Knowing what to do (and what not to do) in the event that your pet suffers an injury or any number of other emergencies is of course very important. Equally as important though is having handy the supplies necessary to administer first-aid!
Below I’ve listed the items that every pet owner should include in their pet’s first-aid kit. Depending on your particular pet’s medical history, they may benefit from the inclusion of additional items too. It’s always a good idea to talk with your veterinarian to ensure that your own pet’s first-aid kit is as complete as it can be.
You can often pick up many of these items at your local pharmacy or superstore. But it may be easier and better just to see if you can purchase them through your veterinarian instead. They likely have most of these supplies in their office, and they may even have pre-made pet first aid kits to save you the trouble.
Previously, Dr. Heidi Shafford of Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists discussed reasons for having dental work performed on your pet under general anesthesia. In today’s post, Dr. Shafford continues her discussion of anesthesia for dental patients.
Minimizing the Risks of Anesthesia 1: Role of the Veterinary Team
Anesthesia is like any medical procedure, there are benefits and risks. We previously discussed the benefits of anesthesia for dental procedures. The risk of anesthetic-induced death is uncommon: approximately 1 in 1000 for healthy cats and 1 in 2000 for healthy dogs. While the incidence of anesthetic death is low, it could and should be much lower. Why isn’t it? In part, its because many practices aren’t actively taking the necessary steps to reduce anesthetic risk. One goal of these blog posts is to help you become a more well informed advocate and learn about the ways in which you can help to lower anesthetic risks for your pet.
Anesthesia occurs in several steps, with opportunities at each step to minimize risks for your pet. Below I present a simple outline of the steps involved in anesthesia. Following this outline is a list of questions you might ask your veterinary team to find out what they are doing to minimize and manage anesthetic risks.
In honor of National Pet Dental Health month, today’s post is an article about Dental Anesthesia written by my friend and fellow veterinarian, Dr. Heidi Shafford, DVM, PhD, DACVA. Dr. Shafford is a board-certified veterinary anesthesiologist who owns and operates Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists, a business dedicated to improving anesthesia safety and comfort for pets. Veterinary Anesthesia Specialists provides on-site anesthetic care and support for pets around the Pacific Northwest, and offers consulting and training to veterinary professionals across the country. All of this is to say that Dr. Shafford has a passion for making veterinary anesthesia as safe as possible and for preventing and alleviating animal pain. In other words, she knows a thing or two about veterinary anesthesia. So without further ado, take it away Heidi…
Welcome to the third, and final, installment of this blog series on feline urethral obstruction… Part 3 - ‘Be Preventive’. In this post I’ll highlight the things you need to know and the steps you should take to prevent an occurrence (or recurrence) of this condition.
Additionally, and as an aside, if you’ve ever had a cat suffer from a urethral obstruction I’d greatly appreciate it if you would take a few minutes to complete the online survey I created on SurveyMonkey. The survey can be found by clicking here, its completely anonymous and only takes a few minutes to complete. Thanks in advance for your time.
And so, without further ado, lets talk about the things you need to know and do to decrease your cat’s risk for urethral obstruction…
The Pet Blogger Challenge is the brainchild of Amy Burkert (www.GoPetFriendly.com) and Edie Jarolim (www.WillMyDogHateMe.com). Its an opportunity for those of us who blog about pets to get to know each other and to learn more about each other’s blogs. This is my first year participating, so we’ll see how it goes.
The questions below are standardized, all first time participants answer the same questions.
1. When did you begin your blog?
I began this blog on June 27, 2011.
2. What was your original purpose for starting a blog?
The original purpose for starting this blog was the same purpose for starting every aspect of The Preventive Vet. That purpose is to disseminate the knowledge and experience that I have gained both from my formal veterinary education and training and from my years of experience in both general and emergency/critical care veterinary practice.
I’ve seen far too many preventable pet illnesses and emergencies, and far too many pets suffer and be euthanized, due to a general lack of awareness of vital pet health and safety information within the general pet owning community. I don’t fault pet owners and guardians for not knowing this information - I fault the veterinary and pet care community on the whole for not making it more common knowledge.
As is the case in human medicine, for far too long in the small animal veterinary world the primary focus of animal health has been to diagnose and fix problems once they arise, rather than take a proactive approach and truly encouraging and promoting prevention. Fortunately, in both the human and the small animal veterinary fields, that dynamic and focus is starting to shift.
The Preventive Vet is my contribution to that shift. Its my attempt to empower pet owners, through the provision of knowledge and advice, to keep their pets healthy and safe.
3. Is your current purpose the same? If not, what’s different? If so, how do you feel you’ve met your goals?
My purpose is indeed the same, and will remain so.
As for meeting my goals… I don’t know that I feel as though I will ever truly meet my goal. This will not be from lack of trying, but rather because I recognize that my true goal is likely too lofty. My TRUE goal for The Preventive Vet is to make it that no pet suffers a preventable illness or emergency due to a lack of their owner being aware of the potential for the condition and the steps they can take to prevent it. Too lofty, right?
To be honest though, I’m happy and comfortable in the knowledge that I am indeed ‘chipping away’ at that goal. I know from people’s feedback, and the reactions that many of them have when they hear this information for the first time, that the information and advice I’m providing and helping to spread is at least decreasing the number of pets that will suffer due to a lack of awareness.
4. Do you blog on a schedule or as the spirit moves you? If the former, how often — and what techniques do you use to stick to it? If the latter, do you worry about… well, whatever you might worry about (e.g. losing traffic, losing momentum)?
I try to blog on a schedule, but that’s proven too difficult with all that is currently going on in my life (two daughters under 2 years old) and in my overall business development. I typically still do a post at least every other week. In the interim, I keep my Facebook page and Twitter feed current with information, stories, and tips that pet owners should be aware of to improve their pet’s health and safety.
My blogging slowed down a little bit after the holidays this year. I did a 12 day series (14 days if you count the intro and summary posts) on the pet hazards of Christmas. It was called ‘The 12 Pet Hazards of Christmas’, and writing that series was exhausting for me. You can see the summary post here.
5. Are you generating income from your blog? If so, how (e.g. sponsor ads, affiliate relationships, spokesperson opportunities)? If not currently, do you hope to in the future — and how?
I am not currently generating income from my blog, its all just free advice. I have no plans to monetize the blog in the future, save an occasional affiliate link here or there (only for companies and products that I strongly believe in and support - and even then, they will be labeled as such).
6. What do you like most about blogging in general and your blog in particular (bragging is good!)?
What I like most about blogging is the opportunity it provides for people to share useful knowledge and experience with an audience that can extend far beyond the previously imposed geographical boundaries. The reach of a blog can be almost limitless - a blog’s reach is influenced more by its content and followers than any advertising or other marketing budget that its author may have.
What I like most about my blog is knowing that the information and advice I provide to pet owners helps them keep their pets healthy and safe, and that it helps them save money, time, and heartbreak as well. I also love that my blog helps me realize my dream of making the biggest possible contribution to the health, safety, and comfort of the greatest number of pets - it enables me to widely disseminate the information and advice necessary for pet owners to protect their pets and safeguard the human-animal bond.
7. What do you like least?
Editing! Those of you who’ve read my blog posts will probably already have realized this about me, given my… shall we say… verbose writing style and aversion to correct grammar. I was always better at math and science than I was at English!
8. How do you see your blog changing/growing in 2012?
In this coming year I will be attempting to make my message more succinct and focused, while not sacrificing any of the important information and advice that people need to keep their pets healthy and safe. I’ll give it my best shot, so please bear with me… I can assure you that you, your pets, and your pocketbook will benefit if you do.
Other than that, I hope to see more people following the blog and more bloggers sharing my posts. After all, the information and advice I post can only help people who actually see it. So I hope you will all help me spread the word, and I hope to make it to BlogPaws in Salt Lake this year to get to meet some of my fellow pet bloggers.
Here’s to a wonderful (and safe) 2012!
Be aware, be prepared… be Preventive!™
Jason Nicholas, BVetMed(Hons)
The Preventive Vet™
OK, so maybe your annual holiday gathering doesn’t look exactly like this. And I know, it seems a bit curmudgeonly to name house guests as the poster-children for the final day of this blog series. After all, it’s the holidays and isn’t this time of year about nothing else if not spending it with friends, family, and loved ones? But from the perspective of the health and safety of your pets (which after all, is the reason you’re reading this blog, isn’t it?), its truly important to appreciate all of the dangers that your friends, family members, and other loved ones will (likely) inadvertently expose your pets to during this time of great festivities. So I beg of you, before you label me a Scrooge for singling out those that will grace your home with a visit or overnight stay in this holiday season, please just read on to find out why. I suspect you’ll fully understand my reasons for doing so once you have.
I suspect this is a pet toxicity that many of you have never heard of. In fact, I suspect many of you have never even heard of a cyclamen before - though you’ve likely seen them many times (they’re often on display as you walk into supermarkets or in their floral departments). Although popular, especially around the holidays, the cyclamen isn’t a well known about pet toxin. Its certainly far less well known about than the poinsettia. A point which is both ironic and sad, seeing as how the poinsettia really isn’t all that hazardous to pets. (Did you catch that in my introductory post for this series?) So read on and be sure to spread the word; together let’s remedy the lack of public awareness about the dangers that the lovely cyclamen can pose to pets.