Secondhand Smoke and Cancer in Pets
April 2015 - The Virginia Veterinary Medical Association released the following information:
A recent study by the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine
underscores the link between secondhand smoke and cancer in pets.
According to the study, secondhand smoke can cause lung and nasal cancer
in dogs, malignant lymphoma in cats and allergy and respiratory problems
in both animals.
Please click on the link below to learn more about Canine Influenza.
Pre Operation Care
What to expect when your pet is having surgery or dental work
If your pet is coming to see us for a spay or neuter, dental procedure, growth removal, or any other procedure that requires anesthesia, please review the information below for our drop-off protocol and pre-operative instructions. We understand that you may be nervous about your petís procedure. Please rest assured that our doctors do everything possible to ensure each animalís safety and comfort. Please also know that we are here to answer any and all questions that you may have, so please do not hesitate to ask.
After 10 PM the night before your petís procedure, he/she cannot have any food or treats. Please allow free access to water at all times.
Please arrive at the clinic between 8 and 9 AM on the morning of the procedure. When you drop off your pet, our receptionist will ask you to sign consent forms and will also ask whether you would like us to perform pre-operative bloodwork and an EKG. These optional tests are recommended by the doctors for any animal undergoing anesthesia to ensure that he/she is a good candidate for anesthesia. If you opt to do these tests, they will be performed in the morning after you drop your pet off.
Since your furry friend is going to be anesthetised, now is an excellent time to have him/her microchipped. Microchipping is a safe and permanent identification system to protect your pet from getting lost if he/she were to slip out the door or in the case of a natural disaster. You can read more about the microchips that we use at http://resq.petparents.com/whyMicrochip.cfm.
Most procedures are performed between the hours of noon and 4 PM. After the procedure, the veterinarian will call you with an update on how your pet is doing and discuss his/her post-operative care and follow-up instructions. For most procedures (except for some dog spays and all cat declaws)your pet will be able to go home later that same evening, usually between 6:30 and 7:30 PM. At pick-up, our receptionist will go over any follow-up instructions and medications that your pet requires. If after taking your pet home you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to call us.
Post Operation Care
Every procedure is unique, so please follow the specific instructions that were discussed when your pet was discharged.
The following is a basic set of instructions for most surgeries:
1. Sutures are usually removed 10 to 14 days following the procedure. Please call to set up this appointment.
2. Do not allow your pet to run or jump until the sutures have been removed.
3. Make sure that the incision remains clean and dry.
4. Mild redness and swelling may occur around the incision. This is often normal, however we would like you to call us so that we can decide if we need to check the incision.
5. Do not allow your pet to lick the incision. Elizabethan collars can be purchased at your local pet store and they come in a variety of sizes and textures.
6. Most importantly, call us immediately if you have any questions or concerns!
Heartworms are spread by mosquitoes and can be deadly. Heartworm infection is treatable, but the treatment can be painful for your pet and expensive for your family. Dogs with advanced heartworm disease can die despite treatment. Heartworms are easy to prevent by using a once a month preventative in the form of a chewable tablet that most dogs find tasty. Our doctors recommend Interceptor, and we also carry Sentinel, which also contains a flea controlling medication. These tablets also prevent other common parasites your dog may pick up at the dog park or around the neighborhood.
We do not yet routinely use heartworm preventatives for cats in our area (since most cats are kept indoors), although cats can develop heartworm disease. Interceptor is licensed for use in cats and there are also several topically applied heartworm preventatives for cats (Revolution, Advantage Multi)You should consider using heartworm preventatives if your cat goes outdoors.
Lyme disease is caused by a bacteria (Borrelia burgdorferi) that is spread by ticks found in this area. Dogs that suffer from Lyme disease most commonly present with lethargy, decreased appetite and painful/swollen joints. These manifestations of Lyme disease are almost always treatable, however a rare kidney form of the disease can be seen, which is fatal.
Ehrlichiosis, another tick-borne disease that can attack your dogís bone marrow or joints can also be fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly. The best thing to do is keep your dog or outdoor cat on a high-quality tick preventative, such as Frontline Plus. Frontline Plus also prevents fleas, keeping your pet comfortable and your home flea-free.
It is important to obtain your petís preventatives through your veterinarian rather than using over-the-counter products from grocery or pet supply stores. Many over-the-counter products are ineffective and some can be toxic, particularly if a product intended for use in dogs is applied to a cat.
Over the years we have had the most success using Frontline Plus for dogs and Frontline Plus or Advantage for cats. Advantage works well for preventing fleas on dogs as well, but most dogs have tick exposure so Frontline Plus is the better choice.
Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA, often pronounced "mer-sa")
is a bacteria that is resistant to many antibiotics including
methicillin, penicillin and amoxicillin. Because of its resistance, it
is sometimes referred to as a superbug. MRSA has received a lot of media
attention lately. In the past it was less common and typically only
associated with infection of hospitalized people. Now infectionsare
occurring more commonly. There are 2 patterns of MRSA infection in
1. People, particularly those with poor immune
systems or those taking antibiotics, who pick it up from staff members
at a hospital or healthcare facility. These patients can become
critically ill (septicemia, pneumonia). Hospital staff members typically
transfer MRSA from their hands to the patient if adequate hygiene
precautions are not taken.
2. People who have not been in hospital
recently and feel well, but have skin abscesses or "boils", sometimes
resembling a spider bite. This is called community-associated MRSA.
Sources of infection are contact at schools, social and sporting events
(especially contact with sweaty people or gymnasium/sporting equipment).
Staphylococcus dermatitis is common in dogs (but not
common in cats), however this type of "Staph infection" is not usually
due to MRSA. Dogs and cats have their own species called
Staph. intermedius, which is not contagious to
you. If you develop a MRSA infection it is highly likely that you
acquired it from another person. Many of us "carry"
Staph. aureus on our skin, in our nasal
passages, throat and intestinal tract. If we carry the bacteria but do
not have clinical signs of illness we are said to be colonized. Recently
it has been found that pets can become colonized with MRSA after close
contact with infected or colonized people. Less commonly, people can
become colonized after close contact with pets (who have already
acquired MRSA from another person, or rarely another pet). Colonized
people can become sick if their immune system becomes compromised (e.g.
a person taking chemotherapy) or if a cut or wound becomes infected.
There are rare reports of dogs and cats developing skin abscesses and
other types of infections (urinary tract, eye and ear infections) due to
MRSA. There are even fewer reports of pets acting as a source of
reinfection to people because dogs and cats who become colonized with
MRSA usually naturally eliminate the bacteria from their body with time
(this is a bacteria that prefers people, not cats and dogs!).
Colonized people are not usually treated with
antibiotics to clear MRSA unless they work in a healthcare setting.
Likewise, colonized pets are not treated with antibiotics.
Indiscriminant use of antibiotics could in fact be dangerous when MRSA
is present, because this bacteria develops resistance to antibiotics
quickly, particularly if the antibiotics are not used correctly (course
stopped too early or too low of a dose used). Colonized people or pets
should not be treated like "lepers". To prevent MRSA infections,
frequent handwashing and good environmental cleanliness is advocated.
The possible presence of MRSA (and of course many other types of
bacteria) in a pet's mouth is another good reason to discourage
hand/face licking by your pet. MRSA on skin surfaces/objects is
destroyed by most disinfectants and antiseptics.
Zoonotic diseases are diseases that can be transmitted to humans from animals. Below is a very useful link to the Virginia Department of Health's website concerning zoonotic diseases. Please note that this is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions or concerns you should contact your family physician immediately.
Pets have teeth too!
February is National Pet Dental Health Month.
Access the PetDental.com website for great resources on how to provide proper oral care for your pets and for activities for kids.
View the AVMA's Instructional Tooth Brushing Video.