Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!


...... from all us here at Vet Associates.

Not so sweet.....


Meet Cagney. Cagney is a 7 year old cocker spaniel that got a surprise visit to his vet after he decided to help himself to some chocolate covered cranberries. Now that the holiday season is upon us, many of us are surrounded by all sorts of chocolate. Normally this isn't a bad thing, however, for all the dog owners out there it can become disastrous. Chocolate is toxic in dogs because it contains the alkaloid theobromine. Theobromine is similar to caffeine and is used in medicine as a diuretic, heart stimulant, blood vessel dilator, and a smooth muscle relaxant. Theobromine can be poisonous in large amounts. Cagney ate a questionable amount. Once at the vet, he was given a medication that made him vomit up the chocolate. This medication usually only works if it is given soon after ingestion. Once we saw how much Cagney had eaten, the amount was no longer questionable. He ha consumed a potentially dangerous amount. Treatment is based on amount. In cases where the chocolate was eaten hours before, or the time is unknown, activated charcoal is given to block the absorption of theobromine. Depending on the history and the response of early treatments, other supportive care (fluids) may be in order.
In the pictures above you will see Cagney getting activated charcoal. A messy but very effective treatment. Cagney went home the same day and is doing great.
Please be careful all year long but especially around the holidays. Keep track of how much chocolate you have and keep it out of reach. If there is any question, it is better to play it safe.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Cookies!



Below is a recipe for some tasty homemade dog biscuits. They make a great Christmas gift for our furry loved ones. Please be aware that these are special occasion treats and shouldn't be given as regular year round cookies. Also, if your dog has a sensitive stomach or any allergies please check with your vet first. For most dogs, this is a perfectly safe recipe that will be greatly appreciated.


biscuit dough:
1 1/2 cups flour
3/4 cup oatmeal
1/4 cup wheat germ
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons honey
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup water

glaze:
1 large egg
2 Tablespoons milk

1. Preheat the oven to 275°.
2. In a large bowl: combine the flour, oatmeal, wheat germ, peanut butter, vegetable oil, honey, baking powder and water.
3. Mix the ingredients until thoroughly combined.
4. Roll the dough out to a ½-inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut into desired shapes and place on baking sheets.
5. In a small bowl, mix together the egg and milk. Brush the glaze on the biscuits.6. Bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the pans, and bake for an additional 20 - 30 minutes, until biscuits are golden and firm.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Answers to food quiz...

1. Many people give this fruit to their dogs as a treat. However, just a few bites can cause fatal kidney failure in some dogs.

*Grapes
Both grapes and raisins can be toxic. Some dogs eat them with, seemingly, no ill effects. However, some dogs become ill after ingesting only a few grapes or raisins. The first symptom is vomiting, followed by acute kidney failure, from which many dogs do not recover. As of yet, the toxin is unknown, nor do we know why some dogs become sick and others eat grapes or raisins without a problem.

2. Which raw fish can cause poisoning in dogs?

*Salmon
Salmon and trout can be infected with a parasite called Nanophyetus salmincola, a type of trematode worm. The worms themselves can be infected with a type of bacteria known as Neorickettsia helminthoeca. The bacteria only infects canids; other animals show no symptoms from eating it. When dogs eat raw fish infected with this bacteria, they can show symptoms including weakness, vomiting, loss of appetite, swollen glands, and fever. Ninety percent of untreated dogs die. Cooking kills the worm and the bacteria.

3. This food is sometimes used to season dogs' meals, but can cause anemia.

*Onions
Onions and garlic contain a chemical called thiosulfate. When ingested either in large quantities or in small quantities over a long period of time, they can cause an anemia called Heinz body anemia. This is reversible if you stop feeding the onions or garlic.

4. In some dogs, this sweetener can cause hypoglycemia.

*Xylitol
This toxicity usually occurs when dogs eat large amounts of sugar-free candy or gum. In humans, xylitol does not cause a drop in blood sugar; in dogs it does. This can lead to weakness, staggering, and other symptoms of hypoglycemia. There is also some evidence that some dogs may develop liver failure after ingesting xylitol.

5. Dogs- especially dogs that are fed a straight diet of dry food with little variety- may get an inflammation of the pancreas called "pancreatitis" if they eat certain foods that they are not used to. Which of the following is most apt to cause pancreatitis?

*Turkey skin
In dogs, pancreatitis often results from eating a very high-fat meal. While dogs that are used to eating a high-fat diet, like sled dogs, can eat pure fat with no problems, dogs that are not used to such foods often cannot. When such a dog eats a high-fat meal, its pancreas overproduces enzymes, to the extent that they actually begin to "digest" the pancreas and inflame it. Common culprits are turkey skin and ham fat. Symptoms include vomiting and stomach pain. This is a medical emergency, and such dogs must be treated by a vet. Some breeds, like miniature schnauzers, are genetically predisposed to pancreatitis.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Dangerous food quiz

1. Many people give this fruit to their dogs as a treat. However, in some dogs just a few bites could cause fatal kidney failure.

*Grapes
*Bananas
*Apples
*Strawberries

2. Which raw fish can cause poisoning in dogs?

*Eel
*Sardines
*Salmon
*Bass

3. This food is sometimes used to season dogs' meals, but can cause anemia.

*Peanut butter
*Bacon fat
*Onions
*Chicken broth

4. In some dogs, this sweetener can cause hypoglycemia.

*Sucralose
*Saccharin
*Xylitol
*Aspartame

5. Dogs- especially dogs that are fed a straight diet of dry food with little variety- may get an inflammation of the pancreas called "pancreatitis" if they eat certain foods that they are not used to. Which of the following is most apt to cause pancreatitis?

*Raw eggs
*Mashed potatoes
*Candy
*Turkey skin

ANSWERS TO BE POSTED TOMORROW (12/4/08 )

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving from VACC



No matter how cute they are, don't forget to resist the temptation of feeding turkey dinner scraps............ Stomach aches aren't fun for anyone!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Quick case update....

Ollie (posting from Nov. 11th) had a recheck appointment last week to see how his cleft palate site was healing. Everything looked great, and Ollie seems comfortable and happy. No sneezing!!

To pee or not to pee..........







This is Tilly. Tilly is a 2 ½ year old female pug that was straining to urinate. X-rays revealed that her bladder was full of stones. Bladder stones are rock-like collections of minerals that form in the urinary bladder. They may occur as a large, single stone or as collections of stones the size of large grains of sand or gravel. Bladder stones form for a few different reasons. The most common reasons being dietary and bladder infections. The two most common symptoms of bladder stones are blood in the urine which occurs because the stones irritate and damage the bladder wall causing bleeding, and straining to urinate which occurs because the stones obstruct the flow of urine out of the bladder or inflame the bladder walls, causing pain and swelling. Large stones may cause a partial obstruction at the point where the urine leaves the bladder and enters the urethra while smaller stones may flow with the urine into the urethra and cause an obstruction there. When an obstruction occurs, the bladder cannot be emptied resulting in extreme pain, especially if pressure is applied to the abdominal wall. If the obstruction is complete, the bladder may rupture, which is a life-threatening emergency situation. Tilly’s urethra was obstructed so before it became an emergency, it was decided that surgery was in order. Prior to anesthesia, Tilly was able to pass the stones in her urethra on her own so she was no longer blocked. However, this is painful and there were still several small and large stones to come so she still went to surgery. In surgery, her bladder was emptied of all stones and flushed multiple times to assure that it was clear. Post op she was treated with pain medications to make sure her experience was as comfortable as possible. Everything went well and Tilly got to go home the next day.



Large single bladder stone.




Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Every little bit helps.......







Free kibble.com is a project that was started back in April 2008. The idea is to provide good, healthy food to dogs and cats to those shelters who are working so hard to see that none of them go hungry - they need our help. All you have to do is click on the link above and answer the bow wow trivia multiple choice question. It doesn't matter if your answer is right or wrong, it is the effort that counts. If your answer was wrong, the right answer will appear on the screen. This way you are helping out homeless dogs and cats as well as learning a bit of animal trivia. You can answer one question about dogs and one question about cats up to once a day. For each question you answer, the project will provide 10 pieces of kibble (cat and/or dog) to the animal shelters involved. 10 may not sound like a lot, but it adds up fast. Since April when the project began and as of October 17, freekibble and freekibblekat, has raised over 67,000 lbs. (33 tons!!!) of kibble. Enough to feed 200,000 homeless dogs and cats for one day! So, it only takes a few minutes out of your day, but a whole lot of purring and tail wagging in return.


Tuesday, November 11, 2008




Ollie is a two year old male cat that was seen for a history sneezing and constant nasal infections. Everytime he would eat, drink, or groom himself (which other than sleeping is the daily routine of a cat), he would start violently sneezing. After close examination, it was discovered that Ollie had a cleft palate. Cleft palate is a condition in both humans and animals where the two plates of the skull that make up the hard palate, otherewise known as the roof of the mouth, are not completely joined. Ollie had a hole the size of a piece of rice right in the center of his palate. This hole connected his oral cavity directly to his nasal cavity resulting in a sneezing frenzy anytime he used his mouth.
After consultation, Ollie was taken to surgery. Two incisions were made on the edges of the hard palate. These incisions provided tension release so the cleft opening could be easily closed. Surgery went very well, however, post operative healing will be the hardest part. As we all know, you can't tell a cat to leave his/her incision alone, and there are no veterinary magic tricks to keep them away. So hopefully with close monitering, a special diet, and a lot of patience, Ollie's repair can heal and keep him sneeze free.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Does your pet smile?


Studies have shown that a variety of species “smile” to show their positive reaction to a stimulus. Several years ago, dogs and rats were studied in the first landmark study that proved smiles are more than a human characteristic.

Most avid dogs owners already know their dogs smile when they are happy and excited. It is one of the many traits that make a good dog so special.

But it turns out that mammals like dogs and rats may not be the only species to smile along with humans. Scientist now are suspecting that this reaction may go well beyond anyone’s prior expectations.

Scientists at the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the first aquarium to house great white sharks, are exploring whether these sharks also express facial expressions like a smile. If conclusive, it shows a degree of cognition across a wide range of species that very few thought was possible.

Who knows what else your pet is thinking!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Gearing Up For Samana


Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is gearing up to supply Project Samana. Once again, Dr. Labdon will lead a large team of veterinary professionals helping provide medical care to this remote and impoverished region of the world.

Project Samana runs twice yearly, in both June and November. Dr. Labdon established this project decades ago, and Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is integral in supplying the medical supplies and personnel to this cause.

This November we will be adding more pain management protocols for the dogs and cats undergoing surgical procedures. We are donating costly pain management medication to ensure that these animals never recover in pain.

For more information on Project Samana, please see our Vets Giving Back page at www.capecodvets.com

Friday, October 10, 2008

Certified Veterinary Technicians (CVTs)


Certified veterinary technician Heidi has been with Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. Eight years ago she started as a kennel attendant, and through years of training and education, is now a senior veterinary technician.

Many of the veterinary technicians at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod are certified. This means years of clinical experience, educational degrees, and passing of rigorous standardized exams. It is not an easy road. That is one reason why most other veterinary hospitals do not have the high percentage of CVTs found at our facilities.

Several of our technicians have become certified while working with us. In fact, we have a 100% success rate with our technicians that take the exam, all passing with flying colors. Others have been certified prior to employment with us.

Certification is important to us because it guarantees that the staff working on our patients are the most trained and qualified in the field of veterinary medicine today. Combined with our talented doctor team, our nursing care is the best available.

We would not have it any other way.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kids Always Have Fun At Veterinary Associates


From stickers, colors, to talking to our macaw Max, kids always have fun at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Physical Rehabilitation


We are proud to offer our patients the benefits of physical therapy through our CARE facility. CARE has a full time, on staff, certified rehabilitation specialist. This fall we will even add Cape Cod’s first underwater pet treadmill. It will take our capabilities even further, and it is even heated!

It seems like a “no brainer” to us, so the speak, but no other facility on Cape Cod or even in the region offers the benefits of physical therapy. Not surprisingly, our patients are doing much better after surgery, much better with chronic pain, and just living more comfortable lives in general. After all, would you have knee replacement surgery and not have physical therapy?

Moose is a classic example of the benefits of physical therapy, and the deep belief among our staff that it works wonders. Moose is Dr. Bradley’s dog, and she faithfully takes him to CARE for his treatments. Since starting the physical therapy, Moose has gained marked muscle mass, looks five years younger, and is living a better quality of life on many levels.

And that is just one example of our mission. We work every day to provide the highest quality medical and surgical care for our patients with the most compassionate approach. We care for each patient as if it were our own pet.

So whether it is Dr. Bradley’s dog or your dog, we will do whatever it takes to make your four-legged family member feel and live better.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Office Love...


Dr. Lauren Collazo loves little dogs. Any dog having surgery or in hospital always receives some extra attention from her.

And often that means time spent together in the doctor’s office. It is not at all uncommon to find Dr. Collazo snuggling one of our patients in the office. So this time we snuck a picture of her with one of my cute little patients, a blond daschund named Winston.

I brought the owner back to see where Winston had been spending his time, and she was thrilled to see him getting the extra love. I think it was hard for Winston to say good-bye.

So cute dog owners beware, there might be office love in the air!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Home By The Holidays…


We have two very sweet cats living at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. Both had little options, so they came to us out of desperation.

Chloe is a twelve year old, well-controlled hyperthyroid cat. Her owner passed away recently, and she had no place to go. She has been a patient at Veterianry Associates for years, and she has been doing great. We could not see her euthanized after the loss of her owner.

Sam is a seven year old cat with some urinary problems. His owner wanted to euthanize Sam, and we did not want to see such a young, sweet cat euthanized for treatable reasons.

While these kitties are very lucky to be at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, we are not the same as a loving home.

Please let us know if you or friends have any interest in these cats; they just need a second chance. We want to find that loving home by the holidays, so these super sweet animals can once again have the family love they deserve.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Marrow Bones Sometimes Get Stuck



There are many reasons why giving dogs real bones is not in favor with most vets. Hard bones can cause teeth to chip and break, and sometimes bones can get stuck. The worst place is in the gastrointestinal system, but small marrow bones can often become trapped right in the jaw.

Several times a year we see a dog that manages to get a small marrow bone stuck behind the lower canine teeth, trapping the bone on the mandible or jaw. These dogs become panicked, and even with owner help, often require veterinary assistance for removal.

We sedated this young handsome lab and removed the bone by sectioning it in two. He made a full recovery within minutes, though I doubt he will have another real bone soon!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Photo Frustrations!

With all of our technical support for Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, it is rare we have a significant technical error. From our hardware, software, to digital imaging systems, we have teams of technicians available 24/7 to keep our systems running smoothly. And we need this kind of dedicated support, as we have over 26 computers, 4 servers, 2 ultrasounds, digital x-ray and digital dental x-ray accross our 2 locations

All of this of course excludes my own computer. I have fantastic pics of a litter of sleepy main coon kittens, a Labrador “bone” removal, and other interesting pics. But technical problems are prohibiting me from uploading the images.

So while the technical team is ready for any problems at Veterinary Associates, I have been trying to work this out on my own. As soon as I have fixed the problem, look for some new posts.

In the meantime, enjoy the holiday weekend.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The VACC Pet Fund Latest: Honey

Honey was found wondering the streets of Bourne, loaded with heartworm and fleas. She has a huge hernia, entrapping almost all of her intestines, as well as advanced dental disease. All of this points to neglect. Whether willful or unavoidable, no one has cared for Honey.

But here at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod and the Forestdale Veterinary clinic, our staff and clients care about pets like Honey. And we are showing Honey just how much. In dedication to many of our lost patients, Honey is receiving the most advanced veterinary care available on Cape Cod.

We have treated her advanced case of heartworm, and are planning surgery in a few weeks to repair the hernia. We will then spay her and fix her dental disease. You can read more about Honey on our Vets Giving Back web page.

Fortunately, this sweet dog has found out that people do care here on Cape Cod.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Digital Dental

Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is a total digital hospital. We do not have one piece of film in the hospital!

Digital means a much better image quailtiy, giving our patients faster and more accurate treatments, all with 75% less radiation.

Most veterinary hospitals on Cape Cod do not even have a dental x-ray unit, much less a digital system. The dental x-ray ensures we are providing the proper care, from treatments to extractions. A human dentist would never work on a tooth without one! We strive to provide and often exceed the level of care that we expect on the human side.

And digital dental x-ray is so much easier on the patient. It is so much faster; the time under anesthesia is dramatically reduced. There is no film to develop, no second shots to take. Not to mention the image quality is totally superior to film. The tooth in question is projected on a 22 inch high def monitor.

We do all this because good dental health leads to good overall health. And our mission is to make your pet’s quality and quantity of life much better, and digital dental x-ray is just one little part of that effort.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Sometimes Fish Hooks Catch More Than Fish…

Every year we have pets who are hurt when they encounter with fish hooks. Some pets, like cats, are likely attracted to the luring features. Dogs are likely attracted to the smell, and with their super sense it often a used hook that brings them in.

These pets are often injured and panicked, but fortunately most make a full recovery.

Our latest victim was a six month old cat who was snagged on the above lure. One end had caught his face and nose, while the other barbs had trapped his rear feet. Once pets become injured by a single barb, they often panic, only to be pierced by additional hooks. This cat had all six barbs in him.

We quickly sedated this cat and removed the barbs. With a little suturing, as well as pain management and antibiotics, he made a quick and full recovery.

So always remember to keep your pets away from fishing gear; they might be a lot more interested than you might think.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Saving Dogs From Bloat With Minimally Invasive Surgery

video

Anyone who has ever had their dog “bloat” knows how terrifying and deadly this condition can be. Bloat, or gastric dilatation and volvulus (GDV) is a devastating condition in our canine patients. For some unknown reasons, a dog’s stomach can fill with gas (bloat) and then twist, cutting off vital circulation to the abdomen. These dogs go from totally normal to deceased often in a matter of hours.

Certain breeds of dogs are prone to bloat. Great Danes, Golden Retrievers, Standard Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, and German Shepherds are perhaps the most predisposed. There is a preventative surgery, but the standard procedure requires a huge incision, with serious post operative pain and discomfort.

But that was before minimally invasive surgery. Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is proud to be the only veterinary hospital on Cape Cod, much less in southeastern Massachusetts, to offer laparoscopic gastropexy. This means our patients can have this preventative surgery without a big incision, long hospital stays, and serious post operative pain.

This video shows the stomach after it has been “tacked” to the abdominal wall. The patient, Bruno, had several episodes of bloat, and was on a fast course to have his last, so to speak. We performed this laparoscopic surgery with a minimal incision, and he went home the very same day, in little discomfort.

Since Bruno’s surgery, he has been doing great. He has had no more episodes of bloat. And his owner’s elected the same quality health care that they would expect themselves; minimally invasive surgery. Bruno went home much faster, had far less bleeding, with a much smaller incision, and in a lot less pain.

Good luck Bruno!

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Office Mooch…

Do you have a coworker that is an office mooch? At Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, we have a four legged, big, black, and bold office mooch.

Callie is Dr. Dan Clayton’s dog, and she spends all of her days at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod mooching food in the doctor’s office. No morsel is consumed without her close observation. Next time you visit, you may even see her wondering, as always, in search of her next snack.

You just better watch your lunch!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Specialist Access For Your Pets Is Only A Mouse Click Away!

Our new GE Digital Ultrasound makes diagnosing difficult conditions even easier. Just like our digital radiology (x-ray) and our digital dental (dental x-ray) system, a second opinion is just a mouse click away. And it shows once again that the technology at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod rivals or exceeds what you might find in your own human hospital.

If we question anything we are seeing on ultrasound or x-ray, we can easily forward the images on to our veterinary radiologist team. These specialists are board certified in radiology. That means they have received years of training specifically in radiology.

Dr. Mathew Wright, DVM, MS, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Radiologists Consultants. He heads our team of specialists ready to review our patient’s x-rays or ultrasounds at a moments notice.

And because we are fully digital, we can send Dr. Wright your pet’s images almost immediately after we take them. He can respond with further information so quickly that results are retuned within minutes to no more than a few hours!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Looking Great and Cancer Free!

Duke looks fantastic. He is a year out from his devastating diagnosis of systemic lymphosarcoma.

There is no way he would still be here if his dedicated owners had not chosen chemotherapy to treat his cancer. But chemo has many negative connotations in the human world. Fortunately, that is not often the case in veterinary medicine.

Duke did not have a single reaction to the chemo. He had great quality of life during his treatment. Now many months after his last dose, Duke remains in remission. He is enjoying a fantastic, totally normal, quality of life.

In August, Dr. Andy Abbo will join our CARE facility as the first and only dedicated veterinary oncologist on Cape Cod. That will allow us to treat even more types of cancer right here on Cape. No other veterinary health care team affords these options. And that means that our pets stricken with cancer will have more options, and quite simply will live longer.

In veterinary medicine, chemo often really means quantity and quality of life. And it is so rewarding to see Duke doing well!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What Breeds Make Up Foxy?

Foxy is a one of a kind dog. Recently, her owners found out how unique she really is with the new Wisdom Panel Mixed Breed Analysis. Not all DNA breed tests are created equal. The Wisdom Panel is a blood test, and to date, is the most accurate test available.

The test showed that Foxy is an extremely complex mixed breed dog. Her ancestry contains traces of Akita, American Staffordshire Terrier, Japanese Chin, Leonberger, and Manchester Terrier. That is one unique mix!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Friday, June 27, 2008

All Digital And No Film!

Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod is a fully digital diagnostic imaging hospital, and has one of the most advanced imaging systems in New England. From integrated digital ultrasound, digital radiology (x-rays), to digital dental radiology, our image quality is vastly superior to traditional film x-rays. That means our patients receive a more accurate diagnosis and superior care, all with our patients receiving 75% less radiation exposure than traditional film x-ray. We can even give you your pet’s high quality diagnostic imaging on a compact disc – just ask!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Working On the Web

I have been working on our Vets Giving Back web page and new Project Samana web page. Writing after long days at VACC has slowed the process, but we are inching forward on these new pages.

The new web pages will highlight the work we do in Samana. For the last sixteen years, led by Dr. Labdon, we have been supplying veterinary care every six months to this isolated peninsula in the Dominican Republic. And the efforts are showing, as more and more animals receive care in this region.

Our new pages will also show some of the little faces the VACC Pet Fund has helped, as well as our commitment to our military, local fire and police personnel.

Look for the new web pages later this summer!









Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Stress Relief…

I love being a vet, but like most jobs, it can really have some stressful moments. From tough surgeries, complex cases, to bad outcomes, it seems like you age a little with every difficult case.

That said, there is something in almost every day that makes you smile ear to ear. Take this little load of kittens; what a stress relief!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Back From Samana

It is great to be back from Project Samana. We did over 96 small animal surgeries with some great results. We go to this region every six months to help the animals and people in this developing nation. More pics will follow, with a great case that really helped one dog. In the meantime it is great to be back at VACC.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

See You Soon!

I am off to Samana in the Dominican Republic for all of next week. We help operate and fund a twice yearly veterinary relief mission to the area known as Project Samana. We help both large and small animals with surgical and medical care in this remote and impoverished region. Often it is the only medical care available for animals in a six month time frame, if not their entire life. Look for pics on our Vets Giving Back page later this summer. This new page will detail are work with Project Samana, the VACC Pet Fund, as well as our commitment to local military, fire, and police personnel.

But I have many great pics for posting upon my return. I have pics of a dog with such big ears it could fly, an adorable boy with some very cute kittens, and a guess the mutt mix with the DNA answer! See you soon!

High Blood Pressure?

Tony is such a beautiful and sweet cat. He has very caring and attentive owners, and he is much healthier because of them.

We picked up a heart murmur not too long ago, and since then, Tony has had a full cardiac workup. But the true underlying reason for his heart condition might be more than just plain cardiac disease. In fact, it might even be reversible.

Tony has hyperthyroidism, a common condition in older cats. A small polyp on the thyroid gland secretes excess thyroid hormone. These cats actually eat more, are more active, yet they loose weight. It is kind of like turning the thermostat to 80F; you run much hotter and burn more fuel. Eventually the excess hormone harms the heart, liver, and other internal organs. Left untreated, the disease can progress to death.

Treatment consist of daily medication, and in some cases, radioactive iodine treatment. These cats slow down, gain weight, and fortunately, often heal the organ damage with treatment. And since most cats hate pills, we have special flavored liquid that makes treatment much easier. With good care, these kitties live very normal and happy lives.

Yet often these hyperthyroid cats are also hypertensive, or have high blood pressure. We checked Tony’s blood pressure last week, and it was fine for now. But we will keep a close eye on his blood pressure. Hypertension can be very serious in felines; it can lead to sudden stroke and other serious complications.

I know this is all complicated -- but that is the nature of the felines – they would not have it any other way! As a vet, you need to be thorough and attentive to all the details to manage a feline medical case properly. And Tony’s case shows that great care at home can really extend a cat’s life. Tony will live many years longer because of it!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The VACC Pet Fund

This new momma and her kittens can rest easy today; they have left the streets behind and are now in the care of Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod.

The VACC Pet Fund provides care to animals that would not receive it otherwise. We donate most of the funds in remembrance of patients lost. The remaining portion comes from our generous and caring clients who make a donation at the front desk.

The VACC Pet Fund allows us to take great care of some very needy and deserving pets, just like this young cat and her kittens.

Momma and all her kittens will be fully cared for, from vaccines to worming. After the kittens are weaned, the mother cat with be spayed. All will be adopted to a loving home. Anyone interested in these kittens or mother can call for more information.