Other posts related to veterinarian

Do You Have Your Emergency Numbers Handy?

August 16, 2011 12:47 pm

I ask this as I received a scare the other day after I returned home from golfing and my girlfriend let me know that there was an ‘incident’ with my beagles where they got on top of the counter and pulled off a plate smashing it to bits (the plate of course has bacon on it!).

Anyhow, one of them must have cut their tongue or something as although I hadn’t seen it – apparently there was blood everywhere. Panicking, my girlfriend got our neighbour and called the vet. Off they went.

Once there, the vet simply checked them out, there was no visible signs of bleeding – the dogs looked fine – she was told that even though there was a piece of plate missing – that it wouldn’t show up in an x-ray?? And sent home. ($100 + later).

All the while I’m out playing around at a cottage spinning my friends ATV Tires and golfing as well.. having fun. She told me later that since there didn’t appear to be anything wrong per the vet – there was no need to let me know… I’m not sure if I agree or not – but I guess she did think it through.

Right now I’m monitoring the dogs stool and feeding to make sure nothing irregular shows up, and investigating the reasons as to why they wouldn’t x-ray my hounds when asked. But I just wanted to advise people out there to make sure you have those emergency numbers on hand and a game plan in place in case of emergency.. remember, you only need one.. when you need one!

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Money woes a factor in pet care

June 23, 2010 9:34 am

image You know I may be putting this on the blog and most people would disagree with the ideas stated in the article, but the statistics don’t lie.

AP recently did a poll on what would happen if a family was suddenly faced with an emergency vet bill.

While most pet owners, 62 percent, would likely get vet care if the bill was $500, the percentage drops below half when the cost hits $1,000. The number drops to 35 percent if the cost is $2,000 and to 22 percent if it reaches $5,000.

Obviously to me this isn’t the case.. my Hunter had to have 2 surgeries both over $1000 this year and there wasn’t even a question. Of course, I’m sure my girlfriend would rather me spend that money on, oh, I don’t know, perhaps some diamond engagement rings or something of the like? Ha ha ha, just kidding.. she’s just as smitten with our Hounds as I am! (love you babe!).

Anyhow it does raise an interesting question for both insurance for pets, as well as what you would do if faced with something like this. Personally, I now have pet insurance (albeit limited) but at least it’s something and I don’t have to worry as much.

Read more on the article I read at: http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/37591254/ns/health-pet_health/#ixzz0rg7zb1fL

How to Help Your Dog Live a Healthy and Long Life

January 25, 2010 12:59 am

I found this article at a very helpful site over at Factoids, and since Hunter is recovering nicely - I read it through and thought you may enjoy.

Although we know that our beloved dog will probably die before we do, there are many things an owner can do to help their dog live a longer life.

Dog Selection

Right from the start, the dog you buy, and the place you buy it from, can have a huge impact on how long it will live. Pups sold in pet stores come from mass breeders, places who only breed for profit. As such these pups may typically have genetic health problems or predispositions to some problems. Of course, most owners know that small dogs live longer than big ones, and most pets stores sell only small breed pups.

Back yard breeders also tend to disregard breeding for health, rather they breed for cuteness. If a person wants a long lived purebred dog they are best off to select one from a reputable breeder. Sadly many people in the market for a puppy have no idea how to determine if a breeder is reputable. Quite simply put, a reputable breeder takes their dogs to shows to prove their worth as breeding animals and has them tested by a veterinarian against any genetic health problems. They do not breed any dogs where problems have been shown to exist. They do not advertise puppies for sale, rather they get waiting lists before they breed.

Purebreds have known problems associated with their breed, any owner wanting a purebred should know what health problems to be aware of and how to avoid them.

Mutts are often suggested as healthy dogs because of something called hybrid vigor, meaning they have more diverse genes than a purebred. This does not mean all mutts are healthy, some are the result of a mating between two low quality purebreds and as such would not have great genes anyhow. Still, mutts should not be discounted, and many have long lifespans when selected well.

Veterinary Care

Having a dog desexed has a huge benefit to health and lifespan. Spaying or neutering reduces or removes the chances for the dog to develop some cancers (interestingly enough cancer is second only to accidents as far as the biggest threat to lifespan). Regular vaccinations can also have a huge impact on lifespan. Parvo virus is responsible for killing many puppies, so a puppy should not leave its home unvaccinated. Regular vet care can help keep a dog healthy, and alive for a long time. Prevention of worms, such as heartworm, can also increase a dogs lifespan.

Teeth Care

One problem for many dogs is that their owners neglect to care for their teeth. While it might not seem important to lifespan, an infected tooth can spread infection to the dogs brain. Even if it does not get to that stage, bad teeth make eating difficult.

Feeding

People think that dog food companies would not be selling poor quality pet foods, but they do. Many ingredients are known to cause problems. Unfortunately the standards for pet food nutrition is very poor. A wise owner would always look at an ingredient list and avoid problem ingredients such as corn, pork, wheat, soy, and beef. They would also avoid cheap preservatives such as BHT, and BHA, both linked to health concerns. They would never offer a food that contained any by-products, which are not only cheap un-healthy filler, but are preserved with a chemical pesticide Ethoxyquin, known to cause health problems.

Many cancers are from eating poor quality ingredients found in poor quality foods (particularly in the preservatives) so food selection should be very important.

Too much food is not doing the dog any favors either. Obesity is just as harmful in dogs as it is in people. Gravy and fat might taste yummy but they are not things dogs should have.

Training

A well trained dog is going to live a longer life simply because they are not going to be a problem for their owner. All too many dogs are surrendered to the animal shelters because they are unruly and unmanageable. Some of these dogs become so unsafe they are not put up for adoption.

Containment

A dog who is allowed to roam is in danger at all times. Not only can it be hit by a car, it could be picked up by an angry neighbor and dumped in another part of town, or poisoned because of becoming a pest in the neighborhood. Even chaining it in a unfenced yard is not safe because stray dogs could easily pick on it. Naturally as pack animals dogs prefer to be with their owners, but this isn’t always possible, as such a fully fenced yard or dog run make the best option. I also believe that when putting the dog in the car, you should use proper seat belt clamps and make sure he's nice and safe.

Companionship

As mentioned, dogs are pack animals, they thrive when they have a companion. A dog who lives with another dog, or even a cat, may have positive benefits because of not being alone in the case where an owner works long hours.

Identification

If a dog is picked up as a stray most shelters only have to hold it for 72 hours. Many hold the pets longer and ideally put unclaimed ones up for adoption. However by providing the dog with identification an owner can be contacted immediately, and returned to them.

Help Lower Your Pets Cholesterol!

January 19, 2010 8:18 pm

Well I just found out that instead of Hunter having his surgery tomorrow, he's actually scheduled for the consult tomorrow and doesn't get the surgery until Thursday.

That said, I was looking at his bloodwork results today, and his Cholesteral levels were higher than the 'reference' or ideal. His cholesterol was up to 12.86 when normal levels are between 3.87 and 8.39. Thankfully the Vet didn't prescribe any pricey cholesterol treatment for him, all he asked me was if he ate before the bloodwork.. which.. sadly.. he did :-( I totally forgot about not feeding him before the bloodwork and he had a bite to eat around 4:30 and the work was taken about 3 hrs later.

Anyhow.. after some Internet searching, I found a site which actually gives you hints on lowering your pets cholesterol levels!

Found here:

Instructions
#1. You will need to seek a diagnosis for your pet to confirm that they are suffering from high cholesterol levels. Inquire frequently with your veterinarian about the triglyceride and cholesterol values in your pet's bloodstream. If levels are elevated after a proper fasting period of 12-18 hours, you should seek treatment to prevent more serious symptoms.

#2. Once a diagnosis is made by your veterinarian, you will need to begin treating your pet's high cholesterol. If a genetic disease is ruled out as a cause for the elevated cholesterol levels, you will need to alter your pet's diet, administer a fatty acid supplement, and possibly administer medication as well. Dogs, in particular, require a very low-fat diet to alter their cholesterol levels. Pet foods with chicken and salmon varieties are often low in fat. Your veterinarian can make specific recommendations. According to board-certified Veterinary Internal Medicine Specialist Donna Spector, DVM, DACVIM, you should cut back on daily treats to no more than five percent of your pet's daily caloric intake.

#3. You will need to monitor your pet's progress as you go. After four weeks of an adjusted diet and supplementation, cholesterol and triglycerides should be rechecked. If the levels aren't where they should be, evaluate the possible culprits. Are you giving in with treats? Do you have friends or relatives sneaking treats without you knowing?
If none of these concerns prove to be true, you may need to adjust your pet's diet to a slightly lower fat level. All pets respond to diet and supplements slightly different. Again, your veterinarian can help you if you find yourself stumped on what to do. This could require homemade foods with an ultra-low fat content.

Do Pets Help Depression and Overall Health?

8:08 pm

Well, to answer that question.. I would have to throw out a big definite yes!! I think my dogs are the ultimate in natural depression treatments. I guess I'll leave the professional opinions however.. to the professionals.

The following article was written by Kathleen Doheny and it's a great one.. makes me glad to own my pets :-)

Traffic was unbearable, the workday was long, and the boss unreasonable. But minutes later, as your pet dog wags his tail and yips his welcome, your symptoms of depression lift.

It's not a coincidence, according to psychologists, veterinarians, and researchers, who concur that pets can be good for our mental and physical health. A pet can't cure symptoms of depression, of course, nor is a pet a substitute for medication or talk therapy. But a pet can help to improve mild or moderate depression in many people, experts agree, as well as provide other benefits, such as better sleep and overall health.

You Don't Have to Live With Depression
Pets offer psychological and physical comfort, says Teri Wright, PhD, a psychologist in Santa Ana, Calif., who keeps a parakeet and two hamsters in her office to break the ice with children she treats -- but finds that adults like them, too.

Pets, she says, "just feel good to hold on to." Psychologically, she says, "they make you feel important, like you matter." How, for instance, could you not feel better when your dog wags his tail and pants upon your return, even if you've just returned from a half-hour errand?

Wright has two guinea pigs, Dex (for Dexadrin, the ADHD drug) and Zac (short for Prozac), and feels pretty important when they squeal upon her return home. "No one else gives them parsley," she says of their favorite snack.

The Power of Pets for Improving Your Mood and Health
The power of pets in improving mood can be summed up in two words, says Alan Entin, PhD, a psychologist in Richmond, Va.: "Unconditional love."

Dogs, in particular, are always glad to see you, he notes. "When you are feeling down and out, the puppy just starts licking you, being with you, saying with his eyes, 'You are the greatest.' When an animal is giving you that kind of attention, you can't help but respond by improving your mood and playing with it."

Besides unconditional loves, a pet relieves loneliness, Entin points out. Depression and loneliness can go together as people withdraw. "For many people pets are the only relatives they have. It relieves their loneliness. People with animals tend to relate to them and they feel better."

Having a pet takes the focus off the owner's problems, Entin says, since having a pet is a commitment--you need to feed and care for the pet. "When people have a pet in the house, it forces them to take care of another life," Entin says. With the focus outward, he says, the pet owner may not dwell on their depressed mood as much.

The pet doesn't have to be a dog or a cat. British psychiatrist Camilla Haw, in fact, recommends pet parrots as ideal pets for some patients with symptoms of depression. "I have kept pet parrots for 20 years and can recommend them for the house bound, the lonely and patients with depression, especially middle-aged women suffering from the 'empty nest syndrome,'" she writes in Psychiatric Bulletin. The birds can be loyal, loving, and provide good companionship, she says.

Pets often serve as confidantes, says Bonnie V. Beaver, DVM, a professor of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M University.

Pets also can increase social exposure for their owners -- another good way to boost mood, she says. Dogs need walks, and that gets their owners out with other people, inspiring social contacts.

"People talk to people with animals," she says, more so than people without pets.

Easing Stress With Your Pet
Pets help your mental health primarily by decreasing your stress, believes Richard Timmins, DVM, of Camano Island, Wash., and director of the Association for Veterinary Family Practice. Just petting your animals can be soothing, he and others say.

Having a pet in the house can change the entire ambience, as Timmins has discovered. His parents, when they were both 83, decided to adopt a "boutique mutt," a shih tzu-bichon mix. Timmins and his four siblings were concerned that the puppy would be too much work.

"My mother had difficulty with mobility and we worried the dog would trip her," he says. "My dad had had cardiac problems and a hip replaced."

Turns out, the dog was anything but a problem. While his parents weren't depressed, they had become less interested in activities, Timmins says. The dog changed all that. "Now they are outside walking the dog a couple times a day. It has given my mother and father topics to discuss with golf buddies."

Pets and Health: The Research
Studies about the mental health and physical health benefits of pets abound. Among the more recent findings:

The overall health of dog owners is better than those who don't have dogs, according to a study that evaluated women ages 25 to 40 in China. Half of the 3,031 women owned dogs and half did not. Those who had dogs exercised more often, slept better, reported better fitness levels and fewer sick days, and saw their doctors less often. The study is in Social Indicators Research.

Pets provide opportunities for social contact, according to a study in Social Science & Medicine, and that can be good for someone down in the dumps. Researchers asked 339 adults in Western Australia about their social contact and pet ownership. The pet owners interacted more with neighbors than non-owners.

Having a dog -- and petting it -- may be good for your cardiovascular system, although this research has yielded mixed results. In one study, however, pet owners had lower blood pressure and blood fat levels than non-owners, researchers report in the Medical Journal of Australia. Other research hasn't found a difference in blood pressure levels among pet owners and non-owners.
Pets and Depression: Caveats
Pets help most when symptoms of depression are mild or moderate, psychologists say.

"If you are already so depressed you can't take care of yourself, having an animal is going to make it worse," says Wright.

Another caveat: If someone is not a "pet person," getting one is not likely to help improve their life, says Timmins. "There are some people who have not had that pet experience growing up," he says. "They've never had a relationship with an animal. They would be less likely to benefit."

"But if the conditions are right, pets can help mental health," he says. "The benefits have been shown for all kinds of pets," he said, not just dogs and cats. Even watching fish in an aquarium has been shown to help reduce muscle tension and pulse rate, he says, citing research published nearly 20 years ago.