Annual physical exams allow Dr. Chana the opportunity to catch dental disease, heart disease, skin problems, the warning signs of diabetes and countless other medical problems before they become life threatening. Many pets will be just fine until they just aren’t. By having Dr Chana examine them each year we have the chance to detect the signals of disease that may not be obvious. More on your dog’s annual exam here.
Dental Examinations and Cleaning
Dental cleaning, scaling and polishing can improve the quality of your pet’s life and help them to live longer. Broken or worn teeth are easily infected and can be very painful. Excessive build up of tartar can lead to irritated and infected gums making eating painful. Infected teeth or gums can easily lead to bacteremia (bacteria floating around in the bloodstream). This can lead to sepsis and end organ (brain/kidney/liver) damage. A dental cleaning requires sedating your pet under general anesthesia (inducing a deep sleep and putting a breathing tube down their airway). After your pet is asleep, we can then scrape all the tartar off the teeth and do a thorough examination of your pet’s teeth and gums. Any broken teeth need to be removed to prevent later infection and pain. If a tooth is removed, the socket is then sewn closed with dissolvable suture. After the scaling, exam and tooth removal (if necessary) the teeth are then polished and sealed with Oravet.
Not all pets require dental cleaning. Cats and small dogs have small mouths with little room between the teeth. This allows debris and bacteria to be caught between them requiring a need for more intense dental prophalaxis. Older large breed dogs sometimes require dentals, especially if they have broken a tooth.
Spay and Neuter
Despite clear scientific evidence to the contrary, some people still believe that it is better for a dog to have at least one heat cycle before being spayed. However, current research shows that allowing just one heat cycle before spaying increases the risk of mammary tumors from virtually zero (with early spaying before the first heat cycle) to 8 percent. Mammary cancer more than triples to 26 percent if you wait until after a second heat. Unspayed females also risk developing pyometra, a type of uterine infection, and of course, may suffer complications of pregnancy. Intact male and female pets also have a strong urge to mate. This results in a strong urge to fight for mates and to roam to mark territory. Fighting and roaming often result in injury and death.
We encourage people to talk to their veterinarians about having their dogs spayed before 6 months of age. Particularly for large breed dogs, the expense of the procedure will be considerably less than if the dog is at it’s full adult body weight. SNAP supports early spaying when possible because “just one litter” is a big part of the problem of dog and cat overpopulation. Nearly 8 million animals are euthanized in this country because there are not enough homes for all of them. Pass the word that spaying and neutering helps individual animals and saves our community the expense of dealing with unwanted animals. Please contact the SNAP program if you need assistance with the cost of a spay or neuter: 707-462-7874. If you are unable to afford any portion of the spay or neuter procedure, please call animal control in Ukiah and ask about their free spay/neuter clinics: 707-463-4427. Please understand that your pet’s experience will be different at a free clinic.
Many animal diseases are easily preventable through timely immunization. The most famous of these is the parvo virus which is often deadly in puppies. Other common diseases that vaccines can now largely prevent include distemper, adenovirus, feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency virus, leptospirosis, rabies, lyme, bordatella, rattlesnake and canine influenza. Most counties and states require rabies vaccination in canines. For more information on feline vaccines, please go to the services page.