Monthly Archives: July 2012

Fun Pet Ideas, Part 1

Have you ever wanted to do something creative with your dog’s bowls?  Perhaps create a new play space for your kitty?  We scoured the boards of Pinterest.com to bring you some of our favorite ideas!

 

1.  Now Fido can see what’s going on on the other side of the fence.  The Pet Peek      offers a new view for your four-legged friend.

 

 

 

2.  Do you or someone you know have an old console TV unit just laying around?  Why not turn it into a new bed for your small dog or cat?!

 

 

 

3.  With a couple old suitcases and a few legs, you can create a custom bunk bed for you feline friends

 

4.  Make use of that small wall and turn it into a doggie station, complete with treats, poop bags and toys!

 

5.  King or Queen, Prince or Princess, your pet deserves a bed that suits their personality.  But just because they are larger than life, the cost of a new bed for them doesn’t have to be.  Check out this creative idea for re-purposing an old table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comparative Cost Analysis: DENTALS

Dental disease is the #1 most-diagnosed problem, with nearly 70% of dogs and cats having some form of dental disease by two years of age.

So why isn’t more done about dental disease in our pets?  Are we as owners unaware of this problem?  Does cost turn us off to having a dental procedure performed on our pet?

 

We see dental disease, in various stages, everyday in our practices.  The dog pictured above is suffering from severe dental disease and will go through an  intense dental procedure in order to remove the plaque and tartar build-up, in addition to a few extractions of diseased teeth.

How can this be avoided?  

Regular brushing at home is a great place to start! We carry a pet-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste kit at both clinics.  Dental items can also be purchased from your local pet store.  In addition to brushing, incorporating a mouth rinse, water additive, or dental chew is another great method of promoting good dental health.

I didn’t know my pet had bad teeth, and now he needs a dental cleaning!  What sort of costs should I expect?

Depending on the severity of the dental disease diagnosed by our doctors, dental cleaning can range from a routine cleaning up to a severe dental with several extractions.  Let’s break it down a little bit more:

 

Dentist

NSAC/UAVH

 Cleaning & Polishing

$50 – $120

$150.00

Blood Work

Not Generally Offered

$60.00

IV Catheter & Fluids

Not Generally Offered

$38.50

Extraction/Oral Surgery

$290.00 per tooth

$120.00 per 30 min.

Anesthesia

$455.00 per 30 min.

$60.00 per 30 min.

Doctor’s Fee

$146.00

$20.00

(These prices reflect a local average offered by various dentists in the Greater Columbus Area. )

Why is a dental for my pet so expensive?

The initial sticker shock of a dental procedure for your pet can be a bit overwhelming at first.  But, if you take a minute to break down the cost, you will see that it’s really not as expensive as you might think.

Think about the last time you went to the dentist for more than a cleaning.  If your dentist were to charge for an extraction in the same method we do, here is the potential cost you could be looking at:  $891!  (And that’s just including the doctor’s fee, anesthesia and extraction!)   We take an extra few steps to ensure your pet’s safety, by checking blood levels prior to anesthesia, placing an IV catheter and running fluids to maintain blood pressure.

What if you needed a crown or a root canal?  Speaking from experience, those can run you about $2,400!  So a full dental cleaning for your dog, under general anesthesia, with several extractions is just a fraction of the cost for the repair of one human tooth!

The biggest difference between human dental procedures and those performed by a veterinarian:  HUMANS HAVE INSURANCE TO HELP DEFRAY COST! (Most humans, that is!)

Your dog could look this good after a dental cleaning.

Call us today to schedule an appointment to see if YOUR pet needs a dental cleaning.  Prevention is key!

 

Gastric Dilatation/Volvus Syndrome In Dogs

Overview

Gastric dilatation is a condition that can develop in many different breeds of dogs. The condition is commonly associated with large meals and causes the stomach to dilate because of food and gas and may get to a point where neither may be expelled. As the stomach begins to dilate and expand, the pressure in the stomach begins to increase. The increased pressure and size of the stomach may have several severe consequences, including preventing adequate blood return to the heart from the abdomen, loss of blood flow to the lining of the stomach, and rupture of the stomach wall. As the stomach expands, it may also put pressure on the diaphragm preventing the lungs from adequately expanding, which leads to decreased ability to maintain normal breathing (ventilation).

 

A lateral radiograph of a dog with a gastric volvulus. Note the stomach is markedly distended with gas (which shows up as black on the radiograph) and the stomach is occupying nearly the entire abdomen.

 

The entire body suffers from the poor ventilation leading to death of cells in many tissues. Additionally, the stomach can become dilated enough to rotate in the abdomen, a condition called volvulus. The rotation can occasionally lead to blockage to the blood supply to the spleen and the stomach wall requiring surgical removal of the dead tissues. Most of these patients are in shock due to the effects on the entire body. The treatment of this condition involves stabilization of the patient, decompression of the stomach and surgery to return the stomach to the normal position permanently (gastropexy) and evaluate abdominal organs for damage and treat them appropriately as determined at the time of surgery.

 

Another image of a dog with GDV/Bloat

 

 

 

 

Causes

Several studies have been published that have evaluated risk factors and causes for gastric dilatation and volvulus in dogs. This syndrome is not completely understood; however, we know that there is an association in dogs that have a deep chest (increased thoracic height to width ratio), dogs that are fed a single large meal once daily, older dogs and dogs that are related to other dogs that have had the condition. Additionally, it has been suggested that elevated feeding, dogs that have previously had a spleen removed, large or giant breed dogs, and stress may result in an increased incidence of this condition. A 2006 study also determined that dogs fed dry dog foods that list oils (e.g. sunflower oil, animal fat) among the first four label ingredients predispose a high risk dog to GDV.

 

 

Incidence and Prevalence

Several studies have been published that have evaluated risk factors and causes for gastric dilatation and volvulus in dogs. This syndrome is not completely understood; however, we know that there is an association in dogs that have a deep chest (increased thoracic height to width ratio), dogs that are fed a single large meal once daily, older dogs and dogs that are related to other dogs that have had the condition. Additionally, it has been suggested that elevated feeding, dogs that have previously had a spleen removed, large or giant breed dogs, and stress may result in an increased incidence of this condition. A 2006 study also determined that dogs fed dry dog foods that list oils (e.g. sunflower oil, animal fat) among the first four label ingredients predispose a high risk dog to GDV.

 

Signs and Symptoms

Initial signs are often associated with abdominal pain. These can include but are not limited to:

  • an anxious look or looking at the abdomen
  • standing and stretching
  • drooling
  • distending abdomen
  • retching without producing anything

As the disease progresses, the animal may begin to pant, have abdominal distension, or be weak and collapse and be recumbent. On physical examination, patients often have elevated heart and respiratory rates, have poor pulse quality, and have poor capillary refill times. Abdominal distension is commonly noted.

 

 

Treatment Options

Stabilization of the patient is paramount and often begins with intravenous fluids and oxygen therapy. Gastric decompression often follows, which includes the passing of a tube down the esophagus into to stomach to release the air and fluid accumulation and can be frequently followed with lavage (flushing of water) into and out of the stomach to remove remaining food particles. In certain cases this is not possible and a needle or catheter may be placed into the stomach from outside the body to release air and aid in the passing of the tube. The time for general anesthesia and surgical stabilization will be determined by the stability of your pet and at the discretion of the surgeon. Surgery involves full exploration of the abdomen and de-rotation of the stomach. Additionally, the viability of the stomach wall, the spleen, and all other organs will be determined. Removal of part of the stomach wall (partial gastrectomy) or the spleen (splenectomy) is occasionally performed. Once the stomach is returned to the normal position in the abdomen, it should be fixed to the body wall (gastropexy).

 

A gastropexy. Note that the stomach has been sutured to the abdominal wall in order to prevent it from expanding and twisting again.

 

Courtesy:  ACVS

 

Animal Portraits

I don’t know about you, but having my pet’s picture taken is a wonderful thing.  I know I enjoy it more than them, and the results always leave me speechless.  We wanted to know:  Has your pet ever had a professional photo shoot?  Here are a few of our favorites from the boards of Pinterest.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbey McCune

 

Please help us in welcoming our newest staff member, Abbey McCune.  Abbey comes to us by way of Hudson, Ohio and is currently a senior at The Ohio State University majoring in Animal Science.  Abbey’s future goals include attending vet school and opening her own small-animal practice.

Abbey is the youngest in her family.  Her favorite food is ice cream (cookie’s & cream to be exact) and she hopes to someday enjoy a scoop on the beach in the Bahamas!

Abbey shares her home with her new kitten, Darla (shown above) and the ever-gangster turtle, Ja Rule.  Abbey enjoys traveling, having spent time in Chile and plans to head to Ireland this winter for a study-abroad program.

Heat Stroke

Every year, thousands of dogs suffer from heat stroke, which is defined as the elevation of body temperature above normal levels due to the production of excessive heat, exposure to excessive ambient temperatures or failure of the body properly to lose heat. Heat stroke is not the same as “having a fever.” Heat stroke, also called non-pyrogenic (non-fever-based) hyperthermia, occurs when the animal’s heat-dissipating mechanisms cannot accommodate excessive heat. In many cases, owners are not aware that their dogs are developing this condition until it is too late to reverse the damage. Immediate emergency medical treatment is necessary to prevent organ damage, and death. Early recognition of the common signs of heat stroke is critical to saving the dog’s life.

 

Symptoms of Heat Stroke

The initial symptoms of heat stroke in dogs are characterized by unanticipated restlessness. They include physical signs such as excessive or fluctuating panting, which may start, stop and then start again. Other physical signs are excessive drooling (hypersalivation), foaming at the mouth, dry tacky gums and labored or difficult breathing (dyspnea). Among common behavioral changes are agitation, whining, barking and other signs of anxiety. As the dog’s core body temperature becomes dangerously elevated (called hyperthermia), the initial signs normally progress to include vomiting, diarrhea, confusion, lack of muscular coordination (ataxia), very red gums and uncontrolled tremors. In the end stages of heat stroke, a dog will become listless, dull, weak and recumbent. It may try to move to cool places but be unable to rise, will have increased difficulty breathing and ultimately will have seizures, collapse, lapse into a coma and die.

Very young and older dogs are at higher risk of heat stroke. Brachycephalic breeds, obese animals and long haired and dark-colored dogs are also predisposed. Dogs with hyperthyroidism, cardiopulmonary disease or thick hair coats are also at increased risk of developing heat stroke. If you notice these signs in your dog, take your dog to a veterinary clinic immediately.

 

What dogs are at risk?

Dogs can be in danger from experiencing a heat stroke if they are acclimating to hot weather, confined in a hot space, or if they have worked or played too much without cooling down periods. Sadly this condition is commonly seen in dogs, especially in dogs that live in hot and humid climates. Dogs are able to pant to help control inner temperatures, but dogs are unable to sweat. In the case of a heat stroke, panting is not enough to cool the body down.

A heat stroke in dogs can develop into a potentially deadly situation in as little as 20 minutes. In this type of instance the dog is normally in a closed atmosphere, such as a car, where the temperature steadily climbs. In some instances a heat stroke can take hours to develop into a deadly situation. These cases usually involve dogs that are playing outdoors in the heat or dogs that are older or overweight and trying to acclimate to higher temperatures than they are used to.

To protect your dog from a heat stroke, take the time to learn the signs and symptoms of heat stroke in dogs. Always ensure that your dog has access to water and shade in hot temperatures, and never leave your dog in a hot car even if it is only for “a few minutes”.

This dog is receiving treatment for heat stroke. (Courtesy: animalurgentcare.com)

Treating Heat Stroke

Heat stroke in dogs can quickly turn deadly if not treated immediately and aggressively. Successful treatment requires intensive emergency care at a veterinary clinic. The therapeutic goals are to lower the dog’s core body temperature to a normal range and to identify and resolve the underlying cause of the condition. This may be as simple as removing the dog from the source of excessive environmental heat, but this is not always easy to do. Most affected dogs will require inpatient hospitalization and intensive care for at least several days, until their temperature and clinical signs are stabilized. Again, early recognition is the key to treatment success.

 

Source: PETWAVE