As we count down the last days of 2018, the topic of resolutions always come up. Resolutions are a great way to refocus for the new year and to set goals. I am sure you have resolutions for yourself, but have you thought about some resolutions for you and your pet? Here are some suggestions:
- Daily exercise. Good for both you and your pet.
- Teach or refresh your dog’s basic manners. There are a lot of good classes in the area. A well-behaved dog is always a joy to be around.
- Give your dog monthly heartworm preventative. If your dog isn’t on heartworm preventative, have him/her tested and started on preventative.
- Regular flea and tick control for dog and cats. Even in the winter! Two days of 50-degree weather will result in ticks being active.
- Keep your pet’s vaccines up to date.
- Bring a fecal to your annual exam. Even indoor cats can pick up parasites from bugs in the house.
- Buy health insurance for your pet. Illness and accidents happen. How much easier would it be if finances weren’t an issue?
- Have an annual exam for your pet even if their vaccines are not due. We can find problems early with a good physical before they spiral out of control.
- Teach your dog or cat a new trick or start a sport. It will strengthen your bond and keep your pet’s mind active.
- Love your pet.
From the staff at Willow Creek Veterinary Center, we hope you have a happy and healthy 2019!
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.
Thanksgiving is over, and now comes the push towards the next set of holidays! Whether it is Hanukkah, Christmas, or Kwanzaa here are some things to keep in mind for the furry members of your family.
• Changes in schedules and décor around the house can be disconcerting to
some pets. Try to keep your pets’ schedule the same as much as possible
to avoid adding to the stress.
• Remember potential toxins that may show up at your house. Imported snow
globes have been found to contain antifreeze, which is appealing and toxic
to pets. Antifreeze causes renal failure. Salt dough ornaments when
eaten can cause vomiting, diarrhea, trembling, weakness, and seizures.
Chocolate has 2 compounds that are toxic. Depending on the type and
amount of chocolate ingested, symptoms can range from mild
gastrointestinal signs to more serious seizures, tremors, and cardiac
symptoms. Grapes and raisins are known to cause vomiting, diarrhea, loss
of appetite, seizures, tremors, and comas. Macadamia nuts cause vomiting,
weakness and muscle incoordination, and hyperthermia. Alcohol, raw dough
and alcohol pastries cause hypoglycemia, low blood pressure, and
hypothermia. Artificial sweeteners can cause hypoglycemia and liver
failure. Lilies cause renal failure, while holly berries and mistletoe
cause vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Poinsettias are usually only
• If your pet ingests anything, please contact our office. Another resource
is the ASPCA’s Poison Control at 1-888-426-4435.
Need ideas on what to purchase for a family pet or friend’s pet? How about a new leash or collar with a new ID tag or Poop Bags (no explanation needed)? Please be careful with gifting treats and toys, though. Every pet is different with their dietary needs or what they can safely play with. Avoid treats made in other countries, as they have been problematic in the past. A health insurance policy for their pets can literally be a life saver. A donation to a local shelter or national animal welfare group in their honor is very special. Gift certificates to the local pet store or their favorite veterinarian also make great gifts. Whatever you choose, our furry family members deserve to be included on the gift list for all the unconditional love they give us year-round!
On behalf of the staff at Willow Creek Veterinary Center, I want to wish you, your family, and your pets a happy and healthy holiday season!
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.
Celebrations this February include Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, Ash Wednesday, President’s Day, Chinese New Year (2018 is the Year of the Dog!), Veterinary Dental Health Month, and Spay/Neuter Awareness Month. Obviously, the last two take special precedence for our practice.
This year we are offering 20% off the dental cleaning until the end of March. By 3 years of age, most dogs and cats have some evidence of periodontal disease. The bacteria associated with periodontal disease can spread via the blood stream. This can lead to infections of the liver, kidney, heart, lungs, and trigger diabetes and autoimmune diseases. Signs of dental disease include tartar, bleeding from the mouth, excessive drooling, discomfort when touching the mouth, loose or discolored teeth, loss of appetite, and bad breath. Once we clean your pet’s teeth, there are multiple options to keep the teeth clean. Our staff can review which option would work best for you and your pet.
Spaying and neutering is also an important step in protecting your pet’s health. Cats can have litters 3 times a year with an average of 4 kittens per litter. In 7 years one unspayed female and her offspring can produce 420,000 cats. An unspayed dog and her offspring can produce 99,000 dogs in the same time. Seventy thousand puppies and kittens are born in the United States each day (compared to 10,000 babies a day), and 6-8 million dogs and cats enter the shelters each year. Over half of these animals will not be adopted. Spaying and neutering can help decrease the chance of cancer (ovarian, mammary, uterine, prostate, testicular), fights, wandering, infections, and unwanted litters. It really is in your pet’s best interest to spay or neuter.
As always, helping your pet have the healthiest life is always our top concern!
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.
This is the time of year when people make lists of what they want for the holidays. So, I decided to ask our staff what they wanted from our clients. This is what they came up with:
- Be polite. A please and thank you go a long way.
- Be on time for your appointments. If you are held up, call us and let us know.
- Vaccinate your pets. Vaccines protect against a ton of deadly diseases, are safe, and keep your pet healthy and your family safe.
- Keep up with preventative medication for your pets. Flea, tick, and heartworm preventative can help your pet avoid a lot of nasty diseases.
- Train your pet. Get your cat use to the carrier and being handled. Train your dog to walk nicely on a leash, stand on command, and have their feet, ears, and mouth handled. It is much easier to do a thorough exam on a cooperative animal. You will also appreciate not having to struggle to treat your pet if you need to medicate them.
- Take our recommendations seriously. We only recommend what we truly believe is in the best interest of your pet.
- Don’t believe everything you read on the internet. There is some great advice available on the internet, but there is also some horrible advice on there.
- Ask questions if you don’t understand something.
- Do not give your pet over the counter medicine or human medicine without asking.
- Don’t take our equipment. We need our tools for our next patient.
And of course, we all want you, your family, and critters to have a happy and healthy holiday season. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D., Duncan, and Rio
It shows up on your television every Thanksgiving, after the parades, and before the football. It is the Philadelphia Kennel Club National Dog show. Held at the Oaks convention center the weekend before Thanksgiving, this show is one of the few benched shows in the country (the handlers and dogs are required to stay the entire day). With over 2,000 dogs at this year’s show, that means it is a great opportunity for you to see and visit with different breeds. Here are some highlights.
Dogs are grouped together by breed to make it easier for you to find the breed you are interested in visiting.
Breed rings are scattered throughout the hall so you can observe the dogs in action as well as back in their respective kennel areas.
It is also a chance to see unusual breeds in person; for instance, a Xoloitzcuintli (a Mexican hairless dog).
After the dogs compete in the breed ring, then the winners move on to compete in the group ring, which is what you see on television.
There are also demos and plenty of shopping as well.
If you haven’t taken a trip to the dog show, I would strongly encourage you to join us next year.
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.
P.S. My dog Duncan had so much fun showing, meeting, and greeting people he was exhausted when he got home.
October 15-21, 2017 is National Veterinary Technician Week. This is the week we recognize what a vital role our technicians play in taking care of our patients and clients. Without them, we would not be able to do our jobs.
So, who are these people outside of their jobs? I decided to explore that question. When I asked the technicians what their hobby was, I got a lot of blank stares. Most of the time the initial answer was they didn’t have a hobby outside of their work and spending time with their families (a separate problem that I won’t address here). When I pressed the issue, here were some of the varied answers I got (I promised I wouldn’t list their names).
- Drink wine
- Visiting breweries, watching the TV show Fixer Upper
- Making soap, crocheting, quilting
- Gardening, vacuuming (that is what she said)
- Birding, gardening
- Walking the dogs
- Reading, going to the lake
- Milking cows, spending time with her niece and memau
I must admit, some of the answers surprised me, but the variety of personalities is what makes our team great. From the bottom of my heart, thank you, Ladies, for all you do!
Ann E. Bastian, V.M.D.