Latest Entries »

Holiday Pet Hazards

By: Bob Baker,DVM Dr. Baker

The Holiday season brings out many potential problems for your pet.

Chocolate exposure and ingestion can cause anything from mild stomach upset to life threatening medical emergencies. If you are giving chocolate as a gift, it is best it does not get put under the tree. The nose of a dog will be able to sniff through the package and gain access to the goodies.

Sugar free treats made with an artificial sweetener called Xylitol can cause liver failure in the dog, Picture 217but is safe for humans. Grapes and raisins can cause kidney failure in dogs. Macadamia nuts are also toxic to dogs. Some dogs will like the taste of eggnog, and the optional alcohol can be a real problem.

Other dietary misadventures with bones, fatty leftovers, candy etc. can cause significant gastrointestinal upset. Bones can cause obstruction and require surgery, there can be an association of high fat foods and pancreatitis that can be life threatening.

Decorative plants such as poinsettias, holly, mistletoe and lilies can cause mild to severe gastrointestinal upset and holly mistletoe_dogand mistletoe can cause rhythm disturbances in the heart.

Tree tinsel and gift wrapping ribbon can be very entertaining to a curious cat, unfortunately cats can swallow these objects creating a linear foreign body which are incredibly dangerous. They cause a plication (accordion movement) of the intestine on itself and can saw right through multiple areas of intestine. It is very important your cat be seen as soon as possible if you suspect a linear foreign body. People will sometimes put a bow or ribbon around an animals neck which if equipped with a breakaway safety feature could result in choking

The Christmas tree itself can be a hazard, the water in the base can be a source of bacteria or can contain toxic substances to maintain freshness of the tree . We have also seen the curious pet try to climb the tree causing it to fall.

dog-christmas-lights 1Christmas lights have their associated electrical cords are another hazard. Chewing electrical cords can cause painful oral burns.

If you have any questions, just give us a call at (775) 358-6880.

Happy Holidays !

With all the high winds and gusty weather one would think we were in Kansas. There have been a lot of fences that have been falling over which in return has led to many lost dog reports. With no fences to hold them in many of the dogs that have been getting out started wandering away from home. Yesterday we are happy to report that we had several reunion stories.

104_8012

One of our employee’s Jeremy was on his way to class when he noticed a couple of dogs wandering out in Spanish Springs. As he was trying to catch those dogs that he saw, he noticed a couple more and so on and so on. Jeremy ended up saving 6 dogs yesterday. He brought them in Baring and thanks to their microchips we were able to reunite all of these dogs with their owners. What a wonderful start to the Holiday Season.

Rabies

Written by Dr. Bob Baker Dr. Baker

Rabies is a viral infection that targets the central nervous system of warm blooded animals. Rabies is worldwide in distribution and causes about 55,000 human deaths each year. Tragically, most of these deaths could be prevented if domestic animal vaccination programs were in place. We are fortunate in the United States in that we see very little rabies in our pets, and subsequently in humans because we have very effective vaccines that are readily available. Rabies does exist in the United States, primarily in wildlife. Exposure risks become evident when wildlife interacts with humans or our pets. In our area, the most common vector or carrier of rabies is the bat. Skunks, skunk_710_600x450racoons, and foxes are also vectors in out area. Unfortunately we cannot be with our pets 24-7 and sometimes then find dead things to play with or eat, or in some situations may predate on bats and this is a risk for exposure. There are documented events of rabid bats getting into peoples homes as well.
What can we do to protect our pets and families? First of all, there are extremely effective vaccines against rabies for dogs and cats. ALL dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies. Even indoor cats that do not go outside have the potential for rabies exposure should a rabid bat gain entry to the home. Dogs are vaccinated as puppies as young as 12 weeks of age. They need another vaccination at a year of age, and then every three years after that. Cats follow the same protocol, except that there are two different vaccines used to booster the older cat, one is labeled for every year and another is labeled for every three years.DSC_0854 Your veterinarian can help you decide which product is right for your pet. Rabies vaccinations are also required by Nevada law. NAC 441A.435
If you or a family member do come across a sick or dead bat, or for that matter any animal, do not approach or handle them. If the animal is a potential rabies vector, and there is any human or animal exposure you should contact Washoe County Vector Control to have the animal tested for rabies.

How to Help Your Pet Age Gracefully

By Sara Hogle, DVM use sh

The majority of dog breeds have reached their golden years by 7 to 10 years old with large and giant breeds becoming seniors earlier than small breed dogs. Cats are typically considered seniors around 10 years of age. Many dogs will experience some graying of the coat (especially around the muzzle or face) as they age but there are many, more subtle signs of aging to watch for.  Some owners will report diminished hearing in their geriatric dogs and cats. Often times older animals are noted sleeping more and tiring more easily when playing. These changes in activity tend to be very gradual in the healthy older dog or cat. Rapid changes in activity level, or excessive lethargy/sleepiness are often indicators of health problems and a visit to your veterinary is strongly recommended if this is noted at home.

senior dogsOther aging changes to watch closely for include excessive thirst, unexpected weight loss or gain, large changes in activity level or ability, and any signs of pain or discomfort. I recommend regularly evaluating your pets ears and mouth for odor or debris, feeling the belly for tenseness, pain, or bloating/distention, running your hands through the coat to feel for masses or lumps, and to screen for any eye or nasal discharge. Additionally, monitor your pet’s activity level and abilities on a daily basis. For example, if you start to notice hesitation, difficulty or reluctance to sit down, climb stairs, get in or out of the car, go for walks, changes in how they are posturing to urinate or defecate, or with a cat, difficulty or inability to get into or out of the litter box, these may all be indicators of pain and possible underlying arthritis, back problems (e.g. disc disease), or even cancer. If any of these changes in odor, activity, etc. are noted at home we strongly recommend a visit to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Many of the problems that our senior pets face can be managed and/or resolved more easily early in the course of disease, making early diagnosis very important.

Additionally, we recommend regular senior wellness exams, every 6 months ideally. Annual blood work, fecal examination Labwork when indicated, and urinalysis can allow for early detection of diseases. Many diseases can be managed and progression prevented by early detection and medical treatments. For example, cats may appear healthy and happy for a long period of time early in the course of kidney failure but kidney problems can be detected during this time by regular bloodwork monitoring in the older cat. If caught early kidney disease progression can be slowed or prevented keeping your cat healthy and happy at home. Once a cat is clinically sick from kidney disease it has progressed to a point where treatment is more challenging, more expensive, and the cat’s quality of life may be affected long term or altered due to the condition.

older-dogFinally, it is important to consider your aging pets changing dietary and exercise/comfort needs. We recommend feeding a complete and balanced, high quality diet specifically formulated for geriatric or senior pets. Some pets will require a specialty or prescription diet due to other concurrent illness, so we advise following your veterinarians dietary recommendations in these cases. Additionally, older dogs can have more difficulty effectively maintaining their body temperature, so keeping them comfortably warm (not hot) and dry is important. Arthritic dogs may benefit from ramps to get up steps and extra padding where they sleep and arthritic cats may require litter boxes with lower sides for easy access. If your older dog or cat is losing sight or hearing, removing obstacles and avoiding unnecessary movement of furniture, food/water dishes, etc. can help to reduce anxiety and maintain mobility and comfort in the home. If at any time you notice any unusual symptoms or evidence of pain/discomfort we strongly recommend an exam with your veterinarian as soon as possible. Ultimately, with you and your veterinarians tender loving care, support, and guidance we can keep your aging pet comfortable, happy, and healthy into their golden years.

West Nile Virus
Authored by: Centers for Disease Control and PreventionCDC-Logo

*A recent article (Austgen et al. Experimental Infection of Cats and Dogs with West Nile Virus, EID, Vol. 10, no.1 Jan 2004) in the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases discusses WNV infection in dogs and cats in detail.

Can West Nile virus (WNV) cause illness in dogs or cats?

A relatively small number of WNV infected dogs (<40) and only 1 WNV infected cat have been reported to CDC during 2003. Experimentally infected dogs* showed no symptoms after infection with WNV. Some infected cats exhibited mild, nonspecific symptoms during the first week after infection–for the most part only showing a slight fever and slight lethargy. It is unlikely that most pet owners would notice any unusual symptoms or behavior in cats or dogs that become infected with WNV.

  1. How can my veterinarian treat my cat or dog if they are/may be infected with WNV?  
    There is no specific treatment for WNV infection. Full recovery from the infection is likely. Treatment would be supportive (managing symptoms, if present) and consistent with standard veterinary practices for animals infected with a viral agent.
  2. Does my dog/cat becoming infected pose a risk to the health of my family or other animals?
    There is no documented evidence of dog or cat-to-person transmission of West Nile virus. The evidence suggests that dogs do not develop enough virus in their bloodstream to infect more mosquitoes. Cats develop slightly higher levels of virus in their bloodstream, but it is unclear if this would be enough to infect mosquitoes. It is very unlikely that cats would be important in furthering the spread of the virus.  If your animal becomes infected with WNV, this suggests that there are infected mosquitoes in your area. You should take measures to prevent mosquitoes from biting you (use repellent and wear protective clothing.)

How do cats and dogs become infected with West Nile virus?  Dogs and cats become infected when bitten by an infected mosquito. There is also evidence that cats can become infected with the virus after eating experimentally infected mice. *

  1. Can I become infected with WNV if a dog with the virus bites me?  Preliminary studies have not been able to detect virus in the saliva of infected dogs. This suggests that dog bites pose a low risk, if any, of transmission of WNV from dogs to other animals or people.
  2. Is there a vaccine for cats or dogs?     No
  3. Q. Can I use insect repellent on my pets?   DEET-based repellents, which are recommended for humans, are not approved for veterinary use (largely because animals tend to ingest them by licking.) Talk with your veterinarian for advice about the appropriate product for use on your pet.

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 https://www.facebook.com/baringvet .  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 Baringvet@gmail.com (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).

Rules:

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!
home_again_320
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:

Arthritis

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.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 748 other followers