Phone: 505-471-4400

Dr. Trujillo’s Departure

The staff of Gruda Veterinary Hospital

wishes

Dr. Trujillo and her family

all the best in their move to the great state of Alaska!Eva

Firework Fears

 

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Photo courtesy of BigStock

 

Summer is full of celebrations involving fireworks. Canada has Canada Day on July 1, the USA has Independence Day on July 4, and France has Bastille Day on July 14. Dogs and cats react to fireworks as individuals. Some aren’t upset by the explosions, and others get hurt by panicking and jumping through closed windows or bolting through doors to get away from the terrifying noise and lights.

 

 

 

American pet advocacy groups point out that the number of escapees is so high that Independence Day is the busiest day of the year in shelters — and that many pets get lost, injured, or killed. You should know which clinics or emergency hospitals will be open during fireworks season, in case you need one, as this will help you avoid time delays and stress.
Your pets will do better if they’re not left home alone during fireworks events. That’s not always feasible, so think ahead before leaving them alone.
Signs of anxiety can include pacing, trembling, panting, drooling, attention-seeking (vocalizing, pawing, nuzzling, and climbing on people), hiding, and bolting. Escape attempts tend to involve hiding behind furniture, and staying in a basement or bathroom. Because the source of the noise is confusing, inside dogs may want to escape to the outside, and outside dogs may be frantic to get inside.

 

Nervous pets tend to drink more water, so keep more available than usual. (And remember, these summer events usually mean hotter weather, and the likelihood of power problems, so extra water is already a good idea.) Bring outside pets inside, so they can’t bolt. Keep your cats securely inside, and if your dog needs a potty break during the fireworks, take him outside on a leash, even in a fenced yard. Make sure all your pets are wearing an ID tag or a collar that contains your phone number. Tags and collars can be lost, so a microchip is even more useful in helping you find your lost pet.

 

Drug-Free Remedies

 

What can you do to keep your frightened pet safe and calm? For many frightened pets, just staying in a crate (as long as they are used to one) or in a “safe” room with a closed door is all that’s needed.
Synthetic pheromone sprays such as Feliway  for cats and Adaptil (formerly called D.A.P.) for dogs are available at pet stores. These sprays imitate the properties of the natural pheromones of the lactating female that gives kittens or puppies a sense of well-being.
An herbal relaxant called Composure comes in chews or liquid for dogs; the feline version is in chews.

 

Some pets respond to pressure wraps, such as Thundershirts or Anxiety Wraps. The pressure on the body may have a calming effect.
Ear muffs to muffle sound are also available.
Calming caps cover a dog’s eyes to reduce visual stimulation.

 

If you can plan ahead for these summer events, veterinary behaviorists often recommend behavior modification, classical counter conditioning, and teaching a desirable coping response.
In behavior modification, controlling the intensity of the fireworks is necessary and often the most challenging part. While it often isn’t possible to expose a fearful dog to only “little fireworks,” controlling other factors can help. Distance from the fireworks can be less intimidating, as would be keeping the dog indoors.  Music may disguise the bursts of noise; consider loud music with a regular beat.
Classical counter conditioning can create a positive association with fireworks if the anxiety isn’t extreme. Give high-value food rewards (canned food or peanut butter), offer your pet his favorite toys or food puzzle toys, or have your pet practice his tricks with you. The goal is for him to learn that fireworks result in highly pleasant rewards. You can teach a desirable coping response. The appropriate response for a dog facing something frightening is to retreat to a safe place until the frightening thing ends. Providing a safe retreat, such as a crate or a closet, will give security and confidence, although selecting the location is up to the pet. Blankets to muffle the sound and a pheromone diffuser will provide natural motivation for the dog to seek this location. Being able to cope when the world becomes overwhelming is a life skill essential for both people and dogs!  Hiding is not a sign of a problem, if the pet quickly returns to a normal behavior when the fireworks are over.
Medication
It’s easier to prevent a fearful reaction than it is to reverse one. If your pet is nervous around loud, unexpected noises, a short-term sedative before the fireworks start may be just the ticket. Talk to your veterinarian ahead of time, so you can have something on hand to give your pet before the fireworks start. Some medications often used for fireworks or thunderstorm phobias in dogs are Xanax and Valium.

 

Some severely anxious pets may benefit from drugs like clomipramine or fluoxetine that increase the level of serotonin. However, these drugs can take several weeks, if not more, to build up to an effective level, so this is not spur-of-the-moment fix.
You have many choices of how to help your pet cope with fireworks stress.  Talk to your veterinarian about what is best for your pet. Hopefully, everyone in the family will then be able enjoy the holiday!

 

Early Closing

dogs thru doors

Gruda Veterinary Hospital will be closing at 4pm on Saturday – April 25th

Canine Influenza

Canine FluIn recent news, there have been reports of a canine influenza outbreak in the Chicago area.  Canine influenza virus (CIV), or “dog flu”, is a viral respiratory tract disease that is included in the “kennel cough” syndrome.   In previous years, the causative agent of canine influenza was identified as the H3N8 influenza virus.  However, recent reports indicate that the ongoing influenza outbreak in the Chicago area is actually due to a different subtype, H3N2.  This is the first identification of the H3N2 subtype outside of Asia.  Influenza viruses, by nature, easily mutate (or change) in ways that allow them to persist and cause disease.  At this time there are no reports of canine influenza causing illness in humans.   Currently, almost all dogs are susceptible to infection, especially dogs that are housed in high-density dog populations such as kennels, shelters, rescue groups, dog shows, and racing facilities.

The influenza virus is efficiently spread between dogs by respiratory secretions, objects carrying the virus (i.e. chew toys, bedding) and direct transmission.  The virus is easily killed with bleach but can persist in the environment for approximately one week.  Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed, rendering dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status susceptible to infection.

Clinical signs range from mild to severe and generally occur one week after exposure.  Dogs shed the virus nasally for approximately 2-10 days becoming infected. Mild clinical signs include a soft, moist cough.  Approximately 10% of dogs can develop a severe form of illness that includes high fever (104-106°F), lethargy, and bronchopneumonia.  If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, and if dogs are affected with the mild form of the disease, the fatality rate is low.   However, if severe disease ensues, the fatality rate can be as high as 5-8%.

Diagnosis of CIV includes physical examination, blood tests, virus isolation, chest radiographs, and appropriate clinical signs.  Unfortunately, there is no specific antiviral medication available (human Tamiflu is not recommended).  Treatment of mild cases may require only isolating the dog and providing supportive care (good nutrition, rest, prevention of dehydration and secondary infections).  Severe cases require hospitalization with intravenous antibiotics and fluids as well as good nutrition.

Prevention of CIV requires reducing the spread of the virus between dogs.  A vaccine against the old strain of the CIV virus (H3N8 subtype) is available.  However, at this time it is not known if the currently available vaccine will provide any cross-immunity or protection to dogs exposed to the newly identified H3N2 subtype. There are currently no reports of CIV in New Mexico; thus, the risk of canine influenza to dogs in this area is very low and most clinics do not stock the vaccine.  We still recommend vaccinating dogs against the more common causes of kennel cough, including Bordatella bronchiseptica, canine parainfluenza (a different virus), and canine adenovirus-2 at least two weeks prior to boarding. This vaccine is an intranasal vaccine and lasts for approximately six months.

If you have any further questions, please contact one of the doctors at Gruda Veterinary Hospital.

 

 

 

February is Dental Month!

cat brushing a dog's teeth

Schedule your pet’s dental during the month of February

and receive 10% off our standard price

Schedule Soon – Appointments are filling up fast!

 

Happy Holidays!

 

Casper Christmas

Casper & The Entire Staff of Gruda Veterinary Hospital

would like to wish you

The Most Beautiful Holiday Season Ever!

Holiday Hours are…

December 24th   7:30am-Noon              December 25th   Closed

December 31st   7:30am-Noon               January 1st   Closed

Heartworm Disease in Dogs

What causes heartworm disease in dogs?

Heartworm disease in dogs is a serious and potentially fatal condition. Heartworm is transmitted through the bite of an infected mosquito. An infected dog has parasitic worms (heartworms) living in the major blood vessels of the lungs and heart.

Adult heartworms can live up to five years. During this time, the female produces millions of offspring called microfilaria. These microfilaria live mainly in the small vessels of a dog’s bloodstream. The female worm is 6-14 inches long and 1/8 inch wide. The male is about half the size of the female. One dog may have as many as 300 worms present when diagnosed.

What is the life cycle of the heartworm?

The life cycle begins when a female mosquito bites an infected dog and ingests the microfilariae during a blood meal. The microfilariae develop further for 10-30 days in the mosquito’s gut and then enter its mouth parts. At this stage, they are infective larvae and can complete their maturation after they enter the dog’s body, following the mosquito bite. The larvae migrate into the bloodstream and move to the heart and adjacent blood vessels, maturing to adults, mating and reproducing microfilariae within 6-7 months.

What do heartworms do to the dog?

Adult heartworms cause disease by clogging the heart and major blood vessels leading from the heart. They also interfere with the valve action in the heart. By clogging the main blood vessel, the blood supply to other organs of the body is reduced, particularly blood flow to the lungs, liver and kidneys, causing these organs to malfunction.

The most obvious clinical signs of heartworm disease are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness, loss of stamina, and weight loss.

How do you monitor for heartworm?

At Gruda Veterinary Hospital, we recommend testing for heartworm one a year.  If a dog is on prevention all year, we still recommend a heartworm test as a safety net.

How do I prevent my dog from getting heartworm?

We recommend using one of the safe and affordable heartworm preventatives available today:

Dental Disease FAQ

Here are some points on dental disease and home care too.  Don’t forget, February is Dental Month!  Book your pet’s dental cleaning in February and receive a great discount!  Don’t delay, spots fill up fast!

By Dr. Lesley Gonzales, based on material written by Dr. Ernest Ward

 Are dental problems the same in pets and people?

In man, the most common problem is tooth decay leading to cavities.  In dogs and cats, however, the most common dental problems are caused by periodontal disease.  Cats also suffer additional dental disease from severe gingivitis and cervical neck lesions (oral resorptive lesions). 

 What is periodontal disease?

Periodontal disease is inflammation or infection of the tissues surrounding the tooth.  Accumulation of tartar and calculus on the teeth causes gum recession around the base of the tooth, which leads to infection and further gum recession.  This exposes sensitive unprotected tooth root surfaces and the bony tooth sockets, which allows infection to spread deep into the tooth socket and cause bone destruction. 

 What are cervical neck lesions?

Cervical neck lesions are also known as oral resorptive lesions, and are commonly seen in cats.  These lesions result from a progressive destruction of the enamel, resulting in slowly deepening cavities in affected teeth.  These lesions are very painful once the sensitive parts of the tooth are exposed, and the only effective and humane treatment is to extract the tooth.  While poor oral hygiene plays a role in the formal of oral resorptive lesions, the exact cause of this disease is unknown. 

 What are the signs of dental disease in cats?

Cats may show a decreased interest in food, drop food from their mouth, or show difficulty swallowing.  They may drool excessively, and have bad breath.  In some cases, cats may paw at their mouths or shake their heads.  These are usually signs of significant dental disease in cats, as these stoic animals rarely show clinical signs of pain until there is advanced disease. 

 Can tartar be treated in dogs?

Plaque mineralizes into tartar in some dogs much quicker than others.  Small breed dogs are particularly prone to quicker tartar accumulation.  While prescription dental diets can help prevent formation of new plaque and tartar, the only way to adequately remove accumulated tartar is by professional scaling and polishing under general anesthesia. 

 What is the best way to prevent tartar formation after a professional cleaning?

Plaque and tartar can begin forming in as little as six hours after a dental cleaning.  A home dental care program including regular tooth brushing is essential to prevent dental disease in pets.  Never use human toothpaste in animals! Many human toothpastes contain a sugar substitute called xylitol, which is highly toxic to animals.  In addition, foaming toothpaste products contain ingredients that are not intended to be swallowed and could cause internal problems. 

 Why is pet toothpaste recommended?

Pet toothpastes are non-foaming, safe to be swallowed, contain enzymes designed to break down plaque chemically, and are available in flavors that are appealing to pets.  If you use a product that tastes good, your pet will be more likely to enjoy the whole experience.

 Here’s a great video on the proper way to brush your dog’s teeth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsNlLLSBWLU

 

What can I do to help prevent dental disease in my cat?

There are diets that can help reduce tartar formation, but just as with dogs, the most effect way of reducing plaque and tartar buildup is to brush the teeth.  A number of toothbrushes are specially designed for a cats’ mouth.  With gentleness, patience, and perseverance it is possible to brush some cats’ teeth! 

 This link takes you to a YouTube video with tips for brushing your cat’s teeth:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2ok_9RaRCmg

 

 

Happy Holiday Hours

The Staff of Gruda Veterinary Hospital would like to wish you and your families a Joyous Holiday Season

Our hours of Operation during the holidays are as follows….

Tuesday ~~ December 24, 2013 ~~ 7:30am to 12:00pm

Wednesday ~~ December 25, 2013 ~~ CLOSED

Tuesday ~~ December 31, 2013 ~~ 7:30am to 2:00pm

Wednesday ~~ January 1, 2014 ~~ CLOSED

Reverse Sneeze

Occasionally we receive phone calls from distressed clients describing clinical signs of “sucking in air”, “snorting fits” and “upper respiratory congestion” in pet dogs and cats. These signs could be attributed to a common ailment called the “reverse sneeze”. While a good veterinary examination is often necessary to rule out other causes of upper airway congestion, the reverse sneeze is not a medical emergency. Below is some information about reverse sneezing in cats and dogs. Please schedule an appointment with us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet this holiday season!
—Dr. Suzy Jones

A “reverse sneeze” is an audible paroxysm of strong inspiratory (sucking in) efforts made against a closed portion of a structure in the throat called the larynx or glottis. Although a reverse sneeze is not a form of respiratory distress, clients often report it as such. Fortunately these paroxysms are short-lived, lasting less than a few minutes, and the patient is normal afterwards. Both large and small breeds of dogs can be affected as can cats.

A reverse sneeze is the body’s attempt to clear irritants from the nose. Sneezing is a normal reflex to an irritant in the front part (or “anterior” portion) of the nasal cavity. Reverse sneezing, (forceful inspiratory airflow) is a normal reflex to an irritant in the back-end (or “posterior” portion) of the nasal cavity.

Any nasal, pharyngeal, or sinus irritation can result in a reverse sneeze. Underlying causes for consideration include include nasal mites, foreign objects (e.g. a foxtail), drainage of secretions, allergies, nasal irritation, soft tissue masses, lower airway diseases and anatomical issues such as elongated soft palate. Lower airway diseases can also result in a reverse sneeze.

The patient may stand with its neck outstretched and lips drawn back. Rapid and repeated forced inhalation through the nose results in loud sounds which are audible without a stethoscope. Diagnosis is based on clinical signs and it is often helpful for clients to bring a video of the animal partaking in these clinical signs.

Occasional reverse sneeze episodes may not need to be diagnostically pursued. A sudden onset of frequent reverse sneezing should be more thoroughly investigated for underlying causes. Determining the underlying cause of the irritation will require oropharyngeal examination, posterior rhinoscopy and/or radiographs.

No treatment is usually necessary. If necessary, owners can pinch the patient’s nose and scratch its throat or lightly blow in its face. Sometimes treatment for nasal mites may be helpful in some cases. If the problem is persistent or frequent, treatment is directed at the underlying cause. Antihistamines and/or corticosteroids may help if the problem is allergy-related and serious or chronic in nature.

Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXDledRQ7y4