January 2018


A monthly electronic newsletter for pet lovers everywhere

*Don’t forget to give your dog or cat their monthly preventive medication*



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1. WELCOME DR KRISTEN                            


HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL OUR PET LOVING READERS. Our past year was highly successful and eventful. The highlight of 2017 was the Memories Live On Animal Foundation’s Lilly’s Pet Palooza, a celebration of the human-animal bond. This family-friendly event was sponsored by the Holdship family, Zoetis, Elanco, and SylvaniaVET. Every hospital employee participated in some way to support the event’s director, Julianna. Plans start this month for 2018’s PET-PAL-OOZA! If you want to get involved, call Julianna at 419-885-4421. The low lights of 2017 were the departures of Dr. Crystal, Dr. Karissa, and Dr. Shannon from our staff. They have been greatly missed, but our high level of care and caring never missed a beat. We would like to thank all our staff, especially Drs. Jen, Ray, Nicole, John, and Bob, for stepping up to maintain our high standards of care and 24/7 availability.


We are very excited to announce that we have hired Dr. Kristen Sauty to our professional staff.           Dr. Kristen is a 2015 Graduate of The Ohio State University and was a classmate of Dr. Nicole. She is married to Nicolas Sauty, a chemist at Cooper Tire in Findlay. Dr Kristen will be a full-time member of our dedicated professional staff. She is a great communicator and has a strong interest in dentistry and behavior. We know you will enjoy meeting Dr Kristen at your next scheduled visit! She will be seeing patients starting January 2nd and will be joining the on-call rotation. This is a great time to remind you that we are the only area general practice with 24/7 staffing and doctors committed to being your pet’s full-time doctor. Please tell all your pet owning family, friends and coworkers about our special brand of customer service and patient care.


The giving tree is still up until january 15, and offering great gifts as a fund raiser for the memories live on animal foundation.  Tags are priced at $10, $20, and $50 and have a gift of equal or more value associated. All tags in each value group are being entered a grand prize drawing for each price. The $50 tag grand prize will be a weekend at Treetops Resort in Gaylord, MI, a value of $600. The $20 tag’s grand prize is lawn services valued at $200, and auto detailing valued at $100 is the grand prize for the $10 tickets. We will do the drawing live on Facebook on January 15 at 12:45. Tune in on Facebook and listen for the cue to comment, the third comment will win a surprise gift. All gifts have been donated, so that every dollar donated for each tag is deposited in the Memories Live On account. Dr. Bob and Carol have donated the grand prizes. Please take the time to come in and buy a tag!


WE ARE PROUD TO ANNOUNCE THAT WE PASSED OUR AAHA INSPECTION EARLY LAST MONTH! SylvaniaVET has been an inspected and certified veterinary hospital since 1978, meaning our patients have received the best care for 40 years! We have met over 900 criterion of excellence established by the American Animal Hospital Association. No other area veterinary facility has been inspected by AAHA for as long; as a matter of fact, only two other area practices are inspected for standards by AAHA. AAHA is the only organization, national or local, that sets standards and inspects for meeting the standards. The states of Ohio and Michigan do not inspect practices for quality of care, sterility and record keeping. Aaha certification is your guarantee that your pet always receives the best care.


Lilly’s pet-pal-ooza was a great success in 2017. We worked with Andy’s Army to cross promote both events, and we have learned that their fun run and walk held at Side Cut Park raised $5000 for canine cancer research. Andy’s Army donates to the vet school at North Carolina State to fund cancer research projects. We hope to again help support the mission of Andy’s Army at the 2018 PET-PAL-OOZA!


Our first stem cell case has responded well to the injections of body fat sourced stem cells. Our patient, a Doberman with arthritic knees, has shown remarkable improvement from the chronic pain which slowed down her activity. “She has not been this playful and pain free for over two years“ stated the very happy owner. Stem Cell Therapy is state of the art care and is used primarily to treat arthritic joints, but ongoing research is finding other uses as well. A case of spina bifida in an English Bulldog was recently treated at UC Davis vet school. If you would like to learn more about our   VETStem stem cell treatment program, call and talk with Dr. Jen. The VETStem company is the leader in high quality stem cell production and research. An in hospital, “do it yourself” system is being used in other practices, but we do not have confidence in this system. Stem cell treatment is not a last resort, rather, it should be considered early in the treatment process of arthritis. Stem cell treatment may enable the treated pet to no longer require daily supplements and medications.


DOG LICENSES ARE REQUIRED FOR ALL DOGS IN LUCAS COUNTY. This year, SylvaniaVET has agreed to be a dog license dealer for the county! There is a $0.75 fee that is attached to the cost of each license – this will be donated to the Memories Live On Animal Foundation. After January 31st, the price of dog licenses increases, so be sure to stop in soon to get yours!


“Behavioral problems in senior dogs represent a special class of behavioral patients,” Stated Dr. Marsha Reich, DVM.  The doctors and staff of SylvaniaVET are aware of these issues and are prepared to discuss and help your aging pet through them. There are three categories of behavior change recognized in aging pets, mostly dogs. These include: True primary behavioral changes, behavior associated with medical issues, and problems associated with cognitive function.

Primary behavior problems are the least common behavior change seen in senior pets. Most of these issues such as separation anxiety, aggression, and phobias start at a young age and continue throughout life if not addressed and rehabilitated. A new behavior problem in a senior pet is usually associated with a medical problem; however, the list of possible medical problems is too extensive to discuss in the FYI. Any chronic disease or newly developed issue can contribute to behavior change. Therefore, observing a change in your pet’s behavior is a great reason to call and begin a senior wellness work up. Loss of mental sharpness occurs in dogs the same as it occurs in aging humans. Cognitive dysfunction issues can easily be confused with a medical problem. Cognitive dysfunction diagnosis is based on ruling out medical problems and assessing the changes being observed. Once medical causes of the behavior change have been ruled out, the acronym DISHA categorizes many CD signs.

DISORIENTATION- walking aimlessly, staring at walls, losing balance, and falling

INTERACTIONS-changes in the pet’s relationship to the family, more aloof or clingy

SLEEP- disrupted sleep patterns especially at night

HOUSE SOILING- Changes in where the pet relieves itself

ACTIVITY LEVEL CHANGES- restless, agitated signs of anxiety, stopping grooming, decreased appetite

Treatment of the three classes of problems is of course based on a proper diagnosis. It is not uncommon to see a pet with a combination of medical and cognitive behavior changes. There are a variety of homeopathic and pharmaceutical medications that can help your pet deal with aging changes regardless of the category. If you are interested in more information on this topic, just ask for the article titled:  AGING BEHAVIOR CHANGES at your next visit!


When done right, a cohat (comprehensive oral health assessment and treatment) is a complex and time-consuming process. The importance of the entire process cannot be overstated, as a mouth with dental disease is painful and infected. When not done well and thoroughly, the dental care can be harmful and accelerate the process of tooth decline and loss.  A COHAT is not a once in a lifetime procedure, but should be part of a pet’s regular wellness care. A commitment to aggressive home care, including brushing and dental chews, will decrease the frequency of our doing a professional COHAT. Human dentists recommend twice yearly cleanings, and this is with us brushing and flossing regularly. Therefore, it should not be a surprise that a pet’s mouth can develop dental disease as young as two years old and need a COHAT every year. Our procedure includes evaluating gum health, measuring periodontal pockets, full mouth x-rays, and nerve blocks before we start electronic and hand scaling. Without extractions, our COHAT takes about 1.5-2 hours from start to finish. Severe disease, extractions and other factors can easily double the time necessary to do a complete and professional COHAT.  We recommend you being brushing your pet’s teeth as soon as he or she joins your family. The best time to do a COHAT is when there is a minimum of tartar and gum redness. Anything less than a complete COHAT is not worth the money spent. Pet health insurance will pay for a portion of a dental procedure.


There are several heartworm products on the market, both brand name and generic. The two best are the brand name products INTERCEPTOR by ELANCO and HEARTGARD by MERIAL. The generic products are just not as reliable and cause us to worry about efficacy. Over the years, several have been pulled from the market for a short time because of quality control issues. The two brand name products have rebates and guarantees associated with them that make them the best choice for heartworm protection. INTERCEPTOR is our product of choice because it has a long safety track record, is highly effective against heartworm, and is therapeutic against heartworm, hookworm, whipworm, and tape worm. No other product can make this claim.

 Years ago, a product called PROHEART 6 came on the market claiming to protect against heartworm with one injection every six months. After a few years on the market and thousands of reports to the FDA about adverse reactions including deaths, the manufacturer pulled PROHEART. The manufacturer was purchased and PROHEART 6 was reformulated and brought back to the market. We were and are skeptical and have decided to never even consider giving a dose of a medication that we lose control over once it is administered. There is no antidote or way to remove PROHEART 6 if a dog has a negative experience. Recently, an ad was published promoting PROHEART 6 with the safety information listed below.

IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: PROHEART 6 should only be used in healthy dogs. Do not administer to sick, debilitated, underweight dogs or dogs that have a history of weight loss. Prior to administration, PROHEART 6 certified veterinarians should continue to assess patient health through a medical history, physical examination and if deemed appropriate, diagnostic testing. Continue to use caution when administering PROHEART6 concurrently with vaccinations. Adverse events, including anaphylaxis, have been reported following the concomitant use of PROHEART 6 and vaccines. In some cases, anaphylactic reactions have resulted in death. Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing or uncontrolled allergic disease (food allergy, atopy or flea allergy dermatitis). Dogs receiving PROHEART 6 should be tested for existing heartworms as per the product label. In people, avoid PROHEART 6 contact with eyes. If contact with eyes occurs, rinse thoroughly with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention immediately. PROHEART 6 is available only to veterinarians through a restricted distribution program. Only certified veterinarians and staff can administer it.”

This raises multiple concerns with the doctors and staff of SVH, and for the safety of our patients we will not carry this medication.  Once a month meds are safer and give us far better control of the limited potential side effects.


The canine influenza outbreak appears to have run its course. This does not mean we should stop vaccinating for CIV; On the contrary, this is a great time to get it done so that your pets routine will not be upset should another outbreak occur. We encourage you to only patronize pet businesses that care enough about your pet’s health to require vaccination against CIV to receive service. Chicago and other areas of the country that have had outbreaks have had reoccurrence of this very serious respiratory virus. We intend to learn from their experiences and avoid a reoccurrence here.


“Cats have needs beyond food and shelter” was the opening of an article titled Meowslow’s Hierarchy of needs. This tongue-in-cheek article is valuable in applying Maslow’s pyramid of needs. There are four levels in the “kitty needs” pyramid.  The base needs to the top are listed as follows.

PHYSIOLOGICAL AND SAFETY: it is critical for a cat to feel safe and from the threat of ambush and in control of all resources at all times.

BELONGINGNESS AND LOVE NEEDS: cats can bond strongly with other cats and people, but socialization must usually occur in kittenhood.


SELF-ACTUALIZATION: a cat cannot reach its full potential unless it is able to learn and solve problems (e.g. hunting).

Enrich your cat’s life every day, provide it with the ability to work, hunt and provide a safe place for it to have its own quiet time. It is Dr. Bob’s opinion that cats that sleep all the time may very well be depressed. Check out for great ways to enrich your cat.


Chemotherapy services for our patients that have had a cancer diagnosis is one of the many advanced treatments that SylvaniaVet provides. After the microscopic diagnosis of a cancerous mass, we will offer treatment options that can include chemotherapy. It is important to understand that dogs and cats seem to tolerate chemo well without getting sick, painful, or losing all their hair. The goal of a chemo protocol is to prolong a good quality of life for the affected pet. Different types of malignancy require different chemo treatments, and we frequently consult with oncologists to determine the best available treatment.  Once it is decided to proceed with chemotherapy, you can elect to be referred to an oncology specialist or you may choose to have us treat and monitor your pet. We frequently work hand in hand with an oncologist if you have elected to use the specialty service. The cost of our doing a chemo protocol is usually far less that making the trip to the specialist and paying the referral practice fees. We are constantly working to make our chemo treatments safer for our patients, staff and the pet’s family. To this end we have added a new delivery system called Equashield – Closed System Transfer, a device for dangerous drug delivery, to make administration of any chemo drug safer and not have to waste drugs that are not used at the time of treatment. For some cases the cost of treatment may go up some but in others the cost of treatment will be reduced. Safety is foremost, and the Equashield system accomplishes this important component of chemotherapy.


New research on dogs with low thyroid, or hypothyroid, has shown that the replacement medication needs to only be given once daily. To properly diagnose a dog with low thyroid, it is necessary to evaluate several thyroid functions. We send a complete panel for thyroid testing to MSU when low thyroid is suspected. A diagnosis of hypothyroid cannot be made off the frequently run test called T4. This test can be influenced by other health factors that give a false low reading, this is called sick euthyroid. We do not recommend using generic levothyroxine treatment as there can be problems with absorption and bioavailability of the active ingredient. Generic manufacturers do not have to show efficacy or bioavailability of their product. Generics are considered equal to brand name products if tabs have at least 80% of the active ingredient in the brand name product. We prescribe a brand name product called Thyrotab, and test thyroid levels in dogs being treated for low thyroid once a year.  


Sylvaniavet sponsors a pet loss support group that meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month at Christ Presbyterian church. Each meeting is run by a trained Pet Loss Counselor, named Linda Bell. We greatly appreciate her dedication to helping pet owners in need of help coping with the loss of their pet. Linda is a great person and we are lucky to have her as part of our team. Meetings run from 7-8:30 pm, and no appointment is necessary.


Sylvaniavet is host to dog training classes conducted by jay barman of bingo dog training. Classes are 1 hour long and meet once weekly for 5 weeks.
Puppy 1 classes start Sunday, January 7 at 2 pm
Puppy 2 classes start Sunday, January 7 at 3:30 pm
Family Dog Fundamentals classes start Sunday, January 7 at 5 pm
another session of Puppy 1 classes will begin Monday, January 22 at 7pm
Call the office with any questions or to register!


You may already know about sylvaniavet boarding’s state of the art air filtration system, but did you know we also have heated floors? Some dogs, sadly, cannot be given blankets due to habitually attempting to ingest them, raising the potential for serious health conditions as a result. But these dogs do not have to sleep on a cold floor! All our kennels have radiant heated floors which ensure your pet is as comfortable as they can possibly be. Our dedicated staff keeps a close eye on all boarding guests, noting any changes in behavior and alerting medical staff and owners if needed. Just one of the many things that makes SylvaniaVET’s boarding the best in the area! 


On January 27, Assistance Dogs Of America (ADAI) will be holding their annual “Dealin’ for Dogs” fundraiser. This great organization is affiliated with the Ability Center of NW Ohio. ADAI trains and provides support dogs for the disabled that are self sufficient and live on their own. SylvaniaVET has provided a Vet for the Day silent auction item to help support the event, and we hope you will make plans to attend! Check out, or for ticket information.


From the 24/7 staff of SylvaniaVet!