OWINGS MILLS
ANIMAL AND BIRD HOSPITAL

PETDR.COM

OWINGS MILLS ANIMAL & BIRD HOSPITAL

NEWSLETTER 10-99

VET VIEWS & PET NEWS

A MESSAGE FROM DR SLOVON:

Does it seem that pets are living longer? It should because as advances are made in veterinary medicine pets have benefited tremendously. In this issue we have highlighted new therapies for "old dog syndrome", separation anxiety and arthritis, all of which can enrich our pets lives and longevity.

PERSONAL ATTENTION

We strive to set ourselves apart from other veterinary practices by offering the best and most convenient veterinary care available with personal attention. This means being responsive to you and your petís needs. If you have any suggestions or comments please call us.

PETDR.COM

We finally have a newly designed web site that will keep you informed of all the new happenings at the hospital and keep you abreast of the newest in veterinary medicine. You can find us at PETDR.com. You can now order on line from us or contact the hospital via e-mail if it is more convenient for you.

E-MAIL

We want your e-mail address so we can contact you regarding specials or to send newsletters in the future. Please call our office today!

LASER SURGERY COMES TO OWINGS MILLS

The newest and most advanced mode of surgical therapy involves the carbon dioxide laser. This sophisticated devise allows a wider range of surgical procedures to be done and offers several advantages.

The laser works by vaporizing tissue, which in essence is accomplished by heating up the water content of the cell until it vaporizes. The various power settings enable one to vaporize tissue as little as one cell layer thick. This gives the surgeon complete control over the depth of involved tissue so the laser can be used on corneal tissue.

The major advantages of laser surgery are:

1) Virtually bloodless surgery because as the laser passes through tissue it seals the blood vessels.

2) Reduction in postoperative swelling because it seals the lymphatic vessels as well.

3) Reduced pain following surgery because it seals the nerve endings. This may be where patients benefit the most.

4) It may allow quicker healing due to all of the above.

Procedures which require good visualization are more easily and quickly done. This becomes particularly important in exotic surgery where blood loss is a big concern.

Now, many cutaneous lesions like warts and small growths can be removed with tranquilization and local anesthesia, often without sutures.

Call our office for details. We will be glad to mail or e-mail you the particulars.

ANTI-ANXIETY DRUG

One of the newest canine medications used in veterinary medicine is Clomiacalm, an anti-anxiety drug used to treat many disorders including aggression, destructive behavior, and inappropriate elimination and separation anxiety.

If you dog is very nervous in certain situations that occur regularly, or displays undesirable behavior that may be associated with separation anxiety like destroying belongings, or excessively vocalizes when you leave, or soils the house when you leave then Clomiacalm may be helpful. It is taken daily and often works within the first month of therapy. Call Dr. Slovon to find out if this drug may be appropriate for your pet.

COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION SYNDROME(CDS)

When an older pet becomes forgetful it is usually recognized as "old dog syndrome"and accepted as normal aging. But recent studies show that there may be pathological reasons why so many older dogsí have behavior changes.

Canine Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is believed to be caused by neurodegenerative changes in the brain, resulting in a deterioration of cognitive abilities. Key behavioral signs (usually noticed first by owners at home) include disorientation, abnormal sleep/wake cycles, loss of housetraining and decreased responsiveness to family members.

ANIPRYL (selegiline hydrochloride) is the first drug approved by the FDA to control the signs of canine cognitive dysfunction syndrome. In clinical studies, owners reported that 69-75% of the dogs showed improvement after only one month of Anipryl therapy.

SIGNS OF COGNITIVE DYSFUNCTION SYNDROME:

*Appears lost or confused in house or yard

*Gets "stuck" in corners or under/behind furniture

*Does not recognize familiar people

*Sleeps more (overall) in a 24 hour day

*Sleeps less during the night

*Increase in aimless activity (wanders, paces)

*Urinates or defecates indoors

*Urinates or defecates indoors soon after being outdoors

*Solicits attention less

*Less likely to stand/lie for petting (walks away)

*Less enthusiasm upon greeting.

Call today to see if your pet will benefit from Anipryl. Before using anipryl we will make sure your pet is not suffering from physical ailments that could affect his behavior by conducting a thorough physical examination.

Anipryl is a maintenance medication and can be given throughout the lifetime of your pet.

ARTHRITIS HELP

Many advances have been made in the treatment of arthritis in pets and the newest medication is Etogesic. It is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug that is only given once daily. This has become particularly useful in the older pet suffering form arthritis associated with hip dysplasia or other joint problems. It has been designed to minimize side effects that have been associated with similar drugs and it can be taken long term.

Too often we accept the inactivity of our pets as just part of the aging process and donít realize the effect painful joints may have on movement.

We have had many pets given a new lease on life due to the benefits of Etogesic.

VIP BOARDING

Many of you have noticed our new boarding service called VIP boarding for dogs, cats, birds, and other exotics. This provides for an extra 15 minutes of either outdoor extended exercise or individual TLC with one of our staff who will pamper and fuss over your pet like he was at home. This may involve treats, grooming, or playful personal interaction, as the situation dictates.

We want your pet to enjoy his stay with us and we will do all we can to ensure this. If you have any suggestions please call.

SUMMER HEAT

With summer temperatures come the dangers of over heating in our pets. Dogs and cats should always have some sort of shelter and water available if they are to be left outdoors when it is sunny. Additionally, never leave them in your car, not even for 5 minutes because the temperature can quickly elevate to over 150 degrees resulting in heat intolerance whereby the body temperature can rise to over 107 degrees and result in serious damage and even death if not treated immediately. This is best accomplished at the hospital.

We will immediately provide water for drinking and wet your pet in cold water. The body temperature must be brought down slowly and appropriately, if it is brought down to low hypothermia can result.

If you suspect that your pet is overheated call our office immediately.

PUPPIES IN TRAINING

Everybody who gets a new puppy is excited and has so much to learn and teach their new companion. I have always emphasized the importance of house training and the diligence it requires. One should think of it as reinforcing a positive behavior, rather then disciplining a bad behavior.

Encourage your pet to go outside numerous times a day and praise him when he eliminates. The secret is to reinforce the positive behavior of eliminating outside and not scold them for going inside. This is accomplished by restricting their access to most of the house and/or watching your pet extremely close so that if he starts to eliminate you will catch him in the act and tell him no and put him outside to finish. The use of a crate when you canít observe him is very beneficial and reduces stress on your pet and yourself. It is useless to discipline him at any other time then when he is doing the bad behavior. This would only serve to confuse the puppy. He certainly would not associate the scolding with inappropriate elimination, even if you rubbed his nose in it, which I strongly discourage.

It is very labor intensive in the first few months of your puppies life, but if you follow through and are diligent you will have a well-trained pup.

ZINC TOXICITY

Over the past year we have identified many birds suffering from zinc toxicity. They have been exposed to zinc usually in the cage or by cage related items. Many cages, even newer ones are covered with paint which contains high levels of zinc. Most metal toys that birds play with are zinc plated. Some older metal feed and water bowls may contain high levels of zinc. Your bird would be exposed if he chews or mouths the paint covered cage bars, chews excessively metal objects that are zinc plated, or ingests metal items. In some cases zinc has leached out of metal items that were soaking in the water bowl.

Birds may be asymptomatic, or show varying levels of disease. One of the most common signs of zinc toxicity is feather picking. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, increased or decreased water consumption, and central nervous system disorders.

We can run a blood test to determine if your bird has elevated zinc levels. We have also noticed elevated amylase levels in many birds that have high levels of zinc. Amylase is a pancreatic enzyme. Zinc targets the pancreas and appears to cause damage resulting in elevated amylase levels. Amylase is included in our routine blood screens. Other causes of elevated amylase levels are dietary problems, infection, neoplasia, and degenerative conditions.

Treatment for zinc toxicity involves removal of the offending source and chelation with either injectable or oral therapy depending on the severity of the signs. Most birds recover well when treated promptly.

IGUANA CARE

Iguanas are not easy pets to care for. They require a very specific diet, strict temperature control, special ultraviolet-B lighting and proper humidity. When one of these is lacking or inappropriate levels are given then disease results. Unfortunately when a disease process is noted it is usually resulting from an imbalance that started months to years earlier.

Your iguana may seem to thrive initially, then more or less reach a plateau. Things to look for which may indicate a problem are decreased appetite, a more selective appetite, an increase in water consumption, less movement or when moving the body is not being lifted off of the ground (sliding motion), decreased defecation or urination, abnormal shedding patterns, and stunted growth.

I recommend that all iguanas are examined at least once a year and routine bloodwork be run to identify problems.

FLEA, TICK, AND HEARTWORM PREVENTION

Now that summer is here flea and tick prevention should be in full swing. We recommend the use of either Sentinel, the once a month oral flea and heartworm prevention, Advantage, the once a month topical flea prevention, or Program in a six month injectable form for cats or oral monthly form for dogs. Any one of these products or combination of products may be appropriate for your pet depending on their exposure to fleas. Currently, the company that makes Sentinel, Interceptor and Program is offering a substantial discount if a years supply of either is bought at one time. We can pass those savings on to you immediately.

For ticks we recommend the use of a Preventic collar for dogs. The collar lasts three months and is extremely effective in killing and preventing attachment of ticks. Frontline, a topical once a month treatment can be used for fleas and ticks on dogs and cats. Currently, we feel the Preventic collar for dogsí works better for ticks then frontline. Most cats do not seem to have problems with ticks due to their fastidious licking behavior.

DENTIAL HEALTH

Dental health is an important part of your petís total health. As dental calculus and tartar build up on the tooth the gum becomes compromised and gingivitis results. In advanced cases the roots may become involved resulting in the loss of teeth.

We routinely perform prophylactic dentistryís as needed to clean the teeth, perform gingival curettage, and fluoride treatment. If any teeth are compromised they may be extracted or restoration may be attempted after consulting with the owner. Once the teeth are clean a home prophylactic program may be recommended. This may involve any combination of brushing the teeth, applying a gel to the teeth, applying a solution in the drinking water and providing a tarter control food or snack.

For dogs we have a tartar control food called T/D which is very effective at decreasing tartar buildup. Most pets love the taste; in fact many owners of larger dogs are using it as treats.

KITTENS FOR ADOPTION

Our adoption program has been in effect for several years. We may have kittens at any time of year and are looking for good homes for these special pets. The adoption fee is currently $60.00 which covers all the initial testing and vaccinating. They have been examined, tested for Feline Leukemia, Feline Immunodeficiency Virus, dewormed, bathed and started on a vaccination program. We also offer a 50% discount on spaying or neutering, 20% discount on declawing and a 10% lifetime discount at the Owings Mills Animal & Bird Hospital. We guarantee their health for 30 days.

If you are interested call to check on availability.