Summer is Here and so is our Featured Pet: Gipper!
The staff at Meridian Park Veterinary Hospital would like to honor Gipper as our Featured Pet. Gipper is a lovable teddy bear of a dog. He is always up for a good treat or a pat on the head. After a career as a seeing eye dog, Gipper was retired and found a new loving family with the Rippeys. Gipper had a bit of a health scare recently. His owners were quick to act and with the help of diagnostics we discovered a large mass in his abdomen. Dr. Shultz was successfully able to remove it and after some TLC from the staff he is doing just great today. We look forward to seeing Gipper at his next visit.
Featured Pet: July through September!
The staff at Meridian Park Veterinary Hospital would like to honor Cooper as a Featured Pet. Cooper always greets you with a wagging tail and unmistakable smile. When you reach down to pat him he automatically rolls over for a belly rub. He loves squeaky toys and demonstrates the joys of swimming as he retrieves sticks from lakes and rivers. Of course, Cooper is always up for a good romp with his fellow canines, especially his best friend Harvey. When it is time to relax he can be found in the sun on his deck or curled up on his favorite chair. We all enjoy Cooper’s friendly and funny personality when Mom brings him in for his check-ups and look forward to his next visit.
Featured Pet: April through June!
The staff at Meridian Park Veterinary Hospital would like to honor Cognac as a Featured Pet. Cognac is a loving and energetic dog who always manages to become the center of attention when he enters the room. He loves to spend time with his owner, whether at the dog park, in the backyard, or on a simple trek to the mailbox. Even at night he can be found curled up in bed with Dad. He loves playing with his squeaky ball and will beg for Beggin’ Strips. To make sure Cognac stays healthy his owner is very diligent about keeping up with preventative care as well as maintaining consistent grooming appointments. This ensures that Cognac will be making people smile for many years to come.
November Pet of the Month
While being chosen as the November Pet of the Month is an honor in itselt, Molly has also won a free nail trim AND a bag of treats!
Molly is a bouncy, lovable labrador with a penchant for squeaky toys. She also has a tendancy to attract ear infections, a common problem among our floppy-eared patients. Most ear infections are easily and successfully treated. But, if left untreated, they often result in serious damage. To learn more about the causes of ear infections and how to prevent them from causing your dog or cat pain and long-term damage, click here or call us at 503.692.3300!
To have your pet in the running of Pet of the Month, send us a picture and bio of your pet to firstname.lastname@example.org.
September Pet of the Month – Chloe!
Chloe is one of our favorite patients – she always gives us plenty of kisses and is a perfect example of a pug.
Chloe suffers from chronically full anal glands – a condition that is disgusting for us humans, but also can be dangerous for pets!
What on Earth are Anal glands?
Anal glands are two small glands just inside your pet’s anus. The material secreted into these glands is thick and foul-smelling. Most animals can empty these glands voluntarily for scent marking or in self-defense, like a skunk might do.
Domestic animals have largely lost their ability to empty these glands voluntarily. Walking around and normal defecation serves to empty the glands but some animals become unable to empty their glands at all on their own. The glands become impacted and uncomfortable. Dogs with impacted anal glands usually scoot their rear on the ground in an attempt to empty the glands. Some dogs will lick their anal area and other dogs will chase their tails. Cats often lick the fur off just under their tails.
What to do about Scooting?
The first step is to check the anal glands when any pet has a history of scooting. The anal glands can be emptied in one of two ways:
Externally: A rag or tissue is held up to the anus and both sides of the anal area are squeezed. If the secretion is very pasty, this method may be inadequate to empty the glands.
Internally: A lubricated gloved finger is inserted in the anus and the gland is squeezed between thumb and forefinger into a tissue held externally. The full anal gland feels like a grape in the location as shown in the top illustration. The emptying procedure is repeated on the opposite side. This should ONLY be done by a trained profressional to avoid causing harm or trauma to your pet!
If the glands have been emptied adequately, the scooting should resolve in a couple of days.
What if Scooting Continues?
If scooting continues for more than a few days after gland emptying, the glands should be re-checked. For some individuals, it takes several gland emptyings in a row before the glands stay emptied. If the glands are empty and scooting is persisting, another cause (such as itchy skin, tapeworms, or even lower back pain) should be pursued.
What Happens If an Impacted Gland doesn’t get Emptied?
An abscess can form and rupture out through the skin. This is a painful, messy and smelly condition often mistaken for rectal bleeding. If an anal gland abscess forms, it must be properly treated by your veterinarian. Antibiotics will be needed.
How often should Anal Sacs be Emptied?
This is a highly individual situation. The best recommendation is to let the pet tell you when the glands are full. If the pet starts scooting again, it is time to bring him in. If your pet has a history of full anal glands, bringing him in proactively is also a good idea.
What if My Pet’s Glands seem to Require Emptying all the Time?
To avoid the expense of having the glands emptied, you can learn to empty them yourself at home, but most people feel it is well worth having someone else perform this service. A non-invasive technique that helps some patients is a change to a high fiber diet. This will produce a bulkier stool that may be more effective in emptying the gland as it passes by.
Anal Sacculectomy – Last Resort
If the glands need to be emptied every few weeks or more, you may opt to have the glands permanently removed. This procedure is complicated by many local nerves controlling fecal continence, any changes in the local musculature of the anal sphincter area can affect fecal continence, and anatomy is distorted with chronic anal gland problems. Draining tracts can develop after surgery if the gland is not completely removed. Still, despite these pitfalls anal sac removal is considered a relatively simple surgery by experienced surgeons.
January Pets of the Month
Boomer (grey and white tabby, ~12 months old) and Moxie (all black, ~5 months old)
Meet Boomer and Moxie! They are former barn cats. Both have been neutered and are up-to-date on their vaccinations. Both Boomer and Moxie are VERY affectionate and have made their transition to indoor-living extremely well. In fact, we think they prefer it!
What else makes Boomer and Moxie SO special? They have both been recently diagnosed with Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV). Because of this diagnosis, they cannot be reintroduced to their former barn cat families for both their health and health of the rest of the feline population.
To learn more about FIV visit “What is FIV?” under Pet Health Tips!
August Pet of the Month – Bo!
Bo is a sweet, bouncy, 2 year old labradoodle who suffers from chronic Otitis Externa, otherwise known as “inflammation of the external ear canal”. This condition is often seen in our canine and feline friends. This inflammation is often indicative of underlying problems such as allergies, hereditary diseases, accumulation of wax, matted hair, debris, or a foreign object in the ear canal. If your feline or canine has this condition he or she may be in discomfort, so treatment by one of our veterinarians should be started immediately. Our doctors and staff will create a preventative action and treatment plan to provide the best quality of care for your furry friend!