Archive for January, 2012

Advantage Multi for Dogs … Get 2 FREE doses when you purchase 6 doses!

January 31, 2012

Greyscale picture of Robert Hooke's drawing of...Flea and tick season may be months away but we recommend a year round parasite prevention program.  Advantage Multi® for Dogs, one convenient topical application, helps to keep your pet healthy in the following ways:

Now through February 15, 2012, purchase 6 doses of Advantage Multi for Dogs and get 2 FREE doses! We want to help you take care of your pet and your family.  Call us today at (614)888-4050 for more details and information!

Frostbite & Hypothermia: Two additional winter concerns for your pet.

January 20, 2012

English: Arlo, a 13-week old Bernese Mountain ...

You can also keep an eye out for two serious conditions caused by cold weather. The first and less common of the two is frostbite. Frostbite happens when an animal’s body gets cold and pulls all the blood from the extremities to the center of the body to stay warm. The animal’s ears, paws, or tail can get cold enough that ice crystals can form in the tissue and damage it. The tricky thing about frostbite is that it’s not immediately obvious. The tissue doesn’t show signs of the damage to it for several days.

If you suspect your pet may have frostbite, bring him into a warm environment right away. You can soak his extremities in warm water for about 20 minutes to melt the ice crystals and restore circulation. It’s important that you don’t rub the frostbitten tissue, as the ice crystals can do a lot of damage to the tissue. Once your pet is warm, wrap him up in some blankets and take him to the veterinarian. Your veterinarian can assess the damage and treat your pet for pain or infection if necessary.

Hypothermia, or a body temperature that is below normal, is a condition that occurs when an animal is not able to keep her body temperature from falling below normal. It happens when animals spend too much time in cold temperatures, or when animals with poor health or circulation are exposed to cold. In mild cases, animals will shiver and show signs of depression, weakness and become lethargic. As the condition progresses, an animal’s muscles will stiffen, his heart and breathing rates will slow down, and he will stop responding to stimuli.

If you notice these symptoms, you need to get your pet warm and take him to your veterinarian. You can wrap him in blankets, possibly with a hot water bottle or an electric blanket. As always, remember to wrap hot items in fabric to prevent from burning the skin. In severe cases, your veterinarian can monitor your pet’s heart rate and blood pressure and give warm fluids through an IV.

Give us a call today at (614) 888-4050 if you suspect your pet has been subjected to prolonged cold temperatures and may be suffering from frostbite or hypothermia!

Meet Ashley Ashbrook, Boarding Tech at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

January 18, 2012

Ashley Ashbrook, Boarding Technician at Animal Hospital of Polaris

Ashley Ashbrook has a demanding job.  She is a boarding technician at Animal Hospital of Polaris.  It’s her responsibility to provide individual attention to each of our doggie daycare and extended stay visitors.  It isn’t easy getting to know each pet’s wants and needs, but it comes naturally to Ashley.

Ashley, what do you like most about your job?
I like getting to know the animals on a very one-on-one level, making sure I make them happy and understand the need that each one requires.  I love forming the “unspoken bond” and watching how much owners really love their pets.

What is the hardest part?
Seeing the sick or injured pets is hard.  I do my best to get their mind off of it.  Also, seeing pets go home.  But, I’m very glad they all have such great owners who bring them to AHOP!

Do you have pets?
I have two pets. Mine is a Papillion named Gizmo.  He is the best!  My husband’s dog is a Chihuahua mix named Bo.  They both love to play!

Do you have a favorite pet?
My favorite pets are my own, but each dog/cat has a spot in my heart.  I love wolves and Huskies.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
I have a daughter that’s two years old.  I love how well she also bonds with the animals.  During my free time I enjoy helping out local dog shelters.

Be sure to say “hi” to Ashley next time you are at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

Winter care tips for your pet!

January 14, 2012
Red coated dog

We realize that although you may be spending more time indoors over the next couple of months, but your pet is still in need of care to keep their coat and skin healthy.  Below are some suggestions for caring for your pet during these cold (outside) and warm (inside) climates:

Winter pet care:

* Brush your dog vigorously and regularly. The air in most houses becomes dry during the colder months, which depletes moisture from dog skin and fur. Brushing improves skin, coat and circulation.

* A thick-coated dog typically needs grooming in cold weather. The fur can get wet and matted, making it an irritant. Clean fur lofts and holds air in a manner similar to layering clothes, thus helping the animal stay warm.

* Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter. Leave the coat longer for more warmth. When you bathe your dog, completely dry him before taking him out for a walk.

* Use fatty acid supplements during the winter, ideally starting several weeks before cold weather sets in, to help skin and coat.

* If your dog engages in a lot of outdoor activities, increase his food supply to help keep his coat thick and healthy.

Winter in Ohio is tough on our pets too!

January 12, 2012

Windshield washer fluid is poisonous to pets

While we are experiencing warmer weather for Ohio in January (did you see all of the people out jogging, taking their pet for a walk and even riding their bicycles?), we do want to take this opportunity to remind you that winter is a hard time of year for our pets.

The snow and ice (when it arrives) is particularly hazardous for those pets who already struggle with arthritic conditions and mobility issues.  Please exercise caution not only when taking your pet for a walk but if you happen to be able to let your pet into and out of the house independently.

Some additional safety concerns include:

* Do not leave antifreeze, coolant or windshield wiper fluid within reach. And do not let pets drink from puddles. These products taste appealing to pets but most are lethal to animals when ingested. So thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle. Also, keep your pets on leash outdoors and steer them far away from any suspect puddles.

* Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather. A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold. The animal can freeze to death. Of course, do not leave animals, or children, in cars during very warm weather either.

* Cats left outdoors and wild animals sometimes climb onto car engines or beneath cars to seek warmth. Please bang on the hood of your care honk the horn before starting the engine to warn cats away.

Give us a call today at (614) 888-4050 if you have any concerns with respect to your pet’s safety this winter season!

ALERT: Pet Food Recall

January 11, 2012
A supermarket's pet food aisle

Dry dog food manufacturers are continuing to recall bags of food due to high levels of aflatoxin.

Yet another manufacturer has announced a recall of dry dog food due to higher than acceptable limits of aflatoxin, and an additional manufacturer has issued new affected lot numbers from an earlier recall.

The recalls began Dec. 7, 2011, when Cargill Animal Nutrition announced that it was removing batches of its dry dog food (River Run and Marksman) from store shelves because of elevated levels of aflatoxin.

Since then, Proctor & Gamble (Iams puppy food), Advanced Animal Nutrition (Dog Power food) and now O’Neal’s Feeders Supply (Arrow Brand dog food) have all recalled batches of their dog food within the last three weeks.

O’Neal’s Feeders Supply of DeRidder, LA, announced Dec. 13, 2011 that it has recalled an entire year’s worth of dry Arrow Brand dog food due to corn with elevated levels of aflatoxin. The recall affects food manufactured between Dec. 1, 2010 and Dec. 1, 2011.

We have recommended Royal Canin products for many years and their commitment to research and development along with quality in their manufacturing process has repeatedly offered peace of mind.  Royal Canin puts the dog and cat first and tailor makes their food in line with your pet’s real nutritional needs. While Royal Canin might not be the lowest cost food option, the quality of the product is still an exceptional value considering their commitment to quality nutrition for your pet.  Ask us about maintenance diet options with Royal Canin as well as how their special lines of food may be best suited for your pet.

Meet Apryl Barton, DVM – Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris!

January 5, 2012

Dr. Apryl Barton, Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris

Apryl Barton, DVM is Associate Veterinarian at Animal Hospital of Polaris.  Apryl is extremely dedicated to her craft, and strives to provide the best possible care for pets and their owners.  She genuinely cares for every animal that comes through the door, which makes her an extremely valuable addition to the Animal Hospital of Polaris team.

Apryl, what do you like most about your job?
I love working with dogs and cats every day.  I also have the privilege of getting to work with the wonderful group of people that make up the staff at AHOP.

What is the hardest part?
There’s not a switch to turn my brain off at the end of my shift, so even though I may not be working, I’m always thinking about cases I’ve seen and trying to think of what else I need to do, what I might have forgotten, researching different diseases and treatments.

Do you have any pets?
Yes!  Kael is a four-year-old orange and white tabby cat.  He’s my first “baby.”  Bowser is a five-year-old Miniature Bulldog.  He was rescued after he ate a corncob and had an intestinal obstruction.

What is your favorite animal?
I love tigers, but if I had to choose between cats and dogs, I’m a crazy cat lady even if I only have one.

Tell us something interesting about yourself.
-I love cardiology.
-My hobbies include travel, reading, watching movies and TV.
-I would love to take piano and photography lessons.
-I loved living in Louisiana!  The culture and food were amazing. Go LSU Tigers!

When did you decide to become a veterinarian?
I always knew that I wanted to work with animals, but initially wanted to study animal behavior.  Through my undergrad coursework and after researching graduate schools for behavior, I decided to change my path to veterinary medicine.

What education/experience has brought you up to this point?
I worked with zoo and exotic animals throughout my undergraduate studies and when I decided to pursue vet med, I thought that I wanted to be a zoo vet.  After working at an excellent small animal practice before and throughout vet school, and after enjoying canine and feline medicine, I changed and decided to become a small animal practitioner.  After vet school I had the great fortune of doing a general small animal rotating internship at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine where I got additional training in emergency and specialty medicine.

What makes a good veterinarian?
My top priority is patient care; at the end of the day, I want to know that I did everything I could to help the patient I saw.  This may be as simple as trying to get a healthy pet that is in for their annual exam to be less anxious about being at the clinic, but every patient has their own unique needs that I try to pay attention to and address.  Being able to have a conversation and help my clients understand why I’m recommending certain things is also crucial.  Our pets are members of our family, and I want my clients to go home with the knowledge they need to understand how they can best take care of their family.  I also feel it is important to keep up with current procedures and therapies so that I can offer you the most up-to-date and best service possible.

What is the most important thing a pet caretaker can do in order to have a good relationship with a veterinarian?
Communication!  If my clients don’t understand something I’m talking about, I hope they will ask me to explain things differently, or provide them with reading material or reliable websites with the information they seek.  It’s important for a veterinarian and a client to discuss a treatment plan together so that their pet gets the care they need and that the client is comfortable with the services performed.

What are some misconceptions you’ve heard about veterinarians and vet care?
I hear from people occasionally that “If you want to make a lot of money, be a veterinarian,” or “Veterinarians recommend vaccines that aren’t necessary to take our money.”  I can assure you that neither of these statements is true.  The cost of veterinary school and the subsequent monthly loan payments are higher than most people (including most of my family members!) ever imagined, and our average national salaries are not as high as people think.  This is not a field anyone should go into if their goal is to make lots of money.  There is always debate, even amongst veterinarians about how often vaccines are needed, and there is no exact answer.  We recommend them based on our individual assessment of your pets’ risk and needs.

Any advice for pet owners?
Please use caution when trying to diagnose your pets from the Internet.  Every pet is different, and many websites are not accurate or up-to-date on their recommendations.  If you have concerns and want the best for your pet, call you veterinarian.

Please say “hi” to Apryl next time you visit Animal Hospital of Polaris!