1. "The FDA-approved drugs in this class are Bravecto, Credelio, Nexgard and Simparica. These products are approved for the treatment and prevention of flea infestations, and the treatment and control of tick infestations" - In clinic we use and will continue to offer Bravecto and Simparica and in the past have offered Nexgard, all without complication.
2. "Veterinarians should use their specialized training to review their patients’ medical histories and determine, in consultation with pet owners, whether a product in the isoxazoline class is appropriate for the pet" - Every pet is different and requires different considerations when using any medication, an increased awareness of this side effect is the goal of the FDA in order to better protect pets.
3. “working with Canadian manufacturers of drugs belonging to the isoxazoline class to include new labelling information that neurological adverse events have been reported in animals receiving this class of drug." - These drugs have been used for a number of years already, the goal of the FDA is the improve labeling to include this noted adverse effect.
4. "The FDA considers products in the isoxazoline class to be safe and effective for dogs and cats but is providing this information so that pet owners and veterinarians can take it into consideration when choosing flea and tick products for their pets." - The bottom line here is that the FDA still considers these products safe for use in pets and therefore are simply changing labeling vs. removing product from the market.
For more information visit https://www.fda.gov/AnimalVeterinary/ResourcesforYou/AnimalHealthLiteracy/ucm620940.htm
Ever wonder why exactly we use anesthesia for dental cleanings? Well here we are today to share some great information. With all the hype surrounding anesthesia free dentals we need everyone to understand that some pets are not good candidates and that anesthesia is important for a complete and thorough cleaning for your pets teeth. Here are 5 reasons we believe that
1. Plaque lives below the gumline
Sub gingival plaque is a real threat to your pets oral health. A majority of the tooth lies below the gum-line and this is the plaque that will break down tissues further progress dental disease. Plaque by definition is a film of bacteria and sugars. Plaque is the main cause of dental disease. Cleaning pets teeth includes cleaning both above and below the gum-line. Unfortunately anesthesia free dentals only attack the plaque above the gum-line leaving much room for improvement. This means that every anesthesia free dental is leaving plaque behind unfortunately.
2. Training is key
Dentistry is best left to the professionals. Would you rather have someone cleaning your pets teeth that has hundreds of hours of training and experience of just 4 hours of class time to be able to be certified to clean your pets teeth free of anesthesia. I expect my dentist to be trained, expect the same from your pets care providers.
3. Polish to keep plaque away
Anesthesia free dentals include a scaling with a rough instrument removing large and small debris from the surface of the tooth. Even the most experienced teeth cleaning technicians and doctors will polish to remove the rough surface in order to prevent further build up quicker that what would have been a potential before the procedure. To date there has been no polishing included in anesthesia free procedures because pets wont tolerate it.
4. X ray vision isn't standard
Unfortunately pets can't tell us when it hurts so we have to use diagnostic tools such as oral radio-graphs to get to the root of any dental troubles. When practicing anesthesia free dentals problems can be easily missed by even the most experienced anesthesia free dental provider. This is why we complete full mouth radio-graphs with all of our dental procedures.
5. Comfort is key
Your pet needs to be comfortable and anesthesia can help with that. Anesthesia free dentals require your pet to lay on their back with a stranger for an extended period of time. Some pets may be okay with this but many are not. Dentals completed in clinic are much more suited for the masses as pets are completely anesthetised for the entire procedure following your pets intial exam and sedation.
These are just a few of the reasons we do not support anesthetic free dentals. Ever wonder what we do for your pet when they stay with us for a dental? Stay tuned for a day in the life posts.
9 am - Examination
Your pet has arrived with its favorite leash in tow. After making the trek from the waiting room with you to our treatment area they will receive a complete physical examination from the doctor on their case. During this physical we check things like how their heart sounds and if they are running a fever that morning, These are just a few of the things we need to check before considering placing your pet under anesthesia.
9:15 - 9:30 Bloodwork
Next up is blood work. If you have opted in to blood work completed we will collected a small (just one milliliter) blood sample. Then we will use our in house blood analyzers to have answers in just 15 minutes. This will help us decide if anesthesia is in your pets best interest. This is optional as is does add some extra cost to the procedure but comes highly recommended because of the information we receive from such a simple test.
10 - Sedation time
Now that we have all the information we need in order to make sure anesthesia is as risk free as possible. The bloodwork and physical exam went well so now we move on to giving the sedative drugs. The drugs are given in the muscle and are a combination of sedatives and pain control. These take about 15 minutes to take effect. When complete pets are awake enough to swallow but can not lift their heads. Monitoring during the effects of the sedation is very important as every pet reacts differently.
10:30 - Intubation and Induction
The process of being placed under general anesthesia is called induction. First an intravenous catheter is placed in order to admit medication as well as to ensure we have access in the case of an emergency. Using this catheter another medication is administered to make it possible to intubate (place breathing tube). Your pet will continue to breathe on their own but need this tube in place so we can administer anesthesia as well as maintain a open airway. Now we are ready to get started.
10:40 - Monitoring set up
While your pet is under anesthesia they are maintained on intravenous fluids as well as monitored for subtle changes in order to keep them at the correct level of anesthesia. They are monitored with machines as well as manually by your registered veterinary technician as well as the veterinarian on the case. We monitor heart rate, oxygenation, blood pressure and respirations. All of this information together is very helpful in maintaining anesthesia.
10:45 - Charting and Examination
Now its time to get down to the business of the teeth at hand. Your registered veterinary technician along with the veterinarian on your pets case will now chart and complete the initial examination of the teeth. Charting and examination is completed with a grading system that grades both the level of tartar and the level of gingivitis. After the charting we move on to a very important part of every dental
11:00 - Dental X-Rays
Dental xrays are completed very similarly to how you get your teeth radiographed at the dentist. Every tooth in the mouth has a picture taken to ensure it is indeed healthy and comfortable for the pet. Many pets experience pain that we do not notice since they are so good at hiding pain since they are originally pack animals. While these are completed your pets anesthesia continues to be monitored by the team.
This biscuit recipe is courtesy of a great website we often frequent for information.
Remember, these are treats, so give them sparingly.
Brenda adds: Next time, I am going to try finely ground rolled oats in place of the flour. I am sure that lots of other changes could be made, and these would still work. For example you could replace the carrot with apple or pear.
In our line of work we often see pets that are quite sick and possibly are having palliative care provided to them. With this type of care comes stress. We see it everyday, someone comes in because fluffy has stopped eating yet again and the owner looks just drained with the whole experience sitting heavily on their shoulders. Do you do more tests, do you change foods, do you need to come in and see us or not these are all questions I've had to answer and its hard to do and hard to watch knowing the level of stress it can cause.
So how do you cope? Here are some simple strategies to help you truly enjoy your pet instead of spending your time worrying.
1. Let go of guilt
If it is guilt over not being able to give a medication at an exact time because of work or maybe you can't make it to the clinic because of a already hectic schedule. Know that you are not alone. Everyone misses a dose of medication here and there, and everyone has had to prioritize life sometimes. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
2. Let go of perfection
Many of us when we hear our pet has a fatal disease want nothing more than to go to the ends of the earth for them and get every therapy possible. Sometimes that is not realistic though. Ether it is financial constraints, limited resources in your area or even your capability of your pet to endure the therapy, all of the above can make us feel like a failure, don't give up, YOU ARE NOT ALONE
3. Get organized
Sometimes having a few systems in place can bring you back to feeling more in control of what is happening to your pet. A few things we recommend is spreadsheets of what medications your pet is on and when, what treatments, are you having to monitor for things like bowel movements or urine production? Daytimers are also great for the reason you can write down a blurb each day about how your pet was doing as well as list things like medications given and much more, bringing something like this to an appointment is so valuable. An even more visible way is a white board with all your medications and treatments given marked down to ensure they are getting done, this is great when you have help with such things to prevent double dosing ect.
4. Ask for Help
Let people you live with help, being organized makes it easier to share the duties around taking care of your sick pet. If you don't have help consider hiring a dog sitter to let out your pet if they need more frequent potty breaks or medicaions than you can manage because of other obligations. Sometimes you can even hire a technician or assistant from your vet clinic to help with things around the house with your pet like giving subcutaneous fluids for our kidney patients to avoid unnecesary trips to the clinic for simple procedures. Worried about how to do something like pill your pet? Ask your veterinary team to teach you, they can teach you to do everything from administer injectable medications to pilling an uncooperative cat.
5. Take care of You!
We see it every day, pet parents are sacrificing their own health and well being because they are so focused on their pet. We understand the need for additional care but remember if you end up ill or unwell in any way no one will be there to help your pet. Self sacrifice often leads to mistakes being made on their own health care or their pets health care.
6. ENJOY YOUR PET
Don't get wrapped up in the illness, remember the little things they like to do and participate in and share special moments with them every day. Don't forget that play time and snuggle time is important part of daily care. Relaxing with your pet leads back to taking care of you too, it has been proven that petting and enjoying your pet lowers heart rate and blood pressure and gives you an overall good feeling.
We hope this blog helps even one person cope with their pets disease process and remember forgive yourself, let perfection go and most importantly ENJOY YOUR PET.
Every pet food bag has an ingredient list that goes in descending order and there is alot of hype around what ingredients are in food but what about what nutrients are in your dog food?
1. Tricky labeling.
Often you need to watch for ways companies will up the weight of an ingredient by including it whole, therefor showing it higher in the ingredient list itself. For example whole chicken will weigh more that chicken meal often because of water weight. But what is chicken meal? According to AAFCO chicken meal is chicken dehydrated that can not include things like feathers, entrails, feet and heads, this results in a lighter product but not devoid of nutrients unlike whole chicken. But does this mean that the initial weight of the chicken if compared "apples to apples: wouldn't have been the same?
2. Selection based on nutritional value
Since often the only feedback you get on nutritional values are the min and max values in the guaranteed analysis I often suggest contacting your food company or searching their literature for a few tidbits of further information. Have they gone so far as to offer not just a range of what nutrients will be in a bag but instead offer exact values? This bodes well for a company for a number of reasons it shows that they have spent time researching the diets as well as that they are producing a consistent product with every batch that will sit well with your beloved pet.
No one ingredient or ingredient list is the recipe for perfection for every dog. As with us balance and moderation are the keys to successful management of nutrition. If your pet is getting too much protein it can negatively effect organs, if it is getting too much fat your pet may becomes overweight. Balance is hard to come by and is often done with some trial and error in trying different balanced food options for your pet to keep them happy healthy and satiated after every meal.
4. Fairy Dust
The ingredients that we look to for some valuable nutrients should not fall in the last ingredients on your food bag. If a diet claims to use cranberries for urinary health it should be in the early to mid section of your label to truly offer value. Often things like cranberries and blueberries are snuck in at the very end of the list unfortunately meaning you truly aren't going to get the benefits from such a small quantity, and that it may not indeed be enough to substantiate the claim on label. Again as about that nutrient list from your company, how many grams of cranberries is there actually in each meal?
Want to learn more? Check out AAFCO's website and learn about what all that fancy wording on your label actually means https://www.aafco.org/Consumers