Have you downloaded it yet?

by: Jennifer Oldfield

In our current era mobile devices are everywhere!  Having a smartphone means we have almost everything at our fingertips – 24/7.  We can access our bank accounts, check our email and Facebook, take photos and even play our favourite games.   We find life is busy, always seemingly on the go, making it difficult, even with our smartphones, to have time to do small tasks like call to schedule appointments or call in prescription refills.

New Screen Shot3Here at Albert North we decided approximately 2 years ago that we wanted to be able to make it even easier for our clients to connect with us, and with that in mind we developed our Mobile App.   We wanted the app to be functional with helping clients to contact us, providing some basic medical information for those times when we can’t be reached, and to have special promotions just for our App users.  Today we have almost 1000 users and that number seems to be growing daily.

The question is, what does the App do for you?  What benefit can it provide?  Here are some of the key features:

Home screen
  • A quick link to call us or get directions (handy if you have referred someone to the clinic, recommend they download the App)
  • Location tab that will take you to our hours, directions, a general email link and a link to our website
  • Promotions tab – the promotions are specifically for our App users only and can be an additional savings on an in-clinic promo for all clients or a promotion only available to App users.  (For example in February during Dental Month dental products were on sale in-clinic for 20% off, with the App you receive 30% off)
  • A Coupon Tab – this provides you with a $5 off coupon to use the first time you download the App.  Future coupons/loyalty rewards are in the works
  • Book/Refill – request an appointment or prescription refill whenever you remember, regardless of the time of day
Under the More Tab
  • Email sign-up – receive email notifications about health concerns, happenings in clinic, changes to hours, etc.
  • Events – information on events like Dental Month, Photo Contests, etc.
  • Library – ever been camping and wished you knew what your dog needs for an antihistamine or if that plant or food item your pet just ate is toxic?  Our library provides you with immediate access to this information.  Plus if you say yes to having access to the app when offline, you won’t need to worry about being in an area where you aren’t connected
  • Media access – instant access to our Facebook page, Blog posts, YouTube channel
  • Photo Gallery and Submit Photos Tab – take a picture and send it to us to go in the Photo Gallery plus see other photos we have shared

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We are continually looking at more ways to make the App of benefit to you, so if you have an idea, please feel free to share with us.  You can do this from within the App under the Book/Refill tab – simply click on Contact Us!

Download our App:

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itunes

The Importance of Diagnostics Part 3

In Part 1 of our series we discussed the importance of ultrasound; Part 2 was about x-rays; now in our final part of the series,we discuss the importance of lab tests.

by: Dr. Barb Eatock

20161114_125233If your pet is sick, your veterinarian may recommend performing lab tests to help determine the underlying cause of your pet’s symptoms.  These tests can provide a lot of important information to your veterinarian regarding the diagnosis and therefore the appropriate treatment.  Even if all the results come back in the normal range, this helps your veterinarian rule out several potential causes of the symptoms your pet is having and these results can then be used as a baseline to compare to future tests.

The most common laboratory tests for a veterinarian to recommend are bloodwork and a urine sample.  The veterinarian may recommend other tests such as an examination of a stool sample; depending on specific symptoms.  Bloodwork may include a complete bloodcount, chemistry or additional tests.  The complete blood can help determine whether your pet is anemic, has an inflammatory response and whether he or she has enough platelets to aid with blood clotting.  The chemistry shows whether your pet has liver, kidney, or pancreatic disease, checks protein and electrolyte (sodium, potassium, and chloride) levels, and checks blood sugar and calcium levels.  The blood count and chemistry can also be used to determine if patients are a good candidate for an anesthetic procedure.  Urine samples also provide important information such as infection, blood  (which may indicate bladder stones or other problems), sugar in the urine (which may indicate diabetes), and how concentrated the urine is (which can help determine whether the kidneys are functioning properly).

img_3662

Additional tests which may be recommended depending on species, age and symprotms, include thyroid tests and tests for certain viruses such as parvo, feline leukemia, and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV).  Most tests can be performed in clinic with same day results; tests that need to be sent away will generally have results back within a few days.

img_3664Lab tests are a very important tool for your veterinarian.  They provide essential information to allow for a precise diagnosis, which allows your veterinarian to provide specific treatment, which can help save time, money, and prevent the needless suffering of your pet.

 

 

The Importance of Diagnostics: Part 1

Diagnostics are the tests doctors are able to perform, that allow them to find out what is going on with your pet when they aren’t well.   Sometimes a diagnositc may be performed that comes back normal, and although we understand this can be frustrating for our clients, this information is actually extremely useful for the veterinarian.    It helps eliminate possible diagnoses and helps them to determine what is more likely to be the problem.

In this series we will provide a bit of information on the diagnostics we are able to perform right here at Albert North Veterinary Clinic.

Ultrasound

by: Dr. Jo-Ann Liebe*

Ultrasound is one  of the diagnostic tests we offer in clinic.  Ultrasound is best used for the evauation of soft tissues like internal organs, the heart, and sometimes masses, tendons, and muscles; in certain species.  Ultrasound does not do well with air or bone because the sound does not travel well through these media and the results are a poor signal.

Ultrasound can give important information about the prescence of fluid in the abdomen, masses (to help determine which organ may be affected and even to biopsy without full anesthetic or expensive and invasive surgery), pregnancy diagnosis and assessment of fetal viability and health, finding bladder stones (some of which are not visable on x-ray), and overall organ health.

Our clinic was the first in Regina to offer this valuable service and over the years we have continued to upgrade our equipment to continually improve image quality for the best evauation possible.

Diagnostic us small

Gizmo, a 14 year old domestic shorthair being ultrasounded to check his pancreatic health. His liver, stomach, kidneys, spleen, bladder and intestines were also evaluated

*Dr. Jo-Ann Liebe is highly trained in ultrasound evaluation and is one of only a small few in the Regina area who can perform a comprehensive diagnostic ultrasound.  We are pleased to work with other veterinarians to be able to provide this valuable service to their patients through a referral.

 

 

Not all KONG Toys are Created Equal

KONG toys are fantastic toys for your dog.  They are wonderful for retreiving and playing with, they are great for dogs that like to chew, and they are super fantastic to stuff for keeping dogs busy on days when it is harder to get out with them (like snowy or rainy days) or when life just gets in the way of a good round of exercise and play.  However did you know not all KONG toys are created equal?  There are an assortment of colours in the KONG family in which each are designed with a specific type or age of dog in mind.
kong pupTypes of KONGS
  • Pale pink or pale blue are for your puppy.
  • Purple ones are designed for your senior dog.

Both of these KONGS are a bit softer with more flex behind them, to
be gentle on young or aging mouths.

  • Red are the classic original KONG for the general chewer.  The are definitely tougher kongsthan the puppy or senior dog kongs but are designed with the average dog in mind.
  • Black are called extreme and are a tougher strength rubber designed for a more intense chewer.  These KONGS aren’t indestructible but definitely more heavy duty then the classic.
  • Blue KONGS are generally veterinary exclusive and are designed for most levels of chewer.
The Special Feature of the Blue KONG

IMG_2334 The puppy, senior, classic and extreme kongs if ingested will not show up on xray – HOWEVER the blue veterinary exclusive are designed specially to be radio-opaque, meaning that if ingested the pieces will be visible upon xray.  This is  wonderful news from our perspective and we now have a selection of all available sizes in clinic.  For more information on the benefits of the KONG, come on in, we would love to assist you!

Additional Sources:

KONG Toy User Guide

KONG Recipes

dog kong

taken from the KONG Company website

 

Dental Quiz Answers

During the month of February our technologist Meghan put together a Dental Quiz for our clients.  They could answer and turn in their quiz for a chance to win a dental care gift pack.  It wasn’t about getting the answers right or wrong, it was about getting our clients to actively think about dental care in their pets.  Often this is an area of animal health care that is over looked and yet can greatly affect the health, length, and quality of your pet’s life. pup teeth

Below are the questions with the answers and a brief blurb on each.

  1. What percentage of pets over the age of 3 have dental disease? 

80%

By age 3 your pet has gone 1,095 days without brushing his teeth and even if your pet does chew his food and even if it is a dental specific diet it isn’t going to provide the same exact action as brushing with clean water and toothpaste (think of you eating a carrot).

  1. What is an early sign of dental disease that owners may overlook? 

Bad Breath

Bad breath is a sign that the mouth has a build up of bacteria in it.

       3. True or False: Dental disease causes pain.  

True!

As bacteria builds up in the mouth and eventually plaque then tartar forms on the teeth and gums bleed and separate the decay moves under the gums.  All of this leads to the decay of teeth making the mouth very sore.  Until a dental surgery is performed and the teeth can be cleaned above and below the gums as well as removing any unhealthy teeth the pain will not go away.

  1. dental-brush-paste-kitWhich is the “gold standard” of home dental care? 

Brush daily

Although feeding a dental diet, offering dental chews and using an oral rinse are all helpful in dental care, the absolute best thing you can do for your pets oral health is to brush daily!

  1. Which can be brushed off? 

Plaque

Plaque is the first build up of debris on the teeth.  Tartar is the mineralization of that debris and cannot be removed with regular brushing.

       6. How long does it take plaque to mineralize to tartar?

24 – 36 hrs   

This is the reason why brushing daily is the key to keeping teeth healthy.

        7. True or False: Hand scaling teeth on an awake patient is best.

False

Scaling teeth creates tiny microscopic grooves in the surface of the teeth.  Without polishing after scaling the grooves remain, leaving the perfect place for food and debris to continue to build up and eat away at the teeth.  Pets need to be under a general anesthetic so that scaling and cleaning of all the teeth can be done thoroughly and completely, then teeth can be polished to remove the tiny grooves created by scaling.Dent

        8. How often should a dental cleaning be performed on pets?    

Depends on the individual animal.

Some pets require regular annual cleaning, while others can go years before needing a cleaning.  Genetics plays a very large role in the health of teeth and even when the owner does everything right including brushing daily, a dental may need to be performed on a regular basis.

           9. Order the following stages of dental disease from best (0) to worst (4)DDD_dog_gum_disease

__0__ Clean, healthy teeth

__1__ Plaque accumulation

__2__ Gum inflammation (gingivitis)

__3__ Tartar build-up

__4__ Gum separation (periodontitis)

Plaque accumulation and gingivitis can occur almost simaltaneously, so if you couldn’t decide which of these two went first you are essentially correct either way.

         10. True or False: Dental disease can lead to heart and kidney disease.

True

The bacteria in the mouth that causes dental disease spreads throughout the body leading over time to heart and kidney disease.

The Results Are In…

So how did you do?  Did you learn something new?  We sure hope so!

Just like dental care is important for you, so is it for your pet.  The best you can do is work together with your veterinary team to determine what you can do to keep your pet’s oral health at its best, ultimately leading to a longer, healthier, happier life!

Jack Russell Terrier Snarling

Jack Russell Terrier Snarling — Image by © Royalty-Free/Corbis

Want more information on dental care and what is involved in a dental cleaning for your pet?  See the dental section of our website!

 

Weight Loss Success!

Elliot

What?!? Did you say “Come put my nose print on the camera?”

Elliot is a typical energetic lovey lab who is certain everyone wants to see him, but he has one small…er….large problem: he is more than 20 lbs overweight!  Well at least that was his problem.  With the aid of Dr. Jo-Ann Liebe, Hill’s Metabolic diet and devoted owners, Elliot is now a svelte man at a nice lean weight a whole 24.5 lbs lighter!

His owner sent us this testimonial:

Elliot before

Elliot before his weight loss

“Thank you for sending those great pics (seen below) of Elliot after losing 20 pounds in about 6 months on the Metabolic diet and treats. He really enjoys the food (but then again Elliot is a lab and is not fussy and loves any and all food). My husband and I are very diligent about adhering to the amounts that Dr. Liebe has recommended.  I also make sure my husband adheres to the 6 treats per day as he was “over-treating before the metabolic diet started”! We could first see a difference within a month and could see his bulkier looking body of 107.9 lbs leaning out. Even though Elliot is a very tall lab this weight was not a healthy one. You could see he is much more comfortable at his new ideal weight being he has hip dysplasia from birth and now (he is almost 8 yrs old) has arthritis in his hips and knees. He has more energy and his mobility was much much improved even after losing the first 10 lbs. He appears to have less issues on getting up from a lying to sitting position and when he gets a treat he actually is jumping up on his back legs with front legs pawing high into the air. He resembles Black Beauty in those old shows!  It brought tears to our eyes as we haven’t seen him do that in a long time!  He is presently at his goal weight of 83.4 pounds and has a handsome hour glass figure. We are continuing with the Metabolic diet and Dr. Liebe has increased the amount per feed to 1 3/4 cup (two times daily) and we are having his weight checked regularly to make sure this ideal weight is maintained.

Elliot after - what a lovely lean body!

Elliot after – what a lovely lean body!

I have attached a pic taken before starting his diet at 107.9 lbs (seen above).

Thank you Dr Liebe, for recommending such an effective method of weight loss for our big boy, Elliot, and Elliot thanks you too as he’s much more comfortable.”

We are so happy for Elliot and his family on their success.  The lighter body means less stress on his joints making many things easier for him to do and over time it will keep him moving easier as he ages.

Getting a pet to loss weight can be tough, but we know that in the long run the devotion to feeding less at meals, giving less treats and increasing activity can be a great preventative method to certain health issues that arise as pets age helping to maintain mobility and even increase your pets life span.

Need help getting started?  Talk to one of our veterinarians or highly trained technicians who can help get you going on the path to a successful weight loss plan.  We will help you to maintain that plan and help you reach success every step of the way.  In the end your pet will thank you for it!

 

The Pack Project

by: Jennifer Oldfieldppj

There is a relatively new group in Regina called The Pack Project.  If you have never heard of them they are somewhat of a unique organization.  There are 4 programs that this group is working to provide:

  1. Animal Welfare Outreach
  2. Youth Education
  3. Therapy Dog Outreach
  4. Dog Rescue

I personally like to describe them as a gateway.

1) They are a central location were other dog and cat rescues can go to for aid and assistance.  For example the Pack Project accepts food and supply donations and then disperses them to other rescue organizations working in a circular pattern starting in Regina and working outwards.  They have reached to Saskatoon and beyond when the supplies are available and the need is there.  They even help Carmichael Outreach with dog food for any people going there who may have a dog!

2) They are working towards providing education to youth on bite prevention and other animal knowledge including proper care etc.  They have been working with the school board on getting their education program into the schools in Regina.

3) They help to bring certified therapy dogs (via St. John Ambulance Therapy Dogs program) to enhance the lives of those in hospital and those living in a variety of different types of care homes.

4) In January they will also be doing dog rescue including helping the Regina Humane Society with animals that are not doing well in that type of environment and moving them into their foster care and finding a permanent home for them.

ppj2

The Pack Project is a very dedicated group and strongly believe that building knowledge and helping to provide aid will reduce the need for rescue organizations over time.  We love their philosophy and are dedicated to partnering with them as their veterinary team and in helping with other programs such as the Animal Welfare Outreach and the Youth Education.  A few members of our team are certified Be-a-Tree Dog Bite Prevention presenters and will be aiding the Pack Project with their outreach in the schools whenever needed.

To learn more about the Pack Project and how you can help visit their website:

The Pack Project

or find them on Facebook

 

Biggest Loser Season II – WINNERS

by: Jennifer Oldfield

Our second season of Biggest Loser has come to an end and we are happy to report that all contestants lost weight over the course of the challenge.  We have a few contestants that hadn’t made it in for a final weigh in, but in the few months they had participated they too had lost weight.

Losing weight is not easy and sometimes it seems it can be even harder with pets, especially for cats.  It is certainly easier to increase your dog’s activity by going for more or longer walks and playing more games of fetch.  With a cat it is tough to increase their exercise, but it can be done with games at home, various toys and activities.  The Metabolic diet is also very helpful, working with your pet’s own body to increase metabolism and burn off that extra weight.  We are so happy that the cats in the Biggest Loser Challenge this year had great success with their weight loss and are all planning to stick with the new food to get down to that ideal weight!

Dogs Jade Poko Leo Moka Pup Pup
First Place Second Place
Starting Weight 10.8kg 8.5kg 15.5kg 44.4kg 6.6kg
BFI 48.9% 49.2% 57.1% 47.4% 54.5%
Final Weight 8.5kg 7.5kg 13.5kg 40.6kg 6.1kg
BFI 35.1% 42.4% 50.8% 42.5% 51.5%
Total Loss 2.3kg/13.8% 1kg/6.8% 2kg/6.3% 3.8kg/4.9% 0.5kg/3%
Fritz BJ
Starting Weight 9.3kg 52.6kg
BFI 41.1% 54.8%
Final Weight no final weigh in no final weigh in
BFI
Total Loss as of July 0.8kg as of June 1.3kg
Cats Pipps Indiana Comet
First Place Second Place
Starting Weight 5.9kg 5.9kg 7.2kg
BFI 46.0% 49.0% 43.3%
Final Weight 5.2kg 5.2kg 6.8kg
BFI 40.0% 43.1% 40.0%
Total Loss 0.7kg/6% 0.7kg/5.9% 0.4kg/3.3%

 

The winners all receive a bag of food and a bag of treats!  Congratulations again to all on their weight loss success!

Every Breath Counts

by: Jennifer Oldfield

In the city of Regina we have a population of just over 200,000 people.   Even more important to this post is not the number of people but the number of households, specifically those with pets.  In 2011 the census showed Regina having just under 86,000 households.  With a fairly steady growth over the past several years that number is certainly climbing.  Add to that the information that approximately 60% of those households own at least one pet (the majority of which are cats and/or dogs – ~57%), that equals approximately 52,000 homes with a pet.10298890_10152051943690583_1287774173130986653_n

According to Regina Fire & Protective Services (RFPS) there are around 90-100 calls to homes for smoke and/or fire per year.  That makes the chances of your home being one of those calls less than 1%.  That certainly doesn’t seem like a number to cause you much concern, unless you have been one of those home owners.  Then that number is very significant.  Add to that the chances that you own a pet and the concern for safety to all family members is always something we deal with.

Pocket oxygen maskWhen a fire call happens in Regina RFPS are sent out.  They are fully equipped to deal with all aspects of fire rescue and we thank them immensely for their service to our city!  However, there is one area where, although they do the best they can with the equipment they have, even with the aid often from Regina’s EMS, the equipment is lacking.  This is where we feel that “Every Breath Counts”.  Animal oxygen masks are certainly not standard equipment and we are working to change that.

Regina EMS work on a dog rescued from a house fire by RFPS

Regina EMS work on a dog rescued from a house fire by RFPS

A human oxygen mask is designed to cover a human face, it is triangular in shape and fits a human

oxygen masksperfectly.  Although it has worked to save animals rescued from fires in the past, the ideal situation is to have the appropriate mask to fully cover the animal’s face to increase the amount of oxygen received thus increasing the chance of resuscitation.

Over the past several weeks I have been in contact with RFPS regarding our goal to equip the trucks with the animal mask sets.  I have met with their Operations Management Team and with their Senior Team and we have the thumbs up!

How are we planning to do this?  With the aid of the citizens of Regina in a Fundraising Event we have lovingly named “Every Breath Counts”.   On September 21st, 2014 from 10am-3pm we are hosting this event.  It will take place at our clinic at 216 McIntyre Street.  We have plans for the following:

  • Pet First Aid Seminar
  • Be-a-Tree Bite Prevention Presentation for Kids
  • Teddy Bear Hospital – where children can bring their bears for our veterinarians to take care of
  • Fishing Pond Game – for a small fee, children can play an educational round and win prizes
  • Face Painting
  • Hot Dog Sale
  • Specially designed bandanas for sale
  • Special items to purchase for cats and dogs
  • SOS Fire Safety Window Clings for sale
  • The Pack Project will be attending
  • Members of Regina’s Police Service (possibly the K-9 Unit, if they can get away from training)
  • Bright Eyes Dog Rescue will be attending
  • RFPS with a Fire Truck and hopefully a visit from Sparky the fire dog

All proceeds will be going directly to the fund, PLUS ANVC will be specifically aiding in the purchase as well. One set of masks costs $150, for every set funds are raised for, ANVC will match it with a second set (up to 6 sets).  Our goal is to raise enough funds to purchase 12 sets – enough to equip RFPS and have some replacement sets available as needed.

fundraising goal

We will be accepting donations in clinic leading up to our event, but we really hope to feel your support on September 21st.  Mark it on your calendars!  Watch our Facebook page and our website for updates on times of seminars, presentations, as well as added details as they are finalized.

Fundraising image

Low Stress Cat Visit

by: Meghan Eggertson**

Regular visits to the veterinarian are important for all pets, but many cats will go years between exams and only come in if they are very sick. Cats are masters of disguising sickness, so annual exams are crucial for detecting early signs of illness such as dental disease, hyperthyroidism, and arthritis. Catching these problems early can ultimately result in a longer, happier life for your cat (and possibly even a lower vet bill). Vaccinations are also vital, even for indoor cats, as some upper respiratory viruses don’t require direct cat-to-cat contact and there’s always the possibility of a bat carrying rabies entering your home. The most common reason given by owners for not bringing a cat in for annual exams is that it’s too stressful for the cat. Here, I will list some steps that will help make your cat’s visit to the vet as stress free as possible.

Carrier and travelingcat carrier

One of the biggest issues people have with bringing their cat to the vet starts at home: getting the cat in the carrier. We regularly have appointments cancelled because the cat saw the carrier come out and is now hiding, or the owner shows us their battle wounds from trying to push an unwilling cat into the carrier. I will tell you now: it doesn’t have to be this way, you can make your cat love its carrier! Starting off with a kitten is easiest because they will have no negative feelings associated with the carrier, but it can be done with adult cats as well. For the first 12 years of her life, I had to plan hours ahead of bringing my cat to the vet to account for all the time required to catch, wrangle, and fight with her to put her into a carrier. Now, I just place her in front of the carrier and she walks right in. Here are a few easy steps.

  1. Get the right kind and size of carrier.

We recommend a hard sided carrier that is just big enough for your cat to stand up, lay down, and turn around in, but isn’t so big that they’ll slide around inside. Have a separate carrier for each cat; placing more than one cat in a carrier can result in redirected aggression and fighting. One that has an easily removed lid with snap sides is ideal so that they do not have to be “dumped out” once they get to the clinic. Place a thick blanket or small piece of carpet in the bottom to give them some traction. To reduce anxiety and increase your cat’s enjoyment of the crate the inside can be sprayed or wiped with Feliway, a calming cat hormone (available at our clinic). If you do this, allow 10 – 15 minutes for the spray to dry before putting the cat in.feliway together

  1. Leave the carrier out.*

Place the carrier on the floor in an area where the cat spends most of their time. Take the door off or tie it back so that it won’t accidentally swing shut and hurt or scare the cat. Fill it with treats or toys, or even place your cat’s meals in it. If the cat will not enter on their own, take the lid off to try and entice them in, and only place it back on once they are comfortably going in on their own. Cats like small hiding spaces, and soon your cat will come to see the carrier as a friendly and safe space.

  1. Close the carrier door.

Once your cat is comfortable going into the carrier and is spending time in it on their own, start closing the door. Start with short periods of time (several seconds) and increase the time as long as the cat remains calm. If the cat starts to get agitated, open the door and try again later for a shorter period of time.

  1. Travel without going to the vet.

Now that your cat loves its carrier, time to make it comfortable in the car. If possible, place the carrier on a seat where it can be strapped in with a seatbelt. This helps reduce the amount of bouncing around the cat experiences and will also prevent the carrier from flying across the car if the brakes are slammed on. Keep the music low. Start with short trips and work up to longer ones as the cat becomes more relaxed in the car. Remember, just like dogs, cats should not be left unattended in a closed car, especially in the summer.

While going without a carrier may seem like the easier option, it is actually much more stressful to the cat in the long run, and can actually be dangerous to the cat as well as the owner. I have seen cats claw up their owner’s face in an attempt to get away from a dog in the waiting area. I have also participated in “cat”-hunts resulting from cats wiggling out of their owner’s arms and finding some obscure area of the clinic to hide. Having a carrier where your cat feels safe and out of harm’s way will greatly reduce their stress.

IMG_0373Arriving at the clinic

When you arrive at the clinic, you may chose to leave your cat in the car at first.  Check in with our receptionists and let them know you have arrived.  When a room is available, then bring your cat into the clinic.

If you chose to bring your cat in with your right away, remember that cats feel the most safe when they are up high. While in the waiting area, keep the carrier off the floor by placing it on a chair, your lap, or the counter (if there’s room). This also helps prevent nosy dogs from investigating and stressing out your cat. Keep your cat in the carrier while waiting to enter the exam room. We will usually weigh your cat in the carrier and then weigh the empty carrier after they are in the exam room, to determine their weight.  We also have a smaller pet scale that we may utilize instead of the one in the main lobby area.  This scale is in a quiet area of the clinic away from the hustle and bustle of other animals.

During the exam

When you first enter the exam room, open the carrier and allow the cat a chance to come out on their own while you are waiting for the vet to come in. Do not “dump-out” the cat. A cat’s personality can change dramatically between being at home and being in the clinic. While many cats may love attention and snuggling at home, if they’re stressed, they want to be left alone and touching them may just aggravate them more. Speak in a soft, calm voice and keep your movements as smooth and small as possible. Stay calm and relaxed, especially if your cat begins acting scared or “aggressive”. For example, if your cat begins hissing or growling during the exam, don’t yell at them to stop or raise your voice, as this can only upset them more.  I have also seen owners get bit or scratched because they have attempted to “calm” their upset cat by patting them on the head or giving them a hug. If a technician has been brought in to help hold, it’s best just to stand back so the cat does not redirect their frustration towards you.

Medicationzylkene cat

Some cats are higher stress than others and may need a little extra help to relax. Zylkene is a non-prescription supplement that helps reduce stress reactions and has no side effects or reactions with other medications. It can be started the day before a scheduled appointment or can be given long term. If this is not enough, there are prescription medications that can be used, but your cat must have been seen by a veterinarian within the last year in order for them to be prescribed.

Your cat’s health is very important to us, and we want to make their visit as peaceful and productive as possible. The less stressed your cat is, the more thorough the exam can be, and they can also receive better treatment if they are sick.

 Book your cat’s appointment today!

* As an added note regarding leaving the carrier out, if possible always leave the carrier where the cat can get comfortable in it.  Our Marketing Director, Jennifer, says her cat’s carrier is always left out in a quiet area with the door open.  Her cat Playdoh enjoys going and laying down in there for an afternoon nap.  If it is a comfortable place for them at home, it won’t be anxiety inducing for them to go in to when they come to the vet. (since writing this blog post Playdoh has moved on to the Rainbow Bridge, Jennifer said with their new cat Pekoe, they still leave a carrier in a location where she can come and go into it as she pleases, just so it is a familiar, unstressful item).

**Meghan is no longer with us, as she moved out East in 2016