Saturday, July 7, 2018

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Veterinary House Calls, Teeth Brushing, and more ...

Can I Get a Vet Who Makes House Calls? Yes, Please.

Dr. Patrick Mahaney

There are many reasons one would like having a vet who makes house calls.

  • your dog has a hard time at the veterinary clinic
  • your dog has a hard time during car rides
  • your dog feels really sick and in a lot of pain where transport would make them suffer more
  • your dog has a hard time walking and moving around, particularly with a large breed

It is much less stressful for a dog to have a veterinarian come to their own home. We were lucky that I found an integrative vet who too did house calls. She visited to do Jasmine's acupuncture and chiropractic. Even though Jasmine loved car rides, when her neck was acting up, just the bouncing of the truck on the road made her feel worse.

We don't have that option up here, but if we did, I would absolutely take advantage of it. Just as a note, the TCVM vet who used to visit Jasmine charged only $30 above the standard fee for the procedures.

You might have a veterinarian who does house calls in your area and not even know it. I recommend you check that out. Integrative vets seem to be more likely to provide that service.

Top Veterinary Articles of the Week: Veterinary House Calls, Teeth Brushing, and more ...

Ten Touches that Could Save Your Dog's Life

Dr. Julie Buzby

Physical contact with your dog doesn't just have psychological benefits. Getting your hands on your dog can help you familiarize yourself with their body, help you discover problems early. The more often you do this purposeful petting, the more you'll learn about how your dog's body normally feels and when something is different.

Dr. Buzby dubbed this method " the pettern" because it's a hybrid between petting and scanning. Make no mistake, your eyes, nose, ears, and hands are excellent diagnostic tools.

Listen to Dr. Buzby's podcast on how to "pettern," and maybe save your dog's life doing it.

Related articles:
All Hands on Dog
The Always-On-Hand Diagnostic Tools
Smellognostics: More on What the Nose Knows

Low Thyroid in Dogs: What You Need to Know

Dr. Marty Becker

According to Dr. Dodds, hypothyroidism has become an epidemic in dogs. And females seem more susceptible. Well, Jasmine was hypothyroid, Cookie is hypothyroid ...

Low thyroid function can have a profoundly negative impact on the whole body including joints, muscles, digestion ... Fortunately, once [properly] diagnosed, it is relatively easy to treat.

Most of the time, the reason behind hypothyroidism is auto-immune; the immune system starts attacking and destroying thyroid gland cells. Dr. Becker cites that less than one percent of the canine population is affected, but I believe that is understated. How many dogs never get diagnosed?

Read Dr. Becker's thoughts on the subject.

Related articles:
What Does the Thyroid Gland Do?
Is Your Dog Struggling with Weight?
When is Hypothyroidism not Hypothyroidism?

Are You Brushing Your Dog's Teeth the Right Way?

Dr. Beth Thompson

I just wrote recently about Cookie's state of the mouth; her mouth is doing well, but that's often not the case. Most dogs have some form of dental disease by the time they reach three years of age.

We've been brushing out dogs' teeth daily for years now. All our guys accepted it well even though I think they figure it's the weirdest way of feeding them a bit of chicken-flavored paste ever. I mean, c'mon, right?

My experience is that brushing along, regardless of the product used, buys you up to two years. That's about how long it took before we had to have another dental cleaning done.

With Cookie, it's been five years and going strong. We didn't change anything about our brushing procedures, but Cookie gets raw meaty bones to chew on as well. That's the only change I can figure that is making the difference.

There are products out there advertising that application alone, even without any brushing, is enough to keep a dog's mouth healthy. Not the ones we tried at the beginning--they did not.

Others believe that brushing alone works whether you use toothpaste or not. A doggy toothpaste, of course.

Dr. Thompson outlines the basics of how to approach dental care for your dog.

Related articles:
Look at those Snappers, Will You?
When Bad Breath Can Kill
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Bad Breath
Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog: Excessive Drooling
Judging a Mouth by its Cover

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