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Friday, January 27, 2012

Beat the Heat

Beat the Heat with $15 Spaying & Neutering
Feb. 21-25, 2012

DPC Veterinary Hospital in Davie, FL will be participating in the county’s Beat the Heat program for cat spaying and neutering, as well as microchip implantation and vaccinations.
During the week of February 21-25th, 2012 the county will be sponsoring a program that will provide a $15 package for cat vaccinations and altering. If you are in the Fort Lauderdale area and have a cat in need of spaying or neutering, please contact the county as soon as possible to reserve your spot. Appointments are made through the county directly but the procedure is done here at our low cost spay and neuter clinic in Davie, Florida. 
Spaces are limited! Reservations are recommended by calling your corresponding county office:
Palm Beach County Animal Care & Control – 561-233-1261
Broward County Animal Care & Adoption – 954-359-1313 x 9271
Humane Society of Broward County – 954-895-3605
Humane Society of Greater Miami – 305-696-0800
Proof of residency is required. Cats must be 8 weeks of age or older.

Low Cost Spay and Neuter Packages in Davie
DPC Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer low cost spaying and neutering services as well as vaccination packages year-round. Currently, the Southeast Florida Region Spay/Neuter Coalition is sponsoring a program that will offer a special package that will be redeemable at our clinic. Proof of residency and a reservation are required. To make your appointment, contact your county at one of the numbers listed above.

The services include:-Spaying/neutering
-Rabies vaccine
-FVRCP vaccine

If you have any questions regarding the program, services offered or spaying/neutering please contact our office at 954-989-9879.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Kennel Cough

Kennel Cough

What Is Kennel Cough?

Kennel cough is a term loosely used to describe a complex of infections—both viral and bacterial—that causes inflammation of a dog’s voice box and windpipe. It’s a form of bronchitis and is similar to a chest cold in humans. Though it usually clears up on its own, kennel cough is highly contagious to other dogs.

What Are the General Symptoms of Kennel Cough?

A persistent dry cough with a “honking” sound is the main clue your dog’s caught kennel cough. In most cases, she’ll appear healthy except for the cough. Her appetite and activity level usually won't change, but don’t be alarmed if she gags and coughs up a white, foamy phlegm—these signs are often worse after exercise, or if she’s excited or pulls against her collar. Some dogs may also develop a fever and nasal discharge.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Kennel Cough?

If you suspect your dog has kennel cough, immediately isolate her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

How Did My Dog Catch Kennel Cough?

Dogs can catch kennel cough in several ways. It can spread through aerosols in the air, directly from dog to dog, or through germs on contaminated objects. Kennel cough is often spread in enclosed areas with poor air circulation—while boarding in a kennel or an animal shelter, for example, or through direct contact while sitting in a vaccination clinic, training class or dog-grooming facility.
Kennel cough is so contagious that your pet might even catch it from sharing a water dish at the dog park or by simply greeting another dog. Most kennels will not board your pet without proof of a recent vaccination against parainfluenza and bordetella, two of the main causes of kennel cough.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Kennel Cough?

Most often, dogs who have frequent contact with other dogs, especially in enclosed or poorly ventilated areas, are most prone to becoming infected. Young and unvaccinated dogs are also at higher risk.

How Is Kennel Cough Prevented?

The best way to prevent kennel cough is to prevent exposure. Vaccinations are also available for several of the agents known to be involved in kennel cough, including parainfluenza, bordetella and adenovirus-2. Ask your vet if these are recommended, and how often—but please keep in mind that vaccinations aren’t useful if a dog has already caught the virus.

How Is Kennel Cough Treated?

It’s smart to see your veterinarian if your dog develops a cough. In some cases, you may be advised to simply let kennel cough run its course and heed the following:
  • Dogs with kennel cough should be isolated from other dogs.
  • A humidifier or vaporizer can provide some relief. You can also allow your dog into the bathroom while you shower. The steam will help soothe her irritated breathing passages.
  • Avoid exposing her to cigarette smoke or other noxious, irritating fumes.
  • A cough suppressant or antimicrobial may be described. Your vet can be able to determine if they would be helpful to your dog.
  • If your dog pulls against her collar while being walked, replace it with a harness until the coughing subsides.
  • Supportive care is very important—be sure your dog is eating, drinking and in a stress-free environment.

How Long Does Kennel Cough Last?

In most cases, the signs of kennel cough gradually decrease and disappear after three weeks. Young puppies, elderly dogs and other immunocompromised animals may take up to six weeks or more to recover. In some cases, animals may remain infectious for long periods of time even after the symptoms have cleared up.

When Is It Time To See The Vet Again?

You should see some improvement in your dog’s condition within one week of treatment, but be alert to how long the symptoms last. If your dog has nasal discharge, is breathing rapidly, refuses to eat or seems lethargic, take her to the veterinarian right away. Serious cases of kennel cough can lead to pneumonia if left untreated.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dog compatibility

By Jennifer Angel of the NY Daily News

Dogs are great. They provide unconditional love no matter how poor, ugly, out of shape or goofy we are. Their tails still wag even when the world crashes down around them. They teach us patience, compassion, joy and consistency with a humble virtue, and only ask for a few pats on the head in return.
Dogs may be God’s gift to mankind, but which dog is right for your lifestyle? Being a responsible dog owner takes time and effort. Before you run out and get a pup, ask yourself if you are ready to make a commitment for the next ten years at least. Consider your current lifestyle and whether you are willing to change it to meet your dog’s needs.

Single lads and lasses
Single, active lifestyles can be a precarious situation for a dog.  Many singles are still young and put in extra hours at the office or to socialize. Dogs require an extreme amount of care, including many daily trips to potty, rigorous exercise and hefty vet bills. Some singles devote their entire life and paycheck to care for their canine, which is admirable, but not everyone is prepared to do this. If a dog is a commitment you are ready to make, consider your living situation and the amount of time you can devote to a doggy before you bring one home.

Size does matter
Most people operate under the false assumption that a small dog doesn’t need to exercise as frequently as a large dog. It actually works the opposite way. Small dogs come with endless energy to burn and a bladder to match their body size. Many smaller breeds are also very difficult to train and require constant reinforcement to avoid behavioral issues. The stature of a small dog may make it fit better physically in an apartment or condo, but their activity level sure does not. Many breeds of large dog on the other hand, are absolute couch potatoes, happy to sleep all day long. Although they may take up more space, they may also require less effort.

Family-friendly Fido
Almost all children beg their parents for a dog. Problems occur when parents do not have the time to care for a pup and their children, or choose the wrong breed for their family.  Research is one of the keys to happy dog ownership and choosing the right dog for you. Read up on different breeds and their behavior with children. Some breeds seem to be better suited to live with kids than others. Many toy and small breed dogs are not the best option for families with small children. The smaller the size of the dog, the more fragile it is, making little, no yet coordinated children a bad fit. Some smaller breeds also have a tendency to be aggressive; little teeth and little children are also a bad combination. Activity level is also a major consideration for families who look to bring a pet into their home.  Although your children seem to have endless energy, it is doubtful they will spend it entertaining Fido at all times. Since you will more than likely be the dog’s primary care giver, ensure you have the time to spend in order to meet his needs.

Expand your options
Most people think ‘puppy’ when they consider adding a family member. There are other options though, than to purchase a puppy. First off, most puppies you purchase at a pet store come from puppy mills. Generally these pups are prone to medical issues due to poor breeding practices and should be avoided.  Your local animal shelter has a plethora of pets of every age ready to share their love.  If you are interested in a specific breed of dog, look up a local breed rescue organization and contact them to see if you qualify to rescue one of their dogs. The beauty of adopting an older dog is many come trained! If you don’t have the time for a puppy, consider adopting a mature dog. They have just as much love to give as a pup, but usually need a home more desperately.

Yet another option
If you are still not quite sure if you can be a good dog mommy or daddy, there is another option. Most rescue organizations whether they are breed specific or not, are in dire need of foster homes. Take a trial run at dog ownership and help a needy pet at the same time. Most foster situations last a few days to a few weeks and can give you an opportunity to test your dog parenting skills.  If you are already sure you’d make an excellent parent for a pooch, fostering is a great way to narrow down the breed, size and sex right for you.

In the end
Welcoming a dog into your family can be a rewarding and fulfilling experience, if done correctly. Keep in mind a dog is a living, breathing creature, not an accessory. They need a ton of attention and care you must provide. If you can provide this, your world and theirs will be much more enjoyable. There are some great websites out there that will assist you in finding the right pooch for you. Petfinder.org has a wealth of resources as well as shelter listings and rescue organizations to help in your search.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

A second dog may not be right for you.

A Second Dog May Not Be Right For You
By Susan Hatfield

Last week, I visited with a family who wanted to adopt a second dog. I asked why, and they said because they didn’t have enough time to spend with the dog they already had and wanted a playmate to keep him company. Of course, the last thing they needed was another dog. After some counseling on the phone regarding priorities, they realized adopting a second dog was not the answer. The family decided to ask our help in finding a more appropriate home for the dog they already had as no one in the family really had any time to devote to the animal in the first place.

Unfortunately, we receive many calls like this one. Families need to carefully consider all the pros and cons of adopting a second dog. First of all, are you looking for a puppy or an older dog? Puppies usually adapt more quickly whereas older dogs could take a bit longer to adjust. You need to be aware of “alpha,” or dominant, dogs. You certainly don’t want a situation where fighting could occur.

Consult with your veterinarian about any questions you have regarding canine behavior and tips on adopting a second dog. Some prefer a neutered male and spayed female as they feel two spayed females or two neutered males might not get along. I have to say, in my experience, I’ve never found a firm combination I could recommend. I think it just depends on the breed, characteristics, age, behavior traits, sex and taking the time to see which combination will work with your existing companion.

If you think you’ve found that special dog, I suggest the following tips:

  • Introduce the dogs outside on leashes on neutral ground, so you won’t have territorial issues. They will sniff and could possibly growl at first. Always use a positive voice and watch for those wagging tails. Walk around the area with the dogs still on leashes. Keep a short distance between the dogs so they can still sniff and see each other but cannot become tangled in the leashes should things become volatile.
  • If you think the first meeting went well, during the second meeting, let the dogs run together in an enclosed area while supervised. I think the most important aspect is patience. Have several meetings with both dogs to determine if it could be a long-term relationship. Take your time in selecting your second dog. If the two are “just not hitting it off,” then you might want to rethink that particular dog. There are many wonderful dogs just waiting to be adopted.
  • When you find the right dog, you, and your pets, will be a wonderful combination. Make sure not to favor one over the other. Feed them at the same time but in different dishes and, sometimes, different locations. If you’ve selected a puppy and have an older dog, make sure you give the older dog some quiet time away from all the rowdiness of the young pup.
  • Most important, spend time with them. Take them on walks and to the dog park. Play ball with them outside and let them snuggle up with the kids as they watch TV on Saturday morning. Make them a part of your family. Having two dogs gives you double the love, so enjoy.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Celebrity Pets!

Ever been stuck on what to name your new puppy or kitten? Take a look at what these celebrities have named their furry babies...

Ben Affleck - Martha Stewart
Christina Aguilera - Chewy & Cocoa
Clay Aiken - Raleigh
Jessica Alba - Nancy & Sid
Jennifer Aniston - Norman
Lucille Ball - Tinker Toy & Whoopee
Mischa Barton - Charlie
Halle Berry - Bumper & Petey
Selma Blair - Wink
Orlando Bloom - Essa & Sidi
Marlon Brando - Schlubber
Adam Brody - Penny Lane
Sandra Bullock - Poppy
Mariah Carey - Jackson P. Mutley
Kevin Costner - Rosalita
Courtney Cox - Hopper & Hardy
Tom Cruise - Joseph
Phyllis Diller - Phearless
Hilary Duff - Chiquita & Lola
Jake Gyllenhaal - Atticus & Boo Radley
Jennifer Love Hewitt - Charlie
Paris Hilton - Tinkerbell,Tokyo Blu & Bambi
Jewel - George
Star Jones - Pinky
Ashley Judd - Buttermilk & Shug
Diane Lane - Milo
David Letterman - Bob & Stan
Liberace - Baby Boy & Lady Di
Lindsay Lohan - Chloe
Eva Longoria - Jinxy
Courtney Love - Lloyd
Madonna - Chiquita
Demi Moore - Louie
Mary Kate Olsen - Luca
Oprah - Arizona
Jack Osborne - Lola
Kelly Osborne - Boris & Piglet
Brad Pitt - Purty & Saudi
Natalie Portman - Charlie
Nicole Richie - Honey Child & Cleopatra
Don Rickles - Clown & Joker
Mickey Rourke - Loki
Ashlee Simpson - Blondie
Jessica Simpson - Daisy
Anna Nicole Smith - Mommie
Britney Spears - Bit Bit
Tori Spelling - Mimi La Rue
Martha Stewart - Teeney & Weenie
Superman - Krypto
Liv Tyler - Neal & Mylo
Naomi Watts - Bob & Chicken
Venus Williams - Jackie
Reese Witherspoon - Frank Sinatra
Judd Nelson - Tallulah Bighead
Audrey Hepburn - Mr. Famous
Matthew McConaughey - Miss Hudd
Drew Barrymore - Flossie
Minnie Driver - Bubba
Christina Aguilera - Chewy & Stinky
Beyonce - Munchie
Miley Cyrus - Roadie & Loco
Rihanna - DJ Oliver
Christina Ricci - Sheriff Steve Goldberg
Travis Barker of Blink182 - Biscuit
Adam Sandler - Meatball & Matzoball
Rachel Bilson - Thurmen Murmen

Sunday, November 13, 2011

5 ways to help your pet live longer

5 ways to help your pet live longer

We all want our pets to live long, healthy lives – and we'd all do just about anything to ensure that our cats and dogs can stay with us as long as possible. What five things can you do to keep your pet safe, happy, and by your side longer? We've listed them below, and chances are, you're probably on top of them already.

But one hint may surprise you…

Keep your furry friend indoors
Staying inside, or at least on a leash, protects your pet from
all kinds of dangers. Indoor living shields cats from infectious diseases; digestive upset caused by snacking on poisonous plants or other foreign objects; fights with other cats, dogs, wild animals, or mean humans; and speeding cars.

And as pets age, they can't regulate their body temperatures as effectively, making them more prone to serious weather-related ailments like heat stroke if they're outdoors too long.

Of course it's fine to walk your dog, and the occasional (closely supervised) feline foray into the yard isn't the end of the world. But it's particularly important for cats to do their toileting inside; that way, the humans can monitor them for signs of tummy upset, urinary-tract issues, and so on.

Putting a "catio" in your window for bird-watching purposes, and planting cat grass in pots, can bring the outside in -- without compromising Fluffy's health.

Watch his weight
Obesity in dogs and cats causes the same serious health problems that it does in humans – high blood pressure, breathing problems, diabetes, and joint pain. It's not easy to put a portly pet on a diet, but NOT doing so could shorten his lifespan (and from a practical – and more selfish – standpoint, you really don't want to have to give a cat daily insulin injections).

If your dog or cat is on the spherical side, enlist your vet's help to change his diet. Invest in new toys for your cat that will get him more active, and try switching from "free feeding" to controlled portions at specific meal times. Take dogs for longer or more frequent walks, and get strict about table scraps and extra biscuits.

Aging pets who have maintained normal weights for years may start to plump up as their metabolisms slow down. Changing your senior dog or cat's regular food to a formula that's higher in protein and lower in fat may help, and dogs may benefit from "nutriceutical" supplements. Again, consult with your vet.

Don't skip vet appointments
It's tempting to bail on the vet if your pet seems healthy – the exams, shots, and treatments can add up to a big yearly bill if you don't have pet insurance. But our pets can't tell us when they don't feel quite right, or whether that diarrhea is a passing thing or a symptom of something more serious. The vet CAN tell you – sometimes just by looking into your dog's eyes

As your pet ages, you may need to bring her in more frequently – every six months, instead of every year – for senior-wellness check-ups. Your vet is trained to spot conditions and concerns you can't see, and catching geriatric diseases or cancer early is the best way to find a treatment that time – quality time – to your pet's life.

Dental health is overall health
Most of these tips are common sense – but the importance of taking care of your pet's teeth may come as a surprise. It's the most common major health problem affecting cats and dogs, actually; the bacteria from dental and gum disease can travel elsewhere in their bodies, causing more serious issues.

With that said, we understand that you feel ridiculous brushing your cat's teeth. (And your cat feels even more ridiculous.) But it might seem less absurd if it adds years to your kitty's life. Check your pet's teeth and gums about once a week, if you can. Feed kibble and treats that promote dental health, and keep an eye out for signs of dental or gum disease, including bad breath, lethargy, decreased appetite, weight loss, and facial swelling. Call the vet if you think your cat or dog is having trouble eating due to mouth or tooth pain.

And yes, brush your pet's teeth – using specially formulated brushes and pastes, not "people products." Some pets grow to love the fish-flavored toothpaste; others will fight you tooth and nail. (Forgive the pun.) Even if it's a battle, remind yourself that it's worth fighting – bad teeth can reduce your dog's lifespan 2-4 years in some cases.

Spay and neuter your pets
Spaying or neutering your pet doesn't just prevent overpopulation. It can protect your pet down the line from various reproductive cancers  – of the prostate and ovaries, for instance. And some studies have shown that fixed pets live longer than "intact" pets, although scientists aren't quite sure why. 

We all love an adorable pile of puppies – but coo at pictures online, and get your pet spayed or neutered.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pancreatitis - It's preventable.

I cannot begin to tell you how many times a week I hear from clients that they see no problem giving "some people food" every now and then, because 'My pet has never had any problems.' or the even more popular.. 'If it's good enough for us, why isn't it good enough for them?'.. I'm going to tackle this today and plead my case using a patient we saw recently as a prime example.

On the 18th we saw a 1 1/2 year old Shiba Inu mix named Harriette, who was presented for vomiting. She had begun vomiting bile and was not interested in eating. When Dr. Bawa asked the client what Harriette's usual diet is, they replied with "Pedigree canned food" but then added that the pet was a "finicky eater" and that often they would give her hamburger meat, fish, rice or even milk. It was evident that she had no set diet and that giving her some table food was common practice in the household. She also received "many treats" on a daily basis. In addition to this, she was not currently vaccinated nor on any heartworm prevention. She was not spayed which made pyometra a very real suspicion. Parvo was also a possibility, as she had never received any vaccines. Harriette was in poor shape and the only way we were going to know what was going on with her would be by running diagnostics. Labwork would let us know if there were any viral components and what the liver and kidney values were. Radiographs would let us know if there was any foreign body obstruction. Unfortunately the owner could afford nothing. They declined all recommended treatment and had to leave with Harriette. We were obviously concerned.

I applied for CareCredit for them, which is a credit line issued solely for medical treatment. They were declined. I pressed them to find a co-signer or a family member who would apply for them and let them make the monthly payments. Thankfully after a few hours of worrying on both our part and the owner's, they returned with a generous family member who co-signed for them and reapplied. They were approved, for over three thousand dollars! It was a godsend.

We admitted Harriette immediately and began the needed diagnostics. The owners waited while we ran a full panel of in-house bloodwork. While the blood was running we took two abdominal radiographs. Wasting no time and wanting Harriette to feel better as soon as possible, Dr. Bawa and the nurses hooked her up to an IV and began administering fluids to combat her dehydration, as well as administering an injection of an anti-vomiting medication.

We had partial lab results quickly and it became apparent from the very beginning that something was very wrong. For starters - we had to redraw the blood because there was a layer of fat present in the blood sample itself. We did a blood glucose check and found that Harriette, despite her very young age, was displaying signs of ketoacidosis in addition to our previous suspicion of pancreatitis.

What is pancreatitis?
Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that causes the digestive enzymes to leak and the pancreas literally begins to digest itself. Symptoms include lethargy, vomiting, inappetance, pain, fever and dehydration.

What is ketoacidosis?
Ketoacidosis occurs when the body's failure to produce insulin goes unregulated for long enough that the body then begins burning fatty acids and producing acidic ketones that cause other complications.

To put into perspective what these issues have to do with Harriette's case -
Harriette's poor diet and other factors contributed to her developing diabetes. The pancreas produces insulin and when it is damaged the result is diabetes. A diabetic dog would then need to be regulated on insulin in order to compensate for the lack of insulin being produced by the pancreas. When diabetes is unregulated and insulin is not being given or given regularly, the result is ketoacidosis. During ketoacidosis the pancreas begins burning fatty acids in the place of the needed insulin, and puts out acidic ketones that cause complications and severe illness. It often proves fatal.

Harriette needed to get to a 24-hour emergency facility, and fast. She was going to need insulin, and hourly glucose checks. Her glucose when last checked at DPC was alarmingly abnormal. She began vomiting again upon discharge so we gave her another injection and prepared her for transfer to St. Francis Emergency Hospital.

She returned the following morning and while her glucose was improved, it was still far out of range. In addition to her continued nausea she remained completely uninterested in eating. We kept her on fluids to keep her hydrated and attempted force feeding. Poor Harriette was not doing very well. We continued to give her anti-vomiting medication and she again spent the night at the emergency clinic. Over the next 24 hours she continued to receive small doses of insulin as needed.

It was a long hard road but eventually Harriette's diabetes was regulated while she remained under constant care at St. Francis. All in all she was hospitalized for nearly a week. She began receiving regular insulin injections in an effort to regulate her diabetes and prevent future ketoacidosis. She was also put on a prescription food, Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat, because of her pancreatitis. Within 2 weeks from her discharge from the hospital she began experiencing grand mal seizures. We are unsure if the owner was diligently administering the insulin at home, but she was brought to the emergency clinic late in the evening and was unresponsive. She then had to be humanely euthanized.

This is one of the saddest cases I have experienced in my decade-long tenure in this field. A dog of less than 2 years of age should not experience this much illness and suffering in such a short period of time. I am not going to point fingers or play the blame game on the owners because they were truly concerned, overwrought and caring owners when they brought her to us. I cannot begin to imagine the guilt and anguish they feel over the loss of their beloved pet. What I want to convey with this story is that pancreatitis is very real, and can happen fast, and hard.

You may think it's okay to give your pet a little table food here and there. You may think.. oh they won't eat.. they must eat! So you give some steak, some rice, a little bit of hamburger.. Little do you know that all you are doing is slowly and subtly training your pet to beg and whine until they get the table food that they, of course, prefer. They don't know any better. If your pet is having difficulty eating or you have concerns with their diet.. contact the vet! Don't let this happen to your pet. It breaks our hearts as much as it breaks yours when we see a dog or cat suffering. Especially if it could have been prevented!

Meet Camper!

Meet Camper - Camper is an approximately four week only Chihuahua puppy we saw recently. He is truly a miracle story. Camper's (temporary) owner is an animal lover named Colette who was driving home from Clewiston when she noticed a suspicious man tossing something into a canal near the side of the road. She pulled her car over and noted that he became nervous and was looking around, obviously whatever it was that he was disposing of was inappropriate. She just had a feeling that something was not quite right.

After observing his behavior for a few minutes she approached him and noted that he had another small object wrapped in a towel and it looked as though he was trying to conceal it behind his back and was preparing to dispose of it as well. Upon closer inspection she noted that it was a tiny puppy, and she thankfully managed to snatch the small bundle from the stranger before he was able to toss the poor puppy into the water.

Aware of the possibility of being injured by the man, she said a few choice words to him but opted to take a photo of his license plate with her cellular phone and got back into her car. Unfortunately the local police informed her that without physically seeing what was first tossed into the water, and by her grabbing this second puppy before any harm was done, it was all hearsay and suspicion and nothing could be done. The bright side was that Camper was saved.

Colette, an animal owner and rescuer who also owns horses, gave Camper a milk substitute and some subcutaneous fluids and immediately made an appointment with us to have him checked out. She noted that he looked to be in bad shape - dirty, itchy, with patchy skin and defecating numerous long worms.

Dr. Horowitz clipped the dry, flaky patches and cleaned Camper with a diluted chlorhexidine solution , which is an antiseptic. We then applied Revolution, as he is too small for Advantage Multi. We also gave Camper some Drontal, an oral deworming tablet to take care of his parasites. Camper is on the road to feeling better, and is even gaining interest in puppy food!

Colette plans to foster Camper until he is large enough and healthy enough for adoption. We cannot begin to express our appreciation for her efforts and hard work in not only saving this puppy but offering him a good home and chance at life until he finds his forever family. It's incredible animal lovers like this that make us truly appreciate what we do here and the calibur of clients we have been blessed with. Thank you Colette for your courageous and selfless behavior! You are one of a kind.

Scrap Table Feeding

I don't feed my dog table scraps every day, but I do like to treat him around the holidays. Is that so bad?

As a general rule, giving animals too much people food sours their appetite for pet food, which is designed to contain all the nutrients they need to stay fit and healthy. If more than 10 percent of your dogs diet consists of table food, you may be inadvertently training him to beg and putting him at risk of weight gain, diabetes, and joint, cardiac and digestive problems. The current obesity epidemic in pets can be partly attributed to people's tendency to feed their animals treats. That said, I do "spoil" my own dog, Rusty, on special occasions with small portions of animal-friendly foods like boneless chicken, hamburger, or hot dogs - and he hasn't come to expect these treats at regular mealtimes. Indulge your pet sensibly with the following guidelines:

Choose carefully. Never give your dog or cat bones or fat trimmings: Cooked bones may splinter and either perforate or obstruct their intestines: raw bones carry bacteria that can cause infection. And fat can contribute to pancreatitis, a painful and dangerous condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed and unable to produce the enzymes that break down food. Other foods to keep your dog away from at holiday time are chocolate, cocoa, tea and some colas which all contain theobromine and can make dogs fatally ill; onions and garlic can cause anemia; grapes and raisins can lead to vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and lethargy; and macademia nuts, which can cause muscle swelling, pain and general distress. Your best bets are small pieces of boneless meat or vegetables.

Pick a better treat. Opt for freeze-dried liver or chicken jerky from the pet store. They're a healthier option, and some dogs may actually preferthem to table food.

Train him right. If your pet does start begging for food, you can break the habit: Arrange the chairs to block easy access to the table while you're eating. Don't leave food where your dog can reach it. Remember if your dog "steals" the sandwich you left on the coffee table that's your fault, not his. So rather than punishign him, maybe you need a swat on the nose as a reminder! Dogs will be dogs!

By Nicholas H. Dodman, B.V.M.S

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Employee Spotlight: Rainey Stahl

Today's employee spotlight is our head treatment nurse, Rainey. Rainey is a jack of all trades.. she has worked in our lab, as acting front desk manager, and her usual position - Treatment Nurse. The treatment nurse is a vital member of our veterinary team. As treatment nurse Rainey is responsible for caring for all hospitalized pets as well as patients whom are dropped off for procedures or diagnostics. She also does room appointments, assists the doctors and other nurses, and makes sure that all the pets in the hospital on that given day are fed, given their prescribed medications, and kept comfortable. Rainey truly excels in her position and we don't know what we would do without her! In addition to being a caring and experienced technician, she is also a pleasure to work with. She is known around the office for her positive attitude, great sense of humor, and warm personality. We love our Rainey!

Hi! My name is Rainey and I’m an animal lover and advocate. I have been employed at DPC for over 5 years now and time really flies at this fast paced clinic!
My primary position at DPC is treatment technician. It’s my responsibility to help hospitalized patients and make sure that they are constantly monitored and cared for. We work with a lot of rescue groups and I always have a sick or injured pet that depends on me for treatment and a little TLC! It is the most rewarding part of my job.
I thoroughly enjoy helping sick pets and nursing them back to health. The knowledge that my dedication and hard work makes a difference is what makes my job worthwhile. Another important part of my job is being a supportive and reliable resource to my coworkers and to the veterinarians at DPC. In addition to my duties as technician, I am frequently helping out at the front desk. So you may see me in an exam room or behind the counter! I am truly a care giver by nature and always try to be involved in rehabilitation, which is my true passion.
I hope to see you and your pet soon!


About Me

DPC Veterinary Hospital
6902 Stirling Road
Davie, FL 33024
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