Newsletter

The veterinarians and staff at the Worth Street Veterinary Center are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

VIDEO: Keep Your Pet Cool This Summer

Keeping your pet cool in the summertime is a must! In this special report from the Veterinary News Network, Dr. Jim Humphries shares tips on preventing heat exhaustion and heat stroke when summertime temperatures climb.

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VIDEO: Itchy Pets are Miserable Pets

Itchy pets can be a source of frustration for many owners, but certainly the pets aren't enjoying it either!! Many pets go through an "itch-scratch" cycle that gets worse and worse each year, especially during warmer weather. Flea medications don't seem to help and owners get tired of hearing the poor dog licking and chewing and scratching for relief. What could cause this sort of problem? The answer is a funny sounding word...ATOPY.

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It’s a Bird…It’s a Plane…It’s a Dog?

As pet owners, we probably think that our dogs are remarkable when they learn to sit, heal, or leap to catch a Frisbee in mid-air. And by most standards, those are praise-worthy skills. But what about the dogs that sniff out improvised explosive devices (IEDs), apprehend suspects, or jump out of airplanes and helicopters? Next to those feats, Fido’s ability to roll over and play dead seems like nothing special.


Off to War

Dogs have a long history of military involvement, dating back to 600 B.C. Today, there are approximately 2,500 military dogs deployed overseas. Military working dogs participate in patrols, law enforcement, and occasionally engagements on the front line. But one of the more spectacular and impressive acts is their high altitude aircraft jumps. Dogs usually jump harnessed to their trainers, but when equipped with flotation vests, like the dog pictured below, they can make short jumps into water on their own. According to a handler who trains MWDs, the dogs “don't perceive height difference. They're more likely to be bothered by the roar of the [plane] engines, but once we're on the way down, that doesn't matter and they just enjoy the view. "


The U.S. Army - Fearless canine

A U.S. Army soldier with the 10th Special Forces Group and his military working dog
jump off the ramp of a CH-47 Chinook helicopter during water training over the Gulf of Mexico.


Reaching New Heights

During World War II, the British dropped dogs by parachute to take messages behind enemy lines and the Canadians used parachuting Huskie dogs to help rescue downed pilots. However, the use of dogs in High Altitude High Opening (in which the parachute is opened only seconds after jumping from the aircraft) missions was pioneered by America's Delta Force, which trained the animals to breathe through oxygen masks during the jump. The dogs are often outfitted with a camera so they can “report” what they see on the ground—such as potential ambushes and enemy locations—and are trained to attack anyone carrying a weapon.


The U.S. Navy- Fearless canine

Navy Seal Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara jumping from a record-breaking 30,100 ft.


In 2012, Navy Seal Mike Forsythe and his dog Cara (pictured above) jumped from an aircraft at 30,100 feet, breaking the record for the highest man-dog parachute deployment.

Military working dogs who are no longer in active service can be adopted by their handlers, law enforcement agencies, and civilians. For more information on adopting a MWD, please visit www.save-a-vet.org.

Ultrasound

Ultrasound, most commonly associated with pregnancy, is not something you may expect to hear at a veterinary office. However, due to improvements in technology, an ultrasound may be something your veterinarian recommends to help diagnose your pet for a number of potential ailments.

An ultrasound is a non-invasive procedure similar to an x-ray. It works by sending sound waves through tissue and recording the waves as they are reflected back. Those reflections are then transformed into images of organs and other objects for your veterinarian to study. In simplest terms, an ultrasound produces a moving picture of an organ or body part as it is actually functioning.

Veterinary Ultrasound Machine

Most commonly used as a diagnostic tool to evaluate diseases of the heart, liver, pancreas, kidney, intestine, spleen, urinary bladder and other organs located in the abdomen, your veterinarian is able to learn valuable information about the health of these organs. Since the pet is usually on his or her back for an ultrasound procedure, sedation or short acting anesthesia may be required. Regardless if sedation is used, ultrasound is an out-patient procedure, usually allowing your pet to go home the same day.

The benefits of ultrasound are enormous. Diseases that would otherwise go undetected can be diagnosed early. If a biopsy is needed, it can be accomplished during an ultrasound. An ultrasound can also replace an exploratory surgery, which can sometimes lead to more serious complications.

Although there are other parts of the body that can be studied with ultrasound, abdominal and cardiac ultrasound are the most common in veterinary medicine.

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasound is used to evaluate pets with symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, straining to urinate or urinating blood. It can also be helpful in cases of reproductive abnormalities, weight loss and to detect early pregnancy. When physical examination and blood tests indicate a problem with a particular organ, an ultrasonic examination can provide additional information or even a diagnosis.

Ultrasound of the Kidney and Bladder

In order for the ultrasound to produce the best possible picture, a small amount of fur needs to be shaved from the abdomen. After the fur is shaved, the examiner places a probe on the skin of the abdomen and moves it across the surface to examine the organs or regions of interest. An ultrasound can identify organ abnormalities, abdominal masses, tumors, fluid and abnormal lymph nodes.

Echocardiography

An ultrasound of the heart is more commonly known as an echocardiogram. Defined as an ultrasonic examination of the heart, the procedure itself is very similar to that of an abdominal ultrasound.

Ultrasound of the Heart

An ultrasound allows the veterinarian to see inside your pet’s heart. The functioning of the heart valves, the thickness of the heart muscle and the contractions of the heart can all be assessed. Along with a diagnosis, an echocardiogram also allows the veterinarian to determine the best treatment plan for your pet’s condition.

Ultrasound of the Heart

Ultrasound has become a very useful diagnostic tool in veterinary medicine. To a large extent, ultrasound has replaced exploratory abdominal surgery. Along with radiography, ultrasound can also be used to diagnose and treat most heart diseases that occur in dogs and cats.

Caring For Your Pet After You’re Gone

The stories of the 94-year old Italian woman, Maria Assanta, who left her $13 million estate to her four-year-old cat and the billionaire hotel tycoon Leona Helmsley who turned her dog into a $12 million Maltese had us all talking. But then it got us thinking: who would be taking care of our pets when we’re gone?

Caring For Your Pet After You're Gone

It has never been easy for pet-owners to leave their estate to their pets – but they’re always trying. Under US law, animals are considered property and therefore cannot rightfully inherit their owner’s estate. However, there is an area of the law that allows an owner to create a pet trust, wherein a portion of money is left to a certain individual or organization to provide care for the pet once the owner is gone. This is exactly what Ms. Assanta did when she left $13 million to her nurse under the condition that she would care for her cat. Yet making such an arrangement is not always easy, nor without its risks.

Basically, there are currently two ways to try to ensure your pet gets the care it deserves after you’re gone. First, you can either set aside money and designate a person who agrees to care for your pet under your will, or, second, create a trust enforced by a trustee. In this case, if the caregiver fails on his or her responsibilities, a new caregiver may be appointed. Thus, unlike a will, a trust may better ensure your pet’s care, but bear in mind that it typically costs more to administer and maintain.

With more and more families getting pets, who in many cases act as a member of the family, attorneys in estate planning have been experiencing an upsurge in these inheritance trends. In fact, many state bar associations around the country now include – and are improving – animal law sections to help accommodate these very needs. So, if you’re worried that little Spot might not get the care he deserves, things may be looking up.

Fourth Of July Pet Safety Tips

Fireworks and the Fourth of July go together like ... well, fireworks and the Fourth of July. While you may already have safeguards in place for people and children, there are additional things to consider for pet owners. Here are a few tips on helping your pets remain safe and happy while dealing with fireworks.



Always keep fireworks out of reach of your pet. While this may seem obvious for lit fireworks, it’s important to keep unlit fireworks away from your pets as well. Ingesting fireworks could be lethal for your pet. If your pet does get into your fireworks, contact your veterinarian right away.

Be aware of projectiles. Roman candles, for example, have projectile capabilities. If used incorrectly, an ejected shell can hit a pet, causing burning. If your pet gets burned, contact your veterinarian right away.

Keep your pet on a leash or in a carrier. Never let your pets run free in an area where fireworks are going off.

Know what do to in case of a seizure. For some animals, being in the presence of fireworks can trigger a seizure. If your pet is prone to seizures, he or she should never be around fireworks – but most pet owners won’t know if their dog is prone to seizures until he or she experiences one. If this happens, stay calm and remove any objects in the area that might hurt your pet. Do not attempt to move your pet, as they may bite without knowing it. When the seizure is over, move him or her into an area clear of the firework’s sights and sounds. Call your veterinarian right away.

Ease your pet’s fear. Many pets are frightened of fireworks, and may exhibit fear by whimpering, crying, or otherwise displaying uneasiness. Create a safe space for these animals before the event. During the fireworks, use the radio, television, fan or air conditioner to create white noise that will drown out the sound of the fireworks.

By planning ahead and keeping key information in mind, your pet can have a happy, stress-free Fourth of July – and so can you!

Video Cams Keep Your Pet Close By, Even When You're Away

Have you ever wondered what your pet is up to when you're away at work or on vacation? Perhaps they're quietly hanging out, anxiously awaiting your return, but more likely they're romping, playing and taking advantage of your absence to climb up on the furniture. But thanks to high-speed internet connections and advances in webcams, you can keep an eye on your pet at all times using pet cams.

Pet cams can show what your pet is up to while you're away

Pet cams are webcams set up to monitor your pet. Hooked up to a computer with an internet connection, a pet cam can stream live video footage to a website that you can view from just about anywhere. Pet cams are handy for both keeping watch over your pet to make sure he or she isn't hurt or injured while you're away and for just watching your pet be him or herself. Computer-savvy pet owners often set up whole websites devoted to their pet cam. There are pet cams for almost every kind of pet, from sites devoted to dogs and cats to guinea pig and lizard cams. Websites such as pet-cams.com are a good place to start viewing how other pet cams are set-up. Pet-cams.com offers links to individual pets' sites, such as Guinness the Dog and The Little Beasts, a site devoted to Emrys and Bergamot, a pair of Boston Terriers.

You don't necessarily need to create a website in order to watch your pets via a pet cam, though. Services like MyPetCams.com is a free site that allows users to stream their pet cam on the MyPetCams.com website. Users can log in to their account from any place with an internet connection and see what their pet is doing.

Example of a doggy daycare pet cam

Example of a doggy daycare pet cam.

Pet sitters, doggy daycare providers and other animal care providers are also on the pet cam bandwagon. Pet cams can give pet owners peace of mind when their companion is spending the day at a daycare or pet sitting facility. The site MyPetSitterCam.com acts as a pet cam portal for pet sitters. Once an account is established and a camera hooked up, pet sitters provide their clients with an web address where they can view the camera and watch their pets. Doggy daycare providers are also installing cameras in their facilities in order to give clients a pup's-eye-view of what's happening. Many companies are starting to take notice - Online Doggy helps kennels, daycares and other pet care providers install and connect pet cams to their websites. Other options include the Rover Cam, a small wireless camera that is attached to a harness on a dog, which truly let's pet owners see the world through their dog's eyes.

Ice Water: Dangerous for Dogs?

Concerned pet owners may have come across a Facebook post warning against giving dogs ice water. The post claims that giving dogs ice water can cause bloat, which can lead to a life-threatening condition called gastric dilation and volvulus, or GDV. It’s often accompanied by a seemingly true story of a well-meaning pet owner trying to keep their dog cool on a hot day only to find they must rush their pet to the emergency vet.


Dog Drinking Water


It sounds scary, but it’s absolutely false. Veterinarians across the country have been addressing this myth for years, but the misinformation continues to spread thanks to social media. In an article addressing the myth, Dr. Patty Khuly says that “frigid gastric ‘cramping’ is a falsehood akin to those that inform you that your hair will grow back coarser if you shave it (myth), or that you shouldn’t go swimming for 30 minutes after eating lest you drown in a fit of cramps (myth).”

Bloat can be caused when your dog drinks too much too quickly, but the temperature of the water has nothing to do with this. In fact, putting ice cubes in your dog’s water can sometimes slow your dog’s water consumption, keeping the risk of bloat at bay.

If you have a large dog and are worried about bloat, we recommend feeding a few small meals per day instead of one large meal and avoiding exercise for an hour or so after eating. But if your pup is thirsty on a hot day, there’s nothing dangerous about helping them cool off with ice water.