Newsletter

The veterinarians and staff at the Beach Veterinary Clinic are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

VIDEO: Rabies - A Worldwide Threat

It probably seems inconceivable to most North Americans, but more than 55,000 people across the world die every year from rabies. This dreaded killer disease still ravages large areas of Asia and Africa and children are often the unfortunate victims. Overall, someone in the world dies from rabies every 10 minutes! Fortunately, global awareness is increasing due to World Rabies Day. Watch this video to learn about how you can keep your pets safe and help eradicate terrestrial rabies.

 

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What To Do When You Lose Your Cat

Cats are curious creatures by nature and it's not uncommon for even the laid-back indoor cat to dart outside into the wild given half a chance. A missing cat is an ordeal that many cat owners eventually will face, no matter whether your cat is an indoor-outdoor cat who wandered off or an indoor-only cat who managed to escape outside.

A missing cat can be a stressful, emotional situation for any pet owner. But there are a number of simple steps you can take to help bring your feline friend home quickly and safely.

Cats are curious and it's not uncommon for cats to go missing.

-Microchips And ID Tags: Pet identification is a must, even if your cat is an indoor-only pet. Microchipping your cat and outfitting him or her with a sturdy collar and ID tag go a long way toward helping your pet return home safely.

-Start In Your Back Yard: Begin your search in your yard. A door left open even for just a few minutes is an invitation for your outdoor cat to go exploring. Indoor cats that do make it outside tend to stay close to home - it's not uncommon for a scared cat to hide under a deck, inside bushes and shrubbery or under a car.

-Search Everywhere: Cats are well-known for getting into tiny spaces that might seem impossible to reach. Exposed pipes, car engines, inside walls - if a cat can fit into a space, chances are he or she will try to explore it. A thorough search of your home and yard is essential.

Leave food and water outside for your cat so that he or she may return.

-Leave Food And Water Outside: If your pet is nearby, food, water, and items with a familiar scent (toys, blankets, etc.) might help lure him or her back home. Leave these items outside the door of your home.

-Post Flyers: Post bright, easy-to-read flyers, with a picture of your cat and your contact information, around your neighborhood. Distribute flyers to your neighbors and post them in local convenience stores, community spaces and other heavily-traveled spots. You may also consider offering a reward. For your safety, do not include your name, address or a specific reward amount (this will deter potential scam artists). The more flyers you post, the better. Don't forget, in order to post photos of your cat, you need to have them available. If you don't already have a few good, recent photos of your pets, take them today.

-Ask Around: Ask your neighbors to be on the look-out for your cat. Call your town's animal control officer and ask nearby veterinary clinics to keep an eye out for cats matching your feline companion's description. Check with local animal shelters and rescue groups. Remember: the more people that are looking for your cat, the better the chances he or she will be found.

-Advertise: Flyers aren't the only way to get the word out about your missing pet. Post an ad on community websites like Craigslist. Many local newspapers also offer free "lost and found" ads and your town's website may have a "lost pets" section.

-Missing Pets Websites: There are many websites devoted to reuniting pet owners with missing pets. Websites like Petfinder.com and the Missing Pet Network offer free classified listings for lost and found pets. The lost and found listings on these websites are easy to search and a great way to inform a large audience about your missing pet.

It is important to remember that cats are safer when they're indoor-only pets. It may seem unfair to confine your cat inside, but cats allowed to roam outside are at an increased risk of exposure to infectious diseases and injury or accident. This is all in addition to the possibility that your cat may wander off or, even worse, be abducted or stolen. Don't let your cat's curiosity get the better of him or her - keep your feline friend inside.

Serious Scams Hurt People and Their Pets

Beware of veterinary fraudsThe ad read “Ear Trims – Any dog, any breed - $25”. Most pet owners knew to stay away, but some were intrigued by the low cost and called. On the day of their pet’s “surgery”, the owners were told they needed to sign ownership of their pet over to the individual doing the ear trim. It was only then that they found out that the man operating on their dogs was not a veterinarian!

Illegal scams like this are not uncommon and we see more of it during hard economic times. Some unscrupulous people, with no medical training, violate state laws to make a buck, but sadly, states simply cannot go after all of them.

Veterinarians have years of medical education to ensure that animal patients receive proper healthcare, including nutrition and behavioral advice. Doctors of Veterinary Medicine are also highly regulated by state government for your protection. So, with experts like these, why do we see an increasing number of unlicensed and unsupervised non-veterinarians performing veterinary medical services? Even more importantly, why are existing laws not enforced?

Since pets and livestock are considered property, the animal owner is allowed to “treat and care for” their animals in any fashion, as long as the treatment does not constitute animal cruelty. In the case of the ear trims (a tedious and precise surgical procedure), the unlicensed person was knowingly by-passing the law. After surgery, he would return ownership to the rightful owner and collect his fee, an overt scam.

Unfortunately, there are many people trying to perform a variety of veterinary medical and surgical services fraudulently calling them “animal husbandry”. Farmers and cattlemen can call on individuals to castrate or dehorn their cattle and avoid the veterinarian. Horse owners are using cowboys and off season rodeo stars to perform equine dental work. There are even reports of such unsupervised, unlicensed non-veterinarians doing pregnancy checks and other reproductive work in horses and cattle. A quick Internet search also shows individuals with no formal training at all advising pet owners on nutrition and behavioral issues that may actually involve complex medical issues. It is all becoming alarmingly common.

Unlicensed non-veterinarians work on livestockIn a well publicized case, rodeo star Bobby Griswold fought the state of Oklahoma for the right to file the teeth of horses during his off-season. This highly political battle has resulted in the state re-defining “animal husbandry” to allow unlicensed and unsupervised non-veterinarians to perform dental medicine on horses with zero to a maximum of 8 weeks of trade school training.

They call themselves “lay dentists.” That is like calling someone a “lay brain surgeon” or a “lay cancer specialist.” It is simply wrong and frankly dangerous to both animals and their owners.

You may think these lay people offer services cheaper. Not true. In a survey of veterinarians doing equine dentistry we found the cost to be the same or even less than what these unsupervised laymen would charge.

Veterinarians have a doctor’s degree and eight years of graduate and post-graduate education in addition to state and national board exams and the requirement to continue the education every year.

Lay people, who operate illegally, are not regulated or licensed by any state agency. That means the owners have no recourse in the frequent case of mistakes or even death of the animal. Consumer protection aside, these unlicensed people also obtain and use drugs illegally and those consequences have veterinarians especially concerned.

Proponents of non-veterinarians doing specific animal care claim that a lack of veterinarians forces them to help these animals. But that is simply not true. There are enough veterinarians to properly handle both equine and small animal medical and surgical needs for the animals in this country.

Dr. Tom Johnson of the Iowa Veterinary Medical Association, recently helped defeat a bill allowing “livestock technicians” to do everything from castration and dehorning to embryo transfer, pregnancy diagnosis and bloat surgeries, all without any guidance from a veterinarian. “But,” says Johnson, “this bill will be back, in some form, very soon.” And this is the case in many states.

While times are tough we should not allow unscrupulous and unlicensed non-veterinarians to perform medical procedures illegally. Veterinarians have dedicated their lives to the proper care of your animals, and have gone through all educational and legal steps to ensure your animals are safe and healthy.

VIDEO: Hot Hybrid Dog Breeds

From the well trained, low shedding Labradoodle to the perfect for the apartment Puggle, new hybrid dog breeds are appearing everywhere. Becoming popular with celebrities and anyone wanting to be part of the latest trend, these new cross breeds are winning their way into people's hearts and their pocketbooks as well. Is this just a fad or do these hybrids have a chance to be part of the purebred world? Watch this video to learn more.


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World’s Oldest Penguin Returns To Colorado Zoo After Successful Radiation Therapy

A 40-year old African penguin is returning home a southern Colorado zoo after undergoing treatment for skin cancer. Tess, who resides at the Pueblo Zoo, is the oldest penguin of her kind, according to officials at the zoo. She was treated for sarcoma at the Colorado State University veterinary hospital in early December. After two weeks of isolation, she was welcomed home to the zoo, where she was reunited with her mate, Mongo, and the rest of her friends in the habitat.



African penguins rarely live past 20 years, and experts at the Pueblo Zoo say that the breed has declined 90 percent in the last 100 years. “Some people would ask, ‘why are you putting all of these resources into an individual animal?’ But, if this individual animal can tell a story that helps globally with the African penguin, then it’s all worth it,” said Dr. Matthew Johnston, a veterinarian at Colorado State University. “If we can make people aware of these endangered species, with awareness comes action, and with action comes change. And, ultimately, we help.”

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

Dental care is vital to your pet's health! If you've already established a dental care program for your pet, you're off to a great start. But if your pet hasn't received a dental exam from your veterinarian, it's time to get started. February is National Pet Dental Health Month, the perfect time to schedule a dental exam for your pet and develop a home care regimen for your best friend.

Why is dental care so important for your pet? Periodontal disease is the number one diagnosed problem in pets - by the age of two, more than 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats have periodontal disease in one form or another. The buildup of plaque and tartar on your pet's teeth leads to bacterial infections that can enter the bloodstream and infect other parts of your pet's body. Periodontal disease has been linked to heart attacks, strokes, kidney disease, osteoporosis and other problems.

A Pet's Teeth Before and After a Dental Cleaning

The good news is that periodontal disease is easily prevented. Regular dental cleanings and a home dental care regimen can eliminate the plaque and tartar that lead to gum disease and oral infections. During a dental cleaning, your veterinarian also performs a complete oral examination of your pet. This includes screening for oral cancer, broken teeth and cavities. Spotting these problems early on makes them easier to treat and improves your pet's overall oral health.

Your pet's dental cleaning is more involved than the same process you go through at your dentist's office. Anesthesia is required to keep your pet still and comfortable during the procedure. Because of this, your pet undergoes a thorough physical examination before each dental cleaning. Laboratory blood tests, as well as other diagnostic procedures are also used to screen for potential problems and risks before anesthesia is administered. Using these results, we develop a safe anesthetic protocol specifically for your pet.

A Cat's Teeth Before and After a Dental Cleaning

During a dental cleaning, tartar is removed from your pet's teeth with a hand scaler. Next, a periodontal probe is used to check for pockets under the gumline - where periodontal disease and bad breath start. An ultrasonic scaler is used to clean above the gumline and a curette is used to clean the teeth under the gumline and in the crevices. Finally, the teeth are polished and an anti-bacterial solution is applied to help delay future tartar build-up.

Dental care doesn't end in your veterinarian's office. Brushing your pet's teeth at home is an added level of protection against gum disease. In order to be most effective, brushing must be done at least three times a week; however, daily brushing is ideal. Brushing your pet's teeth can be supplemented with antiseptic rinses. Some pet foods and treats are also effective in preventing plaque and tartar buildup. However, there is no substitute for regular brushing and professional dental cleanings.

Call the hospital to schedule a dental examination and cleaning for your pet today. Your best friend will thank you!