Arvada Flats Winter Newsletter
February is National Veterinary Month
Receive Discounts on Dental Treatment during the Whole Month of February
Did you know that dental disease can affect your pet’s quality of life and their whole body? Pets eat better, feel less pain, have less infection, and even act more lively after a dental treatment.
A “dental” is not just a teeth cleaning. General anesthesia is required in order to scale under the surface of the gums, and to scale and polish every surface of every tooth: even those hard to reach places! The scale and polish portion of the dental is what will prevent your pet from getting further periodontal disease later in life. Scale every surface thoroughly and under the gum line allows for this prevention. This level of detailed cleaning can only be achieved under general anesthesia.
After the cleaning, high resolution digital dental X-rays are performed of any abnormal teeth. Your veterinarian then diagnoses problems and recommends treatment.
Treatments range from an antibiotic infused gel that is placed around the tooth, a bonded sealant to repair enamel defects (kind of like a filling), and extraction of teeth with rotten or infected roots or disease into the pulp cavity.
Why Do an Exam and Pre-Anesthetic Blood Work Before a Dental? Is Anesthesia Safe?
We check pre-anesthetic blood panels to ensure your pet’s liver and kidney function are normal for processing of anesthesia. We also make sure they do not have high or low red or white blood cells, and that they do not have electrolyte abnormalities. We examine the pet to rule out any recent illnesses or unexplained weight loss, a heart murmur or abnormal lung sounds.
Each pet must have a normal physical exam and blood panel before we move forward with anesthesia for a dental. With these health checkpoints in place, anesthesia at Arvada Flats is very safe. Your pet will be very carefully monitored by a dedicated technician and veterinarian through out the entire procedure. Heart rate, EKG, pulse oxygenation, respiratory rate, blood pressure, anesthetic depth, and other parameters are monitored continuously both manually and with a machine.
Cold Weather and Your Pet
According to the American Animal Association, animals are vulnerable to frostbite and hypothermia in less than an hour. If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, bring him into a warm environment right away. Early symptoms of frostbite include pale, hard skin that remains very cold even after being inside. As the skin warms, it may swell and change to a red color. Your pet may try to relieve the irritation by licking and chewing on the skin, in which case you will need to have the skin treated and covered immediately before permanent damage is done.
You can soak his extremities in tepid (not hot) water for about 20 minutes to melt the ice crystals and restore circulation. It's important that you don't rub the frostbitten tissue, however -- the ice crystals can do a lot of damage to the tissue. Once you pet is warm, wrap him in some blankets and take him to Arvada Flats. Our veterinarians can assess the damage and treat your pet for pain or infection if necessary. Inquire at Arvada Flats about a product called Musher’s Secret. It is similar to a heavy Vaseline that can be used to coat and protect the bottoms of dogs’ feet so they will not get cold or suffer abrasions on ice.
Remember! Compromised Pets are More Susceptible to the Cold
Conditions like diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, and hormonal imbalances can compromise a pet's ability to regulate her own body heat. Animals that are not generally in good health shouldn't be exposed to winter weather for a long period of time.
Remember also that very young or older pets do not tolerate cold as well. For older pets, one common problem that we see is osteoarthritis flaring up in the cold weather. Pets with sore joints this time of year may have abnormal mobility. They are more likely to slip on ice or stairs. You may inquire at Arvada Flats about a sling to slid under your dog’s belly to help them walk. We may also need to change or add more to their pain medication protocol.
Watch out for your kitty too!
Cats will curl up in just about anything warm this time of year. This includes the inside of a car, where the warm engine is. If you let your cat outside, make sure they have a warm place to come back to. Also, they should have access to warm shelter whenever they need it; even if you are not home.
Valentine’s Day Is Around the Corner! Heart Day is Not Just for People! Remember Your Pet
Skip the Candy
Xylitol is a sweetener that is toxic to pets, especially dogs. If ingested, it may cause vomiting, loss of coordination, seizures, and in severe cases, liver failure.
No Chocolate Hearts for Pets!
Many of our clients already know that chocolate is toxic to pets. While an M&M or two is milk chocolate and so causes little toxic effects, a dog or cat that snatches a large chunk of baking chocolate from the counter can become very sick. This is because chocolate contains theobromine, fat and sugar.
Fat; and not the chocolate itself, can cause pancreatitis in pets. You will see vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Fat and sugar can also create an unpleasant and temporary upset stomach. This is what occurs in the majority of chocolate toxicity cases. Always watch for these signs after chocolate ingestion. If you see these signs developing, please call Arvada Flats. Your pet will likely need anti-vomiting injections, fluids, possibly antibiotics if diarrhea is severe, and a bland diet.
The most serious and potentially deadly ingredient in chocolate is theobromine. Baking chocolate has the most, followed by semisweet and dark chocolate, and then milk chocolate which has the least. Theobromine causes vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, tremors, seizures, a fast heart rate and arrhythmias. It takes about four days for the effects of chocolate to work their way out of a dog’s system.
Be sure to call Arvada Flats as soon as you know that your dog has eaten chocolate. We will calculate the toxic dose for your pet’s weight on the phone and determine if medical treatment is even necessary. A quick response is important, as vomiting can be easily induced at Arvada Flats if initiated with in two hours of chocolate ingestion. This is because it takes approximately two hours for ingesta to move out of a dog’s stomach and into the small intestine where it becomes absorbed. Otherwise, we will recommend hospitalization and support for your pet.
Don’t Forget to Hug Your Pet on Heart Day!
Pets are wonderful companions. The effect of having a pet seems to create many positive qualities in pet owners. Pet owners, when compared with non-pet owners, had greater self confidence, more self-sufficient and independent and productive. Caring for a pet may also help to boost self-esteem.
Having a pet can also be very good for children. Their pets are their companions, confidantes and friends. Having a pet usually brings about positive reactions in children. This information is taken from the a presentation on a study from the World Small Animal Veterinary Association World Congress Proceedings.
Have a wonderful winter season! Thank you for coming to Arvada Flats and trusting our team with the health of your pet.
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