Posts in Category: Cat dentals
Oh wow! Anesthesia can be so scary! How do you know your pet is going to be ok? Will they wake up? How does a pet owner make certain their pet is receiving the safest surgical care possible?
What you should look for:
- Take a tour of the facility. Check out the surgical suites. Do they have up to date anesthetic machines, monitoring and warming equipment?
- Do they stress the importance of pre-surgical bloodwork? Pre-anesthetic testing is what determines if your pet has health problems that would make anesthesia unsafe or if they require special anesthetic drug protocols.
- What type of anesthesia is used? There is a huge difference between cheap injectable first generation anesthetics and the newer generation of drugs and inhalants that can be specifically tailored to an individual animal’s needs.
- What kind of staff do they employ? Are the surgical staff highly trained Veterinary Technicians or poorly paid lay persons who learn their trade on the job and with your pet? The best equipment in the world is no good if there is no one who understands what the readings mean.
- Do they have complete monitoring systems in place? This should include heart rate, blood pressure, carbon dioxide levels, oxygen levels, respiration, body temperature.
- Do they employ intravenous catheters, IV fluids and endotracheal tubes needed to control blood pressure, oxygen and anesthetic delivery? Or do they use an injectable anesthetic and hope for the best?
- Do they keep their staff up to date through continuing education? Technology is improving and changing all the time. Make sure the clinic you use keeps their staff current and well trained.
- Is it clean? Does the clinic smell clean? Believe it or not there are clinics that will use the same surgical pack on more than one animal. Are all the instruments, including those used in dentistry sterilized after each procedure?
- Is there a good pain management protocol in place? Or will your pet lay in a kennel with no relief once surgery is complete.
What you can do to make anesthesia safer for your pet:
- Make certain that your veterinarian is aware of all medications, supplements and over the counter drugs your pet is receiving. Then follow their instructions about how and what to administer before anesthesia.
- Don’t feed your pet if your veterinarian tells you not to. Ignoring this can cause vomiting and aspiration pneumonia. Conversely, if you have an exotic pet, feed them if you are instructed to do so. They have different requirements than dogs and cats.
- Tell your veterinarian if your pet has ever had any reaction to any type of medication. If your pet has a seizure disorder or is diabetic, please make sure to share this information. This is especially important if you are new to the practice.
- Don’t let your pet become overweight. It makes anesthesia much less safe.
- Make sure your pet stays healthy by staying up to date on all routine health care.
- Don’t wait too long to spay or neuter. Large, overweight females that have been through several heat cycles are every veterinarians least favorite surgical patient. Everything is bigger, with more surrounding fat, more friable, harder to ligate and more prone to bleeding.
- If you’re not sure, ask questions. We don’t mind.
Did you know that the health benefits associated with your pet’s dental hygiene are actually within reach? It’s true! Your pet’s dental health can not only be maintained through regular exams, cleanings, and at-home care, but the link to his or her overall wellness is undeniable.
However, of all the areas that are known to support your pet’s health, dental care is often overlooked. It doesn’t have to be this way; your patience and diligence can make a world of difference to your pet’s dental health, and Animal Family Veterinary Care Center is here to help. Continue…
According to the ASPCA, “approximately 5 million to 7 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and approximately 3 million to 4 million are euthanized (60 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats). Shelter intakes are about evenly divided between those animals relinquished by owners and those picked up by animal control. These are national estimates; the percentage of euthanasia may vary from state to state.”
That is a really sad statistic. We work closely with many of our local shelters at Animal Family and are always surprised at the quality of the pets we see. These animals are neither worthless nor dangerous. In fact, often the opposite is true. Many are pure bred and almost all are loving, healthy animals who through no fault of their own end up homeless.
The 10 most common reasons owners give when surrendering a pet at the Humane Society of Scott County are:
- The owner is moving and is not able to take their pet with them
- The pet is too active for the owner to handle.
- The owner does not have enough time to devote to pet care
- The owner has encountered problems with housebreaking
- The animal is too expensive to care for.
- The animal is too young, too old or has developed health issues.
- The owner or a family member is allergic to the pet.
- The pet does not get along with another animal in the household.
- The pet belonged to a child who no longer lives in the home.
- The pet has become pregnant
Do you see a common thread among many of the reasons for pet relinquishment listed above? How many of these problems could be avoided by a little research and planning before acquiring a pet. For all the information on specific breeds that is available, it seems that people still jump into pet ownership on impulse.
So, please, before you bring a pet into your life, do your research. Think about your lifestyle, future plans, and overall health. How busy are you? Can you even afford a pet at this time? Do you have the time or interest for training, walks and general health and coat care. Don’t pick your pet based on looks. Don’t assume you have to have a puppy and never, ever give a pet as a gift without a thorough discussion with the prospective new owner first.
Next week, we will go over what you need to think about before you add a new pet to your family.
The decrease in feline veterinary visits has us worried. We love our cats but do not provide them with the same level of care that we do our dogs. It’s true that cats are great at masking illness. However, by putting off a veterinary visit until your cat is seriously ill, we only make for greater expense for us and stress for our pet. We all need to learn how to better recognise the signs of illness in cats, so this week we have decided to reprint a great article from Pet Docs on Call covering just this subject.
By Dr. Jen Mathis, Certified Veterinary Journalist and member of the Veterinary News Network received veterinary care in the past year.hadn’t”There are 82 million pet cats in the U.S., compared with 72 million dogs, making cats the most popular pet. Yet studies show the number of feline veterinary visits is declining steadily each year. A 2007 industry survey revealed that compared with dogs, almost three times as many cats
Though there are many myths about cat health, the truth is, cats need regular veterinary care, including annual exams and vaccinations, just like dogs do. More importantly, because they are naturally adept at hiding signs of illness, annual exams can result in early diagnosis of health problems. Early diagnosis often results in longer quality life at less cost.
Boehringer Ingelheim is trying to help cat health by teaching about the 10 subtle signs of sickness in cats:
1. INAPPROPRIATE URINATION – At least 80% of the time this is a medical problem often associated with conditions ranging from kidney disease to arthritis. Behavior is the least likely cause.
3. CHANGES IN ACTIVITY – Medical conditions such as arthritis can produce a decrease in activity while an increase can signal a condition such as hyperthyroidism.
4. CHANGES IN SLEEPING HABITS – While cats sleep 16 to 18 hours a day, they usually should be quick to respond to someone walking into a room. Difficulty lying or rising is also a problem.
5. CHANGES IN FOOD AND WATER CONSUMPTION – Eating or drinking more or less can be signs of a range of underlying medical conditions.
7. CHANGES IN GROOMING – A poor hair coat is a common sign of many medical conditions in cats.
8. SIGNS OF STRESS – Sudden lifestyle changes can cause stress in cats, resulting in symptoms such as decreased grooming to eating more frequently. These are also signs of illness, so sickness should be ruled out before stress issues are addressed.
9. CHANGES IN VOCALIZATION – An increase in crying or howling is common with older cats and can be caused by high blood pressure (leading cause of blindness), kidney problems, thyroid issues, stress or pain.
10. BAD BREATH– 70 percent of cats have gum disease as early as age 3. Pets are not supposed to have bad breath as it usually means infection. Since 2/3 of the tooth is under the gum-line, many cats have problems that can’t be seen without x rays. Dental problems cause kidney problems.
“Have we seen your cat lately?” If not, an exam may be just what your cat needs to help live a longer quality life! For more information, please check with your veterinarian!”
Have We Seen Your Cat Lately?
We love our cats in the United States. Unfortunately that doesn’t always translate into appropriate veterinary care. Yes there are plenty of owners who do everything for their cats – exams, vaccines, spay/neuter and dental care – whatever they need. However they may not be in the majority. Too many neglect health issues until their cat becomes seriously ill.
One scenario may be for a feline patient to come in for kitten vaccines, spay or neuter surgery and then not be seen again until they are sick. Other owners will keep up on rabies vaccines but little else. Too many of us don’t provide our cats with the same level of care that we do their canine counterparts.
Cats can be difficult to transport. They don’t like their carriers. They don’t like the clinic. Then again, many think because their cat is indoors, no vaccines are required. We tell ourselves cats are hardy survivors. They don’t need as much veterinary care.
Wrong. Cats need all the same care that other animals do. According to Scott Bernick at Animal Family, “This has been a disturbing trend in veterinary medicine. Unfortunately we are seeing more cats come in with severe illness, leaving the owners with fewer options and increased expenses.”
Cats need to be vaccinated just as much as other pets. Core vaccines are those recommended for all cats. These are diseases that are commonly found in the environment. That means there is a realistic risk of exposure, infection and development of a disease. This is particularly the case with kittens. In the case of Rabies, it is mandated by law for the protection of public as well as animal health.
- Feline Panleukopenia: All kittens should receive this vaccine as early as 6 weeks and then at 3-4 week intervals until 16 weeks of age. All kittens should receive a 1 year booster. Non vaccinated adults should receive 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart. Annual vaccination is not recommended in all adult cats. At Animal Family we vaccinate every 2 years.
- Feline Rhinotracheitis: All kittens should receive this vaccine as early as 6 weeks of age and then in 3-4 week intervals until 16 weeks of age. All kittens should receive a 1 year booster. Non vaccinated adults should receive 2 doses 3- weeks apart. Annual vaccination is not recommended in all adult cats. At Animal Family we vaccinate every 2 years
- Feline Calicivirus: All kittens should receive this vaccine as early as 6 weeks of age and then in 3-4 week intervals until 16 weeks of age. All kittens should receive a 1 year booster. Non vaccinated adults should receive 2 doses 3-4 weeks apart. Annual vaccination is not recommended in adult cats. At Animal Family we vaccinate every 2 years
- Rabies: State statutes determine how often Rabies vaccines are administered. In Iowa a single dose is required as early as 12 weeks of age. All kittens should receive a 1 year booster. Non vaccinated adults receive 1 vaccine and a booster 12 months later. Thereafter adults can receive Rabies vaccination in 3 year intervals provided it is given on schedule. Otherwise another 1 year booster will be required.
The following vaccines are considered noncore:
- Feline Leukemia: Feline Leukemia testing and vaccination is strongly recommended for all kittens and for individuals whose health is compromised. Kittens test negative for the virus prior to vaccination. Two doses are administered as early as 8 weeks of age and 3-4 weeks later. Only cats that are at risk (such as those who go outdoors) should be vaccinated at yearly intervals thereafter.
- Feline Immunodeficiency Virus: This vaccine is only recommended for only for cats with high risk of exposure. Because the vaccination itself can cause a positive result on antibody testing, there is some controversy surrounding its use
- FIP: Generally not recommended due to concern about whether the vaccine is effective or not.
- Feline Chlamydophila and Bordatella are only recommended when the diseases are present in multi-cat environments.
We are participating in a nationwide National awareness program aimed at reminding people of the importance of regular veterinary care for their cats. During the months of April, May and June Animal Family will provide dental exams, weight checks and body assessment scores free of charge. It would be a great time to update vaccines and get a wellness check up for your cat as well.
- Start with a yummy flavored tooth paste. Vanilla mint, poultry, beef or malt are some of the favorites. Any flavor your dog enjoys is alright but make sure it is safe for pets. DO NOT use human tooth paste! It is not good for your pet. I always open the tooth paste container in front of the puppy. Remember to keep it in a safe place Continue…