Question: I have a litter of baby kittens with red weepy eyes. Can I get an antibiotic ointment for them, or what can I do to help keep them comfortable?
Answer: At this time of the year we see many kittens with eye problems. Most of the eye problems begin when the kitten becomes infected with a virus- often a Herpes type upper respiratory virus. This virus typically causes inflammation of the eyes resulting in redness, irritation and discharge. We often see sneezing associated with this virus as well. If the discharge from the eyes and nose stays clear, it usually indicates that we are only dealing with a virus- which will need to run the course. Applying a warm wet washcloth to the eyes while they are irritated helps to decrease the inflammation present. The warm compresses also help to clean the discharge and keep any skin infections from occurring due to the excess moisture. If the eyes or nose develop a green or yellow discharge, I would recommend scheduling an appointment for the kitten as there is probably a secondary bacterial infection now present; this infection would need antibiotics to help clear. Even if the eye discharge stays clear, if it is not improving or worsens at any time I would also recommend examining the kitten as there are many other things which can cause red eyes such as corneal scratches or ulcers.
Question: My 10 year old dog seemed sore after a walk and is now limping on the left hind leg. I gave him an aspirin the last 2 days, is this something I can continue for her arthritis?
Answer: It has been thought over the years that dogs can tolerate and should be given aspirin for pain. In recent years it has been shown that even one microscopic dose of aspirin can cause ulcers and gastrointestinal bleeding. Once in their system, aspirin is slowly excreted causing it to linger for almost 7 days. Aspirin cannot be combined with many other pain medications that we tend to prescribe. For arthritis in pets, I strongly recommend scheduling a consultation appointment where we assess the source of pain and get the pet started on safer medications. These medications may often be used in conjunction with other joint supplements so we can provide maximum comfort levels while minimizing the risks of long term effects to overall health. In addition to these items, ice and rest do wonders to alleviate some mild cases of discomfort.
If you think that your pet is experiencing discomfort from arthritis or another reason, give your vet a call and discuss options prior to administering anything from home.
Question: I just got a new puppy! I’m thinking about having her spayed, but I’m very nervous about the procedure. When is the best time to have it done? Someone told me to wait until she is at least one year old or even let her have a litter of puppies first. They said that waiting will help calm her down. Will she get fat after surgery? What should I do?
Answer: That is a great question! There are lots of good reasons to have your new pet spayed. Here are my top five:
1. Help control the pet over-population. There are many unwanted dogs out there due to “accidental” litters.
2. Help prevent “pyometra” or uterine infections. These infections can be fatal without intervention in the form of costly emergency surgery and medical therapy.
3. Prevent certain types of cancer (such as mammary cancer) later in life. Having your pet spayed before her first heat cycle reduces the risk of these types of cancer by 93%! If you wait until after the first heat cycle, but before the second heat cycle, the risk is still reduced by 75%.
4. Younger animals heal more quickly after surgery and have fewer complications.
5. Spaying can actually have positive behavior benefits. Females that are not spayed can have more erratic, aggressive or moody behaviors. These can occur especially around the time of her heat cycles.
It is important to remember that spaying and neutering your pet may slightly decrease their natural metabolism. Weight gain can be avoided by regular exercise and close monitoring of their diet.
In conclusion, we recommend spaying (and neutering) your pets between 4 and 6 months of age. Pipestone Veterinary Services thoroughly examines all of our patients immediately prior to surgery, and use the safest anesthetic drugs and monitoring techniques. We also recommend blood-work that will check for any conditions that may put your pet more as risk for going under anesthesia. All of these things will help minimize her risk to the lowest possible level. Don’t hesitate to ask your vet what their normal procedures are.
Question: Do I really need to have my cats teeth checked and cleaned yearly? He seems to be eating fine!
Answer: Without question, it is very important to have your cat’s teeth cleaned yearly! Most cats do not allow us to do a complete oral exam like when we go to the dentist. Therefore, performing a yearly dental allows us to address any oral abnormalities that may be causing your cat pain. Cats can develop various oral abnormalities at any given time including stomatitis, Feline Odontoclastic Resorptive Lesions (FORL), pathologic jaw fractures, fractured teeth, tumors, etc…. Cats are very stoic animals and majority of the time they do not stop eating because of mouth pain which makes it difficult to know if your animal is hurting. This is why it’s essential to have a dentistry done yearly!