Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Pet talk

January 24, 2008

Today was "Blue Monday," the day we all were to be moan the fact that all our New Year's resolutions were not, or could not, be kept. Along with the mood of the masses because of one of the worst and coldest winters we've experienced in many years, you would think tomorrow wouldn't be worth the effort of getting up. Oh, hope against hope man because 2007 was a great year, especially for pet care from our institution's perspective.

Before we discuss some of the good things per owners locally have done, one encouraging bit of information nationally is worth mentioning. The Center for Disease Control in Atlanta reported that in 2007 rabies virus infection in dogs (not cats) was non-existent because of the active responsible vaccination by pet owners, strict animal control and leash laws, etc. That's news.

Now, does that mean we stop vaccinating our dogs and cats? No. Remember, all dogs and cats need to be vaccinated and registered with the city of De Soto this spring, lets keep rabies out. Did you realize more than 55,000 people died last year of rabies worldwide? It's still a threat.

Last year at our clinic, we cleaned more sets of teeth in dogs and cats than any other year. Hopefully, many of you have noticed the pearly whites around town. Bad breath is down, oral infections are fewer, and overall health of those pets that went to our dental hygienist is way up.

Between September and November 2007, we saw 514 heartworm positive dogs (no cats still), although we still grimace at the thought of one case and the potential for many others to be infected nearby. In 2007, more heartworm tests were completed in our lab and more dogs placed on heartworm preventative - good job dog lovers.

As a whole, 2007 ranks up there for the fewest automobile "hit by a car" emergencies seen at our clinic. One reason? Those leash laws are working, as well as pet owners are considering the whereabouts of their pets as much as their own children. A sign of a strengthening "human- animal bond." Keep an eye out for those critters on the street still, as we still have many calls on strays and/or runaways.

The last year was once again a bumper year for kittens. We still had many mornings when we arrived to work only to find a box of kittens on our front doorstep. We ended the year by giving away three of them in the last week, netting over a hundred for the year, We still need to keep rounding up the strays so they can be spayed and neutered.

Those are a few of the health topics that made 2007 special. With a little persistence, 2008 can be great. We cannot drop the ball. Some things to think about doing in 2008 for our pets are:

¢ Exercise them more (and you too!)

¢ Loose weight across the board. Obesity ranks high as a common health concern

¢ See your local veterinarian at least once for a "well visit" and twice a year for geriatric pet physical exams can be revealing.

Take your pet's health seriously. By the way, our 15-year-old Shelty is still thriving. She's had her teeth cleaned recently and her heart meds adjusted and she's ornery as ever. Looks like she'll be around to what happens in 2008.


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