Did you know that approximately 80% of adult dogs and 70% of adult cats have some form of oral disease? Dental problems are among the top three pet owner concerns in dogs and cats. There are many misconceptions about how to provide good oral care to your pets. Here is a list of the most common myths that people believe about their pets dental health.
1. White teeth equal a healthy mouth
Not necessarily. The health of the gums is more important than the color of the teeth. Red swollen gums are a sign that INFECTION is lurking below the gumline. This infection can lead to bad breath, tooth loss, and heart, liver and kidney disease in pets. The best way to ensure that every pet has a healthy mouth is to perform a regular oral examination and professional tooth cleaning procedure on at least an annual basis.
2. Bad breath is normal in pets
Not true. Bad breath is an indicator of an infected mouth. The odor is often caused by the by-products of the bacteria in the mouth that form plaque and lead to dental disease. If the pet has halitosis it is time for thorough dental exam and cleaning procedure.
3. Anesthesia is scary so non-anesthetic dental cleaning is the way to go
Yes, there is always a risk when an animal is anesthetized, however a thorough pre-op examination and blood work along with individualized anesthetic protocols and monitoring puts the pet at lesser risk during anesthesia. An anesthesia-free dental cleaning provides no benefit to the pet’s oral health. Scaling or scraping the teeth with an instrument only makes a tooth whiter in appearance. Think of the tooth an iceberg, we only see about 1/3 of the tooth with the remaining 2/3 below the gumline. The bacteria below the gumline quickly become pathologic and begin to destroy the tissues surrounding the tooth. It is not possible to eliminate bacteria beneath the gumline where damage is done.
See more: Pet periodontal disease
4. Tooth brushing is too hard and my pet hates it and it really doesn’t help anyway
While not all pets are willing to accept tooth brushing it is the gold standard for good oral care. It does take time to train the pet to accept tooth brushing. Make sure to have a detailed demonstration for the pet owner such as this: Start slow with your finger and some pet toothpaste. Hold the muzzle with one hand and gently insert your finger between the cheek and the teeth and “brush” the teeth. Reward the pet with his favorite treat, praise or game when he accepts the brushing! You may need to do this every day for a week to ensure your pet learns that it’s ok! Once the pet accepts your finger then begin using toothbrush, but introduce it slowly over several days. You only need to brush the outside of the teeth. Pets keep the inside of the teeth very clean on their own. Only brush the teeth you want to keep! 😉
- Watch this video for SouthCare’s tutorial on “How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth”
- If your pet isn’t a fan of brushing – you can opt for the next best thing. Oral Cleansing Wipes, may be better tolerated by your pet. Watch this tutorial from SouthCare to learn more!
5. Feeding a hard kibble will keep my pets teeth clean
False – most dogs and cats actually swallow their kibble whole therefore getting no dental benefit. Even if the pet chews the kibble, the kibble is too hard and breaks apart when the tooth hits it and offers no benefit. There are dental diets that are specifically designed to solve this problem. The kibble is larger, softer and is comprised a fiber matrix that allows the tooth to penetrate the kibble, thus wiping the plaque off the tooth.
6. Bones, chew toys and tennis balls will help keep his teeth clean
While your dog will love you for the bone, his teeth may not. The dogs jaw does not shift side to side like a humans therefore when they chow down on a bone they often fracture the carnassial teeth. These fractured teeth hurt and can lead to infections and abscess if left untreated. A good rule of thumb when choosing a chew toy is if you can’t easily bend it with your hands or if you wouldn’t want to be hit in the knee with it, don’t give it to your pet. Wild dogs and wolves often have multiple fractures in their mouths due to chewing on bones.
Playing fetch with a tennis ball is a great way to bond with your pet but put the ball away when done. The rough surface of the tennis ball can lead to abrasion, wearing away the enamel or surface of the teeth over time. Dogs who constantly chew on tennis balls often have severely worn teeth that can lead to a very painful tooth.
7. Dogs and cats don’t feel pain!
Our pets can’t tell us about the pain they feel and they often want us to be happy so they mask the pain. An infected mouth or a fractured tooth hurt and require treatment. Pets need to eat to stay alive so they will often figure out a way to do so that causes the least amount of pain. Ask the client if they have noticed their pet dropping food or only chewing on one side of the mouth, if they have there may be a problem.
8. I don’t see the mouth so it doesn’t bother me if it’s not pretty
Pets with dental disease have an INFECTION! Would you leave an infected ear untreated or a sore toe untreated? This infection is in the oral cavity and every time that animal chews bacteria is being released into the bloodstream. The bacteria can have a detrimental effect on the heart, liver and kidney. There are even new studies linking joint issues to the oral cavity.
9. Oral disease is an inevitable part of aging
False – If a pet receives good oral home care and routine professional cleanings they are much less likely to develop dental disease as they age. Studies have shown that good oral care can add an average of 2 years to the life of your pet. Just as age is not a disease, dental disease does not have to be an issue in aging pets.
10. How can I know if a dental product will actually work for my pet?
The Veterinary Oral Health Council gives dental products a seal of approval for either plaque reduction or tartar reduction. The VOHC exists to recognize products that meet pre-set standards of plaque and calculus (tartar) retardation in dogs and cats. Products that are awarded the VOHC Seal of Acceptance have been proven to work based on scientific studies and protocols. VOHC.org
Mary L. Berg, BS, RVT, RLATG, VTS (Dentistry)
Beyond the Crown Veterinary Education
Pavilica, Z., Petelin, M., Juntes, P, Erszen ,D., Crossley, DA, Skaleric, U, “Periodontal Disease Burden and Pathological Changes in Organs of Dogs.” J Vet Dent 2008 Jun:25(2):97-105.
DeBowes LJ: The effects of dental disease on systemic disease. Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract 28:1057. 1998
Debowes, LJ, Mosier, D. Association of periodontal disease and histologic lesions in multiple organs from 45 dogs. J Vet Dent 1996; 12: 57–60.
Glickman LT, Glickman NW, Moore GE, Goldstein GS, Lewis HB. Evaluation of the risk of endocarditis and other cardiovascular events on the basis of the severity of periodontal disease in dogs. JAVMA 234(4):486-494, 2009
Maresz, KJ, etal, “Prophyromonas gingivalis facilitates the development and progression of destructive arthritis through its unique bacterial peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD)” . PLos Pathog. 2013 Sep;9(9):e 1003627
Tang, Q, Fu H, Qin B, etal,”A possible link between rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis: A systemic Review and Meta-analysis.” Int. J Periodontics Restorative Dent 2017, Jan/Feb, 37(1):79-96
Some of you may have already asked yourself this question, or maybe even wondered if acupuncture is a valid treatment option. I mean, it’s a little out there, right? Does it actually help? Hopefully the following post will help answer some of these questions, and give you the information you need to decide if acupuncture would fit into your pet’s already established treatment regimen.
Veterinary acupuncture has likely been around for the same amount of time as human acupuncture, which is over 1000 years! In the US, veterinary acupuncture has been practiced for several decades. There is more than one school of thought regarding how acupuncture points are chosen. Dr. Patterson was trained in the neurophysiology based method, which means the points are chosen based on the physical issues present e.g. nerve dysfunction, arthritic pain, gastrointestinal issues, etc.
As with human acupuncture, our goals with veterinary acupuncture are to decrease pain, & increase mobility and comfort in our patients. We use it to treat pain from arthritis or soft tissue injuries, and to help increase nerve function in animals that may have spinal cord diseases or neuropathies. It can also be used to treat certain kidney or digestive disorders, or in conjunction with laser therapy to help with wound healing.
Does it seem impossible to perform acupuncture on a cat or dog (or any other animal for that matter!)? After all, they would probably rather be anywhere else than an exam room getting poked with needles! Luckily those pesky needles are quite small, about the size of a human hair, and flexible, therefore many patients barely register them. We also offer our patients snacks like baby food, peanut butter, and other yummy treats to keep them occupied while the needles are being placed and stimulated. We also try to have our sessions in a non-clinical area, one that is comfortable for both the patient and owner.
Acupuncture is a treatment modality that works best when administered routinely. For example, an ideal acupuncture treatment regimen might look something like this: you and your pet come in for an initial evaluation and discussion about your main concerns and goals. This includes an appointment with the veterinarian, who will do a physical exam on your pet and determine how acupuncture may benefit your pet; the first session will also take place. Then, we schedule weekly sessions for at least 3 weeks. By that time, we will be able to determine how your pet is responding to the treatment.
As with any treatment, human or veterinary, each individual patient will respond, well, individually. While most patients are quite happy and cooperative during the acupuncture sessions, there are those who are too worried or uncomfortable to allow the treatment to occur. In that case, we will discuss other treatment options that best fit with your pet’s current status.
Acupuncture could be a wonderful adjunct to your pet’s already established treatment routine. Please feel free to call and chat with Dr. Patterson if you have any questions!
For more information, check out the links below!
The holiday season is, once again, upon us. Family members may come from all corners of the globe to celebrate with us. Fido may also enjoy this time – not only are there extra pats on the head to go around, but there may be extra bits of dropped food too! We all want to snuggle on the couch with our pets. At times it might be safer for our pets to be entertained with snacks that keep them busy instead of under your feet in the kitchen.
If you would like to include your pet in the festivities, there are safe and healthy ways to do it. A favorite trick of ours is to stuff a rubber pet toy with treats and let your critters lick it out. Kongs along with West Paw Toppl, Qwizl and Tux toys are great options. We do offer these toys in our clinic, if you would like to check them out. If your pets are skilled at treat extraction from the toys you can pop them in the freezer to harden the goodies. This way your pet will have to try extra hard (and will take a bit longer) to get the treat.
What stuff should you stuff with? A classic favorite is peanut butter, pay close attention to make sure that your brand does not contain xylitol which is toxic to pets. For cat toys, tuna is extra stinky and tasty for them. If your pet is on a specialized prescription diet, a wet version of this food could be used. Both cats and dogs will appreciate meat flavored baby foods too! During the holiday season people are treated with extra special home-made foods. Why shouldn’t your pets be treated to the same delights?
Here’s a list of holiday recipes for our furry family members:
Pumpkin Pie Smoothies
1 cup plain Greek yogurt
½ cup pumpkin puree
½ cup unsweetened applesauce
In a medium bowl, combine yogurt, pumpkin puree and applesauce until mixed thoroughly. Spoon into your favorite dog toy and wrap in cling wrap. Place in the freezer for roughly 4 hours, or until frozen solid. When ready, remove the cling wrap and let your pet enjoy!
Roasted Turkey & Cranberry Stuffing
6 oz roasted boneless turkey
½ cup chopped carrot
½ cup quinoa flour
1/8 cup dried cranberries (this can be optional for our feline friends)
Blend turkey, carrot, quinoa flour and cranberries in a food processor. Roll the doughy mixture into 1-2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes and allow to cool. Place your stuffing balls into your pets’ toy. Depending on the size of your toy, you can seal up the opening with a glaze of peanut butter to make sure your balls don’t roll right out.
Sweet Potato Cookies
1 large cooked sweet potato
½ cup quinoa flour
½ tablespoon vegetable oil
In a medium bowl, mix banana, sweet potato and vegetable oil until well blended. Mix in quinoa flour until well blended. Drop dough by rounded teaspoons onto a cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. Cool completely and serve in a toy or give as is.
Thanksgiving / Holiday leftovers!
Great options include:
Things to avoid:
Xylitol – sugar substitute
Foods high in fat – bacon, etc.
Simply combine all the tiny bits of leftovers and stuff them into your pets’ toy. Wrap in cling wrap and freeze. Unwrap and serve to your pets that need a bit of distraction during the bustling holiday season.
The best part about these recipes, they only take minutes to prepare! A spoiled pet and no food waste make for a happy holiday season!
Halloween can be a fun time for kiddos, but a potential stressful time for our critters.
Doorbell ringing, knocks on the door, strange people in even stranger looking masks – can be scary!
Here are some tips to help keep your beloved pets safe.
Stash the Treats Safely Away
Kids love to stash candy in their rooms, but dogs are quick to sniff out all the good hiding spots. Explain to your children that Fluffy would like to snack on the treats and putting them somewhere safe is best. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for cats and dogs. Sugar-free candies containing the sugar substitute xylitol can also cause serious problems in pets.
If you suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call SouthCare or the ASPCA Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435 immediately.
Watch the Decorations and Keep Wires Out of Reach
While a carved jack-o-lantern certainly is festive, pets can easily knock over a lit pumpkin and start a fire. Curious kittens are especially at risk of getting burned or singed by candle flame. Glow sticks are used to help keep kids safe while they are out in the dark. Pets (especially cats) find these glow sticks to be a lot of fun as well, and we commonly get calls about pets puncturing the sticks. While most of them are labeled as non-toxic, they do have an extremely bitter taste. We will often see pets who bite into them drooling and racing around the house. A little treat or sip of milk will usually stop the taste reaction.
Be Careful with those Costumes For some pets, wearing a costume may cause undue stress. The ASPCA recommends that you don’t put your dog or cat in a costume unless you know he or she loves it. If you do dress up your pet for Halloween, make sure the costume does not limit his or her movement, sight or ability to breathe, bark or meow. Check the costume carefully for small, dangling or easily chewed-off pieces that could present a choking hazard. Ill-fitting outfits can get twisted on external objects or your pet, leading to injury. Be sure to have your pet try on the costume before the big night. If he or she seems distressed or shows abnormal behavior, consider letting your pet wear his or her “birthday suit” or don a festive bandana instead.
Keep Pets Calm and Easily Identifiable
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. While opening the door for guests, be sure that your dog or cat doesn’t dart outside. If your pooch is lucky enough to join in on the trick-or-treating route, make sure your pet is having as much fun as you are. There are a lot of extra people on the streets at Halloween, and that combined with strange costumes can spook pets and cause them to bolt. If you take your pet out after dark, make sure he or she wears a reflective collar and is securely leashed. ALWAYS make sure your pet is wearing proper identification—if for any reason he or she does escape, a collar with ID tags and/or a microchip can be a lifesaver for a lost pet.
“Those dang yellow jackets!” This is a phrase you don’t want to hear at your barbecue. You may have noticed this has been a particularly bad year for wasps. The western yellow jacket [Vespula pensylvanica] is native throughout most of the western United States. This type of wasp can be aggressive and usually show up in August and September. During the spring and early summer months yellow jackets pollinate gardens and feed on caterpillars, aphids and other insects. As food sources dwindle they become extremely aggressive in search of sugary or protein rich foods- the hot dogs and sodas of your summer barbecue’s. This taste for protein makes them unique in the insect world.
They make their homes in vacant cavities. This can include cavities of building or underground in abandoned rodent burrows, depending on the species. These pests can pack a painful sting, and for those that are allergic, these encounters could be life threatening. Yellow jackets are slow to sting but are also quite territorial. If the entrance to their nest is approached they will become very aggressive with each wasp able to sting multiple times.
A recent study published in the International Journal of Pest Management by the University of California Department of Entomology had introduced a new way of controlling these pests. Fipronil, which is the active ingredient in some topical flea and tick products for our pets can be used as an effective bait. Frontline is one brand of a fipronil based product you may have used on your pets.
In this 3 yearlong study yellow jacket colonies were greatly reduced. This works similarly to baiting traps you can purchase in stores. The foraging wasps bring fipronil laced meats back to the colony where it kills off the queen and other workers that snack on the bait. The smaller the size of proteins used allowed for small and easy to carry chunks to be brought back to the colony. This study also found that wasps have a preference of chicken or fish compared to other meats. Wet cat food makes a perfect carrier for fipronil!
If you’re finding your backyard barbecue being inundated with yellow jackets you could try what Dr. Benoit has done for us here at SouthCare Animal Medical Center. Take a small amount of cat food and mix in a few drops of Frontline. Place this high up where pets and children are not able to reach and wait for the yellow jackets to come. Over time this can help greatly reduce the number of colonies present around your home.
Porcupines are the 3rd largest rodent in America, second only to the beaver. Porcupines can be active during the day or night. They can be found lumbering on the ground and perched high in trees – searching for leafy forage. They are slow moving herbivores with few natural predators. Cougars and fisher weasels are the only ones are known to regularly prey on porcupines. If a threat gets too close a porcupine may spin around and swing its tail at a predator. If this doesn’t do the trick, they may start to lunge backwards at the aggressor.
North American porcupines have three types of hair on their bodies. Underfur, which is short and soft. Guards hairs that give porcupines their cute fluffy appearance. Then, the infamous quills – which can be over 12 inches long. Painful going in, but the quills can be even more painful when coming out. This is due to the barbs on the tips of the quills. These tiny barbs help the quills stay fixed in flesh and drive them deeper with every movement. These barbs also render the quills four times harder to pull out once embedded.
Sticky situation. The tiny barbs (top) coating the tips of the quills from North American porcupines (bottom) make it more difficult to extract a quill from flesh, but they also help the quill penetrate the fleshAs the weather warms up and more of our pets are out and about, encounters with these prickly creatures tend to increase. If your dog or other pet has been a victim of a porcupine you should consider having a veterinarian remove the quills.
Only remove the quills if there are less than 10 and are not embedded in the mouth, throat or eyes. Be mindful that the quills can be brittle and break off still within the flesh. Due to the discomfort caused by the barbs during removal, even the sweetest dog can bite. Do not attempt to muzzle your dog – there may be quills within the mouth or airway. Another factor to consider is, quill removal may be traumatizing for some pets. If you attempt to remove quills on your own only to find Fido is not having any part of this- they can be more anxious when they come to the vet.
When you’ve discovered your pet has had an encounter with a porcupine bring them to the vet immediately. Frequently quills can penetrate through the eyelids and into the eye. If your pet attempted to bite the porcupine, quills can also be found in the gums, tongue and down the throat – which can obstruct breathing. The paws will likely have quills in them as your pet attempted to remove the quills in their face.
When they arrive at our hospital we will sedate or possibly anesthetize them and remove the quills. Sedation is required to make sure your pet is not experiencing pain during the procedure. This also allows us to completely check over the entire body and within the mouth. Despite all efforts, there is still a small chance a quill tip could be embedded below the surface of the skin. Over the next few weeks continue to monitor your pet far any signs of pain, areas of redness or swelling. A small portion of a quill may need to be removed and your pet possibly require antibiotics.
Do not assume that your pet has “learned their lesson” after a porcupine encounter. Many dogs will be treated for porcupine quills more than one time. Porcupines are solitary creatures that live in rocky dens or in trees. If an encounter occurred at your home – check under decks, crawl spaces or downed logs, these may be areas for a den. Keep your pet on a leash if not under voice command if you are in known porcupine territories. Minimizing encounters is the best way to protect your pet from the pain of quill removal. Porcupines are not aggressive and would much rather saunter up a tree to eat some leaves, not have a standoff with your dog.
As the human flu season thankfully fades into our rear view mirror, I thought I would write a quick note on Canine Influenza, or Dog Flu. The Dog Flu is relatively new to the US, and there are two common strains seen H3N2 which is a variant of avian flu from Hong Kong, and H3N8 which has equine origin.
Dog flu has been isolated in nearly every state, see our Dog Flu Outbreak Map. The majority of dogs in the country are naïve to the viruses, so virtually all dogs exposed will become infected.
Dogs who are infected with the flu will present with fever, sneezing, nasal discharge, coughing, decreased appetite and lethargy. Though the disease is very rarely fatal, mortality rate between 1%-8% have been reported in puppies and elderly populations of dogs.
Dog Flu is spread through direct contact, through coughing and sneezing, and can be transferred through things such as clothing.
There are very effective vaccines available for the Dog Flu. At SouthCare we now offer the bivalent flu vaccine [which covers both strains of the flu]. Two vaccines spaced 2-3 weeks apart are required for good protection, and the pet is adequately protected about 7 days after the final vaccine.
Dog Flu has not yet made it’s way to Spokane, but recent outbreaks have been reported in Idaho, Oregon, and California. As of January 22nd 2018, four dogs have tested positive from a kennel in Kent, WA – these pets were not vaccinated for the Dog Flu. We want dog owners to be prepared, as if and when it does arrive, it is expected to travel through the at risk population rather quickly.
Not every dog is at high risk. Click here to see a life style based calculator to help you determine if your pet is at risk.
Generally we feel that these dogs are at higher risk:
• Dogs who travel to dog shows, agility events, or hunting trials.
• Dogs who frequent dog parks
• Dogs who are boarded often or attend doggie daycare.
If you are unsure whether your pet is at risk, or wish to schedule vaccinations please contact us. 509-448-4480
It is not a core vaccination, such as rabies, so you should not assume your dog has had the vaccine.
What dogs are at risk?
We recommend the vaccine for dogs who:
**Go to Dog Daycare
**Go to Dog Parks
**Go to Boarding Kennels, Dog Shows/Events and Grooming Facilities.
If you feel your dog is at risk or if you aren’t sure about your dog’s risk, feel free to call us for more information or to schedule an appointment.
If you’re concerned that your pet may be exhibiting any respiratory signs – coughing or sneezing, or if you think your pet may have been exposed to any type of respiratory infection – call us. If you are able, please call us prior to bringing your pet in the hospital, or when you arrive. When you arrive for your appointment we are happy to come out to your car. We prefer to have an exam room ready for you and your pet, to minimize possible exposure to other patients if warranted.
In-Home Euthanasia Services
We understand that facing the loss, or euthanasia of a pet can be difficult, which is why we are here to assist you in choosing the best option that is right for you and your pet. In-home euthanasia and hospice care services can be provided during your family’s time of need. There are some questions that you may be facing.
– Should I pursue treatment for my pet? If so, for how long?
– Will my pet significantly benefit from treatment or suffer more?
– Am I able to properly care for my pet during this time?
– When should I consider euthanasia?
We understand that these questions may be difficult to answer, and therefore we are here to provide assistance.
A common question we hear when someone is trying to decide if it’s time to say goodbye to their beloved pet is “how will I know?” Some furry family members make it very clear to their owners when it is time. Other pets may try to hang in as long as possible for their family. In either scenario, there are questions that you can ask to help your family reach a decision.
– Is your pet experiencing chronic pain that can no longer be controlled with medication?
– Is your pet having frequent vomiting or diarrhea that is causing significant dehydration or weight loss?
– Have they stopped eating / drinking, or will only eat if being force fed?
– Are they incontinent to the degree that they frequently soil themselves?
– Has he or she lost all interest in the usual “fun” activities (walks, toys, soliciting pets)?
– Is your pet no longer able to walk, or frequently falls down when trying to walk?
– Is he or she having labored breathing or coughing?
– Does your pet have a loss of quality of life?
If you still are unsure, additional tips and questions to ask can be found here: Making the Euthanasia Decision
Below is a description of the process of an appointment, and options, for euthanasia with us at SouthCare:
Once your family has decided it is time to say goodbye, we offer a few options to best suit your situation.
In hospital euthanasia can be done based you and your pet’s needs.
-If the family would like to remain with your pet, we are able to provide an attended euthanasia.
-If you do not wish to be present during this procedure, we can admit your pet, without judgement, to our hospital and our doctors and staff will compassionately care for them.
Plenty of kisses are always provided to each patient.
In-home euthanasia can be provided for those that wish to keep their pet in a familiar environment. At SouthCare we provide in home services to multiple locations. Please call to confirm that your home is within our service area. In the event we are not able to provide services at your location, we will refer you to a doctor that is best suited to your area. SouthCare End of Life Services
In-home euthanasia appointments:
• You and your family have made the decision to say goodbye to your beloved furry family member.
• Please give us a call so that we can have you speak with a doctor and figure out the day and time best suited for your situation. If you choose to have your pet cremated, we will go over the options at this time.
• The day before your appointment, we will contact you to confirm the appointment time. We will also contact you the day of the appointment to collect payment over the phone.
• Our doctor and technician will arrive at your home and answer any remaining questions that you may have. Your family may wish to say goodbye in a special room in the home, or outside with plenty of cheeseburgers – this is all up to you.
• We are happy to accommodate your family’s needs for the appointment; however, our staff may make recommendations to help make your appointment peaceful.
The process of a peaceful passing:
In most cases, your pet will be given an injection to calm them down and/or relive any discomfort. After your pet is relaxed and comfortable our technician will place an IV catheter.
When your family is ready, the euthanasia solution will be given. Usually within 6-12 seconds after the solution is injected your pet will take a slightly deeper breath, then go into what looks like a deep sleep. This is a painless, and fast acting procedure.
The doctor will listen to the heart and let you know your pet has passed away. If you would like to spend a few moments alone with your pet, we will give you the time that you need.
If you have chosen to have your pet cremated our staff will respectfully bring the deceased pet with them. We will contact you when we receive the ashes back, if you wish to keep them. In some cases, the cremation facility may pick up the pet directly from your home immediately following the appointment – this will be relayed to you prior to our arrival.
Coping with the loss of your loved one:
The loss of a beloved pet companion can be just as hard as losing a human friend or family member. Sometimes pets are all the family that some people have had. There may have been a deep bond between human and pet and each truly loved and cherished each other. It is just as important to take care of yourself when a pet dies as when you lose a human family member – even more so because non pet owners might not understand your grief.
One way to take care of yourself is to make a memorial.
A memorial is a wonderful way to remember a lost pet. It is a place to keep alive the memory of your special bond with your pet. A memory page helps with the grieving process. We make it easy to make an online memorial. All you need to do is click here to get started.
We also offer an Online Pet Loss Library. There are many articles written by grief professionals that will address many of the questions you may have when dealing with the loss of a pet. It also offers stories and articles for others who have experienced a similar loss. Visit our Pet Loss Library.
There are times when we just need someone to talk to. WSU provides a free Pet Loss Hotline. Volunteers provide compassionate support to help those thought the death or impending death of a pet. They can be reached Mon-Thur 7p-9p & Sat 1p-3p: 1-866-266-8635.
We understand that this is a difficult, and special time for your family. We aim to provide a calm, peaceful opportunity to say goodbye to your pet in the comfort of your own home. Every pet that we allow to pass on is treated with the respect that they deserve. If you have any questions for us, please contact us 509-448-4480.
Thursday, September 28th 2017 – The day when the nations of the world make a commitment to eliminate rabies by 2030. World Rabies Day is the first and only global day of action and awareness for rabies prevention. A common goal of zero deaths from canine rabies by 2030 was agreed on by the World Health Orginization, World Organisation for Animal Health, UN Food and Agriculture Organization and the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. It is now up to all of us to make this goal possible.
Some may ask, why focus on rabies when there are other life threatening diseases in the world? Rabies is 100% preventable, and 99.9% fatal once symptoms manifest. Every 15 minutes a human dies from rabies – that is over 59,000 people a year. It is also called the “forgotten disease of the poor”, a disease where no one lives to tell the tale. 95% of deaths occur in Africa and Asia, many of those lives lost are children under the age of 15. Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing nearly all cases of transmission – these dogs could be domestic pets, or feral packs. Source: WHO
In rural remote areas communities may have domestic dogs that are cared for by one family or the community. As children play with their dogs or neighbor dogs, a bite or scratch may occur. This may happen for a number of reasons – the children startled the dogs, or were stuck in the middle of a fight, possibly feral packs may move through the area and bite a pet dog. Once a child is bitten the family must make a decision, fast.
- Was there a chance this bite could have been from a dog that carries rabies?
- Can the family afford to pay for post-exposure prophylaxis [PEP]? The cost is $100, which is 3 MONTHS salary.
- If a family can gather enough funding to pay for the PEP, can they find transport to a clinic on the day the child was bitten?
If a parent is not able to afford the treatment, or find transportation, then a difficult choice must be made.
The family must take the risk and hope the dog that bit the child, was not infected. Then, the family must wait 4-12 weeks to see if thier child develops any neurological symptoms. However, the incubation period can range from a few days to six years. If thier child starts to have flu-like symptoms such a fever or weakness, it is too late. Their child will die from rabies, and there is nothing that can be done.
The saddest part of this story, it was 100% preventable. Once 70% of dogs in a region are vaccinated “herd immunity” is reached. At this level of vaccination coverage, the virus is unable to spread in a dog population that has immune protection, and it eventually dies out.
How do we, as a global community, prevent these deaths caused by rabies? It starts with working with local veterinarians teamed up with various organizations. These groups: WSU Paul G. Allen School for Global Health, Merck Animal Health, World Organisation for Animal Health – are only a few that have helped to end rabies now. You combine this with game changing discoveries such as thermo-tolerant vaccines which allows delivery to remote, underserved communities.
These teams travel to the areas most affected, in Africa and Asia. Doctors and support staff go to the schools and educate the children on the importance of vaccination, and notify them when vaccination clinics will be held. The children then educate their parents, the parents teach their neighbors until the community as a whole is reached. Then small teams travel to these rural locations and vaccinate the pets of the community. We reach 70% heard immunity and eradicate rabies in one village, and go to the next village, and the next village, and the next one. We end rabies NOW.
At SouthCare Animal Medical Center we help you and your pets fight against this terrible disease. With EVERY rabies vaccine we give, we donate $1 to the WSU Eliminate Rabies Fund. You and your pets are saving lives by simply receiving the vaccines that they would be already be getting. If you choose, you can also donate to the Eliminate Rabies Fund by clicking here.
If you would like to help by vaccinating your pet you can schedule an appointment with us online here: SouthCare Appointment Request
We would love to see you and help eliminate rabies by 2030!