Important News on Cat Oral Health Care

With February being National Dental Month, the main topic at South Town Animal Hospital is dental care and prevention.  We are confident that many pet owners today understand the importance of oral care and how greatly it affects the overall health of their pets.  However, there can be incidences where the severity of dental disease is not as obvious to a pet owner, particularly when it comes to our feline friends.  This may be due to the fact that it is very difficult to brush a cat’s teeth. Also, it is not typical that feline pet owners are making proactive oral health care appointments. The best medicine we can provide at South Town Animal Hospital is to help your pet(s) avoid dental disease through prevention and routine checkups. Did you know that cats have a higher likelihood of developing oral health issues earlier in life than dogs do? Well, read on to find out more about important information regarding feline dental issues.

  • Periodontal Disease – Periodontal disease is no joke.  Cats can start to develop this condition at three years of age and at times even younger if they are genetically predisposed to it. Periodontal disease is a serious gum infection that causes gum damage and inflammation which results in weakening the bones in the jawline.  The main cause of periodontal disease is plaque buildup over time. Considering cats are not big chewers and that daily oral hygiene was unlikely, plaque buildup happened rapidly causing this very painful disease.
  • Stomatitis – Stomatitis is an immune mediated reaction from a plaque build up on the teeth, causing severe pain, redness, and inflammation of the oral cavity.  This excruciating condition can lead to many issues compromising the quality of a cat’s life, including the inability to continue to eat. Other symptoms include drooling, hiding, growling at food, decreased grooming and weight loss.  Stomatitis is common in immunocompromised cats, such as felines with FIV or Felv, but this disease can even be found in healthy cats as well.
  • Tooth Resorption – Feline tooth resorption or resorption lesions is another very common dental condition that we see in cats.  This condition is where the body essentially erodes the hard part of the tooth from the inside out. Eventually this condition left untreated leads to exposing the pulp and root of the tooth.  Tooth resorption often can go unnoticed at the initial onset of the disease. Many times the only way to diagnose is with dental radiographs done at the time of dental surgery. Once the diagnosis has been made, a tooth extraction is necessary to relieve the situation.  Unfortunately with this disease, there is no known cause as to why over 30% of cats get tooth resorption. 

Periodontal disease, stomatitis, and tooth resorption are just a few of the conditions that are commonly found in our feline friends. For most dental diseases prevention is the best care and this starts at home with dental supplements, chews, or water additives. In combination, regular checkups, routine dental care and at home dental treatments can greatly reduce the prevalence of dental diseases affecting our pets. During your pet’s routine veterinary visit, the veterinarian will examine your pet’s mouth and look for plaque buildup, lesions, loose teeth, and other abnormalities that might signify issues. With some issues a dental procedure would be recommended as the best way to provide care, followed up with an at home oral hygiene care plan to prolong the effectiveness.

Talk to the veterinarians or staff at South Town Animal Hospital today about good oral health practices.  Oral health care can be vital to the longevity of life and overall well being in our feline friends. South Town Animal Hospital is ready to answer any questions or concerns that may arise about dental healthcare.

Please feel free to send us an email at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or call us at 847-695-7387.  At South Town Animal Hospital we believe that the heart of the matter is healthy pets, longer lives. 

     

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Managing Your Cats Stress when Traveling to the Veterinarian Office

The feline species is often misunderstood.  Their character can be silly and fun loving, but often times a mystery, especially when they are put in stressful situations. Considering cats can be hard to read and possibly even unpredictable, many people hold off on taking their cats to the veterinarian, even when it becomes a necessity. Due to the stress of getting cats in a carrier, driving them in a car, and taking them to an unknown place, cats often become stressed from the situation.  

Annual exams are important because a doctor can diagnose and treat issues before they become extreme problems.  Sadly, most cats only visit the doctor when they become very sick or injured. To become more proactive in your cat’s healthcare, and reduce stress for all our feline friends, South Town Animal Hospital wants to offer some suggestions to help make the trip a little easier for your cats next venture to the doctors office.  

  • Plan Ahead

Start planning ahead a few days before your actual appointment. Limit the rooms or area your pet has access to in your home. This will make life much easier to find your cat when it is time to go.  Cats are masters of hiding, the less small tight areas your pet has to hide, the better. Close bedroom doors to prevent your cat from hiding in the closet or under the bed.

  • Prepare Your Cat Carrier

Next, make sure you have a good carrier for your cat to travel in.  A small carrier is the preferred method of feline travel. Small, plastic carriers keep cats contained safely when outdoors or in the car. Cats are fight or flight creatures. Carriers reduce the risk of cats getting spooked and fleeing the scene.  It also protects them from interacting with something that they are unfamiliar with.

  • Make the Carrier a Friendly Place 

It is recommended to put the carrier out days before the actual event.  This way on appointment day taking the carrier out does not frighten Fluffy away.  Conditioning your cat to be comfortable with a carrier instead of associating it with a stressful event is key to success. Also placing a blanket and treats in the carrier to make it as friendly as possible can be consoling. In addition, placing a towel over the carrier to make it dark can reduce stress. Cats are primarily nocturnal, and find great comfort and peace in darker spaces. 

  • Use Proper Loading Techniques

Make sure your carrier has proper air flow and is functional before your visit.  Carriers typically have doors on the front. Some have doors on the front and top for easier loading purposes. If your carrier only has a front door, and you are having troubles putting your cat in the carrier, tipping the carrier horizontally with the door facing up and loading your cat rear end first is often helpful when you have a resistant cat. 

  • Apply a Calming Spray

There are times when you need a little extra something to help calm your kitty for the trip.  Feliway is a highly recommended product that can assist. Feliway is a feline facial pheromone spray that is used to calm cats in times of stress. When a cat rubs his face against furniture or items in their environment they are actually releasing pheromones to signify that this is a safe territory.  Feliway was created to mimic this pheromone. When sprayed it induces a calming effect for our cats. 

Feliway is not to be sprayed directly on your cat, but can be used on the carrier, or in the car for travel. It is virtually odorless, so to spray it in your cars interior is a great idea.  You can also spray it on the blanket or towel that you place in the carrier. For more questions on this product or to purchase contact South Town Animal Hospital.

  • Please call us if any questions

South Town Animal Hospital knows that getting your kitty to the doctor can be challenging.  We understand. Hopefully these few tips will help the journey, and of course if you have any questions call or contact us at reception@southtownanimalhospital.com or (847)695-7387. We believe in healthy pets, longer lives and our staff can help your furry loved ones visit to be as painless and stress-free as possible. 

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Considering Visiting a Dog Park?

Pet socialization is vital to the overall health of you pup!  They are after all pack animals and do enjoy playing and interacting with friends and family. With summer just around the corner, who doesn’t want to bring Fido or Fluffy out for a playdate?  One of the ways to give our furry friends more social interaction is by visiting a local dog park. Not only is it a fun and interesting way to get your dog out for a romp in the sun, you get to meet other dog lovers.  Dog parks are fenced in areas that are typically supported by local park districts. They provide an off leash environment, and a place for dogs to be dogs, to sniff, run and play.

There are a few things that should be noted before jumping in the car and taking your dog for a dog park adventure. First and foremost, your pet needs to be completely up to date with all healthcare needs, such as vaccinations and fecal testing.  In addition, most puppies should be up to date by 16 weeks with necessary vaccinations, dewormings, fecal checks and will have begun heartworm and flea and tick medications. Also, making sure you tell your Veterinarian that you plan on visiting a dog park is recommended.  There are additional vaccines to help protect your pet in these environments. The thing to remember about the dog park is that not everyone’s pet is up to date with their healthcare.

Besides ensuring your pet has been deemed healthy from your veterinarian, there are a few items to consider bringing along.  Pack some water, a bowl, a blanket or towel, an extra leash, and waste bags. Keep in mind that it is best to leave toys at home. They might get lost, broken, or even create a sharing issue.

On that note, always be aware of how your dog might interact with others. Some dogs don’t necessarily enjoy interacting with unknown dogs or people. Others may not enjoy rough play or with being in close proximity to other dogs.  

Always pay attention to your pets body language. Is their hair standing on end?  Is their tail tucked? Are they stiff or relaxed? These indicators can help you decide if a dog park is a good activity for your pet. In the event that an altercation happens, grab an object that can make a loud noise or try to spray them with water.

It is best to observe the dog park ahead of time and get a feel of what it is like. Be your pets advocate. Make sure to pay close attention to how your pet will react in social situations and always be aware of where they are and what they are doing.

If the dog park ends up not being a good fit there are other alternatives.  Many areas have dog friendly forest preserves, where you can walk your leashed pet along paths.  You can also try pet daycares, training, or dog sport or agility classes to get more exercise and socialization.

All in all, the dog park is a great way to get outside with your pup.  It is important to remember that in order to enjoy these areas you must be alert and prepared.  Make sure that your pet is healthy to play, can happily engage in the environment, and that you know the layout of the land.  With these vital things in mind the dog park will be an enjoyable place for both you and Fido alike!

Listed below are a few of the local dog parks in our area to check out. Make sure you review the rules and regulations prior to your visit. For any questions on dog parks or pet socialization don’t hesitate to contact our staff at South Town Animal Hospital. We are always happy to talk at 847-695-7387 or reception@southtownhosp.wpengine.com.  Wishing a ‘Happy Summer’ to all our furry friends!  

Kane County Dog Parks :

Schweitzer Woods Forest Preserve

16N690 Sleepy Hollow Rd, West Dundee, IL 60118

Fox River Bluff West

5N753 State Rte 31, St. Charles, IL 60175

Freedom Run Dog Park

6150 Russell Dr, Hoffman Estates, IL 60192

James O. Breen Community Park

Peck Road, St Charles, IL 60175

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Complement Your Pets Health with Standard Process

standard process bio-dent dietary supplement bottle

Nothing Standard About Complementary Medicine for Your Pet

Health and wellness is no longer just about treating illnesses and preventing disease. In veterinary medicine today, we are examining the pet as a whole, and recognizing how critical nutrition, physical activity, and complementary medicine is in playing part of the wellness circle. South Town Animal Hospital has realized that in combination with traditional veterinary medicine, complementary treatments, supplements, and nutritional diet aids in a long healthy life for your pet. These are reasons why South Town Animal Hospital has chosen to treat our patients with Standard Process Whole Food nutrient solutions. 

What is Standard Process Whole Foods Nutritional Supplements? Standard Process whole food supplements are a line of products that combine targeted vitamin and minerals with whole food nutritional support. In combination with traditional medicine, Standard Process aids in the health, wellness, and healing of our pets. When adding Standard Process with traditional medicine, doctors are able to tune into the nutritional component of the animal. Standard Process has a feline and canine line, but they were treating humans long before pets. The company has been creating their human line for over 80 years!

What does Standard Process supplements consist of and how is it made? The supplements are typically a powder or tablet that you would insert into your pet’s food. These ingredients are grown on a certified organic farm, so all products are controlled, tested, and verified from beginning to end by the company. The vegetables are all locally grown and the meats are USDA inspected. The company sure does focus on quality! Our veterinary professionals trust that these supplements use the highest quality ingredients to aid in treating the mind and body of our faithful, furry, friends.

What can be treated with Standard Process Supplements? Although we use traditional medicine in treating many ailments and preventing disease, supplements have a strong place in ensuring the health of your pet. Standard Process supplements have enabled us to fill the nutritional gaps. The supplements support all major organ systems. For example if your pet has a heart condition that is needed to be treated, along with traditional heart medicines the doctor might prescribe a Standard Process Cardiac support. There are other supplements used to treat everything from allergies to thyroid issues.

Is there a science to all of this? Even though many of the products are specified to what organ it is treating. There are times when conditions aren’t readily presenting themselves. In these cases doctors have a nutritional questionnaire that pet owners will take in regards to assessing their pets issues. The doctors will use this tool to find out what will be the right supplement to administer to the animal . This is why Standard Process can only be prescribed by a medical professional. Standard Process understands that doctors know best on how to utilize vitamins, minerals and supplements along side with traditional treatments and medications.

Complementary medicine has its place in treating our pets. South Town Animal Hospital trusts that Standard Process nutritional support fulfil a natural role in the treatment and wellness of our pets. Ask a veterinary professional today for more information!

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Adventures in Veterinary Pharmacies

mini shopping cart with blister packs of colorful pills

 

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.
    https://www.guthriepet.net/blog/online-pet-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.southtownhosp.wpengine.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:
https://www.fda.gov/ForConsumers/ConsumerUpdates/ucm048396.htm
Also Google – “BeSafeRX Know your online pharmacy: FDA”

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Young child with dog in backseat of car

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.

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Get to Know Our Doctors

Dr Denise Crittenden

Dr Deborah Groth

Dr Sheri Cody

Our Services

Whole Health Care

Our preventative medicine approach is as unique as your pet.

Surgery & Procedures

We offer a range of soft tissue surgeries from routine to more advanced.

Diagnostic Testing

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House Calls

We offer medical services in your home including in-home euthanasia.

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