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,

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


 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 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.


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
Another testimonial

Fat is a self-perpetuating, disease-causing entity!

Research now indicates that fat cells not only store fat, but also secrete hormones and other substances directly responsible for many of the diseases that we see in overweight pets (and humans).

Fat actively secretes inflammatory mediators that CAUSE arthritis in dogs and inflammatory bladder disease in cats. Obese cats are also more prone to painful dental disease and feline asthma.

Fat cells secrete hormones that cause insulin resistance and increased blood glucose production in the liver. These conditions lead to Diabetes Mellitus. Cats are especially sensitive to obesity–induced Diabetes!
Furthermore, fat cells release hormones that block the brain’s satiety center, preventing the sensation of “fullness” during a meal. So, an overweight pet feels hungry all the time, eats more, puts on more fat, which secretes more hormones blocking satiety. It’s a vicious cycle leading to getting fatter, having more inflammation in the body, which makes pets move less, so they get heavier, develop more insulin resistance, are more likely to develop diabetes, etc.

Obese pets have more disease earlier in life, resulting in higher veterinary expenses for a longer period of time. The only way to break the cycle is to help your pet lose weight. It’s not always easy, but we, at Cimarron Animal Hospital, are here to help you with suggestions, diet food, and even medication if needed.


Exercise for 10 minutes twice daily– Walk your dog around the neighborhood. Play hide and seek with your cat.



Feed a Prescription Calorie Restricted Food.– these foods are formulated to maximize weight loss while preserving lean body weight and protecting against diabetes— over the counter foods are not.

Stop feeding human foods and store–bought treats and rawhides. Even a few treats of uncertain caloric content add to a pet’s daily calorie intake in no time! Your vet can suggest low calorie treats with a known amount of calories that can be used responsibly for training and rewards without adding to the daily calorie intake.


Slentrol is a new medication available for dogs (sorry cats, this one is not for you!) to help them lose weight. It works by preventing fat absorption out of the GI tract and by stimulating the brain’s satiety center, reducing hunger. Weight loss with this medication has to be carefully supervised by your veterinary health care team. The doses of medication are changed based on your pet’s monthly weight loss success. This medication is very helpful for weight loss, but like most human weight loss meds, a careful weight maintenance program has to be followed to prevent rebound weight gain. Ask for more information about Slentrol if your pup is overweight!

Call us at 886-1125 if your pet is overweight and you are ready to help him lead a healthier, less expensive, more active, happier lifestyle!