Ridgefield Animal Hopsital

919 Percy Brown Road
Thibodaux, LA 70301

(985)446-8824

ridgefieldanimalhospital.com

   6/14/17 - Loving Pets dog treats - Salmonella contamination  www.fda.gov/safty/recalls

   6/10/17 - United Pet Group - Various brands of rawhide chews - Potential quartenary ammonium contamination/other chemical contamination.     www.fda.gov/safty/recalls

New Horse Vaccine:   Leptospirosis is a disease of many species of animals.   It is spread by mice and rat urine in water sources.   We have been vaccinating dogs for the disease for years.    In the horse, it is associated with "moonblindness" or recurrent uveitis.   This is an inflammation in the eye that can lead to blindness if not treated quickly and aggressively.  The condition waxes and wanes, causing more damage every time it recurs.   Now there is a vaccine for horses.   We are suggesting that our horse owners add this vaccine to their horse's preventive routine.

At the same time, we are now suggesting horse owners Rabies vaccinate their horses.   Many of our horse owners travel and show horses in other parts of the South and West that have more rabies cases than we do here ( Rabies is relatively rare in coastal Louisiana).     Having your horse up to date is a smart call, especially when traveling is in your horse's future. 

Proheart 6, the "6 month" injectable heartworm prevention, is available again.   Proheart 6 had a long period of unavailability, but Zoetis is now confident that availability is no longer and issue.    Let us know if this twice yearly heartworm product is something you are interested in learning more about ( we especially like it in dogs that leave the owner for periods of time - show dogs, hunting dogs, shared custody pets, dogs that are boarded frequently, etc. )

Seasonal warnings...

 1:  heat, heat and heat - please take care in our excessive summer heat to protect your pets from heat stroke.     Common causes include cars, excessive exercise - especially during the day,  and lack of shade and water

 2: Sleeping Sickness in horses : EEE and West Nile cause severe neurologic disease and often result in death or euthanasia.    Vaccines are available and we suggest vaccinating twice yearly since the vaccine protects best within 6 months.    If your horse has not had a booster since April, you will want to boost again as we can see cases through September and into October.

 3:  Lost Pets:  With hurricane season upon us,  making sure your pet has adequate external ID and a microchip can prevent you from being separated in the event of a storm.   If your pet gets away from you either at home or where you have evacuated to,   a collar and ID tag are the quickest way to be reunited, but a microchip cannot get removed like a collar.   

  4: Upset Tummies: our love of all things BBQ, Boiled, and Fried leaves us happy but can cause serious illness in our pets.   Spicy and/or greasy foods can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea, which is bad enough, but we also see pets that progress to the more serious pancreatitis which normally requires hospitalization on fluids and medications.     Keep your pet away from your cooking areas for safety and for accidental exposure to these special foods.    Call us if your pet vomits consistently and has depression or lack of appetite.

                                       

The addition is done!  Our addition is complete.  It is added 2 new exam rooms, a special ultrasound and dental area, gives more office space to Deby our office manager, the receptionists, the doctors, and relocated the staff lounge.  Also included was finishing part of the upstairs attic into usable space.  These changes will allow better utilization of the front area of the clinic.  By having more exams, we can facilitate getting upset pets in a room faster ( great for cats ! ), provide flow for doctors seeing one patient while waiting on testing to be completed on another, and provide more privacy for serious cases, emergencies, and euthanasia appointments.  The new special procedures/dental area helps us be more efficient in the treatment area - a traffic issue on busy days!  All in all, the changes will help us continue to provide the services you seek but hopefully do so more efficiently.

Digital Dental Radiography/ Dental equipment - We have acquired state-of-the-art dental equipment.  Our staff continues to attend continuing education on this very important facet of health care for your pet . Digital radiographs allow us to find problems deep in the tooth root area so that we can extract or treat that tooth in a timely fashion, and the new dental unit allows your pet to have their work done faster, helping us keep anesthesia time to a minimum.  Dental disease is painful to pets ( just like us!), and the bacteria involved in infected roots spreads to important organs like the kidney and the heart through the bloodstream.  Providing needed dental care has been shown to lengthen a pet's life by an average of 2 years

Many of our clients remember when dental cleanings were $300.   "Back in the day", we did not have dental radiographs to help identify all of the pet's problems, and we also didn't have equipment that help us extract teeth quickly and less traumatically.   Still, a full dental exam using dental probes and X rays along with a cleaning and polishing ( and all under a general anesthetic which makes necessary having an IV catheter and fluids,  heart and blood pressure monitoring,  and hot water heating pads ) takes an hour.    With preoperative blood work ( since most patients are over the age of 7 ), the total charges run around $500.    If extractions are needed,  local anesthetics are used, high speed burrs are used to split multi-rooted teeth so that they can be removed with less trauma to the surrounding bone, and gum flaps are utilized to  protect the sockets and help healing occur.    All of this can take another hour or more if multiple teeth are involved.   This length of time under anesthesia and the time commitment of a doctor and 1-2 technicians, has the effect of increasing that base cost by another $300-700 depending situation.    We always call with a report after the examination part of the procedure is done, so that you will have an estimate on the charges before additional work is accomplished - but be sure that what we suggest is the same as we would for our own pets.  

Pet Health Insurance: the US is No.1 in the world in available pet health care, but lags behind in the number of pets covered by pet health insurance, which better allows owners to opt for the best care for their pet.  For more information ask any of our staff, and check out the websites listed on our "Pet Insurance Page".

 

Thibodaux has a dog park!   Thanks to all who have come together to make the dog park a reality.  These areas can be great ways to get your pet some exercise, learn dog and human socialization skill, and for you to meet other like-minded pet people!

However, there are some simple rules that need to be followed to help keep your pet safe and happy

   1)  Keep your pet up to date on vaccinations.  For human protection, Rabies vaccination has to be given yearly ( in Lafourche and Terribonne parishes ) .  For your pet, Kennel cough, Parvo, Distemper and other diseases can be picked up in areas where many dogs frequent. 

   2)  Don't bring a young puppy to the playground until it has had at least 2 sets of vaccinations.

   3)  Keep your pet on its flea, tick and heartworm prevention to prevent fleas and/or ticks from coming home with you, and most heartworm preventatives contain medication that deworms your pet monthy in case there are dogs shedding worm eggs at the park.  Hoepfully, everyone is picking up after their pet!

   4)  Be sure to put your pet in the proper section of the park - one area is for larger dogs, one for smaller

   5)  Keep an eye on your pet and watch how new aquantances react with your pet.   Pets growl and make overtures to each other as they try and figure out their place, but correct your pet if this happens often or call your pet to you if another pet's behavior seems to escalate. 

If you have any questions concerning behavior problems or training, please call our office. One of our doctors will be glad to discuss breed selection, local trainers, and referral to a board certified veterinary behavioralist if necessary. Our goal is to provide you with all of the information you need to have a happy and healthy relationship with your pet as a member of your family for a very long time!

 

 

 

 

 

FDA Recall Website - for all your pet food and treat recall questions you can visit www.fda.gov/Safty/Recalls/ucm228986.htm

 

 

 

 

Feral cats and wild bird populations  ...  Feral cats are responsible for the extinction of 33 species of birds, killing over 480 million birds a year.   Please neuter your pet cat, keep it indoors, and discourage "dumping" cats out in the wild as an acceptable method of "re-homing" unwanted cats.   Feral cats are also a public health hazard, spreading internal parasites ( hookworms and roundworms can infect children ),  fleas, and can spread infectious diseases to owned cats they may contact.   Please help keep feral cat populations down by spaying and neutering your cat!

 

Rabies: Rabies is not common in our area, but we must remain vigilant as the disease is always fatal in both humans and pets.

   1) Vaccinate your pet annually (Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes require yearly vaccinations).  This protects your pet as well as you! Dogs and cats

                 are often thought of by law, but horses can be vaccinated as well, and it is especially recommended in those that travel out of state.

   2) Keep outdoor feeding areas to a minimum, as foods left out at night attract wildlife such as raccoons, who can carry rabies.

   3) Do not attempt to pet wild or stray animals.

   4) Do not keep wild animals as pets.  State wildlife laws prohibit this, and there are no rabies vaccines approved for use in wild animals.  Other problems, such a parasite issues, can be serious as well.

   5) Report any animal bite wound to your doctor.  If possible (and can be done safely), retain the animal that caused the bite, so quarantine or testing can be done.