Amanda and Beau
5/2/13 Would you like to help us keep our patients cozy? If you have any extra blankets or towels that you would like to donate to Trooper Vet, we would be glad to have them! We will share any extras we receive with the shelter animals.
3/27/13 Check out these colorful
You can find PAPER "grass" in many colors at the
dollar store. These are from DOLLAR TREE.
Many pets, particularly CATS love to eat the traditional
PLASTIC Easter grass which is VERY dangerous! It can twist, slice, bind, and block in the intestinal tract
resulting in the need for major surgery!
Paper Easter grass is a much more pet-safe option.
If eaten, paper grass is much less likely to cause any serious problems.
Wishing our kennel manager a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY today! You may not have met Gerry before, but if your pet has ever stayed here, they know Gerry well! Have a great day Gerry!
2/19/13 Canine Blood Donor Helps in Emergency!
Last week our veterinary nurse, Karen Mulvihill, received an urgent call from the Matthew J Ryan Veterinary Hospital at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. At that moment, theyhad three critical dogs in surgery, all were emergency splenectomies and one had a liver mass as well. Each of them needed immediate blood transfusions to survive, and the blood bank was all out of blood!
Trooper Veterinary Hospital regularly hosts canine blood drives to help save the lives of dogs in need. Our last blood drive was on January 5th and that supply was already gone. Unfortunately all of the donor dogs (also heroes!) from that blood drive could not safely donate again this soon.
Karen quickly made a few phone calls to previous blood donors who had not been at the January blood drive. She got in touch with Rocky’s owner, George Price, who drove Rocky directly to the veterinary hospital in Philadelphia. Thanks to Rocky, and two other dogs that arrived in time to donate, all three of the dogs in surgery got the blood they desperately needed!
We just want to say THANK YOU to Mr. Price, to the Penn team, to Karen, and to Rocky for saving the day and saving lives! We are proud of you and all of our donor dogs!
If you would like to learn more about our canine blood drives and how your dog may be able to help, please visit our events page.
We were excited to receive the following note today!
Hi everyone at Trooper Vet!Thank you again from the bottom of my heart to the wonderful/amazing/incredible KAREN for going above and beyond to help me find blood donors on 2/12. I saw your blog post on Rocky Price and am thrilled!! That's awesome that he gets the recognition he deserves. I'm very happy to report that ALL three dogs mentioned in your post have survived their respective surgeries, recovered well, and all are now home with their families! We can't possibly ask for a better outcome.Many many thanks again & I can't wait to come back on Saturday, April 6th for our next Trooper Vet Drive!Sincerely,CassieCassandra N Fay AAS LVTPenn Animal Blood BankMatthew J Ryan Veterinary HospitalUniversity of PennsylvaniaO: 215-573-7222 / N: email@example.com
Kitten season is fast approaching! Just a reminder to get your pets spayed and neutered.
A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just 7 years!
For more information on spaying and neutering please visit our Pet Care TV section.
Dr. Cleary is donating her time to a dalmatian named Byron. He is being fostered through Willing Hearts Dalmatian rescue. Byron is recovering from his surgeries!
Thank you Dr. Cleary & Willing Hearts Dalmatian Rescue for helping this guy!
Our client care specialist, Sherri, has received a certificate of appreciation from Feeding Pets of The Homeless!
Just a reminder, we are ALWAYS collecting pet food!
February is National Pet Dental Health month
Yes, you can brush your pets teeth. We can teach you if you need help!
Never use human toothpaste for a pet! It can be toxic if swallowed.
STEPS TO INTRODUCING YOUR PET TO THE BRUSHING PROCESS
Gently pet and scratch your pet’s muzzle and slowly lift the lip for 30 seconds. Reward with a treat and praise.
Run your finger gently over teeth for 30-45 seconds. Reward with a treat and praise.
Repeat Day 2 but continue running finger gently over teeth for 1 minute. Reward again with a treat and praise. If there is any resistance at any time, stop and wait until the next day’s session. Do not excite your pet. Try to have the brushing sessions at
the same time each day.
If all is going well, place finger toothbrush on your finger. Gently run over teeth for 30 seconds. Always remember to give a treat and praise.
Repeat as above but add a small amount of toothpaste. Gently run over teeth for 30 seconds.
If your pet is accepting brushing well, increase bushing time until you are able to spend 30-45 seconds on each side. Only the outsides of the teeth need to be brushed. Your pet’s tongue brushes the inside of the teeth.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS FROM
THE DOCTORS AND STAFF OF
TROOPER VETERINARY HOSPITAL!
The Doctors and Staff of Trooper Veterinary Hospital THANK YOU
for your friendship and patronage in 2012!
We all wish you all a very healthy and joyfilled 2013
filled with lots of fun pet moments!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!
11/5/12 Hurricane Sandy
Would you like to help pets in the disaster zone of hurricane Sandy?
Our friends at Red Paw Emergency Relief Team are taking donated items to NJ and NY animal victims of hurricane Sandy. Everyone is encouraged to donate items to help out.
Trooper Veterinary Hospital is a collection site for Red Paw.
Please bring items to our hospital during regular business hours. Red Paw will be distributing items where they are needed the most! We are proud of our friends at Red Paw!
pet food, kitty litter, litter boxes, litter scoops, trash bags, bleach, disinfectant cleaner, leashes, bowls, carriers, blankets, pet beds. WE THANK YOU!
PET ALLERGIES 11/1/12
Although my degree is in VETERINARY medicine, from time to time clients will ask me my opinion on their own ailments. "Doc, while I’m here, can you look at this rash?" True story! I am not trained or qualified to deal with human health issues but there is one that I will give my two cents on….based purely on experience…..dealing with allergies to pets.
Ironically enough I am married to a man who is VERY allergic to animals. When we were married I had three cats and two dogs and currently have two cats and three dogs. The cats tend to cause him the most problems. His eyes water and itch and he sneezes up a storm. The first few months we lived together he even had to "evacuate" the house a few times to "detox".
We have learned a lot about managing allergies these past few years. If you or a family member/housemate has allergies and you are looking to obtain a pet, please do your research first. Speak to your allergist to see if they have any recommendations for allergy friendly pets. If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of having pet allergic people and pets living together already, the following recommendations may be helpful.
The easiest and most helpful solution is clearly to rehome your pet. Incidently, this is usually the first recommendation by allergists. If you find that is not possible, then sometimes making a few changes can help. The animals should not be allowed to sleep in the allergic person’s bed and preferably not even in their bedroom. Our animals have their own bedroom and we try to keep them out of ours as much as possible. Bathing the animal once weekly can decrease the amount of dander (the tiny allergenic particles from their skin) spread around the house. There was a period of time that I was washing three cats every weekend! A vacuum with a good HEPA filter can help decrease amount of dander around the house. We purchased a good (although not cheap) model and made an effort to vacuum daily. Carpets, drapes and upholstery tend to retain dander. We replaced carpets with wood/laminate floors, removed drapes and use washable couch covers.
We were lucky enough to find an allergist who was sensitive to our situation (veterinarian marries man allergic to animals) and worked with us closely to help make things better. My husband was allergy tested and started on allergy vaccines. He was also prescribed antihistamines and nasal sprays to use when his symptoms flare up. He still has the occasional bad day but I am happy to report there has not been an evacuation in years!
For more information check out these websites:
- Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America
- Humane Society of the United States
"Allergies to Pets:Learn to live with your pet in harmony, even if you’re allergic to them"
Written by: Dr. Tara-Jean Cleary, veterinarian @ Trooper Veterinary Hospital?
~October 15th-19th is National Veterinary Technician Week~
We say a HUGE THANK YOU to our wonderful, skilled, caring, dedicated and compassionate
Veterinary technicians, nurses, and assistants!! We are very proud of our awesome team!
VETERINARY TECHNICIAN'S OATH
"I solemnly dedicate myself to aiding animals and society by providing excellent care and services for animals, by alleviating animal suffering, and promoting public health. I accept my obligations to practice my profession conscientiously and with sensitivity, adhering to the profession's Code of Ethics, and furthering my knowledge and competence through a commitment to lifelong learning."
OVERWEIGHT PETS, PART 2 10/5/12
My previous blog discussed the general topic of obesity, focusing on the nutritional aspects. Primarily how much and how often to feed our companions.
Another very important aspect regarding weight control is exercise. Physical as well as mental stimulation is extremely important for our canine and feline friends. We do see a fair percentage of animals that have behavior concerns that may be caused by lack of mental and physical stimulation. These concerns may include anxiety, destructive behaviors, inappropriate elimination (peeing and/or pooping in/on unwanted areas), aggression and hyperactivity.
Adding a routine exercise program for our companions can be extremely beneficial for them and their owners!! Some of the benefits for the dogs and cats, besides weight management, include: helping to build confidence and trust, burning off excess energy to allow them to sleep soundly instead of being restless, providing mental stimulation to reduce boredom, improving bone and joint health as well as heart and lung function.
There are many factors that should be considered when starting an exercise routine:
- age of pet
- size/breed of dog
- medical or physical limitations of pet and/or owner
- intended goals to be achieved
Because dogs and cats are very different species, their exercise routines vary quite a bit. I will limit this entry to ideas for our canine friends.
Most dogs are active and intelligent. Many varieties of activities can be considered for your dog depending on the ability and willingness of everyone involved. Here are some activities that require more aerobic activity from the dog and less from the person:
Throwing and fetching objects (Frisbees, balls, sticks….), bubble catching (there are special bubbles just for dogs), hide and seek, as well as providing play buddies (daycare/camp).
Activities that involve more of the person’s aerobic involvement include walking, running, skating or bicycling. All these activities can be very stimulating and fun for everyone participating. Dogs can become extremely motivated to venture outdoors and be a great motivation for the person to get outdoors too!
Swimming can be a wonderful sport for some dogs. Of course, this requires a water source and a pup who likes the water. If you have those things, many of the activities mentioned above can be played in the water as well. Having the dog fetch/retrieve objects in the water can be lots of fun. Some dogs are great jumpers and divers. If there is a platform or dock around, having the dogs jump or dive after objects to retrieve them can be quite entertaining!
There are many types of competitive sports for dogs too. For example; agility, hunting, flyball, herding, and obedience competitions. Some of these sports are based on certain breeds, but many are open to willing and skilled competitors!
One other stimulating adventure for both dogs and humans is volunteering time to become a therapy dog. Helping other people by spending time, getting rubs and just listening can be a wonderful way to benefit so many.
For more information regarding exercise for dogs, visit
www.aspcabehavior.org. This site provides helpful guidelines and additional sites to help you decide the best activities for you and your dog.
My next focus will be activities that can be beneficial for our feline friends...stay tuned!
Written by Dr. Dawn Goldacker, a veterinarian at Trooper Veterinary Hospital.
Boots & Barkley Bully Sticks Recalled Due to Salmonella
Kasel Associated Industries recalled all lots of its Boots & Barkley 6-count, 5-inch American Beef Bully Sticks after several lots tested positive for salmonella, the Denver-based company reported today.
The product was distributed through Target stores in the United States from April through September 2012. The sticks come in a clear plastic bag marked with bar code number 647263899189.
Kasel opted to recall the products after routine sampling by the Colorado Department of Agriculture revealed that four lots were contaminated with salmonella. Kasel ceased production and distribution of the product while the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the company investigate the source of the contamination.
Boots & Barkley 6-count, 5-inch American Beef Bully Sticks were recalled due to salmonella.
Pets suffering from a salmonella infection may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may have only a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected by otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and may infect other animals or people.
Owners of pets that ate the recalled products and are displaying symptoms of salmonella poisoning should contact their veterinarian, the company said.
People infected with salmonella may experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Salmonella also can cause more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation and urinary tract symptoms.
Consumers who handled the recalled products and are exhibiting signs of salmonella infection should contact a health care provider.
The recalled product may be returned to the store for a refund.
Anyone with questions may contact Kasel at 800-218-4417 from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. MDT, weekdays.
9/4/12 What is being surgically removed from this dog ?!?
This is called a PYOMETRA. An abscessed, pus-filled infected uterus. Toxins and bacteria leak across the uterine walls and into the bloodstream, causing life-threatening toxic effects. The uterus dies, releasing large amounts of pus and dead tissue into the abdomen. Without treatment death is inevitable. Prevention of this disease is one of the main reasons for routinely spaying female dogs. To read more about the signs, causes and treatment of this condition, please go to the article in our pet info library at:
FOREIGN BODY INGESTION 8/30/12
Yikes, the “Boy” is still smarter than I am.
In my last blog I told you the saga of Leonard, aka “The Boy”, and his ability to have outsmarted us for the past 13 years. His favorite TV show is Foxworthy’s, “Are you smarter than a 5th grader?” Leonard writes his own scripts as; “I am smarter than a veterinarian.” I’ve told you about his years of learning how to open everything in our home to get anything he wanted. He also has a gold medal in counter surfing.
We returned home a few weeks ago to find all in order, at first. We went upstairs only to find a cellophane meat wrapper neatly folded on the Boy’s bed. After returning to the kitchen, we found that the baby lock on the refrigerator had been dismantled. He even closed the door to hide his crime. Aha! A ham steak was missing. Not being a shopper, I asked my wife if all ham steaks come with that circular little bone (the femur). She thought so, but was not sure. Off to the Vet Hospital again. Look what I found:
You are correct; the ring you see is the missing ham bone in Leonard’s stomach.
Now what? I had 3 options. 1: Anesthesia and try to remove the bone removed with an endoscope (a snake-like camera device passed down the throat into the stomach). 2: Immediate surgery to remove the bone from the stomach. 3: Wait and see. I decided on number 3. Bones can stay in the stomach, or move to the small intestine and get stuck, or pass all the way through and come out, or be digested just as any other food. What is real important, is knowing your pet’s habits. Any deviation from normal requires intervention. In the Boy’s case, he acted normal, he never missed a meal, he never vomited, he passed normal stools at his regular frequency, and he never showed signs that he had a belly ache.
If you ever suspect that your pet ate something unusual, check with your veterinarian right away to find out what the best course of action is for you. Every case and every foreign body eaten is different. If Leonard became ill, I was prepared to do surgery right away.
And now for the end of the story. A few days later he pooped out a neon yellow silly band like the kids wear on their wrist. Where did that come from? His cast iron stomach digested the bone so I never saw it. To quote the most important person in my life, “We have pets because they make us laugh.”
Written by: Dr. Ronald Kraft, a Veterinarian and co-owner of Trooper Veterinary Hospital
Wildlife and Pets 8/27/12
Kiwi, is a happy-go-lucky shepherd mix running around in her yard with her big brother and some friends when suddenly, Mr. Groundhog appears inside her fenced yard! Kiwi and Mr. Groundhog have a scuffle, leaving Kiwi with a few superficial scrapes and abrasions, all very minor. Now what?
Kiwi needs to visit Trooper Vet! Luckily her little battle wounds don’t even need special treatment. However, even though Kiwi is fully vaccinated (her rabies vaccine is good for another two years) a rabies booster is necessary to protect her.
Anytime your pet receives even the smallest scratch or nip from wildlife, boosting their rabies vaccination is very important! This would include groundhogs, raccoons, squirrels, chipmunks, skunks, possums, stray cats and dogs too (all mammals).
If your pet encounters an unwelcome friend like Kiwi did, be sure to call Trooper Veterinary Hospital for advice!
Kiwi is recovered, healthy, safe and on the hunt for a new backyard adventure!
Dogs eat the hardest things 6/13/12
As you may know, dogs, especially youngsters, like to eat lots of different things. Food items, whether on the table, floor, or trash, obviously make sense. They also end up swallowing different items that they chew on like sticks, chew toys, and socks. We have a series of radiographs that we have taken that documents some of these items; they include rocks, necklaces, a diamond engagement ring, a spoon, light bulbs, and nails. Other foreign material like cloth and wood don’t show up very well on radiographs. Some of these can pass on their own, while others require surgery to remove them.
One of the cases I was involved with was a larger breed dog named Casanova that had chewed apart a roll of quarters and a few of them were missing. Coins can cause mechanical irritation or obstructions but also anemia as the metal in the coins is eroded and absorbed. We took some radiographs to see how many quarters were present. To our surprise, we didn’t find any quarters but found a finial, which is the metal part that holds a lampshade in place. Fortunately for Casanova and his owner, it passed through the intestines without any complications. The owner had no idea where the dog had found the finial.
Another dog I saw many years ago was a small terrier puppy, Rapunzel, who weighed about 8 pounds. She was bright and alert but would vomit anytime she would eat anything. This is a common presentation of dogs with stomach foreign bodies. We took a radiograph and saw what appeared to be a ball in the stomach. Since this had been going on for several days, the ball was not going anywhere without help, so surgery was indicated to remove it. Once Rapunzel was anesthetized, clipped, and scrubbed for surgery, she was placed on her back. The incision into the abdomen was made on the midline. Normally the stomach is relatively easy to get to the abdominal wall but in this case it was it was very difficult. Once I finally got the stomach positioned properly and made the incision to retrieve the ball, I found out why it was so difficult to move the stomach. The ball that we saw on the radiograph was attached to a wooden stick that we couldn’t see on the radiograph. This tiny puppy had swallowed a xylophone handle with the wooden handle extending almost up to the neck! Rapunzel recovered from the surgery without any complications.
So as a reminder, if your dog tends to be a chewer, be very careful what they have access to, so they don’t swallow something that could end up in our next set of interesting radiographs!
By: Michael Herman,
VETERINARIAN @ Trooper Veterinary Hospital
OVERWEIGHT PETS 6/28/12
Being overweight is one problem we see commonly with many of our companion animals. There can be multiple factors that contribute to the problem; providing too many calories and not enough exercise may be two big components. Each of these components can lead to many other issues besides weight gain. Overweight animals can have increased chance of having orthopedic problems and certain metabolic diseases, including diabetes and liver disease. The lack of physical and mental stimulation for our companions can lead to many behavior concerns too, like separation anxiety and destructive behaviors.
With all the choices of pet foods available, providing an appropriate diet for our furry friends should be less daunting. Picking out the food is one big choice, how much to put in the bowl is another. The charts provided on the food bags are meant to be a guideline and may not be the best amount for every animal. There are many calorie chart guides that can help to figure out an amount to offer also. An animal’s daily food requirement not only depends on their desired weight, but also activity level and any health/medical needs. One site that provides an abundant amount of information is the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention,
Another aspect of daily feeding that should be considered is meal times. Offering two to three meals a day is a healthier way to provide our pet’s daily needs. This allows our friends to have food more frequent than just once a day and the smaller portion of food may be better tolerated then one large meal. There are those companions that are grazers and make meal time obsolete. This may work just fine if they are an only companion, therefore no competition, and are given only the daily amount of food needed each day. Some cat owners will leave a full bowl of dry food available and offer a portion of canned food twice a day. Continuously filling the dry food can make measuring the amount of food the pet eats a day very difficult. Knowing how much the pet eats each day can be extremely helpful information if they become ill. Decreased appetites are one of the very important signs that can tell us our companions are not feeling well!
One other huge advantage to having specific meal times is management of some medical problems. As our companions age, some may become affected by diseases like diabetes, cushing’s disease, liver/kidney disease, hyper/hypothyroidism. Many of these problems require medications to be given with or without food, so knowing when our friends eat and how much they eat is a great help!
As I continue on this journey to help our companions to stay fit and healthy, I will venture onto the topic of exercise and activities for them and for their care givers!! Our pets can be great motivators for people to stay active!!!
http://www.petobesityprevention.com/pet-caloric-needs/. Using these suggestions, coming up with an amount of food per day is just the start. We need to remember that anything that passes that muzzle accounts for calories! The remnants of the cereal bowl, that little bit of pizza crust, the itty piece of meat scraps, that rawhide treat, the snausage, the whisker lickings….they all add up!! I know it is tough to resist those sweet, pleading eyes, but sticking to a good balanced diet for our friends is a person’s responsibility.
By: Dawn Goldacker, VETERINARIAN @ Trooper Veterinary Hospital
8/21/12 TICKS & LYME DISEASE
Ticks are parasites that can carry disease to us and our pets. Some of the diseases that they carry in this part of the country are the bacteria that cause Lyme disease, (Borrelia burgdorferi), and other bacteria that live inside cells that can cause diseases know as ehrlichiosis and anaplasmosis. These organisms are transmitted to the dog when the tick is feeding on the dog’s blood. It can take up to 48 hours of attachment of the tick to transmit the bacteria that cause Lyme disease to the dog; this period may be shorter for the other organisms. Some heartworm tests also screen for exposure to these bacteria. These tests look for antibodies that the dog’s immune system has produced when the organisms get into their system. Many dogs are exposed to these organisms and have antibodies in their blood, but few of them develop illness. Antibodies to these organisms can stay in the systems for years after exposure or infection.
Symptoms of these diseases can be very non-specific. They can all cause fever and, possibly, enlarged lymph nodes. The pet may generally act like it doesn’t feel well. With Lyme disease, we often see the dog when the owner notices a lameness, especially one that seems to go from one leg to another. The symptoms of Lyme disease can occur anywhere from 2 to 5 months after the tick bite occurred. An uncommon disorder that can occur with Lyme disease is called Lyme nephropathy. We don’t know exactly why this occurs in a very few dogs, but it results in sudden onset of symptoms of vomiting, not eating, weight loss, and lethargy. The symptoms are caused by sudden onset of kidney failure, and it is a very serious condition; many dogs do not recover and may die from this disorder.
Golden Retrievers and Labrador Retrievers seem to develop this disorder more often than other breeds. Dogs with Lyme disease can also lose protein through their urine, and testing positive dogs for too much protein in the urine can screen for those cases that may have no obvious symptoms, but should be treated. More information of Lyme disease can be found at www.cdc.gov/lyme.
The symptoms of ehrlichiosis also include, in addition to fever and enlarged lymph nodes, lethargy, lameness or trouble walking, inflammation in the eye, diarrhea, vomiting, respiratory signs, bleeding problems, and many other non-specific signs, depending on what organs may be affected. After the initial phase, many dogs seem fine but may have anemia, low white blood cells, and/or low platelet counts. Anaplasmosis has symptoms of fever, joint pain, weight loss, bleeding problems, and pale gums.
The good news is that all of these diseases can be treated with antibiotics. Doxycycline is the antibiotic of choice; if that causes vomiting or diarrhea some others can also be used. In the case of Lyme disease, we don’t know if the antibiotic therapy ever completely gets rid of all the organisms from the dog’s body. Some dogs may have relapses later on in life.
Prevention includes tick control- using topical tick control products in the form of a spot-on or an amitraz collar- and checking the dog for ticks and removing any found as soon as possible after any activity where they are likely to pick up ticks. There are vaccinations available to help prevent Lyme disease, and if you find ticks on your dog or spend time with your dog in areas where ticks are common, it is worth considering if the vaccine is right for your dog! More information about ticks can be found at: http://ento.psu.edu/extension/factsheets/ticks.
By: Dr. Susan Wich
, VETERINARIAN @ TROOPER VETERINARY HOSPITAL
PET LOSS 7/26/12
Gertrude was a beautiful silver and black German Shepherd dog and she was with me from the time I was brought home from the hospital and placed in a bassinet. She was my nanny, big sister, and my best friend. I didn’t have any siblings and didn’t live in a neighborhood, so she was my only playmate. We were inseparable. We went on picnics, played catch and had tea parties. Gertrude passed away the day after my eighth birthday and I thought the world would end. I cried for two weeks straight. Everywhere I looked, something would remind me of Gertrude and the heartache would return. My mom was there to wipe away the tears and help me cope with my feelings of loss.
Recently, my mom passed away and once again, whenever I see something that reminds me of my mom, my heart aches. Now Gertrude has taken on a new role for me – teacher. She has taught me that, with time, those memories will no longer cause pain, they will warm my heart and bring happiness. I am truly blessed to have had them both in my journey through life.
Losing a pet can be a deeply painful experience because for many, it is the same as losing a family member. Not everyone is fortunate enough to have family and friends to help them through this difficult time. There are many resources available for people as they go through the grieving process – pet loss support groups, hotlines and on-line support groups. If you need help, whether it is a hug, a shoulder to cry on, or just someone to listen, don’t be afraid to reach out.
For additional help:
- Metropolitan Veterinary Associates Pet Loss Support Group (meets once or twice a month)
RSVP 610-666-1050 ext 235
- University of Florida Pet Grief Support Hotline
352-392-2235 ext 4080
- Iams Pet Loss Support Center and Hotline
- Rainbow Bridge Online Pet Loss Support Community
- Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement
Written by: Dr. Danielle Reinhardt, VETERINARIAN @ Trooper Veterinarian Hospital
What Is Your Litter Box I.Q.? 7/12/12
Litter box maintenance is an important part of cat care. Monitoring urine and stool production can provide helpful information regarding your cat's health. Perhaps the most common reason I end up discussing litter boxes with owners is when their cat decides to stop using one!
Cats who "boycott" their litter boxes generally do so for one of two reasons. The first is a medical condition. This is why if your cat is urinating or defecating outside of the litter box, a visit with your veterinarian is warranted. A thorough physical exam with possible additional testing (blood work, urinalysis, fecal analysis, +/- radiographs) will help to determine what (if any) medical issues are present.
If your veterinarian rules out a medical condition, then a behavior evaluation may be necessary. Many times your veterinarian can do that, but sometimes you may be referred to a veterinary behaviorist.
To help avoid behavioral issues the following litter box guidelines should be practiced:
1. There should be one litter box for each cat in the house...plus one more! That means a 2-cat household should have 3 litter boxes, a 3-cat household should have 4 litter boxes, etc. It is preferable that the boxes are placed in multiple locations around the house.
2. Most cats prefer sand-like, unscented, clumping litter. There are variations in preferences amongst cats though, and if a cat is using its current brand of litter well, it is not recommended to change.
3. Most cats prefer litter boxes without hoods. Hooded boxes tend to contain odors (good for owners, but not pleasant for the cat) and can make maneuvering around the box difficult for large or convalescent cats.
4. Most cats prefer large boxes. This may mean that in lieu of a standard litter box, a storage container may be more appropriate.
5. Most cats prefer a clean box. This means scooping as often as possible to remove waste, and changing out all of the litter frequently.
6. Try to place boxes in quiet but accessible locations.
The website www.indoorpet.osu.edu provides helpful information on this subject and other aspects of cat ownership.
Written by: Dr. Tara-Jean Cleary, veterinarian @ Trooper Veterinary Hospital
8/21/12 NATIONAL PET FIRE SAFETY DAY UPDATE
Home fires are the most common disaster that the American Red Cross responds to. According to the United States Fire Administration, an estimated 500,000 pets are affected annually by fires.
Local &... state health & safety regulations do not permit the Red Cross to allow pets in disaster shelters. (Except service animals.) It may be difficult, if not impossible, to find shelter for your animals in the midst of an evacuation, so plan ahead. Do not wait until disaster strikes!
The National Fire Protection Association estimates that nearly 1,000 house fires each year are accidentally started by the homeowners’ pets.
Extinguish open flames
Remove stove knobs
Keep pets near entrances when away from home so firefighters can easily find them.
Assemble a portable pet disaster supplies kit. Keep in a waterproof, sturdy container. Include the following:
Leashes, harnesses, collars and carriers
Food, bowls, litter box, can opener
$242.00 was raised for the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team.
Congratulations to the basket winner, Laura Marinari!
6/8/12 Diamond Pet Food Recall expanded to include cat foods
Dogs aren’t the only ones in danger from the recent recall of dry pet food from Diamond. The recall has now been expanded to include some cat foods, as well.
The affected brands are Kirkland Signature products, manufactured by Diamond. The products are Kirkland Signature Super Premium Maintenance Cat Chicken & Rice Formula (Best Before Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013) and Kirkland Signature Super Premium Healthy Weight Cat Formula (Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013). To determine if their pet food is recalled, consumers should check the production code on their bag. If the code has both a "3" in the 9th position AND an "X" in the 11th position, the product is affected by the recall. The best-before dates for the recalled products are Dec. 9, 2012 through Jan. 31, 2013.
5/1/12 PET FOOD RECALL
Diamond Pet Foods is recalling one production run of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food. The product has tested positive for Salmonella.
Lot numbers for the contaminated product are listed at this link: RECALL
Please be sure to call us if your pet becomes ill from ingesting this or any other product of concern.
4/27/12 The Importance of Preventative Care
When it comes to money, it’s always better to save than spend. In terms of the economics of your pet, preventative veterinary care is the way to go. It may seem like you’re wasting time and money to take your pet to the veterinarian for a regular check up only to hear that nothing is wrong, but in reality, those visits can often catch something small which can be corrected before it becomes a big deal. Preventative care not only saves you money in the long run, but also potential time and heartache.
Pets are part of the family and seeing them ill is never easy. Taking precautionary measures seriously reduces the chances of disease or illness at a fraction of the cost of treating a serious or emergency condition. Early diagnosis and treatment slows common disease in animals. Renal, periodontal, and osteoarthritis are just a few that preventative vet care can inhibit.
Many veterinarians recommend a yearly physical exam which covers:
- Breathing problems
- Ears & eyes
- Blood test
- Coat & skin exams
Each aspect of your pet’s physical exam may prove revealing even if it seems unimportant at the time. Exams of the ears, eyes, and mouth are often very significant. Examination of an animal’s eyes may show anemia, infections, cataracts, high blood pressure, kidney problems, jaundice, allergies, and sometimes even nutritional conditions.
Checking out your pet’s ears is also important. Ear infections are common when the ear isn’t properly groomed, and removing hair growth and wax from the ear canals protects the animal’s inner ear.
Oral health is very important, but more often than not, a pet’s oral health is all but ignored. Gums, teeth, tongue, and palate will all be examined by a veterinarian during the yearly exam. Infections, tartar buildup, and other abnormalities could be red flags. Teeth brushing and cleaning will keep your pet and veterinarian happy.
Annual check-ups also allow your doctor to monitor your pet’s progressive health. They can make recommendations or adjustments on food, treats, and the amount of exercise your pet needs.
Everyone wants to see their pets happy and healthy, but remember that just because they look healthy to you doesn’t mean they shouldn’t see their veterinarian. Spending a small amount of money on a visit now could prevent you from spending a bundle later!
4/5/12 We wish you a Happy Easter! Please remember that Easter lillies are highly toxic to cats!
There are dangerous and benign lilies--and the dangerous ones can be deadly. Peace, Peruvian, and Calla lilies contain oxalate crystals that cause minor signs of illness, such as tissue irritation in the mouth, tongue, pharynx, and esophagus, which, in turn, causes minor drooling. The potentially fatal lilies are true lilies, including Tiger, Day, Asiatic, Easter, and Japanese Show lilies. These are all highly toxic to cats. Even small ingestions (such as eating the pollen or just two to three petals or leaves) can result in kidney failure.
Cats that consume any part of a lily require immediate medical care to effectively treat the poisoning. Tell your clients that if they see a cat eating a lily, they should immediately bring the cat and the lily plant to your clinic. Decontamination (inducing vomiting and giving binders such as activated charcoal) is imperative in the early toxic stage. Additionally, aggressive intravenous fluid therapy, kidney-function monitoring tests, and supportive care can greatly improve prognoses.
3/7/12 Spaying & Neutering Rabbits
Most everyone knows the phrase "Fertile as a rabbit!" But the importance of spaying and neutering pet rabbits is often overlooked. Here is what you should know:
- Prevention of Pregnancy - This is the most common reason that rabbits are neutered or spayed, particularly if there are both male and female rabbits living together in a household. There are certainly enough rabbits in the world and too many are neglected or abandoned. One should not consider breeding these pets just for fun or education. Be a responsible pet owner and do not breed your pet unless you are well educated on the topic and are prepared to take on all the responsibilities such activity entails.
Prevention of Uterine Cancer - This is the most compelling medical reason to spay female rabbits. In some rabbit populations the rate of uterine adenocarcinoma (a malignant uterine cancer) can approach 80% of the females. It is believed that the incidence may be related to the rabbit’s genetic makeup. Since we usually don't know the genetic background of most of our rabbits, it is best to have the surgery done as a preventative for this cancer. Uterine adenocarcinoma can spread rapidly to other organs of the body such as the liver, lungs and even the skin and it is not treatable once it metastasizes outside of the uterus. We see many cases of this disease each year and sadly these rabbits could have avoided this problem. Rabbits under two years of age rarely develop this disease so it is best to get your female spayed before this age.
We spay and neuter rabbits at Trooper Veterinary Hospital so please call us if you have any questions about the procedure.
Please read much more information about rabbits and reproduction HERE
3/16/12 Chicken Jerky Treat Recall
Please read the following information in regard to yet another Jerky Treat Recall
As always, contact us if your pet is having a problem concerning this or any other product.
3/7/12 How to Gently Restrain Your Cat
Learn how to use the "Kitty Burrito" method of safe cat restraint. We find it works very well.
2/1/12 Urinalysis - What is the doctor looking for?
The urinalysis is an important part of any database of laboratory tests. It is an important screening tool whether or not an infection is suspected. The urinalysis examines chemical properties of the urine sample such as the pH, specific gravity (a measure of concentration), and amount of protein or other biochemicals. It also includes a visual inspection of the urine sediment to look for crystals, cells, or bacteria. This test often precedes the culture or lets the doctor know that a culture is in order. Indications that a culture of a urine sample should be done based on urinalysis findings include:
1/18/12 Kittens & Puppies & Vaccines
The nose of a kitten or puppy may be tiny, but it works well! Both are born blind and deaf, but they use their sense of smell to find the nutrition their mothers offer them. The first milk that kittens and puppies ingest is very important. Called colostrum, it contains antibodies from the mother and other important substances that give the baby initial protection against diseases at a time when their own immune systems are not yet functioning well. These antibodies diminish over time, but until they do, they not only protect the puppy or kitten against disease, but they also may block the usefulness of any vaccine. That's why both kittens and puppies need a series of vaccines for protection -- to keep up when the maternal immunity drops.
1/5/12 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DR. KRAFT – or - It can happen to the best of us.
Danger lurks everywhere if our pets are smarter than we are. Have I ever told you about Leonard? He is our 13 year old Yellow Lab, a rescue from the SPCA. My wife & I spent the first few years learning to lock the pantry to keep him from opening the door. Whatever we tried, he learned how to defeat our lock system. Finally, a five dollar baby lock did the trick. Next came the refrigerator. Our new one has a wider gap between the door & the box. I should have measured the width of Leonard’s nose before buying the new fridge. He taught himself to “snout” it open. Before we got our fridge lock techniques down, he stole a pot roast, a bacon slab, a tub of hummus, and a jar of peanut butter. The ultimate was a one pound jar of cheese dip, which he took up to his bed, unscrewed the top & licked the jar clean without leaving a mess. No vomiting or diarrhea followed. Today, he did something worse. For the first time ever, he got up on top of the butcher block, arthritis and all. I came home and found a chewed up sugarless gum box on the floor. I read the label. It contained xylitol, a sugar substitute which is toxic to pets.
Being a veterinarian, I knew immediately what to do. I called our 24/7 Animal Poison Control Helpline, Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Many products don’t print enough information on the label to tell you how toxic they are. Xylitol can cause life threatening hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), liver failure and more. The phone toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline had all the information she needed at her fingertips. By saving the box, I knew that the maximum number of gum sticks he could have eaten was 18. After learning Leonard’s weight she calculated his worst case dose. He could have eaten enough to lower his blood sugar for 12 -24 hours, but not enough to damage his liver.
OK. Time to move. I rushed him to Trooper Vet, started an IV sugar solution and got his blood sugar level. I also shook my finger at him. I gave him medicine to make him vomit. Included in the vomit was most of his dinner, many sun dried tomatoes and 15 sticks of sugarless gum still in their wrappers. We recalled that a couple of sticks had been used by people. By treating him quickly we avoided any serious poisoning.
So you see, today was just another day in the life. Pets, even mine, get into all kinds of things if they are smarter than we are. If you think your pet has come in contact with a poison, call your us immediately (610-539-6820) or call Pet Poison Helpline (800-213-6680). Be sure to have the container handy to report exactly what the possible poison is. If you wish to check out some common pet poisons, click on www.petpoisonhelpline.com.
Every day Leonard reminds me why we have dogs, “They make us laugh.”
Thanks for listening,
12/7/11 Recent Recalls
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 6, 2011 - – The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) has voluntarily retrieved a single production lot of dry dog food due to aflatoxin levels that were detected above the acceptable limit. This product has already been retrieved from store shelves. No illnesses have been reported in association with this production lot to date, and no other Iams pet food products are involved.
Product affected by this announcement:
Iams ProActive Health Smart Puppy dry dog food with Use By or Expiration Dates of February 5 or February 6, 2013
7.0 lb bag
8.0 lb bag
17.5 lb bag
The affected product lot was distributed to a limited number of retailers located in the eastern United States (AL, CT, DE, FL, GA, LA, MD, ME, MS, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, SC, VA). These retailers have already removed this product from store shelves. No other dry dog food, dry cat food, dog or cat canned food, biscuits/treats or supplements are affected by this announcement.
While no health effects related to this product have been reported, P&G retrieved this product as a precautionary measure. Consumers who purchased the product listed should stop using the product and discard it and contact Iams at the number below for a replacement voucher. Aflatoxin is a naturally occurring by-product from the growth of Aspergillus flavus and can be harmful to pets if consumed in significant quantities. Pets which have consumed this product and exhibit symptoms of illness including sluggishness or lethargy combined with a reluctance to eat, vomiting, yellowish tint to the eyes or gums, or diarrhea should be seen by a veterinarian.
For further information or a product replacement or refund contact P&G toll-free at 866-908-1569
(Monday – Friday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM EST) or www.iams.com.
You probably have heard this warning before but the concern continues!
The FDA issued the following alert:
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted for a balanced diet and are only intended to be fed occasionally in small quantities. Consumers who choose to feed their dogs chicken jerky products to watch their dogs closely for any or all of the following signs that may occur within hours to days of feeding the products: decreased appetite; decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea, sometimes with blood; increased water consumption and/or increased urination.
If the dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the chicken jerky product. Owners should consult their veterinarian if signs are severe or persist for more than 24 hours. Blood tests may indicate kidney failure (increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover, some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that have died.
The FDA, in addition to several animal health diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working to determine why these products are associated with illness in dogs. FDA's Veterinary Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now available to support these animal health diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists have not been able to determine a definitive cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues extensive chemical and microbial testing but has not identified a contaminant.
The FDA continues to actively investigate the problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses reported may be the result of causes other than eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and consumers alike should report cases of animal illness associated with pet foods to the FDA Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or go to
8/4/11 WHEN A PET BECOMES LOST
The worst has happened. Somehow, some way, Fuzzy has disappeared! What are the steps you can take to recover your pet? We have put together a list for you. Keep in mind that some are more appropriate for dogs and some for cats.
1) You have searched all the logical places, now think outside of the box. The attic or crawl space? Down between studs in an unfinished wall or up in a drop ceiling? Your shed, garage or a neighbor’s shed or garage? Outside window wells? Onto the roof, up a tree, inside a vehicle? In a storm drain or rainspout? Inside a refrigerator, freezer, dishwasher, washer or dryer (you would be surprised what we hear!).
2) Call all veterinarians in a 5 mile radius of your home, call all shelters, and call animal control and/or police. GO to the shelters and look, and do so every other day. Many times your description of your pet’s color, breed and even sex can easily differ from the opinion of the person finding or reporting him. Don’t forget to call them all back when you find your pet so he is removed from the list.
3) Posters with LARGE pictures and LARGE phone numbers are helpful. Put them in a sheet protector or laminate it to protect the ink. Place stop signs so they are more likely to be seen than when driving. Remove when found.
4) Ask your neighbors and their kids. Kids often notice pets on the loose.
5) There are many online sources to assist with pet recovery. Type “Lost Pet” into Google and you will find dozens.
6) Don’t assume the collar and tag are still on the pet, some fall off. Don’t assume that every facility that could end up with your pet will scan for a microchip. Many don’t have scanners. Some people hold pets they find for a little while before turning them in to a shelter or veterinarian.
7) Sorry to say, but look along roadsides and contact waste haulers in your area to see if any animal matching yours was picked up.
8) Lastly, don’t give up! Keep checking shelters even weeks after a pet disappears. Dogs and cats have been known to survive strange circumstances and turn up quite some time after their disappearance.
We keep a lost and found list to help pets and owners reunite. Call us if your pet disappears.
7/20/11 What is Hyperthermia?
Body temperature may be elevated because of an infection (fever), but it may also increase because of hot and/or humid conditions outside. An increased body temperature caused by environmental conditions is commonly referred to as hyperthermia, heatstroke, and heat prostration.
Hyperthermia may be a life-threatening condition, and does require immediate treatment. A dog’s normal body temperature is 101.5°F plus or minus 1 degree Fahrenheit, and any time the body temperature is higher than 105°F, a true emergency exists. Heatstroke generally occurs in hot summer weather when dogs are left with inadequate ventilation in hot vehicles. However, heatstroke may also occur in other conditions, including:
- When an animal is left outdoors in hot/humid conditions without adequate shade.
- When exercised in hot/humid weather.
- When left in a car on a relatively cool (70°F) day; a recent study from Stanford University Medical Center found the temperature within a vehicle may increase by an average of 40 degrees Fahrenheit within one (!) hour regardless of outside temperature.
Other predisposing factors may be obesity and/or diseases affecting a pet’s airway. Keep in mind that prolonged seizures, eclampsia (milk fever), poisonings, and many other conditions may cause hyperthermia. Also, brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds (Pekingese, Pug, Lhasa apso, Boston terrier, etc.) may suffer from ineffectual panter syndrome that results in an increased body temperature that may be fatal.
Initially the pet appears distressed, and will pant excessively and become restless. As the hyperthermia progresses, the pet may drool large amounts of saliva from the nose and/or mouth. The pet may become unsteady on his feet. You may notice the gums turning blue/purple or bright red in color, which is due to inadequate oxygen.
What to Do
- Remove your pet from the environment where the hyperthermia occurred.
- Move your pet to shaded and cool environment, and direct a fan on her.
- If possible, determine rectal temperature and record it.
- Begin to cool the body by placing cool, wet towels over the back of the neck, in the armpits, and in the groin region. You may also wet the ear flaps and paws with cool water. Directing a fan on these wetted areas will help to speed evaporative cooling. Transport to the closest veterinary facility immediately.
What NOT to Do
- Do not use cold water or ice for cooling.
- Do not overcool the pet.
- Most pets with hyperthermia have body temperatures greater than 105°F, and a reasonable goal of cooling is to reduce your pet’s body temperature to 102.5-103°F while transporting her to the closest veterinary facility.
- Do not attempt to force water into your pet’s mouth, but you may have fresh cool water ready to offer should your pet be alert and show an interest in drinking.
Do not leave your pet unattended for any length of time.
IMPORTANT: Rapidly cooling the pet is extremely important. While ice or cold water may seem logical, its use is not advised. Cooling the innermost structures of the body will actually be delayed, as ice or cold water will cause superficial blood vessels to shrink, effectively forming an insulating layer of tissue to hold the heat inside. Tap water is more suitable for effective cooling.
Severe hyperthermia is a disease that affects nearly every system in the body. Simply lowering the body temperature fails to address the potentially catastrophic events that often accompany this disorder. A pet suffering from hyperthermia should be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Trooper Veterinary Hospital has again received AAHA Accreditation!
Following a comprehensive evaluation by the American Animal Hospital Association, we are proud to announce that we have passed with flying colors! We have been acheiving our accreditation since 1990.
Did you know:
* We are evaluated on OVER 900 STANDARDS covering patient care, client service and medical protocols!
* ONLY 15 PERCENT of all small animal veterinary practices in the U.S. have achieved AAHA accreditation!
* In order to maintain accredited status, we must continue to be evaluated regularly by the association’s consultants.
“Trooper Veterinary Hospital belongs to a select group of practices that are committed to meeting the standard of veterinary excellence,” says Gregg Takashima, DVM, AAHA president. “AAHA hospitals pass a stringent evaluation of over 900 standards covering patient care, client service and medical protocols. By attaining accreditation, Trooper Veterinary Hospital is demonstrating its dedication to offering the best care to its patients and clients.”
HELP FOR PETS DURING FIREWORKS
Did you know that more than 75% of pet owners report having a pet that is afraid of fireworks? We have listed some precautions you can take to keep your pet safe and cared for during fireworks. Many of these tips work well for thunderstorms as well.
Be prepared ahead of time. Fireworks often start days ahead.
Make sure your pets are wearing up to date, secure identification. This is the most common time for scared pets to escape.
Secure your pet in a safe room. Start BEFORE the fireworks begin.
Keep lights on, close blinds and drapes to minimize the flash.
Use familiar sounds to drown out the noise of the fireworks. Music from a stereo or turning on the TV are likely familiar sounds that can sooth your pet. Do not play these sounds so loud that they can become bothersome themselves.
Make the room cozy with familiar bedding, a crate is ideal and add chew toys, scratch pads, balls, etc., to keep your pets a bit amused. When securing cats, make sure a litter tray is available.
Make sure plenty of water is available as dogs may pant more at this time.
You can try adding cotton balls to your dog's ears can help to muffle the sound (if your dog will allow you to do this easily, cats probably will not.). Some animals lose their hearing as they age but for some their ears become much more sensitive.
Try not to be anxious over your pet’s distress. Act normally and calmly around your pet. Giving off nervous vibes will not help; they will just feed off this and be more upset.
If your pet prefers to hide under a bed or behind furniture, rather than go to a safe room, let them. This is a comfort to them and pulling them out will only make it worse. A panicked animal who paces frantically is the type who will benefit from a safe room.
Do not leave pets outside during fireworks, please always bring them inside.
Your animal may remain stressed after the fireworks are over. Allow them to hide for a while if they like. Be very careful when taking them outside after fireworks as they are more likely to run.
Before putting pets outside after fireworks are over, check the yard for sparklers, firecrackers, wires and other remains from fireworks as these are very dangerous for pets. Even if you did not put off fireworks, your neighbors may have.
NEVER take pets along to fireworks displays! Sure they love to be with you but fireworks are not fun for them.
Never punish a pet for its reaction to fireworks; not only this wrong but it will reinforce the fear and likely make them worse.
In extreme cases of fear and anxiety, when options such as these listed are of no help, please consult us. In some animals medication may be needed.
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY FROM THE TVH STAFF!
6/20/11 The Facts about Kitten Season
The female cat begins cycling when she has reached 80% of her adult size and when the days are appropriately long, therefore we are currently in what we call “Kitten Season”. A female cat could begin cycling as young as 4 months of age and can continue beyond 12 years of age!
A Cat’s Reproductive Cycle:
- Proestrus: The female is extra affectionate at this time, rubbing her head and sticking her rump in the air. She may also urine mark in the house and vocalize loudly and frequently. This period may be as short as 12 hours and as long as two days. During this time, she is not yet accepting of the male.
- Estrus: The female cat’s behavior continues: rubbing, crying, etc. but the difference here is that the male is accepted when he approaches. This behavior persists approximately 7 days (on the average)
- Interestrous Period: If the cat is not bred or is bred and fails to ovulate, this time period lasts 8 to 10 days on the average. This means that the yowling, rubbing, urine marking, and other estrous behaviors continue for about a week, then discontinue for about a week, then begin again, back and forth all spring and summer and into the fall until the cat is either bred, spayed, or perceives the coming of winter.
- Diestrus: If the female is bred and ovulates, she goes into this different reproductive stage. Her ovaries prepare for possible pregnancy and she will stay out of heat for at least 35 to 37 days even if she is not pregnant. If she is pregnant, she will carry her kittens for 64 to 66 days before delivering the litter.
- Overpopulation: The tragic statistic is that the average female cat is back in heat about a month after delivery of a litter, before she has even weaned her kittens! You can see how this produces the over abundance of kittens we are seeing right now. Too often a litter of kittens comes as a total surprise. One spring day you notice the cute little girl kitten from last fall is a bit round in the middle. She is either feral or no one got around to spaying her. Now imagine 10 just like her right in your neighborhood. Multiply that by the number of neighborhoods in your town. Then multiply that by the average litter size of 3-5 kittens, although sometimes even more! Cat overpopulation explosion! So if you are the kind person helping this cat, remember that it is not too late for spaying, even once into a pregnancy. Consider that shelters everywhere are overflowing with kittens and adult cats, many of whom will be euthanized simply due to lack of space. Many were kittens that were born only to be held at the shelter until their “time is up”. Want to let the kids or grandkids have the opportunity to see a litter born? Rent a DVD for them so see, let them watch the Animal Planet or better yet, volunteer at a shelter!
- Health Benefit: The prevention of mammary cancer and uterine cancer in females, and the prevention of offensive urine marking in males are just a few more good reasons to spay/neuter!
Make spaying and neutering your priority when it comes to your cat! Fancy toys and beds are fun to buy, but nothing is as important as spaying & neutering & good veterinary care!
* Remember to check your local animal shelter or rescue when you are ready to meet your new best friend!
* Many kittens and beautiful adult cats are available at the Montgomery County SPCA's right now!
* Save a life-Adopt!
6/3/11 What You Need To Know About Lepto
Leptospirosis (Lepto) is a contagious disease affecting both animals and people. It is a bacteria which can cause liver damage, kidney damage and death in dogs.
Previously thought of as a farm disease, Lepto is now nationwide. It is carried by many types of animals such as dogs, foxes, raccoons, opossums, rats, mice, moles, squirrels, skunks, rabbits, cows and more.
The disease is transmitted to dogs through the eliminations of infected animals. The Leptospira bacteria are passed via the infected animal's urine and therefore dogs can be exposed anywhere. A dog may lick the urine left from an infected mouse that entered your home. Or he may lick the urine of an infected animal from grass, soil or lap it from an infected puddle.
Because Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease (meaning it can be transferred from animal to human), vaccinating your dog against Lepto is highly recommended. The first Lepto vaccine must be repeated in 3-4 weeks, and then boosted every year. Although reactions are possible with any injection, reactions are very rare. The risk of not vaccinating against Leptospirosis far outweighs the risk of rare reactions which are very treatable.
At Trooper Veterinary Hospital, we use a Lepto vaccine that protects against 4 different strains of the bacteria. We are confident this is the best and safest protection for your dog.
The health and well-being of your dog and your family are very important to us. If you have questions about Leptospirosis, please ask us.
5/9/11 SIGNS OF ILLNESS IN CATS
Our feline friends can often be hard to read and may become ill without you realizing it. Here is a checklist to help you watch for subtle changes that might indicate illness. Early detection can make treating easier and help avoid more serious complications.
Does your cat have...
- Inappropriate elimination
- Changes in interaction
- Changes in activity
- Changes in sleeping habits
- Changes in food and water consumption
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Changes in grooming
- Signs of stress
- Changes in vocalization
- Bad breath
A wait and see approach may be detrimental to your cat. It is always better to call us promptly when any of these signs arise.
Keys Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Paris, Ill., is recalling its Pig Ears for Pet Treats because the product may be contaminated with salmonella. The recall affects Pig Ears for Pet Treats with the UPC number 7 61094 15000. The treats were shipped in 100 count cases (and usually repackaged by reatilers) between Sept. 27 and Oct. 6, 2010; Nov. 1 and Nov. 29, 2010; and Jan. 3 and Jan. 25, 2011, to distributors in Pennsylvania, Virginia, Missouri, Iowa, Ohio, Illinois, Florida, Kentucky, Michigan, Arkansas, Indiana, Louisiana, Texas and Minnesota.
Pets with salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only experience a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans.
Consumers who have bought Pig Ears for Pet Treats are urged to return the product to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions should contact the company at (217) 465-4001.
Please contact us immediately if your pet may have consumed the recalled treats and is experiencing any of the above symptoms.
April 29th 2011 is Hairball Awareness Day!
On 4/28 and 4/29 in recognition of Hairball Awareness day, we are giving away (while supplies last) a FREE tube of Cat Lax to our feline patients who need it. One tube per family please.
Hairballs are a feline fact of life and are a normal occurrence in cats, who ingest their own hair while grooming themselves.
A cat with infrequent hairballs does not need treatment, however if you find your cat vomiting up a hairball once a week or more a treatment may be needed. If a cat cannot hold down food and water because of hairballs, there is a danger of dehydration and if the hairballs become impacted they can cause a gastrointestinal obstruction.
The most important thing to remember about any hairball remedy is that it is a management tool for a normal process. Hair is not digestible, and it needs to pass out of one end of the cat or the other. Lubricants such as Cat Lax, fiber supplements, special diets, and improved grooming are all ways to help your cat with processing hairballs.
We are here to help and if you have any concerns about your cat’s hairballs, just ask us!
Cat owners beware...
Easter Lilies, Day Lilies, Tiger Lilies, Japanese Lilies and other Lily varieties are VERY HIGHLY TOXIC TO CATS!
For cats, ANY contact is dangerous, even licking. Lilies can kill a cat in a matter of hours. Even eating a very small part of the plant can cause severe kidney failure and death.
Vomiting, lethargy and lack of appetite are signs of intoxication caused by eating lilies. These symptoms worsen as kidney damage progresses.
If you think your cat has eaten a piece of lily, no matter how tiny, contact us immediately for care, go immediately to an emergency hospital, or call the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435.
Do not delay! Your cat may develop kidney failure within 36 to 72 hours if she is not treated.
Vomiting, poor appetite, lethargy, kidney failure, and death is possible. Cats are only species known to be affected. Lilies are not toxic to dogs.
The ASPCA recommends selecting violets, daisies or orchids instead, all of which are not harmful to cats. If your cat goes outside you should not have lilies in your flowerbeds.
3/29/11 Could It Be A Sprained Tail?
Sprain Tail, Swimmer's Tail, Rudder Tail, Cold Water Tail.
These are all referring to a REAL condition that can cause your dog pain!
You may notice that the ever-wagging tail of your beloved friend is limp or partially limp. Sometimes the tail can be held out 2 to 4 inches and then fall limp. Often it is uncomfortable to sit or he doesn't want to sit.
Several things can cause this:
- Overuse of the tail in an unconditioned animal. Like the 1st hunt of the season for a hunting dog
- Falling over backwards on an extended tail, such as on a car/truck ride
- Jumping into water with the extended tail hitting the water wrong
- Even over excitement at a day-long family bar-b-que (now that's a happy dog!!)
Generally a sprain will heal on it's own when we dispense an anti-inflammatory drug. Injuries that have not improved in 5 to 7 days should be checked for more serious problems. X-rays can determine if there is a fracture or other issue present.
3/11/11 Are You Ready For TICKS?
Tick Season Has Arrived!
Ticks are miserable little “Bloodsuckers”. They are 8-legged creatures that must suck blood to survive and reproduce. As they suck blood from one animal and then feed from another animal or person, they can transmit serious diseases to pets and humans. They transmit blood-borne diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichia, Anaplasma, Babesia, Tick Paralysis and more.
Two common ticks in our area are the Dog Tick and the Deer Tick. Dog Ticks thrive from early spring through late fall. Deer Ticks live year round. They survive the winter in the underground rodent population. It only takes a few warm days (even in January) to have hungry Deer Ticks climb up on the tall grasses looking for a meal.
Female ticks can lay over 3,000 eggs. Here is what you need to do to defend against these nasty pests:
For Dogs: Frontline Plus applied every 30 days (also good against fleas), or a properly adjusted Preventic Collar (only kills ticks) replaced every 3 months. In severe infestations, both may be used simultaneously. Do not let dogs eat the Preventic Collar as it can cause toxicity if eaten. Ticks do not die right away, so you still may see a few before the ticks die.
For Cats: Frontline Plus applied every 30 days; or if your cats go outdoors, Revolution applied every 30 days. Revolution also helps with other parasites that roaming cats often get. Ticks do not die right away, so you still may see a few before the ticks die.
Other Types of Pets: Do not use any products on other species of pets without asking us first. The wrong product on the wrong species can be extremely toxic.
For You and Your Pets: Routinely check yourself and your pets for ticks. Ask your physician about specific tick control for you. Ticks are removed by grasping it as close to the skin as possible with fine forceps or tweezers. Then extract them using slow, steady pressure. Try not to squeeze them.
Jones Natural Chews Co of Rockford, IL is recalling 2,705 boxes of Pig Ears dues to possible Salmonella contamination, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reports.
Jones Natural Chews Pig Ears were distributed in Connecticut, Iowa, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maine, Michigan, Minessota, Missouri, Montana, North Carolina, North Dakota, New Jersey, New Mexico, New Yorg, Pennsylvania,Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin. They were shipped to distributors and retailers between Sept. 15 and Nov. 2, 2010 where they were available for purchase.The following lots are being recalled:
- Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 2pk bag with header card–item upc 741956001047 lot 2420
- Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 100ct box-box upc 741956001139 lot 2490, 2560, 2630, 2700, 2840, 2910, 2980
- Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 50 ct box-box upc 741956001504 lot 2490, 2840
- Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears bulk 25ct box-box upc 741956001467 lot 2700
- Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001146 lot 2700, 2840, 2420 Jones Natural Chews Co Pig Ears 10pk printed bag-item upc 741956001405 lot 2420, 2560, 2630, 2840
- Blain’s Farm & Fleet Pig Ears 10 pieces bag-item upc 741956001405 lot 2560
- Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001511 lot 2630
- Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 1pk shrinkwrapped-item upc 741956001146 lot 2420
- Country Butcher Dog Chews Pig Ears 12pk bag-item upc 741956001245 lot 2910
The FDA has not received any reports of illness associated with the products.
The recall was the result of a routine sampling program by Washington State Department of Agriculture which revealed that the finished products contained the bacteria. The company has no product left in inventory from this batch of pig ears.
Consumers who have purchased any of these pig ears are urged to return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-877-481-2663.
Please contact Trooper Veterinary Hospital if your pet becomes ill.
3/3/11 A Day in the Life of Dr. Susan Wich
Many interesting things happen in veterinary medicine. That is part of what keeps this field challenging over the years. One case I remember well had a surprising outcome.
An owner arrived suddenly one day with her Labrador Retriever, who was lame on one hind leg. She reported he had been running along her fence while she mowed the lawn on the other side of it, when suddenly he gave a loud yelp and stopped running. She immediately went to him and found him unable to bear weight on his hind leg, but other wise seemed fine. When examined, after administering some pain medication, I noted that in addition to not bearing weight on that leg, he also had a very hard painful lump near the hip on that side. I anesthetized him to get radiographs of the leg, as I suspected he had a dislocated hip or broken bone near the hip. Much to my surprise, all the bones in the leg were fine! This was very confusing, as the lump near the hip was very obvious and painful, but did not show up on the radiographs at all!
We proceeded to take several more views to try to figure out where this lump was coming from, and finally saw what looked like a trail of air between the large muscles in the Lab’s leg. Once we found that, I suspected a foreign body of some kind in his leg. We examined the rest of the leg again and used a probe, and we finally found an entry wound on the inside of his thigh! The skin had closed over it and there was no bleeding at all!
We were able to remove the foreign body from the leg, flushed the wound and the tract with sterile saline, and sent him home later that day on antibiotics to prevent infection of the tract.
What was the foreign body? A six inch long piece of 1 x 1 lumber that the owner used as a tomato stake! Apparently, while running along her fence, he had jumped up and landed on it! Fortunately for him, there was no long term damage and the wounds healed well!
3/1/11 Food Recall
Wellness Pet Food Company has issued a voluntary recall on canned cat foods.
Some batches of Wellness canned cat food might contain less than adequate levels of thiamine (also known as Vitamin B1), therefore they have issued a voluntary recall.
For more information, visit their website:
2/23/11 WHAT IS A LIPOMA?
A lipoma is a soft, round, moveable lump or bump of fatty tissue under the skin. Because they do not cause pain, infection, or hair loss, they’re usually spotted by owners when petting or grooming their pets.
Lipomas are common in dogs and are seen occasionally cats. Lipomas are usually harmless. They grow slowly and stay in one place. The lipomas that tend to cause problems are the ones that are large, or that interfere with movement. (If the lipoma is in an area such as an armpit, it can hamper movement or become irritated by movement.)
Lipomas occur more often in middle-aged dogs, overweight female dogs, and old cats. The exact cause of lipomas is unknown and once a dog or cat has had a lipoma, it is likely to develop others. It is very important that each new lump be examined by your veterinarian to ensure that it is a lipoma and not a malignant growth.
A fine needle aspirate (FNA), in which a thin needle is used for a quick in-clinic microscopic look at the lump’s cells, should be done for each lump. A biopsy may still be necessary if the results of the FNA are equivocal.
Lipomas can be removed surgically. However, if your pet’s lipoma is only a cosmetic issue, your veterinarian will likely take a wait-and-watch approach. Lumps should be checked by your veterinarian on a regular basis to make sure they have not changed.
The lipoma can be removed when your pet is scheduled for anesthesia for another issue. However, if the lipoma interferes with movement or is so large it’s irritating or bothering your pet, your veterinarian will probably recommend that the surgery be scheduled sooner rather than later.
Occasionally, some lipomas will extend to the surrounding tissues, such as muscles and bones. These are called infiltrative lipomas. They are more common in the limbs and the chest, but other areas can be affected. This type of lipoma is also usually treatable and another good reason to report all lumps to us as soon as possible and to watch lumps closely for changes.
We hope you never need it! But in the event your pet has an encounter with a skunk, we sell a Skunk Remedy product here at the hospital. If you can't get in to buy some, here is a home made remedy you can try.
This solution is intended to help greatly with skunk smell, but unfortunately, we know of nothing that works perfectly! Don't be surprised if the skunk smell renews itself every time your pet gets wet.
HOMEMADE SKUNK REMEDY
Mix in an open container and use promptly, avoiding the eyes:
1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon mild dish soap (like Joy)
Pour or sponge solution onto the fur, saturating the sprayed area. Do not get into the eyes! Rub into a lather & rinse, do not get inside the ears. Repeat until smell improves. Final lather should be just plain dish soap or your regular dog shampoo. Do not use human shampoo.
Caution: Hydrogen Peroxide will bleach fabric. Discard remaining solution after use, do not store.
**If your pet was bitten or scratched by the skunk, please contact us immediately as skunks are a common carrier of rabies!
1/31/11 What is an Abscess?
It is amazing that something as small as a scratch or even a single puncture wound from a bite could cause a body wide infection in your pet, but it can.
An abscess forms when the skin is damaged and bacteria is introduced under the skin. The body tries to kill the offending organisms by marshalling its white blood cells to the site. The ensuing battle results in the body walling off the infection. A pocket of infectious organisms, dead cellular components and liquid is formed. This liquid is called pus and the pocket is called an abscess.
As the abscess pocket grows it often releases toxic material into the blood stream. This results in the pet developing a fever, a feeling of lethargy and usually a tender swelling at the site of the injury.
An abscess may suddenly rupture with a gush of fetid material. This will look terrible but your pet usually feels better with this release of pressure. You might be tempted as a pet owner to then try and treat the wound at home. This is not in your pet's best interest. Abscesses will frequently heal in one spot only to appear in a nearby location. This happens when infectious material migrates under the skin forming a tract of diseased tissue in its wake. The optimal way to treat an abscess is by professional veterinary care. Your veterinarian will evaluate your pet's overall condition. If it is a cat, he or she will recommend testing your cat for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. Both of these fatal diseases are commonly transmitted by fight wounds.
Surgical correction may be needed. Special tubes called drains might be placed in the abscess pocket to allow the infectious material to escape or it may be necessary to remove diseased tissue from the area. Your pet could be hospitalized for several days for treatment. Your veterinarian will decide what is needed on a case by case basis and discuss treatment options with you.
How can you prevent your pet from suffering with an abscess? Keep your dogs on a leash when they are out for a walk. Keep your cats indoors. If you do have outside cats, get them vaccinated for feline leukemia and feline immunodeficiency viruses. Neuter and spay your pets because they are less likely to roam and get into scuffles with other animals.
In all cases of bites or deep scratches is is best to have your pet examined by us sooner rather than later. You may be able to avoid the need for surgery, drains and prevent infection. We are here to help!
1/31/11 Vaccinations and Allergic Reactions
Vaccination is one of the most important things a pet owner can do for their pet! Most pet owners are accustomed to taking their pets to the veterinarian for "yearly shots." It seems such a commonplace part of routine pet care that many people do not think about what is actually occurring within their pet's body.
In fact, vaccines are designed to stimulate the immune system to respond to future infections. They can lessen the severity of infection, or even prevent it all together. It is typical for some joint or muscle soreness to occur after vaccination, for lethargy to be observed, or for a mild fever to be present for a day or two. These reactions are not serious and generally go unnoticed. Pets may eat, drink, and exercise normally after vaccination if they want to; it is the more serious allergic reactions that need to be distinguished from the above expected phenomena.
Allergic reactions are highly individual inflammatory responses against specific proteins entering the body. These proteins can be pollens, dusts, foods, medications, or even vaccines. Within the vaccine itself, reaction can be directed against the infectious organism, stabilizers, preservatives, or residue from the vaccine organism's laboratory tissue culture.
True allergic reactions are rare. Most occur within minutes or hours of receiving the vaccine, and can include hives, facial swelling, or even nausea. Vomiting may be a sign of an on-coming serious reaction, or could represent something as mild as car sickness. If vomiting is observed, let your veterinarian know right away. Very rarely a patient can experience a more serious reaction which can include shock or sudden death (anaphylaxis).
It may sound like vaccinations are dangerous, making you wonder if they are worth the risk. The answer is, absolutely! The risks associated with vaccines are very slight compared with the risk of contracting a fatal disease like distemper, rabies, and parvovirus!
If your pet is having a reaction more severe than just some general malaise or soreness, you should let your veterinarian know right away. If it is after hours, it is prudent to consult the local emergency clinic. Anti-inflammatory injections can be used to halt the inflammatory cascade before it gets dangerously out of hand. Be sure to refer to our Emergency Page for care if we are closed and your pet experiences problems after vaccination.
Always notify your veterinarian if your pet has had any previous adverse reaction to vaccines or any medications.
1/31/11 Recall News
WASHINGTON (AP) — The following recall has been announced:
Certain pet treats distributed nationwide under the name Jr. Texas Taffy because they have the potential to be contaminated with salmonella.
No illnesses have been reported, according to the manufacturer, Merrick Pet Care Inc. of Amarillo, Texas.
Salmonella can affect animals, and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever.
Pets with salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain.
If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, you are advised to contact a veterinarian immediately.
Consumers with questions can contact the company at 800-664-7387 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST.
12/01/10 A DAY IN THE LIFE OF DR. RONALD KRAFT
“My cat has Diabetes… are you kidding me?”
Mrs. Catowner brought her cat Mr. Peemore back today for a 3 month checkup after starting Peemore on therapy for Diabetes (officially called Diabetes Mellitus). After examining Peemore, determining that he has gained his weight back to normal, no longer has urine accidents, drinks less water, and his rear leg weakness is improving, we felt optimistic. The Veterinary Technicians took the pet back to the treatment area to draw blood and collect urine. After getting the results, the Technicians & I all did fist pumps and high fives. Peemore & I returned to the examination room and reported to Mrs. Catowner that we need to change his name to Mr. Peeless. His signs of diabetes are gone. Further control only needs to be a strict diet, weight control and some future monitoring. It was a great day. I need to back up about 3 months now.
Diabetes Mellitus is a disease caused by the pancreas decreasing its production of a hormone called insulin. The cause often goes undetected. However, 75% of diabetic cats are male, and obese cats are 4 times more likely to develop the disease. Glucose is a sugar required by body cells for energy. Insulin is needed for glucose to travel from the blood supply into body cells. Without glucose, body cells are starving while the glucose in the blood rises very high. Due to starving cells and high glucose in the blood stream, the symptoms become apparent to cat owners. Diabetic cat symptoms include excessive thirst and excessive urine output (often around the house). Appetite increases, yet they lose weight. Some cats get a nerve weakness causing them to walk with their hocks (ankles) dropped all the way to the floor. Untreated, diabetes is eventually fatal.
Early diagnosis and treatment is extremely rewarding. Experts estimate that greater than 50% of diabetic cats can return to normal and do not need further treatment if & only if they are diagnosed early and treated aggressively. Diagnosis includes examinations and blood and urine tests. The best treatment includes twice a day insulin injections. Many clients feel that they cannot give their cats injections. WRONG! After the Veterinarian teaches the proper injection technique, almost anyone can give insulin injections to their cat. Owners can also learn to take small blood samples from their cats to test the blood glucose right in their home. A strict diet is equally important to reverse diabetes in cats. The correct Prescription Diet* can help the pancreas heal and start making enough insulin again. Only your Veterinarian can supply you with the correct diet.
If your cat has diabetes for too long before treatment starts, it is not reversible, but it is still controllable. Insulin and diet control will then be lifelong. Your cat can continue to be happy and otherwise healthy. Remember, if treatment starts early, it can be a reversible disease. The bottom line is, seek Veterinary help early if you notice your cat drinking and peeing more, losing weight in spite of a good appetite, or exhibiting rear leg weakness. Do not forget to keep your cats thin. Your Veterinarian is your expert on weight control for cats
3 months ago, Mr. Peemore was showing all the signs of diabetes. We performed blood and urine tests. He was hospitalized for a few days and started on a specific Prescription Diet* and twice daily insulin injections. Once he was responding well, he went home for Mrs. Catowner to continue his care. We taught her how to give injections, what to feed him and even how to do her own blood glucose tests. He required some further examinations and lab testing intermittently, but eventually we were able to reverse the disease, stop his insulin injections, and maintain him on the special diet alone. Life is good!
*Prescription Diets are made for very specific diseases. That is why the diets can only be purchased thru Veterinarians.
Here's a rule to remember when it comes to dealing with feline aggression:
Never, ever hit your cat!
While it may make you feel better -- at least in the short run -- a smack won't help you change a cat who appears to delight in sinking teeth and claws into you at seemingly unpredictable moments. Fear and pain can cause a cat to lash out. The best way to deal with a scared cat is to let him be, while a sick cat needs a veterinarian. But most times what we see as "meanness" in a cat is just part of being a cat.! You can change this behavior, but only if you understand what's behind it and react properly. Here's what makes cats go crazy and how to correct the problems:
- Overstimulation. You're petting your cat, and suddenly he grabs you with his claws and teeth. Not a full-powered attack, but you still have those sharp tips around your hand. What to do? In the short run, freeze. Don't struggle or fight back, or you may trigger a real bite. Sometimes smacking your other hand hard against a hard surface -- a tabletop, for example -- may startle your cat into breaking off the attack. If you stay still, however, he will usually calm down and release you. That's the solution if you've gotten to the attack stage. The better option is to be familiar with your cat and his body language and stop petting him before he becomes overstimulated. Cat lovers often think such attacks come without warning, but they've missed the warning signs of a cat who has simply had enough. The tail is the key. If your cat starts twitching his tail in a jerky fashion, it's time to stop petting.
- Play aggression. Sure, it hurts all the same, but the cat who pounces on your feet and then careens off the wall isn't trying to hurt you -- he's playing. Instead of punishing your cat, redirect his energy. Increase your play sessions with your cat with an appropriate toy, such as a cat fishing pole or toy on a string, to help your cat burn off his excess energy before you try for a quiet petting session. No matter what, never let your cat view you as a plaything, not even when he's an adorable kitten. Wrestling bare-handed with your cat or kitten is a no-no, because you're setting up a bad precedent. A stuffed sock is a great substitute for a human hand when it comes to playthings -- let your cat bite, claw and bunny-kick to his heart's content. What if he persists in seeing you as a plaything? As with an overstimulated cat, stop the behavior by freezing. Don't give him a reason to continue the attack. You can also inform him that attacks on you are not permitted by letting him have it with a shot of water from a spray bottle.
- Redirected aggression. Your cat sees another cat, an intruder, outside your living-room window. He becomes enraged. You walk by, and he nails you. What gives? You were just the victim of redirected aggression. This one's tough to fix. Try to discourage strange cats in your yard. Thump on the window, turn on the sprinklers, or put an air horn out the door and give them a blast. If you can't keep the intruders out, block your cat's access to the window through which he sees the other cats. And again, be aware of your cat's body language. A cat who's looking for trouble is one who's best avoided.
With all feline aggression, the trick is to eliminate the triggers and work on your cat's tolerance levels. If you're patient and consistent, your cat will improve over time.
11/2/10 Feeding Pets of the Homeless
Trooper Veterinary Hospital is now a collection site for "Feeding Pets of the Homeless', a non-profit volunteer organization that provides pet food and veterinary care to the homeless and less fortunate in local communities across the United States and Canada. As many as 24% of homeless people have dogs and/or cats who need to be provided for.
In our local community, the food collected by our hospital will be distributed to a local soup kitchen weekly, enabling underprivlidged pet owners to feed their animals as well. The hope is that they can sustain their pet until they locate housing which they can afford and that will accept pets.
We can accept food donations during our regular business hours. Dry food can be new or opened. Canned food must be unopened. If you have any questions, please contact Sherri at our hospital. 610-539-6820
You can make a difference for a beloved pet whose owner cannot afford to feed them. Thank You!
9/9/10 Hartz Dog Treats Recalled
Hartz, a leading pet product company has issued a voluntary recall of nearly 75,000 bags of dog treats due to salmonella concerns, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Random sample testing by the FDA indicated the presence of salmonella organisms in one or more 8-ounce bags of Hartz Naturals Real Beef Treats for Dogs. The company has not received any reports of animals or people becoming ill as a result of contact with the treats, and is investigating the source of the potential contamination.
The potentially affected treats are stamped with the lot code BZ0969101E, according to the FDA.
Hartz is urging dog owners who have purchased the recalled treats to immediately throw them away.
The FDA advises dog owners whose pets are exhibiting such symptoms as fever, diarrhea, abdominal pain and nausea to seek immediate veterinary assistance.
Consumers with questions regarding the recall should contact Hartz at 1-800-275-1414.
These treats are NOT sold at Trooper Veterinary Hospital. Please call us if your pet shows any sign of illness.
We know the wonderful feeling of reuniting a lost, scared and confused pet with their relieved owner.
Helping lost pets is easy and here are some ways you can help too-
Lost Pet Alerts: Just by opening an email and opening your eyes, you can help reunite lost dogs and lost cats with the owners that love them.
Join PetRescuers on Facebook & Twitter! Get the latest updates about pet microchipping, lost pets & happy reunion stories!
Help Lost Pets on the Go! PetRescuers iPhone App. Be a lost pet hero wherever you go! Get Lost Pet Alerts on your iPhone and keep a lookout everywhere.
GET STARTED HERE:
Male cats are at risk for an especially life-threatening condition: urinary blockage.
Mucus, crystals and even tiny bladder stones can clump together to form an actual plug in the narrow male cat urethra. The opening is so small that it does not take a lot to completely or even partially obstruct urine flow. Only a few drops of urine are produced or sometimes no urine at all is produced.
It is hard to tell when a cat is blocked versus when he is not fully blocked but is suffering infection, as the inflammation, urgency, and non-productive straining can look identical in either case. If there is any question about whether a male cat is blocked, he should be seen by a veterinarian for evaluation...promptly! If the blockage persists more than a day or so, toxin build up will result in death.
Signs of a urinary blockage can include:
- Frequent trips to the litterbox with limited urine output or none at all
- Appetite loss, vomiting or nausea
- Vocalization: Crying or howling in distress
- Excessive licking at the urinary opening
A blockage can also cause life-threatening heart rhythm disturbances. A partial blockage can be nearly as serious as a complete blockag, but treatment is usually very sucessful if caught in time. However, if the blockage persists for longer than 24 hours, urinary toxins will have started to build up in the system, and frequently results in death.
Urinary blockage is almost exclusively a problem in male cats, because the female urethra is shorter and broader, in short, far more difficult to obstruct, although in rare cases does happen.
Be safe rather than sorry. Call us if you suspect any urinary problem in your cat or recognize any of the symptoms of blockage. The quicker you act the more likely your cat can avoid tragedy.
8/6/10 Another Recall!
Merrick Pet Care Recalls Texas Hold'ems 10 oz. Bag (Item# 60016 Lot 10127 Best By May 6, 2010) Because of Possible Salmonella Health Risk
Merrick Pet Care, Inc. of Amarillo, Texas is extending its July 2, 2010 recall of 10oz “Beef Filet Squares for Dogs (Texas Hold’Ems)” pet treat (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10084TL7 BEST BY MARCH 24, 2012) to also include 83 cases of “Texas Hold’ems” (ITEM # 60016 LOT # 10127 BEST BY MAY 6, 2012) because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products. People handling the treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Consumers should dispose of these products in a safe manner by securing them in a covered trash receptacle.
Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers immediately.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian immediately.
The Beef Filet Squares (Texas Hold ‘Ems) were shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the US. These individuals have been notified and have activated their recall procedures.
The treats are sold in 10oz plastic bags marked with “Lot # 10127 Best By May 6, 2012” on the top of the bag and on a sticker applied to the bottom.
No illnesses have been reported to date for either lot of product. A sample tested positive for Salmonella.
Consumers who have purchased 10 ounce packages of “Texas Hold’ems” are urged to return the unused portion to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers with questions may contact the company at 1-800-664-7387 M-F 8:00 – 5:00 CDT.
8/4/10 IAMS VETERINARY DIET RECALL HAS BEEN EXPANDED
We have been informed that Iams has recalled ALL of their Veterinary Dry Formula diets in a date range of Best By 7/1/10 to 12/1/11. They have not supplied a date for replacement product.
These products are made in a single, specialized facility. In cooperation with FDA, P&G determined that some products made at this facility have the potential for salmonella contamination. As a precautionary measure, P&G is recalling all products made at this facility.
Visit www.iams.com for a full product listing.
Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact us.
We are personally calling our clients whose pets may have consumed the affected product. We encourage people to forward this recall information to friends who may have their own pets on any of the affected diets from other sources.
7/26/10 Iams Feline Renal Food Recall
The Procter & Gamble Company (P&G) (NYSE:PG), is voluntarily recalling two specific lots of its therapeutic renal dry cat food in North America as a precautionary measure, as it has the potential to be contaminated with salmonella. No illnesses have been reported.
While we do dispense this product, we do NOT have any of the lot numbers that are being recalled:
Lot codes can be found on the lower right corner of the back of the bag.
Iams Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal 5.5 lbs
0 19014 21405 1
Iams Veterinary Formulas Feline Renal 5.5 lbs
0 19014 21405 1
Please pass this on to anyone you know who may be using this product and have them notify their veterinarian.
Concerned pet owners may be directed to call P&G toll-free at 877-894-4458.
7/23/10 Kaopectate Caution
Do not give Kaopectate to your pets.
The Kaopectate currently on the market includes bismuth salicylate as an ingredient. DO NOT GIVE THIS TO CATS! It is a derivative aspirin, which is should never be given to cats unless directed by your veterinarian.
Dogs that may have an allergy to aspirin, or are taking aspirin, steroids, or another non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) such as Rimadyl, EtoGesic, or Deramaxx should not be given the Kaopectate formulation with bismuth salicylate unless directed by your veterinarian.
In some cases our veterinarians dispense a product containing Kaolin/Pectin to treat diarrhea in dogs and cats. This product is different than the Kaopectate sold over the counter.
If your pet has diarrhea more than once or twice, please call us for advice on what you can do at home or when it is important to be seen.
7/15/10 Got Blankets?
We like to keep our 4-legged friends comfy and cozy with blankets, and we go through a lot of them! If you have any old blankets or comforters you would like to donate...we would be very glad to have them. Just drop them off any time... Thank you! (No sheets or electric blankets please).
7/8/10 DEALING WITH SKUNK SPRAY
Your dog gets sprayed by a skunk...now what?? It's not the end of the world, but it sure is annoying!
First the good news. It is not harmful to your pet, although it can be extremely uncomfortable in their eyes, nose and mouth. That is after all, the idea from the skunk's perspective!
Second, be sure the skunk has not BITTEN your pet. Skunks can transmit rabies and can cause serious bites injuries and infection. If you suspect that your pet was bitten, you should contact us immediately.
There are numerous over the counter products that are meant to help eliminate skunk odor from your pet. We recommend that you follow the instructions on the product for safety and best results. However, if you have ever experienced a skunked pet, you know that the first time your dog gets wet, the smell seems to return! Multiple treatments are usually needed. People have told us they tried tomato juice. Usually this just creates a messy, skunky, tomato mess and doesn't do much for the smell.
We have included a recipe for a homemade bath that you may find helpful. A few of us here have used it with pretty good results.
HOMEMADE SKUNK REMEDY
Mix in an open container and use promptly, AVOIDING THE EYES!
1 Quart Hydrogen Peroxide
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
1 Tablespoon mild dish soap (like Joy)
Pour or sponge solution onto the fur, saturating the sprayed area. Do not get into the eyes! Rub into a lather & rinse; do not get inside the ears. Repeat until smell improves. Final lather should be just plain dish soap or your regular dog shampoo. Do not use human shampoo.
Caution: Hydrogen Peroxide will bleach fabric. Discard remaining solution after use, do not store.
This remedy is intended to help greatly with skunk smell, but unfortunately, we know of nothing that works perfectly!
7/6/10 Two Pet Food Recalls are Announced
CAT FOOD RECALL
A news release from the Food and Drug Administration said Feline's Pride raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens -- Natural Chicken Formula -- tested positive for the bacteria which can sicken people who handle the food and pets who eat it. The recalled product, which was produced June 10, was packaged in 2.5-lb. uncoded plastic containers and sold frozen to private consumers nationwide. Once thawed, the pet food has a shelf life of about one week. The company said the recall affects only those orders placed and shipped between June 10 through June 17.
Consumers with questions should call the company at 716-580-3096, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. EDT.
The Feline's Pride cat food recall has just been expanded as the manufacturer has determined that more products may have been contaminated with Salmonella. Certain lots of Feline's Pride were recalled on July 1, 2010 and the recall has been amended to include an additional "produced on" date. Feline's Pride raw food with ground bone for cats and kittens, Natural Chicken Formula in 2.5 pound packages that were produced on 6/2/10 are now recalled. The earlier recall included products that were produced on 6/10/10.
DOG FOOD RECALL
Merrick Pet Care Inc. is recalling one lot of 10-ounce bags of Beef Filet Squares for Dogs because the dog treats could be contaminated with salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals, and people who handle contaminated pet food can become infected with salmonella, especially if they haven't thoroughly washed their hands. No illnesses have been reported in people or pets, according to the Amarillo, Texas, company. The recalled Beef Filet Squares were shipped to distributors and retailers throughout the U.S. The treats were sold in 10-ounce plastic bags marked with the best by date of March 24, 2012, and the lot number 10084TL7.
For more information, consumers can call 800-664-7387.
7/1/10 Dogs and Fireworks
Many dogs become fearful and anxious when exposed to fireworks. A dog’s response may range from a momentary jump or freeze to extreme panic.
Dogs may pace, pant, drool, try to escape, seek attention, seek refuge, vocalize or paw, dig and climb at people. They may house soil even days after the noise is gone, fearful to go outside. Escape attempts can be extreme such as breaking through screens or windows, so be sure your dog has ID tags on.
Plan ahead and protect your dog from this experience! We recommend that you leave your dog at home, confined in a safe area during fireworks celebrations. A room with no windows, like a (pet proofed)basement, or bathroom, and with a radio playing may help. Products such as Mutt Muffs® to protect the ears, Calming Cap®, which reduces but does not completely restrict the dog’s ability to see or an Anxiety Wrap® can help too. Remember that it is not fun for dogs, even non-fearful ones, to experience the loud noises of fireworks because their hearing is much more sensitive than ours is!
Some dogs may need preventive medication to get through the fireworks. Talk to your veterinarian about safe solutions for your fearful pets.
With consistent work, you can also condition a dog not to react badly to fireworks. Bookstores carry many Positive dog training books that cover the subject of fear and desensitizing to thunderstorms and fireworks.
We wish you and your pets a safe and happy 4th of July!
6/28/10 Bloat - The Mother of All Emergencies
Bloat is the most quickly progressing, life-threatening condition seen in dogs. Bloat is the condition in which the stomach fills with air (dilatation) and/or twists upon itself (volvulus). It’s also called GDV. A dog with a bloated, twisted stomach will die in pain in a matter of hours unless drastic steps are taken.
It is imperative that this condition be recognized early. The dog may have an obviously distended stomach especially near the ribs but this is not always evident depending on the dog's body configuration.
Signs of bloat include, drooling of saliva, frequent retching and attempts to vomit (usually nothing comes up, but occasionally victims may be able to regurgitate a pool of foamy saliva), anxiousness, restlessness, pacing, lethargy or agitation.
Extensive veterinary research tells us that risk factors include deep chested, large breeds, such as the Great Dane, Greyhound, Shepherd, Doberman, and Setters. However ANY dog, even the tiny Chihuahua can suffer bloat.
Factors Increasing the Risk of Bloat
- Feeding only one meal a day
- Having closely related family members with a history of bloat
- Eating rapidly
- Being thin or underweight
- Moistening dry foods (particularly if citric acid is listed as a preservative)
- Feeding from an elevated bowl (contrary to popular belief)
- Restricting water before and after meals
- Feeding a dry diet with animal fat listed in the first four ingredients
- Fearful or anxious temperament
- Older dogs (7 - 12 years) were the highest risk group
Factors Decreasing the Risk of Bloat
- Inclusion of canned dog food in the diet
- Happy or easy-going temperament
- Feeding a dry food containing a calcium-rich meat meal (such as meat/lamb meal, fish meal, chicken by-product meal, meat meal, or bone meal) listed in the first four ingredients of the ingredient list.
- Eating two or more meals per day
- Avoiding exercise and hour before or at least 2 hours after eating
Treatment usually includes decompression of the stomach, treatment of shock, and heart rhythm, and most likely surgery. Survival rate varies greatly depending on the timeliness of receiving emergency care, and the health of the patient. There is no treatment you should attempt at home. The most important thing by far is being able to recognize the signs and knowing where to take your dog immediately, including overnight or Sunday hours for emergency care. Every minute counts when you have a potential bloat!
We recommend that you always have emergency contact information handy for your pets and that you research in advance the location of the closest 24-hour emergency veterinary hospital.
6/24/10 Dog Vitamin Recall
United Pet Group, Cincinnati, Ohio is voluntarily recalling all unexpired lots of its PRO-PET ADULT DAILY VITAMIN Supplement tablets for Dogs due to possible Salmonella contamination. The Food and Drug Administration is aware of this recall.
The product was sold nationally at various retailers. The product comes in 100-count white plastic bottles with a light blue label, and UPC code 26851-01800. These products are being removed from retail stores and consumers should immediately stop feeding these supplements to their pets. The affected products are those with expiration dates on or before "06/13". The expiration date can be found imprinted vertically on the right side of the product label.
Laboratory testing has revealed that one Lot of this vitamin product was contaminated with Salmonella. The company is recalling all unexpired Lots of the product out of an abundance of caution.
Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.
People who handle dry pet food and/or treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the chews or any surfaces exposed to these products. Healthy people infected with Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Rarely, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers.
Consumers who have purchased the product are urged to contact United Pet Group or the place of purchase for further direction. Consumers may contact United Pet Group at 1-800-645-5154 ext. 3, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 am to 5:00 pm EST.
Please contact us if your pet experiences any problems.
6/17/10 Panting in Cats - Is this Normal?
Panting in cats is actually very uncommon and is something that should be taken very seriously. Although it is part of a dog’s nature, it is just not normal in cats. There may be an occasion when your cat may pant after an extensive play period, but that is also not very common.
In most cases when your cat does pant, they are either in a stressful situation, very hot, or they are actually in distress from an underlying and potential life threatening condition.
In addition to anxiety and high temperatures, many medical conditions, such as heatstroke or fever from infection, can cause heavy panting. Some health problems reduce your pet's ability to take in enough oxygen or deliver it to the tissues, including anemia, heart disease, respiratory disease, and abdominal enlargement.
Dogs and cats also pant when they're in pain. Common causes include traumatic injury and gastrointestinal disorders - such as obstruction.
If you observe your cat panting, also referred to as open-mouth-breathing, consider the potential causes and contact us quickly as medical attention may be needed.
3/14/10 Reverse Sneezing
(Pharyngeal Gag Reflex) by: Becky Lundgren, DVM
Reverse sneezing is a disconcerting event in which a dog makes unpleasant respiratory sounds that sound like it is dying -- or will die in the next few minutes. Reverse sneezing sounds similar to the honking noise made by a dog with a collapsing trachea, but reverse sneezing is a far simpler condition that usually does not need any treatment. It is called reverse sneezing because it sounds a bit like a dog inhaling sneezes. The sound the dog makes can be so scary that many owners have rushed in a panic to emergency clinics in the middle of the night.
The most common cause of reverse sneezing is an irritation of the soft palate and throat that results in a spasm. During the spasm, the dog’s neck will extend and the chest will expand as the dog tries harder to inhale. The problem is that the trachea has narrowed and it’s hard to get the normal amount of air into the lungs.
Anything that irritates the throat can cause this spasm and subsequent sneeze. Causes include excitement, eating or drinking, exercise intolerance, pulling on a leash, mites, pollen, foreign bodies caught in the throat, perfumes, viruses, household chemicals, allergies, and post-nasal drip. If an irritant in the house is the cause, taking the dog outside can help simply because the dog will no longer be inhaling the irritant. Brachycephalic dogs (those with flat faces, such as Pugs and Boxers) with elongated soft palates occasionally suck the elongated palate into the throat while inhaling, causing reverse sneezing. Small dogs are particularly prone to it, possibly because they have smaller throats.
Reverse sneezing itself rarely requires treatment. If the sneezing stops, the spasm is over. Oftentimes, you can massage the dog’s throat to stop the spasm; sometimes it’s effective to cover the nostrils, which makes the dog swallow, which clears out whatever the irritation is and stops the sneezing. If the episode doesn't end quickly, you can try depressing the dog’s tongue, which opens up the mouth and aids in moving air through the nasal passages. Treatment of the underlying cause, if known, is useful. If mites are in the laryngeal area, your veterinarian may use drugs such as ivermectin to get rid of the mites. If allergies are the root of the problem, your veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines. Because reverse sneezing is not a severe problem, do not worry about leaving your dog home alone; if it occurs when you're not there, the episode will most likely end on its own.
If reverse sneezing becomes a chronic problem rather than an occasional occurrence, your veterinarian may need to look up the nasal passages (rhinoscopy), and may even need to take a biopsy to determine the cause of the problem. Sometimes, however, no cause can be identified.
Some dogs have these episodes their entire lives; some dogs develop the condition only as they age. In most dogs, however, the spasm is a temporary problem that goes away on its own, leaving the dog with no after-effects.
Cats are less likely to reverse sneeze than dogs are. However, owners should always have the veterinarian examine the cat in case it's feline asthma, and not a reverse sneeze. Feline asthma requires more treatment than reverse sneezing does.
Example of a reverse sneeze
6/9/10 IMPORTANT VOLUNTARY RECALL NOTICE
The Procter & Gamble Company is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its canned cat food in North America as a precautionary measure. Some of this product does not meet quality standards for thiamine.
The affected Iams canned cat food is:
Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food – all varieties of 3 oz & 5.5 oz cans dated on the bottom 09/2011 to 06/2012
This recall is limited to only Iams canned cat food in North America . No other Iams pet food is involved. Iams Veterinary Formula cat is NOT included in this voluntary recall.
Thiamine deficient clinical signs would be limited primarily to cases where pet owners have been feeding only canned cat food. Common symptoms may include anorexia, excessive salivation, generalized weakness, ataxia, ventriflexion, tremors and seizures.
If you have a suspect case or need further information you can call the Iams veterinary line at 800-535-8387. If you have any questions or need assistance for your cat, please call us.
6/7/10 Feline Constipation
In cats, an occasional episode of constipation is not cause for alarm. If stools seem unusually hard or there is unproductive straining, veterinary assistance may or may not be needed. Here is what you need to know:
Straining unproductively can be a symptom of either constipation or large intestinal diarrhea. In either case, small amounts of mucous, gooey, or even blood-tinged stool can be passed and there is a lot of pushing involved. Difficulty urinating can also appear as straining. The point is that if all you have noticed is straining, it may not be constipation. Straining to urinate is often an EMERGENCY situation so if there is any question about the pet’s ability to urinate, seek medical attention right away.
It may be tempting to buy a commercially prepared enema at the drug store and attempt to relieve the pet’s problem at home. Some commercially prepared products are toxic to pets so it is important that human constipation products, be they enemas or laxatives, NOT EVER be used in pets without specific veterinary instruction.
One of the purposes of the colon (large intestine) is the storage of stool. Many pet owners become alarmed if the pet has not passed a stool in a few days, especially in a post-anesthetic situation. In fact, the colon can easily store a more than a weeks worth of stool so if only a few days have passed it may be worthwhile to wait a day or two if you are sure it's a stool problem and not a urinary problem.
Any time you suspect a problem with your cat's bowels or her health, please contact us for advice, we are here to help!
6/1/10 NEVER GIVE TYLENOL TO PETS
It is VERY IMPORTANT to NEVER use human medications on pets without specific instructions on how to safely do so from your veterinarian.
While there may be some human medications that your veterinarian recommends for your animals, many drugs that are safe in people or even infants can be extremely toxic to your cat, dog or other small pet.
One of these is TYLENOL....NEVER GIVE TYLENOL TO PETS!
Cats, for example, have metabolic differences that make many common drugs very dangerous to them. Tylenol (Acetaminophen) can be FATAL in even in a tiny dose!
If your dog, or especially your cat, accidentally ingests Tylenol, please act quickly and call your veterinarian or Animal Poison Control.
If you think your pet has pain, fever or discomfort, reach for the phone, NOT the human meds. A call to us can save your pet from danger.
6/1/10 KITTENS, KITTENS, KITTENS!
It's the time of year again when kittens are in abundance! Sadly, many will not find good homes, but if you are one of the lucky people who have made room in your home for a little one, congratulations! Having a kitten (or two or three) is like having toddlers on the loose in your home. From houseplants to electrical cords to inaccessible crawl spaces, if there's a hazard in your home, your kitten will find it. Look at your home from the perspective of a kitten. Get down on the floor and imagine you weigh six pounds, have four legs with claws, and can leap tall buildings in a single bound. This isn't a home -- it's an amusement park!
A quick checklist to consider:
Candles & Potpourri
Toilet water containing cleaner/freshener
Open windows/loose screens
Pesticides, rodent poisons, fly paper
Trash: bones, coffee grinds, chocolate, tinfoil, plastics, batteries
Flea products (read labels carefully on very your kittens)
Toxic plants (Numerous! research on our Pet information library PAGE)
Paper clips, coins, rubber bands, staples, pen caps, thread, dental floss, earrings, needles, thumb tacks, pins, yarn.
Pools, large tubs or buckets of water
Patrol your house with an eye out for small holes or gaps in floorboards, walls, baseboards, heating vents, and anywhere else a small animal could squeeze into and get stuck. Kittens in particular can squeeze into holes underneath box spring mattresses and upholstered chairs, and they can be trapped in the mechanism underneath a reclining chair.
The list looks big, but once you have kitten proofed your living space, you can sit back and ENJOY your little bundle(s) of joy!
We have lots of literature on kittens if you need it and always remember we are here to help you with any questions.
IN CASE OF AN ACCIDENT - CONTACT US IMMEDIATLEY!
DON'T FORGET TO SPAY/NEUTER!
Fear of thunderstorms is common in dogs, and tends to get worse as they age. It is partly genetic. While some aspects of this problem remain a mystery, we know a lot that can make life easier for thunderstorm-phobic dogs and their families. Best of all, you may be able to help your dog avoid developing this fear in the first place.
Prevention and Precautions
Why do dogs fear thunderstorms? Too many dogs are left outdoors during storms, sometimes with no shelter at all. Anyone would be scared with good reason. Keep your dog inside during storms.
If you want to take your dog outdoors during a storm, do it safely. Some dogs do better when protected by raincoats and boots. Make the trip outside a fun adventure or calm occasion rather than a stressful experience. Special rewards for pottying outside in the rain are a good idea. Make storms occasion for special times with your dog to create positive associations. Games, treats and special activities are time well spent during storms.
Don't be tense during storms. Be upbeat with the dog, not impatient or pitying with your touch or your voice. The dog will pick up on your emotions and body language, so make them confident.
Dogs feel "rewarded" for fearful behavior if you pet and praise when the dog is behaving fearfully. Rewarding a behavior increases the likelihood of that behavior occurring more often, even when the individual is not conscious of being rewarded for it. Give rewards when the dog is behaving confidently, calmly, or happily. Work with your dog to develop ways to elicit these behaviors so that you can do so during storms and then reward. This is powerful training that will help you and your dog in all aspects of life.
Be aware that this fear can be "contagious" from one dog to another. This makes it all the more important to handle both the fearful dog and a new dog carefully, so that you improve how the dogs feel about storms rather than letting the fear get worse, or even feeding it by how you manage the dogs.
Causes and Triggers
Dogs react to a variety of things associated with storms, and it helps to know what these are for your dog. You may never know them all, but at least a general understanding will help you understand the extent of this fear.
The loud noise is scary to some dogs, and the dog can hear it at a much greater distance than humans can. The dog has early audio warning of an approaching storm, and most storm-phobic dogs eventually start reacting long before the sounds are loud.
Electricity in the air may be a major factor in dog storm phobia. Is there something unpleasant about this to the dog's sensations? Does it perhaps become even scarier to a dog who has been trained with an electronic collar, or frightened by a static shock in everyday life? We have a lot more questions about the effect of electricity on dogs than we have answers.
The smell of the air changes when a storm approaches, and of course the keen nose of a dog detects this early. The air pressure changes, too, and a dog's ears are more sensitive to pressure changes than most people. In some cases, it might hurt.
The family may change routine when a storm is approaching. If the family is fearful, gets irritable with the dog, or treats the dog in some unpleasant manner during this time (puts the dog outside, for example), that could feed the dog's fear.
Anything that has become associated in the dog's experience with thunderstorms can become a trigger for the fear. So, anytime one of these triggers happens is an opportunity for you to help your dog overcome the fear.
For the More Severe Cases
Veterinarians, veterinary behavior specialists, and dog families deal with thunderstorm fears as this problem is so common. Different things seem to help different dogs. Beyond the above tactics, here are some things you may decide to try:
1. A quiet, dark, sheltered refuge. Your dog may find the preferred spot independently, leaving you to simply make sure it stays consistently available to the dog. Chosen places dogs include basements, bathrooms (sometimes in the bathtub), closets, and crates that are kept in secluded parts of houses.
2. If your dog becomes frantic and as a result might suffer injury or do damage during a storm, you may need to develop a good means of confining the dog. Sometimes a secluded crate works, if the dog has been conditioned to rest calmly in a crate.
3. The DAP Diffuser is showing some promising results in calming fearful dogs, and doesn't seem to have negative side effects, so consider setting one up in the area used by the dog.
4. You and your veterinarian or veterinary behavior specialist may decide to medicate your dog with an anti-anxiety drug for the entire storm season or year-round (these medications generally do not work until the dog has been on them for weeks), or a sedative during storms. Due to the unpredictability of storms, it may not be possible to administer a sedative when it's needed.
5. For some reason, there are dogs who find it comforting to get under a "security blanket" to combat storm fears. Due to the risk of overheating a dog, don't force this method. You might give it a try, though, monitoring the dog to see if it helps and to find a covering that provides the benefit without excessive heating. Don't leave a dog alone with the covering if the dog is likely to chew and swallow pieces of it.
6. A behavior specialist can help you work out a behavior modification program to work on this problem. Such a program might include a tape of storm sound effects and training for your dog that you can use when the fears start. Learning more about communicating with your dog and modifying dog behavior in positive ways is always time well spent.
Don't take thunderstorm phobia lightly, even if the problem seems minor in your dog. Handled badly by humans, it will get worse, and dogs have been known to jump through glass windows during storms. Some dogs will throw up when it storms. Many dogs have fled fenced yards. This is a major problem that calls for intelligent handling at the first sign. Treat storms as a routine part of life, nothing to fear, and even perhaps occasion for some special times. Do these things before your dog ever shows signs of phobia, and perhaps you'll never experience a serious case.
5/5/10 SUGAR SUBSTITUTE DANGER
Xylitol, a sweetener found in certain sugar-free chewing gums, candies, baked goods, toothpaste, and other products can potentially cause serious and even life-threatening problems for pets. Last year, the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) managed approximately 2,690 cases of accidental xylitol ingestion. This is a nearly 40 percent increase from just three years ago, and 30 times as many cases from 2004, when the Center managed less than 100 incidents of xylitol ingestion.
According to Dr. Eric Dunayer, Senior Toxicologist at the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, dogs ingesting items sweetened with xylitol could develop a fairly sudden drop in blood sugar, resulting in depression, loss of coordination and seizures. "These signs can develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after ingestion of the product. Therefore, it is crucial that pet owners seek veterinary treatment immediately." Dr. Dunayer also states that there appears to be a strong link between xylitol ingestions and the development of liver failure in dogs.
While it was previously thought that only large concentrations of xylitol could result in problems, this no longer appears to be the case. Dr. Dunayer says that with smaller concentrations of xylitol, the onset of clinical signs could be delayed as much as 12 hours after ingestion. "Therefore, it is important to remember that even if a pet does not develop signs right away, it does not mean that problems won’t develop later on."
The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center strongly urges you to remind your clients to be especially diligent in keeping candy, gum, or other foods containing xylitol out of the reach of pets. While dogs are more likely to get into and eat things they should not, you should also be cautious with cats and other small pets that who may do the same thing.
As with any potentially toxic substance, should accidental exposures occur, it is important to contact us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at 888.426.4435 for immediate assistance.
3/31/10 The Ticks are Ready, are You?
Suddenly warmer weather and wet conditions means that we anticipate a very early and heavy tick season!
Start your tick control NOW!
Preventic Collar for Dogs: The best tick killer there is (It won’t kill fleas however)
Frontline Plus for Dogs or Cats: Must be used monthly for Ticks (Almost as good as the Preventic collar)
For serious tick problems, dogs can use both products together.
Did you know:
- Ticks are not insects, they are arachnids like mites & spiders.
- Adult females of some ticks lay 3,000 to 6,000 eggs per batch.
- Larvae hatch from the eggs.
- Blood meals are necessary before each life stage change.
- Ticks transmit serious diseases such as Lyme Disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Tick Paralysis and others.
- Hint: Use a fine tweezer close to the skin to gently lift out ticks. Heads do not remain in the pet, just tiny mouth parts which may cause a small scab. This is not a problem.
Pest Product Selection
We have selected these products based upon years of scientific research, our own successes in using them and by feedback from you, our clients. We know that you have been inundated with TV commercials for "new and improved products". Our policy regarding new products is, "Never switch to a new product just because it is new." As new products are released, we constantly review them over time and will recommend them to you when we are sure that they are better and safer than what you are currently using. Not every product will work best in every situation. Our staff is ready to discuss your personal needs and preferences to keep your pets healthy and comfy.
Animal Poison Control Centers across the country have noticed an increase in CATS ingesting the human ADHD drug, ADDERALL. Adderall seems to be extremely palatable to the usually finicky feline. Yet just one 20mg capsule can cause death.
We have seen this problem at our hospital and want to remind you to keep ALL drugs locked safely away from pets and use extreme caution if even one capsule is dropped or lost. Contact us immediately if you suspect ingestion of any drug by your dog or cat. Every minute counts!