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September 2107 Newsletter

The Whole Pet

News & Tips from Beverly Animal Natural Health Center

September Newsletter

Construction has started for our new place at the Cummings Center! October will be here before we know it despite my pleas for time to slow down just a bit. The new facility is in the small retail section just behind Eliot Landing (new condos) so it is quite accessible.

Our plan is to be able to move in the first week of October. It will be a little bit of a transition but we will be doing our best to make it be as seamless as possible. We ask for your patience during that time!

If your pet is due for its annual appointment in late September or early October, availability may be limited so please plan ahead. We would also ask to plan your prescription refills accordingly as well.

Our new facility will be a bit bigger than our current space offering another examination room as well as doubling our treatment area. Our surgical suite is also getting an upgrade with a bigger floor plan. So much has stayed the same in the last nineteen years but it has because it has worked so well to serve our patients and clients.

For the last several months, we have not accepting new clients because we want to focus on the best care for all our current patients. Our goal is to continue to care for our patients as we would if they were our very own.

Dental Care

In the past, I have written several articles about dental care in newsletters. I just recently realized I never had a specific section about dental care on our website! I don’t know how much of a difference that makes but if it helps one patient, it’s something I need to do.

I am fortunate to have had an early influence in my career, Dr Arthur Freedman of Hawthorne Animal Health Care to ignite my passion. Over the years, hours of continuing education and hours of following the knowledge and passion of Dr Fraiser Hale as well as countless hours pulling teeth has made my the dental geek that I am today!

Over the last decade, the Veterinary Profession has been educating its members and the public about dental care. Despite it being on almost every cover of our trade magazines and journals, it is still an issue that is not addressed at every level.

Dental radiographs are critical in evaluating the oral health of any pet. Not every practice that offers dental care to its patients has dental radiography. As much as I sometimes gag getting radiographs on myself, I understand the value of visualizing the tooth that lies below the gumline.

Our pets are not good advocates for their own care. Especially cats! There is somewhat of a comparison one can make to human dental care years ago. In the past, it was not uncommon for many adults to loose their teeth to disease and decay. Today, there is essentially a new section of human dental care for geriatric patients having 90 year old teeth that have special needs. Kids never used to go to the dentist like our kids do today. We have enhanced toothpastes and mouth rinses, flossing tools and water piks. No one likes to have mouth pain.

We have evolved so much in the last ten years at our clinic to have more and more pets getting their teeth brushed. Paste with taste and make it fun! Not unlike getting a toddler to brush their teeth. One needs to only think for a moment about how valuable our pet’s oral health is to their overall health. Not only do they eat with their mouth, but they use it to groom. Pick things up. May have to be an offensive tool. It needs care!

When oral health declines, the good news is that it is such a treatable condition. Fortunately, our pets don’t need teeth to be functional, they need a pain free mouth. Ideally, I don’t want to continue the rate of extractions that I do now but the reward of having these pets feel so much better is worth it.   I hope that before I retire, it will be more dental cleanings vs multiple extraction procedures.

Here are a few testimonials from our clients that have invested in dental care.

“Dental surgery for our dog, Benjamin, was instrumental in improving the quality of his life. Ben is an older dog with heart disease, so the decision to have surgery was not easy. But, he was so fussy about his food. Every meal was an ordeal. We would try a food and Ben would refuse to eat more than a bite. He lost a significant amount of weight.

Once his teeth were removed, he began eating with no difficulty. He even ate dry food. If we realized what an improvement it would have made in the quality of his life, we would have done it much sooner.

Four years later, he is still going strong, in no small part due to solving the problem of his teeth.”

Mary Simpson and Wayne Sousa for Benjamin 

“Sesame came to us as foster cat several years ago.  After numerous attempts at finding her a forever home she adopted us.   She was very unhappy with a bad attitude, very smelly breath, and a very runny nose, and she didn’t get along with our other household pets.  During her annual exams Dr. Crowley always told me she needed dental care.  I just didn’t think she would eat if she had pain.  Within the last month she had literally stopped eating almost completely from the pain.  She had lost a good amount of weight and I knew we had to get her in for surgery asap.  Her surgery went better than expected extracting 21 teeth (all but her canines).  Her breath was instantly better, her appetite returned immediately putting on over a pound in 2 weeks’ time.  She is so much happier and healthier now.  She’s like a new cat!”   

I remember another older cat (Spike) of ours who also had dental issues who developed an attitude as well.  Once his teeth were cleaned and some extracted he became happy again and much healthier.  It’s amazing the pain these cats can endure before we realize how much they can benefit from dental care and treatment!

 Thank you SO much Dr. Crowley for taking such great care of our animals! and being persistent with me.”

Sonya Johnson for Sesame

Stay tuned for the dental section on our website!

Lab work

This was a funny post of FB that I came across the other day. This was around the same time that I was having some in-depth conversations with clients about lab work on their pets. To me, when assessing a pet’s overall health, I look to the physical examination and the owner observation as the foundation. Lab work is an tool to help further assess the function of the patient. We do testing frequently at the clinic as an adjunct to confirm or negate a concern.

We can use it to monitor therapeutic response and detect side effects that may be deadly if not caught early. We use it in emergency situations. The concern I have is that there are numerous tests that have become more commonplace but are often more of a huge net gain for the practice bottom line but not the pet’s health.

I like to assess the benefit and practicality of a test for each situation. How is it going to affect the plan? The outcome?

Check out this link about some of the common tests that we may run and the reasons why.

There are some cancerous processes that may be detected through blood work, but at this time most cancers are not detected with just blood alone.

Tests like fecal zinc centrifugation tests are really simple, economical and helpful but ELISA (enzyme linked immunoassay testing) and PCR (polymerase chain reaction testing) on stool is overkill for most pets. Keep it simple!

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

In Memoriam

In Memory of our beloved pets that have passed: In Memoriam

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