Soft Surg

The Cone of Shame.

So, what is up with those Elizabethan collars and why do vets say they are so important? Well, despite their shape, E-collars are not meant to help your pet blend in at the lamp store! They are used to deter your pet from licking, chewing, scratching or rubbing an incision, sore spot, wound or bandage. Most post-operative incisional complications occur from self-trauma. Despite the old wives’ tale that dog saliva helps healing, the truth is that licking, chewing or scratching an incision can lead to skin irritation, bacterial contamination of the wound and prolonged healing. Especially traumatizing are the rough spikes on a cat’s tongue; they can even snag skin stitches and pull them out before the wound has healed! Just think of the potential costs associated with these complications – both to your pet’s health as well as your wallet!

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How to Care for Your Aging Pets

Paws for Thought.

As our pets get older, their needs and capabilities change. Being a pet parent to a senior animal comes with many challenges, but the efforts you make will make the transition easier for both you and your four-legged family members. While consulting your veterinarian can help you determine the specific needs for your animal’s unique health conditions, these tips will allow you to start making the changes your pet needs.

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Canine Lymphoma

New treatment now available.

By Brenda Phillips, DVM, DACVIM (Oncology).
Veterinary Specialty Hospital.

In January, The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, gave conditional approval for the first new animal drug to treat canine lymphoma. Also called lymphosarcoma, lymphoma is a type of cancer in dogs. Lymphoma can affect virtually any organ in the body, but it most commonly starts in organs that function as part of the immune system, such as the lymph nodes, spleen and bone marrow. The signs of lymphoma in dogs vary depending on which organs are affected. Some common signs are lumps under the neck, in front of the shoulders, in the groin region or behind the knees, lethargy, lack of appetite or weight loss. Importantly, many dogs diagnosed with lymphoma do not have immediate signs of illness. Tests to diagnose lymphoma often include aspirates of the abnormal lymph nodes that are submitted to a cytology pathologist, as well as a complete blood count, chest x-rays and abdominal ultrasound.

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Hydrotherapy

By Matt Cleveland, DVM, DACVS.

Hydrotherapy (water therapy) comes in different forms. Underwater treadmill therapy and swimming are the two mainstays of hydrotherapy and both are fantastic options for patients needing to improve strength, joint range in motion, coordination, limb function and potentially stimulate more rapid post-operative healing.

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Pet Tips

Holiday Safety.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and we hope you are enjoying the season, but there are a number of potential dangers you should not overlook and help your pets be safe. Here are the top dangers to avoid taking your pet to the emergency room.

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Cats & Dogs Need Blood, Just Like We Do

By Nicole Edwards, RVT Blood Bank Coordinator, Veterinary Specialty Hospital.

Did you know your pets can donate blood just like you? Animals can sustain trauma and can have acquired or hereditary bleed disorders. Just like us, both dogs and cats have different blood types.

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Summer Health Dangers

How to Protect Your Pets.

Summer is a fun time of year but it also brings rising heat and humidity, even here in San Diego where our weather seems so perfect. We share tips to keep your pets safe and keep them cool this summer.

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Fact or Fiction?

“My dog is geriatric, so I shouldn’t anesthetize him.”

The short answer is fiction, “age itself is not a disease”. With that said, with aging does come some significant changes in organ function, how the body responds to stressors, and therefore risks associated with anesthesia may be increased.

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Apartment Friendly Pets

If you are living in a pet friendly building and are looking to add a furry friend to live with you, the size will matter. Consider whether you would prefer a pet you can curl up or prefer to watch at a distance. Always make sure to do your research but here is a helpful guide to help determine if your new friend will be happy, and most of these can easily be adopted at your local shelter!

Rabbits: Size and behavior make rabbits the perfect pet for an apartment. They are happy to roam around or being in a cage and they are furry and love to be snuggled.

Fish: Fish make for a perfect pet as they are easy to take care of and do not require much space. They are beautiful to observe just make sure you clean the tank consistently.

Turtle and Reptiles: They are playful; you can interact with them but they are independent.

Cats: Cats make for a perfect apartment pet. No need to be walked, they groom themselves and sleep for over 14 hours each day.

Birds: They can live happily in small spaces, make for a great companion and serenade you with music.

Dogs: There are many great dog breeds who enjoy smaller spaces but make sure to consider the size, energy levels and noisiness.

Guinea Pigs: They have a friendly and playful personality making for a perfect pet in a small space. They are also a very affordable pet to maintain.

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Vision Care

Nicole Roybal, DVM, DACVO.

Although our pets can’t tell us what they’re seeing, there are actually many clues that can help us piece together how dogs and cats view the world. The most significant difference between our eyes and those of our pets is in the structure of the retina. The retina is a layer of tissue at the back of the eye that is responsible for transforming light entering the eye into electric signals that are then sent to the brain for vision processing. The cells that make up the retina have been carefully examined and results have given us some interesting insight into the lives of the animals that share our world.

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