October 2017-Dental Disease

October is Dental Month at Compassion Animal Hospital!

10% off all dental cleanings, extractions, and medications for dental procedures!

Dental Disease is Extremely Painful:

The most stunning part of most dental procedures is how middle age to older animals act after them. Owners often comment that their pet is “acting like a puppy again” after a dental procedure at our hospital. What most people don’t understand is that dental disease is very painful for animals.

Our pets do a great job of hiding their pain. They cannot tell us with words. So, sometimes they will act grumpy or react when you touch around their mouth, but most of the time, those are the only signs of dental disease that owners will see. This is because animals in the wild are conditioned to hide their pain to survive. There is no doubt however that pets with dental disease suffer.

Most owners believe that their pet acting grumpy as he or she gets older is due to old age. Most of the time, it is due to the pet feeling painful. Pets with dental disease experience pain while eating, drinking, playing, and even at rest. Infection in the mouth causes some of the bodies most sensitive nerve endings to be constantly stimulated. Pets can get headaches from this constant stimulation. Infection is a powerful force in the body. It can spread from the teeth to the jaw and cause the bones in the jaw to disintegrate along with the tooth roots. This will cause permanent damage to the jaw bones making it impossible for the jaw to function properly.

Animals three years old and older need a dental exam once a year. Our goal is to stop the infection before the headaches and destruction of the mouth take place. Once calculus (hardened plaque) has formed on the teeth, it is time for a dental cleaning. By removing this hardened tartar, we take away the bacteria’s hiding place. The bacteria likes to live under this hard shell on the teeth and infect the gum along the gum line. That is the beginning of dental disease. Doing dental cleanings at this stage is very helpful for your pet because they do not have to experience the pain that comes with the infections of the teeth. Please be proactive about this disease. Your pet relies completely on you for his or her health. If you take care of your pets teeth, you will have a happier, healthier pet for many years to come.

An Epidemic! Overweight Pets

An Epidemic! Overweight Pets:

53% of dogs in the US are overweight with 5% being classified as obese.

55% of cats in the US are overweight.

How to tell if your pet is overweight.

  • Feel over the ribs and spine. If you can easily feel the ribs and spine but cannot see them, your pet is the perfect weight. If you have to dig to feel them, your pet is overweight.
  • Look at their “abdominal tuck”. Does the abdomen look “empty” or is it rounded and hanging down. Ideally, the abdomen does not look empty, but also, does not hang. It simply tucks up into the back legs.
  • Other areas that animals store fat is along their neck and over their tail head. Check these areas as well.

How to weigh your dog or cat.

  • Using a baby scale for small dogs and cats is best. Typically, their weights are much lower than our weights. So, if the scale is a half a pound off that is significant in relation to these little ones total weight.
  • For larger dogs (20# and above), weigh yourself then weigh yourself holding your dog.
  • Use your veterinary clinic’s scale! :) Most veterinary clinics do not mind if you call ahead and ask to use their scale.

Why is my pet so overweight?

  • Some breeds are prone to being overweight. Beagles, labs, rottweilers, and golden retrievers are only a couple of these breeds. These dogs require strict diet to maintain a healthy weight.
  • People food. Those adorable begging eyes from our beloved pets are hard to resist! Human foods tend to be more calorie and fat dense than dog foods. Giving your pet a bite of meat or french fries is the equivalent to giving yourself an ice cream sundae or hershey bar. If they get too much, they will become overweight quickly.
  • Lack of portion control. Leaving your pet’s bowl full of food or not understanding what amount of food your pet requires, will result in your pet becoming overweight. Most bags of food have portions to feed on the back. Find out from your vet what your pet’s weight should be and feed ⅔-¾ of the amount the bag tells you to feed for that weight.
  • Endocrine disease. There are several diseases: hypothyroidism and Cushing’s to name a few that will result in your pet being unable to lose weight. If you are concerned, have your veterinarian run bloodwork as soon as possible.

How do I get my pet to lose weight?

  • Portion control. This applies to treats and food. Treats should be less than 10% of the total calories in the diet. Also, feeding less food and supplementing with canned green beans or cooked carrots will achieve your pet’s weight loss while still allowing him or her to feel full. Remember: feed ⅔ to ¾ of what the bag suggests for their ideal weight. The reason you do this is the bag is counting calories for a very active dog (aka hiking in the mountains, search and rescue, etc). Most of the dogs we see in our practice are kept inside the majority of the day until their owners get home. They do not require many calories at all.
  • Diet food. Sometimes getting patients to lose food on a regular adult diet is impossible. For those patients trying an over the counter or even prescription diet will oftentimes do the trick. Remember cut out all people food and reduce treats significantly during the diet.
  • Exercise. If your pet is obese, this may not be a good idea (too much weight and walking can harm the joints), but if not, throwing the ball for 30 minutes a day, playing with a laser pointer, or going for a walk is great for weight loss. It also helps your pet’s heart and lungs!
  • Don’t give in to begging. Food is love. That is how most owners show their pets that they care. It is so hard when your pet is asking politely, or in some cases, demanding food. Giving cooked carrots, canned green beans, and other cooked veggies are the only people food that are sortove okay to give when they are dieting. Remember calories add up. Also, feeding food high in sugars and fat increase your pet’s risk of developing pancreatitis, which is a lifelong disease of the digestive system.
  • No people food. I know I’m saying it again. Truly, the calories in people food are too high to be given to your pet. Avoid this.

Why should you help your pet lose weight?

  • Fat is an organ too and being overweight increases inflammation in your body and leads to other disease states such as: diabetes, arthritis, skin issues, heart issues, and increased blood pressure.
  • Overweight pets are also at high risk for some or all of the following trouble breathing, heat stroke, compromised immune system, and decreased life span.

In May we are offering 10% off Wellness Bloodwork

How do you know what’s really going on with your pet’s body?

 

Yearly bloodwork can take the mystery out of how healthy your pet is and is the only way to detect organ disease BEFORE your pet starts showing abnormal behavior. This is one of the most under used services we offer. So, this month, we are offering a discount!

 

 

Wellness Bloodwork Month: 10% off all Wellness Bloodwork

Package A (recommended for young animals: 1-5 yrs) –$74.95 →  $67.46

($7 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package B (recommended for adult animals: 5-8 yrs) –$129.95 → $116.96

($80 dollar savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Package C (recommended for geriatric animals: 9-15 yrs) — $169.95→ $152.96

($139.29 savings from in house labwork prices!!)

Arthritis and Degenerative Joint Disease Treatments

For the Month of July, we are offering 10% off:

Dasuquin Advanced (joint supplement)

Dasuquin Advanced is an amazing joint supplement. It works by giving your dog or cat’s body what it needs to heal the cartilage in his or her joints. It comes in two formulations: tablets and chews. There is no difference in quality or efficacy between the two forms. There is no generic equivalent to this product.

Dasuquin Advanced contains ASU which scientifically proven to reverse cartilage damage and increase joint health. This type of break through with a holistic oral joint supplement has never happened in veterinary medicine before. This makes Dasuquin Advanced the most effective supplement on the market for dog with early arthritis (DJD).

Some of the other ingredients in Dasuquin Advanced, hyaluronic acid, MSM, and glucosamine, have a long history of improving joint health in patients. Evidence of this was seen with the efficacy of Dasuquin and Dasuquin with MSM increasing joint mobility, decreasing joint inflammation and lessening joint pain in many canine and feline patients treated with these products.

Find more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/dasuquin-advanced-soft-chews/

Dasuquin for Cats

For more information: http://www.dasuquin.com/en/products/#cat

Moviflex

Moviflex is a new joint supplement made specifically for dogs. It is made from egg shell membrane. It also contains Hyaluronic, vitamin D, and Boswellia serrata extract. This joint supplement works very well for patients with early joint disease. It is also great for dogs with food allergies. It contains no gluten, sugar, salt, or shellfish.

Find more information:  https://us.virbac.com/product/supplements/movoflex-soft-chews

NSAIDs and other pain medications for achy joints

Pain and inflammation are major factors in feline and canine arthritis. This pain becomes crippling in older patients. Running, stairs, and sometimes walking are painful. Patients become obese and this extra weight leads to further strain on the joints resulting in pain and inflammation. Keeping these patients strong and a good weight is a very important part of managing their arthritis.

NSAIDs are pain and fever reducing medications that decrease the inflammation in the joints. As a result, pain decreases, and patients are able to move more freely.

NSAIDs can have side effects such as liver disease and kidney disease in cats and dogs. In cats, these risks are too high. NSAIDs are used very, very rarely in them and only in extreme cases. NSAID use in dogs is relatively safe. We do have to monitor their kidney and liver values closely though. We do blood work before starting the NSAID. Then, we do it once every six months. This helps get the dog the pain relief it needs to be happy and healthy, and it maintains the health and safety of the patient.

Cold laser therapy (to decrease pain, reduce inflammation, and speed healing)

For more information: http://ivcjournal.com/laser-therapy-veterinary-medicine/

Adequan (to strengthen and rebuild the cartilage in the joint)

For more information on this therapy: https://www.adequancanine.us/

Joint/Mobility foods

Purina J/M: https://www.proplanveterinarydiets.com/products/jm-joint-mobility-dog/

Hill’s J/D: http://www.hillspet.com/en/us/products/pd-canine-jd-dry

Joint injections (Hyaluronic Acid)

For more information: http://veterinarynews.dvm360.com/surgery-stat-intra-articular-therapies-elbow-dogs

Anti-anxiety Medications for Cats

Solliquin for cats: Solliquin is a natural remedy for anxiety. It contains: L-theanine, Magnolia/Phellodendron, and Whey Protein Concentrate. L- theanine is naturally found in green tea. It’s role in controlling anxiety is to boost the production of brain waves that create relaxation.

For more information please visit: http://www.solliquin.com/

Feliway®: FELIWAY® Spray mimics feline facial pheromone, which every cat will recognize as comforting and calming. FELIWAY® is effective in reducing (or possibly eliminating) inappropriate urination and scratching. We see improvement in 7 days most of the time. FELIWAY® spray lasts 4-5 hours. Spray where the cat is marking using 8-10 sprays twice daily for 30 days. FELIWAY® is not a sedative, and it does not go systemic. It has no known contraindications or warnings. It is perfectly safe. Cats don’t want to scratch or spray where they detect the feline facial pheromone.

FELIWAY® MultiCat: FELIWAY® MultiCat is similar to the pheromone that appeases and encourages social bonding. It also comforts and calms. It’s main function is helping with cat conflicts and introducing new cats. It calms cats during social interactions. According to the makers of Feliway, “After using FELIWAY® MultiCat, 84% of cat owners saw their cats getting along significantly better.”. Improvement is seen within 21 days of use. FELIWAY® MultiCat is non-sedating and non-systemic. It has no known contraindications with any other treatment.

Prozac/Fluoxetine HCl:

This medication is the same as what is used in other species (humans, horses, etc). It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and acts as an antidepressant. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone. It changes the brain chemistry in our patients to help them feel a strong sense of happiness and well-being.

Often, our veterinarians try to use these kinds of medications (Prozac and Alprazolam) after all other treatments have not worked. Before we can put your pet on this medication, it is recommended that we check bloodwork to make sure that your pet is systemically normal. Prozac is processed by the liver. So, any patients with liver compromise will not be allowed to use this medication. After beginning this medication, we recheck bloodwork every six months to make sure that the liver values and other blood work values remain normal.

Anti-anxiety Medications for Dogs

Solliquin is a natural remedy for anxiety. It contains: L-theanine, Magnolia/Phellodendron, and Whey Protein Concentrate. L- theanine is naturally found in green tea. It’s role in controlling anxiety is to boost the production of brain waves that create relaxation.

For more information please visit: http://www.solliquin.com/

Adaptil can be used inside or outside and for any length of time. It is a similar pheromone to the one that the mother releases after having puppies. It’s purpose is to make the puppies feel safe and secure. All dogs will recognize this pheromone no matter how old they are. It makes them calm down and can correct mild anxiety immediately upon the dogs exposure to the liquid. It comes in sprays, collars, and diffusers. It is great for puppies that cry at night, dogs afraid of loud noises, crated dogs, etc.

For more information please visit: http://www.adaptil.com/us/Adaptil

Thundershirt: Dog Anxiety Vest

Very easy solution to anxiety associated with thunderstorms, travel or separation from the owners. Simply, place the thundershirt like a little vest and “swaddle” your pet (cat or dog) to help them feel safe and secure during the agitating stimulus. No medication associated with this treatment just a feeling of security from a tightly fitted vest. For more     information please visit: http://www.thundershirt.com/

Prozac/Fluoxetine HCl:

This medication is the same as what is used in other species (humans, horses, etc). It is a selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) and acts as an antidepressant. Serotonin is a “feel good” hormone. It changes the brain chemistry in our patients to help them feel a strong sense of happiness and well-being.

Often, our veterinarians try to use these kinds of medications (Prozac and Alprazolam) after all other treatments have not worked. Before we can put your pet on this medication, it is recommended that we check bloodwork to make sure that your pet is systemically normal. Prozac is processed by the liver. So, any patients with liver compromise will not be allowed to use this medication. After beginning this medication, we recheck bloodwork every six months to make sure that the liver values and other blood work values remain normal.

Alprazolam/Xanax:

Alprazolam has been described as especially useful for storm phobias. It is most useful when used prior to a triggering event (e.g. thunderstorms, vet visits, car rides, etc). This medication works in more of a muscle relaxing, sedative way to reduce anxiety in our pets.

Often, our veterinarians try to use these kinds of medications (Prozac and Alprazolam) after all other treatments have not worked. Before we can put your pet on this medication, it is recommended that we check bloodwork to make sure that your pet is systemically normal. Prozac is processed by the liver. So, any patients with liver compromise will not be allowed to use this medication. After beginning this medication, we recheck bloodwork every six months to make sure that the liver values and other blood work values remain normal.

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