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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Laser Therapy Works Like Magic!

Laser therapy is a cutting edge treatment option for many medical conditions. Around the world, laser therapy is rapidly becoming the choice for pet owners seeking painless, non-invasive, and drug free treatments for a wide variety of injuries, pain, syndromes, neurological conditions and pathologies for their pets. It can heal wounds and fractures up to 60% faster and reduce the cost of treatment for many conditions.

Laser therapy is a natural method of healing that uses specific wavelengths of light to administer accurate measured doses of energy directly to a treatment site. Laser therapy works in several ways to heal injuries and manage pain. It increases the release of endorphins (natural painkillers) and decreases inflammation and nerve conduction which helps return tissue to a normal state. 

Laser therapy is used to treat many medical conditions including soft tissue wounds, surgical incisions, ear infections, ulcers, burns, stomatitis (gingivitis) and any type of pain.

Low Level lasers send accurately measured, non-thermal photons of light to the appropriate treatment sight. These light waves supply energy to the body as they penetrate up to 4 inches of the skin's layer's, optimizing the immune responses of the blood. This has anti-inflammatory and immunostimulant effects, supplying vital oxygen and energy to every cell. This enables cells to heal and repair themselves at a greatly accelerated rate.

Laser therapy sessions speed up the healing process in the cells that can help create a stronger and longer lasting effect. Many conditions are permanently resolved after completing laser treatments.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Why it is important to keep your pet's teeth healthy!

Just last week, we had 3 patients visit our practice with swelling of the jaw and face area. All were related to painful tooth issues which needed immediate attention. By the time you see swelling, your pet is experiencing pain and likely has an infection along with other dental related issues.

75% of pets suffer from dental disease by the time they're 3 years old.  Left untreated, dental disease can cause your pet pain and eventually lead to tooth loss,
kidney damage, heart disease, and many other complications. And here's a sobering fact: dental disease can lurk beneath the gums, not readily visible. Fortunately, this threat to your pet's health can be avoided with simple preventive measures like regular dental cleanings.

February is dental month but really, every month should be dental month. Visit your veterinarian to learn how to care for your pet's teeth. Simple things like brushing, giving dental treats, and having regular oral examinations will keep your pet's mouth healthy. We all know what it feels like when we have dental issues. The problem is that our pets cannot tell us when they are in discomfort. They may stop eating or playing as actively and we may just contribute that to aging or other issues. Taking care of your pet's teeth will allow a longer, more active and healthy life!
Watch this short video for some great information

Friday, February 14, 2014

Chronic Ear Infections

If you have ever experienced the pain and discomfort of an ear infection, imagine how your pet feels when they have an ear infection that keeps coming back or does not heal properly. Many patients come to us for ear infections. Some have been suffering with the condition for many years, getting a small amount of relief from certain medications but never clearing the infection completely. 

Resolution of chronic ear problems requires a proper diagnosis. In order to do that, the organism causing the ear infection must be identified. Once this is done, an appropriate medical therapy can be instituted.

There are a number of approaches to treating ear infections. Not all of them work as well as others. At NHAH, we have thoroughly studied the various approaches to treating ear infections and have found a terrific and very effective medical therapy that combines several treatments and medications.

Resolution of chronic otitis requires:

  •   Proper diagnosis using ear cytology or culture and sensitivity
  •    Proper and thorough cleaning of the ear canal prior to applying medication  
  •    Laser therapy to reduce inflammation and pain and also speed healing 
  •    Early intervention and maintenance treatments plans to avoid chronic conditions
If your pet is experiencing ear discomfort or possible infection, seek veterinary help as soon as possible. The earlier your pet receives treatment, the better the outcome!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Many Benefits Of Acupuncture

Acupuncture for my pet? Why would I do that and what is it?

Acupuncture is the treatment of disease that involves the stimulation of specific points along affected channels to reopen "blocked" energy flow and re-establish normal functioning. Diagnostic acupuncture uses these same meridians to detect an energy blockage. Precision in selecting the proper points, inserting needles (if used) to the proper depth, and maintaining treatment for the proper length of time, all are critical for successful acupuncture.

Acupuncture can potentially be used for all problems in animals. For small animals, the following are some of the general conditions which may be treated with acupuncture:
  • Any type of muscle soreness, particularly of the neck, shoulders, back and hindquarters.
  • Arthritis
  • Sacroiliac pain
  • Digestive problems including poor appetite and diarrhea
  • Respiratory ailments
  • Reproduction
  • Skin problems
  • Immune system stimulation
  • Recovery from surgery

Acupuncture needles are incredibly thin; inserting them is a relatively painless process. Your pet may feel a minor prick, but it is not uncomfortable. In fact, some pets that struggle with chronic pain have actually fallen asleep during treatment sessions thanks to acupuncture’s pain relief!

Whether for overall improved health or to treat a specific condition, acupuncture does a body good!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Feline Scratching Behavior

Recently I have answered several questions from pet owners about their cat's scratching behavior. Many people get frustrated by their cat's scratching because it ruins their furniture, carpet, or drapes. Understanding why our cats scratch and finding ways to overcome the behavior helps to decrease the frustration associated with it.
·         Cats scratch as a means of claw conditioning. A cat’s claw has a husk that surrounds the claws and must be shed on a regular basis. Scratching provides a mechanism for cats to routinely shed their husks.
·         Cats are very flexible animals. They sleep curled up, which can affect the alignment of the spine. Scratching allows your cat to stretch either vertically or horizontally and realign their spine.
·         Cats are territorial, yet social, animals. Marking is an important part of a cat’s social behavior. They scratch to mark their territory both visually and with scent. Cats have scent glands in their paws and leave olfactory clues, which tell others "I have been here."
 What Can I Do to Stop My Cat from Scratching?
Routine Nail Trimming
Regular nail trimming can reduce the destruction your cat may cause when scratching. It is a simple procedure, but must be done properly and routinely. Have your veterinarian show you how to trim your cat’s nails.
Cats can be trained to scratch only on objects of your choice, so as not to destroy furniture, curtains or other household items. Examples are scratching posts, carpet remnants, cardboard, and wood. It may be necessary to try different things before finding what your cat likes. The location of such an item is critical. If your cat has selected a particular location he likes to scratch, try placing an acceptable item in that location. For example, if your cat is scratching the couch, try putting a scratching post near the couch as an alternative. If that location is not acceptable to you, gradually move the item to the desired location. This may take several weeks. Keep in mind that if a cat is scratching primarily for marking purposes, moving the item may be unsuccessful and you may have to settle for a scratching post in a less-than desirable location. Remember, this is still better than replacing furniture and curtains! Cats should be positively reinforced when they use the correct scratching implements. Punishment strategies, like spray from a water bottle, tend to be ineffective in discouraging cats from scratching.
 Nail Coverings
Destruction from scratching can be eliminated with nontoxic adhesive nail coverings. The covering provides a blunt tip that does not cause damage when a cat "scratches". The coverings must be replaced about once a month following a nail trim. Ask your veterinarian to show you how to trim nails and apply them at home.
Declawing is an irreversible surgical procedure performed by a veterinarian while the cat is under general anesthesia. In declawing, the end of each digit is amputated along with the nail. Declawed cats require special care and may experience tenderness or even pain for several days. It’s best to declaw cats at a young age as they recover more quickly and adapt more easily to the loss of their claws. New Hartford Animal Hospital does not recommend declawing cats, but considers each case individually. Once the cat has fully recovered, the cat must remain indoors as he has lost an important means of defense. It is important to note that since a declawed cat has lost a major line of defense, they will now be more likely to bite when frightened or threatened. A bite is also a defensive response and can be far more dangerous to the recipient than a scratch.
Cats use their claws to climb, scratch, hunt and defend themselves. These are all perfectly normal feline behaviors. There may be times when your cat scratches something inappropriate, such as a couch or curtains. Your cat doesn’t understand that this behavior is undesirable. He’s simply doing what comes naturally to him.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Adult Dog and Cat Care

Dr. Abby Regner with Tilly
From the desk of Dr. Abby Regner...

Dogs and cats need regular veterinary care to help them enjoy their adult years to the fullest. Industry experts recommend adult dogs and cats visit their veterinarian once or twice a year depending on health related concerns. I recommend this to all my clients for a number of reasons.

1. Preventive visits assess the overall health of your pet. My comprehensive examination screens your pet’s weight, body condition, and dental grade, and evaluates every major body system. Evaluation includes:

Coat and skin quality
Teeth and gums
Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat
Lymphatic System
Respiratory System
Cardiovascular function
Abdominal palpation for kidney, liver,and spleen size
Neurological System
Musculoskeletal System

2. During my patient's comprehensive visit, I make sure to discuss all apsects of preventive care and provide counseling and information on various topics.  Along with the physical examination, the  assessment include: 
  • Tick-borne and Heartworm screening for dogs which includes tests for Lyme disease, Ehrlichiosis, and Anaplasmosis
  • Ova and Parasite analysis (stool analysis)
  • Feline Leukemia Virus, Feline Immunoficiency Virus and Heartworm testing for outdoor cats
  • Individualized flea and tick control treatments and recommendations
  • Risk assessment to determine if any of your pet’s risk factors have changed
  • Vaccinations based on your pet’s unique risks
  • Behavioral and lifestyle counseling
  • Nutritional counseling and weight management advice
3. Assessment of my patient's behavior and any changes to it is also an important part of the annual or biannual visit because differences in behavior often indicate underlying health issues. Early detection can greatly impact the treatment and recovery from any illness or disease.

4. Finally, forming a close working relationship with my clients, along with open and honest communication, is critical in making sure my patient's are receiving the care they need and deserve. Don't be afraid to ask questions or let your veterinarian know what your needs are. Afterall, we are here to make sure you and your pet continue to enjoy a healthy and rewarding relationship with each other!

Dr Abby Regner is an associate veterinarian at New Hartford Animal  Hospital who is also certified in canine, feline and equine acupuncture and herbal medicine.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Puppies and Kittens!

Getting a new puppy or kitten is exciting! Most new pet owners have many questions. From proper diet, housetraining, appropriate vaccinations, and other health concerns, your veterinarian can help you learn about each aspect of pet health care and design a program that fits your pet’s needs.

Expect your new puppy or kitten’s first veterinary visit to be slightly longer than a normal health exam. This first visit gives your veterinarian time to pass along important information about caring for your new family member and answer any questions you may have. It is important to bring in a fresh stool sample as well as any medical information that you have received from your breeder or shelter. Your pet will visit their veterinarian every 3 to 4 weeks until he or she is about 5 months old.

Regular Veterinary Visits will include vaccinations and de-worming according to a schedule determined by your veterinarian. Your pet’s lifestyle should be discussed and a recommendation made about the right vaccines for your kitten or puppy. At approximately 5-6 months of age, your puppy or kitten should be spayed or neutered and microchipped. After this visit, annual or bi-annual examinations along with vaccination boosters are needed.

Spaying and neutering— Spaying or neutering is recommended for most pets. Electing the procedure is not only socially responsible, it also provides many health benefits for your pet. For most pets, the best time to perform the spay or neuter procedure is when your pet is approximately 6 months old. For your pet’s safety and comfort, New Hartford Animal Hospital takes a multi-modal approach to safety and pain management during spay and neuter procedures. As an AAHA accredited hospital,our approach includes IV fluids throughout the procedure and recovery, preemptive and post operative pain management, vital sign monitoring and body temperature support, and a dedicated recovery technician who monitors and comforts your pet throughout their recovery. It is important to check with your veterinarian to see what their standard of care is for this important surgery.

Microchip—Microchip identification will help ensure that your puppy or kitten can find his or her way home if he or she is ever lost. We use and recommend the Home Again® microchip identification and registration. While microchips can be implanted anytime and do not require anesthesia, we often perform the service at the same time as the spay or neuter procedure.

By establishing a good relationship with your pet at an early age, your veterinarian will be able to create an individual plan for a lifetime of good health and happiness.