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Here you will find articles written by our wonderful team of doctors.
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 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
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.
FAQ’s with Dr. Mettendorf about Animal Chiropractic
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 www.panaanimalhospital.com 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 www.panaanimalhospital.com/doctortails.
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!!!