Easter with pets

The blessed joy of Easter can sometimes bring unexpected problems for our pets.  

The Easter watch list includes:

  • Easter Lilies, and other plants are toxic to cats. They cause nausea, vomiting, and kidney failure!

  • Easter grass can cause very dangerous intestinal lacerations.

  • Chocolate toxicity can cause seizures and death.

  • Ham bones are delicious to dogs but can get stuck and lead to intestinal ruptures.

This is such a beautiful season of celebration and many wonderful traditions.  It is so easy to become focused on visiting family and special events that are so important to the holiday.  Sometimes it is easy to forget our pets while we celebrate, but remember.... ingestion of any one of these things means an emergency visit to the vet, often with catastrophic results.

So this year enjoy the blessings of the season, but keep a watchful eye on your four legged family.

Dog breath

As soon as you hear the words “Dog Breath” very powerful images (and odors) come to mind. Bad breath in dogs means a build up of tarter, plaque and bacteria. Dental disease has a significant negative impact on the health and life span of your dog or cat. By the age of three many dogs and cats have enough dental disease to cause pain, bone loss and severe gingivitis. Teeth can loosen, crack, or become abscessed at their roots, and the bacteria on decaying teeth can cause kidney or heart problems. By the time you smell “dog breath” it is too late to brush away the problem.

Anesthesia, x-rays and a complete mouth exam are the only way to get to the bottom of many pet dental problems. At Victor Vet Care we use the safest anesthesia possible with constant monitoring of your pet’s vital signs. We use digital dental x-rays to give us the fastest information about the health of tooth roots. Our highly skilled staff completes the exam, cleaning and any procedures necessary quickly and safely. Your pet will go home with a healthy mouth and fresher breath!

The next time your dog gives you a “kiss” take a peek under those lips, they could be hiding a painful disease. Give us a call at Victor Vet Care to schedule an exam or dental cleaning, we are always glad to help. 585-398-7373

Ticked OFF!

TICKS = YUCK Most people feel this way about ticks, they don’t like them and they don’t want to talk about them. Thanks to Mother Nature ticks are here to stay and we all need to know how to live with ( without ) them.

The most important thing to know about ticks is that they survive and can bite during the winter months! Many people think that winter will kill off ticks. While they are less active when the temperatures are below 35, they recover quickly and look for blood meals when the temps go up even a little. Ticks will use ground leaf cover to insulate themselves from the cold temperatures and because of that they are ready to roll when an animal walks by.

The second most important thing to know about ticks is to use prevention all year-round! Here at Victor Vet Care we use Bravecto as a very effective flea and tick prevention. Just one chewable tablet kills fleas and ticks for 3 months. We also have the Seresto flea and tick collars. For dogs that don’t mind wearing a snug collar it does a great job at killing fleas and ticks for 8 months.

Don’t be fooled by the topical knock off brands, call us today for your prescription strength medication. 585-398-7373

Did you over do it?

WOW- Thanksgiving Day and all that goes with it!

Turkey, gravy and all the trimmings. Delicious for us but can cause lots of problems for your pets. A late night raid of the garbage will lead to a trip to the vet tomorrow! Turkey bones and rich trimmings can cause stomach upset, pancreatitis or even intestinal obstruction. Please give us a call at Victor Vet Care 398-7373. We will be waiting for you call on Friday.

Being Thankful

This year especially I have a lot to be thankful for. I have an amazing new veterinary clinic and an incredible staff of dedicated, hard working people. I am endlessly thankful for the support of my family who sometimes get the short end of my time. And of course I am humbled and grateful for the constant support of my friends and clients.

Sometimes being thankful is more than words, sometimes it is taking the time to appreciate the soft purr of the kitty on your lap, or the gentle nuzzle of the pooch by your side. If you look into their eyes you can see that they want nothing more than to be with you and make you happy (that is of course after they have been fed, walked and played with - lol). Pets bring more than responsibility to our lives, they bring a sense of belonging, a sense of calmness and ultimately unconditional love. I am THANKFUL for the blessings pets bring to my life.

So this season take a few minutes out of your crazy schedule to sit down and spend a few minutes with your 4 legged friend. You will be glad you did.

WOW, it's hot outside!

It seems like only a few weeks ago I was writing about how cold it was outside and the dangers of frigid temperatures to our furry friends.  Well, as everything does, times have changed all too quickly.  With the forecasted temperatures well into the upper 90's and Heat index's above that it is time to review how to make your "hot dog"  a "cool cat".  Cats and Dogs do not sweat like we do so keeping cool is much harder for their bodies.  Panting is the most significant way dogs have to cool themselves as they try to quickly pass cooler air over the surface of their tongue.  Cats in general do not pant so if your cat is panting it could be a sign of a serious problem and please call a veterinarian for assistance.

Here are some ways to keep everyone cool on a hot day:

  • If possible keep pets indoors during the hottest part of the day; usually 10-3
  • Keep plenty of water available for your pets to drink, dehydration is a real threat
  • If your pet must be outside provide shade for them 
  • Keep activities to a minimum (don't play fetch in the hot sun)
  • Many dogs will enjoy a kiddie pool to cool off
  • Be EXTREMELY careful of hot pavement!  If you wouldn't walk on it in bare feet they shouldn't either.  Their foot pads can be burnt by pavement.
  • Air conditioning is great, but if you don't have that the next best thing is a fan and moving air.
  • Overweight dogs and cats are at higher risk for over heating, they are carrying and extra layer of warmth!
  • Short face dogs and cats (Boxers, Bulldogs, Pugs, Himalayans etc) are EXTREMELY sensitive to hot humid weather.  They do not exchange air as efficiently as long nose dogs and cats and their throats are prone to swelling.  PLEASE keep any dog or cat with breathing difficulties as cool as possible.
  • Heat stroke in dogs is life threatening!  If your dog becomes lethargic and unresponsive after being out in the sun it is an EMERGENCY.  Once their core temperature begins to climb they may not survive.  Cool them down with cool no cold water and get them to a Veterinarian ASAP! 

Remember if you are too hot so is your pet!  Enjoy the outdoors, but keep an eye on your furry friend when the temperatures soar.


Practicing Fear Free

 I am so excited to bring such a wonderful service to my community.  Practicing Fear Free methods means separate cat and dog waiting and exam rooms.  It means calming music and aromatherapy.  It means LOTS of treats to help keep our friends happy and distracted.  It means a softer rubber floor for older arthritic dogs.  For some people this will seem like a lot of frill, but for many patients it will be the first time they have been to see a veterinarian and not left terrified.  

This has truly been an amazing week.  I had at least 3 patients this week who were nervous coming into the hospital and they all left much more comfortable and had full exams and treatments while they were here.  Fear Free methods really work!

This is how I have always wanted to practice veterinary medicine: top notch medicine and service while having fun and making my patients happy.  Visitors are always welcome to stop in, but please make an appointment if you are bringing your furry friends.  We can wait to meet you!

Fight or Flight!

So what is this thing called Fear Free Veterinary Practice?

The veterinary profession has finally realized that if we want to do more to help pets and owners we can't stress the heck out of them in the name of "help".  When a pet is fearful, anxious, or stressed it will begin down a cascade of emotions that end in Fight or Flight, which is to say that they either hide in the corner of an exam room or they become aggressive to protect themselves.  Fear Free practices attempt to head off the fear cascade by making the office, the staff, the exam room, and the veterinarian positive interactions, erasing the fearful memories of past vet visits.  

Grocery stores have been doing this for years by playing soft soothing music and baking bread or cookies or some other delicious item that brings up positive memories in the shopper.  At Victor Vet Care we use delicious aromas like bacon and shrimp that dogs and cats are crazy about to help reduce anxiety before the visit even begins.  Calming pheromones are diffused around the office and music designed to be soothing to the cat or dog ear is played during your visit.  Yummy treats are used to reinforce the positive experience of the exam.  Behind the scenes special attention is paid to many details such as the color scheme of the walls and enzyme neutralizers to clean the exam rooms between each visit.  We want you and your pet to be as relaxed as possible.  Quite frankly, it makes our job easier too!

Erasing years of frightening memories doesn't happen over night.  In some cases it will take several visits and the use of different strategies to replace bad memories with good ones.  Some very fearful pets may need calming medication to help relax them, these can be sent home ahead of the visit so they are more effective.  On rare occasions, an extremely fearful or aggressive pet may need sedation to be able to handle and examine them thoroughly.  In these cases reversible injectable medications can be used very safely.  Occasionally it may be best to stop a visit and have the pet return when it is calmer.  Each visit has the goal of reducing or stopping the waterfall of fear that pets have been feeling for years.

By treating you and your pet like Friends we can prevent the Fight or Flight instinct.