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Bandages and Bandage Care For Your Pet

FOLEY BLVD. ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Bandages and Bandage Care For Your Pet

There are several types of bandages we use in veterinary medicine. These include:

Soft Bandages- these are used when minimal support to the underlying structure is needed. Frequently they are used to control bleeding of a wound or nail problem or to provide a small amount of support and help prevent swelling, such as after orthopedic surgery

Splints-these are more rigid bandages which are used when a pet needs more support than can be supplied by a soft bandage alone. Fractures of toes and foot bones can often be splinted.

Casts- these are hard bandages which help support larger fractures in the event that surgery is not desired or available.

Body Wraps-these are used after surgery or on wounds to prevent swelling, drainage, and licking.

Important Points in Your Pet's Bandage Care

Home care of bandages is very important to prevent further damage to the bandaged area

- Inspect the bandage at least once a day. Signs of wetness, odors, rubbing, or excessive wear should be brought to your veterinarian's attention. If the toes are visible in your pet's bandage, check for swelling or skin irritation. If the bandage seems out of position, that should also be noted and ultimately examined.

- Keep your dog confined to a leash and allow him or her outside only for bathroom duties. Please do not allow your dog to run or take long walks while wearing a bandage.

- The bandage must remain dry. A wet bandage can cause severe irritation to the skin. We will provide you with an appropriate cover for your bandage, depending on how long it is expected to stay on. The cover should be removed when your pet is indoors and placed on loosely when your pet goes outside—even if it seems dry outside. Please do not place any rubber bands around your pet's bandage.

- Some dogs would like to chew their bandages—this can cause wetness and damage which can significantly affect the ability of the bandage to provide the support that is intended. An E-collar is frequently needed to prevent access to the bandage. There are sometimes other alternatives that can be used. Please ask your veterinarian if you have any questions.

- Your veterinarian will recommend a follow-up appointment to examine, change, or remove the bandage. This examination should occur at least weekly, but the bandage may need to be evaluated more frequently.

- The better care you take of the bandage, the better chance your pet has to recover sooner.

- Cats with bandages should be kept inside at all times. Please inspect the bandage daily, especially after your kitty's trips to the litterbox. We want the bandage to remain clean and dry.

- As always, if you have any questions, please call our office.

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Annual Wellness Exam

FOLEY BLVD. ANIMAL HOSPITAL

Annual Wellness Exam

A wellness physical exam is a critical part of how our veterinarians care for your pet. Having a complete physical exam performed by our detail-oriented and experienced veterinary team can detect many subtle changes in your pet's health. Dogs and cats can be very good at hiding their discomfort. Discovering changes early in the disease process can often prevent long-term and potentially costly complications.

We recommend that a wellness examination be performed at least once a year. Frequently these assessments can be scheduled at the same appointment in which a pet receives vaccinations, a heartworm and tick-borne disease panel, an intestinal parasite exam, and routine screening bloodwork. The findings of the examination will determine if any further testing is recommended.

Each patient which is presented to Foley Blvd Animal Hospital receives a full examination when it enters our facility. This involves a nose-to-tail look at many body systems of your pet, including the following:

General Appearance of the Pet- includes assessment of weight gain or loss, and recommendations for weight management if needed.

Oral Exam-a thorough dental exam, which may include recommendations for treatment or home care. Examining the oral cavity can also reveal evidence of blood disease, dehydration or shock.

Eye Exam - many changes can occur which can only be noticed or evaluated with special equipment.

Ear Exam- frequently ear infections in dogs and cats can go unnoticed by pet owners but can be detected with a complete otoscopic exam.

Lymph Nodes- to evaluate for infection or cancer

Thoracic Auscultation-listening to your pet's chest with a stethoscope can determine if heart or lung disease is present.

Abdominal Palpation-feeling the pet's belly can evaluate for problems of the digestive, urinary, and reproductive systems.

Skin Exam-infections, lumps and bumps, wounds and poor hair coat can be discussed.

Musculo-Skeletal and Neurologic Exam-to determine if any bone or joint pain or nerve dysfunctions are present. This may include a discussion of arthritis diagnosis and treatment and may lead to further diagnostic tests such as digital x-rays

Your Senior Pet

Unfortunately, pets age significantly faster than their human owners. This means that many changes can occur in a short period of time. Yearly wellness exams may not be enough to keep up with your older pet's changing health. As pets reach senior status, we may recommend more frequent check-ups to ensure their continued quality of life.

Ask Questions

As always, this is your opportunity to speak with our trained veterinary staff about any concerns you may have about your pet. You are an important link to your companion's health and we are here to address any questions or concerns.

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Holiday Hazards

Holiday Hazards by Donna Barr

The sights, sounds, and smells of the season are here. Temptation may be everywhere for your pets.

Christmas trees filled with sparkling, breakable ornaments, tinsel, string, ribbon, electrical lights and cords can all harm you dog if ingested. Some glass ornaments break into tiny shards of glass causing a problem if ingested or stepped on.

Mistletoe, especially the berries can be quite toxic to your dogs and cats. Holly and poinsettia plants can cause digestive upsets and irritation of the mouth.

Chocolate can be toxic to your pets. Remember to keep all Holiday treats out of your pets reach. It’s also a good idea to keep your pet on his or her regular diet during the Holiday. Fight the urge to share special treats with your pet during this time.

Be careful with decorations made of food. Marshmellows made into snowmen and held together by tooth picks can cause serious damage if your pet eats them. This time of year we are cooking and baking all kinds of wonderful smelling goodies. Remember to be careful with the garbage.

Salt on our streets, drive ways, and sidewalks can cause damage to your dogs paws. Check them after walks. Boots are a good way to avoid problems.

Antifreeze-ethylene glycol can be particularly tempting to your pet. It has a sweet taste and a few ounces can be fatal.

Remember the Holidays are a busy time of the year. Guests coming and going can cause stress for you and your pet. With all the coming and going make sure you keep an eye on the door and the gates in your yard. The last thing you need is for your pet to escape. Make sure your pets have a safe haven where they can get away for awhile and relax. Maybe the back bedroom, downstairs, upstairs, some place quiet.

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Preventing Your Not So Spring Chicken

Preventing Your Not-So-Spring Chicken from Getting Sprung

By Rodger Barr DVM
Fall 2000

Many of our beloved adopted greyhounds are now approaching their twilight years. These years can be the very best if several simple precautions are taken. First and foremost, try to avoid the pitfall of going on automatic pilot with your reliable, very dependable and always perfect pet.

Over the years, you have worked out your greyhound’s kinks and unacceptable behaviors (as if!). Your special companions can become so predictably perfect that you might tend to let your guard down and fail to see some of the early signs of age-related problems.

Always take note of any behavior changes, no matter how slight they appear. The simplest things can be significant, and if these problems are dealt with early, it may be helpful in cutting off a potential problem at the pass. Such things as more frequent bowel movements, changes in eating habits, an increase in water consumption, a change in your pet's normal energy level, an abrupt alteration in your pet’s normal silhouette, increased urination frequency, attitude changes towards family members or other pets, unusual odors, sleeping more (would you notice?), any new lumps or bumps, new lameness, unwillingness to go up or down stairs -- absolutely anything different may be an early sign of a developing problem. If these problems are addressed and dealt with early, the likelihood of resolution is much greater.

Exercise is something most retired greyhounds appear to really enjoy. This can range from regular walks to hard running. You would think that our revered pets would know what type of physical activity is best for them. Well, I’m here to tell you, they are dogs, the equivalent of young children or worse, THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR THEM. We love the breed for many reasons, and for some of us, their athletic prowess is part of their magic, and we cannot imagine discouraging them from their magnificent oval and figure eight racing in our backyard ruts. That gorgeous double suspension style of running is fascinating to watch – when they’re YOUNG and FIT. When age begins to creep up on a greyhound -- and sometimes you are the last to realize this -- heavy exercise can be the catalyst to disaster. I expect this opinion will be as popular as an increase in the federal income tax rate, but over the years I have seen enough to convince me that CONTROLLED activity is one of the most important adjustments we can make to lengthen the number of quality years we have with our beloved hounds. When we ourselves approach middle age, we voluntarily adjust our activity level or pay the price. The same is true for our greyhounds. Walking instead of running, although less exciting to watch, is just as valuable in maintaining good physical condition for our retired athletes. You rarely see dislocated toes, broken toenails, split webs, broken backs, ruptured discs, injured limbs, or even lacerations caused by a vigorous walk. I can’t say the same for running.

Anything in moderation works for some, but less so with an animal capable of running 48 mph. The bottom line is that most of our dogs just don’t have the physical condition necessary to allow a body to hold up during this kind of physical exertion. Our dogs rely on us to make proper choices for them. They expect us to keep them out of the street, they expect us to feed and water them properly, and as their protectors, we need to control their physical activity. Many will say, “How do I stop my greyhound from running like crazy in the backyard?” I never said it was easy; I said it is critical to prolonging quality life. If you have more than one and they tend to get each other going, you might consider turning them out separately. It may even be necessary for you to go out with them to insure compliance. Lastly, simply resorting to walking on a leash instead of the backyard may be the best option of all.

This is the first installment in a series on health issues and the mature greyhound. In the next issue, I will address dietary adjustments, vitamins, tips on adjusting the level of exercise, as well as suggestions on stretching and massage. Lastly, I will suggest different blood tests and other diagnostics that are useful in catching problems before they can develop a foothold.

So hug your mature pet and appreciate every day, and don’t take life for granted. There are many things we cannot control, so we must strive to manage those things that we can. I can confidently say that you will be pleased with the results.

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