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October is Pet Dental Month at Sandy Animal Clinic

 September 30th, 2017

Did you know that 80% of dogs and cats have some form of dental disease by 3 years of age.  In order to help keep those teeth healthy, leading to a healthy happy life, Sandy Animal Clinic is honoring $55 off all dental cleanings during the month of October.

To schedule a pet dental exam

call 503-668-4139

 

Dental Disease in Dogs

1How common is dental disease in dogs?

Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Over 80% of dogs over the age of three have active dental disease.

Few dogs show obvious signs of dental disease, so it’s up to the dog’s family and veterinarian to uncover this hidden and often painful condition.

 “Over 80% of dogs over the age of
three have active dental disease.”

Are dental problems the same in pets and people?

No. In people, the most common problem is tooth decay. It’s caused by the loss of calcium from the tooth’s enamel, resulting in painful, infected cavities (caries). In dogs, tooth decay is rare. The most common dental problems seen in dogs are:

  • periodontal diseases, and
  • fractured teeth.

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What are periodontal diseases?

Periodontal disease is a term used to describe inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Periodontal diseases occur when the accumulation of plaque and tartar cause either periodontal pockets or gum recession  around the tooth’s attachment. Left untreated, the infection often spreads deeper into the tooth socket, destroying the bone.

“Periodontal disease is a term used to describe
inflammation or infection of the tissues
surrounding the tooth.”

How does tartar form and why is it a problem?

6The mouth is home to thousands of bacteria. As these bacteria multiply on the tooth’s surface, they form an invisible layer called plaque or biofilm. Some of this plaque is removed naturally by the dog’s tongue and chewing habits.

If allowed to remain on the tooth’s surface, plaque thickens, becomes mineralized  and creates tartar. This tartar accumulates above and below the gum line leading to inflammation (gingivitis) and further accumulation of plaque which leads to periodontal diseases.

Can plaque and tartar be prevented?

The rate at which plaque becomes mineralized will be much quicker in some dogs than in others.

The best way to prevent tartar build-up is through daily tooth brushing using canine toothpaste that is specifically designed to be swallowed. Unfortunately, even though it is the best form of plaque control, most dog owners do not brush their dog’s teeth daily.

Special dog chew toys and treats may also help reduce or delay plaque and tartar build-up. Some pet foods have been specifically formulated as dental diets that mechanically and/or chemically assist in plaque removal. Water additives are also available.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council evaluates dental products for effectiveness. You can visit their website (www.vohc.org) for a list of plaque control products.

“The best way to prevent tartar build-up is
through daily tooth brushing using canine
toothpaste that is specifically
designed to be swallowed.”

Will feeding dry food remove tartar?

Pet food manufacturers have recently developed new dental diets that can help reduce the formation of plaque and tartar in your dog. Once tartar has formed, however, professional scaling and polishing under general anesthesia will be needed.

What do broken, chipped or fractured teeth look like in dogs?

The center of the tooth, called pulp, is covered by hard dentin and even harder enamel. Fractures either expose sensitive dentin, termed uncomplicated fractures, or the pulp which contains nerves and blood vessels, termed complicated fractures.

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What causes fractured teeth in dogs?

Most tooth fractures occur when dogs chew on objects that are too hard, like ice cubes, bones, nylon chews, antlers and horse hoofs. Any chew toy or dental treat fed to a dog should bend and “give” upon compression.

What is done to treat fractured dog teeth?

If the pulp is exposed, root canal therapy or extraction are the treatment options.  Leaving the tooth without treatment is not a good idea as infection will have direct entry into your dog.

With gentleness, patience and perseverance you can provide the oral care they need to prevent dental disease.

 

Dental Cleaning in Dogs

Gingivitis of the left upper fourth premolarWhat is involved with a professional teeth cleaning visit for my dog?

When rough tartar accumulates on tooth surfaces and touches the gum line it’s time for a professional oral assessment, treatment, and prevention visit. This visit will include a thorough dental examination, teeth cleaning, and polishing to remove the tartar and invisible plaque from all of the tooth surfaces.

Your veterinarian may perform pre-anesthetic blood tests to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia, as well as an evaluation of the heart and abdomen if needed.

What happens during the exam?

For proper dental care your dog will be placed under general anesthesia. Once your dog is under general anesthesia, your veterinarian and veterinary assistants will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting abnormalities in the medical record. A dental probe will be used to evaluate gum bleeding and periodontal pockets where food can accumulate if not cared for.

When periodontal disease is advanced, it may not be possible to save the badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted.

“For proper dental care your dog
will be placed under general anesthesia.”

Moderate stomatitis in a Carin TerrierHow are my dog’s teeth cleaned?

After examination, tooth scaling will be performed, using both hand and ultrasonic scalers to remove tartar above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant periodontal disease, so it is important that it be thoroughly removed.

After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches and decrease the rate of Moderate stomatitis in a Carin Terriersubsequent plaque build-up. Special applications such as fluoride, antibiotic preparations and cleaning compounds may be used to decrease tooth sensitivity, strengthen enamel, treat bacterial infection and reduce future plaque accumulation.

The procedures your dog may require will be discussed with you before her dental cleaning. Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, it is imperative that your veterinarian be able to reach you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.

Why can’t I just remove the tartar and plaque with a human dental scaler?

Although you can remove the accumulated tartar above the gum line, in dogs that are extremely co-operative, there are three problems with doing this. First, only the visible tartar above the gum line is removed, leaving the plaque and tartar below the gum line which will continue to cause periodontal problems. Second, it’s neither possible nor safe to clean the inner surfaces of the teeth properly in a conscious dog. Third, the use of any instrument on the tooth enamel will cause microscopic scratches on the surface and will ultimately damage the tooth surface, leading to further disease – this is the reason your dental hygienist always polishes your teeth after removing tartar with dental instruments.

Severe stomatitis in lower jaw, affecting the tongueDo I have to make an appointment for my dog to have a dental scaling and polishing?

Yes. Your veterinarian will perform pre-anesthetic tests and examine your pet for underlying disorders prior to the procedure, and they may determine that antibiotic treatment should be prescribed in advance.

How can I prevent tartar accumulation after the procedure?

Plaque and tartar begin forming in as little as six hours after your dog’s dental cleaning. A home dental care program including regular tooth brushing is a must. Your veterinarian will provide you with detailed instructions on how to brush or rinse your dog’s teeth.

“Plaque and tartar begin forming in as little
as six hours afteryour dog’s dental
cleaning. A home dental care program
including regular tooth brushing is a must.”

Can I use human toothpaste?

Gingivitis resolved after ultrasonic cleaning and daily plaque controlAbsolutely not. Human dentifrice or toothpaste should never be used in dogs. Human teeth cleaning detergents contain ingredients that are not intended to be swallowed and can cause internal problems if they are swallowed. Human products also commonly contain higher levels of salt which can be a problem for some dogs.

You should also avoid using baking soda to clean your dog’s teeth. Baking soda has a high alkaline content and, if swallowed, it can upset the acid balance in the stomach and digestive tract. In addition, baking soda does not taste good, which may cause your dog to be uncooperative when you try to brush her teeth.

Why is pet toothpaste recommended?

Stomatitis resolved after full mouth extractionNumerous pet toothpastes are non-foaming, safe to be swallowed and available in flavors that are appealing to dogs including poultry, beef, malt and mint. If you use a product that tastes good, your dog will be more likely to enjoy the whole experience.

In addition to the pleasant taste, many of these doggy toothpastes contain enzymes that are designed to help break down plaque chemically, which reduces the time you need to actually spend brushing your dog’s teeth.

 

Jan Bellows, DVM, Dipl. AVDC, ABVP
© Copyright 2013 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

 


Down Load our New App

 November 18th, 2016

We are discontinuing our Pet Portal Service.  We want to thank you for using our pet portal for access to your pet’s records and medication refills. In order to keep up with the ever changing technology, we will be discontinuing our pet portal service to clients.

You will still have the same access to your pet’s records, only better. You will have direct access to request an appointment, request medication refills, access to numerous pet health articles, Emergency contact, loyalty rewards cards, social media, informative your tube videos, access to our online store for veterinary products, prescription food, and medications as well as access to our pet accessories online store.  Stay informed with our current specials and push notifications for active specials.  All of this is can be found in one convenient location.  Our Specialized Sandy Animal Clinic app.  It’s Free to download and can be found on apple app store or google play store.  If you do not have access to a smart phone or tablet/ipad, you can still use our services by going to our HTML website.  Or can access it through our website www.sandyanimalclinic.com.

You can download the appropriate app or site by clicking on the appropriate photo below.

 

 

       Apple Store                                    Google Play                                      HTML Website

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Upcoming Specials

 August 9th, 2016

It’s that time again!

Jump into January with 20% off Senior Blood Profile during the month of January.  Planning on a Dental Cleaning in February?  A blood Profile is needed for that Dental so Jump on this 20% off Deal in January Only!

 

February is Dental Month. 

$55 dollars off dental cleaning during the month of February.

503-668-4139

 

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Fourth of July Fireworks

 June 27th, 2016

Helping Dogs with Severe Phobias During Storms and Fireworks

The ideal way to treat fireworks and thunderstorm phobias is to train your dog using behavior modification techniques such as systematic desensitization and counter-conditioning. This should be started at a time of year when fireworks or thunderstorms are not likely to occur, so that you have control over the situation and time to work on your retraining program. However, if this has not been possible, you need to know how to help your pet during a thunderstorm or fireworks celebration.  This handout aims to provide you with some helpful information for immediate treatment of fireworks and thunderstorm phobias. For information on long-term treatment for these phobias, see our other handouts on fears and phobias, counter-conditioning and systematic desensitization, and treatment of fireworks and thunderstorm phobias.

 

Will drugs help relieve my dog’s fear?fears_and_phobias_in_dogs_storms_and_fireworks__immediate_guidelines_1

Although drugs may be useful in some cases, they should only be given under veterinary supervision. To be effective, they must be absorbed and active in the body BEFORE any noise starts or panic sets in. This is usually at least an hour prior to the event. Sedatives may help the pet sleep through the event or be less aware of the stimuli but do not reduce anxiety. Anti-anxiety drugs may reduce anxiety and panic but may not calm the dog sufficiently.

Certain antidepressants may be useful when given on an ongoing basis to try to prevent or reduce the effect of the stimulus when and if it occurs. With antidepressant treatment, short acting drugs may be added on the day of the fireworks (or storm) if needed. Other possibilities for treatment in conjunction with other drugs include dog appeasing pheromones (Adaptil®) and natural products such as melatonin.

 

What about scolding or punishing my dog?

“Do not punish your dog when he is scared, it only confirms to him that there is something to fear and will make him worse.”

Do not punish your dog when he is scared, it only confirms to him that there is something to fear and will make him worse. In addition, if you are upset or anxious about your pet’s behavior, this will also make your dog more anxious.

 

Should I try to reassure my dog?

Do not fuss, pet or try to reassure your dog when he is scared, since he may regard this as a reward for the behavior he is engaging in at that time. By rewarding the behavior, it may become increasingly intense with each future exposure! Although it may be difficult, try to ignore any fearful behavior that occurs.

 

What should I do that would be helpful? 

Practice training your dog to settle and focus on command, using rewards such as favorite treats and toys. Try to associate this training with a favored location in the house (one where the noise of the fireworks and storm might be less obvious – see below), and use some training cues (e.g. a CD or a favorite blanket) each time you do the training (so that the command, location and cues help to immediately calm the dog). You should use a head halter to help control, distract and calm the dog during training. Then at the time of the storm, use your commands, location, cues and head halter to try to calm the dog, while avoiding punishment or reassurance of the fearful response.

“At the time of the storm, use your commands, location, cues and head halter to try to calm the dog…”

Make sure that the environment is safe and secure at all times. Even the most placid dog can behave unpredictably when frightened by noise and, should he bolt and escape, he could be injured or lost.

 

Can I do anything to reduce the impact of the noise and flashes from the fireworks or storms?

At the approach of thunderstorm season, try to ensure that your dog has access to a well-curtained or blacked-out room when the storm begins. Blacking out the room removes the additional problems of flashing lights, flares etc.

Provide plenty of familiar toys and games that might help to distract the pet.

Try to arrange company for your dog rather than leaving him alone in the room.

Close all the windows and doors so the sound is muffled as much as possible. Try taking your pet to a room or area of the house where the stimuli will be at their mildest and the dog can be most easily distracted. Sometimes placing nested cardboard boxes or a blanket over the cage can greatly mute the sound. Be certain however that there is enough air circulation so that the pet does not overheat.

“Ignore the noises yourself and try to involve your pet in some form of active game.”

Provide background noise from the radio or television. Rap or similar music with a lot of constant drum beats does help. The volume does not have to be loud as long as the music has a strong beat that acts as a distraction and prevents him from concentrating on the noises outside. Other background noises such as a fan running or even “white” noise devices can help to block outdoor noises.

Some products and exercises might be useful to further secure or calm the dog. Anxiety wraps, a cape or mat that reduces static, a head halter for control or TTouch therapy may help to calm the dog further. For many dogs, pheromone diffusers and/or collars can be useful.

Ignore the noises yourself and try to involve your pet in some form of active game.

 

My friend down the street has a dog that is not scared of loud noises and gets along well with mine. She has offered to lend me her dog for support. Shall I accept?

This may be an excellent strategy. Keeping the two together during the evenings may help. If you or your friend plays with the non-fearful dog when your own becomes scared, it may help to encourage him to join in and thus reduce his fear.

 

Is there anything else that I can do that is worthwhile?

Do not just ignore the problem because it only happens intermittently or for a few days each year.

“Institute a desensitization program once the season is over so that you ensure your dog loses fear of the situation.”


April is Spay and Neuter Month

 April 11th, 2016

15% off all Spays and Neuters During the Month of April.

Call now as available surgery slots book up fast.

503-668-4139

Spaying in Dogs

Why should I have my dog spayed?

We recommend spaying all female pets. The benefits to your pet’s health and to help reduce the pet overpopulation crisis make this decision easier. It should be remembered that owners of Guide Dogs for the Blind, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People and Dogs for the Disabled routinely have their dogs spayed and this does not affect their ability to perform their duties in any manner whatsoever.

spaying_your_dog_1_2009

What are the advantages of spaying in the female dog?

  • Prevention of “heat” or estrus
  • When in “heat”, the female experiences an urge to escape in order to find a mate. This unwanted and dangerous behavior is eliminated.
  • Elimination of the hormone fluctuations that cause false pregnancy following the “heat cycle”
  • Prevention of uterine infection known as pyometra
  • Prevention of breast cancer. Dogs spayed before their first “heat” have less than 0.5% chance of developing breast cancer.
  • Elimination of the risk of uterine and ovarian cancer

 

Is spaying performed for any other reason?

The operation may be performed for several medical conditions. These include:

  • Treatment of intractable false or phantom pregnancy
  • Treatment of irregular or abnormal cycles due to ovarian cysts
  • Treatment of uterine infection (pyometra) or cancer
  • Dystocia (difficult birthing) or post caesarean-section surgery
  • An aid to correction of certain behavioral abnormalities

 

What are the disadvantages?

Most of the perceived disadvantages are false. The most quoted of these are that the dog will become fat, lazy, and useless as a guard dog. Obesity is probably the most commonly quoted disadvantage of spaying. Obesity is the result of overfeeding and lack of physical activity. The role of female hormones in preventing obesity is poorly understood. By regulating your dog’s diet and caloric intake, you can prevent obesity in neutered or intact females.

Spaying doesn’t cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness or affection.

“Spaying doesn’t cause a change in personality, guarding instincts, intelligence, playfulness or affection.”

 

When should the operation be performed?

Most veterinarians recommend spaying between four and six months of age. Spaying at an earlier age, which is a common practice at animal shelters, does not appear to be detrimental.

 

Is there any alternative to surgery?

Not at the present time, although there are several promising advances being made in this area, including the development of novel vaccines.

 

Are there any dangers associated with the operation?

Spaying is considered a major operation and requires general anesthesia. With any anesthetic the risk of serious complications, including death, is always possible. With modern anesthetics and monitoring equipment, the risk of a complication is very low. It has been said that your pet has a greater chance of being injured in a car wreck than having an anesthetic or surgical complication.

 

spaying_your_dog-2_2009

What happens when I leave my dog for this procedure?

Your pet will be examined by a veterinarian and pre-anesthetic blood tests will usually be performed. If everything is acceptable, your pet will be anesthetized. Most pets will have an intravenous catheter placed to administer the anesthetic and to provide fluid therapy during the surgery. After your pet is anesthetized, a breathing tube will be placed in her trachea or windpipe. This will allow the delivery of oxygen and gas anesthetic directly into the lungs. The surgery consists of making an incision just below the umbilicus and removing both the ovaries and uterus. Many veterinarians use absorbable sutures so that you do not have to return to have them removed.

 

Are there any post-operative precautions I should take?

“Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide.”

Rest and restriction of activity are the primary post-operative care you should provide. Most dogs can resume normal activity five to ten days after surgery. Until then, leash walks, lots of rest, and no running or climbing stairs are the rule.

 

 I have heard that letting my dog have one litter will calm her down.

There is no scientific evidence that having puppies has any calming psychological effect. This myth has no basis in fact.

 


Lymphoma – The Manageable Devastating Disease

 March 4th, 2016

Lymphoid Tumors

These notes are provided to help you understand the diagnosis or possible diagnosis of cancer in your pet. For general information on cancer in pets ask for our handout “What is Cancer”. Your veterinarian may suggest certain tests to help confirm or eliminate diagnosis, and to help assess treatment options and likely outcomes. Because individual situations and responses vary, and because cancers often behave unpredictably, science can only give us a guide. However, information and understanding about tumors and their treatment in animals is improving all the time.

We understand that this can be a very worrying time. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask us.

 

What is the lymphoid system? lymphoid_tumors-1

“Lymph is a fluid that circulates in the body, transporting cells of the immune system.”

Lymph is a fluid that circulates in the body, transporting cells of the immune system (macrophages and lymphocytes) to sites where they are needed and draining areas where excess fluid or debris has accumulated, such as occurs with inflammation. Macrophages (literally “big eaters”) are cells that “eat” (phagocytose) and digest other cells, infections and debris. They collect antigens from various sites and carry them to lymphocytes, other specialized cells that are concentrated in the lymph nodes (glands). Macrophages are filtered out of the lymph in the lymph nodes. In the lymph nodes, ‘B’ type lymphocytes, through their derivative ‘plasma cells’, make antibodies to the antigens brought by the macrophages (humoral immunity); and ‘T’ type lymphocytes prepare themselves to attack the foreign antigens (cellular immunity).

Before birth, T-lymphocytes develop in the thymus in the chest and B-lymphocytes in the bone marrow. After birth, lymphocytes are found in large numbers in the thymus and lymph nodes, and accumulate in collections of lymphoid tissue in areas where foreign antigens are likely to enter the body. These include the tonsils in the throat, and throughout the respiratory and intestinal tracts. The spleen, which acts as a filter for the blood, also contains a large amount of lymphoid tissue. 

 

What are the different types of tumor?

The lymph nodes can become swollen or enlarged for several different reasons, including hyperplasia, inflammation and cancer.

Swelling of the lymph nodes may be due to increased activity (hyperplasia) caused by generalized or regional infection or other antigenic stimulus. It can also be due to inflammation (lymphadenitis) within the lymph node. Sometimes the node is simply caught up in surrounding inflammation but some infectious organisms protect themselves by living inside lymphocytes and macrophages. These infections include immunodeficiency viruses, tuberculosis and a protozoan parasite called Leishmania. Sometimes, cancer cells from other tissues may travel through the lymph and collect in the regional lymph nodes (lymph nodes that drain a specific area or region of the body) where they continue to multiply. 

Cancer of the cells of the lymph nodes (lymphoma, lymphosarcoma) has to be distinguished from other causes of lymph node swelling by histopathology. Some types of cancer are slower growing than others but all are potentially life-threatening. Cancer can originate in any lymphoid tissue.

 

What do we know about the cause?

“Infections are important causes of lymphoid cancers.”

Infections are important causes of lymphoid cancers. Feline leukemia virus (FeLV) causes a variety of cancers of the blood and lymph system in cats. Different strains of the virus cause cancers at different times. If a cat is also infected with Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), the risk of developing cancer increases. Recently, a virus infection has been demonstrated in one form of canine leukemia (cancerous lymphocytes in the blood). Lymphoid tumors starting in the intestine may, as in people, be promoted by Helicobacter bacterial infection. However, not all lymphoid cancers are associated with infections, so other genetic and environmental factors are also important.

 

Why has my pet developed this cancer?

Your pet may have a genetic tendency to cancer and have had an infection or contact with chemicals in the environment that have initiated or promoted the cancer. Your cat may currently be infected with FeLV or FIV or have been exposed to viral infection.

 

Are these common tumors?

These are common cancers. In dogs, the risk of developing these tumors is high, with estimates of 13-24 cases of lymphosarcoma (lymphoma) per 100,000 dogs. Pups as young as four months may have these cancers but 80% of cases occur between the ages of 5 and 11 years. Boxers have a higher incidence than other breeds.

Lymphosarcoma is the most common cancer in cats making up approximately one in three cancer cases. In surveys, the incidence is 50-200 per 100,000 cats. The age of tumor onset has two peaks, one in early adulthood at about two years of age and a second in mature cats aged 6-12 years. Cats as young as six months may be affected and purebred cats such as Siamese are predisposed to these cancers. Male cats may have more cancers than females.

“Tumor incidence varies from region to region and in different countries.”

 

With FeLV testing and vaccination, there has been a marked decline in the number of FeLV positive cats but not in the incidence of tumors. However, now these tumors occur more often in older cats and less often in younger cats than in the past. Tumors of the thymus still occur in young cats but tumors in lymph nodes, multiple organs and the intestine are more common in older cats. Tumor incidence varies from region to region and in different countries.

 

How will these cancers affect my pet?

Four out of five dogs with lymphoma or lymphosarcoma have tumors that start in multiple places (multicentric). There is bilateral and symmetrical swelling of the lymph nodes without pain. Other signs depend on the organs involved and include lethargy, fever, weight loss, diarrhea, increased urination, anemia and/or the appearance of small areas of hemorrhage or bleeding on body surfaces. Some dogs have abnormal lymphocytes in the blood (leukemia).

Most cats present with masses in the chest or abdomen and therefore their symptoms include respiratory difficulty or weight loss, diarrhoea or constipation and vomiting. Kidney failure and anemia are also common. The thymic (chest) type is most common in young cats.

About 10% of these tumors induce signs that are not readily explained by spread of the tumors. These are known as paraneoplastic syndromes. Some are due to abnormal hormone production by the cancer. Examples include increased blood calcium levels and increased blood gamma globulin (immune system related protein). Both these adversely affect kidney function with increased thirst and urination.

lymphoid_tumors-2

 

How are these cancers diagnosed? 

Your veterinarian may suspect the presence of this cancer based on the pet’s clinical signs and the results of a physical examination. X-rays and ultrasound may be useful in detecting internal tumors. There are no consistent blood abnormalities for these types of tumors. Checking for FeLV antigen in the blood can sometimes be helpful in cats.

In order to identify the tumor definitively, it is necessary to obtain a sample of the tumor. Various sampling procedures may be needed, and may include needle aspiration, punch biopsy, full excision biopsy or exploratory surgery (for internal tumors). Once obtained, the tissue samples will be examined under the microscope. Cytology is the microscopic examination of cell samples, and is often useful for rapid or preliminary testing with this type of tumor.  Histopathology is the microscopic examination of specially prepared and stained tissue sections from the tumor biopsy sample. Your veterinarian will send biopsy samples to a specialized laboratory where a veterinary pathologist will examine the prepared slides. The information from this examination is more detailed and reliable than cytology.

The histopathology report typically includes additional information that helps to predict how the cancer is likely to behave. Diagnosis of lymph node cancers can be difficult and not all enlarged lymph nodes are cancerous. Some types of hyperplasia may eventually progress to neoplasia (cancer), so repeat sampling may be needed for certain types.

 

What types of treatment are available?

A few tumors (e.g. in the intestine) are solitary, but most have already spread before diagnosis. It is currently believed that once cancer is present, there are always a few cancer cells circulating in the blood. The potential for spread of the cancer is determined by the ‘homing’ patterns of the tumor cells, which permits them to attach in some sites. Removal of a solitary enlarged lymph node, tonsil or other mass does not cure the disease although it does slow the progress of some types.

“Removal of a solitary enlarged lymph node, tonsil or other mass does not cure the disease although it does slow the progress of some types.”

In some countries, chemotherapy is used to induce remission of disease and prolong life. It rarely cures the disease. Significant remission is more likely for smaller and more rapidly dividing tumors. The drugs used are toxic to organs with dividing cells such as the intestine, bone marrow and skin. Some are also toxic to other organs such as the liver and nerves so may induce malaise. The optimal chemotherapy protocol is still uncertain.

Steroid drugs such as prednisolone or prednisone will give short-term palliation for up to a few months. However, their use may promote resistance to other chemotherapy drugs and may shorten remission of subsequent multi-drug chemotherapy.

 

Can these cancers disappear without treatment?

In people, early intestinal cancers due to Helicobacter infection can disappear if the infection is cured. We do not know if this happens in animals. As all of these cancers have ready access to the lymph and blood transport systems, they are often widespread before diagnosis so even loss of blood supply to one tumor does not cause the cancer to disappear. Poor blood supply and degeneration of internal tumors is relatively common but does not eliminate them.

lymphoid_tumors-4

 

How can I nurse my pet? 

After biopsy or surgery, your pet must not interfere with the surgical site, which needs to be kept clean. Any loss of stitches or significant swelling or bleeding should be reported to your veterinarian. You may be asked to check that your pet can pass urine and feces or to give treatment to aid this. He or she may also require a special diet. If you require additional advice on post-surgical care, please ask.

If your pet is to have chemotherapy, you need to understand the risks involved in the use of these unlicensed and potentially toxic drugs. The safety precautions required to protect yourself, other people and the environment when handling and disposing of the drugs will be explained if you consent to their use.

 

How will I know how the cancer will behave?

The histopathology report will give your veterinarian the diagnosis of the specific type of tumor, and that helps to indicate how it is likely to behave. The veterinary pathologist usually adds a prognosis that describes the probability of local recurrence or metastasis (distant spread).

 

When will I know if the cancer is permanently cured?

“As indicated above, these tumors can rarely be cured.”

As indicated above, these tumors can rarely be cured. Without treatment, dogs have an average life expectancy of ten weeks, but a few live for six to twelve months. Survival with the intestinal form is only eight weeks. Older dogs tend to survive longer than younger dogs. Remissions induced by chemotherapy for up to a year are not uncommon in dogs but depend on the type and stage of the cancer at diagnosis.

Without treatment 40% of cats are dead within four weeks and 75% eight weeks following diagnosis. The average survival time with chemotherapy is 3.5 months for virus positive cats and 5 months for non-viral infected cats.

Lymphoid cancer in the chest, tonsil or bone marrow, blood or multiple organs often progress more rapidly than those only present in lymph nodes or a single organ.

 

Are there any risks to my family or other pets?

Feline leukemia virus can cause cancers of both the blood and lymphoid system. The virus is occasionally transmitted from an infected queen to her kittens before birth but is more commonly acquired from close contact with infected cats, which shed the virus in saliva, urine and feces. If your cat is infected, he or she can pass the infection to other cats. The infection is not transmissible to people. Similarly feline immunodeficiency virus, which is similar to HIV in people only affects cats and cannot infect people or other animals such as dogs. 

Joan Rest, BVSc, PhD, MRCPath, MRCVS
© Copyright 2009 Lifelearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.


National Pet Dental Month – February

 February 11th, 2016

                              Sandy Animal Clinic

is offering 15% off Dental Cleaning Services

During the Month of February.

dent tooth1      tooth

tooth2

Dental disease is one of the most common medical conditions seen by veterinarians. Over 68% of all dogs and cats over the age of three are estimated to have some form of periodontal or dental disease.

Few pets show obvious signs of dental disease. It is up to the pet’s family and veterinarian to uncover this hidden and often painful condition.

In man, the most common problem is tooth decay, which, due to the loss of calcium from the enamel, results in painful, infected caries (also called cavities). In the dog, tooth decay represents less than 10% of all dental problems. The most common dental problems seen in dogs are caused by periodontal disease.

Periodontal disease is a term used to describe inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth. Accumulation of tartar and calculus on the teeth causes gum recession around the base of the tooth. Infection soon follows and the gums recede further, exposing sensitive unprotected tooth root surfaces and the bony tooth sockets Left untreated, the infection spreads deep into the tooth socket, destroying the bone. Ultimately, the tooth loosens and falls out.

It is estimated that more than two-thirds of dogs and cats over three years of age suffer from some degree of periodontitis, making it by far the most common disease affecting our pet dogs.

The mouth is home to thousands of bacteria. As these bacteria multiply on the surfaces of the tooth, they form an invisible layer called plaque or biofilm. Some of this plaque is removed naturally by the dog’s tongue and chewing habits. If allowed to remain on the tooth surface, the plaque thickens and becomes mineralized. Mineralized plaque forms tartar and as the tartar thickens further it becomes calculus. The tartar accumulates above and below the gumline and presses on the gums, causing inflammation called gingivitis.

As the oral infection progresses, tonsillitis and pharyngitis can also occur. The bacteria can also be absorbed into the blood stream and be carried to other organs. “Bad teeth” can cause infections in the heart valves (endocarditis), kidneys and/or liver.

dentistry_2009

Plaque becomes mineralized in some dogs and cats much quicker than in others.

The best way to prevent tartar build-up is regular home care, particularly tooth brushing using toothpaste that is specifically designed to be swallowed. Special dog chew toys and treats may help reduce or delay tartar build-up. Some pet foods have been specifically formulated as dental diets that mechanically assist in plaque removal. 

 

Pet food manufacturers have recently developed new dental diets that can help reduce the formation of plaque and tartar in your pet. Once tartar has formed, it will be necessary to remove it by professional scaling and polishing under general anesthesia.

A routine dental cleaning involves a thorough dental examination, followed by a dental scaling and polishing to remove the tartar and invisible plaque from all of the tooth surfaces. Your veterinarian will perform pre-anesthetic blood tests to ensure that kidney and liver function are satisfactory for anesthesia. Sometimes antibiotic treatment is started before the periodontal therapy is performed. Your veterinarian will discuss the specific pre-dental recommendations for your pet.

 Once your dog is anesthetized, your veterinarian will thoroughly examine the mouth, noting the alignment of the teeth and the extent of tartar accumulation both above and below the gumline. If periodontal disease is severe, it may not be possible to save badly affected teeth, which may need to be extracted. Next, tooth scaling will be performed using both traditional hand scalers and ultrasonic cleaning equipment to remove all traces of tartar, both above and below the gum line. The tartar below the gum line causes the most significant gum recession and it is extremely important that it is removed thoroughly. After scaling, the teeth are polished to remove microscopic scratches in order to help prevent subsequent plaque build-up. Special applications such as fluoride, antibiotic preparations and cleaning compounds may be indicated to decrease tooth sensitivity, strengthen enamel, treat bacterial infection and reduce future plaque accumulation.

The procedures that your pet may require will be discussed with you before your pet’s dental cleaning. Since it can be difficult to predict the extent of dental disease in advance of the procedure, it is imperative that your veterinarian is able to reach you during the procedure to discuss any additional treatment that may be necessary.

Although you can remove the tartar that has accumulated above the gumline in some dogs that are extremely co-operative, there are three problems with doing this. First, only the tartar above the gumline is removed, leaving behind the material below the gumline, which will continue to cause periodontal problems. Second, it is not possible or safe to clean the inner surfaces of the teeth properly in a conscious dog. Third, the use of any instrument on the tooth enamel will cause microscopic scratches on the surface, ultimately damaging the tooth surface and leading to further disease. (This is the reason why your dental hygienist always polishes your teeth after removing the tartar with dental instruments)

Call today for your pre dental exam and schedule a dental cleaning during the month of October to receive 15% off dental cleaning services.

       Does not include the cost of extractions.

 503-668-4139

 www.sandyanimalclinic.com


January Wellness Blood Testing 20% Off

 January 8th, 2016

Senior Pet Wellness Month.  Lets Celebrate Senior Pets in January at Sandy Animal Clinic

During the month of January, Sandy Animal Clinic is honoring a 20% Discount on Senior Blood Profiles.

Blood Profiles are very important in helping to uncover any hidden issues that we may not see with the naked eye on a routine physical exam.

Many times if an abnormality in the blood is caught early there are many treatments to stop or delay the ongoing disease.

In Addition to this discount, the Senior Blood Profile performed in January can be used to satisfy the pre-anesthetic Blood profile that is required for a Dental Cleaning.  February is Natioanl Pet Dental Month.  15% off of Dental Cleanings in February.

Call today for an appointment.  503-668-4139

 

Wellness Testing for Senior Dogs and Cats

What is wellness testing?

Wellness testing is a program of check-ups and blood tests designed to detect early or hidden disease in pets that appear to be healthy. In older pets, it is also used to monitor animals that feel well but have stable ongoing health problems.

wellness_dog_geriatric-1

Why do wellness testing?

Dogs are very good at masking illness and disease may be present even in animals that do not appear to be sick. If a disease can be detected early on, before a pet shows signs of illness, then steps can often be taken to manage or correct the problem before permanent damage occurs. Wellness testing is particularly important in senior (geriatric) dogs, since there is a greater chance that an older animal will develop disease or have an ongoing but stable condition that needs to be monitored.

When is wellness testing done?

Wellness Testing should be done on a regular basis, and many pet owners combine wellness testing with their dog’s annual visit to the veterinarian for physical examination, vaccination, and heartworm testing. Your veterinarian may recommend more frequent testing depending on your dog’s age or specific health concerns. Monitoring your older dog’s health on a regular basis makes it easier for the veterinarian to detect minor changes that signal the onset of disease or deterioration of an existing condition.

What is involved in wellness testing?

There are four main categories of wellness testing for senior dogs: complete blood count (CBC), biochemistry profile, urinalysis, and thyroid hormone testing.  Comprehensive testing is recommended for senior dogs, due to the higher risk of underlying disease.

wellness_dog_geriatric-2Complete Blood Count

This simple blood test gives information about the different cell types in the blood. These include red blood cells, which carry oxygen to the tissues, white blood cells, which fight infection and respond to inflammation, and platelets, which help the blood to clot. The CBC provides details about the number, size, and shape of the various cells types, and identifies the presence of any abnormal cells. It is a routine test used in all stages of health and illness and can indicate the presence of many forms of disease (See article Complete Blood Count).

Biochemistry Profile

This is a panel of tests that provides information about the organs and tissues of the body, and helps to detect diabetes and various other disorders. (See handout Serum Biochemistry).

“In some cases, a more extensive
diagnostic workup may be recommended.”

If minor abnormalities are found on the biochemistry profile, the veterinarian may ask you to repeat the tests in a few days, weeks, or months. If the abnormalities are more serious a more extensive diagnostic workup may be recommended, including an expanded biochemistry profile and special tests including X-rays or ultrasound.

Urinalysis

Urinalysis is a routine test that reports the physical and chemical properties of a pet’s urine (see article Urinalysis). Urinalysis provides information about how well the kidneys are working and identifies inflammation and infection in the urinary system; it also helps to detect diabetes and can be useful in the diagnosis of cancer within the urinary system. Urinalysis is part of a complete assessment of the kidneys and urinary system and should be included in routine Wellness Testing. It is particularly important for senior dogs because of the higher occurrence of kidney disease in older animals.

wellness_dog_geriatric-4

Thyroid testing

The thyroid gland acts like a thermostat and “sets” the metabolic rate of the whole body (See article Thyroid Hormone Testing in Dogs). The most common thyroid disease in the dog is hypothyroidism, which occurs when the thyroid gland fails to produce enough thyroid hormone. Hormone levels should be tested routinely in older dogs, especially if there is unexplained weight gain, lack of energy, recurring skin or ear infections, or hair loss on the body and tail. 

Summary

Wellness Testing is a simple and effective way of monitoring your older dog’s health. Early detection and correction of medical problems help to ensure that your pet will be healthy and active for as long as possible.

Kristiina Ruotsalo, DVM, DVSc, Dip ACVP & Margo S. Tant BSc, DVM, DVSc
© Copyright 2015 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license

 

 


Happy Holidays

 December 11th, 2015

Everyone at Sandy Animal Clinic would like to wish You a Happy Holiday Season. 

Please keep pets Safe during the holiday season.

 

Holiday Toxins for Pets

holiday-dogWhile the holidays bring more challenges to the already difficult winter months, we can’t forget about indoor and outdoor toxins frequently seen at this time of year.  Keeping your pets healthy and safe will help keep the holidays stress free.

 

Are poinsettias as toxic to pets as many people think?

While poinsettias may cause gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting and diarrhea, no significant toxicity is typically seen.  Dogs and cats may have a lack of appetite or stomach upset for 1-2 days after eating the leaves of a poinsettia, but fortunately, this often resolves without any medical intervention. However, if your pet is not feeling well for more than 1-2 days, it’s recommended that you bring them to your veterinarian.

 

Are there other holiday plants that may be harmful to pets?

Many holiday arrangements contain lilies (Lillium species), holly, or mistletoe.  Bouquets brought into the house by holiday guests should be thoroughly inspected, as lilies are one of the most common flowers used by florists. Just one or two bites from a lily can result in severe acute kidney failure in cats – even the pollen and the water that the plant is in are thought to be poisonous.

Holly berries and mistletoe can also be toxic to pets. When Christmas or English holly is ingested, it can result in severe gastrointestinal upset, thanks to the spiny leaves and potentially toxic substances found in the plant (including saponins, methylxanthines, and cyanogens). If ingested, most pets smack their lips, drool, and head shake excessively due to injury from the spiny leaves.

“Holly berries and mistletoe
can also be toxic to pets.”

As for mistletoe, most of us hang it high enough that it’s out of reach of our pets. Nevertheless, it can also be toxic if ingested. Thankfully, American mistletoe is less toxic than the European varieties. Mild signs of gastrointestinal irritation may be seen, although if ingested in large amounts, collapse, hypotension (low blood pressure), ataxia (difficulty walking), seizures, and even death have also been reported.

 

My pet loves to play with the Christmas decorations. Is this safe?

While it is hard to resist the temptation of sparkling lights and glittering tinsel, these items can be very hazardous to pets. If your pet ingests tinsel, it can become lodged in the intestinal tract and cause a linear foreign body to develop.  Correction for this includes costly surgery and, in severe cases, serious complications can arise.  Many animals enjoy chewing on electrical cords from tree lights, or biting the lights themselves.  This can result in electrical burns to the mouth and tongue and other complications from electrocution.  Your homemade ornaments can also pose a risk. Homemade ornament dough is high in salt, which may cause electrolyte abnormalities and seizures. Hang these decorations high on the tree or pets may think they’re meant for them!

 

What are the dangers of potpourri to pets?

If you typically heat your scented oils in a simmer pot, know that they can cause serious harm to your cat. Even a few licks can result in severe chemical burns in the mouth, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Dogs aren’t as sensitive, but it’s still better to be safe than sorry, so scent your home with a non-toxic candle kept safely out of kitty’s reach. 

Dry potpourri may also cause chemical burns in the mouth, potential foreign bodies, and gastrointestinal upset, depending on the size of animal and amount ingested.  While candles are often scented with oils, the largest concern with ingestion is a foreign body and potential obstruction.  In addition to an upset stomach, surgical removal of the candle may be necessary in severe cases.

 

What foods are most problematic to my pet this time of year?

With the holiday season comes a delightful variety of baked goods, chocolate confections and other rich, fattening foods. However, it’s not wise, and in some cases, quite dangerous, to share these treats with your pets. Foods that can present problems include: 

  • Foods containing grapes, raisins, and currants (such as fruit cakes, breads, and cookies) can result in kidney failure in dogs.
  • Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, a chemical similar to caffeine and highly toxic to dogs and cats. Ingestion in small amounts can cause vomiting and diarrhea, but large amounts can cause seizures and heart arrhythmias.
  • Many sugarless gums and candies contain xylitol, a natural sweetener which is toxic to dogs. It causes a life-threatening drop in blood sugar and liver failure.       
  • Leftover fatty, meat scraps can produce severe inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis), leading to abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloody diarrhea.

 

Is ice melt safe to use in the same area that pets are around outside?

Ice melt is commonly used around entryways and sidewalks.  For convenience, containers that are filled with ice melt granules are often left within a pet’s reach.  There are numerous formulations available and small exposures typically lead to stomach upset and possibly dermal and paw pad irritation. Many of these products are salt (sodium) based. If ingested in large amounts, electrolyte abnormalities may occur which can result in seizures and brain damage.  If your pet has consumed any amount of ice melt, it’s important to call Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian immediately.

 

What type of problems can occur if pets ingest antifreeze?

While antifreeze is around all year, exposure to this fatal chemical is more prevalent in the winter months, and it is important to make sure your pet isn’t ingesting any radiator coolant. Antifreeze can be found in numerous sources. In many regions with cabins that are not used frequently during the winter, it is common for people to place antifreeze into their cabin’s toilet to prevent it from freezing during the winter.  We see numerous poisoning cases at Pet Poison Helpline from dogs running into cabins and drinking out of the toilet.

“We see numerous poisoning cases
from dogs running into cabins
and drinking out of the toilet.”

Finally, there are rumors of small amounts of antifreeze in holiday decorations, such as imported snow globes. Recently, some were suspected to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) in the liquid. If a snow globe falls off the table and cracks open, and your pet then licks up the contents of the snow globe, there is the risk of antifreeze poisoning. As little as one teaspoon of antifreeze when ingested by a cat or a tablespoon or two for a dog, depending on their size, can be fatal.

Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. While signs may seem to improve after eight to twelve hours, internal damage is actually worsening, and crystals develop in the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Immediate treatment with an antidote (fomepizole or ethanol) is vital. Because the antidote only works if given within the first 3 hours for cats and 8-12 hours for dogs, it’s imperative that you seek veterinary care immediately for blood testing for antifreeze poisoning (including an ethylene glycol test and venous blood gas test).

 

About Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline, an animal poison control center based out of Minneapolis, MN, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals that require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. The staff provides treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $39 (USD) per incident includes follow-up consultation for the duration of the poison case. Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com. Pet Poison Helpline is not directly affiliated with LifeLearn.

Renee Schmid, DVM & Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS, DABT, DABVT, Associate Director of Veterinary Services, Pet Poison Helpline
© Copyright 2015 LifeLearn Inc. Used and/or modified with permission under license.

 


Senior Pet Wellness Month – Celebrate Senior Pets

 October 6th, 2015

Celebrate Seniors Pets at Sandy Animal Clinic

During the month of October, Sandy Animal Clinic is honoring a 20% discount off of all senior blood profiles.

Blood profiles are very important in helping to uncover any hidden issues that we may not see with the naked eye on a routine physical exam.

Many times if an abnormality in the blood is caught early there are many treatments to stop or delay the ongoing disease

Call us today to make your appointment for a Senior Blood Profile.

503-668-4139

 

 

Senior Dog Care – Special Considerations for Dogs

Dogs older than seven years of age are considered senior pets. Senior dogs are in the stage of life in which the aging process is beginning to affect every organ system. Some organs “wear out” faster or are more susceptible to cumulative damage than others, so certain observations are especially important to make. The following is a list of key recommendations that we feel are important for older dogs.

  • Keep vaccinations current. Your veterinarian will determine the proper vaccine schedule for your senior pet’s lifestyle. Most senior pets will receive most vaccines every three years. Some vaccines with shorter duration of immunity such as the “kennel cough,” Leptospirosis or Lyme disease vaccines may be given more frequently (every six to twelve months).
  • Have blood and urine tests evaluated at least once a year. Early detection of chronic diseases such as kidney disease, thyroid disease and diabetes is the key to successful treatment and preservation of quality of life.
  • Brush your pet frequently to prevent matts. This can contribute to skin infections and may hide skin tumors.senior_dogs_-_recommendations-1_2009
  • Clip toe nails as needed to prevent overgrowth. Long toe nails may cause the dog to stand and walk abnormally and result in pain or accelerate and exacerbate arthritic changes.
  • Keep plenty of fresh water available and monitor its consumption. Increases in water consumption or urination are often associated with conditions such as diabetes, kidney and liver disease.
  • Keep other pets from preventing your senior pet access to food and water.
  • Keep your senior pet indoors most of the time, especially in inclement weather.
  • Weigh on the same scale and record results at least every two months. Changes in weight can be an early indicator of disease.

 

How often should I take my senior dog to the veterinarian?

“You should take your senior dog to the veterinarian at least once a year for an annual check-up.”

You should take your senior dog to the veterinarian at least once a year for an annual check-up. It is very important to have your veterinarian examine your dog if you notice for any of the following:

1.  Sustained significant increase in water consumption. (normal water intake should be less  than 100 ml/kg/day or approximately 1 ½ cups (12  ounces)/day for a 10 pound dog)

2.  Sustained significant increase in urination.

3.  Weight loss.

4.  Significant decrease in appetite or failure to eat for more than two consecutive days.

5.  Significant increase in appetite.

6.  Repeated vomiting.

7.  Diarrhea that lasts over three days.

8.  Difficulty in passing stool or urine.

9.  Sudden loss of housetraining.

senior_dogs_recommendations_2_200910.   Lameness that lasts more than three days, or lameness in more than one leg.

11.   Noticeable decrease in vision, especially if sudden in onset or pupils that do not constrict in bright light.

12.   Masses, ulcerations (open sores), or multiple scabs on the skin that persist more than one week.

13.   Foul mouth odor or drooling that lasts over two days.

14.   Increasing size of the abdomen.

15.   Increasing inactivity or amount of time spent sleeping.

16.   Hair loss, especially if accompanied by scratching, or if the loss is in specific areas (as opposed to generalized).

17.   Persistent coughing or gagging.

18.   Excessive panting.

19.   Sudden collapse or bouts of weakness.

20.   Inability to chew dry food.

21.  A seizure (convulsion or “fit”).