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National Pet Obesity Awareness Day

October 13th is National Pet Obesity Awareness Day! Just like in humans, pet obesity is a serious health issue that can lead to other concerning medical conditions. Here are some quick facts and tips for keeping your furry kiddos in tip-top shape!

How common is obesity in cats and dogs?

Obesity is the most common chronic health condition in cats and dogs in the U.S. Vets and pet parents alike know that the majority of the pets we see today are unfortunately obese.

This is a huge issue in cats especially. We know fluffy kitties are cute! But we want them to stay healthy to!

How do I know if my pet is obese?

We have some handy, dandy charts for that! The key thing to look for in our furry friends is they want to have a waist like most people want to have a waist. So standing above them and looking down, you should see that waist. It should also be visible from the side!

You should be able to feel your pet’s ribs but NOT see them all except in very thin breeds like Greyhounds (dog) and Sphynxes (cat.

Consequences of Pet Obesity

Obesity in pets, just like in people, leads to several concerning health conditions. Below I have listed some of the more common conditions and how they affect your pet’s overall health.

Arthritis

Arthritis and joint pain are usually the first conditions we see secondary to obesity. Extra weight puts a lot of extra stress on the joints, thus leading to inflammation and pain. We can manage with medications as needed but getting those pounds off are most effective!

Diabetes

Diabetes is the next most common, long-term effect of obesity in our pets. Having so much fat in the body leads to blood sugar regulation issues. That means we will have to monitor their blood sugar levels and they will need insulin injections and/or special food.

Heart Disease

Heart disease is very common in our overweight pets. Once the heart is damaged, it is permanently damaged. That means while we can medically manage it, we cannot undo it.

Heart disease is usually treated with lifelong medications, x-rays, and exams.

How do I put my pet on a diet?

We have all been on diets and they are NOT fun. On the bright side, we are in total control of what and how much our pets eat thus, dieting is pretty simple. We recommend the following steps:

  1. Decrease your pet’s daily amount of food and decrease it by a quarter (ex: If your pet eats 1 cup of food a day, start feeding them 3/4 cup)
    • Yes it is highly recommended to measure their food every time!
  2. Replace that quart of their food with low-calorie, yummy filler food:
    • Boiled sweet potatoes
    • Defrosted carrot slices
    • Defrosted green beans
    • Boiled white meat chicken
  3. No treats!! We have all had our diets ruined by sneaking a brownie or a donut. Let’s be more successful with our pets!
  4. EXERCISE!! Whether we like it or not, exercise is huge for weight loss. Even if it is only throwing the ball, playing with a laser, or short walks, some exercise is better than no exercise!
Just for Fun

Case of the Month

Meet Stripes!

Stripes is an 8-week-old kitten whose new owners found last week. With her owners’ permission, we thought this was a good case to share!

Last week

Stripes was very lethargic, wouldn’t stand, eat, or drink! She had fleas, ear mites, and was crying out. We took x-rays (see below) and very quickly found out what happened to poor Stripes. Can you figure it out?

Right lateral view of Stripes on x-ray

What do you you see wonky in this image? Hint: Look at the head!

Here is what we found!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The green bracket shows us blunt force trauma on the back of the skull (she got hit really hard on the head) and what looks like a probable fracture in her neck.

What does that mean?

Stripes had severe neurologic signs (eyes flicking, crying, unable to stand, no reflexes in her limbs) because she got hit in the back of the head and neck so hard she had a concussion, a couple fractures, and serious pain in that area. That’s why she couldn’t walk and everything else.

What’s next?

Neck and skull fractures in very young animals tend to heal pretty quickly with intense TLC. We gave her medications for pain, to decrease the swelling, and strict instructions for food/water by syringe every few hours and such.

What about now?

Check out the x-rays we took today! Stripes is trying to walk, has normal reflexes, immediately rubs and purrs to say hi! She can even eat and drink on her own!! Thanks to her wonderful new owners, Stripes is healing up very well! She does still have side-to-side swaying of her head and is unsteady. These symptoms will probably improve to a certain extent but she might stay a little neurologic but she can still live a happy, wonderful life!

Right lateral of Stripes on x-ray

The bright white at the back of her head is new bone growth to heal over those fractures! Her neck bones are much more normally spaced out now although it still has some healing to do.

Take-home Points

A broken neck is NOT always a death sentence! Stripes obviously had a rough start to her life but, she found an absolutely wonderful home! Her progress would NOT have happened without such wonderful nursing care at home!!

Stripes & myself (Dr. Alisa Boomer) this morning
FYI, Great Products

We have a new app: Meet Televet!

We have had our former app, Pet Pro Connect for awhile now but it is getting a MAJOR upgrade! Pet Pro Connect is becoming Televet!! Here is what you need to know.

What is it?

Televet is our new client communications app! It can be downloaded as an actual app or accessed via our website! It has several classic and new functions for both our clinic and our clients:

  • Request appointments
  • Request refills
  • Message our team directly via text message
  • Sign pre-anesthetic (and more) paperwork ahead of time
  • Automatic reminders straight to your phone or email
  • View & request medical records
  • Much more!

How do we switch to the new app?

This is the best part, you don’t really have to! The new features can already be found on our website (see below) and can be accessed by anyone with an internet connection.

As far as the mobile app goes, please feel free to continue using your Pet Pro Connect app! It will slowly transition to include more and more of the new features until the new app comes out. At that point, when you open the app, it will redirect you to download the new app. Easy peasy!

A quick how-to guide for finding the app:

We are so excited to bring this technology to you & bring Mannford Animal Clinic into the technological age!


Questions? Please feel free to message us or give us a call at (918)865-4733!

Alert, FYI

Local Surge in Canine Kennel Cough

The Mannford-area is experiencing a drastic increase in canine Kennel Cough cases the last few weeks. We thought it appropriate that we take a moment and share what it is, what to look for, and what we can do about it.

What is Canine Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is similar to the common cold in that it is very contagious, usually mild, and is caused by a variety of “bugs”. It is very, very contagious and is transmitted by any droplet transfer: coughing, sneezing, nose-touching, etc.

Kennel Cough Symptoms

Kennel cough is usually mild in healthy animals however, symptoms can be quite irritating to the pet and your family. Common symptoms include the following:

  • cough
  • gagging
  • nose and/or eye discharge
  • fever
  • loss of appetite
  • lethargy

These symptoms usually start out quite mildly, but a consistent, hacking cough that may end in gagging is the most common symptom we see. Unfortunately, this is also how the disease is spread.

How do we treat it?

Treatment of Kennel Cough is focused on clearing out bacteria causing the symptoms, bacteria that could worsen the disease (lead to pneumonia), and ease the symptoms. Treatment usually consists of oral antibiotics, mild oral steroids for the cough, with or without cough syrup if it is severe enough. There are many methods of management at home as well (see below) that can ease your dog’s symptoms.

Good news, we can prevent Kennel Cough!

There is a vaccine for Kennel Cough! As a bonus, it is an oral vaccine, so not pokes for Fido. It is recommended to be given yearly, although some facilities that house several animals at once (groomers, boarders, animal hospitals, etc) require it to be administered every 6 months, depending on risk levels.

Do we have Kennel Cough vaccines?

We absolutely do! Calling ahead is required however, we do routinely stock and administer Kennel Cough vaccines!

How old does my dog need to be to receive the Kennel Cough vaccine?

Your puppy must be older than 8 weeks!

Who is most at risk for Kennel Cough?

Dogs that have not been vaccinated, that are around unvaccinated animals are at the highest risk:

  • Grooming facilities
  • Boarding facilities
  • Training classes
  • Dogs that run free in the country
  • Dogs that share fences with other dogs

Questions? Want to schedule an appointment? Please give us a call at (918)865-4733!

Behavior, Celebrate

Is your pet afraid of fireworks? We know what to do!

Pets are very commonly scared of fireworks, just like babies. From their perspective, there a lot of very loud sounds & bright lights. They are not familiar with these sounds & lights, thus anxiety occurs. We are here to help them stay calm and enjoy the festivities with us!


HOW DO I KNOW IF MY DOG IS ANXIOUS?

Severe anxiety is usually obvious, but there are quite a few more subtle signs that come before full-blown panic such as:

  • Lip licking repetitively
  • Ears pinned down to the head
  • Hair/hackles standing up along back
  • Pacing
  • Not wanting to eat

There are more severe symptoms that can be quite alarming such as:

  • Digging
  • Destructive behavior: chewing on walls/shoes/etc, crashing through windows, scratching at doors, etc
  • Sudden aggression, especially with other pets

What can you do at home to help calm your pet?

You can do many things to help alleviate your pet’s stress. In a perfect world, we would remove whatever is stressing them. Unfortunately, we can’t really stop the Fourth of July, but we can make it easier on them.

Give them a safe place

If we give them a safe place to hide, that usually helps alleviate stress. Finding them a quiet, dark, cozy places such as:

  • Covering their kennel with a blanket
  • Putting some blankets & toys in a closet
  • Hiding under the bed
  • Anywhere they feel safe

Giving them comfort

If your pet is asking for pets & cuddles, absolutely love on them! But some pets just want to hide & be alone. That is okay too! What is most important is giving them whatever they need!

What if that isn’t cutting it?

Sometimes, despite our best efforts, our pets stress levels are too high to manage at home. The noise & excitement of fireworks is a lot of stress for them.

But there is hope! We have many pharmaceutical options that result in varying degrees of relaxation. Of course, if needed, we can help them sleep, but usually a little dose of anxiety medication helps them relax.

If you would like to explore pharmaceutical options, please give us a call to make an appointment!