Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pets as Presents: Don't Let the Pets Get Lost In The Tinsel

It's hard to resist the joy of giving your favorite loved one the pet they've always wanted for Christmas. However, the result of many of these well intentioned gifts is animals that are unwanted, uncared for and oftentimes sent to shelters. 

An animal of any kind (even one as small as a fish or a hamster) is not a light, last minute purchase. Bringing a new life into the house should be well thought out and discussed with the entire family. 

Holiday pets often get ignored in the holiday rush. Christmas morning is filled with so many presents, lots of food, family and relatives coming over...then there's New Years in a few days. You think it's stressful on you? Thank about what a pet who's never been in your house before would be thinking. A new pet needs lots of quiet and calm. A new puppy or kitten needs to watched constantly and settle into a routine so they can become a happy member of the family. This is impossible to accomplish on Christmas. The new pet will just end up confused and scared. 

You should never pick an actual pet for another person, even a child. Bring the child along to pick out the animal and let it be a family event. All animals (even hamsters and fish) have distinct personalities and letting your entire family help with the choice makes the animal more special to them. Besides, don't you want to see how the puppy interacts with your entire family? That great puppy you pick out for your son might not like kids. Your son might decide the puppy you like plays too rough. Your kids may decide they'd rather have a cat! 

New Puppies

Almost every child asks Santa for one, however a dog is MAJOR purchase and a new puppy needs lots of attention and care. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas/New Year holiday, the puppy probably won't get the attention it needs. That's not even taking into account all the ribbon, trees, rich Christmas foods, chocolate and other dangers the puppy could unintentionally get in while your family is busy with their other gifts. 

Alternate ideas: Give the kids a stuffed puppy and tell them the new puppy is coming. Wrap a puppy bowl, collar, crate and other puppy supplies with a "certificate" to get a puppy at a later date. All of this stuff should be set up and ready for the puppy when it comes home anyway. This way, you and your family can set it up while you tell them about the responsibility of a new dog. Another great idea is a few books on puppy care (especially if you have an older child).

New Kittens

Kittens don't take quite as much attention as puppies but they can still get into a lot of trouble at Christmas. Kittens are notorious for swallowing tinsel and ribbon and getting lots of stomach problems. Small kittens scare easily and the safest retreat will probably be up the tree which can be dangerous. 

Alternate ideas: Cat care kits, litter boxes, cat toys, books on kitten care. The litter box and a bed for kitty should be in place before he gets to his new house. You and the kids can decide where to put it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Safety Tips

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pet Holiday Gifts

Are you looking for a gift for your canine friend that is sure to get the tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season? For the safety conscious pet, you could always get them a new travel carrier or car seat harness. Or for the sophisticated pet, try some baked doggie goods from your local doggie bakery. If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats! For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Table Foods and Pets

Did you know that some common “people foods” can be extremely dangerous to your pet’s health? Foods such as onions, macadamia nuts, avocado, grapes, raisins, chocolate, and parts of the turkey, just to name a few, should never be fed to your animal companions. While you are enjoying your holiday meal this season, be sure to keep plenty of pet-friendly treats on hand so your four legged family member will be less likely to beg for scraps.


Friday, December 2, 2011

National Mutt Day!

Today is National Mutt Day! National Mutt Day is all about embracing, saving and celebrating mixed breed dogs. There are millions of loving and healthy mixed breed dogs sitting in shelters, which are desperately searching for a new home. So visit your local shelter and find a new friend today!


Thursday, November 17, 2011

This lost Beagle named Dukie (or Pookie as her microchip was registered) was brought into Sylvan Veterinary Hospital this morning.  Luckily Dukie had a microchip making it possible for her to be reunited with her owner Melanie in less than 12 hours!!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

History of laser light therapy and how it works

In 1916, Albert Einstein first postulated the theory of laser light in an assumption necessary to support his theory of Relativity.  He corrected proposed that when protons collide with an atom under specific conditions they would emit light of uniform energy (wavelength).

It wasn’t until some 40 years later that technology could finally produce what Einstein predicted and the first laser was built.  

In 1967 Dr. Endre Mester, an Hungarian oncologist, wanted to find out if laser light could cause cancer.  His simple experiment took 2 groups of mice, shaving the hair off their backs, and exposing one of the groups to laser light.   To his surprise, the laser group did not develop cancer but rather grew their hair back much more quickly and thus was the first discovery that laser light stimulated cell growth and repair.  

Dr. Mester published his findings in a Hungarian medical journal instead of an international forum and therefore his findings missed most of the world.  Laser therapy for treatment of pain and healing began to growth in Eastern Europe (Russia, China) during the 1970’s. Laser treatment moved into western Europe in the 1980’s and finally into the west in the 1990’s.   With preponderance of scientific evidence, laser therapy is now an FDA approved treatment for pain relief, wound healing, and inflammation. 

What makes laser light unique?
There are three properties that make lased light unique.  First, a laser produces light on only one wavelength or color (Monochromatic).  Second, lased light is coherent, meaning that each photon of light (wave) moves in step or phase with all the other photons being emitted.  Third, the light beam is very tight and concentrated (collimated).  That is the beam stays relatively the same size at 10 yds  vrs. 50 yrs, unlike a flash light beam that gets very wide quickly.  

Numerous Scientific studies over the last decade have demonstrated that optimum cell simulation occurs at specific wavelengths, thus maximizing therapeutic laser light effect on pain relief and healing. 

The effects of laser light therapy in cells and the body:
At present, laser therapy is being used worldwide, and has become routinely used in the treatment of pain relief, wound healing, and as a anti-inflammatory mediator. 

The goal of laser therapy is provide pets with relief of pain and swelling, as a local anti-inflammatory, and as an enhanced method of healing wounds and injuries.
  • Stabilization of the cellular membrane
  • An increase of ATP (universal cell fuel) production to power cell repair and growth
  • Increased beta-endorphins, reducing pain
  • Reduced hypersensitivity (down-regulates pain nerves)
  • Repairs of nerve damage
  • Increased tissue repair through increased phagocytosis (removal of non-viable cells and wound debris), growth factor secretion and collagen synthesis
  • Vasodilation increasing oxygen and nutrient transport to damaged cells
  • Acceleration of beneficial leukocyte activity enhancing removal of non-viable cellular materials allowing for rapid cell repair
  • Increased Prostaglandin synthesis (PG12) providing additional vasodilation and anti-inflammatory action
  • Enhanced lymphocyte response
  • Increased angiogenesis (increased production of blood capillaries and lymphathics)
  • Enhanced superoxide dismutase levels which contributes to the anti-inflammatory response
  • Decreased C-reactive protein, an inflammatory mediator

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.

Are you aware that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Run your hands over your pet and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps. If you feel something new or unusual, let's take a look at it. Dogs and cats can get benign lumps such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts, but they can also get much more serious tumors, like mast cell tumors, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and many others. Many of these can be diagnosed with a simple in-office procedure involving a needle aspirate and then a microscopic exam of the cells obtained. A fine needle aspirate is generally less painful than a vaccination, so don't hesitate to get that lump checked out. The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. 

Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Better to be safe than sorry, and much better to catch something sooner rather than later!

Monday, November 14, 2011


On July 15th 2011 Lefty, a 8 weeks old mixed was presented to Sylvan Veterinary Hospital because he was attacked by a bigger dog, biting off his 5th digit of his front paw.  OUCH!!

Lefty was given some medication for pain and the wound was cleaned immediately.  An X-ray showed that his was had been chewed off at the second phalanx. 
Due to the extensive tissue damage and contamination surgical repair was delayed until infection was controlled.  After flushing and cleaning the wound thoroughly, Sugar was applied to the wound and paw bandaged to kill infection and reduce tissue swelling.  He was also started on a Class IV laser therapy program to speed healing and help control pain from his injury.   

 We knew was going to be a long recovery period, lots of care and patient but Lefty’s owners Geri, had a strong commitment with her pet.

Bandages were changed every other day, initially and LASER therapy was started on the third day, continuing every other day for a total of six treatments.
Lefty’s attitude improved every day as we as his wound; less pain, inflammation and more healing. 
After 8 days the improvement was noticeable;
Two weeks later the wound was 90% healed.
After 4 weeks, Lefty’s wound had healed remarkably without surgery.  He was pain free and well equipped to continue through his playful puppyhood.  

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome Dr. Ricardo Rojas Rivas!

We are proud to introduce Dr. Ricardo Rojas Rivas as the newest member of our team of skilled Veterinarians.  Dr. Rojas completed his education in Costa Rica before moving here where he completed a demanding program to obtain his license in the United States.  “It is important for me to educate our pet owners in preventative medical care that will allow their pet’s to live a longer and healthier life.” Dr. Rojas is involved in many service groups including Search and Rescue, Dogs for the Blind and Police Dogs. Please join us in welcoming Dr. Rojas!!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

National Senior Pet Month

November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hammer-head Worm

This called a hammer-head  worm.  There are four different species of these Bipalium flatworms currently found in the US. Three eat only earthworms; one eats snails and slugs. Bipalium kewense is found across the southern states and may get over 10 inches. It has five dark stripes along the back including a thin middle stripe. Bipalium adventitium is found across the northern states, reaching about 4 inches. It has one narrow dark stripe on the back. Bipalium vagum is the mollusk eater now found in the southeastern US. It has a three thick dark stripes, a dark neck collar, and two dark head spots.

It has a wide distribution in warm climates, many reports throughout California. It needs a moist habitat and is usually encountered near outdoor water faucets, where the soil often remains wet. It original home is unknown but is possibly the Indo-Malayan region.

Having never come across one of these worms in my 45 years, I must admit that I thought it was a leech at first, but later questioned that notion since I am not aware of blood sucking leeches in the central valley and Jasmine had no history of travel outside the central valley or an exotic Kai pond.  I suspect Jasmine found this critter while outside and decided to try and eat it.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wackiest Pet Names of 2011

Ozzy Pawsbourne and Almost-A-Dog top this year's list of quirkiest monikers.
Fido, Spot or Fluffy? For some peculiar pet owners, these names are just too traditional. Although "Bella" and "Max" currently lead the pack as the nation's most popular pet names, thousands of other four-legged friends have much more distinctive names.

So drumroll, please... the 10 Most Unusual Dog and Cat Names for 2011:
  1. Almost-A-Dog
  2. Franco Furter
  3. Stinkie Mcstinkerson
  4. Sir Seamus McPoop
  5. Audrey Shepburn
  6. Dewey Decimell
  7. Knuckles Capone
  8. Beagle Lugosi
  9. Shooter Mclovin
  10. Uzi Duzi-Du
  1. Ozzy Pawsbourne
  2. Mr. Meowgi
  3. Murderface
  4. Fuglee
  5. Scruffernutter
  6. Corporal Cuddles
  7. Cat Masterson
  8. Spam
  9. Tape W. Orm
  10. Louisiana Purchase

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pet of the Month: VADAR

Vadar is a 6 year old, male neutered, Doberman pincher that was presented to Sylvan Veterinary Hospital with a 2 week history of intermittent limping in the right front leg.  There was some soreness determined in the right shoulder during physical examination and x-rays were taken of the right and left shoulders.  A lesion, characteristic of early bone cancer,  was discovered in Vadar’s  right arm near his shoulder.  Further testing confirmed the tentative diagnosis of bone cancer.  

We most frequently see bone cancer in large and giant breed dogs.  Most tend to be very aggressive, although there are some less aggressive forms.  The majority of pets afflicted with bone cancer live anywhere from 3-6 months, depending on how advanced the disease is at the time of diagnosis (stage), and or how aggressive the form of cancer.  Bone cancer is very painful and in advanced stages, treatment is usually directed towards pan relief by giving medications and or leg amputation.  Leg salvage or amputation with follow up chemotherapy is successful in some cases of early detection.   

At Sylvan, we have had 2 patients survive bone cancer, so survival is possible with early detection and treatment.  Unfortunately, these cancers tend to be fairly advanced before diagnosis.  Due to Vadar’s  age, early stage of the disease, and type of bone cancer, It was decided to treat with amputation and follow up chemotherapy in hope for a cure.  
Vadar  is now 4 months out with no sign of Cancer.  He is finishing up his last round of chemotherapy and doing great! We sure hope Vadar can beat his cancer. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Cat Month

The CATalyst Council has declared September as Happy Cat Month. This month is dedicated to finding ways to keep our feline friends happy, healthy and purring all year long. Click the link below for the top 10 ways to keep your feline friend happy.

Friday, August 26, 2011

National Dog Day

Today is National Dog Day! Today is the day to recognize the number of dogs that need to be rescued each year, and acknowledge family dogs and dogs that work selflessly each day to save lives, keep us safe and bring comfort. Tell us your favorite story about the canine companion in your life.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Don’t run the risk of losing with your pet with no chance of reuniting. Even if your pet never wanders away, remember that in old age, pets have a tendency to lose their scent and can wander too far to retrace their steps. At Sylvan Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a microchip for every cat and dog.


Friday, August 12, 2011

Today is National Assistance Dog Day!

Today is National Assistance Dog Day! Assistance Dogs transform the lives of their human partners with physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, best friend and close member of their family. We would like recognize and honor the hardworking assistance dogs and honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs as well as recognize the heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our community.


Thursday, July 21, 2011


Sylvan Veterinary Hospital is proud to offer our clients and patients the option of laparoscopic surgery.  Laparoscopy is a minimally invasive technique for viewing the internal structures of the abdomen.  A laparoscope (camera) inserted through a small incision in the abdomen magnifies internal structures on an enhanced video monitor for a more thorough examination.  Additional small incisions are made to facilitate the use of surgical instruments.  In human medicine, many surgical procedures are done in this manner.  In recent years laparoscopy has been adopted to offer a less traumatic and less painful alternative to traditional surgery.

                                                Laparoscopic Camera used in procedures

Laparoscopic Ovariectomy

In laparoscopic spays the procedure is performed through two small incisions in the abdomen , typically 3/16 inch in size depending on the size of the pet.  With the laparoscope we are able to perform the surgery with magnified views of the organs, allowing for greater precision and minimal complications.  The ovarian ligament is carefully cauterized rather than blindly tearing it out as in a tradition spay; this eliminates the pain your pet would experience from bruising and swelling caused by traumatic handling of the tissue. With laparoscopic spays we provide our patients a procedure resulting in 65% less pain, minimal recovery time and less trauma than with the traditional procedure.

 Any ovary being isolated before being removed during laparascopic ovariectomy

 Advantages of Laparoscopic Spays over Traditional Surgery

  1. 65% Less painful than traditional spay
  2. Smaller incisions reduce recovery time
  3. Controlled cuts eliminate pain and bruising
  4. Fewer complications
  5. Allows for excellent visualization of abdominal organs
  6. Entire surgery performed through two tiny incisions rather than a large abdominal opening which reduces chance of infection.
  7. In large breed dogs, gastropexy can be performed at the time of spay to prevent life-threatening gastric torsion.

Laparoscopic Gastropexy
Canine gastropexy is a surgical procedure performed on large breed dogs to prevent "gastric dilatation", commonly known as torsion bloat. Torsion bloat is a life-threatening condition in which the stomach flips over and expands, trapping air and gases in the stomach. Because circulation to the stomach and spleen are cut off the dog goes into shock and dies. In laparoscopic gastropexy, the stomach is tacked to the right side of the abdominal, so it cannot shift or twist. Gastropexy is an effective preventive against death from torsion bloat in large dogs. The benefits to laparascopic gastropexy are small incision, quicker recovery, less chance of infection and less pain.
 A stomach secured to the abdominal wall after laparascopic gastropexy

Laparscopic cryptorchid surgery

Dogs often times will fail to have both testicles descend to the scrotum resulting in a cryptorchid testicle.  These testicles fail to develop properly and are at higher risk for disease processes such as cancer.  In the past Veterinarians were able to remove the retained testicles by performing an exploratory surgery which often resulted in large abdominal incisions, long recovery times and increased pain.  With the use of the laparoscope the procedure has greatly improved.  The laparoscope allows the Veterinarian to insert a tiny camera into the abdomen to locate the retained testicle.  Another small incision is made over the area of the testicle and is removed with the use of small forceps thus eliminating the need for a large abdominal incision.  Patients recovery quickly with less pain and less change of infection at the surgical site.
 A retained testicle gently being isolate from the abdomen prior to removal

Laparoscopic assisted cystotomy
Cystotomy is a surgically procedure that has been traditionally performed with a sizeable incision to remove stones from the bladder. With the advancement of minimally invasive surgery for dogs and cats, a very small incision can be made to remove stones from the bladder. The Laparoscopic camera aids in visualization of the stones in the bladder where traditional cystotomy required a large bladder incision to allow for the surgeon to visualize all stones.  Laparoscopic cystotomy results in small incisions, quicker recover, less pain and reduced change of infection.
 exposed bladder during laparoscopic cystotomy

Indications for rhinoscopy are nasal discharge, chronic sneezing, and bleeding from the nose.  The laparoscope allows a magnified area of all the sinus passages to aid in diagnosing disease process, removing  foreign objects such as foxtails and collecting biopsies for sampling.

Laparoscopic Biopsies
The most common use of the laparoscope secondary to spays is to obtain minimally invasive tissue samples from the abdomen for sampling.  In the past exploratory surgeries required lengthy anesthesia, large abdominal incisions and a slow painful recovery.  With the use of the laparascopic the surgical procedure itself has been reduced to 20-30 minutes.  There are only 2-3 small ½ inch incisions necessary to obtain the samples.  In addition there is less tissue handling which results in less trauma and pain.  
 obtaining a laparoscopic liver biopsy

Monday, July 11, 2011

Visit our Website!

Have you visited Sylvan Veterinary Hospital's website? Go to www.sylvanvet.com today to learn more about the incredible veterinary services we proudly offer to the community!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pets in Cars

It’s fun to take your pet in the car when you’re running errands, but in the summer heat, the car can become a potential death trap. Inside temperatures can quickly climb to more than 120 degrees on even a mild sunny day. Never leave your pet unattended inside the car during the summer months. Be sure to bring your pet plenty of water to keep them cool as the season heats up! 

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cookouts and Pets

Cookouts and family reunions are great activities this time of year. However, the food we often enjoy at these events can make pets sick and even cause Pancreatitis, which is a very serious disease. We want to remind you to bring plenty of food and treats for your pets so they can join in the fun without risking a stomachache or other illness later.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011


We would like to share this tip about how to handle your pets during a storm. Fear of thunder and other loud noises may drive pets to seek shelter. Their attempts to seek immediate shelter may damage property and cause injury to themselves. Pets that react to loud noises can be trained not to panic through a process called progressive desensitization. We can review this process and recommend solutions that may help your pet weather through the storm!  

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

When the weather is warmer owners tend to let their pets outside more. Make sure your pet has an identification tag on its collar. The tag should have your daytime and home phone numbers or email address. Also, ask us about microchipping. It can help identify your pet if it is turned into an animal shelter. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

When temperatures soar, remember to watch your pet closely for signs of heatstroke or dehydration. Because dogs and cats don’t perspire heavily, their body temperatures rise much quicker than people’s body temperatures. We recommend scheduling exercise in the cooler mornings and evenings…and stopping for rest if your pet is lagging behind, even slightly. Plenty of shade and fresh water is a must, and keep your pet inside for those particularly hot afternoons. Just a tip so you and your pet can enjoy this great season together! 

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Bloat and your Dog

Bloat occurs when a dog's stomach fills with gas or air and flips on itself, cutting off circulation. Typically, this life-threatening condition occurs with large dogs.

But Dr. Jennifer Monroe of Eagle's Landing Veterinary Hospital in Georgia notes that any dog can be affected by bloat. Here are a few tips from Monroe to help reduce the chances of your dog suffering from bloat:

Know the risk factors
Doctors don't know what causes bloat, but Monroe says that certain attributes can increase your dog's chances of developing the condition.

Large-breed dogs with deep chests -- such as Great Danes, Dobermans, German shepherds, standard poodles and your beloved boxer -- particularly are at risk. She also notes that the condition also is more prevalent among older, male dogs.

MNN: How to find a place to board your pet
Since gulping down food can contribute to gastric issues, dogs that eat one meal a day or tend to inhale their kibble face a greater risk of developing bloat, Monroe says. Elevated food bowls also may increase risk.
If you have invested in a fancy elevated set for your pooch or if your pet has a tendency to inhale its food, Monroe suggests placing a tennis ball in with the food bowl.

"You are trying to prevent them from gulping air while eating quickly," she says. "Also, try feeding the dog small meals several times a day rather than one large meal."

Slow-feed dog bowls also make it harder for dog snouts to dig in, so scan your local pet store for variations on the theme.

Recognize early warning signs
Head to the veterinarian if your dog's abdomen suddenly appears larger or if your pet has unproductive retching, Monroe says. Other warning signs include pale gums and excessive drooling.
Initial treatment involves stabilizing the dog, administering IV fluids and decompressing its stomach to remove some of that gas.

MNN: What you need for a pet first aid kit
Veterinarians also perform a procedure called gastropexy, which involves tacking the stomach to a wall of the dog's abdomen. This helps prevent the stomach from flipping.

"Twenty years ago, the survival rate was 25 percent," Monroe says. "With surgery and care, especially if treated early, about 80 percent do pretty well." Post-surgery, dogs require limited exercise for about two weeks.

Take precautions
If you have an at-risk breed, Monroe suggests that dog owners take proactive measures and opt for the gastropexy during a neuter or spay procedure.
"It can really save the dog's life."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Spring is here! It's time to go outdoors with your pet and check out all flowers and plants.  Make sure to keep an eye on your pet in case a bee decides he doesn't want your pet to get up close and personal.  There are all sorts of flying critters out in the garden, so make sure your pet is protected from allergic reactions to insect bites or stings. Protect your pet so you both can enjoy the spring season together! 

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

We would like to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. You are appreciated and we are sure if your pets could, they would say the same thing! Have a great Mother's Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

This week is Be Kind to Animals Week!

Join the event that’s been celebrated every year since 1915 -- American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week. In this annual tradition, we commemorate the role animals play in our lives, promote ways to continue to treat them humanely, and encourage others, especially children, to do the same. While Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated only once a year, we should strive to always be kind to animals every day. What is the kindest thing you've done for your pet today?


Tuesday, May 3, 2011


As the temperature begins to raise so does something else…the flea population! Ideally, flea control should begin as flea prevention…before flea season starts. As a loving pet owner, you’d do anything to prevent your cat or dog from suffering, after all, they’re part of the family. Yet every year when flea season begins, it’s like an ......old broken record. Fleas bite, and the scratching and chewing starts again. It’s a painful and irritating routine for you and your pet. But that’s not all. The adult fleas on your pet can actually cause serious medical problems…like flea allergy dermatitis or tapeworms, and in some extreme cases, anemia. We can help! Ask us about how to keep your pet flea free, at your next visit!


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pets & Cookouts

Cookouts and family get-togethers are great springtime activities.  However, the food we often enjoy at these events can make pets sick and even cause Pancreatitis, which is a very serious disease. Any food that is not made for your pet…is not good for them.  We want to remind you to bring plenty of food and treats for your pets so they can join in the fun without risking a stomachache or other illness later.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Avoiding the Easter Holiday Hazards!

With the arrival of the holiday season our pets are often prone to new un thought of risks. Nothing makes a holiday more memorable than a panicked trip to the vets. But pet owners need not fret. Here's what you need to know to have an emergency-free celebration this Easter.

Festive Foods:
One of the biggest risks to pets at Easter time is "CHOCOLATE". The canine nose is an expert in sniffing out all the lovely sweet goodies in an instant. And birds, cats & dogs alike are drawn to the bright colours & shiny wrappers. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and parrots. Baker's chocolate has the highest concentration of theobromine. How a pet reacts to chocolate depends on its size, as well as the amount and type of chocolate eaten. Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of chocolate toxicosis, and while rare, too much chocolate can even be fatal. Carob chocolate is a natural, delicious and  pet friendly alternative.

Foil packaging, ribbon and pretty sparkly plastic wadding  are irresistible to cats and birds, while a big shiny Easter egg appears as a fun ball for a dog.  Pets love to play with these items and they will sometimes swallow them. Known as linear foreign bodies in vet speak, they are indigestible and can cause a partial or complete obstruction. They are often sharp and run the risk of cutting through the wall of the intestinal tract which can cause peritonitis.

While we all love our pets and wish to include them in the festivities, it is important to remember that now matter how much they beg, what they want may not always be what is best for them. Rich fatty foods can cause an upset stomach, vomiting or even pancreatitis in the extreme. Onions both raw or cooked can be poisonous to cats and dogs. As little as one bite of an onion can cause some of the red bloods cells to be destroyed (haemolytic anaemia) symptoms can include pale gums, reddish urine and lethargy.

It is important to remember never to feed your pets cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. The same applies to feeding your pets fish which might contain bones. Bowls of nuts and raisin-laden fruitcakes or chocolate covered sultanas are also common holiday treats. Macadamia Nuts are toxic to dogs. Although one nut is not likely to harm your dog, a number of them could require a trip to the emergency ward. Dogs who ingest macadamia nuts could suffer weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

Foods that are healthy for us may not be so good for our beloved pets. Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats and dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure and even death. While avocadoes are harmful to dogs, cats, birds and Guinea pigs. They contain a toxic fatty acid called persin which can cause vomiting, gastrointestinal irritation, congestion, respiratory disease, fluid accumulation around the heart tissue and may cause death, especially in small animals and birds. So please be careful when serving fruit platters or salads this Easter.

One very real concern to pets are products containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol. This absolutely needs to be avoided. It will cause low blood sugar if ingested in toxic amounts and has been known to cause fatal liver failure.

During the festive season it is easy to forget the dangers of leaving alcoholic drinks within reach of our pets. It may seem harmless enough to offer your best mate a frosty cold one to celebrate alongside the humans. But alcohol poisoning is a very real danger to our pets. Problems equate to the amount of alcohol ingested compared to weight. Even a very small amount of alcohol can cause severe poisoning in a small pet. The yeast contained in beer can also lead to bloating and abdominal pain.

The good news is there is now a specially designed non alcoholic doggy beer on the market called *Paw Rex* It is made with beef stock so dogs love it and even comes in a six pack.

It is also important to remember that most cats and dogs are lactose intolerant so avoid giving them any dairy products. Specially designed lactose free animal products are an available alternative.  It's up to us to make sure hazards are kept out of reach and that visitors or children know the risks. Remember prevention is better than cure. For healthy Easter treat alternatives to spoil your best friend, please visit our Pet Gourmet section in this special Easter addition of Pet Scene Magazine.

Unexpected Hazards:

With all the coming and going and busy rush that comes with the holiday seasons it is easy for opportunities to arise to get our pets into trouble. It is not uncommon for visitors who are not used to pets to leave gates or doors open. This welcomes the opportunity for your pet to flee the house with all it's strange new smells, noise and people. An open window makes for a great escape root for cats or free flying birds. Many pets wind up getting lost or struck by vehicles as a result of this careless mistake. If you have a pet who becomes nervous around new people or strange activity it may be a good idea to plan in advance to have area of the house or yard which is separate where they can feel safe and secure. Visitors who aren't used to living with pets may inadvertently leave their medications within reach. This brings opportunities for serious problems. Dogs are not deterred by childproof caps and can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble. Warn guests to keep medications well out of reach.

Traveling with pets:

If your going out of town with your pet this Easter there are a few things to remember:

* Make sure your pet is in a cool well ventilated position and never left alone in a closed car, temperatures can sore very quickly.

* Make sure your pet is secured in either a pet crate or safety harness.

* If your pet suffers from motion sickness it's recommended that you consult with your vet prior to travel to arrange an appropriate treatment.

* Make sure you plan for toileting and drink breaks. Our pets need to refresh too. 

* If you are planning to go out on the water these holidays be sure to pack your pet a life vest.

*  If you are going on holiday this Easter with your pets, be sure you have a full supply of any medications they may be taking with you.

The humble Easter Lily

Many cat owners will be surprised to learn that lilies ( Liliaceae) are extremely toxic to their feline friends. The exact cause is unknown, however even the smallest amounts if ingested by cats can  be fatal, while dogs who ingest large amounts only develop signs of mild gastrointestinal upset. Early warning signs of Lily toxicity include vomiting, depression and a lack of appetite. There is no antidote, but with early detection and aggressive treatment the cat stands a better chance of survival. Cats may sometimes appear to be improving after the first onset of symptoms, but 24-72hrs later crash and become critically ill as they go into acute renal failure. If you suspect there is a chance your cat may have ingested this plant it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated cats die within 3-7 days. Cat owners should never grow Lilies in the garden and should ensure that lilies are never part of floral arrangements. This is important to remember these holidays with the popular Easter Lily appearing  in most flower arrangements.

We hope that these tips will help you and your pets have a happy and safe
holiday season.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

As you enjoy the outdoors and related activities this year, don’t forget to frequently check your pets for fleas and ticks.  These parasites will attach themselves to any available, warm-blooded host and engorge themselves.  They can carry a variety of serious diseases, some even life-threatening.  Ask any one of our staff members for recommendations on how to protect your pets from fleas and ticks at your next visit.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is upon us and that means Spring break is quickly approaching. If you're taking a vacation and can’t bring your pet along…then leave them with us! We proudly offer boarding services. Spring Break rolls around fast, so make sure to schedule your appointment ahead of time!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

We want you to be aware of the many hazards at home and in the yard. Common poisonous flowers include lilies, azaleas, hydrangeas, hemlock, rhododendrons, gladiolus, oleander and hibiscus…all causing vomiting, diarrhea and sometimes death if ingested in large enough quantities. Remove all plants where pets roam unsupervised. Visit us immediately if your pet has ingested any harmful flowers or plants.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

We provide comprehensive pain management to our patients…including those who suffer from chronic pain, acute injury and those recovering from surgical procedures. We will tailor a pain management program specific to your pet’s needs to ensure their comfort. We’d like to remind you that over the counter medications like Tylenol, Advil and Aleve are not safe for your pet. If your pet has ingested any of these over the counter pain medications, please bring them to us immediately.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Thinking of adding a new addition to your family circle? There are a lot of things you need to know before you bring home a new puppy or kitten...such as...what am I going to feed my new friend, where will it sleep, and how do I keep him or her healthy? We encourage you to ask questions and offer puppy and kitten packages to help the newest member of your family begin a long and healthy life.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Prevention is key to keeping your pet healthy and disease free. Annual fecal exams and vaccinations are part of your pet's overall health and well-being. Exams screen for internal parasites and diseases and vaccinations can save them from those diseases that are avoidable. Remember an ounce of prevention will give your pet a healthy life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Don’t forget that February is Dental Care Month and that dental care is one of the most neglected of pet health needs. Our pets need care for their teeth just as we do. Bad breath, drooling and pain while eating are some of the signs of periodontal disease. Regular dental check-ups and proper home care are important for good pet dental health.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Could you imagine how your mouth would feel if you never brushed your teeth? Dental care for pets is the most neglected of all pet health care. Periodontal disease is the most common disease among cats and dogs. You can help your dog by brushing their teeth daily. Don’t let bad breath stand in the way of you and your pet, give them fr...esh breath and pearly whites. To help promote this important month Sylvan Veterinary Hospital is offering $30.00 off dental exam, ultrasonic scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatment. In addition, all patients will save 30% off all C.E.T. Chews, toothpaste, mouth rinse, and scientifically proven tartar reducing pet food. Additionally, a $50 rebate from Purina is available when you purchase a bag of Purina Dental pet food at the time of the dental procedure. These specials are available during the month of February. Appointment space is limited, so make your pet’s appointment today!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


February has been established as National Pet Dental Health month to help raise public awareness of the importance of dental care in dogs and cats.  More than 85 percent of dogs and cats over four years old have some form of periodontal disease (bacterial infection of the gums), and senior pets, those seven years and older are especially susceptible to periodontal disease. 

If left unchecked, bacteria from the gums can enter the bloodstream and travel to vital organs like the heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys, causing infection there and seriously compromising the health of your pet.  These infections can permanently damage organs and shorten a dog’s or cat’s life.  That’s why it’s important to have your pet’s teeth examined on an annual basis.  Like people, animals need professional teeth cleaning throughout their life.

Warning signs to look for in your pet include:

·   Bad breathe – one of the first signs of dental disease.
·   Yellowish-brown crust of plaque on teeth at the gums.
·   Red and swollen gums.
·   Difficulty eating or chewing hard food.

If your pet displays any of these signs please see us for a complete dental exam.  Prevention can start at home by giving your pet chew toys and feeding them hard or coarse textured food to help remove accumulation of plaque.  Routine prevention and professional dental care keeps your pet’s teeth and body healthy!                

To help promote this important month Sylvan Veterinary Hospital is offering $30.00 off dental exam, ultrasonic scaling, polishing, and fluoride treatment.  In addition, all patients will save 30% off all C.E.T.  Chews, toothpaste, mouth rinse, and scientifically proven tartar reducing pet food.  Additionally, a $50 rebate from Purina is available when you purchase a bag of Purina Dental pet food at the time of the dental procedure.  These specials are available during the month of February.  Appointment space is limited, so make your pet’s appointment today!



*A doctor may perform or recommend additional procedures such as, tooth extractions, pain medication, and antibiotics based on your pets dental needs.