Mar Vista Animal Medical Center

3850 Grand View Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90066

(310)391-6741

www.marvistavet.com

WHAT'S NEW

 

November 2017

Monthly Newsletter

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NEWSLETTER CONTENTS

HOSPITAL HOLIDAY SCHEDULE

Wednesday November 22nd CLOSING EARLY   (3 pm)   The day before Thanksgiving
Thursday November 23rd CLOSED   Thanksgiving Day   Happy Thanksgiving!
Monday December 25th CLOSED   Christmas Day   Merry Christmas!
Monday January 1, 2018 CLOSED   New Year's Day  Happy New Year!


Regular Schedule (8 am to 3 pm) on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve  (both are on Sunday)

 

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IN THE AUTUMN OF THE YEAR, WE'D LIKE TO POINT OUT

               THE SPECIAL NEEDS OF PETS IN THEIR OWN AUTUMN YEARS.

The "Take-Home" Point: PREVENT FRAILTY BY ACTING EARLY

LET'S CONSIDER AGE 10
It seems like no time ago that Rover or Fluffy was just a joyful puppy or kitten, chewing things up and playing rampantly with toys but time eventually catches up. There is no clearly defined line when a pet becomes "senior" and, of course, life expectancy is different for small dogs vs. large dogs vs. cats. That said, by age 10 there is no denying that a dog or cat is a senior citizen.
(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)

WHAT SHOULD YOU CHANGE?
For one thing, that annual examination, recommended for all pets, becomes a genuine must. We are going to be tracking weight loss, checking in on symptoms, dental disease, and monitoring lab work. Monitoring lab work is typically $300 and can be an unexpected expense when one is used to having a healthy pet in the prime of his or her life but it is crucial if we are to catch chronic disease early. The strategy of waiting for the pet to appear ill is simply not the best way to go for seniors; many diseases are insidious and advanced before symptoms are obvious.

(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)

SYMPTOMS TO NOTE
Sadly, many pet owners write off symptoms as "normal aging." In reality, to keep a senior pet as comfortable as possible, we need to address problems before they get out of hand. The goal in aging is to avoid frailty and maintain good life quality.

Pay attention to these issues in particular:

  • Weight loss
    Weight loss is the gateway to debilitation. We want our older pet to maintain muscle and remain active. If your pet is losing weight, let's see if we can find out why and slow the process down.

  • Reduced Appetite
    Reduced appetite is not normal and should be addressed long before appetite simply stops. Reduced appetite usually means an insidious disease is afoot and we need to identify it and treat it before reduced appetite leads to frailty.

  • Excessive thirst
    There are approximately a dozen diseases that manifest with excessive thirst. The simplest would probably be a bladder infection but they range all the way up to some complicated hormone imbalances including diabetes mellitus. Tests are needed to sort these conditions out. It only takes a few drops of urine to tell if a pet is drinking excessively. This is an important sign and can be hard to recognize except simply noticing your pet drink.

  • Mobility Problems
    Arthritis pain is a very important life quality concern for both dogs and cats. Watch for difficulty rising and lying down, stiffness especially after lying down. Cats in particular may have trouble jumping up on furniture as a sign of arthritis pain.

  • Dental Disease
    We know that most pets do not get their teeth regularly brushed. It is in the senior years that poor oral hygiene really catches up with an animal leading to oral pain, infection and potentially difficulty chewing. Do not be afraid of anesthesia per se. A senior pet needs a proper pre-anesthetic evaluation but if this is accomplished without any issues discovered, teeth cleaning is a low risk procedure and the benefits in oral health are well worthwhile.

Annual (or even semi-annual) check-ups with your veterinarian are where problems are identified and explored so be sure your pet is coming in for that regular examination. Expect laboratory work (blood and urine testing) to be recommended and budget accordingly. Consider insurance if you haven't signed up heretofore as senior years commonly involve long term medications and regular monitoring if not referral for specialty care.

Here are some links for more information:

American Association of Feline Practitioners Guidelines for Senior Cats
http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/pdf/10.1016/j.jfms.2009.07.011

American Animal Hospital Association Guidelines for Senior Dogs and Cats
https://www.aaha.org/public_documents/professional/guidelines/seniorcareguidelines.pdf

Pet Insurance Basics
http://www.marvistavet.com/pet-insurance-basics.pml

 

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INTERESTING EXTERNAL LINK:

NEED TO DE-STRESS DURING THE HOLIDAYS BUT DON'T HAVE A HANDY CAT?

https://purrli.com

Science has shown us that the comforting vibrations of purring reduces blood pressure, anxiety, and promotes healing of soft tissue injury.

Now you can punch in the web link above, put on your ear buds, and feel the feline love any time you need it.

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DID YOU GET YOUR REBATE THIS YEAR?

We're nearly all the way through 2017 and it is easy to forget to send in the paperwork for that extra cash back. If you think you are entitled to a rebate, you will probably need our receptionist to send you a copy of a receipt from earlier this year. We'd be happy to print our email what you need and hook you up with instructions. The following products have 2017 rebates and it is not too late to send in your request:

  • Galliprant for canine arthritis pain

  • Comfortis for flea control

  • Trifexis for flea and worm control

  • HeartgardPlus for canine worm prevention when you buy a one year supply

  • Atopica for itchy skin the you buy two boxes or more at a time

  • OraVet canine dental chews when you have purchased three boxes (not necessarily at once)

Not sure if you qualify or what you should do but you'd like the extra cash if you are entitled to it? Email us at marvistaamc@gmail.com and we can check your record to see if you qualify for a rebate.

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DID YOU KNOW...

...According to a recent study by Texas A&M University,

90% of cats over age 10 have arthritis in at least one joint?

We touched on mobility in the earlier article on senior monitoring but if you have an elderly cat, ask yourself if you are seeing signs of arthritis pain.

Cats with arthritis often:

  • Need to take their jumps in stages rather than gracefully leaping up from the floor. (The young cat jumps from floor to counter while the arthritic cat needs to jump to a stool or chair and then to the counter).

  • Has trouble getting into the litter box and poops next to it. This isn't a litter problem so much as an accessibility problem. Make sure the litter box is an easy step. Many arthritic cats cannot squat well and miss the box.

  • Isolate themselves and stay in one area of the house or even one area within a room because it is too much trouble to journey around the house with sore joints.
(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)

We have many solutions in the form of supplements and even medications that can be added to the food. We also have chiropractic to improve stance and posture. If you are seeing any of the above signs or if you see your cat is stiff walking around, let us know and we can help.

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GOT EXTRA TOWELS?

One thing an animal hospital always needs is extra towels for bedding. Blankets are even better.

We would be most thankful for your donations.

(Photocredit: Morguefile.com)

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OUR HOSPITAL WOULD LIKE TO THANK EVERYONE WHO HAS REFERRED A FRIEND!

This month we would especially like to thank (referred in September and October):

Dick Callahan
Rita Lasman
Cristina Logue
Samuel Martin
Aria Morgan
Carolina Petersen
Cindy Pickett
Pete Toston

Refer a friend or family member and receive a $25 credit to your account. Repeat as desired.

(Restrictions: the person referred cannot have the same address as you and must come in for a medical service other than vaccination clinic.)

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DR. JENNY JOHNSON'S NEXT DAY FOR CHIROPRACTIC IS THURSDAY NOVEMBER 30th.

Please call for a space in her schedule.

Dr. Johnson also performs shockwave therapy for arthritis with great success. If this exciting non-drug treatment is of interest to you, please contact us for further information.

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We extend a special thank you to all our pet-owning clients
for continued confidence in our work.
Always call or email if you have
any pet care concerns or questions!

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