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Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site    509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405

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FALL 1999 Newsletter

News from

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

     Since 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.

Dr. Robert L. Linville

    

An Annual Physical Examination is a Pet Owner's Primary Health Care Priority!

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 cure."

What will we do to your pet during this procedure?

As part of the annual physical examination, we may do the following:

1. Evaluate the eyes, ears, nose, mouth, teeth & gums, skin, muscles and skeletal structure;

2.Evaluate neurologic function by testing your pet's reflexes;

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,
  • Urine testing,
  • Electrocardiogram,
  • Other specialized tests depending upon the pet's medical history or diagnosed needs.

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.

Cat Corner

Tips to Get Your Stubborn Cat to Eat

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 return.

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.

We May Be Able to Help Resolve Your Pet's Behavioral 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 problems.

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.

POISON CONTROL CENTER

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.

 

Your Dog May Be Hosting Some Unwanted Guests

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 puppies.

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!

FLEAS & TICKS

are still a problem!

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 members.

Beware of Purchasing Veterinary Medications Over the Internet

     Articles in 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!