Tag Archive: Dr. Laura Leautier


The 411 on Breeding

I Think I’d Like to Breed My Dog, and What You Need to Know
By: Dr. Laura Leautier Dr. Leautier
People think they’d like to breed their dog for many reasons.  Maybe it’s the cutest and smartest dog they’ve ever owned, or they’ve erroneously heard it makes the dog a better pet to have a litter, or they want to show their kids the miracle of birth.  Whatever the reason, it’s best to give this huge decision careful thought and get as educated as possible about whether or not to breed your dog.
First, I’d like to give some reasons why you may decide it’s not right for you.  Did you know that spaying a dog before her first heat virtually guarantees she won’t get breast cancer?  Her risk is less than one percent.  After one heat it bumps up to DSC_0148-0018%, and after two heats or more it jumps to 26%.  So at that point basically 1 in 4 dogs will get mammary cancer.  Half the time it’s malignant, and half the time it’s benign.  But it still requires surgery and biopsying to know what type your dog has.  Spaying also prevents a pyometra (a common life-threatening uterine infection that most often requires emergency surgery).  If you decide to breed your dog, you need to set aside funds for a possible c-section.  These can run from $1,000-$2,000.  We see difficult births several times a month.  The miracle of birth is amazing, but sometimes it’s more stressful and costly than you’d expect.  The saddest times are when a pup or the mother doesn’t survive the birthing process.
If you decide that breeding your dog is right for you and your family, consider if your pet is right for breeding.  Health and temperament should be excellent, since reputable breeders strive to improve their breed, not pass on problems to the next pet and its owners.  Health clearances, which can cost several hundreds to several thousands, are the best way to make sure your dog is suitable for breeding.  Hip and elbow dysplasia, congenital cataracts and inherited blindness, thyroid problems, heart defects, and bleeding disorders are just some of the genetic problems that can be passed on unknowingly.  You’ll want to wait until after age two to breed your dog, because many of these tests can’t be performed until age two or older.  Most dogs go into heat every 6 to 9 months, so jot down the start and end of her heat on the calendar to help you plan for future breedings.  Most dogs “do it naturally” but sometimes they need help.  Dr. Sandoval and Dr. Leautier have been assisting with conception for more than 20 years and 15 years, respectively.  We time the breeding with multiple progesterone blood texesd8sts, and inseminate via regular artificial insemination or surgical insemination.  As you can see, it’s an expensive endeavor and not to be taken lightly.  If you have questions, feel free to give us a call.
Don’t Take Your Puppy Out for Walks or to Other Public Places Until It’s Safe!!
By: Laura Leautier DVM Dr. Leautier
It’s very important to keep your puppy from going out in public until it’s fully protected from parvo and distemper.  A typical puppy vaccine schedule starts at 6 to 8 weeks of age.  The pup will receive three to four sets of DHPP vaccine (distemper, hepatitis, parvo, and parainfluenza) spaced 3 to 4 weeks apart until it is 16 weeks or older.  It will also receive canine cough (bordetella) and rabies vaccines.  Pups with exposure to livestock (or sea lions!) should also get vaccinated against leptospirosis.  In addition, we  deworm all puppies, because most are born with parasites or dog_sitting_on_park_bench_print-r2b14576d5d3f4697a191a511d691126d_wvc_8byvr_512acquire them from their mother’s environment.  If your pup will be going to public places or you have small children, we strongly recommend a monthly dewormer, such as Iverheart.
The reason we give multiple doses of vaccines is because the protective antibodies the puppy received from its mother start to fade off between 6 and 12 weeks of age (each pup is different and each of the diseases can have a different time frame when they fade away).  Our goal is to vaccinate at least two times (3 to 4 weeks apart) past all maternal antibodies, because those maternal antibodies have a blocking effect on the vaccines we give.  Once the last puppy vaccines are administered, we puppies walkingrecommend keeping pups from public places until 2 weeks later so the vaccine has fully kicked in.  Then they should be able to safely walk through the neighborhood or go to dog parks and not contract parvo or distemper.
If you’ve ever known someone whose pet had parvo, you know how devastating it can be.  The virus attacks the gut and bone marrow and causes vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration, and blood infections.  If untreated, most puppies don’t make it.  Treatment can take a few days to a week or more and is very expensive.  The microscopic parvo virus particles are passed in the feces and can live on the grass and soil for years.  Since you can’t see it, you can’t avoid it.  The amount of virus particles shed from a recovering parvo dog is enough virus to infect all the dogs in our town!  So that’s why it’s so important to go through the full immunization schedule and not take your puppy out for walks until it’s safe!

CANNED OR DRY CAT FOOD
By Laura Leautier, DVMDr. Laura Leautier

There’s been some recent changes in thinking regarding the best diet for cats. Many of us have free fed our cats dry food their whole lives. But in looking at what cats eat in the wild versus dry food, there’s a huge difference. Cats are carnivores, so they need a lot of protein in their diet (as long as they have normal kidneys). The typical diet of cats is mice and other rodents and birds. But since we don’t have “mouse in a can” diets, we can mimic this by feeding canned food.

When I was in vet school, we learned dry was best — lower in calories and those crunchies can help the teeth! But now many veterinary specialists are thinking the high carbohydrate content of dry food is why we’re seeing obese kitties and a lot of diabetes, chronic vomiting kitties, and other maladies, including bad teeth!

I have seen cats lose weight easily just from changing from dry to canned. It’s kind of like the Atkins diet for cats or the “Catkins diet”: low carbs with moderate to high protein and fat. This type of diet will help preserve muscle mass (which burns calories at rest), keeps them satisfied longer so they don’t feel the need to “graze” all day, seems to stop a lot of the chronic yakking up of food that we often see, and can lead to less urinary issues because they get more water in their diet when they eat canned.

Any type of high quality canned cat food052742177106C should be good for the average cat, because any canned food has less carbs than any dry food available. Whenever we eat carbohydrates, we release insulin to help bring the sugar into our cells. A little insulin is fine, but a lot of insulin release can lower the blood sugar level so the cat feels hungry soon afterwards, and they consume more dry food over the course of the day. Insulin is a fat-storing hormone so if we lower the blood insulin, there’s less rebound hunger, less weight gain, and there’s growing evidence that it results in a lower incidence of chronic inflammatory diseases, like diabetes and inflammatory bowel disease.

If your cat is having some of these issues, give us a call and we can talk about possible diet changes.

Dr. Laura Leautier
 What’s the Scoop with Anal Glands ?
Laura Leautier
If you’re a lucky pet owner, you’ve never had to think about your pet’s anal glands.  Maybe you didn’t even know dogs and cats have anal glands.  But if your pet has ever been stressed out and expressed its anal glands, you’ll never forget the smell for as long as you live!  Since cats rarely have anal gland issues, I’ll focus on dogs here.
1029569Anal glands are scent glands located back by your dog’s anus, hence the name.  Every time it defecates, it expresses a small amount of fluid on its feces to “mark” its territory.  The fluid should be gray or tan watery material.  Sometimes, though, it’ll get thicker, and have a hard time exiting the anal gland ducts and get overfilled.  You may notice your dog dragging their bottom across the carpet (also known as the “butt scoot boogie”), licking back there excessively, or you may smell that tell-tale stale fish odor.  These are all signs that your pet is uncomfortable back there, and you’d need to bring him in to get the anal glands expressed.  (We promise we actually clean their butt afterward, but it’ll smell for a bit like we haven’t!)  If the material gets too thick (like dried toothpaste), it won’t flow out of the duct, and the material will actually push out through the skin and cause a big sore back there — an anal gland abscess, which is treated surgically.

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It seems our smaller dogs have the most issues, and many come in every month or two to get them expressed.  So if you notice your dog obsessing back there, or scooting his bottom, bring him in, no appointment needed!