Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A great article on rabies law and what to do in a dog attack

Here is a great article from the York Newspaper by Susan Jennings called Rabies treatment no walk in the park.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Question: Food Allergies

Dr. Schaeberle,

I think my dog has allergies. How do I find out what he is allergic to?



Hi Robert,

Last year we had a question on a similar topic regarding allergies in pets. Dogs and cats with show typical signs or allergies such as a feet and belly licking, leg chewing, face rubbing and secondary ear infections. In the winter, most seasonal allergies caused by grass, molds, and pollens are finally over. However, just this week I saw a number of pets still scratching. These pets are either allergic to indoor items such as dust mites and human dander, or they may have a food allergy.

Over the years veterinary dermatologists continue to debate whether or not food allergies are a major cause of scratching in pets. Some dermatologists place the percentages of food allergies in pets only at 1 to 2%, while others think it may be well over 10%. However it is agreed by both veterinarian and pet owner, that this is a very frustrating problem to diagnose. Ultimately success can be found in treating pets with food allergies with a little time and patience.

The winter is a excellent time to test for food allergies. Unfortunately, there is no reliable blood test and we rely on a “food elimination diet”. Most food allergies are caused by proteins in pet food that can include chicken, beef, fish and milk. With the food elimination diet, we place the pet either on a protein they have never had before such as a rabbit or a diet that includes single amino acids, an allergen free protein source. It can take up to 3 months to see improvement, so patience is very important. If the client feels there is an improvement after 8 weeks, we reintroduce the original diet and if the scratching resumes, we have a tentative diagnosis of a food allergy. Our goal from that point on is to find which proteins are causing the problem and eliminate them from the diet to keep the pet healthy and happy.

There are only 3 hospitals in the York Area accredited by the AAHA. The Shiloh Veterinary Hospital in Dover, Shiloh Veterinary Hospital East in Manchester and Patton Veterinary Hospital in Red Lion.

Dr. Thomas Schaeberle, V.M.D.

Question: Kitten with Chronic Diarrhea

Dr. Schaeberle,

My kitten has chronic diarrhea. What should I do?



Hi Kristi,

As an early member of the American Feline Association in the 1980s, I can recall a lecture at Cornell University about the frustration of treating diarrhea in kittens. Unless the cause was intestinal parasites or a viral infection, we rarely found a cause and most kittens did not respond to treatment. Today, we still struggle with the correct diagnosis and in many cases the treatment.

One theory is that cats are true carnivores unlike dogs and people whom are omnivores. Throughout evolution cats ate rodents with little fat and no carbohydrates. Yet as our pets, we feed them prepared diets that have more fat and carbohydrates. Could it be that it takes months for some kittens digestive systems to adjust to our prepared diets?

Kittens with diarrhea should all have a baseline of routine testing done. At Shiloh Veterinary Hospital, we send our fecal samples to an outside lab in New York where they are best capable of finding more complicated infections such as protozoa. Those samples are also tested for intestinal parasites, which also may cause diarrhea in pets.

As with all kittens, a feline leukemia viral test is done, and if the diarrhea is relatively intense we will also will
run a complete blood cell count.

Treatment can vary from veterinarian to veterinarian but typically involves a broad spectrum dewormer and/or use of an antibiotic for approximately five to ten days along with a prescription diet that is specifically
formulated to help cats that are experiencing diarrhea. However, in some cases we simply need to have patience and realize that by six to eight months of age most of these kittens will be normal and not experiencing any symptoms of diarrhea.

There are only 3 hospitals in the York Area accredited by the AAHA. The Shiloh Veterinary Hospital in Dover, Shiloh Veterinary Hospital East in Manchester and Patton Veterinary Hospital in Red Lion.

Dr. Thomas Schaeberle, V.M.D.

Top New Year’s Resolutions for Pets to make this year!

Yearly Exams – Taking your pet for a yearly exam will not only save you money in the long run, but your pet will live a longer and happier life as well.

Routine Vaccinations – Be sure to keep your pet’s vaccinations up-to-date. A lot of ailments can be avoided and your pet deserves to be treated with the best resources available today. In the State of Pennsylvania, rabies vaccinations are required for dogs and cats.

Spay and Neuter – If your pet is not spayed or neutered yet, please consider the procedure this year. Spaying or neutering a pet can prevent issues like pyometra for females, cancer and over-population.

Healthy Diet – Do not feed your pet people food. Their digestive system is not meant to handle it and they will become “lurkers” around your kitchen and dining room table. Feeding your pets good quality food in appropriately designated amounts will keep them healthy. They like routine feeding times and habits and will come to count on your discipline.

Dental Care – Happy mouths, make happy pets! Your pet’s dental health is just as important to his or her overall health. As a pet owner, you play a pivotal role in helping ensure your pet’s dental health through regular teeth brushing. Pets can live longer, healthier lives if oral health care is managed and maintained throughout their lives. In fact, proper dental care may add as much as five years to your pet’s life! Talk to your veterinarian about developing a dental care plan for your furry
friend this year.

Exercise – Pets need exercise too! Walking your dog or playing with your cat keeps them fit and entertained. A daily exercise routine for you pet can dramatically improve their overall well-being and keep them at an ideal weight. Pet obesity can lead to many unwanted conditions like diabetes, thyroid issues, heart conditions and joint pain.

Don’t forget about senior pets! – Yearly or bi-annual exams can help your veterinarian identify possible underlying issues earlier. Routine bloodwork and heart monitoring is a great way to keep your senior pet healthy and happy. Your veterinarian can also discuss treatments, diets and supplements to keep your pet feeling younger.

Search This Blog