Welcome to the news section
of our website. The purpose of this section is to inform and
educate. We will try to provide you with information you can
use to better care for your pet. If there is a special topic
you would like to see presented here, please contact us and
we'll see what we can do to accommodate you. As always, we
appreciate your business. If you are not yet one of our
clients, why not?
Also, we invite you to meet our
Featured Employee and our
Amazing Animal Companion!
Basic First Aid
Introduction to Tui-na
Some Candies Toxic To Dogs
Physical Rehab. In Veterinary Medicine
Feline Heartworm Disease
The "D" in DVM Stands for Doctor
How Old Is Old?
Foreign Body Ingestion
Senior Pet Care
Dry vs. Moist Food
Staff Training and Hospital Meetings
Heat and Humidity
Dental Cleaning, Step by Step
Sunday Pickup Policy for Boarding
Vet-Stem Regenerative Veterinary Medicine
End of Life Decisions
Be Vaccine Smart
FDA Jerky Warning
Atrium Animal Hospital is pleased to offer a
state-of-the-art underwater treadmill as part of our Canine
Physical Rehabilitation Program!
The unit features an underwater treadmill which uses the
natural buoyancy of water to reduce joint impact while
working towards muscle development using the resistance of
water. The system utilizes a filtration system, water heater
and adjustable treadmill speed for comfortable exercise
The benefits of using hydrotherapy include an earlier start
of intervention and rehabilitation, quicker recovery times,
and environment to insure controlled weight bearing and
exercise options for dogs of all ages.
This equipment will compliment our existing rehabilitation
program and allow us to create individualized programs for:
- Athletic Conditioning and Weight Loss
- Post-operative Rehabilitation
- Conditions with decreased range of
- Gait Training
- Soft Tissue injury and muscle
- Neurological deficits and
A rehabilitation program allows us to
begin recovery sooner which supports the best outcome and
provides a smooth return to optimum health and quality of
Tui-na is a Chinese medical massage and manipulation
technique. It is one of the five branches of Traditional
Chinese Medicine treatment. The techniques enhance
acupuncture and/or herbal clinical results as well as
provide a viable treatment option for musculoskeletal
conditions, geriatric diseases and internal disease.
dates back to 1368 - 1644 or the Ming Dynasty. Tui-na means:
Tui = push, na=pull/lift. So Tui-na is a pushing and lifting
manipulating technique. The first medical book on Tui-na was
the "Classics on Tui-na of Yellow Emperor and Chi-Bo". The
practice of Tui-na is under the guidance of Traditional
Chinese Medicine theories and principles.
Tui-na differs from Western Chiropractic/Massage. Tui-na
focuses on the whole body, manipulates meridians and
acupoints, and encompasses over 200 styles or techniques of
Tui-na. Western Chiropractic/Massage focuses on local areas,
manipulates spine and limbs, and uses adjustments,
stretching and massage for technique.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Tui-na works by moving Qi
and blood blockage by stimulating acupoints and channels
leading to promoting blood circulation, removing stasis,
restoring injured soft tissue, correcting abnormal location
of bones and soft tissue. It is a technique effective for
both dogs and cats.
Rehabilitation In Veterinary Medicine
Interest and work in Physical Rehabilitation has been a
fairly recent trend in veterinary medicine. Veterinary
surgeons perform joint replacements, arthroscopic surgery,
and general surgery on a routine basis. These procedures
often require prolonged or extensive rehabilitation. The
general public is aware of the merits of Physical
Rehabilitation in humans and this awareness is fueling the
quest and interest in physical rehabilitation for their
rehabilitation has been proven to be effective in treating
dogs suffering the pain of back ache, arthritis, hip
dysplasia, immobilization of a limb, and other debilitating
joint and osteological disorders. In addition, there is
ample interest in the “wellness” aspects of rehabilitation.
There are many dogs that are overweight and deconditioned
who can benefit from exercise and cardiovascular fitness
programs. This attention to “wellness” complements the
treatment of the whole dog when combined with nutrition and
nutritional support, behavior and environment studies,
acupuncture and other alternative medicine approaches.
Physical rehabilitation can include modalities such as
heat/ice, ultrasound, electric stimulation, massage, joint
range of motion, exercise programs, and hydrotherapy.
Hydrotherapy is the use of therapeutic swimming, whirlpool,
and/or underwater treadmill to increase muscle strength,
increase circulation, joint movement and cardiovascular
fitness. Physical rehabilitation has a useful role in modern
veterinary practice. There is scientific data to support its
usefulness. It is rapidly becoming a source of relief for
our beloved friends.
WISDOM Panel MX detects these breeds in
Is your dog one of a kind?
Atrium Animal Hospital now offers the WISDOM
Panel MX. The WISDOM Panel MX performs a
complex genetic analysis to detect breeds in
your dog’s family history, examining over 300
sites along your pet’s DNA, then comparing them
to Mars Veterinary’s proprietary genetic
Your dog is special and knowing your dog’s breed
mix is much more than a matter of curiosity.
The important genetic information provided by
WISDOM Panel MX can help veterinarians develop a
customized care plan specifically tailored to
your dog’s individual needs.
WISDOM Panel MX results are provided in a
comprehensive and customized report. A detailed
analysis of breeds detected in your dog and an
explanation of which breeds have been detected
at the highest level of certainty. This
includes a historical background of your pet
along with physical traits and breed associated
To learn more about the WISDOM Panel MX call
Atrium Animal Hospital @ 704-542-2000
or visit www.wisdompanel.com
|Feline Heartworm Disease
Heartworm disease is typically thought to be
only a problem for dogs. Unfortunately, cats are also at
risk. Feline heartworm disease (FHD) is relatively uncommon,
but can be difficult to diagnose and may even be fatal. As
with dogs, the disease is transmitted by mosquitoes.
Although cats of any age or gender are susceptible,
middle-aged male cats seem to be the most common victims.
Also, both indoor and outdoor cats are at risk. The most
prevalent symptoms are coughing and labored breathing.
Vomiting, weight loss, decreased appetite, and lethargy are
also often seen in cats with FHD. Unfortunately, treatment
for cats with FHD is very limited. Most veterinarians agree
that the best way to deal with FHD is to use heartworm
preventative. Cat owners can find monthly feline heartworm
preventative at most animal hospitals.
|The "D" in DVM Stands for Doctor
Similar to human medical programs,
competition for acceptance into veterinary medical school is
highly competitive. Only one out of three applicants was
accepted to veterinary medical school in 2004.
Veterinarians, in addition to a standard BS degree in
premedical science, must complete between 45 and 90 hours of
additional undergraduate coursework in science, math and
biology PLUS four years of medical school.
There are 32 accredited schools of veterinary medicine in
the USA and Canada, and almost 80% of the students are now
female. This is significant considering, that 20 years ago
only half of all graduates were women. There are now five
female deans in North America.
While the profession dates back to 1800 B.C., Ontario
Veterinary College is the oldest accredited veterinary
school operating in North America. Elizabeth Stone, DVM, MPP,
MS became dean of that college in 2005.
Veterinary medical school students graduate with Doctors of
Veterinary Medicine (DVM) or Veterinary Medical Doctor (VMD)
degrees and must pass state and national examinations before
practicing medicine. In addition to the private practice of
veterinary medicine, veterinarians succeed in several
professional fields including research, academia, business
and public health. They influence national decisions that
are made regarding public health to prevent animal diseases
from infecting the general public.
Although Lyme disease is generally most common in northern
parts of the United States, cases do occasionally occur in
the southeast. It only takes a single tick to transmit the
disease. Even though Lyme disease does have noticeable
symptoms, it can be difficult to diagnose because many of
the symptoms mimic the signs of other health problems, like
degenerative joint disease and autoimmune disease. Some of
the symptoms of Lyme disease include shifting leg lameness,
fever, lethargy, and swollen lymph nodes. In some cases,
dogs suffering from the disease can even develop renal
disorders and cardiac problems.
Thankfully, exposure to an infected tick does not ensure
infection. However, it is a good idea to carefully check
your dog after he or she is outside in wooded areas. In
fact, the tick must be attached to the dog for about 48
hours for Lyme disease to be transmitted. Subsequently,
early removal of an attached tick can be extremely
beneficial. Just be careful whenever removing a tick because
humans are also susceptible to Lyme disease.
Have you noticed your dog seems to be
suffering from spinal discomfort? The problem may be that
your dog has diskospondylitis. Diskospondylitis is a
bacterial or fungal infection of the cushions between
vertebrae. Unfortunately, this problem is not preventable.
The good news is, there is treatment! Most cases of
diskospondylitis can be successfully treated with the use of
antibiotics, pain medication, and limited activity.
How do I know if my dog is at risk?
Recent studies have indicated that this type of infection is
most commonly found in large and giant breeds. Furthermore,
purebred dogs are more susceptible to diskospondylitis;
Great Danes in particular.
What signs should I watch out for?
Most dogs affected by diskospondylitis will exhibit fever,
lethargy, lack of coordination, and spinal pain. Your
veterinarian can provide useful diagnostic services such as
laboratory tests, scans and biopsies to determine if your
pet has diskospondylitis.
Foreign Body Ingestion
Many cats and dogs have been known to chew
and sometimes even ingest inappropriate items. The
repercussions of this behavior range from annoying to
dangerous. In fact, if an animal ingests a foreign body,
surgery may be required to remove the item. There are a
variety of causes for such behavior. Some pets are driven by
possessive aggression. In other words, the pet becomes
aggressive when his or her owner attempts to retrieve the
stolen item. This behavior is most common in certain breeds
of dogs, (Spaniels in particular).
Some pets chew on inappropriate items in order to get their
human companion's attention. In turn, when their owner
reacts to this behavior, it reinforces the habit. It becomes
a vicious cycle.
Many pets chew excessively due to anxiety, phobias or
compulsive disorders. Another common cause for inappropriate
chewing is teething in puppies and kittens. Sometimes the
discomfort they experience from new teeth coming in can be
temporarily relieved form chewing on different substances.
Regardless of the cause, there are several simple ways to
curb behavior that may lead to the ingestion of foreign
bodies. The easiest method is to remove items that pose a
risk from the dog or cat's reach. Also, items in question
can be tainted with nontoxic, malodorous or bad tasting
solutions. For more serious cases, a consultation with an
animal behavior consultant, behavior modification, or drug
therapy may be required. Just remember, if you suspect your
pet has ingested something inappropriate, call your
veterinarian's office immediately!
|Dry Food Vs. Moist Food
There is no contest! Moist is better. Dry
food is processed more than canned food and the protein
quality is most dry food is low. Low quality protein causes
the urine to be alkaline; a dog or cat fed a high quality,
easily assimilated protein tends to have acidic urine.
Acidic urine prevents the growth of germs and helps dissolve
bladder stones and gravel.
Most veterinarians caution against a dry food diet. Dry food
does not clean teeth. A diet of wholesome food makes the
body stronger, including teeth and gum.
Moist food contains more water. A dog or cat's body is made
up of 85% water. Out in the wild, they would consume prey
(bird, mouse, lizard, rabbit) which provides necessary water
to help hydrate the organs for maximum efficiency. Water is
the single most important nutrient necessary to sustain
normal function of all living cells. A number of studies
have been conducted on cats regarding the intake of water
and how it compared between canned and dry commercial foods.
All studies indicate canned, moist food is better for water
consumption. We also recommend that fresh, clean water be
available at all times for your dogs, cats and you!
Heartworm disease is very prevalent in the
Southern U.S., where mosquitoes abound and winters are often
short and mild. Both dogs and cats are at risk for this
disease, which is caused by a bite from a mosquito carrying
the infective stage of the heartworm (aka Dirofilaria
immitis). Heartworms can affect multiple body systems,
including the heart (thickening of the heart wall,
congestive heart failure in some), the lungs (hypertension,
embolism, pneumonitis) and the kidneys (damage secondary to
immune system reaction to heartworms). Common signs include
exercise intolerance, cough, and difficulty breathing...the
first sign in cats can be sudden death.
Monthly prevention is the best protection and is much and
less costly when compared to treating heartworm infestation.
We suggest using either Heartgard Plus or TriHeart, both of
which are highly effective monthly preventive treatments
given orally. They also provide protection against most
gastrointestinal parasites. We also recommend a yearly
heartworm test at the time of your dog's yearly exam.
We recommend monthly heartworm prevention for cats, also.
Whether your cat is indoor only or goes outside regularly,
the risk for mosquito exposure exists. While the prevalence
of this disease is much lower in cats when compared to dogs,
the clinical signs can be much more severe. We recommend
heartworm testing for cats during yearly exams, and advise
monthly preventative depending on the test results.
|Basic First Aid
your pet should get a swollen face or paw(s) from an insect
sting or other hypersensitivity type of reaction, give an
antihistamine such as Benadryl. The dose would be 1
milligram per pound, every 8 hours until swelling resolves.
Example: give a 25 pound dog, 25 milligrams of Benadryl.
If you witness an insect sting on a paw you can soak your
pet's paw in Alka Seltzer. This will neutralize the sting.
If it is a bee sting, it is ideal if you can get the stinger
out of the paw.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not leave your pet in your car,
not "even for a minute". The heat is lethal and a minute can
turn into 5-10 minutes quickly. To quote the Piedmont Kennel
Club, "preheat your oven to 350 degrees and jump in" is how
this feel to your pet when you leave him/her in a parked car
on a sunny day even for a few minutes. Please do not take
your dog for a run or bike ride in the middle of the day.
Dog's do not have the heat exchange mechanism that we do.
They rely almost solely on evaporation from the tongue and
paw pads to decrease their temperature and on a humid day
this is greatly impaired.
Rabbits and hot weather do not get along! Keep your rabbits
indoor in clean, cool areas. Rabbits succumb to heat very
quickly. Also, rabbits housed outdoors are very likely to
get infected with warbles which are grub like worms that
grow under the skin after a fly has deposited its eggs
there. Also, maggots can be a problem around the rectum and
there is urine scald possibility from an unclean cage.
|Some Candies Toxic To Dogs
Xylitol, a sweetener found in certain
sugar-free chewing gums and candies, can cause serious or
life-threatening problems for pets, according to the ASPCA
Animal Poison Control Center. Dogs that ingest significant
amounts of candies made with the sweetener can develop a
sudden drop in blood sugar, which could result in
depression, loss of coordination and seizures, says Dr. Eric
Dunayer, consulting veterinarian in clinical toxicology for
the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center. "These signs can
develop quite rapidly, at times less than 30 minutes after
ingestion of the product," he says. Some data appears to
point to a possible link between xylitol ingestions and the
development of liver failure in dogs, Dr. Dunayer says, but
no firm conclusion can be made at this time.
Alert: New No-Calorie Sweetener
contains Xylitol which is toxic to dogs.
Please don’t let
your dog eat anything made with these products. If your pet
does accidentally eat something made with Xylitol, contact
Egyptians were thought to be the first to
domesticate cats around 2,000 B.C. But a burial site from a
Neolithic village in Cyprus revealed a cat buried a few
inches from a human and in a similar position, setting
feline domestication back to 7,500 B.C.
Canine domestication still has a head start, barely. Through
DNA testing, scientists found that dogs were first
domesticated in Mesolithic East Asia around 13,000 B.C. - a
far cry from the previous thought that dogs became man's
best friend a whopping 40,000 years ago. Why do dogs have a
5,500 year head start? Food. In the Mesolithic era, hunters
added domesticated dogs to broaden the arsenal from the
spear and bow and arrow. As for cat domestication, in the
Neolithic era agriculture replaced hunting as the in thing.
That's when we learned that when the cat's away the mice
play in our food.
All cats are members of the family Felidea. The cat family
split from other mammals at least 40,000,000 years ago
making them one of the oldest mammalian family. According to
a Gallup poll, most American pet owners obtain their cats by
adopting strays. Cats can live 14-20 years. A smooth, shiny
coat is the sign of a healthy cat! In Egyptian mythology,
the sun god Ra (or Re) took the form of a cat every night to
fight the evil serpent Apopis. When Ra defeated Apopis,
there would be a solar eclipse!
Dental problems are a frequent abnormality
found on a pet's yearly physical exam. Often, an owner may
notice foul breath, unsightly tartar, and sometimes even
pain while chewing. The most common dental problems we
encounter include: 1) dental calculus and tartar composed of
bacteria and salivary proteins 2) gingivitis or inflammation
of gums 3) broken and/or abscessed teeth 4) recessed gum
lines around devitalized teeth. About 80% of pets over 3
years old will have some degree of gingivitis, and there is
a higher prevalence earlier in life in toy breeds. Risk
factors for dental disease include age, head shape and
dental conformation, lack of oral care, and certain
Routine dental cleanings are done safely under general
anesthesia. Canine and feline teeth are cleaned with
instruments very similar to those used in human dentistry.
First, tartar is cleaned away thoroughly and the teeth are
assessed for fractures/breaks, overall vitality, and pockets
along the gum line. Teeth are polished and rinsed, and a
periodontal treatment is applied topically to the gums if
deep pockets are present. Occasionally, it is necessary to
pull one or more teeth if they are very loose or
devitalized. If tartar/calculus is severe, we use oral
antibiotics starting prior to the dental cleaning and
continue them for a few days after - this is to help prevent
bacterial release into the bloodstream as tartar is being
It is important to perform oral care at home for your pets.
This can include brushing the teeth or simply massaging the
teeth and gums with a piece of gauze or a small piece of
pantyhose to prevent tartar build-up. Other ways to improve
dental health is by providing special chew toys/bones to
help clean teeth, as well as treating your pets with fresh
fruits, veggies and organic plain yogurt daily.
How Old Is Old?
As our pets live longer, we are aware of the
importance of preventing disease and detecting early change
in our pet’s health. AGE ALONE IS NOT A DISEASE! Many
medical conditions can arise in our older pets – including
arthritis, dental disease, obesity and organ malfunction.
Performing a simple physical examination and routine lab
work can uncover signs of impending disease. Once a
potential problem is detected, lifestyle and diet
adjustments can protect our friends from full-blown illness.
Our friends cannot tell us when something is “not right”.
Once an animal is sick enough to show clinical signs, they
are often quite ill. Watching for subtle changes, such as
increased water consumption, slower movement, and decreased
appetite can help the doctors detect early warning signs of
disease. Increasing the frequency of visits for aging pets
will help doctors develop a baseline for what is normal for
each individual patient. Seeing the doctor every 6 months
instead of every 12 months, gives a greater opportunity for
early detection and disease prevention. Given that an animal
ages 7-10 years for each passing human year, bi-annual
visits for our animal friends are similar to doctor visits
every 3-5 years for us.
So, when do our companions become geriatric? We usually
recommend bi-annual visits for cats over 10 years old and
dogs over 7 years old. From the physical exam, doctors can
develop complete diagnostic and therapeutic plans to detect
and prevent problems BEFORE they cause illness. Increased
monitoring at home, coupled with complete medical care will
keep our animal companions happy and healthy for years to
CHOCOLATE...it can only be a good thing,
right? Not always – in cats and dogs, chocolate poisoning is
among the twenty most common poisonings reported in recent
literature. Not surprisingly, this problem is more common
during the holidays, when candy is readily available in most
homes. Dogs are usually more commonly affected, since
they’re liable to consume large amounts of unusual foods
very quickly. And as we all know, chocolate is highly
palatable and attractive...and can often be sniffed out
easily in homes and kitchens. Excess chocolate intake can
cause gastrointestinal, neurological, and cardiac problems.
Toxicity is usually due to ingestion of processed chocolate
used for candies and baking. The following products are
listed from highest to lowest risk:
1. Cocao bean
2. Baker’s chocolate
3. Semisweet chocolate
4. Milk chocolate
5. Hot chocolate
6. White chocolate
Signs associated with toxicity include vomiting and
diarrhea, restlessness, excess urination, and can even lead
to excitement and seizures. Also, keep size in mind: a small
dog that has eaten baker’s chocolate is more likely to be
affected than a large dog that has ingested a lot of milk
chocolate. If your pet ingests a low risk chocolate type,
monitor them at home for any signs of illness. If your pet
eats a high-risk chocolate product and is feeling ill,
please consult a veterinarian for treatment. Be sure to keep
all unsuitable foods, including candy, in an inaccessible
Have a great fall, and happy trick-or-treating!
Allergies wow! Where do we begin? There are 3
basic categories of allergies. Atopy, which are inhalant
allergies, are the most common. Contact allergies which
usually cause a skin reaction on the paws and belly due to
contact with grass, pine straw, new carpet, etc... are
another type. Food allergies are the third category. This
allergy is most common to a particular protein source, but
it can also be caused by preservatives, dyes, or any
particular component of the food.
There is usually a genetic predisposition to allergies, but
there are many natural approaches we can offer to keep our
pets under that “itch and scratch” threshold.
The key factor in controlling allergies is nutrition. The
balance of Omega 3 fatty acids to Omega 6 fatty acids, foods
free of artificial preservatives and dyes, and protein
sources free of antibiotics and various growth hormones all
play an important part in preventing allergies. The addition
of herbal pet therapy or homeopathic combinations may be needed to get
our itchy pets through a particular season or allergy
Treatment is individualized to each pet. But, in all cases,
added sources of Omega 3 fatty acids are ideal for
anti-inflammatory. Sources of Omega 3’s are found in cod
liver oil, flaxseed, any of the cold water fish such as
salmon, mackerel, sardines, and yellow fin tuna.
For atopy (inhalant) allergies you can desensitize your pet
to local allergens by feeding them a teaspoon of local made
raw honey daily. It may take 3-4 months to desensitize, but
it is effective. It is essential to have a healthy digestive
tract to ensure absorption of these good nutrients. For this
purpose, plain or vanilla, no-fat, organic yogurt can be
helpful. The yogurt is good for colonizing the digestive
tract with healthy bacterial flora necessary for proper
|Senior Pet Care
In the senior years, physical changes can
occur more rapidly than in younger years and sometimes the
rebound is not as quick as in the younger years. For this
reason we recommend more frequent and regular monitoring of
your pets health. While senior care actually begins at the
first new puppy or kitten examination when your pet’s entire
health program is outlined, the senior program itself is
implemented at 7-8 years of age. “Senior Care” is a
proactive comprehensive health care program that addresses
your older pet’s special needs. This would include annual
blood testing to assure early diagnosing and special dietary
management to meet the age-related changes of the senior
Senior Care focuses on client education, disease prevention
and the detection of medical and behavioral problems at the
earliest possible stage where the prognosis is better, and
treatment options still exist. It is important to realize
that prevention, early detection and timely intervention of
medical problems can have a significant impact on the
longevity and quality of life of an older pet.
Senior Health Care does focus special attention on those
conditions that most commonly affect the senior aged dog or
cat. Among these include, heart, liver and kidney disease,
endocrine disorders and the ever-debilitating arthritis.
As we, ourselves, are living longer, healthier lives, we are
becoming more aware of age-related changes that affect our
own well being. It is our goal that with an attitude of
compassion and the vast knowledge of veterinary medicine,
the number of senior-aged dogs and cats will continue to
grow into the next decade.
Rabbits can be great house pets and
companions! They each have their own individual
personalities and can have a life span of 9-13 years. In
general they get along well with other rabbits, cats, and
even some dogs!
We recommend annual physical exams for pet rabbits; at this
time there are no annual vaccines recommended. We also
strongly recommend spaying and neutering at the age of 6
months to a year to prevent uterine and mammary cancers in
females and testicular problems in males. This procedure can
also help with certain aggressive behaviors that rabbits may
Domestic rabbits are ideally kept indoors due to far too
many hazards outdoors. One of the many hazards is hot
weather. Rabbits hate hot weather and can quickly suffer a
heat stroke. Death can occur if exposed for any length of
time. Fresh air and exercise are great, but only with
Rabbits that are litter trained can have free run of the
house. However, you must “Bunny Proof” your home. Cover
those electrical cords and phone cords, rabbits love to
chew. Also, prevent access to items such as small plastic
pieces and house plants that rabbits might be attracted to.
One of the most important things for a rabbit is good
digestive health. This is easily maintained by an
appropriate diet in which pellets only play a small part.
Hay is the single most important thing you can feed rabbits.
Rabbits also need lots of fresh veggies. Fresh vegetables provide
your rabbit with unprocessed foods and vitamins that are
vital to good overall health. We can give you more specific
guidelines and more detailed information at the hospital.
Ask for our printed rabbit information handout!
Staff Training and Hospital Meetings
We place great emphasis on providing
excellent customer service and medical care to both you and
your animal companion. As our Atrium team and
clientele continues to grow, we feel that staff training and
weekly hospital meetings are of the utmost importance to
continue providing our clients and patients with service
that make Atrium Animal Hospital unique.
Our office will be closing for staff
training and hospital meetings every Thursday of each
1:00 p.m - 2:00 p.m.
It is not the heat alone,
but the heat and humidity that set the stage for heat
stress. A quick method to calculate heat stress is to
add the environmental temperature (in F) to the percent of
humidity. If this number is greater than 150, watch
your dog for signs of heat stress. If the number is
180 or greater, this is a RED ALERT and your dog risks heat
exhaustion or heatstroke. In humans, heat stroke may
follow the day after heat exhaustion and is referred to as
the "1-2 punch".
Dental Cleaning, Step By Step
Does your pet have
stinky breath? Do you wonder what germs you’re getting when
she licks you? Do you notice that your pets’ gums are red
and irritated–looking? Are his teeth discolored? Does your
pet drop food, or chew only on one side of his mouth? Has
your pet lost some “pep” recently? All of these can be
symptoms of dental disease, which is a preventable and
treatable condition affecting the majority of pets in the
At Atrium Animal
Hospital, we take dental disease seriously. We realize that
dental disease can cause pain and even organ damage. We
strive to offer the best dental treatment available, and to
educate our clients about the importance of dental care.
Here’s a sample of what your pet will experience when he or
she gets a dental assessment and treatment at Atrium:
physical exam (including dental
exam) and pre-anesthetic blood tests – to make sure
that your pet is healthy enough for anesthesia, and to plan
what care your pet will need.
IV catheter and
fluids – To provide blood pressure
support while your pet is anesthetized, and easy access to a
vein should it be necessary.
with a trained anesthetic assistant
– this person is not in charge of your pets’ teeth; her only
responsibility is keeping your pet safe under anesthesia.
While your pet is under anesthesia, we monitor blood
pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, oxygen levels,
carbon dioxide levels, and temperature. We also provide
– both above and below the gumline with an ultrasonic scaler.
This gets the teeth clean.
– This smoothes the tooth surface and makes it difficult for
bacteria to re-attach.
Dental probing and
charting – we explore every tooth
in your pet’s mouth and chart any abnormalities. This
allows us to plan any additional treatment efficiently.
– this makes the tooth surface even more slippery, which
helps to prevent plaque.
– in a heated cage.
And, if your pet needs
it, we also offer:
(X-rays) – these allow us to see
disease under the gumline and at the root tips.
– this helps periodontal pockets to heal
– for tooth extractions, tumor removal, excess gum tissue
removal, and fistula repair. Any resulting defects can be
filled with synthetic bone graft if necessary.
*Watch a video on how to brush your pet's
Sunday Pickup Policy for Boarding
honored to care for your animal companion while you are away
for home! We strive to provide the best accommodations
and full attention required to keep everyone happy and
healthy. We are please to offer further service by
offering Sunday pickup. Please read these guidelines
to familiarize yourself with our Sunday pickup policies:
Pickup must be Prearranged and Prepaid
Sunday Pickup is for Boarding, Boarding with bath or
Boarding with nail trim only. We cannot
provide Sunday pickup for any animal companion who
requires or has had requested an exam, dispensing of
medications, recheck exams, and/or any medical procedure
Sunday Pickup is between 5:30-6:30 PM only!
staffing allows for an additional person to be here at
that time to assist you with pickup. This allows
remaining staff to continue to focus on caring for our
guest who will be staying longer.
arriving for Sunday pickup, please go to the back
gate and press the doorbell located on the left hand
side of the gate. The gate will be locked, as
staff will be walking other guests. A staff member
will greet you, gather your companion and belongings and
meet you at the back gate.
is a $15.00 charge for Sunday pickup which will
be prepaid at time arrangements are made. If you
arrange for Sunday pickup and do not show, the $15.00
will not be refunded and an additional Sunday night of
boarding will be added.
Sunday pickup will not be available the Sunday before or
after the following major holiday: Christmas,
New Years, Thanksgiving, Easter, Memorial Day, Labor Day
or Fourth of July due to the sheer volume of guest we
are accommodating during those festive times!!
Regenerative Veterinary Medicine
Visit Vet-Stem.com for more information on the process and FAQs.
Our Veterinarians have completed the Vet-Stem Regenerative Medicine Credentialing course:
Dr. Kim Hombs, Dr. Katie Smithson, and Dr. Laura Lathan
The decision to
assist a beloved pet thru euthanasia may be one of life’s
most difficult decisions. We understand this delicate time
and offer these suggestions and information to answer
questions and help you through this emotional time.
When is it time?
This may be the
hardest question. We look for signs and indicators to help
us know. The first step is to discuss your animal’s
condition with your veterinarian. The Doctor will be able
to medically assess your animal’s health and give you a
prognosis. Does your animal still show pleasure and
contentment with your appearance and the sound of your
voice? Are they still interested in good food even if not
as much or as often? Keep in mind that there will be
physical changes in the transition process. There is a
gradual slowing and decline of various physical
capabilities. This is the natural transitioning process.
This will put more reliance on you from your animal
companion to provide care for their physical needs.
However, we willingly and lovingly provide this for our
beloved long-time companions. If your animal friend is
content and comfortable in this transition, we encourage you
to support them in this and not prematurely intervene. The
only indication for euthanasia is to relieve irreversible
suffering and anguish of your animal companion. Trust your
observations and your relationship with your animal friend.
No one else can assess this like you. Be cautious in taking
the advice of others outside of your close human-animal
bond. No one knows your animal friend like you do. Listen
to your heart.
There are occasions
when we need to allow life to follow its natural course and
our assistance takes the form of keeping our animal
comfortable and close and allowing them to pass on their
own. Your veterinarian can help guide you thru this process.
Should I be
We strongly encourage
you to be present for your beloved animal’s final passing.
Your animal will find comfort in your presence and you will
feel a part of this time. It provides closure and respect
for the full circle of life. You may want to have family
members and friends present to honor your animal.
What is the
A staff member will
bring you into a quiet room. We will ask you to sign a
consent form before the procedure begins. We will also
provide you with options and details of group or individual
cremation or city burial. A staff member will oversee the
payment transaction prior to the procedure so you may stay
with your animal until you are ready to leave. The
procedure involves an injection into the vein of euthanasia
solution which is a bright pink color so it can not be
mistaken for any other medication. The animal gently passes
into death, much like falling asleep. The process is
generally quick and peaceful. Sometimes an anesthetic
injection is given before the euthanasia solution to
facilitate a smooth transition. We encourage you to stay as
long as you need for your goodbyes. After the last goodbyes
and caresses, you may simply leave the room and the hospital
staff will take over.
What to expect?
When your animal
passes, it is as smooth and gentle as if they are falling
asleep. There is a wonderful peacefulness to their
transition. Some things to be aware of with this procedure
are: your animal will probably not close his eyes, there
may be a final twitch or gasp, or possibly urination. This
is all part of the normal process of the body closing down.
Grief is a natural
emotion of loss and has predictable stages. Feel free to
express all your emotions over the loss of your animal. Our
animals are beloved family members and play an important
role in our lives. Tears are helpful and healing.
If you feel you would
like some assistance in your grieving process, there are
many resources available.
For support dealing with the loss of a pet, including
information on meeting the emotional needs of children at
the time of a pet’s death, please call ASPCA Pet Loss
Hotline at (877) GRIEF-10.
Charlotte Pet Grief Support Group:
Please ask our staff for further resources
online, written publications and groups.
Please visit the website below for
information on private and group cremation services.
Therapeutic Class IV Laser Therapy is proven to bio-stimulate
tissue repair and growth. The Laser accelerates wound
healing, and decreases inflammation, pain, as well as scar
tissue formation. When it comes to pain management, Class IV
Lasers are a side effect free and non-addictive treatment
that provide dramatic results.
Effects of K-Laser on the Body
- Improves and promotes healing
- Reduces pain and spasm
- Increases joint flexibility
- Reduces symptoms of osteoarthritis
- Improves peripheral microcirculation
- Detoxifies and eliminates trigger points
- Advanced pain relief
Benefits to Patient
- Faster patient satisfaction
- Deeper penetration than Class III lasers
- Delivers more laser energy to the target tissues
- Faster treatment times
- Effective treatment in 3-8 minutes
- Faster patient recovery time
For additional information please visit www.k-laservet.com.
What to Expect After Your Pet's Vaccinations
Vaccination is the most common veterinary
preventive measure in history. It's a safe and
effective way to protect pets and people from serious
It's common for your pets to experience
mild side effect from vaccination. Typically starting
within hours of vaccination, any symptoms are most often
mild and usually do not persist for more than a few days.
This is a normal response by your pet's immune system during
the process of developing protective immunity.
Common symptoms your pet may experience
- Mild fever
- Decrease in social behavior
- Diminished appetite or activity
- Sneezing or other respiratory signs
with intranasal vaccines
- Discomfort or mild swelling at the
Rare side effects, such as an allergic
reaction, may occur. Your pet may experience symptoms
of a more serious reaction to the vaccine within minutes or
hours of the vaccination.
Rare symptoms could include
- Swelling to face and legs
- Repeated vomiting or diarrhea
- Whole body itching
- Difficulty breathing
If your pet experiences any of these
rare symptoms, you should contact a veterinarian
immediately, as your pet may require additional medical
Article provided by Boehringer Ingelheim
FDA Issues Warning on Chicken Jerky for
Pet owners should
be aware that chicken jerky products from China
may be associated with reports of Fanconi-like
syndrome in dogs, the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration has warned.
The FDA issued the following alert:
Chicken jerky products should not be substituted
for a balanced diet and are intended to be fed
occasionally in small quantities.
FDA is advising consumers who choose to feed
their dogs chicken jerky products to
dogs closely for any or all of the following
signs that may occur within hours to days of
feeding the products: decreased appetite;
decreased activity; vomiting; diarrhea,
sometimes with blood; increased water
consumption and/or increased urination. If the
dog shows any of these signs, stop feeding the
chicken jerky product. Owners should consult
their veterinarian if signs are severe or
persist for more than 24 hours.
Blood tests may indicate kidney failure
(increased urea nitrogen and creatinine). Urine
tests may indicate Fanconi syndrome (increased
glucose). Although most dogs appear to recover,
some reports to the FDA have involved dogs that
FDA, in addition to several animal health
diagnostic laboratories in the U.S., is working
to determine why these products are associated
with illness in dogs. FDA's Veterinary
Laboratory Response Network (VLRN) is now
available to support these animal health
diagnostic laboratories. To date, scientists
have not been able to determine a definitive
cause for the reported illnesses. FDA continues
extensive chemical and microbial testing but has
not identified a contaminant.
The FDA continues to actively investigate the
problem and its origin. Many of the illnesses
reported may be the result of causes other than
eating chicken jerky. Veterinarians and
consumers alike should report cases of animal
illness associated with pet foods to the FDA
Consumer Complaint Coordinator in their state or
© Food Safety News