June 2017 Newsletter
How is it that the 2017 year is at its halfway point?
The bugs are out as well as all the allergens! And we have the best to help you and your pet deal with them all.
Seasonal allergies are the pollens, grasses and mold that can cause our animals to itch and scratch. Unlike us, they do not have hay fever which typically causes sinusitis and runny noses. Most of our canine patients end up with rubbing, itching and scratching. An allergy is an overreaction to the pollen, grass, mold or other item (antigen). This hypersensitivity makes the animal develop redness, inflammation and often secondary bacterial or yeast infections. In the past, we often would use steroids to just STOP the reaction. There are undesirable side effects of steroids and also some risk of damage to some of the necessary pathways we need to stay healthy.
In recent years, we have been able to work with new pharmaceuticals that work with different enzymes and processes that are involved in the itch cycle. This means that this class of drugs have the ability to block the allergy cycle without negatively impacting the immune system.
Apoquel is one such drug and has been remarkable in many cases. It allows both our patients and their owners to get some relief as we try to narrow down the cause of the symptoms. There is also a new injection, Cytopoint that that is also be an option for patients needing relief.
As always, we love to have a Plan B in place for non drug options in milder cases or cases where there maybe a concern with medication interactions or pre-existing conditions.
Bathing is a great option to remove allergens from our pet’s fur coat! Just like an allergist would recommend their human patients to shower before bed, our pets can get bathed as well.
The Douxo product line is excellent as it does not strip the skin of natural defense but enhances it with it’s patented phytosphingosine. It helps restore the protective barrier of the skin. With this product line, you can bath your pet multiple times a week as well as use sprays and mousse products between shampooing. To help make bath time simple with your pet, we recommend a few simple things to make it more productive and less stressful!
- Place a mat in the tub or sink to prevent slipping. You can use a bath mat or a towel
- Have the tub filled up at least to your pet’s underside so you don’t have to run the water much while they are in the tub. That can be scary!
- Have a few plastic tumblers to rinse.
- Have a few towels close by! One to deal with the inevitable shake and then one to towel dry. We recommend not using a blow dryer if at all possible as it dries out the skin.
Please make sure to wash bedding frequently as our animals sure do love to roll in their environment. It maybe a little time consuming but it sure does pay off.
This June marks 16 years of Doctor Ricketts and I working together. There is no one else that I have worked with so closely in all these years. We joke that we are often like a married couple. We can finish each other’s sentences and talk every day. We disagree, we worry. We want what is best. We care. We know sometimes that we stress more than what is consider normal or even healthy, but we wouldn’t have it any other way. We are grateful for our years working together as we have been able to accomplish so much. Our relationship is what defines the care we are able to provide for our patients and our clients here at BANHC.
The relationships that we have built with our clients have been rewarding over the years. And the relationships that we have built with our drug reps, laboratory companies as well as our referral hospitals have been done with incredible attention to detail, communication and compassion. I have always been so proud of how many things we have accomplished here at BANHC.
Dr Ricketts and I work together at the clinic all during the week and on weekends, we share our time to help guide our clients over the phone. We also work with Blue Pearl in Waltham to help make the most of our patient and owner’s well being. Blue Pearl is an amazing facility staffed with veterinarians and technicians that are like minded to us. They have specialists that we often refer to and an ER staff that is top notch. When we refer our patients to Blue Pearl, we are doing so because they are en extension of our standards at BANHC. They are able to communicate with us effectively and efficiently at all times. We have access from our phones as well as email. If we call, we speak directly to a doctor. There are no remote call centers, no difficulty in getting updates.
When we are not available, we request that you do call Blue Pearl. We know you may pass another emergency clinic on the way but we know you pass other clinics on the way to us as well. We truly appreciate that! We feel Blue Pearl is the best choice for our patients.
They can be reached at 781 684-8387 and you can read more about them on their website. They are also home to New England Veterinary Oncology group now as well!
Tick Tick Tick
Yuck. There are not many words to describe ticks except gross. This year, as predicted, ticks are quite abundant in all towns. For all of us, daily ticks checks are very important. We do have products available for both dogs and cats to help provide safe, efficacious and convenient flea and tick control. As with anything we prescribe at BANHC, we have studied it, researched it and used it on our own pets. The reason we recommend products such as Bravecto or the Seresto collar is we are trying to prevent your pet from acquiring tick borne diseases such as Lyme, Ehrlichia and anaplasmosis. We also want the tick to die from being on your pet so that you are not at risk of getting bit from a tick that your pet carries into the home.
Each product has its pros and cons. Bravecto has been out for a few years but we did not start selling it until this year as we wanted millions of doses and info out there on it. There has been great safety and efficacy with Bravecto. Merck, the company that makes it and Angela, our representative have been supportive and educational to address any concerns. As with any product or medication, there are risks but the safety of our patients is paramount.
Please ask us any questions you may have and check out this link
In Memory of our beloved pets that have passed: In Memoriam