Herbs are not just for us human type folks. They have many uses in our pets’ lives too. I love to grow herbs; they make me feel so self reliant! Below are links for some things you can grown in your own garden, and the practical uses for them:
How to build an herbal first aid kit
Plants that naturally repel fleas and ticks
I See You… by Kathy G.
When I walk through the door,
When I close my eyes at night.
Chasing the sunbeam on the wall,
Chewing your bone on the couch.
Sleeping curled in your basket,
Sprawled at the foot of my bed.
In my dreams,
In my heart.
In Memory of the Friends We Have Lost
KitKat Nuss, Morgan Roberts, Jack McNicholas, Raindrop Bauer, Winston Cohen, Lady and Fabio Witherspoon, Charlotte Bicoff, Oliver Spain, Cassie Braud, Tess Fowler, Oliver Tendler, Max Conroy, Bernie Taylor, Shadow Bevitz, Peanut Rebelo, Selena Jawer, Bubbalicious Cunningham, Chester Carpenter, Fluffy Lasher-Lutz, Spice Sinnamon, Baylee Mayer, Bear Bear Ward, Sneaky Abele, Rocky Dale, Xena Cohen, Percy Moskoff, Emma Elgart, Dexter Zaucha,Red Orkin, Tamarrah Nelson, Bentley Marchand, Jessah Forster, Toby Smith, Gina Cherrington, Bailey Hamill, Yogi Malone, Mikey Brennan, London Greenberg, Sugar Curley, Zara Morgandale, Sam Brzyb, Theodore Capriotti, Abbey Space, Roxy Rothwell, Samantha Patton, Tessa Centola, Reba Smith, Amy Doyle, Baby and Casper Lentine, Jean Pierre Valenta, Binx McCarriston, Zoe Badora, Russkie Carr, Montey Maisey, Allie McDermott, Angel Sox Massaro, Jake DiFiglia, Jiggs Meyers, Kaylee Klotz, Cooper Morrissey,Tuffy Schlupp, Phyliss Berkenstock, Molly Karpink, Mellow and Max Justus, Sebastian Levin, Bennigan Purpura, Winnie Hall-Risch, Charlie Baldus, Jersey Echols, Misty Ortiz, Ginger Sorling, Gizmo Dubin, Lorelei Evans, Stripes Brown, Moo Bereshnyi, Chloe Schoppy, Snooks Keller, Lucy Leporati, Chow Katz, Yoda Fairbanks, Data Montalto, Bruno Johnston, Floppy Namir, Marshmallow O’Sullivan, Niko Klabe, Cassandra Albert, Gizmo Cohen,
Joy Maher, Marlee Martino, Daisy Cantwell, Princess Bartch, Blossom Mervine, Sam Matthews, Sky Lipford, Bessie McKenna, Radical Houseman, Sara Williams, Gandolf Langer-Dickerson, Sugar Sharp, Jerry Schilling, Maizie Rockett, Shadow Madison, Keesha Miller, Lenore Siegel, Kaiser Higgins, Mischief Hochstoeger, Putter Duncan, Tigger Magro, Chucky DeAngelis, Phoebe Barylak, Cappy Salkind, Maude Casey, Chipo Meza, Masynya Polischuk, Millie MacDonald, Abby Friedman, Sheba O’Donnell, Pokey Annie Ratka, Dino Briggs, Lola Warwick, Octavius Brunozzi, Shirah Gardner, Cuddles Cinque, Lucy Binni, D’Artagnan Garritano, Ziggy Kasdin, Charlie McClendon, Von Lynch, Bella Westfall, Nyla Rosso, Snoopy Bergen, Scooter Sharpe, Owen McTamney, Coco Caven, M&M Fellah, Caramia Clime, Lil’Mom Roberts, Mortimer Raushel, Stanley Pacifico, Poozle Smith, Mommy Witherspoon, Spunky Barrett, Sassy Zodeiko, Buddy Fuegel, Jax Hannen, Boots Doerr, Mazie Cinque, Mookie Getzen, Simba Elie, Cutie Pea Axelrod, Max Duff-Martin, Miss Molly Knotwell
It was a long, cold winter and thankfully summer is here. It has been several months since we put out a newsletter, but things happen, and here we are now...
As some of you know, Miss Carmen broke a tooth and had to see a veterinary dental specialist. Our hope was to do a root canal, but it was a nasty break and the molar had to be pulled. She is doing fine now, back to chewing her Wholesome Hides chewies and biscuits. People asked why we saw a dental specialist, Dr. Carlos Rice, rather than have the work done at RVC. Well, thanks to pet insurance, we were able to explore a different course of action rather than going straight to an extraction. Here, Dr. Carlos shares his dos and don’ts for chew toys to minimize your dog’s risks for tooth fractures. Here at RVC we may not agree with all of his suggestions,, but we do respect his opinion and experience.
We have a plethora of information for you. In this newsletter you will find articles about about the strange things our pets ingest, Dr. Rice’s chew toy tips, uses for herbs in our pets’ care, traditional flea/tick treatments, and how to determine the right time to stop treatment for ailing pets. This is a timely article for the RVC family, as several members of our team are dealing with end of life and treatment decisions for their pets. We are a close family and it is a tough time for us all.
On a lighter note, try the homemade ice cream treat for your dog or cat. Yes, some cats do like peanut butter and banana! You can also substitute other fruits, such as blueberries or melon. A safe and fun summer for you and your family. -Kathy
It is common knowledge that your average Labrador or Pit Bull puppy will try to consume/chew/swallow anything he can fit into his mouth. Some will continue this behavior into adulthood. Guess what? Don’t be fooled – ANY dog (or cat) is capable of gastronomic feats that would amaze you! For example, take “Sassy” (her name has been changed to spare her embarrassment). She came in for a fairly routine visit and when her veterinarian lifted her lip to check her teeth she spotted this silver thing protruding from her gum. The next day she came back for sedation, and lo and behold, little “Sassy” had not only chomped on a paper clip, she somehow managed to get it wound under her gum and between her teeth. Lucky for her, we caught it in time, before a deep infection set in.
I know of cats that have swallowed needles, string, hair bands, and (in the case of my then 15 yr.old cat, Christopher) enough doll hair and feathers from a toy to warrant emergency surgery. It’s not just the young ones you need to worry about – with older animals sometimes dementia can manifest itself in pica, the ingestion of inedible objects.
So the lesson here is always know what your pet may be gnawing on and be sure to clean up even the most innocuous objects. Oh yes, and the fringe on your oriental rug? Don’t be so sure that the vacuum is what ate it!
Toys and chews that are considered SAFER for the teeth include:
Toys and chews that should NOT be given because they can cause tooth fractures include:
** yes these hard chews can cause tooth fractures, however most dogs have a need to exercise their jaws, and if not provided safer hard chews, will find inappropriate things to chew – rocks, furniture, fences, metal, wood,etc.
So many of our pets are living very long lives. It is not uncommon to see a 17 year old cat or a 13 year old large breed dog. At the same time, veterinary medicine has made great strides in bringing advanced care to our patients. A geriatric pet who has been receiving top-notch care at a specialty hospital may still decline. Many of our older pets are on multiple medications, much like we see in elderly humans. This polypharmacy, as it is referred to in the medical community, can be daunting. It’s difficult enough for most of us to swallow many pills and I’m often amazed how so many get their pets to do it. Eventually, parents of such pets become anguished when a perceived quality of life begins to decline. One of many questions asked is, "Do I continue to treat my beloved pet, or do I stop treatment and begin hospice care?" And the most difficult question of all is, "When do I humanely euthanize?"
First of all, you are not alone in facing these heart wrenching questions. Your veterinarian and many on the veterinary staff have faced them. For most of us, the high cost of advanced veterinary care, although a factor, is not the primary concern. The question becomes, what is too much for my pet to bear?
My personal philosophy is that any being's life is precious. If you have lost a loved one, you can appreciate the finality of death. There is only one chance (as far as we know) for anyone to experience the joys and pains of life. Never should that chance be tossed away lightly. There are no disposable lives.
I recently lost my 18 year old kitty, Susie. I had to face the questions above, and I had to consider some of the following questions. In my soul searching, I found answers that led me to euthanize Susie just 3 months short of her 19th birthday.
To help you prepare for an end of life decisions, it is important to think clearly about and sort out the following:
Susie did not have a firm diagnosis for her condition. She merely began to decline two months before she died. If she had cancer, it was a rare form not easily diagnosed. Her multiple blood tests and ultrasound were inconclusive. The diagnosis and potential treatment would have meant several trips to the University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Hospital. Susie was already in early kidney failure. She received subcutaneous fluids at home every other day and hated it (many cats are given subcutaneous fluids regularly at home and tolerate the procedure). She was on oral medicine for her thyroid, high blood pressure, anti-nausea medicine, a kidney protectant, pancreatic enzymes and two antibiotics. She received monthly injections of B12. She stopped eating her prescription kidney diet about 3 months before she died. She would only eat Fancy Feast, which I now like to refer to as food for living and dying cats. About a month before she passed, I decided not to attempt to diagnose or treat her condition. I believed that the stress of diagnosis and treatment would have been cruel to her. So I let her decline that last month. When she started to hide and was too weak to walk more than a few steps, I let her go.
Susie is just one example of the kinds of experiences that we as pet owners can have as the end of life approaches. Deciding on “how far” to go with treatment is a very personal and individual decision. Many people have witnessed human loved ones die of cancer and decide that chemotherapy is out of the question for a pet. Some decide to have procedures such as surgery and/or chemo, even if it expected that the pet may only live for a short while thereafter. There is often not a “right” answer.
Whatever your situation, think about all of these issues early in your pet's illness. Don't wait until it's too late to diagnose or treat the condition. Ask us to help you answer your questions. We will be honest and direct. We can give you our best professional (and personal) opinion. Then, whatever you decide, know that you have made the best decision for your pet and you with the information that you have. We will be there for you at the end.
Summer is here. Be prepared for those hungry fleas and ticks, because the snack is your dog or cat!
Routinely check your pet’s fur for fleas. Check the base of the tail and on the underside of his/her belly. If you see small specks of dirt that look like pepper, this may be flea excrement, also known as “flea dirt”. Combing these specks onto a white paper towel and then wetting them may help to discern plain vs. flea dirt. The flea dirt will turn a reddish brown. This is actually digested blood. You also may use a flea comb to help find these nasty critters.
Ticks prefer soft, warm skin and like to hide around the ears, beneath the collar, in the armpits, and on the inside of the thighs. A tick will often feel like a mole on the pet’s skin. They vary in size from a small pea to a grape when fully engorged. The simplest way to remove ticks is to use either tweezers or a special tick-removal device, TickedOff. Gently grasp the tick’s body as close to the head as possible. Slowly pull straight out, do not twist. This method is reliable for removing the head of the tick with the body. There is usually no need for alarm if you think that the head is still under the skin. Watch the area daily. The head should eventually work its way out. A small amount of antibiotic ointment can be applied.
Many topical products are sold to aid in the control of fleas and ticks. Call our office to see what we recommend for your pet. Be sure to follow directions carefully. If you find a tick on your pet and are uncomfortable pulling it off, our technicians will be happy to assist you in the removal.
Have a happy and healthy pet this summer!!!
On April 9th, Drs. Amanda Leef, Jo Closer and I traveled to the northern Arizona Navajo reservation at Kayenta. Kayenta is located approximately 18 miles from the Utah border. Dr. Leef was accompanied by two technicians, Mark Vogel and Lauren Ulm. Mark is Native American, but was raised off of the reservation. He is from the Pima tribe. It was quite a treat for him to be visiting a reservation since he had left as a very young child.
On Kayenta, we spay, neuter, and vaccinate dogs and cats at the Kayenta High School. On the school grounds stands a large aluminum building equipped with a small animal surgical suite, a large animal surgical suite, and large indoor paddock. This deluxe area affords us comfort and convenience in which to operate. The building was the brainchild of Clyde McBride, an animal agriculture teacher at the school. Clyde is very passionate about giving his students the opportunity to learn the animal sciences, including topics on veterinary medicine. His dream was to build the building, create the coursework, and ultimately have students go on to be veterinarians, veterinary technicians, or specialists in animal agriculture. So far, he has 2 students in college who are interested in pursuing veterinarian medicine.
When we do our work at Kayenta, the high school students rotate through the day to observe the procedures. They are also responsible for doing a brief presurgical work up - they take temperatures and listen to heartbeats when the pets are admitted. They are quite helpful to us and are very interested in watching the surgeries. Clyde once told me, "This is the only class that no one ever cuts!" On occasion, we have vets who come out to do large animal work, such as vaccinating and castrating horses, and floating teeth.
We spayed, neutered, and vaccinated over 60 pets in 3 days. And, as always, had a great time!
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