Pana Animal Hospital

1100 E Jackson St
Pana, IL 62557



Doctor Tails


Here you will find articles written by our wonderful team of doctors.


Cardiac Disease - 03/10/2021


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Cardiac Disease/Diagnostics and Early Screening 

Because we have improved the quality of veterinary medicine that we perform, nowadays, we see a lot more heart disease in our pets. Of course, there are genetic components to any disease, just like there are in human medicine.  There are also environmental factors, such as heartworm disease, or toxin exposure.  But mostly, we have gotten so good at treating a lot of other conditions, that our pets just live long enough to develop heart disease.

While the increased life span is amazing, we want to do the most we can to extend it even further.  Diagnosing and treating heart disease as early as possible is one way that we can do this.  We, at Pana Animal Hospital, have more diagnostic abilities and more medications than we ever used to have to treat heart disease and would like tell you about them 

  • We now have digital radiography.  Because of this wonderful technology, we are able to take more views with less labor, and we also don’t have the expense of the Xray film or the processing chemicals.  It has long been known that taking 3 views of the chest is more beneficial, diagnostically, than taking 1 or 2 views.  In addition to being more efficient, digital radiography also presents us with a clearer image of the heart and lungs.  Because of that, we can measure the heart more accurately than we ever used to.
  •  By measuring the heart, we can come up with a number called a Vertebral Heart Score.  This number can help us determine how big the heart has become due to the overworking of the heart muscle from the heart disease.  There is a medication that is really good at treating the symptoms created from an enlarged heart, but we have to know the Vertebral Heart Score to know if the medication would be effective or not.  The Vertebral Heart Score is also a great number to use to see disease progression over time.  Repeating radiographs yearly enables us to repeat the score and see if the heart has gotten any bigger over the previous year. If so, adjustments in medications can be made as needed.
  • There is also a blood test that we can run called a proBNP.  We can do this with an in-house snap test in our feline patients, but we have to send the sample out to IDEXX laboratory for our canine patients.  BNP is a peptide, or a very small piece of protein, that is released from the heart muscle in response to any sort of stress.  Therefore, it is very helpful in measuring the level of heart disease that is present.  The canine test gives us a numerical value that increases in value with the severity of the heart disease.  The feline test just gives us a positive or negative result. This is still important, diagnostically, because cats tend to have less symptoms than dogs when they have heart disease.  Because of this, it is often difficult to diagnose a heart condition in cats at all.
  • For some heart conditions, knowing the heart rhythm is important.  Sometimes, a heart problem comes not from a malfunction in the cardiac musculature or cardiac valves, but from an electrical malfunction in the heart.  Different drugs are used to treat this problem.  An EKG or electrocardiogram is important in determining if a pet is experiencing any electrical dysfunction in his or her heart.
  • The kidneys and the heart are partners in the body. They work together to control fluid balance and blood pressure.  Because of this, some of the medications we use to treat heart disease will sometimes put extra pressure on the kidneys.  Using the right medications at the right times and the lowest doses possible is the best solution for both organs.  Running bloodwork to check kidney function is an important part of total body health.
  • Especially in cats, measuring blood pressure is a good idea.  Knowing the blood pressure helps us to know how to adjust medication doses for the best possible outcome.  Because the kidneys and the heart are both involved in regulating the blood pressure, taking care of abnormalities as soon as possible helps both organ systems.  Just like in humans, high blood pressure can cause a multitude of problems, such as strokes, blood clots and retinal detachment.  So, in addition to running bloodwork, measuring blood pressure is also a good idea for total body health. 

We are proud to have many options available to keep our senior pets living the best, most comfortable lives possible.  Please don’t hesitate to ask us if you have any questions about any of the services available or unexplained symptoms that your pet may be experiencing.  We would be glad to help you tailor the best diagnostic and treatment plan for your personal circumstances.  


Tamara Lutz, DVM and Kiley Mettendorf, DVM 

Medical Alert: Blastomycosis - 02/26/2021


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1100 E. Jackson St. Pana, IL 62557

(217)-562-5558 * Fax (217)-562-5567

Dr. Tami Lutz * Dr. Kiley Mettendorf

Medical Alert:

We are seeing a large number of cases of Blastomycosis in our area.  Blastomycosis is a systemic fungal disease that is contracted when a dog inhales the fungal spores from the soil. It is a very rapidly spreading disease and can affect multiple organ systems, including the lungs, eyes, bones, lymph nodes, skin, brain, testes, nose, prostate, liver, mammary glands, and heart. Blastomycosis is a disease that primarily affects dogs but can rarely affect cats.  It is not contagious between dogs or between dogs and their owners.  Rarely, people can contract the disease, but it is not common because direct inhalation of the spores is necessary for this to occur.  However, immune-compromised individuals should wear gloves if cleaning infected skin lesions. 

We have always had this disease in central IL, but we have seen 5 cases in the last month alone.  Previously, the disease has responded well to Fluconazole, an antifungal used to kill the fungal spores, and Prednisone, a steroid used to reduce the inflammation that the disease causes.  The recent cases that we have seen have been more aggressive than the cases we have dealt with in the past, spreading to multiple organ systems quickly, and not responding as well to the oral medications.

I am writing this letter to encourage you to seek veterinary care right away if you suspect that your pet may have this disease so we can do our part to treat your pet as effectively as we can.  The sooner we know if your pet is nonresponsive to the oral medications the earlier, we can discuss other options, including referral to specialists with more intensive treatment options. Usually, the first symptoms that we see are rapid breathing, coughing, limping, or open skin lesions.  We have a test that we can perform from either blood or urine to see if your pet has the disease.  It is sent out to a lab in Indiana so it will take a few days to get the results.  The test costs around $115, but it is important to know the results of the test.  The number that we are presented with on the lab report will help us know how aggressively to treat the disease, and repeat testing will show us how responsive your pet is to the medication.  Sometimes, months of medication are needed to treat this disease.  The good news is that the Fluconazole has recently come down in price, and the side effects of the medication aren’t as bad as some of the old treatments for this disease.  The earlier we treat, however, the better the prognosis. 

Please call us if you have any questions.  We want to stay on top of this situation and be as proactive as we can in dealing with it.


  Tamara Lutz, DVM, and Kiley Mettendorf, DVM

FAQ's about Chiropractic Care Jan 14, 2021 - 01/14/2021

 FAQ’s with Dr. Mettendorf about Animal Chiropractic

Q: What kind of education did you have to have to do animal chiropractic?
A: Options for Animals College of Animal Chiropractic in Wellsville, KS requires you to be a veterinarian
or a human Chiropractor to enter their program. I am a licensed veterinarian that is also certified in
Animal Chiropractic.

Q: What is animal chiropractic? 
A: Chiropractic care works well with medicine, surgery and other treatment varieties to help bring our
animals the most well-rounded care. The spinal column is closely related to the
nervous system, so it can help treat a variety of issues that have to do with
the nervous and spinal systems. All body systems have some sort of a connection
with the nervous system. Chiropractic care can restore and preserve the health of the animal.
The adjustment is defined as a very specific, short lever, high velocity, low amplitude,
controlled thrust that can correct vertebral subluxation complexes. 

Q:What species do you treat?
A: I treat cats, dogs, horses, cattle, pigs, etc.  Anything that is an animal,
I can probably attempt to adjust. 

Q: When do you recommend chiropractic care?
A: I think it is good for all older animals to receive chiropractic care because it can help with
hip dysplasia, arthritis, neck pain and so much more. All athletic and active animals, even
if they are young can also benefit from chiropractic care. They are just like humans, they can
just stand up and have something painful happen. Any patient, can benefit from chiropractic care.
I go to my human chiropractor once a month for maintenance whether I think I need it or not,
and I always feel better afterwards! 

If there are anymore questions that anyone has about animal chiropractic, feel free to
call the clinic at 217-562-5558 and I will be happy to discuss chiropractic care with you!
If you think your pet could benefit from chiropractic care, I encourage you to make an appointment,
I would love to adjust your fur babies! 

Tips for a pet safe Holiday!!! - 11/25/2020

 Holiday Pet Safety: What should your furry friend avoid this season?????

Foods to avoid:

                        CHOCOLATE: is toxic to both cats and dogs. 

Yeast Dough: can cause painful gas and potentially dangerous

bloating in your pet. Keep that dough away from them! 

Turkey/Turkey Skin: Turkey can cause pancreatitis in pets.

No one wants a sick pet over the holidays. Even a small amount can cause

an upset stomach for your pet.

Sweets/baked goods: Keep them out of reach! Some baked

goods or sweets contain a sweetener called xylitol, it can be found in candy

and chewing gum as well. Xylitol has been known to cause liver failure or

even death in some dogs depending on the amount ingested. 

                        Table Scraps: Don’t do it! We know they will be begging

under the table. Give them a dog/cat treat. Keep in mind that some foods

that we eat are poisonous to our pets. Grapes, raisins, onions, garlic,

and others should be kept out of reach! 

Decorating tips to keep your pet safe: 

Candles: We love the look of lit candles so do our pets.

If you have real candles lit never leave a pet alone in a room with it.

Try battery operated ones. If your pet knocks it over while you are

gone or even at home, you do not have the fire hazard risk. 

Christmas Trees & their decorations: Christmas trees

can be hazardous in a couple of ways. We all know cats are notorious for

knocking them down which can be bad for your cat if they are in the tree

or get stuck under it. The decorations on your tree can be problematic as well.

Some pets want to play with the ornaments or lights. Do not let your pet

eat any ornaments or lights! If you have a live tree be care what

additives you put in the water. 

Plants: We have a variety of different plant life out this

time of year. Beware of Poinsettias, Holly, Mistletoe, Pine, Cedar, Balsam,

and Amaryllis. You can find a whole list of poisonous plants on our website under the pet library tab. Keep these plants

out of reach and you will be golden!

Here are a few tips to make company less stressful on your furry friend. 

  • Make sure all pets have access to a safe place that only they can retreat to. 

  • If you pet is nervous around visitors, put them in a room with a favorite toy or treat. If your pet is overly anxious with visitors, call the clinic at 217-562-5558 and we can set up a time to talk with one of the doctors about some anxiety medication to help calm them down. 

  • Make sure all microchips and identification tags are up to date with current information just in case someone slips out of the house while guests are coming in.

  • Make sure you keep a close eye on all the exits.

As always, your best plan of action is to plan ahead. Make sure your guests are aware of your pets and to watch the doors when they come in. Have a safe place all set up for them and have the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline number at hand (1-888-426-4435). If you have any questions about what is safe or not safe, do not hesitate to call the clinic at 217-562-5558. We are always happy to answer any questions you may have. For more information about poisonous plants and the dangers of certain foods make sure to check out our pet safety blog on our website

To help celebrate the season, PAH will be holding our Pawliday event on Saturday,  December 5 from 1pm-3pm. We will have pet safe ornaments to make with your furry friend, a picture backdrop (with a special guest from the North Pole), treats, and giveaways. We will also have handouts on holiday pet safety! We look forward to seeing you all there. We wish you a happy and safe holiday season!!! 

My Favorite Things... - 12/13/2019

Just like in the movie, The Sound of Music…
“These are a few of my favorite things”…
  • Omega 3 Fatty Acid Capsules- Great for Skin and Joints! Easy to give supplement! 
  • Alenza Chews- Natural pain reliever in a treat form that doesn’t cause kidney and liver side effects!
  • Cat Lax- An easy to give hairball control formula and laxative! 
  • Cosequin for cats- A joint supplement for cats that can help alleviate arthritis pain and is safe!
  • HydraPearls Shampoo- OTC shampoo that smells great and makes the fur super soft! I use it on my dogs and horses! 
  • Apoquel- An allergy medication that works on the JAK receptor to block the itch sensation to the brain. This alleviates itching
  • in tough cases without the side effects and annoying properties of steroids! 
  • Oravet Chews- Daily chew designed to keep your pet’s teeth healthy. They create a barrier on the teeth that blocks bacteria.
  • A taste dog’s love and fresh breath owners love! 
  • T8/Keto Ear Cleaner- A new ear cleaner for dogs and cats that contains Triz-EDTA and an antifungal, Ketoconazole.
  • It is for gentle flushing and cleansing of skin and ears. 
  • Claro- A 30 day ear treatment for ear infections. One simple application that we do and then no treatment required at home!
  • Convenia- A 2 week antibiotic injection, so you don’t have to medicate those grumpy cats or small dogs at home!

I wanted to share with you some of my favorite products that we carry. Some of these you can get over the counter at Pana Animal Hospital
as long as you have a current yearly exam on file. We also carry name-brand, non-prescription food and treats, toothpaste and toothbrushes
along with a variety of other goodies! Stop in and say hi, weigh your pet for free anytime, and check out some of “my favorite things!”
We would be happy to answer any questions and get you literature/brochures on any of our products. 

We have numerous cats that are back to playing like kittens because of the Cosequin joint supplement.
Also, we have had great results combining the Omega 3 capsules and the Alenza chews as an
alternative to NSAIDs to manage arthritis! Ask me how to best manage pain and arthritis in your pets today!
Have a happy holiday!

--Kiley Mettendof, DVM