What is it?  Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, the organ responsible for producing and secreting digestive enzymes.  In its “acute” form, it is a very painful condition that causes vomiting, diarrhea and dehydration in Dogs and Cats.  Cats and Schnauzers frequently (up to 80%?) develop “chronic”, low grade pancraetitis.

What Happens?   When the pancreas becomes inflamed, its digestive enzymes leak out of their storage cells and start digesting the fats that are present in every surrounding cell.  Sometimes, enough digestive enzymes leak out to start digesting nearby abdomenal fat!  This is the cuase of the intense pain seen in more severe forms of pancreatitis. The most severe form of pancreatitis, called “Acute Necrotizing Pancretitis” can be life threatening if the internal digestion is extreme.

What causes Pancreatitis?   Pancreatitis is associated with many other metabolic conditins that contribute to inflammation:  Cushing’s disease, Hyptothyroidism and Diabetes especially.  Often, we associate pancreatitis with Dietary Indiscretion.  Pets fed  “rich” or fatty foods are at high risk for pancreatitis as these foods stimulate the pancreatitis to over-produce enzymes.  Holiday table scraps are the biggest cause of pancreatitis seen in veterinary medicine!  Sometimes, pancreatitis occurs without any known predisposing cause.

How is it Diagnosed?   Diagnosis for pancreatitis depends on your veterianrian’s exam and some blood tests. 

What to do about it?   Treatment for mild pancreatitis may not require hospitalization, just some loving nursing care at home.  Your veterinarian will likely prescribe some anti-vomiting medication, maybe some antacids, pain medication and a special diet for a few days.  More severe pancreatitis may require hospitalization for IV fluids, IV pain medications and other medications to help reduce the inflammation and support the patient while the inflammation calms down.  This may take several days. 

If your pet has any of the medical conditions mentioned above that are known to predispose to pancreatitis, be sure to have him /her seen by your vet right away if vomiting or diarrhea occur.  Protect your pet from “Dietary Indiscretions”– avoid feeding table scraps/ people food and keep the garbage locked securely away from prying paws– especially during Holidays!

Take your pet in for a veterinary exam if vomiting is frequent or lasts more than 24 hours.  Take your pet to Emergency if he is not able to keep down water because of vomiting as pets can become severely dehydrated within hours!  Remember, it’s better for your pet and less expensive for you to treat disease earlier rather than waiting for worse complications before seeking help!

 

Normal Canine Stifle

Canine stifle (knee) arthritis

We all assume our senior dog’s difficulty rising, hind limb weakness or occasional lameness is “just arthritis”.  But, what if it’s not?  What if it’s not even arthritis at all?  Anti-inflammatories or pain medication might not help and a more serious or completely curable disease may be overlooked!

Did you know that 80% of geriatric cats (over 10 years) have osteoarthritis?  

This is pretty surprising considering that cats don’t really show signs of arthritis.  As cats get older, they not to be as rambunctious as youngsters anyway, so it’s no surprise to us when they stop racing around like maniacs, stop chasing “ghost mice” up the walls and stop leaping to the tops of tall cabinets.  But those are often signs of arthritis pain.  Some cats may indicate arthritis pain with “failed” jump attempts or long consideration before jumping up on furniture.  More subtle signs of pain in cats can include poor appetite, weight loss and poor grooming due to decreased spinal flexibility.

Pets can have difficulty rising for a number of reasons:

Arthritis of any jointKnee arthritis is almost as common as hip arthritis as many dogs injure their knees early in life, leading to years of slow wear and tear. Arthritis in the spine or even front limbs can look like hip arthritis because of pain caused by weight shifting over all the limbs while standing up. Cats often develop knee and spinal arthritis.

Traumatic Injury Torn cruciate ligaments in the knee are the one condition most common mistaken for “arthritis” in dogs and cats.

Non-Orthopedic Causes:

Degenerative spinal neurologic disease.  Dogs are too weak to rise, not painful at all!

Diabetic Neuropathy occurs in both dogs and cats, but is more common in cats

Cat with bone tumor

Metabolic diseases can cause generalized weakness

Heart disease, especially in large breed dogs (who we habitually assume “just have arthritis”)

Infectious Diseases such as Tick Fever in dogs, Feline Leukemia and FIV in cats

Valley Fever frequently spreads to long bones and the vertebrae in dogs, causing pain that mimic arthritis!

Bone Cancer which requires aggressive pain management and treatment sooner, rather than later.

When you consider how many things may be causing signs that can look just like arthritis in pets, it’s easy to see that treating with “just some arthritis (pain, anti-inflammatory) medicine” could be doing a serious disservice to the pet!  Sure, it might help the pain in an underlying condition, but at what cost?  Allowing Valley Fever, a curable disease, to progress unchecked?  Ignoring diabetes—treatment of which will resolve the neuropathy and cure the weakness?  Missing the opportunity to surgically repair the torn Cruciate Ligament, minimizing further development of arthritis?

Find out the real cause, extent and location of your pet’s weakness or orthopedic pain with Arthritis Screen Radiographs!  

 Along with a good orthopedic examination, radiographs are the only way to definitively differentiate osteoarthritis from everything else.

 Any patient showing signs of limb weakness or pain in any bone, joint or in the spine should have x-rays taken.

Radiographs tell your veterinarian:

 If there is osteoarthritis or other orthopedic disease that explains the symptoms. If not, further testing for metabolic or infectious disease should be pursued.

If there is evidence of cancer or Valley Fever.

 If arthritis is present, how severe?  This helps your vet make the best recommendations for pain control therapy.

Exactly which joints are involved?  This allows your vet to recommend targeted therapies like home physical therapy or cold laser therapy.

Make sure your veterinarian knows what she is treating your pet for.   Don’t settle for “trying” some anti-inflammatories or other pain medications.  Ask for Radiographs.  Even if your veterinarian can feel or see abnormalities in a joint during an orthopedic exam (which should be part of every physical exam—make sure your vet puts all the joints through a range of motion and examines the spine- Every Time!), ask for Radiographs.  Knowing not just whether there is arthritis, but where it is and how involved it is helps  you and your veterinarian make the best choices for treatment for a long, comfortable, happy life!

Another great article on Osteoarthritis in Dogs  click here

For even more on Arthritis in cats and dogs see VeterinaryPartner.com

 

For the longest, healthiest, happiest life for your beloved pet, pick a diet that is:

  • High Quality, Premium brand name                                                                        
  • Life Stage/ Age Appropriate
  • Breed/ Size appropriate

HIGH QUALITY,  Premium brand foods really are a lot different than grocery store brands and department store generics.  In general, they use higher quality ingrediednts (usually human grade); they have few, if any artificial preservatives; there are fewer artificial colors; there is more science behind the formulations, resulting in more balbanced nutrition, and they are more accountable to you, the consumer, than sotre brand companies.

Our Favorite Premium brand of food at Cimarron Animal Hospital isRoyal Canintm— for dogs and cats.  Royal Canintmuses only human grade ingredients, no artificial preservatives.  The company has never had a food recall!  They are the fast growing pet food company in the world today– for good reason.  Veterinarians stand behind them because their food is based on the latest nutritional awareness.  Their Cat foods address the special needs of cats:  lower calorie, lower carbs, higher protein (to fend off diabetes- an epidemic in middle aged overweight housecats), increased undigestible fiber (to minimize fur balls), larger kibble size (to encourage chewing and stave off dental disease).  Royal Canin’stm Dog foods address the special orthopedic needs of rapidly growing puppies, larger kibbles and tartar protection in small breed formulations (to encourage chewing in these particularly dental disease- prone pets).

LIFE STAGE/ AGE appropriate food is key to ensuring a pet gets the nutrition needed for his stage of growth. 

Puppy/ Kitten foods:are formulated to accommodate the rapid growth that occurs in the first 6 months of a dog or cat’s life.  Puppies and kittens need higher calories and specially balanced minerals. By the time puppies and kittens are about 1 yr old (especially after spaying/ neutering), all those calories are unnecessary. 

Adult / Maintenance Fromulas:  An adult pet, no longer growing, needs an adult maintenance food with fewer calories and a less intense mineral load. 

     Middle aged cats have special concerns with regard to diet as they are prone to Diabetes mellitus as they gain weight. Diabetes classically strikes obese, middle aged males (orange tabby cats are 30% more likey to develop Diabetes than any other breed!)  A lower calorie, a lower carbohydrate, higher protein diet that more closely approximates the nutritional profile of wild cats than over- the-counter, heavy-grain foods can prevent Diabetes!  Knowing this, Royal Canintm has a fantastic line of Veterinary Cat foods to fit the bill. (“Kitty Atkins”, we call it!)  They have even taken into consideration that neutered and spayed cats (and dogs, by the way…) have a 25- 30% lower metabolism within 48 hours of neutering. This means that they need 25-30% fewer calories.  We can’t recommend these cat diets enough!

Senior/ Mature Formulas:  As cats and dogs head into their Senior years, around 7-9 years of age, depending on the breed of pet, their bodies have special care needs.  Cats are prone to kidney disease, which is very responsive to diet.  A good quality Mature Cat food can go along way toward protecting senior cats from kidney disease.  We’ve even seen early kidney disease go into remission, just by switching patients to Mature cat food– no additional treatment!  Senior Dogs are prone to arthritis and obesity.  They benefit from diets lower in calories and higher in omega 3 fatty acids.  

BREED/ SIZE APPROPRIATE foods are becoming more and more available and are worth the extra money in the premium brands.

   Large Breed Puppy Foodsare formulated to slow bone growth, allowing the muscles to keep up, providing more support for the large bones that are forming.  This protects Large, rapidly growing breed puppies from hip dysplasia, panosteitis and other developmental bone diseases.  The limited calories in these formulations also helps protect against “over-nutrition”-  the roly-poly puppy- as scientific studies have shown that overweight puppies are more prone to developmental bone disease than their lean counterparts.  Another little known (or discussed) secret is that the formula gurus at Royal Canintm are sensitive to the fact that Big Dogs make Big… Piles in the yard….  So, Royal Canintm Large Breed dog foods are highly digestible, leaving less waste for you to clean up!

   Large Breed Adult foods continue to control calories to protect against obesity and the arthritis that occurs secondary to Metabolic Syndrome in dogs.  Both Large Breed Puppy and Adult formulations are also fortified with inflammation- fighting omega 3 fatty acids!

   Breed specific Royal Canin pet store linesfor dogs and cats protect them against the common medical disorders seen in those breeds.  For example, Yorkie formula has tartar protection since this breed is especially prone to disastrous dental disease by age 3 yr.  It is also lower in calories because the Royal Canin people recognize that Yorkies are prone to obesity.  The Persian cat formula has extra tartar and hairball protection.  See the Royal Canin website for more formulas and their specifics.

QUALITY, LIFE STAGE, BREED SENSITIVE.  These are the keys to optimizing your pet’s nutrition and minimizing your vet bills over the course of your pet’s long life!

Cimarron Animal Hospital Carries all Royal Canin Prescription Diets and the following Veterinary Wellness Early Care Formulas because we believe these diets are a notch above the pet store lines (enough to make them worth every extra penny!)   These are the diets that we feed our pets because we think they are the best!

                                  Feline Young Male (superior nutrition for both males and females)

                                    Feline Mature

                                                                             Canine Large Breed Puppy

  

  

Two dogs in Cottonwood, Arizona were infected with Leptospirosis, a serious to fatal bacterial infection that had not been diagnosed in Arizona in 50 years- news article 

Leptosporosis organisms can cause fatal or permanent, progressive kidney failure.  It is difficult to treat and often not enough can be done fast enough to save a patient’s life.  To further complicate matters, it is not the first disease your Arizona veterinarian will think of to test for because it is so rare here.

Signs of disease include lethargy and poor appetite, increased drinking and excessive urination and dehydration.  As the disease progresses and kidney failure ensues, pets will start vomiting, may have diarrhea, seizures or disorientation.

If your pet shows any signs of Lepto and has traveled to the Cottonwood, Az area, be sure to TELL YOUR VETERINARIAN so she can test for Lepto sooner, rather than later.  This will give your pet the best chance for survival.

Lepto is a Zoonotic disease, meaning that animals can pass it on to humans.  And, it is just as dangerous to humans as to animals!

The disease is acquired by humans or animals being exposed to the urine of infected animals (which means your infected dog can pass it to you or contaminate your yard/ pond/ pool), or drinking or swimming in water contaminated with the urine of infected wild animals or livestock (the primary source of infection for people and animals).

If your pet travels to the Cottonwood/ Verde Valley area, protect against Leptosporosis:

  •  Don’t allow him to drink out of irrigation ditches, rivers or other open water sources. 
  •  Ask your veterinarian to vaccinate your pet against Lepto.  Most Arizona vets do not vaccinate against this disease routinely because of our historically low risk.  The Lepto vaccine is also very “reactive”, meaning that a fair amount of patients receiving the vaccine develop a reaction such as temproary (1-5 days) lethargy, poor appetite, fever, achiness, and a lump at the site of the vaccination.  You can ask your vet for a dose of antiinflammatory to be given with the vaccine to help minimize the side effects.

Please Call us at 886-1125 if you have additional questions about Leptosporosis and your pets.

Cimarron Wishes You Safe Travels with your Pet!

To help Celebrate National “Take Your Cat to the Vet Week”, mention this Offer to receive:

$25 off all cat exams from August 16th to 20th

Cat’s seem to always get the short shift in veterinary care.  75% of dogs go to the vet an average of 1.7 times a year!  25% of cats get to the vet once a year.  The other 75% see a vet an average of once every 3 years!  Many cats never go to the vet for even Wellness care. 

Many cats stay strictly indoors, reducing their risk of injury and infectious diseases, it’s true.  But, cats still age and develop other health issues such as dental disease and arthritis.  And, how many of us cat owners actually look in our cat’s mouths? (Most of us are happy to stay as far away from those teeth as possible!)   Furthermore,  cats are Masters of Disguise– disguising signs of illness.  Because cats are widely preyed upon in the wild, they are very careful not to show signs of weakness until they are so sick they can’t cover it up anymore.  This means that, by the time most owners notice a problem with their cat– and it may be subtle: more reclusive behavior, eating slower, gradual weight loss, decreased jumping up on favorite perches–  the kitty is already very sick or debilitated. 

Your veterinarian can identify signs of trouble early.  A Comprehensive Physical Exam can find dental disease (that is probably causing your cat pain when it eats and grooms), heart murmurs (a sign of heart disease), decreased flexibility in the joints and spine (sign of arthritis).  A blood and urine sample once a year for a Wellness Screen is the key to allowing your veterinarian to “see” inside your Supreme Faker, identifying problems with internal organs or diseases like Diabetes. 

Early detection of disease allows you and your veterinarian to work together to preserve your cat’s quality of life and slow down degenerative processes so you can have feline companion longer.  The science of nutrition and nutritional supplements has advanced to the point that a simple change in diet or addition of supplements to the food can go a long way toward helping with many diseases! (Did you know that Diabetes in cats can often be cured with diet alone if it’s caught early enough?!?)  Medications for cats have advanced to the point that kidney failure, diabetes, heart disease, even arthritis can now be treated for years, allowing that much more good quality life.

Annual to Semi-annual Veterinary check ups with Wellness Screening lab work really pay off in extending your kitty’s lifespan and quality of life along the way. 

Cats who come in August 16th- 20th also get

 a chance to enter into a drawing for

Next year’s annual Wellness Screening FREE!! *

 with purchase of Wellness Screen at this visit

Call us today schedule your cat’s appointment next week

886-1125 

 

Itching often means Allergies!

Omega 3 Fatty Acids are all the rage, now.  Nutritionists, Dermatologists and Internal Medicine Specialists, Gerontologists are all recommending Omega 3 Fatty Acids to treat everything from skin conditions to heart disease, arthritis and senility.  Omega 3 Fatty Acids are just as helpful for our pets!

We Americans, people and pets, don’t get a lot of Omega 3’s in our diets, owing to the lack of fatty sea food in most of our diets.  Our diets are over-loaded in pro-inflammatory Omega 6 Fatty Acids.  The body’s cells will use whatever Fatty Acids are present to build new tissue and repair damaged tissues.  If Omega 6’s are predominantly available, they will be used, putting all tissues in a state of relative inflammation.  If, however, we eat a higher proportion of Omega 3 Fatty Acids, those will be used to repair and rebuild our tissues.  These Omega 3 – rich tissues will be less prone to inflammation.  This process of replacing pro-inflammatory cells with anti-inflammatory cells takes time as the body naturally turns over old cells, so Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplementation is a life-long investment in better health (for people and pets!).

Pets with osteoarthritis, skin allergies, hypothyroidism, pancreatitis and other fat metabolism problems, liver and kidney disease all benefit from high doses of The Omega 3 Fatty Acid fraction “EPA” (Eicosapentaenoic Acid). Twenty milligrams per pound (20 mg/ lb) of body weight is a rough dosage for EPA to achieve an anti-inflammatory dose.  This dosing can be achieved by giving your pet Fish Oil capsules.   ** Read the label on the product your choose:  All Fish Oil supplements have different amounts of EPA and DHA and Omega 6 Fatty Acids!  Avoid fish oil supplements made with mercury containing mackerel and tuna oil.  Veterinarians often carry safe, convenient pump-on-the-food forms of High Potency Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplements just for pets.

DHA” (Docosahexaenoic Acid) is the best Omega 3 Fatty Acid fraction for pets with senility and heart disease (just like people).   The same product that provides an anti-inflammatory dose of EPA

PUmp-on, High potency Omega 3’s for pets

will also have a good dose of DHA for the heart and brain cells.  And, what senile older dog couldn’t also use some help with arthritic joints or organ dysfunction?

Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplementation is fast becoming known in the human and veterinary medicine fields as the best, most efficient, all-around Awesome nutritional supplement that we can use.

Help your pet live a more comfortable, longer, happier life with Omega 3 Fatty Acid supplementation.

Rattlesnake Season is upon us.  Our venemous desert vipers will soon be stirring for their first post-hibernation meals– hungry, cranky, and with full venom glands.  Our curious pets are at highest risk for the most severe bites in the spring months when most bites are venemous and snakes have the meanest tempers and  the fullest venom glands (saved up since their last meal in the Fall)!

Rattlesnake bites are extremely painful!  Pets that are bitten will usually develop obvious swelling in the bitten area– usually the face or a paw.  If you find oozing puncture wounds, you know your pet has been bitten, but often those punctures are hidden in the swollen tissue.  As the venom penetrates the tissues, it causes tissue necrosis, or death and sloughing.  The venom also leeches into the blood stream, affecting other organs.  Rattlesnake venom can cause death by kidney failure or spontaneous destruction of blood cells in the vessels.  All rattlesnake bites to pets are a veterinary emergency!

There is no First Aid treatment for rattlesnake bites in pets except to keep themn quiet, move the affected area as little as possible and get to your Vet or an Emergency Vet immediately.  Once there, your Veterinarian can determine the best treatment for your pet, based on his condition.  Standard treatment includes IV fluids and treatment for shock.  Your veterinarian will probably recommend antivenin.  Pain and infection will be addressed as well.  At Cimarron Animal Hospital, we can offer Cold Laser Therapy to the affected area to immediately help reduce swelling and pain and  significantly reduce the amount of tissue loss as well!

RATTLESNAKE VACCINE for dogs helps reduce the severity of rattlesnake bites caused by most of our desesrt species!  The vaccine induces an immunity that inactivates the venom, minimizing pain, swelling and the risk of organ failure and intravascular hemolysis.  Dogs still need to be seen immediately by their veterinarian for treatment of the post-bite infection (snakes have dreadful bacteria in their mouths!), and any residual venom effects not completely counteracted by the vaccine immunity, but the treatment should be less intensive and less expensive!

PREVENT snake bites by keeping your dog on a leash while walking in the desert.  Stay alert to the sound of rattles on the side of the path and slowly walk away.  Avoid leaving your dog  in open desert areas as much as possible.

For those dogs at risk because they live in desert yards, frequent parks and washes or hunt with their masters, PROTECT them with Rattlesnake Vaccine.  Pets receiving Rattlesnake vaccine for the first time will need two vaccines 4 weeks apart.  The vaccine is protective for 6 months, so boosters every 6 months are important for continuous protection.  If the boosters are not given every 6 months, the maufacturer recommends the double series be given once a year, 1 month prior to Rattlesnake Season.

For more info about the vaccine,   http://rattlesnakevaccinefordogs.com/

Contact Us if you have any questions about rattlesnake vaccine or would like to schedule your pet’s vaccines.   886- 1125         info@cimarronah.com

 

 Why does it cost so **!?** much to clean my pet’s teeth?  That’s more than I pay for my own teeth!”

 This is a very common question asked by pet owners– if not aloud, certainly in their own minds.  Many people, when presented with an estimate from their veterinarian, are certain that their vet is trying to “rip them off”.  It is not uncommon to get estimates anywhere from $250- $400 for an uncomplicated “Dental” for a middle-aged, healthy dog or cat from a good quality veterinary clinic.  Caution to you and your pet if you get a Dental procedure estimate for less than that– your pet will probably get exactly what you pay for– not much.

So, what DO you pay for?

The Cleaning:

First there is the Dental Cleaning, the actual processes of ultrasonic scaling and polishing the teeth just like a human dentist does.  This is the best, fastest way to clean a pet’s teeth.  Hand scaling would take too long and is usually not very effective for the degree of dental disease that most pets have by the time they present for treatment — anywhere from stage 1 gingivitis to severe periodontal disease with tooth loss. (see  https://www.cimarronah.com/dental-care/ for more on dental disease) The cost for the actual Cleaning is about the same for cats and small dogs as we humans pay our dentist.  The cost for large dogs tends to be a little more because they have 42 teeth (compared to humans’ 32 and cats’ 30) to clean.

Anesthesia:

Unfortunately, our pets don’t just sit on the table and let us spray water with a high pitched machine into their mouths, so they have to be anesthetized to do the Cleaning.  This is where it starts to get pricey.  Anesthetizing a pet involves, at the most basicclinics, administering a couple of preanesthetic sedative injections, an anesthetic induction injection, placing an endotracheal tube and administering general anesthesia for 30- 45 minutes (longer if there are other procedures done).  At  higher quality veterinary facilities, the patient will also receive an IV catheter to allow administration of intravenous fluids to keep internal organs safe from the depressive effects of the anesthesia. Furthermore, there will be an anesthesia technician dedicated to doing nothing but monitoring the pet during anesthesia and recovery, while someone else does the dental procedure. (Many lower cost vet clinics do not have an anesthesia tech.  The person doing the procedure also monitors the patient’s anesthesia.)  Higher quality clinics will also monitor the patient’s vitals with various safety equipment: EKG, Blood Pressure monitor, Pulse Oximeter, Core thermometer, Respiratory monitor, etc. (Minimal, if any, anesthetic monitoring equipment is used in lower cost clinics– trusting solely to the attentiveness of the human who is concentrating on cleaning the teeth.)    There is also nursing care such as keeping the patient warm (just like humans who undergo general anesthesia, pets’ body temperatures fall under anesthesia), monitoring during recovery, and often some bathing or clean up when elimination “accidents” happen.

Pre-Anesthetic Exam and Bloodwork:

 But, before we even get to anesthetizing the patient…  We need to ensure the pet’s health as best as possible throughout the anesthetic procedure.  So,  every pet, even those that are apparently healthy on the outside, should have a Pre-Anesthetic Exam and  Blood Screen. Here’s another $65- $150, depending on the age of the pet and any preexisting health conditions.  

Other Procedures due to Disease Present:

Consider that 80% of pets over  3 years of age have some degree of dental disease, much of which may not be apparent in the awake, licking, panting, moving patient.  Most dental disease can not be determined until the animal is under anesthesia and the veterinarian or dental technician can probe under the gums, take dental radiographs, or remove enough hard, calcified tartar to actually SEE the teeth.  We are often “going in blind” with regard to what is going to need to be done to treat the dental disease.  This is where the cost of a “Dental Cleaning” can really vary and escalate, without a good way to predict.  Pets may need subgingival curettage, root planing, periodontal antibiotic infusion or tooth extractions, which can range from simple to surgical, in order to relieve pain and persistent infection. And, since we’ve already gone to the trouble and expense of anesthetizing the pet, it’s better to just do the needed treatments while we are there, rather than going through it all again in a month or two.

In Summary, then

the cost of the Dental Cleaning in every pet’s Dental Treatment plan DOES cost about the same as yours.  It’s all the other stuff that has to go along with it that adds to the bottom line.  And, unlike human dentistry, where we have to schedule additional appointments for our root scaling or  extractions, often with different doctors (ultimately costing us hundreds to Thousands of dollars), animals need to have it all done at once because of the need for anesthesia. 

When veterinary bills and the human dental bills to treat the same degree of dental disease are compared, the cumulative human bills will be much higher. Dogs’ and Cats’ Dental treatments ultimately cost a lot LESS for the same amount of work, given the same degree of dental disease. Even the worst veterinary dental cases of periodontal disease usually can be managed for under $1000.

“OK.  But I get to pay my dentist over the course of time, as I have portions of the treatment done.  I just can’t pay $500 – $1000 to my Vet all at once!”

Medical Expense Savings Accounts available at Cimarron

We recognize that Pet Dental Treatments are financially challenging.  So, Cimarron Animal Hospital offers Medical Expense Savings Accounts to help you save toward your pet’s needs– whether it’s dental treatment or other medical needs or just to have an emergency cushion.  Our Client Service Representatives can set you up with a plan that you can manage, given your life circumstances.  Together, we can help you do the best you can for your pet.

 

Many dogs are afraid of thunderstorms. Their anxiety may range from mild panting to obsessive pacing, to howling, trying break in or out of their yards or even homes. Families lives are disrupted. Sometimes they forego going out to dinner. Some are having to stay up all night trying to soothe the hysterical pup. Some owners end up sleeping in closets with their faithful, terrified friends if they are to get any sleep at all.

There are a number of behavior tricks and aids as well as medication that, when used appropriately, can help.

First, set up a “Safe Zone” for your dog. Usually a cozy, snug place in the most sound proof area of your house works best. Often times, that is a closet or under a bed. It’s OK if your pet hides out during storms– it’s his natural way of coping. Give him a soft blanket and provide water in Safe place.

Distract your pet from the worries of storms by offering a favorite chew toy at the early onset of his anxiety. Toys that you can fill with different foods work great because you can switch up the interest level with different fillings. In hot weather, pre-fill the toys with lite cream cheese and keep in the freezer! Engaging your pet in a lively game of fetch or even some Basic Obedience training during storms (start before his brain shuts off in terror) gives you a chance to give him rewards for doing things that are easy and relaxing for him in the face of the scary noise. Over time, this will teach him that storms are not only “no big deal”, “My humans play with me during storms– ball time!”

Desensitization training starts long before the storm season. Turning on storm CD’s, quietly, in the home, when the true weather is sunny and pleasant will help desensitize your dog to the noise of storms (and fireworks and gunfire, etc). Gradually increase the volume as his anxiety level decreases. This will not help the dogs who’s fear is based on other storm factors, such as barometric pressure change, cloud cover, water falling from the sky, etc. But, it will help those with primarily noise phobias.

Calming masks are available through Premier Pet Products. These are caps that cover the eyes, that psychologically relax some dogs. Along the same line, many of my clients wrap their dog’s bodies with an Ace bandage– gently– don’t restrict the movement of the chest during breathing. This firm wrap seems to give them security when you aren’t there. This is only a choice for indoor dogs as it would be too hot for outdoor dogs in the summer. There are also neoprene body wraps available through your veterinarian (used to protect wounds from licking) that can be tried.

D.A.P, “Dog Appeasing Pheromone”, is a synthetic pheromone made to mimic the soothing hormones released around nursing mama dog’s bellies. As puppies nurse and move around on mama’s tummy, they stimulate the release of this hormone. Available in a fine mist spray, on an impregnated collar, or from a wall outlet diffuser, this pheromone can help some dogs relax. Buy a diffuser to put in an outlet in your dog’s Safe Zone. A collar around his neck can offer full time benefits for some dogs, while the mist can be sprayed on Calming Caps, body wraps or bedding.

For dogs whose anxiety levels are too high for the above tips and tricks, there are medications that can help. The old-fashioned treatment involved tranquilizers. Enough sedative to make the dogs go to sleep certainly reduced the signs of their anxiety, but more progressive behavioral specialists now agree that anti-anxiety medications that allow the dog to stay awake, but improve his coping skills are better. The best benefit is that they reduce the anxiety level to allow the dog to engage in Distraction techniques so they can learn that storms are not scary, hopefully allowing a reduction in their anxiety behaviors over time.

See your veterinarian if Behavior Modification tricks and tools aren’t enough for your Thunderstorm Phobic dog. It may take some time, trying different medications to find the right combination of behavior modification techniques and drugs that are just right for your dog, but there is light at the end of that dark closet full of panicked dog breath!

Body Wrap Technique http://www.crvetcenter.com/bodywrap.htm
Another testimonial http://www.usatoday.com/life/columnist/pettalk/2009-03-31-thunder-dogs_N.htm