention Measures

  1. Keep your dog’s living space clean by picking up their waste, especially in cities. This helps maintain a tidy environment for everyone.
  2. Schedule regular veterinary check-ups for your dog to monitor their health and catch any signs of parasites early. Pure Paws Veterinary Care recommends screening dogs twice a year for parasites.
  3. Make sure to use parasite control products recommended by your vet regularly. This is especially important if your dog spends time outside or plays with other dogs. Not sure what’s right for you or your pup? We can help, just give Pure Paw a call.
  4. Avoid Contaminated Areas: Be cautious in places where dogs gather. These places include dog parks and dog runs. Parasites can easily spread in these common areas.
  5. Hygiene Practices: Practice good hygiene habits such as washing your hands after handling your dog or cleaning up after them.

Intestinal Parasite & Giardia Treatment Options

If your dog is diagnosed with intestinal parasites or Giardia, your veterinarian will prescribe appropriate treatment based on the specific parasite involved and the severity of the infection. Treatment may include oral medications, dewormers, or antibiotics. It’s crucial to follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully to ensure successful treatment and prevent re-infection.


Intestinal parasites and Giardia in canines are significant concerns for dog owners in NYC, given the city’s unique environment and high dog population density. To protect your dog from harmful parasites, you should be aware of the risks and look out for any symptoms. It is also important to schedule regular visits to the vet, use parasite control methods, and maintain good hygiene.

These steps will keep your dog safe and healthy. Remember, early detection and prompt treatment are key to keeping your dog healthy and happy in the urban jungle of NYC.

Navigating Pet Travel to China: A Comprehensive Guide

Navigating Pet Travel to China: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you considering traveling to China with your furry friend? As an expert in pet travel documentation and exporting to Asia, Pure Paws Veterinary Care is here to guide you through the process so you can be well-prepared and know exactly what to expect.

First and foremost, it’s essential to plan ahead as the process of preparing your pet for travel to China takes some time. Here’s what you need to know:

  1. Vaccination Requirements:

Your pet must have had at least two rabies vaccines in its lifetime, with the most recent one being current at the time of travel.

  1. Microchip:

Your pet must have an ISO compatible (16 digit) microchip for identification. If you don’t have one, you’ll need to purchase and travel with your own microchip scanner.

  1. Rabies Titer Test:

A valid and current rabies titer test (FAVN) is required for travel to China.

Once these requirements are met, paperwork can be completed within 14 days of your departure. Now, let’s break down the timeline:

  • Visit 1: Examination, 1st rabies vaccine, and microchip placement.
  • Visit 2: 30 days later, another rabies vaccine, and rabies titer test.
  • Visit 3: Within 14 days of departure for paperwork.

It’s important to note that the rabies titer test usually takes 2-4 weeks to return from Kansas, with the timeframe subject to change. So, it’s advisable to account for this timing when scheduling appointments and planning your travel.

However, despite careful planning, there are potential challenges you might encounter:

  1. Microchip Issues:

Sometimes, pets may have a microchip listed in their records, but it’s not found during examination. In such cases, placing a second chip is recommended to ensure it scans upon arrival.

  1. Rabies Titer Test Challenges:

Some pets may not pass their rabies titer test after a single rabies vaccine or if significant time has passed since their last vaccine. This could result in repeating the steps of Visit 2, causing delays and additional costs.

  1. Lab Result Delays:

The turnaround time for lab results from Kansas can be delayed due to increased demand, affecting your travel plans. It’s wise to estimate 4-6 weeks for the results to come back to avoid cutting it too close.

Rest assured, Pure Paws Veterinary Care handles these situations regularly and is here to assist you with any questions or concerns that may arise during the planning process. Your pet’s safety and comfort are our top priorities, and we’re dedicated to ensuring a smooth and stress-free travel experience for both you and your beloved companion.

If you have any further questions or need assistance in planning your trip and travel appointments, feel free to reach out to one of our three locations in Hudson Square, Hell’s Kitchen, or Clinton Hill. We’re here to help make your journey to China as smooth as possible!

Pure Paws Hudson Square: Your Trusted Veterinary Hospital For Large Breed Dogs

Pure Paws Hudson Square: Your Trusted Veterinary Hospital For Large Breed Dogs

In the bustling heart of NYC, where every dog owner seeks the best care for their furry companions, Pure Paws Hudson Square stands out as a veterinary hospital with a reputation for excellence. Over the years, Dr. Nuala McDermott has had the privilege of treating a variety of dogs big and small, earning her the trust of the community. This trust stems from a commitment to understanding the unique needs of our beloved four-legged friends, even those that stand tall and mighty.

  1. Nutrition and Exercise: The Foundation for Healthy Giants

Large dog breeds, such as Great Danes, Mastiffs, and German Shepherds, require special attention to nutrition and exercise from a young age. At Pure Paws Hudson Square, we emphasize the importance of tailored care plans to support the healthy growth and development of these gentle giants. Our team understands that the foundation for a happy and healthy large dog starts with proper nutrition and appropriate exercise routines.

  1. Preventative Care: Reducing the Risk of Bloat

One critical aspect of our approach is educating owners about the significance of prophylactic gastropexy. This procedure, typically performed at the time of spaying or neutering (around 18 months or older), helps reduce the risk of a life-threatening condition known as gastric dilatation-volvulus (GDV) or bloat. Our commitment to preventative care is aimed at ensuring the well-being of large and giant breed dogs throughout their lives.

  1. Listening and Awareness: Our Greatest Strength

At Pure Paws Hudson Square, we believe that being a trusted veterinarian for large and giant breed dogs goes beyond specialized skills. Our strength lies in actively listening to the concerns of pet owners and being aware of breed-specific issues. By fostering open communication, we create a partnership with owners to provide the best possible care for their canine companions.

  1. Personal Experience: Giant Dog Breeds

Don’t let Dr. McDermott’s adorable pug fool you, she too was a large dog breed owner at one point in her life, having owned both a Newfoundland as well as a Great Pyrenees! Her personal experiences with dog breeds of all calibers allow her to understand the diverse needs and challenges that come with all dogs.

Pure Paws Hudson Square is not just a veterinary hospital; it’s a place where the love for dogs and the commitment to their well-being converge. One of PPVC’s newest clients proclaimed;

“When I got our new puppy recently we had his first vet visit elsewhere, which wasn’t a good choice for a few reasons, the most important being an evident lack of knowledge about this large dog breed. We then turned to Instagram for recommendations on local veterinarians who work well with large dog breeds, and one user referred us to Dr. McDermott at Pure Paws Vet, explaining she is a veterinarian who is well-versed with his large breed. After getting some quick shots, Dr. McDermott was happy to answer all our questions, and was very knowledgeable! Overall, we had a great experience and are happy we made the switch.”

When you choose Pure Paws Hudson Square, you’re choosing a team that listens, cares, and is committed to the health and happiness of your cherished pets. Trust us to be your partner in providing exceptional care for your large and giant breed dogs in the heart of NYC.

Best Practices for Older Pets

Best Practices For Older Pets

** Based on 2023 AAHA Senior Care Guidelines

Who are our senior pets?

Various definitions exist but typically we’re talking about pets in the final 25% of their life span or cats older than 10 years of age (not to say that cats only live 25% longer than 10 years old).

Why are senior pets special?

Just as young puppies and kittens have special needs, older pets do as well.

These older pets may encounter similar concerns and disease processes and thus we can tailor our care to address these common concerns before or as they arise.

How can we care best for these patients?

A detailed history of at home observations is very helpful. These should include:

  • Eating/drinking habits
  • Exercise and movement
  • Play behavior
  • Eliminations
  • Attitude
  • Grooming
  • Vision and hearing

We also want to know exactly what your pet is eating and what medications, supplements, nutraceuticals, ointments and oils they may be receiving.

Your vet or veterinary nurse may inquire if you have pictures of videos of changed behaviors or your pet’s mobility, so don’t hesitate to obtain these and share them with us.

How often should you visit?

In general, older pets should have two physical examinations per year.

Depending on any co-morbidities (other chronic issues or upcoming concerns) we may advise more frequent visits or seek the consultation for specialists.

A full physical examination in a senior pet should also include a comprehensive diagnostic profile including (but not limited to):

  • Cell Blood Count
  • Chemistry profile to evaluate organ functions
  • Thyroid (Total T4)
  • Urinalysis, which we may have specific reasoning for obtaining (at home before the visit) or in office sterility
  • Fecal screening
  • Heartworm and tick testing (if warranted)
  • Blood pressure measurement
  • Advanced diagnostics may also be warranted after review of preliminary diagnostics.

How else your senior visit may be different:

  • We will do our best to keep your pet as comfortable as possible including using padded beds, blankets, and we may also use “pheromones” which are natural calming scents.
  • We may provide you with a questionnaire ahead of time with questions directed at behaviors you may be seeing at home as your pet ages.
  • Your visit may last longer than it has in the past, because there may be a lot of different details to discuss and we want to create a solid plan for your pet as they enter their golden years.
  • We may create a body map of lumps and bumps that you’re noticing, so we don’t lose track of them and so we don’t sample the same lesions over and over again.

Considerations for older pets

  • Dental Care is important at all life stages, but possibly more so as a pet ages.
    • Age is not a disease, and so if your pet has dental disease, we may recommend a comprehensive dental cleaning including anesthesia to alleviate pain and discomfort and prevent worsening dental disease.
    • We can perform anesthesia safely on aged pets, but we may advise additional pre-anesthesia diagnostics including chest x-rays and complete bloodwork or cardiac evaluations if warranted in your pet.
  • Nutritional Consultation
    • Senior pets may have different needs as it pertains to chronic disease or metabolic needs changing with age.
  • Cognitive Decline
    • 14-22.5% of older pets will suffer from age-related cognitive impairment that may start as early at 8 years of age
    • You may note clinical signs such as disorientation, confusion of days and nights or changed sleeping patterns, loss of house training, altered activity levels and increasing anxiety
    • We’re here to help and early intervention with supplements and medications can make a difference in many pets, so please don’t hesitate to mention these things
    • We have a helpful questionnaire that you can work through to help identify these changes
  • Pain Management
    • Older pets are more likely to encounter chronic pain conditions
    • The management of these conditions may include prescription drugs, supplements, nutraceuticals and alternative therapies like cold laser, acupuncture, or physical therapy.
    • We have a list of favorite resources for this, which is included at the end of this information sheet.

We are constantly learning how better to care for our senior patients and their families.  We have resources for you if you should find your pet has changing needs and you aren’t sure where to turn.

For example, in home grooming or home visits may be more appropriate for pets that are having discomfort at the vet or groomer.

Is your pet sitter comfortable with a senior pet and will they need to administer medications during their stay with your pet?

Is your dog walker comfortable with senior pets and are they able to do 1:1 walks vs pack walks, which may not be ideal for an aged pet at this stage of life.

We also have included some tips and links to videos on administering medication to pets

If you find it hard to medicate your pet, ask us about compounded medications which can be made into formulations that are not stressful to give (treats, creams, liquids, etc.).

As your pet ages, no concern is too minor to bring to our attention.  Noting changes early can make a big difference in having options for treatment and for maintaining longevity and quality of life.


  • Joint Health:
    • Dasuquin Advanced or Dasuquin with MSM (Nutramax) for cats and dogs
    • Fish Oils:
      • Omega Benefits
    • CBD:
      • Ellevet oil or chews or gelcaps (for cats and dogs)
  • Gastrointestinal Support:
    • Probiotics:
      • Visbiome Vet
      • Proviable
      • Synacore
  • Pain Management:
    • Prescription NSAIDs
    • Gabapentin
  • Alternative Therapies:
    • Acupuncture:
      • Dr. Rachel Barack
      • Dr. Jeff Levy
  • Physical Therapy and Rehab:
    • Water4Dogs
Dog Halloween Pup Up At The Hines Building

Dog Halloween Pup Up At The Hines Building

We had a great time meeting so many neighbors and their pets at our Pure Paws Hudson Square Halloween event on the roof of our own Hines Building in SoHo on Halloween day! Attendees enjoyed giveaways, a costume contest, and doggy play dates against the New York City skyline.

We had treats from Pupper Cup, the ice cream cart pop up for dogs! Want to try a Pupper Cup? Check them out here.

Also big thanks to Kate Perry Dog Training for attending and bringing the fun! Looking for someone to help socialize your pup and teach them to thrive in an urban environment? Check out her services here or come by select Wednesdays at our SoHo / Hudson Square Pure Paws location when Kate hosts Puppy Training classes.

Congratulations to Ralph the Dachshund aka Travis Kelce for being our Halloween costume contest winner. He was definitely in his Halloween “Era” 😉.

Thank you to our fantastic Building Management at Hines for letting us host the first pet event on the roof and for bringing such a fun event to our Hines Building tenants. We can’t wait for the next one!

What is Fear Free? De-Stress Your Pets!

What is Fear Free? De-Stress Your Pets!

Fear Free and Low Stress Handling:

Did you know there is an entire organization dedicated to low stress handling for pets? This group, called Fear Free puts out tips and tricks but also runs training courses, which many of our vets have completed to train us how to best put your pet (and you) at ease during visits. Nothing is perfect, and not every pet needs this help or will be receptive to the concepts, but if your pet does need assistance, please know, you are not alone and we can help.

The most important part of this concept is open communication between you and your vet. You may be surprised to know that one of the top reasons owners delay seeking care for their pet is because their pet had a negative or stressful experience at the vet. If your pet is an anxious one, you may know that it is hard to do a thorough exam or to deliver information to you during these stressful visits, which limits our medical expertise and can impact our ability to deliver great care.

However, don’t worry, we have some options to help make this situation more tolerable for your pet and to allow us to do a better exam on site and to allow you to feel less anxiety upon scheduling and bringing your pet in.

We work to keep our facility calm and as quiet as possible. We also have high value treats in each room so we can help your pet to learn that the vet can be a tasty excursion. For some pets distraction is enough to alleviate stress.

We also utilize Feliway, a natural product that has a scent pleasing to cats.

You may notice, we wrap your pet in a towel or place an elizabethan collar, so your pet can focus on seeing you and not on what we are doing as part of exam behind their line of site. Some pets even feel more comfortable when muzzled, and these tools are all parts of low stress handling.

Our team can also prescribe anti-anxiety medication to help make your pet more comfortable at their vet visits. Just like us, pets can experience high fear, anxiety and stress (FAS), especially when they are out of their normal routine or environment. Pre-visit medication is a wonderful and safe tool that can be used to decrease your pet’s FAS.

In rare cases, sometimes we lean on telemedicine for follow up appointments in the right situations to further alleviate stress but not limit our ability to deliver care and ensure progress is made in healing.

When the FAS is decreased, the veterinary care is easier for them and for the team delivering it.

  1. Decreasing FAS allows us to provide the best emotional and physical care
  2. Coming to the veterinary office will be easier for your pet and subsequently for you
  3. Easier examinations and treatment delivery
  4. More accurate vital signs and test results
  5. Allows us to decrease the doses (hence reducing the risk) of sedatives and anesthesia when given in advance*
  6. Many pets have reduced FAS for future visits, when the FAS cycle is broken
  7. Decreases your pet from building increased fearful memories of veterinary care

These low stress principles are not just something we work on with you during outpatient visits, but our surgical patients are also often given oral pre-medication to help alleviate stress and if they need hospitalization, we are also always monitoring their anxiety levels and medicating if needed to help facilitate healing without undue stress.

These concepts are always evolving, so you may notice things change over time, but please know that we CARE about your pet’s physical health and their emotional well-being. If this information if interesting or helpful to you, please don’t hesitate to ask us how we can help your pet in the future.

We Won Again! Best of Pet Care by W42ST

We Won Again! Best of Pet Care by W42ST

For the second year in a row Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Hell’s Kitchen took home the top prize for Best of 2023: Pet Care by W42ST. The online media site hosts multiple categories for midtown NYC local to vote online for their favorite businesses and organizations in the neighborhood. The winners were announced at the W42ST Best of Awards 2023 event last night on October 25th.

From Best Place to Eat, Best Place to Work Out, Best Coffee, the Hell’s Kitchen locals made their choices known vote by vote! Pure Paws owner Dr. Stephanie Liff was in attendance and accepted the award in person.

“We love our clients and Hell’s Kitchen and I’m so honored to be chosen the best veterinary practice a second year in a row,” said Dr. Liff.  “The neighborhood is truly like a small town within a big city, and I feel so lucky to have joined the community in 2016 and to remain here to meet and care for you and your pets”For more on the award, read the W42ST article here.

Interested in Pet Insurance? What You Need to Know

Interested in Pet Insurance? What You Need to Know

Pet insurance is similar to human health insurance though there are key differences that are important to understand as you select an insurance policy for your pet.

  1. All pet insurance (with one exception to be noted later) is reimbursement based, which means you pay your bill, then submit your invoice to your insurance provider and they reimburse in line with the stipulations of your policy.
  2. Pet insurance can be divided into accident and illness policies and preventative care policies.  In most cases in New York City (and adjacent urban areas) preventative care is not always a great value but accident and illness coverage is imperative to alleviating financial stress associated with the health care of your pet during an illness.
  3. Preventative care typically codes out specific items it will cover and caps the reimbursement and a flat rate based on national pricing for these items. For example, the policy may reimburse you up to $65/annually total for up to 3 vaccines. However, in NYC, you may be paying nearly $60 per vaccine, so the value may not be that great to you.
  4. Accident/illness policies typically reimburse a percentage of the total bill but may exclude fees such as exams or certain treatments (sometimes they won’t pay for food, alternative therapy, and supplements).
  5. Policies will not cover illnesses that are “pre-existing” which means they were diagnosed before the policy is in place.  For example, if your pet breaks her leg today, you cannot then buy insurance to cover the cost of fixing it, because the broken leg would be pre-existing.  The different companies may vary in something called “curative periods” Which means something pre-existing could be eligible for future coverage if it is cured for a period of time, but this is all dependent on individual provider.

So what should you look for when choosing a provider?

  1. Monthly cost matters.  If the cost of the monthly coverage is so high that may be a deterrent, as you will then feel discouraged if your pet is healthy and you don’t “use the insurance”  Of course you want your pet to be healthy for as long as possible, and not encounter accidents or illnesses, but you should pick a policy that has a monthly or annual premium fee, with which you are comfortable.  In NYC, this fee may be $50-$200/month depending on age of your pet, breed, and any previous medical history they may have.
  2. The best time to get insurance is when your pet is young and healthy.  Insuring young healthy pets typically is associated with a lower monthly premium, but most importantly, if the pet is healthy, nothing is pre-existing or excluded from future coverage.   The longer you have the pet without coverage, the more you roll the dice on an accident or illness arising and becoming pre-existing for the future of your pet’s life.
  3. You want a policy that reimburses 80-90% of your invoices and has a minimum of $25,000 in annual coverage.  While $25000 sounds like a lot, if your pet encounters two major illnesses in a 12-month period, you could have bills at or in excess of $25000 and you would feel frustrated by having insurance but running out of coverage.
  4. You generally can set your deductible, which is the amount of money you pay out of pocket, before the percentage reimbursement kicks in. You may want a low deductible, which means you’re going to reach that number quickly, then the rest of your year will be covered at your percentage reimbursement OR you may want a high deductible, which would lower your monthly payment, but mean that you pay a higher amount out of pocket before insurance starts to pay a percentage of your illness/accident fees. This is a completely personal choice.
  5. Your vet will work with any insurance company, since technically all your vet needs to provide you for insurance is medical notes and an invoice. If your vet says they won’t accept insurance, that is a red flag.
  6. Communication with your vet and insurance company is key. The insurance companies do not often confirm receipt of records, invoices or let the vet know that they have  processed a claim. So if you as the owner are awaiting reimbursement beyond a period you deem reasonable, kindly let your vet know, as perhaps something got missed in terms of delivering records to your insurance company. 

Most importantly, no one WANTS to have a lot of need or usage on their insurance because that would mean your pet has illness or accident visits to the vet. However, these situations inevitably occur, and insurance is invaluable to helping you make the best medical choices with less concern about the cost of those choices. Please ask us how we can help you with insurance choices or reimbursement and please update us each visit if your insurance provider has changed!

Pawsport Ready! How We Helped A Client Get To Paris For Fashion Week

Pawsport Ready! How We Helped A Client Get To Paris For Fashion Week

Fashion Week Runway Has Cutest Model – a Pure Paws Client!

How Our Veterinary Clinic Helped a Canine Client Shine at Paris Fashion Week

In a heartwarming turn of events, a four-legged friend from our very own Pure Paws Veterinary Care of Hell’s Kitchen, in Manhattan, recently made waves in the fashion world. Meet Paige, known on Instagram at @zz_poo, a charming canine client who not only captured our hearts with her wagging tail, but also managed to steal the spotlight at this year’s Paris Fashion Week. The secret to Paige’s success? A seamless international travel certificate process provided by our dedicated veterinary team and Dr. Stephanie Liff.

The Unlikely Fashion Icon

Paige, a darling Maltese, who was one of the first pups to ever rock the runway in Paris at Fashion Week. had dreams that extended far beyond the bounds of your average dog park. Her owner, Ilene Zeins, took no chance when it came to making sure their pet travel documents were in order, and enlisted the help of Pure Paws – with their Pure Paws Travel process, they can process international and domestic travel certificates quickly and efficiently and in record time in some cases.

The Passport to Paris

International travel for pets is a complex affair, requiring meticulous attention to detail. Paige’s owner turned to our Pure Paws Veterinary Clinic, knowing that we had a reputation for providing top-notch travel certification services. Our team has traveled around the world with their own pets, and has processed travel documents for just about any country you can think of!

A Fashionable Debut

With the international travel certificate in paw, Paige made her way to the City of Lights, ready to dazzle the fashion world alongside a human model wearing the work of designer Funari New York. Paige was carried onto the runway at Paris Fashion Week, wearing a pup-sized gown that matched her human model counterpart.

A Tail-Wagging Success Story

Paige’s success story is a reminder that with the right care and support, our pets can achieve the extraordinary! Want to see more photos of Paige’s Fashion Week Debut? Check out her Instagram @zz_poo.