5 Frequently Asked Questions At The Hospital

1. Does my indoor cat need vaccines?

Cat looking out window

It seems counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? If my cat does not go outside and does not encounter disease, then why does he need vaccines every year? Here are a half-dozen good reasons your veterinarian wants to keep your cat up-to-date on vaccines. If you are unsure if your cat is up-to-date on vaccines, contact your veterinarian today to find out.

  1. Your cat could accidentally get outdoors. They are curious about that big exciting world outside their windows and will not hesitate to go exploring. It only takes a few hours outside for an indoor cat to come in contact with a stray cat or wild animal carrying disease.
  2. If your cat ends up at a shelter, he or she could be exposed to sick cats. We all hope that this never happens, but as mentioned before, cats can and do escape from their home. If your cat is found but does not have any identity, such as a collar or microchip, the next stop is the local animal shelter. The stress of being taken to the shelter along with crowded shelter conditions can make cats more susceptible to disease.
  3. You cat may have a lifestyle change. When you bring that adorable kitten home, you are most likely expecting to have him or her for life. However, sometimes life brings changes beyond our control, such as divorce, death in the family, or a move, which can all affect your cat’s lifestyle. There are numerous cats that start out as indoor kittens but later become outdoor cats.
  4. Stress can cause latent disease to flare-up. Cats are often exposed to the feline herpes virus early on in life, especially if they come from a shelter or contracted the disease in-utero. Cats without up-to-date vaccinations can more easily contract respiratory infections or other disease that can cause latent or dormant disease to flare up in an already sick cat.
  5. Viruses such as Calicivirus and Feline Herpesvirus can be spread by inanimate objects.  A “fomite” is any inanimate object that can carry an infectious organism.  Grooming supplies and even shoes and clothing can act as a fomite bringing disease into your home.

 

2. How can I help my pet’s dental health at home?

You have noticed recently that Buddy’s breath is less than fresh and you are wondering how to help him? Maybe you have noticed that Buddy does not like to chew on toys or dry kibble that he used to love? Depending on the stage of Buddy’s dental disease, there are some good home care remedies that help to keep tartar and gingivitis at bay.

Close up photo of face of Labrador     

      A. Teeth Brushing: If your pet allows it, brushing their teeth daily with a pet toothpaste (NOT human toothpaste) is the gold-standard for treating dental disease.  It’s more work but definitely helps the most.

Brushing a Yellow Labrador Retriever's teeth

      B. Dental diet: We recommend Hill’s Science Diet T/D dental diet. The T/D diet is a complete, balanced diet that can be fed on a             daily basis and has been proven to clinically reduce dental disease. The T/D diet can be fed as treats as well, but less frequent             use decreases the positive results.  T/D is available at Dupont Veterinary Clinic.

T/D dog food for dental health

      C. Chew Products:  OraVet Oral Chews (by the makers of Heartgard and Nexgard) are daily oral chews that reduce both halitosisand tartar accumulation.  CET Rawhide Chews are rawhide treats coated with enzymes to help inhibit plaque and tartar.  Blue Buffalo Dental Bones are another simple option to help reduce tartar.  All are available at our hospital.

      D.  Food Additives: We recommend Clenz-a-dent Food Additive as another easy aid in slowing down plaque and tartar accumulation.

4 Stages of Periodontal Disease

Here is an image displaying the 4 stages of dental disease. Make an appointment with your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic to determine if your pet needs a professional cleaning and polishing. Some pets, especially those in stages 3 and 4, can start to lose teeth if your veterinarian does not step in to help your pet.

 

  3. Is my pet overweight?

Pug standing on scale

Obesity in pets is on a steady incline in the United States. Overweight pets are at a much higher risk for developing arthritis, orthopedic disease, cancer, diabetes, and other illnesses. It is important to first determine if your pet is overweight and then determine what his or her ideal weight would be. Click on the following link to be directed to a resource that will walk you through these steps. This article will show you a body fat index risk chart to determine how overweight your pet truly is, then on the second page it will determine what your pet’s ideal weight should be. Feel free to stop by Dupont Veterinary Clinic at any time to put your pet on the scale for a more accurate weight, especially while they are losing weight. There are diseases, such as hypothyroidism, that can lead to weight loss because of a decreased metabolism. If you are concerned about your pet’s weight, contact your veterinarian to have them help you develop a diet plan or recommend a diet for your pet and look for any illness that may be preventing your pet from losing weight.

 

4. What food should I be feeding my pet?

Boston Terrier puppy eating

There are numerous foods on the store shelves and it can be overwhelming when trying to select the appropriate one for your pet. For puppies, make sure to get a food that is labeled for puppies as this provides better overall nutrition for their growing bodies. If you have a large or giant breed puppy, make sure to get a large breed puppy food because this helps provide better nutrition for their large, rapidly growing joints. Hill’s Science Diet has a great large breed puppy, toy breed puppy, or even puppy food (for those puppies of average size) for those youngsters at home. If your pet is between the ages of 1 to 7 and does not have any other dietary restrictions, we recommend selecting a diet labeled for adult dogs. If your pet is 8 years or older, we recommend a senior diet because this type of diet provides less calories for our less active pets as well as added nutrients to support joint health. We do not recommend selecting a diet that is listed for “all life stages” (this label is often listed on the back of the label) as this type of diet provides the same nutrients and calories that would be appropriate for a lactating mother or puppy as it would for a less active senior pet! Just like humans, pets have different nutritional needs at different stages of their life and we need to change their diets accordingly. If you are unsure of the food that you are feeding your pet, feel free to bring the food bag into your vet to have them give you a better nutritional assessment.

 

5. How do I remove a tick from my pet?

Pulling tick off of dog with tweezers

With the warm weather upon us we are seeing an increasing number of ticks on our pets. Here is a link to a short video that can help walk you through safe removal of a tick from your pet and signs and symptoms to look out for after the tick is removed. If you are concerned about removing a tick from your pet, you can schedule an appointment with the technicians at Dupont Veterinary Clinic to have them help you remove the tick. It is important, especially if you are noticing ticks on your pet, to put your pet on a tick preventative. If you are not sure if the monthly preventative your pet is on works against ticks, call your veterinarian to have them help you pick out the best product for your pet.

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

5 Famous Dogs in History

1. Lex

 

Service Dog Lex

Lex was a working military dog that went to Fallujah, Iraq, with US Marine Corps Cpl. Dustin J. Lee. Lex was wounded in an attack that killed his handler, but despite his own injuries, Lex refused to leave Cpl. Lee’s side. Lex had to be dragged away to be treated by medics. Lex was the first active-duty working military dog that was granted early retirement in order to be adopted. He was adopted by Cpl. Lee’s parents, Jerome and Rachel. Despite his mobility issues due to retaining over 50 pieces of shrapnel in his body from war, he still worked as a therapy dog visiting military veterans at VA hospitals and retirement homes. Lee was awarded an honorary Purple Heart and in 2008 was given an Award for Canine Excellence (ACE) by the American Kennel Club.

 

2. Rin Tin Tin

 

Photo of Rin Tin Tin

This German Shepherd, after being saved from the trenches of WWI, was the first ever canine movie star. He was found on a French battlefield by an American soldier Lee Duncan. After returning to the US, Duncan trained Rinty and he stared in a few small roles in some silent films. Rin Tin Tin’s first big break came in 1929, when he got the role in Warner Bros.’ “Where the North Begins.”

 

3. Appollo

 

Appollo standing in New York City

 

A trained search and rescue dog named Appollo was on-site with his handler Peter Davis of the NYC Police Department within 15 minutes of the attack on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. In the following days, over 350 search and rescue dogs and their handlers came to the Twin Towers site, and to the Pentagon, to search for survivors.

 

4. Smoky

 

Photo of Smoky being held

Smoky was a Yorkshire terrier found in 1944 by an American soldier in the New Guinea jungle. After being Cpl. William A. Wynne’s partner for the next two years, she became something of a WWII mascot. She slept in Wynne’s tent, shared his rations, and followed him wherever he went. Smoky survived over 150 air raids on New Guinea and made it through a typhoon at Okinawa. Thanks to her keen sense of hearing and danger, Smoky saved Wynne’s life on multiple occasions warning him and his comrades of incoming fire. She was also the first therapy dog on record.

 

 5. Sinbad

Sinbad posing with sailors

 

Sinbad was a mixed-breed canine sailor aboard the US Coast Guard Cutter George W. Campbell. Sinbad served 11 years of sea duty in the Coast Guard, including combat in WWII. He was originally intended to be a gift for Chief Boatswain’s girlfriend, but the girlfriend’s apartment did not allow dogs.  Sinbad put his paw print on his own enlistment papers and was issued his own service identification number. He went on to be awarded the American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Medal, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, and the Navy Occupation Service Medal.

By Dr. Ashley Dawes

Uncommon Dog Breeds

Mexican Hairless Dog standing outside

The Xoloitzcuintli (pronounced Show-Low-Itz-Quint-Lee), is also known as the Xolo (Show-Low) or the Mexican Hairless Dog. The Xolo is an ancient breed that is considered a national treasure in Mexico and is the only dog whose name begins with an “X.” The word Xoloitzcuintli is derived from the name of the Aztec god, Xolotl, and the Aztec word for dog, Itzcuintli. These dogs descend from hairless dogs prized by the Aztecs and, over 400 years later, these dogs were still found in Mexican jungles. The Aztecs believed this breed had mystical healing abilities. Their hairless body radiates heat more than other breeds and ancient people used to use them as heating pads for aches and pains. Frida Kahlo and Diego Riviera put the Xolo back in the spot light and can be seen in many of their works of art.

 

Old black and white photo of lady in dress with Mexican Hairless

The Xolo has three sizes, toy, miniature, and standard, as well as two coat varieties, hairless and coated. They are known to be an alert, calm, and loyal breed that is trainable; however, since they are such a good watch dog they can be wary of strangers. They make an excellent companion with moderate exercise and grooming needs. The hairless excretes an oil that protects them from the sun and from insects. The Xolo requires occasional baths and body lotion to help moisturize the hairless variety. They are more prone to developing skin problems, especially acne so appropriate skin care is important. The hairless variety prefers a warmer environment and actually requires sunscreen while it’s outside so it does not burn!

 

Mexican hairless dog resting

Some believe that this hairless dog can be better tolerated by people who suffer from allergies and asthma. Although their saliva, sparse hair on their heads and feet, and skin all produce the same irritant that bother some people with allergies. If you have allergies to animals, it is important to do your research to determine if this is the right breed for you.

A hairless dog with bat ears and a stubbly Mohawk might be too exotic for some, but for those who believe bald is beautiful the Xolos rule. This breed takes their watchdog role seriously and do bark when they have something to say. The Xolo makes a loyal family dog and a very affectionate pet. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic enjoy working with all kinds of dog breeds as each of them is unique in their own way.

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

Euthanasia: Celebration of a Loved One

Geriatric Golden Retriever lying on couch

The very thought of euthanizing a pet makes our heart sink to the pit of our stomach. When our beloved pets are elderly or ill, we have the enormous responsibility and great gift of deciding when it is the right time to let them go. Euthanasia is a gift to pets and, sometimes, can feel like a curse to owners.

Most of our furry companions are aware that their time to say goodbye is approaching before you do. Of course, this does not make it any easier on the owner. Our pets often times recognize our sadness, conflicted grief, and concern and worry that they might be the cause of our sadness. During the euthanasia process it is important to interact with your pet to comfort them and reassure them that they will always be remembered fondly.

Owners often apologize for crying over their pets, but we as a veterinary profession want you to know that crying is allowed and welcomed. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic are also pet owners and understand how difficult it can be to see our loved ones suffer. This is a time for pet owners to grieve and remember their loved one’s long and happy life that they have shared together.

The vast majority of pet owners opt to stay with their pets for the euthanasia process. If you can, we highly recommend accompanying your pet through this difficult process. As a veterinary profession it is our responsibility to comfort your loved ones as they pass on when you as the owner cannot do so; however, pets are much more comfortable and relieved when their owners are present. Pets are much more confident when their owners are there to reassure them. If you can find the strength to be there with them during this difficult transition, please let your love, your touch, and your presence be the last thing your pet experiences.

 

Aged Dachshund lying on pillow

During the euthanasia process, you are welcome to bring treats, tell stories, laugh, cry, and celebrate your friend’s life. Surround yourselves with their favorite blankets or toys. Share your favorite stories of your loved one about that trip you took together or their favorite toy, trick, or past time. This is going to be one of the hardest days of your life, but it does not have to be for your best friend. The more you celebrate your pet’s life, no matter how long or short, the easier it will be to continue to live your own after this difficult transition.

 

Young puppy running in grass

This moment between you and your pet should be just that, entirely about your lives together. Prepare yourself ahead of time to understand the process if possible. Speak with your veterinarian or veterinary technician prior to coming to the clinic to have them discuss the steps with you so you have a better understanding of what is to come.

Each relationship between pet and owner is different, just as every euthanasia is different. While it can be incredibly difficult to cope with and experience euthanasia with your pet, we at Dupont Veterinary Clinic hope to guide you and your furry family member through it as seamlessly as possible. As I heard a veterinarian once say, “We love animals so much, we are willing to experience pain right down to our souls in order to keep them from hurting. What greater gift to give a friend than to suffer in their place?”

 

Older cat and dog sleeping nose to nose

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

Reef The Service Dog

Reef had no idea how he would begin to impact a life in November 2015. Reef was raised with an organization called Canine Companions for Independence, which is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs. The organization is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs and the longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. Canine Companions is volunteer based, from the caretakers that provide homes for the breeder dogs and whelp the puppies until they are eight weeks of age, to the puppy raisers that provide socialization and obedience training to the puppies. Between fifteen and eighteen months the puppies make the journey back to one of five regional training centers across the country for six to nine months of training with professional instructors. The new owner is then required to travel to one of the regional training centers for two weeks to train alongside their new companion.

 

Lab service dog holding keys

Reef was selected to help his owner that has been diagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis). His owner is wheelchair-bound and Reef has been trained in multiple capacities in order to assist her throughout the day. Reef can pull her manual wheelchair, pick things up that she has dropped, retrieve bottled water from the fridge, turn light switches on or off, push the button for automatic doors, as well as about 40 other commands. In addition to helping her physically get through her day, Reef has helped his owner emotionally as well. His owner remarked that it only took one day to fall in love with Reef and that he has changed her personality for the better.

 

Service dog looking at credit card on floor

Service dog reaching for credit card on floor

Lab service dog holding credit card in mouth

Reef was one of only 40% of dogs that make it through service dog training. There are four types of assistance dogs that Canine Companions helps train which are as follows: service dogs, hearing dogs, skilled companions, and facility dogs. The service dogs, like Reef, help assist adults with physical disabilities by performing daily tasks.  Service dogs have also been trained to help disabled war veterans. The hearing dogs help to alert the deaf and hard of hearing to important sounds. Skilled companions are placed with children or adults with physical, cognitive, or developmental disabilities that cannot guide the assistance dog themselves. There is a family member that directs the skilled companion in ways to help the disabled owner. The final type of assistance dog is a facility dog that works with a professional in a visitation, education, or healthcare setting. If you happen to see Reef, or another assistance dog, out in public it is important to remember that they are working and to never approach them to pet them without the owner’s consent.

 

If you or someone you know would benefit from a dog like Reef, they can visit www.cci.org in order to learn more or even apply for an assistance dog. The Canine Companions for Independence organization is always looking for volunteers or even donations so they can continue to provide assistance dogs free of charge to owners in need. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic love to see the numerous ways that animals, like Reef, continue to impact the lives of humans every day. Reef is truly an extraordinary companion and continues to bring joy to his owner’s life every day.

 

Lab service dog holding water bottle

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

When Your Veterinarian Says "The Back"

Reception Area at Dupont Vet Clinic Fort Wayne

You arrive at Dupont Veterinary Clinic nervous about how your appointment is going to go, because your pet has been vomiting all night and has been unusually tired at home. You know it is important to see your veterinarian, but you are worried about your pet’s anxiety level since he or she is not a big fan of visiting the vet. Your pet’s constant whining and pacing in the waiting area is adding to your increasing level of stress.

You are put at ease when you are greeted by our friendly and enthusiastic receptionist who knows your pet by name. The recognition and the familiarity comforts you some and you start to feel a little bit better.

 

Reception Desk at Dupont Vet Clinic Fort Wayne

You are escorted back to an exam room by a veterinary technician that asks a series of questions about your pet and the reason for your visit. You answer the questions to the best of your knowledge, but are anxiously watching your pet’s mounting level of tension.

The veterinarian enters the room in a few minutes and performs a full “head-to-tail” physical exam and discusses your pet’s clinical signs with you. The doctor recommends lab work and radiographs (x-rays) to help determine the cause of your pet’s clinical signs.

The doctor is starting to help ease your anxiety when they mention that they are going to take your pet to “the back” or to “the treatment” area to run these additional tests. Your heart sinks as you relapse back to your anxious state.

“What does the doctor mean by “the back”?,” you anxiously wonder. “Is my pet going to be alright on his own?”

The majority of pet owners have heard the phrase, “the back,” during one of their visits. We are providing full disclosure to our clients to help them understand why this part of the exam is necessary.

Here is a photo of our actual treatment area, where there are three extra exam tables with surgical lights (better light than in the exam room), water, extra supplies for blood draws, bandaging, diagnostics, etc. There are more technicians here to help your doctor run blood tests, take care of your pet, and even to help with x-rays. The treatment area allows the staff to work together as a team to tend to your pet much more efficiently. The treatment area is often a busy place, but it can also be quickly converted into one of the quietest rooms for those extra nervous pets. With better lighting, bigger exam tables, and more staff to help your doctor, this is why the treatment area can be superior to the exam room when helping treat your pet.

 

Treatment Room at Dupont Vet Clinic Fort Wayne

 

Some pets are actually calmer away from their owners, which makes it easier to perform a thorough physical exam, draw blood, or provide the treatment that they need. This allows the veterinarian and veterinary technicians to accomplish tasks more efficiently and safely, while reducing stress for your pets.

If your pet needs to come to “the back” for x-rays this is another room off of our treatment area (far back right in the treatment area photo) that is quieter and darker for the highest quality x-rays. Here is a photo of our x-ray area where your pet will be escorted.

 

X-ray Room at Dupont Vet Clinic Fort Wayne

In our treatment area we also have a full lab, where we can run the majority of your pet’s diagnostics, such as in-house lab work or cytology (to look at ear infections, masses/growths, skin infections, etc.). Here is a photo of our lab area (back right of the treatment area photo) where your veterinarian and veterinary technicians will be busy running your pet’s diagnostics to more efficiently and effectively diagnose your pet.

 

Back Lab at Dupont Vet Clinic

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic hope that by providing full disclosure and visuals of our treatment area, owner’s minds will be put at ease when their pets need to be escorted out of the exam room for further treatment or diagnostics. We aim to provide the highest quality of care for your pets as we know they are an important part of your family… and ours!

 

puppy-exam.001

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

5 Ways To Keep Pets Active This Winter

Mastiff wearing hat and sweater

 

Are your pets getting cabin fever? Here are 5 quick tips on how to keep you and your pets active this winter.

  1.  Hide and Seek

Beagle sticking nose out from bottom of couch

Position your dog in a different room in the house, preferably with a staircase or a couple rooms between you and them. Then call your pet to come and find you and reward him with a treat when he finds you. Each time your dog (or cat!) finds one family member, the other person changes location so your dog has to seek them out again.

 

  1. The Searching Game

Two beagles under bed with back end sticking out

Hide your pet’s favorite toys with treats inside or even just treats around the house and then prompt your dog to go search to find them.  Here is a short video on how to train your pet to search for treats. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSa3JMjq5EI )

 

  1. Teach Your Pet New Tricks

Collie dog "high fiving" a person's hand

Keeping pets mentally stimulated is very helpful in beating the winter doldrums. There are endless tricks and training sessions that you can do from home.  Start with simple tricks, such as “stay” or “shake,” then move on to more complicated tricks like “roll over” or “high five.”  Keep training sessions to about 15 minutes so it is fun for everyone. Teaching your pet new tricks helps encourage good behavior and helps you bond with your pet.

 

  1. Make Mealtime Fun

Blue food ball filled with food

Pets like to scavenge to look for their food. Try offering his meals in a feeding toy rather than just in a food bowl. They will not eat as quickly and it will help to keep them busy.

 

  1. Create an Indoor Agility Course

Basset jumping over bar

Build obstacles for your pet to navigate, like an agility course, with household items. You can use chairs as weave poles to navigate around, place a blanket over the tops of chairs to create a tunnel for your dog to run under, or a hula hoop in your hands for your pet to jump through.  Train your pet to run through the course with a hand target and use a lot of treats and praise as a reward. These obstacles encourage your pet to be more active and help you bond with your pet too.

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic want to encourage healthy relationships between pets and their owners. Cold weather and short days make it easy for us and our pets to become a bit lazy in the wintertime. We hope these 5 tips help you and your pets stay busy this winter.

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

February Is Dental Month!

2 dogs sitting with toothbrush in mouth

February is dental health month, which means it’s time for your pet to open wide for a dental examination!  Just like in people, if plaque and tartar build up and are left untreated it can progress to painful periodontal disease.

Dupont Veterinary Clinic offers a discount for dental exams during the month of February to honor dental health month. Be sure to schedule your pet a dental exam soon because spaces do fill up quickly!

 

Signs of oral and dental disease in pets

  • Bad breath
  • Loose teeth or teeth that are discolored or covered in tartar
  • Your pet avoiding having his or her mouth touched
  • Drooling or dropping food from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite or loss of weight
  • This combination can be due to many different diseases and it is important to have an examination by a veterinarian right away.

 

Performing a feline dental procedure

Here are five tips on how to keep your pet’s teeth and gums healthy:

  1. Bad Breath

If you cannot stand your pet’s breath, do not ignore it! Bad breath in pets is a warning sign for periodontal disease. The tartar and bacteria that build up cause this foul odor and it is important to remove the bacteria sooner rather than later. The bacteria eat away at the gum line and work their way into the blood stream, showering your pet’s body with a lot of bacteria! Here is a before and after image of a pet with significant tartar and periodontal disease (notice the red and inflamed gum line at the base of the teeth on the before image).

Before and after photo of dog's teeth

  1. Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

It may be difficult at first to start this routine, but with enough patience and tasty treats, you can gradually train your pet to accept the tooth brush and pet toothpaste. Start by letting your pet smell the toothbrush and the toothpaste, then gradually work your way to brushing for 30 seconds on each side of the mouth at least every other day.

Caution: Human toothpaste is not safe for pets! Be sure to use a pet approved product.

Demonstrating brushing teeth

  1. Consider Dental Toys, Treats, and Food

There are treats, toys, and food specifically designed to promote oral health; however, they are not as effective as brushing your pet’s teeth. Be sure to look for the Seal of Acceptance from the Veterinary Oral Health Council to make sure that the product meets the standards for effective plaque and tartar control.

Logo of VOHC - Veterinary Oral Health Council

Stop in to see your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic to ask them about the prescription diet specifically designed to promote oral health.

Dog with toothbrush in mouth and T/D food

  1. Dental Exam

Pets need to have their teeth and gums checked regularly by a veterinarian, just like humans do. A cursory exam can be performed by your vet without sedation, but for a complete dental evaluation your pet will have to be placed under anesthesia. During the dental exam the veterinarian will check the head and neck for any abnormalities, look for any broken or cracked teeth, stage your pet’s dental disease (the severity of tartar, gum disease, redness and inflammation), and look for any other abnormalities in the oral cavity, such as cancerous lumps or bumps.

Photos and diagram of periodontal disease

  1. Don’t let Anesthesia Stop you From Getting a Dental Cleaning

Technician performing dental prophy

In order to perform a thorough examination of your pet’s teeth and gums, remove the plaque and tartar, and really clean your pet’s pearly whites, anesthesia is required. Placing your pet under anesthesia sounds scary, but in fact, the procedure has never been safer or more comfortable for your pet. Before the anesthesia even begins, we perform pre-screening blood tests to ensure that your pet is healthy enough for the procedure. There are numerous benefits of dental cleaning that outweigh the risks of anesthesia.

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic will keep you informed throughout the procedure. There will be a meeting at the time of drop off with a veterinary technician; after the bloodwork is performed, if any health conditions are encountered, you will be contacted prior to anesthesia.  After your pet’s teeth are examined and cleaned you will again be contacted when your dog or cat has recovered from anesthesia.

We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic aim to provide the best possible care for your pet, which includes regular dental examination and cleaning. Contact your veterinarian with any questions regarding dental cleaning and to schedule your pet’s dental exam today!

By Ashley Dawes, DVM

 

How To Pick A Good Boarding Kennel

Brown and White Dog Sleeping

 

It can be hard to leave your dog or cat at a boarding facility while you are away on vacation or business since we often times consider them family members. Make sure to do your research to find the kennel that best suits your pet’s needs. Some kennels are very basic and some have all of the extras. Here are some tips on finding a good boarding kennel for your pet.

 

Looking for a Kennel

When you are starting to look for a boarding kennel, one of the best places to start is by word of mouth from people you know and trust. Getting an honest opinion from someone that has used a boarding kennel can be one of the best evaluation of the facility.

It is a good idea to research a kennel as soon as you bring a cat or dog home, just in case you have an emergency or suddenly need to leave home. Some great places to start looking are by searching online, in the phone book, or even calling Dupont Veterinary Clinic to ask your veterinarian. When searching online, the boarding kennel may have a blog or place for customers to write their own reviews of their services.

 

Dog Looking at Laptop

 

Services

Make a trip to the facility in person before scheduling your pet to board. Be sure to look at the sleeping area for your pet, where they will be exercised, the overall cleanliness, and take a look at how comfortable the staff is with your pet and other animals at the facility.

Look at all of the additional services that the facility provides, do they include extra play time or exercise, do they play with your dog, or do they have organized play time with the other dogs. If your pet has a specific diet be sure to communicate that to the facility and see how they will accommodate that or if you need to bring food from home. Talk to the boarding facility about any medications they may be taking to see if they are comfortable or able to give those medications. Especially if your dog is diabetic and needs daily insulin injections, ask them if they would be able to give these injections at the facility and if they are able to properly store the insulin bottle. If your pet has specific health needs make sure you ask them what the facility would do in case of a medical emergency. If your pet has a special bed, blanket or toys, find out if you can bring them when they stay there. Those familiar items may help decrease your pet’s anxiety while being away from home.

 

 

2 Puppies Playing With Soccer Ball

 

Find out Which Immunizations are Required

Once you have selected a boarding facility, be sure to get a list of immunizations your pet will need in order to stay there. Compare the list to your records or call your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic to determine if your pet is up to date on all vaccines. Be sure to look at your pet’s vaccine records ahead of time so you can schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if needed.

 

What to Bring

When taking your pet to the boarding kennel be sure to take any food, medications, toys, or bedding with you. Bring copies of your pet’s vaccination records to show proof of immunization if needed. It is also important to leave multiple phone numbers and an emergency contact just in case it is needed while you are out of town.

 

Cute Tan Dog Leaving Kennel

 

Once you have found the kennel that you are comfortable with and your pet is current on all their vaccines, you are ready to leave town! Taking these additional steps ahead of time will ensure that your pet is more comfortable and you will be less concerned about their well-being while you are away. We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic hope you and yours have a happy and healthy holiday season!

Patient Spotlight – Ringo’s New Drumsticks!

Ringo is a Labrador with a new hip replacement 

 

Meet Ringo, a five-year-old happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever. Ringo, like a lot of large breed dogs, was born with abnormal hips or a condition called Hip Dysplasia. Hip dysplasia worsens during the rapid growth phase of puppies and refers to the poor fit of the “ball and socket” nature of the hip. Ringo, like other dogs with hip dysplasia, did not have a ball and socket that fit together smoothly. Instead the socket (acetabulum) is flattened and the ball is not held tightly in place, which allows for more movement or slipping in the hip joint. Over time all of the movement in the hip joint results in the development of painful arthritis.

 

           X-Ray of Normal Hip  Normal Hip

X-Ray of dog with hips dysplasia  Early Hip Dysplasia

Ringo went to see Dr. Steve Harry at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for lameness and pain in his hips. Ringo’s hip dysplasia was treated over a prolonged period of time; however, his arthritis and pain continued to worsen. Dr. Harry along with Ringo’s owners decided to refer him to a specialist where he would be evaluated for a total hip replacement. In July of this year Ringo was considered a candidate and was approved for a total hip replacement. Ringo stayed over night at the specialty hospital and underwent the procedure the following day.

 

X-ray of a dog with severe hip dysplasia

Ringo’s Before Surgery X-ray

During the procedure the “socket” (or acetabulum) of the hip is deepened and replaced with a prosthetic socket and a prosthetic “ball” is inserted in order to replace the existing hip joint. The goal of the surgery is to give Ringo a pain-free, normal functioning hip. Even though Ringo has hip dysplasia affecting both the left and right hip joint only the right side was given a total hip replacement. Eighty percent of patients with arthritis in both hips only require surgery on one side in order for them to live a comfortable life. The decision of which hip to replace is dependent on which hip is more painful or has a greater limit in mobility.

 

X-ray of a dog's pelvis after a hip replacement

Close-Up X-ray of a hip replacement

Ringo’s After Surgery X-rays

Ringo is doing exceedingly well after his surgery! He is living a much more comfortable and happy life at home with his brother, Wyatt, where they are back to their normal antics.  Check out his progress in this video!!

“Ringo” Enjoying Life After His Hip Replacement

If you are concerned about your pet possibly having hip dysplasia or believe they may be a candidate for a total hip replacement, contact your veterinarian at Dupont Veterinary Clinic for more information.  We at Dupont Veterinary Clinic strive to provide clients with the best health care at the forefront of veterinary medicine.

If you are interested in learning more about the total hip replacement surgery, click the following link to watch an animated overview of the technique.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BTLhcLxT-0o

By Dr. Ashley Dawes