Washington Park Veterinary Clinic

393 S. Pearl St.
Denver, CO 80209

(303)871-8050

washingtonparkvc.com

 

WPVC News

December 2012

Holiday Safety Tips

From: http://www.aspca.org/

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe. Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:

O Christmas Tree. Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water?which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset?from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.

Tinsel-less Town.

Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.

No Feasting for the Furries.

By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.

Toy Joy.

Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

? Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.

? Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer?and tons of play sessions together.

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

Leave the Leftovers. Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.

That Holiday Glow. Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!

Wired Up. Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.

House Rules. If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.

Put the Meds Away. Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.

Careful with Cocktails. If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.

A Room of Their Own. Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to?complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.

New Year's Noise. As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

© 2010 ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.

December, 2012

The holidays are getting closer, and our boarding spaces are filling up fast!

If traveling with your feline friend is not an option, let them stay with us. Whether it's one night, one week, or more, your cat will enjoy our clean and comfortable facilities. While you are away we will closely monitor your pet, ensuring his or her comfort and health. We can accommodate special medical boarding requests.

We offer:

· Large, quiet cattery exposed to natural sunlight.

· Individual, spacious kennels with a separate litter box compartment.

· Options for connecting kennels to house inseparable kitty friends.

· Organic "Swheat Scoop" cat litter provided.

· Premium brand cat food available or you can bring your cat's regular food.

· Play space available for exercise and fun.

· Veterinary staff onsite to administer medications or attend to special needs.

· Additional services such as: baths with nail trim or anal gland express for an additional fee.

Pricing:

$20 per day

Requirements:

· Cat must have had a wellness exam in the last year.

· Cat must be up to date on the Rabies and FDRC vaccines.

· If these services were performed at another clinic we need their records.

Bringing your pet with you for vacation? Our Veterinarians can provide international and domestic health certificates.

Please call for details.

(303) 871-8050

November, 2012

Thanksgiving Safety Tips

From: http://www.aspca.org/

Tis the season for friends, family and holiday feasts?but also for possible distress for our animal companions. Pets won't be so thankful if they munch on undercooked turkey or a pet-unfriendly floral arrangement, or if they stumble upon an unattended alcoholic drink.

Check out the following tips from ASPCA experts for a fulfilling Thanksgiving that your pets can enjoy, too.

Talkin' Turkey

If you decide to feed your pet a little nibble of turkey, make sure it's boneless and well-cooked. Don't offer her raw or undercooked turkey, which may contain salmonella bacteria.

Sage Advice

Sage can make your Thanksgiving stuffing taste delish, but it and many other herbs contain essential oils and resins that can cause gastrointestinal upset and central nervous system depression to pets if eaten in large quantities. Cats are especially sensitive to the effects of certain essential oils.

No Bread Dough

Don't spoil your pet's holiday by giving him raw bread dough. According to ASPCA experts, when raw bread dough is ingested, an animal's body heat causes the dough to rise in his stomach. As it expands, the pet may experience vomiting, severe abdominal pain and bloating, which could become a life-threatening emergency, requiring surgery.

Don't Let Them Eat Cake

If you're baking up Thanksgiving cakes, be sure your pets keep their noses out of the batter, especially if it includes raw eggs?they could contain salmonella bacteria that may lead to food poisoning.

Too Much of a Good Thing

A few small boneless pieces of cooked turkey, a taste of mashed potato or even a lick of pumpkin pie shouldn't pose a problem. However, don't allow your pets to overindulge, as they could wind up with a case of stomach upset, diarrhea or even worse?an inflammatory condition of the pancreas known as pancreatitis. In fact, it's best keep pets on their regular diets during the holidays.

A Feast Fit for a Kong

While the humans are chowing down, give your cat and dog their own little feast. Offer them Nylabones or made-for-pet chew bones. Or stuff their usual dinner?perhaps with a few added tidbits of turkey, vegetables (try sweet potato or green beans) and dribbles of gravy?inside a Kong toy. They'll be happily occupied for awhile, working hard to extract their dinner from the toy.


 

© 2010 ASPCA. All Rights Reserved.

October, 2012

Halloween Safety Tips

From: http://www.aspca.org/

No Scaredy Cats This Halloween: Top 10 Safety Tips for Pet Parents

Attention, animal lovers, it's almost the spookiest night of the year! The ASPCA recommends taking some common sense precautions this Halloween to keep you and your pet saying "trick or treat!" all the way to November 1.

1. No tricks, no treats: That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms?especially dark or baking chocolate?can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435.

2. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them.

3. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet might suffer cuts or burns, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock.

4. A carved pumpkin certainly is festive, but do exercise caution if you choose to add a candle. Pets can easily knock a lit pumpkin over and cause a fire. Curious kittens especially run the risk of getting burned or singed by candle flames.

5. Dress-up can be a big mess-up for some pets. Please don't put your dog or cat in a costume UNLESS you know he or she loves it (yup, a few pets are real hams!). For pets who prefer their "birthday suits," however, wearing a costume may cause undue stress.

6. If you do dress up your pet, make sure the costume isn't annoying or unsafe. It should not constrict the animal's movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also, be sure to try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au naturale or donning a festive bandana.

7. Take a closer look at your pet's costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury.

8. All but the most social dogs and cats should be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treating hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

9. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesn't dart outside.

10. IDs, please! Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver, increasing the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

August, 2012

WPVC has partnered with two reputable At Home Euthanasia services.

Beside Still Water offers help when your pet is dying and will assist you in providing a peaceful passing for your beloved small animal companion in your home or any setting where your pet feels safe and comfortable.

A Peaceful Passage offers at home euthanasia and in home hospice care for your small animal companion.

Please click on the above links for more information.

July, 2012

HydroSurge Bathing Is Now Available

When it comes to bathing your pet, WPVC uses the HydroSurge® Bath Pro 5.1 system, a revolutionary bathing system designed to create a calmer, more complete bath time experience for your pet. Unlike other bathing systems and traditional hand bathing, the HydroSurge® bathing system treats your pet to a slow and relaxing warm-water massaging action, while a unique combing action spray leaves the skin and coat cleaner and healthier than ever. With the HydroSurge® bathing system your pet will experience the very best in bathing technology. This revolutionary system features exclusive Inject Air Technology that combines a constant supply of fresh water, shampoo and air. The unique fusion process creates combing action spray that penetrates down to the skin, actively washing away dirt, loose hair, dead skin and dander. Plus, the system draws oxygen to the skin, which creates dermatological benefits for your animal. The system does not just leave your pets coat cleaner and skin healthier, it's also designed to keep your pet calmer and happier throughout the duration of their grooming. Every pet leaves with an exclusive HydroSurge® pure air infused massage.

Made from only the finest ingredients, HydroSurge® shampoo products offer a wide range of luxurious scents, while each and every one is formulated for specific skin and coat conditions. HydroSurge® shampoos rinse out easily, saving you significant time and minimizing shampoo residue on the animal.

No matter what the breed, there's a HydroSurge® shampoo or conditioner that will specifically meet your pets' needs.

Price includes a nail trim, ear cleaning and anal gland expression at your request.

Cats & Small Dogs up to 20 pounds: $45.00

Medium Dogs 21-50 pounds: $55.00

Large Dogs over 51 pounds: $65.00

June, 2012

We Want A Picture of Your Pet!

We finished remodeling our walls and want to decorate with new pictures of our favorite patients! Please bring in a photo, send it to us on Facebook, or email it to us at: washingtonpark@msn.com.

June, 2012

Cat Boarding Is Now Available At WPVC

We just opened a new boarding area specially designed for your cat's comfort!

We offer:

· Large, quiet cattery exposed to natural sunlight

· Individual, spacious kennels with a separate litter box compartment

· Options for connecting kennels to house inseparable kitty friends

· Organic "Swheat Scoop" cat litter provided

· Premium brand cat food available or you can bring your cat's regular food.

· Play space available for exercise and fun

· Veterinary staff onsite to administer medications or attend to special needs

· Additional services such as: baths with nail trim or anal gland express for an additional fee

Pricing:

$20 per day

Requirements:

· Cat must have had a wellness exam in the last year

· Cat must be up to date on the Rabies and FDRC vaccines

· If these services were performed at another clinic we need their records

April, 2012

Why are vets so expensive?

By: Marie Haynes
For The VIN News Service

Dr. Marie Haynes practices at Beechwood Animal Hospital in Ottawa, Ontario, and is a member of the Veterinary Information Network (VIN), an online community for the profession.

Editor's note: There's a common public perception that veterinary care is overpriced and that many veterinarians get rich at the expense of pets and their owners. Dr. Marie Haynes addresses that concern through a sympathetic, humorous and informative account from her experience as a companion-animal practitioner in Ottawa, Ontario. She wrote the following essay two months ago after a frustrating day in which she and her staff faced limited treatment options for an injured animal owing to the owner's financial straits. The article, which she posted on her blog, went viral via Facebook. At last count, it had garnered more than 15,000 "likes" and 800 comments. The VIN News Service is reprinting the essay with Dr. Haynes' permission.

Sometimes I hate my job. Well, that's not true. I almost always love my job. But what I hate is that everything I do costs people money. Multiple times per day, I am helping people make decisions for their pets based on how much they can afford.

"All vets think about is money!"

"You don't care about my pet, all you care about is getting rich!"

"Why does it cost so much to clean my pet's teeth? My own dentist is cheaper!"

Unfortunately, these are remarks that I hear on a regular basis. And I feel for you guys! It can be expensive to keep a pet healthy these days. I thought I would write this article to explain some of the facts about the financial side of veterinary medicine.

A veterinary hospital is a business

Doesn't that sound heartless? But it's true ... a vet clinic is a business and needs to make money. Just like any other business we have bills to pay (and often these bills are huge). We pay rent, electricity and gas bills. And we pay large bills to buy and maintain equipment. An X-ray machine costs anywhere from $30,000 to $90,000. An ultrasound is going to cost about the same. And there is a lot of other equipment that needs to be purchased and maintained: dental equipment (most veterinarians have similar equipment to what a human dentist has), equipment to run laboratory tests, surgical instruments and on and on.

We also have salaries to pay. The staff at veterinary clinics are, in my opinion, usually severely underpaid for the quality of work that they do. A veterinary technician is an extremely skilled individual, able to place a catheter, draw blood, do a dental cleaning, counsel clients and multitask animal care all day long. According to
Payscale.com, a technician generally gets paid between $9 and $18 per hour.

It's a crummy wage for someone with so many skills. Most technicians have gone to school for three years and carry some student debt. Compare this to a registered (human) nurse who gets paid between $20 to $36 dollars per hour. Why are techs paid so poorly? It's because we'd have to raise our prices in order to afford to pay them more.


What about the veterinarian's salary?

I have a confession to make. I drive a BMW. There you go. Is this why vet bills are so expensive? To pad the pockets of greedy veterinarians? Well, here's the rest of the story. My husband is a successful real estate agent. His recent business successes and hard work have paid for my car. Prior to this, for the last 10 years I have driven a 2002 Honda Civic. Now, there's nothing wrong with a Civic ... it's a great car. But my point is that a veterinarian's salary is not one that allows you to live in luxury.

Veterinarians on average have spent seven years of their lives in college/university doing intensive study. According to the
Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, the average veterinarian graduates with a debt of a whopping $142,613!

And, according to
Payscale.com, a veterinarian generally makes between $45,000 and $106,000 depending on experience. Let's compare this with a few other professions:

Family physician: $75,000 - $204,000
Pharmacist: $50,000 - $130,000
Dentist: $61,000 - $201,000
Ophthalmologist: $93,000 - $304,000
General surgeon: $65,000 - $368,000

A veterinarian does all of the things that the professions above do, but usually gets paid much less. Many vets work 10- to 12-hour days, and some are on call throughout the night. We get scratched and bitten on a regular basis. A good amount of our day involves intensive grief counseling of clients. This is not a "cushy" job. It's hard work!

Explaining the charges for a vet bill

I thought I'd explain the way that some things are charged for. I'll occasionally hear people talking about their vet, saying things like, "I was in there for 20 minutes and paid $200! I'm in the wrong profession!"

Here is an example scenario:

John brings his golden retriever, Andy to see me, Dr. Marie, because he has a problem with his ears. I have a good look at Andy from nose to tail and notice that the ears are red, inflamed and full of debris. The skin between the toes is a little red, as well, and there is saliva staining, which shows me that he has been licking at his feet. (This is likely a sign of allergies). Otherwise, he looks good. I put a swab in each ear and hand them off to my technician. We have a good discussion about underlying allergies and what kind of things we can do in the future if things are getting worse. (I decide not to do allergy testing or special hypoallergenic food now because I don't want John's bill to be outrageous. We'll consider those things in the future.) We talk about the type of things that cause infection and what we could do to prevent further ones. Ten minutes later, my technician tells me that the ears have yeast and cocci (bacteria). She takes Andy to the back to thoroughly clean his ears. We send him home with some medication to put in the ears twice a day and instructions to come back and see me in a few weeks.

Here are the costs for the visit, along with an explanation:

Office visit: $68.00


What you're paying for: The most important part of the office visit is the time and expertise of the veterinarian. In that 20-minute time period, the vet will examine the pet, make a diagnosis and share valuable information with you. I have had clients say things like, "I knew there was an ear infection! I didn't need you to tell me that. I just needed medication." But it's the vet's experience that tells us how long we need to treat for, what medication is best, whether or not there are ear mites, whether we need to treat one ear or both, whether there is possibly a resistant type of bacteria present, whether the ear drum is intact (because if not, then regular ear medications could be dangerous) and whether there is an underlying problem such as allergies or a thyroid condition.

This charge also covers the time that I take to make notes in your file. Did you know that almost everything that is discussed and done in your office visit is documented? This is often one of the most time consuming parts of the visit for the veterinarian.

Cytology: $31.00


What you're paying for: This is a lab test where we take the debris from the ear, put it on a slide, stain it and look at it under the microscope. Some clients will say, "Just give me the medicine that worked last time. I don't need a test." But this test tells me a lot. It usually tells me which medicine is best. It also tells me the severity. If I see a mild amount of bacteria I may just treat for 10 days. If I see lots, I could treat for 3 weeks. If I see rod bacteria, then I'm suspicious I'm dealing with a nasty Pseudomonas infection and I know that I should be doing additional tests such as culturing the ear to find out exactly what the bacteria is and what medication is going to work.

At the recheck exam I do a cytology again and it tells me how well our treatment worked and whether we need to keep going. If we stop too soon then the infection will come back again. Spending a little money now and dealing with the problem properly can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.


Ear cleaning: $28.00

What you're paying for: The expertise of the technician. Cleaning an infected, inflamed ear takes skill and expertise. If the ear is not properly cleaned, then the medicine is not going to work as well. If you don't know what you are doing, then you can damage the ear drum, which is a horrible thing.

Medication: $38.00


What you're paying for: The bulk of this charge is due to the cost of the medication. There is a markup on the cost, because (gasp) we are a business and yes, we do make some money off of medication. There is also a dispensing fee. This is another thing that people will gripe at. "Why charge me to put pills or cream in a bottle and slap a label on it?" The dispensing fee also covers the explanation on how to use the drug and answering questions that you have about it.

Taxes: In my area, the taxes on this bill would be $21.45.


Total: $186.45

What happens when clients can't pay?


This is the part of my job I hate the most. I think every new veterinary graduate goes through a phase where you want to just pay for the bill for anyone who can't afford it so that no animal has to go without help. It truly sucks when an animal needs care but the owner is not able (or not willing) to pay for that care.

So, whose responsibility is it to make sure that that animal gets help? Let's take the above scenario. Let's say the client comes in with a $50 bill in his pocket and says, "Doc, I love my dog so much and I'll do anything for him but all I have is $50. I know you love animals and don't want him to suffer, so please help." What am I to do?

On one hand, I could look at the situation like this:

"Well, what does this actually cost me? The office visit and tests really only cost me time. So, if I just charged for the medication, this dog could have some relief." But, how is that fair to the next person who comes in with a dog with an ear infection? What if I give an inappropriate medication (because I didn't do tests on the ear)? If the dog doesn't improve, is it then my fault? And what happens the next time this dog has a problem? Do I always give this owner a huge discount? What happens when he tells his friends that I gave him a huge discount? I'm sure there will be others who want the same treatment!

Here's another, much more difficult, scenario:


Need life-saving surgery ? but can't afford it!


Susan comes in with her beloved Chihuahua, Peppy. Susan could not afford to spay Peppy and although she tried hard to keep her away from other dogs, a big dog jumped the fence in her yard and bred Peppy. Now, she is pregnant, in labor and struggling. Susan comes in crying. She and I both know that Peppy's going to need a C-Section in order to survive. She has $100 to pay me today. And she promises to pay me $100 per month until the bill is paid off.

A C-Section can cost anywhere from $800 to $2,500 or even more if there are complications. Often, extra staff needs to be brought in and the costs to the clinic are significant. What do I do? What would you do if you were the vet?

Unfortunately, history tells me that if I set up a payment plan, I will not receive any of that money. Susan has good intentions, but good intentions don't pay bills. In 13 years of practice, I have unfortunately been in this situation many, many times. In the past, when I have made arrangements for clients like this, it has been extremely rare that we have received the full payment for the bill. In most cases, we may get one or two payments. We end up spending money on collection agencies to try and get the rest of that payment back but usually it gets written off as bad debt.

So, whose responsibility is it to help the animals in a situation like this? Do I do the surgery, knowing that I will likely not get paid, simply because the dog needs it? (Keep in mind that a situation like this can happen several times per week in a veterinary hospital. Where do we draw the line?) Do I send the dog away and tell her to come back when she has the money?

Can you see why I hate this part of my job?

What can be done?

There are options for people who are in a difficult situation like this. These options are not always what the client wants to hear, but we have to set some limits. The first thing I do is give the client the option of using Medicard or Care Credit. These are financing agencies that will give you a loan to help you pay a veterinary bill. I hear the cries now: "I don't want to pay interest!" "I have bad credit ... I won't get approved."

If a client's credit rating is not good enough to be approved for one of these loans, then I ask the client to find a family member or friend who would be willing to lend them the money. Sometimes this is a solution.

But what happens when you have bad credit and no family or friends at all to help? If this is the case, then why should the veterinarian pay for your pet's treatment? If your children are hungry and you can't afford groceries, is it the responsibility of the grocery store to pay for their food?

Organizations


Sometimes, we can draw on charity help in situations like this. In Ontario, where I practice, we have something called the
Farley Foundation. This organization will give us up to $500 per year to help pay the veterinary bill of someone who has a documented disability. Five hundred dollars is not a lot, but it can help. I get to use this once a year. It's often tough to choose which client gets the help.

Before my mom succumbed to cancer in 2001, she went to the veterinary hospital where I had worked in high school and asked if she could set up a fund to help people who had trouble paying their vet bills. (She did this because when I was growing up, we struggled to pay our veterinary bills. She didn't want others to be in that situation.) When she died, instead of asking people to donate to the cancer society, she asked for donations to the fund in her name at the animal hospital. This helped many animals and, to this day, people still contribute to this fund in order to help more pets. But, again, this can go only so far.

I have compiled a list of similar charities that help as much as they can. You can find this list here:
organizations that help with veterinary bills. If you know of other organizations that do this, then leave me a comment and I will add them to the list.

Humane societies and the SPCA

If an animal is suffering and needs care, in many areas an option is to take them to the local humane society or SPCA. In the case of the dog needing a C-Section this is likely what I would have suggested. Many times the humane society or SPCA will take in the pet and do whatever medical care is necessary. The unfortunate thing is that in many cases, you will need to sign the pet over to the care of the shelter and you may not get them back.

Conclusion

Oh, how I wish that I could do my job and not care about how much things cost! For those of you reading this, I would highly advise that you look into getting pet insurance to cover you in case you find yourself in a financial bind. Or, if you are an organized person, put some money aside each month in an account for your pet.

I sympathize with you on how expensive veterinary bills are. It would be so wonderful, as a vet, to be able to practice and make decisions for animals based on what they need rather than what their owners can afford (or are willing to pay). I do all I can to work with my clients' budgets and to do the best for their pets. But, sometimes we do face difficult situations!

March, 2012

Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware

Click here for addtional information.

 

 

December, 2011

Preparing Your Pet for the Holidays

As we prepare for our holiday trips and gatherings, remember to plan ahead for your pet as well. Traveling with pets, hiring a petsitter or boarding your pet requires advanced planning for the best outcome during the holidays. If you are hosting visitors in your home, take precautions to keep everyone safe and happy during their stay.

 

If you are planning to fly with your pet, check with your airline regarding health certificates for flight as well as what is required by your destination locale. If traveling within a state, only the airline requirements need to be met. If you are traveling to another state or internationally, check with the USDA for pet travel requirements by state or country at www.aphis.usda.gov. Most airlines require an examination by a veterinarian within 10 days of travel. A health certificate stating that your pet is in good health and able to travel within given temperature boundaries and is up to date on vaccinations will be issued by a veterinarian accredited with the USDA. If your pet is flying with you in the airline cabin, you may want to consider a sedative if your flight is long or your pet is very vocal. If your pet is flying as cargo, be aware that that environmental temperatures need to be taken into account. If the weather is expected to be extreme at either end of your journey, your pet may not be allowed to fly if the airline cannot protect them adequately from exposure to adverse weather. You must provide a secure crate and water if your pet is flying as cargo. If your pet is extremely anxious or adept at escape, you may want to consider leaving them at home.

 

If you are traveling by car, make sure your pet is confined to a crate or using a seat belt. Most cats and dogs travel well in the car. Some, however, do get motion-sickness or anxious. Putting your pet in the rear seat or floorboard, closest to the center of gravity and away from windows will reduce anxiety and motion-sickness. There are medications for motion-sickness that can be used for both cats and dogs. Contact your veterinarian for their recommendation.

 

If you will be leaving your pet at home with a petsitter or a boarding kennel, advance planning will prevent you from having to leave them with an unfamiliar person or kennel. Scheduling well in advance of your travel dates will give you time to find an appropriate setting and to meet any requirements needed, such as vaccinations. Visiting several kennels in your area will help you find a place that is right for you and your pet. Many doggy day care facilities also provide boarding. There are feline only kennels for cats that are unfamiliar with dogs. Most kennels have vaccine requirements. Call your veterinarian to verify that your pet complies with your kennel's requirements. Remember that it takes about 2 weeks for vaccines to produce an immune response in your pet; vaccinating upon entrance to the kennel will not provide protection for your pet.

 

If you prefer to have a petsitter stay with your pet at home, call early to schedule. Good, reliable petsitters are booked well in advance, especially on holidays. If you are using a petsitter for the first time, ask our friends and family for referrals. Arrange a meeting with more than one candidate to find someone you are comfortable with. Some petsitters will "housesit", others will come by as often as you feel is necessary to check on your pet. It takes time to find someone that you will feel comfortable with and that you trust with your home and companion. Your veterinarian can make referrals for kennels and petsitters. Your veterinarian may offer boarding services as well.

 

If you are planning to have guests in your home, think seriously about the impact guests will have you your family and your pets. Some pets do very well with company and are genial and gracious companions. Other pets can be anxious and scared or overly boisterous with guests. Make sure your pets can be isolated away from guests as needed. You may want to consider boarding if your pet will be distressed by guests in your home. Advise guests not to feed your pets without your consent. Making guidelines for guests to follow regarding handling, feeding or exercising your pets will make for a safer less stressful visit.

 

Remember to start planning early to avoid having to make decisions regarding your pets that will make you uncomfortable and less able to enjoy your holiday season.

 

 

 

October, 2011

 

Halloween Tips for Your Pets

 

The Doctors and Staff at Washington Park Veterinary Clinic wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season! Halloween begins the festivities and New Year's Day ends the season. We send out the following tips to help you keep your pets safe this season and throughout the year.

Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is, the less it takes to cause problems in your pet. If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, contact us immediately or call your emergency vet right away because your pet's life may be in danger: Excessive drooling or urination, pupil dilation, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures.

 

 

Candies or gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs and cats.

 Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur. Please call us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you have questions about possible toxicity. Remember that popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed. Corn cobs are common foreign objects retrieved surgically from intestines any time year.

 

Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage.

  

Take young childrens candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can't get into the trash. When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound on sidewalks and streets after holidays.

 

 

Make sure costumes arent annoying or unsafe for your pet.

  

It should not constrict the animals movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana. Take a close look at your pets costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet leading to injury. Halloween can be a frightening time for family pets. Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a firm grip on the leash many dogs are frightened by people in costumes. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters. If your dog has nay aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive. All but the most social dogs and cats be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

 

 

 

 

Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs.

 

When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesnt dart outside. Many pets get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars. Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in case someone accidentally lets your pet out of the place where hes confined. If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on leash. Keep all cats indoors

.

Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag. Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

 

Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. Contact us if your pet is lost, sick, or if you have questions or concerns about coping with the holiday season.

 

 

September, 2011

 

WPVC will be discontinuing Pet Portals.

 

Washington Park Veterinary Clinic is very proud of our commitment to good customer service. Many of you have given great feedback on our services and have helped us improve our website. As a part of moving in the technology age, we joined Pet Portals by Vetstreet. Pet Portals allows individual access to your Washington Park Veterinary Clinic account. You can see when your pets have been in, when they might need to come back and allows you to download vaccine history as needed for boarding kennels or daycare. We have been happy with this service until recently.

 

Vetstreet has been purchased by a large veterinary corporation. We are concerned that private information may be sold to other corporations or used to mass market this corporation's clinics and services. Washington Park Veterinary Clinic has been confident about the safety of your information and ours until now. For this reason, we have elected to discontinue Pet Portals. (effective September 30, 2011)

 

We are actively pursuing alternative services, so that we can continue to provide our clients with access to their pet's records without concern for loss of privacy. For now, you may request email reminders and can communicate with us via email at washingtonpark@msn.com. We apologize for any inconvenience this change may cause. Please do contact us as needed to update your pet's records, to schedule appointments or to request email reminders.

 

 

 

June, 2011

Purina Recalls Limited Number of Dry Cat Food Bags Due to a Potential Health Risk!

 

Nestlé Purina PetCare Company (NPPC) is voluntarily recalling approximately 870 bags of dry cat food shipped to Colorado, Idaho and Oregon. This is being done as a precautionary measure, as the product has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Only the following products with both the "Best By" date and production codes shown are included in this voluntary recall:

 

Product Name Bag Size "Best By" Date & Production Code* Bag UPC Code
Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food 6.3 lb. AUG 2012 10331083 13 17800 11320
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food 3.15 lb. AUG 2012 10381083 06 50000 08450
Friskies Grillers Blend Dry Cat Food 16 lb. AUG 2012 10381083 06 50000 57578

                                                                  * "Best By" Date and Production Code is found on the back or bottom of the bag.

 

 

The bags of dry cat food in this recall were distributed in error in February, 2011 to a small number of customers in Colorado, Idaho and Oregon, which may have further distributed the product to other Western states. There have been no consumer complaints and no reports of illness. No additional Purina cat or dog products are involved. Only products which match the "Best By" date and production codes above are involved.

 

Consumers who have purchased any of these dry cat food products with these "Best By" Dates and Production Codes should discard it.

 

For further information or to obtain a product refund, please call NPPC toll-free at 1-800-982-6559 weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Central Time, or visit www.purina.com.

 

June, 2011

What about Cats?

Denver is often referred to as a "Dog Town". Not necessarily including those little rodents digging holes in our open spaces! We Denverites, love our dogs. What about cats?

 

The good news is" We Love cats too! Many households have cats and dogs as family members, but some people just love cats. Cats make great pets for city dwellers. They are adaptable, easy keepers and good companions. No, cats are not small dogs. The people who say they don't care for cats have usually not had one as a pet. Cats have been somewhat maligned for their aloof personalty or spiteful behavior. Again, cats are not small dogs. Each cat is an individual and their personalities are as varied as the people we know. So, don't stereotype cats.

 

 

For those who know and live with cats, remember that cats need health care just like a dog. An annual veterinary examination, vaccinations, blood tests and fecal parasite check are important for every cat. Cats that live or go outside, are more at risk than cats who live exclusively indoors, but all cats are at risk for disease and parasites.

 

A good quality diet, both canned and dry food, should be provided daily. Having one bowl for each cat rather than one communal bowl is helpful to keep body weight in the normal range and to prevent negative interactions between cats at the food bowl. Especially in our dry climate. , the extra moisture provided by canned food is important for cats. Increasing water consumption by using a fountain-type water bowl works well with cats. They prefer running water rather than pooled water as in a regular water bowl. Providing a litter pan for each cat in the household helps prevent "spiteful" activity that can be associated with cats. Using clumping litter and cleaning frequently is the best way to manage inappropriate eliminations by cats. Try not to put multiple litter pans in the same area of the house. Litter pans should be spread out in different areas of the house in order to allow each cat some privacy in the pan without interruption by another cat.

 

Just like dogs, some cats will eat things they should not eat. In particular, string, rubber bands or other linear objects are favorites of cats. Once the string is swallowed, it can lodge under the tongue or in the stomach or intestines and cause serious damage. So, choose toys wisely and if a string is attached us it only with supervision and put it away when you are not home.

 

If your cat is indoors only, make sure doors and windows are secure, so your friend stays at home. Remember to microchip your cat for identification as collars and tags are easily lost. If your cat is lost, check at any local shelters frequently, check with your neighbors and local veterinary clinics. Check garages and basements and sheds as well, not just yours? check at the neighbors too.

 

 

 

Cats make great pets! Check with your veterinarian and local shelters to find a cat friend to share your life with. You'll be glad your did!

 

May, 2011

 

Appointment Policy

 

To ensure the most efficient scheduling possible, WPVC books appointments Monday - Friday from 8am. - 2pm., and 3:00pm. - 6:20pm. Saturday from 8am. - 11:20am. It is highly recommended that clients call in advance to schedule routine visits such as annual exams, vaccinations, and health certification for travel. Regularly scheduled appointments allow our staff to maintain an on-time schedule, while handling the needs of hospitalized patients and client requests in an efficient and organized manner.

 

However, even though we prefer to see clients by appointment, we will see walk-in clients as long as they understand that they will need to be worked into our current schedule. Walk-In appointments will be charged an additional $17.50 to the price of a scheduled examination, and may need to wait as those clients with emergencies and scheduled appointments will have priority.

 

Walk in emergencies during normal business hours will be seen immediately! We ask that clients that have a scheduled appointment be understanding when emergencies disrupt our appointment schedule.


 

May, 2011

 

Saving George

 

No one can resist the sweet longing eyes of a puppy, especially one that doesn't feel well and needs a home.


 

When Megan Weber saw George at Denver Municipal Animal Shelter (DMAS) she was unable to resist his sweet face and knew she had to help him. George, a one- year- old, blonde and brown Pekingese mix, was initially lined up for adoption with the Colorado Animal Welfare League (CAWL), but was taken off the adoption list at DMAS because he was too ill to adopt out. This status did not discourage Megan, but only empowered her to "rally the troops" to raise the money needed to adopt George and get him veterinary care ASAP.

 

On April 19th George was released to Megan and she took him directly to Washington Park Veterinary Clinic to begin the aggressive treatment he desperately needed. Dr. Karen Jones-Diller, DVM, owner of WPVC, began treating George for severe vomiting and diarrhea. George proved to be a fighter and after a week of continuous treatment and diagnostics, which even included a plasma transfusion, he was finally well enough for release on April 25th.

 

During George's stay at WPVC, he touched the lives of everyone around him. Megan continued to raise awareness and support for George by offering a link for friends to "chip-in" on Facebook and creating a video depicting George's story. By the time George was well enough to go "home," Megan's efforts had paid off and she was able to find him several candidates for a permanent home. The doctors, technicians and staff who played a pivotal role in George's recovery were sad to see him leave the clinic, but were all pleased to send him off with a big grin and a wagging tail.

 

See George's fundraising website!


 

May, 2011

 

Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal disease in dogs.

 

It is caused by a blood-borne parasite called Dirofilaria immitis. Heartworms are found in the heart and adjacent large blood vessels of infected dogs. The female worm is 6 to 14 inches long. The male is about half the size of the female. One dog may have as many as 300 worms.

 

Adult heartworms live in the heart and pulmonary arteries of infected dogs. The have been found in other areas of the body, but this is unusual. They live up to five years and, during this time, the female produces millions of offspring called microfilaria. These microfilaria live mainly in the small vessels of the bloodstream. The immature heartworms cannot complete their life cycle in the dog. The mosquito is required for some stages of the heartworm life cycle. The microfilaria are not infective (cannot grow to adulthood) in the dog - although they do cause problems.

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

 

The most obvious signs are a soft, dry cough, shortness of breath, weakness, nervousness, listlessness, and loss of stamina. All of these signs are most noticeable following exercise, when some dogs may even faint. Listening to the chest with a stethoscope will often reveal abnormal lung and heart sounds. In advanced cases, congestive heart failure may be apparent and the abdomen and legs will swell from fluid accumulation. There may also be evidence of weight loss, poor condition, and anemia. Severely infected dogs may die suddenly during exercise or excitement.

 

Microfilariae (young heartworms): Microfilariae circulate throughout the body but remain primarily in the small blood vessels. Because they are as wide as the small vessels, they may block blood flow in these vessels. The body cells being supplied by these vessels are deprived of the nutrients and oxygen normally supplied by the blood. The lungs and liver are primarily affected.

 

Destruction of lung tissue leads to coughing. Cirrhosis of the liver causes jaundice, anemia, and general weakness because this organ is essential in maintaining a healthy animal. There is some risk involved in treating dogs with heartworms, although fatalities are rare. In the past, the drug used to treat heartworms contained arsenic, so toxic effects and reactions occurred more frequently. A newer drug is now available that does not have the toxic side-effects, and allowing successful treatment of more than 95% of dogs with heartworms.

 

With warmer weather upon us, heartworm season is here. Wherever mosquitoes are found, dogs and cats are at risk of picking up heartworms and should be on a heartworm control program. As with most diseases, heartworms are much easier to prevent than to treat.

At WPVC, we carry Heartgard Plus. It is safe and effective at preventing heartworms, and will also eliminate pre-existing populations of roundworms and hookworms as well as reduce the incidence of re-infection by these parasites. We recommend Heartgard Plus be used year round to preventparasite problems.

 

If your dog is a collie or other herding breed, please check with your veterinarian before starting

any heartworm preventative.

 

We carry Revolution for cats. Cats can be hosts for heartworms as well. Any outside cat should be protected from heartworms, fleas, and other parasites with Revolution.

 

Before giving any preventive medication, a quick and simple blood test will be done to determine if your pet is already infected. Pets that have consistently been on a preventative program should be rechecked every year.

 

Now is the time to begin heartworm prevention. Please call to set up a pre-screen Heartworm test.

 

April 2011

 

Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware

 

 

Click here for addtional information.

 

 

December 16, 2010

 

Winterizing Your Pets


Winter has finally arrived in Denver! Some of us are elated to be preparing for skiing, snowboarding and ice skating, while others are snuggling in for a long winter nap. Our pets are similar to us, some love winter weather and others would rather stay inside. Here are a few tips to keep pets safe and healthy during the colder season.

 

If the temperature is too cold for you, your pets will be cold too. Keep pets inside as much as possible. If your pet lives outside, be sure to provide shelter from the snow and wind. Shelters may need extra insulation such as blankets inside or a tarp on top to keep your pet warm. Some dogs, such as Husky, Malamute or Saint Bernard, love cold weather and are well insulated on their own. Some small, short-coated breeds such as Dachshund, Beagle or Chihuahua, may need an extra protection like a coat or sweater to make them more comfortable in cold weather. Be sure that coats and sweaters fit well. If your dog goes with you for winter sports, watch for signs of hypothermia such as shaking, burrowing in the snow, slow movements or disorientation.

 

Cats that live outside will often curl up inside the car hood to keep warm. Remember to bang on the hood or honk the horn before you turn the key if your cat or wildlife may be sheltering there. Cats will need a box or house to shelter in even on a covered porch or inside your garage. Remember to remove ice from water bowls that are outside.

 

Pocket pets and reptiles will also need extra warmth in the winter. An additional light source or a move to a warmer room for winter will keep these pets from trying to hibernate during the winter months. Birds also need to have added warmth from a light source or be placed in a warm room. A heavier cage cover at night and avoiding drafts are helpful to keep your bird healthy and happy.

 

Be sure to keep your pet away from ice/snow melt products, antifreeze and windshield fluid. These products can cause serious health problems in your pets. Use a warm, wet washcloth to clean your pets feet when your pet comes indoors from outside. Washing will prevent your pet from licking product off its feet and melt ice from between toes and keep slush off your floors. Antifreeze will cause kidney failure if ingested. Antifreeze taste sweet and animals will drink it readily. Be sure to clean up any spills in your driveway or garage. If your pet ingests antifreeze, it is a medical emergency. The sooner a pet is treated for antifreeze ingestion, the better its chances for survival.

 

As you prepare for the season of winter sports and happy holidays, keep your companions warm and dry to insure they will continue to celebrate all seasons with you for years to come.

 

 

 

December 14, 2010

Holiday Safety Tips

With the Holiday season around the corner, WPVC would like to point out these common-sense cautions that will help keep your pets safe this time of year. We want the holidays to be a happy time for you and your pet, not a time for an emergency visit to your veterinarian.

 

Holiday foods we enjoy can be a problem for your pet. Alcoholic beverages, fatty food scraps and bones can be harmful or toxic. Keep your pet on his regular diet and caution visitors against giving your pet "special treats." The artificial sweetener xylitol, which is present in some chewing gum, breath mints, candy, can be very toxic to dogs.

 

Those decorations may look nice, but ribbons, yarn, tinsel, and string can cause intestinal obstruction and bunching of the intestine along the length of the string. These conditions require expensive surgery and can often be fatal. Keep wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations out of reach of your pets. If chewed, your pet could experience damage to his mouth from shards of glass or plastic, or receive a possibly life-threatening electrical shock. If you will be decorating a live tree this year, remember to cover your tree stand with a tree skirt to prevent you pet from drinking the water in the base. The liquid and various additives can make your pet sick.

 

Forget the Mistletoe & Holly. Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems, and many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.

 

WPVC wishes your family a Happy and Safe Holiday Season! For more information, please visit our Pet Library or give us a call.

 

 

 

 

October 13, 2010

Recall issued of certain Blue Buffalo dog foods.

By: Jennifer Fiala
For The VIN News Service

The makers of Blue Buffalo pet foods are recalling certain lots of the companys Wilderness Chicken-Dog, Basics Salmon-Dog and Large Breed Adult Dog products due to fears that the food may contain higher levels of vitamin D than are specified.

Product involved:

4.5-, 11- and 24-pound bags of Blue Wilderness Chicken dry dog food with best-if-used-by dates of JUL1211B, JUL1311B, JUL2611Z, JUL2711Z and JUL2811Z;
11- and 24-pound bags of Blue Basics Salmon and Potato Recipe dry dog food with best-if-used-by dates of AUG2111B and AUG2211B;
30-pound bags of Blue Large Breed Adult Chicken dry dog food with best-if-used-by dates of SEP 22 11 P, SEP 23 11 P, OCT 26 11 P.

In a news release issued on Friday to the Associated Press, Blue Buffalos Richard MacLean, vice president of business affairs, instructs owners with dogs that show signs of lethargy or exhibit unusually frequent water consumption or urination to immediately contact a veterinarian.

In all cases the symptoms have subsided upon discontinuing feeding these products with no apparent long-term health consequences,the release states.

Consumers who have incurred expenses for veterinary services and/or laboratory testing fees related to the recalled products can call the Blue Buffalo customer service department at (877) 523-9114 for reimbursement.

 

 

October 12, 2010

Howl-0-Ween Festival. The Doctors and Staff at Washington Park Veterinary Clinic invite you to join us at the diagonal at Washington Park on Saturday, October 23, 2010 from 11am. to 4pm. for the first annual Howl-O-Ween Festival.

Here are some of the festivities that will take place: Silent auction, trick or treating (for your furry friends), doggie costume contest, vendors with lots of goodies, games for your furry and non furry kids, adoptable dogs, and much more! The proceeds will go to local animal rescue groups.

WPVC will have a booth at the festival, this would be a great time to meet with the Doctors and staff. We look forward to meeting you and your furry friends.

 

 

  

 

September 28, 2010

Halloween Tips for Your Pets

The Doctors and Staff at Washington Park Veterinary Clinic wish you and your family a safe and happy holiday season! Halloween begins the festivities and New Years Day ends the season. We send out the following tips to help you keep your pets safe this season and throughout the year.

Explain to everyone in your home (including kids) how dangerous treats are to pets. Keep dogs out of the candy bowl. Chocolate in all forms, especially dark or baking chocolate can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Chocolate contains theobromine, which can cause nerve damage and even death in dogs. The darker the chocolate, the more concentrated it is, the less it takes to cause problems in your pet. If you notice these symptoms of chocolate poisoning, contact us immediately or call your emergency vet right away because your pets life may be in danger:

Excessive drooling or urination, pupil dilation, rapid heartbeat, vomiting and diarrhea, hyperactivity, muscle tremors and seizures.


Candies or gum containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can be poisonous to dogs and cats. Even small amounts of xylitol sweetener can cause a sudden drop in blood sugar, which leads to depression, lack of coordination and seizures. In cases of significantly low blood sugar, liver failure has been known to occur. Please call us or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 if you have questions about possible toxicity. Remember that popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered nontoxic, yet they can produce gastrointestinal upset should pets ingest them. Intestinal blockage could even occur if large pieces are swallowed. Corn cobs are common foreign objects retrieved surgically from intestines any time year.

Ingesting tin foil and cellophane candy wrappers can pose a choking hazard or cause intestinal blockage. Take young childrens candy supply and put it somewhere out of reach of pets. Caution children about leaving candy wrappers on the floor. Dispose of candy wrappers before your pets get to them, since the wrappers can cause choking or intestinal obstruction. Make sure the dogs can't get into the trash. When walking dogs during or after Halloween, watch carefully for what they might pick up and choke on. Bits of candy and wrappers abound on sidewalks and streets after holidays.

Make sure costumes arent annoying or unsafe for your pet. It should not constrict the animals movement or hearing, or impede his ability to breathe, bark or meow. Also try on costumes before the big night. If your pet seems distressed, allergic or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting him go au natural or donning a festive bandana. Take a close look at your pets costume and make sure it does not have small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that he could choke on. Also, ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet leading to injury. Halloween can be a frightening time for family pets. Walk your dog before trick-or-treaters start their visits. Keep a firm grip on the leash many dogs are frightened by people in costumes. Many dogs will run after trick-or-treaters. If your dog has nay aggressive tendencies, fear of loud noises or a habit of excessive barking, place him in a quiet room as far away from your front door as possible at least a half-hour before trick-or-treaters arrive. All but the most social dogs and cats be kept in a separate room away from the front door during peak trick-or-treat visiting hours. Too many strangers can be scary and stressful for pets.

Find a secure place in your home to keep your dogs, especially if youre giving out candy to trick-or-treaters. When opening the door for trick-or-treaters, take care that your cat or dog doesnt dart outside. Many pets get loose when the door opens, and the presence of little (and big) costumed people often scares animals, increasing the chance dogs will run away or get hit by cars. Place a dog gate in front of your front door to block access in case someone accidentally lets your pet out of the place where hes confined. If you want to have your dog near the door to greet visitors, keep him on leash. Keep all cats indoors.

Make sure your pet is wearing an up-to-date I.D. tag. Always make sure your dog or cat has proper identification. If for any reason your pet escapes and becomes lost, a collar and tags and/or a microchip can increase the chances that he or she will be returned to you.

Pets can become very stressed by holiday activities and unwelcome interruptions in routine. Contact us if your pet is lost, sick, or if you have questions or concerns about coping with the holiday season.

 

 


June 24, 2010

Manage your pets health online with Pet Portals. Pet Portals are secure, private pet health websites that give you direct access to manage your pets health 24/7. We are happy to offer pet portals free of charge to all clients who have an active email address.

What can you do with your Pet Portal?

View pet information, receive vaccination and appointment reminders, receive important medical alerts and clinic news, order prescription and food refills, post photos of your pets, create and print instructions for pet sitters, access reliable information on a wide range of pet health topics, print proof of vaccination for boarding, ask questions or communicate your concerns via Pet Mail, an easy to use messaging system monitored by our staff Monday - Friday, request appointments, and much more.

How do you get a Pet Portal?

Call or visit our clinic and give the receptionist your email address, then visit our web page and click on the Pet Portal link on left side of the page. From there, you can set up your Pet Portal account and we will email you a password. Its that simple.

 

 

May 18, 2010

In celebration of the new Animal Rescue: Adopt a Shelter Pet stamps, the Postal Service, together with Ellen DeGeneres and Halo: Purely for Pets, is giving shelter pets around the country a First-Class Meal. During the launch of the stamps, Halo will be donating a million meals to animal shelters around the country.

We want more Americans to know about the millions of shelter pets that need good homes. Nearly half of the animals that enter animal shelters are euthanized. Many of these cats and dogs would have made a wonderful pet...if only given the chance. You can make a difference. Adopt a pet, volunteer at a shelter, or just get the word out by buying these stamps.

This campaign continues the Postal Service's 50+ year tradition of raising awareness of serious social issues with special commemorative stamps. The 44-cent stamps feature photos of five cats and five dogs who were all adopted from shelters. Stamps To The Rescue

 

 

March 30, 2010

Early Detection Program at WPVC

Your pet cant talk and often shows no sign when something is wrong. So how do you know? Early Detection is not one test, a series of tests or just one visit. Its a new way of caring for your pet, just like human medicine allows us to care for ourselves. Medical advancements enable your doctor to diagnose potential diseases before they become a serious issue including heartworm, thyroid disease and intestinal parasites. With current medical testing and technology, you can protect your pets like never before. By following our simple program, many diseases can be detected early. Catching a disease early can make all the difference, adding years to your pets life.

Did you know?

If detected early, 75% of common diseases in dogs and 63% of common diseases in cats can be prevented by dietary modifications alone over a one year period?

Kidney disease is one of the major causes of illness and death in dogs and cats, but symptoms do not usually appear until 2/3 of kidney function has been lost? If caught early, the animal can live with this condition for many years.

If a liver problem is detected at an early stage of the disease and is administered proper treatment, the chance of your pets recovery is in your favor.

Early detection of diabetes is extremely important because an early therapy regimen can be more effective and easier on the animal. Detecting and monitoring diabetes early can also prevent damage to other organs.

 

 

March 25, 2010

With warmer weather upon us, heartworm season is here. Wherever mosquitoes are found, dogs and cats are at risk of picking up heartworms and should be on a heartworm control program. As with most diseases, heartworms are much easier to prevent than to treat.

At WPVC, we carry Heartgard Plus. It is safe and effective at preventing heartworms, and will also eliminate pre-existing populations of roundworms and hookworms as well as reduce the incidence of re-infection by these parasites. We recommend Heartgard Plus be used year round to prevent parasite problems. If your dog is a collie or other herding breed, please check with your veterinarian before starting any heartworm preventative.


Before giving any preventive medication, a quick and simple blood test will be done to determine if your pet is already infected. Pets that have consistently been on a preventative program should be rechecked every year. If a pet is found to have heartworms, treatment to eliminate the worms is available, but it is very difficult and can be quite harsh.

 

We carry Revolution for cats. Cats can be hosts for heartworms as well. Any outside cat should be protected from heartworms, fleas, and other parasites with Revolution.

Now is the time to begin heartworm prevention. Please call to set up a pre-screen Heartworm test.

 

 

 

 

March 23, 2010


Be prepared for Flea & Tick season. Fleas and ticks can bring diseases into your home. The season begins when the temperature rises above freezing, which can occur all year long in Colorado.

We do have fleas in Colorado! Because of the dry climate; we may not have the same degree of flea infestations as our neighboring states, but in only takes one flea to begin an infestation of your home. Ticks are a concern for every Colorado pet owner. Many of us are very active with our pets, taking them hiking, biking & camping. The bite of a tick or flea is irritating and may cause an allergic reaction. Ticks can carry and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease, Erlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

The best time to apply topical flea and tick control is before these pests become a problem. At WPVC, we carry Frontline Plus. Frontline Plus kills fleas and ticks on your dog or cat and prevents re-infestation. Be sure to purchase the appropriate size for your pet and apply according to the directions. Remember, cats are not small dogs. Do not interchange cat and dog products.

Buy 6 and get one dose free...! Up to a $15 value. Click here for more information and a rebate form. Offer good till 12/31/2010.

 

 

March 23, 2010

Vaccination against Giardia is no longer available at WPVC. The vaccine has been discontinued and will not be re-introduced by another manufacturer.

Giardia is a protozoan parasite found in many Colorado lakes, streams and ponds. Animals at risk of acquiring Giardia are: outdoor dogs and cats that swim or drink from a contaminated water source.

Symptoms begin with diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. Giardiasis is diagnosed by performing a microscopic examination on a small amount of fresh stool. Giardiasis is treatable. If you have questions regarding Giardia and Treatment please give us a call or visit the Pet Library at our website.

 

 

 

March 10, 2010

You and your dog are cordially invited to participate in this year's Furry Scurry. If you have never attended, you will be amazed. It is the largest and best walk for animals in the country and Denver Dumb Friends League's largest fundraiser of the year. On the first Saturday in May, a sea of smiling pet lovers, nearly 5,000 in all, and their canine pals will gather at 9 a.m. to step out for two miles around the perimeter of Denver's beautiful Washington Park. After the walk, they and thousands more will enjoy shopping, eating and dog-watching. This fundraiser helps the DDFL care for more than 25,000 homeless pets every year and provides a valuable service to our community. Register today..!

 

 

 

February, 2010


Keep pets' choppers in tip-top shape to protect their health

By Val Willingham, CNN Medical Producer
February 1, 2010 8:53 a.m. EST

http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/02/01/pet.teeth.care/index.html


 

 

January, 2010


As many of you are aware, Dr. Dawn Metzger sold Washington Park Veterinary Clinic to Dr. Karen Jones-Diller in August 2008. Dr. Dawn has been planning her retirement since the sale. She has been gradually reducing her days at the clinic, and is now retiring as of February 20, 2010. This is an exciting new phase of her life. While we are sad to see her go, we look forward to hearing of her new adventures. Please plan to attend an open house retirement party for Dr. Dawn on Saturday February 27, 2010 from 2 p.m. until 6 p.m. Hors doeuvers and beverages will be served. If you cannot attend, please send any correspondence to Washington Park Veterinary Clinic and we will forward it to Dr. Dawn. On another sad note, our technician, Renee Haynes will be moving to Utah to care for her brother and his family. We are sad to lose her, but recognize her need to be with her family.

 

 

 

January, 2010


Canine Influenza is similar to flu in humans. Fever, cough, runny nose and lethargy are common symptoms. Dogs at highest risk for€ flu are dogs that go to daycare routinely, board or go to dog shows or agility trials frequently. Recent media attention is focused on the new Canine Influenza vaccine. WPVC along with AAHA & AVMA consider this vaccine a non-core vaccine. This means that not all dogs need this vaccine. The vaccine may reduce the risks associated with influenza, but may not stop your dog from getting the flu altogether. Some boarding kennels are requiring this vaccine in order to have dogs stay in their facilities. Please visit our website or call us for more information on whether your dog should have the influenza vaccine. If your kennel requires the vaccine, please contact us for an appointment.

 

 

 

January, 2010


Swine flu (H1N1) has been contracted by a few cats, ferrets and dogs in the United States and Colorado. If anyone in your household has the swine flu, treat your pets as you would any unaffected person in your household. Isolate your pets from the sick person in your household. Keep your clothing and hands clean when petting, feeding or watering animals. Wash your pets bedding and dishes frequently. If your pets exhibit flu symptoms, please call us to schedule an appointment.

 

 

 

January, 2010


Vetsulin PZI Insulin recall. Vetsulin may cause unregulated blood glucose and hypoglycemia in some pets. Production of Vetsulin has slowed while the company investigates the problem. The manufacture of Vetsulin may be discontinued. We have a number of patients that have been using Vetsulin for some time. We are transitioning cats to a new PZI insulin or to Lantus (Glargine insulin). There is no new PZI product labeled for use in dogs, so we are transitioning to NPH insulin, which is a human product. If you have questions regarding Vetsulin or transitioning your pet to another insulin product, please call to schedule an appointment with Dr. Jones or Dr. Lin.

 

 

 

January, 2010


Early Detection Labwork packages are being offered in 2010. Antech Laboratory is bundling many of the laboratory procedures that we have always recommended such as complete blood counts, chemistry profiles, heartworm blood test and fecal parasite screens. These packages are offered at special pricing to benefit your pets. Please ask any staff member or veterinarian to explain which package is best for your pet.

 

 

 

December, 2009

Saturday office hours are here..!
At WPVC, we understand just how hectic and busy your week can be. With work, traffic, school, children & family, it is often difficult for many of us to find or make the time to bring in our beloved companions for the care they deserve. In our effort to make life a little bit easier for you, WPVC will be re-opening its doors for Saturday appointments.
We are now open for Saturday appointment from 8am. To 12pm. These will fill up fast, so book your appointment soon.