Thursday, June 28, 2012

The Laboratory at VACC

Here at VACC we are very proud of our laboratory.  We have the equipment to quickly diagnose many disorders, often before the client is finished with their appointment.

This picture shows some of our laboratory equipment.
Some of the in-house diagnostics we are capable of include things like: ear infections, urinary infections, internal or external parasites, as well as more complicated systemic issues.

These white blood cells indicate infection.

Our resident cytologist is also capable of diagnosing more serious conditions, like mast cell tumors. This is an advantage because most animal hospitals need to send samples to an outside laboratory to make this diagnosis, which can take up to five days. In the case of a mast cell tumor, a quick diagnosis is very important because this type of tumor can spread, so it should be removed as soon as possible.  There are also special precautions the surgeon would take with this type of tumor, like treating the patient with Benadryl before the surgery to reduce the histamine response.

This picture shows mast cells, the most common type of cancer in dogs.
 At VACC, we strive to give your pets the best care possible. In the unfortunate event that your pet becomes ill, you can rest assured that our doctors have access to many diagnostic tools, including an in-house cytologist, that will assist them in making your pet feel better as soon as possible.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Hot Weather Tips for Pets

It's the first day of summer and it finally feels like June weather outside.  Even healthy pets are susceptible to overheating.  Here are some tips to keep your pet happy and healthy this summer.

  • Never leave your pet in the car on hot days, even with the windows rolled down.
  • Keep all of the windows in your house without screens closed, or install screens.  Make sure the screens in any open windows are secure. Cats can fall out of higher story windows, and they don't always land on their feet.
  • Give pets plenty of fresh, clean water to prevent dehydration. Remember they may need more than usual on hot days.
  • If you are spending time outdoors this summer, make sure your pet has access to a shady area.
  • Limit your pet's exercise on very hot days.
  • Be safe around pools and other bodies of water.  Not all dogs are good swimmers!  When out on a boat, dogs should wear life jackets too.
  • Be careful of hot pavement or asphalt.  On very hot days, paw pads can burn on the hot ground.  
  • If your pet is afraid of thunder or fireworks, and you are interested in using an anti-anxiety shirt, now is the time to train them to wear it.
  • Know the signs of overheating. They include: excessive panting or difficulty breathing, drooling, seizures, stupor or collapse, increased heart rate, and bloody diarrhea or vomit. If you suspect your pet is overheating call your veterinarian right away, or come see us here at VACC.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Cats and Canine Advantix

Fleas and ticks are already a big problem this year, so it's a good idea to keep up on your pet's monthly preventative. It is very important to remember that permethrin, the active ingredient in many canine flea and tick products, is toxic to cats.  Medications that contain permethrin include Advantix, Adams Spot-On, and Hartz flea and tick products for dogs.
The cat in the picture below is being bathed after his owners accidentally applied K9 Advantix to his back.

Luckily, this cat's owners realized their mistake right away. They washed him off and brought him right to us at VACC, where he was bathed again several times. He was fine, but very fortunate that he didn't need further treatment. If his owners hadn't realized their mistake as soon as they did, he may have suffered from symptoms as mild as trembling or ear flicking, to more severe full-blown seizures. Cats also occasionally groom their dog friends, so it is important to keep your cats separate after applying a flea and tick medication containing permethrin to your dog.
If you suspect your cat has accidentally received a dose of Advantix, or other permethrin containing product, get them to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Cat Carriers and Your Cat

Many cat owners have a hard time getting their cat into the carrier.  Sometimes this can be so difficult that it can even keep the cat from making regular visits to the veterinarian.  It is important for your cat to be in a carrier during any trip in the car, for the cat's safety as well as your own.  Regular visits to the veterinarian are the best way to give your cat a long and healthy life, so getting your cat used to being in the carrier and riding in the car is one of the most important things you can do for him.
Below is a video from the Catalyst Council with tips on choosing the proper carrier for your cat, training your cat to tolerate the carrier, and to remain calm during car rides.