Obesity in our pets

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Interview with Dr. Lara SypniewskiSypniewski Lara

Obesity is an epidemic in our country, for us and for our pets.

When it comes right down to it, obesity comes from consuming more calories than we need to be healthy.

In our society we often view food as love, and as we become more sedentary so do our pets. It’s easier to give your dog a snack than to take them on a walk. The danger is that we are loving our pets to death.

Obese dogs live two years less than dogs of normal body condition. They also develop arthritis three years earlier. So by feeding our pets more than they need, we cause them to live shorter lives and suffer with chronic, unrelenting arthritis pain.

Our pets are just like us, and being trim starts with what we put in our mouths. Provide your pet with the correct diet, in the amount that is appropriate for their body mass, and don’t give additional treats. When you really think about it, taking your dog for a walk shows more love than giving them excessive food that hurts them.

Consult your veterinarian to determine what is best for your pet’s health. Help your pet live a longer, healthier life by keeping it fit and trim, and don’t forget to show yourself that same love.

Bone scan (nuclear scintigraphy)

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Interview with Dr. Danielle DugatDugat - Professional Photo

The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is available for our animals to help diagnose a wide range of problems.

Injuries causing lameness in our pets can be difficult to diagnose when there is not an obvious fracture. Nuclear scintigraphy can be very helpful in these cases, seeing injuries an x-ray would miss.

When bones, ligaments, and tendons are injured they become very active metabolically, as they try to heal. With nuclear scintigraphy, radio-pharmaceuticals are given that selectively attach to the area of injury.

These chemicals emit radiation that is then detected to create a two-dimensional image, clearly showing injuries that would be invisible with a standard x-ray study.

This imaging technique allows the veterinarian to pinpoint the area of concern, and then develop a diagnostic and treatment plan accordingly. The diagnostic bone scan, or nuclear scintigraphy, is a beneficial tool to help guide the diagnosis and treatment of lameness in our pets.

Talk with your veterinarian to see if this wonderful diagnostic aid could be helpful to your pet.

 

Hospice for pets

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Interview with Dr. Lara SypniewskiSypniewski Lara

One of the few negatives about having pets is that our pets rarely out live us. With any luck, we will outlive many pets during our lifetime.

When our pets reach the end of life, hospice care is available if needed, much like that for people. The goal of hospice care is to keep the pet as comfortable as possible as life winds down.

In the final stages of life pain control, medical therapy, low level laser and ultrasound therapy, as well as massage can help to keep the good days outnumbering the bad days. With the realistic goal of quality of life over quantity of life, hospice care helps our pets never lose their dignity.

Veterinarians play a crucial role in the final stages of many pets’ lives by counseling pet owners on end of life decisions. As much as we grieve the loss of our beloved pets, we would never want them to live forever in pain.

That’s what hospice care for our pets is really all about, easing the pain at the end of life. Your veterinarian will be your support through all the stages of life with your pet, and help you and your pet with even the most difficult decisions.

Caring for your senior pet

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Interview with Dr. Lara SypniewskiSypniewski Lara

As our pets age, their needs change.

The transition from middle aged pet to senior pet can creep up on you, and once our pets are visibly older they seem to age very fast. Being aware of your pet’s advancing age will help you make good choices for them, to maximize the quality and quantity of life you share.

Regular visits with your veterinarian can keep an eye out for signs of developing disease and provide early intervention. Dietary and physical activity adjustments can be made to reduce the strain on aging organs and joints.

Heart murmurs and changes in mental activity can develop in the aging pet. Cataracts cause loss of vision, but can be removed in dogs, much like in people. Dental health is a big problem in older pets. Regular dental care helps prevent halitosis, periodontal disease and tooth loss.

Pain from untreated bone issues and osteoarthritis can lead to decreased mobility and deteriorating health in our older pets.

Your veterinarian is your family’s “other doctor” and can help you honor your senior pet’s contribution to the family by providing life stage appropriate support in the golden years.

The cost of being a good pet owner

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Interview with Dr. Lara SypniewskiSypniewski Lara

Often when people get a new pet, it is an emotional reaction. Maybe it is a pet in need,

or just one that is irresistibly cute. But the truth is, being a good pet owner is a big commitment, not just in time and love, but financially as well.

Failure to understand what a pet will cost can lead to a breakdown in the human to pet bond, and the pet can end up homeless.

The initial cost of the pet is just the beginning. High quality, well balanced dog and cat food is expensive. Housing, bedding, grooming supplies, and toys can add up quickly.

It’s important to be conscious of the need for routine veterinary medical care including vaccinations, and prevention of parasites like fleas, ticks, and heartworms.

Puppies and kittens require a series of vaccinations, given over several visits, to build their immunity. The cost of spaying or neutering to prevent homeless animals can’t be overlooked. A mature pet might be more economical than a puppy or kitten.

Before deciding on a pet, talk to your veterinarian about what your new pet will need. Understanding the cost of being a good pet owner is important. It will help you make

a wise decision that you and your new pet can live with.