Posts from February, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: What’s your diagnosis #7

corneal ulcer

This dog was squinting and rubbing at the left eye.  Fluorescein stain was applied to the eye for diagnosis.   What’s your diagnosis and treatment?

I will post the answer in the comment section later in the week so be sure to come back to see if you were correct!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Wordless Wednesday: What’s your diagnosis #8

Ear mite

This mite is a surface mite that lives on cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets. It is usually found in the ear canal but it can also live on the skin surface. The entire life cycle takes place on animals.  It is highly contagious, and cats become infested by direct contact with another infested animal. The mite is barely visible to the naked eye and may be seen as a white speck moving against a dark background.

Symptoms include scratching and shaking of the head and a dark discharge from the ears.

What’s your diagnosis and treatment?

You can look back at last week’s post of the Sarcoptes mite.  As you can see these mites are very different looking under the microscope and identification can be made based on microscopic examination alone.

I will post the answer in the comment section later in the week so be sure to come back to see if you were correct!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Anesthesia free dentistry is not the answer to dental disease.

Anesthesia free dentistry

Anesthesia free dentistry has become a new fad and advocates have legitimate claims that it is cheaper and that there is no anesthesia risk.  Unfortunately, it’s not treating periodontal disease.

Before I get too deep into this subject, I would like to bring something to your attention.  In the United States and Canada, a person has to have a license to practice veterinary medicine.  Practicing veterinary medicine includes veterinary surgery, medicine and dentistry. Anyone providing dental services other than a licensed veterinarian, or a supervised and trained veterinary technician, is practicing veterinary medicine without a license and is subject to criminal charges.  Most individuals promoting and performing anesthesia free dentistry (Non professional dental cleaning) are not veterinarians and have not been properly trained.  

Anesthesia free dentistry is an inappropriate treatment for periodontal disease.

In veterinary medicine, our patients are not as cooperative.  A person performing anesthesia free dentistry has a very sharp instrument that has the ability to cut and injure soft tissue in a patient that is awake and moving around.  Too much physical restraint or force can actually cause the patient to become more fearful of oral examination and continued home dental care. 

Anesthesia free dentistry cleans the visible portion of the tooth and not below the gum line and therefore is just a cosmetic cleaning.  70% of the tooth is below the gum line and that is where the infection lurks.   The plaque and tartar buildup below the gum line is the cause of periodontal disease and is a huge health risk to the patient.  Anesthesia free dentistry also causes small scratches and abrasions on the tooth’s surface which causes the calculus and tartar to build up even faster.

A detailed oral exam can not be performed on an awake patient.   Only the outer portion of the teeth and gums can be examined.  The inside portion of the teeth closest to the tongue is left dirty and not examined.  It’s also impossible to use a dental probe and check for deep periodontal pockets in an awake patient.

All dental cleanings should include full mouth x-rays.  Several veterinary research studies showed that 22% of lesions in dogs and 32% of lesions in cats were missed when x-rays were only performed in areas that were thought to be abnormal vs. full mouth x-rays.  It is impossible to take mouth x-rays on an awake pet.

Many people are afraid of the anesthesia portion of this procedure and this prevents them from this procedure.  The benefits of using anesthesia during a dental cleaning include having a cooperative patient, it eliminates any pain they might experience during the procedure and it protects the airway and lungs from aspiration of liquid and particles containing bacteria.

For more information see the American Veterinary Dental College.

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

Dental cleaning in pets: Why is it so expensive?

Dental cleaning

A professional dental cleaning for pets isn’t cheap, but there’s a reason!  This  week I will discuss what is included in the cost and why it may cost more to have your pet’s teeth cleaned than it does to clean your own.

Let’s face it most people don’t let their teeth get this bad before going to the dentist!   In addition, most people brush their teeth twice daily and visit their dentist every 6 months for a dental cleaning.  In comparison, pets rarely get their teeth brushed, if ever, and many only receive a professional dental cleaning every few years.  So, the obvious reason pet dentistry is more expensive is that it takes more time to perform a dental cleaning when the teeth are this bad.  In addition, there are usually extractions that need to be done which takes even longer.

Last time I went to the dentist, I was charged for an exam fee, the dental cleaning and dental x-rays which cost me around $175.00.  A dental cleaning for your pet can range anywhere from $250.00 – $500.00 depending on the amount of tartar and damage that has occurred due to the lack of care.  Here are the things involved in cleaning your pet’s teeth.dental cleaning

  1. Blood work:  Blood work needs to be performed to insure that your pet’s organs are functioning properly before anesthesia.  Most veterinarians have the necessary equipment in their hospital so blood work can be performed the day of the procedure.
  2. Intravenous catheter and anesthesia monitoring:  An intravenous catheter allows fluid administration during the procedure dental cleaningand allows easy access to the bloodstream  if there are any complications.  Your pet will be monitored with a variety of equipment, such as blood pressure and EKG to ensure safety during anesthesia.
  3. Ultrasonic cleaning and high speed drill:  Because of the amount of tartar buildup, veterinarian must use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove debris from your pet’s teeth.  This equipment also allows us to clean below the gum line.  Not all veterinarians have a high speed drill but this is necessary for surgical extraction of teeth and root canals.
  4. Dental x-ray:  Full mouth x-rays should be performed on every patient receiving a dental cleaning.  70% of the tooth is below the gum line and can not dental cleaningbe seen by the human eye and pets are unable to tell us what tooth is hurting.  Unfortunately, not every veterinarian has this equipment because the average cost of a high speed drill and x-ray equipment is about $20,000.00.
  5. Polishing:  Removal of dental tartar with an ultrasonic cleaner leaves small scratches and abrasions on the tooth.   Polishing smooth’s out these scratches and helps prevent additional tartar build up.

You can decrease the cost of your pet’s dental cleaning by brushing your pet’s teeth daily and providing daily dental chews and toys to prevent tartar build up.  Regular dental cleanings when recommended by your veterinarian will help prevent advanced dental disease and loss of teeth which requires more time and money. 

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday… What’s your diagnosis #6

Sarcoptes

This is a parasitic mite that burrows just beneath the surface of the skin.  Symptoms are intense itching and hair loss.  Initially, the hair loss is on the ear flaps, elbows and ankles but can spread over the animal’s entire body.  It is zoonotic, which means it is transmissible to humans.  Fortunately, in people the mite can’t complete it’s life cycle and dies within a few days.  

What’s your diagnosis and treatment?

I will post the answer in the comment section later in the week so be sure to come back to see if you were correct!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them here. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dental care: flip the lip, I dare you!

Dental care

Can you imagine what your teeth would look like without daily dental care? If you have a pet, flip the lip and take a look at its teeth.  I’m promoting National Pet Dental Health Month and I will be posting several dental articles this month.

Unless your pet chews on lots of hard toys I bet there is some form of dental disease. In fact, 80% of dogs and 70% of cats show some form of dental disease by age three. Unfortunately, two-thirds of owners do not provide dental care that is recommended by their veterinarian. Continue…

Not so Wordless Wednesday: Animal Neglect

Animal neglect

February is Responsible Pet Owner Month!  If you own a pet you are responsible for it’s care!

Meet Dirty Harry Lambert Handsomepants.  He was found roaming the countryside and was picked up by another animal lover who dropped him off at my office last week.  This poor guy had been severely neglected and was in need of  some grooming.  I saw some potential through all that hair and the groomer got to work on him right away.  Stay tuned for an after picture, but first let me get on my soap box.

Dogs and cats are domesticated animals.  Domestic animals have lost the ability to live in the wild which means that we, as humans, are now responsible for their care.  Taking care of a dog and cat involves more than just feeding them.  For animals that have long hair, they need to be brushed and groomed on a regular basis.  When their hair is severely matted, like Harry’s, it hurts!  Spay and neuter your pets to prevent over population.  This procedure also prevents unwanted behavior and roaming.  A yearly check up at the veterinarian is as essential as food and love.  Here is a short video to share and help spread the word.

Animal neglect

This is Dirty Harry Lambert Handsomepants the same day, right after being groomed!  Can you believe it?  He was so good for his groom, in fact, he licked the groomer’s hand and face the entire time she was shaving him down.  I’m happy to report that he now has a loving home and his own Facebook page.  He is getting prepared to take his first trip in the motor home to Texas!  Watch out world her come Dirty Harry Lambert Handsomepants!

If you have an Ask Dr. Anna question you would like answered, please post them in the comments. Stay up to date on all the latest by subscribing to my blog.  Also “like” me on Facebook.

Dr. Anna was born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma. As a teenager, Dr. Anna found her beloved pet dead on the side of the road left to die without any help. That was the moment she decided to become a vet and vowed to help other people and their pets. After a few years of practicing in New Hampshire, Dr. Anna became homesick and decided to return to Guthrie to be with her parents and five other siblings. Family and friends are a major part of our lives which is why we treat our clients at Guthrie Pet Hospital as family.  Dr. Anna and her husband do not have children but are very proud pet parents and therefore, treat every four legged friend as part of the family. 

border decoration
border decoration