Thursday, December 23, 2010

Happy Holidays from Shiloh Veterinary Hospital!

During this holiday season our staff would like to take a moment to remember all of the furry friends who have warmed our hearts over the past year.

We have been fortunate this year to rejoice with our clients in some amazingly happy moments, and we have been there to hold a hand and be a shoulder to cry on at times as well. Our thoughts go out to all of our clients who have lost a dear friend this year - we send you wishes of healing and joy for the New Year.

We are happy to have served you this year and hope that you all share a wonderful and safe holiday season with your furry family members.

Shiloh Veterinary Hospital would like to thank all of those who became part of our “family” this year.

The Doctors, Technicians & Staff of Shiloh Veterinary Hospital

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Q: Anal Gland Expression?

Dr. Schaeberle,

My groomer recommended getting my dog’s anal glands expressed. What did she mean by that?



Dear Bruce,

Dogs and cats have scent glands known as anal sacs or anal glands just inside the anus. These glands normally empty when the pet has a bowel movement but may also be emptied or expressed when a cat or dog is nervous or frightened.

In some animals, these glands can become impacted or infected. Impaction means the glands fail to empty in a normal fashion. The exact cause of impaction is unknown, but may be caused by loose stools or a low fiber diet. Obstruction of the duct due to excessive weight or having a small/narrow duct may all be possible reason for an anal sac to become impacted.

In some cases, retained secretions cause local inflammation, and bacteria trapped in the gland can lead to infection and abscess formation.

Pets may have pain when they defecate, may lick at the area or bite at their tails, and may rub or “scoot” their bottoms across the ground. One may also notice a red or swollen area next to the anus or even an open wound or draining pus or blood if the abscess ruptures.

If your pet does not show any of these symptoms, please ask your groomer not to express anal glands when in for grooming.

Treatment of an abscessed anal gland involves having your veterinarian or veterinary nurse express the anal glands if possible to remove impacted material, oral antibiotics for two to four weeks to control infection, and, in many cases, flushing or irrigation of the glands. Warm compresses to encourage drainage and repeated anal gland expression and flushing may be necessary to heal the abscess.

Some pets have recurrent problems with impacted or infected glands. In these cases, expressing the glands every 4-6 weeks to keep them empty and changing to a high fiber diet or adding a fiber supplement may help to keep the glands from becoming impacted. In some cases, if recurrence is frequent or an abscess does not heal, surgical removal of the anal sacs may be necessary.

Thomas Schaeberle, VMD

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Q: Boarding and Canine Flu?

Dr. Schaeberle,

I’m going to be boarding my dog for the holidays but I was told I need a kennel cough vaccine. What is that?



Dear Lisa,

Kennel cough is a highly contagious disease of dogs and, less commonly, cats caused by a bacteria known as Bordetella bronchiseptica. While related to the bacteria that causes pertussis or whooping cough, bordetella or kennel cough is not contagious to humans. Dogs with kennel cough are often co-infected with other viruses or bacterial infections.

Kennel cough is most common in young dogs housed together in areas like boarding kennels, pet stores, or shelters. It is transmitted by direct contact with infected animals or through airborne droplets containing the bacteria that are inhaled.

Most cases of kennel cough are mild, and can cause a very deep, hoarse cough and sensitivity to the windpipe. In rare cases, kennel cough infection can progress to pneumonia with more severe symptoms like fever, cough, loss of appetite and nasal discharge.

Kennel cough can be treated with antibiotics and is preventable with either an intranasal or injectable vaccine. Affected dogs should be isolated from other dogs for two to four weeks though the bacteria may be shed in nasal secretions for up to three months.

Any dog who frequently stays at a boarding kennel or is exposed to lots of other dogs in situations such as dog shows, agility training, playing at a dog park or spending time at a grooming or doggie daycare facility would benefit from the preventative vaccine.

If your dog is in any of these situations on a regular basis, talk to your veterinarian about vaccination. You should also contact your vet if your pet is coughing, as prompt treatment helps prevent progression to pneumonia.

Thomas Schaeberle, VMD

Search This Blog