You may have heard news reports about the Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). While it is not currently a major problem in California or the U.S., we want to address news of the virus to inform and quell some of our clients’ concerns.
The first strain of CIV diagnosed in the world, H3N8, was identified in 2004 in racing Greyhounds at a track in Florida. A vaccine was developed for this strain in 2009.
Another CIV strain, H3N2, which affects dogs, and rarely cats, was diagnosed first in South Korea in 2007, and in the United States in the Chicago area in March 2015.
(H3N2 is NOT the same strain as H3N2v, the swine flu, which effects pigs and humans.)
It is not currently known whether the H3N8 vaccine works to prevent or lessen the symptoms of the H3N2 virus.
There have been no reports of dog flu spreading from dogs to any humans, so do not fear.
We currently have the H3N8 vaccine available at the hospital, but we do not recommend it to our clients, unless it is needed for your pets to travel (some states and countries require it). The dog flu currently does not pose a threat large enough in California to necessitate routine vaccination.
The DHPP vaccine, Bordetella vaccine, Rabies vaccine, and if you’re a hiker or desert resident, the Rattlesnake vaccine, are the inoculations currently recommended to keep your pup healthy and protected.
The doctors at the hospital are monitoring the situation with updates from the CDC and the American Veterinary Medical Association, and we will change our recommendations if the virus ever shows signs of becoming a larger threat.
SYMPTOMS of CIV
High fever, trouble breathing, loss of appetite, consistent dry or wet coughing, running nose, running eyes, lethargy.
Some dogs with CIV show no symptoms, but some can develop pneumonia and severe respiratory infections.
DOGS AT RISK
Dog who go to dog parks, stay in boarding facilities, or have daily visits in a dog-friendly office are more likely to contract CIV then dogs who are mostly indoors. This is especially true if you live in a state that has had a CIV outbreak, such as Illinois or Indiana.
Older dogs, sick dogs, brachycephalic dogs (Boxers, Pugs, Bulldogs, etc.), and dogs with a history of respiratory infections will be more susceptible to developing severe respiratory illness and/or bacterial infection as a result of contracting CIV.
The percentage rate of dogs who die as a result of contracting CIV is very low. Some estimates put it as low as 1%, some go as high as 10%.
HOW DOGS GET CIV
H3N8 and H3N2 are very contagious ! It spreads easily from surfaces, air, clothing, and shoe contamination, and dogs can spread the virus for up to 24 days, even if they do not show any symptoms. From the AVMA:
Canine influenza is spread via aerosolized respiratory secretions (via coughing, barking and sneezing) and contaminated objects (kennel surfaces, food and water bowls, collars and leashes) and people moving between infected and uninfected dogs. The virus can remain viable (alive and able to infect) on surfaces for up to 48 hours, on clothing for 24 hours, and on hands for 12 hours.
The incubation period is usually two to four days from exposure to onset of clinical signs. The highest amounts of viral shedding occur during this time; therefore, dogs are most contagious during this 2-4 day incubation period when they are not exhibiting signs of illness. Virus shedding decreases dramatically during the first 4 days of illness but may continue up to 7 days in most dogs and up to 10 days in some dogs with H3N8 canine influenza. Intermittent H3N2 shedding for up to 24 days can occur.
DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT
If your furry baby is showing signs and symptoms of CIV and you think your dog might have canine influenza, bring your dog to the hospital – before you bring your pet in, tell the staff if your dog has been coughing so we can determine if your dog needs to be brought in through another entrance and isolated.
There are two main types of tests, the PCR test, which involves simply swabbing your pets’ oral cavity (throat), as well as the serum test, which requires drawing blood. Currently, the PCR test is more reliable and is the hospital’s first choice when diagnosing CIV.
Treatment depends on the severity of your dog’s infection. Most dogs will not have severe symptoms, and keeping your dog hydrated with fluids and a long period of rest will be all your pup requires. Some dogs have more severe symptoms and develop secondary infections, in which case antibiotics and other medication may be used.
Currently, in California, you do not need to worry about CIV. We do not even recommend vaccinating for canine influenza at the current time. The best prevention is to stay informed, and be on top of your dog’s vaccinations and general health.
Hanukkah may be over, but we still have Christmas, Kwanzaa, and New Year’s Eve left in 2015! And no matter what you celebrate, the love we have for our pets is a universally celebrated tradition.
Keeping your pets safe over the holidays is easy !
Just being careful with unsafe items and leaving them out of the reach of curious paws can make all the difference.
Here are a few tips to make sure this holiday season is a happy AND safe one for your pets.
Menorah lights, Kinara candles, and Christmas votives are beautiful traditions, but keep them away from the tails and paws of cats and dogs.
Do not put lit candles in the way of roaming curious pets, and make sure to blow out any candles before leaving a room or the house.
The fringe-like fur of a tail can easily burn when swept alongside a lit candle, and a rambunctious dog can easily knock into a candle that is sitting on a low coffee table, causing a tablecloth or rug to catch on fire.
2) Holiday Plants
Poinsettias are toxic for pets. So are mistletoe, holly, holly berries, rosemary, and lilies. Lilies can also cause irreversible kidney failure in cats (lily nephrotoxicity).
Almost all holiday-themed plants should be kept far far away from your pets’ mouths.
The degree of toxicity depends on the weight of your pet and the amount of the plant your pet has eaten. If you suspect your pet has ingested an unsafe amount of a holiday plant, take your pet to your veterinarian right away.
Signs of toxic poisoning include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, seizure, collapse, and unconsciousness.
3) The Tree
The tree ! Whether it’s real or fake, the tree is anything but safe for your pets. Especially for kitties. Kitties looooove to make trouble with the tree.
Keep lights high! Don’t let dogs and cats chew on low-hanging lights and give themselves an electric shock.
Use safe decorations – go for plastic instead of glass, in case the ornaments get knocked off the tree or end up between jaws – Plastic ornaments won’t shatter as easily.
Keep ornaments with string and whispy angel hair out of the reach of your pets as well, to prevent any chance of dangerous string ingestion. Read more about linear foreign body dangers in our previous blog post here.
If your kitties love to climb the tree, make sure to anchor your tree to the wall, or give it a heavy, sturdy base, to prevent the tree from tipping over and hurting your pets or possibly causing damage to your home.
If your tree is REAL – keep cats and dogs away from tree water!
The tree water can contain insecticide, pine resin, and chemicals, everything your cat or dog should not ingest. The pine needles themselves are very dangerous for cats and dogs to digest – they can cause perforations or obstructions in the G.I. tract if ingested, and are toxic.
A couple of tips for keeping pets away from the tree:
Put aluminum foil around the base of your tree. The noise will alert you when pets are too close, and the noise itself may scare pets away.
Use a tree skirt to cover up tree water and the bottom portion of your tree.
Use strong citrus scents around the tree. Cats and dogs may not like these smells and may leave the tree alone because of them.
4) Holiday Foods
Chocolate and cocoa contain theobromine, which is toxic to both dogs AND cats.
Grapes and raisins are toxic for cats, dogs, and ferrets as well. Ingestion of grapes and/or raisins can cause acute (immediate) kidney failure in pets.
Excessively fatty foods (such as fat scraps from meats), foods with onions, foods with garlic, and foods with bones should not be given to your pets.
Foods with lots of fats and oils can upset your pets’ digestive systems. Onions and garlic, fresh and in powder form, can cause anemia in cats as well as dogs. Onion and garlic poisoning can have a delayed onset, so if you suspect your pet has ingested them, contact a veterinarian immediately.
Be mindful over the holidays of what leftovers and what treats you give to your pets. We all want our beloved animals to join in on the festivities and to make them feel like they are part of the fun, but let’s do so in a way that will not make them sick or compromise their health.
5) Alcohol and Caffeine
Toxic for your pets! Keep away!
6) Sugarless Gum and Candy containing Xylitol
Toxic for your pets! Keep away! Most sugarless gum and candy include xylitol as an ingredient.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic or poisonous, don’t wait ! Contact a a qualified pet poison hotline immediately, such as the ASPCA animal poison center at 1-888-426-4435.
Know the symptoms of toxic poisoning: vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, seizure, collapse, and unconsciousness.
Happy Holidays from the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital! We hope that no matter what tradition you hold dear, that you celebrate it with loved ones, good fun, good cheer, and lots of warm snuggles.
Photo credits :
Mountain Dog looking guilty in front of the tree photo:
In the spirit of our own Melanie Bellomo Shifflett having a baby, we wanted to share some tips from professionals on how to prepare your pets for a newborn.
If you are expecting a baby, it is a good idea to start thinking about ways to make the adjustment from your fur babies being the center of attention, to your human baby being the center of attention, a little easier on your pets.
Animals are emotional creatures, and can react with distrust, jealousy, and attempts at dominance, especially if they are not accustomed to being around infants.
These are all suggestions, and any new training methods will of course effect individual animals differently. If you are concerned with your pets reacting to your newborn in any aggressive ways, please consult an animal behaviorist for one-on-one training.
All sources slightly differ in approaches expectant pet owners should take – and we encourage you to read through as many sources as necessary, and to decide on the right methods for your pet.
Below are some general guidelines, as well as first-person recommendations from two recent mothers and gold star pet owners, Melanie and Liz, both of whom worked or are currently working at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital.
If your dog doesn’t respond to the commands “Sit,” “Stay,” “Lay Down,” and “Off,” it is time to sign up for an obedience class. Many are available in the Los Angeles area, from dog training centers like Zoom Room, to private trainers that will work out of your own home. We work with a few behaviorists and trainers at the hospital, and would be happy to give our clients recommendations. Your dog jumping on you or pulling on his leash may not be anything more than an annoyance right now, but with a baby in your arms, that sort of behavior can be downright dangerous.
Bring the new cleansing and care products that you will be using for your baby into the house early, and let your dog smell them. Sprinkle yourself with baby powder and baby lotion and let your dog smell these new products on you.
Leave baby blankets, carriers, strollers, and other baby items around your home so your pet gets used to how they look and smell, and is not threatened by them when the baby comes home and starts using them. Take your dogs for walks with the empty stroller, so she gets used to walking a little slower, and not pulling on you when you’re with the stroller. Also, the introduction of these new items will teach your pet that these are not for their playtime, and should be left alone. Make sure that your pet knows these new items are off-limits through repetitive, consistent commands like “Off” or “Down,” and of course using positive reinforcement for good behaviors.
Set psychological boundaries.
If your pet is used to being with you 24-7, sitting on your keyboard, lying on your feet, and snuggling in your bed, and you know that this will have to change once the baby arrives, start separating yourself from your pet slowly for short periods each day, and build up to more and more time. Put her in a separate room or outside. This is a good thing for your pet and she WILL get used to this separation. More importantly, getting your pet accustomed to time away from you BEFORE the baby arrives will mean that your pet will not focus on the baby as the cause of this separation and develop jealousy, like she might if the separation happens SUDDENLY when the baby comes home. This way, you can focus on your newborn without having to worry that your pet is not used to being away from you.
Set physical boundaries.
Before the baby arrives, designate a room or a section of a room as the “baby-zone,” where pets are not allowed. This way, you will already have a safe zone for your newborn when you bring your baby home. Once the baby is settled in, you should start letting your pet in that room only with direct supervision.
Make a plan for pet care during delivery.
Ahead of the delivery date, have a family member or friend commit to caring for your pets while you are in delivery. Have your pets’ food instructions, beds, toys, and veterinarian information ready to go, in case there is an unexpected event or emergency. If you set all this up ahead of time, you won’t have to worry about what will happen with your pets at the last minute.
Once your baby is home.
Make sure your pet is sitting and in a calm state before being introduced to your newborn. This may require that you greet your pets by yourself at first, because they will undoubtedly be anxious and excited to see you when you first come home, especially if it’s been a few days. If possible, have someone else hold the baby while you greet your pets first.
Never let your pet put his paws or teeth on your baby. Your baby should be the dominant one in the baby-pet relationship. Reward calm, submissive behavior with treats and praise. If your pet will not calm down, remove your pet from your immediate area until she calms down, or can be taken on a long walk. Hopefully that will not be necessary, as you want the baby to be a positive in the lives of your pets.
Always be present when your pet is interacting with your newborn. Never leave your baby alone with an animal, even a small one. Your pet may not be aggressive, but she may snuggle up to your baby for warmth or love, which could possibly suffocate an infant.
Have extra toys and playthings around to distract your pet from becoming too rambunctious around the baby. Rather than constantly reprimanding an energetic animal with “No,” “No,” “No,” entertaining toys can divert their attention in positive ways.
Once your baby is older and wants to start playing with your pets, protect your pets! Always teach young children to be gentle with animals and pet them nicely. Any rough jerks, tail pulling, or pinching could upset even a gentle animal, and lead to a dangerous situation.
Melanie’s Baby Story & Tips !
Before Melanie and her husband Michael brought home baby George, the pair already had their Shepherd mix Scout, their terrier mix Marsha, and a clan of 4-5 cats at home to take care of. Quite a group! And Melanie prepped all her pets with aplomb. She is a true pro. In Melanie’s words:
We started doing more walks and hikes than normal a couple months out. This just helped them feel more content in general and we knew that once the baby arrived and we were going to both be off of work that the walks and hikes were going to be possibly the only activity we would be able to participate in, aside from changing diapers. I know this is advised against usually because they say that once the baby arrives you have less time for your pups, but we knew the opposite would be true for us. So this was a special time to reconnect with our dogs and remind them that they’re special and help the transition when the babe arrived. The more secure they felt the better they’d do. That was our logic. And it seems to have really helped.
We started to make a couple areas of the house off limits. Normally they have the run of the roost, so we started getting them used to not being able to go everywhere they wanted at any time for any reason. So now the baby’s room is a “No-fly zone” and we keep the cats out of our bedroom, as well. This has helped keep things a little more sane and definitely more clean.
Speaking of cats, a couple weeks prior to our due date, we put them into boarding at the hospital. The reason for this was two-fold. ONE: we didn’t want to have to worry about coordinating their care once “D-Day” arrived and TWO: our cats are friggin’ angels when they come home from boarding. Super well-behaved, don’t pee on anything, extra loving, etc. We were trying to set up a situation where they would be so thrilled to be home that they wouldn’t even think twice about the kid. Which they didn’t. We blissed them out on catnip as soon as they got home and it’s been a love fest ever since. Maybe this method will be frowned upon, but guess what? It’s genius so get on board.
Pre-planning Pet Care:
We did not board the dogs and had family members on call to care for them when the big day arrived. THIS WAS SO IMPORTANT. Our labor and delivery became really complicated and George ended up in the NICU, leaving us gone from home and the dogs for an entire week. Having my mom and sister available to stay with them and walk them made a huge difference (for them and us!).
Help from Robots:
Lastly, and this has been one of the best decisions we have made as dog owners slash new clueless parents: WE BOUGHT A ROOMBA. Holy wonderful gift of joy. Not having pet hair covering our floors has been amazing. And not having to sweep twice day? Come on. That little robot has already paid for itself. Now we can feel good about putting George on his floor gym, etc., knowing that he won’t need to be pet hair-rollered within an inch of his life every time we pick him up.
I must say that the dogs were pretty skeptical of George the first few weeks. Didn’t really want to engage or come near him. But we continued to remind them (in doggy language) that they were still our babies and that they were loved). They now have become George’s little buddies and protectors. Just recently over the 4th of July holiday when my neighborhood became a loud scary boom-boom-room reminiscent of Lebanon circa 1983, our shepherd, Scout, glued herself to wherever George happened to be whenever the fireworks went wild. Usually she’s trying to hide in the cat’s covered litter box for shelter, so to see her be brave for her new pal was incredibly heartwarming.
Liz’s Baby Story & Tips !
Liz Rose, a consummate dog lover and experienced dog owner, former tech at BHSAH, and all-around magical human being, had her very young bully/Staffy/Catahoula Leopard Dog, Joon, at home before she and her husband brought home baby Rose. Her pre-planning skills, intelligence, and foresight into the needs of her pet, as well as what her own needs would be, are enviable and admirable. From Liz! :
We tried very hard to make the space for the baby before she came home. You really want to work on preparing them for the new dynamic and new social hierarchy. I made it a priority to have all the energy calm and clean, with good vibrations for all. Juggling is really hard, but doable. Get your dog exercised and loved and he/she will not feel jealousy.
Getting your Dog used to Babies:
We played newborn crying sounds on YouTube to get Joon less spooked and more acclimated. I also had friends bring their babies over to get Joon used to being around them. And we also tried to carry a doll around and give it attention.
Before the baby arrived, we spent time in the nursery, rocking in the chair and not letting Joon sit on our laps in there. We worked on making some general boundaries everywhere.
I also trained her really intensely while walking her on a leash, encouraging her to stay calm and close to me, and not letting her pull. Keep training the dog and encouraging them to sit and keep their manners.
Pet care Preparations:
Once the baby comes, a new Mom isn’t going to be out and about the first 1-6 weeks. Have a dog walker on call and a doggy daycare situation set up, and even fun boarding care set up to use if necessary.
Make sure your dog’s had all the necessary interviews and paper work submitted before the baby arrives. We sent Joon to doggy daycare 3-4 days a week initially, so she could come home feeling really great (she loves it there). We wanted a healthy transition for her from only child to new sister!
Stock your House with Necessities:
Make sure you have a lot of extra treats and dog food at home, because it’s hard to get to the market with the new baby.
I really worked hard on the transition. I trust Joon with the baby 100%, but it’s always still a good idea not to leave a pet alone with the baby, until your child is a little older.
Thanks so much for sharing your experiences and your tips, Melanie and Liz! And congrats on your lovely new bundles of joy.
Here are a few links that will give you advice on how to prepare for your baby. Some of the tips may seem extreme, like carrying around a toy baby, or playing tapes of baby sounds on repeat for your pets, but they can work ! And nothing is too “over the top” or silly when it comes to protecting your newborn and making the lives of your animals happier. When the babies are happy, Mom and Dad can relax more as well.
Independence Day is this Saturday! And while we all cannot wait for cold brews, warm tofudogs, and watermelon slices, we should also consider the most important 4th of July tradition – Fireworks !
Fireworks are beautiful, wondrous magic, but our pets absolutely hate them. Cats and dogs are scared of the loud bangs and pops, even if they are in the distance. And the flashes of light can seem scary and foreign.
Dogs may drool excessively, bark, urinate and defecate without control, shake or tremble, and try to hide in response to the noise. Cats will run, hide, and refuse to eat. Some pets will even chew through screens or break through windows in an attempt to escape the scary noises ! Even if the fears seem excessive, our pets cannot help having noise phobias. It is completely instinctive. And scolding does not help a frightened animal, it will make their fears worse.
Let’s try to help our babies out in nice ways and make this a less scary holiday for them <3
If you have an outside cat, bring him/her in to the house for the night. If she’s scared, she may run far away, or into the street. Bringing her inside for the night will insure that she is safe.
Take your dog(s) on a longer-than-usual walk early in the day, before fireworks start. This will tire them out and help reduce anxiety levels.
If you have a skiddish dog, or even a non-skiddish dog, as any dog can be scared of fireworks, try keeping him in the bedroom with a comfy bed and a toy that he likes. This will prevent him from running outside if the door is opened, and lessen the tendency to bark or howl excessively.
If you’re going out, leave your pet with a toy she is familiar with, and a shirt that smells like you, safely in a closed room. The more safe and secure an animal feels, the less stress and anxiety she will experience as a result of fireworks.
Try wrapping your pet in a Thundershirt, or other soft t-shirt or fabric – some dogs feel very comforted being wrapped up in a Thundershirt and they can make a world of difference. There is also a Thundershirt for cats !
If your pet has an unusually high level of anxiety, and sequestering him in a room with toys and a comfy bed will not do, you can talk to your veterinarian about medicating with a mild sedative. One of the medications we use for this kind of behavior is Acepromazine, a sedative often used for pets when they have to travel by airplane.
If further action is needed to help combat your pet’s severe noise phobias, we can recommend wonderful behaviorists that specialize in tackling these anxieties.
Have a great time on Saturday, and Happy 4th of July to all our clients and friends from the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital !
(Fireworks pic by Ian Kluft/Wikimedia Commons)
(All dog pics of patient Dahlia Underhill by her dad Jason)
You may have already seen our new line of BHSAH private label products on our shelves, or may have already taken some home! But in case you haven’t, we wanted to list all our outstanding products for you here, and explain where they are made and what is available.
We make these private label products in order to have a more hands-on approach to the shampoos, vitamins, chews, and cleansers that we recommend and prescribe at the hospital. We want our clients to know that we endorse the products we carry, and each and every one of these products has the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital stamp-of-approval.
All our private label products are made with the same quality ingredients and formulations as their equivalent name-brand products by Stratford Pharmaceuticals and Sogeval Nutritional Supplements and Support Formulations.
Also, spreading some joy with their fun pictures of Dr. Winters and the BHSAH mascot, Scout the Dog, doesn’t hurt either!
A wonderfully-scented gentle ear cleanser, safe for regular use on your pet. This cleanser is formulated to deodorize and gently clean, dry, and acidify the ear canal. Phytosphingosine (PS) has antiseptic properties and helps protect the skin’s surface.
BHSAH Omega-V3 Twist-Off Softgels for Dogs & Cats
These healthy supplements are packed full of fish oil and Vitamin E, the perfect nutritional supplement for pets suffering from skin allergies and dry skin conditions. The fish oil and Vitamin E supports healthy skin and coat. The supplement is “twist-off” so that the liquid contents can be emptied and added to your babe’s regular food.
The active ingredients are EPA (eicosapentaenoic acid) and DHA (docosahexaenoic acid), both fatty acids found in fish, and dl-Alpha Tocopherol Acetate (Vitamin E).
BHSAH EZ-Chew Omega-3 Fatty Acid Chews for Dogs & Cats
This chew is very similar to the Omega-V3 Twist-Off Softgels, but these are in a treat-style soft chew. These would also be a great nutritional supplement for dogs and cats with skin allergies or dry skin conditions, and for dogs and cats who simply need more Omega-3s and Vitamin E in their diets to support the health of their skin and coat. These chews have the same active ingredients as the softgels.
Ketoseb Wipes + PS
These medicated cleansing wipes are great for cleaning between the folds of skin on a Pug, Bulldog, or Boston Terrier’s face (as well as any other Brachycephalic breed dog), as well as cleaning between the toe pads and the external folds of the vulva for dogs who get yeast skin infections. Hard-to-reach areas that are prone to yeast skin infections can greatly benefit from regular cleaning with Ketoseb wipes.
Vanilla Hairball Gel
This is a palatable vanilla flavored gel, specifically for kitties that have a problem with frequent hairballs. This gel acts like a lubricant to facilitate the passage of hair out of the digestive system.
Pramox-1 Shampoo and Pramox-1 Spray for Dogs & Cats
Pramox-1 Shampoo is a gentle cleansing formulation for dogs and cats. This formulation contains pramoxine, an antihistamine to control itching, and colloidal oatmeal for the temporary relief of itching, flaking, and irritation. This shampoo also contains essential fatty acids to nourish the skin and help further control of irritation.
Pramox-1 Spray is a soothing and moisturizing formulation for dogs and cats with the same active ingredients as the shampoo. The alcohol-free spray may be applied directly onto the irritated or raw areas and left on to relieve itching between baths.
Chlorhexidine 4% Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
This dog and cat shampoo is specially formulated for bacterial and fungal skin infections. This formulation includes chlorhexidine to combat harmful skin irritation and to protect the skin by restoring its natural protective barrier. The formula also cleanses and deodorizes the skin .
Dermabenz-3 Shampoo for Dogs & Cats
More powerful than the Chlorhexidine shampoo, this is a cleansing and degreasing shampoo for the relief of scaling and itching associated with severe skin infections and seborrheic dermatitis. The antiseptic properties are antifungal and antibacterial.
Chlorhexidine Oral Hygiene Rinse for Dogs & Cats
This is an oral rinse to help discourage the growth of plaque and bacteria in the mouth. This is a great product to use between dental cleanings. It comes with a spout that can be directed easily into your pet’s mouth, and it helps to cure bad dog and kitty breath ! Just be sure that your pet’s bad breath is not being caused by dental decay or gastrointestinal problems before covering it up with this product.
Chlorhexidine Flush for Dogs & Cats (& Horses!)
This is a topical cleanser for wounds, abrasions, and insect stings. This is an essential for a home first aid kit.
Water Additive / Mouth Rinse for Dogs & Cats
This is a versatile product for oral hygiene upkeep in dogs and cats that can be used as either a water additive or a mouth rinse. The water additive helps keep teeth clean and freshens breath. This is an ideal product for home use after your pet has had his/her teeth professionally cleaned.
Joint Support Chews for Dogs
These treat-style chews contain Glucosamine HCL, Creatine, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and a mineral blend including Selenium and Zinc, all delivered in a liver-flavored bite that dogs enjoy. These chews support healthy joint function in dogs, and help alleviate the discomfort that can happen with daily exercise and movement in older dogs, or dogs who have joint pain. These BHSAH Label chews are slightly harder than alternative-brand joint chews, but dogs still love them.
Please feel free to ask us about these products and give us your reviews! We always want to know how our clients feel about our recommended BHSAH line of products. Quality and satisfaction is our top priority. Be sure to take a look at these the next time you’re in need of a medicated shampoo, wipe, cleanser, or oral rinse for your pets.
We are nearing the end of our promotional Dental Months price cuts, as the seasonal pricing expires 3/31/2015 ! See our previous blog post here for more info about these rates 🙂
But what takes place during a dental? Where do the costs come from?
We want to provide as much information as possible to our clients about what happens during a dental, so you can be sure that your pet is getting the gold star treatment, and that the process provides the best care possible.
Here are all the services and steps, point by point, that the BHSAH would undergo before, during, and after a dental, depending on your pet’s specific needs, your pet’s age, and the severity of your pet’s periodontal disease (PDZ):
Step 1: Physical Exam
All pets that come in for an anesthetic dental are first given a physical exam by a veterinarian, to make sure their lungs sound healthy, their eyes, ears, and throat look normal, their body temperature is within regular range, and they are in healthy shape overall.
Step 2: Pre-operative Pain Medications and Antibiotic Injectables
If your pet’s PDZ looks highly advanced and extractions are required, or if there is inflammation or infection in your pet’s mouth, your veterinarian may want to start your baby right away on an antibiotic injectable to jump-start the infection-fighting process. Pre-operative pain medications and/or sedatives may also be given to reduce anxiety and pain in your pet related to IV catheter placement and blood draw.
Step 3: Blood Work
Blood tests are run on all patients – the labs indicate whether your pet is healthy enough to undergo general anesthesia. Blood tests indicate the health of internal organs, blood and platelet counts, and give the veterinarian a more specific look into your pet’s health before being placed under anesthesia.
Step 4: ECG (Electrocardiogram – optional)
In addition to the blood work, an ECG may be performed to make sure your pet’s heart is healthy and functioning properly before any anesthesia is used. A cardiologist examines the results of the ECG, and looks at the pain medications and anesthetics we will be using, and makes recommendations for each specific patient.
Step 5: IV Catheter Placement, IV Fluid Therapy
An IV (intravenous) catheter is placed in your pet’s front or back leg for IV fluids during anesthesia. This is very important because IV fluids maintain hydration and blood pressure in your pet during the procedure. The IV catheter placement also gives the veterinarian direct access to administer necessary medications intravenously.
Step 6: Anesthesia and Sedative Medication with Dedicated Anesthesia Monitoring
A combination of anesthesia and pain medications are given to your pet before the dental. Using small amounts of pain medication in combination with anesthesia reduces the amount of anesthesia needed, allowing for a quicker and easier recovery for you pet. Please see our previous blog post here about our surgeon Dr. Suehiro’s continuing education in Anesthesiology, during which he studied with a preeminent Veterinary Anesthesiologist about this exact procedure.
While your pet is under general anesthesia, anesthesia monitoring machines measure your pet’s oxygen levels, carbon dioxide levels, ECG, pulse, and blood pressure throughout the course of the dental. Additionally, a veterinary assistant is always assigned to monitor your pet during and after the dental procedure. The assistant is responsible for taking vitals and charting them every three minutes as well as monitoring the IV fluids and making sure the patient has an adequate body temperature.
Step 7: Compete Dental Charting
An overview of your pet’s teeth and gums, their individual condition, and the identification of any problem areas is charted on a feline or canine dental chart, and included with your paperwork.
Step 8: Full Mouth Radiographs
All anesthetic dentals come with a full set of mouth x-rays, to evaluate the teeth and look for abnormal or diseased teeth, just like the way our human dentists use x-rays to examine our teeth. See our previous blog post here for the great imagery we get with our Dentailaire DTX Imaging System.
Step 9: Ultrasonic Dental Scaling/Cleaning
This is where the magic happens! One of our trained veterinary technicians, under the supervision of our surgeon Dr. Suehiro, cleans all the teeth in your pet’s mouth, removing all plaque and tartar build-up, including under the gum line.
Step 10: Extractions for Moderate to Severe PDZ
If a tooth is loose, decayed, or broken beyond repair, an extraction of the tooth or several teeth may be required for your pet to live a healthy, pain-free life. Complicated or difficult extractions are performed by Dr. Suehiro.
Step 11: Teeth Polishing
Just like when we get our teeth cleaned, after the removal of plaque and tartar, the teeth are polished so they look shiny and new.
Step 12: Fluoride Treatment
A fluoride treatment is used to discourage any bacteria or plaque growth.
Step 13: Attended Recovery
While your pet is coming out of anesthesia, she is monitored closely by the veterinary technicians in the ICU. She is watched closely to make sure she is waking up safely and healthfully.
Step 14: Medications and a Home Care Kit
Should your veterinarian think it is necessary, your pet may have antibiotics and/or pain medications prescribed for her to take at home. You will also get a dental “home care” kit, with a toothbrush and flavored enzymatic toothpaste kit and a small bag of C.E.T. Hextra Premium Rawhide Chews (if your pet is a dog), for you and your pet to use at home.
Every pet is different and depending on your pet’s age, overall health, and level of PDZ, not every step will be used 100% of the time. Talk to your veterinarian about the benefits of a dental cleaning for your pet, and of course any concerns you would have about any of these steps. Dental health is so important for your pet’s longevity and happiness – if you would like to set up a dental consultation or have any questions, please call us!
February and March are Pet Dental Awareness Months at the Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital, and we are continuing the canine love by updating our clients about our newly acquired dental digital x-ray machine.
Now we no longer have to hand-develop our dental x-rays, and we can take multiple x-rays in a matter of minutes. The images are downloaded immediately into patient records and can be viewed on the computer screen. The quality and detail of the images are amazing.
All pets who come in to the BHSAH for a dental procedure that requires anesthesia will receive a full-mouth set of digital x-rays as part of their service.
These are some examples of the great imagery we get from our Dentailaire DTX Imaging System:
Stay tuned for more great stories about the importance of maintaining your pets’ dental health and your options for dental care throughout February and March, our Dental Awareness Months!!
Here is a chart illustrating our Dental Months’ pricing. This chart is for dentals that require general anesthesia. We will take 20% off of your dental bill until the end of March. Your total price depends on your pet’s dental condition and age. Pets with less severe periodontal disease require less tooth scaling and less extractions, so the price is less – conversely, if your pet has more severe PDZ (periodontal disease), the price will be higher.
Pets older than 8 years old require additional senior love, which is why we charge more for them – we run ECGs for their heart to make sure they are healthy before anesthesia, and may follow-up with x-rays if necessary.
We also offer non-anesthetic dentals for pets with less severe PDZ. We have professionals that come in from Pet Dental Services and clean your pets’ teeth without the use of anesthesia.
Call us to talk about your pets’ dental condition and receive a discount on treatment in February and March. Healthy mouths are extremely important for your pets. Dental cleanings prevent pain and suffering in your pet, and can lead to healthier, happier, and longer lives for your babes, as healthy mouths prevent the spread of harmful bacteria to the heart, kidneys, and liver.
Here is a chart illustrating graded PDZ in pets – for an explanation about PDZ in pets and what you can do to prevent it, see our previous blog post here !
A brush a day keeps the doctor away! And prevents gum disease, dental pain, and keeps bacteria from spreading to the heart, liver and kidneys 🙂
Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital is celebrating the next two months as dental awareness months! We want to make sure that your pets’ teeth are as healthy and clean as our own.
Just like humans, dental hygiene is a constant concern for pets. Daily, monthly, and annual upkeep is just as important for them as it is for us. Poor dental hygiene in a pet’s mouth not only leads to stinky kisses, but also deeper health issues – periodontal disease. Periodontal disease begins when the bacteria in your pet’s mouth collects and forms plaque. The plaque hardens on the teeth from minerals in the saliva creating dental calculus, better known as tartar. Periodontal disease develops in 4 stages, starting with gingivitis, and can progress into early, moderate, then advanced periodontitis. At stage 3 and 4 periodontitis, medical problems can spread from your pet’s mouth to his/her heart, liver, and kidneys as well.
At BHSAH, we strongly encourage regular dental hygiene and offer dental cleanings as a service along with products for upkeep. For these two months only, we will be offering DISCOUNTED CLEANINGS to help you and your furry friend(s) get on the right track. When coming in for your a check-up, our doctors make sure to check your pets’ gums and teeth for periodontal disease.
Here’s what our doctors are looking for! :
PERIODONTAL DISEASE IN PETS
Grade 1 – Mild Gingivitis
At this stage your pet’s mouth is practically healthy but is beginning to show premature signs of dental disease. Being at grade 1, you do not want to graduate to grade 2. Some gingivitis may be present, gums may be a bit inflamed and sensitive. Typically little to no plaque is visible when graded as 1. At this stage, regular at home upkeep such as brushing, should maintain the mouth in good health.
Grade 2 – Moderate Gingivitis
Now, gums appear inflamed, swollen & probably sensitive. There may be a moderate buildup of plaque and some calculus. At this point, your pet’s breath may start to even stink! Your pet’s dental state is beyond home care and is reversible with a professional cleaning, non-anesthetic or anesthetic. You must still care for their teeth after cleaning.
Grade 3 – Early Active Periodontitis
We sure hope that we have not made it this far! At this point, periodontal damage has taken place. The gingivitis has now evolved into periodontitis which is a serious gum infection that damages the soft tissue and can destroy the bone that supports the teeth. With this, periodontal pockets are beginning to form in the gums. Your pet’s gums will appear as inflamed/swollen and may bleed. Heavy calculus can be seen and odor is present… pew! Your furry friend is now in a very uncomfortable state and health is compromised. You may not know this, but the bacteria from the mouth can affect their kidneys, liver and & even heart. Your pet may have a change in appetite, more lethargic, irritable, drooling or even pawing at the mouth. At this point, a nice heavy cleaning is necessary. An anesthetic dental cleaning would allow for us to go under the gum line and clean out the bacteria along with removing calculus and plaque. After a cleaning, at home follow up is necessary!
Grade 4 – Advanced Periodontitis
If your pet has gotten to stage 4, periodontal disease is present and now chronic. Your pet will now experience severe symptoms of level 3 including gum recession/bleeding, deep pockets, bone loss, possible tooth mobility and even loss. At this point, an anesthetic dental may also include dental extractions to prevent further infection.
BUT THERE ARE SOLUTIONS AND PREVENTATIVES!!!
Dental Cleanings!! :
There are two types of cleanings that we offer here: Anesthetic and Non-Anesthetic.
For grades 2-4 we highly suggest an anesthetic cleaning, where your pet is put under sedation so our trained technicians can scale each tooth to ensure under the gum cleaning. Sedation is also important as some teeth may need to be extracted to keep bacteria from spreading.
Non-anesthetic dentals are also effective, but are not recommended for pets with greater dental disease. We have certified professionals from Pet Dental Services come to our hospital to do these dentals. Whether anesthetic or non-anesthetic is the right way for your pet, once done, dental upkeep is highly important.
At-Home Dental Upkeep:
Our BHSAH vets highly recommend dental upkeep. In addition to brushing your pet’s teeth, we have a few products that we trust to help keep your pets teeth from getting unhealthy, including dental hygiene-friendly pet foods, chews, and kits.
Virbac Dental Starter Kit:
This kit is a great way to start a new clean life for your pet. It includes the essentials of at home dental upkeep with a fingerbrush, double ended toothbrush and enzymatic toothpaste (flavored).
Fingerbrush, an ideal beginner toothbrush to help acquaint dogs and their owners with the toothbrushing experience. Dogs owners should use this packet for the first few days and then progress to using the C.E.T.® Dual-Ended Toothbrush.
Enzymatic Toothpaste, which provides a natural antibacterial action and acts quickly to help neutralize mouth odors. The toothpaste is palatable and formulated to be safe even if swallowed by the pet.
Dual-Ended Toothbrush features soft bristles and a long handle with reverse angle heads to enable easy application. Tapered dual ends accommodate large and small tooth surfaces and conform to a pet’s mouth and teeth.
Virbac CET Hextra Dental Chews (Canine):
Looking for a treat that doesn’t leave tartar or bacteria behind and actually prevents further build up? These chews come in 4 different sized according to the size of your pup.
Provides a well-known antiseptic effect and helps remove plaque and reduce tartar. Chews are coated with exclusive patented 10% solution of chlorhexidine gluconate.
Contains beefhide for natural abrasive cleansing action.
Helps keep teeth clean and breath fresh, even on days when brushing isn’t possible.
Persistent action. Chlorhexidine is released into the oral cavity during chewing and may be released for up to 24 hours, providing sustained antimicrobial action.
Appealing flavor. Dog owners may give as a daily chew.
Hills T/D (Feline/Canine):
This is a specially formulated food that has been created by veterinarians to help maintain dental hygiene. Not only can this be used as a daily meal, but can also be used as treats.
Unique kibble scrubs away plaque in the mouth to promote systemic health
Clinically proven to reduce plaque, stain and tartar buildup
Reduces bad breath
Added antioxidants to control cell oxidation and promote a healthy immune system
Awarded the Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for helping reduce both plaque and tartar accumulation
A pleasant-tasting solution for effective at-home dental hygiene care. It helps maintain oral health while reducing the sources of foul-smelling breath. Unlike direct application products, it is simply added to the pet’s drinking water each day.
No brushing required
Reduces sources of halitosis, does not just mask bad breath
Easy-to-use for busy multi-pet households and elderly pet owners
Improves at-home dental compliance
If you have any questions about your pets’ dental health or want to schedule a cleaning or dental evaluation, call us today! We will help determine which dental plan is best for your pet.
And stay tuned for more great stories about the benefits of dental care throughout February and March.
We want to give our specialists a much- deserved **shout-out**.
We refer clients to these specialists, doctors, behaviorists, trainers, and caregivers often. Beverly Hills Small Animal Hospital veterinarians Dr. Winters, Dr. Suehiro, and Dr. Maie Takahashi refer to these professionals when a pet’s condition calls for further investigation by a specialist, such as an oncologist or an ophthalmologist, if rehabilitation or alternative treatments are needed, such as water therapy or acupuncture, and/or if there is an emergency and a 24-Hour facility with overnight care is required.
See below for this excellent resource, and bookmark your browser. !!