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Thank You Thursday at Reuben’s Brews in Support of MEOW Cat Rescue

Thursday, October 5th, 2017

Seattle Veterinary Associates is proud to be a part of Reuben's Brews Thank You Thursday event: Pints for Pets in support of MEOW cat rescue.

For every pint of beer sold on Thursday the 5th  Reuben's Brews donated $1 to MEOW cat rescue. As if that's not enough, Seattle Veterinary Associates ALSO donated $1 for each pint sold!  AND it gets even better! We brought our prize wheel and collected a donation for each spin of the prize wheel! And we matched those donations, too!!!

We raised over $800 for MEOW between our prize wheel, a raffle, and donations made at the event. Seattle Veterinary Associates matched that for a total of over $1600 raised at the event before even including Reuben's Brews donation!  Amazing!

Thank you so much to everyone who participated.  We are excited and humbled by your generosity!

Rabies, Bats, and your Pets

So far in 2017 two bats have tested positive for rabies within the Seattle city limits. One was found in Green Lake Park while the other was located in Ballard. Anyone having direct contact with bats is at risk for contracting the rabies virus.  These two bats are part of a marked increase in the percentage of rabies positive bats in our county. This number is not so high as to be alarming, but it is high enough to take note and consider the possible impact to you and your family.

While humans can be told to avoid direct contact with bats, this is not so easy with our pets. With a large number of dogs walking with their owners every day and cats roaming the neighborhoods, sick or dying bats become an attractant that few animals can resist. These pets are at risk for contracting the disease which becomes a risk for their human family members.

Not every bat has rabies, but because of the seriousness of the disease, it is safest to treat any bat you or your pets come in contact with as being infected. Should you or your pet interact with a bat, the King County Department of health has created a page with instructions on how best to deal with the situation: www.kingcounty.gov/bats

Animals in early stages of rabies infection may show no symptoms but are still contagious to both humans and other animals. In most cases, pets that become infected are not diagnosed until after they have begun to show symptoms. Once symptoms of rabies develop there is no treatment. 

Those who have already chosen to vaccinate their pets for rabies can take comfort in the fact that their pets are protected. For those who find their pets are due or overdue for a rabies vaccine, it is advisable to seek vaccination as soon as possible. Making sure your pet is vaccinated against rabies is the number one way to help ensure the safety and health of you, your family, and your community.

Joyeeta De, DVM

Pet Food and Salmonella

Summertime is picnic time.

Yummy meals of hearty foods we all love eating together, outdoors on our decks, in our yards, or at public parks. As a community veterinarian with my public health knowledge, summer also brings mild concerns for food poisoning and outbreaks of Salmonella for picnic goers like me. We all know a bit about proper food handling in order to prevent this serious warm weather problem.

But what about preventing a more hidden and similarly sinister problem, every single day that involves food handling of a different type? I’m talking about feeding our beloved pets THEIR daily meals and treats, yet avoiding Salmonella food poisoning while doing so.

Why is this a concern?

Salmonella bacteria are commonly found in such foods as raw or undercooked meat, poultry, eggs, dairy products, as well as some raw fruits and vegetables. There are more than 1,000 different types of Salmonella, bacteria found living in the intestinal tract of many livestock used for consumption.

Just like many people foods, the proteins and meats going into pet foods come from some of these carrier animals. Regardless of where the livestock originate, the handling of these meat proteins as dietary ingredients may result in contamination with Salmonella bacteria during processing.

Hence, recalls of pet food occur regularly.

Salmonellosis in dogs can result in various signs and symptoms and may last a week or longer:

  • fever
  • lethargy
  • diarrhea (with mucus or blood)
  • vomiting
  • anorexia
  • dehydration
  • weight loss,
  • fast heart rate
  • swollen lymph nodes

If your pet has consumed a recalled product AND has these symptoms, please contact your vet.

To confirm a diagnosis of salmonellosis, your veterinarian will examine your dog for different physical and lab findings (e.g. low albumin & platelet levels, anemia, low white blood cell count and electrolyte imbalances). Other tests may be necessary to be definitive.

Unfortunately, a dog infected with the bacteria will typically not show any clinical symptoms at all! Once Salmonella gets established in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the animal can shed the bacteria in its fecal matter, and the contamination will continue to spread in the local community.

Outpatient treatment is often possible in uncomplicated cases, although controversial. Yet, hospitalized care may be necessary, especially for puppies that have developed severe dehydration as a result of the infection.

So how can we avoid this condition from affecting our pets and us?

To reduce infection risks I recommend:

  • washing hands after contact with pet food and pet bowls
  • routinely cleaning pet bowls in a separate sink area from people dishes
  • keeping children younger than age 5 away from pet food and feeding
  • paying attention to recalled pet food lists and bulletins

Mark S Donovan, DVM

Becoming a Fear-Free Practice

Seattle Veterinary Associates has one goal:  to make life better for pets and their people.

Part of achieving this goal means taking care of more than just your pet’s physical ailments. Over the last several years we have been at the forefront of the movement to be a “fear-free practice.” By striving to make your pet’s visit fear-free we feel we can make their visit to the clinic more pleasant for everyone, your pet, you, and us, too. This is why our doctors and technicians are becoming fear-free certified!

It has always been important for us to make pet visits as pleasant as possible.

When Sophia Yin, a notable veterinarian and behaviorist, began offering low-stress handling technique classes we were excited to make them a part of our repertoire. In 2010 we began formal training for all staff in low-stress handling techniques, even going so far as to have Sophia come in to do the training personally. Her methods are now a permanent part of Seattle Veterinary Associates’ required training for all employees regardless of how long they’ve worked in veterinary medicine.

 

In an effort to be more feline-friendly our clinics each became Cat-Friendly Practice Certified by the American Association of Feline Practitioners.

When the American Association of Feline Practitioners began to offer Feline- Friendly Certification, we pounced on the opportunity! Some of their requirements include having waiting areas segregated for cats and dogs, offering training on low-stress handling for cats, and having specifically assigned staff members who act as cat advocates within the clinic. All of these changes have helped us improve the well-being of our feline patients and move toward making their visits fear-free.

Last year we also opened our mobile nursing unit SVA On the Go.

 

 SVA On the Go‘s purpose is to make medical testing and treatments available comfort and safety of your home. Shy cats and dogs often do better in their home environment allowing handling that otherwise would not be possible. It also offers more accurate testing results for tests which can be affected by patient stress levels. This was a major move toward fear-free veterinary care for your pets and we are very proud to offer this service.

Additional Training

In addition, early this year we held an all staff meeting in which we had two veterinary professionals who have also embraced the fear-free ideology come in and train all of our staff on the basics of the system. We began implementing changes within our clinics including adding cat and dog-friendly music, adding lavender oil diffusers to the dog-area in the lobbies, increasing the number and variety of treats for dogs, increasing the use of feline calming pheromones, and more.

Fear-Free Certification

Now that the fear-free certification program has become widely available, we are pursuing this new training with the same passion. By the end of the year most of our doctors and technicians will be fear-free certified. We would love all of our patients to leave our clinics happy or calm. While we know that’s not entirely possible, we sincerely hope our efforts to improve veterinary visits really will make lives better for pets and their people!