Takethe "pet' out of Petrified with Happy Visits at the vet!

“Happy Visits” at the Vet take the “pet” out of Petrified!

Vet Visits can be stressful for pets and their owners.  In fact, it can be so bad that some owners just don’t bring their pets in at all- at least not until there is a dire condition! If your dog or cat freaks out about going to the vet, you should ask them if they encourage “Happy Visits”.  “Happy Visits” are all about fun. No thermometers or needles! No toenail trims or [other offensive things we do to pets]!   Just Fun, Love, Petting and Treats! or Balls!  Whatever makes them happiest!   The next time exam will be so much easier after a few (or a half dozen, depending on your pet) “Happy Visits”.  They don’t have to be a big deal or take a lot of time out of your day: 5 or 10 minutes is all!  Maybe 15 minutes if your pet is having a REALLY good time!

“Happy Visits” are best scheduled during quieter hours of the day around the vet clinic.  Call your vet to see what time would work best.

For Dogs:

Bring their most favorite thing(s)- treats, balls, frisbees, toys.  At our clinic, we will play with your pet all over the clinic, getting him used to the environment and us!  When it’s time for his next medical visit, you can bring all his comfort things with him and it won’t be half so bad!

Click HERE to learn some tips for Fear Free vet visits for dogs

For Cats:

We keep things a little more low-key for cats.  They get to start in our Fear Free Cat exam room.  The air is filled with subtle anxiety-relieving “happy kitty” pheromones.  Classical music encourages relaxation.  The carrier is opened so the kitty can come out when she’s ready.  Treats and/or catnip are placed around the room to encourage exploration.

Click HERE for our tips on Getting your kitty to Vet with less stress

Happy Visits at the vet take the "Pet" out of Petrified

Here’s a great article that really explains even more!

 

 

Arthritis in cats is a very common condition!

Cat arthritis happens in over 40% of cats! 

90% of cats over the age of 12 years have radiographic signs of osteoarthritis!

If your cat is 7 years of age or older, it PROBABLY has arthritis!  But what can you do about it?

MULTI-MODAL ARTHRITIS TREATMENT FOR CATS INCLUDES:

Environmental Modification

Make it easier to get around.  Provide ramps or steps to favorite high perches.  Use low-sided litter boxes to ease and encourage use. Put the food and water on the floor.

Dietary modulation/ Nutraceuticals

Omega 3 fatty acids– Rx- strength EPA fraction is anti-inflammatory for everything in the body!  Rx foods are available with the omega 3s supplemented.

Disease Modifying Medications

Adequan(R) -(not FDA approved for use in cats but safe and effective)- Adequan provides strong anti-oxidants to the joints, improves the viscosity or “slipperiness” of joint fluid, and can even heal cartilage!

Weight loss if required

Trying to haul 30% or more extra body weight around, esp to the top of the table or counter or favorite perch is hard on the joints!  Absorbing the impact of that extra weight when you jump down is painful!  Maintaining a healthy weight goes a long way toward easing pain and enhancing mobility when you have arthritis!

Physical therapy

Massage and range of motion exercises aren’t for every cat, but can be helpful to those that tolerate them!

OK.. maybe more like this:

Exercise

Train your kitty to walk on a harness or play to get moving. Joints stay more flexible and less painful with just a little movement throughout the day.

Pain Management 

NSAIDs (Non-Steroidal AntiInflammatorieS) MUST be managed under the direction of a vet and NEVER give human medicines!  Human NSAIDs are toxic to cats!  There are a couple of veterinary NSAIDS that are labeled for long-term use in cats in other countries, just not the US.  This makes US veterinarians a little leary about prescribing them.  Used cautiously, however, NSAIDs can be a terrific help to cats who have not responded to the above recommendations.

Gabapentin is a medication used in the human world for “neuropathic pain”.  It is the most commonly used pain medication for cats because of it’s safety and efficacy.  While you might think “well, arthritis is not “nerve pain”, you might be surprised to learn that recent studies HAVE found a neuropathic component to arthritis pain!  It doesn’t help all the pain, but can help a lot of it!

Opiods can be used in cats to relieve pain of all kinds.  They have to be carefully dosed and prescribed by a vet.

On the Horizon: Anti- Nerve Growth Factor monoclonal antibody medication

It’s not available yet, but it’s in development and very exciting!

Click Here to learn more

Your cat is “slowing down”:

  • Doesn’t run with enthusiasm any more
  • Slower to catch moving objects
  • Less interest in playing
  • Hesitant to jump up
  • Pulls herself to get up, rather than making a clean jump up
  • Pauses on the stairs going up or down
  • Walk up stairs instead of bounding
  • Hides more or sleeps more, rather than exploring

These are all subtle signs of pain in cats!

40% of all cats show signs of Arthritis! 

90% of cats over the age of 12 years have radiographic signs of arthritis— whether they are showing signs or not!  That’s nearly TWICE the number of dogs with arthritis in the same age group.

Yet, dogs are very often treated for arthritis and aging cats are rarely treated!  Why do cats get neglected so?  Because we humans are so bad at recognizing the subtle signs of discomfort in cats and they are masters of hiding weakness and pain until the very late stages!  We need to do better for our beloved kitten companions!

What about your cat?

Watch this video to see signs of arthritis in cats

If you think your cat might be showing ANY of these signs of arthritis,
Fill out this survey and email it to your vet to get your kitty the help she deserves!  (You can also email to us for our opinion on next steps!)

Here is a great blog by one of the world leaders in cat and dog arthritis pain relief (sorry it is Big Pharma, but what they are saying is legit).

We are developing more and more arthritis treatments for cats, so it’s worth exploring with your vet!  Does your cat have arthritis and what can you do about it to help your kitty be active and happy throughout his Senior years!

COVID-19, human coronavirus not contagious from pets, but you still need to protect them if you get sick.

Many people are still worried about the relationship between COVID-19 and their pets.  This  new virus has us changing our game plan weekly, it seems.  But this is what we know so far:

 

 

THE FACTS:

  • Cats and Dogs can (rarely) naturally contract the COVID-Sars-2 virus. They rarely get sick, but it they do, it has been mild and self-resolving
  • Minks (and therefore, presumably Ferrets– although *I couldn’t find any professional references to pet ferrets/ COVID-19*) can naturally contract and become symptomatic with COVID-19.  Minks have developed respiratory signs AND gastrointestinal disease. Some died.  This demonstrated that they were able to pass the disease amongst themselves.
  • In the LABORATORY setting (where research animals have been super infected), cats, ferrets and hamsters have been found to pass the virus to animals of the SAME species.
  • Domesticated animals (as far as we know to date) canNOT transfer COVID-19 directly to humans.
  • It does not seem that pets from COVID-19 households can transfer the virus to a human.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR PET PARENTS WHO BECOME SICK WITH COVID-19

  • Stay away from your pets, especially your ferrets (whose genetic lineage seems to more seriously affected).  Sorry no snuggling while you are feeling lousy in bed. 🙁
  • Have someone else in the family care for the pets, if possible.   If that’s not possible, wear a mask and gloves while tending to your pet.  Avoid petting or intimate contact.  Keep them out of your quarantine room/ bedroom.  Consider asking a friend to care for your pet while you are ill.

For more detailed information, please see the CDC’s Page on COVID-19 and Animals

 

 

George before his dental treatmentWatch George’s dental treatment video  Here

 

 

Ever wonder what all goes into a  dental treatment?  This video shows you a “Basic Dental Treatment” at Cimarron. (Most dogs don’t get George’s super cool neck wrap, but dogs with neck problems do!)

 

 

Have you wondered why  pet dental treatments cost so much?  When you watch George’s dental treatment video, you will see all the equipment it takes to anesthetize George, monitor him, x-ray, clean and p

 

olish his teeth.  George  didn’t even need extractions or periodontal treatments which take longer and utilize even more equipment!  A dental treatment without extractions in a dog George’s size (about 35 pounds) takes about one and a half to two hours from setup to tear down and cleaning/ sterilizing all of the equipment. That’s with about 3 people working on the project!  That’s a lot of manpower and a lot of detail to ensure not only the patient we are working on stays safe, but the next patient we treat will be safe too!

 

Telemedicine consults for pets, telehealth consults for pets, virtual vet visits

Mr Weasley does Telemed consults too!

Cimarron Animal Hospital is now offering  Telehealth Consults (also called Telemedicine)- Virtual Veterinary Health Care –  for our patients!  While there is a fee, it’s still less expensive for you AND less stressful for your pet!  They are a nice way to do recheck exams- when the Doctor doesn’t need to lay hands on the pet.  We can communicate through Skype, Face Time or Phone.

Our Doctors do have to have a “valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship” to be able to do Telehealth Consults.  The Doctor participating in the virtual care communication needs to have seen a patient, in person, within at least a year. They need to be intimately knowledgeable of the pet’s current medical condition and have established a relationship with members of the pet’s family.  If any of those factors is not in place, a Telehealth Consult is not appropriate.

Some examples of how we might use Telehealth Consults:

          • Allergy rechecks  ($25.00)
          • Diet and Medication change rechecks/ consults  ($25.00)
          • Behavioral Consults ($40.00)

Create a Skype account if you don’t have FaceTime/ iphone.

Call us if you would like more information about our Virtual Veterinary Health Care options!  520 886-1125

To see other new services, click here

Your Cimarron Team wants you to feel safe bringing your pet in to the clinic, so this is what we’re doing to help control the spread of COVID-19 as businesses reopen:

Doggie valet, doggy valet, pet valet, curbside pet

Curbside Check In.  If you would prefer not to come into the clinic, we will send our Pet Valet out to your car to collect your pet and the  medical history questions.  Our Pet Valet will bring your pet inside for his/ her exam with the Doctor. Your Doctor will then call you on your cell phone or come out to your car to discuss the findings.  Our Client Service Liaison will call you for payment over the phone.  After we’ve finished, your pet and anything he needs will be delivered back to your car!  Just let us know that you would like Curbside Check In when you make your appointment!

Curbside check-in has been pretty chill for most of the pets-- even the high strung ones!

Bob is usual pretty high strung when he comes in. Curbside check-in seems to be fine with him!

Fill Out your paperwork from home and Submit for easier service!

Health Screening Questions. We know they are a little invasive.  We’ve all suffered them.  Know that we aren’t going to deny your pet service, regardless of your answers.  We will just take extra precautions so that we don’t get sick, so we can continue to be here for you!  If you have been sick within the last 2 weeks, please let us know.  And, if so, please consider postponing and Wellness services for your pet for a couple weeks.  Of course, if your pet is sick or in pain, PLEASE bring him, regardless.  Just let us know your status as well!  (Plus, we just Care- about People, too!)

Image result for dog on the phoneTelemedicine Appointments.  Stay at home and still get your pet’s care.  We can schedule phone, video or text chats for appointments that don’t require the Doctor to actually touch your pet!  This is especially useful for recheck appointments and behavior appointments.  If you think this might be an option in your pet’s case, ask your Client Service Representative!  * These “Televet Consults” do have a fee, but are less expensive than in clinic visits.

Image result for cat maid 

 As a medical facility, we are pretty sanitary already, but we have increased our human contagious disease protection to include:

  • Spraying or wiping down counters, door knobs, door frames, drawer pulls, sinks, faucets, toilet handles and seats, chair arms and backs, phones, computer keyboards and mouses (mice?)— anything people touch.
  • Staff members with upper respiratory symptoms will be asked to stay home.
  •  Hand sanitizer or soap is available in all rooms for use by staff and clients
  • We are asking clients who are ill to please let us know before coming in the clinic.  We are happy to provide Pet Valet Service for you.  If you prefer to come inside, we ask you to wear a mask — for all our safety.
  • We encourage our clients to wear face masks— just in case.  We do!

Together, we humans will weather this storm with a little extra vigilance in good hygiene and the kindness of heart that is in all animal lovers.

From the CDC:

  •  At this time, there is no indication that COVID-19 is contagious from humans to animals.  HOWEVER, the CDC is recommending that people sick with Coronavirus minimize exposure to pets (no snuggling your pets if you are isolated due to illness  Image result for sad face emoji)—just in case…
  • While Coronavirus does not spread easily from porous/ rough surfaces, pet fur could be a source of infection to another human.  Just another reason to minimize contact with your pet if YOU are sick– for the sake of your loved ones.  And let us know if you have been sick while living with your pet.

“She’s slowing down” is the biggest problem we hear about senior pets.  Most owners aren’t concerned about it. They expect it. But it’s a Big Red Flag to veterinarians.  Sure, it could mean “just arthritis”, as most people assume.  But, it could also mean a lot of other things!  Things that can be treated!

WHAT ELSE CAN MAKE AN OLDER DOG SLOW DOWN?

  • Arthritis
  • Internal diseases like kidney disease, liver disease
  • HEART DISEASE
  • Infections such as Valley Fever, Lyme’s disease, Heartworm disease

All of these conditions can and should be treated to give your older pup happy, comfortable Golden Years.

Arthritis?

X-rays will help determine whether a senior pet has arthritis.  The joints most commonly affected are the hips and knees, but the spine is also often involved.  Small breeds with short, “twisty” front legs and  other dogs with limbs deformities will often have arthritis in those abnormal joints.

Heart Disease?

If radiographs aren’t revealing, ask your vet to check your dog’s heart– especially if your pup is a large or giant breed!  Heart disease in large breed dogs causes rear end weakness that can look just like arthritis! (When the heart can’t pump enough blood to the back of the body, muscles get weak and waste away, just like in arthritis!)

Heartworm Disease?

If Heartworm disease is common in your area, this can cause weakness due to the heart disease the worms cause.

Infectious Disease?

Any form of general illness can cause weakness.  For instance, Valley Fever is common in the desert southwest and can be a slowly progressive, insidious disease that causes a dog to just feel weak and sick. Ask you vet if your pet might have any diseases common to your part of the country.

Metabolic Disease?

Metabolic diseases common in the senior years like Kidney disease and Liver disease also make a dog just feel lousy and lazy, just as they do in humans.

Help Your Pet Live Life to its Fullest!

Don’t let your older dog slow down without knowing why! There is so much that can be done for all of these conditions to help dogs feel better, be more active, and be a part of the family again!  Insist that your vet explore the possibilities and don’t settle for “it’s just arthritis”!

high blood pressure in catsHigh Blood pressure, or “hypertension”, is a common condition in cats over the age of about 7 years. It is often associated with other disease conditions common in aging cats such as Hyperthyroidism, Kidney disease and Heart disease. Approximately 13-20% of cats that develop hypertension have no underlying disease. They have “primary hypertension”.

Complications of Hypertension

Sudden blindness is a common complication of high blood pressure in cats.  This blindness is caused by detachment of the retina in the back of the eye.  This retinal detachment can be reversed if the high blood pressure if resolved quickly.

High blood pressure can also cause kidney disease and complicate heart disease.

Signs of Hypertension:blindness, retinal detachment in catsblood in cat eye due to hypertension
  • Depression
  • Decreased Appetite
  • Inactivity
  • Head pressing (headache?)
  • Increase drinking and urination
  • Seizures
  • Sudden onset of paralysis (due to a blood clot to rear limbs)
  • No signs in the early stages– this is the best time to start treatment!
Diagnosis

All cats over the age of 7 years should have their blood pressure checked at least once a year

All cats with diseases that can cause high blood pressure, or be worsened by high blood pressure, should be checked every time they have a checkup– at least twice yearly!

FDA approved drug for feline hypertension availabeTreatment

Medication is available to treat hypertension. It is usually easily given and well accepted by cats.  The FDA has recently approved, Semintra, in a convenient liquid form, to treat feline hypertension!  It’s important to also treat any underlying conditions (thyroid disease, kidney disease, heart disease).  Your cat may even be able to come off the blood pressure meds with treatment of the underlying condition!

Management

After your cat starts medication, your  veterinarian should monitor your cat’s blood pressure  every 3-7 days until normal and stable, then every 3-6 months, depending on the underlying cause. Your vet will let you know your cat’s ideal monitoring schedule.

Prognosis

The prognosis for high blood pressure in cats is good to excellent! Your cat can live a normal life with medication and proper monitoring. You can learn to watch for subtle signs of recurrence of high blood pressure so you can help right away! Your kitty’s happiness can be restored with prompt blood pressure rechecks medication adjustments!

Testimonial

“We had a kitty patient with “end stage” kidney failure and high blood pressure that we were able to keep happy, active and eating for over 2 years! ‘Tuxedo’s’ owners were so in-tune with his behaviors that they could tell when his blood pressure was elevated. They would bring him in right away for a BP check any time he was acting unusual- not following his regular routine.  Every time, we were able to adjust his medications and make him feel like his “old self” again within hours!  It was so rewarding!”…  Dr Deb Bohnke

Omega-3 fatty acids have a number of potential benefits in dogs and cats with allergic skin, such as reducing inflammation and improving the skin’s general condition. When the skin is healthy, its natural barrier function against allergens (pollens, dust mites, molds) improves, minimizing the allergic reaction.

What are Omega-3 Fatty Acids?

The two health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, are long chain omega-3 fatty acids and are found abundantly in fish.  Flax seed oil contains alpha-linolenic acid, or ALA, a shorter chain omega-3 fatty acid that requires the enzyme delta-6 desaturase to convert it into EPA and DHA in the body. Humans and dogs have
limited ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA. Cats have even less ability to convert ALA to EPA and DHA.
Therefore, supplementation with a high quality omega-3 fish oil is recommended for humans, dogs, and cats.

What are the important health benefits of fish-derived omega-3 fatty acids, EPA and DHA, in dogs and cats?
  • Decreasing Inflammation: One of the key functions of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA is supporting the body’s natural anti-inflammatory response. Dogs and cats can suffer from numerous inflammatory conditions that can affect their health and well-being. Studies have shown supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids from fish supports dogs and cats with inflammatory conditions associated with the skin, joints, kidneys, and heart.
  • EPA promotes healthy triglyceride (fat) levels within the blood of dogs
  • Shiny Coat and better skin condition. Essential fatty acid supplementation is known to maintain general skin and coat quality in dogs and cats. Human studies have also shown that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation supports weight loss.

 

What results should I expect to see in my dog or cat after omega-3 fatty acid supplementation?

Improved coat condition is common when pets start taking omega-3 fatty acids. This may take a month or two to manifest as old fur falls out and new, healthier fur fills in. The anti-inflammatory effect of a therapeutic dose of omega-3s will also help to reduce your pet’s skin inflammation and decrease the numbers of infections secondary to allergen exposure and self-trauma (chewing, licking and scratching).
Research shows that fatty acid levels reach a steady state within about one month of starting supplementation. Results vary for every pet. Consistency in giving your pet omega-3s is key to seeing results.

Are there any safety issues if my pet receives an over-supplementation of Omega-3 fatty acids?

Platelets are a type of blood cell important for formation of a blood clot to stop bleeding if the body is cut or injured. Omega-3 fatty acids can decrease the ability of platelets to stick together and form a blood clot quickly if taken in excess.

Do omega-3 fatty acids affect behavior and mood in dogs and cats?

The effects of omega-3 fatty acids on behavior in dogs and cats have not been well researched. However, one recent study did show that dogs with aggression problems had lower blood levels of DHA and higher omega-6 to omega-3 ratios than dogs without aggression. Although this study does not prove cause and effect, it does suggest that omega-3 fatty acid supplementation may be beneficial for pets with aggressive conditions.
Omega-3 fatty acid supplementation has also been researched in humans with cognitive dysfunction. Results of these studies have suggested that omega-3 fatty acids may be beneficial in maintaining cognitive function. Therefore, improved behavior may be appreciated in older pets, especially those suffering from cognitive dysfunction.

Selecting a Quality Fish Oil Supplement

PURITY  Your pet’s omega 3 fish oil should be microdistilled for purity, without the use of chemicals or excessive heat, in order to effectively remove heavy metals, such as mercury and lead.

PICK THE RIGHT CONCENTRATION
The therapeutic dose of omega-3 fatty acids we currently recommend for dogs and cats :

20 mg/ pound Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) per day.

Make sure to read the supplement facts on the label to know how much EPA and DHA is in each capsule. A “1000 mg” soft gel refers only to the size of the soft gel, not the levels of EPA and DHA.

We recommend avoiding cod liver oil as it is too high in vitamins A and D when administered at a therapeutic EPA+DHA dose and can cause toxicity of these vitamins.

The total daily dose can be administered at a single time daily or can be divided over the course of the day.