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Category Archives: All Species

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5 Reasons to Seek Dental Treatment for Your Pet

As humans, we recognize the importance of good dental care: getting our teeth cleaned and checked each year, taking care of cavities, gingivitis, and wayward wisdom teeth, and following preventative measures such as regularly brushing and flossing. Like us, our pets have teeth that need care and regular maintenance. Poor dental health can make your pet downright uncomfortable, and it can make him or her very sick. Here are a few reasons to add dental cleaning and treatments to your pet’s annual healthcare to-do list.

1. Prevent bad breath and infection

Built-up plaque, tartar, and bacteria can lead to gingivitis, halitosis, swollen gums, and proliferating gum disease. Not only are these ailments accompanied by reeking bad breath, but they can also lead to pain and infection.

2. Prevent dental disease

If your pet has bad breath, discolored or loose teeth, red and inflamed gums or a swollen mouth, jaws, or gums, doesn’t play with chew toys or chew treats as often as he used to, and seems to have trouble eating because of pain, then your pet may have a dental disease.In cats, this could lead to tooth resorption lesions, which eat away at the cat’s teeth. In dogs, broken teeth – a common occurrence – can lead to extra bacteria entering the dog’s bloodstream, which can cause severe pain or infection. In both dogs and cats, periodontal disease is the most widespread dental disease; it is known as the “silent killer.”

3. Prevent periodontal disease

Periodontal disease is one of the most common dental diseases to afflict our pets, and close to three-quarters of all pets older than two years have some iteration of the disease, which can cause pain or infection in the pet’s heart, kidneys, liver, and pancreas. Periodontal disease-related bacteria can also create breathing problems, such as coughing, sneezing, snoring, wheezing, and even heart disease, tracheal collapse, or pneumonia, among other serious problems.

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Safer Anesthesia, Better Surgery, Happy Pets

Safer Anesthesia, Better Surgery, Happy Pets

Thanks to the efforts of our forefathers, we can perform better surgery thanks to better monitoring, safer anesthesia and better drugs.

surgeryBetter Monitoring
A few decades ago, ensuring that a patient was alive during anesthesia was limited to using your senses: observing gum color, feeling pulses, watching the chest move. More recently, we borrowed from human medicine and started using EKG machines to monitor the heart. Today, most… modern clinics can also measure oxygen levels, blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and occasionally CO2 levels.

Better Drugs
There is no question that the anesthesia drugs we use today are safer than those used a few years ago. By combining several drugs, we can provide multiple benefits to the patient, while using lower dosages of each one. This is called balanced anesthesia. For example, when we do fancy orthopedic surgery on a pet’s knee, we might combine:

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How To Tell If You Have An Awesome Vet

How To Tell If You Have An Awesome Vet

Dear reader, how would you describe your vet? Is (s)he good? excellent? Or awesome?

Let me share with you my top secret to judge how good a family vet is. To clarify, I am a surgeon. Family vets refer difficult surgery patients to me. So I have a somewhat unusual “system” to rate my beloved colleagues.

DOG-03-RK0484-01PCinnamon, a gorgeous 6-year old Golden retriever, had a “hot spot.” His owner took him to his family vet, Dr. C. A hot spot is an area… in the skin that a dog licks so feverishly, that it becomes hairless, raw, red, irritated and painful. It is so annoying that the poor dog becomes obsessed with the hot spot. Licking and chewing only make things worse.

But back to Cinnamon. Instead of simply sending him home with a prescription for cortisone cream and maybe antibiotics, Dr. C went on to perform a complete physical exam. There was nothing else to report… except for a small mass in the thyroid area. She doubled checked, but there was little doubt in her mind: Cinnamon most likely had a thyroid tumor.

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