Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Funny

We hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend!

Raising Duncan Classics

Happy Monday!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Tips~~Part III

14a/365 I Didn't Do It
Here are a few more winter weather tips for you and your furry family members.

Outdoor cats can easily freeze or become lost, injured or killed.  Cats will also sleep under hoods of cars next to the warm motor.  This often leads to severe injury or death from the fan blades or belt when the motor is started.

**If you live near a body of water (lake, pond, etc.), REMEMBER that thin ice is just as hazardous for pets as for people.

**NEVER leave your pet alone in a vehicle or unattended outdoors during cold weather.

**Provide indoor pets with a warm bed and plenty of blankets AWAY from drafts and insulated from the cold floor.

Stay tuned next weekend for our final segment of Ten Winter Weather Tips for Pets!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Christmas Is Coming, And New Year's Eve Is Too!

Which of these tips will help you avoid emergency visits this holiday season?

  1. Watch that Candy!!  Even a small amount of chocolate can be dangerous, especially for a toy breed dog.
  2. Watch your cats around the Christmas tinsel and decorations.  We don't want to have to give Fluffy exploratory surgery for Christmas.
  3. As much as we like to share the joy, please keep 'people food' to yourselves.  The rich holiday foods can cause pancreatitis for our loyal friends.
  4. Watch kids and dogs during holiday parties.  For a nervous dog, the excitement of a party added to the unpredictability of children could lead to an accidental bite.
  5. Puppies and kittens LOVE to chew.  Don't let them chew on your holiday lights!! (If you spread a thin layer of cayenne pepper over the cord, this will discourage chewing).
  6. Holiday drinks are a 'no no' for pets.  Dont' let Rufus clean out glasses half full of alcohol.
We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!

Stephanie Severson, CVT

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, November 22, 2010

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Winter Tips~ Part ll

This week's winter tips are going to talk a little bit about your outdoor pets and those pets with shorter hair coats.


These pets are more at risk for developing frostbite injuries and hypothermia. 
*Provide dry shelter with plenty of DRY straw, shavings or blankets.

*Make sure their shelter opening is positioned away from prevailing winds.

*Check and change bedding frequently---Remember, outdoor pets drag a lot of moisture into their shelter from snow, ice, rain and mud.  Wet bedding= inability to keep warm and can lead to hypothermia.

*Keep the water source from freezing---Replenish it frequently or provide a heated bucket/bowl.

*Increase caloric intake---Remember that extra calories are expended in trying to keep warm.


(Greyhounds, Dobermans, Boston Terriers, Chihuahuas, etc.)  These dogs are especially vulnerable to cold temperatures and should wear sweaters/coats when going outside.

*Avoid prolonged outdoor winter activities with these breeds.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Something I Ate...

The American dream: a roof, three squares, a car, and scraps for the dog.  Sounds ideal, right-- but what does it mean for our pets?  More is definitely not better.  One in twenty dogs (one if fifty cats) seen at clinics in 2010 may have some degree of pancreatitis.

The pancreas produces protein and fat digesting enzymes at each meal.  Inflammation (pancreatitis) occurs with trauma, cancer, chemical ingestion, hyper stimulation (high fat, high protein foods), and other diseases.  Symptoms range from minor belly aches to shock.  Severe cases can be deadly.

Many pets get pancreatitis as a result of scrap feeding.  Our pets' efficient systems were never designed to eat the high fat, salt and protein levels in human foods.  Temers, Schnauzers, and many small breeds are especially susceptible, but any dog or cat can be affected.

Good news:  the risk can be greatly reduced by feeding formulated diets instead of scraps.  Avoid the steak trimmings or slab of bacon.  Instead, truly reward your pet by putting their health first.  Ask your veterinarian today about balanced nutrition and what it means for your loved ones.

This article honors Zelda, a four-year-old Schnauzer whose belly ache battles and hospital stays ended when she gave up scraps.  Good girl!

~~Lisa Hatfield, DVM

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Does Your Cat Need Some TLC?

The other day, we had a client say, "You never realize how bad your pet was feeling until they're feeling good again."  When we're sick, we need Tender Loving Care, and we let everyone know about it.  How can our pets tell us?  Here's the first problem:  They don't tell us.  They always try to hide their problems because instinct tells them to do so.  When we would seek out T.L.C., our pets will hide.  We have to look for subtle signs.  Is Fluffy hiding?  Does she seek out warm spots?  Is she taking longer to greet you when you get home?  Does she growl when you touch certain spots?  Does she suddenly seem to have lost five pounds overnight?  Is she drinking more water? Is she asking to go out all the time.  Has the litter box been particularly wet lately?

When we talk to you about your pets, we hear some key words with a sick animal.  If your dog or cat is hiding, lethargic, or just generally 'off' his normal behavior, we'd love to see him.  Pets (especially cats) will hide their problems until there's not much we can do to help.  Please don't let them wait too long.

~~Kelley Wagner, CVT

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Colder Weather Is Coming....

I hope you've been enjoying the beautiful weather we have had this week!  Since I know it can't last forever, I thought now would be a good time to begin a five week Saturday morning series of winter weather tips to keep our furry family members safe. 

1.  PREVENT accidental antifreeze ingestion
     (antifreeze = ethylene glycol = lethal poison = rapid kidney failure = death)

     *AVOID pet's exposure
     *Store antifreeze out of reach
     *Clean up spills immediately
     *Repair any vehicle leaks immediately
     *Use new antifreeze products containing propylene glycol (relatively non-toxic)

2.   Puppies often cannot tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs and may be more difficult to potty-train during the winter.  If it's snowy make sure you have a shoveled potty area so it's more comfortable for shorter legs.  Remember, don't give up, consistency is key.

Look next Saturday for some more tips to help your keep your pets more comfortable this winter!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A Weighty Topic

The topic of today's discourse is the most important of health problems, OBESITY!  I'm not just talking about the 10 or 20% of the animals I examine, but approximately 50% or dogs and 70% of cats!!!  In the following lines, I will discuss why you should be concerned if Felix or Fido is carrying around a few extra pounds and what steps you can take to turn this situation around.

Many things contribute to obesity, but the most common of these is TOO MUCH FOOD.  A fourteen pound poodle does not require a 2000 calorie-a-day diet.  Treats and people food run up the calorie count in a hurry.  (Just because it's called a doggy bag, doesn't mean the contents must go to the doggy.)  Now, I'm not suggesting that you should not reward or treat your pet, but do so in moderation.  A philosophy I try to instill in my own pets is that a treat is not special because  a juicy bit of steak is in the offering, but because the treat comes directly from my hand and is not just in the food bowl.  In fact, my hound dog's treats are simply pieces of his own kibble, and he's always thrilled to receive them.

Now let's take a serious look at the number of calories required to get your pet through a typical day.  The day starts with a journey into the great outdoors first thing in the a.m. to do his or her "duty", followed by a trek to the food bowl, then that ever demanding nap, then perhaps a turn around the block or a few laps in the back yard to fetch the ball, followed by a nap, then another meal, more bathroom duties, followed by bedtime.  Not a terribly demanding schedule.  I realize not all pets are this sedentary, but very few are out herding livestock or hunting for a living either.  The most demanding activity in most cats' lives is following the sun beam around the house for an ever more cozy nap.

Not all pets are overweight due to overeating; there may be a disease process at work in middle aged and older pets that result in easier weight gain.  For instance, a common disorder among dogs in hypothyroidism.  Since the thyroid hormone in effect regulates the body's metabolic rate, dysfunction of the gland usually results in increased body weight.  As pets age, they often become arthritic in one or more joints.  This leads to a reluctance to exercise. 

So what if your pet is a bit chunky?  After all, he's not training for the  Olympics or a beauty pageant, right?  Well we all know that obesity is not a healthy situation for people, and the same is true for our four-legged friends.  Obesity contributes to and exacerbates arthritis: common sense dictates that a weak or degenerated joint is only going to suffer further from supporting excessive weight.  Conditions affecting the heart, lungs and trachea can be caused or seriously complicated by obesity.  Excessive body weight may contribute to certain hormonal abnormalities such as diabetes, and it certainly makes their management more difficult.  Most alarming is the fact that obese pets live 20-30% shorter lives than thin pets.  Due to decreased activity and increased incidence of disease, they also live less satisfying lives.  Sure, they love to eat and get treats and rewards, but do them and yourself a favor:  don't kill them with kindness.

If you feel your pet may be overweight, consult your veterinarian.  A thorough examination should be conducted prior to starting a weight reduction program.  A disorder may be uncovered that should be managed prior to weight loss.  Your pet's doctor will also be able to help you plan an effective strategy based on your animal's specific situation.  This strategy will undoubtedly include a regular meal schedule (I recommend two a day), measured meals, periodic weigh ins, and in many instances, retraining yourself and your pet to a healthy system of treats and rewards.  In the end, the mechanics of any weight reduction program revolve around decreased caloric intake and increased caloric use.  There are two ways to decrease caloric intake: less of what your pet already eats or a similar volume of food with less calories.  I think we all know how to increase caloric usage.  Yes, exercise.  Who knows?  Whipping Rover into shape may also get you into shape as well.

~~Brian Ray, DVM

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Holiday Planning

 Are you making your holiday plans?  As you shop for the food, clean the guest room, and decorate the house, we know you won’t forget to plan for the furry members of your family.  Our patients’ temperaments range from the shy and retiring to the hyper and ‘talkative’.  Here are a few tips to help make the holidays a pleasant emotionally experience for all pet personalities.

 First of all, remember that all your holiday preparations may already be a bit unsettling because they’re in that nerve-wracking category known as change.  Not only are you busy and excited, but this behavior suggests even more excitement to come.  If your pet seems to get more nervous as the holidays approach, it may be better to help him/her avoid the excitement altogether.  Think about preparing a quiet room for Fluffy with food, water and, if needed, a litter box.  (Your master bedroom is often ideal location because no one strange will be in there and – bonus – you’ll be there at night.)  This is where crate training can really help.  Puppy can curl up with his favorite stuffed Kong and ignore all the holiday excitement in the rest of the house.

     If your furry companion trends more toward the social, excitable attention-hound, that’s great, but it may be even more important to keep an eye in his or her general direction.  When lots of different people (especially kids) provide lots of unpredictable attention and excitement and touching, it can be easy for Fido to get a little over-stimulated and accidentally scratch or possibly even bite someone.  It’s great for Fido to visit with everyone.  Just make sure you have a place where he can run off some energy and calm down before life gets a little out of control.

~~Kelley Wagner, CVT

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Season's Eatings

As we approach the holiday season, which some of the staff here at Belle City call the eating season, we will be doing a series of posts regarding pet safety during the holidays.  For now, while we are tasting our kids Halloween candy, and are beginning to envision a large turkey meal in the not so distant future, I thought I'd share a few quick facts that I just read in Veterinary Practice News.

One oatmeal cookie for a dog =  One hamburger for a human

1 oz. of cheese for a cat = Four chocolate bars for a human

One potato chip for a cat =  Half a hamburger for humans
**estimates from Hills Pet Nutrition

Now that really put's treat intake in perspective!

Monday, November 1, 2010


On Saturday, one of our head technicians Stephanie was married.  We wish her and her new husband Rodney a lifetime of happiness!