Valentine’s Day Tips

February 12, 2013

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http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-care-tips/valentines-day-tips.aspx

Moving With Your Pet

February 10, 2013

 

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 Whether it is a four-hour car ride or an overseas move, traveling with your pet can go smoother if you plan ahead and follow a few easy suggestions:

 Vaccinations:

 RABIES:

 Both dogs and cats require a current rabies vaccination.

 OTHER:

The stress of traveling can make your pet more susceptible to disease.         

Therefore vaccinations are especially important. Dogs should have DHLP, Parvo,  and Bordetella. They should also be on heartworm prevention. Cats should have FVRCP.

Health Certificates:

State Health Certificates are valid for 10 days but check with your carrier if flying.

 International Health Certificates are usually good for 30 days. Your rabies certificate should be carried with you along with the health certificate.

 Quarantine Periods:

Many areas have quarantine periods for pets, even if they are properly vaccinated. Check with your veterinarian about requirements in your specific destination.

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Pet Carriers:

If you are flying, make sure your pet carrier is “Airline Approved.” Most airlines require specific reservations for “under-the-seat” carriers. Check with the airline. The appropriate size carrier will allow your pet to stand up, lie down, and turn around comfortably. Acclimate your pet to its carrier well ahead of your travel date. This will make the trip more pleasant for everyone.

 Food & Water:

Feeding your pet on the day of travel is not recommended. It merely adds to motion sickness problems.  Water should always be available.  Take a supply of water with you on car trips to avoid problems from changes in the water content. Take the usual food to avoid sudden diet changes, which often lead to vomiting and/or diarrhea. Stick to a routine feeding schedule.

 Car Travel:

Make frequent stops (every 2 hours) to walk and water your pet.  Never leave a pet unattended in a car, even if the windows are rolled down. Always leash your pet when out of the car to avoid loss or injury,

 As well as being considerate of other people. Be sure the pet is wearing a collar with attached rabies tag and ID tag. Be responsible for cleaning up your pet’s eliminations-plastic bags.

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Tranquilization:

 Some pets need tranquilization for travel to prevent motion sickness or hyper excitability. Discuss this with your veterinarian if you think it might be needed.

Please call us with any questions!

-From the veterinarians of Arrow Springs Animal Hospital Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Burris

Teeth Cleaning

February 6, 2013

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 WHAT IS TARTAR AND GINGIVITIS:

Tartar, or dental calculus, is the buildup of food, bacteria, and other residues on your pet’s teeth that lead to gum infections or gingivitis.

CAN DIRTY TEETH BE HARMFUL TO MY PET?

Dirty teeth will cause bad breath, eventual loss of teeth due to infections; and may even lead to generalized infections due to bacteria entering the blood stream.  Heart disease and kidney disease is very common as a result of “dirty teeth.”

 WHAT DO YOU DO WHEN YOU CLEAN A PET’S  TEETH?

A pet is given a physical exam and any needed laboratory work to insure their well-being before the procedure. Then, the pet is sedated with the same medications utilized in human medicine. Teeth are then hand-scaled, cleaned with ultra-sound equipment, and polished, very similar to a human dentist.  A fluoride treatment is then applied.  Necessary extractions are performed when the teeth’s roots have been destroyed by infection.

 WHAT IS EXPECTED OF ME?

The pet should have no food after midnight the night before your scheduled appointment. Water is allowed free choice at all times. We request that you bring your pet to the hospital by 8 a.m. so that we can start the procedure early in the morning. 

 WHAT ABOUT EXTRACTIONS?

Only the veterinarian can determine which teeth should be extracted, and which loose teeth can be saved.  This is often impossible to determine until the pet is properly sedated, due to the possible pain in the gum area.

 WHAT ABOUT ANTIBIOTICS?

Antibiotics may be given before, and then after the dental cleaning (and possible extractions) to fight any bacteria present.  In many severe infections, antibiotics will be prescribed for several days and then an appointment is scheduled for a recheck.  Be SURE to continue antibiotics until instructed not to do so!  Use the entire contents of any prescribed medications before stopping.

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 WHAT CAN I DO AT HOME AFTER CLEANING?

Daily use of a pet toothpaste can help to prevent future problems.  Many pets (especially over 5 years of age) will require dental cleaning procedures every 6-12 months to maintain optimum oral hygiene.

Call us with any questions or to make an appointment!

918-455-7107

-From the veterinarians of Arrow Springs Animal Hospital Dr. Schmidt and Dr. Burris

Dental Month

January 22, 2013

February is National Pet Dental Month!

Receive 10% off of your pet’s dental cleaning in February!

 Every FEBRUARY is Dental Health Month at Arrow Springs Animal Hospital.

Your pet’s teeth are very important to their overall health. If we noted during your visit the need for your pet to have a dental cleaning and polishing then keep reading!

 Dental disease is the most common disease in dogs and cats. Over 68% of all pets over the age of three have some form of periodontal or dental disease, making it by far the most common canine disease.

 *Pets need to have their teeth cleaned? Can’t I just brush his teeth?

-Brushing your pet’s teeth is a great way to prevent dental disease. However, when a pet has signs of dental disease such as red or inflammed gums, bad breath, tartar, or even loose teeth, your pet needs a dental.

*Yuck! My pet’s teeth look like the dog in the picture below, maybe even worse! What should I do?

-No worries. Your pet’s tartar can be removed with a professional scaling and polishing under anesthesia. Your pet’s teeth will then be polished and fluoride will be applied. Some pets may also need to have tooth extractions and/or antibiotics. 

*I have an older pet. Is it ok to have her under anesthesia?

-Your pet will have an exam by one of our doctors prior to their dental. Your pet will also have blood work performed to check cell counts and internal organs. If any concerns are noted, one of the doctors will call you. Your pet will be monitored throughout the procedure and until he or she goes home.

*My pet has a healthy smile again! Now what?

-You will pick-up your pet in the afternoon and be greeted by your pet’s fresh breath! We will give you instructions on how to brush your pet’s teeth. Do not use human dentifrice or toothpaste. You can begin giving special canine toys as well as feeding the newer dental diets and dental treats to help reduce tartar build up.

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 Please call us at 918-455-7107 to make an appointment.  We perform dentals Monday-Friday mornings. Drop-offs start at 7:30a.m. We look forward to seeing you soon.

 Sincerely,

 Randal Burris, DVM,    Don Schmidt, DVM

P.S. Want more info? Visit our website at www.gtvets.com to see a short dental care video.

Reasons to Adopt an Adult Dog

January 2, 2013

-Adult dogs are great at focusing on you because they’re calmer than youngsters. Plus, all those years of experience reading humans can help them quickly figure out how to do what you’re asking.

-Grownup dogs don’t require the constant monitoring puppies do, leaving you with more freedom to watch after young children, work from home, etc.

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-Older dogs have already learned what it takes to get along with others and become part of a pack. They’ll be part of the family in no time!

-Your floors, shoes and furniture will thank you for adopting a senior pooch! Older dogs are likely to already be housetrained—and even if they’re not, they have the physical and mental abilities to pick it up really fast.  Seniors also are much less likely to be destructive chewers.

-There are those who hold back adopting a dog because they worry what might happen in their lives in the years to come.  Providing a loving home for a dog in her golden years is not a less serious commitment, but it can be a shorter one.

-Older dogs do require exercise but they’re not going to need, or want, to run a marathon every day.

-Older dogs are often the last to be adopted.  Saving an animal’s life offers an unparalleled emotional return on your investment, and you’ll feel the rewards every day you spend together.

If you are currently looking to adopt a pet, please visit animalaid.org

-The Veterinarians from Arrow Springs- Dr. Don Schmidt and Dr. Randal Burris

 

Happy New Year!

January 2, 2013

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Hairballs in Cats

December 28, 2012

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Hairballs, which are spit up, are a common problem seen in cats. Accumulation of hair in the stomach of the cat is a direct result of the significant portion of the cat’s life that is spent grooming it. It has been estimated that cats groom themselves for up to 1/3 of their waking hours.

The problem begins as the cat swallows the hair it has licked off during the cleaning process. The barb-like projections on the cat’s tongue pull the hair loose from the skin and hair coat. These barbs point inward on the tongue, which causes the hair to remain lodged on the cat’s tongue until it is swallowed. 

Hair is mostly undigestible and therefore begins to knot up in the stomach. As the hairball enlarges, it is unable to pass out of the stomach down into the small intestine. It then becomes an irritant to the stomach lining eventually being vomited up in most cases. Should the hairball get so large that it cannot pass back up through the opening into the esophagus, it becomes a surgical procedure to get it out.

Signs of “hairballs” include vomiting, constipation, listlessness, and coughing. It frequently causes a loss of appetite and even depression. The regurgitated “hairball” is often not actually round in shape, but rather “tubular.”

Finding regurgitated hairballs is a definite sign that your cat has a problem and needs help.  Although rarely fatal, hairballs are an inconvenience to cleanup, very uncomfortable for the cat, and can lead to serious complications.

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RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PREVENTING HAIRBALLS

Daily brushing of the cat to remove loose hair is the best prevention. Longhaired breeds especially need special attention. During the spring when all cats shed, daily brushing is most important. After brushing, wipe the cat’s haircoat with a damp towel to remove loose hair. 

Medications are available to eliminate hairballs and help prevent reoccurrence. Laxatives in the form of  Pastes, or even petroleum jelly, have been recommended for many years. There are many different brands available that will be readily accepted by the cat.  It is usually recommended the gel be rubbed on the cat’s mouth, nose, or even on its feet. It will then be swallowed during the cat’s normal grooming process.

Questions?

Give us a call- 918-455-7107

The Veterinarians of Arrow Springs Animal Hospital

Merry Christmas!

December 24, 2012

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Healthy Holiday Pet Tips

December 15, 2012

Christmas Trees– If you will have a real Christmas tree this year, make sure your pet is not able to drink the tree water. Keep the water covered. Sap from pine trees is dangerous if swallowed. Make sure your tree is stable. A secure tree will help to prevent injuries.

After you have decorated your tree, clean up any ornament hooks, ribbon, tinsel, etc. Pets love shiny things but they can get sick from ingesting decorations. Often, surgery is needed to remove these types of items. If you have a particularly curious pet, consider placing only wood or plastic ornaments on the bottom part of your tree.

Remember to turn off or unplug your tree lights when you are not around just in case your pet gets tangled in the lights.

Food– Your pet will be very interested in the delicious smells this time of year but table scraps should be avoided. Chocolate, alcohol, raisins can be toxic. Xylitol, an artificial sweetener, can also be toxic. Bones can cause choking, digestion problems and possibly a blockage which requires surgery.

Decor– Poinsettia, holly and mistletoe can be dangerous to pets. Keep pets away or buy artificial plants.  Burning candles that can be tipped over need to be moved out of reach of your pet.

Your pet’s holiday– The holiday season can be very busy. Keeping your pet in a routine will help limit your pet’s anxiety. Routine walks, feeding, and playtime is comforting. If your pet is shy around company, consider a quiet place for your pet to stay such as a bedroom or even a veterinary clinic to board for the day.

From the Veterinarians of Arrow Springs Animal Hospital 918-455-7107

Parvovirus

December 8, 2012

WHAT IS IT?

Canine Parvovirus is a viral disease of dogs that was first reported in early 1978. Parvovirus is capable of causing two different sets of clinical problems. The first to be recognized, and most common, is the “intestinal” form, which is manifested by diarrhea; often bloody vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, fever, and sometimes death. The second syndrome, the “cardiac” form, occurs in very young pups and is manifested by an acute inflammation of the heart muscle.

Any age, breed or sex of dog could be affected by Parvovirus. However, infection with Parvovirus does not automatically mean illness. Several factors such as age, environment, stress, parasites and general health status of each individual dog infected could affect the severity of illness. The degree of illness could range from very mild to unapparent to very severe, often resulting in death. The disease is usually more severe in young dogs (less than 6 months of age) or old dogs.

Experts agree that canine Parvovirus is closely related to Parvoviruses that affect other animals. Where the virus originally came from remains unknown, but it is possible that it is a mutant from another Parvovirus that affects other species of animals. Man is not known to be affected by canine Parvovirus. Since its first appearance in 1978, canine Parvovirus has spread to every continent in the world, probably the result of the hardy nature of the virus. It is resistant to extremes of temperature (i.e., it survives freezing and extreme heat) and is unharmed by detergents, alcohols and common disinfectants. Direct transmission occurs when an infected dog comes in contact with a healthy dog. The virus is found in heavy concentration in the infected dog’s stool. The virus particles can be easily spread on shoes, clothing and other inanimate objects. Fleas, as well as people, can therefore act as indirect sources of infection.  Once it gets a foothold in a kennel, it is difficult to eliminate.

Oral Phase:

 The disease process begins with the oral ingestion of Parvovirus from the feces of an infected dog. The virus initially invades the lymph glands of the throat (lymph nodes and tonsils) where it multiplies. Following multiplication in the lymph glands for l to 2 days, the virus then enters the blood stream, which causes the VIREMIA phase (virus in the blood).

Viremia Phase:

 This phase is characterized by massive amounts of virus in the dog’s bloodstream, which in turn is spread to all parts of the body, such as, the intestine, bone marrow, spleen, other lymph nodes and the heart (in young pups less than 8 weeks of age).  As infection spreads, the symptoms of illness become apparent. (See “symptoms” in next section).  The Viremia phase can last for approximately l to 9 days.

Contagious Stage:

The final phase in the cycle is the contagious or “shedding” phase.  As many as 30 billion Parvovirus particles can be shed from the intestines of an infected dog in every ounce of stool. The highest concentration of virus in the stool is seen when the infected dog is showing signs of illness.  A dog can, however, be a source of infection to other dogs without having observable signs of illness. Transmission can occur for at least 3 weeks after a dog becomes infected with the virus.  Chronic “carriers” are not know to exist as in other virus disease.  Parvovirus in the environment can infect susceptible dogs for many months once shed in the stool.

What are the symptoms?

The symptoms below indicate a problem warranting medical attention.  Early, vigorous treatment of illness caused by canine Parvovirus infection is imperative since vomiting and diarrhea can lead to dehydration and chemical imbalance in the body. If your dog shows these signs, see your veterinarian. Early treatment can save lives.

Cardiac Form (less than 8 weeks of age)

Sudden death

Crying, difficulty breathing, gasping for breath

Extreme depression

Weakness

Unwillingness to nurse

Irregular heartbeat

Intestinal Form (any age dog affected, but more severe in puppies).

Depression

Loss of appetite

Fever (above 103 degrees F)

Vomiting

Diarrhea with or without blood (more serious if blood present)

Low white blood count

How is it controlled?

Control of Parvovirus by sanitation measures alone is extremely difficult because the virus is such a resistant, hardy organism and because it is so easily spread.  Contact with other dogs and especially their stool, should be minimized.  Clorox diluted one part to 30 parts with water has been effective in disinfecting inanimate objects such as clothing, floors, kennels, etc.  However, it is impractical, if not impossible, to disinfect public streets, parks, etc.  Isolation of infected dogs is another method of control, although moderately effective.  Both of these measures will help reduce the amount of contagious virus in the environment, but only vaccination will control the actual source of infection, the contagious shedding dog.

Vaccination:

The most effective control measure for canine Parvovirus disease.  A properly immunized dog will have circulating antibodies in the blood that will destroy Parvovirus following exposure.

Maternal antibodies are antibodies against Parvovirus, which are passed from the mother to the puppies through the “first milk” or colostrum.  They provide the puppy with an immediate temporary or “passive” immunity.  The mother obtains these antibodies from prior vaccination or by natural exposure to Parvovirus.  However, maternal antibody is a two-edged sword; it protects the puppy against disease early in life, but it also blocks active immunization.  In the case of Parvovirus, maternal antibody can interfere with vaccination for as long as 14 to 16 weeks of age in some pups.  A refractory period can exist in some pups where very low, almost undetectable levels of maternal antibody will inhibit the vaccination process but will not prevent Parvovirus infection.  Since the level of maternal antibody varies from puppy to puppy, it is important to begin vaccination at an early age and repeat every 2-3 weeks until the puppy is at least 16 – 18 weeks old.

The Veterinarians of Arrow Springs Animal Hospital 918-455-7107