Category Archives: Services

Should You Spay or Neuter Your Pet?

Pet Neutering and Spaying Benefits & Side Effects

When it comes to spaying and neutering our pets, owners have many different opinions. Some feel that they are taking away the “manhood” of their male pets, and some owners feel that their ladies should be able to have babies of their own before being fixed. The truth is, we as owners tend to be rather anthropomorphic, we put our own feelings and opinions onto our animals. The fact is, our pets would generally be healthier and would be safer being spayed or neutered.


Should I Get My Pet Spayed?

shutterstock_183407687To make a more informed decision about the procedure, it would help to understand just what happens during a spay (ovariohystectomy) and a neuter (castration). Females are spayed, and involves the removal of the internal reproductive organs, namely the two ovaries and the uterine body. The earliest age at which spaying is done in the veterinary hospital setting is around six months of age. If done before a female dog’s first heat (around 8 months in a small breed dog, later in a larger breed), spaying greatly reduces her risk of developing mammary cancer later in life. For cats, there is no difference in risk for mammary cancer. Also, a spay eliminates the risk of developing a pyometra, or infected uterus, which can be life-threatening for cats and dogs. Spaying can be done in the traditional way, with a scalpel blade or surgical laser, or even laparoscopically. There have been recent studies that are very early in their research that suggest that spaying early, as in before the first year, can increase a dog’s risk of osteosarcoma later in life. Again, these studies are still young in their development.


Animal Castration Risks

Castration involves surgically removing the male internal reproductive organs, or the testes. It is typically done around six months of age or later in a typical hospital setting. Removing this source of testosterone will help to reduce roaming of males in search of female in heat, thereby reducing the risk of being hit by a car and other dangers. In dogs, it also eliminates the risk of developing various testicular cancers and other conditions that may occur with the presence of extra testosterone. Benign prostatic hypertrophy is a condition in dogs in which the prostate, under the influence of testosterone, enlarges and can make urination difficult and painful. It is cured by castration. Again, there are studies that show that there is a higher incidence of prostatic cancer in castrated males versus intact males, but there may be other factors involved.


In general, if one is not planning on breeding their pets, it is recommended that they be spayed or neutered. If you have any questions or concerns or need advice, please do not hesitate to ask the doctors at Rhawnhurst Animal Hospital. We would be more than happy to sit down with you to discuss the option best suited for your fur baby.

Pet Dental Care

Reasons For Pet Dental Care

shutterstock_75325276Dental care for pets is just as important as it is for people!

Dental care for your pet is extremely important. Periodontal disease is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats and is entirely preventable. Here are a few facts about dental pain and disease so you can make an informed decision about a dental visit for your pet.

What is periodontal or dental disease?

Periodontal disease is a progressive inflammation of the supporting structures around the teeth.

What causes periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease starts when bacteria form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals in the saliva bond with plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria work their way under the gums and cause gingivitis, which is an inflammation of the gums. These bacteria can then travel in the bloodstream to infect the heart, kidneys, and liver.

How is dental disease diagnosed?

Dental disease is diagnosed by examining the teeth and supporting structures while the pet is under anesthesia. Some pet dental diseases can be reversed such as gingivitis through dental cleaning and polishing. Loss of tooth attachment and bone loss cannot be reversed.

shutterstock_169577594What are the signs of Pet Dental Disease and Pain:

        • Bad breath

            • Redness or bleeding along the gum line

                • Drooling, which may be tinged with blood

                    • Difficulty chewing

                        • Facial swelling, especially under the eyes

                            • Loose or missing teeth

                          Schedule your pet’s dental consultation with one of veterinarians now to see if your pet qualifies for our 20% OFF Routine Dental Promotion. It’s a quick, easy and important way to prevent serious problems.


                          In case you didn’t mark your calendar, August 22nd is Take Your Cat to the Vet Day and it is a great time to remind everyone about the importance of preventive care. You wouldn’t dream of skipping your kids’ doctor appointments, so why should your cat’s veterinary check-ups be any different?

                          The fact is cats get sick too! While they are masters at hiding illness, they also suffer from many of the same disease as their canine and human counterparts.

                          Here are the top 5 reasons routine vet visits are a vital part for your cat to live a long, healthy life. You might not know that:

                          5 Reasons for Cat Checkups

                          1. Cats age more rapidly than humans. A cat reaches the approximate human age of 15 shutterstock_120813622during its first year, and then 24 at age 2. Each year thereafter, they age approximately four “cat years” for every calendar year. So your 8-year-old cat would be 48 in human years. Veterinary care is crucial because a lot can happen in four “cat years,” which is why yearly visits are so important.


                          2. Cats are masters at hiding illness. Cat’s natural behaviors make them excellent at hiding how they feel when they are sick or in pain. Your cat could be developing a health condition long before you notice anything is wrong. Veterinarians are trained to spot changes or abnormalities that could be overlooked and detect many problems before they advance or become more difficult to treat.


                          3. Over 50% of cats are overweight or obese. Your veterinarian will check your cat’s weight at every visit and provide nutritional and enrichment recommendations to help keep your cat at an ideal weight. Just a few extra pounds can put cats at risk for diabetes; heart, respiratory, and kidney disease; and more.


                          4. Preventive care is better than reactive care. Information discussed, along with a thorough physical examination, provides you and your veterinarian with a plan to help your cat remain healthy. Regular exams can help avoid medical emergencies since veterinarians can often detect conditions or diseases that may affect your cat’s health long before they become significant, painful, or more costly to treat.


                          5. Kittens have 26 teeth, while adult cats have 30. That equates to a lot of dental care! Periodontal disease is considered the most prevalent disease in cats three years of age and older. Often there are no obvious signs of dental disease. Most cats with dental disease still eat without a noticeable change in appetite! Discuss your cat’s teeth at their routine preventive care veterinary visit.

                          National Pet ID Week – April 17-23, 2016

                          Is your dog or cat microchipped? In a study of more than 7,700 stray animals at animal shelters, only 22% of dogs and less than 2% of cats that were not microchipped were reunited with their owners. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52% and for cats it was about 38.5%. The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) have joined together to create a day for reminding pet owners to have their pets microchipped and to keep the registration information up-to-date. “National Check the Chip Day” is this Friday, August 15th.

                           

                          What Is Pet Microchipping?

                          A microchip is a small, electronic chip enclosed in a glass cylinder that is about the size of a grain of rice. Instead of running on batteries, the microchip is designed to be activated by a scanner that is passed over the area and then it transmits radio waves that send the identification number to the scanner screen. Microchips are also designed to work for 25 years.

                          Implanting the microchip is as simple as a quick injection between the shoulder blades and can be done in a routine appointment as no surgery or anesthesia is required. An additional benefit to having your dog microchipped is that you can purchase a lifetime license for your dog. This eliminates having to remember to purchase a dog license annually.

                           

                          Updating Pet Microchip Details

                          You can take advantage of the day by making an appointment with us to have your pet microchipped where we will immediately register the chip. If your pet is already microchipped, you can check the chip’s registration information by going to the manufacturer’s database and making sure everything is up-to-date. Most of the time if an animal is microchipped and not returned to their owner, it’s because the information is incorrect or there isn’t any information provided.

                           

                          Dog Tags vs. Pet Microchipping

                          A microchip does not replace identification tags or rabies tags. Identification tags are the easiest and quickest way to process an animal and contact the owner. If the pet is not wearing a collar or tags, or if either the collar or ID tag is lost, a microchip may be the only way to find a pet’s owner. Rabies tags allow to others to quickly see that your pet is vaccinated against the disease. It is more difficult to trace a lost pet’s owners with rabies tags as it can only be done when veterinary clinics or county offices are open. Microchip databases are online or can be reached through the phone 24/7/365.

                          You can use this useful flyer from the AVMA to keep a record of your pet’s microchip number and manufacturer.