our last newsletter, we have completed the replacement of our hospital
computer system. Fortunately, all proceeded with relatively little
disruption. Thanks to Terri, Lyn, Emma and Paige for helping make the
transition as smooth as it was
In the last few
weeks, we have hospitalized a number of older dogs and cats in advanced
kidney failure. This has alerted us that we need
to do a better job in informing you of the importance of a thorough
physical examination and comprehensive blood work performed
on at least an annual basis for your older pets. Beginning at 7
years for dogs and 9 years for cats, we recommend having a blood sample
drawn and submitted for blood chemistry tests and a complete blood
count. (For birds and other "exotic" pets this should be
done regardless of the age of the pet.) The purpose of this testing
is to identify organ disease in its early stages. When we are able
to discover problems early, it allows us to work with you and your pet to
establish a dietary and/or treatment regimen to slow down or stop the
progression of the disease process. This is better than waiting
until the pet is in severe organ failure. For the pet, it means a
better quality of life and often a longer life. For their owner, it
means less expense and heartache. If you have an older pet that has
not recently had a blood sample drawn and tests run, please consider
calling our office to schedule an appointment.
Now that the hectic times of summer have come
to an end, the kids are back in school, and before the mayhem of the
holidays begins, it is an excellent time to have your pet undergo its
annual physical examination. To understand why we consider this
procedure so vital to your pet's health and long life, let us take a look
at the following:
What is the necessity of this procedure?
We all know that pets age faster than humans. We
often multiply a pet's age by 7 to determine a human age comparison
(except for their first year when they can become sexually mature at
approximately 6 months - here their human age comparison is more like 14
years of age!) Since our pets travel the time line from adolescent
to middle age to geriatric so quickly, waiting two or three years between
our animal's physical examinations would cause us to miss decades of their
human age equivalent. In short, missing annual physical examinations
can deny your pet the chance of having a potentially serious problem
diagnosed early and puts your pet at greater risk. The primary
purpose of an annual physical examination is to identify problems when
they are still minor and provide you with options that will slow the
progression of any diagnosed ailment and, if possible, cure it.
What is the cost of this procedure?
Our staff is happy to discuss the price of a physical
examination with you. Of course, the price may vary depending upon
the age of your pet, its physical condition, its medical history and other
factors. Regardless of price, an annual physical examination for
your pet is really very economical because treating problems early is
nearly always less expensive than having to treat a "full blown"
ailment. Truly, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of
What will we do to your pet during this procedure?
As part of the annual physical examination, we may do
1. Evaluate the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth &
gums, skin, muscles and skeletal structure;
2.Evaluate neurologic function by testing your pet's
3. Listen to vital organ function;
4. Feel the lymph nodes and internal organs;
5. Perform many or all of the following tests depending upon
your pet's age, medical history, or other factors:
Diagnostic blood profile,
Complete blood cell count,
Other specialized tests depending upon the pet's medical history or
6. We will provide you with a summary of the physical examination's
findings alerting you to problems that we have discovered or to ones
likely to occur.
7. We will discuss preventive measures we feel are appropriate for your
pet and will supply you with specific recommendations.
Our practice annually sees hundreds of pets who have problems that, if
discovered earlier, could have been resolved easier and more
economically. Tragically, there are other instances when a problem
was found too late to save the pet's life. We want to change this by
encouraging all of our clients to consider their pet's annual physical
examination their number one pet health care priority. Early
diagnosis and prevention just makes good medical sense and it all begins
with an annual examination! Please call our office to make an
appointment for your pet's annual examination today.
Why do cats lose their appetite so
readily? For centuries, cat owners have been perplexed by this
dilemma. Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. If you are
having trouble getting your cat to eat, try some of these suggestions:
Cats love the ritual of eating, so
dramatize the preparation and sounds of serving the food.
Try warming the food to room
temperature to release the food's aroma.
Sometimes just petting your cat while
around food will stimulate eating.
Place some food on your cat's paw or
nose. Cats hate being dirty so Kitty will lick the food off.
Try offering different types of food.
If a cat likes a new flavor, its appetite for an old flavored food may
It is extremely important to remember that
an illness can dramatically influence a cat's appetite. Therefore,
try some of our tips but if you are still having difficulty getting your
cat to eat, give us a call. Together, we will try to solve the
riddle of your cat's eating problem.
As a veterinary practice, there is nothing that
frustrates us more than realizing that 2.1 million dogs are put to sleep
annually because they exhibited behavioral problems - yet most of these
animals were physically healthy! In an attempt to remedy this
problem, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) will create a
national consumer campaign of public service announcements designed to
reduce the number of pets abandoned or euthanized because of behavioral
If you are becoming frustrated with your dog's behavior,
please give us a call. Some unwanted behavior may result from a
medical problem for which there is a remedy. We may also be able to
give you some helpful suggestions or put you in contact with an expert who
can provide assistance.
Our patients know to call us immediately if they suspect
their pet has ingested a poison but what if we are not available or you
are away from our area? Now there is a national agency that can help
pet owners 24 hours a day - 365 days a year. The National Animal
Poison Control Center (NAPCC) is the only animal-oriented poison control
center in North America. NAPCC is staffed by 16 veterinarians
including 4 board-certified veterinary toxicologists and 6 certified
veterinary technicians. Last year the center handled over 51,000
cases. NAPCC can be reached at 1-800-548-2423 or 1888-4ANI-HELP.
Depending on the case, there may be a small charge for each consultation.
Parasites are always a serious health threat to your
dog. In addition to Heartworms, your dog may also have some other
unwanted guests in its system. Among them are:
Hookworms - Hookworms attach to the intestinal
lining of the host animal and feed off their host's blood. A
hookworm's eggs are released in a dog's feces and the larvae are swallowed
or can penetrate the skin of another dog. Hookworms can be fatal to
Roundworms - This intestine-dwelling parasite is
quite common in puppies. Symptoms are rough coats, bloated bellies,
vomiting, diarrhea and colic. Older dogs contract roundworms from
coming into contact with soil contaminated with roundworm eggs.
Whipworms - These intestinal parasites can cause
diarrhea, dehydration and weight loss. Once established in a yard,
whipworms are extremely difficult to eliminate. It is important to
provide ongoing protection against whipworm infection.
Tapeworms - Tapeworms are usually detected by the
presence of dried rice looking egg sacks around the dogs anus or on your
dog's bedding. Tapeworm is acquired by the dog eating a flea
containing a worm egg. Often these fleas are consumed during the
dog's eating of wild game or mice. To prevent tapeworm, you must
first prevent fleas ... and watch what he or she eats.
There are convenient medications that can protect your
dog from these unwanted parasites. Call our office for further
details. We are here to help you!
Just because the warmest days of summer are
behind us, do not let down your guard against fleas and ticks. Fleas
still torment our pets and ticks are extremely active this time of
year. If your pet is on a flea preventative, continue to use this
medication as prescribed. If your pet's tick collar seems a little
worn or you are unsure of its age, we suggest replacement. Do not
take the chance of allowing ticks to enter your home and attack family
newspapers and magazines tell us that record numbers of people are
purchasing items over the internet. However, the purchasing of
veterinary medications over the internet is not without peril and a
practice that we strongly discourage! Animals can occasionally have
adverse reactions to medications and there is no internet source with a
veterinarian on staff to help you through a crisis involving your pet's
medications. Furthermore, when you add the dispensing fees,
shipping, handling, taxes and other miscellaneous charges, there is
usually no difference in price. Often they may actually be more
expensive! Additionally, you have to worry about your medications
getting lost in the mail or receiving the wrong medication or dosage.
dealing with an
unknown source on the internet may be fine when buying a book or a CD but
it is definitely not the place to purchase vital medications for your
beloved pet. It is just not worth the potential problems!