Tag Archives: Lee Pickett

Ask the Vet’s Pets: Free Kittens

Dear Christopher Cat We would like to add a kitten to our family, and we are thinking about taking one of the many free farm kittens advertised locally. Do you see any problem with this plan? Christopher Responds For starters, the “free” farm kitten will cost you more than a kitten from a shelter or rescue organization, after you pay for vaccinations, deworming medicine and spay/neuter surgery. In addition, you may inadvertently perpetuate the cat overpopulation problem by taking a kitten off the farmer’s hands. As long as farmers and others can avoid having their adult cats surgically sterilized by giving away the unwanted kittens, the cat overpopulation problem will continue. On the other hand, humane societies and cat rescue organizations encourage spay/neuter surgery, and they educate the public about reducing pet overpopulation through sterilization. August 19 is National Homeless Animals’ Day. Celebrate by adopting a cat – or two – from your local shelter or rescue organization. That’s where our last three cats – Dougie, Cali and Carlie – came from, and they are my best friends. Ask the Vet’s Pets is written by our own: Dr. Lee Pickett

Ask The Vet’s Pets: Backpacking with your Dog

Dear Daisy Dog Sarah, our 2-year-old Bernese mountain dog, hikes with us. This year, we’d like to fit her with a backpack. How much weight can she safely carry? Daisy Responds Sarah is a lucky girl to spend time hiking with you, and backpacking sounds like fun. Start her with an empty pack. It should fit well and have enough padding that it doesn’t chafe. It’s important that you buy her a top-quality doggy backpack. After a couple of weeks with an empty pack, add a load that weighs up to 10 percent of her body weight. That’s about 10 pounds total, including the pack, if she weighs 100 pounds. Make sure to balance the load, and watch her closely throughout your hikes. Remove the pack whenever you stop to rest or view the scenery. Very gradually, if she seems comfortable, increase the weight. Adult dogs like Sarah can eventually carry up to 25 percent of their lean body weight. If she shows any sign of distress, though, remove the added weight. Just a reminder that we dogs aren’t weekend warriors. To prevent injury to the musculoskeletal system, we need to walk almost every day, gradually increasing the distance we walk and the weight we carry. Remember her heavy coat, and lighten the load -– and shorten the hike -– on hot or humid days. Ask The Pet’s Vet is writtern by our own Dr. Lee Pickett!

It’s Safest to Obtain Pet Medications from a Veterinarian

By Dr. Lee Pickett Some of our clients request prescriptions so they can buy their pets’ medications online or from a retail pharmacy. While we comply, we recognize that purchasing drugs this way does present several risks. First, the pharmacist, who has little or no training in animal pharmacology, may change the drug or dose, rendering the medication ineffective or toxic. One state’s veterinarians reported that more than one-third had experienced situations in which the pharmacist had substituted a different drug or changed the dose without consulting the prescribing veterinarian. In some cases, the pet died because of the error. Also, most manufacturers do not guarantee products sold by an online pharmacy. If stored or shipped under adverse conditions, such as freezing winter temperatures or summer heat and humidity, the medication or vaccine can be inactivated. Finally, when you buy online, you may receive products that contain adulterated or counterfeit ingredients, made by companies that ignore federal and state drug laws. The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy evaluated over 10,000 online pharmacy sites and found that only three percent complied with pharmacy laws and practice standards. If you are determined to buy online, make sure your Internet pharmacy is certified by visiting www.nabp.net/programs/accreditation/vet-vipps/find-a-vet-vipps-online-pharmacy . But before you do that, check our price. We’re competitive, and sometimes we’re actually less expensive. And if you’d like it sent to your home, just ask.

Some Diet Pet Foods are High in Calories, by Lee Pickett, VMD

Some Diet Pet Foods are High in Calories, by Lee Pickett, VMD Lee Pickett  Is your pet overweight, and have weight management diets been ineffective? If so, you may be feeding a high-calorie diet food. That’s because products with names like “weight management” and “weight control” often are relatively high in calories. The Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) regulates pet foods and defines terms used on the labels. AAFCO requires dry cat foods labeled “light” (or “lite”) to contain no more than 3250 kilocalories (abbreviated kcal and referred to as “calories”) per kilogram (abbreviated kg, about 2.2 pounds) of pet food. Light canned foods may contain no more than 950 kcal/kg. Caloric density of light dry dog food is limited to 3100 kcal/kg, and of canned food, 900 kcal/kg. AAFCO also requires the manufacturer of a light food to report the calorie content on the label. Importantly, AAFCO has no requirements for foods with names like weight management or weight control. So these foods can – and generally do – have more calories than light foods. See www.hillspet.com/weight-management/calorie-comparison-chart.html for examples. So the next time you purchase pet food for your overweight pet, check food labels for calorie content and choose a diet that is truly light. If your pet still doesn’t lose weight, consult us about feeding schedules, prescription food even lower in calories than light food, and possible blood work to rule out hypothyroidism and other diseases that affect weight.

SAVE THE DATE: OUR NEXT FREE SEMINAR IS ON NOV 5th!

Please join us! The next seminar is on Monday night, 11/5/12 at Bernville Veterinary Clinic: Canine & Feline Behavior, with Dr. Lee Pickett
  • Normal canine & feline social development and communication
  • Canine behavior problems, including aggression and separation anxiety
  • Feline behavior problems, including inappropriate elimination, aggression and clawing furniture
All sessions take place Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Bernville Veterinary Clinic, 7135 Bernville Road, Bernville, PA 19506 The workshops are FREE, but space is limited, so please RSVP to vet@bernvillevet.com or 610-488-0166  

FREE Veterinary Medicine for Pet Owners Series

Please join us! The first seminar is on Monday night, 9/10/12 at Bernville Veterinary Clinic:
Emergency Medicine, with Dr. Lee Pickett • How to decide whether it’s an emergency, and what to do to help your pet
  • Toxic emergencies: antifreeze, rodenticides, chocolate, onions
  • Heart, lung & circulatory emergencies: feline saddle thromboembolism, electrical cord injuries
  • Stomach & intestinal emergencies: bloat/GDV, foreign bodies
  • Urinary emergencies: urethral obstruction
  • Nervous system & related problems: seizures, intervertebral disc disease, vestibular syndrome
All sessions take place Monday evenings from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Bernville Veterinary Clinic, 7135 Bernville Road, Bernville, PA 19506 The workshops are FREE, but space is limited, so please RSVP to vet@bernvillevet.com or 610-488-0166 UPCOMING SEMINARS THIS SEASON INCLUDE: 10/8/12 Pet Loss & Bereavement, with Marianne Sharon 11/5/12 Canine & Feline Behavior, with Dr. Lee Pickett
  • Normal canine & feline social development and communication
  • Canine behavior problems, including aggression and separation anxiety
  • Feline behavior problems, including inappropriate elimination, aggression and clawing furniture
12/3/12 How to Read a Pet Food Label, with Betsy Gallagher
  • Please bring labels from the dry and canned foods you feed your pets
     

Ask the Vet’s Pets: Our Own Dr. Lee Pickett Discusses the Heat & Your Pets

Ask the Vet’s Pets is an entertaining, educational veterinary advice column written by Dr. Lee Pickett and her pets. If you have a dog, cat or other pet and would like to learn more about veterinary care, please click here. You’ll find 800 pages of answers to questions asked by other pet lovers. One of Dr Pickett’s columnists is Daisy Dog. Daisy Dog is the pen name of Annie, an English setter rescued in 2005 at the age of five. She is bright, affectionate and eager to please.

Dear Daisy Dog

Now that the weather has turned warm, our Bernese mountain dog, Jack, digs through the mulch so he can lie in the cool soil. He’s tracking dirt and mulch into the house, and I’m the cleaning lady. Help!

Daisy Responds

I do the same thing, because the soil is so deliciously cool. Mom reacts as you do -– then immediately gets out the doggie pool (called a kiddie pool in the stores), sets it in the shade and fills it with cool water. The pool is even more fun than the dirt, because I can lie down in it, dunk my toys and splash my wolfhound brother. You won’t mind Jack’s dripping coat if you give him a summer “teddy bear” haircut. Get rid of the long, thick hair, but leave a few inches to protect his skin from the summer sun. If Jack doesn’t like water, you can cool a shaded area of the patio by hosing it off occasionally. Or entice him with a wood pallet covered by tile or a sheet of vinyl. If his Swiss mountain heritage is particularly strong, you may need to position an electric fan at a shaded outdoor area. Or just explain to him the virtues of air-conditioned indoor living during the warm summer months.