June 2012


Don’t forget to give or apply your pet’s monthly flea, heartworm and tick medication

An electronic newsletter published by SylvaniaVET for animal lovers

SYLVANIAVET IS VOTED BEST VET AGAIN, this time by the Toledo Parent newspaper. We had not heard about this contest so the news we had won was a very pleasant surprise.  This year makes it five years in a row for The Toledo City Paper, and now the first for The Toledo Parent Best Vet award. It is our goal every day to meet or exceed this lofty honor with awesome customer service and caring compassionate patient care. THANKS VOTERS!

THE AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF FELINE PRACTITIONERS (AAFP) is a worldwide organization devoted to all professional issues related to cats. Dr. Bob has been a member of the AAFP for several years.  Dr. Hart and Dr. Andrea are also members of AAFP. That means that SylvaniaVET has more doctors using extra time learning about the nuances of feline care.  Our hospital is uniquely qualified for advanced feline care because of the separate entry, waiting area, cat only exam rooms and the truly unique cat hospital within the building. All these areas of special treatment are critical to making your cats’ hospital visit and care as stress free as possible. Recently, AAFP has developed a program called the “CAT FRIENDLY PRACTICE PROGRAM”.  Last month our application as a cat friendly practice was completed and submitted. We have just been notified that we have been approved for Silver Status as a cat friendly practice.  Look for future efforts to educate all our cat owners on the benefits of using a cat friendly practice. You can expect to see some subtle changes to our feline only areas and how recommend making and attending cat appointments. Every effort will be made to make a cats visit to SylvaniaVET as stress free as possible. TO THE BEST OF OUR KNOWLEDGE SYLVANIAVET IS THE ONLY AREA PRACTICE WITH CAT FRIENDLY STATUS.

GRADUATION TIME CAME THIS SPRING for three young women that have or do work at SylvaniaVET. Erica Giles started as a mentee her freshman year at Springfield High School. We quickly hired her to be a doctor’s assistant because her intelligence and compassion were quickly evident. After high school graduation Erica attended The University of Findlay and received her undergraduate degree in three years. Did we mention she was intelligent? She was accepted into Ohio State’s vet school four years ago. This month she becomes Dr. Erica Giles, DVM.  She will be joining a 70% exotics practice in Connecticut as a full-time associate. Shannon Longenecker graduated from The University of Toledo last month. Shannon worked her senior year in college in the boarding department. She will be filling in part time this summer until she leaves for vet school at Ohio State in September. Kim Cole graduated from Lourdes College last month with her undergraduate degree. She attended school full-time, works with us as a doctors assistant full-time all while planning her wedding!  That is one busy, organized and dedicated young woman. Congratulations to all, we are proud of each one of you.

ANIMAL EMERGENCIES HAPPEN AT THE MOST INCONVENIENT is a fair statement to make. Because a sudden need to see the vet cannot always be planned is one of the many reasons that we do not close during the working day. We have a doctor available for day time emergencies just like we do for afterhours emergencies. Last month we had an extraordinary emergency presented to us.  it seems that a very large German Shepherd suddenly collapsed, became violent and began to seizure. The owners could not get near this previously gentle dog that was obviously in great pain. Two of our vet techs, Laura and Sarah came to the rescue.  Armed with the necessary equipment and drugs to help the family and dog in trouble off they went to save the day, (no they are not Mighty Mouse but they are mighty great).  They were able to get the aged dog safely sedated and transported to the office.  The decision to end the suffering of this old and beloved pet was made by very emotional owners. It spite of their anguish the owners were both able to tell Dr. Bob how compassionate Laura and Sarah and how much they appreciated their help.  This level of service isn’t necessary every day but it is a great example of our commitment to patients and clients.

TOLEDO UNLEASHED is a group of local dog lovers that are working to start a dog park. Its prime mover Kevin Mullan received a job offer he couldn’t refuse and has relocated to Texas. For several months those of us interested in having a dog park had heard nothing from the Toledo Unleashed organization. We understood that some of the information from Toledo Unleashed has been transferred to The Toledo Area Humane Society.  Recently, Dr. Bob has been in discussion with Kevin and has been informed that Toledo Unleashed is still around and waiting on the old South Toledo YMCA property to be rehabilitated by the city. Dr. Bob has also learned from city of Toledo officials in the know that the South Y property is about ready to be released for the development of a dog park. The city is fully behind the dog park concept on the Anthony Wayne Trail near the zoo.  Kevin is still involved with Toledo Unleashed which is good news for the park’s development. If you have a desire to get involved in making a much needed and long overdue dog park a reality into our community please contact Dr. Bob  Dr. Bob has volunteered to be a member of the Toledo Unleashed board; the acceptance of this offer is pending action by the existing board.  The next big step is to design a park that will be dog and neighbor friendly. Of course fundraising is a critical need. It is expected that the 3-4 acre fenced park will require $30,000 to $40,000 to be completed. Come on dog lovers jump on board so NW Ohio can have its first dog park.

EPILEPTIC LIKE SEIZURES may be able to be detected before a disruptive and disturbing event occurs. If a seizure can be anticipated it might be possible to medicate at home before the convulsion occurs. A small implanted device detects the brain wave pattern associated with an oncoming seizure. It triggers a series of lights that are worn on a small vest the dog wears.  The device might be ready for dog use in about six months. The research on the implant is being done at University of Minnesota vet school. We will be looking into this device. It will probably have to be implanted and standardized by a veterinary neurology center.  We have a short article with more details for the asking, “SEIZURE IMPLANT”.

SYLVANIAVET’S WEBSITE HAS MANY USEFUL FEATURES not the least of which is our extensive medical library. Rather than Googling your pet’s problem and getting confusing, conflicting and often erroneous opinions about a condition go to our website library for detailed scientific based and professionally written information.

URINARY BLADDER STONES in dogs and cats are not uncommon. There are several types of stones but two are by far the most common.  The presence of stones can be associated with signs of urinary infection, straining, increased frequency of urination and blood in the urine. They are best diagnosed by x-raying the bladder. Most stones are very dense and show up easily on a radiograph. One stone in particular, urate, is radio lucent, which means it will not show up on an x-ray.  The common types of struvite and calcium oxalate are radio opaque, meaning they can be seen on a radiograph. Struvite stones almost always occur secondary to a bladder infection. These stones can be very large and can be multiple in numbers. Calcium oxalate stones occur in most cases because the pet is not drinking enough water has over acidified urine and because of the pets’ diet type. Many commercial pet foods, especially cat food, are over acidified; this predisposes your pet to developing calcium oxalate stones.  Years ago dogs and cats had trouble with struvite crystals and stones. As a part of the treatment a special diet was used that acidified the urine. Commercial diet manufacturers picked up on this and start adding products that would make the urine more acidic, this continues today.  What this change in diet pH has caused is it to make the most common stone found today the oxalate stone.  Stay away from urinary health diets unless instructed to by one of our vets. Stay away from off brand and generic pet foods as we seem to see a higher incidence of stone formation from these diets.  Ask for a copy of two handouts about stones, “BLADDER STONES”.

PET OBESITY IS STILL GROWING according to the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention.  In 2010 55.6% of dogs, seen in participating veterinary practices were either overweight or obese. In 2011 the total number of dogs classified in these categories fell to 52.5%. On the surface this good until one sees that obese dogs went from 20.6% to 21.3%. a decrease in overweight dogs in the two reporting categories is a small measure of success. Cats on the other hand showed a similar pattern. Cats in 2010 were 53.7% and in 2011 54.7% were either overweight or obese. Cat obesity jumped from 21.6% to 24.8% from 2010 to 2011 respectively. Overweight cats dropped from 32.1% in 2010 to 29.9% in 2011. Some of the drop in overweight can be attributed to the increase of obesity. The animals just kept getting bigger. This problem is not a pet problem, it is a people problem. We overfeed and under exercise our pets. They cannot go to the fridge for an extra scoop of ice cream. Measure your pets food for each meal, no heaping portions. Limit treats and use frozen green beans or carrots as replacements. No table food, we cannot calculate the calories provided. Walk your dog every day and teach your cat to run chase a ball or laser light.

HEARTWORM DISEASE IN DOGS IS A TREATABLE CONDITIONbut is much easier and better prevented. We live in an area where heartworm is prevalent. It is very unwise to not give your dogs a monthly dose of heartworm preventative. The six month duration Proheart®6 is bad news and should never be given. The American Heartworm Society recommends that all dogs be given year- round, what they call, chemoprophylaxis.  The veterinarians at SylvaniaVET have recommended for years that your dog receive monthly prevention year-round. Should your dog develop heartworm it can be treated, but it takes months if the recommended protocol is followed.  Throughout the entire treatment phase of heartworm disease, restricted exercise is essential.  For the first two months of treatment your pet is given doxycycline, an antibiotic, and prednisone, a steroid. Once ready for the primary treatment, the patient is given one dose of a special arsenic containing medication called Immiticide. Confined convalescence is continued for an additional month when the dog then receives two additional doses one day apart. Yes, you are right, strict confinement continues for another month.  Throughout this treatment phase the dog receives a monthly dose of ivermectin, Heartgard® Plus. This whole process is so that the impact of killing worms that are in the heart is lessened and the dog has a better chance of survival.

PET HEALTH INSURANCE is a good idea for all pet owners. Before you make the purchase however it is important to review several policies to enable you to choose what you think is best for you.  Some companies exclude potential genetic diseases, like hip dysplasia. However, this clause is not limited to this orthopedic disease. Recently, we diagnosed a German Shepherd with a digestive disease called pancreatic insufficiency or PI. It is common knowledge that PI has a much higher incidence in Shepherds’ than other breeds.  The clients insurance company refused to cover this condition as they claimed it is an inherited disease. We have a packet of company brochures to help you sort out what policy is best for you.

PET OWNERS LEARNED ABOUT PET NUTRITION 76% of the time from their veterinarian according to a survey. However, because you could pick more than one answer, 71.5% learned about nutrition on the internet.  Frankly, the veterinarian should be your only source for pet nutrition advice. Most internet advice is not scientific, is empirical and based on unsubstantiated opinion.  Another concern is that 36% of the people surveyed trusted the internet to advise them about nutrition and nearly 2% trusted the pet store. Pet store employees are not trained in nutrition and food company reps gain their knowledge from the company they represent and have no formal nutritional training.

OUR CLASS FOUR THERAPEUTIC LASER gets multiple uses every day.  All surgical incisions that do not involve a tumor are given a post-surgery treatment which helps and speed healing time. We use laser therapy to help would healing, to treat acute ear infections, treat arthritis, and acute orthopedic and soft tissue injuries. We know of one practice that successfully treated a cat’s chronic pancreatitis successfully with their therapeutic laser. We have packages that make therapeutic laser more affordable when multiple treatments are indicated.

TREATING EAR INFECTIONS CAN BE MORE EFFECTIVE IF THE PROPER STEPS ARE TAKEN. When your pet shakes its head excessively or violently or if they scratch intensely it is wise to lift the ear flap and take a look. In adult animals ear mites are not common so an infection is most likely if the ear smells, is red or has dark debris visible.  When we examine the ear we not redness, swelling, pain, debris or odor before we use our otoscope (a medical device used to look into ears). With the otoscope we can look deeply and examine the ear as deep as accumulated material allows. Ideally, we want to see the eardrum. After  the exam we will frequently make a slide of ear canal content. This ear smear enables us to know what is causing the infection, yeast or bacteria or both.  Being sure that the entire ear is successfully treated and the eardrum is healthy is one reason that all ear infections should be rechecked until the all clear is given.  To verify the elimination of infection an ear smear is done at the end of treatment.

The dog and cat have a long, “L” shaped, conical ear canal. Getting debris from deep in the canal cannot be done with  treatment alone. If there is a lot of debris an ear cleaner must be prescribed first. Using water or hydrogen peroxide is not an effective cleaner. Rubbing alcohol alone can be very irritating, and because there is lots of head shaking associated with infection and treatment, it is possible to get alcohol in your or your dog’s eyes. We recommend a variety of ear cleaners based on what we see and learn from the ear smear test. The steps to using the cleaner are critical to effective ear cleaning.

  1. Fill the ear canal with the recommended cleaner
  2. Plug the ear canal opening with a cotton ball
  3. Rub the ear canal by pulling the ear flap up and out and feeing the cartilage where it joins the skull
  4. After 15-30 seconds of rubbing use the cotton ball and others to swab out the loosened debris. You may use a Q-tip to ring the inside of the ear canal and the nooks and crannies of the outer canal but never go so deep you cannot see the cotton.
  5. After getting as much debris from the ear canal as possible let the pet shake its head and swab again.
  6. Wait 30 minutes then treat the ear with the prescribed medications.
  7. Most of the time cleaning is done once daily and treatment is done twice. Doctors may adjust this schedule.
  8. Schedule a follow-up appointment in 7-14 days.

If home care does not effectively clean and treat the ears then we will recommend an ear flush. We have a video camera otoscope that allows us to effectively and safely flush any pet’s ears. Recurrent ear infections are usually associated with not treating long enough with the appropriate technique and medications or underlying environmental or food allergy. Oral medications are not always necessary to treat an ear infection. An exception is very red, swollen and sore ears which will need systemic steroids and pain medications.

TREATING YOUR HOUSE FOR FLEAS WITHOUT CHEMICALS IS POSSIBLE. We know of two methods of treating flea housefestations without using any chemicals. For many pet owners avoiding toxic chemicals in their home is a high priority. We would like to add that the house treatment spray we recommend, Knockout IGR, is as safe as any chemical based product on the market. It can be safely and effectively used to eliminate fleas in your house. Of course the vacuum is a very effective flea control tool. Our experience is vacuuming alone is not likely to be completely effective. To treat for house fleas without toxic chemicals you can follow two paths. We carry a third generation Borax powder that can be spread throughout the house and it will kill fleas for up to one year, guaranteed. The powder is very fine and settles deep into the carpet and into cracks and crevices of hard surface floors.  The dust generated creates a cleaning problem.  The effort to apply and the ongoing cleaning to control the dust have not made this a very popular product.

Flea traps have been around for years. The general consensus has been they do not work well. Recently a study has shown why.  Most flea traps use a low wattage light bulb that is on continuously  to attract the fleas. The study showed that an intermittent, with a low lumen LED, light and a green filter was superior and worked very well.  We are looking into acquiring the best of these flea traps that use sheets of fly paper to catch and hold the fleas. This light trap can attract fleas from up to 25 feet away. We are looking into stocking this new, state of the art flea trap.  It is useful to know that one flea can lay over 200 eggs in a lifetime. The best product tested was My Flea Trap.

WE ARE A BIG ADVOCATE OF BUYING LOCAL WHENEVER POSSIBLE. To this end SylvaniaVET is a member of an organization call Toledo Choose Local. They only allow locally owned businesses to be members. If you own a local business it would be a great move to join and help this budding organization expand. If you are looking for a service or product you can check as part of your research.


Hi Tim,

I’m the guy you gave a set of navy scrubs to at Beaner’s in Sylvania a few weeks ago.  I wanted to get back to you about my experience with your product.

First, they are very comfortable to wear and I notice very minimal shrinking.  I truly enjoyed how loose and breathable they felt during the course of my shift.  Second, they look great.  I received many compliments on the fabric alone and passed out your information to a few coworkers.  My only complaints are the same as I mentioned when we initially spoke, and I understand are issues related to manufacturing and supply.  As a nurse, I carry lots of supplies on my person.  As such, I need pockets.  The standard unisex design is more suited to the surgery setting rather than bedside floor nursing.  I do, however, applaud you for adding the cargo pocket on the pant.  I will continue to wear my Esplin scrubs in my current rotation, but suggest as you reach more markets to implement new pocket  configurations for more diverse medical personnel.

Thanks for the opportunity to tryout a new product, and I look forward to more offerings in the future!


As we have mentioned before Dr. Bob’s son Tim is manufacturing and importing these scrubs. They can be ordered

WE CONTINUE TO HEAR TV ADS AND CLIENTS MAKE STATEMENTS ABOUT CORN BEING BAD FOR DOGS. There is no other way to answer this statement than to say it is advertising gobbledygook and just plain bull.  Dogs have a digestive tract very similar to humans and corn is a staple of the human diet.  Corn is not filler, corn is a contributor to a complete and well balanced diet. Corn is a good source of protein and omega 3 and 6 fatty acids. Corn is also a great source of energy.  In a nut shell corn should play an important role in most dog’s diets. Corn is rarely found to cause food allergy in dogs.