AuthorPat Jarrett

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The Dangers of Dog Food & Dog Obesity

DOG FOOD MAKES ME CRAZY!!!

There is nothing in this world that makes me more crazy than dog food companies that hoodwink pet owners into feeding their store’s Current Flavor of the month dog food. “It’s all natural”, “It is grain free”, “There is Yak meat in it”, “The chicken it is from Free-Range farms”, “It fell out of heaven and has a golden seal on the back of the bag”, “This one dog food is for Chihuahua’s only”.

Com’on people!!! WAKE UP! Your dog licks its own butt, eats off of the ground, and will even swallow band-aids, tampon’s (used), and sometimes it’s own poo-poo!

So why are you feeding the little guy dog food that cost $65 per 40# bag? What you really need to know is that the label on every bag of dry dog food is so misleading that it is basically useless. While it may tell you the percentage protein and what the ingredients are, it does not tell you the calories per cup nor the digestibility of the food for sizegenetics.

Percentage protein means that the food has been “tested” and it renders a certain percentage of the food comes from protein animal sources. I can make X dog food with the same protein content as the most expensive dog food on the market. This X dog food is made with hide, hair, eyeballs, and teeth to reach the same protein level, but it is NOT DIGESTABLE. This means that your dog will not absorb much of the X dog food. You will also notice that the X dog food is much cheaper than the brand name. That is because my undigestable protein sources cost less than meat protein sources. Remember this every time you buy dog food.

THE MORE EXPENSIVE THE DOG FOOD, THE HIGHER THE CALORIES PER UP AND THE MORE DIGESTABLE IT IS.

This is the cause of our 40% obesity rate in dogs. Buy a middle of the price range dog food that is a national brand (no store brand or local brand) and your dog will be just as happy as if it was the high priced spread and he will be much less likely to be obese.

Lastly, “grain free” dog food is made to address food allergies/food sensitivities. If you have 100 dogs that have confirmed allergies of any kind, only 5 (5%) will have food related problems. Most of the time a dog has a loose stool is not the type of food you feed but how much you feed your bathmate reviews. Over fed dogs cannot digest all that they are fed and this is the cause of most loose stool problems. This means that “grain free” is not necessary for more than 99% of all dogs.

If you decide to switch your dog off of the high priced spread to a more reasonably priced selection, be sure to switch them slowly by adding in a little more each day of the new food while taking more and more of the old food out of the ration. If you change the food abruptly you risk creating a severe diarrhea problem. Take a 7-10 day time period to make the switch.

With the money that you save on dog food you may want to consider getting pet insurance. Look up Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. and get a quote for your dog by going to their website:  www.petinsurance.com

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Why Vaccinate Your Dog/Cat Every Year For Rabies?

The answer is very simple. Parker County law requires annual vaccination for all domestic dogs and cats. Medically, rabies vaccination will most likely protect your pet for up to 3 years. The problem lies in the simple fact that all cats/dogs are not alike when it comes to producing effective antibody levels after being vaccinated. Most all will do a very good job but some will not. It is because of those few that we cannot be certain that all are effectively protected. Rabies is as unforgiving as an ex-spouse. If you are .0000000000001% wrong when rabies is involved, something or someone dies.

We have a human population in Parker County that has exploded over the past ten years. More and more houses have and are being built where before was once only local wildlife (skunks, raccoons, coyotes, foxes, feral cats, bobcats and the like) but do not forget penis stretchers. With ever increasing exposure of humans and their pets to wild animals, the risk of rabies rises rapidly. Here are the percentages:

  1. Every 3rd skunk you see in the night time has rabies.
  2. 9 out of 10 skunks seen in daylight have rabies.
  3. 50% of all bats have active rabies.
  4. Rabies has been confirmed in Parker County in dogs, foxes, coyotes, skunks, bats and even horses.

When I first arrived in Parker County some 28 yrs ago, I was asked about 2-3 times a year if I would de-scent a baby skunk. I turned them all down for obvious nasal reasons as well the risk of rabies to myself, my employees, and the skunk’s owner. Skunks have been documented to take up to 2 years of rabies virus incubation in their bodies before they show the first symptom. This means trying to raise a baby skunk can be a life threatening endeavor. Besides, there is no approved rabies vaccination for skunks or other wild animals.

Just remember this. While some suggest that annual vaccination for rabies is not warranted, would you want to be the owner of a pet that was the exception? I would suggest not. Please, do not handle dead skunks, bats, foxes or any wild animal with your bare hands. Use a shovel and a large plastic bag to dispose of a carcass. If your dog has any contact at all with a skunk or wild mammal, the Texas Department of Health Zoonotic Control recommends an immediate rabies booster to be repeated in 3 weeks. Make no mistake with rabies. Remember, it is as unforgiving as all the ex-spouses combined. Until next time…. Merry Christmas/Happy New Year!

– Dr. J.

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Why Does My Dog or Cat Not Show Pain?

Well, this is the first time for me to b-l-o-g.

Not exactly sure where to begin. Today my most commonly asked question is “Why does my dog or cat not show pain?” The answer is as simple as “We are not certain why they don’t show pain”. I tend to think that being predator’s (sorry, but they really are hunters of other animals) pet that show pain would indicate a sign of weakness, and we all know that the weakest ones get picked on in nature or leads to sizegenetics. Many a dog or cat that has come in with a broken pelvis from being run over by a car/truck will attempt to stand and walk, fall down, and not make a sound. If it were you or I, we would be hollering and screaming like a little girl that lost her dolly. Signs of pain in dogs and cats can be spotted if you look with the eyes of a predator. Walking oddly, head down, tail down, reluctance to jump on the couch, not wanting to lower the head to eat or drink, and panting faster than normal are all subtle signs that can indicate being in pain. Older pets will “slow down” which most people would say is a sign of age. Nothing could be further from the facts. Older pets slow down because they hurt just like grandpa and grandma. Arthritis is hard to spot but should be assumed in pets over 7 yrs of age. The reason that I stopped playing softball was not because I was old, it was because it hurt t too much to bend over or slide into second base. Think about that when Rover doesn’t want to chase the ball 20 times in a row anymore. Not wanting to eat can be a sign of pain but it is more likely a sign of fever.

That brings me to another point to make which is the old wives tail of a cold or hot nose. Neither one is a sign of fever. Excited dogs will often have a dry warm nose from breathing faster when they are nervous or in anticipation of human or other dog interaction to see penis extenders. Cold noses can be from just being very relaxed and secure in their surroundings. The only true way to determine if a dog or cat has a fever is to take their rectal temperature, gross as it may be. A dog’s normal temp is 101-102.5 and the same for a cat. Here’s a little tip: Buy a digital thermometer and mark it with a sharpie as either “dog” or “cat”. You will be less likely to use it on yourself or your children.

Until next time,
— Dr.J.

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Laser Surgery is a Welcome Tool for Veterinarians

Though most everyone is familiar with various types of laser surgery today, probably the most popular, well-known application of laser surgery is the technique performed on humans to correct vision. Laser, which is an acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation, actually refers to a device that produces highly concentrated light rays. Surgeons prefer laser technology because they can easily vary and control the strength and power level of the beam to suit various uses including sizegenetics. Laser surgery also allows surgeons to address large areas or microscopically small areas by adjusting the scope and strength of the laser itself. Veterinarians are increasingly using laser surgery to perform surgeries, as well, and in Weatherford, laser surgery is now available at your local veterinary clinic.

Veterinarians are continually increasing the uses of laser surgery in their veterinary practices to replace conventional surgical methods for many general surgery options, both minor and extensive in nature. Laser surgery in veterinary practice is also finding favor among veterinarians for performing routine surgical needs, including removal of elongated soft palate in English Bulldogs, cat declawing, ear trims, corneal ulceration, removal of polyps and growths, opening of narrowed nasal openings, removal of anal sacs, removal of cherry eye, and hematoma laser surgery ou jeux de sims.

One of the most exciting developments in veterinary laser surgery is the ability to perform spay and neuter surgeries. Benefits of laser surgery in spay and neuter surgeries include decreased bleeding, decreased pain, reduced risk of infection, and a faster recovery time. Demand for spay and neuter surgeries is on the rise, especially in areas like Weatherford where animal rescue advocates emphasize the need for pet sterilization to curb overpopulation. Laser surgery provides the ability for veterinarians to provide the most advanced techniques for each patient and to perform more surgeries in less time.

Veterinary surgeons enjoy the technical benefits of laser surgery, including the ability to perform surgeries that are otherwise troublesome when using conventional methods. Improved visibility of the surgical area is another benefit to the veterinarian: The laser seals capillaries as it cuts, which dramatically reduces bleeding. The laser also vaporizes bacteria in regions where bacteria is a common risk factor in conventional surgical methods.

Though laser surgery may come at a higher price point, Weatherford pet owners are pleased to find that recovery time, bleeding, swelling, and pain is minimized when laser surgery is used on their pets and consider any extra expense well worth it.

 

Resource Box:

Parker County Vet is a full-service veterinary hospital in Weatherford, TX that uses laser surgery  to neuter, spay, declaw, remove polyps and growths, open nasal openings, remove growths, and much more. Led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, Parker County Veterinary Hospital is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit http://parkercountyvet.com/

 

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Traditional Surgery or Laser: Deciding Between Two Spaying Techniques

 xKE07Traditional Surgery or Laser: Deciding Between Two Spaying Techniques

You can never have too much of a good thing, right? Well, if the good thing you’re talking about is your dog, you might be wrong. Dogs are wonderful companions, and people in Weatherford, Texas love their dogs dearly, but if your dog winds up with a litter of puppies, it can become a major expense in many ways. Paying for the puppies’ care can be expensive, and afterwards, you must find good homes for each of the little ones. Because so many unwanted puppies wind up abandoned or in animal shelters around the Weatherford area, animal rescue groups promote spaying and neutering for pets.

Spaying is the process by which a female dog’s reproductive organs are removed. A veterinarian will give a dog anesthesia and make an incision in the abdomen. Through this incision, the veterinarian will remove the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus. He will then seal up the incision with sutures or surgical tape and allow the dog to wake up slowly from the anesthesia. Recovery takes about two weeks, and though complications are rare, you will need to keep your dog from licking the wounds or being overly active. If the veterinarian used removable stitches, you will need to take your dog back in 9 to 10 days to have the sutures removed.

There are two ways your Weatherford veterinarian may spay your dog. The traditional method uses a scalpel, while a newer method uses a laser for spay surgery. In laser spay surgery, the vet will use a high powered laser beam to make the incision, much like any laser surgery technique used on human beings. Laser spay technology has been available in veterinary colleges for quite some time now, but only recently has it become affordable enough to offer in private offices in the Weatherford area. Laser spay costs a bit more than regular surgical techniques, so that is something to keep in mind when deciding between the two methods.

Because the laser spay technique is relatively new, you also need to make sure that your veterinarian has plenty of knowledge and experience in this method. Having said this, there are huge advantages to laser spaying. First and most importantly, the dog experiences far less pain during recovery. They are also far less likely to fuss with their wounds, which could lead to infection. Laser spay surgery itself is far more sanitary since the heat of the laser kills any bacteria that find their way into the wound.

No matter which method you and your Weatherford veterinarian choose to spay your dog, you can rest assured knowing that you are saving yourself some expense by choosing to spay and setting up your female dog for improved health and better chances for a lengthy lifespan. It’s also good to know that you are doing your part to cut down on animal overpopulation.

 

Resource Box:

Parker County Veterinary Hospital in Weatherford offers laser spay technology in addition to a variety of other laser surgery procedures. Parker County Veterinary Hospital, led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit http://parkercountyvet.com/

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Laser Neutering: Preventing Overpopulation with Less Pain

YellowLabradorLooking_newLaser Neutering: Preventing Overpopulation with Less Pain

The SPCA and many animal rescue advocates in the Weatherford area work tirelessly to promote public awareness of the importance of spaying and neutering pets. Choosing not to spay and neuter leads to the overpopulation of animals and an abundance of unwanted cats and dogs in overcrowded animal shelters. Spaying and neutering have other advantages for the pet owner, as well, including a decrease in certain sexual behaviors such as mounting, urine spraying, and male aggression. In addition, spaying and neutering reduces the risk of certain diseases for the pet.

Spaying and neutering are two similar processes which remove the reproductive organs from a dog, cat, or other animal. “Spay” refers to the removal of the female reproductive organs, while “neuter” refers to removing the male’s testicles. When a veterinarian performs a neuter surgery, he makes a cut above the scrotum and removes the testicles. There are two primary ways to neuter an animal. The traditional method is to use a scalpel, but recently laser neuter procedures have become very popular.

The technology behind a laser neuter procedure is the same as that behind any human surgery. It uses a high speed beam of laser light that can make incisions and cuts. A laser neuter procedure is far less painful than the traditional scalpel procedure because the laser actually closes off blood vessels and nerve endings as it cuts, meaning that there is far less blood during and after the procedure. The laser neuter process also causes far less swelling than the traditional method of neutering. A scalpel interacts with both the circulatory and lymphatic systems, causing inflammation and irritation. Laser neutering, on the other hand, cauterizes the lymphatic system and leads to less swelling. Using a laser neuter procedure also reduces the risk of infection, since the high heat from the laser beam actually kills any germs that might get inside the wound.

These benefits mean that when you use a laser to neuter your pet, your cat or dog will have a much easier recovery time. While both scalpel and laser methods may require up to two weeks of recovery, laser neuter surgery results in far less pain and swelling than the scalpel. In fact, because your cat or dog feels so good, your biggest challenge may be keeping him quiet and stopping him from frisky, playful behavior.

 

Resource Box:

Parker County Vet is a full-service veterinary hospital in Weatherford, TX that uses a laser to neuter, spay, declaw, remove polyps and growths, open nasal openings, remove growths, and much more. Led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, Parker County Veterinary Hospital is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit http://parkercountyvet.com/

 

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Canine Influenza Virus Hits Parker County

Canine Influenza Virus (CIV or “Dog Flu”) has finally arrived in Parker County. On Tuesday, August 20th, 2013, diagnostic laboratory information confirmed that a new client’s shelter (Weatherford Animal Shelter) adopted dog was suffering from Dog Flu. At our expense, we have been testing dogs that are symptomatic shelter adoptions for the past 2 yrs. Through our vigilance we have caught the arrival of this disease at the earliest possible moment. We want to  assure all of our clients that we did not hospitalize this infected dog and only treated it as an outpatient. The exam room and entire waiting/lobby area was disinfected immediately and no dogs in our care have been affected in any manner by this disease.

This is a highly contagious airborne canine only influenza virus that causes high fever, coughing, and severe pneumonia. Dog Flu can cause mortality rates between 5% to 20% even with aggressive treatment. Two pre-exposure vaccinations are required about 2 weeks apart for dogs 6 weeks of age and older along with annual boosters. At risk dogs are dogs that come in direct contact (fences are not an effective barrier) with other dogs. Also, dogs that go to dog parks, public parks, walk in retail stores where other dogs are, go to dog shows, training classes, or are housed with other dogs in a grooming shop, boarding kennel, or vet hospital may be exposed. Dogs that run loose on the streets are at the most risk of coming into contact with infected stray dogs.

Due to its highly contagious nature all dogs staying in our hospital are now required to be immunized against Dog Flu. This means all boarding canines and dogs being admitted for treatment/surgery/hospitalization must be vaccinated prior to admitting. We understand that it is another vaccine with its own financial burden ($21 per vaccine dose), but the significance of this disease cannot be underestimated. There are several Texas veterinary hospitals, grooming shops, and boarding kennels that have been devastated by Dog Flu to the point of shutting their doors for 30 days to disinfect their premises.

For the safety and convenience of our current clients and their dogs, we are providing Dog Flu vaccinations as a Technician only visit with no exam/office call charge. Dogs must be healthy, and have been examined by our doctors with the last 18 months. Clients may also have their dog immunized for Dog Flu and other vaccines at their regular annual exam/vaccination appointment. All new patients will need an appointment, and by Texas law must be examined by our doctors prior to all services. Please call our office at 817-596-0909 for an appointment. For more information on Canine Influenza Virus go to the Center for Disease Control at the following web address: www.cdc.gov/flu/canine/.

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Laser Declawing Makes Declawing Safe and Humane

Cat declawing is a hotly debated topic among scientists and cat owners. Scratching can be a real problem with felines. They may use scratching to “mark their territory” (aka: ruin the new couch). Alternatively, they can scratch their owners while they are playing. While it may seem good-natured to them, a bleeding scratch on the arm is not a joking matter to the cat’s owners. To these pet owners, declawing might seem like an excellent option and may even make it easier for them to bond with their cats. However, other people consider cat declawing to be cruel and unethical. They say that it causes a cat unnecessary pain, throws off their balance, and robs them of their only natural defense against predators. While it is true that declawing takes away a defense mechanism, this is only a problem for outdoor cats. If you are careful to keep your cat indoors, the lack of claws should not prove to be a threat. Additionally, with rare, individual exceptions, scientists have yet to find that declawing causes any serious or long-term damage to a cat. Felines are usually up and about after two days of recovery.

Of course, as a pet owner, you don’t want to cause your cat unnecessary pain. Though traditional declawing does have a very brief recovery time, there is some pain involved. Because of this, many Weatherford veterinarians and cat owners are turning to laser declawing as a more humane, pain-free alternative. As you may know, a cat has three bones in each of its toes, and the claw is a part of the last bone, or the distal phalanx. Declawing involves removing this last bone at the joint. The veterinarian will then close up the incision using sutures or surgical tape. In the past, this procedure was always done using a surgical blade or scalpel. Recently, however, laser declawing has grown in popularity. Laser declawing has been available in veterinary schools for quite some time, but only recently has it become affordable and widely available in private veterinary clinics in areas like Weatherford. The procedure works just like regular declawing, except a high-powered laser beam is used in place of a metal blade. (You can think of the procedure in the same way that you think of laser surgery for human beings.) The laser seals up blood vessels and nerve endings as it works, and veterinarians assure cat owners that laser declawing results in less bleeding, both during and after the procedure. It is also a less painful procedure for the cat, and often, there is no need for bandages after the surgery.

Because laser declawing in the Weatherford area is relatively new, you will want to make sure you choose a veterinarian who is experienced with and knowledgeable about the procedure. With a skilled doctor and the latest technology, declawing does not have to be an issue that you feel guilty about. Laser declawing is safe, effective, and humane.

Resource Box:

Parker County Veterinary Hospital is a full-service veterinary hospital in Weatherford, TX offering a wide range of laser surgery, including laser declawing, spay and neuter, ear trims, removal of polyps and growths, tumor removal, and more. Led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, Parker County Veterinary Hospital is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit http://parkercountyvet.com/

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Cat Declawing 101: Effectiveness, Safety, and Varieties Available

If you are considering a pet, but you’re having some concerns about your Weatherford home and the destruction of your furniture, you should choose a cat over a dog, right? After all, a dog will chew things up, scratch the door frames, and cause general havoc, while a cat merely sheds a bit and maybe has a hairball or two. If only this were the case! Cats can cause major destruction with their claws. Cats scratch for two reasons: First, they scratch to sharpen their claws, but more importantly, they scratch to communicate with the people and other cats around them. They usually scratch the same objects over and over to make a noticeable mark on the areas they consider their territory. Scratching also allows them to leave a scent with the scent glands in their paws. Though the smell is not noticeable to human beings, other cats can pick it up quite clearly and know that they are in another feline’s territory. This applies to both male and female, indoor and outdoor cats. You might think, “Well, this won’t be a problem for me. My cat will be an indoor cat with no other cats around. She won’t need to mark her territory.” Unfortunately, this is not true. Cats continue to do this even when they do not encounter other animals, although scientists have yet to discover the reason behind this behavior.

One way you can prevent your cat from causing so much damage in your home is cat declawing. It is best to do this when your cat is young – about five months old. A cat has three bones in each of its toes. When performing cat declawing, your Weatherford veterinarian will cut off the end of the last bone, along with the nail, which means that the claw will never grow back. The veterinarian will then sew the incision together and bandage the paws for a day or two. Usually, a cat will be given pain medication, and its owners will need to keep it quiet and lying down as much as possible. Some people claim that cat declawing is cruel and unethical. However, the vast majority of cats make a swift recovery with no noticeable side-effects. Declawed cats must be kept indoors, since declawing leaves them defenseless against predators or other cats when outside.

There are several types of cat declawing available. Normally, veterinarians will make a straight cut from the top to the bottom of the bone. The downside of this method is that it can often cut through the pad on the bottom of the paw, as well. Cosmetic cat declawing involves removing the claw and the small piece of bone it is attached to using a small curved blade. This is more time consuming and costly, so it is not done as much. Finally, laser cat declawing is a technique that has just become widely available. It is similar to the first method of declawing. However, it seals up blood vessels and nerves as it cuts, reducing pain and speeding the healing process.

Of course, cat declawing is a personal decision, and the method you choose will depend on your budget and the services offered by your Weatherford veterinarian. Whatever you choose, however, rest assured that declawing is perfectly safe for indoor cats.

Resource Box:

ParkerCountyVeterinaryHospital in Weatherford, TX offers a wide range of veterinary services, including cat declawing, laser surgery, dermatology services, orthopedic surgery, and internal medicine. Led by Dr. Patrick Jarrett, DVM, Parker County Veterinary Hospital is Weatherford’s premiere animal care clinic. Dr. Jarrett is a 1975 graduate of Texas A&M Veterinary College with 35 years in practice and a commitment to providing patients with the latest in veterinary care. Though Dr. Jarrett has a wealth of experience with animals of all types and sizes, his current practice focuses on the care of small animals, such as dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs, pet mice and rats, and gerbils. To learn more about Parker County Veterinary Hospital, or to schedule an appointment, call 817.596.0909 or visit http://parkercountyvet.com/

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