In this issue you will find:

National Pet Dental Health Month

Food Pantry Donations

Acute, Chronic Disease


Normal tooth on left. Tooth on right has extensive resorption.

Normal tooth on left. Tooth on right has extensive resorption.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

During the month of February, Bobtown Pet Clinic will be celebrating National Pet Dental Health Month by offering a 10% discount on all dental services and products.

Dental disease is extremely common in our dogs and cats. Chronic infection, broken teeth and pain are persistent problems. Proper care can eliminate most of these chronic problems and manage others to an acceptable level.

Plan ahead. Schedule your pet’s Dental Procedure today. February Dental Procedure appointments fill up fast.


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Food Pantry Donations

We had another great year for donations to the Roberts Food Pantry.

$920

484 lbs of food and other goods

The Food Pantry greatly appreciates all the donations.

Since we started tracking the donations in 2012, we have collected 5082 lbs of food and other products and $3889.50.

Thank you all for your generosity!


This splenic mass was over 7.5 lbs. The dog had only subtle symptoms until the day before presentation when the mass started to bleed.

This splenic mass was over 7.5 lbs. The dog had only subtle symptoms until the day before presentation when the mass started to bleed.

Acute, Chronic Disease

Wait a minute. What is acute, chronic disease? What I mean is chronic disease that presents in an acute manner. This happens because many chronic diseases have few to no symptoms until late in their course. Sometimes the symptoms are only seen in retrospect because they develop slowly and subtly.

You would be surprised by how frequently I hear comments like, “But he was fine yesterday.” Or, “This came on so fast.” Unfortunately, we see rapid decompensation of chronic diseases all too frequently.

Take diabetes mellitus or chronic kidney disease. Many patients compensate for these diseases very well for extended periods. There is usually an increased thirst and amount of urination. Often there is a slow weight loss. They continue to eat well (sometimes want more food than normal) and behave normally. Then one day something happens and they become anorexic, start vomiting, get lethargic and dehydrated. The diabetic has entered what we call ketoacidosis and the chronic kidney disease patient has become what we call azotemic. Both patients with chronic diseases were normal yesterday and today are at risk of death.

Cancer is another example. While many cancers seem to grow quickly, it has taken time for them to reach a size that we can easily detect. A cancer grows from a single cell and grows exponentially. Therefore, most patients can have small tumors for quite a while before any symptoms become apparent.

To make matters worse, some tumors cause problems when they are relatively small. For example, a brain tumor does not need to be very large to cause problems like behavior changes or seizures. Another example seen commonly are splenic tumors called hemangiosarcomas. These are blood vessel tumors that often cause bleeding. It is not uncommon for these to rupture at 1-2 cm diameter and cause a rapidly lethal bleed into the abdomen. This is one of the best examples of they are fine one minute with no symptoms at all, and the next minute they are literally dying.

These types of chronic diseases are why veterinarians always want you to monitor your pets for subtle changes and to then pay attention to them. When subtle changes from diseases are identified, there are often steps that can be taken early in disease to help mitigate symptoms or treat the disease more successfully. However, despite our efforts, there will always be patients that present acutely with chronic disease.

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Some tips to monitor your pet for acute and chronic diseases.

(In the spirit of red neck jokes)

If your pet is vomiting, there might be a problem.

If your pet vomits once a week for more than a month, there might be a problem.

If your food motivated pet quits eating for 24 hours, there might be a problem.

If your pet loses weight and you do not have it on a diet, there might be a problem.

If your pet has a string coming out its anus, there might be a problem.

If your pet suddenly collapses, there might be a problem.

If your pet's gums are white, there might be a problem.

If your pet's gums, skin or eyes are yellow, there might be a problem.

If your pet is limping, there might be a problem.

If your pet cannot get up, there might be a problem.

If your pet drinks more than a fish, there might be a problem.

If your cat's litter looks more like Lake Superior than a desert, there might be a problem.

If your pet is having accidents around the house, there might be a problem.

If your pet strains to urinate or defecate without production, there might be a problem.

If your pet refuses to go up or down stairs, there might be a problem.

If your pet that normally resembles a Pogo stick refuses to jump, there might be a problem.

If Limburger cheese smells better than your pet's breath, there might be a problem.

If your pet coughs more than normal, there might be a problem.

If your pet's resting respiratory rate increases, there might be a problem.

Keep in mind that you know your pet best. Other changes may also be seen, but these are some common complaints.

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