Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site 

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

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Summer 1999 Newsletter

New happenings at:

All Creatures Veterinary Hospital

     We wish you all a very happy summer.  As we close in on the year 2000, I am sure you have all heard of the computer concerns with the "Y2K" bug.  We have been planning for this problem for several months . In the months of June and July we will be replacing our current computer system with a new one.  Our current system has served us well for the last 10 years, but technology in this area has been moving at breakneck speed.  The new system should help us not only avoid the "Y2K" bug, but also provide enhanced services.  In particular, we will be able to provide you with better looking and more comprehensive information handouts.  We have done everything in our power to make the transition as smooth as possible, but there may be some minor inconvenience on the actual day of conversion (around July 12).  We will remain open and the doctor and staff will continue to provide their normal level of quality medical care with compassion.  The only possible inconvenience could come in billing, so please be nice to Terri if she has to give you a hand written receipt.

     On the medical side, we are offering two new immunizations that have been released.  The first is a vaccine against giardia for dogs.  The seocnd is a vaccine against bordetella in cats.  Recent studies have shown this to be the leading cause of upper respiratory disease in cats in many geographic areas (some local).  We are recommending both of these as part of the basic vaccination your pets should receive.  Don't forget to ask about them when you come in for your pet's vaccinations.

How to Housebreak Your New Puppy

 

Proper housebreaking is vital to making puppies a longstanding, welcomed addition to your family.  Follow these guidelines to make housebreaking as easy as possible for you and your pet.

Start at an early age.  The best time to begin housebreaking a puppy is between 7 1/2 and 8 1/2 weeks old.  If you begin this early, you can teach the puppy where to eliminate before it has established its own preferences.  Older puppies will still learn but it may take a little longer.

Take your puppy outdoors to eliminate often.  Choose an appropriate spot to take the puppy immediately after it wakes up, after play sessions, and 15 to 30 minutes after meals.  If you take your puppy to the same spot every day, previous odors will stimulate it to urinate or defecate.  So as not to confuse the puppy, you should schedule a specific time to walk the puppy, so it can eliminate and a separate walking schedule for play.

Use a key phrase while you puppy eliminates.  Repeating the same phrase (e.g. - "go potty", etc.) every time your puppy eliminates outdoors will cause your puppy to associate this phrase with the time to eliminate.

Once the puppy eliminates outdoors, reward it immediately.  Reward the puppy through praise by giving it a treat or by playing with it.  do this immediately - waiting until you return to the house is too late!

Find a room in your house that allows you to watch your puppy as much as possible.  This will help you catch the puppy if it starts to eliminate indoors.

Put the puppy in a crate when you are not home.  If the crate is large, partition one end so that the puppy cannot soil one end and sleep in the other.  Regardless, puppies should be let out at lease every four hours.

 

 

Do not punish after the fact. Punishing a puppy for an accident after the fact does not help because the misbehavior has already occurred.  If you catch the puppy in the act, startle the puppy by yelling "outside!" or stomping your foot.  The puppy will most likely stop what it is doing and then you can take it outdoors to eliminate.

Do not leave food out all day.  Feed your puppy at set times and then remove the food bowl after 20 minutes. This will create regular intervals at which the puppy will need to eliminate.

Thoroughly clean areas where the puppy has had an accident.  It is important to clean  a soiled area completely otherwise you r puppy may return to it and soil again.

Stick with the training program.  Most puppies can be successfully housebroken by 14 to 20 weeks of age.

Source:Veterniary Medicine Magazine

 

CAT CORNER

SPOT-ON PRODUCTS CAN BE TOXIC TO CATS

     Over-the-counter spot-on flea control products have become increasingly popular among pet owners.  However, these products contain either 45% or 65% permethrin and are labeled for use on dogs only.  Inappropriate application of these products to cats or close contact between cats and recently treated dogs may cause the cat to develop life-threatening tremor and seizure activity within hours.  Pet flea sprays containing low concentrations of permethrin generally do not pose a serious hazard to cats.

     If your cat accidently comes in contact with a spot-on product containing permethrin, bathe the cat in a mild hand dish detergent and call our office immediately.  To avoid potential problems, segregate the flea products you have for your cat from those you may have for a dog.

Please call our office if you have any additional questions or concerns.  Remember, we are here to help you and your pet.

Fish oil may help dogs with heart failure.

Humans with heart failure often experience changes in body composition and nutritional status.  These effects have been lowered in humans through the administration of fish oil which also decreases weight loss.  A study at Tufts University found that fish-oil supplementation may also benefit canine patients with heart failure.

Pet Cancer - A Pet Owner's Concern

     In recent years, cancer hs been recognized time and again as a major, if not the major health concern in survey of pet owners.  Both dog and cat owners report that they worry about cancer.  They also report that their pets commonly develop and die from cancer.

     We are uncertain if dogs and cats are developing cancer more frequentyl or if it is simpoy being recognized more often.  Regardless, veterinary practices throughout the country are seeing more cancer cases and are being asked to deal with these in an increasingly sophisticated way.  Over the years, improvements in the general level of pet health care, including better diagnostic and therapeutic approaches, preventive medicine and nutrition, have allowed more pets to reach middle and old age - the classic cancer ages.  In addition, the profile of veterinary oncology has been raised by several veterinary organizations and now provides theoretical and practical knowledge of cancer  medicine.  As time goes on, the level of understanding and effective methods to treat various cancers will continue to improve.

     Earlier in this newsletter, we published the findings of an AAHA pet owners survey which clearly indicates how deeply pet owners care for their animals.  As we share information like this with you, it reinforces our commitment to supply you with the best possible veterinary care available, even to the point of referring your beloved pet to a specialist like a veterinary oncologist.  Cancer does not signal the end of your pet's life. Rather, it marks the begining of a new relationship between you and this practice to find the best way to care for your companion.  If your pet is diagnosed with cancer, we want you to know that we are in this together - we are a team.

     Our pets are very vital to us.  Please call our office if you have any particular questions or concerns about your pet.

SURVEY REVEALS STRONG PET OWNER LOYALTY

A recent national survey of  1,252 pet owners by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) had some fascinating findings.  Among these are:

  • 89% believe their pet understands all or some of what they say.

  • 76% talk to their pets in a different voice.

  • 53% believe their pet would come to their rescue if they were in distress.

  • 56% spend an average of two or more hours of quality time with their pet each day.

  •  Nearly one-third spend more time with their pet than with family or friends.

  • Love and attention were rated as the most important elements to ensure a pet's quality of life.

  • Only 2% have health insurance for their pet yet nearly two-thirds said they would spend $1,000 or more to save their pet's life.

  • More respondents read the nutritional labels on food they feed their pet than the labels on food they eat themselves -41 and 37% respectively!

  • 80% believe their pet has exhibited jealous behavior; of these, 84% report that their pet was jealous of another pet.

  • 11% of cat owners have ended a personal or romantic relationship with someone because of their cat.

  • 48% consider themselves emotionally dependent upon their animals.

  • 83% are likely to risk their lives fro their pets.

For more information on this sruvey and its findings, visit www. health pet.com on the internet.

National Group Promotes "Spay Day USA"

     The Doris Day Animal Foundation has designated upcoming February 23, 2000 as their sixth annual Spay Day USA. The foundation cites some amazing statistics for the reason behind having Spay Day USA.  For example, one female cat and her offspring, given seven years, can produce 420,000 cats.  In just six years a female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 dogs.  The ultimate goal of such an event is to decrease the number of euthanasia procedures that are performed annually to control the unwanted pet population.

     If your pet is unaltered, please don't wait until February 23rd to think about having him or her altered.  Do it today.  What's more, there are medical benefits from having your pet neutered that we would be happy to discuss with you.  Please call our office to arrange for the necessary procedure.

Researchers Develop Spay Vaccine for Dogs

 A professor at the University of Georgia's  College of Veterinary Medicine claims to have developed an injectable contraceptive made from a natural protein found in pig ovaries.  He claims that just three shots permanently sterilizes a female dog without any known side effects thus eliminating the need for the dog to undergo invasive abdominal surgery.  A dosage for cats is in the developmental stages.  Of course, the FDA needs to study the tests and determine that they are safe for veterinary usage.  

 

stay tuned ...!