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Fun in the Sun 2014

CheeseThe Fun in the Sun Photo Contest is back. Please send us a picture of your pet enjoying the summer days. Whether it be outside or taking a cat nap we want to see. All the photos will be posted on our Facebook page .  We have some new rules this year  about voting be sure to read the details below. This year the winner will receive a $50 dollar gift card to Baring Blvd Veterinary Hospital. Be sure to follow these steps below to  register.

1. Find an adorable picture of your pet enjoying the summer season.

2. Email it to us at (as a jpeg please).  Subject line : FUN IN THE SUN, be sure to include your first and last name, your pet’s name and your phone number that we use at BBVH as a contact number.

3. Login and check out your pet’s picture on our Facebook page. (And don’t for get to like it! )Facebook-Like

4. Ask  your friends and family to help by liking the picture on our page (if you share it ask them to click through to our page, other wise their like won’t count).


The winner will be determined by a percentage of the likes on facebook, and votes from the staff.  Photos can be submitted from July  21- August 22 (to the email above). We will post all the photos at the same time on August 25. The voting will take place from August 25 through September 1. The winner will be announced after the staff vote on September 4  Good Luck !

Here are some of last years pictures:

Our HomeAgain Chip-a-thon is back on!  During the summer months more dogs go missing than any other time of the year. We will be offering the HomeAgain microchip, life time registration, and 1st year of extra benefits for $28 (normally $47). No appointment is needed, and we are open 7 days a week. Check out Gabby’s story about how she went missing and found her family thanks to her HomeAgain microchip. This promo will go on until the end of July.

FoundPetImageWhile away on vacation, our German Shepherd, Gabby, decided to jump the electronic fence and the wooden fence that protected her in our backyard.

When our caretaker came to watch over Gabby (since we were away), she discovered that Gabby was missing. Two days later when the caretaker was finally able to contact us about our missing furbaby, we immediately reported it to HomeAgain and put out a HomeAgain poster.

Two weeks after Gabby went missing, a PetRescuer saw the HomeAgain poster and immediately recognized Gabby as a dog that was brought into the clinic. After scanning Gabby and seeing the HomeAgain poster, the kind PetRescuer was able to confirm that this was indeed the dog in the poster! HomeAgain got in touch with me as soon as a possible and I rushed to the clinic. Fifteen minutes after arriving at the clinic, a patron arrived with my Gabby!
After two whole weeks, my precious furbaby is home again! Thanks to the great people at HomeAgain. We could never repay you for reuniting us again with our precious pup. Thank You HomeAgain!


Hind Dewclaws Dr. Laura Leautier

By: Laura Leautier

Does your dog have rear dewclaws? Most dogs do not, but some breeds, like Great

Pyrenees, actually must have a double set of rear dewclaws to be considered “normal.”

If your dog has rear dewclaws, you have the option to let them be, or remove them.

Ideally, the best time to remove dewclaws (front or back ones) is at 3-5 days of age. But

since most of us don’t get our puppies until 8 wks or later, we will often do the dewclaw

removal surgery at the time of the neuter or spay, so there’s just one anesthesia. In

dewclaws that have a definite bony joint, the surgery is a bit more involved and a little

dewclawscostlier to remove than the “floppy” ones. The floppy dewclaws hang out to the side and

may get snagged on things, so they should be removed. Also, dogs who don’t appreciate

their nails being trimmed should have them removed. Since the dewclaws don’t touch

the ground, they can grow very long and curl around, cutting into the pad. If you decide

to have the surgery done, know in advance that the two weeks of healing and bandage

changes can be a bit of a bear. Dogs tend to want to remove their bandages and chew at

their stitches, so an Elizabethan collar is needed. We usually see them back for bandage

changes every 3-5 days until suture removal at 14 days post-surgery. Our doctors are101_3579

happy to discuss any questions you may have about the procedure.

Acupuncture for Animals

Frequently Asked Questions

Kim Luikart, DVM, cVMA

Certified Veterinary Medical Acupuncturist

Dr Luikart



What is acupuncture?

Acupuncture is the stimulation of specific points on the body via the insertion and manipulation of very small, sterile needles into the superficial tissues of the body.  Each treatment is carefully tailored to your pet’s unique situation.  Treatment plans are based on a thorough medical history review, careful physical examination and assessment of musculoskeletal and neurologic systems, as well as any additional diagnostics that may be required.  Our practice incorporates the cutting edge of neuroscience to provide a treatment that is a powerful adjunct to other therapeutic 100_5180modalities.


How does it work?

Acupuncture invokes neuromodulation by stimulating nerve endings and inducing local and distant changes in the body. Acupuncture enhances blood and lymph flow at the local level, relieves myofascial trigger points, modulates traffic in the spinal cord and peripheral nerves, causes release of anti-pain and anti-inflammatory molecules from the brain stem and local tissues, and improves balance between the sympathetic (stress response) and parasympathetic (rest response) nervous systems.


Anatomic and physiologic studies confirm the presence of specific “afferent” nerve endings at acupuncture points, which transport input to the peripheral nerves, associated spinal cord segments, and brain.  This information is processed and endogenous regulation results in improved circulation and organ function, analgesia, muscle relaxation, and normalized immune function.  Dr. Luikart and other medical acupuncturists study these connections and choose acupuncture sites according to the desired neuromodulatory effect.


Effects include:

Improved nerve function

Relaxation of muscles and fascia

Improved circulation and faster healing

Control of pain and inflammation


What types of conditions can you treat?

Nearly any medical condition can benefit from acupuncture.  Some of the most common conditions treated include:


Neurologic injury (such as intervertebral disc disease)

Digestive disturbances (gastroenteritis, pancreatitis, colitis, diarrhea, constipation)

Allergies (itching, ear infections, chronic licking)

Urinary dysfunction (cystitis, incontinence)

Post operative/trauma recovery

Chronic pain (from injury, surgery, or other disease process)

Behavioral problems

In addition, many hospitalized pets can benefit from daily acupuncture treatment while in our hospital.


Does acupuncture hurt?100_4659

Most pets find their treatment enjoyable, or at least tolerable.  Some pets even fall asleep during treatment. We try to maintain a relaxed and nonstressful environment as much as possible.  Some pets however, may be very sensitive, and we never force treatments on any pet.


Are there any side effects?

Acupuncture has been used for thousands of years as a safe treatment for many health problems.  In the hands of an appropriately trained professional, acupuncture is very safe.  On occasion, some pets may seem lethargic or even a little worse for a day or two after the first treatment.  This usually passes and the pet feels much better.


What is a typical treatment like?

First Appointment: On your first visit, Dr. Luikart will book an entire hour to spend with you and your pet.  This visit is very important, because every case is different and we need to thoroughly understand your pet’s specific situation.

Dr. Luikart will perform a complete physical examination, including a careful evaluation of your pet’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems.  One of medical acupuncture’s main tenets is that appropriate treatment stems only from appropriate diagnosis.  Therefore, Dr. Luikart may recommend further workup prior to setting a treatment program, which could include diagnostics such as bloodwork or radiographs.

Dr. Luikart is trained in osteopathic myofascial palpation and trigger point diagnosis.  This helps to identify fascial restrictions and painful spots, directs attention to specific joints or body parts, and guides the selection of points for acupuncture treatment.

Finally, Dr. Luikart will proceed with needling.  We often go very slow and easy on the first treatment since we do not want pets to find the treatment stressful.  First treatments may only involve needling of 3 or 4 points, although this is highly variable.  The success of treatment does not depend on the number of needles used.  Often we may use adjunct therapy at this time such as laser or massage.  The needles often stay in for 10-15 minutes, and we may incorporate electrical stimulation in some patients.  Once the fascia has relaxed, and the tissues have responded, the needles may fall out on their own, or Dr. Luikart will remove them.

Follow up appointments: During subsequent appointments, various parts of the initial visit will be repeated, but normally follow up treatments will take about 30 minutes.

How many times do animals need to be treated?

100_4960-001Often 2-3 treatments lasting 20-30 minutes are given in the first 2 weeks, then the frequency is tapered to what is appropriate for each case.  Depending on the type of illness, severity of symptoms, and overall health of the pet, this may be once weekly, once per month or two, or simply as needed.



Does acupuncture always help?

Not always.  Like any treatment, we see a few miraculous cases and a few do not respond at all.  The majority of pets will get some significant benefit.  Acupuncture does not replace regular veterinary medicine and other treatment modalities, and we do encourage a thorough diagnostic workup prior to initiating treatment.  Every animal is different and the benefits may increase over time.  Acupuncture is a valuable adjunct tool for many problems and can often reduce dependency on more invasive or side effect prone treatments.

How much does acupuncture cost?

The initial consultation and treatment as described above is $180, and all follow up visits are $70.

Hospitalized patients are treated on a case by case basis and prices range from $45-65 per treatment.

Please call our hospital to schedule an appointment with Dr. Luikart or give us a call for more information.


Hot Spots: What are they and how did my dog get them?

By: Michelle Caldwell Dr. Caldwell


What are hot spots?

“Hot spots,” or pyotraumatic dermatitis, are areas of skin that are weepy, wet, red, and sometimes bloody.  They are caused by over-zealous self-licking and chewing and they can arise quickly.  These areas can be solitary or there may be multiple patches of affected skin.  These lesions hot spotalmost always look worse than they really are.


How did my dog get them?

The most common underlying cause for “hot spots” is an underlying allergy (food or environmental). However, contact with an irritating substance, trauma (i.e. clippers from grooming), or pain in the area from underlying tissues can cause the dog to lick and chew, resulting in a “hot spot.”


What should I do if I think my dog has a hot spot?

Prompt veterinary attention is recommended as these lesions can get larger and are painful if not treated. Your veterinarian will most likely clip and clean the area to allow the wound to dry or “air out.” Sometimes the wound is 101_3579small enough for topical treatment, however in many instances, systemic antibiotics and even corticosteroids are needed to clear up secondary bacterial infection and decrease inflammation. An Elizabethan collar will most likely be recommended as well to prevent further licking/chewing.

Puppy Play


By:  John Crumley, DVMDr. Crumley

I want to socialize my puppy, but I was told not to take him around any other dogs what can I do?

Early socialization is a very important step in the early behavioral development of puppies. Current recommendations are to get puppies into a structured puppy class before 16 weeks of age, but the vaccine and deworming series is not completed until after 16 weeks of age. Since the vaccine series is paramount to prevent terrible diseases, such as parvovirus, this can seem like a “Catch 22” scenario. We want our puppy exposed to the proper social environment, but we don’t want them exposed to disease, right? Well, it can be done and safely.

In the past, veterinarians would always recommend keeping a puppy inside the home and away from other dogs or places dogs have been until the vaccine series was completed, but recent evidence does not support this recommendation. In fact, veterinary behaviorists believe we may be harming a puppy’s early social development by keeping them isolated from other dogs and new people. The current recommendations from veterinary behaviorists is to get puppies into socialization classes before 12 weeks of age.


Our biggest infectious disease concern in Reno is parvoviorus. The vaccines are very effective in preventing the disease, but they must be given in sequence starting around 7 weeks of age until a final puppy vaccine after 16 weeks of age. During the vaccine sequence the immunity builds with each successive vaccination so the risk of infection reduces, but it is complete until after the final puppy vaccine is given after 16 weeks of age.

So, is my puppy going to get parvovirus if I go to puppy classes before 16 weeks of age?

Very unlikely. In the spring of 2013, researchers looked into puppies that were enrolled in puppy classes before 16 weeks of age after receiving at least one vaccination for parvovirus from a veterinarian. More than 200 puppies in four cities were studied and not a single puppy developed parvovirus. So, it appears that puppy classes are safe if your puppy has received at least one vaccine by a veterinarian. We recommend enrolling in puppy classes around 12 weeks of age (after we have given at least one vaccine). We have never documented a puppy getting Puppies playing sick from parvovirus that could be traced to a puppy class here in Reno.

So I can take my puppy anywhere after you give a parvovirus vaccine?

No! There is still parvovirus in our town, so going to places where many dogs have been is a big risk for parvovirus until the vaccine series is complete. Your home, your yard, and puppy classes are safe, but avoid anywhere else many dogs have been to reduce your puppy’s risk.

But I should enrol my puppy in puppy classes?

Yes! At your first puppy vaccine visit, ask your veterinarian about when to get your little one started in classes. In the meantime, get your puppy used to a collar, leash, and harness. Also pug pack start teaching them to sit and stay and work on crate training. All these things will give your little puppy a “leg up” on the future classes!

Bob Baker, DVM   

Dr. Baker

Leptospirosis is a potentially life-threatening bacterial disease that can affect animals, as well as humans. In northern Nevada, we have not typically vaccinated against this disease, but it is increasing in frequency.  Northern California is now considered a leptospirosis “hotspot.”
The Leptospira bacteria is typically spread through the urine of infected wildlife or domestic animals.  The bacteria pass into water and soil, where they can survive for months.  When animals come in contact with this contaminated environment, the bacteria can enter the body through broken skin and mucus membranes.  Drinking contaminated water is another source of infection.
Leptospirosis is a very serious disease that can cause liver problems, kidney failure, and death.  It can also be difficult to diagnose.  There is no one perfect test to confirm the disease, although some of the newer polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests are much better than the older (titer) tests.  The incubation period for leptospirosis is usually between 5 to 14 days.
Early treatment is much more successful than delayed intervention.  Treatment involves antibiotics, fluid therapy, and, in some instances, referral for dialysis.
318619_166854683394618_1910788172_n Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, meaning it can be transmitted between animals and humans.  The infected animal’s urine, blood, and tissues are contagious, and humans get lepto if the bacteria enters cuts or broken skin, or if they drink contaminated water.
Leptospirosis is rare here in northern Nevada, but, as mentioned above, northern California is considered a hotspot for the disease, so dogs that travel there definitely run a higher risk of contracting leptospirosis.  To minimize your dog’s risk of exposure:

Avoid exposure to standing water, especially where wildlife or livestock congregate.  Bring your own source of water for your dog to drink.  Vaccinate your dog.  The leptospirosis vaccine is not a core or required vaccine, but we strongly recommend it for dogs that have an exposure risk.  A small dog that lives in an apartment in northern


Nevada does not need to be vaccinated for lepto.  A dog that hunts or has exposure to cattle farms would be at risk and should be vaccinated.  Leptospirosis vaccines have been available for years, but they were not very effective and ran a high risk of side effects, so they became unpopular. With newer technologies, the vaccine is highly effective with less risk of allergic reactions. We recommend the Merial RECOMBITEK 4 vaccine for the best available protection while having a high margin of safety. Initial vaccination requires a booster in 3-4 weeks, followed by annual vaccination to afford the best protection.  Again, not all dogs need to be vaccinated for leptospirosis.  It is a non-core vaccine for a specific population of at-risk dogs. Our doctors are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Dental Month is Back!

That’s right everybody dental month is back ! If your pet comes in for a dental cleaning during the month of February you will receive a $35 discount off the cost of the dental cleaning, and a dental kit (values at around $10).  Spots are limited so please give us a call if you would like to make an appointment. Here is a sample of a before and after picture from one of our dental cleaning.

Pre dental cleaning Post dental cleaning

By Laura Leautier, DVMDr. Laura Leautier

There’s been some recent changes in thinking regarding the best diet for cats. Many of us have free fed our cats dry food their whole lives. But in looking at what cats eat in the wild versus dry food, there’s a huge difference. Cats are carnivores, so they need a lot of protein in their diet (as long as they have normal kidneys). The typical diet of cats is mice and other rodents and birds. But since we don’t have “mouse in a can” diets, we can mimic this by feeding canned food.

When I was in vet school, we learned dry was best — lower in calories and those crunchies can help the teeth! But now many veterinary specialists are thinking the high carbohydrate content of dry food is why we’re seeing obese kitties and a lot of diabetes, chronic vomiting kitties, and other maladies, including bad teeth!

I have seen cats lose weight easily just from changing from dry to canned. It’s kind of like the Atkins diet for cats or the “Catkins diet”: low carbs with moderate to high protein and fat. This type of diet will help preserve muscle mass (which burns calories at rest), keeps them satisfied longer so they don’t feel the need to “graze” all day, seems to stop a lot of the chronic yakking up of food that we often see, and can lead to less urinary issues because they get more water in their diet when they eat canned.

Any type of high quality canned cat food052742177106C should be good for the average cat, because any canned food has less carbs than any dry food available. Whenever we eat carbohydrates, we release insulin to help bring the sugar into our cells. A little insulin is fine, but a lot of insulin release can lower the blood sugar level so the cat feels hungry soon afterwards, and they consume more dry food over the course of the day. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone so if we lower the blood insulin, there’s less rebound hunger, less weight gain, and there’s growing evidence that it results in a lower incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases, like diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

If your cat is having some of these issues, give us a call and we can talk about possible diet changes.


Why is Decon Bad For My Pet?

Tony Luchetti, DMV Dr Luchetti

To explain why Decon is bad for pets, we must first understand how the body stops bleeding.  When a blood vessel (similar to a pipe) breaks, the body tries to repair this break first with cells called platelets.  The platelets are similar to a band-aid.  They adhere to the broken portion of the blood vessel within 5 minutes and temporarily seal the break.  However the platelets need special proteins called clotting factors to permanently seal the break.  Some of these clotting factors require vitamin K to adhere to the platelets, and thus permanently stop the bleeding.

Decon and other so called “anticoagulant rodenticides” work by lowering the levels of vitamin k in the body to levels so low, that a permanent seal can not be formed on broken blood vessels.  Most pets who ingest decon do not show signs of being sick for a few days until their body’s vitamin k reserves are exhausted.  Some signs the pet may then show are bruising of the skin, external bleeding (such as from the nose or blood in the urine), or internal bleeding (which may cause D-CONdifficulty breathing or the pet may just be  “acting more tired”).

If a pet is known to have ingested decon, timely treatment is crucial.  If we can treat a pet before the vitamin k reserves are exhausted (ideally within the first day), treatment is very effective.  Early treatment consists of usually inducing vomiting to remove any residual toxin, and then placing the pet on an oral prescription form of vitamin k (vitamin k1).  The over the counter form of vitamin k is vitamin k3, and unfortunately this form is not readily absorbed when taken orally, and thus is not an appropriate treatment for decon ingestion.

If a pet has already exhausted their vitamin k reserves and is showing signs of bleeding, treatment is more complicated.  Vitamin k1 can take up to 24hrs to start working, so in the pets who are already bleeding, the only way to quickly stop the bleeding is to give them the specialized proteins we discussed above called clotting factors.  These are given intravenously with plasma.  The plasma buys us time for the oral vitamin k1 to kick in.

In conclusion, if your pet has ingested decon, the sooner you can get your pet in for treatment, the better.  Even though your pet may look fine, the vitamin k reserves are slowly becoming diminished.  Once the vitamin k reserves are depleted and your pet starts showing signs of bleeding, treatment becomes much more expensive, and the prognosis worsens.


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