Bulldog Breed Veterinary Care

Smooshy Face Dogs – What’s Not to Love about Them

Smooshy faced (brachycephalic) dogs are just so darn cute with a wiggly body outwardly matching their lovable personality. However – this cute squishy face comes at a cost.

This defining structure means their whole respiratory structures leading from the head to the lungs are shorter and much more distorted than in other longer faced doggy breeds. Dogs that fall into the flat faced breed variety are called “Brachycephalic” or (Short Head) breeds.

These include:Brachycephalic Airway disease in Dogs

  • Pugs
  • Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
  • Shi Tzus
  • Boxers
  • Pekinese
  • French Bulldogs
  • English Bulldogs
  • Boston Terriers and
  • English Toy Spaniels

Health Issues

Because of the distorted airways, many of these delightful souls suffer from laboured breathing throughout their whole life. This is simply the result of how they’re put together. This in turn often leads to secondary health issues because of their hearts and lungs having to work so much harder than that of their long faced friends.

While the cute little sounds of snorts and snoring may seem endearing, in reality it is what breathing sounds like for an animal that doesn’t breather easily or freely.

This is why so many more precautions need to be taken with these breeds.

Brachycephalic Breeds and Heat

Dogs use breathing to cool down on hot days or after exercise. You’ll see this often – dogs panting heavily with their tongues hanging out. This rapid exchange of air between the lungs and the outside environment helps keep dogs cool. Brachycephalic dogs can’t do this. While they would love to, their respiratory structures simply can’t accommodate it. For them – it’s like breathing in and out through a straw when they heat up or when exercising. In other words – they struggle.

So What Can You do to Make their Life Less Stressful?

What you can do for them includes:

  • Keep them at a healthy weight. Being overweight only adds extra burden to their lungs and heart
  • Exercise them only during the cooler parts of the day and NEVER on a hot dayBrachycephalic Airway Disease in Bulldogs
  • Keep them inside and cool on hot days – preferably in an air-conditioned room
  • Use a harness instead of a collar. Collars around their throat place extra pressure on their windpipe making it even harder to breathe
  • Avoid situations that can make them overexcited or fearful such as off lead dog parks and other areas where they are at risk of being chased by other dogs

Veterinary Preventative Care

Yes – you guessed it. These guys will need extra veterinary care because of their breed specific health issues. And if you take out Pet Insurance, be aware, the premiums will cost more. That’s because these dogs are classified as high risk breeds.

Corrective (Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome) Surgery

The upper airway abnormalities that occur in this syndrome include stenotic nares, an elongated soft palate, a hypoplastic trachea and everted laryngeal saccules. An individual dog with brachycephalic syndrome may be affected with a combination of one or more of these abnormalities.

Any of these upper airway abnormalities can cause increased airway resistance, making it harder for your dog to breathe. Most dogs with this syndrome are able to breathe more easily through their mouth than their nose. Generally, the more abnormalities present the more severe the symptoms.

Brachycephalic surgery addresses these issues – Stenotic Nares (Widening the nostrils) Elongated soft Palate (Shortening) and Larygeal saccules (Removal)

How is Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Diagnosed?

Oftentimes this is only diagnosed once dogs have been presented with symptoms such as difficulty breathing, fainting episodes or collapse.

Is there any Treatment available for Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome?

Corrective Surgery is still the best option as any medical management does not address the underlying structural abnormalities.

The earlier the abnormalities are corrected, the better the outcome will be as over time other secondary issues will develop which further compromise your dog’s health.

Our Recommendations for Brachycephalic Airway Disease

If you own one of these breeds then we highly recommend a full medical workup to determine the best corrective actions to take BEFORE you have a problem such as a collapse or secondary issues develop. The younger your dog is – the more he or she will benefit in the long term.

This will include X-Rays of your dog’s chest and airway structures, oral examinations and blood tests. Oral examinations of the soft palate and laryngeal saccules will require either heavy sedation or General Anaesthesia. Due to the fact that these breeds are at greater risk during anaesthesia, we recommend performing any necessary surgery at the same time.

This means your dog only has one anaesthetic and not two.

If you have any more questions about Brachycephalic Airway Syndrome Diagnosis or Surgery – feel free to reach out to us via email or Facebook Messenger.

 

Why we don’t perform this method of Cruciate Ligament Repair

Not all Canine Cruciate Surgeries are the Same.

First of all it’s important to know that there are several methods of treating cruciate disease – and just like any problem for which there may be different solutions, some will be better than others.

So – if your dog has been diagnosed with cruciate disease – expect a conversation about the different options (surgical or non – surgical) that are available and be guided towards the one that will give your dog the best possible chance of a return to normal activity.

Yes, your vet may not be able to perform some of the different procedures but you can certainly be referred to someone who can.

Rosie’s Story

Rosie’s owners came to us just recently because they were concerned that she was still considerably lame 8 months after having the Modified De’ Angelis (Lateral Suture) cruciate surgery. After reviewing Rosie’s X-Rays both before and after the procedure we could see that this method of repair was simply not the best option for her specific condition, explaining why she has never returned to normal pre-injury activity.

Sadly – Rosie’s owners were never given any information about other repair methods and trusted that this surgery would solve her problem. Now her owners are saving up to have Rosie undergo a more suitable procedure to restore normal limb function. It’s fair to say – they’re not very happy. Mostly because they feel cheated. They would never have opted for this method had they been made aware of its limitations.

The goal of any Cruciate Ligament Surgery should be to return the dog to full function or near as possible to full function. i.e. – to be able to do what they were able to do before the injury – Not just do “O.K.”

A bit of Canine Cruciate Surgery History

Prior to the 1980’s the main option for cruciate repair was known as the “De ’Angelis” or Lateral Suture Method. Even back then, it was recognised that that dogs undergoing this procedure would never return to full normal activity. For example – Working dogs would still be able to work however, not in the same pre- injury capacity.

In the late 1980’s a new technique – the TPLO (known as a mechanical, modifying osteotomy) was developed. This method aimed to alter the biomechanics of the joint rather than trying to stabilise the joint such as in the De ‘Angelis method.

The introduction of this procedure enabled dogs to return permanently to full athletic ability.

Over the last 30 years, other methods of geometric / mechanical modification repair methods have emerged, most resulting in similar outcomes as the TPLO. One of these was the TTA procedure introduced during the early 2000’s.

There is widespread universal agreement amongst veterinarians that currently the Mechanical Modifying Osteotomies (MMO) and Geometric Modifying Osteotomies (GMO) offer the best chance for dogs to return to normal or near normal function.

So why are so many dogs still having the outdated De ‘Angelis (Lateral Suture) procedure?

Quite simply – because it is cheap.

It is cheap because it requires less expertise and no expensive equipment to perform, meaning most vets can perform this procedure. While certainly a compromise in favour of doing nothing if cost is an issue, it is not right when it becomes the only offer on the table without explanation of limitations – Especially in large breed dogs.

As vets we have a duty of care to you and your pet to inform you of all possible treatment options regardless of whether we can perform the treatments or not. Remember – referral is always an option and your right to request if you are not satisfied with an opinion.

Phone Shopping for Cruciate Repair Prices – Don’t fall into this trap!

Modified De’ Angelis or Lateral Suture Method of repair is always cheaper than the advanced Geometric / Mechanical Modifying methods.

This is because they require a higher level of expertise as well as specialised equipment. Make sure when ringing around for quotes – you compare the same methods as you can easily be misled if you don’t. We see this happen all the time, the outdated lateral suture method being chosen over other methods because their difference is not explained.

We would never perform the Lateral Suture Method on any of our own dogs which is why we certainly wouldn’t recommend it for yours.

The latest Technique to add to your options

One of the latest GMO techniques is the “MMP” or “Modified Maquet Procedure.”

We are very pleased with the outcomes of this procedure now having performed this on many dogs of all sizes. (Previously we have performed TPLWO, CBLO and TTA procedures – all with good results.)

The MMP is a new take on the TTA procedure and uses a Titanium Foam Wedge implant that stabilises the osteotomy site. It causes less soft tissue damage, therefore producing less postoperative pain and a much faster recovery.

The orthofoam wedge provides a robust fixation without the need for support bandages and a lengthy period of rest. This means a shorter confinement period for your dog after surgery.

Finally – Don’t ask your neighbour!

If your dog has been diagnosed with Cruciate Disease, ask your vet to explain the different repair methods available and get an informed opinion on the one that’s best for your dog’s specific condition. The procedure your next door neighbour’s dog had may not be the right one for yours.

Disclaimer: This subject is based on over 25 years experience in performing various cruciate surgery techniques in dogs of all sizes as well as ongoing further professional education in this area. Our opinions are our own.

Post Orthopaedic surgery Dog

How to Confine Your Dog after Orthopaedic Surgery

Helping Your Pet Heal After Orthopaedic Surgery

Looking after your dog after an orthopaedic procedure such as Cruciate Surgery can be a challenge.

In the human world you would most likely be kept in hospital at least for a day or two after surgery and provided with the necessary therapies these types of procedures require.

This includes but is not limited to cold therapy, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications and supportive exercises.

When it comes to pets – the scenario could be quite different depending on individual practices’ approach to aftercare.

Preparing Yourself for Your Dog’s Surgery aftercare

Aftercare recommendations will vary with the type of procedure – and the individual Veterinary Hospital but most likely will include the following;

  • Some degree and methods of confinement. Restricting your dog’s movements for a specific time period following surgery.
  • Supportive pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs.
  • Specific Rehabilitative exercise instructions.

Confinement

You’ll hear this term used a lot. Your vet will stress the importance of suitable confinement to avoid accidental damage to the internal modifications which could include implants, (plates, pins, screws) delicate tissue reconstruction and other associated interventions.

Basically – confinement means restricting movement to enable the necessary healing to occur without incident..

Dictionary Definition

confinement – in Medicine

confinement con·fine·ment (kən-fīn’mənt) n.

  1. The act of restricting or the state of being restricted in movement.
  2. Lying-in.

Confining Your Dog After Orthopaedic SurgeryDepending on the type of procedure – confinement could involve initial Crate confinement and / or strict confinement to a “small area” such as a small room or child’s play pen.

Leaving your dog confined outdoors – even in a small backyard is NOT suitable.

The activity you need to avoid is running, jumping, quick turns,slipping on slippery surfaces and going up or down stairs.

And of course – keep your dog away from furniture such as beds or couches as jumping on or off these is a strict “No – No” and will result in injury.

If you are not home with your dog during this critical period – please ensure you take the necessary actions to ensure your dog remains safe while you are out.

The last thing you need is to have to take your dog back to the vet and pay another costly repair bill!

Medications

Your dog will need supportive medications to help manage the associated pain and discomfort that comes after such a procedure. Please give these as instructed by your vet. If your dog is in pain she will be less willing to eat which means the body does not have the necessary nutrients available which are so necessary to the healing process.

A diet high in quality proteins is ideal for this time period as proteins are vital to tissue repair.

Rehabilitation Exercises

After the critical period, you will be encouraged to introduce some specific tailored exercises to help restore original function. In the human world, you would be referred to a Physiotherapist who would prescribe a suitable exercise program for you.

Exercises would most likely be prescribed for your dog after the first scheduled revisit following the surgery and depend on the recovery to date.

Exercise may include “Slow Controlled Walks” – which means having your dog on a leash at all times.

Our Orthopaedic Surgery Aftercare Methods

Our post operative patients are NOT discharged on the same day as surgery and remain in hospital for at least 2 – 3 days following the procedure. During this time we provide the necessary Rehabilitative Therapies which are vital for optimal healing and recovery after such an invasive procedure.

This approach is not only beneficial for the patient but also to our clients who appreciate not having to take on the responsibility of this intense immediate post operative care at home.

Therapies we provide include:

  • Laser Therapy – to reduce pain and inflammation and speed up healing
  • Cold Compression Therapy [Game ready] immediately after surgery to reduce swelling of the surgical site.
  • Appropriate pain medications and anti-inflammatory medications.
  • A high protein diet – to encourage tissue repair processes.
  • Specific therapeutic exercises under the guidance of a Canine Rehabilitation Veterinarian.

So what does this aftercare cost?

We do not separate out the cost of this aftercare because it is a vital part of the procedure itself. Our fee estimations for these types of procedures will always include this necessary hospital aftercare. Once you have received your fee estimation for the procedure you can them compare this fee with other practices and specialist centres for your peace of mind.

P.S. To help you manage your dog at home for the first few weeks we have containment crates available for hire if you don’t already have one of your own.

Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Test for Dogs and Cats

Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Testing for Pets – For Profit or Safety? You Be The Judge

Why Not Blood Testing Before Surgery Is Like Going In Blind

Have you ever questioned your vet’s recommendations for a product or service because you didn’t think it was necessary? If you have – you’re not alone. Plenty of people do.

In a society driven by sales hype and add ons it’s only natural that we’ve become sceptical about “professional” recommendations whether it be our dentist, our mechanic, our doctor or any number of other people whose advice we rely on to make improvements in our lives or those of others.

In our industry it’s no different. With so many advancements in animal health care and related technology, we totally agree it can sometimes appear that some of these new services – (to keep your pets safe or help them live longer healthier lives) could easily be confused with unnecessary add ons for practice profit.

That’s why it becomes even more important for us to give you the right (and truthful) information you need to help you make the right decision for your pet and your wallet.

Todays post is about the importance of Blood Testing prior to anaesthesia. Many people remain unconvinced these tests are necessary and too often decline without a full understanding of the reasons why they are as critical to your pet’s safety as the surgical procedure itself.

Pre-Anaesthetic Blood Test for Dogs and CatsThink about it – No surgeon in the human world would perform surgery on any one of us without full knowledge of our internal health status.

To do so would be the same as going in blind – there’s no telling what could happen when those drugs are given.

If your pet is having any procedure (short or long) that requires full anaesthsia we need to know that your pet’s internal organs are capable of processing and eliminating the anaesthetic drugs – just like your surgeon would want to know the same about you.

Pre- Anaesthetic testing helps us understand whether your pet’s vital organs are functioning properly to avoid potential complications during and after surgery.

Certain conditions are especially risky for pets under anaesthesia and pre-anaesthetic blood test can show if there are any hidden or undetected health problems which are not obvious from a physical examination alone.

What Information Does The Blood Test Provide?

The results of the blood tests gives us valuable information about the internal health of your pet. For instance, we can quickly determine:

  • The health of your pet’s kidneys and liver. These are primarily responsible for processing and eliminating the anaesthetic drugs so we need to know for certain that they are able to do this effectively.
  • Your pet’s electolyte balance and hydration status.
  • A complete blood count – shows if your pet has an underlying stress inflammation, inability to fight off an infection, is anaemic or has a blood clotting problem.

What Happens If the Blood Test Shows There’s a Problem?

If we find an abnormal result on your pet’s blood profile, we let you know immediately. Depending on what the results indicate, we may delay surgery and treat the underlying condition as a priority or make changes to the anaesthetic protocol to accomodate the problem.

But My Pet Had a Blood Test Just Over a Year ago. Why does she need another one?

A year in your pet’s life represents almost 7 years of ours. This means your pet’s healh status may be signifiantly different since the last blood test.

We recommend blood testing prior to all dentals and surgical procedures for the simple reason that things change AND they can change quickly.

But My Pet is only Young. She Must Be Healthy

We get this response ALL the time. Please be aware that despite your pet’s energy, appetite and zest for life at a young age they can be hiding a developing problem or a congenital defect that hasn’t surfaced – either one of which can severely risk your pet’s life under anaesthesia.

We’ve seen first hand how many times a young pet’s blood test has highlighted a dangerous underlying problem. Had the owner not consented to a blood test before surgery – the patient would have been at considerable risk from the anaesthesia.

It’s true – We have detected moderate to severe kidney and liver disease in dogs and cats as young as 6 months of age.

In these situations surgery was delayed in favour of first treating the underlying condition.

So Yes – Pre- Anaesthetic Blood tests DO play an important role in minimising anaesthetic complications and that’s why we recommend them to all our patients – Young and Old undergoing any surgical procedure at our practice.

Find out more about the steps we take to keep your pet safe during surgery

Advanced Cruciate Surgery for Dogs

What is Canine Cruciate Ligament Surgery?

Not All Canine Cruciate Surgeries are the Same

Surgical treatments for dogs with Cruciate Ligament Injuries are numerous and there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach to this condition.

You also need to be aware that there is no “cure” for CCL disease in dogs. The goals of all treatment both surgical and non surgical are to relieve pain, improve function and slow down the arthritis.

Different repair methods are recommended based on:

  • The specific nature of the disease
  • Other health factors
  • Your dog’s weight and
  • Your budget.

However – even more important than the actual surgery itself is the correct assessment of the joint with treatment of damaged tissues AND exceptional post operative management and rehabilitation programs.

Who decides which Method of CCL Repair is Right for Your Dog?

The decision should be based on the outcome of a thorough diagnostic evaluation of your dog’s condition, your surgeon’s experience with the various techniques available and discussion with you regarding your goals and concerns.

The important thing to know is not to compromise on the best solution for your dog just because your vet cannot offer the method of repair that’s best suited to your dog’s condition.

If this is the case – ask for a referral to a Veterinary Orthopaedic Specialist or find a veterinarian experienced in the preferred procedure.

Is Cheaper Better?

You may be tempted to consent to a cheaper method of repair but if so – make sure you are made aware of any limitations that go along with it. This should be fully explained to you by your vet after a thorough assessment of your dog as well as supporting X-Rays.Advanced Cruciate Surgery for Dogs

We recommend getting more than one opinion if you are still unsure of which method you prefer.

Most Common Canine Cruciate Ligament Repair Methods are:

  • TPLO (Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy) – performed by Veterinary Orthopaedic Specialists
  • TPLWO (Tibial Plateau Levelling Wedge Osteotomy) – Performed by experienced Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Tibial Tuberosity Advancement (TTA) – Performed by experienced Orthopaedic Surgeons
  • Lateral Suture Stabilisation – a commonly performed extracapsular technique – (different methods available) Most vets can perform some or all of these variations..

NEW Method of CCL Repair – Tightrope CCL

This is a minimally invasive and improved method for extra-capsular stabilisation of the CCL. This technique does not require cutting of bone like the TPLO, TPLWO or TTA procedures. Instead it uses small drill holes in the femur and tibia to pass a synthetic ligament – like biomaterial through a small incision to provide bone to bone stabilisation during healing.

We offer comprehensive options in treating CCL disease in dogs to include both extracapsular (Tightrope) and Geometric modification repair methods.

In addition we offer the all important individualised post surgery Canine Rehabilitation programs to assist in your dog’s recovery.

Second Opinion CCL Enquiries Welcome

We see many second opinion patients who have been diagnosed with Cruciate Ligament Disease. Our experienced orthopaedic team will be pleased to recommend the most suitable option of CCL repair for your dog.

Vet On Call

After Hours Emergency and Veterinary Care

Who do you turn to when your pet becomes sick at night?

Try calling your vet at night and chances are you’ll get a recorded message giving details of your nearest Animal Emergency Centre. (After Hours Service) This is common practice as these centres are open when regular clinics are not and have the all the necessary resources (staff, equipment, facilities) to provide the best treatment and care your pet needs.

Most often – your pet will be referred back to your regular vet for further treatment once stabilised or after surgery if that was needed at the time.

Our After Hours Service

We choose to provide a 24 hour service to our clients because not only do we believe it’s an essential part of running a Veterinary Hospital but because we can.

We’ve invested in the same equipment and facilities as Veterinary Emergency centres which means we can run the same diagnostics and perform almost all of the necessary procedures your pet needs at the time. We simply call in the right team to do it.

Emergency Vet

For intensive care patients our duty vet and (nurses if needed) stay on the premises all night to keep an eye on your pet and provide necessary treatments and patient monitoring.

The benefit to our clients is that we already have all your pet’s records on file.

We can access all your pet’s important background information like Vaccination status, previous illnesses and test results which can be extremely helpful when dealing with a recurring or sudden onset illness. It also means we don’t have to repeat any unnecessary tests because of lack of vital information.

Familiarity Helps

Even more important is the relationship we already have with you and your extended family. You may be greeted by one of our Vets you’ve seen before, which can be reassuring when emotions are high and you’re worried about your pet. Likewise, your pet is less likely to stress in a place she knows than an unfamiliar one.

We’re also less likely to ask for full payment before treatment starts (a common practice in Animal Emergency Centres) if you are a regular long term client of the practice and your account has always been in good standing with us.

I’m sure you’ll agree there’s nothing worse than having to come up with a substantial deposit in the middle of the night when there’s more important things to worry about.

All payment arrangements can be discussed the following morning

Over the years thousands of emergency patients have passed through our doors after hours all needing veterinary help of some kind. We’ve attended to everything from upset tummies, poisonings, road trauma injuries right through to lifesaving surgeries including GDV surgery (bloat)

So although running a 24 hour operation is a challenging and expensive arm of a Veterinary Practice knowing how many times being close and available has saved lives means we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Dog Cruciate Surgery

Not All Cruciate Surgeries are the Same

Canine Cruciate Ligament Repairs Can be Performed in a Number of Different ways

There are many people who think that there is just one approach to repairing a damaged or torn cruciate ligament. But this is not the case at all.

The fact is, there are a number of different approaches to Canine Cruciate Ligament repair and they’re based on:

  1. The nature and extent of the damage
  2. Your dog’s size and weight
  3. Your budget

Each of these factors play an important role in determining which surgical technique will produce the best outcome. If your dog has been diagnosed with a cruciate ligament injury, your vet should be able to go through all the different surgical options with you and make a specific recommendation based on the criteria listed above.

Be aware that not all vets may be able to offer the full spectrum of techniques so you may be referred to a surgical specialist to have your choice of procedure performed.

Now while it’s not the aim of this blog post to go into lengthy details of the different repair methods (that’s far too long to cover) – we do want people to be aware that there’s more to cruciate surgery than just a single approach.

If you’re going to do some shopping around for prices, make sure you compare the same procedure and be specific about which technique you’re asking about.

In addition, when comparing costs, always ask what level of post operative care and follow up is included in the total fee. It’s quite common for some post operative follow care to be included in the overall price package of a surgical procedure but once again, this can vary between providers.

Should your choice be based on price?

The answer – that’s up to you. After all, all the different techniques come with their own individual price tag and post operative care commitments.

Dog Cruciate Surgery

In making your choice however, bear in mind that the cheapest approach at this time may not provide the best long term solution for your dog.

Different techniques are more than just fancy names. They are all individually appropriate under specific conditions and the price will vary according to the complexity of the surgery as well as surgical skills and equipment involved.

Your final choice should be made after a complete discussion with your vet about all the techniques available and which is best suited to your dog’s condition – regardless of whether they can perform this procedure or not.

Once you’re made aware of the pro’s and cons of each technique, it’s easier to weigh them up against price.

Different Names for Different Methods

The different techniques are classified into 2 main groups:

  1. Geometric Modification and
  2. Non Geometric – extra capsular repair

Geometric Modification Group Guide

With these methods the angles of different structures are modfied to compensate for the damaged ligament.

Recommended for dogs over 20kg

  • TPLO – (Tibial Plateau Levelling Osteotomy) Performed by specific veterinary specialists who are licenced to perform the procedure
  • TPLWO – (Tibial Plateau Levelling Wedge Osteotomy) Variation of above method – Can be performed by an experienced general veterinary surgeon
  • TTA – (Tibial Tuberosity Advancement) – Can be perfomed by general practice vets who have been trained in the procedure.
  • TTO – (Triple Tibial Osteotomy) – Can be performed by general practice vets who have been trained in this procedure

Non geometric Modification – Extra Capsular Techniques

Generally limited to small dogs

  • X-GEN CCR System – (using PROS and BOSS implants)
  • Extra Capsular Repair – ( De Angelis method) – Can be performed by most general practice vets.

For Techniques available through our practice – please contact us.

November is Pet Diabetes Month

Is your cat or Dog experiencing any of these Signs?

  • Increased thirst?
  • Increased urination?
  • Increased hunger while still losing weight?
  • Lower activity?
  • Thinning, dry or dull coat?

If so – you might want to talk to your vet about getting your pet screened for diabetes.

What is Diabetes?

Diabetes Mellitus is the medical name for diabetes. It’s a disease caused by lack of insulin that affects the level of glucose or sugar in your pet’s bloodstream. Glucose, which is produced from your pet’s food is an important source of energy. and in order for it to to reach the cells where it can be used, it needs insulin. Healthy pets produce insulin naturally but pets with diabetes don’t.

In this case, glucose builds up in he bloodstream but cannot reach the cells where it is needed.

Is Diabetes in Pets the same as Diabetes in People?

Yes, the two conditions are much the same which is why you’ll find both the treatment and monitoring systems similar to those used for diabetic humans.

How common is diabetes in Dogs and Cats?

Diabets is reported to affect anywhere between 1 in 100 to 1 in 500 dogs and cats but experts believe this disease is actually on the rise.

Can Diabetes lead to other health problems?

Yes, dogs and cats living with diabetes for a year or more can devlop other health problems.

For dogs, the most common complication of diabetes is cataracts. Persistently high glucose levels make the lens of the eye opaque causing blindness.

For cats, weakness of the hind legs is a common complication. Persistantly high blood glucode levels may damage nerves causing weakness and muscle wasting.

This is why it’s so important to catch this disease in it’s early stages.

Will Diabetes Affect my Pet’s Life expectancy?

Effective treatment is available nowdays so your pet can live the same comfortable and long life as a non diabetic dog or cat. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help a diabetic pet maintain a good quality of life.

How can my Vet Test for Diabetes?

Your vet may begin by performing a general health examination and testing a small amount of your pet’s urine.

If glucose is present in the urine, your vet will then follow up with a blood test to determine blood glucose levels. A diagnosis of Diabetes in confirmed when persistetly high levels of glucose are found in both the blood and urine.

How Will I take Care of a Pet with Diabetes?

Although there is no cure for Diabetes, it can be successfully managed with the help of your vet.

Daily insulin injections are usually required to restore the insulin levels and control blood glucose levels. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you think. We have many clients who have been successfully treating their diabetc pets for years. Apart from giving daily injections, maintaining a strict diet schedule is also part of the treatment program. Your vet is best placed to advise you on the best diet for your pet based on its ideal body weight.

Managing your pet’s diabetes will require some effort but the results are well worth it. Pets shose diabetes is under control have normal thirst, appetite, urination and activity levels. Their weight is generally stable and they are less likely to develop complicatiions.

The best recommendation we can give any of you who may be concerned about your pet’s health is to book a general health check and urine test with your vet. It won’t cost the earth and it’s worth it for peace of mind.

Post Surgery Nutritional Support

How to Help Your Pet Heal Faster after Surgery

As vets we always make sure our post surgery patients are sent home with instructions on how to make them as comfortable as possible during the recovery period.

Usually this includes providing the appropriate pain medications, wound aftercare instructions, exercise recommendations and of course, lots of TLC.

But what also should be on this list and is often overlooked is the important role nutrition plays in the post surgery recovery process.

It’s a fact that all surgery causes stress to the body and the more major the operation is, the bigger the trauma inflicted on the tissues involved.

Soon after the surgery, the body is looking for the building blocks needed to repair the damage and make new tissue. All this building activity is managed through complex biochemical processes which take up a lot of energy so it makes good sense that the body will need more than the ‘normal’ nutrition to make this happen.

Research shows that the body heals faster after surgery if provided with extra nutrition. The most important nutrients needed for tissue repair and rebuilding are Protein and Fat.Feeding Your Dog After Surgery

With this in mind, a maintenence diet is not the best choice at this time. Look for a food which has both a higher fat and protein content and if in doubt about a commercially prepared pet food – make your own.

An excellent source of easily digestible protein and fat of course is the humble egg. Depending on your dog’s weight you can easily supplement the diet by adding an egg or two on a daily basis for a couple of weeks post surgery.

Adding some Omega 3 and 6 Fatty Acids can also be beneficial to help support the immune system, fight infection, reduce inflammation and promote tissue repair.

What if my Pet won’t eat?

All this nutritional advice however, won’t help of course if your dog – or cat won’t eat. Most often, this is a natural reponse to pain or discomfort. That’s why it’s critical your pet is provided with appropriate pain medication throughout the recovery period and has a comfortable place to rest.

The fact remains, the nutrition is needed and you’ll need to do whatever it takes to make him or her – eat.

Try warming up the food to release the aromas, cooked chicken, Tuna (for cats) Cat food, home cooked meals – or add some gravy to the mix.

Anything is better than not eating.

However, is all your attempts at coaxing your pet aren’t working, please check back in again with your vet to make sure there’s nothing else going on which could be affecting your pet’s appetite.

Arthritis in Pets. Some of the Options Available

Arthritis and Quality of Life. Yes, Your Pet can have Both.

We all know arthritis is a debilitating and painful disease and it’s likely at least one person amongst your circle of friends or relatives suffers from this condition.

We also know that animals are not immune from this disease.

There are different types of arthritis that occur in both people and animals however the most common form is usually Osteoarthritis which is also the most common cause of lameness in dogs.

It is caused by the deterioration of joint cartilage, the smooth tissue which lines the bones allowing them to move freely.

Any damage to this cartilage leads to increased friction between the bones and inflammation within the affected joints causing pain with every movement.

Without intervention of some kind, the erosion of the cartilage continues until the situation arises where bone is literally rubbing on bone.Ouch! In addition new bony growths can form within the joints which interfere with joint movement causing additional pain and restriction of movement.

Little wonder pets with arthritis are reluctant to move about or play. Every step causes them pain.

Help is Available

The aim of any Osteoarthritis treatment is to eliminate the uderlying cause such as in the case of a joint injury or abnormality – often through surgery, improve joint function, reduce pain and inflammation and slow down any further destructive processes.

Treatment can also include both drug and physical therapy.

In the initial stages of the disease good quality nutritional supplements such as Omega 3 Fatty Acid and Glucosamine – Chondroitin supplements can help reduce inflammation and maintain lubrication of the joints but once the disease has progessed, supplements alone will no longer be effective in managing the pain or joint integrity. A more intensive treatment program is needed.

Other treatment options (depending on the cause of the problem) may include Stem Vet injection, Cartrophen injections, Medications, Laser Therapy, Stem Cell Therapy, Physical therapy or a combination of these.

In any case. Osteoarthritis need not mean your pet needs to endure unecessary pain or have reduced quality of life. We have been able to help many patients – young and old manage the pain of creaky joints and aching bones and become more like their former selves.

Arthritis treatments have come along way over the last few years so see your vet to discuss the ones most suitable for your four legged friend.