Tails from Ralston Vet

November 22, 2019

Welcoming the Holiday Season


undefinedWhile we do welcome the holiday season (most of the time with open arms), we also unknowingly welcome in dangers to our pets. Every year, we look forward to putting up our festive, loving decorations, sometimes without thought of how it could affect our furry friends. Our canine and feline friends are very prone to injuries, and we should try to do our best to protect them. Thankfully, Ralston Vet is here to let you know what to watch for this upcoming holiday season!
Although the decorations are a wonderful addition to our homes, we must be careful not to potentially put our animals in the way of harm! Here are a few things to watch out for this holiday season:

  1. Pine needles – Can be dangerous if swallowed!
  2. Live Trees – Preservatives on pines can lead to vomiting and diarrhea.
  3. Climbing Trees – Feline friends can sometimes enjoy a high climb that could result in injury!
  4. Ornaments and Tinsel – Eating can block the digestive system.
  5. Poinsettias and Holly – A toxic plant if ingested!

Decorations can pose a danger, but so do the delicious foods we serve to our guests. I’m sure most know that chocolate is not good for our pets; however there are numerous others foods that can cause serious damage to pets:

  1. Cinnamon – If inhaled can cause lung discomfort.
  2. Nuts – Almonds, macadamia nuts, and pistachios can cause huge issues in pets, ranging from GI upset all the way to toxicity.
  3. Garlic powder, Onion, and Salt – Can cause vomiting and diarrhea.
  4. Bones – Cooked Bones can splinter in animal’s stomachs.
  5. Alcohol – Often leads to weakness, lethargy, and sometimes coma.
    To be safe this season, Dr. Wolter recommends, “When feeding guests this holiday season, consider placing your pets in another room, or in kennels until the meal is done. This will prevent any food scraps from being eaten.” In terms of holiday decorations, a tactful strategy to keep pets away from the Christmas tree is to put a small fence around the perimeter of the gifts. You can always dress this up with fabric, or decorations that are safe for pets.
    Ralston Vet wishes you and your family a safe, fun, and beautiful holiday season!

April 3, 2019

Simple Tricks to Making Your Pet’s Vet Visit Less Stressful

Filed under: Omaha Veterinary,pet travel,Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 11:04 am
Tags: ,

Shelby Anne o davidDoes your pet stress when riding in the car? 

  • Taking your pet on frequent car rides around the neighborhood and arriving at pleasant place ( ie.. the park, or even back home again) can help alleviate stress from car rides. They will be happier to travel if they don’t always end up at the veterinary clinic, boarding facility, or the groomer.
  • Rewarding your pet with a treat or love and attention before and after a car ride can make the trip a more pleasant experience.
  • Using pheromones on the seat, in the carrier, or on your pet’s collar can help your pet feel calmer during the car ride.
  • If your pet gets car sick and vomits during car rides, there are medications available for this, so speak to one of our veterinarians about this issue.

Click here to watch a video on cat car trip tips.

Does your pet hide when it’s time to go somewhere?

  • For dogs, taking them on walks with their leash, and rewarding them positively when they see the leash (treats when walking and when using a leash) can help alleviate some of this travel anxiety. Try to make the leash, car, and leaving the house a positive experience more often than not. Don’t make travel all about the vet.
  • For cats, keeping the carrier out in the open, at least for a few days o tracy hiltbrand edit carrierprior to a vet visit, can help. This will give your cat time to adjust to the carrier. Placing your cat’s food or treats in the carrier can make it feel like an inviting place as well. You can also take your cat on short car trips in the carrier that don’t result in a veterinary exam. This way, your cat won’t always be suspicious of the carrier or the car.

Does your pet have anxiety when they come into the clinic?

  • Let us know when you call to schedule an appointment! We can greet your pet with treats and pheromone treated collars/towels to help them feel more at ease. We can also prepare an exam room in advance for your pet, especially if they feel anxiety around other animals.
  • adaptil and feliwayIf these actions are not enough to relieve anxiety for your pet, medications can be prescribed for future vet visits, so discuss this with one of our veterinarians. They are happy to help.

February 20, 2018

Pet Insurance, Yes or No?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Ralston Vet @ 3:04 pm

kaylee and stewiePet insurance. Do you have it? Have you thought about it? Are you wanting to get it? Well, we are here to give you some things to consider about pet insurance. What are things to look for in a plan? When would it be of use? Why does your pet need it?

Why would you not want an insurance plan? You and your family have health insurance, you have car and homeowners insurance, and so should your pet. Most plans cover preventive visits, accidents and medications. How many times have you said you wish you could claim your pet on taxes or that the bill wasn’t so high? Too many times to count, right? We hear it all the time, that healthcare for your pet can be expensive. Did you know that insurance companies reimburse you for certain services or products purchased during that visit? Then you would be receiving money back which reduces the amount out of pocket you have to pay. Another good reason to have insurance is in case of an emergency. How many times has your pet eaten something they shouldn’t have or vomited after hours, a holiday or a weekend? Too many times to count again, right? Insurance will help you cover the costs of unexpected circumstances and lighten the load on your wallet.

 

 

 

There are many different companies with affordable plans out there. According to Consumer Advocate some top pet insurance companies are:

brandon crissy barretThese companies have been put on the top list because of their reputable customer service and plan coverage options. For instance, Healthy Paws has been deemed the best overall according to Consumer Advocate because of their comprehensive illness and accidental coverage as well as their top #1 rating for customer satisfaction. Great customer service is so important!

Items to consider when choosing the right plan for your pet:

  • What benefits, deductible and copay works best for your situation?
  • Do they cover your species? Many just cover dogs and cats, though there are some that cover exotics.
  • Do they cover accidents, illness, wellness or all of the above?
  • What is the waiting period for submitting a claim from your visit?
  • Does your pet have a pre-existing condition? Most plans don’t cover pre-existing conditions – check their definition of pre-existing.
  • Is the deductible per incident, per condition or per lifetime (some may start over every year)?
  • Will it cover heritable or congenital conditions, breeding, behavior or alternative therapy?
  • Is there a cap on coverage? If so, is it per condition or lifetime?
  • What are you reimbursed for compared to the actual cost or is it a fixed amount for each procedure?

o kaleena shannonWhen you have a plan and you are needing to submit your information, most places have a very easy submission process. Most companies have forms for you and your veterinarian to fill out. Here at Ralston Vet we can e-mail or fax your claim form, invoice and patient chart to your pet’s insurance company. Some companies even have an easy app to download for easy submission.

Peace of mind is one of the most important benefits for having insurance on your fur baby.   What are you waiting for? Start today and don’t worry about weighing your medical decisions based on finances again. Get the reassurance of pet insurance.

June 14, 2017

Canine Influenza Update

Filed under: Dog Flu,Omaha Veterinary,prevention,Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 3:46 pm

Aria and Vegas o Joyce editDue to recent outbreaks of Canine Influenza at dog shows in the south eastern portion of the US, Ralston Vet is recommending dogs traveling to areas with outbreaks be vaccinated for Canine Influenza. We will be vaccinating patients 7 weeks of age and older at high risk of infection with a Canine Flu vaccine. This vaccine covers both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. To achieve immunity your dog must be vaccinated and then receive a booster vaccine 2-4 weeks later.

We are NOT recommending this vaccine (yet) for the average Omaha metro area canine. There have been zero confirmed cases (yet) in Nebraska.

Signs of Canine Influenza: Coughing is the most predominant clinical sign and may persist for several weeks. Dogs may also have decreased appetite, fever, lethargy, and nasal discharge. Some dogs infected with H3N2 (the strain responsible for the Chicago outbreak in 2015) may develop vomiting or diarrhea. Some dogs progress to more severe illness with high fever, rapid breathing, pneumonia and prolonged recovery time. Fatalities have been reported in a small percentage of dogs. Treatment consists of supportive care, antibiotics, and potential hospitalization for severe cases.

What you need to know: CIV (Canine Influenza Virus) is not the same as Bordetella. CIV is highly infectious and can spread from dog to dog rapidly through direct contact with respiratory discharge, through the air via a cough, sneeze, or bark, and through contact with contaminated objects such as dog bowls, collars/leashes, and clothing. Wash hands with soap and water or disinfect them with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer after contact with dogs. Dog owners whose dogs are coughing or showing other signs of respiratory disease should not participate in activities or bring their dog to facilities where other dogs can be exposed to the virus. Please call Ralston Vet at 402-331-6322 if you feel your dog is at risk for Canine Influenza. More information can be found here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Canine Influenza?

It is a dog flu that is highly contagious and causes respiratory infection in dogs.  It does not affect people or cats at this time.  The common symptoms are respiratory signs such as coughing, hacking, discharge from the nose or difficulty breathing.

What can I do to prevent my dog from getting the flu?

The best prevention is to limit exposure with other dogs. At risk environments include dog parks, doggy daycare, boarding facilities, dog social events, and grooming salons. We recommend that you avoid places with dog exposure where the health of the other dogs is uncertain.  Less likely exposure can be your back yard with neighbor dogs.

Is there a Vaccine?

Yes. We will be vaccinating patients 7 weeks of age and older at high risk of infection with a Canine Flu vaccine. This vaccine covers both the H3N2 and H3N8 strains of the virus. To achieve immunity your dog must be vaccinated and then receive a booster vaccine 2-4 weeks later.

If my dog shows signs what is the treatment?

Mild cases of the flu will be examined by the veterinarian and prescribed medications.  Severe cases can be treated with fluids and medications.  Diagnostics may be performed to confirm that your pet does in fact have Canine Influenza.

When should I call Ralston Vet?

If your dog has a newly developed cough with or without discharge from the nose, call 402-331-6322.  Please let our healthcare team know so the appropriate precautions can be taken to minimize the exposure to other patients and the possibility of contaminating our facility. We ask you keep the pet in your vehicle and call us from the parking lot.

We want to restate, at this time there have been no confirmed positive dogs in the area. If you will be traveling to an area with dogs that have been sick, vaccination is recommended.

Ralston Vet

6880 S 78 St

Ralston, Ne 68127

402-331-6322

February 16, 2017

Why does my pet need a nose to tail exam?

2e-appt-editPreventive pet healthcare is a very important role in your pet’s life. Just as we see the dentist at least twice a year or your physician annually, your pet also needs to see their doctor at least once a year for a checkup other than times when they aren’t feeling well. These checkups are important for your pet to receive a physical exam to check for any changes or new concerns that have come up as well as giving the vaccinations needed and checking samples.

Every year, your pet needs a physical examination done. We call these our Preventive Care Exams. At their preventive care exam your technician or assistant will start with gathering a history on your pet to find out how they have been doing at home. This history includes asking questions such as “What does your baby eat and how much?” “Has there been any changes in behavior?” “Are we indoor, outdoor or both?” These questions help the doctor discuss with you the best preventatives, test or vaccines that will be necessary for your pet. After, your doctor will come in and do a nose to tail exam. As they examine your pet they will discuss any significant findings such as broken teeth, heart disease, weight, arthritis or lumps and bumps. They will also review the history you left with the tech or the assistant. To see what a complete nose to tail exam looks like, click here.

6tb-titleAre you thinking, “Why does my pet need an exam?” Dr. Burbach our medical director states, “The preventive care exam is important to catch health conditions before they are causing problems. This allows us to adjust treatment plans to keep your pet as healthy as possible.” Many of us see a dentist, an ophthalmologist, a chiropractor and a physician multiple times a year. Veterinarians are all of these in doctors in one. There are times when a specialist may be needed, depending on the specific need of your pet. At the end of these exams the veterinarian will discuss with you the findings of your pet. They will discuss any treatments or vaccines needed.

The preventive visit will include discussing the best vaccinations for your pet. Our core vaccinations for dogs include: Distemper, Parvo, Leptospirosis and Rabies. Some of these vaccines are not done yearly. For example, Rabies can be given annually, every two years or every three years. Leptospirosis is an annual vaccine. This vaccine may be unfamiliar with you. Here at Ralston Vet we have deemed this as a core vaccine to help prevent the spreading of Lepto. We had 6 positive cases of Lepto last year. To learn more about Lepto, click here. Our core vaccines for cats include: distemper and rabies. Some other vaccines for dogs and cats are discussed based on your pet’s lifestyle. A few of these vaccines may include, but are not limited to, Bordetella for dogs and Leukemia for cats.

9lb-titleDr. Berry states the importance of vaccines are to “protect pets against communicable diseases that can be fatal for them or make them very ill. Through vaccination over the decades, we have fortunately been able to dramatically decrease the incidences of these diseases like distemper and parvo, however we still see several cases of these diseases every year. If we stopped vaccinating, we would likely see a dramatic resurgence of these diseases. Right now they are currently being controlled through the vaccinations. As veterinarians, we also protect humans against these animal diseases. We vaccinate pets in order to help protect people against being exposed to diseases that can be transmitted to them from their pets like Rabies and Leptospirosis.” Click here for more information or questions about the importance of vaccines.

blood-work-editHere at Ralston Vet, we cover checking samples and discussing flea and tick preventatives during our preventive exams. Did you know of all the parasites are not only vulnerable for your pet can catch, but you and your children as well? We have seen 85 pets in the past year that were diagnosed with roundworms,24 pets diagnosed with hookworms, 13 patients were diagnosed with whipworms, and 12 fur babies had Giardia. Can you believe that? That is a crazy amount of pets that have been exposed to parasites. These are the same pets that might be walking through your lawn or at your apartment complex that are spreading these parasites. Are you thinking of bringing in a stool sample at your pets next preventive visit yet? If not, what if we shared with you that 50 the pets in this area were diagnosed with tapeworms. Tapeworms are primarily transmitted by a pet eating a flea that contains a tapeworm egg. Fleas? Yes, Fleas. Oh ya, by the way, more than 70 of our patients were diagnosed last year with fleas. Some were severe enough to need additional medical attention and some were diagnosed before any symptoms arose. That is about 6 pets a month, just that we saw in our clinic. That means your pet comes into contact with fleas and parasites pretty consistently. This is why it is so important that we check a stool sample and that we discuss and send home the best preventative products for your fur baby at their preventive visit.

Other preventive discussions your doctor will talk to you about include Heartworm Disease. It is important your pet is current on heartworm medication and running a heartworm test yearly. Did you know most heartworm medications cover some of those most common parasites from above? Your veterinarian will also discuss with you running bloodwork on your pet based on your pet’s lifestyle, age or previous diagnosed illness. Bloodwork can be a great piece of information for us to see inside of the pet’s body to see how things are working. This is vital since pets cannot speak with us and can hide discomfort. Please call us today at 402-331-6322 to see if your pet is due or coming due for their preventive care exam.

Written by Nicole M. Ralston Vet

October 12, 2016

The Bite That Causes the Itch

Filed under: Omaha Veterinary,Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 3:36 pm
Tags: ,

flea-crop2How many times have you seen your pet scratch and bite at their fur? Have you ever wondered if it’s fleas? The thought of your pet having those fast jumping parasites are already making you itch. Am I right?

Fleas are an external parasite that live amongst many mammals. They will feed and jump off of humans, but will most likely host on your fur babies.

Have you ever seen a flea before? They move very fast and are about the size of a grain of rice. They appear brown or black. They usually hide in the fur by your pets neck, bottom or under belly. If you think you see any grab a wet paper towel. With this paper towel grab some dirt from your pet’s skin. If you rub it on the wet paper towel and it’s a reddish color then this is flea dirt or flea feces.flea-crop2-flip

When a flea bites it punctures your pet’s skin to drink its blood meal. Simultaneously it excretes saliva. The saliva causes allergy inducing symptoms. This is why your boy or girl bites and scratches at themselves if they have fleas.

flea-life-cycleThe flea life cycle is a very resilient one. It starts with the adult female flea. When she feeds she lays eggs. She lays up to 50 eggs a day.  Take a moment to imagine all those fleas. Every time those females eat they lay all those eggs and if they do 50 a day think how many eggs are in your house? Hundreds! When they fall off into your home, on your couch, in your bed, on your floors, or even your yard, they now are getting ready to turn into larvae. This can happen as soon as 9 days. The larvae then turn into pupae. This stage cannot be killed or stopped from the cycle. The casing of the pupae is hard like a coconut shell and nothing penetrates it. It can stay in this stage for many months.
Thought the life cycle was a fast process? It’s not. This is why treating in the winter is still important. Who knows when those pupae are going to hatch? No one. When they hatch they are adult fleas and will jump and feed and start it all over again.nexgard-flea-preventative-omaha-ne

Gross right? It’s ok, we have medications to help! Give your dog a beef flavored chewable tablet monthly with Nexgard or Bravecto every three months to help prevent fleas from hosting on your pet. They are fast acting and they kill those little creepy crawlies. For cats we have Frontline or Revolution which are topical liquids to keep them protected all year round by applying monthly.

Still itching and want to inspect your loved ones. Go for it and call us if you see anything. If you want us to check call 402-331-6322 today and schedule a technician appointment. We will have the right product for your fur baby!flea-crop2

Information cited from veterinarypartner.com

September 29, 2016

Dear Dr. Demyan,

Filed under: Omaha Veterinary,Veterinary Care — Ralston Vet @ 3:19 pm
Tags: ,

mac-morehouse

I just wanted to write and let you know how much our whole family appreciated the way you worked with our family in the last few moments of Mac’s life. This was the first time for any of us – Heather, Dan, myself to intentionally say goodbye to a family member whose quality of life had declined so significantly. It was so helpful that you explained everything so thoroughly as to what to expect. I know your staff is always busy, but we didn’t at any time feel rushed, both while his spirit was still with us and when Mac’s spirit passed over.

mac-morehouse-and-ownerAs Heather’s mom I appreciated all your extra efforts to counsel and comfort Heather in the weeks that preceded Mac’s passing. It is so hard to see your child no matter what the age go through such pain.

Your whole staff was just wonderful. Receiving Mac’s paw print and a condolence card signed by the whole staff was such an unexpected blessing and surprise. Although this kind act brought a fresh wave of tears for all of us, it is a priceless gift Heather can treasure as a lasting remembrance. That is definitely “above and beyond” customer service and the reason why Heather and I drive across town to have our fur babies cared for at Ralston Vet.

Knowing that Mac would have wanted Heather to share her home and heart with another rescue dog, she has adopted “Ziggy” and will bring him in for his care.

mac-morehouse-collageThanks again for all you do to be a blessing to God’s special creatures and those who are privileged to care for and love him.

Sincerely,

Cheryl M.

September 14, 2016

September 28th is World Rabies Day.

world-rabies-daySeptember 28th is World Rabies Day. Protecting your pets is an important part in the prevention of this disease.

Can your pet get rabies? Yes, your beloved fur baby can contract rabies and so can you. Did you know rabies is the most feared disease owners have for their pets? Rabies can be prevented in pets by annual to every three years administered for pets. Rabies is transmitted by many furry creatures roaming our backyards. Do you know how close rabies is to your home?

Do you have wildlife scurrying or flying through your neighborhood? Skunks, raccoons, bats and foxes are the number one contributors to the transmission of rabies. Rabies is transmitted chiefly through the bite if an infected animal. It can also be transmitted through other mucous membranes, but is most commonly transmitted through a bite specifically dealing with the passing of saliva into the body.  According to a study done by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) in 2014 there were three positive rabid bats in the metro area and a few slightly outside. Visit cdc.gov to view the testing’s done by species on our area.

The disease itself infects the central nervous system, primarily residing in the brain and causing a multitude of symptoms. First, the symptoms mimic those of the flu. Fever, headache, dizziness or discomfort might start to appear a couple days after a bite. Going closer to 10days after an infected bite an animal or human may exhibit confusion, excessive salivation, trouble sleeping, hallucinations, irritability, difficulty swallowing may occur and possible partial paralysis.

Dr. Kahn describes the Phases and/or signs of rabies in infected animals in the 2005 Merck Veterinary Manual:

Phase 1 – brief early phase during which subtle changes occur after infection but before signs of disease become apparent. Reversal in disposition: from aggressive to friendly; friendly to withdrawn; nocturnal to day. Chewing or licking the virus’s point of entry, resulting in ulcerated lesion.
Phase 2 – “Furious” Phase – Mad dog stage, during which the affected animal is extremely infectious and highly dangerous, showing:
Highly aggressive, severely agitated, disordered behavior
Inclination to bite people, animals, inanimate objects
Tendency towards self-inflicted injuries, resulting in broken teeth
Avoidance of people and preference for dark, quiet places
Ingestion of soil
Phase 3 – Paralytic Phase – Late stage during which the rabid animal experiences some degree of paralysis, especially in the jaw, resulting in:
Excessive drooling, sometimes perceived as “foaming at the mouth”
Appearance of choking
High-pitched vocalization
Coma & death
If any of “phases” are exhibited, death is nearly always the result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

According to the Department of Health and Human Services of Nebraska

During 2014:

  • 21 cases of rabid animals were reported in Nebraska.
  • Eighty-one percent of cases were in wildlife and 19% were in domestic animals.
  • The only cases reported in wildlife were in Big Brown bats (10) and skunks (7).
  • No rabid raccoons were reported.
  • Cases in cattle (4) represented all cases in domestic animals.

During 2015:

  • 28 cases of rabid animals were reported in Nebraska.
  • Eighty-six percent of cases were in wildlife and 14% were in domestic animals.
  • The only cases reported in wildlife were in Big Brown bats (16) and skunks (8). No rabid raccoons were reported.
  • Cases in a dog (1), a cat (1) and cattle (2) represented the cases in domestic animals.

 

o-megan-walz2

A report listing the current year-to-date positive cases and a menu of links to data from previous years is available on the NDHHS website.

For guidelines on what age pets should and how often receive their Rabies vaccine click here for dogs and click here for cats.

Here is how else you can help protect your pet from Rabies:

  1. Keep your pet’s rabies vaccinations up to date
  2. Wildlife-proof your environment
  3. Use caution by avoiding contact with wildlife and other unfamiliar animals.
  4. be vigilant by identifying unusual animal behavior: wild animals appearing friendly, nocturnal animals appearing in broad daylight, extreme aggression, violence or anxiety
  5. Take immediate action – If you or someone you know is bitten or scratched by a wild animal or an unknown pet, contact your physician or go to an ER immediately.
  6. Cats need protection too! Cats, not dogs, are most likely to be infected with rabies. According to Dr. Kahn, Merck Veterinary Manual in 2005, more cases of rabies have been reported in cats than in dogs for almost 25 years.  If you have a cat, be sure its rabies vaccinations are up to date!

Make NO Mistake – Preventing rabies protects lives.  The importance of vaccines in protecting animals against rabies cannot be overstated.  Your veterinarian plays a critical role in defending a community’s animals and people, from the ravages of rabies infection.  Be diligent about making sure your pets are current on their vaccines.

And if they are not…Vaccinate your pet today! The rabies vaccine is required by law for all dogs and cats. Contact us at 402-331-6322 or click here to schedule your appointment today.

What will you do, to spread the word about rabies this month?

August 30, 2016

Waldorf’s story

Waldorf 1Waldorf is a Wirehaired Pointing Griffon.  Although he’s a purebred gun-dog, he’s gun shy, so his owner gave him up as a 10-month old. He found me while I was taking photos of him and other shelter dogs.  He may be afraid of guns, but he seems to relax and enjoy having a lens pointed at him and having large flashes popping.  We were meant to be together. Since that day he has photo bombed everything from perfume ads to baby portraits.  My customers always seemed to love having his muppety face in the shots.

He’s always been a very energetic dog who’s never missed a day of running.  Up until just last year we would go for bike rides, and he would pull me most of the way.  He loves long road trips, we’ve been to New York together a dozen times, and he has a knack for pointing out the friendly people in a crowd.

He’ll be turning 9 this September (19th), and a month ago was the first time that expressive face of his showed me any pain and fear.

“Waldorf presented to me with some typical signs of anal gland disease (or the inability to express his anal glands on his own. He was scooting and seemed bothered in his back end). During the exam, I identified a mass in that region which was unexpected. Masses can bring a lot of worry and unknown to the conversation, especially for Waldorf’s very caring dog dad, Marco.  Worry about the unknown often leads us to discuss that wonderful connection called the human-animal bond (the whole reason behind why we worry- because we care). Marco and Waldorf’s connection runs very deep.” Dr. Kennedy, Ralston Vet

 

 

 

 

The tumor that grew in him in 3 short weeks literally was taking the life out of him.  When I asked her if she had ever performed the procedure she was recommending we do, she responded without hesitation – “I have not”.  But these words were only a small part of the message.  Her message was clear: “Repetition is no substitute for skill, knowledge and Confidence”, and she has all of those talents.  She explained how she’d been studying the details of the procedure, and was clear in explaining what needed to be done, how and why it was being done, and what the possible dangers were.  She graciously offered to have someone more experienced do it, if I wasn’t comfortable, but there was no hesitation on my part, I was comfortable.  I’m not the sort of person that prefers sugar-coating to truth and facts, no matter how unpleasant the facts, that said, Dr. Kennedy’s message was never unpleasant, nor did she ever take personally the questions or skepticism I had.

waldorf 2 edit“Their connection and love for one another is what makes my job so worthwhile. I have always loved animals and people and I am so very grateful and lucky to be a veterinarian and care for pets like Waldorf and, by extension, their human! Waldorf holds a special place in my heart because he is a griffon (and that is 1/2 of my dog!) His goofy sweet attitude makes him very easy to love and care for. Not to mention, his wirey bearded griffon face. I’ll never be able to get enough of it. I look forward to caring for Waldorf for years to come, as well as the many other great pets of RVC!” Dr. Kennedy, Ralston Vet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, 3 weeks after his surgery, you’d never know that anything even happened. Waldorf is now happier and healthier than ever, and he’s not the only success story.  I am now feeling like I have found a Doctor that knows him, (and his owner) well enough to take care of him as he begins to slow down. Dr.Kennedy is a great surgeon, a knowledgeable doctor, a professional in all respects, and someone that can be trusted with what is often the most important creature in someone’s life.

Waldorf 3How Dr. Kennedy handles herself as a medical professional is second to none. She understands the meaning of true patient care, and demonstrated that medical knowledge and talent alone, cannot be the only skill sets required to be truly effective.

Dr. Kennedy is up front, straight forward, kind, humble and focused when delivering bad news – (and very very inspired when delivering good news!) She was always responsive to my seemingly panicked requests for a call-back and let me know that Waldorf was truly being CARED for.

Written by Waldorf’s owner, Marco and quotes from Dr. Kennedy.

August 16, 2016

Why does my cat hate the vet’s office?

archer sautter editHave you ever told your vet that your cat hates coming in? Do you struggle with getting them into the carrier to go to the vets? Many cat owners deal with this battle. You are not alone. Our furry feline friends are very smart and find ways to out trick us, so they can escape the visit. Have you ever thought about why your cats put up a fight? Have you ever thought how you or your vet’s office can help your cat become less stressed? We have some tips and solutions on getting your baby into the clinic and why they fear going to the vets.

Tell me. Have you ever considered what it looks like to a cat in a carrier? No. Ok, right now close your eyes. Imagine yourself happy and cozy lounging on your favorite spot on the couch in the sun. Then, all of a sudden, a small box appears and you are being plucked up and shoved into that box. The door is locked behind you. You’re lifted in the air knocking into every wall and door on the way out. Then, you are placed into a car and as you’re being driven somewhere, your body slams back and forth between the front and the back of the carrier. Once the car stops you slam once more forwards. You are then lifted back into the air and are being taken into a building with lots of smells you have never smelt before. There are dogs running up to sniff you and bark at you. You become afraid and territorial. No one is going to mess with you today. Finally, you are lifted back into the air knocking into a door and placed on a table. Your loved one opens your door and squeezes your body you through the carrier door backwards. For any person or animal this sounds like a very disturbing experience.

Cats are territorial and do best with the familiar and what they are comfortable with. Did you feel familiar or comfortable in a box, in a car and with odd smells and dogs in your face? Probably not. You wanted to be back on the spot on the couch.

Here are a few tips to help your fury feline companion comfortable with their carrier:

·         To help make your cat at ease with with the carrier, place the carrier in a room where your cat spends a lot of time in.

·         Leave the door open so they can become acquainted with the carrier.

·          You can use Feliway which is a synthetic pheromone that helps cats relax and not feel so threatened or scared. Utilizing a Feliway wipe or spray in the carrier allows the cat to know it is a safe and secure place. This can be done daily.cats in carrier

·         Adding toys or treats in the carrier once your cat has had made productive contact with the carrier will help reassure that this is a positive place. This can also entice engagement. Your cat may not become settled with the carrier instantly. It may take a few days or weeks. Don’t worry, every cat is different. Take the time with them.

·          Reward your baby with a treat once they are being comfortable with the carrier.

·         If you have tried these things and your cat is still unfamiliar with the carrier wipe or spray Feliway 30mins to an hour prior to leaving. Then, take the lid off of your carrier place your cat inside and give a reward. Finally place the lid back on and close the doors.

For more tips click here to watch Cats & Carriers: Friends not Foes.

Hanna and Lokie useSounds great right? Yes, but my cat still hates the vet visit. No worries. Cats associate smells, sounds and handling with bad experiences if they are unfamiliar. Cats can become very stressed with the unfamiliar. This means we all need to work together to help your cat become accustomed. Once you get a new kitten expose it. No different than wanting to socialize a dog. Touch your kitten’s ears, mouth, feet, tail and touch their belly. Get them familiar with handling. Once a cat becomes more familiar to touch, the physical exam given by your veterinarian will be easy on your baby, your vet and of course stress free for you. Here at Ralston Vet we are certified as a Cat Friendly Practice by the American Association of Feline Practitioners. Any questions regarding what deems us as a Cat Friendly Practice, you can visit www.catvets.com. We take extra steps to help familiarize your cat to our clinic. We have two dedicated cat rooms. That means no dogs allowed. If your baby is feeling stressed upon entering our practice we may offer a tall sprayed with Feliway and or get you into one of our cat friendly rooms right away with a Feliway diffuser consistently running. In our rooms we have a scale for taking weights right there on the table to limit exposure of being carried around. How scary is a rectal thermometer? Scary for you even scarier for them. We take temperatures on sick cats only to limit stress. Our team members have been trained on fear free holding practices to best assist your baby.

Please call us at 402-331-6322 or click here for more information on helping your cat’s visit to our clinic a stress free visit and view all of the criteria our clinic completes to be honored as a Feline Friendly Practice. Additional information was provided by CEVA Animal Health.

Nicole Mathis

Ralston Vet

Next Page »

Blog at WordPress.com.