Sunday, April 28, 2013

From the desk of: RUPERT (Volume 1: Chapter 1; Page 1)

I Guess I've been at Pleasant Valley Pet Clinic for about 4 weeks now. I think I fit in. I am positive the owner and the staff love me. I know I've found a permanent home. I am officially a "Clinic Cat". What does it mean to be a clinic cat? This is what I have observed thus far:
  • I am expected to entertain the owner- Hah! This has been tooooo easy. You see, Karen Jackett, DVM LOVES cats. She will probably turn out to be one of those old cat ladies you hear about, surrounded by 100 cats. Wait, no....thats a hoarder. Scratch that-she will have several cats, maybe 6. But she will forever have a 
    What stolen pen?
    cat in her lap in her old age. Anyway, she is a breeze. I have come to love her, as she just has a way with cats. Thats important to us felines. I love to steal the pens off her desk. It makes her giggle. I love the sound of her laugh.

  • I am Expected to stay indoors- Epic fail! Last week I snuck out the side door. I ran around the parking lot while Amy chased me. At one point, she had me in her grasp but I scratched her and made her fall down. Hehehehe. Occassionally, I have an evil streak. I hide it acting scared. Sometimes the humans don't know the difference. But alas, the side door has not been cracked since then, without me being put into my cage. Becky calls it prison. I learned my lesson about cars up at Ice House road, where they found me. I think I can handle our parking lot. The humans disagree.

  • I am expected to act interested by the fax machine and the printer-Humans are so easily entertained. I throw them a bone at least once a day by acting like I am hunting the paper that comes out of those machines. They think its adorable! What about ME is not adorable???

  • I am expected to stay clear of the dog patients- My opinion is "Why can't we all just get along?" You find out fast, living in an animal hospital, that that is not always true. Did you know that some dogs don't like cats? How offensive! I found out that this rule is for my own safety. Little do they know that I could probably make quick work of some of those dogs. That was the other thing I found out: Patients come first. Also, some of the cat patients that come in are sick, or carry viruses. I am to stay away from them, too-So I don't become "exposed" or whatever. I am vaccinated, though-so I know they want the best for me. I also tested negative for all those nasty cat things before I became a hopsital cat-that means the cat patients are safe as well! I enjoy seeing all the critters that come through our place.

  • I am expected to be sweet to the clients: I've discovered that most people who walk through our doors love animals. That is so cool! All I get are compliments....all day long! It is easy to be nice to people with all this adoration. I think that eventually I could be what they call a "comfort cat". Comforting people who need comfort. That would be a great job!
I am sure there are other rules, and I will learn them as we go along. I found out that their last hospital cat "Bonkers" lived here for like 10 years. I heard that he occassionally broke the rules, so I am going to try to do better. There was this guy named "Spur" that lived here for a few years. They talk about him like he was puuuurfect, so I am going to try to follow his example.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Heatstroke in Dogs

What is Heatstroke?
Animals cannot sweat like humans do, and their normal body temperature runs much higher than ours. Dogs cool themselves by panting and sweating through their paw pads. If they have only overheated air to breath, animals can collapse, suffer brain damage and possibly die of heatstroke. Heat stroke is a dangerous rise in body temperature due to exposure to heat, past the ability to self-cool. A dog’s normal body temperature varies from 99°-102.5° F. Heatstroke occurs when a dog is exposed to extreme or prolonged heat.

What are the symptoms of Heatstroke?
A dog experiencing heatstroke will feel hot to the touch and exhibit forceful panting. The dog may be drooling, have glazed eyes, lack of alertness, unsteadiness or staggering. The severe symptoms are loss of coordination, sudden collapse, and unconsciousness. Moderate to severe heatstroke is a medical emergency.
What if my Dog has Heatstroke?
Treatment can be tricky and must be closely monitored so as not to so severely reverse the symptoms from hyperthermia (hot) to hypothermia (cold) creating an entirely new set of reactions. To cool the pet, apply cool, wet towels or cooling packs (wrapped in towels) delicately and watchfully, to head, neck, and inguinal/inner thigh areas. Placing the pet in front of a fan or lightly soaking the pet in cool (NOT COLD) water is also helpful. During transport to a veterinary clinic, continue to cool the pet as described above. The cooling process must be closely monitored; taking care to not lower the body temperature past the normal range, 99°-102° F. Veterinary treatment may involve oxygen therapy, IV fluids, lab tests and medications. After the patient has been successfully hydrated and returned to a healthy temperature, he should be watched for the next few days to be sure of no lasting effects. In severe cases, grievous complications may take place such as seizures, acute renal failure, pulmonary edema, or organ failure. These can be dire complications that will affect the rest of the animals’ life. It would be best to be aware of the potential dangers and act to prevent heat stroke rather than allow a pet to potentially suffer.
What causes Heatstroke?
Most commonly, dogs suffer from heatstroke after being left in a car. Most people are under the false belief that the interior of the car will stay cool enough for the dog if they are parked in the shade, or lower their windows. On a cooler day, even when the outside temperature is in the 60’s, the temperature inside the vehicle can increase 40 degrees or more within minutes on a bright sunny day. On a warm day, this scenario becomes life threatening within minutes. Leaving a pet in the car is unlawful, as the California Penal Code 597.7 reads: “No person shall leave or confine an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well-being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of food or water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to an animal.” Other than dog related car trips, it is just best to leave your pet in the comfort of home. At home, pets can be exposed to an abundance of heat by being in a poorly ventilated area, such as a closed, unventilated room, a garage or a shed or out in the yard where there is no available shade. Not providing sufficient water is a strong factor, creating a high risk for heat exposure.

How can Heatstroke be Avoided?
Ventilation: Take care that pets are in an area supplied with ventilation, protection from the sun, and sufficient fresh water. If the pet is kept inside a room, open a window and crack the door allowing for air flow. Leaving the animal in a crate can be dangerous because of the lack of good ventilation. Outside pets should have full access to shade. If trees in the area are scarce, erecting an easy-up canvas is a simple way to provide shade. Access to a large, plastic “kiddie pool” is also a great way for a pet to cool off during the heat of the day.
Fresh water should be readily available and kept in the shade. To keep water cool, drop ice cubes or a plastic bottle with frozen water in the container or water dish. Remember that pets will consume more water during hot days so leaving a second or third bowl or bucket is advised. Change the water supply daily to avoid mosquito breeding.
Activity in high temperatures should be limited. When exercising a pet try to do so in the cooler hours of the day- mornings or evenings. If this is not possible the pet should get shaded rest every 30 minutes, with water. While exercising, do not expect the pet to be ready for a full regimen; build up to the workout like a runner preparing for a marathon. Pet owners should be very conscious that obese animals will over heat faster and brachycephalic (flat faced) breeds of dogs, especially pugs, pekingnese and bulldogs, have more difficulty obtaining oxygen.

Paw Pads  can burn so be mindful of keeping your dog in the back of a truck for prolonged periods as the metal becomes extremely hot. Limit walks on pavement to the cooler hours of the day. Be kind to your pet and leave him or her at home when you go to events like the flea market or other public outings. Dog boots are available, and should be used on hot days if your pet will be walking on pavement during the heat of the day.

Is my Pet at Risk for Heartworm Disease?

In fact, yes…both dogs and cats, indoor and outdoor are at risk for heartworm disease, and El Dorado County has been deemed a “high risk” area. Heartworm disease is transmitted by mosquitoes, and although the mosquito population is lower in the winter months, we recommend prevention ALL year long.
What is Heartworm?
Canine Heartworm disease develops when a dog is bitten by a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae of a parasite called dirofilaria immitus. As a mosquito feeds, the larvae are deposited and quickly penetrate the skin to begin their migration into the bloodstream, and toward the heart. Adult heartworms can grow 10 to 12 inches in length and live in the heart and lungs.

Heartworm Lifecycle-
  • A mosquito bites an infected animal, ingesting heartworm microfilaria (young heartworms).
  • Microfilaria mature into heartworm larvae inside the mosquito (10-14 days)
  • Infected Mosquito bites an animal, transmitting the larvae.
  • Larvae enter the animals bloodstream, migrate to the heart and lungs, grow to a foot long and become sexually mature (6-7 months) and produce microfilaria of their own, which are available in the animals bloodstream to infect other mosquitoes.
  • Adult heartworms can live within the heart and lungs for 5-7 years. Because adult heartworms live for 5-7 years, each mosquito season can lead to an ever increasing number of worms in unprotected animals.

How Do I Protect My Pets?
As the old saying goes, “Prevention is the best medicine”. A once monthly treatment, prescribed by your veterinarian is the only way to prevent heartworm disease. The prevention is easy to give and comes in several different forms. Your veterinarian can help you decide which is best for you and your pet. Heartworm preventives are effective when given properly and on a timely schedule. Prevention is more safe and affordable than treating dogs with adult heartworm infections, and there is NO treatment for cats.
My Pet is on a Preventative Medication. Why Do We Need to Test?
Unfortunately, not ALL medications can be 100 % effective 100% of the time. There are several instances where a pet on preventive medication contracts heartworm disease. The first and foremost reason is that the medication is not administered properly or on time. Most commonly, we see heartworm disease in pets who have repeated missed doses. Early detection is best, which is why we recommend testing!

Spring 2013 Newsletter

Spring is finally here and with it comes change. We here at Pleasant Valley Pet Clinic are experiencing our own growing pains, and wanted to fill everyone in on what's been going on!

*As many of you know, we have outgrown our current space here in the shopping center known as Pleasant Valley Square. Dr. Jackett felt that it was time to grow our space, allowing us to expand our capabilities to add services she feels would benefit our patients. Dr. Jackett has chosen the property across the street, formerly Ace Rental Place, to build a new hospital. After many months of wading through the county process, we are on the cusp of breaking ground. You should be seeing activity on the lot by June! We will keep you posted on the progress via our web site!

 *That leads us to introduce the launch of our new website      
We are excited to bring you a fun and informative new website that includes pet pictures(Maybe YOUR pet will be featured), staff and service information, educational handouts and videos, a printable "First Aid Kit" and much more! As an added feature, we are also pleased to offer our new web pharmacy- Home shopping with internet pricing! Another great feature on our website is our Promotions page. Here you will find all ongoing and special promotions, so check back often! P.S- You can find us on Facebook too! We encourage you to log onto our Facebook page and post your favorite pet pictures!

 *Most recently, we have had some staffing changes. We are sad to report that due to an ongoing medical condition, Dr. Sellers is currently on an extended leave of absence. We wish her well! If you have come in on Wednesday in the last few weeks, then you have already met Dr. David Johnson. We welcomed him to our team several weeks ago, and the staff loves him! He is already making friendships with some of our clients who have had the pleasure to see him. Want to know more? Check our website for his bio, or stop in on any Wednesday to meet him! And sadly, Dr. Carlson has decided to move on to the next phase of her career by gaining experience with other doctors and hospitals. We will miss her and wish her all the best. During this transition, you will see Dr. Jackett here a little more often! We appreciate your understanding as we look for an equally capable replacement for Dr. Carlson, whose shoes will certainly be hard to fill! During the next few weeks, you may meet some of the candidates for the job as we have them come through for working interviews. If you happen to meet one of the candidates, feel free to give us your opinion! We are looking forward to welcoming an experienced, compassionate and fun new person to our Team!
*Over the years, many of you may remember some our hospital cats that have graced us with their presence. We recently welcomed a new guy! He is a very laid back and sweet brown tabby and we’ve named him Rupert. He seems to enjoy being here at the clinic and socializing, and has brought much joy and laughter since he’s been with us. He is also a traveling cat, as he spends his weekends going between the homes of the staff members!

Whether you are new to our family, or have been with us for many years, we want to thank you for your support. Feel free to discuss any concerns you may have. We value the relationships that we have cultivated over the years, both with our clients and their pets, and we thrive on that trust and love.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I see this is going well, since it has been over a month since I've logged in to check on my blog. I could use the excuse of just being too busy-but that would only be half true. Truth is, I guess I am a little imtimidated over this business of blogging! So now that our new website has a promotions page, I would like to tie in the Blog, adding some of the articles we will write to help educate the public about companion animal care. This means that anytime we run a promotion, we will back it up with education, here in the practice and on our website....and by extension, our Blog. Once I get into the routine of it, it will be easy, I'm sure!