Saturday, December 18, 2010

Happy Holidays!

Food to avoid giving your pets during the holidays

  • Alcoholic Beverage

  • Chocolate (highly toxic to pets)

  • Coffee

  • Moldy or spoiled foods

  • Salt

  • Chicken and Turkey bones (they can splinter)

    Avoid giving your pet any leftovers, this can cause diarrhea or pancreatitis. Also keep your pet away from cooked bones, they can splinter or get lodged in their throat or intestines causing servere damage to the intestinal tract.

Christmas Tree Hazards

  • Christmas tree needles are very sharp and can easily get stuck in your pets paws or throat. Sweep up tree needles regularly or fence off your christmas tree to separate your pets from the tree.

  • Do not hang chocolates from your christmas tree: they are highly toxic and your pet will be tempted if he can see and smell them.

  • Cover up electric cords or loose lights to keep your pets from chewing them.

  • Ornaments are potential hazards in many different ways. Pet may be interested in playing with them, and they could injury themselves on broken pieces or ingest them.

  • Make sure your tree is well anchored so your pet can't pull it over.

  • Tinsel and ribbon pose a huge threat, if ingested may cause an obstruction or twist in the intestions.

Other Christmas Hazards

  • Holly, Mistletoe, Lilies, and Yew tree are posionous to pets and must be kept well out of reach.

  • Remove Christmas wrapping paper and toys to aviod your pet chewing or swallowing them.

Contact your Local Veterinary office if you think you pet has run into any holiday hazards!

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thanksgiving Day Hazards

The holidays bring so much fun for family and friends. Even our furry family members are often excited with all the commotion and treats. Many pet owner and their friends are unaware of the deadly consequences for animals during the holidays. Some of the hazards include seasonal decoration, ornamental lighting, ingestion of inappropriate or toxic items, excessive consumption of rich or harmful foods, candle flames and many others.

Before you sit down for the feast you should feed your pet to reduce the risk of begging or stealing. You should also use a gate to seperate them from temptation, leaving them nearby, but with a safety barrier. Purchase a special treat that they can be entertained with while you eat. This is a perfect oportunity to fill a kong with peanut butter or give them a new toy you know they will enjoy.

Be sure to warn your guests of the hazards of feeding sad puppy dog eyes. Many friends and family may not understand that the turkey bone will can spinter and cause detremental damage to your pet if ingested.

The Biggest Turkey Day Hazards:

  • Rich, fatty foods (Turkey skin, gravy, ect.) can contribute to pancreatitis, inflamation of this digestive gland is very painful and requires emergency veterinary care.

  • Cooked bones can splinter and cause tears or obstructions in your pets digestive tract.

  • Baking string, if digested.

  • Onions can lead to canine anemia.
  • Sage and other herbs contain essential oils that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression in your pet.

  • Raw bread dough, when heated up by a pup's body, often expands, causing vomiting, servere abdominal cramping and bloating which can become a life-threatening emergency.

  • Grape and raisin toxicin can cause kidney failure in dogs.

  • Chocolate is toxic to your dog.

  • Caffine and alcohol are also toxic.

Preventive measures are the key to avoid these dangers. After you enjoy your feast of turkey, and delicous pies. And you still can't avoid the temptation of involving your pet...add a little bone free turkey, or some veggies to there meal.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Laser Therapy

Laser therapy applied with the Companion therapy laser system provides a sterile, pain-free, Surgery-free, drug-free treatment which is used to treat a variety of injuries, wounds, fractures, neurological conditions, numerous dermatological problems, and pain. Whether your pet is rehabilitating from trauma or injury, healing from wounds, or simply aging, your companion will benefit from this revolutionary new approach to Veterinary medicine.

Laser therapy is the only course of treatment that actually stimulates the body within. Non-Thermal photons of light are administered to the body and absorbed by the injured cells. The cells are then stimulated and respond with a higher rate of metabolism. This results in increased circulation from the body, an anti-inflammatory reaction, relief from pain and acceleration of the healing process.
The Companion Therapy Laser allows your pet to heal faster after surgery or any traumatic injury.
Everyday disorders such as lick granulomas and chronic ear infections, that cause severe pain and discomfort are instantaneously relieved.

Disorders that respond best to the Companion Laser Therapy:

  • Pain Relief
  • Wound Healing
  • Arthritic Conditions
  • Intervertebral Disc Disease
  • Pyotraumatic Dermatitis
  • Post Surgical Pain Relief
  • Degenerative Joint Disease
  • Lick Granulomas
  • Degloving Injuries
  • Dermatological Conditions
  • Peridontal Disease
  • Gingivitis
  • Otitis
  • And More....

Your Veterinarian is now offering the lastest technology in health care for your pet. This FDA cleared, deep penetrating light allows relief of pain through the release of endorphins and stimulates the injured cells to heal at a faster rate. Call to schedule an appointment for an evaluation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Bald and Beautiful!

Sphynx, Als0 know as the Canadian Hairless, is a breed of cat characterized by having little to no hair on their bodies. Sphynx have a genetic mutation in the gene that causes hair growth, thus they have very little to no hair. Typically a Sphynx has a light down-like hair on their nose, back of their ears and tops of their feet. Because they are hairless on their bodies the oil their skin produces accumulates and Sphynx's need to be bathed with a mild cat shampoo weekly. Wax can accumulate in their ears and they also need to be cleaned weekly with a cleaner from your vet.

Sphynx need to be kept warmer than other cats because they don't have a natural coat! They can wear a small dog shirt and love to snuggle under a fleece blanket. Sphynx come in all the same colors as household cats come in.

They have the same lifespan as a domestic cat and require the same diet and veterinary care. They can get a genetic disease know as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM, where the walls of their heart become thickened and can not pump effectively. Yearly checkups at your regular vet as well as an ultrasound of the heart know as an electrocardiogram should be done by the cardiologist. The onset of HCM is usually 4-8 years of age.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween Safety For Your Pets

Halloween is a fun and exciting time of year for both adults and children. Sometimes overwhelming or scary for our pets

  • Try to walk your dog earlier in the day. Even friendly dogs may become fearful or aggressive with crowds or children in costumes. Keep your pets inside during trick or treating hours, some children may be agitating towards your pets.

  • Keep cats inside.

  • make sure pets can't reach candles, jack-o-lanterns, decorations, or ornaments.

  • Keep your dogs away from the candy bowl. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pet gets into them, since the wrappers can cause chocking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure your dogs can not get into the trash. note: Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage or even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate the more concentrated it is-- and the smaller the lethal the dose.

  • Be sure to inform your family especially children the dangers of leaving treats out where your pets can get into it. Also be sure to caution them about leaving wrappers on the floor.

  • When dressing your pet for halloween be sure the costumes is not irritating or stressful for your pet. Make sure your pet can breath, see, and hear while wearing a custom. Also be sure the custom is flame retardant. remove any rubber band which can cut off circulation or become imbedded in your pets skin. Remove small or dangling accessories that could be chewed or swallowed.

  • If you think your pet is exhibbiting sign or potential chocolate toxity call your veterinarian immediately.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Catch of the Day

Every now and then, a dog playing near a fishing pond will get stuck with a fish hook left behind by a careless fisherman. As you can imagine, a fish hook can be very painful, particularly if the hook is in the foot and the dog has come running to you or tried to removed it with his/her mouth and got it lodged there instead.
Attempt to calm the dog and prepare to transport to your local Veterinary office. Having your Veterinarian remove the hook is best. There proper restraint and in some cases anesthesia will be helpful in preventing any further injury.

If your dog swallows a fish hook. DO NOT attempt to dislodge the hook by pulling the fishing line. Cut excess fishing line leaving approximately 12inches dangling. Transport your pet to your veterinarian immediately. Be sure to not allow your pet to eat a meal or treat in the meantime.

Friday, September 10, 2010

In Need of a Loving Home

Angel is a very sweet, 3 and 1/2 year old female Rottweiller in need of a good home. She is a gentle girl with a great personality. Angel does have Addison's disease which is a very treatable condition that, as long as it is treated, will not shorten her life span. She gets medication in the form of a pill that she takes morning and evening in her food. Once a month she requires a special injection to keep her disease under control. As longas she gets her medication you would never know she had any problems at all. The total cost per month to treat her Addison's disease is about $100. If you are interested in visiting with Angel, please call our office.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Surprising Dog and Cat Facts

Myth: Warm Nose, Sick Dog
The temperature of a dog's nose changes easily and is not a good sign of illness. It can be hot and dry after lying in the sun or cool and wet from dipping into the water bowl. Better signs of illness are lethargy, loss of appetite, vomiting, coughing, or a fever higher than 102.5°F on a rectal thermometer. The wet snout? It comes from tear ducts that drain toward the nose.

Fact: Dogs Can Smell Diabetes
It sounds like a Lassie TV episode, but it's truth, not fiction. Dogs can sniff out a dangerous drop in blood sugar in a diabetic owner and alert the person to take action by pawing, licking, whining, or barking. A few dogs have even been trained and placed as diabetic service dogs. Their nose for hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is correct 90% of the time, according to their trainers.

Myth: Cats Steal a Baby's Breath
This superstition goes back to the 1700s. When babies died of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), people were quick to blame a cat seen lying in the crib. Today, soft toys, illnesses, a stomach-lying position have all been linked to SIDS — but not cats. Cats are drawn to cribs because they're warm, cozy, elevated places – perfect for a catnap.

Fact: Dog Kisses Can Make You Sick
Think dogs' mouths are cleaner than humans? Think again. Veterinarians say dogs' chops are teeming with germs like salmonella, campylobacter, and cryptosporidium. These germs get into a dog's mouth from eating spoiled food or when he uses his tongue as toilet paper. Then a kiss moves these germs from pooch to person, along with a nasty course of diarrhea.

Cat Language: Purring Through Pain
The quiet, motor-like sound of a purring cat is not yet well understood. Every cat fancier has seen their pet purring in happiness; yet cats also purr when they are in pain or close to death. It may be a self-soothing behavior. Kittens begin purring within hours of birth as they nurse — and the mother cat purrs during feeding sessions, too.

Fact: Smoking Kills Cats and Dogs
Secondhand smoke causes at least two fatal cancers in cats: lymphoma and oral carcinoma. Housecats get a double dose of toxins by breathing cigarette smoke in the air and by licking the residue off their fur when grooming. Dogs with long noses may develop cancerous nasal tumors from living with a smoker — and short-nosed breeds are more prone to lung cancer.

Myth: Cats Need Milk
The long-standing myth that cats need milk is wrong and giving your pet a saucer of cow's milk could make it vomit or have diarrhea. Kittens drink their mother's milk until they are weaned and older cats may like the taste of cow's milk. But adult cats don't have much lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose sugar in milk. The result is often uncomfortable and messy: diarrhea.

Friday, August 20, 2010

How do I get my cat into the carrier!

Many of our clients arrive with scratches up and down their arms due to wrestling their cat into the carrier.

Here are some tips to hopefully make this process easier:

1. Place the back end of the carrier against the wall with door open. This will help keep the carrier from sliding around.

2. Scoop up your cat. If your cat runs and hides as soon as the carrier is in site, you may want to feed a meal or treat in a confined area like a bathroom. Then retrieve carrier and place up against wall near confined area.

3. Slide your cat into carrier backwards. This is the key! They are less likely to resist if they don't see where they are going. It is best to gently scruff your cat with one hand and support under body with your other hand. They should just slide right in. Quickly shut the door and you are ready to go!

P.S. This works very well for rabbits too. They are less likely to jump and injure themselves.

Friday, August 6, 2010

10 Reasons Not to Buy a Puppy from a Pet Store

1. Bad Health: Because so many pet store pups come from puppy mills, they are not the result of careful breeding and they are usually not well cared for before coming to the store. Some common illnesses and conditions are neurological problems, eye problems, hip dysplasia, blood disorders and Canine Parvovirus.

2. Behavioral Problems: Because breeding is indiscriminate, behavioral problems are not weeded out generationally. You'll also find that a pet store's staff is not likely to have any training in dealing with behavior issues so the puppies continue to do the wrong things, which become habit.

3. No Socialization: Pet stores pups are often pulled away from their litter at far too young an age, often at only four or five weeks. The earliest a puppy should be separated from his pack is eight weeks and most reputable breeders will say at least 10 weeks. This lack of time socializing with his siblings means that puppy will not develop important canine skills. Likewise, a puppy who has not been handled by people from about three weeks will not naturally socialize well with them.

4. The Downfall of the Standard: In a broad sense, purchasing a puppy from a pet store and then breeding her means you are ruining the standard of that breed because the previous breeders were not concerned with it.

5. Lack of Information: A member of a pet store staff is not an expert on a breed and often not on dogs in general. Purchasing a puppy from a store means you will not get the lowdown on that breed or likely help with any behavioral or other questions.

6. Return at Your Puppy's Peril: Most pet stores do offer a warranty of sorts where you can bring the puppy back if he has problems. They don't tend to tell customers that the puppy's fate, once returned, is usually euthanization.

7. Housebreaking is a Chore: Pet store puppies have spent all their short lives in cages. They do not have the opportunity to develop the natural canine instinct of eliminating away from their food and bed. This causes problems when you try to housebreak them.

8. What You See Isn't Necessarily What You Get: If you see what looks like a Maltese in the window, you may find, as she grows, that there's a little Maltese in there somewhere but mostly she looks like a Terrier. There is no guarantee you will get a purebred dog if that's what you're after.

9. Poor Value: A puppy from a pet store generally costs between $400 and $2,000. This is often more than you'd pay at a reputable breeder who can ensure you get a healthy puppy and provide support afterward.

10. Questionable Pedigree: You're paying for a pedigree, or AKC papers, when you buy a puppy from a pet store but it's very likely that it's not genuine. If the papers are genuine, it still doesn't mean the puppy is a good example of its breed - you need a reputable breeder to prove that.What are our options other than pet store puppies? Reputable breeders are always a good choice. They are very knowledgeable about the breed they represent and can help with behavioral and physical issues that might come up later. These breeders socialize their puppies early on, breed in good traits and breed out bad ones and they can show you your puppies' parents and give you their history.Another great option is adopting a puppy. Humane Societies, local animal shelters and breed rescues are all good places to look. True, you don't have the benefit of meeting you pup's parents but rescued puppies are thoroughly examined for any illness or condition, are socialized by staff and trained early on. Also, if you adopt a mixed puppy you will likely find he is very healthy as mutts are often healthier than purebreds.


Friday, July 30, 2010

Protect Your Pets from Harmful Algae Blooms

Blue-green algae can form harmful blooms in lakes, ponds, and rivers that make the water murkey, and can sometimes make the water look like pea soup or paint. These blooms may produce tixins and could make pets and people sick.

  • If you see water like this, do not allow your pet to swim in or drink the water.

  • Rinse pets off immediately if they come into contact with algae bloom.

Call your vet immediately if your pet has been around an algae bloom and shows symptoms such as vomiting, staggering, drooling, or convulsions.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Lyme Disease

What is Lyme Disease?

Lyme Disease is caused by a spirochete, Borrelia burgdorferi. A spirochete is a type of bacterium. It is transmitted to dogs through the bite of a tick. Once in the blood stream, the Lyme disease organism is carried to many parts of the body and is likely to localize in joints. It was first thought that only a few types of ticks could transmit this disease, but now it appears that several common species may be involved. The most common type of tick to carry Lyme disease is the Deer tick.

Can Lyme disease also affect people?

Yes, but people do not get it directly from dogs. They get it from being bitten by the same ticks that transmit it to dogs. Therefore, preventing exposure to ticks is important for you and your dog.

Many pet owners are unaware of how many ticks your outdoor cat can bring into your home. using preventive medications on your cats is just as important as protecting your dog.

What are the clinical signs?

Many people will develop a characteristic "bull's eye" rash at the site of the bite within three to thirty days. The characteristic rash does not develop in dogs or cats. Because the other symptoms of the disease may be delayed or go unrecognized and because the symptoms are similar to those of many other diseases, Lyme disease in animals is often not considered until other diseases have been eliminated.

80-90% of dogs positive for exposure show no clinical signs of Lyme disease when routinely screened at their annual health exam.

Many dogs affected with Lyme disease are taken to a veterinarian because they seem to be experiencing generalized pain and have stopped eating. Affected dogs have been described as if they were "walking on egg shells." Often these pets have high fevers. Dogs may also begin limping. This painful lameness often appears suddenly and may shift from one leg to another. If untreated, it may eventually disappear, only to recur weeks or months later.

Some pets are affected with the Lyme disease organism for over a year before they finally show symptoms. By this time, the disease may be widespread throughout the body.

How is Lyme disease diagnosed?

Dogs with lameness, swollen joints, and fever are suspected of having Lyme disease. However, other diseases may also cause these symptoms. There are two blood tests that may be used for confirmation. The first is any antibody test. This test does not detect the actual spirochete in the blood but does detect the presence of antibodies created by exposure to the organism. A test can be falsely negative if the dog is infected but has not yet formed antibodies, or if it never forms enough antibodies to cause a positive reaction. This may also occur in animals with suppressed immune systems.

The Second test is a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, a DNA test that is very specific and sensitive. However, not all dogs have the spirochete in their blood cells. If a blood sample is tested, a false negative may occur. The best sample for PCR testing is the fluid from an affected joint.

How is Lyme disease treated?

Because the Lyme spirochete is a bacterium, it can be controlled by antibiotics. However, a lengthy course of treatment is necessary to completely eradicate the organism. The initial antibiotic selected to treat an infected pet may not be effective against the disease, especially if the infection is long standing. In this situation, changing to another antibiotic is often effective. Occasionally, the initial infection will recur, or the pet will become re-infected after being bitten by another infected tick.

How can I prevent my dog from getting Lyme disease?

The key to prevention is keeping your dog from being exposed to ticks. Ticks are found in grassy, wooded, and sandy areas. They find their way onto an animal by climbing to the top of a leaf blade of grass, or short trees, especially Ceder trees. Using a topical preventive or tick collar is highly reccommended. Talk to your veterinarian to determine which product would best suite your pet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Paintball Toxicity

Ingestion of large amounts of paint balls can result in toxicity and even death. Depending on the ingredients in the paint balls, the size of the pet and the amount eaten, various problems can occur. Common symptoms include vomiting and possibly diarrhea. Signs can progress to weakness, coma and seizures. Once toxic levels are reached in the body, the effect becomes apparent at which time you may notice restlessness, hyperactivity, muscle twitching, increased urination and possibly excessive panting. Heart rate levels may also be increased. Seizure activity may occur in severe cases. These signs can occur within a few hours of ingestion. Prompt veterinary care is recommended.It is unknown for sure the amount of paint balls that need to be ingested to cause toxicity. Some data suggests that a couple can even cause mild signs. Diagnosis Diagnosing paintball toxicity or damage is generally based on the owner's witnessing or suspecting ingestion and on physical exam findings. The signs are consistent with the physical injury includes a round type bruise that can be associated with paint on the pet. Ingestion of paint balls can cause a variety of symptoms depending on the type and amount eaten. Symptoms of ingestion may include:
Vomiting (you may see the paint balls or paint)
Difficulty walking/stumbling
Increased thirst and urination
Tachycardia (high heart rate)
Coma Signs may begin within one hour after ingestion. Dehydration may also occur if there has been significant vomiting and diarrhea. Ingestion can also cause changes in the bodies electrolytes. The most severe changes are a dangerously high sodium level, increase in pH, elevations in chloride levels and lowered potassium levels. Baily a 5 1/2 year old yellow lab ingested an unopened bag of 500 orange paint balls. A Brand which was considered non-toxic but contained high amounts of sodium, which causes neurologic symptoms. Baily had orange vomit and diarrhea. He presented with ataxia(trouble walking), glasses eyes, pale color.

Because Baily vomited up most of what he ate and received prompt supportive care at Cape Animal Referral & Emergency he spent one night at the hospital and made a full recovery.

We are happy to report Baily is doing great with no after affects!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Iams Cat Food Recall

Specific lots of canned cat food are being recalled because of insufficient amounts of vitamin B1 (also known as thiamine). This recall is similar to the Diamond Foods cat food recall in October 2009, also due to low levels of thiamine.

Iams ProActive Health canned Cat and Kitten Food - all varieties of 3 oz & 5.5 oz cansDate on Bottom of Can - 09/2011 to 06/2012

  • Proctor and Gamble (P&G), Iams parent company, is voluntarily recalling specific lots of its Iams canned cat food in North America as a precautionary measure. Diagnostic testing indicated that the product may contain insufficient levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1), which is essential for cats.
  • This recall is limited to only Iams canned cat food distributed in North America. No other Iams pet food is involved.
  • Cats that were fed these canned products as their only food are at greater risk for developing signs of thiamine deficiency.
  • Early signs of thiamine deficiency may include loss of appetite, salivation, vomiting and weight loss. In advanced cases, signs may include ventroflexion (downward curving) of the neck, wobbly gait, falling, circling and seizures.
  • Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat is displaying any of these signs. If treated promptly, thiamine deficiency is typically reversible.
  • Consumers who have purchased canned cat food with these codes should discard it. For further information or a product refund call P&G toll-free at 877-340-8826 (Monday - Friday, 9:00 AM to 7:00 PM EST).

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Buzz on Bee Stings

Dogs are more likely than humans to get stung by bees because they like to play with anything that moves, including bees and their hives. But dogs are just as likely to be allergic to those stings and have bad reactions.

If your dog is stung by a Bee remove the stinger immediately in case your dog is allergic to the poison and goes into anaphylactic shock. Using a credit card, scrape out the part of the stinger you can see or pull the whole stinger out with tweezers, but only if you can reach it. Breaking it will allow more poison into your dog's blood stream.
Assess your dog's physical condition. If he or she is having problems breathing, acts weak, disoriented, or is vomiting or having diarrhea, see a veterinarian immediately. If your dog seems OK, continue to keep an eye on them for at least 24 hours.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Fun Dog Facts

Teddy Roosevelt's pit bull, Pete, once ripped off a French ambassador's pants at a White House event.

If never spayed or neutered, a female dog, her mate, and their puppies could produce over 66,000 dogs in 6 years!

Zorba, an English Mastiff, is the heaviest dog on record, weighing 343 lbs at the age of 8 in 1989.
Franklin D. Roosebelt once spent $15,000 to have a destroyer return to the Aleutian Islands and retrieve his Scottie, Fala, who had been accidentally left behind.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the smallest dog on record was a Yorkshire Terrier in Great Britain who, at the age of 2, weighed just 4 ounces.

The only sweat glands a dog has are between the paw pads.

A one-year-old dog is physically as mature as a 15 year-old human.

Plato once said that “a dog has the soul of a philosopher.”

The oldest dog on record was an Australian cattle dog named Bluey who lived 29 years and 5 months. In human years, that is more than 160 years old

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Lil Miss Shines!

On December 14 2009 Lil Miss presented to our Hospital for having trouble getting up. Dr. Burns assessed her condition and at an astonishing weight of 107lbs described her as morbidly obese. He concluded that the only thing debilitating Lil Miss was her lazy golden ways and her love for biscuits!
Lil Miss' owner obviously loved her dearly and when she realized that she could possibly add years to Lil Miss' life she quickly sprung into action!

Lil Miss now has a new diet, she eats Purina OM (overweight management) and the only treats she gets are carrots. which she really doesn't mind!

On March 26 2010 a mere 3 months after Lil Miss could not pick herself up off the floor she weighted 87.3 lbs!

Lil Miss has also began exercising on the water treadmill at C.A.R.E. (Cape Animal Referral & Emergency) for 6 weeks and has seen great results.

Today we were so excited to see Lil Miss weighing in at 78.4 lbs! a total loss of 28.6 lbs.

Congratulations Lil Miss! keep up the hard work!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Beware of Cocoa Mulch

It’s that time of year when gardeners and landscapers are out in full force sprucing up their yards and lawns. That makes it the right time of year to remind everyone about the dangers of cocoa mulch.
Cocoa mulch is made from the shell of cocoa beans. It looks and smells great. Because of the chocolate-like smell, dogs, especially, are attracted to it and may eat it. Unfortunately, cocoa mulch contains caffeine and theobromine, just like chocolate does. These chemicals have an effect on animals similar to that on people. They increase the breathing and heart rate, sometimes causing irregular beating of the heart. They cause restlessness, and the caffeine also directly stimulates the heart muscle and the central nervous system.
Common signs of cocoa mulch toxicity include vomiting, diarrhea, panting, hyperactivity, restlessness, incoordination, muscle tremors, increased or decreased heart rate, irregular heart rhythm, and increased body temperature. Seizures, coma, or death may occur. Less frequent symptoms include abdominal pain and blood in the urine.
If your pet has eaten cocoa mulch, contact your veterinarian immediately. Time is critical. Your veterinarian may recommend that you induce vomiting. At your veterinarian’s office, they may continue to induce vomiting and give activated charcoal. Intravenous fluids may be given to prevent dehydration and to stimulate more urine production to help rid the body of the toxins. The heart rate and rhythm will be monitored, and heart medications given if necessary. Your pet will also be monitored and treated for any hyperthermia (increase in body temperature) and seizures. The urinary bladder may need to be catheterized to prevent reabsorption of the toxins.

Article By: Dr. Holly Nash DVM

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Hot Dogs!

The summer heat and humidity can be very dangerous to your pet. No matter how young or old the excessive heat can be debilitating and life threatening.
Dogs do not sweat 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.

There are ways you can prevent heat stroke from happening:
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.

The following signs may indicate heat stroke in a dog:
Increased rectal temperature (over 104° requires action, over 106° is a dire emergency)
Vigorous panting
Dark red gums
Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
Collapse and/or loss of consciousness
Thick saliva
Dizziness or disorientation
If you believe your dog may have heat stroke remove him/her from the heat immediately.

DO NOT use ice or very cold water to cool down! 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.

Call or visit your veterinarian 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).

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Permethrin Toxicity

The problem comes from a flea control ingredient called permethrin. While permethrin is safe on dogs, even small amounts of the ingredient on the skin of cats can cause deadly problems. Permethrin is common in flea and tick control purchased at grocery stores and big-box stores. Because of its popularity, Hartz flea and tick control products are often involved with feline permethrin toxicity. One of the few high-end flea and tick controls containing this cat poison is K9-Advantix.
Symptoms of permethrin toxicosis will manifest themselves within a few hours to three days following the exposure of your cat to Advantix. Symptoms include tremors, hyperexcitability, depression, loss of coordination, vomiting, seizures, twitching, lack of eating and death.
Symptoms can develop in two to 48 hours. If your cat is exposed to permethrin, handle the situation as an emergency.
If you think your pet may be having a reaction to permethrin contact or transport your pet to your local animal hospital immediately.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Poisonous Plants & Your Pets

Did you know that there are actually over 700 plants that can be poisonous or toxic to your pet?

Dogs and Cats (especially) tend to be highly sensitive to poisonous plants because of their small size and unique metabolism. Some plants that are generally considered to be non-toxic may cause severe symptoms in a pet with an allergy to a plant. Some plants that are non-toxic could be sprayed with poisonous chemicals.
Here is a link listing SOME plants that are poisonous to dogs and cats:
Veterinary follow-up care is critical to prevent secondary affects of the poison. A veterinarian can also monitor the pet for complications. If you think that your animal is ill or may have ingested a poisonous substance, contact your local veterinarian.

The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, an operating division of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), is the only animal-oriented poison control center in North America. It is a unique emergency hotline providing 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week telephone assistance. The Center's hotline veterinarians can quickly answer questions about toxic chemicals, dangerous plants, products or substances found in our everyday surroundings that can prove poisonous or fatal to animals.
ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center1-888-4-ANI-HELP

Friday, April 9, 2010

The Gentle Leader

The Gentle Leader Collar® is a double collar with one loop around the neck, and another around the snout. It looks like and works like a halter used to train a horse.

The leader Dog Loop, fits somewhat loosely over the snout, just tight enough so it cannot be pawed off the end of the nose. The dog is free to pen his mouth for barking, playing, eating, drinking, and chewing. Both loops are adjustable for proper fit.
One of the benefits of the Gentle Leader Collar is that when you make a correction it is with very gentle pull on the lead. This pull automatically turns the dog's head toward you, giving you the dog's attention.

The Gentle Leader Head Collar can be used to teach your dog all of the basic commands: Sit, Stay, Come, Heel and Down. It can also be used to control unwanted habits such as digging, jumping, barking, begging, chewing, stealing and general unruliness at home, on the street, and at the veterinarian's office. Techniques for working on all of these behaviors are in the comprehensive manual included with the Gentle Leader.

Friday, April 2, 2010

These radiographs were taken of Alice a 6 1/2 year old cat and Coda an 11month old Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Both had ingested sewing needles! Oddly enough cats and dogs are extremely attracted to string/ribbon. They ingest the string and in this case whatever happens to be attached to it! This can be very dangerous and life threatening for your animals.
Luckily both of these pets were able to have exploratory surgery to remove the needles.
We are very happy that they are doing well.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

"Jack" the hamster....

Jack getting an ultrasound. What a great patient!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cancer, Chemo, and Cookies...

Cancer is one of the worst diagnosis your pet can have. And the option of chemotherapy may initially sound horrible. While the situation is less than ideal, once the shock and grief pass a little, the reality of cancer treatment in veterinary medicine holds promise.

Most pets that have chemo have little or no adverse problems with treatments. The best part is that they feel better, and have a surprising great quality of life. They don't even know or understand they have cancer. They don't have to worry about the mortgage or kids, and they can face the disease without the worry so often common in human medicine.

And these patients remind us all to live in the moment. They enjoy each day. The reality is that nothing is guaranteed for any of us.

Even the treatments are enjoyable. Most of our canine patients become so comfortable that they even enjoy cookies while receiving treatment.

So if your pet is ever faced with this dilemma, push aside the preconceptions of chemo from human medicine. Just consider if chemo will help your pet extend their time with you, all with great quality of life.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Feeling Good After Being Spayed...

Just look at this Great Dane's face only a few hours after she was spayed on Wednesday and you can tell she feels good.

A big part of why this dog looks so good is because she had a laparoscopic ovarioectomy - and studies show it is up to 65% less painful than a traditional spay.

For more information, visit

Friday, March 5, 2010

Meet Morris!

Super sweet Morris was a victim of the economic crisis - his owners could not afford treatment of his diabetes. The VACC Pet Fund has given him a second chance, and he has been living at Veterinary Associates ever since.

He is a fantastic cat and is so sweet. We have made a lot of effort getting him perfectly regulated on insulin and he is doing great. While he requires insulin injections twice daily, all of the hard work and cost in getting his stabilized is complete. As you will see, he is a healthy and happy kitty cat.

He would love a great home because that is where he belongs. Please consider adopting Morris and you might find he gives you much in return. He is one special cat.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Surgical Laser Means Less Pain

We are proud to offer the latest in laser surgery as one the high-tech options for your pet. The benefits of laser is simple; less pain, less bleeding, and a faster recovery. The extreme precision and reduction in swelling are just more reasons that laser may be right for your pet.

For more information, visit our website at

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Complimentary access to our secure, private health website just for your pet is a click away!

You can check your pet's health records, vaccination history, request an appointment, search our extensive health library, and much more! You get direct access to manage your pet's health 24/7.

Discover the benefits of managing your pet's health online today. Simply visit our website at htpp:// and click on "Pet Portals Log In" to get started.

See you online!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Consider Microchipping Your Pet

It is about the size of a grain of rice, but it could be the difference for your lost pet being home by dinner or never seeing your best friend again.

There are really no downsides to having your pet microchipped. Less than 2% of cats lost without a chip are ever returned home- that means 98% never see their families again. That is in contrast to 40% of microchipped cats who make it back to their owners. For dogs, the data shows that over 50% with a microchip are returned to their owners, while less than 20% without a chip ever make it back home.

And for those of you with indoor only pets - remember the lessons Hurricane Katrina taught us. Many of the problems faced after Katrina involved reuniting pets with their families. In a natural disaster a microchip may make a big difference for your indoor pet.

Next time you are in ask us about microchipping. That little chip could make a big difference.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Thank L.A.'s dog-saving fire-fighter, Joe St. Georges!

Recently a fire-fighter made a dramatic rescue caught on camera. Hanging from a helicopter, Joe pulled a frightened stray dog named Vernon from drowning, despite receiving numerous bites in the process. Even though he was injured, Joe never let go of Vernon during the dramatic air rescue.

Some in the public complained that we should not be using public resources to save animals like Vernon. And Joe even took criticism for his role in the rescue.

But you can let Joe know that we do appreciate his heroism in saving Vernon. You can follow the face book link to send him a thank you.

Here at Veterinary Associates, we commend Joe for his bravery and compassion in the rescue of Vernon. Way to go Joe!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Haiti Emergency Relief Response

The International Fund for Animal Welfare is mounting an emergency animal relief mission in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti. They are partnering with the World Society for The Protection of Animals to lead animal welfare groups in a coordinated response.

You can help by donating now at:

Please help - the people and animals of Haiti face a catastrophe of unbelievable proportions. Whether IFAW or another charity such as the American Red Cross or UNICEF, any assistance you can give will help.

Friday, January 1, 2010

We Offer The Same Procedure For Your Little Tiger...

We offer the same minimally invaisive spay for your little tiger or pup. Studies show that a laparoscopic spay is up to 65% less painful than the traditional procedure. We are proud to be the only veterinary hospital on Cape Cod offering these procedures for our patients.