Kidney disease affects many of our pets - nearly 1 in 3 cats and 1 in 10 dogs. Healthy kidneys help to filter and remove waste from the body, help maintain normal red blood cells, and balance the body’s fluid and minerals. Chronic kidney disease (CKD) occurs when your pet suffers from gradual and permanent loss of these functions over time. Amazingly, symptoms of CKD may not occur until kidney function is reduced by 75%.
CKD often goes undetected due to a lack of symptoms, or very subtle changes in your pet’s water intake, appetite or energy level. Other disease processes may also disguise CKD symptoms. That’s why regular veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are so important. Thankfully, your veterinarian now has a valuable tool to identify CKD much earlier than before.
A new blood test, called SDMA, can identify CKD months or years earlier than traditional methods. This test is now included in all of the blood chemistry panels that are recommended at Willow Mill Veterinary Hospital- at no additional cost. Early detection is very important to identifying the cause, and in creating the best treatment plan for your pet.
If your pet is diagnosed with CKD, there are a number of treatment options available to improve his quality and length of life. These treatments typically include feeding a high-quality kidney-friendly diet, increasing water intake, and medications. Frequent veterinary checkups and urine and blood tests are also recommended as your pet ages and his kidney function changes.
If you would like more information about CKD, or if you think your pet may be suffering from CKD, please call our office to schedule an appointment- (717) 766-7981..
If your pet gets stressed out at the mere mention of the veterinary clinic, check out these ‘do’s’ and avoid these ‘don’t’s’ to make for a smooth clinic visit.
Practice makes perfect
If your dog or cat is showing signs of anxiety each time they visit the veterinarian, try a practice visit. Depending on the level of anxiety your pet experiences, follow each of the steps below, provided rewards and praise after completing each step.
World of worry
It’s very important to remember that your tone of voice, body language and stress level will affect how your pet reacts to an environment. They will be looking to you to see if everything’s all right. Whenever you’re preparing the visit the veterinarian, it’s crucial that you act as if everything is going great.
Handling begins at home
In order to perform a physical examination, the veterinarian and/or staff members may need to restrain your pet. A dog that has never been physically restrained will naturally struggle against being held, even at home where he or she feels safe.
Of courses being restrained can increase anxiety and stress, and in some situations may even cause a dog to lash out. To help prevent this from happening, it’s important you handle your dog or cat on a regular basis by checking their ears, mouth and feet. Massage sessions are especially helpful to desensitize handling issues and are a great way to relax your dog or cat while at the veterinary clinic.
Your perseverance and patience will pay off. Remember to use lots of rewards and positive reinforcement for good behavior and your pet will be well on your way to enjoying a fear free visit to their veterinarian in no time.
Spring is finally starting to bring warmer weather and that means summer isn't too far away! When planning your vacation, don't forget about your pets! If your pet isn't traveling with you, you'll want to make sure your pet's caretaker knows how to handle any emergency medical decisions. A Pet Care Emergency Authorization Form includes your contact and travel information, the name of the designated agent who is in charge of your pet's care in your absence, information about your pet's health and vaccine history, and how emergency medical decisions should be handled. It would be a good idea to share a copy of this form with your pet's regular veterinarian as well, prior to your departure.
Fromm Family Pet Food issued a voluntary recall of several canned dog foods. Below is a direct quote from the company's webpage:
"Fromm Family Pet Food has discovered through our own analysis that 12 oz. cans of our new Gold canned dog food pates do not contain recommended levels of vitamins and minerals. They may contain elevated levels of Vitamin D. We are recalling these products out of an abundance of caution."
See the Fromm Family Pet Food website for more details.
Cold Laser Therapy is a pain-free therapy that helps to repair damaged tissues and reduce inflammation. Many medical conditions can benefit from the therapy, including arthritis. In many older patients cold laser therapy makes an incredible difference beyond what medications alone can offer. Hershey is one of those patients, and her family has graciously shared their experience with us:
"I just wanted to say a huge thanks to Willow Mill for taking care of Hershey! Although she had an injury recently trying to jump in my car she is doing great! In fact, her splint has disguised her injury because she looks at me every day with that look of can we play fetch with the tennis ball! However, we are still limiting her activity so that her injury continues to heal.
At the age of 9, she has had some arthritis issues and she hasn't slept in my bed for about a year. When she got hurt recently I was very concerned that she broke something. All X-rays came back negative but Willow Mill created a great treatment plan: laser therapy and a splint. Since the laser treatment she is jumping into bed and feeling extremely better! Within a week her disposition and behavior has reminded me when she was much younger. I can tell she is feeling extremely better. I have always heard of other people telling me the positive benefits of laser therapy, but I can honestly tell you that I am now living that reality with Hershey. We say that our pets are our family, it just means the world to our family that she has her energy and disposition back! Sometimes it is the very small things in life that have a significant impact on our family!
Thank you for taking care of Hershey, we appreciate all the compassionate care around her treatment! This is why we choose to come to Willow Mill! If you ever need a recommendation for laser therapy please put my name down, it is totally worth it."
Purina has announced a voluntary pet food recall on several varieties of wet food. Here is an excerpt directly from their website:
"We’re pet owners and pet lovers, too. For that reason, when we discovered through our own internal quality tests that some of our 10-oz. wet dog food tubs may not contain the recommended level of added vitamins and minerals, we took action and voluntarily recalled the product at retail.
This includes select wet dog food 10-oz. tubs under the Beneful Prepared Meals, Beneful Chopped Blends and Pro Plan Savory Meals brands."
For additional information, visit their website: http://newscenter.purina.com/10ozwetdogfoodtubrecall
For additional pet food recalls, you can visit the FDA recall page: http://www.fda.gov/animalveterinary/safetyhealth/recallswithdrawals/
To sign up for dog food recall alerts, visit: http://www.dogfoodadvisor.com/dog-food-recall-alerts/
Do you want to provide the best dental care for your pet? Avoid these mistakes when it comes to tooth brushing.
1. Using human toothpaste
Human toothpaste may contain poisonous ingredients for pets, such as xylitol. Other ingredients may lead to stomach upset. Reach for a toothpaste specially formulated for dogs and cats. You'll find a wide selection of flavors like beef, chicken, or seafood. (Yum!) C.E.T. Enzymatic Toothpaste continues to clean the teeth after you finish brushing by gently scrubbing the teeth each time your pet licks the toothpaste off his or her teeth.
Dental cleanings are usually first recommended by our veterinarians when your pet is only a few years old and he suffering from early periodontal disease. Dental cleanings for these pets are fairly quick, taking approximately 30-60 minutes. If your pet's teeth have not been professionally cleaned on a regular basis and periodontal disease has progressed, the procedure will take longer, possibly 1-3 hours. In addition, pets with advanced dental disease often require multiple teeth extractions, and are at risk of damaging other organs in the body, such as the heart and kidneys.
Our team of a certified veterinary technician and a veterinarian will perform the dental cleaning under anesthesia: cleaning, scaling and polishing the teeth to remove the tough plaque and tartar build-up on your pet's teeth and under the gumline. A full oral exam will be performed and dental radiographs may also be taken. It is worth noting that at all times, your pet's vital signs are monitored closely and your pet's safety remains our top priority.
The safest method of performing a dental cleaning is with general anesthesia, when your pet is fully intubated and immobile. These dental cleanings are recommended on an annual basis by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Anesthesia Free Dental Cleanings are not recommended, as they can be painful for your pet and ineffective at removing the bacteria below the gumline.