Sunday, November 30, 2014

Cats and Diabetes - Three Things YOU Can Do to Make a Difference for Your Diabetic Cat

If your cat is a diabetic, there are a few very important aspects of his/her care that could make a big difference in how their disease progresses.

One - most diabetics need to be on a CANNED food. Diabetes incidence in cats parallels the success of dry cat foods in the pet food market. Dry foods are easy to use, don't smell and even make the cats' stool less smelly. BUT to make a dry food, you have to add a carbohydrate. If you are going to make a cookie, you add a carb. Diabetics need very low carbs to successfully manage their disease and many (but not all) canned foods provide this.

Two - If fed a canned food low in carbs, and given a long acting insulin like glargine (Lantus) many cats can, and will, go into remission. While the cost of this insulin is higher than others, if remission is achieved and the patient doesn't need insulin injections at all, the initial cost becomes irrelevant.

We can also offer cost saving tips to our patients at local pharmacies that can help affordability.

Three - at home monitoring with pet glucometers is easy and valuable to clients and their veterinarians. While we rarely recommend adjusting your cats insulin dose daily like people often do, this can add to other information such as patient weight, drinking and urinating frequency to allow for tighter regulation for many cats thus increasing chance for remission.

It's amazing to us, the number of second opinions (after googling their pets condition) that don't have these three basics covered. The first published use of glargine in cats dates to 2004!! There is no way every condition in dogs and cats can be "cutting edge" in every practice everywhere, especially given that some newly proposed changes turn out to be inaccurate or misguided. But this is now accepted dogma for feline diabetes - seeking a second opinion or having a serious discussion with your veterinarian is warranted if these basics haven't been explored for your cat.

Kim Downes, DVM
Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital of Heath

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, November 17, 2014

The Hidden Dangers of Low-Cost Spay and Neuter Clinics

Low-cost spay/neuter

Thanks to breeders, veterinarians, animal shelters and others, most new puppy/kitten owners now understand the benefits of spaying or neutering their pet.

Knowing how and where these procedures can best be performed, however, is not as widely understood.

This post is to encourage you to make an informed, thoughtful choice when you decide where to take your pet for spaying/neutering. It could save your pet a lot of pain and reduce the risk of post-surgery complications.

Three points I’d like to share with you:
  1. A number of new, low-cost spay/neuter clinics and mobile units have opened up in this area. Some focus on efficiency and cost savings over the compassionate care of your pet.
  2. Several years ago, the Association of Shelter Veterinarians (ASV) published guidelines to help low-cost clinics understand the optimal protocols for safely performing spay/neuters while also providing humane, quality, individualized care for each pet. The 13-page document addresses surgery settings, anesthetics, pain management and other concerns (Go to for guidelines).
  3. However, although these guidelines are in place, there is no one monitoring or enforcing them so patient care can vary dramatically from clinic to clinic. It’s up to you to inform yourself about the inherent risks of low-cost spay/neuter procedures.
I invite you to watch the following video of the professional, loving care each and every one of our patients at Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic and Animal Hospital of Heath receives when undergoing a surgical  procedure:

What can you do to ensure that your pet receives the care you want?

Find out exactly how your pet will be treated before, during, and after surgery. Ask tough questions. Learn the facts. Then decide what’s best for your pet. All surgeries have risks - but your research can minimize them and ensure that your pets get the care they deserve.

P.S. If you’re stuck on how to start your spay/neuter inquiry, here are some questions you can ask the person doing the surgery on your pet:
  • What pre surgery precautions do you take to ensure that my pet does not have any hidden health issues that could complicate the surgery?
  • What pain medications will you provide before, during, and after surgery?
  • What types of pain medications will my pet receive?
  • What monitoring systems do you use during surgery? After surgery?
  • What steps do you take to ensure that my pet is as stress-free and comfortable as possible?
  • Where will my pet wait and recover?
  • Who will be monitoring and delivering anesthesia?
  • What anesthetic parameters will be monitored?
  • How many days will it take my animal to fully recover?
  • How many of these surgeries have you done, what is your complication rate?
  • May I have a copy of my pet’s veterinary record?
Kim Downes, DVM
Animal Hospital of Rowlett Veterinary Clinic
Animal Hospital of Heath

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Here are Some Healthy, Simple Recipes to Stuff In Your Dog’s Kong Toy

stuff your kong toy with these delicious recipes

For hours of enjoyment (both you and your dog), there's nothing better than a classic Kong Toy. Following are some great, yet simple recipes you can make at home to stuff into your dog’s favorite Kong toy or hollow marrow bone.

If you decide to make up your own recipe, just remember to choose ingredients low in sugar and salt. They'll thank you for it later.

Peanut Butter Bliss — Combine 1 ripe banana, 3 Tbsp Peanut Butter and 1 slice of cheese in a bowl. Mix well and stuff.
Potato Mash Up — Take leftover Mashed Potatoes (without salt added) and add crushed dog biscuits. Mix well and fill up their Kong.
Eggstra Please — Scramble an egg without butter and mix in leftover mashed potatoes, yogurt, and cheese. Mix well and fill.
Fiber Up – Take 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter and mix in bran cereal. Mix cereal into peanut butter and stuff.
PB and O’s — In a bowl combine 4 Tbsp Peanut Butter and mix in plain cherrios. Once cherrios are coated with peanut butter, stuff.
Banana Yogurt Freeze – Combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt with 1 ripe banana and mix well. Stuff in Kong and freeze until frozen. Serve frozen.
Apple Pie – In a bowl combine 3 slices of chopped apple, 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/2 ripe banana. Stuff in Kong and top with 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter.Freeze until frozen. Serve Frozen.
Pumpkin Pie - In a bowl combine 1/2 cup plain yogurt, 1/4 cup pure pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling), and 1/4 cup rice. Mix well and spoon into Kong. Freeze until frozen and Serve.
Peanut Butter Apple Supreme - Combine 1/4 cup applesauce, 1/4 cup plain cooked oatmeal, 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 1 mashed ripe banana, 1 Tbsp Peanut Butter. Stir well and fill Kong to top. Freeze until Frozen and Serve.
Apple Duo – Combine 1 chopped apple with 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce. Mix together well and place in Kong. Freeze until frozen then Serve.