Today is “If Pets Had Thumbs” day.
What would your pet do?
What is laparoscopy? It is a surgical technique using special tools so only small incisions (cuts) are made. The surgery is then performed using a tiny camera and small surgical instruments.
During an ovariohysterectomy (the traditional spay surgical technique) the ovaries, uterus, and cervix are all removed. This differs from the ovarioectomy (the laparoscopic version of the spay surgery), where only the ovaries are removed leaving the uterus and cervix in place. Since we do not remove the uterus and cervix, there is less pulling on the organs and tissues meaning that the procedure is much less painful for your dog. Therefore, healing time is greatly reduced and exercise restriction is decreased from 10-14 days to 24 hours!
Because the uterus and the cervix are left in place, dogs having the laparoscopic spay should not come into contact with any human medications that contain progesterone (like progesterone creams for hot flashes, birth control pills, etc.). Estrogens can still be given (such as DES for urinary incontinence).
Dogs must be over 30 pounds and less than 2 years old to be candidates for this surgical technique. Currently, Dr. Shanks is the only veterinarian here performing laparoscopic spays.
Contact our office if you have questions or to schedule this procedure.
Photo credit: Heather Sikorski
Happy Holidays to our extended VCA North Portland Veterinary Hospital family.
We love our techs! They have a hard, and often gross, job that they love.
Veterinary Technicians wear many hats. They are dental hygienists, anesthesiologists, laboratory technicians, grief counselors, personal trainers, dietitians, pharmasists, groomers, and nurses. They are our behind-the-scenes backbone and we would be lost without them.
Thanks to all of them for being with us.
CAT Adoption Team 2014 fundraising calendars are here! Pick yours up today — if you can’t swing by to do so, they can be ordered online through the CAT Adoption Team’s website.
Purchasing calendars at VCA NPVH costs $10. Ordering online is $12 (the extra $2 are for shipping and handling) via CAT Adoption Team’s secure website. 100% of the proceeds support CAT Adoption Team’s shelter!
Zipper was a one year old kitten when she was rescued. A woman and her husband were driving along and observed some children abusing a black and white scrawny little kitten. They stopped the car – she jumped out – grabbed the kitten – jumped back in and sped off. Unable to keep the kitten she took it to the Oregon Humane Society.
Darlene is a 98 year old woman who has been a lover, rescuer and caregiver to all animals. Over her lifetime she has had many cat/kittens, dog/puppies. When the last of her senior animals had to go over the Rainbow Bridge, she was lonely and went to the Oregon Humane Society to find another cat to keep her company.
At the Oregon Humane Society, Darlene looked and looked to find another furry friend. Finally she saw a skinny black and white kitten sitting quietly on a ledge in the cat room. The Oregon Humane Society attendant set Zipper on Darlene’s lap.
It was mutual love!
And when Darlene heard about how the kitten was rescued she knew she had to take her and give her the best forever home!
So for the last 3 years Darlene and Zipper have had a wonderful relationship. Giving each other love, laughter and undivided attention.
But as Zipper grew into a beautiful healthy strong cat, Darlene’s health deteriorated. Her age has caught up with her. This last summer she needed to go to the hospital because she was getting weaker and unable to care for herself. Now she is in a nursing home.
Zipper and Darlene miss each other very much, but unfortunately their forever relationship has come to an end. Darlene will not be able to stay at her home anymore. Zipper has been staying at our veterinary hospital waiting to find her next forever home.
Zipper is a white and black domestic long hair kitty. She has the cutest markings on her face – she looks like she has a mustache. Her fur is thick and silky.
She does not seem to mind being around dogs but is unsure about other cats.
Belly rubs, being brushed, playing with feathers and balls are her favorite activities. She enjoys limited cuddling and being held.
Her wish is to find another forever home so she can give someone all the love she still has.
Written with love,
Whether you already have a dog and are considering getting a cat, or vice versa, we recommend thinking about first introductions well ahead of time. Set yourself (and your pets) up for success by planning ahead. Use this guide to create a plan that will set your household up for a successful, happy and healthy future!
Matching Cats and Dogs
Consider both animals’ personalities. If you are thinking of getting a cat for your dog, or a dog for your cat, it may be helpful to look for a companion that has already been exposed to the other species in the past. A young cat may be a good fit for an older established dog, where an older resident cat would likely do better with a more mature dog that has lived with cats in the past.
Cats that are likely to run, be they shy and fearful or energetic, pouncy players, are probably not going to be a good fit for a dog who loves to chase things. If your dog plays hard, consider getting an adult cat confident enough to take care of themself, but also interested in play.
If your cat or dog is elderly, laid back, quiet, or anxious, then a calm companion would be best. Avoid rambunctious companions who may annoy, frighten or otherwise bother your existing pet.
Before the first meeting
Create a safe place for your cat to escape to. This should be available to your cat 24/7 where the dog is never allowed. Your cat should not be forced to pass or dodge your dog to get to food and water bowls or litter pans. There should be more than one food bowl and at least a few bowls of water in a variety of locations for your kitty to choose from. Remember that height works well as a space barrier for cats – provide tall places for them to perch above the dog and observe.
Be Prepared to Praise. Have food treats ready for both cat and dog. If your pet is not food motivated then reward them with attention or with their favorite toy. Reward any calm behavior that either pet exhibits.
Exchanging scents. Set up a Feliway diffuser in the cat’s room, and an Adaptil (DAP) diffuser or collar for your dog. Give the dog a toy to play with, let it get good and slobbery, then set it in the cat’s room. If you typically wear scented products, apply some and let it dry, then spend some quality petting time with the cat and the dog separately (creating a household smell).
Previous Training. It helps to have a dog that is already responsive to your commands. Who will “leave it” and “settle” reliably.
Time to explore. Allow each animal to safely and privately explore the other’s space. For example, with the cat closed in their room, allow the dog to explore the rest of the house. Or when you take the dog out for a walk, let the cat explore the area of the house that the dog has been living in.
Timing the meeting. Schedule 5 – 10 minutes for each of the initial interactions. It could take 1 – 2 weeks for the initial introductory period.
Keep your dog restrained. This could be in a crate or on a leash. Let the cat investigate the dog at their leisure. Keep the end of the leash in your hand, but try to maintain slack.
Allow your cat to hide or decline to interact. Just try again another day. If both the cat and the dog ignore each other it should be considered a good thing!
Stay calm. Your pets will feed off of your energy. Don’t overreact if there is any hissing, barking, or growling. Calmly end the introduction session for the day.
Move on to step 3 once both pets are behaving calmly in each other’s company, and are eating, drinking and eliminating normally.
Congratulations! You are almost there. Keep up the good work!
With your dog on a leash, initiate your introductory session as previously. Instruct your dog to “Settle” and release the leash. Be ready with lots of food rewards. Divide your attention and rewards between both pets.
Once you are confident that the two pets get along, you may move on to unsupervised interactions.
If the dog remains overly focused, does not take his eyes off the cat or the door, completely ignores you or lunges suddenly as soon as the cat moves, this is probably a dangerous match. If you are looking for a dog for your resident cat, try another dog. If this is your dog, you should probably not get him a cat.
If at any time the dog lunges toward, growls, snaps at or shows any aggression toward a calm, quiet, still cat, this match will probably not work out. The same holds true if a cat attacks a calm, quiet dog. If you are committed to make the relationship work, you will probably need a professional at this point.
If you are looking for a cat for your dog, and your dog displays questionable behavior around a cat who is growling, hissing and swatting, try again with another, calmer cat. If he continues to display questionable behavior around multiple cats, it is likely he should not live with cats.
If it is your cat who is growling, hissing or swatting, give the cat a break and try again on another day. You might also need to try a different dog. A cat who continually hisses and growls at all types of dogs will likely not want to live with dogs. Your cat may tolerate a dog, but she probably won’t be happy — which is an unfair situation for her.
If the cat stops eating, drinking, using the litter box or visiting with family members, she is not happy. You might want to consider finding a better match or contacting a professional animal behaviorist for advice.
Increased Attacks on Pets have Pet Owners Worried
DoveLewis advises families to pay close attention to small pets after a series of violent raccoon attacks in northeast Portland
PORTLAND, Ore. — The emergency medical staff at DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital is encouraging families to pay close attention to small, outdoor pets this weekend after a series of patients have come to the hospital in need of immediate emergency care after being attacked by wild raccoons.
“When the weather is warm, wild animals and pets often cross paths, sometimes violently, in search of valuable resources,” says Dr. Lee Herold, DoveLewis Chief Medical Officer. “Food and water become scarce in the summer and the lack of resources can lead to an increase in wild animal activity and attacks on pets, even in the most urban areas.”
Four patients have been treated at DoveLewis in the past two weeks for injuries resulting from a raccoon attack – three patients in the last five days alone. All of the patients were outdoor cats living in a three-block radius in the neighborhoods near Grant Park in northeast Portland. Two patients sustained fatal injuries during the attacks.
Dr. Herold warns pet owners that a wild raccoon can and will attack small pets, and while raccoons are most active at night, attacks can happen during the day. The best prevention is to keep pets indoors when unsupervised. If a pet is attacked, pet owners should seek immediate medical attention from a veterinarian. “Raccoon attacks often involve puncture wounds which can be very serious,” says Dr. Herold. “The threat of severe infection and internal tissue and organ damage is high with attack injuries, and any wounds left untreated can quickly result in serious medical complications.”
DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital is open 24 hours a day with certified medical staff available to answer questions at (503) 228-7281.
We found this awesomely informative post on Robin Bennett’s blog. It is so good that we are reposting it here. Please read on about dog body language and how to keep our kids and dogs safe.
**In the article, Robin uses the term “half-moon eye” another name for this warning sign is “whale eye.”
It’s sound advice given frequently: Supervise your dogs and kids while they are together. Breeders warn parents, “Don’t leave the dog alone with children, no matter how friendly the breed.” Veterinarians advise, “Never leave a dog and a child in the same room together.” Dog trainers explain, “All dogs can bite so supervise your dog when you have children over.” Everyone knows the drill. So why doesn’t it work? Why are there an estimated 800,000 Americans seeking medical attention for dog bites each year, with over half of these injuries to children ages 5-9?
The bites are not a result of negligent parents leaving Fido to care for the baby while mom does household chores, oblivious to the needs of her children. In fact, I’ve consulted on hundreds of dog bite cases and 95% of the time the parent was standing within 3 feet of the child watching both child and dog when the child was bitten. Parents are supervising. The problem is not lack of supervision. The problem is no one has taught parents what they should be watching.
Parents generally have not received any education on what constitutes good dog body language and what constitutes an emergency between the dog and the child. Parents generally have no understanding of the predictable series of canine body cues that would indicate a dog might bite. And complicating matters further, most parents get confused by the good intentions of the child and fail to see when a dog is exhibiting signs of stress. The good new is all of this is easy to learn! We can all get better at this.
Here is a simple list to help you improve your supervision skills:
- Watch for loose canine body language. Good dog body language is loose, relaxed, and wiggly. Look for curves in your dog’s body when he is around a child. Stiffening and freezing in a dog are not good. If you see your dog tighten his body, or if he moves from panting to holding his breath (he stops panting), you should intervene. These are early signs that your dog is not comfortable.
- Watch for inappropriate human behavior. Intervene if your child climbs on or attempts to ride your dog. Intervene if your child pulls the ears, yanks the tail, lifts the jowls or otherwise pokes and prods the dog. Don’t marvel that your dog has the patience of Job if he is willing to tolerate these antics. And please don’t videotape it for YouTube! Be thankful your dog has good bite inhibition and intervene before it’s too late.
- Watch for these three really easy to see stress signals in your dog. All of them indicate you should intervene and separate the child and dog:
- Yawning outside the context of waking up
- Half-moon eye – this means you can see the whites of your outer edges of your dog’s eyes.
- Lip licking outside the context of eating food
- Watch for avoidance behaviors. If your dog moves away from a child, intervene to prevent the child from following the dog. A dog that chooses to move away is making a great choice. He’s saying, “I don’t really want to be bothered, so I’ll go away.” However, when you fail to support his great choice and allow your child to continue to follow him, it’s likely the dog’s next choice will be, “Since I can’t get away, I’ll growl or snap at this kid to get the child to move away.” Please don’t cause your dog to make that choice.
- Listen for growling. I can’t believe how many times I’ve heard parents say, “Oh, he growled all the time but we never thought he would bite.” Dog behavior, including aggression, is on a continuum. For dogs, growling is an early warning sign of aggression. Heed it. If growling doesn’t work, the dog may escalate to snapping or biting. Growling is a clue that you should intervene between the dog and the child.
To pet owners, particularly those who also have children, thank you for supervising your dog! As a dog trainer and mother of two, I know that juggling kids and dogs is no easy feat. It takes patience, understanding, and a great deal of supervision. I hope these tips will help you get better at supervising.
What other tips do you have for safely supervising kids and dogs?
© 2013, Robin K. Bennett. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.RobinKBennett.com
Eukanuba pet foods has announced a recall of a number of foods that are available at pet stores regarding possible salmonella contamination.
This recall should have minimal impact on the west coast, but it is still advisable to check your pet food bags for lot and manufacturer codes.