April is Heartworm Disease Education Month! Heartworm disease is a fatal disease that is easily preventable. Check out this blog post to learn more about heartworm disease, diagnostics, treatments, preventions, and risks.STAH HW Blog (April 2019) (1)
Adventures in Veterinary Pharmacies
at South Town Animal Hospital
The Difference Between Online & In-house Pharmacies. There’s so much to know.
The way we shop has changed so much over the past few decades. Most of us are looking for products to purchase that are not only convenient to buy, but at the best deal. Online shopping has taken the world by storm! We can literally purchase anything we would like, anywhere we want, with the touch a button, even our pet’s prescription drugs! Something that many people do not know is that purchasing your medications online may come with a deeper cost than we thought……
At South Town Safety is #1!
As your pet’s doctor provider, one of the biggest concerns is SAFETY. South Town Animal Hospital purchases medications and supplies, through vendors, that have been inspected and approved by the FDA and manufactured and packaged according to U.S. regulations. Striving to provide safe medicine is a vital part of our practice. The following are some concerns regarding alternative online pet sources –
- Medications purchased through alternative online pet sources may have been purchased outside the United States and have different strengths and labeling than U.S. products (www.fda.gov).
- Some alternative online pet sources may not be aware that their products may have issues with the following: manufacturing, dating, labeling, shipping, storage and guarantee (www.fda.gov).
Possible substandard medicines would keep your pet from getting better or could even make them sick. So, we recommend when purchasing products look for the FDA approval “Caution: Federal law restricts this drug to be used by or on the order of a licensed veterinarian” (www.fda.gov). With all these concerns in mind we have decide to launch an online pharmacy through VetSource (a veterinary pharmacy) as a safer choice.
Where are my pets medications coming from?
Our doctors and staff know exactly who our vendors are and where the products are manufactured. Many alternative online pet sources purchase their medications from secondary places. Our trusted vendors, who assure quality, sell only to licensed veterinarians for their in house use and for their online practice pharmacy. This is the most important part of our vendor relationship because it provides a 100% product guarantee that is passed on to you and that cannot be provided otherwise.
Price Checking & Insurance Reimbursement
Would you be surprised to know that alternative online pet sources do not always have the lowest price for medication? Both South Town Animal Hospital’s inhouse pharmacy and online VetSource pharmacy are priced competitively to outside sources. Our practice also passes on manufacturers promotions and/or rebates which result in greater savings. These rebates we offer are not usually available from alternative online pet sources. Something else to keep in mind is that pet insurance companies require all prescriptions be FDA approved. If you have pet insurance with medication reimbursement, submission and approval will be easier with purchases from either South Town Animal Hospital’s inhouse pharmacy or online VetSource pharmacy.
Ordering from other online sources may not guarantee confidentiality
Some questionable alternative online pet sources lack the right safeguards to protect personal and financial information. These alternative sites could infect your computer with viruses or sell your personal information to other websites and internet scams. https://www.guthriepet.net/blog/online-pet-pharmacies/
When using alternative online pet sources to order your prescription drugs remember to be A.W.A.R.E
- Ask your doctor. Who better the tell you about what trusted sites to use.
- Watch for red flags. If it doesn’t require a doctor’s prescription, it is not a safe source to get your medications from.
- Accreditation. Check your non-veterinary online source website for accreditations.
- Report it. If a situation arises where you find a faulty online pharmacy, report it to the the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) by calling 1-888-332-8387) or AskCVM@fds. Lets make our cyber world a safer place.
- Educate yourself. Protect yourself and your pet from faulty pharmacies.
The world of cyber shopping is a big place, if you are looking for a safe, reliable online pet pharmacy, start with our convenient online pharmacy, VetSource. VetSource not only has rebates, product guarantees and weekly/monthly coupons, it is a place South Town Animal Hospital staff knows you can trust. If your interested in online shopping, be safe. You can reach VetSource by going to our website at www.southtownanimalhospital.com. Simply click on the ‘Vetsource Online Pharmacy’ tab and while shopping make sure to look for the weekly/monthly specials and savings!
For more information on safe online purchasing of your pet’s prescriptions click on the following:
Also Google – “BeSafeRX Know your online pharmacy: FDA”
The Story of Bad Breath…..
When my eldest son was very little we read every day together. Being in the animal field and an animal lover, always enjoyed reading dog related stories to him before bed. One of our favorite books was a story of a dog named Hally Tosis. This book made us crack up! Hally Tosis was about a dog that saved her family from burglars by knocking them out with her bad breath. It was a cute story, but little did I realize.
Speed forward about ten years. As of today I have been in the animal field for a total of 17 years. I have seen the field grow and flourish in ways that I have never even thought of. We now do surgeries of all sorts, offer life saving drugs to our animals, and have specialty doctors for all different kinds of ailments. One particular field that has grown leaps and bounds is dentistry. Right along side with human dentistry, animal doctors are now seeing the great importance of dental health. Dental health effects all different kinds of areas in the body. Signs and symptoms of oral problems, like the bad breath of Hally Tosis, should not be overlooked.
On that note, I finally decided to perform a dental on my very old friend and family member, my 16 year old pitbull, Coco. Coco is very special to my family. In the past year I noticed that she had been doing a lot of drooling. I had overlooked it due to the fact that she’s always been kind of a drooler. She always ate great and showed no signs of oral discomfort. Even so, the smell coming from her mouth was literally horrendous. When the family stopped wanting to cuddle her as much, I knew something needed to be done.
I brought Coco in to see Dr Crittenden As usual her bloodwork looked great and despite her old lady ailments, like her arthritis, she was overall healthy and we got the green light for a dental. She also had a localized mass on her arm so the plan was to remove it at that time as well. Why not, knock two birds with one stone. We scheduled her a few short days later for surgery with Dr Cody.
The morning I brought her in I was nervous, yet ready to get rid of some of that tarter that was causing all the funky smell. Alison (my trusty sister, and technician) helped Dr Cody get her settled under anesthesia. Dr Cody removed the lump first with no issues. Her heart rate was solid, her temperature was great, and fluids were administered to keep her hydrated through the whole procedure. I got the go ahead from both Alison and Dr. Cody to do the dental cleaning myself.
The tartar was awful, even though I failed to mention this is not her first dental. She had the procedure done two years ago but she’s not much of a chewer anymore, so I knew this was going to be the case. I also have not had success with brushing my dog’s teeth. Sheesh! I tell you I should have tried a little harder on that one! Anyway, I cleaned up one side of her teeth no real issues. When I got to the other side and I began to clean and the tater came clean with no problems as well. I got to the back of her mouth and had to hold her cheek open to reach far back and noticed a thickened area inside. Sure enough, Dr Cody took a look and it appeared to be some sort of mass. We took a biopsy of the lump and finished up her dental and got her into recovery.
The next few days in recovery the entire staff was there for us. All three doctors were checking on us and answering any questions that I had. The technicians and receptionists were all there by my side rooting us along for a speedy recovery. I can’t believe how blessed animals are to have three amazing doctors and a slew of technicians and animal professionals to look after them!
Long story short, Coco has made a decent recovery. The teeth are cleaner and my girl loves eating canned food. The mass we found in her mouth is a pretty aggressive type of cancer. I’m not sure of what the future holds. What I do know is that if I never did the dental procedure, I would have never found the cancer. I’m not sure how we will proceed with treatments in the future, but the importance of dental health really hit home this time. As for the story of Hally Tosis, maybe she should have had a dental cleaning too.
Year Round Heartworm Prevention is the Best Medicine!
We know that you want what’s best for your pet. Know that you’re doing a great job by just walking through South Town Animal Hospital’s doors. We understand that your pet is your family and proper healthcare is an integral part of caring for your pet. A very important area of managing your pet’s health care is to have them on year round heartworm prevention. Heartworm prevention provides safety for not only your pet, but for your entire family!
Often times we think that during the cold winter months our pets no longer need heartworm prevention. Illinois winter temperatures range from below freezing to above 50 degrees. Since, mosquitoes will come out to bite in 50 degree temperature it is important that your pet is on heartworm prevention. Melanie McLean, D.V.M., a veterinarian at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) states that “You never know when the first mosquito is going to come out, or when the last mosquito is going to die. Heartworms have been reported in dogs in all 50 states, and just because you live in a state with a colder climate doesn’t mean that your animal is safe,”
Heartworm disease is increasing in the United States. According to the American Heartworm Society, positive heartworm cases have increased in veterinary hospitals 21% from between 2013-2016. This is due to climatic changes and the lack of year round heartworm prevention. Year round heartworm prevention is vital to the wellness of our pets!
The warmer weather not only brings out mosquitoes but also slushy muddy environments filled with other parasites. Roundworms, hookworms and other intestinal parasites that live in the soils can easily be ingested by your pet. Additionally, these creepy creatures can infest humans as well. Thankfully, year round heartworm prevention deworms your pets from these pesky parasites, keeping the entire family safe!
There are a few important things to remember about heartworm prevention:
- Make sure your pet is heartworm tested annually, especially before starting your pet on prevention.
- Give heartworm prevention on the same day every month.
- There are options! Heartworm prevention comes in different methods to administer. South Town’s favorite brand is Heartgard, and it comes in a yummy beefy chew! Dogs typically love it! If for any reason they don’t like the chews there are alternatives. Talk to a South Town team member if there are any questions.
- Heartworm prevention is very financially reasonable. You can protect your pet for under $12.00 a month. The treatment of the actual disease is very costly, with multiple veterinary visits. Because of the treatment’s high cost some owners are unable to comply. This contributes greatly to the spreading of the disease.
- Give heartworm prevention year round! Even if you think your pet is at low risk, you truly never know when parasites can strike!
To further discuss signs, symptoms, or prevention of heartworm disease please don’t hesitate to contact us at www.southtownanimalhospital.com or call us at 847-695-7387. A team member is always happy to walk you through any questions or concerns that you might have. Year round prevention is safer, easier, and more cost effective than the alternative. The best medicine for your pet is keeping your pet on monthly heartworm prevention throughout the whole year!
Designed by Carolann Crittenden
Welcome Dr. Cody!
We are welcoming Dr.Cody to the South Town Animal Hospital team! Dr. Cody graduated from the University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine in 2000. She lives locally with her husband, 3 children, and four cats. The beautiful kitty above is Triscuit, and she was ready to pose! Dr. Cody loves reading and movie night with her family. We are super excited to have her see our amazing patients!
Videos of surprise puppies or kittens on Christmas morning are flooding the internet. People open the box that meows and break into tears of joy. While this seems like a unique and fun gift, one must ultimately consider the responsibilities that comes with owning a pet.
- Time – With a new pet comes many responsibilities including the need to train your pet. Your new family member will need to be potty trained, learn basic commands, and get used to a new daily schedule. All of this takes a lot of time to accomplish.
- Space – Breeds matter, depending on location. If you’re getting a pet for an apartment dweller, perhaps a herding dog isn’t the best choice due to their need for space to run.
- Funds – Pets overall can be a costly responsibility. Even if the pet is “free” this doesn’t cover veterinary costs, training costs, food costs, and cost of toys and accessories.
- Rules and restrictions– Unless the person who is receiving the gift is a homeowner, there are typically rules to which types, if any that are allowed. One must also be knowledgeable of other potential restrictions, such as allergies.
Before surprising a loved one with a pet, be sure it is thoroughly discussed and the responsibilities are understood. Never ever make an impulse decision with an animal – they’re a serious commitment. Instead of giving a pet as a surprise, agree to pay the adoption fee for a pet that has been considered and visited. Most important if you are choosing to get the pet for a child, consider the age and responsibilities of the child. Is the child old enough to care for this pet? In addition, be aware that responsibilities may fall back on you as the gift giver, if the receiver not be prepared to be a pet owner.
Overall, it is best to be prepared before giving a pet as a gift. Pets give us unconditional love and joy, but in return we must have the ability to properly care for them.
At South Town Animal Hospital, we have professional and personal standards on how we care for your pet. Oftentimes, these actions happen behind the scenes and are not witnessed by pet owners. This is your opportunity to learn about the special little things that make a big difference for your pet.
- We change our needles after each poke: With each use, a needle gets duller and therefore becomes more painful. Here at South Town Animal Hospital, when we draw a vaccine from a vial, we change the needle after, so your pet gets a fresh needle. This costs the clinic, but is less painful for your pet.
- We’re often on the floor: Your pets are in an unfamiliar environment and are often scared. We get onto the floor with your pet to make them more comfortable.
- We talk to your pet and comfort them: We can only imagine how scared your pet might be, so we talk to them and sooth them, hold them and hug them. Often a pet is scared coming out of anesthesia and a doctor or a technician will stay with your pet while they wake up.
- We use Dr. Sophia Yin’s handling guide to minimize stress: Dr. Sophia Yin was famous for her animal behavior and body language guides and revolutionized the veterinary industry with low-stress handling techniques.
- Every day is a working lunch for the DVM’s.
- We pick eye boogers: Often, we do things that aren’t required of us. Sometimes we clean up a pets face if they have eye discharge, comb out matted fur, or clean ears.
- Extra phone time: A lot of a doctors and staff time is spent on the phone. This time is spent on the phone with clients – reassuring them about their sick pet, or with a pharmacy – finding the best prices for our clients, or consulting with veterinary specialists to find the best treatment options.
- High-quality Products: The quality of supplies matters. At South Town Animal Hospital, we provide high quality medication and supplies to care for your pet.
- The veterinary field is multifaceted in the skills that we are trained in: Unlike the human medical field, veterinarians, vet techs, and customer service must learn a slew of skills for multiple types of animals. We care for your pet in every aspect including but not limited to bloodwork, x-rays, filling medication, surgery and dentistry.
- We are with you from start to finish: From pediatric to geriatric care, we are here for you and your pet. We will be here to listen to your worries and share in your triumphs. When it is time to say goodbye, we will be there sharing your pain.
We do these things because we truly care. The love that we have for animals and our profession is a lifelong passion for many of us. Thank you for allowing us to care for your family and trusting us to do what we love.
Pumpkin spice, ghouls, costumes and candy. Are a few things that October is known for. Pets can make our holidays more fun, but one must be careful of the dangers to them during Halloween season. One of the biggest threats is poisoning from candy. High amounts of sugar can cause severe gastric upset and diarrhea. Wrappers can cause obstructions in the intestines and possibly emergency surgery. Chocolate covered raisins are a double danger. Raisins and chocolate are both highly toxic to pets, and mixing them can cause double trouble. Another source for toxicity is the artificial sweetener xylitol. This is frequently found in sugar free gum. Xylitol can cause vomiting, difficulty walking, weakness, and lethargy. More severe side effects of xylitol poisoning can include collapse and seizures.
Keeping candy away from your pets is the best option – place high on shelves or away in a drawer where your pet cannot get to it is a safe way to prevent poisoning. If you believe your pet has ingested candy or other toxins, contact South Town Animal Hospital immediately. If you are unable to get to a veterinarian, or are unsure if what your pet ate is even toxic, the Pet Poison Helpline is always available. You can call (800)-213-6680 for a service fee of $59 per phone call and advice from an expert including follow – up consultations.
Other worries with the Halloween season are risks of your pet ingesting something they think is a toy. With decorations around, there are many things that your pet can play with and accidently ingest. Beware of the fake spider web material as that is not only a risk for birds and other critters outside getting caught in, but it’s something your pet may want to eat. This material can get lodged and cause a blockage in the intestines which is very dangerous. Keep decorations away from animals and if you believe your pet ingested something they shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian immediately. An obstruction can be very dangerous to your pet and action will need to be taken as soon as possible to avoid a possibly fatal situation.
We want you to enjoy the spooky season with your pet and for everyone to remain safe. Taking precautions to avoid harmful situations is the best route to have a Happy Halloween.