Tag Archive: veterinary hospital

What is Bloat?

Bloat; The Mother of All Emergencies

By: John Crumley DSC_0303-001

I want to take this opportunity to let you know of a severe, life-threatening syndrome that affects large breed dogs and a recent advance in preventative surgery for the condition.

Since your pet is a large breed dog, you may have heard of gastric dilatation volvulus complex, also referred to as “bloat” or “GDV.” This syndrome occurs in certain breeds, specifically large “deep-chested” breeds. The stomach dilates with gas and food and then begins an abnormal rotation (illustrated on the illustration-dog-bloat-500ximage to the left). This can happen very rapidly, often in hours, and if untreated results in obstruction of the stomach and death. Treatment consists of aggressive fluid therapy and prompt surgical correction. The success of treatment ranges from 60 to 80%, thus unfortunately, some of the patients die despite our best efforts. Cost of the procedure, excluding the obvious emotional cost, can range from $1,500 to $5,000.

Although this syndrome is not encountered every day in predisposed breeds, the severity of the condition has incited us to explore the latest surgical techniques to both correct and prevent it.

In the past the surgical procedure to prevent this syndrome (gastropexy) had to be performed with a more traditional surgical approach with a recovery time of 7 to 10 days and a 6 to 12 inch abdominal incision. Our hospital has invested in laparoscopic equipment and advanced surgical training for our doctors to enable us to perform surgeries such as this with minimal incision size and recovery time for the patient. We often recommend preforming this procedure during the time of great_dane_stock_7_by_sigarnistock-d3hwnnjthe spay or neuter. The surgery for the gastropexy can now be performed with two small incisions (less than 1 inch in many cases) with a recovery time of 2 to 4 days. If you have any questions on whether your pet would benefit from a preventative surgery please call us and speak with Dr. Baker, Dr Davidson, or me about the details of this surgery.

My Dog Eats Grass, Does That Mean He’s Sick?

By: Dr. John Crumley DSC_0303-001

The short answer is no; eating grass does not mean your dog is sick. Eating grass is a normal behavior in dogs. A study revealed that the majority of dogs eat grass routinely (79% of the dogs studied ate grass daily). The same study revealed less than 20% of dogs that ate grass vomited after eating the grass. This means that grass is a poor inducer of nausea and/or vomiting. So dogs eat grass normally and it doesn’t make them vomit enough to give support to the claim that dogs eat grass to make themselves vomit.

I’ve always heard dogs ate grass when they feel sick to intentionally cause themselves to vomit and I never questioned it until

images (1)veterinary school. Why is this “wives tale” so pervasive that most of us have accepted it as truth if it has been proven to be false? Nobody really knows, but consider this explanation. Grass if indigestible by dogs, so if grass is ingested it will remain in the stomach longer than digestible items. If the majority of dogs eat grass daily, when they vomit for any reason there is a strong possibility there will be grass in the vomitus. We see grass in the vomit and jump to a simple, but wrong conclusion that the grass caused the vomiting. I think over the years we have come to the erroneous conclusion that the grass causes vomiting just because it is present in the vomitus so often.

So if your dog eats grass, don’t worry so much. However, if you dog is vomiting please have him seen by one of our veterinarians to try and determine the real cause of the vomiting.

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!

Dental Month

By: Dr. Ben Davidson DSC_0963

February is National Pet Dental Health Month, and Baring Boulevard Veterinary Hospital is joining in.  You may ask “Are you serious?”.  Yes we are.  Pet dental health is very serious.  You take care of your own teeth multiple times every single day, but most of us can’t or don’t give the same kind of attention to our pets teeth.   Because of this, 85% of household pets suffer from dental disease.  Once pets have reached this point, a professional dental cleaning is necessary to address the disease.

CJSo what does a professional dental cleaning entail?  It is an anesthetized procedure in which a team of our doctors, veterinary technicians and veterinary assistants evaluate and treat whatever problems are present.  The evaluation includes a full dental charting and periodontal diagnostics including radiographs of any questionable or affected teeth.  The teeth are then cleaned using an ultrasonic device to clean the visible surface of the teeth, but most importantly below the gum line where the most serious disease occurs.  If any teeth need advanced procedures, such as periodontal antibiotic infusion, sealing and bonding, or extraction, those are performed at this time.  The teeth are then polished to complete the procedure and your pet is recovered in our post anesthesia ICU.

These procedure are performed at BBVH every weekday, year round, but if you schedule during February you will imagesreceive a $35 discount off the cost of the dental cleaning, dental health kit (valued at about $15). If you have any questions about these procedures or would like to schedule your pets dental evaluation, please call our office.  We also are happy to have you swing your dog or cat by for what we call a “flip of the lip” exam, where one of our doctors or technicians will do a free check on your pets teeth to better tell you if a dental procedure is necessary, and if so, what it will likely entail.


Written by Dr. Bob Baker Dr. Baker

Rabies is a viral infection that targets the central nervous system of warm blooded animals. Rabies is worldwide in distribution and causes about 55,000 human deaths each year. Tragically, most of these deaths could be prevented if domestic animal vaccination programs were in place. We are fortunate in the United States in that we see very little rabies in our pets, and subsequently in humans because we have very effective vaccines that are readily available. Rabies does exist in the United States, primarily in wildlife. Exposure risks become evident when wildlife interacts with humans or our pets. In our area, the most common vector or carrier of rabies is the bat. Skunks, skunk_710_600x450racoons, and foxes are also vectors in out area. Unfortunately we cannot be with our pets 24-7 and sometimes then find dead things to play with or eat, or in some situations may predate on bats and this is a risk for exposure. There are documented events of rabid bats getting into peoples homes as well.
What can we do to protect our pets and families? First of all, there are extremely effective vaccines against rabies for dogs and cats. ALL dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies. Even indoor cats that do not go outside have the potential for rabies exposure should a rabid bat gain entry to the home. Dogs are vaccinated as puppies as young as 12 weeks of age. They need another vaccination at a year of age, and then every three years after that. Cats follow the same protocol, except that there are two different vaccines used to booster the older cat, one is labeled for every year and another is labeled for every three years.DSC_0854 Your veterinarian can help you decide which product is right for your pet. Rabies vaccinations are also required by Nevada law. NAC 441A.435
If you or a family member do come across a sick or dead bat, or for that matter any animal, do not approach or handle them. If the animal is a potential rabies vector, and there is any human or animal exposure you should contact Washoe County Vector Control to have the animal tested for rabies.

Dental Month is Back!

That’s right everybody dental month is back ! If your pet comes in for a dental cleaning during the month of February you will receive a $35 discount off the cost of the dental cleaning, and a dental kit (values at around $10).  Spots are limited so please give us a call if you would like to make an appointment. Here is a sample of a before and after picture from one of our dental cleaning.

Pre dental cleaning Post dental cleaning

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.


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!

Hey guys, did you know that more pets get lost from their families during the summer months then any other time during the year? To help reunite pets with their families, Baring is doing it’s annual Microchip-a-thon. From now until July 4th the microchip is only $36 (which includes the registration, and a year of the extra benefits).  Below is the story of Buddy an indoor outdoor kitty that was missing for 3 months…..

FoundPetImage (1)In the spring of 2007, an under nourished 7-8 month old stray cat made his presence known from a distance with a meager series of cries. Over time we gained his confidence and provided a short period of petting and rubbing. Then off he went. The next morning we saw him still around the house. We fed the starving creature and he could not get enough food that day.

We discussed our next plan and vowed that if he remained at the house we would adopt. And here begins the 5 year saga of Buddy, our loved companion. He literally captured our hearts very shortly after ‘adopting us’! He was not a cat of great need for ‘cuddly’ compassion but more so just a tag along buddy (hence his name) who was curious of everything we did. He bonded with us from the start and us with him. He was small and our thought was that he may have been the ‘runt’ of the litter. We nursed him back to health and he became a very healthy and happy cat. Over the course of these years he provided us with much laughter and joy. That’s not to say there weren’t times of great distress and adjustments needed by all of us, but he also began to mellow slowly as time went on.

Through the bad times and good times, Buddy was always there waiting to be brushed, fed and loved. He truly was part of our family and gave us such pleasure. He became our 50-50 cat as we referred to him, half the time outside and always indoors every night.

Late in 2012 our son passed away suddenly and unexpectedly. With the turmoil that ensued, Buddy began to spend more and more time away from the house…..he knew something was not right. Plans were made to relocate soon after and when the day came we boarded Buddy while we completed our move, also understanding the task we faced with Buddy adapting to a new environment.

On January 2, 2013 we picked up Buddy from the vet after a week of boarding. Futile attempts were made to allow him to adjust. He was extremely unhappy and escaped that same afternoon. Our hearts were broken. In the ensuing days, weeks and months we searched all available resources for Buddy always looking everywhere we went. We were miserable with the loss of our son and our Buddy too. We resigned to the fact that he had joined our son and tried to make peace with that.

Then on a calm day, April 1, 2013, we received a call that will forever live in our minds. Nearly three months after he went missing, someone brought Buddy into the local animal services. He was healthy and was about to be put up for adoption when he was scanned for a microchip. During his last vet visit for a wellness check in 2012 we had the microchip installed and registered Buddy with HomeAgain. Our son had tried for years to get us to do that. Thank God we did; it was a gift from our son. It was what brought Buddy back to us. We call it a miracle!

Buddy was found 8 miles from our new home and less than 4 miles from his familiar territory of our last home. He was born and raised in that area and was heading back to his home!

Valentine’s Day 2013

Happy Valentines Day

Helpful Guidelines and Tips On What To Do If Your Pet Has A Seizure

By: John Crumley, DVM JPC


Seizures (often called convulsions or fits) are involuntary behaviors caused by abnormal firing of the synapses in the brain. The behaviors vary depending on which part of the brain is involved. The classic seizure is a grand mal type convulsion where the pet may fall over, paddle its legs, lose consciousness, and possibly lose control of its bladder and/or bowels. There are three phases to the seizure: 1) the pre-seizure or “pre-ictal phase” which is a period of disorientationyour pet may cry out, or seem anxious and try and seek you out during November-27-2012-18-40-11-mqwthis stage, 2) the seizure itself – where the pet usually falls over and displays classic convulsions, and 3) the post-seizure or “post-ictal”phase – marked by disorientation, stumbling, and anxious or even aggressive behavior. Sometimes this may appear to be a “regrouping” or a recovery/rest period after the seizure and can last from a few minutes to several hours.

Seizures are fairly common in dogs and cats, but are always very frightening and stressful to the family of a cherished pet. There are many causes of seizures, some relatively benign (such as juvenile epilepsy, while others are much more serious (such as brain tumors). A thorough examination and full labwork are warranted if your pet has a seizure. In this blog, I would like to focus on the seizure itself and what you can do at home if your pet unfortunately has a seizure.

The first thing to remember is that in most cases the seizure is harder on you and the family than your pet. During a seizure your pet is unconscious and will have no memory of the event. They may vocalize, thrash, and yelp like crazy, and this often appears as if they are in pain, but they are not. They are unconscious and unaware of what their body is doing. So, don’t panic (I know, easier said than done, right?). The average seizure lasts about two minutes, some shorter and some longer, but it can seem like Cat-and-Clockan eternity. Try and stay objective, note the time, then start timing the seizure. Look at your pet’s surroundings and see if there is any way your pet could be hurt (e.g.,are we at the top of stairs, in the street, are there other animals around, etc.)? If there is danger, try and move your pet, but be careful you do not get hurt! Stay away from your pet’s mouth as you may be inadvertently bitten during the seizure. Do not place anything in your pet’s mouthyour pet will not swallow its tongue. I am not sure where this myth came from, but it is simply not true. Now, back to the clock. Hopefully, the seizure has stopped in a minute or two, but if it lasts longer than 10 minutes, try and safely get your pet to a veterinary hospital. cropped-baring-vet-3.jpgHaving long, sustained seizures (greater than 10 minutes) is called status epilepticus and requires immediate veterinary attention to stop the seizure. Similarly, if your pet has more than three seizures in a day, regardless of how long they lasted, you should get to a veterinary hospital as quickly (but safely) as possible.If it is just one or two seizures lasting less than 10 minutes, make sure your pet is comfortable and call your veterinarian for an appointment for a medical workup to try and determine the cause.

After the initial evaluation and labwork has been run, your veterinarian may begin medications to control the seizures, depending on the severity and frequency of the seizures. We always want to monitor the seizures whether medications are indicated or not. Keeping a “seizure log” is a simple tool to help your veterinarian decide if your pet needs to start medications. Make three columns, one for the date, one for the duration (not the pre- or post-ictal phases, just the fit or convulsion’s duration), and a third one for the severity. You could use a numbering scale (such as 1 through 5) for severity, or you could just jot down some information, like “lost consciousness”, or “this was much milder than the first seizure.” Just pensomething that you and your veterinarian will understand. This log will help us make medication adjustments based on increases or decreases in frequency, duration, and severity and make sure your pet is treated appropriately.