Posts Tagged: animal hospital
Reactive: Acting in response to a situation or something bad after it’s already happened.
Proactive: Acting in advance to prevent something bad from happening.
We know you love your pet. We do too. Keeping your pet healthy is kind of a passion with us. We also really love Stranger Things! So, just for fun, lets take a tour of the “Upside Down” of veterinary medicine.
Welcome to the Reactive Care Clinic. Where exams, blood work and heartworm tests, stool exams and parasite control, vaccinations, dentals, spay/neuter surgeries, weight loss or any other preventative measures are not a priority. Don’t expect any irritating reminder calls either. At the Reactive Care Clinic, you can expect… Continue…
Don’t wait for the telltale signs of bad breath before scheduling dental care for your pet. By the time an unpleasant odor is evident they will be well on the way to serious dental disease.
Gingivitis: Is defined as inflammation of gum tissue caused by a buildup of plaque and tartar. This is the start of dental disease and provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive. Inflammation, swelling and bleeding gums are the body screaming for dental care before things get worse.
Inflammation: The presence of inflammation and bacteria will cue up your pet’s immune system. With chronic inflammation, the immune response never shuts off which can damage heart, lungs and kidneys.
Gingival Recession: Untreated gingivitis and inflammation damages tissues causing gums to pull away from teeth. This exposes sensitive tooth roots which do not have the same protective enamel as the crown and are more susceptible to damage.
Bone Loss: Once the more vulnerable roots have been exposed, destructive bacteria release toxins which then eat away surrounding bone.
Root Abscess: The combination of inflammation, bacteria, gum recession and bone loss can lead to tooth root abscesses resulting in the loss of affected teeth.
Tooth Loss: As the cascade of damage continues, teeth will begin to wobble. A decrease in appetite, weight loss and general malaise brought on by pain follows.
Oronasal Fistula: Severe dental disease can damage enough bone to create an opening between your pet’s mouth and nasal tract. At this stage, chronic respiratory issues are added to dental pain and disease.
Jaw Fracture: Continued bone loss can lead to fracture of the lower jaw.
Organ damage and Systemic Disease: This is the end game for untreated dental disease. Bacteria and chronic inflammation wreak havoc on the kidneys, liver, heart and overall health robbing your pet of not only quality but quantity of life.
Wow! It’s getting hot out there! Temperatures are already hitting the 80’s on some days and the humidity has increased as well. At our house, we cope by switching to shorts and light t-shirts, drinking lots of water and taking breaks indoors or in the shade. We produce quite a bit of sweat and take extra showers. That works for us but what about our pets? Read our summer safety tips to help keep your best friend healthy.
What can you do to make summer more comfortable and safer for your pet?
- Provide lots of fresh water. Make sure it is in a container that can’t be overturned by mistake and that there is enough to last all day. In addition, if you use a zip line or some other type of tether you need to make double sure your pet can’t become entangled and unable to reach either shade or his or her water source.
- Indoors or out. Is there a place where your pet can stay cool and out of the sun? That may mean keeping your pet indoors in the air conditioning in the summer. However, there is nothing wrong with a dog run or backyard shelter providing there is access to shade, water and hopefully a cooling breeze.
- Jogging – maybe not. I know that your dog is in good shape. He jogs with you all winter long. However, that doesn’t mean that it is safe to continue jogging with Rover in the summer heat. Remember, dogs can’t cool themselves like we do. Add that to the fact that your loyal companion will keep going no matter how hot he/she gets and you have a recipe for disaster. Unless you run early in the day, long, before the heat sets in, please leave your dog at home.
- Never leave your pet in the car! Want to know why? Check out this data compiled by the Animal Protection Institute. If your car is closed with no open windows and it is 82 degrees outdoors, in no time at all, the temperature in your car is 109. At 91 degrees, it’s 115 in the car. Think cracking the windows help? If it is 84 degrees outside the temperature in the car is still 98 degrees. At 90 degrees, it is 108 in the car. Got the picture? Even leaving your pet in the car while you run in for a short errand can be deadly.
- What are the signs of heatstroke? You may see excessive panting, stumbling, weakness, stupor, and bright red gums. Body temperatures of 104 degrees or more can occur. As heatstroke progresses, seizures, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, coma, and death may follow. “Parked car” or brachycephalic breeds such as Bull Dogs, Pugs, Boxers, and others are much more susceptible to heat-related problems. Even your bunny, chinchilla, or reptiles can suffer from heat-related problems. If the weather is warm, think shade and water.
- If you suspect heatstroke – it’s an emergency! Hose your pet down and bring him/her to the clinic immediately! Don’t try to treat heatstroke on your own. Heatstroke can literally cook internal organs. Pets who have suffered heatstroke may also experience swelling and edema of the trachea making it difficult for them to breathe. Too much cooling can make your pet even sicker. It’s a balance of IV fluids, supportive care, and monitoring. Leave it to the professionals.
- Pet pools – are great for helping your buddy cool down in the summer heat but remember to change the water frequently. If you are lucky enough to have a people-sized pool, treat your pets just like your children. Protect them from accidental drowning by never leaving them in the pool area unsupervised.
- Cool Ideas – Think about getting a pet fountain that provides a continuous stream of fresh, cool water to drink. Fans can help where air conditioning isn’t available. Recently, bandanas and body wraps made specifically for cooling have been developed. After soaking in cool water, these products can provide relief for a limited time. Frozen pop bottles are fun for pets to play within the pool or on the ground. Even bunnies can benefit from a frozen pop bottle in their cage. Just make sure to wrap it in a cloth before placing it in with your rabbit but don’t let bunny start chewing on the cloth or bottle.
- Shaving?? – That’s up for debate but if you do, remember your pet will be much more likely to sunburn in the summer sun. Double-coated breeds do best when their undercoat is brushed out leaving their guard hair. This allows trapped air to cool your pet.
- Exotic tips – Cold-blooded pets need warm weather care too. Air conditioning can be TOO COLD for many exotics BUT a terrarium placed up against a hot window may become an oven. This applies to birds as well. Too much draft and cold will result in upper respiratory problems. Too much heat can cause heatstroke and death.
The holiday season is here. We love all the yummy foods that are part of the celebration . Our pets love them too. Unfortunately, all those goodies can also cause pancreatitis.
Pancreatitis is commonly seen in both dogs and cats. It can occur in either an acute (rapid onset) or chronic (slow and subtle) form. Although small in size, the pancreas can cause serious illness. It is very sensitive and if irritated, becomes swollen, inflamed and painful.
It’s fall. Besides the changing colors and cooler weather, Kennel Cough is another thing we expect to rear its ugly head every fall.
What is Kennel Cough?
Kennel Cough is the common name for Canine Infectious Respiratory Disease Complex (CIRDC). It is seen in dogs in group situations such as kenneling, grooming, dog shows, dog parks etc. The symptoms include hacking, coughing, sneezing and retching.
So, what causes Kennel Cough then?
CIRDC can be caused by the following bugs:
Virus: Bocavirus, Canine Adenovirus Type 2, Canine Corona Virus, Canine Distemper Virus, Canine Herpes Virus, Canine Influenza Parainfluenza, Pneumovirus and Reovirus.
Bacteria: Bordetella Brochiseptica, Streptococcus Equi, Mycoplasma spp. and secondary bacterial infections.
Anesthesia scares lots of people but in fact is safe and has a long and very cool history. Check it out!
The truth is we have been trying to find ways to ease pain for a really long time but we have not always been very good at it.
Anesthesia for animals didn’t happen as fast as it did for people because it was thought that putting an animal under was painful. So they just restrained them instead. Bad idea.
Opium was a popular drug in early anesthesia because of its numbing properties. It has many properties that make it useful in medicine and is still employed today.
During World War II many Jews escaped from the Nazis through the use of rabbit blood soaked rags with a cocaine top dressing. The dogs noses were numbed which dulled their sense of smell and their brains were addled enough to make them lose focus. Pretty smart and harmless to the dogs.
Spinal blocks were discovered by accident. In 1885 a doctor studying neurological problems accidently injected cocaine into a dog’s spine. The great news came when he saw that the neural block reversed on its own over time. Ask any mother who had an epidural during delivery how great a discovery this was.
The really worst idea for surgical analgesia was a sock to the jaw which made the patient unconscious and a hopefully very rapid surgery. Yes they actually did this
The man who popularized inhalant anesthesia was unable to patent his method and died penniless and bitter
In animals we need to look at age, size and weight, Sex (some boys need more), species (VERY important), Physical health and condition, pre surgical drugs that have been administered and the type of procedure to be performed. An overweight animal has a much greater risk of complications. Yet another reason not to feed table scraps.
Anesthesia free procedures were performed up into the 20th century. Ether was around but was not widely used. Think about how very painful surgery that must have been. Something to remember when someone tries to sell you on the idea of anesthesia free procedures. Dentals are surgical procedures.
In 1733, Rev. Stephan Hales developed invasive blood pressure measurements by introducing glass pipes into the femoral arteries of horses.
Anesthesia also produces amnesia and that’s always a good thing when you’re having surgery.
One of the hardest things we do after surgery is to determine if an animal is in pain or dysphoric. Dysphoria is a state of unease which causes vocalization and restlessness. It can be caused by the surgical drugs we use. Unlike people animals can’t tell us how they are feeling so we monitor our surgical patients closely to minimize any discomfort.
It is possible to have an aware anesthesia where you can’t move but it’s not at all common. Thank goodness!
This is for the redheads out there. You really don’t need more anesthesia. That’s a myth.
There once was a man. He did not have a dog. He did not have a cat. He did not have a bird or a fish or even a rat. He lived an uncomplicated life.
The man lived in a house that was always clean. There were no muddy footprints on the carpet nor clumps of hair collecting in the corners. There were no bowls to trip over nor containers of pet food clogging up the cupboards. Not even once was there a single shoe chewed up. Not anywhere. Not ever.
The man was completely free to do whatever he wanted when he wanted. He could travel. There were no kennels to worry about nor pet sitters to arrange. There were no lists to make of puppy needs nor times to remember for veterinary care. And, best of all, absolutely never, not once, had there ever been two little eyes peering out from under a sofa to unnerve a date he brought home. Continue…
We talk a lot about Heartworm infection. We urge to you keep your pet on preventives and to test for evidence of heartworm infection year after year after year. The problem is, what we really need to talk about is Heartworm Disease. It is the shadow in the room that both frightens and motivates us. Continue…
It’s National Kid and Pet Day on April 26th! We thought we should celebrate by sharing some of the wonderful things pets do for all of. If you have had a special pet in your life, please feel free to share your stories and photos on our Facebook page.
They keep us healthy!!
Pets help lower blood pressure, ease loneliness, and get us out and exercising. They increase self-esteem, elevate mood, and reduce stress. They reduce cholesterol, decrease the development of allergies, and extend the lifespan after a heart attack. They are a powerful drug with no side effects.
They bring us joy!
Is there anything better than unconditional love? The whole world may be upset with us but not our dog or cat or bunny. They are always there ready to provide love and the reassurance that at least they still think we are awesome.
They make us laugh!
There is a reason why silly cat and puppy videos are ubiquitous on the internet. They make us laugh. They make us smile. They even make us more human.
They give us a sense of purpose.
We all need something to give us purpose. Pets perform that function in many people’s lives. They teach the young what it means to have responsibility for the wellbeing of another living being. As we age they keep us company and give us purpose.
They are a social magnet!!
They give us common ground and ease the awkwardness of meeting new people. It can be hard to come up with small talk when we are one on but add a pet to the mix and we’re instant chatterboxes. This goes double for children with social anxiety. Animals are the ultimate ice breaker.
They serve and protect.
They guide the blind, help the hearing disabled and predict seizures. They sniff out bombs and drugs and tasty mushrooms. They work as soldiers and peace officers. They love us and protect our home and family. They do it all. Yet all they ask in return is just a small place in our hearts and shelter.
There has been a large outbreak of Canine Influenza in the Chicago area. However, there are no reported cases in the Quad Cities at this time. That said we do need to educate ourselves about the virus and understand that it could possibly spread to our area.
Canine Influenza H3N8 is a virus that was previously seen only in horses. The first cases in dogs appeared in 2004. In 2005, H3N8 was officially identified as a new and emerging pathogen in canines. It does not affect humans.
Canine Influenza is spread through the air and on contaminated surfaces such as kennels or clothing. It can survive on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours and on hands for 12 hours. Incubation is generally 2-4 days. Unfortunately it is during this period, when the dog is not showing any clinical signs, that the virus is most infectious.
Because this is a new virus around 80% of the dogs who are exposed will develop the disease. About 20% will not show any clinical signs at all but still be contagious. A small number of symptomatic animals will develop a more severe form of influenza and pneumonia. Overall the mortality rate is low when compared to the rate of infection.
Signs of Canine Influenza can be similar to Canine Kennel Cough but are generally more severe in nature. You may see:
Nasal and Ocular (eyes) discharge
Moist or dry cough
Low grade fever
Anorexia ( lack of appetite)
More severe cases may develop (green/yellow and thick) discharge, a high fever and/or pneumonia.
Canine Influenza is a virus and as such treatment is primarily supportive in nature. Fluids, nutrition, rest and isolation will help the dog mount its own immune response. This is particularly important in those animals with a severe form of the virus. When pneumonia or purulent nasal discharge is present antibiotics may also be used to treat the secondary bacterial infection. Most dogs will recover within 2 – 3 weeks.
Canine Influenza cannot be diagnosed on clinical signs alone. Laboratory testing is the only way to confirm an infection with H3N8. This may be done by nasal/throat swab or blood testing.
You can protect your dog by:
Canine Influenza vaccine. Vaccination may prevent or most certainly decrease the severity of the disease. It requires 2 vaccinations 2 – 4 weeks apart. Maximum protection can be expected 10 days after the second shot.
If the virus is in your community, keep your dog from group situations where you do not know the vaccination status of other pets.
At this time, use considerable caution if you travel with your pet to the Chicago area.
Remember to wash your hands after coming into contact with other dogs.
If your dog develops clinical signs, please isolate them from other pets and call your veterinarian.