Volume 3 – Issue 2 Spring 2014
What’s new at Claws & Paws
Routine Blood Work FAQ’s
What is Laser Therapy
Are Your Pets Ready for Hurricane Season
What’s New at Claws & Paws
At CPVH, we always have our clients’ and patients’ best interest in mind while offering money saving alternatives when they are available. We will now be sending home all post-op patients with Carprofen, a generic version of the pain and anti-inflammatory medication, Rimadyl, when we feel your baby may be painful following their procedure. We feel that offering Carprofen to our patients as an alternative to Rimadyl will help our clients save money, while still making sure our little baby is not painful. Although Carprofen costs less, we feel the effect of Carprofen is equivalent to that of Rimadyl.
Trent and Sarah Boyd
Trent and Sarah have officially been married and are now husband and wife! They had a beautiful ceremony on March 1, 2014 and had their honeymoon in Las Vegas. Congratulations to Mr. and Mrs. Boyd!
Jordyn is our newest kennel technician. Jordyn was an intern from Turner High School for the past six months and the knowledge and passion she showed was something that we felt was perfect for our team! Please help us welcome Jordyn as she transitions from intern to our newest kennel technician. Jordyn will also be learning veterinary technician skills during this time and we have no doubt that she will do fabulous.
Nonnie L. Jarrell
Nonnie has moved into a new position where she is in charge of special projects. Much of her work will now be completed at home and outside of normal business hours.
Haley is our new office manager. She came here from another veterinary practice in Pearland in March. Before working in Pearland, Haley lived in New York City where she managed a corporate cleaning service. She moved to Pearland in 2008 with her long time boyfriend, Sean. She is very excited to be a part of the Claws & Paws family and looks forward to the coming years.
Routine Blood Work FAQ’s
By Julie Wickel, DVM
Why does my pet need blood work if he appears to be healthy?
Even though our pets may appear to be healthy based on physical appearance and activity, many clinical signs of disease do not develop until late in the disease process. Pets cannot tell us when they do not feel 100% and because of their instinct to protect themselves, many animals will ‘hide’ their illness. A good example of this situation is a cat with kidney disease. This patient may be afflicted with kidney disease for months to years before developing signs of disease because a pet can lose up to 75% of kidney function before clinical signs will develop. Performing blood work will detect early changes in kidney enzymes and allow us to manage this disease process properly—allowing the patient to live a longer and healthier life.
When should my pet have blood work performed?
Pets of any age can have problems with their internal organs. Many young purebred cats and dogs will have congenital liver, kidney, and heart problems. As pets age, their immune system and health starts to decline and they can have multiple organ problems.
A CBC and Comprehensive Chemistry are good screening tests to help detect health problems for your pet. This is something that should be done annually, and can be started as early as one year of age. By doing so, we can monitor any changes in the following years’ blood work results and we will also have a “baseline” to compare blood work to when your pet is older. Sometimes other diagnostics may be recommended based upon these results. Some of these can involve specialized tests at outside laboratories.
Why is blood work so important for Senior and Geriatric pets?
We feel that blood work is of critical importance for our older pets. For giant dog breeds, senior status is attained at five to six years of age. Yes, we do not like to admit it, but our pets are senior citizens at seven years of age. Because of rapid aging changes at this stage of your pet’s life, we highly recommend blood work on an annual basis. We can compare current and previous blood results in order to evaluate the process of a disease and its response to therapy. Common diseases include heart disease, liver and kidney disease, arthritis, diabetes, thyroid disease, and dental (tooth) disease. Advances in medical diagnostics and treatment enable us to help your pet be more comfortable and also to prolong its life. New pain management medications also help pets with chronic pain have a better quality of life. In addition to medications, appropriate nutrition for your pet’s condition will also prolong its lifespan.
If my pet’s blood work is normal then have I wasted my money?
Absolutely not! A normal result on blood work is great! We now have a baseline for how your pet is doing at this time. If future blood work reveals changes, then we can tell how long the problem has been going on and are assured that we are indeed catching the problem early. Normal blood work results give both of us peace of mind that your pet is doing well.
What is Laser Therapy ?
By Nonnie Jarrell
Claws & Paws Veterinary Hospital® now has a Class IV Therapeutic Laser! Laser Therapy is the use of specific wavelengths of light (red and near-infrared) to create therapeutic effects. These effects include improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. It causes bio-stimulation of tissues to increase healing.
In this short video, Dr. Wickel discusses the benefits of Laser Therapy while one of our technicians, Beth performs the procedure on one of Claws & Paws’ long-time patients, “Sheena”.
Clinical studies and real-world use over several decades have proven that laser therapy alleviates pain and inflammation, reduces swelling, stimulates nerve regeneration, and promotes cells involved in tissue repair.
During each painless treatment, laser energy increases circulation, drawing water, oxygen, and nutrients to the damaged area. As the injured area returns to normal, function is restored and pain is relieved.
Deep, soothing laser therapy provides a drug-free option for enhanced patient care. It is extremely well tolerated by pets with no known side effects. Laser therapy can also decrease the need for surgery and medication. There is no need for sedation or clipping. It is quick to administer and owners can be present.
Frequently asked Questions:
- How often should a patient be treated? Acute conditions may be treated daily, particularly if they are accompanied by significant pain. More chronic problems respond better when treatments are received 2 to 3 times a week, tapering to once every week or two as improvement is seen.
- How many treatments does it take? This depends on the nature of the condition being treated. For some acute conditions 1-2 treatments may be sufficient. Those of a more chronic nature may require 5 to 8 (or more) treatments. Some conditions may require ongoing periodic care to control pain.
- How long before results are felt? Your pet may feel improvement in their condition (usually pain reduction) after the first treatment. Sometimes they will not feel improvement for a number of treatments. This does not mean that nothing is happening. Each treatment is cumulative and results are often felt after 3 or 4 sessions.
- Can it be used in conjunction with other forms of treatment? Yes! Laser therapy is often used with other forms of therapy, including physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, massage, soft tissue mobilization, electro-therapy and following surgery. Other healing modalities are complementary and can be used with laser to increase the effectiveness of the treatment.
- Does it hurt? What does a treatment feel like? There is little or no sensation during treatment. Occasionally a patient may feel mild, soothing warmth, or tingling. Areas of pain or inflammation may be sensitive briefly before pain reduction.
- Are there any side effects or associated risks? During more than twenty years of use by healthcare providers all over the world, very few side effects have ever been reported. Occasionally some old injuries or pain syndromes may feel aggravated for a few days, as the healing response is more active after treatment.
- How long does each treatment take? The typical treatment is 3 to 8 minutes, depending on the size of the area being treated. Our veterinarians will recommend a treatment plan specific to your pet’s condition.
Numerous studies show that Laser Therapy can help with a wide variety of patient conditions such as, but not limited to:
- Joint Pain
- Edema and Congestion
- Ligament Sprains
- Muscle Strains
- Puncture Wounds
- Post-Traumatic Injury
- Post-Surgical Pain
- Neck and Back Pain
- Hip Dysplasia
- Chronic Wounds
- Post-Orthopedic Surgical Recovery
- Ear infections
- Chronic Pain and Lameness
- Anal Gland Infections
- Lick Granulomas / Interdigital Dermatitis
- Bladder Issues
- Mouth and Tooth Pain
- Burns and Hot Spots
Hurricane Season Is Approaching – Are Your Pets Ready?
By Haley Greenway
We are eight weeks away (from the time of this publication) from the beginning of hurricane season (June 1st – Nov. 30th). If a storm is approaching us, often times it is too late to get a kit together. Many people wait until the last minute, or they believe “this won’t happen to me”. When the storm is approaching, the store shelves are usually bare. After the storm, often times there is no power for days on end, therefore, it is not as easy (or possible) to purchase those everyday items that you need. Get ahead of the game this year – right now is the perfect time to prepare your disaster supply kit.
If you already have a disaster supply kit for yourself – great! Did you remember your four-legged family members?
We know that it is difficult to think of things that you may need for your pet in the event of a disaster – whether you evacuate, leave your pet with a family member, or if you stay at home. We have compiled a good supply checklist of items that you should have on hand for your fur-babies, regardless of where you will be before, during and after the storm.
For a detailed Disaster Supply Checklist for your pet, click here.
By Julie Wickel, DVM
The routine administration of vaccines in dogs has been one of the most significant factors in the consistent reduction of serious canine infectious diseases. This approach has resulted in excellent disease control of epidemics for infections that are considered to be important causes of dangerous and deadly diseases.
Although all veterinarians agree vaccines are necessary, the frequency in which they’re given is debated. Veterinarians need to administer the rabies vaccine as defined by law. However, core vaccines for canine distemper virus (CDV), parvovirus (CPV-2) and canine adenovirus-2 (CAV), are now generally accepted by most veterinarians as being administered once every three years. What is not known at this time is how long actual protection exists once dogs are vaccinated for these viruses. Many experts believe that protection can last longer than three years.
Titer Testing to Determine Duration of Immunity (DOI):
For canine core vaccines there is excellent correlation between the presence of antibody and protective immunity and there is long DOI for these products. When antibody is present there should not be a need to revaccinate the dog for the specific disease being tested. If antibody titer is absent, the dog should be revaccinated unless there is a medical basis for not doing so.
Recently the Canine VacciCheck was approved by the USDA. The Canine VacciCheck is intended to be used as a diagnostic tool to evaluate the antibody response to the core vaccination or infection by Infectious Canine Hepatitis (Canine Adenovirus), Canine Parvovirus and Canine Distemper Virus.
The test is a rapid, simple, reliable and cost-effective “in house” assay and is especially useful to determine if a dog requires additional vaccination. This may save the dog unnecessary vaccination.
Titer testing does not take the place of the puppy series of vaccinations and the one-year booster vaccinations. After these vaccines are given, it is then recommended to give vaccinations every 3 years or do titer testing annually to every three years.
If your dog tests negative on a titer test, then he will need to be revaccinated. One potential drawback to titer testing is that not all groomers, kennels, and day-care facilities will accept titers in place of vaccinations.
For right now, titer testing on cats can be done at outside laboratories. An in-house test is coming soon.
Dogs will still need to be vaccinated every three years if titer tests are not done (or are negative).