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.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

On The Inside Instead of Out

This is a video of a retained testicle from a laparoscopic removal. It shows the testicle hiding inside the abdomen, and not on the outside of the dog, as nature and anatomy intended. Retained testicles in the abdomen are a very serious cancer risk. They will often turn malignant as the animal ages.

But the traditional surgery to remove these retained parts is invasive and painful. It often requires a large incision on the side of the abdomen. It is more painful than most standard abdominal procedures, and the recovery is often longer than exploratory surgery.

But not with minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery. The incision is only was big as the testicle we remove. So there is a much smaller incision, way less bleeding, and a much faster recovery. To my knowledge, we are the only veterinary hospital performing these procedures in southeastern Massachusetts, if not further.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

What A Handsome Senior

Harry is one very special patient here at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod. Sure he is cute and sweet, but what really makes him an outstanding cat is that he is over 20 years old!! Harry’s family found him wedged between the top of their garage door and ceiling when he was no more than a year old.

Fortunately he pulled through that without any internal injuries and ended up with a loving family who has been caring for him over the last 19 + years. He presented to our clinic a few weeks ago for a check-up. Other than a cyst on the top of his head, his physical exam was completely normal. Considering his age, we ran senior blood work to check for any underlying problems.

Much to our amazement, Harry’s blood work was the picture of perfection. At this rate, Harry might make the Guiness Book of World Records!

By Dr. Lauren Collazo

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Look At These Teeth!!

These fantastic teeth belong to a pair of labs with one dedicated owner. And even though these are what canine teeth usually look like after a professional cleaning, these teeth have been maintained purely with daily brushing. Way to go!

Good dental health leads to good overall health in both people and pets. Daily dental care, along with regular evaluation and cleaning (if necessary) on a professional level, not only makes for better breath, but often a longer life.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Creature Comforts

A little bit of home always helps an animal feel better. Take Butters for example. She has a dedicated owner, and they both have persevered through many medical problems. And as the picture indicates, Butters always seems more comfortable in our critical care ward with her kitty cat to snuggle. In addition to IV treatments and medications, as well as personal doctor and nursing care, her security and comfort goes a long way to make her feel better.

And while Butters has spent more than a few “stints” at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod, she fortunately always leaves feeling better, and never forgets to take her kitty cat home.