Animal Health

Controlling Seizures

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Controlling Seizures

A seizure is a series of uncontrolled muscle spasms. It is triggered by a defect in the brain, which in turn is caused by an array of disorders both in the brain and the body. In some patients, seizure activity can be eliminated by correcting the underlying problem. In others, owners must make a lifelong commitment to their canine friends to keep seizures to a minimum with daily medication. In a healthy brain filled with millions of neurons (brain cells), electrical impulses are generated and precisely organized, allowing not only thought, but also initiation of events in the body, including...

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Be Aware of Christmas Hazards

Posted by on Dec 19, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Be Aware of Christmas Hazards

Christmas is a hazardous time for dogs. And, though you may think the possibility of a problem is remote, it isn’t. Veterinarians see many dogs that succumb to conditions that could have been avoided. By being aware of the risks, you can take precautions. Chocolate is the most common poisoning at this time of year. A miniature Dachshund I saw had discovered and eaten two bars of 70 percent cocoa wrapped under the tree. Within 30 minutes, his muscles started twitching. It then progressed to convulsions. By this time, Baron was at my hospital. I gave Baron an injection of Valium to stop the...

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Working With Hyperactive Dogs

Posted by on Dec 2, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Working With Hyperactive Dogs

We routinely see hyperactive dogs. Though these dogs are difficult to work with and train, it can be done and made easier if we look at the many possible causes, and implement solutions. Many hyperactivity problems stem from the dog’s boredom and a lack of stimulation. In order to address these issues, you have to assess the way you are interacting with a dog and the kind of activity your dog gets on a daily basis. Because dogs seek attention from you, paying attention to the hyperactive dog during outbursts only reinforces the behavior that you’re trying to eliminate. The...

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When or Should We Neuter?

Posted by on Oct 3, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

When or Should We Neuter?

This is a recent study done at the University of California (Davis). If you are thinking about neutering your dog, you might want to take a look. AbstractOur recent study on the effects of neutering (including spaying) in Golden Retrievers in markedly increasing the incidence of two joint disorders and three cancers prompted this study and a comparison of Golden and Labrador Retrievers. Veterinary hospital records were examined over a 13-year period for the effects of neutering during specified age ranges: before 6 mo., and during 6–11 mo., year 1 or years 2 through 8. The joint disorders...

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Healing Laser for Pets

Posted by on Aug 19, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Healing Laser for Pets

We are doing research on the use of the laser, and there are so many things it can help. The following is an except of a paper we recently published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. Case Report 1: Retroperitoneal Mass: Soft Tissue Sarcoma A nine year old, castrated male Labradoodle was presented for a general examination following an unusual episode of aggression towards another dog. He exhibited sensitivity with palpation of the epaxial muscles of the lumbar spine, but more importantly, a mass was detected in his caudal dorsal abdomen. The mass could not be...

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Feline Body Language

Posted by on Jul 21, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Feline Body Language

Cats hide their emotions well and we are often surprised by how they react to things. This is because we are not reading their body language very well. By body language, we’re talking about their tail carriage, ear position, where their paws are, and their body posture, combined with vocalizations and movements. If you can pick up on these signs of communications, you can determine what cats are trying to say to you. This isn’t a skill you can learn by reading about it (like here). You have to watch cats, all kinds of cats, in all kinds of situations. Once you can appreciate their...

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Urban Legends

Posted by on Jun 14, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Urban Legends

Can the Swiffer WetJet poison dogs? According to an Internet rumour that started circulating in early 2004, it can. The following landed in this author’s inbox in September 2004 … I recently had a neighbor who had to have their 5-year old German Shepherd dog put down due to liver failure. The dog was completely healthy until a few weeks ago, so they had a necropsy done to see what the cause was. The liver levels were unbelievable, as if the dog had ingested poison of some kind. The dog is kept inside, and when he’s outside, someone’s with him, so the idea of him getting into...

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Recognize Shock in your Pet

Posted by on May 5, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Recognize Shock in your Pet

Many emergency conditions cause a severe and sudden drop in blood pressure, which triggers shock. Blood loss from internal or external bleeding, severe dehydration, allergic reactions that cause blood pooling in internal organs, toxins, and even intense pain can induce shock. The body’s first response to falling blood pressure is to increase the heart rate so that more blood can be pumped per minute. Next, the blood vessels that supply the extremities (feet and ears) constrict so that blood is shunted to the interior of the body where it can nourish the vital organs. This is why the...

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Combat Canine Obesity

Posted by on Mar 24, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Combat Canine Obesity

If your dog is 10 percent over his ideal body weight, he is overweight. If he’s more than 30 percent over his optimal weight, we call him obese. Unbelievably, obesity strikes more than 30 percent of dogs and the incidence is rising.  Look at the pictures below. Which one is fat and which one is just right? Obesity is partly due to ignorance – owners not making the right choices about diet and exercise for their canine friends. However, even owners that recognize their dogs are obese often do not think it is an issue. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Fat isn’t just a layer under...

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A Frustrating Disease

Posted by on Jan 20, 2014 in Animal Health | 0 comments

A Frustrating Disease

Acral lick dermatitis (ALD), also known as a lick granuloma, is a frustrating disease. Typically, these skin lesions appear on the front of the foreleg, close to the carpus. Though ALD was historically considered to be a boredom and stress induced disease, a wide array of inciting causes are now recognized. ALD is a disease of older, large-breed dogs. Most cases occur in Doberman Pinschers, Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Labrador Retrievers, German Shepherds, and Boxers, although ALD has also been reported in other breeds. The hallmark of ALD is an area of thickened, hairless skin, eroded on...

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Christmas Hazards

Posted by on Dec 13, 2013 in Animal Health, Current Posts, Featured Slider Posts, General | 0 comments

Christmas Hazards

For those of you who are taking time during this busy season to read this column, we send wishes for a happy and safe festive season for both you and your four-leggeds. Though the holidays are fraught with potential hazards for your furry kids, you can easily keep them safe with an ounce of common sense. The most common holiday ailment is the simplest one to prevent. Overeating disease only occurs if you let it. You have to remember that dogs are creatures of habit. Because many dogs eat the same thing every day, their digestive tracts are not prepared for the Christmas food assault. If you...

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Chocolate: A sweet poison

Posted by on Nov 25, 2013 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Chocolate: A sweet poison

Christmas (and Halloween) is a hazardous time for dogs. Kids get the sugary treats and some of them are chocolate. Most of you know that chocolate can be toxic, but do you know why? First, chocolate contains caffeine. This drives dogs into a hyperactive state (think of you with far too much coffee). They pace for hours, but the effect eventually wears off. Second, chocolate can cause indigestion. Vomiting and diarrhea is just the price paid for too much of a good thing. But, there is something far more serious. Chocolate also contains theobromine. This chemical causes muscle twitching,...

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Cats Suffer in Silence

Posted by on Sep 19, 2013 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Cats Suffer in Silence

Cats rarely get abscessed teeth that need removal like dogs. Instead, they have their own disease – feline resorptive lesions. The problem is that it goes undetected until it is too late and we have already lost the tooth. Let’s see what causes it and what we can do. Tooth resorption occurs in an incredible number of cats. Estimates vary between 20% and 75% of cats. Many cats silently suffer from this painful disease and they are never diagnosed. The first thing you see is a bit of red gum at the bottom of the tooth. Any tooth can be affected, but the most common one is the tooth...

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Becoming a Veterinary Assistant

Posted by on Aug 22, 2013 in Animal Health | 2 comments

Becoming a Veterinary Assistant

A new website has been launched, designed to help veterinary assistants find the education they need. The following is a sample of the first lesson of Veterinary Assistant 1: Becoming a Veterinary Assistant. Your Role at the Hospital The attitude and abilities of the veterinary staff can make or break a practice just as easily as the behavior and knowledge of a veterinarian can. I believe that a well-informed, personable veterinary team member who can advise clients correctly is a true asset to every veterinary hospital, and this is what my course is all about. You may be wondering what role...

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Cruising with the Fur Kids

Posted by on Jul 22, 2013 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Cruising with the Fur Kids

Taking your dog or cat on the road this summer? It consists mainly of preparation, but add in a little common sense and you’ve got all you need for a great trip. Here are some thoughts on what to include. If you are crossing the border into the United States, they need to see a valid rabies certificate. This is all you need. Health certificates are only (rarely) required by airlines when you fly with them. If vaccines need updating, do them at least a week before you travel in case of any reaction. If your pet has special medical issues, get a copy of his medical history just in case you...

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Politics of Pet Sterilization

Posted by on Jul 4, 2013 in Animal Health | 0 comments

Politics of Pet Sterilization

Pet sterilization is controversial, almost as much as the debate on nutrition. There is the debate on trap-neuter-release (TNR) in cats. There is the no-kill controversy and the need for low-cost sterilization. All are minefields for stating your opinion. However, the newest one is the wisdom and methodology of the emerging canine neuter conundrum. First, I’ll give you a bit of history. When I began practicing (yes, over 30 years ago), I was told to believe in the age-old recommendation of sterilization at six months of age. The reasons seemed obvious. First, it was anesthetic safety. The...

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