In this edition you will find:
Annual Wellness Exams
There are so many wonderful foods, treats and people around during the Thanksgiving holiday. It can be such a fun time for us to visit with seldom seen family and friends and eat such wonderful foods.
Many of our pets also want in on the action. The smells can be so enticing that they just can not help themselves. They beg for food from Uncle Charlie and Aunt Rose. They steal a roll from Cousin Al. They jump up on the table or buffet and help themselves. That gravy in the garbage smells so good that knocking over the can to get to it and the other treats is just too tempting.
These things all add up to trouble for most pets. The richness and quantity of the food becomes too much for Schnauzer Tommy to resist. Or what about that washcloth that was thrown away covered in gravy that lab Bob swallowed whole. Or that pile of turkey bones that dachshund Dixie chewed and swallowed in large pieces. These all are likely severe problems that can ruin the holiday.
Tommy starts vomiting everything and having severe, bloody diarrhea. He quickly gets dehydrated and very depressed. He has what is called hemorrhagic gastroenteritis. He spends 2 days in the hospital for supportive care. Of the 3, he is the lucky one.
That washcloth tasted oh so good going down. But now it is sitting in Bob's stomach and trying to move into the intestines and not able to do so. Bob becomes lethargic, stops eating, and starts to vomit profusely. He needs surgery to remove the washcloth.
Dixie not only broke a tooth chewing on the bones, the sharp shards of brittle bones punctured her small intestine. She becomes extremely painful in her abdomen, stops eating, starts vomiting, and gets very sick in just a few hours due to the peritonitis. She needs emergency surgery, very aggressive critical care and has a poor prognosis.
These problems and many more are seen by veterinarians every year. Patients like Dixie often to not survive either because of the disease process or because of the high cost and poor prognosis.
Please keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving holiday. Advise your guests not to feed your pets. Keep your pets secure from the food and the door. Keep the food secure from the pets. What else can you do around your house to prevent pet problems?
Annual Wellness Exams
You just got another reminder card in the mail for your cat's annual wellness exam. What do you do? Do you call right away for an appointment, or put it in your monstrous to do pile, or throw it away?
The smart thing to do is to call for an appointment. Veterinarians generally recommend that physical examinations be done at least annually. For older patients or those with chronic problems or medications the recommendations are usually more frequent.
In mainstream media recently have been reports about annual physical examinations by human doctors not really being necessary for most patients. The biggest needs come for patients on chronic medications or with chronic problems. Dogs and cats are very different from people.
Dogs and cats age much faster than do people. By the time a cat is 1 year of age it is the equivalent of about a 24 year old human in maturity. We usually figure about 7 dog years for each human year. This difference in aging means that health problems often develop more rapidly. Additionally, dogs and cats cannot speak to us to tell us what is going on. Therefore, problems often go unnoticed for longer.
Regular veterinary examinations can help detect problems earlier when they are most treatable.
So next time you get that reminder, please call. Your pet is counting on you to keep them healthy.
While your family is celebrating Thanksgiving, take a moment to remember to be thankful for your pet.
Pets bring so much to our lives. They give us companionship, love, a reason to go on that walk, and a reason to get up in the morning. The act of holding and petting a dog or cat will help people relax and even lower blood pressure and stress. Our dog is a clown and constantly makes us laugh.
What does your pet do for you?
Please remember to be thankful for the time you get with your pet on this Thanksgiving.