Posts Tagged ‘veterinary’

Top 10 Dog and Cat Medical Conditions of 2012

Tuesday, April 23rd, 2013

Pet Insurer Reveals Most Common Causes of Veterinary Visits

Just like their human counterparts, when pets are afflicted with even seemingly minor ailments such asan ear infection, stomach ache or cough, it can prompt a visit to the doctor. While the majority of these conditions are rarely life threatening, they can become chronic and expensive to treat. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent more than $58 million in 2012 treating the 10 most common medical conditions affecting their pets. VPI, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions in 2012. Ear infections traditionally topped the list for dogs, but for the first time in the last five years, skin allergies now lead the way. Below are the results:

Dogs

1. Skin Allergies
2. Ear Infection
3. Skin Infection
4. Non-cancerous Skin Growth
5. Upset Stomach/Vomiting
6. Arthritis
7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
8. Bladder Infection
9. Periodontitis/Dental Disease
10. Bruise or Contusion

Cats

1. Bladder Infection
2. Periodontitis/Dental Disease
3. Overactive Thyroid
4. Chronic Kidney Disease
5. Upset Stomach/Vomiting
6. Diabetes
7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
8. Skin Allergies
9. Lymphosarcoma (Cancer of Lymph Node)
10. Upper Respiratory Infection

“Although a few of the top 10 dog and cat conditions can be associated with an animal’s natural aging process, many of the conditions listed above can occur in any pet,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Regardless of the age or breed of the dog or cat, pet owners should familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness.”

In 2012, VPI received more than 68,000 canine claims for skin allergies, the most common cause for taking a dog to see a veterinarian. The average claim fee was $96 per office visit. For cats, a bladder infection was the most common reason to take your kitty to the veterinarian. VPI received more than 4,000 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $251 per office visit.

The most expensive canine condition on the list (arthritis) cost an average of $258 per visit, while, for cats, the most expensive condition (lymphosarcoma) cost an average of $415 per visit. In addition to familiarizing themselves with their pets’ routine and behavior, pet owners should schedule their pets’ semiannual veterinary examinations on a regular basis to help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly.

From a Chiropractor: 5 Gifts to Ensure Happy, Healthy Dogs

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Today’s modern world shows how much our relationship with animals has changed, says animal chiropractic consultant Dr. Rod Block.

“Back before the mechanical wonders of industrialization, we relied upon animals to carry the brunt of our work; essentially, their purpose was to haul loads, plow fields and chase down prey,” says Block, author of “Like Chiropractic for Elephants,” (www.drrodblock.com) a book in part about his experience treating elephants and other animals for chiropractic problems.

“Today, tractors and other marvels of the post-industrial era have largely replaced the duties of the working animal. In a world where humans distance themselves more and more from one another, these animals have become our companions, family members and closest confidantes.”

More friends and custodians of animals – including dogs, horses and, yes, elephants – realize that they too suffer from spinal irregularities, he says.

“Of course, any living creature with a spine is vulnerable to injury, which can incur years of suffering and even death,” he says.

With that in mind, he offers gift ideas for the furry family member that cannot tell you with language what it needs:

• Dog harnesses: For those who haven’t already noticed, collars and choke chains hurt dogs that have a habit of pulling during walks. Collars centralize stress on their neck. Ideally, you should train your dog to not pull — there are how-to books and programs that can help. In the meantime, and even after successful training, a dog harness works best on that rare occasion when, for example, a squirrel piques their interest. Harnesses appropriately distribute weight throughout a canine’s torso. They’re also appropriate for cats on leashes.

• Need a chiropractor? … Some animals go many years before their caretakers realize they have a significant mobility problem, or that there is an affordable solution to the problem. Many simply do not consider alternative health measures for their horse, dog or cat; they think their only options are expensive, invasive surgery, or nothing. To spot problems early, always monitor how they walk or run, and how they hold their head. “Pay attention to their movements, and how they respond to touch,” he says.

• Don’t overfeed!: An overfed dog or cat, just like an obese human, experiences damaging health consequences. Excess weight puts stress on the skeleton and joints, and obese cats and dogs can get diabetes. Feed them the appropriate amount of pet food, and do not give them scrap from the dinner table. If your dog has grown accustomed to begging at meal times, put him in another room when you sit down at the table. Our pets do not have the right digestion system for many human foods.

• Dog beds: Know your dog. You wouldn’t give a child’s bed to a large adult; consider what’s appropriate for your dog’s length, weight and sleeping style. This knowledge will help you when confronted with the many styles of beds: bagel, doughnut and bolster beds; cuddler or nest beds; dog couches; round, rectangle or square beds; or elevated beds with frames. Also, consider manufacturer differences. Each may have its own definition of “large dog,” for example.

• Holistic options: As health-care avenues have expanded for humans, so too have they for pets. Often, the answer for human and animal well-being is not an overload of prescription medication. Acupuncture is a valid option with no adverse side affects that has shown positive results, especially for large animals like horses. In general, use common sense; an overstressed environment is not good for any living thing. Consider researching the latest alternative-health options for your animal.

About Dr. Rod Block

Dr. Rod Block (www.drrodblock.com) serves as a chiropractic consultant to numerous veterinary practices in Southern California and is an international lecturer on animal chiropractic. He is board certified in animal chiropractic by the American Veterinary Chiropractic Association, is a member of the International Association of Elephant Managers and serves as an equine chiropractic consultant to Cal Poly Pomona. Dr. Block is the equine chiropractor for the Los Angeles Police Department’s Mounted Police Unit, a lecturer at Western State University College of Veterinary Medicine and a lecturer at University of California Irvine (Pre-Veterinary Program). He completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA and later received his Doctorate in Chiropractic.

10 Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership

Tuesday, January 29th, 2013

February is Responsible Pet Owners Month, and the veterinarians of VCA West Los Angeles share their Top 10 Tips for Responsible Pet Ownership
LOS ANGELES – Responsible Pet Owners Month is right around the corner in February, and several of VCA West Los Angeles’ veterinarians wanted to share their tips for responsible pet ownership. Whether you need to hone your parental instincts or not, these 10 tips will certainly make your canine or feline happier and healthier.

Animals are very good at coping and hiding their medical ailments. Because they cannot speak, by the time they start showing symptoms, their ailment can be very advanced. Therefore, if an owner is wondering if their pet should see a veterinarian for noted symptoms, odds are they should. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

Notify your veterinarian if you notice any sudden change in your pet’s weight (gain or loss) as such changes can indicate the presence of a significant health problem. Early recognition is key to ensuring a good outcome. -Dr. David Bruyette, DACVIM

Many common foods that you eat may be harmful to your pet. Avoid feeding your pet foods such as grapes, raisins, chocolate, onions, garlic, macadamia nuts, and foods with caffeine such as coffee or tea. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

Keep your veterinarian’s business card in your wallet; if you have to take your pet to an emergency clinic they will appreciate this information. -Dr. Teresa Reiser, DACVECC

It is important for an owner of a pet who has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition to obtain adequate information so that goals for their pet can be met. Speak with their veterinarian, research online, and/or seek referral to a specialist if necessary. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

Many people don’t realize that marijuana and tobacco are toxic to pets and they should not be exposed to the smoke or allowed to ingest the plant material. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

Notify your veterinarian if you notice any sudden change in water drinking and/or urinary habits as these changes can be signs of serious medical conditions such as kidney disease and diabetes. -Dr. David Bruyette, DACVIM

Medications that are safe for people can be very harmful to your pet. Do not give your pet any medications without first consulting with a veterinarian. -Dr. Karen Eiler, DACVIM

Food does NOT equal love – feeding an unbalanced diet or feeding to excess can be bad for your pet’s health. -Dr. Teresa Rieser, DACVECC

Exercise is just as important for pets as it is humans. It promotes mental and physical health and is a great time for bonding. -Dr. Johnny Chretin, DACVIM, Oncology

VCA West Los Angeles will open its newly-constructed animal hospital early this year. For the past 14 months, construction crews have been hard at work on VCA West L.A.’s new hospital, just one block south of its current location. The facility will be nearly 42,000 square feet, house state of the art treatment equipment, and provide parking for over 230 vehicles, all of which make it the largest small-animal hospital in the western United States.

VCA will host an open house on March 16 from noon – 6 p.m., open to the public, at the new VCA West Los Angeles Animal Hospital, located at 1900 South Sepulveda Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90025.