January 2016




Giving Tree

It is not too late to buy a tag from the giving tree and help raise money for our charitable foundation.  The tree comes down on January 5, Dr. Bob’s birthday.  Tags cost $20, $10 and $6 and provide a reward of at least the value of the tag. The $10 and $20 tags are entered in a drawing for one of three great grand prizes. First are a limo, dinner and show at Fat Fish Blue. Second place is $125 certificate to Surf City. Third is an Apple TV.


Surgical scrubs made primarily of cotton and bamboo is the most comfortable scrubs available.  As many of you know Dr. Bob and his son Tim have a company that sells this type of scrub. There are four colors, navy, Caribbean, ceil blue and jade green, available in a variety of top styles and unisex bottoms. We are making a group of samples and other tops and bottoms available at the bargain price of $6.00 a unit. The regular price for the Esplin Medical scrubs is $22.50 a unit.  These are great pajamas and they are a nice option to lounge around the house. With that being said sales are not limited to medical needs. It is first come first serve and the products are as is. All money collected will be donated to our charitable foundation, Memories Live on Animal Foundation. So make your payment to the foundation. New products are available at the office as well.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

Omega 3 fatty acids have a variety of benefits for dogs and cats.  The best source of Omega fatty acids for pets is marine (fish, like salmon) rather than plant source (flax seed oil).  Many foods claim they contain the omega 3’s but be sure to find if it is marine or plant source.  One also must check and be sure that you are buying pure marine source product as many are cut with vegetable oils to reduce cost. Welactin liquid or gel caps for cats are the most concentrated source of marine omega fatty acids. We also sell three sizes of gel caps called Aller G3 Caps. The top 5 therapeutic applications of omega 3’s are as follows:

1. Osteoarthritis- arthritic pets on an omega product for at least six months showed objective improvement in lameness, weight bearing scores and force plate analysis.

2. Inflammatory skin disorders (allergies) - in a controlled study dogs taking omega 3’s supplements showed improvement in itching, self-trauma, and coat character and hair loss. It is best to start omega when the dog is first diagnosed with allergy and continued for the rest of its life. Studies show that chronic, reoccurring season allergy were not as effective.

3. Cardiovascular disorders - dogs with heart failure, regardless of cause, showed improvement by limiting proifammatory enzymes by the pet’s body. 

4. Renal disease - in dogs with chronic kidney disease show a reduction in urine protein loss, lessen further damage to individual kidney filtration units and glomerular hypertension. When first diagnosed with kidney insuffincy we will start omega 3’s.

5. Cognitive function and neurological health - studies have shown improvement in 14-16 behavioral categories. In addition feeding pregnant females throughout pregnancy and nursing showed that improvement in the neurological development in the puppies. 

Feeding Your Pet

Every day we have nutritional discussions with clients so a review of important considerations when the question of what should I feed my pet is asked.  As mentioned numerous times the internet and TV ads are of questionable value and are rarely science based or factual.  Pet store employees and pet food company reps are not always the best source either.  Asking one of our doctors of what to look for when shopping for food are your best assets. To assist you we offer the following suggestions. 

Who made the food and is the manufacturers contact information on the bag?
Does the manufacturer employ full-time veterinary nutritionist, veterinarian, credentialed vet tech?
Where are the foods produced and manufactured?
Are specific quality control measures in place to assure product consistency and quality?
Will the manufacturer provide complete nutrient analysis for the food in question?
Has the product undergone research and are the results published in peer-reviewed journals?
Does the food meet or exceed AAFCO standards. Were they determined by lab testing or feeding trials?

Does the company do nutritional research or do they just formulate a diet based on AAFCO standards that were last updated in 1985? We recommend you only buy foods manufactured in the USA by companies that do nutritional research. Only five companies do nutritional research, Hills, Iams, Royal Canin, Nestle’Purina and Purina Checker Board Square.
Canine Influenza Virus

Canine influenza virus has been the talk of 2015 for our doctors and dog clients. As 2016 begins the CIV concern does not end. We are reprinting last month’s info on the new H3N2 civ vaccine with some additional info.  Starting in March, 2015, a huge outbreak of CIV occurred in Chicago. Well over 2000 dogs were affected and dog parks, day care, grooming and several veterinary hospitals were forced to close for as long as two weeks because of this highly contagious respiratory influenza virus. It was determined that rather than the H3N8 equine origin virus that has been around since 2006  the Chicago outbreak was  a new bird strain, H3N2,  that came from China and Korea. We have aggressively promoted the H3N8 vaccine that has been available for about five years with the hope that there would be some cross immunity against the new strain.  Looking at confirmed cases in Chicago it seemed that all dogs that had had the H3N8 vaccine plus other reparatory disease vaccines fared better with fewer cases and less severe clinical signs. The vaccine manufacturers have stood behind their H3N8 vaccine with a treatment guarantee that  included the H3N2 viruses.  Until now that was all that we could do and to this date we have not seen a case of canine influenza. 

Zoetis, the former Pfizer Animal Health, has just released a conditionally USDA licensed vaccine against H3N2virus to accompany their highly regarded H3N8 vaccine. This is a huge step in the right direction in protecting our patients, your dogs, against Canine Influenza Virus.  At this time a new, less wide spread outbreak is occurring in Chicago. This summer an outbreak worse than the Windy Cities occurred in Atlanta. Every state surrounding Ohio has reported cases of both H3N8 and H3N2 this year.  We know of no cases that we have diagnosed of either virus strain in NW Ohio. However, we must be proactive and assume we have been lucky to not have experienced this severe respiratory dog influenza.  To that end we are now recommending that all dogs receive both the H3N2 and H3N8 vaccines. Both are killed vaccines and cannot cause your dog to become ill. Our experience with H3N8 vaccine is that it is well tolerated by dogs with little to no reaction.  The vaccines must be given separately as developing a vaccine that contains both is a much longer project. The USDA saw the urgent need for the new vaccine and gave it a conditional approval. 

Getting verification that your dog has become ill with the CIV disease is not a simple task. A seemly healthy but exposed and infected dog will shed the virus for 3-5 days before it becomes ill. Once the dog show signs of illness it is very difficult to run a test that will give accurate results concerning the likelihood that the coughing, depressed pet has CIV. To verify the cause of the respiratory disease once clinical signs occur a series of two blood tests, two weeks apart must be preformed.  If an exposed pet is tested early a simple throat swab test can be run. The good news is that if your pet is vaccinated with both H3N8 and H3N2 vaccines Zoetis will pay for all testing and up to $5000 for treatment.

The bottom line is the new Chicago strain, H3N2, canine influenza vaccine is now available and we strongly recommend you start your dog on this vaccine ASAP. If an outbreak did occur in our area it is too late to vaccinate as it takes at least a month to establish immunity.

Little tidbits from the literature:

It’s never too late to follow your dream.  Craig Mullenax  a former goat farmer has enrolled at Colorado State as a freshman in vet school.

Vet stem biopharma is looking for 100 performance horses with a history of lung bleeding. This problem is called an exercise-induced condition that occurs in thoroughbred and other heavily worked horses. If you have a horse that has this condition then can have your attending veterinarian contact the company for a referral.


There is still misunderstanding about a heartworm –flea egg monthly medication called Sentinel.  Many clients are under the misconception that Sentinel kills adult fleas. This is not true. In addition to heartworm control Sentinel contains a second product called Program that sterilizes flea eggs but has no effect on adult fleas.

Preventing Hairballs

Long haired cats vomit hairballs twice as much as short haired cats. Small round dry food pellets and canned food fed free choice or in multiple small meals decreases hair ball vomiting. Cats spend about  25% of their waking hours grooming leading to lots of hair being swallowed. Using a Furminator, combing in layers and getting a kitten used to being groomed are helpful in preventing hair ball vomiting. Excessive hair ball vomiting may indicated a GI disease and can cause obstruction or esophagitis.

Former SylvaniaVET employee, Sarah Lumbreezer Johnson, is the recipient of this year’s Memorial Foundation Scholarship given to the OSU vet school. Sarah is a sophomore in vet school and is developing an interest in radiology. We hope to have Sarah come do an externship with us during her senior clinical rotation.

Importance of Taking Care of Eye Issues

Eye problems are nothing to wink at and should be addressed quickly.  A tearing, squinting eye is painful and may reflect a corneal ulcer so worse. This is a condition that should be seen ASAP including after hours by one of our doctors.  When we work up an eye problem we will do a number of tests that will help us determine the cause and proper treatment. First, we test tear production with a test called the Schrimmer tear test. We follow that with a green fluorescene stain that adheres to a damage cornea, revealing an ulcer. We then use topical anesthetic so that we can test eye pressure with our tonopen. Finally, we may use the bluminator that magnifies the cornea and reveals corneal pathology.

Standards for Pet Groomers

The Professional Pet Grooming and Stylists Alliance have established industry-wide standards for pet groomers. The standards are all geared to the safety and quality of a pet’s stay at the grooming shop. The standards are very basic but the fact that they had to be established and published indicates that even these basic values do not exist industry wide.

A first aid kit including eye wash products for both animals and humans.
Someone familiar with pet first aid must be present when animals are around.
The name and contact information of a local emergency vet must be readily available.
Crates, enclosures, tubs and tables must be cleaned between pets.
Tabletops and tub bottoms must have nonslip surfaces.
 Only one pet is allowed in a crate or drying cage unless the owner waives the requirement. 7 Enclosed pets must be able to sit, stand, and turn around comfortably.
 Pets confined for more than four hours must be offered fresh water. 
These seven rules seem appropriate but inadequate in several ways. There is no mention about taking a dog out to potty if confined for several hours. There is no mention about necessary vaccines for contagious diseases. There is no mention of the temperature of hair drying air or the length of time a pet can be kept under these dryers.  We have learned that many of the area big box store grooming facilities do not take dogs for walks and are not allowed to give them water.  We know that our groomers, Nancy and Teresa are busy but they are worth the wait and worth making advanced reservations.  Remember, if an emergency were to occur our techs and doctors are but a few feet away.

Surgical Site Infections

New concerns about secondary infection following TPLO cruciate ligament metal implants have been recently published in the journal of the AVMA.  Given that this advanced surgery should only   be done in a specialty practice environment this is a major concern. Surgical site infections with any surgery that implants metal plates can lead to the need to remove all the metal and make the surgical a serious failure.  The infection is most frequently caused by MRSA bacteria Staph pseudointermedius. This bacterial is frequently carried on the body of healthy dogs that are selected for TPLO surgery.  When humans are scheduled for major surgery, like Dr. Bob’s triple bypass, the hospital requires intranasal treatment with antibiotics and two days showering  with antibacterial soap. This cannot be done for obvious reasons for dogs. One must consider this complication possibility when the surgical options of a ruptured ACL is recommended.  A copy of the AVMA article can be obtained by asking for TPLO-MRSA.

New Gravel for Daycare

Our Doggie Daycare yard was re-stoned with 4 inches of new pea gravel last month.  Sandman Stone delivered about 8 tons of high quality river bed pea gravel.  Many thanks to Sylvania High School Horticulture class and their instructor Brian Smith. They spent about 4 hours distributing and raking the new stone throughout the day care, boarding and hospital walk yards.  The new stone should solve the problems of dogs coming in wet and muddy.    Our stone yard provides the safest surface for our daycare guest to run and play outdoors. We disinfect the yard several times weekly for disease and odor control. The pea gravel is small enough that should a dog ingest some it will easily pass through the GI tract.

Spreading the Word

Spreading the word about the high quality care and caring at SylvaniaVET goes in many directions. Dr. Bob is a regular guest on Better Living every other Friday at 11AM o n TV 24 WNWO. He is a periodic guest on the Glass City Grind which airs on WNWO at 6:30 AM every Saturday. We advertise on WRQN AM radio with 40 spots each week. Please let us know if you hear one and tell us what you think. This month we will start a few ads on The River. Internally we work the hardest to bring in new clients that value high quality care and want a full time doctor for their pets. Our client referral reward program is a great way for you to benefit from sending pet owners to SylvaniaVET. We have referral cards you can hand out and when someone brings in the referral card you receive a $20 credit on your account and the new client receives a $20 discount on their first visit.

Treating Feline Fibrosarcoma

A break through in treating feline Fibrosarcoma, a serious and difficult to treat cancer.  The product, Oncept IL 2, developed by Merial, is use before or after a fibrosarcoma is removed.  It can be used in conjunction with other treatment protocols like chemotherapy or radiation therapy or as the only follow-up treatment to aggressive excision of the mass. Fortunately, Fibrosarcoma is uncommon in the cat but it is great to have a new treatment.






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