May 20, 2009
American Animal Care Center is being recognized as the Best Small Business in the district by the assembly in Sacramento.
May 19, 2009
ABSCESS SURGERY AT AMERICAN ANIMAL CARE CENTER
Abscesses are a common skin condition in cats. They frequently occur as a result of bites during fights. A cat’s mouth has many bacteria, and when a cat bites, the bacteria enter the puncture wound. Because cat teeth are sharp and relatively narrow, the wound often heals over, but the bacteria are trapped inside. The bacteria multiply and the cat’s body reacts by trying to kill the bacteria. White blood cells, mostly neutrophils, enter the area. As the neutophils die, more and more of them move to the area. The result is an abscess.
What is an abscess?
An abscess is a localized accumulation of pus. In the case of abscesses caused by cat bites, the pus also contains many bacteria
Which cats are at risk for abscesses?
Unneutered male cats who are allowed outdoors are at highest risk of abscesses since they are the cats that are most likely to fight. Abscesses can also occur in indoor cats in multicat households. Cat fights and, therefore, abscesses are more likely when new cats are introduced into a household that already has cats.
What are the signs of an abscess?
Abscesses are often swollen, hot, and painful to the touch. If they open, a thick yellowish discharge may be seen, and it often has a foul smell. If an abscess does not open, the cat may become ill. In cats, an abscess is often hidden under the fur, and the first sign of illness the owner may see is that the cat is acting depressed and not eating. The cat usually has a fever.
Abscesses are usually found in those areas that are often bitten during a cat fight – limbs, head, neck, and the base of the tail. If the abscess is on a leg, the cat may limp. The cat may try to bite if the area is stroked or touched because the abscess is painful. Because of the pain, some cats may appear irritable or aggressive.
How is an abscess diagnosed?
If your cat is not eating, has a fever, and a history of contact with other cats, your veterinarian will be alerted to the possibility of an abscess. Upon examining your cat, the veterinarian may be able to see a small amount of matted fur over the abscess. The veterinarian will palpate the cat, searching for areas of inflammation. The fur will be clipped over the affected area, and often a small healing puncture wound can be found. It is often necessary to clip a wide area, to look for multiple puncture wounds, but caused by different teeth.
How are abscesses treated?
After the area is clipped and cleansed, the abscess will be lanced (an incision made by cutting), and drained. A relatively large opening is generally made, so the wound will continue to stay open and drain. The wound will be flushed numerous times with an antiseptic solution. Often antibiotics will be prescribed. In most cases, cats respond well after the abscess is opened.
If the abscess is very large, or deep, it may be necessary for the veterinarian to close the incision after the pus has drained, and then place a latex tube through the abscessed area. The latex tubing is placed through two small incisions above and below the main incision. The tubing keeps two openings in the skin to allow any newly formed pus to drain. The drain also provides a way to flush antiseptic solution through the area for several days, if necessary.
In addition to bacterial infections, other infections can be transmitted by cat fights. These include feline leukemia (FeLV), feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), and rabies.
How can I prevent abscesses?
The main way to prevent abscesses is to prevent your cat from being involved in cat fights. Keep your cat indoors. If your cat is an outdoor cat, have your cat spayed or neutered, since this will make your cat less likely to fight. When introducing new cats to each other, do it slowly.
To prevent transmission of other diseases, keep your cat’s vaccination status current
May 15, 2009
What is the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)?
In 1992, American Animal Care Center became accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). Among other functions, the Association publishes Standards for veterinary practices. Those practices that choose to undergo periodic on-site evaluation by AAHA staff may become Accredited by the Association. Membership in AAHA and participation in the Accreditation Program is voluntary.
The Standards and the Accreditation Program
The Standards developed and published by AAHA are widely accepted as representing those components of veterinary practice that constitute the highest quality care. The Standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain consistent with evolving knowledge and technology. They cover physical facilities, equipment, patient and staff safety, staff continuing education and training, medical record keeping, and medical protocols. Those practices that wish to be accredited complete a lengthy application process, which culminates with on-site visits by veterinary professionals employed by AAHA. Those practices that are found to be in compliance with the policies and Standards requirements established by the Association are awarded AAHA Accredited Practice status. In order to maintain accreditation, the practice must undergo periodic review and additional on-site evaluations.
What Accreditation Means for Pet Owners
Choosing an AAHA accredited veterinary practice for your pet’s medical care assures you that the practice you have selected has the facilities, equipment, staff, and medical protocols that AAHA believes are important for the delivery of high quality care. Further, voluntary commitment to the AAHA Standards and the Accreditation Program demonstrates that the practice has chosen to have itself measured by an outside organization against the most rigorous published standards in the profession.
Why does this matter to you? Here are a few examples of how AAHA’s standards impact you and your pet.
- The Standards require hospitals to provide diagnostic services (x-ray and laboratory) so that they can quickly and accurately diagnose your pet.
- The Standards focus on the quality of care in the areas of: anesthesia, contagious diseases, dentistry, pain management, patient care, surgery and emergency care.
- Accredited hospitals have an onsite pharmacy (another standards area) so they can begin treatment immediately.
- AAHA Standards require that medical records be thorough and complete to help practitioners better understand your pet’s medical history and how past health issues might be impacting their current medical status.
The AAHA Standards of Accreditation, developed and published by AAHA, are widely accepted as representing those components of veterinary practice that represent high-quality care. The Standards are periodically reviewed and updated to ensure that they remain consistent with evolving knowledge and technology.
Accreditation helps veterinary hospitals stay on the leading edge of veterinary medicine and provide the quality and range of services you and your pet deserve.
American Animal Care Center belongs to several other associations and memberships including:
- American Veterinary Medical Association
- California Veterinary Medical Association
- American Animal Hospital Association
- Veterinary Information Network
- Fremont Chamber of Commerce
- Centerville Business Association
May 15, 2009
These suggestions will enable you to provide the best health care allowing your cat to live as long as possible. Annual physical examination A year between physical examinations for your dog is like four to seven years between annual examinations for us. Nutrition Feed the highest quality food you can afford. Premium pet foods such as Science Diet are much more digestible and result in a healthier pet with less stool volume. DO NOT feed table scraps and snacks. Internal Parasites . . . Threaten your dog’s health. In large numbers they can cause intestinal blockage, bloody diarrhea and even death. Certain types can also affect you and your family. Microscopic examination of your pet’s stool needs to be done regularly. Provide a constant supply of fresh, clean water Keep your pet under control Don’t let it run loose. Purchase an I.D. Tag to place on your pet’s collar and keep it on at all times. It is your pet’s “ticket home” if lost. Consider a microchip or tattoo for permanent identification. Vaccinations and boosters Unfortunately there is no safe, effective drug available to combat any of the major viral diseases of dogs. Vaccination is the only effective form of protection. Vaccination enables your dog to fight infection by stimulating the immune system so it makes antibodies against the viruses. To maintain this protection, dogs must be vaccinated regularly so the level of immunity is always high enough to prevent disease. Immunity produced by vaccination does not last forever. It is very important that your dog be re-vaccinated every year. Distemper, Hepatitis, and Leptospirosis are all widespread, contagious and deadly diseases. Nearly every dog will be exposed during its lifetime. Parainfluenza and Bordetella cause “kennel cough”, a common and debilitating upper respiratory infection. The more your dog comes in contact with other dogs (at the groomer’s, boarding, meeting other pets on the sidewalk or in the park) the greater the risk. Your Pet’s Approximate Age In Human Years 6 months = 12 years 1 year = 15 years 2 years = 24 years 3 years = 28 years 4 years = 32 years 5 years = 36 years 6 years = 40 years 7 years = 44 years 8year s = 48 years 9 years = 52 years 10 years = 56 years 11 years = 60 years 12 years = 64 years 13 years = 68 years 14 years = 72 years 15 years = 76 years 16 years = 80 years 17 years = 84 years 18 years = 88 years 19 years = 92 years 20 years = 96 years 21 years = 100 years (Larger dogs age more quickly than small ones) Parvovirus causes bloody diarrhea as it destroys the immune system and intestinal lining. It is often fatal even with costly intensive care. Worldwide, Parvovirus is the deadliest virus, killing more dogs than any other disease. Coronavirus is the second leading cause of viral diarrhea in dogs of all ages. Rabies is a fatal infection of the nervous system that attacks all warm-blooded animals including humans. There is no cure. Rabies has been on the rise for the past several years. Lyme Disease, carried by ticks, poses a serious health risk to both dogs and people. Lyme disease causes crippling arthritis and heart, kidney and nervous system damage. Heartworm Disease . . . Is serious and deadly. It is carried by mosquitoes. An annual blood test is needed to check for these parasites and daily or monthly medication is given to prevent this disease. Dental Care . . . Is just as important for your pet as it is for you. The average lifespan of a dog that receives timely dental care is 10-20% longer than one that doesn’t. Infected teeth and gums are very painful to your dog, and also spread infection to the kidneys, heart, liver and elsewhere. Dental cleanings are a necessary component of a long, happy life for your pet. Prevent Obesity Extra pounds burden the heart, kidneys, joints & muscles, decreasing life expectancy 30-50%. Exercise Most dogs don’t get nearly enough exercise. Poor health, obesity and boredom-related behavior problems often result. Groom and trim nails as needed Keep an eye out for fleas, dandruff, sores, lumps or bald spots. Report any skin problems to your veterinarian. Flea Control . . Is essential. Preventing fleas with regular use of effective flea products is much less costly than treating a full blown infestation of fleas in your home. DO NOT waste your money on over-the-counter flea products. Many do not work and some can even be harmful to your pet. Our products provide good control and we will take the time to individualize a flea program to suit your requirements and budget. Never give human medications to your dog without checking with us Report any changes . . . Or problems in your dog’s health or behavior to your veterinarian as soon as possible. Diseases or behavior problems usually are more successfully treated the earlier they are addressed. As your dog ages. Geriatric Workups help detect many of the problems caused by aging (kidney, liver, heart, arthritis, dental etc.) Early detection can lengthen your pet’s life. Proper treatment will improve your pet’s quality of life. Preventative health care is much more than just vaccinations! We are here to help you assist your pet in living a long, healthy life at the lowest cost to you. From American Animal Care Center website.
May 15, 2009
Pets age more rapidly than humans. With the aging process changes occur in the function of the body. Some of these changes can be seen from the outside: weight gain or loss, stiffness, dull haircoat, loss of sight or hearing. Some changes, however, occur internally and can’t be discovered without laboratory testing. Unfortunately, by the time symptoms of illness can be seen, in liver or kidney disease for example, organ damage is already in the advanced stages.
In order to detect organ damage in its early stages, when it can be treated most successfully, we recommend annual blood testing as part of your pet’s yearly physical examination once he or she is over 7-9 years of age. This blood testing can also be used to provide a baseline for comparison in the event of future illness, allowing us to identify changes that may assist in faster, more accurate diagnosis and treatment.
Test results serve double duty by providing information before surgery or dental procedures, allowing for safer anesthesia.
Early detection can mean
A longer, healthier life for your Pet.
April 9, 2009
Living with Feline Leukemia
The disease is spread from cat to cat through bites; mutual grooming; and sharing food or water dishes and litter boxes. Kittens can also contract the virus from their mothers.
FeLV is species-specific, so humans and dogs are not at risk.
In 2006, the Winn Feline Foundation reported that 3% of cats in single-cat homes were infected with FeLV. Infection rates are dramatically higher among stray cats and in homes where cats are allowed outside.
FeLV is highly contagious, so it is important to have your cat vaccinated if it could be exposed to other cats. The American Association of Feline Practitioners recommends all kittens receive the vaccine.
Infected cats may harbor the illness for several years with no signs of illness. Over time, they may lose weight, become depressed, or develop a fever. Their coats often deteriorate, and they may develop skin, bladder, or upper respiratory infections.
Your veterinarian can diagnose the disease by conducting a simple blood test called an ELISA.
Cats infected with the virus live an average of three years.
“Many of these cats can live reasonably healthy lives for a number of years if they receive proper care,” says Fred Scott, DVM, PhD, interim director of the Cornell Feline Health Center in Ithaca, N.Y.
If your cat is infected, good nutrition and a stress-free environment are essential.
“Your veterinarian will talk to you about the importance of maintaining a balanced diet. Also, he or she will ask you about your cat’s lifestyle and look for ways to reduce stress,” Scott explains.
Scott strongly recommends that infected cats be kept indoors so they won’t spread the virus. If you have multiple cats, have all of them tested, vaccinate any that are not infected, and consider housing infected cats separately.
“Your veterinarian will want to see your cat on a more frequent basis [than a healthy cat], say, every six months,” says Scott.
“Between check-ups, stay alert to your cat’s body condition. Once a month, rub your hand over its ribs. You should be able to feel them, but they shouldn’t stand out.”
If you notice any changes in your cat’s health or behavior, notify your veterinarian immediately.
April 9, 2009
No more pilling fights?
One-Shot Antibiotic Makes Life Easier
If you search YouTube for the word pill with cat or dog, you’ll get about 500 hits, ranging from silly spoofs to instructional videos that are painfully, unintentionally hilarious.
But administering daily pills to your cat or dog is no fun at all. As a matter of fact, it is so difficult that many pet owners give up.
Of course when treatment is cut short, illnesses may linger or worsen. And if the discontinued pill is an antibiotic, the threat is even broader.
If you prematurely stop giving your pet an antibiotic, some bacteria will survive and develop a resistance to the medication. This is one cause of the much-publicized increase in virulent, antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
In June, Pfizer, a leading veterinary drug manufacturer, introduced Convenia, the only single-injection antibiotic available for pets.
Used to treat certain types of skin infections in dogs and cats, Convenia has the potential to make life a lot easier for affected pets and their owners. One injection delivers a full, two-week course of antibiotics and eliminates the need for oral medication.
That should do away with the pill fights. No worries. That still leaves about 35,000 cat and dog videos on YouTube.
American Animal Care Center Upgrades to State-of-the-Art Digital X-Ray System
Animals Including Dogs, Cats, Birds, Rabbits, Rats, Mice, Guinea Pigs, Chinchillas, Iguanas and Exotics Will Benefit From Treatments and Diagnostics Performed at American Animal Care Center in Fremont
FREMONT, CA – Veterinary surgeons and other veterinarians at the new American Animal Care Center of Fremont are now armed with advanced medical imaging technology. This will allow them to promptly and more accurately diagnose and treat a variety of injuries and conditions.
Digital x-ray systems provide the fastest, lowest dose x-rays available for all the animals served at American Animal Care Center, so they are exposed to less radiation and pet parents don’t have to wait as long to find out what’s wrong with their family friend. Crystal clear, high resolution images also make diagnoses easier and more accurate.
“We provide the most advanced imaging systems that modern medicine has to offer,” said Dr Raj Salwan. “We believe that this technology represents the future of veterinary medicine for high quality pet health care.”
Digital x-rays provide quicker, clearer and faster images than film x-ray. A digital x-ray is taken and developed in four seconds, eliminating the need to wait. Digital x-rays also provide a better diagnosis. Like a digital photo, a radiograph can be manipulated after it’s taken so staff can view the image in ways that weren’t possible with film x-ray.
The Diagnostic Imaging Center at American Animal Care Center also uses a variety of sophisticated ultrasound equipment and is one of the few hospitals in Fremont and the Bay Area offering ultrasound services. If your veterinarian has advised that your pet needs advanced imaging procedures, a specialist at American Animal Care Center can help. The American Animal Care Center doctor will provide the best imaging and analyses to confirm the diagnosis, interpret the data and follow up.
For more information visit http://www.americananimalcare.info or visit the Diagnostic Imaging Center at American Animal Care Center at 37177 Fremont Blvd. Fremont, CA 94536.
Contact: Dr. Raj Salwan http://www.americananimalcare.org/
American Animal Care Center in Fremont is Accredited with American Animal Hospital Association. Laboratory Testing.
April 7, 2009
Accreditation Matters: Routine Laboratory Tests Expose Hidden Ailments
Heartworm. Urinalysis. Total blood panel.
If you’re like most pet owners, you have at one time or another wondered what all those tests mean. And, more to the point, are they really necessary?
The short answer is Yes — but it is always good to ask.
Veterinarians use lab tests to monitor your pet’s health, diagnose a disease or condition, and measure the effects of a medication or treatment plan.
In some cases, pets must be tested before they can receive necessary treatments. For example, the American Heartworm Society recommends testing pets for heartworms before starting preventive medications and annually thereafter.
Many veterinarians recommend running blood tests at each wellness exam to establish your pet’s baseline of values for various things like protein, enzymes, and electrolytes, and to track changes in those values. This information helps your veterinarian detect developing ailments in their very early stages, often before your pet shows visible signs.
Common Laboratory Tests
Total blood panel
Amy Franklin of Denver, Colo., recently took her 9-year-old Labrador, Beijo, to AAHA-accredited Lone Tree Veterinary Medical Center for a complete blood panel before routine dental work.
Such tests are recommended in the AAHA Standards of Accreditation as part of a comprehensive pre-anesthetic plan for dental cleanings and other procedures requiring the use of general anesthetics.
Beijo’s test results revealed a fast-growing mast cell tumor. Mast cell tumors are often fatal because, by the time symptoms appear, the cancer is too advanced to successfully treat. The best chance a pet has of surviving a mast cell tumor is early detection.
Thanks to pre-anesthetic testing, Beijo is cancer-free and sporting clean teeth!
Mary Brussell, a certified veterinary technician who works on the AAHA accreditation team, tells a similar story. Recently she took Reggie, her 9-year-old border collie cross, to AAHA-accredited Mesa Veterinary Clinic, in Golden, Colo., for a geriatric wellness visit, including routine blood work.
Although Reggie appeared healthy, the test results showed elevated kidney values. Christine Horst, DVM, recommended a urinalysis.
The results indicated Reggie was in the early stages of kidney failure. Kidney failure is fatal if left untreated, but because Horst caught the condition in its infancy, and is treating it aggressively, Mary and Reggie will enjoy many more happy years together.
For more information on laboratory tests, including what common tests reveal, ask your veterinarian for the AAHA brochure, Laboratory Testing for Your Pet.
AAHA’s Standards of Accreditation on Laboratory Testing
One-stop testing centers: AAHA requires all accredited practice teams to offer a wide variety of laboratory tests. If your clinic doesn’t perform the tests on-site, it must use the services of an outside laboratory. This means your pet will be able to have the test it really needs, no matter the size of the hospital.
Trained team members. AAHA standards allow only well-trained team members, veterinarians, and veterinary technicians to conduct laboratory tests. Solid training ensures fast, accurate results with minimal retesting, yielding pinpoint diagnoses.
Of the 10 million pets that get lost each year, only 17% of the dogs and 2% of the cats are ever recovered.
“But Fluffy is an indoor kitty,” you may be thinking. “She doesn’t need an ID tag.”
A study conducted by Linda Lord, DVM, PhD, an assistant professor at The Ohio State University, found that 41% of people looking for their lost cats considered them indoor-only pets.
“They may not go outside, but it only takes one time to lose a pet,” warns Daniel Aja, DVM, of AAHA-accredited Cherry Bend Animal Hospital in Traverse City, Michigan. “You might have cleaners over, workers who are remodeling, or kids who leave the door open. And indoor pets are probably the most at risk because once they get outside, they’ll get scared and run and hide.
“Also, you never know when a natural disaster might strike. Think about the thousands of animals that were displaced by Hurricane Katrina or by the flooding we’re experiencing most recently in the Midwest.”
That’s why Aja recommends every dog or cat be microchipped. The chips are implanted by veterinarians and cost between $30 and $70.
“It’s a simple procedure that only takes a few seconds,” he explains. “It’s similar to a vaccination, except we insert a chip the size of a grain of rice under the pet’s skin. There’s no need for anesthesia. Your pet may make a little yelp, but it’s just like getting another shot.”
In almost every case, microchips are good for the life of your dog or cat. Millions of animals have been chipped in the past decade with very few side effects. The sterile microchip does not contain a battery and is hermetically sealed with FDA-approved silica glass to prevent leakage.
“If your pet ever gets lost and is picked up by a good Samaritan or an animal control agency, it can be scanned at an animal shelter or veterinary clinic,” says Stephen Barabas, DVM, senior manager of veterinary affairs at Schering-Plough HomeAgain, one of five companies that distributes microchips within the United States.
“If a microchip is under the skin, the scanner will display its unique identification code. Then the clinic or shelter will simply contact the manufacturer or distribution company based on the code of the microchip. The company’s database is searched for the animal’s ID number and the pet owner is contacted.”
Some microchip companies provide additional services such as alerting local veterinary clinics and animal shelters when a pet is reported lost. Barabas says that more than 500,000 pets have been recovered by HomeAgain, more than 95,000 in 2007 alone.
Because the owner’s contact information is stored in the database, rather than on the chip itself, the chip does not need to be replaced each time the owner moves, or if the pet is adopted by someone else.
Unfortunately, some pet owners — as many as 50% — fail to enter their information into the database when the pet is microchipped, rendering the chip useless.
“Don’t assume your veterinarian has done this for you,” says Aja. “Some pet hospitals may fill out this paperwork, but many do not. Also, be sure you notify your microchip company whenever you move or change phone numbers or they won’t be able to track you down.”
He adds, “[A microchip] doesn’t replace the need for a collar tag. In fact, many of these animals are reunited because their collars tell the finder that the pet has been microchipped. That triggers the finder to take the pet to a shelter or veterinarian to have it scanned. That’s why almost all the microchip companies now provide tags for your pet. It really helps speed the process.”
Finally, a microchip is not a global positioning system.
“I had a client come to our office this week who wanted me to tell him where his dog was,” Aja says. “He thought I could check my computer and provide the exact location. Some day we may be able to do that. But, today’s chips are not powered. It’s a radio frequency that’s triggered when you run the scanner over the top of them.”
From Petsmatter, AAHA