October 2017-Dental Month

October is Dental Month at Catlett Animal Hospital!

10% off all dental cleanings, extractions, and medications for dental procedures!

Dental Disease is Extremely Painful:

The most stunning part of most dental procedures is how middle age to older animals act after them. Owners often comment that their pet is “acting like a puppy again” after a dental procedure at our hospital. What most people don’t understand is that dental disease is very painful for animals.

Our pets do a great job of hiding their pain. They cannot tell us with words. So, sometimes they will act grumpy or react when you touch around their mouth, but most of the time, those are the only signs of dental disease that owners will see. This is because animals in the wild are conditioned to hide their pain to survive. There is no doubt however that pets with dental disease suffer.

Most owners believe that their pet acting grumpy as he or she gets older is due to old age. Most of the time, it is due to the pet feeling painful. Pets with dental disease experience pain while eating, drinking, playing, and even at rest. Infection in the mouth causes some of the bodies most sensitive nerve endings to be constantly stimulated. Pets can get headaches from this constant stimulation. Infection is a powerful force in the body. It can spread from the teeth to the jaw and cause the bones in the jaw to disintegrate along with the tooth roots. This will cause permanent damage to the jaw bones making it impossible for the jaw to function properly.

Animals three years old and older need a dental exam once a year. Our goal is to stop the infection before the headaches and destruction of the mouth take place. Once calculus (hardened plaque) has formed on the teeth, it is time for a dental cleaning. By removing this hardened tartar, we take away the bacteria’s hiding place. The bacteria likes to live under this hard shell on the teeth and infect the gum along the gum line. That is the beginning of dental disease. Doing dental cleanings at this stage is very helpful for your pet because they do not have to experience the pain that comes with the infections of the teeth. Please be proactive about this disease. Your pet relies completely on you for his or her health. If you take care of your pets teeth, you will have a happier, healthier pet for many years to come.

Overweight pets!

An Epidemic! Overweight Pets:

 

53% of dogs in the US are overweight with 5% being classified as obese.

55% of cats in the US are overweight.

How to tell if your pet is overweight.

  • Feel over the ribs and spine. If you can easily feel the ribs and spine but cannot see them, your pet is the perfect weight. If you have to dig to feel them, your pet is overweight.
  • Look at their “abdominal tuck”. Does the abdomen look “empty” or is it rounded and hanging down. Ideally, the abdomen does not look empty, but also, does not hang. It simply tucks up into the back legs.
  • Other areas that animals store fat is along their neck and over their tail head. Check these areas as well.

How to weigh your dog or cat.

  • Using a baby scale for small dogs and cats is best. Typically, their weights are much lower than our weights. So, if the scale is a half a pound off that is significant in relation to these little ones total weight.
  • For larger dogs (20# and above), weigh yourself then weigh yourself holding your dog.
  • Use your veterinary clinic’s scale! :) Most veterinary clinics do not mind if you call ahead and ask to use their scale.

Why is my pet so overweight?

  • Some breeds are prone to being overweight. Beagles, labs, rottweilers, and golden retrievers are only a couple of these breeds. These dogs require strict diet to maintain a healthy weight.
  • People food. Those adorable begging eyes from our beloved pets are hard to resist! Human foods tend to be more calorie and fat dense than dog foods. Giving your pet a bite of meat or french fries is the equivalent to giving yourself an ice cream sundae or hershey bar. If they get too much, they will become overweight quickly.
  • Lack of portion control. Leaving your pet’s bowl full of food or not understanding what amount of food your pet requires, will result in your pet becoming overweight. Most bags of food have portions to feed on the back. Find out from your vet what your pet’s weight should be and feed ⅔-¾ of the amount the bag tells you to feed for that weight.
  • Endocrine disease. There are several diseases: hypothyroidism and Cushing’s to name a few that will result in your pet being unable to lose weight. If you are concerned, have your veterinarian run bloodwork as soon as possible.

 

How do I get my pet to lose weight?

  • Portion control. This applies to treats and food. Treats should be less than 10% of the total calories in the diet. Also, feeding less food and supplementing with canned green beans or cooked carrots will achieve your pet’s weight loss while still allowing him or her to feel full. Remember: feed ⅔ to ¾ of what the bag suggests for their ideal weight. The reason you do this is the bag is counting calories for a very active dog (aka hiking in the mountains, search and rescue, etc). Most of the dogs we see in our practice are kept inside the majority of the day until their owners get home. They do not require many calories at all.
  • Diet food. Sometimes getting patients to lose food on a regular adult diet is impossible. For those patients trying an over the counter or even prescription diet will oftentimes do the trick. Remember cut out all people food and reduce treats significantly during the diet.
  • Exercise. If your pet is obese, this may not be a good idea (too much weight and walking can harm the joints), but if not, throwing the ball for 30 minutes a day, playing with a laser pointer, or going for a walk is great for weight loss. It also helps your pet’s heart and lungs!
  • Don’t give in to begging. Food is love. That is how most owners show their pets that they care. It is so hard when your pet is asking politely, or in some cases, demanding food. Giving cooked carrots, canned green beans, and other cooked veggies are the only people food that are sortove okay to give when they are dieting. Remember calories add up. Also, feeding food high in sugars and fat increase your pet’s risk of developing pancreatitis, which is a lifelong disease of the digestive system.
  • No people food. I know I’m saying it again. Truly, the calories in people food are too high to be given to your pet. Avoid this.

 

Why should you help your pet lose weight?

  • Fat is an organ too and being overweight increases inflammation in your body and leads to other disease states such as: diabetes, arthritis, skin issues, heart issues, and increased blood pressure.
  • Overweight pets are also at high risk for some or all of the following trouble breathing, heat stroke, compromised immune system, and decreased life span.

 

Freedom from Anxiety

June is….

Freedom from Anxiety Month

at Elkwood Animal Hospital.

Many of our canine patients experience anxiety on a daily basis. Thunderstorms, separation from owners, car rides, confinement (crated), other animals, people, and changes in the household can all be sources of anxiety for dogs. Luckily, we have many products that can help our furry friends fight their natural tendency to be afraid. In preparation for July 4th, we are offering a 10% discount on the following anti-anxiety medications: Solliquin, Adaptil, Thundershirt, Prozac, and Alprazolam.

 

Signs of Anxious Dogs:

Whimpering

Inappropriate urination

Barking/Howling

Chewing Up Your Belongings

Digging

Destroying walls, doors, baseboard, etc

Breeds of Dogs that Tend to Have Anxiety Issues:

Siberian Husky

Greyhound

German Short-haired pointer

Chesapeake Bay Retriever

Bernese Mountain Dog

Great Pyrenees

Border Collie

Standard Poodle

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Cats experience anxiety too. Most of the time, this anxiety manifests itself in aggressive or very timid behavior. Anxious cats may growl, hiss, or swat at whatever is scaring them, or they may run and hide, be anti-social, and uncomfortable in their environment.

Another common problem is disagreement between cats in a multicat household. One cat in a household may want to be dominant and may chase or pick fights with the other cats creating a hostile and combative environment. None of these things are normal, and sometimes, herbal and medicinal remedies can reduce or completely eliminate some of these unwanted behaviors. In preparation for July 4th, we are offering a 10% discount on the following anti-anxiety medications:

Solliquin for cats

Feliway®

Feliway Multi-cat

Prozac

May is 10% off Wellness Bloodwork!

How do you know what’s really going on with your pet’s body?

 

 

Yearly bloodwork can take the mystery out of how healthy your pet is and is the only way to detect organ disease BEFORE your pet starts showing abnormal behavior. This is one of the most under used services we offer. So, this month, we are offering a discount! We want to keep your pet safe and give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing how your pet’s body is functioning.

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Wellness Bloodwork Month: 10% off all Wellness Bloodwork

Package A (recommended for young animals: 1-5 yrs) –$74.95 →  $67.46

($7 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package B (recommended for adult animals: 5-8 yrs) –$129.95 → $116.96

($80 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package C (recommended for geriatric animals: 9-15 yrs) — $169.95→ $152.96

($139.29 savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Rabies – What You Need To Know!

Rabies – What you need to know?

What is rabies?animalsgroup

Rabies is a sudden onset, progressive disease caused by a virus that affects the brains of mammals. Bats, skunks, raccoons, and other wild animals are most commonly affected. This disease is FATAL once clinical signs appear. Thus prevention is VERY important because there is NO treatment.

Rabies is transmitted by bites or saliva from an infected animal contacting broken skin of a healthy person or animal.

How to recognize an animal with signs of rabies:

Animals may show a lot of symptoms or very few. Rabies can cause animals to exhibit sudden and strange behaviors such as sudden loss of appetite, anxious behaviors, irritability, hyper-excitability, or uncharacteristic aggression. Wild animals may act tame, normally tame animals may suddenly act aggressively, or nocturnal animals may be seen out and about during the daytime. Some animals will have paralysis or “dumb rabies” where the changes in the animal’s personality are more subtle and the primary sign is being quiet or depressed, paralysis, or ataxia (wobbly or uncoordinated movement). Not every infected animal will act like rabid animals on TV or in movies!

It is not possible to test a live animal for rabies. Only a sample of tissue from a deceased animal’s brain can be tested to know if that animal had rabies.

Do I need to vaccinate my animal?

RabiesTagIn short, YES. Vaccination is the only known prevention. All cats and dogs are required by law to be vaccinated for rabies. Ferrets may also be vaccinated. Horses, cattle, pigs, and small ruminants can all get rabies but are not commonly vaccinated. We highly recommend vaccinating your horses and any other farm animal that has lots of contact with you or your family.

Indoor animals are at risk, too, as rabid animals behave erratically and are more likely to come inside a home. When the rabid, disoriented bat flies down the chimney or in through an air vent, your cat or small dog may be the first family member to find it!

What to remember:

Please remember that there is NO TREATMENT OR CURE for this fatal disease.

Note: Traditional remedies such as chili powder or jackfruit gum do not prevent rabies. Do not substitute these practices for medical treatment. Always seek advice from a medical professional.

Have a licensed veterinarian vaccinate your pets against rabies regularly. If you get bitten by any animal, but especially by a wild animal, cleanse the wound and contact a medical professional immediately. If you notice unusual behaviors or suspect rabies in either a pet or a wild animal, contact a veterinarian or animal control professional immediately.

Use the following list of resources to learn more about rabies and rabies prevention!

Rabies Resources:

worldrabiesday

World Rabies Day is September 28!

Global Alliance for Rabies Control 

Merck Veterinary Manual – In Depth on Rabies

Arthritis and Degenerative joint disease treatments

10% off:

 

Dasuquin Advanced (joint supplement)

Dasuquin Advanced is an amazing joint supplement. It works by giving your dog or cat’s body what it needs to heal the cartilage in his or her joints. It comes in two formulations: tablets and chews. There is no difference in quality or efficacy between the two forms. There is no generic equivalent to this product.

Dasuquin Advanced contains ASU which scientifically proven to reverse cartilage damage and increase joint health. This type of break through with a holistic oral joint supplement has never happened in veterinary medicine before. This makes Dasuquin Advanced the most effective supplement on the market for dog with early arthritis (DJD).

Some of the other ingredients in Dasuquin Advanced, hyaluronic acid, MSM, and glucosamine, have a long history of improving joint health in patients. Evidence of this was seen with the efficacy of Dasuquin and Dasuquin with MSM increasing joint mobility, decreasing joint inflammation and lessening joint pain in many canine and feline patients treated with these products.

Find more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/dasuquin-advanced-soft-chews/

 

Dasuquin for Cats

For more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/products/#cat

Moviflex

Moviflex is a new joint supplement made specifically for dogs. It is made from egg shell membrane. It also contains Hyaluronic, vitamin D, and Boswellia serrata extract. This joint supplement works very well for patients with early joint disease. It is also great for dogs with food allergies. It contains no gluten, sugar, salt, or shellfish.

Find more information:  https://us.virbac.com/product/supplements/movoflex-soft-chews

 

NSAIDs and other pain medications for achy joints

Pain and inflammation are major factors in feline and canine arthritis. This pain becomes crippling in older patients. Running, stairs, and sometimes walking are painful. Patients become obese and this extra weight leads to further strain on the joints resulting in pain and inflammation. Keeping these patients strong and a good weight is a very important part of managing their arthritis.

NSAIDs are pain and fever reducing medications that decrease the inflammation in the joints. As a result, pain decreases, and patients are able to move more freely.

NSAIDs can have side effects such as liver disease and kidney disease in cats and dogs. In cats, these risks are too high. NSAIDs are used very, very rarely in them and only in extreme cases. NSAID use in dogs is relatively safe. We do have to monitor their kidney and liver values closely though. We do bloodwork before starting the NSAID. Then, we do it once every six months. This helps get the dog the pain relief it needs to be happy and healthy, and it maintains the health and safety of the patient.

 

Cold laser therapy (to decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and speed healing)

 

For more information: http://ivcjournal.com/laser-therapy-veterinary-medicine/

Adequan (to strengthen and rebuild the cartilage in the joint)

 

For more information on this therapy: https://www.adequancanine.us/

Joint/Mobility foods

 

Purina J/M: https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/jm-joint-mobility-dog/

Hill’s J/D: http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/products/pd-canine-jd-dry

Joint injections (Hyaluronic Acid)

For more information: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/surgery-stat-intra-articular-therapies-elbow-dogs

Anti-Anxiety Medications for Cats

Solliquin for cats: Solliquin is a natural remedy for anxiety. It contains: L-theanine, Magnolia/Phellodendron, and Whey Protein Concentrate. L- theanine is naturally found in green tea. It’s role in controlling anxiety is to boost the production of brain waves that create relaxation.

For more information please visit: http://www.solliquin.com/

Feliway®: FELIWAY® Spray mimics feline facial pheromone, which every cat will recognize as comforting and calming. FELIWAY® is effective in reducing (or possibly eliminating) inappropriate urination and scratching. We see improvement in 7 days most of the time. FELIWAY® spray lasts 4-5 hours. Spray where the cat is marking using 8-10 sprays twice daily for 30 days. FELIWAY® is not a sedative, and it does not go systemic. It has no known contraindications or warnings. It is perfectly safe. Cats don’t want to scratch or spray where they detect the feline facial pheromone.

FELIWAY® MultiCat: FELIWAY® MultiCat is similar to the pheromone that appeases and encourages social bonding. It also comforts and calms. It’s main function is helping with cat conflicts and introducing new cats. It calms cats during social interactions. According to the makers of Feliway, “After using FELIWAY® MultiCat, 84% of cat owners saw their cats getting along significantly better.”. Improvement is seen within 21 days of use. FELIWAY® MultiCat is non-sedating and non-systemic. It has no known contraindications with any other treatment.

Prozac/Fluoxetine HCl:

This medication is the same as what is used in other species (humans, horses, etc). It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and acts as an antidepressant. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone. It changes the brain chemistry in our patients to help them feel a strong sense of happiness and well-being.

Often, our veterinarians try to use these kinds of medications (Prozac and Alprazolam) after all other treatments have not worked. Before we can put your pet on this medication, it is recommended that we check bloodwork to make sure that your pet is systemically normal. Prozac is processed by the liver. So, any patients with liver compromise will not be allowed to use this medication. After beginning this medication, we recheck bloodwork every six months to make sure that the liver values and other blood work values remain normal.

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