In one recent study 90% of cats over 12 years of age had radiographic evidence of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative, progressive and irreversible condition. It’s also PAINFUL! The elbows and hips are the most affected joints in cats but all joints are at risk. Our kitties are very good at hiding the signs of pain. Here is a video of a kitty with arthritis in her hips. Note how she bunny hops down the stairs instead of having a separate stride for each back leg.
Parasites, Pets, and Kids
Authored by: Tiffany J. Rule, DVM
Know the facts: Don’t expose your children!
- Hookworms and roundworms can be harbored by your dog or cat and transmitted to children who are living in homes with pets. In some cases these parasites can cause blindness in humans. It is thought that 30% to 50% of dogs and cats carry gastrointestinal (GI) parasites and that 1 to 3 million people in the U.S. have infections from the same parasites carried by pets. Children, the elderly and immunocompromised people are at high risk.
- Dogs get infected with hookworms and roundworms by walking places where other dogs have defecated. The microscopic roundworm eggs and hookworm larvae end up on your dog’s feet. Your dog then licks his feet and infects him or herself with these GI parasites. Three weeks later, your dog is shedding hookworm eggs and larvae from his GI tract. If your dog licks his anus and then licks your child, or if your child pets your dog, he or she can become infected with these parasites.
- Dogs can get ticks that spread Lyme disease, anaplasmosis, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, ehrlichiosis, and tularemia, which can affect people if the ticks detach from the dog and attach themselves to your child. This could be a risk factor for your children if the family dog or cat sleeps in their bed.
- Cats get infected with hookworms and tapeworms by hunting prey. Even if your cat lives indoors, the ingestion of one house mouse can expose your cat to GI parasites. Cats with a flea infestation can spread cat scratch fever to children, elderly people, or immunocompromised (AIDS, cancer patients, organ transplant recipients) people.
- Keep your dog on monthly heartworm preventative all year. This medication helps to prevent hookworms and roundworms in your dog. Keep your dog on topical flea and tick control all year.
- Scoop the yard where your dog defecates at least weekly, ideally daily, as worm eggs and larvae are found in stool and can contaminate the environment.
- Bring your pet’s stool sample to your veterinarian at least twice per year and ideally four times per year. You do not have to bring your pet into the veterinary hospital for this service. The stool should be fresh. Many veterinarians will provide a special cup that allows specimen collection without touching the stool.
- Keep your cat on heartworm prevention once per month all year. This medication eliminates hookworms that could be potentially spread to humans in the household. It also kills fleas, which can be culprits in spreading cat scratch disease (cat scratch fever).
- Teach your children to wash their hands before eating, especially if they have recently handled their pet.
Rabies is a deadly virus for animals and humans. It’s state law to make sure your dogs and cats are up to date on their rabies vaccines and are registered within the city you live in.
Outbreak-alert.com is a website that records animals that tested positive for rabies by location. Take a look and see how close Rabies is to your house.
Lilies and cats are a bad combo
As Mother’s Day is fast approaching, please remember lilies are highly toxic and potentially deadly for our cats. There are many varieties of lilies. The genera Lilium and Hemerocallis are the genera that have been associated with renal failure in cats. All parts of the lily (flower, stem, leaves) are toxic and cause kidney damage and or failure. Most of the time symptoms do not arise for 12-36 hrs post ingestion and death occurring 3-5 days after exposure. If your kitty happens to eat a lily please bring them in ASAP to start treatment and also bring the remaining part of the lily with you so we can try and identify it. Many cats can survive the toxicity with prompt medical care.
So, if you’re ordering flowers for a loved one with cats, make sure the florist puts a hold on the lilies!
Love, Dr. Carter
Did you know that AHR doesn’t always require you to see the doctor? We don’t always charge an exam for every visit and we never charge an “office visit” fee. Once your pet has established a relationship with AHR, they can come in for wellness items with a nurse if their physical exam is current with us.
If you bring them in on January 15 for an exam with the doctor, they can come in until January 14 the next year for vaccines including Rabies, DHPP, Bordetalla, Lepto, Lyme, Rattlesnake, Flu, nail trims, anal gland expressions, teeth brushing, vaccination boosters, intestinal parasite exams, labwork, heartworm tests, chronic medication monitoring, etc.
This is a great way to save money between visits or to break up wellness services to split up the payment a bit. Just another way AHR tries to help save you money!
If you come in for a sick exam with the doctor, it updates your wellness exam reminder so that you don’t have to come back for another year. If the doctor recommends a recheck after a sick visit, the recheck exam is discounted if you come back within 4 weeks.
Ask about our Super Savers and low cost spay neuters next time you are in….or check out our February and October dental cleaning specials! We also have a promotion on acupuncture right now! Call or email us for details!
We decided to share a popular facebook post on our blog too =)
If you have been into the clinic in 2017, you may have noticed some pretty big changes with our exam room flow. While some of the familiar faces from the front desk may not be there to greet you, we want to be sure that you realize this change is to improve the client/patient experience!
Some of our more tenured, full time CSR staff have been moved into a role that we like to call ERA, or exam room assistant. Each doctor is paired with a primary ERA who will be with the doctor at all times. Their role is to enter exam notes so that the doctor can spend more time focusing on you and your pet, without having to escape to the computer constantly.
We want you to get to know your doctor’s primary ERA…as they will help answer questions for the doctor when messages are left in their box, they will be the one calling to confirm your appointment and will be the one watching the appointment book to hopefully communicate to you if the doctor is running ahead of schedule (or behind schedule). Dr. Clary’s primary ERA is currently Cara, Dr. Carter’s is Fallon and Dr. Hurley’s is Adrienne. Jessica is with Dr. Downes frequently at our Heath location.
Each Doctor/ERA pair also has a daily secondary ERA. The role of the secondary is to meet you at the front door to greet you and immediately show you into an exam room (as long as one is available). This prevents your dog or cat from having any run-ins with other pets in the lobby, keeps smells to a minimum and hopefully decreases any fear they have when coming to the veterinary clinic. They will provide treats and low stress handling during the examination.
If your pet is timid and prefers to remain in the examination room with you for the entire visit, we can do vaccines, blood draws and nail trims in the room with you. If they love to explore and meet with our clinic pets (Stone, Maggie, Sheldon, Bob, etc) they we can have a nurse perform those items in the treatment area while you chat with the Doctor.
We hope this provides a faster visit for you – because we know that nobody wants to spend hours at the vet office (no, seriously…studies show this! and don’t worry, it doesn’t hurt our feelings). We hope it tones down the anxiety your pet might get waiting in the lobby with other animals coming and going. We hope it allows you more quality time with the doctor and your pet. We love our new flow and we hope you do too!
We invite you to come by in 2017 and check us out. See how we are different from other practices in the area and make AHR your home away from home. As always, we look to improve every interaction with you. If you have any feedback, please fill out our client satisfaction survey and receive a $5 credit on your account!
Zeke is one of our awesome kitty patients at the Animal Hospital of Rowlett. Zeke came to us very ill in 2012. He was limp and lifeless and had labored breathing. Dr. Clary ran some labwork, took some x-rays, and did an echocardiogram. Zeke was diagnosed with Histoplasmosis.
Zeke stopped eating and was not feeling good at all. Dr. Clary placed a feeding tube to help Zeke get the necessary nutrition he needed to survive. The thought of a feeding tube can be really scary to people, but luckily, his daddy was willing to proceed in hopes that the feeding tube would help save Zeke’s life.
Now, 4 years later, Daddy is glad he made the decision to continue treatment and says that Zeke does something funny every day that brings joy to his life. Here are some videos of Zeke!
As many of you know, I’ve been out on an “extended maternity leave”. It wasn’t intentional – I had some pregnancy complications that prevented a return to work after my 20 week appointment. To say this was unexpected is an understatement. I cried in the office when I found out I was being admitted to the hospital. My first phone call (before my parents even) was to Dr. Downes. I remember crying and saying I couldn’t come back until I had the baby. She cried too.