Presenting MountainView Veterinary Hospital’s Top 5 Pet Care Blogs of 2018

To say we’re grateful for all that has happened in 2018 would be an understatement. At MountainView Veterinary Hospital, our hearts are full after another wonderful year of serving New Jersey pets and their families. We love learning and keeping up with advances in veterinary care and supporting you and your pet as you plan for the future.

Pet owner education, both in-person and through our blogs, is an important part of how we connect with our patients and their families. That’s why we’re so pleased to bring you our top 5 pet care blogs of 2018!

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Is it just a Fatty Tumor?

Many pets present to us with small to extremely large masses of the skin.  These masses can be as different as all the fish in the ocean.  We are going to focus on Lipomas in the blog today.  Lipomas are soft, freely moveable masses just below the skin in dogs and, less commonly, cats.  In many instances they can be benign (non cancerous).  In others, they can morph in to more aggressive tumors such as Liposarcomas (definitely NOT benign).  Labrador Retrievers, Schnauzers and Doberman Pinchers are just a few of the breeds that appear to be predisposed to these unsightly protuberances.  Overweight female (Gee, do we EVER get a break?) dogs also seem to be over represented to this condition.

Dog with Lipoma

How can you tell if it’s a Lipoma?  First, lets just begin by stating ALL LUMPS SHOULD BE CHECKED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN!  What you think may be a benign tumor, may be something much more sinister.  Early diagnosis, just as with people, is the key to beating certain types of cancers.  Your veterinarian may perform a procedure called a fine needle aspirate.  This is where a needle is inserted into the mass and cells are drawn out (with a few kind words and a glass of wine perhaps?).  These cells are ejected onto a slide and sent to be reviewed by a pathologist.  This procedure is not 100% accurate, but it may help to give you an idea of what type of tumor your pet is dealing with.

As stated previously, some Lipomas can develop into more aggressive tumors, so try not to blow it off as “just a Lipoma“.  It is extremely important that you monitor your pet’s masses and bring any changes to your doctor’s attention.  You can even use the handy dandy lump bump chart from our website.  Your pet will be happy about the regular massages and you can rest easy knowing that you are contributing to their long, healthy life.

Coprophagy – The Down and Dirty

Mrs Smith quietly closes the exam room door.  Chanel, her perfectly groomed Pooper Scooper DoggieMaltese sits ever so quietly on the table, pink diamond encrusted bow perched upon her stately head.  I suspect there is an issue.  A private issue.  “Dr. Boggier,” she begins, “Chanel has started with a behavior that I find quite embarrassing”.  Mrs Smith goes on to tell me how she was horrified to find Chanel had not only defecated in the house, something she occasionally did, but then proceeded to choke it down like it was prime rib!  All this in full view of the guests at her monthly dinner party.  Mrs Smith was NOT happy.  Chanel, on the other hand, had a completely normal physical exam, er, minus the breath issue.

 Coprophagy, or stool eating, is a common malady in dogs and occurs for a variety of reasons.  Most people assume the pet is deficient in key nutrients in his or her diet and that is why they tend to perform the, uh, ultimate in recycling.  Not true.  The cause can be a tricky to ascertain.

Doc, you may say, I would like to have friends over again, how do I stop this behavior?  If the underlying cause can be identified (not always possible), several treatments may be attempted.  For example, if your pet has parasites, you veterinarian can dispense a quality deworming medication to address the issue.  Metabolic diseases such as pancreatic deficiencies would require further testing.  Anxiety or stress can be managed with a combination of behavior modification and or medication.  If your pet just likes the taste?  You may need to take some cooking classes.  Otherwise, you have a few options ForBid, Dis-Taste, Deter and all examples of products you can put in the food to make the stool taste bad (or worse).

As distressing as this problem is, there is hope.  Coprophagy may be an undesirable condition, but rarely does it lead to more than your loss of social status in the neighborhood.

 

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Injection in DogEach day we see clients who present their beloved companions to us and trust that we will help guide them to make wise decisions for their care.  There is no question vaccines prevent the spread of disease.  However, which vaccines should be given and how often?

The answer is no longer simple.  Years ago every pet recieved a relatively similar battery of core vaccines regularly and regardless of their risk of exposure.  Over time, vaccines were modified to provide protection for longer duration.  Things change.  Just as we no longer wear bell bottoms, have afro hairstyles and platform shoes – although these fashion icons seem to be making a comeback – trends come and go.  So where does that leave us now?

It’s all about choice.  Fantastic!  Another thing you need to make time for.  Perhaps you can squeeze it in between brushing your teeth and showering.  We try to make it easy on you.  Remember that “exam fee”?  Ah ha!  Now we’ve got you.  We are trying to educate you on what is available vs. what your pet needs.  For example – take “Jaws” the 15 year old chihuahua who has never stepped a perfectly polished toe nail on grass and eats little children for breakfast.  Jaws may not need more than a rabies vaccine.  “Doofus” the 2 year old chocolate lab and dog park regular on the other hand, should be vaccinated for Canine Influenza, Lyme, Kennel Cough, etc.  There are many vaccines available.  We are also seeing viruses reoccurring that we haven’t seen in years (Leptospirosis).  The key here is education.

So next time you are in for your visit, feel free to ask us about your pet’s vaccine protocol.  Remember, the only dumb question is the one you don’t ask.  Don’t worry, we don’t bite – we leave that up to Jaws.