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Halloween Tech Tip Special

By Denise Sanchez L.V.T.

Halloween is upon us! We all enjoy when our pets can join in the fun, but it’s important to keep a few things in mind.

 

First, know your pets; you may love seeing your Maltese as a princess, or your black cat as a bat, but they may not enjoy it. As a rule, most pets do not enjoy being dressed up. Know your pet, know how they will tolerate it. Start simple, maybe start with a shirt, work your way up to the cute hot dog costume you saw at the store for your dachshund. Don’t push them, if they resist don’t continue. If they get scared, take it off immediately. Signs they may not like the outfit; wide fearful eyes, tails tucked, or trying to run away from the outfit.

 

Second, candy is a complete no go. Some candy, as in some human food, will just cause a little upset stomach. Some diarrhea, maybe some vomiting. But some candies, like chocolate and sugar-free gum, can be deadly. If your pet gets into your candy stash call us for recommendations.

 

Third, keep an eye on your pet. There will be a lot of kids yelling and dressed oddly. Your doorbell will be ringing and frequently the door will open, exposing strangers. Your pet may get overwhelmed or scared. No one wants a pet to escape and get lost during such a busy night. Another thing to remember is even the friendliest pet can get scared by the cute kid in the Iron Man costume and potentially act out in a less than appealing manner. Keep in mind, they are not being mean, they are scared and trying to protect themselves and their pack (you). One recommendation is to keep them locked in another room, so there is no chance of them escaping, another is to keep them on a leash.

 

Lastly, make sure your dog is seen. If you take your dog with you to go door to door, ensure they are seen by drivers and other trick or treaters. There are blinking lights that can be attached to collars or you can wrap reflective tape around their collar. Don’t forget to always use a leash.

 

Have fun this Halloween and stay safe!

Dr. Crystal Bowman Becomes Newest Veterinarian at Great Falls Animal Hospital!

Dr. Bowman resizedJoin us in welcoming Dr. Crystal Bowman to Great Falls Animal Hospital!

Dr. Bowman is originally from the Jersey Shore. She received her veterinary degree from the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in 2010. She then completed a rotating internship followed by a 3-year residency and combined master’s program in equine internal medicine at Virginia Tech.

Dr. Bowman’s areas of interest include small animal internal medicine and ophthalmology. She lives in Lovettsville with her husband, David, their daughter, Emma, and their miniature zoo including 4 dogs, 2 cats, and a horse. In her spare time, Dr. Bowman enjoys running marathons, riding her horse, and visiting wineries.

Stop by and welcome Dr. Bowman to GFAH.

Hoby Blending InHoby experienced his first snow. Once he realized he could walk on it without falling down he started to really enjoy it! I’m sure he never saw anything like this is southern Texas!

Hoby demonstrates the art of camouflage. He loves to be in stealth mode around the house. He thinks I won’t see him on Friday when he has his cardiology appointment. He is getting an echocardiogram to help stage his heartworm infection and to help decide the best treatment for his lung damage. Wish him luck.

Stay tuned for more information about heartworm disease and treatment.

Hoby x-rayHoby Update!

As he sleeps on his bed I decided to post the next step in his journey. When he is awake he insists on being petted constantly. 💕

The next step in Hoby’s treatment is to see how the heartworm infection has affected his lungs and heart. Normally the lungs appear as dark forms around the heart. The white in this X-ray indicates congestion. Hopefully, this damage is reversible once the heartworms die off. An incidental finding is the small bright object at the bottom of the screen. That is a pellet lodged in his side. Sadly a large number of dogs rescued from the south suffer this fate.

Hoby Part 2This is a video of Hoby’s blood under magnification. That little organism you see is a microfilaria (immature heartworms). He has hundreds of these circulating in his system.

The first step in treating his disease is to attempt to kill these immature heartworms first by using monthly heartworm preventative. At the same time, he is on an antibiotic to kill a bacteria called Wolbachia that often accompanies microfilaria. Through this long treatment he must be very calm. He has a flair for this talent.  Click here for link to see the microfilaria moving under the microscope!

Hoby
Meet Hoby 😊. This handsome boy was rescued from South Texas by Lu’s Labs. He joined Lisa’s clan last week and fit in like a missing puzzle piece. He is extraordinarily calm and asks only for constant petting. He is not food motivated which is very strange for Lisa after many years of labs. Lisa writes that at 96 pounds he is the largest lab She has ever owned (although he might be a bit chubby) and learning to walk around a wall of lab is becoming a much needed skill.

He is 5 to 8 years old and sadly has heartworm disease. He has already started treatment and I feel I need to post his treatment of this very preventable disease. It’s very likely that he never had preventative like Heartgard or Interceptor and that is why he has advanced disease. The next six months will require lots of restrictions in activity as the worms die and become free-floating bits in his bloodstream putting him at risk for embolism. I’ve told him what to expect and he has already shown he knows how to rest 😊

Welcome home Hoby!