Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The holidays are quickly approaching!

This is a special time for everyone, including your furry family members. When preparing for the festivities, it is always important to consider your pets because we often don't realize that they can get sick from the things we take for granted...like the plants that we bring in for the holidays! Mistletoe, Poinsettias and Holly are a few that can be dangerous if consumed. Protect your pet as you start to decorate for the holiday season.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Missing a turkey wing?

Missing a turkey wing? To make sure your dinner doesn't fly away, we want to remind you to have plenty of food and treats for your four legged friend on Thanksgiving. Remind your guest to please "do not" feed the pets. Those tasty turkey bones can splinter and perforate the stomach and other major organs. Ingesting a bone is a common holiday hazard. Cooked poultry bones may seem like the perfect gift for your pet, but do him a favor and save them for the soup. Even large cooked bones are prone to splintering, which can pierce through the animal's intestines. Keep pet's safe this Thanksgiving holiday.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Pets in Pain

We are often asked about managing pain in our pets, including chronic pain such as that caused by arthritis or acute pain that is caused by injury or surgery.  In the last few decades, veterinary medicine has made great strides in recognizing pain in animals and learning ways to better alleviate pain.  We now understand that we can achieve better pain control by using a combination of drugs that block pain receptors differently.  In addition, when giving these medications prior to a painful event (ie. surgery), we need less drugs to keep the pet comfortable. 

            At Brookfield Animal Hospital, we have fully embraced this preemptive, multimodality approach to pain management and we tailor our protocols to each individual patient’s needs.  Even routine surgeries such as spays and neuters receive three medications prior to surgery and are maintained on three to four medications after surgery for optimal pain control.  These medications include anti-inflammatories, narcotics, and other analgesics.  We also use local nerve blocks when appropriate.   

            We regularly evaluate our pain management protocols for new drug combinations that can keep our patients more comfortable after injury or surgery.  In our next newsletter, we will discuss the signs and symptoms of chronic pain and how we can keep those pets in chronic pain as comfortable as possible. 

It is often hard to tell that an animal is feeling pain.  Pets do not show pain in the same ways that people do.  A pet in chronic pain rarely vocalizes (cries/whines).  Instead, these pets may eat less, interact less with people or hide (especially cats), limp, walk stiffly or have difficulty getting up or jumping up.  There are a variety of reasons a pet may have chronic pain.  Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain and can be crippling in both animal and people.  Other causes include cancer and dental pain.

            In some cases, addressing the underlying cause can cure the problem, i.e. fix the painful tooth.  With most causes of chronic pain, a cure is not possible, but alleviating the pain and keeping the pet comfortable is often achievable with medication.  Glucasamine supplements such as Dasuquin and Adequan injections can help improve joint health and therefore decrease discomfort.  Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as Rimadyl, Deramaxx and Metacam and steroids often significantly decrease pain. 

When anti-inflammatories are not enough, adding analgesic drugs such as Gabapentin, Tramadol and narcotics will often keep a pet comfortable.  In addition, laser therapy can significantly decrease pain and inflammation.  Unfortunately, some animals do experience chronic pain; the good news is that, for many, we can keep them comfortable and happy.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Celebrating the holidays at your house this year?

We want to remind you to keep an eye on the foods your pet eats during this time.   Some foods like chocolate or onions can be toxic to your pet, while other fatty foods such as meats and cheeses can cause pancreatitis, a painful GI condition that often requires hospitalization.  To keep your pet safe and healthy, keep hard to resist items out of reach and feed only foods and treats made specifically for him or her. Just a fall reminder from the staff at Brookfield Animal Hospital.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Employee of the Month

Brookfield Animal Hospital would like to honor Michelle Cornelison, a technician, as our Employee of the Month. She has been with us for five years and is currently taking courses through Cedar Valley College to obtain her associates degree in Veterinary Technology, which is an AAHA accredited program. We thank her for all her contributions to our practice.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Protect pets from the cold this season

If your pet enjoys playing outdoors this time of year, be sure to provide them with appropriate shelter from the cold, windy weather we can experience. Nobody likes to be stuck outside in the wind and cold. Be sure to keep an eye on your pets and let them inside if you notice the weather taking a turn for the worse. Just a fall tip from your friends at Brookfield Animal Hospital.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Join Brookfield Animal Hospital's BOOK CLUB!

Join Brookfield Animal Hospital's Book Club! November’s Selection is 'From Baghdad with Love: A Marine, the War, and a Dog Named Lava', by Jay Kopelman. We encourage you to read the book this November, and on December 13th we invite you to join us in a blog discussion. Read Lava's story this month and join us for discussions on December 13th.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

We are proud to offer Laser Therapy- a new way to treat pain!

Is your pet suffering from chronic arthritis?  Laser therapy has been widely utilized in Europe to treat arthritis and other conditions since the 1970’s.  Now, after FDA clearance in 2002, it is being used extensively in the United States and has recently become available to veterinarians.

Laser Therapy can decrease pain after injury or surgery and decrease inflammation in conditions such as gingivitis, lick granulomas and ear infections.  It is especially useful to decrease the pain of arthritis in dogs and cats. 
The laser uses specific wavelengths of light to create therapeutic effects, including improved healing time, pain reduction, increased circulation and decreased swelling. Most conditions require several treatments for greatest benefit and many patients exhibit greater comfort and mobility within 12 to 24 hours after a laser treatment.  We are proud to be the only area veterinarian offering K-Laser Class IV Laser Therapy treatments.  Contact us if you feel your pet could benefit from this drug free, surgery free, painless treatment.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

November Seasonal Tip from Brookfield Animal Hospital

Just because the leaves are falling doesn’t mean the fleas and ticks have gone.  Falling leaves bring jumping fleas that will make your pet’s life miserable until a hard freeze wipes them out.  We can recommend remedies to alleviate your pet’s suffering from these pesky critters. Just a fall tip from the staff at Brookfield Animal Hospital.