Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Ruby/Cooper Holiday Blog


It’s I again, Princess Ruby. Last month I blogged about escaping from Ruby-Traz, which is my version of Alcatraz. Mind you, I do enjoy it here at the clinic. Sometimes I just want to be able to explore what’s on the outside of these walls…and of course taste all of the yummy food the world has to offer! Speaking of food, Thanksgiving has come and gone and do you think I got even a tiny piece of Turkey?!?! Absolutely not! You would think that someone here would have the heart to give this Princess at least a nibble, but, apparently not! It is called ThanksGIVING you know.

We did have a busy November especially with the big wind storm. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago something I believe the humans call a tornado hit around this area. We had several cats and dogs that had to stay with us for shelter. Our awesome staff took them in with open, loving arms while times were rough. The staff helped in trying to find their lost owners. They put pictures and descriptions on Facebook for owners to view. There are still two cats who have not been matched with their owners yet. We aren't sure if they even had a place to call home before the storms, but I do hope that we will find their owners soon. I can barely handle sharing this clinic with Cooper, let alone two more MALE cats!

On a lighter note, Christmas is right around the corner. My favorite holiday, of course!! Everyone here is in the holiday spirit, and not to mention…it’s a time for presents! I feel like I have been an exceptionally good Princess this year. So, I’m sure Santa will bring me lots of goodies.

            “Dear Santa, I like lots of treats! Any kind of treats, lots and lots of treats.”
Well, I should probably get going, Cooper is heading up the….ohh, Cooper, are you ok? He just fell out of the Christmas tree. Silly cat! Every year the technicians tell him not to do that.

Anyway…Merry Cat-mas!



Hello again, folks!
It’s me Cooper, back to spread some joy. The holidays are fast approaching. This is a time when I notice that most people, even the staff here at the clinic, are very distracted. And it's no wonder, with all of the decorating, shopping, and constant holiday bustle that comes with this time of year.
When you come in to visit us during the holiday season, you'll notice that our lobby is filled with festive decor! One of my favorite decorations is the Christmas tree! I love it! So many colors, ribbons, and lights... but every year, when I finally get a chance out of my busy schedule to climb to the top and "inspect" all of the decorations on the tree, it never fails; one of the girls ALWAYS pulls me down and takes me back to the treatment area. I mean, come on, it is my job to make sure everything's in order both in the treatment area and the front; they should know this!
Now, I can understand why they are concerned. Many cats have hurt themselves trying to climb Christmas tree; whether it be from falling, biting into a string of lights, or even ingesting a long piece of ribbon or tinsel. With “normal” cats, an owner has to be very careful to keep these items away, as some Christmas hazards could even be deadly! But the girls shouldn't worry about me. I've had extensive training.
I don't know about you, but we've still got quite a bit to do before Santa comes! Speaking of the jolly big guy; what presents are you hoping for this year? I know what I’m hoping for!! I could really use a new mouse toy and treats, but I have a feeling that all of the techs are conspiring to give me a dental cleaning. Not that I couldn't use one, but really girls... catnip would be appreciated much more.
Well, I better sign off. I hope to see you in the clinic this month!
Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Christmas Pet Safety

“My pet would never eat food off the table!”
“My pet would never knock over the Christmas tree!”
“My pet would never bite someone!”

We all know our pets pretty well, but what we don’t always realize is that stress can make anybody do crazy things! When you have holiday guests or flashing Christmas lights or loud holiday music—or all of the above—at your house all at once, your pet may get stressed and frustrated, causing them to act out in unexpected ways. Most pet accidents are met with the statement, “He’s never done anything like that before!”

We recommend always making sure that your pet has a safe place to sit and relax during your holidays parties. Just like some people, pets need to get away from the action and de-stress, but most of the time they don’t know how to ask for their space. If your pet is comfortable in their crate, we recommend moving it into a quiet room and letting them spend some time resting during your holiday get-togethers. Your pet will be happier, and by extension, you and your guests will be happier! And holidays disasters will be prevented.  

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Cooper & Ruby

Hey, All! It’s Captain Cooper again, signing in for duty. 

Well it’s the month of November and I’m positive that Ruby is the most thrilled about it! There always seems to be a lot of people food and smells around the holidays.  

Although I do think she’s scheming something in that calico head of hers. She has been trying harder than normal to get in the garbage and I was almost certain the Technicians had broken her of that nonsense.

Anyway, as you know I am quite the helper here at Pekin Veterinary Clinic and I spend most of my day on the counter top supervising the Technicians and Veterinarians. We've all got to be on our toes and someone has to whip them into shape. 

I also enjoy sitting on their paperwork or obstructing the view of the computers during working hours; everything must be approved by me, so I find this part of my job very essential.

As I said before, Ruby and I are very anxious for Thanksgiving to get here. 

Many clients and employees bring us treats, but we have found in the past that the Technicians usually get to them first or rudely interrupt our chowing down on the good smelling “people” food; but I’m sure it is meant for us!

Note from Technician:  “Remember, pet owners, be careful around the holidays because the food that tastes good to us also tastes and smells good to your furry family members. The doctors here say you shouldn't treat your pets to a Thanksgiving dinner because changing their regular diet can cause stomach irritation and diarrhea.”

I figured I could let her slip that in for the less sophisticated cats, but I just say that’s what the litter boxes are for!!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Signing out,

Captain Cooper

Monday, November 18, 2013

Zeus’s Story Continued

While Zeus may tell you that his true motivation for getting his entrances and cues spot on during the show is his love of the theater, his mom and dad will say he was purely motivated by treats and extra loving from the cast.

Zeus in Anything Goes
 Once he saw the audience reacting with laughter at some of his antics, he seemed to "ham it up" even more for the crowds. After each show he had the pleasure of going out to greet the audience and it was easy for him to make several new fans. He was even asked for a few autographs which Dad, Jeff Craig, gladly helped him with.

Zeus in Anything Goes
 Zeus's dad has said that he seems to be happiest when he's being held and petted by his fans. He enjoys licking each and every one of them. When not on stage, Zeus is not at all like other "star dogs." He enjoys laying in the back yard, eating treats, chasing his feline sisters, barking at the garbage truck and the deer in his back yard. He is also preparing for his new task of big brother this winter when mom and dad welcome his new baby brother.

 He's an avid Cardinals fan and proudly wears his jersey during playoffs and the World Series. He's taking a break for now, but anxiously awaits his next opportunity to shine under the lights. Keep an eye on our blog for details of any upcoming shows that Zeus might be a part of.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Zeus’s Story PART ONE

Pekin Veterinary Clinic would like to introduce you to Zeus Craig, patient to our vet clinic and proud member of the Craig family. Zeus is a 9-year-old Yorkshire Terrier who is making a name for himself on the stage, but he hasn't always wanted to be a star.  He was originally adopted in Bloomington, IL, but now lives with his mom, dad, and two feline sisters in Marquette Heights.  

 Zeus came upon his acting career by accident. His mom, Erin Craig, was in a production called, "Anything Goes," this past summer at Corn Stock Theater.  As part of the production, they needed a small dog to play the part of Mrs. Hardcourt's pet.  Erin volunteered Zeus for the job.  He appeared in four scenes and even led the way down the ramp onto the stage during one of his appearances.  He became a favorite among theater goers and cast members for his calm demeanor and ability to look cute on cue.

After this production, he was asked to play the part of Toto in the Caterpillar Employees Mixed Chorus fall production of, "The Wizard of Oz."  Zeus literally jumped at the chance to return to the stage.  But this role required much more concentration and flexing of his acting chops.  He not only appeared in more than half of the scenes throughout the show, but he also had to take stage direction, which included eating a treat on cue, and running on and running off stage.  He even had to pretend to fall asleep when the Wicked Witch cast a spell on Dorothy and her friends. 

Please check back to hear what motivates Zeus, our famous companion, and how life is at home with the Craig family. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Case of the Month: Clark PART 3

Urinary blockage is almost exclusively a problem reserved for male cats, and occurs when the urethra becomes obstructed. The urethra is the “tube” that drains urine from the bladder out of the penis, and it is very long and narrow. When the urethra is completely blocked, and the cat has filled his bladder to capacity, his kidneys stop making urine as there is nowhere for it to go. With kidney “shut down” the body is no longer able to remove toxins from the blood or maintain a proper balance of fluids and electrolytes in the body, resulting in kidney failure and eventually death if left untreated.

Initially cats may show signs of urinary tract inflammation, such as straining to urinate, frequent urination, blood in the urine, painful urination, or inappropriate urination (urinating somewhere other than the litter box). Once the cat becomes obstructed (blocked), they may attempt to urinate in the litter box but will produce only drops of urine or no urine at all. They may cry, move restlessly, or hide because of discomfort. Eventually they will lose their appetites, generally begin to vomit, and become lethargic. Complete obstruction can cause kidney failure in as little as 24 hours, and potentially death in as little as 48 hours.

Prognosis for recovery is often excellent if treated appropriately and in time. If sudden kidney failure does develop as a result of the obstruction, it is generally reversible and will get “back in check” with IV fluid therapy support. It is crucial to realize that the cat is at risk for re-blocking for a good week or two from the time of discharge. This is because the irritation syndrome that led to blocking in the first place is still continuing, and as long as the episode continues, blocking is a possibility.

We hope that this case study has been helpful in teaching you about this disease. If you have any questions or concerns about the blog, please do not hesitate to contact us at Pekin Veterinary Clinic. Please check back next month for our November case of the month!!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Case of the Month: Clark PART 2

Each day, Clark became more bright and alert during his stay at Pekin Veterinary Clinic. After days of intravenous (IV) fluids and urine collection, Clark's urinary and IV catheters were removed. We ran more blood work to ensure that Clark's kidney values (BUN and creatinine) had normalized along with his electrolytes. His blood urea nitrogen (BUN) was 14 (normal value 10-30) and creatinine was 1.1 (normal 0.3 - 2.1). Clark's potassium had had also significantly decreased to 4.0 (normal range 3.7 - 5.8). Clark was monitored for the rest of the day to ensure that he could urinate without the assistance of the urinary catheter.

After it was seen that Clark could urinate without assistance, he was sent home to his owner in the afternoon. Medications sent home included a pain medication an an anti-inflammatory medication. Since Clark had struvite crystals in his urine, it is important that he stays on a diet that prevents these stones from forming.

Currently Clark is doing very well at home. He is exclusively eating the Royal Canine S/O diet to prevent the struvite stones from forming in his urine. Clark is adjusting well to being back home and enjoying spending time with his family.

Please check back next week for Part 3 of the case study. In that section, we will discuss what you need to watch for at home to ensure that you recognize signs of this very serious but treatable disease.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Case of the Month: Clark

Clark is a 3-year-old male neutered domestic shorthair cat who presented to the Pekin Veterinary Clinic because he was straining to urinate and the owner was seeing blood in his urine (hematuria). He was also acting like he was in pain and was not eating or drinking at home. On physical examination, Clark's heart rate was greatly increased (tachycardia) and he had a large hard bladder on abdominal palpation. When Clark's abdomen was manipulated, he was extremely painful.
At this time, Clark was taken to our ultrasonography room to assess his bladder on the ultrasound and collect a urine sample by cystocentesis. The ultrasound showed that the bladder was very large, distended and contained a lot of foreign material. The urine sample that was collected revealed that the urine was very bloody and contained an abundance of what appeared to be crystalline material. The urine sample was sent into the laboratory for urinalysis. The urinalysis revealed that the bladder contained crystals (struvite) and blood from the inflammation of the inside of the bladder wall from the crystals.
Clark was in very critical condition, so it was decided between Clark's mom and the veterinarian that he needed to be treated as soon as possible for this condition. We started by collecting Clark's blood and assessing his kidney function and electrolytes. His blood work showed that both of his kidney values were highly elevated. His blood urea nitrogen (BUN) was 119 (normal range 10-30) and his creatinine was 9.8 (normal range 0.3-2.1). The electroyte that was dangerously high was potassium (this is a common bloodwork finding in cats who cannot urinate due to having stones lodged in their urethra).
Clark was immediately anesthetized to relieve his pain and so that we could unblock him by passing a sterile urinary catheter. We needed to unblock Clark as soon as possible to decrease his chance of complications from his condition. These potential complications included: bladder rupture from overextension of the bladder wall, irreversible kidney damage and/or adverse effects on the heart from the high potassium. Once anesthetized, we unblocked Clark's urethra which was blocked with multiple small crystals. After the urinary catheter was placed, we flushed that bladder with a mixture of sterile saline and lubricant to try to remove as many of the crystals from the bladder and urethra as possible.
A sterile urine collection system was placed on the end of Clark's urinary catheter so that his urine output and quality could be assessed. An intravenous catheter was placed in Clark's cephalic vein so that he could receive fluids to correct his electrolyte disorders and flush the kidneys to bring down the elevated kidney values. Clark was given oral pain medications to help keep him comfortable. He was also given an antibiotic to decrease his chances of getting a urinary tract infection as a result of the urinary catheter being placed. Clark rested for the remainder of the afternoon and evening without complication.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Cooper and Ruby

I would like to formally introduce myself. Many of you have had the chance to meet all the doctors and other team members here at Pekin Veterinary Clinic. What most people aren't aware of is; who around here actually keeps the clinic in running order.

That would be me. My name is Cooper. If you've had the luxury of touring my clinic, you've probably noticed a handsome orange tabby cat supervising the technicians and other team members in the treatment area. With so many women in one place, someone has got to keep them in line. Don’t get me wrong; they are all exceptional at their jobs.

Although, sometimes they get too busy, and I have to remind them that dinner is promptly at 4:00 p.m. Well, since I’m such a nice boss and don’t complain, I generally just stare them down and that usually sends that message across. But if that doesn't work, I politely let Ruby ring the dinner bell, since she never misses a meal. Most of the time, you can find me leisurely watching the commotion from the doctor’s desks, but every now and then I like to retreat. I like to get away from it all and spend some time in Dr. Jess’s office or even steal a few moments of music and peace in Tammy’s office on her window sill. It’s truly hard, you know, to keep such a busy clinic running so smoothly.
Signing out, Captain Cooper

Hello. My name is Princess Ruby and I just want to let all my fans know that I didn't always look this good. These crazy people at Pekin Veterinary Clinic gave me a home back in March of 2011. I used to weigh a good 24 ½ lbs, and they thought that was too much for a princess like me to weigh. After some hard work for both me and the team at Pekin Veterinary Clinic, I now weigh 11 pounds and 4 ounces!!! I’d have to say that’s quite the accomplishment. Every woman knows dieting is NOT the most fun thing to do.

Now that I’m at home here, I want to share my daily life, trials of dieting, and how important I am here at the clinic. You see this place wouldn't run as smoothly if it weren't for me. Oh, and there is this annoying orange tabby here, they call him Cooper, and sometimes he thinks he runs this place but we shall see about that…after all, I am the PRINCESS.
We’ll chat again soon, XOXO

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Time to Clean Your Pet's Ears?

Veterinarians see a lot of patients with ear infections. In fact, it's the second most common reason for a client visit, according to pet health insurer, VPI Pet Insurance. With ear problems prompting so many trips to the vet, should ear cleaning be a necessary part of grooming your pet?

Generally, cleaning a dog's ears on a routine basis is not necessary, according to Leonard Jonas, DVM, MS, DACVIM, a veterinarian with Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital in Wheat Ridge, Colo. That's because animals have a naturally occurring self-cleansing process.
"I've had pets my whole life," Jonas said. "I don't remember ever routinely cleaning out their ears."
However, that doesn't mean pet owners should never take notice of their dog's ears. Certain breeds, lifestyles and physical characteristics will make a dog more prone to what Jonas calls "abnormal situations," in which the pet's normal homeostasis is disrupted. This is when something, either systemically or locally in the ear, interferes with the normal surface barrier defense system and the normal cleaning process that keeps bacteria and yeast under control.
There are signs to watch for if your pet is having an issue with its ears. These, according to Jonas, include:
  • Shaking its head
  • Flapping its ears
  • Rubbing at its ears, either with a paw or by rubbing against furniture or carpet
  • Self-massaging the ear to ease itch, pain or irritation
  • Debris and/or redness inside the ear
  • Sores inside the ear
  • Odor in the ear due to abnormal oils and bacteria
"If you [the pet owner] look in the ear, you can see sometimes a lot of debris," said Jonas, explaining what an ear with an infection or problem may look like. "Then [you] see redness on the ear flaps (inside) or sores developing. And then there's also odor that occurs when you have an abnormal ear."
Breeds to watch
There are certain breeds of dogs—such as Shar Peis, bulldogs and poodles—that have narrow ear canals and have a higher chance of incurring ear issues. Poodles, especially, have more hair in the canals, Jonas explained. "The hair itself is not a problem, but if they've got something abnormal with their whole defense system, all that extra hair in there makes it difficult."
Cocker spaniels are notorious for ear problems, Jonas added.
When to clean your pet's ears
According to Jonas, it's best to consult your veterinarian before going forward with an ear-cleaning regimen. Unlike cleaning the teeth, cleaning the ears does not need be done regularly. If a pet owner suspects that something may be wrong with the ear, it's advised to visit the veterinarian and establish whether the dog's ear needs to be cleaned by the owner either routinely or for an instructed period of time.
Cleaning the dog's ears without first seeing a veterinarian is not a good idea, Jonas said, "because you don't know what's going on inside. You don't know if there has been a ruptured ear drum; you don't know if there's a stick or a stone or something stuck down inside the ear that needs to be fished out by a veterinarian."
A veterinarian can diagnose the problem and make the proper recommendations, which may be cleaning and/or medication.
Typically, there are two situations for which a dog's ears would need to be cleaned regularly. The first is when a veterinarian instructs for it to be done, and the second is when the dog is frequently in water. "Water in their ears disrupts the normal defense barrier system in that ear, and can make them prone to getting infections and irritation and inflammation," Jonas said.
If there needs to be ear cleaning
A veterinarian should show the owner how to properly clean the dog's ears because "there are a lot of different techniques, and it depends on what the problem is," Jonas advised.
There are a couple of precautions to always remember, according to Jonas. First, never use a Q-tip, because it tends to push the wax and debris further into the ear. Second, be sure a groomer does not pluck the hair out of the dog's ears, unless that hair is contributing to an ear problem; Jonas believes that doing so may cause irritation.
One thing pet owners should also consider is that if the dog has an ear infection, it could be very painful for them. Forcing the dog to get its ears cleaned or putting medication in them can be a dangerous situation for the owner and the dog.
"If your pet doesn't want you to do it, don't, because it hurts," Jonas said. "You're just going to create a problem, and you need to look to alternatives."

Originally published by Healthy Pet.

Monday, July 22, 2013

North Pekin Fire Department learn Pet CPR at Pekin Veterinary Clinic

 North Pekin Fire Department personnel learn basic pet CPR and how to use a pet oxygen mask kit at the Pekin Veterinary Clinic. The kit was donated to the North Pekin Fire Department by Invisible Fence of Peoria/Bloomington as part of its "Project Breathe", a program which was established with the goal of equipping every fire station in American and Canada with pet oxygen masks. The company has set up a website, www.invisiblefence.com/O2, where people or companies can support the effort.

Proper use of a pet oxygen mask kit is demonstrated by the Pekin Veterinary Clinic. The kit was donated to the North Pekin Fire Department by Invisible Fence of Peoria/Bloomington, and veterinary clinic staff educated fire departemtn personnel about the proper application of the masks. The masks allow firefighters to give oxygen to pets who are suffering from smoke inhalation when they are rescued from fires, often saing pets' lives.

Source: Pekin Daily Times

Monday, July 8, 2013

Dog House Repairs Month

Does your dog have his or her own house? It's Dog House Repairs Month! Make sure that it’s in good shape this summer! Check the interior corners for beehives, and make sure to repair leaks and splinters in the wood.

Monday, June 3, 2013

National Pet Preparedness Month

This month is National Pet Preparedness Month. In order to be sure your pet is prepared for a disaster, make sure your safety kit includes food, water, leash and collar, bowls, pet ID, medications, immunization records, pet carrier, first aid kit, and a contact list for all pet emergency contacts.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

What would you do if…

...your dog ate the bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips that was left out on the kitchen counter?

 ...your cat had a seizure right in front of you?

 ...your dog fell down the stairs and started limping?

 ...your cat was overheating on a hot summer day?

To avoid the feelings of panic that may accompany these situations, we recommend the following steps to better prepare you for a pet medical emergency. The following links summarize the basics you need for giving first aid care to your pet.
Always remember that any first aid administered to your pet should be followed by immediate veterinary care. First aid care is not a substitute for veterinary care, but it may save your pet's life until it receives veterinary treatment.
First aid supplies
Our handy checklist tells you all the supplies you should have on hand for pet first aid. Print out a copy to use for shopping, and keep a copy on your refrigerator or next to the first aid kit for your family, for quick reference in emergencies.
How to handle an injured pet
Knowing how to comfort an injured pet can help minimize your pet's anxiety and also protect you and your family from injury.
Basic pet first aid procedures
Read our simple instructions for providing emergency first aid if your pet is suffering from poisoning, seizures, broken bones, bleeding, burns, shock, heatstroke, choking or other urgent medical problems. Print out a copy to keep with your pet emergency kit.
First aid when traveling with your pet
A few simple steps can better prepare you to help your pet in first aid situations while you are traveling. Remember: pet medical emergencies don't just happen at home.
Pets and disasters
Whether confronted by natural disasters such as hurricanes, or unexpected catastrophes such as a house fire, you need to be prepared to take care of your animals. A pre-determined disaster plan will help you remain calm and think clearly.

Additional pet first aid links

Adapted by an article posted by the AVMA.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

February is Pet Dental Health Month

Did you know that a healthy mouth is a necessary aspect of your pet's overall physical health? February is Pet Dental Health Month and we urge you to bring your pet in for a dental appointment this month! Keep your pets’ mouth fresh and disease free this February!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Winter Pet Safety

If temperatures are dropping and snow is in the forecast in your neck of the woods, the ASPCA recommends the following tips to keep your animal companions safe and sound:
Never let your dog off leash on snow or ice, especially during a snowstorm. Canines may lose their scent in winter weather, and can easily become lost. In fact, more dogs are reported lost during this time of the year than in any other season, so make sure yours always wears proper identification.
Provide your companion animal with a warm place to sleep, far away from drafts and off the floor. Dog and cat beds with a warm blanket or pillow are especially cozy.
Please keep cats inside! Felines who spend time outside can freeze, or become lost or injured. And some outdoor cats seek the warmth under the hoods of cars -- so if there are any such kitties in your neighborhood remember to bang loudly on the hood and wait a few seconds before starting your vehicle.
Wipe off your dog's legs and belly when she comes in out of the elements. This will remove any salt, antifreeze or other harmful chemicals that could hurt your dog should she ingest them when licking her paws.
Puppies can't handle the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be more difficult to housebreak during the winter.