12 Days of Christmas Pet Gift Guide
1. One Christmas Story- a custom book based on your pet! Check out Petlandia
2. Two Lupine Accessories- get a festive collar and leash that has a lifetime warranty
3. Three Forms to Finance- sign up for pet insurance, care credit, buy a gift certificate from your vet for those unexpected expenses
4. Four Kids chasing- have your pet microchipped with HomeAgain for lifetime and permanent identification
6. Six Breeds discovered- best for mixed breed dogs, Wisdom Panel will check your pet’s DNA for breed identification and genetic condition carriers
7. Seven Retakes Taken- snap a photo of your pet with Santa, put in a holiday frame to feel all those cozy feels
9. Nine Teeth to treat- pick up CET chews or toothbrush/toothpaste kit to get that breathe minty fresh for some mistletoe kisses
10. Ten minutes sudsin’- have your pet professionally groomed or pick up the supplies to do-it-yourself
11. Eleven Snacks stolen- get your pet their own treat so you don’t have to share! Choose Lean treats for a low calorie option- less is more (less calories, more to eat)! Even if your pet is on a specialized diet, Royal Canin and Hill’s both make treats to meet any prescription diet.
12. Twelve Toys tossing- Plush or bouncy, you know your pet best so give them what they like! There are some toys that will make your pet think and work to receive the treat. Looking for something to keep them busy? Check out the PetStages Challenge Ball
If you follow our All West Facebook or Instagram account you may have noticed that the week of October 14th, we had daily posts about each of our technicians. (If you missed the posts, here are the links to our Facebook and Instagram). You may have noticed that the photos weren’t your average portrait, many of them being taken without the technician even looking at the camera. I intentionally did this, without any resistance, to show you an average work day of our technicians. It was your behind-the-scenes look at our hospital staff.. now if only we could get Ryan Seacrest to come host!
Our day “starts” at 7am: Truth is, many of our technicians get here before 7 to get ahead of the day. Cleaning, feeding, letting out, administering meds, taking morning vitals- All of these happen before the average person has had their morning coffee.
Surgery patients begin dropping off around 7:15. From here the doctor performs their examination and pre-meds are administered. The technicians are responsible for monitoring anesthesia and taking patient vitals during surgery. It is nerve wrecking anytime our pets go under anesthesia, because let’s face it, there is always a risk. But nobody knows this better than our technicians, which is why they take this part of the job so seriously.
Appointments start at 8am. A technician starts the appointment with taking vitals and questions. We honestly care what every person feels about each visit, mostly because we expect the same thing for our own pets. We want our concerns to be heard and questions answered. We want to know that the doctor cares about our pet just as much as we do. That is why the technician asks so many questions. They are there to facilitate the doctor’s examination. Most of the time the technician will come back into the exam room to demonstrate medication administration or to follow up with any necessary paperwork. Typically there are 3-4 appointments happening at the same time, so if you hear scurrying feet on the other side of the exam door it doesn’t mean there’s a fire. It just means that the technicians are trying to give as much time and attention to each client and patient as possible.
Think you have a minute? Nope! Let’s get that room clean, patients outside to potty, answer the phone, grab your charts and start entering medical history. But regardless of what is happening, our technicians work together to keep each patient happy and cared for. While it’s not always sunshine and puppies, our technicians are there to be cheerleaders and as moral support. They follow the progress of most patients almost as closely as the doctors. When your heart is breaking, know that you aren’t alone in that. Many times we go home thinking about a patient or writing notes to remind ourselves of something to call a client about the next day. All day each technician is responsible for being a nurse, groomer, x-ray technician, phlebotomist, chef, personal trainer, educator, and personal assistant. Talk about chameleon!
The lunch hour is a fun game of hot potato as not everybody can go at the same time. We have an eye on our hospitalized and surgical patients throughout the day- meaning sometimes the sandwich comes with a little hair from the dog whose kennel you are sitting in. Appointments start up again at 1pm and surgical patients begin being discharged around 4pm. Want to come to the hospital when it’s the loudest? Come around 4pm. Want to come to the hospital when you see the most smiling faces? Come around 4pm. Ask most of our technicians- this is the best part of the day. No, not because we are getting towards the end of the day. It’s for the reaction when pet meets person. Have you ever seen a dog smile? We have. When we get to send home a healthy pet, we are reminded why we all got into this career in the first place. These moments are what make the job so meaningful.
The doctors are the hands of the hospital, receptionists are the face of the hospital, but the technicians- the technicians are the heart of the hospital. This job requires an insane amount of multi-tasking without losing attention to detail. This job is utterly exhausting and wonderfully rewarding. So for doing this job, we want to thank them all for everything they do: Amy, Oleta, Nikki, Taylor, Michelle, Kylee, Sarah, Liz, Shelby, Morgan, Katie, Dalayna, Rheanna, and Logan.
Protect Your Horse with Veterinarian-Administered Vaccinations
With vaccines readily available at farm supplies stores, online pharmacies and other retailers, it’s sometimes tempting to save a few dollars by purchasing and administering them to your animals yourself.
There are hidden risks and costs associated with vaccinating animals yourself, therefore “cheaper” vaccines aren’t the value they first appear to be.
Ask your veterinarian to develop a customized vaccine program for your horse. Having your veterinarian administer vaccines is always safer, easier and a better value in the long run than doing it yourself.
Here are several good reasons why your veterinarian is the best choice for administering vaccines:
Proper Handling of the Vaccine
Many vaccines require special handling and storage, for instance, protection from extremes of temperature or exposure to light to preserve its effectiveness. Rely on a licensed veterinarian to store and handle the vaccine properly—and to make sure the vaccine isn’t past its expiration date!
A licensed veterinarian knows about safe administration: clean environment, an appropriate injection site and good documentation. They also know the best time of year to vaccinate and whether vaccinations would react with any medications being administered to the horse. Your veterinarian will document the vaccine’s serial number and administration date—especially important in the event of a manufacturer’s recall. This is one instance when poor documentation could put your animal in peril.
Availability for Treatment of Adverse Reactions
Any injection can result in adverse effects—mild swelling at the injection site, lethargy and a slight fever for one to two days, the immediate outbreak of hives and life-threatening anaphylaxis. If your veterinarian is administering the vaccine, he or she will know what to do to counteract a reaction—and they will have the medicine to do it. In some cases, the vaccine manufacturing company will also cover costs associated with a reaction associated with a vaccine when administered by a veterinarian.
When you think about the risks of doing it yourself, it only makes good sense to have a licensed professional administer vaccines.
Montana is known for the bi-polar weather patterns. Afternoon storms are exceptionally common during the summer months and provide a much-needed relief from the hot afternoon sun. However, many dogs do not appreciate the thunder clap and flickering lightning that mother-nature often provides. While anxiety and fear are common, it doesn’t mean we are helpless in our pet’s unease. There are several options to help with noise aversion in dogs.
Behavior Training- treating the symptoms will not always relieve the anxiety until the under-lying issue is resolved. De-sensitizing your pet to thunder or fireworks requires long-term dedication but creating a safe space for your pet to retreat is a good place to start.
Pros: natural, positive reinforcement, creates good habits for storm aversion
Cons: Time intensive if training with a professional, slow progression
Thunder Jacket- the idea behind it is like swaddling an infant. The hugging effect can calm some pets.
Pros: Easy to use, fast acting, non-medical
Cons: Not always effective- especially in extreme cases, not for long-term use
Anti-anxiety Medications- Alprazolam, Trazadone, Sileo are commonly used medications that can be given to help your pet feel more relaxed.
Pros: Effective, easy-to-give pill/gel forms
Cons: Needs to be given a couple of hours before the stimulus, medication can only be prescribed by your veterinarian
When pets are scared, they can react in different ways. Some dogs have been reported to run away from home, even injuring themselves, when afraid. We love our pets and want to keep them happy and safe. Be sure to keep your pet’s identification tags and microchip up-to-date in case of emergency or loss. Your veterinarian can help you to decide what course of action would be most beneficial for your pet.
Is your dog a Mutant? Not like Professor X from X-men. I mean, does your dog have a mutation to the MDR1 gene (but perhaps if we were talking X-men we could call this particular mutant MD Resisto)! The MDR (multi-drug resistance) gene is responsible for protecting the brain by transporting potentially harmful chemicals away. The MDR1 mutation allows the drugs to build up in the brain, where they can cause ne urological reactions including disorientation, seizures, and blindness. Your veterinarian may discuss the MDR1 gene mutation in more depth with you if your dog is one of the following breeds:
The MDR1 gene mutation makes affected herding breed dogs especially sensitive to the negative effects of certain medications that are typically tolerated including common drugs like Ivermectin and Imodium (loperamide). Ivermectin… and herding dogs… It seems to go hand in hand, doesn’t it? Herding dogs are often found where there are livestock. Ivermectin is a common intestinal parasite dewormer used for livestock. This means that if your canine assistant is an MDR1 mutant, you will need to take extra precautions when deworming your livestock. If the affected dog were to ingest some of the horse/livestock Ivermectin dewormer paste or the manure from the recently de-wormed animal, symptoms of an Ivermectin toxicity could present shortly after. While equine dewormers contain high doses of Ivermectin, the ivermectin dose in heartworm preventatives, like Iverhart and Heartgard, are so low that they would not pose a risk to a dog with the mutation.
Lucky for us, this gene mutation can be tested for. Talk to your veterinarian about testing your herding breed or mixed breed dog for the MDR1 gene. A quick cheek swab or blood sample can be submitted to Washington State University for testing. Results are sent to you and a copy to your veterinarian in 1-2 weeks. The MDR1 gene is also tested for in the common canine DNA test: Wisdom Panel. This information will help to make lifestyle choices and medical decisions based on your dog’s results.
Normal/Normal Results: These dogs do not carry the mutation, and will not pass on the mutation to their offspring. These dogs would not be expected to experience unexpected adverse drug reactions to normal doses of Ivermectin, loperamide, and some anticancer drugs.
Mutant/Mutant Results: These dogs carry the mutation and can not pass on a normal gene to their offspring. These dogs would be expected to experience toxicity after normal doses of loperamide, some anticancer drugs, and high doses of Ivermectin.
Normal/Mutant Results: These dogs carry the mutation and may pass the mutant gene to their offspring. For this reason, we do not recommend mutant/mutant dogs be used for breeding purposes. These dogs may experience toxicity after normal doses of loperamide, some anticancer drugs, and high doses of Ivermectin.
Visit the Washington State University website for a list of problem drugs for MDR1 gene mutation dogs: http://vcpl.vetmed.wsu.edu/problem-drugs
We recently became accredited with the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) in March 2018! This symbol means that we have chosen to undergo regular evaluations to maintain a higher standard of veterinary care. Not every hospital puts in the work and chooses to earn this designation, but we’re proud to say we do!
Check out more about AAHA at https://www.aaha.org/