Wellness Exam Checklist
Adult Dogs (1-6 years)
- Parasite Check
- Heartworm Check
- Dental check
- Blood Panel (CBC)
- Chemistry Panel
Adult Cats (1-6 years)
- Parasite Check
- Heartworm Check
- Dental check
- Blood Panel (CBC)
- Chemistry Panel
Additional Exams for Senior Dogs (7+ years)
- Osteoarthritis check
- Chest Radiograph
- Thyroid Check
Additional Exams for Senior Cats (7+ years)
- Osteoarthritis check
- Chest Radiograph
- Thyroid Check
- Blood Pressure Check
Important info for cat owners:
There are more than 90 million cats in the U.S.! That is about 20% more cats than dogs. However, according to the Veterinary Medicine Association, cats are brought to the veterinarian only about half as often as dogs. Many times owners do not realize their cat has a problem that needs attention.
Behavioral changes can be early signs of illness in both cats and dogs. These changes are often less obvious in cats.
Cat owners may not notice subtle changes in appetite, elimination or other behavior until an illness is quite advanced.
The risk of cancer, periodontal disease, obesity, kidney disease, thyroid disease and diabetes increase with age in cats.
Raw Food Diet
What is Raw?
A raw diet recreates the way our pet's ancestors have eaten in the wild for thousands of years. Dogs and cats are carnivores. Left to their own devices, their typical daily diet, like that of their wild cousins (wolves and the big cats), would involve catching (or finding) and eating another animal. A raw diet returns our pets to this more natural and healthy form of nutrition, as if they had hunted and caught their "perfect" dinner.
When a carnivore eats an herbivore (plant and grass eating animal) like a rabbit or a deer, the carnivore eats some meat, some bone, some organ meats (liver, heart, kidney, etc.), and a small amount of green vegetation contained in the herbivore's digestive tract. Raw foods are made from various combinations of fresh raw meat, fresh organ meats, uncooked bones, fresh vegetables and added vitamins and minerals.
These ingredients are the five main food groups of a good raw diet.
- Fresh, raw meat
- Some uncooked bone
- Some raw organ meats
- Some green vegetation
- Natural vitamins and minerals
There is a growing belief that dogs and cats need a raw, natural diet in order to be healthy and that commercial pet foods cannot supply the nutrients necessary for good health and a long life. An overabundance of the wrong ingredients may serve to satisfy a hungry pet, but they may also contribute to long-term health problems.
Just like us, our pets are what they eat.
And here's what raw-feeding pet owners around the world see in their raw-fed pets:
- Shinier, healthier skin and coats
- Cleaner teeth and fresh breath
- Better weight control
- Improved digestion
- Reduction of allergy symptoms
- Harder, smaller, less smelly stools
- More energy and stamina
- Decrease in abnormal hyperactivity
- Increased mobility in older animals
- Reduced need for veterinary dental work
Switching an animal with an existing health problem to a raw diet can often produce an improvement in their conditions. Among healthy animals, a raw diet is likely to help them avoid some of the illnesses that are now becoming common in our companion animals. Regardless of the starting point for your pet, a high quality raw diet will help promote a long and healthy life.
Dog and cat owners who have already switched to raw, as well as a small but growing number of veterinary professionals now feel that kibble may sustain life, but may not promote health. They believe that whole, natural foods are the most likely to result in:
- A longer life span
- The decreased possibility of a debilitating disease at an earlier age
- Lower veterinary bills and dental problems
- An overall increase in energy.
What is Animal Chiropractic?
Animal Chiropractic is a field of animal health care that focuses on the health and preservation of the neuro-musculo-skeletal system. The nervous system controls everything that happens in your animal. Anything affecting the nervous system can have detrimental effects that will resonate throughout the entire body. The nervous system is controlled by the brain and spinal cord which are protected by the spine. The spine is a very complex framework of bones, ligaments, muscles and nerves. If the movement and biomechanics of the vertebra become dysfunctional, they can interfere with the performance of the nerves that are branching off of the spinal cord and going to the all of the muscles and organs. As this occurs, your animal can lose normal mobility; resulting in stiffness, tension, pain and even organ dysfunction. Additionally, when normal movement is affected, and left unattended, it will ultimately impact your animal's entire well being and quality of life.
The nervous system also coordinates the body's ability to heal and regulate itself. Trauma, overuse, or under use may cause the vertebra of the spine to become fixed, and the surrounding muscles and ligaments may become compromised and inflamed. Nerves could become trapped in these damaged tissues, or in the passages they use to exit the spine. Their signals become unable to adequately reach their destinations. When they don't, these impaired structures lose their ability to heal. This can directly and dramatically impact your animal's health.
Symptoms of spinal fixation are vast, and may include pain, spasm, sensitivity to touch, lameness, gait abnormalities and postural compromise. These are the symptoms that are the easiest to detect. It may take a trained doctor to distinguish some of the more subtle changes that occur when organs begin to malfunction.
The goal of an animal chiropractor is to restore function and mobility to the compromised vertebra in an effort to re-establish neurologic transmissions. This allows the body to perform at its optimum potential. These doctors use their hands to identify areas of restriction; and once identified, the animal chiropractor applies a precise thrust on the immobile anatomical structures. This treatment restores the normal motion of the vertebra thus removing neurological interference. When the nerves can efficiently communicate with all the structures in your animals' bodies, they will begin to heal from within.
Animal Chiropractic is NOT meant to replace traditional veterinary care. It is NOT an alternative treatment, but rather an integrative method that when used in conjunction with good traditional veterinary care, will provide years of happy and healthy living to your pet. This is the beginning of a more modern, comprehensive approach to your animal's healthcare. It is an effective and valuable means of restoring and maintaining their strength, vigor and well-being. And by exploring and treating the root causes of your animal's aches, pains and illnesses we will ensure maximum improvement, top performance and an exceptional quality of life for the animal companions we love.
Animal Chiropractic can offer potential health benefits for conditions including:
- Gait Problems
- Behavioral Changes
- Performance Problems
- Musculoskeletal Problems
- Disc Problems, Joint Problems, Limping
- Age-Related Degeneration
- Neck, Back, Leg and Tail Pain
- Decreased Range of Motion
- Maintenance of Joint and Spinal Health
- Wellness and Preventive Care
CLICK HERE to watch a video that discusses how veterinary chiropractic care can help pets with a wide range of health conditions - - everything from joint problems to urinary incontinence.
Dr. Wilkinson is certified by the American Veterinarian Chiropractic Association to provide chiropractic care for animals.
Dr. Wilkinson specializes in the care of cats and dogs.
Dental Cleaning for your Pet
Professional dental cleaning is often indicated when periodontal disease is present.
Our own teeth are cleaned by a dentist or hygienist - we sit in the chair and open our mouth when requested, letting the professional do their work. While the principles of good oral hygiene and dental health are the same for dogs and cats as for people, there are some significant differences. We understand why the procedure is important, and we typically do not need sedation or restraint. That is NOT true for our pets. Another important difference between human and veterinary dental practice is that we can tell the dentist when there is discomfort; to ensure that nothing is missed in dogs or cats, they require a thorough oral examination as part of a dental cleaning procedure.
Professional dental cleaning removes dental plaque and tartar that cause periodontal disease. The dental deposits are removed by ultrasonic and hand dental tools. Following scaling, the teeth are polished to remove residual plaque and to smooth the tooth surface (which delays deposition of plaque and tartar subsequently). The mouth is rinsed to remove debris prior to a final inspection. The pet owner will be provided with recommendations for daily home oral hygiene specific for dogs or cats, and a recommendation made for a follow-up examination.
Cause and Risk Factors for Bordetella Pertussis (Kennel Cough)
Whooping cough is caused by bacteria called Bordetella pertussis (also called B. pertussis). Several types of Bordetella bacteria have been identified. Some types cause illness in humans (e.g., B. pertussis, B. parapertussis) and others affect animals (e.g., B. bronchiseptica causes kennel cough in dogs and respiratory infections and pneumonia in cats and pigs).
Bordetella pertussis bacteria are transmitted though the air when an infected person or animals coughs or sneezes. It can also be transmitted and contracted when animals lick each other and us. This usually is how whooping cough spreads. When the bacteria are inhaled, they multiply in the respiratory tract (e.g., nose, mouth, throat), produce substances that prevent the body from eliminating germs, and cause inflammation that damages the lining of the airways.
What is diabetes mellitus?
Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This is a small but vital organ located near the stomach. It has two significant populations of cells. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta-cells, produces the hormone insulin. Insulin regulates the level of glucose in the bloodstream and controls the delivery of glucose to the tissues of the body. In simple terms, diabetes mellitus causes the failure of the pancreas to regulate blood sugar.
The clinical signs seen in diabetes mellitus are related to the elevated concentrations of blood glucose and the inability of the body to use glucose as an energy source.
What are the clinical signs of diabetes and why do they occur?
The four main symptoms of uncomplicated diabetes mellitus are increased thirst, increased urination, weight loss and increased appetite.
Glucose is a vital substance that provides much of the energy needed by cells, and it must work inside the cells. Insulin attaches to 'receptors' on the surface of cells and opens "pores" through the cell wall that allow glucose to leave the bloodstream and enter the cell's interior. Without an adequate amount of insulin to "open the door," glucose is unable to get into the cells, and accumulates in the blood, setting in motion a series of events that can ultimately prove fatal.
"When there isn't enough insulin, the cells of the body become starved for their primary source of energy."
When there isn't enough insulin, the cells of the body become starved for their primary source of energy. In response to this apparent starvation, the body starts breaking down stores of fat and protein for energy, causing weight loss. The apparent starvation stimulates hunger and the animal eats more; thus, we have weight loss in an animal with a ravenous appetite. The body tries to eliminate the excess glucose by excreting it in the urine. Since glucose attracts water, it promotes the loss of bodily fluids into the urine, resulting in the production of a larger amount of urine. To avoid dehydration, the dog drinks more and more water.
"Type I Diabetes Mellitus is the most common type of diabetes in dogs."
Type I Diabetes Mellitus (sometimes also caused Insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), results from total or near-complete destruction of the beta-cells. This is the most common type of diabetes in dogs. As the name implies, animals with this type of diabetes require insulin injections to stabilize their blood sugar.
Type II Diabetes Mellitus (sometimes called Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus), is different because some insulin-producing cells remain. However, the amount of insulin produced is insufficient, there is a delayed response in secreting it, or the tissues of the animal's body are relatively resistant to it (also referred to as insulin resistance). Type II diabetes may occur in older obese animals. People with this form may be treated with an oral drug that stimulates the remaining functional cells to produce or release insulin in an adequate amount to normalize blood sugar. Unfortunately, animals tend not to respond well to these oral medications and usually need some insulin to control the disease.
How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?
Diabetes mellitus is diagnosed by the presence of the typical clinical signs (excess thirst, excess urination, excess appetite, and weight loss), in addition the presence of a persistently high level of glucose in the blood stream, and the presence of glucose in the urine.
The normal level of glucose in the blood is 80-120 mg/dl (4.4-6.6 mmol/L). It may rise to 250-300 mg/dl (13.6-16.5 mmol/L) following a large or high-calorie meal. However, diabetes is the only common disease that will cause the blood glucose level to rise above 400 mg/dl (22 mmol/L). Some diabetic dogs will have a glucose level as high as 700-800 mg/dl (44 mmol/L), although most will be in the range of 400-600 mg/dl (22-33 mmol/L).
To conserve glucose within the body, the kidneys do not filter glucose out of the blood stream into the urine until an excessive level is reached. This means that dogs with a normal blood glucose level will not have glucose in the urine. Diabetic dogs, however, have excessive amounts of glucose in the blood, so it will be present in the urine. After the blood sugar reaches 180 mg/dl, the excess blood sugar is removed by the kidneys and enters the urine. This is why dogs and people with diabetes mellitus have sugar in their urine (called glucosuria) when their insulin is low.
What is diabetes mellitus?
[diabetes_mellitue-1] Diabetes mellitus is a disease of the pancreas. This small organ located near the stomach has two different types of cells that have very different functions. One group of cells produces the enzymes necessary for proper digestion. The other group, called beta-cells, produces the hormone insulin, which regulates the level of glucose or sugar in the bloodstream and controls its delivery to the tissues of the body. In simple terms, diabetes mellitus is caused by a deficiency of insulin. The clinical signs seen in diabetes mellitus are related to the elevated concentrations of blood glucose and the inability of the body to use glucose as an energy source.
Are there different types of diabetes mellitus in cats?
Diabetes mellitus is usually classified into 2 types of disease.
Type I Diabetes Mellitus results from total or near-complete destruction of the beta-cells. This appears to be a rare type of diabetes in the cat.
Type II Diabetes Mellitus, is different because some insulin-producing cells remain. However, the amount produced is insufficient, there is a delayed response in secreting it, or the tissues of the cat's body are relatively resistant to it. [diabetes_mellitue-2] Obesity is a predisposing factor in Type II diabetes, which appears to be the most common type of diabetes in the cat.
How common is diabetes mellitus in the cat?
"Diabetes mellitus is the second most common endocrine disease in cats."
Diabetes mellitus is the second most common endocrine disease in cats, affecting an estimated one in four hundred cats; it is seen more frequently in middle to old-age cats and is more common in males than females. While the exact incidence is unknown, the number of diabetic cats is increasing at an alarming rate due to the tremendous increase in the number of overweight and obese cats. It is important to note that a cat three pounds over its ideal weight is considered obese. That means the average domestic cat that weighs 13 pounds or more is at high risk for developing type 2 diabetes mellitus.
What are the clinical signs of diabetes mellitus?
The most common clinical signs seen in diabetic patients are an increase in water consumption and urination. Weight loss is also a common feature, and an increase in appetite may be noticed in some cats. Because of the nature of cats, these signs may go unnoticed, especially in the early stages of disease. If a cat spends a lot of time outdoors, it may drink from outside water sources such as ponds or pools of water. Cats that are fed canned or moist diets receive much of their water intake from their diet and increased water intake will be less easily recognized in these patients.
How is diabetes mellitus diagnosed?
The diagnosis of feline diabetes is made based on clinical signs, persistently elevated blood glucose concentration and the presence of glucose in the urine. However, a diagnosis of diabetes cannot be made on a single blood and urine sample as other conditions, in particular stress, may also cause a transient rise in glucose levels. Confirmation of diabetes may therefore require more than one blood sample collected over a period of one to five days, or a specialized test called a serum fructosamine test.
IMMUNE SYSTEM SUPPORT
When Does My Pet Need Immune System Support?
The immune system is one of the most important systems in your pet's body. When working normally, the immune system helps your pet live a happy and healthy life. But what if your pet's immune system is compromised?
How can you help?
Veterinary Formulas provide vitamins, minerals, organ and tissue extracts, and botanicals not typically found in the modern pet's diet. Because Veterinary Formulas are concentrated using low heat, they supply a multitude of enzymes, trace minerals, and plant components vital to keeping your pet's immune system in top condition.
Puppies and Kittens
Between 6 weeks and 20 weeks of age, maternal antibodies are lost; the immune system is still immature; and tiny bodies are exposed to powerful vaccinations, chemical dewormers, flea and tick protection, etc.
Even with the best diet, nutrients are diverted from the mother to her unborn litter. If the mother's immune system weakens, her babies immune systems will often become weak. Nutritional support of the immune system during pregnancy can help newborns handle immune challenges.
As pets age, their ability to fight off invaders decreases, making them more susceptible to these challenges.
Pets Under Stress
Stress taxes your pet's body and compromises the immune system whether the stressor is medication or another source of physical or mental strain.
Canine Immune System Support
The immune system is a complex array of cells that are found throughout the body. Immune cells are designed to work in conjunction with other immune cells to provide a defense against unwanted invaders. The complexity of the immune system requires a multidimensional approach of nutritional factors. The nutritional support of the immune system is directed at facilitating normal function and is not intended to be suppressive or stimulating.
Canine Immune System Support:
- Provides nutritional and biochemical support for healthy immune cells and tissues
- Supporting optimal immune protection.
Indications for Use:
- General immune system support
- Colder climates or during the fall/winter months
- When kenneled or in a shelter
A Strong Defense Is Their Best Offense!
A healthy immune system is critical to your pet's well being. The immune system must work around the clock to protect the body from potential invaders. An immune system operating at less than full throttle can make your pet susceptible to any number of health challenges. Veterinary Formulas provide the nutrients pets need to support a strong immune response
URINARY TRACT ISSUES
Urinary Tract Infections in Cats and Dogs
Urinary tract infection (UTI) is one of the common health problems in cats and dogs. Bacterial infection is a common cause of urinary tract infection. When bacteria enter the urinary tract through urethra and multiply in the bladder, it can lead to UTI. It is more common in female cats and dogs, because of a shorter urinary tract and weaker sphincter muscles. Generally, cats are more prone to UTI than dogs.
Urinary tract infections in animals such as cats and dogs is mainly caused by the bacteria, Escherichia coli. Other causative agents are Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas, Enterococcus and Klebsiella. Bladder tumor, bladder cancer and abnormalities of the urinary tract can increase the risk of urinary tract infection. Kidney stone causes a blockage of urinary tract, leading to infection. According to some researchers, UTI in cats and dogs is associated with their diet. Commercial dry pet foods may be contaminated with bacteria, which can cause infection. Inadequate food storage and unhealthy feeding practices can lead to multiplication of E. coli.
There are two types of urinary tract infection; upper urinary tract infection and lower urinary tract infection. Upper urinary tract infection causes the symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss and anorexia. The signs and symptoms of lower urinary tract infection are related to abnormalities in urination. This includes trouble and extreme pain during urinating. The frequency of urination is increased. There is straining while urinating and localized pain. The urine is cloudy and foul smelling. There may be a presence of blood in the urine (hematuria). Some other symptoms of UTI are tender lower abdominal area, fever, fatigue, lethargy and loss of appetite. When you notice these symptoms in your pet, you should immediately take it to the veterinarian.
The diagnosis of UTI in cats and dogs is done with the help of physical examination, medical history and symptoms. The veterinarian performs a thorough physical examination including palpation of abdomen. The medical history includes the questions about reproductive status of your pet, water consumption, previous medications, illness or changes in urination. Urinalysis is done to determine the presence of bacteria, red blood cells, white blood cells and crystals. Excessively alkaline urine indicates the possibility of UTI. Culture and sensitivity of urine is performed to identify the causative agent.
This infection in cats and dogs is treated with a course of antibiotics. In case of severe infections or persistent urinary tract infections, catheterization or surgery may be required. It can be treated with some herbal remedies. Goldenrod Horsetail compound is the herbal tincture, which can help to soothe the irritating symptoms of UTI. Some other herbs used for UTI treatment are Uva Ursi, Berberine, Cranberry and Ester-C. These herbs help to reduce inflammation and manage the symptoms.
To prevent these health problems, you should take good care of your pet. Your dog's health and cat's health will depend upon the amount of attention you spend on its nutrition, and other health-related issues. Along with this, ensure you spend ample time and give your pet plenty of exercise to keep it happy and healthy forever
Whole food nutrition that works synergistically and systemically for total pet wellness!
The wild ancestors of today's pets survived on a varied diet rich in nutrients, including beneficial phytonutrients. Now pets eat highly processed diets that can leave nutritional gaps.
Supplements with whole food ingredients support the whole body.
Our supplements are made from whole food ingredients that deliver the full spectrum of nutrition in its natural form. Manufactured with the same high standards as human supplements, we deliver nutritional complexity as nature intended.
Count on Standard Process® for:
- Food combinations that create synergistic effects
- Glandular support for natural cell and tissue repair
- Phytonutrients that may serve as antioxidants and support a healthy immune response*
*These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Before dogs and cats were domesticated, they received their essential omega-3 fatty acids (EPA & DHA) from their prey. But today, our pets depend on us for their food. With modern technology, commercial pet food provides us with a convenient method of feeding our pets, but most foods still do not provide our pets with necessary levels of omega-3 fatty acids to promote optimal pet health.
To restore the fatty acid balance, you can supplement your pets food with a high-quality source of omega-3 fatty acids from wild, sustainable fish. Even the best raw food diets or homemade diets will benefit from omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.
Omega-3 fatty acids are considered essentials fatty acids for dogs and cats, because they cannot be made in the body. EPA and DHA are necessary structural components of cell membranes.
The two health-promoting omega-3 fatty acids are eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA)
EPA and DHA are found abundantly in fish.
One of the key functions of the omega-3 fatty acid EPA is supporting the body's natural anti-inflammatory response. Dogs and cats can suffer from numerous inflammatory conditions that can affect their health and well-being. It supports dogs and cats with inflammatory conditions associated with the skin, joints, kidneys, and heart.
Lastly, essential fatty acid supplementation is known to maintain general skin and coat quality in dogs and cats.
Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) help support:
- Cellular health
- Immune system health
- Skin and coat health
- Joint health
- Heart health
- Brain development and maintenance
- Eye development and maintenance
Cats scratch for four main reasons:
To mark their territory: In the wild, cats scratch surfaces as part of a natural instinct to mark their territory. Just because you bring them inside and give them a fluffy kitty bed, doesn't mean that this territorial urge is going to go away. Scratching not only leaves behind a visible marking, but also deposits a scent that is secreted by glands in your cat's paws. They're sending the message: "I've been here." Although it isn't clear why even cats who live alone do it, experts believe it's mostly a way of marking their territory and announcing to the world "and other pets" not to mess with them.You might consider yourself lucky if this is the only way that your feline friend is attempting to mark its scent in your home.
To condition their claws: Although many people believe that cats scratch to sharpen their claws, this isn't entirely correct. Scratching doesn't really sharpen a cat's claws, but it does help them to remove the nail's outer layer, and keep their claws clean and in fighting shape.
To get some exercise: Like your morning Pilates class, scratching your furniture provides a way for your cat to get some much needed exercise, combining resistance training and stretching for their front quarters.
For the fun of it: Although this can't really be proven (unless you're a Cat Whisperer), it's pretty obvious from watching a cat scratch that they get some form of enjoyment from it. Whether it's the act of stretching, giving in to ancient instinctual urges, or simply seeing the evidence of their work in your tattered curtains, cats seem to enjoy the act of scratching quite a lot.
How to get your cat to stop scratching your possessions:
Even though you now know why cats need to scratch, you still may not be keen on the idea of them ruining your favorite furniture and linens in the process. Unfortunately, as most cat owners already know, it is nearly impossible to get a cat to do something they don't want to, or to get them to stop doing something they clearly feel compelled to do.
Your first step toward saving your furniture is investing in a scratching post or two. By providing your cat with an attractive scratching alternative you can help minimize the damage done to your treasured belongings. Train your cat to prefer the post by positioning it near their favorite scratching. So the location of the scratching post is important. If it's hidden behind other things, the cat might not use it because it would lose its "advertising potential." Scratching posts tend to be more successful if they are near the original spot your cat started to scratch.
It's easier to train a young kitten to use a scratching post, but older cats can learn too, although it may take bit more time and patience. Remember that even though your cat may be quite intelligent, they still don't understand punishment.
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