Category: Pets and their People

Vaccines,What are the Risks and Benefits to Your Pets.

By: Dr. Bob Baker Dr baker with penny

As a veterinarian I am faced with questions about vaccinations every day, what are the risks? what are the benefits?  To say that vaccines are safe is true, however there are adverse effects associated with vaccination.  While extremely rare, anaphylactic allergic reactions can occur and must be dealt with immediately. Other allergic reactions, fever, vomiting, facial swelling occur on occasion, but are still rare. The old feline vaccinations were associated with development of an injection site sarcoma; this occurred more commonly in patients with a genetic predisposition to cancer. So yes there are some risks associated with vaccination.  When it comes to vaccination, we have to assess the relative risk of vaccination vs. the risk of the disease.  Rabies vaccine however is always indicated as it is state law to vaccinate dogs and cats.  Most pets however, do not have the social risk factors of humans, there  are some such as those that go to groomers, boarding kennels, and day care.  These pets have risk factors more like us, where we go to work, school, shopping; where we interact with others that may or may not be vaccinated or be incubating or spreading a contagious disease.

DSC_0854When an animal or person is vaccinated, most will form antibodies to the false infection that will protect from the real infection when the subject is exposed to the pathogen.  There are however, some individuals that are genetic non-responders, meaning they cannot form antibodies to the vaccine.  These are the individuals that get sick despite vaccination.  This happens in canine parvovirus on occasion because the dog, no matter how many times they have been vaccinated, simply cannot respond to the presented antigen.  So how do we protect these “non-responders” in the population, along with the individuals that cannot receive vaccines because of illness, immunocompromise, or allergies.  The key is a concept called herd immunity, and it derives from infectious disease management mostly in the cattle and dairy industry.  The more individuals that are vaccinated, the more protected the herd, including those that cannot be vaccinated or are non-responders.  The more individuals that do not receive the vaccine, the more likely the herd immunity will fail and an outbreak will occur.

Measles is a virus that belongs to a group of viruses  called Morbillivirus.  It evolved from a cattle virus called Rinderpest around  1100-1200 A.D.   When the measles virus first adapted to infect humans, it had a high mortality rate, killing up to 60% of those infected.  Over time, the virus (and us) have changed to be less fatal, but still is very infective.  It is interestingsierra to note that Rinderpest, the cattle morbillivirus, has been eradicated by a global vaccination protocol, similar to what we did with the Smallpox virus in humans, and almost did with the Polio virus until the Taliban in the tribal areas of Pakistan started shooting the vaccinators.  The canine morbillivirus causes a disease called distemper, which most veterinarians in practice today will never see because enough people continue to give their dogs the vaccine to keep herd immunity up and individuals protected by a highly safe and effective vaccine.

With all the high winds and gusty weather one would think we were in Kansas. There have been a lot of fences that have been falling over which in return has led to many lost dog reports. With no fences to hold them in many of the dogs that have been getting out started wandering away from home. Yesterday we are happy to report that we had several reunion stories.


One of our employee’s Jeremy was on his way to class when he noticed a couple of dogs wandering out in Spanish Springs. As he was trying to catch those dogs that he saw, he noticed a couple more and so on and so on. Jeremy ended up saving 6 dogs yesterday. He brought them in Baring and thanks to their microchips we were able to reunite all of these dogs with their owners. What a wonderful start to the Holiday Season.

Stubbs is Home after 6 Years | HomeAgain Found Pet Stories.

Pet Insurance

What is it, Who is it for, and Why Should You Get It ?

By: Bob Baker DVM 536604_279328702147215_148247985255288_629051_1974042811_n

More and more people are opting to purchase health insurance for their pets.  Health care costs have been rising steadily each year, and advancements in the procedures and equipment in veterinary medicine have led to higher and higher fees.  Most of this is driven by the cost of medical equipment and drugs, much of it the same as in human medicine and influenced by the same economic factors.  There is also an increase in demand from pet owners for state of the art diagnostic equipment and the newest technology for delivering health care and these technologies are expensive to acquire.

The result of this is higher fees usually across the board for the pet owning population.  For better or worse, insurance on the human side of medicine has become large part of the health care delivery system.  This is not the case in veterinary medicine, but insurance is becoming  a rising factor of how pet owners manage the expenses of veterinary care for their pet.

dog-take-ibuprofenThe first thing to remember  when considering pet insurance is  that it is completely different from human insurance.   In veterinary health insurance, the client pays the veterinary provider directly and is reimbursed by the insurance company. This also eliminates veterinary offices only excepting or working with certain companies.  With our office we will submit a claim for any insurance company.  Second, pre-existing conditions ARE excluded by most insurance companies.

In an “average pet” life expectancy you are going to pay more in premiums each year than you are likely to pay if you paid as you went. If you have the discipline to take the money you would have paid in insurance premiums and banked it specifically for your pet’s health care, you would “on average” come out a little ahead.  You can think of pet insurance as an enforced 5073b95e64c1f36647afb72075c09a73savings plan for health care for your pet.  In some cases, where a pet is very healthy and you don’t have much health care costs…you will end up losing money over the pet’s life expectancy.  On the other hand, if you have a pet that is accident prone (IE..lacerations, eating things it shouldn’t, etc), or ends up with a chronic illness (IE.. ear infections, skin/eye issues, renal disease, cancer, etc), you will definitely save money in the long run.  With some cases getting into the thousands of dollars, this can be a financially saving device for people, affording people to take care of their pets where they would not have the opportunity before.
There are too many companies providing pet insurance to list, and companies have different plans to suit individual needs of the client. Plans can include everything from basic medical coverage, to complete health maintenance programs including vaccinations and dental care.
We at Baring have started promoting Trupanion. They offer some of the best coverage out there and the client care is above and beyond. For more information on Pet Insurance, please contact our office and one of the members of our staff can go over it with you.

The Night Before Christmas A Feline Tail ……….

T’was the night before Christmas and all through the house I was stalking and searching for one little mouse. I went feliwaythrough the stocking that were hung on the chimney with care in hopes that my feliway would soon be there.The kids were nestled and snug in their beds while visions of hairballs were stuck in their heads; and my mom in her pjs and I not in bad settled my brain to attack her instead.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter I jumped from the winder to hide in the shower. Away to the window my mom flew like a flash, she broke the shutters and screamed like a cat. The moon freaked her out and she saw in the snow a luster of objects from the dog next door. When to her wandering eyes should she see, but a miniature sleigh with goodies Santa-christmas-sleighfor me.

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick more rapid than eagles his courses they came quick. He whistled and shouted some really silly names. Now Dasher, now Dancer, now Pancer, and Vixen! On Comet, on Cupid, On Donner, and Blitzen! Like they mean anything to me??? He was screaming to the top of the porch to the top of the wall dash away, dash away, dash away all. He was moving like wild hurricanes fly when he hit the plastic Santa on the neighbor’s side.

So on to the housetop they flew with the sleigh full of my goodies oh and some for mom too, and then in a twinkling I heard on the roof a sampling of what sounded like little reindeer poop. As my mom drew in her head and we turned around, down the chimney St. Nick came falling down. He was dressed in faux fur from head to foot, and his clothes smelled of ashes and he was covered in soot.

My bundle of goodies flung on his back he looked like a peddler hurry Santa open that sack! His eyes how they twinkled, his dimples how merry- wait a second he looks like a cherry. His mouth had drawn up like a big bow and his beard on his chin not quite white a snow. The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth- oh Santa don’t you know smoking can stain your teeth. He had a broad face and a round belly he reminds me of me as we laugh like a bowl full of jelly. He is chubby and plump and a right jolly old elf and my mom left him weight watcher cookies in spite of herself.

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head soon told me, he was flirting with my mom instead. He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work and filled my stockings with my feliway goods. He turned with a jerk and he gave a nod up the chimney, I screamed after hey Santa you forgot your eggnog.

He sprang to his sleigh and to me he whistled Merry Christmas Lincoln you little stinker! lin


Dear Santa,

Thank you so much for my Christmas presents! My favorite toy is the Fleecy Tug. Mom and I will play tug-of-war forcora hours, plus she loves how it cleans my teeth and gums. I love how it doesn’t hurt my teeth when we play. I also love, love, love the Kibble Nibble activity ball. When my mommy leaves she fills it full of my favorite treats the Buddy & Berries. It helps me forget that I am by myself during the day as I try to figure out how to get the treats out. My little sister Zima also wants to say thanks she is still a puppy BB_KIBNIB_XSthough and doesn’t know how to use our Mommy’s computer. She really likes the Roly Rope her and Dad play with it all the time and since she is still a pup it helps her with her teething. My cat sister Samantha says thanks for the Salmon Flavored Feline Pill Pockets; she doesn’t even know Mom puts her medicine inside…. Hehehe. Thanks again Big Guy, you will make Christmas really special for my whole family this year!



PS Could you have Mom pick up some more Greenies? She gives us one every night to freshen our breath and keep our teeth clean. I know there aren’t enough  to last until next Christmas.

Dear Santa,

This is my first Christmas and being as my Mommy always calls me her Princess I’m expecting that you will give me gweneverything I want, just like my Mommy does. My first demand would be for more Door Knob Rattle Rings. They are perfect for when my Daddy’s being lazy and I need to entertain myself. Second, I demand a Pogo Plush Spider toy. It’s a big furry one that I can rabbit kick. It even squeaks when I bite it, which is very satisfying. Third, I demand more cans of the Royal Canin GCG_DoorHanger_RattleRing_1080011404_InPkgKitten Development. My Mommy says its good for my growth and nutrition, I say it taste good so I demand it. Also if you could bring me a different name, no one can ever seem to pronounce my name right. I was thinking something along of the lines of Queen Hunting Cat Panther. Last but not least, I demand as many Jingly-Balls as you can fit into that sack of yours. My Mommy says if I start being a little less demanding she will make sure you give her all these items to bring home with her from work. I told her I couldn’t make any promises but I said I’d try not biting her and her co-workers when they are trying to trim my nails… though I still plan on complaining the whole time.

Love Guenhwyvar

Yes Santa I know your wondering… Its pronounced “GUEN-AH-HAR”


Dear Santa,

My name is Sadie and I have been a very good girl this year. My mom told me to write you a letter of some things that I IMG_3668really want for Christmas! Number one on my list is a Lickety Stik! It’s a really yummy liquid treat that comes out of a roller ball. The best part is, it’s only ONE calorie in every 10 licks! It helps me keep my girlish figure. I also would really like a rad-292_1zBiscuit Basket. It really keeps me busy while my mom is not at home. Plus, the biscuit stick inside is too delicious. Also, if it isn’t too much trouble, I would love to have a new rope toy. Mom loves to play tug-of-war with me and I love it too! Mom and I hope you are doing well and have a Merry Christmas!


Dear Santa,

Well Santa, this is my first Christmas and I’m really not sure how this whole “being good thing” works. I really want a new catbandit tree because I have completely destroyed my other one and my mom just isn’t seeing eye to eye with me. I stock her around the house, bite at her feet, wrap myself around her ankles and then run over to my cat tree just trying to get her attention to that torn up mess, but I think she misinterprets my signals. My brother Marley has told me I need to be nice to him in order to get a present from you. I really don’t treeh2think waiting for him to walk up the stairs, then grabbing at his tail is that mean? I’m not really sure where these acts falls on your naughty or nice list, but I was thinking you could probably make an exception 😉 All in all Santa, no matter what my mom or brother Marley may say about me… don’t listen, they just don’t understand me.

Yours Truly,

Bandit (The Terrorist)… Just a little knick name my mother so kindly gave me.

P.S. Deep down I’m an angel, that’s what my Grandma tells me anyway.


Dear Santa,
IMG_6548I hope you haven’t been working to hard this year. Me and my sister Jezabel have been trying to be good dogs so you will bring us treats and toys. By the way, I had my teeth cleaned last week and the Doctor was very impressed with what

CET_chews_xtra_lge__15_ct_good condition both my teeth and gums were in. Little did the doctor know, besides brushing everyday, my mom bought us these dental chews called “C.E.T HEXtra” with some kind of ingredient named Chlorhexidine.  It not only helps keep my teeth clean but also helps with my breath! I like them because they taste good. Hope you, Mrs. Claus, the Elves and all your reindeer have a great Christmas!