Collecting Needed Items for Eagle Scout Project for Local Animal Rescue

Now through 09/01, we’re helping a local Eagle Scout named Karl collect supplies for a local animal rescue (Bay Area Animal Rescue Crew) – check out the list below and consider dropping by with a goodie for animals in need! Our bin is located in the lobby.

NOW OFFERING: Laparoscopic-Assisted Ovariohysterectomy (Spay) by Dr. Nadia Rifat

We’re so excited to offer a less invasive, less painful, way to spay your dog! Keep reading for more information and give us a call at 925 937 5000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nadia Rifat

Why does a dog need to be spayed?
Spaying a dog consists of performing an ovariohysterectomy (OHE). The reasons we spay dogs is to reduce pet overpopulation, reduce the chance of mammary cancer development (must be done at a very young age to gain this benefit), and to prevent a life threatening uterine infection (pyometra). Approximately 25% of intact female dogs by 10 years of age will develop a pyometra.

What are the surgical options for spaying my dog?
The traditional open ovariohysterectomy, or a laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy. The traditional open ovariohysterectomy has been performed for many decades, and when performed by an experienced veterinarian there are rarely any complications and the recovery is typically quick. More recently, laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy surgeries have become another surgical option for medium to large breed dogs. The difference is that the laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy incision is smaller than the open approach because visualization of the organs and surgery is performed through the laparoscope.

What is the benefit of having my dog undergo a laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterctomy vs an open ovariohysterectomy?
Although there are few pain studies to compare laparoscopic procedures to an open traditional surgical approach, the opinion of veterinarians performing laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy procedures is that this approach is less invasive and less painful than the open approach. Dr. Chad Devitt evaluated the laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy versus an open traditional ovariohysterectomy (Duration, complications, stress, and pain of open ovariohysterectomy versus a simple method of laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy in dogs. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 2005;227:921–927). His conclusion was the laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy procedures caused less surgical pain than the traditional open ovariohysterectomy procedures and may be more appropriate for an outpatient setting.

What are the potential complications of a laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterctomy?
Complications from laparoscopic ovariohysterectomy are rare but can include: hemorrhage, subcutaneous emphysema, iatrogenic perforation of the splenic capsule during trocar placement, inability to complete the procedure requiring conversion to laparotomy, pain, seroma formation, and rarely infection.

How do I schedule my dog for a laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy?
Make a pre-surgical appointment with Dr. Nadia Rifat, who is the surgeon that performs the laparoscopic-assisted ovariohysterectomy procedures at Encina Veterinary Hospital. She will perform an examination on your dog and talk to you about the procedure. We will schedule your dog for surgery and submit pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure your dog is in good health. If your dog is at risk for a GDV (see information about laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy) that surgery can be scheduled concurrently.

NOW OFFERING: Laparoscopic-Assisted Gastropexy by Dr. Nadia Rifat

Laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy

What is a GDV?
Gastric dilatation volvulus (GDV) is an acute emergency medical condition characterized by gastric distension and abnormal twisting of the stomach. This causes the stomach to become over distended. have a decreased blood flow, and eventually lead to circulatory shock and death. The lifetime risk for a large or giant breed dog developing GDV is 24% and 21% respectively and their risk of dying of GDV is 7%. Even with appropriate medical and surgical intervention, case fatality rates between 10% and 33% have been reported.

Why do dogs develop a GDV?
No single cause of GDV exists. Reported risk factors for GDV include a familial history of GDV, lean deep chested breeds, older dogs, dogs that eat quickly, dogs that eat from a raised bowl, and dogs that only eat dry food and/or a single large meal, and dogs that have a fearful temperament. Dogs that have had a splenectomy also might be at greater risk for development of a GDV.

Does my dog need a gastropexy?
There are many breeds that are at risk for developing GDV. The most at-risk breed is the Great Dane (40% will develop a GDV). Other breeds that are at risk include Irish Setters, Weimaraners, Standard Poodles, and Rottweilers. In general, this condition can occur in any deep chested large breed dog. Most surgeons agree that a prophylactic gastropexy in patients considered “at risk” for GDV (gastric dilatation and volvulus) is a worthwhile procedure.

What is a laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy?
Laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy is a minimally invasive surgery that allows the surgeon to perform the surgery through a smaller incision than the typical surgical approach used to perform a gastropexy. During the laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy, one small incision is made just behind the ribs on the right side of the abdomen. It is through this incision that the laparoscope is introduced into the abdomen and the gastropexy procedure performed. With this surgical technique, there is less pain and the recovery much quicker compared to the typical gastropexy approach with a large incision.

Can there be complications from the gastropexy?
Multiple studies about laparoscopic-assisted gastropexies showed only the following minor complications: temporary skin fold at the side of the of the gastropexy immediately after the surgery (47%), seroma formation at the site of the gastropexy (6%), and iatrogenic perforation of the splenic capsule during trocar placement (12%).

When should I schedule my dog for a laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy?
The timing of the gastropexy does not seem to be critical. The stomach can be successfully attached to the abdominal wall in puppies, without compromising gastrointestinal function, which means the gastropexy can be incorporated into the same procedure as a spay or castration, or when the abdomen is being explored or opened for another reason. Alternatively, it can be performed as an elective procedure.

How do I schedule my dog for a laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy?
Make a pre-surgical appointment with Dr. Nadia Rifat, who is the surgeon that performs the laparoscopic-assisted gastropexies at Encina Veterinary Hospital. She will perform an examination on your dog and talk to you about the procedure. We will schedule your dog for surgery and submit pre-anesthetic bloodwork to make sure your dog is in good health.

call us today at 925 937 5000 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Nadia Rifat to see if your dog is a good candidate for laparoscopic-assisted gastropexy

Trupanion Pet Insurance: Vet Direct Pay

Trupanion Medical Insurance can pay your veterinary bill in minutes

When your pet gets ill or injured, we want you to be able to focus on the health and well-being of your pet. Medical insurance can help you deal with unexpected veterinary expenses and provide your pet with the best medical care. Trupanion can cover a significant portion of your veterinary bill (up to 90% of eligible costs*) in minutes. With a Trupanion policy, our clients often pay only their part of the bill at checkout and leave the hospital without waiting for claim approvals and reimbursements. You can learn more about Trupanion coverage and direct payments at Trupanion.com/

Trupanion medical insurance for your pet

*Terms and conditions apply. Please see the policy for complete details at Trupanion.com/pet-insurance. **Trupanion will process the claim according to the terms of the policy. Actual claim payment may be different from the estimate you provided to your client. Trupanion is a registered trademark owned by Trupanion, Inc. Underwritten in Canada by Omega General Insurance Company and in the United States by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100-4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit AmericanPetInsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products.

Leptospirosis – Deadly Bacteria in Wild Life Urine

When wild animals such as skunks, raccoons, coyotes, deer, and rodents urinate, they excrete bacteria in their urine – one of the bacteria found in their urine is called Leptospirosis. This bacteria is often times deadly to our beloved dogs. When dogs go to parks or on hikes and drink the random standing puddles of water, they get infected with this awful bacteria. Often times, the rain makes this more prevalent and helps spread this bacteria around – what looks like a typical puddle of rain water, may really have Leptospirosis in it.

Symptoms of infection include loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhea. Without treatment, dogs may suffer from kidney failure and pass away – time is of the essence and dogs need treatment as soon as possible.

Once a dog is infected, the dog may even spread the bacteria to other pets through their own urine and even humans too – yes, you read that right – YOU can get Leptospirosis (lepto) too!

Besides avoiding free standing water and puddles, the best way to protect your dog is to vaccinate them against the bacteria. You never know what that one random lick on a Saturday hike with your pup may lead to – we recommend every dog owner to be safe by vaccinating their pet, and not sorry.

If you suspect your pet may have Leptospirosis/Lepto, please call us 24/7: 925 937 5000

Valentine’s Day Pet Dangers

Valentine’s Day is a day to celebrate love, but sometimes those festivities can turn dangerous for our pets. Here are some Valentine’s day treats that can harm our beloved pets:

  • Flowers: lilies, roses,
  • Treats: chocolate (besides the cocoa, ingredients like Xylitol, nuts, raisins, coffee, alcohol, marijuana, can cause further harm to your pets)
  • Alcohol
  • Medication: headache/hangover medications, erectile dysfunction meds, hormonal birth control

If you suspect your pet may have gotten into something they shouldn’t have, please call us asap – we’re open 24/7: 925 937 5000

Lost or Found Pet/Animal in Contra Costa County

So you’ve either found or lost a pet and don’t know what to do. We’ve put together this quick guide to help get you on the right path of finding your beloved pet or reuniting the furry friend with their human.


LOST PET
1) Post on Craigslist all the details: a photo, collar description, pet description, special needs, phone number to call/email address to email, reward if any, and the last place/time/date the pet was seen
                  https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/laf

2) Post on Facebook: Fido Alert all the details: a photo, collar description, pet description, special needs, phone number to call/email address to email, reward if any, and the last place/time/date the pet was seen.
                  https://www.facebook.com/fidoalertca/posts/556819701146442

3) Post on your own Facebook, Instgram, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts

4) Create a lost pet poster; you can print and post these around town, deliver them to veterinary/pet related businesses in the area, put them on cars, etc
                  http://search.petfbi.org/lost-pet-flyer.aspx

5) Contact your local Animal Shelter and let them know your pet is missing. You can google COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL +ZIP CODE to find your closest one. IE: COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL 94598. Be sure you contact them DAILY regarding your lost pet!

6) Visit local animal businesses like shops, stores, grooming, and veterinary hospitals. Ask if they have seen your pet, and if you can leave a flier (step 4).

7) Don’t lose hope! Some pets return in hours, others in years. We always recommend microchipping your pet as a collar can be lost, but a microchip is forever.



FOUND PET

1) Call your local animal hospital and ask them to scan the pet for a microchip. If the pet has a microchip, the hospital can help you locate the owners right away.

2) Post on Craigslist some details: a not-so-detailed photo, pet description, phone number to call/email address to email, and where the pet was found. Consider having the owner verify something about the pet – a special patch of fur, collar description, etc – this way you know you are reuniting the pet with their rightful owner.
                  https://sfbay.craigslist.org/search/laf

3) Post on Facebook, Fido Alert: a not-so-detailed photo, pet description, phone number to call/email address to email, and where the pet was found. Consider having the owner verify something about the pet – a special patch of fur, collar description, etc – this way you know you are reuniting the pet with their rightful owner.
                  https://www.facebook.com/fidoalertca/posts/556819701146442

4) Post on your own Facebook, Instgram, Twitter, and other Social Media accounts

5) Contact your local Animal Shelter and let them know you found a pet; you can discuss with them if it’s best you bring the pet to them or keep it at your home until the owner is found. You can google COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL +ZIP CODE to find your closest one. IE: COUNTY ANIMAL CONTROL 94598.

Fear Free Veterinary Visits for Cats and Dogs

Encina Veterinary Hospital is committed to providing the very best customer service, and that includes keeping your pet cool, calm, and fear free, with each visit to us.

We’ve put together some tips to help you reduce the fear/stress your pet may have with visiting us:

*CATS:

  • Leave their carrier out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the carrier is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt by you in the carrier can help keep the pet feeling safe in the carrier when in use).
  • You can also purchase FELIWAY (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray FELIWAY on a towel or blanket, put it in the carrier, and this may help keep your cat calm while traveling in the carrier).
  • Bring a blanket or towel to cover the carrier with to help keep it dark for the pet and not overwhelm them with sights while driving in the car or waiting in the waiting room
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your cat, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • We try to use exam rooms 6 and 7 primarily for cats as it’s farther away from the chaos of our pharmacy area and more removed from the lobby. Don’t hesitate to request one of these two rooms!

    ** SMALL DOG

  • Leave their carrier/leash out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the carrier/leash is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt by you in the carrier can help keep the pet feeling safe in the carrier when in use).
  • You can also purchase ADAPIL (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser, collar, or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray ADAPIL on a towel or blanket, put it in the carrier, and this may help keep your pet calm while traveling in the carrier).
  • Bring a blanket or towel to cover the carrier with to help keep it dark for the pet and not overwhelm them with sights while driving in the car or waiting in the waiting room
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your pup, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • You may choose to limit food intake before the appointment with us to help increase the effectiveness of treats while here with us. If you’re pup has some favorite treats, don’t hesitate to bring some with you!

    ** LARGE DOG

  • Leave their leash out in plain sight (for them to see and explore) a few days before the appointment with us; this will help the pet understand the leash is okay, not necessarily associated with the veterinarian, and give them a chance to get use to it (extra tip: sometimes a dirty/worn shirt/towel/blanket by you in the car can help keep the pet feeling safe due to familiar smells).
  • You can also purchase ADAPIL (pheromones that help encourage pets to stay calm via plug in diffuser, collar, or spray), and use them at home before the appointment. (extra tip: you can spray ADAPIL on a used/worn towel/blanket/shirt, and place this in the back of your car where your pup stays while you’re driving).
  • A car ride with soothing, calm, music may also help keep your pet calm while traveling
  • If you don’t feel comfortable waiting in the lobby with your pup, give us a call when you arrive in the parking lot and we can check you in over the phone. When it’s time to get you in a room, the Doctor’s Assistant will come outside and let you know we’re ready.
  • You may choose to limit food intake before the appointment with us to help increase the effectiveness of treats while here with us. If you’re pup has some favorite treats, don’t hesitate to bring some with you!

    If you have any questions or concerns – give us a call. We’re committed to providing you with the best care possible – including before you walk through our doors.

    We are the only 24 hour, 7 days a week veterinary emergency hospital in Walnut Creek, California: 925 937 5000

  • The Flea Life Cycle

    We all shudder at the thought of having a flea problem in our home. A basic knowledge of the flea life cycle helps us understand why year-round flea prevention is important to help keep them at bay. Although many generally think of fleas as a problem on the animal, you will see that the majority of the fleas are present in the environment and they wait to hatch until the environmental conditions suit them.

    The different stages of flea development
    Eggs- Although they are laid on the host dog or cat, they fall off and hatch in the environment. They prefer high humidity and warm temperatures.
    Larvae- They hatch in the environment and feed off of flea dirt (excrement). They molt several times before forming a cocoon for pupating.
    Pupae- This is the dormant stage for the flea, where they can reside in the environment and wait for the right time to emerge when the conditions (temperature, humidity) are right. They are very difficult to kill in this stage.
    Unfed adult flea- A mature flea that is seeking a new host. It can live for months without feeding but is actively seeking a host.
    Fed adult flea- This flea can now reproduce and begins to produce eggs within 1-2 days of feeding. An adult female flea can lay up to 40 eggs per day and live for 4 to 6 weeks. A single flea can bite your pet every 5 minutes, meaning that even a single flea can cause severe itchiness and discomfort for a pet that has a flea allergy.

    Why does the life cycle matter?
    • The flea spends the majority of its life in the environment, which means you may not see fleas on your pet but there may be a significant flea problem. Veterinarians often look for telltale signs of fleas on a pet (flea dirt, rashes on the rear end or groin area) because directly visualizing a live flea is uncommon unless there is a heavy flea load.
    • Flea eggs and larvae often develop in dark, humid areas such as under furniture or in between cushions, in carpet, in between hardwood floor boards, and outside under brush piles and bushes. This means that successfully treating the environment may be very difficult because the common sprays and “bug bombs” do not reach the areas where the immature stages of the flea are living. Instead of treating the environment, we often focus on consistently using a monthly flea product on all animals in the household for several months so that the fleas in the environment are killed as they mature and jump on the pet to take a meal. It may also help to vacuum and dispose of the vacuum bags and wash bedding or pillows in hot water. For severe infestations it may be best to consult with a professional pest control company.

    Approach to flea control
    • Use a flea product year round on all animals in the household. This prevents a flea infestation from setting up in your home over the winter and maturing in spring when the temperatures rise.
    • There are many options for flea preventatives that can be tailored to your pets’ lifestyle and preferences. Consult with your veterinarian for the best product for you and your pet.

    Marissa Woodall, DVM

    Riley the Dog’s Prosthetic Orthopedic Foot

    Riley is a 1 year old mixed canine who was recently adopted from Guatemala! With the help of OrthoPets: Orthotics and Prosthetics for Animals, Board Certified Veterinary Surgeon Dr. Carl Koelher will be creating a prosthetic foot for Riley the dog. Here’s a few pictures of the process: