The New Arrival of an Ancient Form of Traditional Chinese Medicine: Acupuncture

acupuncture for disk diseaseacupuncture, TCVMNew Training in Ancient Techniques

Kathy Francis and Natalie Titus have been trained in the traditional Chinese method of veterinary diagnosis and acupuncture treatment. After completing a series of courses and passing several examinations, they have brought their new skills to our patients here.

Chinese medicine was developed over thousands of years of meticulous trial and observation. The Chinese used acupuncture and medicinal herbs to treat various conditions and diseases, and many of these treatments have proven to be scientifically helpful in our modern age of medicine.

 Who Can Benefit From This Type Of Therapy?

Acupuncture is a method of intentionally placing needles along specific meridians to cause a response. Common uses for acupuncture include pain relief, seizure treatment, general well-being, skin conditions, respiratory conditions, inflammation association with infections, urinary and fecal incontinence, kidney disease, nausea and diarrhea, and support through chemotherapy. Acupuncture can be helpful when patients cannot tolerate certain medications. We can combine the best of western medicine with eastern-based acupuncture to give our patients the optimum quality of life and range of treatments.

How Does Acupuncture Work?

How does acupuncture work? Scientific studies have shown that acupuncture releases endorphins, which are the body’s own natural painkiller. Acupuncture stimulates circulation, and also draws inflammatory mediators to help fight infection. The goal of acupuncture it to have the pet remain as comfortable and symptom-free as possible. It is often not a cure but can sometimes be as effective as a cure in how it improves quality of life. Continue…

How To Train Your Rabbit To Use A Litter Box

house rabbitA Little Training Can Lead To More Freedom For Your Rabbit

Training your rabbit to use a litter box is easier than you may think.  They naturally prefer to have a specific location for elimination, so if you work with them, you can allow them some freedom around the house.

Pick a Safe Litter

It is important to choose a safe litter since rabbits will likely eat it.  Avoid clumping litter, pine or cedar shavings, and clay litter with deodorant crystals.  Instead use hay, straw, pelleted food, non clumping unscented cat litter, peat moss, aspen bark, or other non toxic non clumping litters.

If you keep your rabbit in a large cage, you can observe where he/she eliminates and place a litter box there.  This will work most of the time for a confined rabbit.

 If Your Rabbit has Access to Roam in the House, Even Part of the Time, Follow These Steps:

*When you first bring your rabbit home, confine it to the general area you want it to eliminate.  This are can be its cage, a specific room, or some other area.

*As soon as your rabbit picks a specific location in the area to eliminate place a litter box there.

*If your rabbit does not use the litter box, try a different litter in the box.  They may have preferences.

*Once your rabbit has learned the litter box is its toilet, it may move it to different locations.  You can clamp or tie the box if this is undesirable for you.  Otherwise, let your rabbit put the box where it wants.

*You will need multiple boxes spread throughout the house if you want your rabbit to have access to a large area of the house. Continue…

A Guide to Brushing your Pet’s Teeth

pet dental carepet dental carebrushing teeth, petDaily Brushing: Important for a Healthy Pet

Can you imagine what would happen if you stopped brushing your teeth?  Even with eating mainly hard food, as most pets do, there would still be problems.  Ideally, you should be brushing your cat, dog, or ferret’s teeth daily.  Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as you may imagine.

Step 1

Pick the type of brush that you are comfortable using and will fit the mouth of your pet. You can choose from long handled, extra soft bristled animal tooth brushes.  For smaller pets, a finger tooth brush that fits over the tip of your finger works well. If neither of these options feel right, I have seen the dental wipes help to keep plaque away if used on a daily basis.

 Step 2

Your next step is to pick the appropriate toothpaste. Do not use human toothpaste as it has fluoride which is harmful to pets when swallowed.  The best pet toothpastes contain enzymes that help control plaque.  Place the toothpaste BETWEEN bristles to allow the past to spend the most time next to the teeth and gums.

Step 3

Now you need to get the brush with the paste into your pet’s mouth to get all the teeth brushed. Start introducing the brushing process to your pet slowly. You can use a damp washcloth or gauze to wipe the teeth, front and back in the same manner you will eventually be using the toothbrush.  Praise you pet during the process and offer teeth-healthy treats, such as dental chews as reward.  Do this daily for two week, or until your pet is familiar with the approach.  Then take the pet toothbrush, soak it in warm water and start brushing daily for several days on a row.  When your pet accepts this brushing, it is time to add the toothpaste.

Most attention should be given to the UPPER teeth.  The bristles should be placed at the gum margin, where the teeth and gums meet, at a 45 degree angle.  Complete ten short back and forth motions, then move the brush to a new location.  Cover three to four teeth at a time.

We All Win With Daily Dental Care

Your pet’s dental care should include daily brusing using pet toothpaste.  Taking an active role in your pet’s dental health will improve their quality of life by reducing painful dental disease, bad breath, and potentially life threatening heart and kidney disease.  Everyone wins.

By Dr. Audrey Adkins, VMD