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Pet Care Awareness

Top Human Medications Toxic to Pets

1. Pain relievers
(Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol
2. Antidepressants
(Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor)
3. ADD/ADHD medications
(Ritalin, Vyvanse)
4. Sleep aids
(Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)
5. Muscle relaxants
(Lioresal, Flexeril)
6. Heart medications
(Cartia, Cardizem)

If your cat has/might have ingested any of the listed toxins CALL OUR HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY!

Top 10 Toxins in the Kitchen

1. Chocolate
2. Grapes, raisins & currants
3. Xylitol/sugar-free gum/candy
4. Fatty table scraps
5. Onions & garlic
6. Compost
7. Human medications
8. Macadamia nuts
9. Household cleaners
10. Unbaked bread dough/alcohol

If your cat has/might have ingested any of the listed toxins CALL OUR HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY!

Top 10 Toxins for Cats

1. Topical spot-on insecticides
2. Household cleaners
3. Antidepressants
4. Lilies
5. Insoluble oxalate plants
(Dieffenbachia, Philodendron, etc.)
6. Human and veterinary NSAIDS
7. Cold and flu medication
(Tylenol, Ibuprofen, etc.)
8. Glow sticks
9. ADD/ADHD medications/amphetamines
10. Mouse and rat poison

If your cat has/might have ingested any of the listed toxins CALL OUR HOSPITAL IMMEDIATELY!

Why is Obesity so Dangerous for Pets?

The following article is taken from the “Purina® Animal Instincts” Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

Obesity is just as dangerous for pets as it is for humans. The extra pounds weigh on an animal’s cardiovascular and respiratory systems, exacerbating existing problems and causing new ones. Fat cats and dogs are also prone to injury, more at risk in surgery, and predisposed to conditions such as diabetes. And the laundry list of problems doesn’t end there. Decreased stamina, diminished immune function, and digestive disorders are all potential consequences of obesity.

Being severely overweight can significantly diminish your cat or dog’s quality of life. So when your porky pet pleads with you for an extra treat, remember that saying no may be the kindest response.

– Dr. Andrea Looney, DVM

Making the holidays safe for our pets!

The holidays are rapidly approaching once again. I thought I would take a moment to discuss some of the common holiday items that can cause our pets and us some undue stress at this happy time of year.  There are numerous plants and foods that are always a part of this time of year that can cause our pets to become sick, or occasionally, seriously ill. When we talk about something being toxic it is almost always with respect to how much of that substance an animal or person consumes. A small amount may not cause a problem and the signs of toxicity increase with the amount ingested. Therefore, the smaller our pet the more likely there is going to be a problem.  We all know that puppies and kittens explore their new world by putting anything they find directly in their mouth and are more likely to have issues with indiscriminate eating. This column is not written to be a damper on the season or meant to imply that these items need to be completely avoided, rather just a reminder of some of the hidden concerns that we all need to be aware of.

When we think about winter flower arrangements, the first plant that usually comes to mind is Poinsettia.  These plants have a reputation for being extremely toxic, but that is more of an urban legend than truth. They do cause nausea and vomiting if ingested, but are unlikely to cause a life threatening situation. So placed in the proper location, they can still be a part of the holiday decorations.  The plants that need the most concern are mistletoe and any plant in the lily family.  These plants can cause anything from nausea and vomiting to organ failure with the kidneys being most commonly affected. These plants should absolutely be kept in a place where they can have no contact with our pets.  For our readers out there with feline friends, make sure that these items are kept way out of reach.  If you are planning on using live holly with the bright red berries as part of your garland or wreaths be aware that the berries can cause your pet to have increased salivation (drool) but the affects of this are usually self limiting and can be corrected by washing your pets mouth out with tap water.  Live Christmas trees can also cause mild toxicity and there is always the family cat out there that makes the Christmas tree there winter home, so be aware!  The most common signs are similar to the holly berry but if the needles are consumed in large enough quantities they can lead to irritation of the stomach and even blockage of the intestine.

At my house, the holidays are all about eating lots of delicious and savory foods.  While these incredible foods are what makes me and my family happy, they are not well tolerated by our pets. The best way to approach this issue is not to feed our furry friends anything other than their normal dog food.  Our pets do not tolerate changes in their diet very well for the simple reason they are not use to having their diet changed. They eat the same food every day, so when we give them something new it can cause serious issues. Any food that is high in fat is exceptionally bad for our pets. At our hospital we treat countless animals every holiday season because they either helped themselves to the Thanksgiving spread or were given left overs as a “special treat”. The most common signs that we see related to eating human food are vomiting and diarrhea, but the illness can develop into a very serious and even life threatening situation. I know it’s hard to resist those loving eyes as they stare at you begging for that last piece of ham or turkey, but the potential consequences are not worth the risk.

If your pets start to show any of these clinical signs, you should contact your veterinarian immediately. There are very few over-the-counter medications that are safe to give our pets, so it is always best to get medical advice before treating your pet yourself.  I hope that everyone and their pets have a happy and safe holiday season. If anyone has any questions or topics they would like discussed, feel free to contact us at www.argylevet.com.


Ryan Royse DVM
Argyle Veterinary Hospital


Argyle Veterinary Hospital

Therapy Lasers Improve Patient Care

Therapy Lasers Improve Patient Care

By Somyr McLean Perry
For Veterinary Practice News


Therapeutic lasers’ popularity continues to grow as pet owners seek out alternative healing and pain control techniques for their animals, laser therapy manufacturers say.

Kristen Grady, director of sales for Grady Medical Systems of Temecula, Calif., said that while it’s difficult to estimate, about 10 percent of clinics practice with laser light therapy, in general.

And approximately 5,000 Class IV laser machines have been purchased in the veterinary market in just the last three years, said Phil Harrington, DC, CMLSO, manager of training and clinical support for K-Laser USA of Franklin, Tenn.

It’s interesting to note that although some specialty clinics and certain universities are investing in the modality, most clinics adding therapeutic laser therapy to their regimens are general practices.

“These clinics are seeing wounds, dermatology cases and animals experiencing osteoarthritic pain—all conditions the laser can greatly improve,” said Grady. “The use of the laser can also be tied in to post-operative healing. For these reasons, laser is definitely not just for specialty hospitals.”

Carl Bennett, marketing director for Companion Therapy Laser by Lite Cure based in Newark, Del., and James D. Shanks, veterinary director at Erchonia Corp. of  McKinney, Texas, agree.

“The great thing about therapeutic laser technology is it allows you to increase your outcomes, provide alternative forms of therapy, allow more flexibly to your practice and increase patient referrals,” Shanks said.

“Any practices that see patients for whom they would like to speed healing, reduce pain or inflammation, or have a drug-free alternative for treating acute or chronic conditions” will benefit in patient care, Bennett said.


Dental health: where overall pet health begins

Dog dental problems are the most common health issue among U.S. pets, affecting at least 70 to 80 percent of dogs.  Problems that develop in the mouth can seriously affect the overall health of pets and could potentially affect quality of life, as well as longevity. That’s why daily dental care plays such an important role in the overall health of your dog.

Recognizing dental problems

A pet’s bad breath can be a sign that dog may be developing dental problems, including the buildup of plaque and tartar. If ignored, many types of dental conditions are not only irreversible, but can eventually result in tooth loss or cause severe health issues.
But how do you know if your dog’s bad breath is more than simply annoying? There are other signs you may notice that could mean a serious dental condition is developing. These include:

  • excessive drooling
  • painful chewing
  • gum discoloration



The power of nutrition: everyday dental health

Tartar control treats offer a temporary fix to help with your pet’s dental health. But taking your pet to the veterinarian for regular cleanings is also recommended. Daily brushing is important, but that can be difficult. Specific dental formulas can provide the everyday feeding solution to help promote your pet’s optimal dental health.

Other ways to manage your pet’s dental health

In addition to regular dental cleanings by your veterinarian, there are many things you can do at home to promote your pet’s dental health. Your pet may benefit further from:

  • daily tooth brushing (using specially formulated toothpastes for pets—ask your veterinarian)
  • chew toys
  • edible chews

Article Courtesy of:  http://www.purinaveterinarydiets.com

Cat urinary tract disease: a common health problem

It has been estimated that 3 percent of all cats seen by veterinarians have cat urinary problems and show signs of Lower Urinary Tract Disease, or LUTD. Feline urinary disease can affect both the urinary bladder (such as cystitis, an inflammation of the bladder) and the urethra, the channel that carries urine from the bladder to the outside.
In some cases, cat urinary tract disease is caused by crystals or stones that form in the urine. These can irritate the lining of the urinary tract and partially or completely block the flow of urine.

In some cases, cat urinary tract disease is caused by crystals or stones that form in the urine. These can irritate the lining of the urinary tract and partially or completely block the flow of urine.

Feline Urinary Tract

How to recognize the symptoms of cat urinary problems

Your observations about changes in your cat’s appearance or behavior can assist your veterinarian in making an accurate diagnosis of a feline urinary tract disease. For example, urinating can be painful for a cat with lower urinary tract disease. Urine may be bloody, have a reddish tinge, or a strong ammonia-like odor. A cat with LUTD may:

  • make frequent trips to the litter box
  • cry when urinating
  • urinate outside the litter box
  • lick its genital area excessively

Occasionally, mucous plugs or crystals can block the urethra in cat urinary tract disease, making it difficult or impossible for your cat to urinate. These cats will

  • strain to urinate, with little success
  • display signs of anxiety, such as pacing or hiding

Consult your veterinarian immediately if your cat shows any of these behaviors. If an obstruction is not relieved it can lead to vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration, collapse and even death.

Understanding feline lower urinary tract disease

Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (LUTD) can be caused by a number of factors, including:

  • stress
  • bacterial or viral infection
  • obesity
  • anatomical abnormalities
  • confinement
  • genetics

There are several different types of cat urinary tract problems. One type, associated with the formation of stones or crystals, is linked to conditions in the urinary bladder such as the concentration of minerals, the pH and the volume of urine.


Male and female cats can experience cat urinary problems, such as cystitis, but since male cats have longer and narrower urethras, their urinary tracts are more likely to become obstructed by crystals and mucous.


Urinary problems are more common in some breeds like Persians, while there is a lower incidence in Siamese cats.


Young adult cats between the ages of 2 and 6 years are more likely to have lower urinary tract disorders, but cats of any age are susceptible.

Physical activity

Indoor cats seem to be more susceptible to cat urinary tract disease. This may be because confinement reduces physical activities, which in turn may reduce the amount of water consumed and the frequency of urination, allowing crystals to form in the urine.


High levels of ash and magnesium in the diet were once thought to cause crystal formation. More recent work indicates that urine pH and concentration are more important factors in the development of LUTD. Increasing water intake is highly recommended to help reduce the risk of LUTD.

Diagnosing your cat’s urinary problems

To determine the type and severity of your cat’s urinary disorder, your veterinarian will conduct a thorough physical exam. This includes gently feeling your cat’s abdomen to determine if the bladder is full, a possible sign of a blocked feline urinary tract.

Your veterinarian may also recommend tests such as a urinalysis to evaluate any crystals, blood cells and bacteria in the urine, as well as urine pH and concentration. If stone formation is suspected, an X-ray will help determine if stones are present. Not all types of urinary stones can be seen on x-rays, but struvite stones are generally visible.

Helping your cat recover from feline urinary tract disease

If your cat has an obstruction, your veterinarian will need to remove it immediately.

Most cases of feline LUTD are not caused by infection, but if infection is present, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics.

If there are struvite crystals in your cat’s urinary tract that aren’t blocking the flow of urine, a special diet can help dissolve those crystals and reduce crystal formation. Diets which help create urine that’s slightly acidic have a positive effect on reducing struvite crystal and stone formation. If signs persist beyond five to seven days of dietary therapy, consult your veterinarian.

Regardless of the type of feline urinary disease your cat is experiencing, increased water intake is recommended to increase urine volume. Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet that promotes increased water intake.


Article courtesy of: www.purinaveterinarydiets.com

When it comes to identifying arthritis in dogs, the earlier the better.

It is estimated that canine arthritis affects as many as one in five dogs older than one year of age1. Changes in the joint may occur even before the clinical signs of osteoarthritis are seen2. A common condition in dogs, dog arthritis is characterized by:

  • stiffness
  • lameness and
  • reduced mobility  Dog arthritis

Early care may contribute to the long-term health and happiness of your pet, so see your veterinarian early and often.

How do you watch for signs of canine arthritis?

Identifying the early signs of arthritis in dogs is a challenge because some adult dogs do not show obvious signs—another reason why regular veterinary visits are important.

  • Ask yourself these important questions:
  1. Does my dog have a hard time getting up in the morning or after lying down for a rest?
  2. Does my dog limp or appear stiff after exercise?
  3. Does my dog tire easily or lag behind on walks?
  4. Is my dog reluctant to climb steps or jump up?
  5. Does my dog pant excessively when he doesn’t seem hot?
  • By closely watching your dog for signs of dog arthritis, you can help alert your veterinarian to these changes.


Your veterinarian will establish a multi-faceted plan to help your adult dog

In canine arthritis, inflammation in the joint and cartilage may contribute to pain and weaken the joint. The goal of your veterinarian’s management program will be improving or maintaining joint function.


1. Dietary management may be recommended by your veterinarian.

This may include a food with nutritional characteristics such as:

  • high levels of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids to help with joint health and mobility in dogs with arthritis
  • high levels of antioxidants (vitamin E) to help reduce oxidative stress
  • a natural source of glucosamine for cartilage and joint health

2. Your veterinarian may establish a weight control program.

Overweight adult dogs tend to develop dog arthritis sooner than lean adult dogs, most likely due to the increased stress on weight-bearing joints. An estimated 25-30% of dogs examined by veterinarians are overweight3, putting this significant portion of the canine population at risk for canine arthritis.

3. Follow your veterinarian’s recommendations to keep your dog active.

Keeping your dog active is one of the keys to managing arthritis and living a full life. Regular exercise:

  • helps keep bones, muscles and joints healthy
  • strengthens the muscles and tissue around the joints, to better protect joints
  • improves overall strength, endurance and flexibility
  • helps with weight control

Consult your veterinarian about your dog’s exercise program. But remember,

  • start slowly
  • include exercises that are easy on the joints like walking or swimming
  • be consistent—exercise daily
  • don’t exercise during the hottest part of the day (and always take water along)

In addition to proper nutrition, exercise and/or a weight control program, your veterinarian may also prescribe medications to help with your dog’s canine arthritis. Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions carefully.

1. Johnston SA. Osteoarthritis: Joint anatomy, physiology, and pathology. Vet Clin North Am: Small Anim Pract 1997 July:27(4): 699-723.
2. Budsberg SC, Todhunter RJ, McNamara PS Jr. Use of chondromodulating drugs and substances in the prevention and treatment of osteoarthritis in dogs. In: Bonagura JD, editor. Kirk’s Current Veterinary Therapy XII: Small Animal Practice. Philadelphia: WB Saunders; 2000. p 1018-22.
3. Burkholder WJ. Use of body condition scores in clinical assessment of the provision of optimal nutrition. JAVMA 2000; 217(5): 650-3


Article courtesy of: www.purinaveterinarydiets.com

I just found out my cat has diabetes. What care will he need?

Feline Diabetes


The following article is taken from the “Purina® Animal Instincts” Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

Cats tend to suffer quietly. But don’t be fooled by a stoic cat, especially if it’s diabetic. Diabetes strikes cats in different ways and they’ll react to treatment in their own way.

There are two types of feline diabetes and each requires different levels of care. In some cases, the illness can be controlled through a strict dietary regime. But quite often, feline diabetes requires more on the part of the owner. Daily injections of insulin may be called for, although in some cases insulin can be squirted into the kitty’s mouth.

So it goes without saying that a diabetic cat, stoic or not, takes a bit of effort. But most owners find they get used to the regime, and so does the cat. The effort ensures that both will be in good company for a long time to come.

– Dr. Larry McDaniel, DVM

by Lianne Martin on Argyle Veterinary Hospital

once again......Drs. Bitters, Helmsley & Ali go above and beyond to effectively diagnose & treat one of our beloved equine family members. Absolute... Read More

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