September 2012

SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 9th SYLVANIAVET WILL BE PART OF POOCH PLUNGE AT BURNHAM PARK IN DOWNTOWN SYLVANIA For a donation of $5.00, your dog will be able to take a season ending swim in Plummer Pool. All money raised will be donated to a local organization that is working to bring a dog park to the area. Pooch Plunge is being organized by Dave Spiess, an active member of the Sylvania community, in honor of his recently deceased father. Dave’s great love of animals came directly from his dad. Come on out to Burnham Park from 1-4 Sunday, September 9th.

SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 22nd WILL BE THE DOG DAYS OF SEPTEMBER CELEBRATION AT THE LUCAS COUNTY REC CENTER After a year’s hiatus, Stautzenberger College’s Veterinary Technician program is again sponsoring Dog Days of September. There will be entertainment, food, adoptions and vendors, like SylvaniaVET, as well as, the always popular Weiner Dog Nationals. Dog days is a full day event, 9AM-4PM. Come out and have a great time and be sure to stop by our booth, we will have fun and freebies for everyone.


Dr. Natalie and her husband welcomed a boy, Gavin into their life on July 26th. He was 8 pounds 9 ounces and 21 inches long. Everyone at the Thomas house is doing well and we are told that Gavin is a good baby. We hope to have Dr. Natalie back in the schedule by early October.

Dr. Melanie and her husband Nick welcomed their second child, Ava June on August 24th. Ava was 7 pounds 7 ounces and 20 inches long. We are very impressed with how Melanie and Nick are doing with two little ones at home. We hope to see Dr. Melanie back in November.

On a less upbeat note Dr. Hart tendered her resignation early last month and has relocated to the Philadelphia area. We wish her and her husband Bill well in their new location.

WITH THREE DOCTORS OFF the schedule for much of August and all of September, doctors Bob, Jen, Kate and Andrea have been working extra hard. Many clients have noted that wait times have increased and there seems to be a shortage of appointments some days. We apologize for this atypical situation as we have been working very hard to be sure we stay on time as we know how valuable your time is. Once Dr. Natalie is back some of the pressure will be off the other doctors, but full correction of the inconvenience to you will not be possible until everyone is back full time and we replace Dr. Hart. To that end we have been interviewing prospective associates. We have two terrific candidates and are close to making an offer. We expect to have an accepted offer by mid-September. Just to give you a sense to the effort our doctors are making, every doctor has or will have a stretch of working a minimum of eight straight days. Dr. Bob worked 17 of the last 19 days of August. “That was killer duty but it had to be done” was how he got through it. Until we are back and fully staffed we have suspended our Sunday hours. We of course will be available for emergencies all day Sunday but will just not have our regularly scheduled hours.

WE HAVE NEW SYLVANIAVET COFFEE MUGS FOR SALE Half of the sale price of $15.00 goes to our Memorial Foundation. In a couple of weeks we will also have SylvaniaVET hats for sale. Again, half of the price, yet to be determined, will go to the Memorial Foundation.

We have not talked about the Memories Live on Animal Foundationlately. If you have not visited this wonderful, quiet oasis at the northeast corner of the hospital property, please do so at your next opportunity. The garden is centered by a stainless steel sculpture called Embracing Memories. We sell memorial bricks in honor of loved pets that have passed. The sale of the brick is our primary way of funding the five funds within the foundation. One of the funds provides a scholarship to an OSU vet student; another is a Good Samaritan fund which enables us to provide care to animals that would otherwise be euthanized for lack of funds. This fund helped pay for the care that Lola and her puppies received last year. There is a community fund that helps us promote the human-animal bond in the region. One other fund helps support local rescues with grants and cash gifts. We recently gave Paws and Whiskers Cat Shelter, the only area cat only, no-kill shelter the benefits from this fund. Finally, there is a small but growing endowment fund. If you would like to honor a pet(s) with a memorial brick just ask any team member for the necessary paper work. Of course the foundation will accept donations to help its mission. Memories Live on Animal Foundation is a 501c3 registered charity.

In November, date not yet set, we will hold a foundation fund raiser at BW3 on Central Avenue. A generous donation of 10% of all food orders that night will be made by BW3 to the foundation. Look for the date to be announced soon.

Petsylvania is the name of a column in the bi-weekly Sylvania Advantage and also the name of Dr. Bob’s on-line radio show The show broadcasts on Saturdays at 10 AM and then is replayed on Mondays at Noon and Thursdays at 8 PM. If you have questions please send them to and Dr. Bob will answer them on air. We hope to have the broadcasts available on our website if you cannot listen during the regular broadcast.

FLEA SEASON IS UPON US andtick season is nearly passed. You can expect to have fleas active outdoors until at least Thanksgiving. If you get them in the house, then the season never ends. It is important that your dog receive flea control year roundjust as we recommendyear round heartworm and internal parasite control. Two newer products have entered the world of flea control which is the next giant leap in treatment andprevention. Flea control used to be a horrific ordeal with a client needing to attack all three sides of the flea control triangle, pet, yard, and house. Spray, powders, baths, dips, bombs, collars andyard sprays were all necessary to deal with the scourge of flea infestation. Then along came Frontline and a few years later Advantage. Both products were a giant leap in flea control. To some degree they both worked great. Frontline was and is effective against ticks. Additives, such as a permethrin had to be added to Advantage to affect ticks. We have never been a fan of the Advantage line of products anddo not recommendthem. Over the years talk began about the fact that the topical began to lose their effectiveness. We did see pets with more fleas than one might expect on a Frontline treated pet. There is still no definitive knowledge that resistance has developed to Frontline but one begins to wonder. Merial, the manufacturer of Frontlinecame out with an enhanced Frontline which makes one suspicious that they too are worried about resistance.

Now the next giant leap for mankind in the great war on fleas has occurred. Comfortisthe once a month flea control pill containing the chemical Spinosid, means no more topical application. Comfortis is a flea only control pill andcan be used in conjunction withany once a month heartworm medication. The companion product to Comfortis is Trifexis. Trifexis is a combination monthly tablet that prevents heartworm and kills adult fleas. Bothtabs work great with little to no side effects. The good news is the Trifexis is cheaper than the combination of heartworm medication and Frontline. We still sell Heartgard Plus for heartworm and Frontline for flea and tick control, but encourage you to consider either Comfortis or Trifexis.

Neither of the new products is effective against ticks so during the spring andsummer we recommendthat you use Frontline or a new collar called Scalibor. Scaliborhas a six month efficacy in repelling ticks, and mosquitoes, killing ticks and providing a small degree of flea control. It is easily applied of course. Safe for the animals, family and is not washed off. So the combination of Trifexis and Scalibor appears to be the best alternative for heartworm, flea and tick control.

WEST NILE VIRUS HAS BEEN REPORTED IN THE NW OHIO AREA. Recently The Toledo Blade published that several WNV birds, and at least one human case, have been reported in Lucas County. The Michigan Health Department has reported high levels of WNV in areas of the state. They didn’t give specifics in their press release. There is a WNV vaccine for horses as they are very susceptible. There is no vaccine for humans. Though WNV has been reported in dogs, cats and other mammals, it is not considered a significant disease. It is never a bad idea to protect yourself and your pet when outside during mosquito season. Here is another argument to Scalibor collar.

WHICH DOGS SHOULD GO TO OBEDIENCE SCHOOL? (Easy answer, all of them.) We encourage new puppies to attend Puppy Development class then progress to basic obedience. Even if you are a very experienced dog person, your new dog or older dog needing a refresher course will benefit from our Positive Dog Training class. Our next class starts Tuesday September 4th and Saturday October 6th. We encourage you to call and make a reservation or you may download an application from our website. Doug Ritter, our trainer, has over 30 years of experience and does a great job.

SHOULD YOU BUY GENERIC PET PRODUCTS?  Generic and brand name products for many veterinary medications are now being sold at big box stores and pharmacies. If we receive a request to purchase these products from the store we will not fill them. You will be required to come in and pick up a written prescription which we will provide. You can then take it back to the store or mail/fax to the on-line pharmacy. Many of these outside sources have no knowledge of the products they are selling or the ingredients in these products. Recently, we had a national pharmacy store manager tell us that their pharmacists have a great computer program that tells them what they need to know. Now isn’t that great, they have to look up a product and they will only know to do so if you ask a question. That lack of immediate knowledge should concern you. In addition if a veterinary product is a generic, then they only have to meet the federal requirement of generic equality, 80% of the brandname active ingredient with no responsibility to show that it actually is absorbed and will work. Stay away from outside sources for veterinary products. We price our brand name products to be price competitive.

DID YOU KNOW THAT ALL VET SCHOOLS NATIONALLY ARE INCREASING CLASS SIZES IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THERE IS DECREASING DEMAND FOR NEW GRAD VETS? Schools increase class size to generate income. Vet schools are expensive to run. They do not increase the number of teachers; they do not increase the case load so students paying a huge amount of money have their hands on experience diluted. The cost of a vet school education is about $250,000 for the full four years, this includes living expenses. The decreasing demand, increasing cost to educate and pay for the education is a serious problem the schools are working on. Expanding class size seems short sighted and counterproductive to us.

THE NATIONAL BETTER BUSINESS BUREAU HAS STOPPED A COMPANY CALLED HALO PURELY FOR PETS, INC FROM MAKING FALSE INTERNET ADVERTISING CLAIMS.  The Halo Company was saying that pet food companies that use chicken by-products or chicken meal were endangering the animals. Given that so many pet owners use the internet to research products and seem to believe what they read, this was andis a grievous case of misinformation. Remember a few facts; the content of any processed food must meet the standards of content dictated by the AAFCO, American Association of Food Control Officers. AAFCO has strict guidelines of what animal parts from only healthy animals can be used in pet food. If you stay withfoods from the highly reputable companies that manufacture pet food your pet will thrive. We only recommend food made by nutrition companies. That means they do research into the proper way to feed a pet, not just manufacture a product andsell it as superior. The companies we recommend are Hills, Nestle’-Purina, Iams and Royal Canin, and Purina, the chow line. Please do not base your feeding decisions on non-scientific statements made on-line.

THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF HEALTH has awarded grants to the veterinary schools at Minnesota and Pennsylvania. Both schools study ways to predict and control seizures in humans and dogs. The study will utilize an implantable device that collects EEG data that can be used to detect impending epileptic seizures. The data can be used to guide the administration of drugs to prevent the seizure.

SIX BEST OF BREED WINNERS WERE DISQUALIFIED FROM A BRITISH DOG SHOW following veterinary checks. The vets were checking for four areas that might be issues if these dogs won shows and were then bred passing on the poor genetics. The winning dogs disqualified were Bulldog, Pekingese, Clumber spaniel, Mastiff, Neapolitan Mastiff andBasset Hound. Each was DQ’d for at least one of the following defects, visible eye disease, lameness, skin disorders and breathing difficulty. This is a great step in all breeds doing a better job of trying to improve the animals. The next step in the US is to stop requiring andawarding best of status to dogs with cropped ears.

Concerning the difficulty breathing issue the Bulldog is the worst. We see many bullies with nostrils that are too small and soft palates that are too long leading to very restricted breathing. We do a brachiocephalic surgery on bulldogs and other short faced dogs to correct these problems. The surgery really helps the dogs.

DOGS WITH CHRONIC OR RECURRENT DIGESTIVE DISORDERS NEED TO BE CHECKED FOR increased fat and triglycerides in the blood. The fat content of the dogs diet needs to be restricted if either cholesterol or triglycerides are elevated significantly after a 12 hour food fast. High lipids will cause a dog to be more susceptible to the development of a serious condition called acute pancreatitis. An Italian study showed that feeding a low fat diet to dogs with hyperlipemiareduced the level of both cholesterol and triglycerides and showed a lipid balance similar to the fat levels of normal dogs.

DENTAL RADIOGRAPHS ARE ESSENTIAL for quality dental care for your pet. We are using our state of the art digital dental x-ray unit more andmore. As we increase our x-ray use, the number of problems that we have found, that were not evident externally, is increasing amazingly. So to save as many teethas we can, but to provide the best of care, we will be recommending full mouthdental rads when we are doing a dental cleaning. The need for full mouth dental x-rays are very important in cats as they frequently have hidden but painful tooth resorptive lesions.

ASAP MEANS AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, but in our case it means anesthesia as safe as possible. To this end our anesthesia protocols are extensive and constantly being reviewed and improved. When you entrust your pet to us for surgery, you want the best and safest situation for your pet. We want the same thing for you and your pet. To this end we use caution every step of the way. The pet’s age, health status, cardiac status and breed specific issues are considered every time for every patient. Examination to find problems, lab work and an ECG that is no older than six month is recommended, premeds to prevent stress and anxiety as well as analgesia are administered. Appropriate full anesthesia is considered and administered. All cases receive support fluids for the duration of the procedure and constant monitoring by both trained staff and electronic monitors are used. We record the monitoring results every 5 minutes. After the procedure the pet is watched by a staff member until it is ready to go back to its kennel. If a pet’s temperature is too low we use one of our two Bair Hugger warm air devices to bring the temp back to normal. Finally, post surgical pain medication is given when appropriate. Occasionally, someone asks why our cost of anesthesia is higher than another practice. This above explanation and other safety and comfort factors are the reason. We follow the guidelines of the American Society of Anesthesiologist recommendations.