January 2012

January 2012 For Pets Sake FYI

An electronic educational newsletter blog concerning of SylvaniaVET and animal care issues.

SylvaniaVET is a regional pet care facility providing advanced care and caring 24/7/365 to animals in Sylvania, Toledo, Holland, Perrysburg, Maumee and SE Michigan.


SylvaniaVET FYI Newsletter 1/2012

THE FIRST ADOPT-A-THON OF 2012 IS BEING HELD SUNDAY, JANUARY 22nd from 12-3 PM. As always several area rescues will bring animals needing forever homes to our learning center. We expect dogs, cats, kittens and puppies to be available. Bring the kids and spend some time on a cold snowy January Sunday even if you are not in the market for a pet right now.

MEMORIES LIVE ON ANIMAL FOUNDATION IS going to raffle off a beautiful hand- made quilt donated by a talented client. One hundred percent of the money contributed for raffle tickets will go to theMemories Live On Animal Foundation. Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. The drawing will be on Valentine’s Day, February 14th, 2012. The quilt will be displayed in the reception area for all to see. Tickets are on sale now. Donations to the Memorial Foundation are tax deductible.

PUPPY DEVELOPMENT AND BASIC OBEDIENCE CLASSES ARE STILL FORMING. It is not too late to enroll your dog in one of our Pawsative dog training classes. Our trainer, Doug Ritter, has over 30 years of training experience. You are going to love his approach as he believes in teaching dogs the right manners and not bribing them to obey. There is a subtle difference in his methods and other schools approach that use treats to excess. Classes start Tuesday, January 10th and Saturday January 14th. Puppy development classes are 1 hour and basic obedience classes last 1 ½ hours. For each dog enrolled Doug and SylvaniaVET will donate $5.00 to Maumee Valley Save A Pet. Call 419-885-4421 or check our website to learn more or to sign up. If you have specific questions you may call Doug. Our staff will be happy to give you his number. Doug has worked wonders with formerly unplaceable dogs at the Monroe Humane Society and Maumee Valley Save A Pet. We are sure he will work wonders with you and your dog. New classes will start every 6 weeks. Doug is an AKC certified Canine Good Citizen tester. He will be bringing CGC testing to our graduates. As demand develops we hope to hold therapy dog classes and basic obedience. Let us know if any of these are areas of interest for you and your dog.

RABIES IS NOT A DISEASE THAT MOST PET OWNERS WANT TO TALK ABOUT.  However, there are a great many misconceptions and worries that exist when it comes to a pet and rabies. First, let’s not diminish the severity of the disease as it is potentially fatal. However, the chance of a pet or a family member being infected with the virus is very small. Rabies vaccines are safe and highly effective. For a mammal, including humans, dog and cats, to become infected they have to be bitten by a rabies infected animal. The one exception to this statement is that it might be possible to inhale rabies virus from a bat in its habitat. Hence, cave exploring adds another risk that makes splunkering a less than desirable hobby. Eliminating the aerosol possibility the bite of the rabid animal must be when the animal is dying of rabies for the virus to be transmitted. In our area there has never been a rabid dog or cat reported to the health department since at least the early 1950′s. Regardless of risk, which is low, all dogs, cats and ferrets should be vaccinated against rabies. The pet cannot get the disease from the vaccine. The importance of this article is that a rabid dog was identified in Summit County this fall. The dog was 13 months past due on its vaccine. This emphasizes the importance of getting all vaccines when they are due. The pet died two days after being presented to the area veterinarian. Initially, rabies was not suspected, it was determined that the raccoon rabies variant was the cause of the disease. Raccoon rabies is spreading west in Ohio. Six veterinary hospital employees were given the full 4 treatment schedule of rabies prophylaxis, while the families other pets were vaccinated and quarantined for six months.


WE NOW CARRY THE NEW, VETERINARY ONLY, GREENIES DENTAL TREATS. Those bought on-line, from pet stores or other outlets, are different and not the new and improved version. In addition to the excellent SMART-TREAT dental preventive, the chews include nutrient profiles recommended by WALTHAM research. Each new chew contains antioxidants and omega-3 fatty acids. We will also be stocking large containers of Greenies that will make rewarding your dog less expensive. When we comparison shop, we have learned that our Greenie prices are better than area pet store prices.

A STUDY AT FLORIDA’S VET SCHOOL has shown that the class 4 therapeutic laser helps dogs with ruptured discs recover more rapidly after surgery. We have used our Companion class 4 laser on several post surgical disc dogs with great results. We now have documented evidence to support our clinical findings. We knew it now we know it!

SPEAKING OF ADVANCED, STATE OF THE ART CARE, WE DID OUR FIRST STEM CELL THERAPY protocol last month. Sam is a very arthritic senior dog that is in otherwise good health. We have used multiple treatment modalities and he is still uncomfortable and has difficulty moving. Therapeutic laser helped but was not enough for very sore elbows with lots of osteoarthritis changes. The newest approach to advanced arthritis and other conditions is autogenous stem cell therapy. We are licensed by Vet-Stem of California to use their stem cell technology to help pets. The process involves collecting a fat sample from the abdomens falciform ligament. The collected sample is sent to the VET-Stem lab where stem cell, the basic cell of all cellular development, is harvested and concentrated. When returned to us we injected Sam’s affected joints and gave the rest IV. This procedure is new but proven to be effective. Ask any staff doctor for more information. Last month The Toledo Blade did an article on stem cell therapy in pets but referred to a practice in Grand Rapids, Mi. A little homework could have kept the news closer to home. We have learned that the Michigan practice uses a competitive product that allows the practice to harvest its own stem cells. We investigated this product and came away concerned about quality control, infection control and many other more minor questions. We elected to go with VET-Stem who developed the technology and provides a state of the art lab. For a nominal fee your pets source of stem cells, the pet’s fat, can be collected during a routine surgery and stored for future use.

CUING BEHAVIORS, KNOWINGLY OR UKNOWINGLY is our avian consultant, Lara Joseph, monthly contribution to For Pets Sake FYI.   A cue is a sound or signal that elicits a behavior. For example, we may cue a bird to fly to our hand by just raising our hand. There may be multiple cues such as raising our hand and saying the word “come” at the same time. Cued behaviors remain strong based on the consequence it brings for the bird. All behaviors serve a purpose.

We may often unknowingly put undesired behaviors on cue. Often times I hear complaints from parrot owners that have complications getting their birds to return to the cages at night. There may be several cues to the bird that it is getting ready to be returned to the cage. The time of day could be a cue because it is paired with saying something like “Ok Rocky, it’s time to go night-night.” If both of these are consistently paired with my approach to Rocky and forcing him to step onto my hand and go into his cage, they are very strong cues of what is getting ready to happen and could cause the behavior of him flying away from me to increase.

Providing positive consequences for requested behaviors causes desired behaviors to increase. I always train my birds that flying to me on cue and going back into the cages on cue are always paired with positive consequences. It makes their behavior of coming to me on cue more likely to happen because there is always something in it for them such as a head scratch or favored treats. Happy Training!

For more articles on training, behavior, and enrichment visit my website at

Look for a bird behavior to be scheduled at SylvaniaVET in early 2012.

IF ONLY IT WERE AS EASY AS WEARING A THUNDER SHIRT TO CONTROL ANXIETY BEHAVIOR IN DOGS.   A local veterinarian’s marquee sign would have you believe that is true. However, anxiety in dogs and cats is a real and difficult problem to address. Wearing a tight fitting jacket like shirt will actually help as a part of an overall treatment protocol. Alone one cannot expect much benefit. When we address behavior problems, the history is critical to proper treatment. We use a variety of behavior modification techniques, homeopathic and pharmaceutical treatments and other devices, including capes, shirts and clips. Many clients seem reluctant to accept the need for pharmaceutical antianxiety medications. This limitation on treatment is likely to contribute to failure in dogs and cats with anxiety issues. The use of antianxiety medications should be viewed the same as using insulin in a diabetic pet. Currently, we do not carry Thunder shirts or similar products. If we feel that a commercial cape is indicated, we will refer you to Woofers Delight on Central Ave. Woofers Delight makes a highly nutritious natural dog biscuit which we sell. Referring to them for a Thunder Shirt is a small way for us to assist a local business.

FAMILIES AND BREEDERS WITH OVER SIX ANIMALS can now benefit from a new service from SylvaniaVET. We will be offering mobile wellness services to your home. This means we will come to you rather than your having to bring in the entire group for their important wellness exams, necessary vaccines and tests. A staff doctor and tech will bring all necessary equipment and supplies to meet every wellness need. House call services are by appointment only and are only for wellness and routine care. If you have an ill pet or emergency it must be scheduled at the hospital. A house call fee plus regular multi-pet fees will be charged.

For years we have offered in home euthanasia services for any pet owner at this highly emotional time. Our new mobile wellness services will expand our service spectrum to important annual services.

Dr. Bob did not receive many responses to his questions. One could surmise that all our clients do not feel we need to add hours to our current availability. However, Dr. Bob wants to be sure so he is republishing the short poll and hopes to get a representative response so we can better meet your needs.

  1. If we were open at 7 AM for appointments (we open at 7:30AM M-F now) would you schedule a 7 AM appointment ? Y N
  2. Would you schedule an appointment after 7 PM if we stayed open until 8 or 9 PM? Y N Which one: 8 PM 9 PM
  3. Would you use a walk-in first available appointment from 7-9 PM if an extra fee of $25 was charged? Y N To be clear, scheduled appointments would end on those nights at our current time of 7 PM
  4. With the hours we currently have, 7:30 AM to 7 PM M- TH, 7:30 AM- 6 PM Fri, 8AM- 5 PM Sat, 11 AM- 3 PM Sun and emergencies available the rest of the hours, is there any need to add hours? Y N

Please make any suggestions for improvement and take a couple minutes to answer the questions then cut and paste your response

USDA HAS STARTED A PROGRAM TO SAMPLE PET FOOD, TREATS AND SUPPLEMENTS FOR SALMONELLA BACTERIA. Over the last few years there have been multiple cases of pet products contaminated with Salmonella. The concern is for both humans handling the food and of course the pets eating the products. Random samples from each of the product groups were taken from manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers. One hopes that increased oversight of these pet products will result in safer food, treats and supplements.

You can become friends with Dr. Bob by friend requesting him as Robert Esplin. You can also like SylvaniaVET on Facebook.  Recently Dr. Bob got involved on Facebookin a discussion about purchasing puppies from pet stores. In a nut shell this is a bad idea as many of these puppies come from “puppy mills”. One of the many reasons why this is a bad idea is the findings of a recent study by Dr. Frank McMillian. The study revealed that puppy mill dogs “display behavioral and psychological abnormalities when compared with the general dog population”. During the exchange with an owner of a local puppy store Dr. Bob made a misstatement concerning purebred dogs purchased from a pet store. It had been his understanding that the AKC would not allow a pet store purchased dog to be registered. This statement was challenged. Because Dr. Bob only wishes to communicate accurate information he immediately contacted the AKC. He learned that he was wrong. If all proper paperwork is completed a pure bred dog purchased through a pet store can be AKC registered. This fact in no way changes our recommendation that a pet store is the wrong place to purchase a dog.

IF YOUR PET STILL HAS FLEAS it is time to get aggressive with a comprehensive house and pet treatment plan. Just treating all the pets is not enough if you are still finding fleas on Fido or Fluffy. The outdoor source of the infestation is long gone, even with the milder than usual December. You must continue the pet’s treatment with any of the following monthly ingredients; Frontline Plus, Revolution, Advantage, Comfortis or Trifexis. There are others available but we recommend you stay with these. To treat your house you must be thorough. Each room should be attacked individually. Vacuum the entire floor and the furniture. Move the furniture and vacuum under, this includes under the bed. Use a premise spray with an IGR, we recommend and sell Knockout. Bombs do not work well as they do not get their mist under furniture. An alternative to the insecticide sprays is a third generation borax powder call Flea Stop. It will work well but can be messy. Use a flea comb on the pet regularly to assess how you are doing. If after a month you are still finding fleas you must start over.


·  GRAPES AND RAISINS are toxic to dog’s kidneys. You should not give your dog any of these fruits. We do not know how much a toxic dose is nor is it known why these tasty fruits are toxic to dogs. One grape or raisin will not be toxic but we don’t want a dog to develop a taste for them.

·  CHOCOLATE is not terribly toxic to most dog unless large quantities of high quality chocolate are consumed. Three factors influence if we must treat for chocolate ingestion; size of pet, amount of chocolate and the quality of the chocolate.

·  ASPIRIN does four things when given to a dog. It relieves pain and inflammation, which is good. As little as one dose of aspirin can start the process of gastric ulceration leading to a bleeding ulcer. Even small doses of baby aspirin will slow clotting the same as it does in humans. Used long term it actually speeds the destruction of joint cartilage. We do not recommend you give your dog or cat aspirin unless instructed to do so by a veterinarian.

·  TYLENOL (ACETOMENOPHEN) is toxic to a dog and cats liver. This product should not be used.

·  IBUPROPHEN can cause permanent and fatal kidney damage. We recently had a dog that ingested 30 tabs and needed aggressive therapy to prevent damage.

·  ALEVE can cause severe stomach ulcerations and bleeding with a very small dose.

·  ANTIFREEZE is toxic to dog and cat kidneys in very small doses. Most people know this but are not careful about radiator over flow in the drive or garage. Given the difficulty of disposing of old antifreeze it seems wise to let a garage do the work and eliminate the risk of having containers of antifreeze around the house.

·  CLOSED UP CARS, even in the winter, can cause the interior to get too hot for a pet. If you are going to make stops on a sunny winter day leave the pets at home.

·  ORBITZ GUM that contains Xylitol. A relatively small amount can cause a dramatic drop in blood sugar causing seizures and can damage the liver.As you know we are at the office 24/7 should you have a worry about anything your pet might have consumed. The sooner we know what and how much was ingested, the better we are going to be able to treat the problem. When we are unsure of how to treat a given case, we will contact the ASPCA poison control center for consultation and advice. There is a fee for this service. If you have Homeagain microchip the fee is paid by the microchip company.

IT IS WISE TO REMEMBER THAT SYLVANIAVET IS YOUR 24/7 PET CARE DESTINATION.  We recommend that you get our number on speed dial and on your cell phone call list. Last month we saw a litter of puppies on a Saturday night that were having fever and diarrhea. The client called the emergency clinic as that is where her previous practice had suggested. She was told that to bring in the litter of nine puppies the fee would be $77 per puppy, plus tests and treatment. In a panic she called dad, dad knows best of course, and he suggested us. We saw and treated the litter for much less. When we see an emergency the only fee different than during the day is the afterhour’s access fee, $65. This is a one- time fee regardless of how many animals come in with you. Consistently our regular fees for every service are substantially less than the emergency clinic. So in a time of crisis don’t just call the first number in the book or use a service because it is close, we will always be there for you and will always charge you fair fees for the service rendered.

A BRITISH STUDY VERIFIES that reward based, Pawsitive dog training (SylvaniaVET’s) created dogs with a greater willingness to approach new people and  learn new tasks. There were definitive detrimental effects of punishment-based training methods. Cesar Milan’s TV show is strongly based on punishment to establish dominance. This methodology is no longer considered appropriate. Our new classes will use the best methods of teaching good, desirable behavior without bribing the dog with a continuous stream of treats.

WITH THE ADDITION OF DR. ANDREA WE NOW HAVE TWO DOCTORS THAT WILL SEE EXOTIC PETS.  Both Dr. Melanie and Dr. Andrea will see birds, reptiles, rabbits and small caged pets including ferrets. Many of these animals need routine nail, teeth and beak care. To better provide this service and to best advise you about health and husbandry issues as it relates to your exotic pet, we require a full exam and consultation the first time you present the animal. After the initial visit these routine visits may be scheduled and you will only be charged with what is done. As with dogs and cats, we require an annual exam of each animal to maintain a currant client-patient-doctor relationship. You should always feel free to consult our exotic doctors about health and feeding questions. Information from stores and on-line is frequently wrong and can be harmful.

SYLVANIAVET’S CARE MODEL IS A PERFECT BELL SHAPED CURVE. On one end is our community service and support of several area rescues organizations. The big bulge of the bell is you and your pet with excellent client and patient care. The other end of the curve is our involvement with pure bred breeders and dog show participants. All three parts give us great balance and enable us to provide top notch care to the total spectrum of pet animals. The community and by extension us would not be well served without rescues finding forever homes for pets in need. You of course recognize the commitment to high quality 24/7 care and availability we provide. It is your portion of the practice we seek to grow and expand. Please don’t be bashful about spreading the word about SylvaniaVET. Working with breeders and show people presents a unique challenge as we help to improve the quality of pure bred dogs. Our recent presence on Animal Planet Canada showing some of our repro services was a great experience for all of us. The Animal Planet piece will air in the US soon.

TO HELP US GROW you need is a supply of referral cards readily available at the front desk. If you give a card to someone you know that has pets and they come in with the card they will get a $40 discount on their first bill. You will receive at least a $40 credit on your account. After you have referred ten new clients to us you will be sent to dinner at a local restaurant. Wouldn’t you like to have a steak dinner for two at Mancy’s? We would love to send you. Be a SylvaniaVET booster, it is a win-win-win proposition.