With Summer Pet Safety Precautions in Place, the Livin’ Is Easy

summer pet safetyWe consider ourselves pretty lucky to live in a subtropical climate. Sure, we have an occasional cold snap in the winter, but we’d be hard-pressed to hear anybody complaining about it. The other side of this coin is a scorching-hot summer. Triple-digit temperatures and high humidity have the potential to dangerously impact pets. With our summer pet safety measures, you can prevent certain health hazards far past Labor Day.

First, the Obvious

When the sun is beating down, the car is no place for a pet. Internal temperatures can reach 120-degrees in no time, leaving unattended pets at risk of heat exhaustion or heatstroke. If untreated, brain damage, organ failure, or even death can occur. Continue…

Should I Stay or Should I Go? Recognizing a True Pet Emergency

pet emergencyWaiting for troubling symptoms to simmer down may not always yield terrible results. After all, you probably wouldn’t want to force your cat into the travel kennel, drive him or her to our hospital, only to find out that the terrible retching you heard earlier was just a hairball.

Pets, like us, endure minor illness or injury from time to time, and it’s not uncommon to “wait it out” to see whether symptoms either progress or subside. If you find yourself in a discomforting gray area, it may be best to bring your pet in (or, at the very least, call). But knowing the tell-tale signs of a pet emergency is equally important. Continue…

Understanding Veterinary Laparoscopy

veterinary laparoscopyLaparoscopy, a minimally invasive surgery, has been the gold standard in human surgery for many years. However, in veterinary medicine this surgical technique is not yet common practice.

For a veterinary hospital, the ability to offer laparoscopic surgery involves a significant commitment, both in terms of the time it takes for the veterinarian to acquire the advanced training needed to use laparoscopic equipment, and in the financial investment of the equipment itself. A veterinary practice’s investment in offering laparoscopy can run upwards of $40,000, inclusive of the laparoscopic equipment itself, as well as the sterilization equipment needed beyond what is normally found in a veterinary practice. Continue…

Pet Dental Health: The Down and Dirty of Your Dog’s Teeth

Loree W. Hebert, Jr., DVM

It’s likely you’ve never thought much about your dog’s dirty teeth but pet dental care is actually a very important part of maintaining your dog’s health. Just like humans, pets accumulate bacteria on their teeth which can migrate beneath the gums and cause serious health problems, such as tooth loss and damage to organs including the kidney, liver, spleen, and heart valves.

The American Veterinary Medical Association reports that 80% of dogs and 70% of cats have some form of periodontal disease by the age of 3.

As a pet owner, you may notice bad breath, a broken tooth, dirty teeth or signs of a painful mouth. These can be signs of progressing dental disease, but dental disease may be present even without these signs, since the actual damage is occurring along and beneath the gumline. Continue…