Friday, May. 10th 2013

Summer safety

Veterinary Alternatives May/June 2013 Newsletter

Yes, it’s finally here!  This has been a very busy summer, which is great because it means I’m getting to meet more wonderful clients and try to help some super pets become healthier.  That’s on top of all the work going into trying to get a practice built.  Haven’t even got a contract on land or a loan yet, because of all the preliminary paperwork and research that goes into those things.  But I’m getting close!  I plan to keep you all updated as I go, and hope everyone on my email list will be ready to attend the grand opening and bring all their friends to see what a veterinary practice can be.  I met today with a design/build firm, the second one I’ve talked to, and hopefully will make a decision on one within the next week or so and get my paperwork off to the banks to start the loan process.

Summer Pet Concerns:

Just a few reminders about health concerns that are summer related:

1. Hot vehicles—Don’t EVER leave a pet in a car, even for a few minutes, if the temperature is above 70 degrees.  In only 5-10 minutes the internal temperature can reach well over 100 degrees.  Heat stroke is a very real phenomenon, and older pets or those with short faces like Pugs are especially susceptible.  Be aware of this whenever pets are outdoors, as well.

2. Hot pavement—when you are walking your dog anywhere there is asphalt or concrete, put your bare hand on the surface before allowing your pet to walk on it.  Burned pads are NOT funny!

3. Spoiled foods—be especially vigilant about what your pet has access to, especially garbage or picnic leftovers.  Food spoils fast in the heat, and can cause severe digestive upset in your pet.

4. Baby animals—this is the time of year of rabbit nests in the yard, baby birds learning to fly, and little squirrels with no common sense.  Be kind to wildlife and keep your pet away from them, and check under trees in your yard after storms for any babies that may have come down in the wind.  You can put them back in their nest, or a makeshift one nearby and the parents will come back for them.  Bunnies can be protected with a temporary fence that mom can get through but your pet can’t.  Wild parents do a much better job than even a trained and licensed rehabilitator.  As for baby animals that have died from a fall or such, see number 3.

5. Insects—fleas, ticks, mites, mosquitoes—we all hate them.  I like oral garlic in dogs for prevention of the first three, but that can’t be used in cats.  If you are keeping your cats indoors, as you should, then they should have minimal risk, especially if any dogs in the household are protected.  I suspect mosquitoes are also deterred by the garlic, but to be safe I still use a regular heartworm preventative on my dogs—better safe than sorry!

6. Thunderstorms, fireworks, and other things that go “boom” in the night—some dogs may have “issues” with such things.  I am happy to help with training both you and the dog how to respond to these in a way that will gradually diminish the fear response.  In the meantime, I also sell a fantastic herbal liquid supplement called “Nutricalm” that is great for taking the edge off the anxiety so the training is more effective.

7. Hot spots, ear infections, and other “hot” topics—many pets have more skin-related flare-ups in the summer.  This is called “invasion of heat” in Chinese medicine.  Changing the diet to more cooling ingredients or adding more Omega 3 fatty acids to the diet can both help the skin resist this invasion.  I am happy to make diet recommendations based on the patient’s constitution and health needs.



Interviews and Arcticles: I have been interviewed recently for an article in Natural Dog about pet food selection, and Whole Dog Journal about acupuncture.  I will try to let you all know when they are due to be published.  Last I heard the Healthy Food Guide was scheduled for the August issue of Natural Dog.  Very fun to be quoted in national magazines—I will admit it’s a bit of an ego rush, if there is such a thing!  I also do occasional public speaking in the Kansas City area, if you know of a group that is interested in a program about any of the things I do.  I have prepared programs on my future practice, and on holistic veterinary medicine in general, and a talk (no Power point) on pet nutrition.  I generally do these programs for free as long as it’s not too long a drive, or for the cost of a meal if one is normally included in the meeting.  I would also love to be interviewed for the Kansas City Star, if any of you have connections there that are looking for a story…. 😉 What I do IS kind of interesting, after all!



NOTE: I will be out of the office (and basically unreachable since I won’t take my phone in the canoe…) from June 23-July 3, and traveling again with limited phone and email access from July 12-21.  If you need to schedule appointments, please try to plan around these dates.

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