February – April 2018: Save $100 Off Dental Cleanings with Wellness Exam at Encina Veterinary Hospital

Dear Clients of Encina Veterinary Hospital.

It is very important that our pets get proper dental care. It is estimated that 85% of our pets will have periodontal disease by the time they are 3 years of age. Periodontal disease is a progressive disease of the supporting tissues surrounding teeth and the main cause of early tooth loss. In the early stages of periodontal disease, food particles combine with bacteria to form plaque on the teeth. Within days, minerals from saliva bond with the plaque to form tartar, a hard substance that adheres to the teeth. The bacteria will travel under the gums and cause gingivitis, which is inflammation of the gums. As the bacterial infection progresses the supporting tissue around the teeth become weakened, which leads to tooth loss.

The proper way to address your pet’s dental disease is to have a veterinarian perform a dental cleaning under general anesthesia. While a patient is anesthetized we have a breathing tube in place to provide gas anesthesia and oxygen, have intravenous fluids going into the patient during the entire procedure, have extensive monitoring equipment (EKG, pulse oximetry, blood pressure, capnograph) attached to the patient, and one anesthetist monitoring the patient under the supervision of the veterinarian. This allows the veterinarian to do a full examination of the teeth and supporting structures, and to take x rays of all the teeth to assess the roots and supporting bone. Following the evaluation, the veterinarian will remove the plaque and tartar from the teeth and clean below the gum line. It would not be possible to do this properly without the use of general anesthesia. Unless your pet needs extractions the final step is to polish the teeth.

The benefits of a proper dental cleaning are that the plaque and tartar can be removed from the teeth and below the gum line along with the bacteria that can lead to periodontal disease. It is important to know that gingivitis is reversible, but periodontal disease is not reversible. If you notice your pet has bad breath or their teeth have gingivitis or plaque/tartar it is not too soon to have your pet scheduled for a dental cleaning.

As a way of promoting dental health for our patients we are offering our clients a $100 discount on dental cleanings for each pet that is scheduled during February, March, and April 2018, with Dr. Aengus, Dr. Milauskas, or Dr. Rifat. All you have to do is give us a call at 925-937-5000, schedule your pet’s dental cleaning during the above months, and provide us with the dental cleaning coupon at the time you bring your pet in for the scheduled cleaning. You can find the coupon at the bottom of this email for convenience.

We look forward to seeing you in the coming months as we continue our partnership to provide your pets with the veterinary care they need to remain healthy.

Dr. Peter Nurre
Medical Director

January – February 2018: Save 25% on Comprehensive Lab Panel with Wellness Exam at Encina Veterinary Hospital

Dear Clients of Encina Veterinary Hospital,

Encina Veterinary Hospital prides ourselves on providing the best possible care for our patients, and part of this includes the recommendation that each of our patients have regular wellness examinations, which allows us to detect medical conditions in the early stages. When we detect medical conditions in earlier stages it is more likely to be treated and resolved with less expense, less difficulty, and better success. It is all too often that we diagnose medical conditions in the late stages when our patients are very sick and need more intense treatment.

A wellness evaluation consists of your veterinarian taking a detailed history about your pet, performing a physical examination, and possibly performing diagnostic tests to evaluate for conditions not detected on a physical examination, such as kidney disease. If kidney disease is diagnosed in the early stage it can sometimes be treated by simply changing your pet’s diet. Whereas, if kidney disease is diagnosed in the late stages then treatment might consist of hospitalization with intravenous fluids and other supportive care measures before being discharged on multiple medications and often times a short survival time. This is one example of the value of wellness exams.

As a way of promoting the value of wellness exams we are excited to announce that we are making January and February our Wellness months. During these months (01/01/2018 – 02/28/2018) we are offering our clients a 25% discount on comprehensive laboratory panels that we perform on any of your pets. All that we require is that you have a wellness examination for your pet in the month of January or February and present the wellness laboratory panel coupon at that appointment. You can find the coupon at the bottom of this letter and you are able to either print the email or present the coupon to your doctor’s assistant on your smart phone.

We look forward to seeing you soon with your pets to start the new year thinking about the health and wellness of your furry family members.

Wishing you the best in 2018,
Dr. Peter Nurre
Medical Director

Feline Leukemia (FeLV) and Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV)

Cat owners often hear of FeLV and FIV but aren’t too sure exactly what they are and how they may affect their beloved fact. We’ve put together this blog to help explain and break down what each of these viruses are and how they can cause great damage to our pets and our lives.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV) is usually transmitted through grooming and social behaviors – sharing water dishes, food bowls, litterboxes etc. Kittens become infected during either development in mom or when mom starts to groom and nurse her kittens. Saliva and nasal discharge is how this virus is transferred among cats. Cat’s often do not primarily pass away due to FeLV, but they instead acquire an infection or cold that their body cannot fight off and pass away from the infection they acquired, due to their body being unable to fight it off because of FeLV.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) transmission is usually associated with cats that fight over territory and roam outdoors. As the name implies, FIV is similar to the human form of HIV, where the virus primarily attacks the immune system – therefore these cats generally present to the veterinary hospital with signs not directly associated with the virus. Like FeLV, the cat typically acquires an infection or wound that will not heal which leads to the cat’s death.

Both of these feline viral diseases are preventable. While neither of which have a “cure”, cats with these diseases can live relatively normal lives until they become clinically sick and show signs of illness. Usually secondary illnesses are what “unmask” their underlying condition (you may notice your cat sneezing, you bring him or her into the veterinarian and after some blood work is done, it is learned that while your cat is sick [sneezing], the bigger issue is that he or she also suffers from FeLV or FIV).

Approximately 5% of cats can be infected with both FIV and FeLV. Cancer risks increases 6x with FIV, 60x with FeLV and 80x with FeLV and FIV infections. In the United States approximately 2 – 3% of cats are infected with the leukemia virus. Infection rates increase when cats are very young and sick, or have increased exposure to viruses. The age groups commonly affected are cats between 1 to 6 years of age with a median age of 3 years.

Prevention: keeping cats indoors is one way to prevent your cat from exposure. When introducing new cats to the household, temporary segregation is always recommended to reduce residents from becoming exposed to bacterial and viral disease present at shelters. Vaccines are also available to prevent both of these viruses to be picked up by your cat (please continue reading for more information).

Disinfection: both viruses are easily killed by household detergents and do not last in the environment.

Vaccination: Generally FeLV vaccination can be administered to kittens at 8 – 9 weeks of age with a second booster 3 – 4 weeks later. Vaccine booster is administered once yearly. A vaccine is available for FIV cats, however this particular vaccine will yield a positive result on routine testing. Therefore, young kittens that test positive are generally retested at 6 months of age.

In conclusion, these viruses are not a death sentence for your cat and you can prevent your cat from obtaining these viruses. Annual blood work, exams and indoor only cats will help your cat stay healthy, virus free and alive! If you would like to discuss your cat’s health, please schedule an appointment with Dr. Jill Christofferson, Dr. Blythe Jurewicz or Dr. Wendi Aengus today: (925) 937-5000

Caroline Li, DVM