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....