“Warm Hearts for Cold Noses” 2810 Justin Road Highland Village, TX 75077 972-317-PETS (7387) Paul J. McCullough, DVM John G.S. Roberts, DVM L. Austin Strauch, DVM Volume 7—Number 3—September 2007 FRESH BREATH. . . HEALTHY PET It’s coming upon that time of year again. . . Pet Dental Month. Start making arrangements now for Dental Month. During the entire month of October, we will be offering discounts off dental cleaning packages. Dental hygiene is a very important part of the overall health of your pet. There are many benefits to providing your pet with proper dental care. These benefits go beyond fresh breath and pearly white teeth. Many of the your pet’s internal organs can be affected by the bacteria that is produced by the plaque and tartar that accumulates on your pet’s teeth. Some common health problems associated with this bacteria include kidney and liver problems, gingivitis, and heart problems. Does your pet need a professional dental cleaning? There is a simple test you can do at home to determine your pet’s needs. First, lift your pets lip and look at the tooth surface of all teeth, especially the back teeth. If you see any yellow or brown residue on the pets teeth, this is a very good indication that it’s time for a cleaning. Second, smell your pets breath. If you smell “doggy breath”, then you need to get Fluffy in right away. Call our office to set up a time for a complimentary dental evaluation with one of our nurses, who can determine the level of dental care that your pet needs and provide you with an estimated cost for a professional dental cleaning. Inside this issue: Behavior Problems in Dogs Cats for Adoption Congratulations on New Baby Long Term Use of Medications Halloween Safety Tips Prescription Refill Requests Signs of A “Crazy Cat Lady” 2 2 2 3 3 3 4 YOUR CAT’S EATING HABITS Cats love their meat. In fact, these furry carnivores must eat animal tissue to maintain their long-term health. Cats require high amounts of amino acids, “building blocks” that prevent disease. Vegetarian diets, therefore, are out of the question for cats. Kittens (cats less than a year old) need food specially designed for their young systems—with an increased level of necessary proteins for growing muscles and bones. Cats should only eat cat food (that means no swapping food with Fido). When choosing a food, cat owners should look for one that contains proteins, fats, minerals and vitamins. Extra vitamin and mineral supplements are not only unnecessary but potentially harmful. Supplements can unbalance a complete and balanced cat food. Cats are efficient eaters. They eat to satisfy their need for energy then stop eating when that energy demand is met. They tend to eat small but frequent meals. Owners can usually leave food out and not worry about a cat overeating. But while most cats naturally regulate their eating habits, some do indulge. Since obesity is the most common feline nutritional problem, if your cat needs to lose five or more pounds, visit the veterinarian before you begin a weight loss program. Many cats eat in cycles, a trait passed down from their wild ancestors that ate depending on the success of the hunt. Do not mistake these peaks and valleys for dissatisfaction with the food. Switching brands frequently can reinforce bad habits and create finicky eaters. Now is the time to start thinking about making your boarding reservations for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years Holidays. During these busy times, the boarding facility books up a couple of months in advance. We require a $50.00 per pet deposit for all holiday boarding reservations. Don’t delay, call today!!! BOARDING REMINDER Visit us online at www.animalmedicalcenterhv.com Behavior Problems in Dogs Written by Mia Dunn (Mia’s Canine Solutions) One of the most common reasons why people send their dogs to a shelter or give their dog away (or, “re-home” them) is due to a perceived “behavior problem”. However, what some owners see as a “problem” may be considered an attribute to another. Truly, the nature of the “problem” lies in the eye of the beholder. If you really think about it, most of the behaviors dogs demonstrate which seem like “problems” are completely natural for a dog. Dogs dig, chew, pace about, bark, howl, explore with their mouths, rip things apart, bite, fight with pack members, protect property and/or steal … or horde objects … all of which are natural instinctive behaviors for them. These behaviors are manifestations of their instincts in social interaction, reproduction, play and survival. When these natural behaviors interfere in our households …these are the times when we call them “problems”. When assessing problems, your trainer should take a complete history of your dog. This assessment is a battery of questions best taken in your own home where the behaviors occur. The assessment should include all aspects of your dog’s nature and environment, starting with its breed, age and temperament. A complete assessment will also include questions covering where and how you adopted your dog and at what age; housing accommodations; feeding schedules; the number of family members and other pets in the home; elimination (“potty”) patterns; play protocol; exercise schedules; environmental conditions; other problem behaviors; and, among other possibilities, your family’s expectations for your dog as a pet! It is most important to determine if your dog’s “problem” is health-related; then, the first thing you do - before training - is to take him/her to your veterinarian! As a professional trainer, after disqualifying health issues, I examine what the underlying causes are for the dog’s undesired behavior. This is very important to determine appropriate training. By understanding the cause, the proper behavior-modification techniques can be applied to correct or eliminate the undesired behavior. If the cause is not fully understood, or is misinterpreted, the result could be that your dog will switch from one bad behavior to another less-desirable behavior. In most cases, the initial undesired behavior must be replaced with an alternate, “desired” behavior – as a substitute. Consequently, part of the process is for the owner to decide, how you would rather have your dog behave in place of the undesired behavior. This is where obedience training helps to fill in the blanks when you do not want your pet to behave is an undesired way. Sometimes solving a “simple” problem is actually more complicated than it appears. I would like to thank Animal Medical Center for granting me the privilege of expressing my passion in life: dog training and behavior problem-solving. I have been training dogs for 27 years and have trained every registered AKC breed, a large majority of rare breeds and, of course, even more mixed breeds. I have trained with some of the most established and well-known dog trainers in the United States and regularly attend seminars and workshops to keep up to date. I have experience in every accepted training method, and will design a program based upon each owner/dog dynamic. I prefer clicker/treats (positive reinforcement based balanced training); however, when appropriate or necessary, I incorporate choke chains, prong collars, electric collars (for boundary training, off leash obedience and barking), head halters, dog runs and crates, in my universal training program. Please feel free to call me if you have any questions regarding training and behavior. Mia’s Canine Solutions 972 849-7688 Are you looking for a cat or kitten to adopt??? The City of Highland Village has many cats and kittens available for adoption. Call 972-899-5092 to inquire about pets available for adoption. Congratulations to Paul and Joanne McCullough on the birth of their baby boy!!! Matthew Aidan McCullough August 2, 2007 6 Lbs. 8 Oz. 19 Inches Page 2 Volume 7, Issue 3 Long Term Use of Medications Because we feel that your pet deserves the best care, we carefully monitor their health after prescribing certain medications to ensure greater success in treating his or her condition. Monitoring helps us choose the proper drug and dosage for your pet’s age, size, breed and physical condition, and it helps ensure your pet’s safety as we evaluate for any side effects, complications, or interactions with other drugs. Monitoring also helps us establish a baseline picture of your pet’s vital organs so we know when changes indicate areas of concern. This helps us assess the treatment plan and make adjustments as necessary. Below are some general guidelines for long-term use of prescription medications. The medication guidelines may not be the same for all pets, since healthcare is tailored to each pet’s individual needs. NONSTEROIDAL ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS (NSAIDs)—This drug is commonly used to reduce inflammation, fever and pain. They are generally safe for dogs and have few side effects if given as directed. We’ll take blood samples to check liver and kidney function before long-term use and two weeks afterward to ensure safety. We will also do blood tests once yearly to detect any abnormalities that arise with long-term use. PHENOBARBITAL—This drug is used to treat epilepsy and seizure disorder. We’ll take blood tests before administration and then check the Phenobarbital blood levels every two weeks until the drug is at the right level. We’ll test liver function one month after starting Phenobarbital and then every year. LEVOTHYROXINE—This drug is used to treat hypothyroidism. We’ll test total levels of T4 (a thyroid hormone) one month after beginning levothyroxine, then after 6 months, then once yearly thereafter to ensure proper dosing. PREDNISONE—This drug has many uses, but is primarily used to treat allergies, especially itchy skin (allergic dermatitis). We will perform liver and kidney function tests before prescribing these drugs for long-term use, and we will do regular blood tests every year to detect any abnormalities. PRESCRIPTION REFILL REQUESTS Please be sure to call your prescription refills in 24 hours in advance. This allows our staff adequate time to get an approval from the doctor. In some cases, a prescription cannot be refilled without a doctor visit or recheck of bloodwork. If you walk in and request a prescription refill, we may have to ask you to come back later to pick it up. The doctors are usually in exam rooms seeing patients and unavailable to give immediate approval for all requests. We would like to make refills as convenient for our clients as possible. Page 3 HALLOWEEN SAFETY TIPS During the Halloween season, we would like to remind you of a few precautions that need to be taken for the safety of your pet. ♦ Candy is not for pets. Keep plenty of dog and cat treats around so your pet does not miss out on the festivities. Chocolate can be very dangerous for your pets, and the candy wrappers can be hazardous if swallowed. Keep wires and cords from Halloween decorations out of reach of your pets. Your pet could experience damage to his/her mouth, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock. Pumpkins and decorative corn may cause gastrointestinal upset if swallowed by your pet. Even though they are relatively non-toxic, they can still cause major problems. Don’t leave lighted candles or Jack-O-Lanterns in an area where they could be knocked over by a swinging tail of a dog or a curious cat. Make sure your pet is wearing an identification tag on their collar in the event that they dart out of the house when you are opening the door for trick-or-treaters. ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ For your pet’s overall safety, do not allow your pets to go outside on Halloween. If your pet accidentally ingests a potentially dangerous substance, you may call the Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222. 2810 Justin Road Highland Village, TX 75077 972-317-PETS (7387) Top Ten Signs That You Are A “Crazy Cat Lady” 1. Your colleagues no longer ask how your weekend was. Instead they ask how your cats are doing. 2. People at work have stopped offering you their lint brushes. They realize it’s hopeless anyway. 3. When you get your latest roll of film developed, there’s not a single human being in the pictures. 4. There are kitty litter boxes in every room of your home. 5. Your personal motto is: “You can never have enough cats!” 6. You buy more than 60 pounds of cat litter a month. 7. You’d rather watch hours of boring infomercials than disturb the cat sleeping on the remote. 8. You choose your friends based on how well your cat likes them. 9. You are lost for conversation with non-cat people. 10. You introduce your cats by name to the pizza delivery guy.