Our Pet Dental Care Service Reduces Periodontal Disease

At All Creatures Hospital, we emphasize routine dental check-ups and teeth cleaning. According to the research we have reviewed, about 80% of cats and dogs that are three years of age or older have some form of gum disease. Gum disease can cause other health issues, such as infections and even cardiovascular abnormalities. Therefore, making sure that a pet’s dental care is maintained is important to the animal’s overall well-being.

We Go the Whole Nine Yards

Periodontal disease is an insidious infection and can creep up without warning. That is why we, at All Creatures Hospital, perform routine dental exams and immediately address any dental issues that need treatment or therapy. If a pet needs to have a dental procedure performed, we first take an oral evaluation while a pet is still awake and follow it with another oral exam while the dog or cat is under general aesthesia. We go the whole nine yards, so to speak, as our pre-surgical evaluations that are provided as a part of our pet dental care service include bloodwork, chest x-rays, and ECG.

The bloodwork we take here at All Creatures Hospital is done to evaluate an animal’s blood cell count and review his kidney and liver functioning. Chest x-rays enable us to examine the heart and lung function, and an ECG is taken in order to review the pace or rhythm of the heart.

Teeth Scaling and Polishing

The general anesthesia that we administer ensures that a dog or cat will undergo a comfortable and painless process. A thorough scaling of the teeth above and below the gum line will ensure that all the tartar and plaque are removed so that your pet has a cleaner mouth and fresher breath. A tooth polishing is part of the scaling and cleaning process that is one of our pet dental care service procedures.

If we do diagnose periodontal disease, we follow up with a root planning or deep cleaning of the teeth and gums. Extraction of any diseased teeth is also done in some instances. Dogs and cats are given a fluoride treatment during the appointment.

We educate our clients about how to care for their dog’s teeth at home in order get rid of the plaque that can mineralize into a substance known as calculus. The formation of calculus begins soon after a teeth cleaning. The level of success is dependent on the temperament of the animal and the owner’s consistency. However, if a dog or cat owner regularly cleans or brushes his pet’s teeth, the interval between teeth cleanings is significantly increased.

We can recommend the proper toothbrush to use for a pet. Brushes are designed to fit in different sized mouths, including the mouths of long-muzzled canines. Each brush should be used for one specific pet. Sharing brushes is always ill-advised as it can result in cross-contamination.

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National Take Your Cat to the Vet Day

Your kids go to the pediatrician once a year, you see your dentist every 6 months, and even your car gets an oil change every 5000 miles; so why aren’t people taking their cats to the veterinarian for routine care? It seems hard to believe, but according to the American Humane Society, cats go the veterinarian half as often as dogs and many people only take their cat to the vet when their cat is sick.

The fact is cats get sick too! While they are masters at hiding illness, they also suffer from many of the same disease as their canine and human counterparts.

In case you didn’t mark your calendar, August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day and it is a great time to remind everyone about the importance of preventive care. You wouldn’t dream of skipping your kids’ doctor appointments, so why should your cat’s veterinary check-ups be any different?

So what do we do during these routine visits and why are they important?

Physical Exam
Routine examinations allow us to check for signs of illness. In cats, these can be subtle and easy to overlook. We will also do a head-to-tail exam to look for changes or abnormalities. The earlier medical issues are discovered and addressed, the better the outcome.

Immunizations
Immunizations are an important way to protect pets from preventable infectious diseases. We will determine which vaccines your cat needs depending on their age, lifestyle and risk exposure.

Parasite Prevention
We will also check your cat for external parasites like fleas, ticks and ear mites, and check a stool sample for internal parasites, like roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms and coccidia. We will also discuss products available to prevent internal and external parasites.

Labwork
Depending on your cat’s age and physical exam findings, we may recommend screening blood tests. Screening blood tests are an important way to detect diseases early, even before they become symptomatic. As cats age, diseases like diabetes, hyperthyroidism, and kidney disease become more common. Screening bloodwork is a great way to detect these diseases early so treatment can be started right away.

No one likes to go to the doctor and cats are no exception. In fact, many pet parents avoid taking their cat to the vet because their cat hates to go. But remember: it is important.

It’s a great time to make an appointment to bring your feline friend to our office for a check-up! The goal of routine medical care is to prevent preventable illnesses and to detect diseases early while they are easiest to treat. Take advantage of the exceptional veterinary care we offer and bring your cat in!

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August 15 is Check the Chip Day

Microchips greatly increase the chances that you’ll get your pet back if he/she is lost or stolen…but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.

To remind pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date, AVMA and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) joined together to create “Check the Chip Day.”

1) Make an appointment with our office for microchipping if your pet isn’t already microchipped (then make sure that your pet’s chip is immediately registered); and
2) Check your already-microchipped pet’s registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database, and make sure it’s up-to-date.
Updating your pet’s microchip registration
To update your pet’s registration, you’ll need your pet’s microchip number. If you haven’t already created an account with the manufacturer, you’ll need to do that as well so you can access the registration in the future to update the information. Make sure that all of the information, particularly your phone number(s) and address, are correct.

 

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August – National Immunization Awareness Month

August is here, which means it’s National Immunization Awareness Month! Just like us, it’s important for our pets to stay on top of their vaccines and immunizations.

Why Vaccinations are Important

Giving your pets their regular vaccinations is the key to a long and healthy life. Regardless of whether you keep your dogs inside or not, vaccines are essential in ensuring your pets health. Many contagious diseases are airborne, meaning your pet could contract it through an open window. Pets are also very prone to slipping out of the house on occasion, which could lead to risk of disease.

Additionally, places you may frequently visit such as boarding kennels, dog parks, and grooming salons are high-risk environments.

Making sure your pet is vaccinated before visiting such places can give you peace of mind. Just remember that vaccinations can take a few days to a few weeks before becoming effective – check with our office before taking your recently vaccinated pet to any of these places!

Initial vaccines should be given to your puppies and kittens starting at six to eight weeks of age, with the final dose administered at 16 weeks of age.

Always keep your vaccination records and schedule annual checkups with our office to monitor your pet’s overall health and to stay up to date with any vaccinations necessary.

Essential Vaccinations for Your Dog

If you’ve recently adopted a dog, here are the vaccinations you can expect us to give your new pet:

“Distemper Shot”: commonly called the distemper shot, this vaccination protects against Distemper, Hepatitis, Para influenza, and Parvovirus.
Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals are susceptible to infections. In most states, dogs are required by law to receive the rabies vaccination.

Essential Vaccinations for Your Cat

If you’ve recently adopted a kitty, here are the common vaccinations you can expect us to give your new pet:

“Distemper Shot”: commonly called the distemper shot, this vaccination protects against Viral Rhinotracheitis, Callcivirus, and Panleukopenia.
Rabies: Rabies virus is fatal and all mammals are susceptible to infections. In most states, cats are required by law to receive the rabies vaccination.

Celebrate National Immunization Awareness Month by making sure your furry best friend is healthy and up-to-date on their vaccinations!

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Tips to keep your dog COOL this summer

Hyperthermia is a term describing an elevation in body temperature. This increase typically occurs as a response to a trigger, such as inflammation in the body or a hot environment. When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke or heat exhaustion can result. Heat stroke is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Once the signs of heat stroke are detected, there is precious little time before serious damage – or even death – can occur. Please call our office immediately.

Dogs do not sweat efficiently through their skin like humans – they release heat primarily by panting and they sweat through the foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, the internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog’s temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body’s cellular system and organs may become irreversible. Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Learn how to recognize the signs of heat stroke and prevent it from happening to your dog.

Signs of Heat Stroke

The following signs may indicate heat stroke in a dog:

1. Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency)

2. Vigorous panting

3. Dark red gums

4. Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)

5. Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up

6. Collapse and/or loss of consciousness

7. Thick saliva

8. Dizziness or disorientation

What to do if You Suspect Heat Stroke

If you have even the slightest suspicion that your dog is suffering from heat stoke, you must take immediate action.

1. First, move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.

2. Begin cooling your dog with cool water. You may place wet rags or washcloths on the foot pads and around the head, but replace them frequently as they warm up. Avoid covering the body with wet towels, as it may trap in heat.

3. DO NOT use ice or ice water! Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body’s core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to further rise. In addition, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, introducing a host of new problems. When the body temperature reaches 103.9°F, stop cooling. At this point, your dog’s body should continue cooling on its own.

4. Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog’s mouth. Try not to let your dog drink excessive amounts at a time.

5. Call our office right away – even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye, so an exam is necessary (and further testing may be recommended).

Tip: recruit others to help you – ask someone to call our office while others help you cool your dog.

Preventing Heat Stroke

There are ways you can prevent heat stroke from happening in the first place.

  • NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless of whether the windows are open. Even if the weather outside is not extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven – temperatures can rise to dangerously high levels in a matter of minutes.
  • Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days. When outside, opt for shady areas.
  • Keep fresh cool water available at all times.
  • Certain types of dogs are more sensitive to heat – especially obese dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds, like Pugs and Bulldogs. Use extreme caution when these dogs are exposed to heat.

Some dogs can recover fully from heat stroke if it is caught early enough. Others suffer permanent organ damage and require lifelong treatment. Sadly, many dogs do not survive heat stroke. Prevention is the key!

Stay safe while having fun in the sun this summer.

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