Document Sample
                                                                                                                       April 2009

                                               ALL ABOUT ALLERGIES
Inside this issue:
                                                                               proteins in food that they could have been eating
 All About           1   It’s midnight and all you want to do is get some      for years. Most animals with food allergies are se-
 Allergies               sleep, but your dog is keeping you up with his        verely itchy, especially around the face and ears.
                         constant scratching. He’s miserable with itchi-       These allergies start as nonseasonal and do not
 The Importance      2   ness, and now he’s making you miserable as well. respond to medications as well as other allergies.
 of Rechecks             What can you do?                                      Animals can start to exhibit signs anytime during
                         Your dog may have what we call allergic skin          their life, from very young to over seven years of
 Pets, Parasites,    2
 and People              disease. Allergies are due to an “overreaction” of age! Most dermatologists believe the only way to
                         the immune system. Animals often show environ- diagnose a food allergy is to place the animal on a
 Introducing a   3       mental allergies through their skin and not their strict hypoallergenic diet, which is one that con-
 New Pet to Your         sinuses as we humans often do. Allergic skin can tains proteins the animal has never been exposed
 Household               be accompanied by other skin issues such as in- to before.
                         fected ears, bacterial or yeast skin infections, and At our clinics, we tend to take a conservative ap-
 Improvements to 3       even demodectic mange. Cats and dogs have             proach to skin issues. The first time that an animal
 Our Yearly Visits       three common types of allergies:                      comes in with itchy skin, we may treat them symp-
 Paws and Claws      4   1) Flea allergy or insect hypersensitivity            tomatically with antihistamines, steroids, and possi-
 Perfect Patients                                                              bly antibiotics or antifungals if there is a secondary
                               This is probably the single most common         bacterial or yeast skin/ear infection. However, if
 Congrats to         4   allergy here in the south because of the humidity. flare-ups recur our approach is to start performing
 Robyn Meyer,            Your animal may be exhibiting signs of a flea al-     diagnostics to rule out allergies. If you are persis-
 CVT!                    lergy even if you never see a flea on your pet.       tent with your flea control and are still noticing
                         One single bite can make your pet so miserable skin issues, it may be time to start a food trial as
                         it either bites, swallows, or scratches the flea off previously described. This trial must last for a mini-
                         immediately, along with a lot of hair and skin.       mum of 8 weeks to show any sort of positive re-
                         This one flea bite can make some animals itch for sult, and if it is concluded that your pet is food al-
                         up to 3 weeks. A typical flea-allergic animal will    lergic, it must stay on a strict hypoallergenic diet
                         have hair loss and itchiness at the base of the tail, for the rest of its life. However, if a food trial does
                         back legs, or the back of the neck. All flea-allergic not yield a positive result, it can be concluded that
                         animals need to be on a consistent, veterinary-       your dog or cat has atopic allergies. There are cer-
    “Suzy” Williams      approved form of flea control.                        tain medications prescribed at our office that can
                         2) Atopy                                              be used to prevent flare-ups from atopic allergies.
  Is your pet on                                                               There is also a board-certified dermatologist in the
                              This is the name given to environmental aller- Charleston area that performs skin testing and can
  Atopica for its        gens such as dust, mold, grass, pollens, and house get your animal on a schedule of allergy shots. This
 allergies? You          mites. Typically, these allergies are seasonal and specialist requires a referral from our clinic. Unfor-
                         eventually worsen to being year-round, but ini-
can now receive          tially may be worse in the warmer months. This treat.
                                                                               tunately, atopic allergies can be rather expensive to

monthly rebates          usually develops when the animal is young. The
                         main targets of itchiness in these animals are the If you have a chronically itchy pet, please call us to
  from novartis          face, ears, abdomen, and feet.                        schedule an appointment. By singling out what is
 animal health!          3) Food allergies
                                                                               causing your pet to scratch, we can make him/her
                                                                               feel much more comfortable and
       Visit                  Animals develop allergies to things they are     help to give you some much          exposed to all the time, which includes certain       needed rest!!!
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2                                                                                                                          Page 2

                  The Importance of Rechecks
                                                                                                                         Urinary tract infec-
During your last visit to our clinic would not be able to make sure the         Long-term medication usage               tions can be tricky to
with your pet, you were given medi- treatment implemented at the first                                                   treat. If your pet is
                                                                               There are many health issues that         diagnosed with a UTI,
cations to treat your animal’s health visit is the best course of action for   require medication to be given
issues and then asked to schedule a your animal. Also, if medications do                                                 it is very important to
                                       not completely clear the infection, it  over a long period of time, some-         have their urine re-
recheck appointment. You just                                                  times for the rest of your pet’s life.
spent money and time on your ani- can lead to antibiotic resistance as                                                   checked after comple-
                                       well.                                   In cases such as hyperthyroidism,         tion of their prescribed
mal this visit — is it really that im-                                         epilepsy, and diabetes, it is crucial
portant that your vet follows up on                                                                                      medication. This en-
                                                                               to make sure your animal is receiv-       sures that the first
your pet’s condition?                                                          ing the proper dosage of medica-          course of medication
The simple answer is yes! Though it                                            tion. If your pet’s medication is not
                                                    Follow-up                  properly controlled, it can lead to
                                                                                                                         has completely re-
may seem like an inconvenience to                                                                                        solved the infection. If
you, there are several reasons why                                             serious health problems including
                                            examinations could                 irreversible damage to many major
                                                                                                                         you are asked to have
we may need to re-examine your                                                                                           your pet’s urine re-
pet after being treated for various                                            organs. With certain medications
                                               prevent further                 such as NSAIDS for arthritis and
                                                                                                                         checked and are able
problems. Here are a few examples:                                                                                       to collect it yourself,
                                                                               other chronic pain, heart medica-         remember that the
Urinary tract infections                  problems for your pet tions, and drugs for certain endo-
                                                                                                                         fresher the sample, the
                                                                               crine diseases, there is a small risk     more accurate the test
After completion of medications for            down the road.                  of liver and kidney damage with
these infections, it is important to                                                                                     results will be. If you
                                                                               long-term usage. For these reasons        cannot bring the sam-
have your animal’s urine retested to
                                                                               we require that bloodwork be run          ple immediately to our
make sure that all evidence of the
                                       Eye infections and injuries             on a regular basis in order to con-       clinic, please refriger-
infection has been cleared. If the
                                                                               tinue dispensing or prescribing           ate it. If you are unable
first course of medication has not     There are many different eye medi- these medications. Of course,
completely treated the infection and   cations used in veterinary medicine. routine examinations must also be            to collect the sample
the urine is never retested, antibi-   In cases of infection, it is important performed in order to evaluate             yourself, please do not
otic resistance can occur. This can    to re-examine the eye after a                                                     let your pet urinate
                                                                               your pet’s overall health status.         immediately before
make subsequent infections much        course of treatment to confirm that
more difficult and expensive to        the infection has cleared. If an injury                                           bringing him or her in.
treat.                                 such as a corneal ulcer was discov- By requesting that we recheck                 It is optimal to sched-
                                       ered on the first visit, the eye must your animal for any reason, we are          ule a morning appoint-
Skin/ear infections                                                                                                      ment in case your pet
                                       be rechecked to determine that the expressing our desire to make
Infections of the ears and skin can    injury has completely resolved. If                                                does not have a full
                                                                               sure your animal is receiving the         bladder at the time of
take a long time to completely re-     medication is stopped before an         appropriate treatment for its             its visit; this way, we
solve. There are several different     ulcer is entirely healed, the eye can health issues. Please schedule a
medications used for these infec-      become damaged to the point of                                                    have the option of
                                                                               follow-up appointment if it is asked      keeping your pet
tions; your animal may not respond     needing to be removed.                  of you to ensure that your pet is         throughout the day
as well to some medications as oth-
                                                                                receiving the best care possible!        until the bladder fills
ers. Without a follow-up exam to
evaluate your pet’s progress, we                                                                                         and we are able to
                                                                                                                         collect urine.

                                                           Pets, Parasites, and People
                                       It is not uncommon for your pet     “walk areas”, and                    • Keep your pet current on
                                       to become infected with an inter- other high-traffic                      heartworm prevention. The
                                       nal or external parasite sometime areas.                                  medicine in heartworm preven-
                                       in its life. Did you know that     •Only feed pets cooked or              tatives not only protects your
                                       there are certain parasites that                                          pet from heartworm disease ,
                                                                           prepared food (not raw meat).         but from many intestinal para-
                                       can cause diseases to be transmit-
                                       ted from your pet to you or a      •Clean up pet feces regularly.         sites as well. Since parasites can
    Roundworms, one of the             member of your family?                                                    infect your pet any time of the
    more common intestinal                                                •Administer deworming medi-            year and some of these para-
                                       You can reduce the risk of a para- cations as recommended by              sites can transmit diseases to
   parasites transmitted from
                                       sitic infection to your family by   our clinic.                           people, it is important to have
         pets to people.
                                       following a few simple guidelines:                                        your pet on year-round pre-
                                                                          •Schedule annual physical ex-          ventative.
                                       •Practice good personal hygiene.
                                                                           aminations at our clinic, at
                                                                                                                    Visit for
                                       •Restrict access to contaminated which time we will test for                       more information.
                                        areas, such as sandboxes, pet      several common parasites.
VOLUME 1, ISSUE 2                                                                                                                     Page 3

                       Introducing a New Pet to Your Household
 Are you considering bringing a new pet       havior with verbal and                            should not get treats—do not reward bad
 home? There are a few steps you should       physical                                          behavior!
 take in order to properly introduce this     praise,           Can’t we all just
 new addition to the pets you already         but do
                                                                  get along???
 have.                                        not rein-                                         5) One-on-one time
 1) Verify health status                      aggressive                                        Make sure to spend at least 5 minutes
                                              behavior by reas-                                   alone with each animal every day. This
 You should always make sure your new                                                             time can include grooming and playing.
                                              suring your pets
 animal is disease-free and up-to-date on
                                              that it’s okay.                                      6) Praise good behavior/ punish
 vaccines before bringing it into your
 home. Cats should be tested for leuke-                                                            bad behavior
 mia and FIV.                                                                                      Reward your pets with treats and atten-
 2) Start on neutral                                                                               tion when they are calm around each
 ground                             What do you                                                    other. Any negative interactions can be
                                  think you’re doing             4) Feeding                        gently corrected using objects such as a
 Isolate your new pet                                                                           water squirt gun or whistle. The offending
 in a neutral area such             in MY house?                  Once you’ve established       animal should be confined and the introduc-
 as a den or bathroom.                                         that the animals are calm        tion process should be restarted. Never try
 Dogs can be crated in these                                           around each other,       to physically stop a fight between dogs or
 areas for added safety. Cats should                                   feed them at a dis-      cats—you WILL get hurt!
 be able to smell each other                                           tance from one an-
 through door cracks. Keep toys,                                       other. If you antici-
 blankets, and food and water here                                     pate a problem, you      Once you have determined that your pets
 for your pet to be comfortable.                                       can use leashes tied     are acting in a positive manner around each
 Socialize with your new pet often                                     to furniture or door-    other without any aggressive behavior on a
 while in this stage.                                                  knobs as long as you     consistent basis, you are ready to let them
 3) Gradual introduction                                               are supervising. Every   out of your sight. The entire introduction
                                              day, shorten the distance between the food        process can take anywhere from a few days
 Start by greeting your original pets first   bowls until they are side by side. If any ani-    to weeks. The important thing to remem-
 and wait until they are calm. Enter the      mal shows aggression, separate the bowls to       ber is that you need to be patient and ob-
 new pet’s area and do the same. Put a        the point at which the animals appear com-        servant. By using these steps, you will make
 harness or leash on your new pet; for        fortable, then try again. When giving treats,     the transition of adding a new addition to
 added safety, you can do this with your      have all the animals sit near each other, pet     the household smoother for everyone!
 original pets as well. Take the new pet      and praise each one, then give treats one at
 out of its area and let the original ones    a time starting with the original pets. They
 sniff and explore him. Reward calm be-       must all be calm around each other or they

                            Improvements to our Yearly Visits
As your pet gets older, you may start to notice       problem in your pet, at which       may also test thy-
certain signs of aging, such as graying fur and de-   point steps can be taken to treat   roid function along
creased activity level. But what about the parts of   the disease or slow its             with the liver and
your pet that you can’t see?                          progression.                        kidneys since hyper-
                                                                                          thyroidism is a com-
Geriatric animals are susceptible to many diseases    Therefore, if your pet              mon geriatric dis-
affecting many major organs of the body. In early     is over 8 years of age, we are      ease in cats.
                             stages of these dis-     now performing basic blood-
                             eases, your pet may      work at his or her yearly visit.    These panels are           “Pepper” Tillman
                             not exhibit any clini-   For dogs, this bloodwork will       being run on healthy
                             cal signs. Regular       take the place of our in-house      geriatric pets. Of course, if your pet is exhibiting
                             screening for com-       heartworm test since this test is   any abnormal behavior, it may be necessary to
                             mon health issues        included in the panel that we       perform more in-depth diagnostics. It is our in-
                             associated with older    send off to our reference labo-     tention to provide the best care possible to your
                              age can lead to the     ratory. The panel will evaluate     beloved friend; this includes taking a proactive
                              discovery of an early   major organ function such as the    approach to ensure your pet’s good health.
     “Annie” Jackson                                  liver and kidneys. In cats, we
                                             MEET SOME OF OUR PERFECT PATIENTS!!!
     WEST ASHLEY                                                                                                            Kitty”
VETERINARY CLINIC                                                                                                           Ward

VETERINARY CLINIC                                               “Layla” Squires                           “Sunny”
                                “Harley” Landry,                                  “Precious” Jacoby        Ward
                                with Lesley Robb


                                                                                  “Buck” Giles
                               “Julia” Kemmerer
                                                                                                           “Chloe” Robinson

                                                              “Amber” Millwater
                                “Ciara” Long                                       “Sassy” Bridgman
                                                                                                            “Jasmine” Stanley

                                                                “Tee” Byrd
                          “Humphrey” Nash                                                           and
                                                                                                           “Max” Spreitzer

                                    Congratulations to Robyn Meyer, CVT!
                                                                                                      veterinary technicians have
                                Congratulations is in                                                 attended and graduated from
                                order for one of our vet-                                             a nationally accredited col-
                                erinary technicians, Robyn                                            lege. There they learn skills
                                Meyer, for passing her                                                needed to become proficient
                                National Veterinary Tech-                                             in all aspects of the veteri-
                                nician Board Examina-                                                 nary field from client educa-
                                tions! Robyn will graduate                                            tion to surgical assisting to
                                from Trident Technical                                                laboratory diagnostics.
                                College this spring with an
                                Associate’s Degree in                                                 Although Robyn has been a
                                Veterinary Technology,                                                part of our team for over a
                                making her a certified                                                year while attending Trident,
                                veterinary technician. She                                            she will now be putting her
                                will join CVT’s Kate                                                  skills to use as a CVT! If you
                                Sternberg and Heather                                                 see her, please congratulate
                                Yilmaz at Northwoods                                                  her on a job well done!
                                Veterinary Clinic and
                                Landry Brown at West
Is there a subject you’d be     Ashley Veterinary Clinic.
interested in reading about?    Licensed and certified
Do you have pet questions
you’d like answered? Email
Kate at:

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