Affairs of the heart in pets

Heart Disease is one of the top causes of death in people and it is also showing with increasing frequency in animals. Curiously, cats and dogs are affected a bit differently from heart disease.
In dogs, the usual cause of Heart disease is acquired, although there are several congenital issues that tend to appear in specific breeds. One of the top causes of heart disease in older pets is Chronic Valvular disease or Mitral valve disease, both are secondary to the wear and tear of the valves. Another common diagnosis affecting the heart is Dilated Cardiomyopathy, in which the heart muscle is very thin from the enlargement of the chambers and the valves leaking. Pericardial Sac disease, in which the sac around the heart fills with fluids and won’t allow the heart to contract, is another issue.There are several causes of Pericardial disease but the most common I see usually involves a tumor. Most seniors I auscultate start having arrhythmias or detectable murmurs before other main diseases have progressed.
Heart disease symptoms in dogs usually include a non-productive cough, exercise intolerance, abnormally fast breathing, a purplish or grey tongue and generalized weakness. When the Heart really starts to fail you can also see edema, a distended belly, labored breathing, and the pet will stop eating. Of these symptoms, the cough is the one that can worsen the condition and is also a Quality of life marker. In severe cases, I’ve to use intra tracheal injections to stop a cough before I even start treating the heart!

In cats, heart disease is a silent killer: most cats show zero symptoms! (other than a sudden death). In a large number of cats diagnosed with heart disease, the only symptom was vomiting.

How do we diagnose heart disease? Early heart disease might be picked in the wellness blood work and with a specialized test called pro BNP (Brain Natriuretic Peptide) that measures damage to the heart. If the number exceeds the range we can start our diagnostic work to determine the stage or need for intervention BEFORE the symptoms appear or worsen.In our practice, we start by doing chest x-rays to determine if there’s a problem then recommend an echocardiogram to confirm it and in some cases refer to a veterinary cardiologist. Cats can be diagnosed the same way.
Luckily, there are many holistic nutraceuticals and Chinese herbals used to prevent or slow down heart disease in dogs.The antioxidant Coenzyme-Q10 along with Taurine, Carnitine and Hawthorn Berry, can be given as a prevention step as well as an adjuvant to treatment.The Chinese herbal formulas Shen Calmer and Heart Qi tonic can also prove very useful to treat and prevent the Heart disease.
Western medications have advanced to the level of human counterparts and are prolonging the lives of Heart disease pet patients. We use Pimobendan (Vetmedin) in really advanced cases and have seen survival times quadruple, especially when paired with some of the holistic treatments mentioned above. If your pet is diagnosed, ask for options.

My recent Fear Free level 2 Certification

I recently became certified in Fear Free level 2 training and I did it because I want every patient to feel welcomed at my practice. What is this Fear Free certification about?
A visit to the veterinarian should not be a stressful time for your pet. Stress can decrease the immune response, cause unnecessary traumas and affect future behavior of dogs and cats. There is a new initiative of many veterinarians to create a stress free environment at their hospitals. This is a voluntary animal behavior education and training culminating in a Fear Free Certification.
The advantage of having Fear free certified doctors and technicians is that the pets are able to have a pleasant experience while they get treated. It is safer to treat a happy, calmed animal than it is to treat an anxious, stressed and petrified one. The scared pets are in a defensive frame of mind that can result in injury to them, their owners and the veterinary personnel. We all want pets to have good associations with the vet’s office and we might use some classical behavioral training techniques like desensitization, classic conditioning and counter conditioning.
The main principles of a Fear free visit include a considerate approach, gentle technique and a touch gradient. That means nobody should ever jump on your dog, put a muzzle and then use a harsh restraint. The pet should have a chance to acclimate to the office, the scents and the people they meet. The doctors should use an array of tools to make the visit a pleasant one. Starting with the environment, the office should be clean, not noisy, and soothing scents like lavender or species specific pheromones should be employed. Using treats is essential to asses the level of anxiety, to distract from less pleasant procedures and to offer a positive association for your pet. Sometimes, the Fear free certified doctor will either postpone a treatment or utilize sedation to perform it. The decision of using sedation is for the benefit of your pet because the level of stress and anxiety is too high, or the expected procedure might be too scary or painful in an already petrified animal.
What are the signs of Fear,Anxiety and Stress (FAS)?
In cats obvious behaviors that indicated FAS include hissing and growling but less obvious sigs include dilated pupils, ears to the back,tail flicking, hiding and crouching. Sometimes the cats will “freeze” and the owners think the cats is calmed but in reality he is so scared that he has enter a state of helplessness. In dogs the obvious sigs of FAS are barking, backing away, growling and snarling but less obvious signs may include yawning, panting, fidgeting and refusing treats.
How can you help decrease the FAS before you take your pet to the vet?
Sometimes giving an over the counter calming treat or nutraceutical can help. walking/exercising your dog prior to the appointment can also help. For cats something as simple as spraying the carrier with a calming pheromone and putting a towel over it to decrease the sensory input can make a big difference. There are other ways that owners can work with their Fear free certified veterinarians in order to make the visit a pleasurable or at lest non intimidating experience, just ask them.

HELP FOR PUERTO RICO

MY ISLAND OF PUERTO RICO HAS BEEN DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE MARIA. I HAVE CONVERTED MY PRACTICE ORCHID SPRINGS ANIMAL HOSPITAL INTO A DONATION SITE. WE ARE HELPING PEOPLE AND PETS DOWN THERE, ESPECIALLY MY COUSIN GIZEL BAEZ’S ORGANIZATION BIG DOG RESCUE PR.

WE ARE TAKING MONETARY CONTRIBUTIONS AND 100% OF THE MONEY COLLECTED WILL BE USED TO SHIP AND BUY ITEMS IN NEED.

THANK YOU FOR YOUR CONTINUING SUPPORT AND PRAYERS FOR MY ISLAND.

I AM ALSO DONATING A PERCENTAGE OF THE PROCEEDS FROM SALES DURING THE MONTH OF OCTOBER OF MY BOOK ALT VET: THE REVOLUTIONARY PET CARE AND LONGEVITY SOLUTION.

PLEASE BUY A COPY, GIFT A COPY… HELP STRAYS AND PEOPLE IN NEED WHILE GETTING IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT HOLISTIC PET CARE! CLICK:

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Alt-Vet: The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution

This is your last chance to save your precious baby. You have tried everything else to save her, but every veterinarian has told you the same thing, “There is nothing we can do. Try to make her comfortable, and when that no longer works you can bring her in.” This last statement is like a dagger to the heart, because you know what “bring her in” means.

Your precious dog has been with you through a marriage, two births and a divorce; how could this be the end. Sure, she is not a puppy anymore, but you did not expect her to go so soon, and not like this. You look down at her in the wagon you rolled in to the waiting room. She cannot walk anymore, she barely eats, and there is a profound sadness in her eyes- you can hardly bear it.

Someone told you about an alternative medicine veterinarian who uses Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine (TCVM) to help pets with amazing results. It sounds like new age mumbo jumbo, but at this point, you are desperate. As they call the name of your dog, you wheel her into the back and say a silent pray, “Please let this work.”

Fast forward three months, and again you find yourself in the lobby of the same veterinary clinic. You look down at your sweet girl, and she wags her tail and pants happily. She is on a leash now, rather than the wagon, and even though she is slow, and a little wobbly, she is walking. After the past few months, the Vet has done numerous acupuncture treatments and has given you directions for a special diet. It is as if life has been infused back into
your pet, and your prayers have been answered.

My name is Mitsie Vargas, and I am a practicing veterinarian, as well as being
Certified in Animal Acupuncture, Tui Na (Chinese Manipulative Therapy) and Food therapy. The story I just shared with you is one I hear daily in my clinic in Winter Haven, Florida. I came up with the mantra of “No animal dies without trying Acupuncture,” because I discovered that many of the pets with virtual death sentences responded positively to TCVM remedies.

Alt-Vet- The Revolutionary Pet Care and Longevity Solution. explores the alternative therapies that are available to your pet through a network of alternative veterinary medicine practitioners throughout the country, but offers some simple and safe therapies you can do at home with your pet that will them maintain a high level of health and happiness. TCVM is not some new concept- it has been practiced for thousands of years, yet surprisingly, many Americans have not heard of it or tried it with their pet.

Alt-Vet contains real life stories of animals that have been brought to my clinic by pet owners that were looking for some hope of saving their animal, reducing their pain, and increasing their quality of life. Many of those pet owners come in skeptics and leave believers. Alt-Vetoffers chapters on pet massage, healing diets and emergency response care. The techniques offered are low cost and simple to implement.

Please stay put for upcoming information on this book pre-sale offers and publishing information!