Summer 2007 Petnews Issue
PETNEWS (Summer 2007)
Knee Injury in Dogs
of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament or ACL is the most common
debilitating orthopaedic problem encountered in the dog. Until recently
surgical techniques available for treating this disease did not provide
the necessary support to allow the athletic canines to return to full
activity. In recent years a new surgical technique developed by the
late Dr. Barclay Slocum has allowed dogs of all sizes to return to full
athletic activity and remain comfortable and sound after ACL injury.
The Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy or TPLO is a complex orthopaedic
procedure that is performed by a small number of orthopaedic surgeons.
This surgery, widely acknowledged as the “gold standard” for
ACL repair in the dog is performed by a limited number of specially
trained orthopaedic surgeons. The surgery involves changing the angle
or “levelling” the top of the tibia to eliminate the forces that put
strain on the ACL. Our own Dr. Nick Shaw, founder of Shaw Pet Hospitals
is now performing this surgery routinely. If your pet needs ACL
surgery, consider the TPLO for optimal return to function and for the
happiness of your pet! For further information, Dr. Shaw will be happy
to discuss your pets condition and the benefits of TPLO.
Anesthesia. How safe is it for your pet?
Shaw Pet Hospitals, we offer all our clients and patients the highest
level of services available in our practice. We provide your pet with
the best possible care and provide you with advice which will allow you
to make the best decision for your pet.
for our companion pets, as in human medicine is extremely safe.
Anesthetic risk is greatly minimized when a healthy pet is placed under
general anesthesia. However, there are some complications that can
occur both during and after an anesthetic procedure if your pet is not
healthy. And in order to minimize the potential risk associated with
general anesthesia, we recommend complete health status assessment of
your pet such as pre-anesthetic testing before placing him/her under
a pre-anesthetic consultation, the doctor will obtain a complete
history and perform a detailed physical exam on your pet. The doctor
will discuss with you the surgical procedure to be performed, the
anesthetic risk and complications and will answer any questions you may
have concerning your pets’ condition.
Pre-Anesthetic Blood Testing
test is recommended even in young animals to give us a complete
physiological picture which will help us understand your pet’s overall
health and determine if your pet is a good anesthetic candidate. This
test will allow us to screen for kidney, thyroid, and liver functions,
infectious diseases, anemia, diabetes and certain bleeding disorders.
Intravenous Fluid Therapy
catheter placement and fluid therapy help to support the kidneys and
cardiovascular system during anesthesia. Animals recover faster when
they receive fluids during anesthesia. In addition, an IV catheter that
is established before surgery allows for rapid administration of life
saving medication should it be required.
Sevoflurane Gas Anesthesia
our patients receive inhalant general anesthetic agents. Because of its
safety, sevoflurane has become a widely accepted agent in human
anesthesia and is recommended for veterinary patients. Our hospital
uses sevoflurane or isoflurane anesthesia on all patients receiving
doctors and technicians are always upgrading their knowledge to keep
abreast of new drugs, improvements in surgical techniques and
anesthetic procedures to ensure your pet’s anesthesia is safe and that
his or her surgical recovery is as pain free as possible.
Caring For Your Pets’ Teeth
By Dr. Michelle Hansford
Why is periodontal disease the number one illness veterinarians diagnose in pets?
is caused by bacterial infection of tissues supporting the teeth. This
is most commonly associated to risk factors such as malocclusion, poor
diet, poor home care, suppressed immune system, lack of professional
care and genetic predisposition. Unfortunately for our pets, since
their teeth are not routinely checked or seen, the periodontal disease
progresses without the owner realizing it. Think of how you take care
of your own teeth; you brush twice daily, you floss daily, and you see
your dentist every six months to twelve months for a professional
cleaning. Our pets need these standards of care as well. Periodontal
disease is completely preventable.
It is caused by bacterial infection of tissues supporting the teeth. This is most commonly associated to risk factors such as malocclusion, poor diet, poor home care, suppressed immune system, lack of professional care and genetic predisposition. Unfortunately for our pets, since their teeth are not routinely checked or seen, the periodontal disease progresses without the owner realizing it. Think of how you take care of your own teeth; you brush twice daily, you floss daily, and you see your dentist every six months to twelve months for a professional cleaning. Our pets need these standards of care as well. Periodontal disease is completely preventable.
Let us dispel some myths about veterinary oral care…
1. Isn’t it normal for pets to have bad breath?
No. Although bad breath can be related to a more serious illness, it is normally indicative of infection along the gum line.
2. My pet doesn’t feel pain like I do: he/ she has higher pain threshold.
and cats feel pain associated to dental disease the same way and in the
same degree as humans. The Compendium on Continuing Education published
a series of articles in 1991 indicating that dogs and cats have the
same pain thresholds and tolerances as humans. They react and withdraw
to the same level of stimulation and they have the same physiologic
reactions to pain as humans do. Dogs and cats will continue to eat and
play with us despite severe dental infections. It is quite common in
our practice for owners to inform us after a dental treatment that
their pet’s attitude has improved dramatically.
3. Can my pet have his/her teeth cleaned without anesthetic?
For dental cleaning to be therapeutically beneficial, all calculus and
plaque must be removed from tooth surface above and below the gum line.
Having the patient under general anesthesia will allow us to perform a
complete oral exam, clean both the crown of the teeth (the part you can
see) and the parts that are below the gum line. It is impossible to
clean below the gum line, in between teeth, or on the tongue side of
the teeth in a conscious/awake patient. It is also impossible to be
able to thoroughly scale and polish the teeth of an awake animal. Scaling
involves very sharp instruments which can tear oral tissues if a
patient moves and improperly polished teeth will allow plaque to
accumulate faster. Another important aspect to consider is that dental
cleaning mobilizes a large bacterial population. Anesthetized patients
have a cuffed endotracheal tube in place to protect their airway. There
is no such equipment used in “standing dentals”, thus enabling bacteria
to get into the animal’s lungs that can potentially cause a subsequent
infection. These procedures are performed by our trained veterinary
technician and veterinarians.
4. How risky is general anesthesia?
starts with preanesthetic blood panels to ensure that your pet is the
best anesthetic candidate. This allows us to evaluate internal organs
functions and blood cells to detect underlying disease. Our patients
are monitored continuously throughout all surgical procedures. The
benefits of dental cleaning often far outweigh the risks of general
anesthesia. Book pre-operative consultation with one of our
veterinarians to go over your pets’ individual needs.
How much does it cost to clean my pet’s teeth?
is a good question! The cost will depend on the stage of periodontal
disease your pet has. Some pets come in to have their teeth cleaned
while others have ongoing disease which requires extraction of teeth
(sometimes multiple teeth in one sitting). The doctor will go over a
specific treatment plan for your pet during your pre-op consult.
disease causes pain and serious dental problems later in life. This can
lead to systemic illness, such as heart and kidney disease. It is never
too late to start brushing your pets’ teeth. It is even more important
to take care of our older pets’ teeth. Although it may be a bit more
difficult to teach your older pet to accept brushing, most of them do
learn to enjoy some extra bonding time with you. Keeping your pet’s
mouth healthy is an important step in your pet’s overall good health.
Meet One of the Wonderful Dogs That VPAS Helped This Year
Meet Wink (Now Maggie), the Jack Russell Terrier puppy. When Wink was only 5 weeks old she sustained an injury to her right eye. Poor Wink’s eye was left untreated and by the time she was seen by a veterinarian, at 7 weeks of age, the damage to her eye was so severe that it could not be saved. Wink’s owner was not able to afford the surgery that Wink so urgently needed, so she asked VPAS to care for Wink and to help find her a new home. Luckily the staff of Shaw Pet Hospitals donated their time to perform the surgery to remove Wink’s badly damaged eye. Thank you to all of those who made donations to purchase the supplies to make Wink’s surgery possible. Wink is now almost one year old, and spends her days running around on her farm, playing with other Jack Russell Terriers and her new family.
VPAS UPDATE: Catherine Clayton
a place like Victoria, where each of the 100+ veterinary offices
performs several spay or neuter surgeries each day, it can be difficult
to imagine that there would be much of a problem with stray or unwanted
cats. Unfortunately, many of the rural areas of Victoria, and its
surrounding communities, are home to hundreds, if not thousands, of
stray and feral cats. One such area was brought to the attention of
Victoria Pet Adoption Society (VPAS) in early April of 2007 when
the folks at a local trailer park contacted VPAS with a plea for help
with their overwhelming stray cat population. The trailer park is home
to approximately 30-40 stray cats which have been abandoned by their
owners. Most of these cats have not been spayed or neutered, and many
of the female cats are pregnant.
an effort to help both the cats and the residents of the park, VPAS and
others have begun the "Summer Home" Project. Our goal is to spay and
neuter all of the strays in the park and to find appropriate homes for
as many as we can. Unfortunately, the cost of spaying and neutering so
many animals is very significant and we cannot do it without the
support of the public. Therefore, VPAS has started the "Summer Home"
Fund to help cover the costs of necessary surgical procedures and
care for these cats. Not only do these cats require medical attention
but many of the pregnant strays require special care in foster homes
while they have their kittens.
Many of the cats removed from the trailer park will be adoptable and will be posted for adoption on our website http://vpas.wormers.com. Some of the cats have been born outside of proper homes and will be best suited for farm homes; we will be trying to place these cats in appropriate homes as well.
find out more about the "Summer Home" Project, or to donate to the
"Summer Home" Fund, please contact Catherine at 652-4312 or email email@example.com. For further information about VPAS and its community projects please visit our website http://vpas.wormers.com regularly.
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