Sunday, December 15, 2013

Cat in the Christmas Tree?

It is Christmas time and the house is full of decorations for the holidays.  I have a Christmas tree in the middle of the living room that is often seen as a cat exercise condo by my youngest feline family member.  I have three cats living at my house, Pete, Colby and Stallone.  Peter and Colby are older cats, so they are satisfied with lying under the Christmas tree and enjoying the comfortable Christmas tree skirt that I bought from English Garden. (after last year's model fell apart in the laundry trying to get the cat hair out of it)  Stallone, our two year old cat,  thinks that the tree is an elaborate cat toy built strictly for his entertainment.  

Stallone was rescued with a litter of kittens while my son was on a mission trip in Chicago.  He was raised in our house with his litter mates and somehow managed to stay after my daughter fell in love with his little sweet face.  Little did we know that behind the sweet face was a huge personality and loads of trouble.   Stallone had a great time last year climbing the Christmas tree and batting around the ornaments and he has taken back to the same behavior this year.  We have had to sand bag the base of the tree to keep it from toppling over.

The Christmas tree is not the only hazard in the home for curious pets like Stallone during the holidays.  There are things around the tree that are also dangerous.  Christmas tree water may contain bacteria that can cause stomach upset or diarrhea in ingested.  Electric cords and lights may cause electric shock if the pet chews on them.  Cover the cords and do not allow pets to chew on them.  Ribbons and tinsel can get caught in the intestines and cause intestinal obstruction. Glass ornaments can cut pets when they are broken or could be ingested. 

Here are some other thing to be aware of if you have a curious pet like Stallone.

1. Holiday foods - Alcoholic beverages, chocolate, coffee, onions, onion powder, fatty foods, salt and yeast may all cause serious problems if ingested by pets.
2. Plants - Lilies that may be found in holiday flower arrangements could be deadly to your cat. Many types of lily, such as Tiger, Asian, Japanese Show, Easter, Stargazer, and the Casa Blanca, can cause kidney failure in cats. Poinsettias are generally over-rated in toxicity. If ingested, poinsettias can be irritating to the mouth and stomach, and may cause mild vomiting or nausea.Mistletoe has the potential to cause cardiovascular problems. However, mistletoe ingestion usually only causes gastrointestinal upset.Holly ingestion could cause vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, and lethargy.
3. Cold weather and snow can be dangerous for pets that are placed outdoors for any length of time.  Sub-freezing temperatures can cause frostbite and exposure injury to their eyes, noses and feet.  Do not allow your pet to stay outside for extended periods of time unless they have proper protection from the elements.

Pay close attention to the pets in your home as you are decorating for the holidays and keep their safety in mind in all that you do.  Hopefully your attention to detail will allow them to enjoy the holiday with you and your family.

Another Open House Success Story

Once again the Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital team put on a superb event to benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester Michigan.  The hospital team opened their doors and welcomed in clients, pets and guests to the 15th annual Open House and pictures with Santa.  We had our authentic Santa Claus join us once again to pose with pets and their families for professional quality Christmas photos with all proceeds and donations going to our friends at Leader Dogs.  The event raised over $800 and a wonderful time was had by all.  Many thanks to our team and the loyal clients that support us at this event and throughout the year.

Dr. Julie Cappel

Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

15th Annual Holiday Open House and Pictures with Santa

What is more fun than Christmas?  Christmas at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital with Santa and a bunch of happy people and pets.  

This Sunday, December 8th, we are hosting our 15th Annual Open House and Pictures with Santa to benefit Leader Dogs for the Blind.   The hospital is open from 12:00 noon until 3:00p.m. for photos and tours with food being provided by our friends at Patterson Veterinary Supply.  Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital provides gift bags for the pets.  Each family will have the opportunity to have a 5x7 picture taken with Santa for a $10.00 donation that goes entirely to Leader Dogs for the Blind in Rochester. You can have the picture with just the pets or include the entire family for that great Christmas card photo.  Pictures are printed while you wait and can be sent to you via email if you want to reproduce them.

The Warren Woods Veterinary Team works very hard each year volunteering their time cleaning, cooking and decorating the hospital in anticipation of this event, then spend their Sunday at work!  Come join our holiday celebration with the best veterinary team in Michigan!!!

Monday, December 2, 2013

Anal Glands can be a pain in the butt!

What are anal glands you ask?  Maybe you really don't want to know, but your dog or cat may need you to be aware of these pesky little things that may cause a pain in their rear.

These small pea sized glands are located on each side of the pet's anus in the four and eight o'clock position.   These glands are sometimes referred to as "scent glands", because they are used to identify the dog or cat's scent to other animals.  The glands empty normally when a pet defecates as the pressure exerted by the formed feces causes the glands to express onto the stool.  They can also empty spontaneously under times of stress and you will smell an unpleasant odor coming from your pet.   In some pets the glands do not empty properly due to thicker than normal anal gland secretions or if the pet's feces is not firm.  When the glands do not empty properly they can become impacted and cause discomfort to the pet or, if left untreated may abscess causing the dog intense pain.

The glands can be emptied when they are not working properly by exerting pressure (anal sac expression) to the gland to relieve the obstruction.  This procedure should only be done by someone that has been trained to properly and fully empty the glands. Your veterinarian, or their trained licensed veterinary technician, uses a gloved finger inserted into the anus to squeeze the material from the gland.  Some groomers are also properly trained to do this, however this should not be routinely done at the grooming salon because normal anal glands should empty on their own.  If the pet is experiencing problems then they should be addressed.  Dogs will exhibit symptoms such as dragging their posterior on the ground (scooting) or licking or biting at the anal area.   Dogs with abscesses will act painful if their tail is lifted or you may see swelling on either side of the anus. Cats may defecate outside the litter box or lick at the anal area obsessively.   In abscess situations the gland may even rupture through the skin on the side of the anus and blood and purulent material will drain from the opening.  Dogs with anal sac problems will be treated by a veterinarian with expression of the gland, sometimes it will have to be lanced and the pet will be placed on antibiotics until the gland is healed appropriately.

Anal gland fluid is normally tan in color and watery in consistency.  It has a foul odor that may occur when your dog is stressed.  Impacted anal gland material is usually brown or gray and very thick.  The presence of blood, swelling or pus indicates anal gland infection.

If you are suspicious that your pet has an anal gland problem, have them examined by your veterinarian or have the anal glands checked by one of our veterinary technicians.  The technicians can express the anal glands and let you know if they are normal or if they are impacted or infected.  If there is any sign of infection they will have the veterinarian prescribe an antibiotic and pain medication for your pet.  Call 586-751-3350 if you have any questions about this or any other subject.

Don't let your dog or cat suffer from a pain in the rear end....

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween Party for Pets

The second annual Pet Halloween Party at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital was a success.  We had a small yet powerful parade of pets dressed in their best costumes come into the hospital to show off their creativity and to have their picture taken for our Facebook page and Website.  The technicians decorated the room with spooky and cute Halloween decorations and built a platform for the photo background.  They also had goody bags for each pet and an array of Halloween treats for the pet parents.  All of the participants had wonderful pictures and we even got photos of our adoptable cats and kittens.  A great time was had by all.  Here are some of the photos that were taken at the event.  Join us next year...if you dare!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Want a Lizard, Turtle or Snake?

Want an unusual pet?  Cats, dogs and even birds are just a little too ordinary for you? Maybe a pet reptile is the right choice for you.  Before you visit a pet store to look at the wide variety of reptile pets, do your homework and know what your reptile pet’s requirements are before you commit to buy one.

Reptiles (snakes, lizards and turtles) and amphibians (frogs, newts, salamanders and chameleons) are categorized as “herptiles.” And because they are different, snakes, lizards and other herps have different care requirements than other household pets. These creatures are so special that there are different care guidelines for each species.
People with little or no knowledge of how they should be kept sometimes obtain reptiles. Unfortunately some pet stores give out faulty information when selling these animals. Therefore it is important that you do your research before bringing a reptile pet home. Find a reputable veterinarian or pet store that deals with reptiles and is familiar with their proper care.

Size matters when you’re considering a reptile for a pet. Contrary to popular belief, housing your reptile in a small tank does not mean that your reptile’s growth will be stunted. His health, however, will be poorly affected. A Burmese python, for example, is common in reptile stores; however, a young two-foot Burmese can grow to up to 30 feet and weigh up to 200 pounds.  Make sure to know how big the animal will be when it reaches maturity so you’ll be prepared to properly care for it throughout its lifetime.
Think carefully about what kind of cage or enclosure your reptile will need. Reptile homes need to provide enough space for mobility and must be escape-proof, both for your safety and your pets’.
There are commercially available diets for some reptiles; however, most need fresh food. For example, some species of reptile require food such as mealworms and mice while others may need fresh fruits and vegetables to make up the majority of their diet. Make sure you’re willing to research the diet and spend the money and effort, as you may need to purchase fresh food two to three times a week.
At Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital we have care information sheets available for your reptile friend.  You can get access to the information by visiting our website or emailing us at   Also, you can go to to get reputable care information on various reptile species. 

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

4 The Best Detroit

Each summer the Detroit TV station WDIV holds their "4 The Best, Click on Detroit" contest to choose the best, or most popular businesses in the greater Detroit area.  Last year Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital worked hard to accumulate votes asking clients and friends to vote for us in the contest. Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital was happy to be awarded fifth place in the "Veterinarians" category which included over 100 veterinary hospitals in the metro Detroit area.

This year as the contest approached we were not able to put as much effort into publicizing the contest and collecting votes, so we listed it on our Facebook page a few times and listed the website in our lobby.  To our surprise we were awarded the second place in the 2013 contest!  Out of the hundreds of hospitals listed we came in second.  The first place award went to a veterinary charity hospital that is supported by private donations and Michigan tax dollars, therefore we did not feel slighted in the least by their win. In fact, Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital supports many charities and wishes all of them  success in their animal rescuing endeavors.

Thanks to all of our wonderful clients, friends and Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital team members for making Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital one of the best in Detroit.  Also, thank you to WDIV for recognizing business in the Detroit area with this contest.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Why do dogs eat grass?

Most dog owners have seen their canine friend chew on grass at one time or another. It seems that no one knows exactly why dogs do it.  A few theories exist to explain this seemingly odd behavior, though no answer has been proven.
Some veterinarians believe that there is something that dogs are not getting from their commercial diets.  They may be in need of some additional roughage or vitamins that come from the “salad” that they find in the yard. Adding some extra veggies as well as adding extra fiber may also be a possible solution.
Wolves and other wild canids are known to regularly eat plant matter; suggesting dogs' grass-eating behavior is innate and normal. Indeed, a 2009 dog study in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that puppies were more likely to eat grass if their mothers did so while nursing.

One of the more common explanations for this behavior is that it helps dogs purge their systems. Dogs can suffer from gastrointestinal issues that make them feel ill. They graze on the grasses to make themselves vomit and ultimately feel better. If a dog is experiencing stomach problems, you may see it eating blades of grass.  The grass causes gastric irritation that leads to vomiting, which helps the dog feel better afterward.
The bottom line is that no one actually knows why dogs eat grass.  You might be able to gain some insight into nutritional deficits, or age-old wisdom on how awesome their instincts are. You will have to decide for yourself what the reason is behind your pet’s grazing.  However, here are some things to watch for.

Vomiting is not usually a normal situation. If your pet vomits on a rare occasion and seems to otherwise be himself, there is usually not cause for alarm.  If, however, your pet seems lethargic, is not eating, and is also vomiting, make an appointment to see your veterinarian right away.  Also, watch the grass your pet is grazing upon. Do not use fertilizers, de-icers, weed killers or other chemicals on your lawn, and make sure your grass is free of mushrooms as some types are toxic.  If your dog eats a large quantity of grass, he could potentially become ill from that.  If you are unsure if your dog’s grass eating behavior is normal, or if your dog seems ill from eating grass, please feel free to call us at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital for more information. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Doggie Aches and Pains - Beware of drug dangers

A friend of mine recently sent me a facebook message asking me if he could give his dog some Ibruprofen (Motrin), and if so how much.  He was on a vacation up north, away from his regular veterinary hospital, and thought that his middle- aged dog was feeling pain from over-exercise.  It is unfortunately common for people to make an assumption that a safe medication for people will also be safe for their pets.  In this instance my friend had the good sense to ask a veterinary professional before using Ibruprofen for his dog so I was able to give him the facts about these medications before he was able cause any harm to his pet.

As our pets advance in age, they will often develop the same problems with aches and pains that their human companions do.  Osteoarthritis can form in hips, knees, elbows and backs just as it does in people and can develop as a result of injury, hip dysplasia and often times just the normal aging process.  The pain associated with arthritis can leave dogs achy resulting in difficulty standing, often in the rear legs after sleeping and stiff joints after exercise.  The pain that they feel might not always be obvious but may show up in subtle ways such as inability to climb stairs, giving up on walks and games, and irritability.

Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including Ibruprofen (Motrin) and Acetominophen (Tylenol), are a class of drugs that are commonly used in people and animals for the relief of pain and inflammation associated with arthritis, headaches, muscle aches and for the relief of mild fevers.  Ibruporfen has been shown to cause kidney and liver disease in some dogs and is deadly in some cases.  Acetominophen (Tylenol) can also cause illness in dogs and is deadly at even small doses in cats. When pets ingest small overdoses of an NSAID, it may result in stomach ulcers, causing signs of vomiting, diarrhea, weakness, anemia, abdominal pain, and lethargy. With larger ingestions, kidney failure, liver failure and neurological problems (e.g., tremors or seizures) can develop.
There are safer NSAIDs that are used in our canine friends.  Dog-specific NSAIDs include common brands such as Rimadyl, Dermaxx, Previcox and Metacam. There are no NSAIDs designed for longterm use in cats and this class of drug is used sparingly in cats because it is poorly tolerated.

Pet owners should never give any medication to their dog or cat without consultation with their veterinarian.
If you think your dog or cat were poisoned by ibuprofen, or any other human medication, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately for life-saving treatment advice. The sooner the poisoning is diagnosed, the sooner it can be addressed to save your special pet.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Will work for food.

Have you ever heard of setting up “foraging” activities for your pet bird?  If not, perhaps you should.  Each week I see at least one pet parrot that has terrible problems with feather picking, feather chewing, skin mutilation, screaming, biting, or inappropriate bonding.  It is thought by many researchers, that the reason birds participate in these self-destructive behaviors is that they don’t have enough to do with their time and do not have natural food seeking opportunities incorporated into their daily routines.
 In the wild, birds generally spend their time divided between resting, grooming, foraging, and social interactions with flock members.  Most wild birds spend between 6 and 15 hours per day foraging for food.  Our pet birds have food provided in easily accessible food bowls sometimes 24 hours a day.  This type of feeding requires no creativity, activity or thought and rarely requires more than 30 minutes to consume a meal.
Increasing the available foraging activities will enhance your bird’s life and may prevent abnormal behaviors.  If these abnormal behaviors are already present in your bird, providing foraging activities may help decrease the frequency these problems.
Foraging toys are toys that require some physical activity to aquire food.  There are avian pet stores and websites that sell commercial foraging toys made from various materials.  It is important to choose toys that are an appropriate size and skill level for your bird. The best way is to start small and uncomplicated and then work your way up to more complicated toys.  In addition to commercial foraging toys, inexpensive toys can be created at home using natural products such as untreated wood, paper, or  PVC pipes.  Simple foraging toys may include, food inside a crumpled paper cup, paper bag, or piece of paper towel.  Food toys can be created by placing food inside untreated wood or cardboard containers with covers that can be removed or with holes drilled in the side that allows extraction of small food items.  A foraging cup or shallow pan can be filled with untreated wooden beads or shredded paper. This can be used to hide nuts or seeds, requiring the bird to dig through the inedible objects to find the food items.
There is also a good DVD called “Captive Foraging: The Next Best Thing to Being Free.”  It is available at our hospital and online through the Zoological Education Network (   Think of any natural way that food is hidden in the wild environment, and try to set up a similar situation in your bird’s cage using nontoxic items that you have around the house.   
Keeping your pet bird occupied with foraging activities will make him (or her) a much happier and healthier individual. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Itchy, Scratchy and Sneezy - Don't shoot the vet over your allergic pet.

It is finally springtime again in Michigan!  The temperature is hitting over 60 degrees each day and the sun is actually shining more often. The improving weather is sometimes "bad news" for our vets and pets.  Along with spring and summer temperatures comes allergies.   Dogs and cats develop allergies to many things in the environment, just as people do.  They exhibit symptoms such as itching, scratching, rubbing, rolling and chewing.   We see ear infections, eye infections, skin infections and hair loss, all associated with allergies.

 Allergies are as common in dogs and cats as they are in their human counterparts.  On our daily schedule we may see  2 or 3 allergy cases, and sometimes more.  We learn to dread these appointments because we know that there is not a simple solution to the pet owner's problem.  Because there is not a simple answer, we must deal with frustrated and confused pet owners.  In many cases this problem is going to be a longtime, possibly lifetime issue, and there is no magic bullet cure.  

The best way to treat allergies in our pets is to diagnose exactly what that particular pet is allergic to.  We can do this through food trials, blood testing for inhalant allergies and/or skin testing. These test are often time consuming and can be expensive.   They will take time and effort investments on the part of the pet owner.   Veterinarians may treat these pets with antihistamines, antibiotics, and immune suppressant drugs, as well as allergen injections customized for the specific patient.  The allergies are often controlled but very rarely cured.  

If you suspect that your pet may have an allergy, there are several things that you can do to assist your veterinarian with their diagnosis and treatment.

  • Be sure that your pet is treated monthly with flea preventative (i.e. Frontline or Certifect) so flea allergies can be eliminated from the equation.  
  • Keep a list of your pet's habits and symptoms, and when they occur.  This may help your veterinarian compile an accurate history for your pet.  
  • Be patient with your veterinarian so he/she can make the proper recommendations and remember to follow up on your veterinary visits, so you can stay ahead of your dog or cat's symptoms. 

 Remember that it will take an investment of your time and energy (and maybe your checkbook) to get your pet's allergies under control.

Try to enjoy the spring and summer with your pet, and please don't shoot the vet!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Missing Socks??

Have you ever wondered where the socks go when you are doing laundry?  I often do.  Almost every time I do a load of laundry I am left with at least one or two socks that don't end up with a match.  Often those missing socks never show up.  Where do they go??

We found one of those missing socks at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital on Monday......

Monday afternoon we found a sock in the small intestine of a sweet tempered, well mannered, beautiful family dog.  She had been know to eat socks in the past and usually would vomit them up before they caused any serious problem, however the sock eating caught up with her last weekend.  Her owners knew that she had eaten at least one sock when she started to act sick and stopped eating.  Her abdomen was tense and painful and she could not keep down her water or food.  She presented to one of our doctors Monday morning, after a brief stay in an overnight emergency center where they confirmed that she had something trapped in the middle of her small intestine. She was quickly admitted for supportive care and was prepped for the surgery by our team of licensed veterinary technicians and our wonderful doctor.  She was given an IV with fluids and antibiotics, pain medication and anesthesia so the doctor could surgically correct her problem.  The doctor made an incision in her abdomen to identify the cause of her distress, the foreign object - a full sized (escaped from the laundry) sock.  The intestine was opened so the sock could be removed and was carefully repaired. The sock had cause the intestine to become stressed, swollen and bruised so closing it had to be done carefully in order for it to heal properly after surgery.  In this dog's case our veterinarian got to the sock in time and she should recover fully.

When there is a sock in a dog's small intestine it is very painful and causes damage to the lining and circulation of the portion of bowel that it is trapped within.  The body works hard to try to pass the object so the intestine gets very stressed and can become compromised. If  the blockage to the intestine is not corrected in a short amount of time, a portion of intestine can actually become necrotic and die which in turn can cause the patient to get septic.  It then becomes life threatening.

Animals will eat a variety of things that they should not eat.  For example, I have removed many things from pets including rocks, ear plugs, Nerf darts, towels, coins, toys, rubber balls, string and yarn.  I have seen radiographs of dogs that have eaten spoons, knives, nails, paperclips, jewelry and a variety of clothing items including shoes.

What can we learn from this dog's story?  
1. Pick up things around your house that your pets might find fascinating and perhaps tasty.
2. Monitor your pets to be sure they don't swallow something that they shouldn't and if they do, call your veterinarian immediately for advice.
3. If your pet is vomiting or acting ill and refusing to eat, it could be a sign that they have an intestinal blockage so seek medical attention.

Please pay attention to your pet's behavior and seek veterinary advice if you suspect illness in your family pet.... and try to keep your socks from escaping the laundry.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Shark Attack!

Just when I think that I have seen and heard everything that there is to see and hear while doing my job, I get a pleasant surprise that reminds me why I love what I do.

 I never thought that I would get to see a patient in my office that was attacked by a shark.  We live in Michigan (no ocean) and I work in a small animal (pet) hospital.  So how did I end up treating a seal for a shark attack???

Very simple... It was a stuffed toy seal attacked by an imaginary shark:  Here is how it happened.

 One of my last appointments of the day was to see a young bearded dragon for her annual examination.   It happens that this particular "beardie" is owned by a school teacher and is being kept as a class pet.  The bearded dragon (Let's call her "Sassy") was doing well and just needed to be examined and checked for parasites.  The teacher just happened to be a grandmother and she had brought her young grandson with her to the appointment.  The little boy was a quiet, serious, sweet faced kid, with short, buzz cut hair and ears that stuck out slightly from his round little head.  He sat quietly next to his grandmother and aunt (who was also along for the ride) and observed the goings on in the examination room with only an occasional comment about "Sassy".  He remained patiently waiting until I had finished looking at "Sassy" and checking her over completely.  As we were finishing up talking about the  dragon the little boy spoke up in a quiet voice and said, “Will you look at my seal?”  He was holding in his right hand a small white stuffed seal – a beanie baby, I think.  I said, “Sure, what is wrong with the seal?”  “It was bitten by a shark.” he said.   “A shark?”  I said with surprise and then caught myself looking at the little stuffed animal just to be sure it didn’t have blood or guts spilling out of it’s little soft body. “When did this happen?”  I said.  He looked at me very calmly and matter of fact and said, “ Five years ago.”  Well, that answer  almost had me laughing out loud, but instead I said, “Oh, Wow! That must have been some bite if he is still having problems after five years.  Do you think it might help if I bandaged the wound?” Not really knowing how to respond.   The little guy was watching me intently as I was holding on to his little pet and examining the five year old, non-existent wound.  He nodded his head and said, “Yes, I think that would help.”  So I proceeded to apply a green vet wrap tape bandage (his favorite color is green)  around the little seal's abdominal area and returned it to the loving hands of the serious little boy.  "I think he will be fine now." I said. 

My job is truly fascinating and very entertaining when I get to do something like that.  All in a days work.....

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Career Fair Fun

Where can you see a veterinarian, a chiropractor, a tax accountant, a fireman and a United States Marine all in the same room?  At the Utica Schools Career Expo!

Tomorrow night (March 21) I will be packing up a few of my veterinary technician friends and a box of pamphlets, photos and some worms in jars, to head off to the annual career fair.  Once there, we will set up our table and try to look as interesting as we possibly can, so crowds of children and their parents will stop by to ask us questions.  We will even have a basket of candy to attract those who may just stop by for the sweets.   We want as many people as possible to talk to us because, who wants to have the job that no one cares about?  We all want to have a popular career right?

Thankfully for us, many people love animals and will stop by our booth just to talk about their pets. That gives us an advantage over our non-animal career friends.  We also have a few little pets of our own to attract the younger kids. We talk about how much fun it is to visit with cute puppies and kitties each day and how we love returning ill pets to their families feeling healthier than they were when we met them.  We really get to save lives and enjoy what we do every day.

We usually have them convinced that our career is the BEST until they ask the magic question. "How many years do you have to go to college?"  When I say "eight years"  I lose a lot of them.  Their eyes glaze over thinking of the years of studying, and their parents drag them away shaking their heads with thoughts of the impending debt.  If I can convince a few brave souls that my career is worth the mental and financial sacrifice, I may just get some new colleagues out of it.  At any rate, the career fair is loads of fun.  Educating the public about the variety of things that we do each day and showing off the complexity of our profession is both an honor and a privilege.

If you are in the neighborhood tomorrow night, stop by to see us. We would love to see you and your family, and answer all of your veterinary questions.  The career fair is at Eisenhower High School.

Hope to see you there!

Dr. Cappel and the team at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Leftover Cats

As we approach spring, I feel a slight sense of trepidation because I know it is the beginning of kitten season.  Unwanted kittens will once again flood our office and we will spend countless hours bottle feeding, bathing, cleaning litter boxes and finding homes for the litters of unwanted kittens that will be rescued by our wonderful caring clients and soft hearted employees.  

Cats breed in the spring, so kittens are often found under decks, in car engines, in garages and even in the homes of people that didn't spay their pets.  Each year we raise and adopt these homeless babies without the help of a rescue agency or any government funds. We do it because we love animals and want to make a positive contribution to the people and pets in our community.  It is a wonderfully rewarding thing to do -  to take sick and starving day old kittens and tube feed, bottle feed, medicate and love them into beautiful healthy adoptable kittens and cats ready for new homes.  The only down side to the process is the lack of normal sleep that we get when we have a litter to raise and the adult cats that are sometimes leftover.  The mothers or older kittens that are found don't always get homes.    So each year we are left with a couple of beautiful adult cats that don't get adopted.  

These cats continue to reside at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital waiting for that right person to come in and notice that they would make great pets.  They are all spayed and neutered, vaccinated and tested for Felv and FIV.  They are well socialized and are great with people because they have spent a lot of time with the WWVH team.  

If you have room in your home for one more sweet soul, please go to our website (  or our facebook page and see who we have to offer.  It would be great if all of our homeless cats could find homes this year.  They don't like being leftovers.

Also, remember to spay and neuter your cats and dogs so we don't get any more unwanted pets out on the streets. 

Looking forward to spring with a great money saving offer from Merial

Today did not feel like spring, with winds over 20 miles and hour and a temperature of below 30 degrees, however the sunshine made me think that spring is just around the corner.  What does that mean for Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital?  It means more focus on parasite control, heartworm disease prevention and spring/summer allergies.  Veterinary hospitals focus more on these things during the spring and summer months because we are presented with more opportunity to do so.  Fleas, Ticks and Heartworm are seen each year and it is upsetting because these diseases are easily prevented.

 For example there is a new promotion from the makers of Heartgard and Frontline.  The company (Merial) that makes these products, comes up with new and better ways to promote the use of these preventative medications by coming up with better coupons each year.  There are so many products on the market now that they are forced to compete aggressively.  That is great news for the consumer. Last year the company offered $12 coupon/rebate for the purchase of 12 doses of Heargard.  This year they are offering the same $12 coupon with an added $25.00 immediate coupon off the purchase price of 12 doses of Heartgard with 6 doses of Frontline.  That is a $37.00 savings and with that offer comes 2 extra doses of Frontline.  All total a person will save close to $57.00.   That is a great savings and makes these products cheaper to get from a veterinary hospital than to buy over the counter or online.   The good news for veterinarians and clients of veterinarians is that we can get these superior products for a better price and when you buy from your veterinarian you know that the product is coming directly from Merial and not through a broker or overseas supplier.  The company guarantees and backs these products only if they are sold through a legitimate provider.    There are many products on the market that claim to prevent fleas, ticks, heartworm and internal parasites.  Heartgard and Frontline have been around for years and they are some of the safest and most successful products on the market.  I have used them on all of my dogs and cats for at least the past 10 years.  Ask your veterinarian about this great money saving offer from Merial.  (I don't work for the company-I just think it is a great offer)

Have a parasite free summer with your dogs and cats.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Pets need dental care too! February is Pet Dental Health Month

Does your dog or cat ever breathe in your face?  If so, you have probably noticed that their mouths can smell pretty foul if you don't keep up with their dental care.   The smell that comes from that cute little mouth is the smell of bacteria building up on their teeth and causing infection in their gums.  Can you imagine going months or years without taking a toothbrush and paste to your pearly whites??  That is what happens with our canine and feline friends in most households.  A small percentage of people brush their pet's teeth daily and many don't do it at all.  That lack of dental attention causes many pets to have thick ugly tartar buildup on their teeth and even worse severe gum infections leading to loss of valuable teeth at a very young age.  The dental chews and things that they advertise on TV for pet's dental health can help a little, however the real work has to be done by brushing and professional cleaning and polishing.  Most pets that do not have home dental brushing will need to have their teeth professionally cleaned by their veterinarian at about 1-3 years of age.  Imagine 3 years of food being left on your teeth to build up tartar and decay.  If those pets have their teeth brushed at home they may not need professional cleaning as often, but it is still important to their dental health just like it is for their human caregivers.  

It is advisable to have your pet's mouth evaluated by your veterinarian or veterinary technician at least annually and to have those teeth cleaned professionally at the first sign of tartar buildup or gum redness.  Your veterinarian will then be able to schedule your furry friend for a dental cleaning.  Pet's teeth are cleaned just like your teeth are cleaned by your dental hygienist.  They are scraped and polished with similar instruments that are used on your teeth.  Animals do have to be anesthetized in order to clean their teeth properly because most pets will not sit in a chair with their mouths open.  Most veterinarians will handle your pet's dental cleaning just as if they were a person going under anesthesia for a routine outpatient procedure.  Blood tests will be done prior to anesthesia to insure the health of the pet's kidneys, liver and immune system.  An IV catheter will be used to deliver medication and fluid and to insure safety during the procedure.  The teeth will then be cleaned, polished and sometimes x-rays will be taken to evaluate the tooth roots.  Therapeutic laser therapy can also be used to decrease gum inflammation and infection.  Once your pet returns home (most procedures take about 1 hours, so most pets return home in the early afternoon) you will be encouraged to follow up with proper brushing to keep up with the now healthy, clean mouth.  

If you have any questions or would like more information about dental care for your pet, call Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital at 586-751-3350.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital Team brings a new website to life.

Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital has a new and improved website.  After many months of hard work by some of the team members, a new website has come to life.  Nicole and myself were the two team members leading the charge, with a lot of help from our webmaster and computer guru Scott.  Nicole visited many websites and looked at numerous options of templates.  After many trials and changes we settled on a web template with a man (we called him eyebrow man) and a dog on the main page.  The site was clean and friendly and we really loved it, but we really didn't want a male model/veterinarian as our representative.  We debated and fought over what to do with the "eyebrow man".  We have 24 women working at Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital, so having a man on the main page was not really an option.  At one point Nicole and Scott plugged a picture of me (Dr. Cappel)  and my new puppy Trent as a temporary place holder while we were trying to come up with a solution to eyebrow man.   I was not real happy with this solution, but I agreed to it as I knew it was only temporary.

 As the site developed we added pictures of the rest of the team all with their various pets and the site became a family project.  We feel that Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital is a family and we liked the feel of our team members populating the site.  Nicole spent countless hours typing in text and arranging photos to make the site user friendly and informative.  Sue and the other team members helped with proof reading, taking photos and critiquing the content.  After many many hours of work we were finally able to let the site go live.  We are still working on getting the site to work with smart phones and tablet devices, but the computer site is working well so far.  There are some changes that we still need to make and we hope that our clients will add to this work in progress by submitting photos, and ideas that will help make the website grow for us.  I hope that any of you that use our site will be happy with the changes that we have made and will help us to continue to update the site to make it more user friendly and educational.  If you have a moment visit the site at and let us know what you think.  

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Santa delivers Zelda to her new home.

Just in time for Christmas, Zelda (our one eyed kitten - AKA Winky) made her way into the hearts and home of a wonderful family.  One of our great clients, Tanya, fell in love with Zelda after visiting the hospital several times while the homeless kittens were growing and playing in the Warren Woods Veterinary Hospital reception area.  Now Tanya has cats of her own at home, but something about the outgoing personality of Zelda and her fearless nature attracted Tanya to her.  She began to work on her husband gently suggesting that Zelda would make a great stocking stuffer for Christmas.  Now her husband is an animal lover as well, but he is the practical one, the voice of reason.  He didn't think another cat was needed in their home and he was very comfortable that Zelda was happy and healthy living at WWVH.  Tanya continued to visit with Zelda and continued to ask "Santa" for a new kitten.  As Christmas approached it wasn't looking good for the adoption, then 3 days before Christmas I received a facebook message asking me if Zelda was still available for adoption.  I replied that yes, she had just been spayed on Monday and was recovering nicely and that she could go to a home any day.  The facebook message was from Tanya's husband.  He wanted to see if he could pick Zelda up on Christmas eve, so she could be the Christmas gift that Tanya was wishing for.  We made arrangements for him to get her on Monday, Christmas eve.   The little kitten that started life outside with her mother and siblings, starving and lonely, with an eye that was diseased and blind, ended up with the best of happy endings.  Being delivered by Santa into the loving arms of a wonderful, capable family.