move into the Fall season, I would like to take this opportunity to let
our valued clients know what our practice has been doing to maintain the
high standards we strive to provide to your loving pets, our patients.
In addition to the regular continuing education meetings of the
Napa-Solano Veterinary Medical Association and the various Veterinary
Journals that I subscribe to and read each month, I have and will be
participating in additional continuing education meetings. This Spring, I
spent four days over a long weekend at a comprehensive conference on new
diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for small animals. From
October 19 through 22, our entire staff and I will participate in the Wild
West Veterinary Conference. That conference provides continuing
education covering topics for Veterinarians, technicians,
receptionists, and office managers on various topics on medical,
diagnostic, surgical, and animal care techniques for dogs, cats, birds,
reptiles, and other small animals. The staff also participated in
Vet Expo on September 17, 2000. Although occasionally these meetings
will mean we are unavailable for one or two days, the benefit of
sharpening our skills so we may provide excellent current care for your
pets is well worth the inconvenience. For those of you with
computers, we continue to update and upgrade our Internet site with new
original articles and links to other sites that provide accurate and
valuable information regarding a wide variety of pets. As of
September, we have had over 8000 visitors from 57 countries visit our
site. Please drop by and check it out. The address is http://www.community.net/~petdoc
We are also doing our part in supporting community activities regarding
pets. As we have for the last several years, we are providing care
for the animals of the Benicia Vallejo Humane Society at greatly
discounted prices. We have also been active participants in the CVMA
feral cat-altering program. Under this program there is no charge to
the caretaker for having spay or neutering procedures done on cats that
meet the criteria of being feral. Beginning in October, we will also
be participating in the Low Income Owner/Cat Caregiver cat-altering
program. Under this program we will be able to offer, free of
charge, spay and neuter surgery on up to three cats owned by a person who
can verify low-income status by presenting their valid California Medi-Cal
card. We hope providing these community services will help reduce
the numbers of unwanted pets that our city and county must have euthanized
each year, as well as reduce the population of free roaming cats which act
as a reservoir of disease which endangers all of our pets.
you have a headache or your joints are a little stiff, the first thing you
reach for is an aspirin or some other medication. Many people think
(incorrectly) that if it works for them, it must be good for their
pet. We have seen numerous situations over the years where a pet
owner has incorrectly medicated their pet with high , even lethal dosages
of drugs designed for humans.
is a short list of some common over-the-counter drugs that can be
hazardous to your pet:
This seemingly "safe" drug, when overdosed , causes gastric
ulcers in dogs and cats. Because cats are unable to metabolize
aspirin, Repeated doses can cause fatal bone marrow
STRENGTH TYLENOL- Acetaminophen will produce toxic effects in a cat -
two tablets will cause death due to a massive breakdown of red blood
- Repeated doses of ibuprofen can cause gastrointestinal irritation
and hemorrhage as well as kidney damage. Large doses will cause
- The pain medication Naproxen is ten times more toxic than
ibuprofen. Only one or two tablets are toxic to the average size
do not administer human medications to your pet. What may make you
feel better could kill your pet!
is the most common nutrition-related problem seen by veterinarians?
Most household pets are , like most Americans, overweight. Usually
the things that cause weight gain in humans is the same with our pets -
snacking and a lack of physical activity. Rarely do veterinarians
see a pet with a gland problem causing increased weight.
there a good way to judge if a pet is overweight?
every household pet, we should be able to easily feel the rib cage - not
just know that there are ribs there. In deep-chested breeds of dogs, such
as greyhounds, German shepherds, and setters, we should also be able to
see the individual ribs. In cats, the main site of fat accumulation
is in the underbelly, which should never get to the point where it sways
as the cat walks.
health risks are associated with obesity in pets?
major health risks attributable to excess weight in pets are the same as
those seen in people - heart failure and arthritis. The leading
causes of death in larger dogs is heart failure and euthanasia due to
excessive arthritic pain. In overweight cats, severe liver disease
is quite common and often fatal.
obesity, are there any other medical problems associated with a pet's
reactions of dermatitis are most commonly related to allergies caused by
fleas or air-borne stimulants but often this reaction can be traced to
diet. Hypoallergenic food formulas are available for the food
sensitive pet. Before blindly switching foods however, the pet owner
is encouraged to consult our office first as some food allergic pets
typically have concurrent medical conditions or diseases that mask the
you have any additional questions about your pet's diet or
nutritional needs, please call our office. We are always glad to be
Like dogs, your cat should only be fed
as much food as it needs to maintain its optimal body weight and
condition. Pet food labels usually list suggested amounts to
feed by body weight. The amount of food required depends on the
individual cat's needs based on its level of activity and life stage
(kitten, mature, pregnant, etc.)
Cats can be fed by either free-choice
(i.e. - food is always available) or scheduled feedings (feeding a
specific amount of food at specified regular mealtimes). Cats
will usually eat every few hours all day long if left to
themselves. Cat owners may prefer to feed set amounts twice a
day. If obesity is a problem, or only canned food is fed,
scheduled feeding only is recommended.
Fresh, clean water should be available
at all times.
Table scraps and between meal snacks
should be avoided.
Never feed dog food to a cat! Cats
need arachidonic acid and taurine which are essential in a cat's diet
and are not available in dog food. Prolonged feeding of dog food
to a cat may lead to blindness and paralysis.
Pet ownership is as American as apple pie. It
appears that nearly all of our presidents were pet owners. Some of
us may remember that early in his career, President Nixon gave his famous
"Checkers Speech" to describe how he obtained the family pet
dog. Many remember President Lyndon Johnson and his beagles.
All of us have seen photographs of President Clinton and the "First
Cat" Socks. Not all of our presidents preferred the
furry companionship of a dog or cat however!
As all the hoopla of a national election swirls around
us, we thought it might be fun to see if you can match up some to our
nation's past presidents with their unusual pets. Good luck
The question of feeding
your pet raw meat is rather controversial. Although some articles in
magazines suggest that the feeding of raw meat is best, be aware that
bacterial contamination and infestation with microscopic parasites are
risks. For these reasons, every precaution should be taken in
preparing the meat part of the diet to include the thorough cooking of the
For those owners who
prefer feeding raw meat, the following tips can be helpful, although not
foolproof, in reducing risks:
Feed only raw chicken,
turkey, lamb or beef. It is best to cook rabbit, venison, wild
game, and pork because these meats seem to be more likely contaminated
with parasites, especially wild game.
Cook ground meats
unless the owner grinds the meat at home to prevent
cross-contamination at the store.
see scores of "Hit by Car" cases annually. Many of these
emergencies require immediate surgery in order to save the animal's
life. If conditions affecting the animal's heart, kidneys and liver
have not been discovered through regular check-ups, a sudden emergency can
quickly run into complications. Valuable time is lost doing
is just one reason for having routing physicals. However, the
biggest reason remains the reward we feel when our dog greets us joyfully
at the end of our busy day or by the cat's soft purr as we gently stroke
its head. The desire to want to hold onto these companions for as
long as possible is the real reason for giving your pet an annual
physical. Please call us to schedule a physical examination today!
Canine distemper is a
highly contagious disease caused by a tiny virus. There is a
vaccination to protect your dog from canine distemper but, in order for
you to understand its seriousness, it is good to review some facts about
Canine Distemper is
the greatest single disease threat to the world's dog population.
Better than 50% of the
adult dogs and close to 80% of the puppies that contract the disease
die from it.
A bout with canine
distemper can leave a dog's nervous system irreparably damaged, along
with its sense of smell, hearing, or sight.
Younger dogs and
puppies are at the greatest risk.
Cats are not
susceptible to canine distemper. The so called "cat
distemper" is a different disease caused by a different virus.
hepatitis is a separate disease but may occur simultaneously
with canine distemper.
Neither distemper nor
infectious hepatitis are transmissible to man.
If you have any
questions about Canine Distemper, please give us a call. When you receive
a reminder from us stating your dog needs its distemper vaccination,
please contact us immediately for an appointment.