Yearly Archives: 2013

Hello, again!  I’m back (from outer space) and I have a weird hat on my head!  I think it’s called a “turban” but I am certainly not pleased with it – unfortunately, all the humans I work with have decided it is “cute” and keep it around.  They put it on me on Halloween, I’m assuming as a joke, of course.

Speaking of Halloween (and our upcoming Christmas Festivities), I wanted to take a moment to address something we all love – Sweets!  Particularly candy and foods containing Chocolate and artificial sweeteners like Xylitol.  Sugar substitutes are big business.  Xylitol is common sugar substitute, especially when it comes to sugarless gum an candies.  Sounds wonderful and maybe it is – if you are a human.  If you are a dog, however, xylitol can be lethal.
 

There are two deadly effects of xylitol consumption: hypoglycemia and hepatic necrosis.

Hypoglycemia – In the canine body, the pancreas confuses xylitol with real sugar and releases insulin to store the “sugar.” The problem is that xylitol does not offer the extra calories of sugar and the rush of insulin only serves to remove the real sugar from the circulation. Blood sugar levels plummet resulting in weakness, disorientation, tremors, and potentially seizures.  It does not take many sticks of gum or hard candy pieces to poison a dog, especially a small dog!  Symptoms typically begin within 30 minutes and can last for more than 12 hours.  Vomiting and diarrhea can also occur.

Hepatic Necrosis – The other reaction associated with xylitol in the canine body is destruction of liver tissue.  How this happens remains unknown but the doses of xylitol required to produce this effect are much higher than the hypoglycemic doses described above.  Signs take longer to show up (typically 8-12 hours).  A lucky dog experiences only temporary illness but a complete and acute liver failure can result with potential death.  Internal hemorrhage and inability of blood to clot is commonly involved.

So how much xylitol is dangerous?  The hypoglycemic dose of xylitol for dogs is considered to be approximately 0.1 grams per kilogram of body weight (about 0.045 grams per pound).  A typical stick of gum contains 0.3 to 0.4 grams of xylitol, which means that a 10 lb dog could be poisoned by as little as a stick and a half of gum.

The dose to cause hepatic necrosis is 1 gram per kilogram of body weight, about ten times more than the above dose.  In the example above, the 10 lb dog would have to find an unopened package of gum and eat it for liver destruction to occur.  To treat for xylitol ingestion, the pet should be seen quickly (within 30 minutes) and can be made to vomit the gum or candy.

But, Mason!  What about cats?  So far, National Animal Poison Control has no reports of xylitol toxicity in cats.  At this time, feline toxicity is unknown.  Which means that just because we don’t know the risks doesn’t mean you should feed your cat any gum or hard candies!

Chocolate can be toxic, and sometimes even fatal, for your pets, too.  Dogs are most commonly affected, due to their ability to find it and the common ‘sweet tooth’ they seem to have.  It is important to remember that cats and other species are susceptible to the toxic effects of chocolate, too.
 
You may ask, why is chocolate so bad for animals?  Chocolate is made from the fruit (beans) of the cacao tree.  Theobromine, a component of chocolate, is the toxic compound in chocolate. (Caffeine is also present in chocolate, but in much smaller amounts than Theobromine.)   Unsweetened (baker’s) chocolate contains 8-10 times the amount of Theobromine as milk chocolate. Semi-sweet chocolate falls roughly in between the two for Theobromine content. White chocolate contains Theobromine, but in such small amounts that Theobromine poisoning is unlikely.

Here are approximate toxic levels of different types of chocolate:

  • 4 to 10 ounces of milk chocolate or 1/2 to 1 ounce of baking chocolate for small dogs, such as Chihuahuas and toy poodles.
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 2 to 3 ounces of baking chocolate for medium-sized dogs, like cocker spaniels and dachshunds.
  • 2 to 4 1/2 pounds of milk chocolate or 4 to 8 ounces of baking chocolate for large dogs, including collies and Labrador retrievers.

The toxic dose of Theobromine (and caffeine) for pets is 100-200mg/kg. (1 kiliogram = 2.2 pounds).  However, according to the poison control center at the ASPCA, problems have been noted at doses much lower than this, such as 20mg/kg.  Translated to a “typical” scenario, and using the 20mg/kg as a measure of “problems can be seen at this level of ingestion”, a 50 pound dog would have to consume 9 ounces (+/-) of milk chocolate to consume the 20mg/kg amount of Theobromine.  Some dogs won’t see problems at this rate.  Some may.  This is a much more conservative toxic level calculation than the “standard” of 100-200mg/kg, but better safe than sorry.

The signs of chocolate toxicity are most commonly seen within 12 hours (or less) of chocolate ingestion, such as:

  • Excitement / nervousness / trembling
  • Vomiting / diarrhea
  • Excessive thirst / sometimes excessive urination (at higher levels of Theobromine toxicity)
  • Muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Coma (rare
  • Death (rare) — likely due to heart rhythm abnormalities.
    So, you may be wondering what to do if your pet eats any candy or sweets this holiday season?  Call us, of course!  We are here to help you and will take great care of your kitty or doggie in the event of a chocolate emergency.  Remember, the best prevention is to not have these things available to your pet, so putting your candy away in high cabinets or even in another room is a great idea.  Never leave candy or goodies out where your pet can reach them, even if your pets are trained not to jump onto tables or counter tops.  And while you are cooking up those amazing and yummy holidays feasts, never leave your pet alone while you are making things – dogs have a tendency to gobble up ingredients right off the counters!  (Such bad manners…)
     
    Well, this has been very educational and all, but I feel a nap coming on.  I will talk to you all again soon!
     
    Til next meow,

    Mason

Hello, everyone!  I am your guest blogger for the month – my name is Luna!  I am a lionhead bunny and a good friend of Mason, who has been vacationing for the entire summer (lucky cat!).  He only just told me about his blog and I was all too happy to volunteer for an entry.

Finding the right pets to complete your household can be a daunting task.  How you introduce the new housemates to each other can make or break the relationship, with those all-important first impressions. The introduction process may need to continue for weeks, or even months, until everyone is comfortable with each other.

 
Day-to-day management of a cat and a dog (or bunny, or hamster, or fish, or bird) represents several challenges.  You’ll want to consider in advance whether you want to live with the household changes that may be required, like all the chasing and squawking and squeaking!  No one can guarantee that particular pets will be safe together unsupervised – I know that some of us pocket pets would get eaten up in an instant if Mom and Dad weren’t watching over us!
 

So, how do you introduce your new pet to your current companion?  Start by letting the pets smell and hear each other through a door or crate that blocks the view.  It may take at least one to several days, but definitely keep this up as long as it takes for pet to be relaxed, then try reversing their locations so your new pet can be out and about the house and your current pet is in a different area.

It’s useful to switch them back and forth several times so neither one gets jealous of each other.  If both animals remain calm, the next step would be to put two barriers between the pets, with a distance of several feet or more so both animals will feel comfortable that actual contact can’t happen.  Of course, in the cases of pocket pets, this may never actually happen, as those cats and dogs are sooooo big!!!!  It may be too scary to let them meet face to face, but crated contact is a good idea.  One of the barriers might be a see-through door, window, or crate.  If it’s a baby gate it must be one the cat can’t get over, under or through.

Dogs need to be confined away from the barrier the other pet is behind.  You could use another crate or enclosure, or perhaps have the dog on leash.  Even if both animals are completely calm at this point, that’s enough for the first day, maybe the first several days.  Don’t rush to the next stage.  If either animal is nervous when viewing the other, go back to the setup of hearing and scent without sight.  Be careful to maintain their trust by not allowing accidental contact.

Cats can take a long time to get used to things, commonly months – like I said before, my kitty brothers took forever to get used to me!  Taking things too quickly can set the process back so badly that it’s far better to go slowly.  Dogs are usually much better at meeting new pets, but they can also be quick to think that new pet is a chew toy!

You can read more about the Introduction Process here, thanks to our awesome authors and trainers over at Veterinary Partner! Veterinary Partner – Introducing New Pets

And for more information specifically regarding Dog Behavior and Introductions to new pets, please see this article on Dog Introductions.

Thank you all so much for letting me talk to you this week!  I will let Mason know you all miss him, but he is very busy getting back massages and being combed (it’s his favorite thing ever).  Next time, we will have another guest blogger for you!  Luna, out!

Happy summer, my friends!  Enjoying the warmer weather so far?  I know I am!  Well, at least from the window…  How about any fun summer vacationing yet?  I’ve been saving up for my summer cruise, which reminds me, I need to find out if they accept treats as payment.

 

Today I welcome a very special guest who just happens to be a good buddy of mine- Dr. Anne Garrood!  She is going to help me by talking about veterinary acupuncture.  For those who haven’t had the pleasure of meeting Dr. Garrood, let me tell you a little bit about her. 

Dr. Garrood, originally from Cambridge, England, has been practicing veterinary medicine for about 26 years and actually started out in human medicine earning her Bachelors degree in nursing while working in Nottingham at a pharmaceutical company.  After a few years, she decided she wanted to see what the good ole’ USA had to offer and soon found herself living in Mississippi and beginning her journey of veterinary medicine.  In 1991, she not only graduated from Mississippi State College of Veterinary Medicine, but also became a United States citizen!  Fast forward to 1999, she joined our fabulous team at GFAH and has since been stuck with us! J  Following her interest in complementary medicine, she took the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society (IVAS) course in 1997 and has been practicing ever since.

For those who may not be familiar with acupuncture, it is essentially inserting needles into particular points of the body to help generate healing and “balance energy”.  I bet you probably didn’t know that it has been used in veterinary medicine in China for at least 3000 years!  Like humans, animals don’t always respond to acupuncture, but it has been proven to be very successful in many cases to help alleviate symptoms and pain from a variety of diseases and ailments.  Some of those include (but are not limited to): arthritis, skin problems, respiratory problems, reproductive issues, and nervous system, kidney and liver problems and gastrointestinal issues.  I think Dr. Garrood would agree that most of her acupuncture patients are receiving treatment due to issues with arthritis but she has had patients with other ailments as well. 

 

Dr. Garrood was kind enough to answer some questions for me relating to what she does with acupuncture on dogs and cats

 

Mason: When did you first become interested in doing acupuncture on dogs and cats?

 

Dr. Garrood: “When I was in vet school, I looked into taking the course but it was too expensive for a poor vet student.”

 

Mason: Was learning how to do acupuncture on animals difficult?  How long have you been doing it?

 

Dr. Garrood: “Yes.  It was very hard to switch my mind from Western scientific thinking (“left brain”) to the Chinese model which is more “right brain” driven.   Chinese medicine varies the treatment depending on the signs that a person shows, so 2 people, both with asthma, might receive very different treatments. 

I took the IVAS (International Veterinary Acupuncture Society) course from 1996-1997.”
 

Mason: I know you typically see more dogs than cats for acupuncture; do you think that dogs tend to respond better than cats in general?

 

Dr. Garrood: “Although cats usually don’t like insertion of the needles very much, they do seem to respond to acupuncture very well.  I have had some cats with very severe illness become completely well again with acupuncture, so I love doing acupuncture on kitties; it is very rewarding!”

 

Mason: Just like with people, acupuncture on animals is never guaranteed to work, however it looks like you have been fairly successful overall with patients responding to treatment.  Over the years that you have been practicing acupuncture, what percentage would you say were given a better quality of life because of it?

 

Dr. Garrood: “I generally expect 60-70% of patients to respond well.  Another 10-15% responds some, but maybe not responds well enough to continue with the acupuncture.  Unfortunately, I can’t tell beforehand who will respond and who won’t, so I have to try it to find out.”

 

Thank you Dr. Garrood for taking the time to sit down with me and answer some questions!  If you think that your dog or cat might benefit from acupuncture, please don’t hesitate to contact us so that we can put you in touch with Dr. Garrood.

 

For more information on veterinary acupuncture, here are a few resources to try:

 

International VeterinaryAcupuncture Society

 

American Academy of VeterinaryAcupuncture  

 

American Holistic VeterinaryMedical Association  

 

VeterinaryPartner- Acupuncture:  An AncientPractice

 

OK, all of this acupuncture talk suddenly has me very relaxed and “zen-ful” so I’m going to go nap it off! 

 

Til next meow,

Mason

Hello to all of my Mason followers!  Can you believe it’s May already?  I can’t, but then again time means nothing to me unless it involves waiting to eat- then time is of the essence! 

So today, my friends, I plan to talk about puppies.  Yeah, pretty cute aren’t they?  Well, I guess if you’re into dogs…J  So, let’s talk Puppy 101!

The first few steps of puppy ownership actually happen before bringing the cute little furball home. You need to first make sure that everyone in the house is on board (if applicable), whether it be family members, roommates or landlord.  That is very important anytime you are thinking about bringing a pet into the mix, no matter what it is.  If you are renting, your landlord will definitely need to approve your potential new family member because the last thing you want to do is bring home any pet and then have to re-home or take back to shelter.  It’s certainly not fair to the pet involved either! 

Once that is out of the way, have another group meeting with the household so that you can establish some kind of system as far as taking care of the puppy.  This can be an especially great learning experience for children and will also help teach them about responsibility and discipline (not to mention it could prove to be very useful experience later in life when they have pets of their own!).  However, parents should plan to have the ultimate responsibility to care for the pet.  That being said, if you do have children, it is highly advisable to do some homework first and look into what breeds would be a better fit.  The ASPCA has some great information on finding the right dog based on your child’s age. Establishing some ground rules and some type of care system, whether you’re dealing with adults or children before bringing the puppy home will help the transition go much more smoothly (which not only reduces stress to the humans involved but more importantly, the new puppy!).

 

Structure is extremely important for puppies because it’s when they are learning everything.  Although “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks” is not a true statement, it can be more difficult.  You have to remember that these are not four-legged humans so you have to learn to be patient as well as consistent.  You can’t tell a puppy (or any animal) that it’s not OK to hop on the counter on Wednesday but it’s OK on Fridays.  Consistency is very important when it comes to training commands, too or you could end up confusing the poor puppy and definitely causing a setback in your training.  When you pick up your puppy, find out if he or she already knows some basic commands and if possible, try and stick with those if they seem to be working.  Hey, one less thing to teach them, right? 

Another vital step in puppy ownership is socialization.  This is very important and needs to be done with patience and SMARTS!  Great place to start is at GFAH!  It’s best to make the first appointment within the first week of owning the puppy (unless of course something is going on medically, then come in sooner) and if possible, in between vaccinations so that the first visit can be as positive experience as possible.  This is a great time to ask questions, address any concerns you may have and also our vets can give you a few tips on basic training and care.  GFAH can also give you good recommendations for training and even a list of trainers they recommend based on the puppy’s needs.  Now as far as socialization goes, it’s important that your puppy have all the necessary vaccinations prior to meet and greets with other dogs.  Puppies are especially susceptible to diseases since their immune systems are not mature.  Socialization with other dogs that are current on their vaccinations is the best way to socialize.    Many puppies also have intestinal parasites, while intestinal parasites are treatable, they can cause GI upset (vomiting, diarrhea, gas, etc.) and can even rob your pet of nutrition which if left untreated can lead to trouble.  Bring in a stool sample on your first visit to have tested so that if your pet needs treatment, it can receive it as soon as possible.  We can also give you proper direction on what to do in addition to any deworming medication so that you can avoid anything being passed on to another pet or possibly a person.

 

Well folks, I think I have “mewsed” enough for the day!  There is so much to learn about puppy ownership and not enough hours in the day!  I have compiled a list of websites that may be of some help should you be looking for a puppy at any point.  I cannot stress enough though how important it is to do some homework first!  Don’t hesitate to ask us for advice if you are unsure since we would much rather you be 100% sure and completely comfortable before you bring a puppy home!

 

Til next meow,

Mason

Happy April, my fellow Masoneers!  Did you look into adopting a rescued guinea pig during Adopt a Rescued Guinea Pig month?  I did, but they did athorough background check and found out that I was a cat and therefore ineligible.  When I meowed that I felt I was being discriminated against, they asked if I had a steady income that would allow me to provide food, shelter and medical care and I had to be honest and say no.  They also asked if I rented or owned my residence and how much I pay per month; well, I actually cost my roommate’s money to keep me but they do because they love me.  J  We all came to a mutual agreement that owning a pet was not going to be in the pet’s best interest. 

Speaking of which, did anyone else look up information on guinea pigs after reading about it? Although it was focused on guinea pigs, the message is VERY important to anyone looking to have any kind of pet: what kind of pet is right, is it even the right time or place to have a pet right now?  That has to be the #1 reason for pets ending up in shelters and/or neglected.  The owner never did or no longer has the time or means to care for them and unfortunately, many don’t care enough to rectify the situation.  Please, please make sure that before you take on the responsibilities of having a pet, that you have the ability to meet that pet’s needs.  If you think that an adoption fee is expensive, that may be a good indication that adopting a pet is probably is not the right thing to do right now.   Food, medical care, pet rent (where applicable) and supplies are all expenses that will be in addition to your current cost of living.  When making this decision, ask yourself how long the pet would be alone during the day, how much space you have to accommodate them, type of environment, and if living with others, is everyone on board?  Let’s help shelters and animals by educating people about pet ownership so that we can reduce the number of homeless pets!

Another very popular reason for pets being surrendered to shelters are allergies.  Dog and cat dander (really pet dander in general) are top reasons that many people do not own animals and why so many pet owners are on lifetime allergy medication.  Having a pet means that you are most likely having to clean more often and, depending on what you have, how much extra cleaning you need to do. Even if you think your dog or cat doesn’t shed, think again.  Humans shed.  Sorry, the truth hurts.  How much they shed varies so if that’s an issue for you, do your research before you bring a pet home. 

If you have the financial means, many people find that having hardwood floors (or something other than carpet such as tile, laminate, etc) helps tremendously for people with allergies and can also be much easier to clean. Speaking of, is it possible to keep a clean house while being a pet owner?  The answer is a most definite yes, though a lot of that depends on the upkeep. VeterinaryPartner.com has some good ideas; for areas that are harder to keep clean, try and cover with something that can be fairly easily washed like a small rug or furniture throw.  It also helps tremendously when you can clean up before dirt or mess spread throughout the house.  I know those dogs can be awfully messy, mud and dirt everywhere and who knows what else.  OK, I’ll admit it cats sometimes get litter in their paws and walk around the house too but we at least have a “grace” about it.  You can use baby wipes or a warm washcloth to periodically wipe our paws if you feel so inclined.  We may act like we hate it but secretly we enjoy the cleanliness!

So is there a stain on the carpet that we may or may have not contributed to somewhere?  It would probably be advisable to try again and see if maybe another method or product can take it out.  Word around the campfire is that pets have a habit of returning to the scene of previous crimes; other’s or our own, we’re not prejudiced. 

Here’s another newsflash:  a lot of us love to be groomed.  It also keeps some of the fur under control and not all over the rest of the house.  It’s good for bonding too.  Believe it or not, we have our Hallmark moments too!

For more information on keeping it tidy, visit:

https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=1614

https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=208

https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plx?P=A&S=0&C=0&A=962

Speaking of cleaning, I’m going to go try and get out of the way of my staff cleaning.  I sometimes feel kind of bad that they have to do it around me. 

Til next meow,

Mason

Hey there friends and fans!  Dr.–err Mr. Mason here.  I don’t know about all of you, but I sure as howl can’t wait for spring!  March Madness has a completely different meaning in the cat world.  It’s that first hint of spring when all the birds, squirrels and various other tiny creatures start flooding the outdoors, taunting felines around the country who can only “window shop” (as I like to call it).  I am very intimidating behind glass and it’s no secret around the avian and rodent community that I very well could be a force to be reckoned with, if given the opportunity.  So continue to poop on the windows my avian acquaintances; I am never an active participant in its remova

Back to business, let’s talk about something that no cat likes to discuss: going to the vet.  Little do owners know that most of us actually keep a fairly (if not more) accurate record of our veterinary excursions.  Why you ask?  Because we do not trust you to inform us prior to breaking out the captivity vessel and kidnapping us at scruff point.  We need to know when to make ourselves scarce, eat all of our meals, and show no sign of defeat or we may end up at the V-E-T.  I don’t expect you to believe me, I probably wouldn’t even though I can be quite convincing when I want to be.  Here’s an inside tip to all you fabulous feline parents: your cat can be Oscar worthy when it comes to acting like nothing’s wrong.  By the time you notice something’s up we’ve been playing it off for weeks, if not months, and potentially making things worse.  We can be extremely stoic and often mask signs of illness.  It can start as something relatively small, such as a decrease in appetite or increase in water intake, that owner’s often don’t recognize until the cat has stopped eating completely or started urinating inappropriately in the house.   

Most cats are less than excited, about getting in the car, let alone going to the vet.  We know that visits to see the doc are a necessary evil in our purr-suit of a long, healthy, comfortable life.  But that doesn’t mean we’re going to let you know it by just succumbing to your deceit and going easily to the vet. Despite that, take us to the vet, it’s for our own protection.  Even cats that don’t go outdoors NEED yearly vet visits and it’s recommended that pets over age 7 go at least semi-annually.  Being a cat, of course I don’t like being weighed or having my temp taken or heaven forbid being poked by a needle but I realize I can’t expect to conquer the earth if I don’t feel well.  I often wonder why some cats are treated like second-class citizens when it comes to health care.  I’m not saying it’s necessarily done on purr-pose, but just like dogs, we need to have a good physical at least once a year.  Having routine blood work done when we reach seniority is highly recommended and could save our lives.  Have you ever had your doctor find something on a routine physical or blood work that needed addressing, even if you felt fine?  Routine visits can be vital to your cats’ wellbeing. 

Speaking of addressing things, I wanted to address something that is a very common misconception among cat owners.  Even if we don’t go outside, all domestic cats are required by law, in most states (including VA/MD/DC) to be current on our rabies vaccination. Depending on where you are, violators could face pretty hefty fines.  Any mammal is capable of contracting rabies, including humans, so if breaking the law doesn’t faze you, contracting the rabies virus should.  It is always fatal, however, times have progressed and rabies related deaths in humans are not common if treated in time.  But that doesn’t mean you want to get it!  Just this week there was a report of a death in Maryland due to rabies exposure.  For more information on rabies infections in humans, visithttps://www.cdc.gov/rabies/location/usa/index.html.  Indoor cats can sneak out; just as wild mammals (like bats) can sneak in so you better keep all of your cats up to date!   Don’t be crazy, protect against rabies!

So what is the lesson that I hope everyone learned today, class?  Be a responsible cat owner and regardless of whether or not Mr.Bigglesworth goes outside, he needs annual vet visits.  The doctor will recommend vaccines or follow ups based on your cat’s individual case.  They will examine his eyes, ears, heart, lungs, joints, and everything else to make sure that it all is in working order.  They can even tell if our teeth need cleaning which, as I have discussed before, can play a huge part in pet health.  Still need convincing or just want to learn more about it? Visit https://www.healthypet.com/PetCare/PetCareArticle.aspx?title=Wellness_Exams for more info.

Let’s face it, I could definitely escape my staff if I really wanted to, but I gotta say I’m pretty darn spoiled.  My staff is also good at noticing when I’m not myself, so living at the vet has actually been a pretty cushy life.  Speaking of which, it’s time for Dr. Garrood to hand feed me my yogurt.  So I’ll see you next month!

Purrs,

Mason

Greetings friends! How is everyone’s 2013 going so far? How about those New Year’s resolutions? One of mine was to simmer down the sarcasm a bit but then I remembered that I’m a cat! It’s part of my natural charm. My 2013 has been OK so far though I am recovering from being a bit under the weather. Thankfully my staff takes pretty good care of me and can tell when I’m not feeling my best! I know you want your pet to feel their best, so let’s talk about your pet’s dental health and signals that something may be wrong. Today’s main objective however is to go over with you what to expect when your pet does need dental care.

Let’s say that Fido is 8 years old and has a broken tooth with significant amount of tartar buildup.   Fido’s parent had noticed a decrease in his appetite and then he didn’t want to eat at all.  He had also become lethargic and didn’t want to play or go on walks which concerned the parent even more since walks were pretty much the best darn thing ever created.  So Dr. Mason has now determined that Fido needs dental work.  What now?  He recommends extracting the broken tooth and doing a complete dental at the same time. The doctor gives them the pre-dental instructions.  Due to Fido’s graceful aging and passing 7 years, pre-anesthetic blood work is mandatory so he goes ahead and takes care of that during the exam.  Dr. Mason will determine based on the blood work whether or not he thinks Fido will be a good candidate to undergo anesthesia.  Other things to remember:  12-hour fast (no food or treats however water is OK), and what time Fido should be admitted the day of the procedure.  You need to make sure that you tell the front desk at check in if you gave any medications that morning so they can relay that to the doctor.  And if you do accidentally give your pet a treat or feed them even a little breakfast, let the front staff know since that could affect whether or not your pet should go under anesthesia. 

Fido needs to be fully anesthetized, because the doctor needs to be able to fully examine his mouth and the licensed veterinary technician needs to be able to perform a thorough cleaning. While Fido is anesthetized the doctor may find other teeth that need to be extracted and possibly need to take x-rays to look for further decay.  The doctor went over Fido’s post dental care.  Taking into consideration Fido’s medical history and having at least one tooth extracted, the doctor plans on sending him home with a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) for pain and an antibiotic.  Every case is different so make sure you pay attention to what the vet says and follow any pre and post dental instructions!  Follow ups are usually not necessary as long as your pet’s eating and drinking normally and they are not showing any other signs of distress. 

My doctors and staff will handle any questions or concerns you may have so don’t hesitate to ask!  You can come in and ask me but then people might think it’s a bit strange asking a cat medical advice…  No one’s supposed to know just how smart I really am.  They wouldn’t believe you since it’s so rare to have some cat this handsome be this intelligent…  On that note, my brain needs food as does my tummy so I am off to soak in some smart… in the form of dinner!

Purrs,

Mason

Happy Mew Year everyone!! I realize it’s been awhile since my last blog and I apologize.  I decided I needed some time to de-stress (since being a cat is tough) and took a nice long vacation to the green exam room.  It was everything I thought it would be; mostly because it looks the same so I knew how it would be but it was amazing nonetheless.  Nothing terribly

exciting in my world, though I started to put treats towards my 401k.  I can’t even fathom my senior years without them and I refuse to go back to selling catnip on the side.

Speaking of things I can’t fathom, what is the deal with this below freezing weather we’re having?  I personally need heat and do not appreciate that I am unable to look out the window because Mother Nature is bitter.  You and I both know that this weather can be quite hazardous and unforgiving regardless of how many legs (or lives) you have.  So what am I hinting at you ask?  One of my favorite places to go for more information about my health,www.veterinarypartner.com, has an article appropriately titled, “Winterize Your Pet”.  I think a lot of humans assume that because we have an excess of hair that it gives us superpowers that prevent frostbite or hypothermia.  They assume incorrectly; I know for a fact that cats that were given the superpowers that are geared more toward intelligence operations, not temperature control.

While keeping your pet indoors during the cold winter months is ultimately the safest way tokeep your pet happy and healthy; I understand there are a few out there who do love the great outdoors.  Here are some tips from Veterinary Partner to “winterize your pet.”

  1. “You must provide adequate outdoor shelter. Animals must be able to get out of the elements.” Bottom line, if you aren’t able to provide the proper protection from all kindsof weather then your pet shouldn’t be outside.

“A pet must have a well-insulated structure just large enough so that he can curl up  Inside to maintain body heat.  The structure should also have a wind-block to protect it  from wintry blasts. In the coldest parts of the country, it should also have some sort ofoutdoor-rated pet heating pad or other device.   And be sure that there’s always a supplyof fresh, unfrozen water by using a heated bowl.”

  1. “Animals who spend any significant amount of time outside will need more calories during cold weather. Food is fuel, and they’ll need to burn it to stay warm.” It should go without saying that you need to provide the right amount of food for your pet daily.  Every pet is different, just as every diet is different in its own way.  Although the instructions on the food bag may serve as a guideline; it can be hard to trust since some companies out there want you to feed more so that you buy more.  My advice is to speak with your veterinarian to discuss your pet’s individual dietary needs.
  1. “Remember to thump on your car’s hood on cold mornings. You neighbor’s cat may be nestled against the engine for warmth, and thumping your car’s hood will get theanimal to skedaddle to safety.” It may sound ridiculous but it could ultimately save a cat’s life (and your conscience!)

Winter doesn’t necessarily only affect pets that go outdoors.  It can be uncomfortable for indoor pets as well.  Pets with any kind of joint pain, arthritis, history of sprains or fractures or of course pets who may not be as blessed as others when it comes to fur coverage may find winter to be very uncomfortable.  Thinking about your pet’s individual needs during the winter (any season really) is the way to go.  If you think your pet may be suffering from joint pain or other ailments that may make them uncomfortable, please speak with your veterinarian to determine what you need to do to ensure comfort.  (Keeping them at a healthy weight is also key to helping with joint issues!) Spoil them a little and maybe get them a heated bed for underneath a blanket.  They’ll thank you!! 

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to fit your pet with a coat or sweater if needed.  according to www.veterinarypartner.com, “Some animals really can use the extra insulation of a well-fitted sweater: older pets, and dogs who are tiny (such as Chihuahuas), or who are shorthaired and naturally lean (such as greyhounds or whippets).  Overcoats can save you time drying your dog if you walk in inclement weather, especially if your pet’s longhaired.  And don’t forget to wipe your pets’ feet, legs and belly after they’ve been outside to keep the animal from ingesting any de-icing solutions.“  Hear that last part folks?  Keep all the pitty-pats safe outside and provide protection for paws that are exposed to de-icing products!  Most pet stores should carry booties/shoes made for pets and you can also find a large assortment online. Still have questions or concerns?  Give us a ring!  That’s what we’re here for!

For more information, visit www.veterinarypartner.com. In the meantime,

STAY WARM!! 😀

Mews & Warm Snuggles,

Mason

[Although I am highly intelligent, I must give credit where credit is due. The information I am sharing with you can be found at https://www.veterinarypartner.com/Content.plxP=A&S=0&C=0&A=2837]