Wednesday, April 11, 2012
Sunday, April 8, 2012
Emergencies happen when we least expect it, and anesthesia could be a necessary component required to treat your pet. Treatment recommendations your veterinarian makes could also include dental care involving anesthesia. You may elect to neuter or spay your pet. Anesthesia will be required. Repair of broken bones and retrieval of foreign material from your pet’s stomach will require anesthesia. There are benefits and, of course, there are risks. How can you make an informed decision without information? You can’t. So, let’s change that now.
If there is a time your pet requires anesthesia during a surgical procedure, your veterinarian will fully examine your pet. During the examination, your doctor will check your pet’s organs and vital functions to ensure overall health and wellness to accept the anesthesia and the planned surgery itself. Your doctor will report to you the outcome of the exam and help you complete all treatment recommended.
Anxious About Anesthesia by Sheilah Robertson helps educate pet owners about the facts and risks of anesthesia in the veterinary operating room. Robertson advises that blood tests before a procedure help your veterinarian “choose the right anesthetic drugs” for your pet. Dr. Robertson also explains that if your veterinarian is concerned about your pet’s heart or lungs, more tests may be needed.” Your doctor will “talk with you about whether it’s safe for your pet to undergo anesthesia.”
Delaying care or failing to treat your pet because anesthesia is involved may cause your pet some health complications or a decline in current health. Your veterinarian is concerned for your pet, too. The doctor you work with will take many steps before, during and after your pet’s surgery to ensure a positive outcome. Keeping up with your pet’s health, activity levels, knowing current lab results and accurately predicting how your pet will react to the anesthesia are all part of your veterinarian’s job.
Recovery time after your pet receives anesthesia will be important. Your veterinarian and surgical staff will monitor your pet closely. They will also require that your pet remain with them until your pet is awake and fairly alert. You will want to support your doctor’s requirement that your pet be watched vigilantly after a surgical procedure involving the use of anesthesia.
If your pet is obese, a senior or a smaller animal your veterinarian will have additional considerations. These pets are carefully evaluated before a surgery and well guarded after it. Keeping your pet healthy and well includes maintaining an appropriate weight. Pet obesity and surgery can require your pet’s vital organs to work even harder than normal. Senior pets may have an unknown health condition that becomes known during the surgery. That condition may interrupt speedy healing that would otherwise occur. Smaller animals are just that – smaller. A small pet can become colder during a procedure involving anesthesia so will need extra attention.
Drugs used during the giving of anesthesia to pets are monitored and recorded for accuracy and proper dosage. Your veterinarian will take careful note of your pet’s weight and health status before using anesthesia. Your doctor will be careful to give your pet only the amount needed and nothing more.
When your pet needs anesthesia ask your veterinarian to answer your questions before the procedure. Let your doctor know you’re concerned about your pet and want its health restored. Apprehensive pet-parents help veterinarians stay alert and tuned in during surgical procedures. Your vet will always work with you for your pet’s best health. You’re a team and you both want your pet to “win.”
Saturday, April 7, 2012
Topical Confusion: Are You Really Protecting Your Pet?
Last week I had to deliver some bad news to a pet parent: her dog had heartworm disease. “Impossible!” she shrieked. “I give him his medication each month.” I reviewed the fact that we hadn’t dispensed nor written a prescription for her dog’s heartworm preventive in over two years. “I don’t buy it from you. I buy it at the store.” She had made a fatal mistake for her dog in an attempt to save a few bucks. She was buying the wrong preventive.
First of all, I didn’t fault her for trying to save money. We all need to save wherever and whenever we can these days. Where she, and millions like her, went wrong is not involving their veterinarian. This lady was administering a topical flea preventive incorrectly believing it protected against deadly heartworm disease. A big mistake that may cost her dog its life.
This spring you’ll be inundated with a plethora of products promising protection for your pets from fleas and ticks. What they’re not protecting your dogs and cats against is heartworm disease. Heartworm disease is transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Dogs, cats, and ferrets are most susceptible but other species, including humans, can be accidentally infected with heartworm larvae. In our area every dog and cat, even if they live indoors, needs to be protected year-round (Remember those wonderful 70-degree days back in December and January? The mosquitoes do.).
If you bought a preventive without a prescription you’re not protecting against heartworm. The drugs that prevent heartworm are prescription medications governed by the FDA as opposed to topical flea and tick preparations regulated by the EPA. This is an important distinction because heartworm meds are subject to more stringent testing and safety oversight than flea treatments. This is why the EPA has begun issuing “black box” warnings on topical flea and tick solutions; there were so many reported side effects and reactions in 2010 and 2011.
Back to the saving money part. Most vets, including me, have made great efforts to keep heartworm preventives affordable. How much do mine cost, you ask? Whatever you can buy it for from the big online pet sites. It’s been that way since 1999 (when the economy was much better). I’ve always been committed to providing affordable preventive pet healthcare. That may not always be the best business sense, but it always seems to me like the right thing to do. Whenever clients call and say they can buy preventives cheaper elsewhere, we find they haven’t asked how much ours cost. If you’re thinking of buying pet supplies online, I ask you to consider spending your money locally. Your vet employs neighbors, church members and valuable constituents of Brunswick County. If your vet’s price is less than five dollars difference, help our local economy instead of New York, Florida, or California. Unemployment in our area tops 13 percent; we’re all part of the solution.
Make sure you’re protecting your dogs and cats properly this year. And help our local economy recover. Lord knows, we need everyone’s help.
Friday, April 6, 2012
Thursday, April 5, 2012
We have over 25 years of professional experience, dedicated to enhancing the relationship of both ends of the leash, through knowledge, compassion, and building long term relationships with our clients, both two and four legged.