Author Archives: biggervet

RECALL: Fromm Gold canned dog food

Fromm Dog Food Recall

Fromm Dog Food Recall

Fromm Family Foods has announced a voluntary recall of three varieties of canned dog food.

The food is being recalled because internal company testing found elevated levels of Vitamin D. No illnesses have been reported, but the company is encouraging pet owners not to feed these products to their pets.

What products are affected?

According to this announcement from Fromm Family Foods (PDF file), all lot codes and all expiration dates of the following three varieties of canned dog food are being recalled:

  • 12 oz. Gold Chicken Pate Dog can case code#11893, individual can upc : 72705 11892
  • 12 oz. Gold Chicken & Duck can case code #11895, individual can upc: 72705 11894
  • 12 oz. Gold Salmon & Chicken Pate can case code #11891, individual can upc: 72705 11890

What if I have the recalled product?

You should stop feeding the product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

What if I have already fed the product to my dog?

Stop feeding the product and watch your pet for symptoms of Vitamin D toxicity, which can include:

  • Not eating or decreased appetite
  • Excessive or decreased thirst and urination
  • Weakness or lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Bad breath
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss

Typically these symptoms appear only after feeding the product for an extended period of time.

Questions or concerns about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online!

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by e-mail whenever Bigger Road posts urgent product information to our web site.

RECALL: Purina wet dog food tubs

RECALL: Purina wet dog food tubs

RECALL: Purina wet dog food tubs

Purina has issued a voluntary recall of certain Beneful Prepared Meals, Beneful Chopped Blends and Pro Plan Savory Meals brand wet dog food, because they may not contain appropriate levels of vitamins and minerals.

The products are sold in 10 oz tubs, with a variety of UPCs, lot codes, and expiration dates. The full list of affected products is below (also available in PDF format):

Purina-Wet-Dog-Food-Recall-List

What if I have recalled product?

If you have the affected product, you should return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

What if I have already fed the product to my pet?

Purina has not released information about the specific vitamin and mineral levels that may be affected, so it is difficult to say what symptoms to watch out for. As always, if you notice any unusual behavior in your pets and are concerned, please Call us right away.

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up to be notified by e-mail any time we post information about product recalls!

Dr. Oakes’ Tips for Walking Your Cat

Kitty Holster cat harness

Kitty Holster cat harness

Now that warmer weather is here, take advantage of it by allowing your cat some safe outdoor time!

Being a constant flight risk, cats need to be secured when outdoors to prevent runaways.

One easy was to get kitty some fresh air is to simply move an enclosed large dog cage outside and allow kitty a few hours in it. 

Being a constant flight risk, cats need to be secured when outdoors to prevent runaways.

Always place cages OUT of direct sunlight, and drape a towel over half of it so kitty feels hidden and secure.

Placing the cage near some grass will allow kitty to nibble some fresh greens, which many cats crave.  Don’t worry if it causes her to vomit; lawn grass is not poisonous, but it has tiny sharp edges which can act as an irritant to some cats’ stomachs.

For an even more up close and personal outdoor experience, good for mental stimulation, stress relief, and to burn off some calories, get your kitty into a well fitted harness and take her outside!

A harness allows kitty the freedom to roam yet prevents escape.

A harness allows kitty the freedom to roam yet prevents escape.  I personally like the Kitty Holster Cat Harness (amazon.com) attached to a Guardian Gear 20-Feet Cotton Web Dog Training Lead, Black (amazon.com).

Before her first time ever outside in a harness, spend 2 – 3 days inside, getting kitty used to the new harness.  Trust me, do not skip this step!

Kitty Holster cat harness

Kitty Holster cat harness

I recommend waiting until meal time and then put a heap of food (or yummy treats) in front of kitty; while preoccupied eating, quickly slip on the harness.  Cats are supremely coordinated; a harness throws off her coordination, causing tilting, swaying, and falling over even.

Keep feeding the treats to distract your kitty from her unease about the harness, while her body and sense of balance acclimates to wearing it.  Leave the harness on several hours for 1-3 days; kitty will forget she has it on, and then you are ready to go outdoors!

When you take kitty out on a leash, DO NOT plan on taking her for a walk!!  She will actually walk you! 

When you take kitty out on a leash, DO NOT plan on taking her for a walk!!  She will actually walk you!

Just stand patiently, leash firmly in hand in case she startles and darts away.  You need to be ready to reel her back in and prevent her from getting the long leash tangled around the shrubs.  She will take 20 minutes to explore the first 5 feet outside of your door, but after 30 minutes or so your cat will become much more confident and start to even chase bugs!  Just allow kitty to explore at her own pace (SLOW!) and keep pace with her, enjoying her new found fun.

Lastly, a flea preventative WILL be needed if kitty is outdoors.  I personally use prescription-only Revolution brand monthly flea preventative in my own cats. (Editor’s note: If your pet is a patient at Bigger Road, you can order Revolution from our online pharmacy at a great price.)

Questions about your cats’ fitness, outdoor time, flea prevention, or anything else? Call or contact us online!

Fear Free – Meet Ash!

Ash, Bigger Road's Fear-Free success story!

Ash, Bigger Road’s Fear-Free success story!

Meet Ash! This handsome boy is a new patient of Bigger Road.

His previous experiences at other vets haven’t been so great. His owner talked about how nervous he gets and how he’s always been muzzled. He said these vet visits are the only situations Ash is like this, and he hated taking him to other clinics, and was looking for a better experience for both of them.

Today he met Dr. Blakelock, who sat on the floor while she gave him lots of delicious treats. Ash also loves tennis balls, and we had them at the ready!

We did Ash’s entire exam, drew blood, and gave him his vaccines – all on the floor- all with no muzzle. Ash was happy and relaxed and his owner was thrilled!

About Fear Free℠

Bigger Road is at the forefront of a Fear Free℠ revolution in veterinary care! We now understand so much more about our pets’ emotional needs and how stress and anxiety impact their health and happiness.

Learn more about Fear Free℠ and Call or contact us online today!

 

 

Fear Free – Bigger Road featured in Huffington Post!

We made the Huffington Post! We are so proud and excited to be a part of the national initiative to make trips to the veterinary clinic less stressful.

In this August 2015 photo, veterinarian Dr. John Talmadge poses with his golden retrievers at Talmadge's Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Kettering, Ohio. He reopened his Springboro, Ohio, office, which he transformed into a fear-free practice. He says they designed the new clinic to make you feel like you were taking a walk in the park. (Erin Grote/Bigger Road Veterinary Center for Pet Health and Enrichment via AP)

From the Huffington Post:

One fear-free center is the Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio.

“We designed this clinic to look like you were going for walks in the park,” said Dr. John Talmadge. “Support beams look like maple trees. I don’t know if we’re fooling any pets but the exam rooms look like cottages and it looks like blue sky on the ceiling. It has a very inviting feel.”

He also expanded from 2,000 square feet to 10,000 square feet so he’d have room for better senior care and pain management. And for owners making end-of-life decisions for their pets, the clinic offers a private area.

Read more about Fear Free℠ in the full article at the Huffington Post!

About Fear Free℠

Bigger Road is at the forefront of a Fear Free℠ revolution in veterinary care! We now understand so much more about our pets’ emotional needs and how stress and anxiety impact their health and happiness.

Learn more about Fear Free℠ and Call or contact us online today!

RECALLS: Nutro dog treats and Stella & Chewy’s dog and cat food

stella-chewys-recallStella & Chewy’s Recall

Stella & Chewy’s has recalled 5 lots of frozen raw dog and cat food due to possible contamination with  Listeria monocytogenes bacteria.

Listeria is an organism which can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Follow this link to view the affected products and lot codes.

Nutro Dog Treats Recall

chewy-treats-with-real-applesMars PetCare has recalled one lot of Nutro Chewy Treats for dogs due to possible mold contamination. Follow this link to view the affected product and lot code.

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online!

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up to be notified by e-mail when we post new recall information to our web site!

 

Fear Free: Let low-stress win!

Thanks to our friends at DVM360 for featuring our Dr. Nichole Olp in an interview about Fear Free℠!

From DVM360:

What happens when the cat or dog is overweight and the high-value treat—the one that snags the patient’s attention and gets the saliva dripping—is chock-full of calories?

That’s gonna take some explaining, says Nichole Olp, DVM, an associate at Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, who’s focused on calming down patients and teaching them that there’s nothing (well, less) to fear at the veterinary hospital.

Read the full article at DVM360!

About Fear Free℠

Bigger Road is at the forefront of a Fear Free℠ revolution in veterinary care! We now understand so much more about our pets’ emotional needs and how stress and anxiety impact their health and happiness.

Learn more about Fear Free℠ and Call or contact us online today!

RECALL: Blue Buffalo Kitty Yums! Cat Treats

RECALL: Blue Buffalo Kitty YumsBlue Buffalo Company, Ltd. is voluntarily recalling a limited production of Blue Kitty Yums Chicken Recipe Cat Treats that may contain low levels of propylene glycol, which is not permitted by the FDA for use in cat food.

What products are affected?

The affected product was distributed nationwide in the US and Canada through pet specialty stores and e-commerce.

The product is packaged in a 2 oz., plastic stand up pouch.  Only these specific code dates of this product are involved:

  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 8 59610 00782 0 – Best If Used By: April 24, 2016.
  • Blue Kitty Yums Tasty Chicken Recipe, UPC: 8 59610 00782 0 – Best If Used By: July 24, 2016.

What if my pet ate these treats?

If you have the affected product, stop feeding it immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement.

Cats reacting to high doses of propylene glycol may exhibit signs of depression and may have a loss of coordination, muscle twitching, and excessive urination and thirst. If your cat has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please Call right away.

Concerns about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online!

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to receive e-mail updates whenever recall information is posted to our web site.

 

RECALL: Dingo Chip Twists dog chews

RECALL: Dingo Chip Twists

RECALL: Dingo Chip Twists

The Food and Drug Administration has announced a recall of select lots of Dingo Chip Twists dog chews. The reason for the recall is possible contamination with amantadine, a human anti-viral drug that is not approved for use in animals.

What is being recalled?

  • Dingo Chip Twists “Chicken in the Middle” – 6 per bag Net Wt. 3.9 oz. (UPC 615650300600) – Best by Date 5/16/2017
  • Dingo Chip Twists “Chicken in the Middle” – 16 per bag Net Wt. 9.59 oz. (UPC 615650990429) – Best by Dates 12/27/20155/16/2017

Approximately 40,000 bags of treats are being recalled, that were distributed in multiple states including Ohio.

What is amantadine?

Amantadine is a human anti-viral drug that is not approved for use in animals. Chinese chicken processors have been known to preventatively treat chickens with amantadine in order to protect against avian influenza. The recalled teats were made in China. Amantadine is not an approved feed additive in the United States and is not allowed to be in consumable products distributed in the U.S.

Potential side effects from consumption of amantadine-contaminated chicken by dogs have not been studied. Still, it is suggested that anyone with affected product stop feeding them immediately and return to the place of purchase for a refund.

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online anytime!

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by e-mail whenever we post new recall information on our web site.

Xylitol & Human Nut Butter Products Toxic to Dogs

can-dogs-eat-peanuts-03You may have seen coverage in the media recently about human nut butter products posing a health threat to dogs. At issue is xylitol, a sugar alcohol used in human foods as a zero-calorie sweetener.

Because nut butters are not generally considered a “sweet” food, most people would not think to check their peanut butter jars before giving their pets a treat. And if your pet got into a jar of peanut butter accidentally, you might not be particularly concerned.

However, nut butter products (including not just peanut butter, but walnut butter, almond butter, and others) are increasingly using xylitol as an additive. Xylitol is toxic to dogs and can have effects ranging from mild hypoglycemia to potentially fatal liver failure.

What to look for

Xylitol can be listed on ingredient labels under a variety of names. According to the Veterinary PeanutButterJarInformation Network and ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center, dogs should be kept away from any food with ingredient names starting with “xyl-“, as well as all of the following:

  • 1,4-anhydro-d-xylitol
  • anhydroxylitol
  • birch bark extract
  • birch sugar
  • d-xylitol
  • xylite
  • xylitylglucoside
  • Zylatol

Where to look

Sugar alcohols (including xylitol) and other non-nutritive sweeteners are becoming more and more common in a wide range of human foods. Always check the ingredient panel of any product you buy before feeding it to your dogs, or whenever your dog accidentally ingests human food.

Any product not specifically formulated for pets should be carefully examined before using as a treat. Products should ideally be stored in their original containers so the ingredient panel is available for reference in the case of accidental ingestion.

Safe peanut products

For many dogs, peanut butter is a highly prized treat, and it is fine in limited amounts, provided you purchase a brand that does not contain xylitol. Avoid products with added salt, sweeteners, or artificial ingredients.

Questions?

Call or contact us online anytime!

Sign up for recall and product safety alerts!

Sign up here to receive e-mails from us whenever recall and important product safety information is posted to our web site!

Guess the Breed: Guinness! (Dog DNA Test)

Guinness monitors workplace productivity.

Guinness monitors workplace productivity.

Today is Guinness’s 6th birthday! Guinness lives (and often works) with our Business Manager, Jesse, and he wears many hats. Guinness’s duties at Bigger Road include: office productivity manager, official toy and treat tester, staff therapist, fashion model, and monkey impersonator. Not bad for a 6-year-old!

For our office buddy’s birthday, we ordered a

Guinness works tirelessly as our official product tester

Guinness works tirelessly as our official product tester

DNA test to find out what mix of breeds makes him so awesome. Guinness would love your birthday wishes, but he’d also love your guesses about his breed before we reveal the official family tree in a couple of weeks!

Share your guesses (and birthday wishes!) on our Facebook page!

We’ll have some cool prizes for people who participate on Facebook by September 16th, 2015:

  • If you guess 1 breed component correctly: $20 off a dog DNA test for your own pet!
  • If you guess 2 (or more) breed components correctly: $40 off a dog DNA test for your own pet!
  • Guinness takes a well-deserved break.

    Guinness takes a well-deserved break.

    2 random winners (whether the guess is correct or incorrect) will get a $20 gift certificate to spend on treats, toys, and other fun stuff at our Pet Boutique in Springboro!

What are you waiting for? Join Guinness on Facebook!

 

GuinnessContest fine print:

  • Anyone who posts on the Bigger Road Facebook page by September 16, 2015, and provides a guess about Guinness’s breed mix is entered in the contest.
  • However, winners must be able to travel to one of our two clinics in order to collect prizes. The discounted DNA test requires a no-charge appointment to collect a blood sample, which can be scheduled at either clinic. The $20 gift certificate is for products at the Pet Boutique, which is located at our Springboro office.

 

Happy Birthday, Guinness!

 

 

Guess the Breed: Family Tree Revealed! (Dog DNA Test)

11986361_1131965496831102_5902303216084472193_nAs we told you a few weeks ago, our Dr. Nichole Olp has a beautiful pup named Isis. Dr. Olp recently ordered a DNA test for Isis to find out what mix of breeds make her friend who she is.

The results are in, and Isis’s family tree is surprising, to say the least!

Isis's Family Tree

Isis’s Family Tree

As you can see (and may have guessed from her pictures), Isis has Shar-Pei on both sides of her family tree. From there it gets a little more interesting, as the DNA test also revealed Staffordshire Bull TerrierWhippet, and Bernese Mountain Dog!

Curious about your own pet’s history? Read more about DNA testing for dogs and Call or contact us online!

A veterinary technician explains how her team decides which Fear-Free tool to use

Thanks to our friends at DVM360 for featuring Bigger Road and our registered technician, Emily!

From DVM360:

Emily Korber, RVT, of Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, says patients determine what Fear-Free tools team members use. “Not everything works for every pet,” Korber says.

About Fear Free℠

Bigger Road is at the forefront of a Fear Free℠ revolution in veterinary care! We now understand so much more about our pets’ emotional needs and how stress and anxiety impact their health and happiness.

Learn more about Fear Free℠ and Call or contact us online today!

 

Guess Isis’s Breed! (Dog DNA Test)

Meet Isis!

Isis

Isis!

She is a sweet, 5-year-old rescue who lives with Bigger Road’s Dr. Nichole Olp. Dr. Olp has always wondered about the mix of breeds that make Isis who she is, so she decided to find out!

Using Royal Canin’s Genetic Health Analysis kit, we sent off a sample of Isis’s DNA to be analyzed. When the results come back in a couple of weeks, the breeds of Isis, her parents, grandparents, and great grandparents will all be revealed!

But in the meantime, we want to know what YOU think, and we have prizes! All you have to do is tell us on Facebook what you think Isis’s breed mix is, before August 28th, 2015!

  • Anyone who guesses at least one breed component correctly will receive $20 off the price of a Genetic Health Analysis for their own pet!
  • Anyone who guesses at least two breed components correctly will receive $40 off a Genetic Health Analysis!

Wnichole-olp-dvme’ll also randomly choose one client’s guess (correct or not) for the client’s choice of:

  • free Nina Ottosson smart toy (up to a $30 value)
  • free self-service bath in our Pet Spaw in Springboro (a $17 value)
  • A $20 gift certificate for pet treats, toys, and beauty supplies from our Pet Boutique in Springboro

What are you waiting for? Join us on Facebook and guess Isis’s breed!

About the Genetic Health Analysis

isis-3Royal Canin’s Genetic Health Analysis is available only through veterinarians. In addition to being more accurate and identifying more breeds than other tests, it also includes genetic testing for specific hereditary health conditions.

Call or contact us online us to learn more or schedule a Genetic Health Analysis!

Facebook: Guess Isis’s Breed!

Case study: An in-depth look at how one practice does Fear-Free

biggerroad450Thanks to our friends at DVM360 for their in-depth profile of our Fear Free℠ veterinary care!

DVM360 has spent a lot of time with us. Our Fear-Free approach to veterinary care is spreading throughout the veterinary industry.

We’re grateful for their interest in our staff and patients, and especially thrilled that they are helping us spread the word about Fear-Free℠ to the entire country!

Check out DVM360’s full case study of Bigger Road here!

About Fear Free℠

Bigger Road is at the forefront of a Fear Free℠ revolution in veterinary care! We now understand so much more about our pets’ emotional needs and how stress and anxiety impact their health and happiness.

Learn more about Fear Free℠ and Call or contact us online today!

 

Fear Free – Meet Oreo!

(Thanks to our friends at DVM360 for telling Oreo’s story!)

From DVM360:

Once upon a time there was a shy pooch named Oreo. She didn’t dig going to the vet. Then something magical happened: Her owner and the veterinary team at Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro, Ohio, worked together to practice lower stress handling techniques that transformed her experience. See how this gentle pup’s veterinary visits changed in this video.

RECALL: Nature’s Variety Instinct frozen raw dog food

RECALL: Nature's Variety Instinct raw frozen dog food

RECALL: Nature’s Variety Instinct raw frozen dog food

As reported by the Food and Drug Administration, Nature’s Variety is voluntarily recalling select formulas and lots of its Instinct Raw chicken-based frozen food for dogs due to possible Salmonella contamination.

Salmonella was detected in a sample of product tested by the FDA. No pet or human illnesses have been reported.

What is being recalled?

The affected products all have a Best By date of 4/27/16 and three varieties are affected:

  • UPC# 7 69949 61143 1 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 4 lb.
  • UPC# 7 69949 61144 8 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Bites for Dogs 7 lb.
  • UPC# 7 69949 61148 6 – Instinct Raw Chicken Formula Patties for Dogs 6 lb.

What do I do if I have recalled product?

Stop feeding the product immediately. Safely dispose of the product, and return proof of purchase from the package to the place of purchase for a refund.

What are the risks?

Pet food contaminated with Salmonella bacteria poses health risks to people handling the food, as well as to pets. Children, the elderly, and people with suppressed immune systems are particularly vulnerable. Symptoms in sick pets and people include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy. Pets often show no signs of illness but may still harbor the bacteria and transmit infection.

Concerns about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online right away! Outside business hours, please contact the Dayton Care Center at (937) 428-0911 or Med Vet Dayton at (937) 293-2714.

Sign up for recall alerts!

Stay informed! Sign up here to be notified by e-mail any time product recall or safety information is posted to our web site.

 

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

RECALL: Bravo Chicken dog and cat food

Bravo Pet Foods of Manchester Ct. is voluntarily recalling specific lots of several dog and cat food formulas, due to potential Salmonella contamination.

What products are affected?

  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats – Chub
    • Item #21-102
    • 2 lb. (32 oz)
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • UPC 8 29546 21102 8
  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for dogs – Patties
    • Item #21-401
    • 3 lb (48 oz.) bag
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21401 2
  • Bravo Balance Chicken Dinner for dogs – Chub
    • Item #21-402
    • 2 lb (32 oz.) chub
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21402 9
  • Bravo Blend Chicken diet for dogs & cats -Patties
    • Item #21-508
    • 5 lb (80 oz.) bag
    • Best By 12-05-16
    • 8 29546 21508 8

Routine testing by the New York State Department of Agriculture found Salmonella contamination in the first formula above, and the company is recalling all formulas that were manufactured in the same facility on the same day as the affected product.

No pet or human illnesses associated with the products have been reported.

What should I do if I have recalled product?

Please stop using the affected product immediately, and safely dispose of it or return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

How does Salmonella affect people and animals?

Salmonella can cause serious illness or fatal infection in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Although healthy individuals may suffer only short term symptoms such as high fever, severe headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal cramping and diarrhea. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their healthcare providers. Always use proper caution when handling raw foods.

Symptoms in pets are similar and may include vomiting, diarrhea, and lethargy.

Concerns about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online right away.

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by e-mail whenever product recall or safety information is posted to our web site!

Further reading

Visit the Bravo Pet Foods web site for more information about the recall.

RECALL: “I and Love and You” brand Dog Treats

I and Love and You of Boulder, CO has announced a voluntary recall of two lots of Cow-Boom! Strips Beef Gullet dog treats. The recalled lots have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella bacteria. There have not been any reports of pet or human illnesses associated with the product.

What products are affected?

RECALL: "I and Love and You" dog treats

RECALL: “I and Love and You” dog treats

The recall affects Cow-Boom! Strips Beef Gullet dog treats in 2 oz packages with the following package information:

  • UPC: 8 18336 01134 4
  • Lot codes: 4T1 or 5T1
  • Best-by years: 2016 or 2017

What if I have the recalled product?

If you have purchased product affected by the recall, please stop using it immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement.

About Salmonella

Products contaminated with Salmonella bacteria pose health risks to pets, as well as people who handle the products.

Pets with Salmonella infections may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever, and vomiting. Some pets will have only decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the product and has exhibited these symptoms, you should contact your veterinarian immediately.

Healthy people handling the product contaminated by Salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever. Although rare, Salmonella may result in more serious ailments, including arterial infections, endocarditis, arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with the product should contact their healthcare providers immediately.

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online!

Sign up for Recall Alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by e-mail any time we post recall or product safety information!

Fear Free – Meet Dobby!

(Thanks for our friends at DVM360 for telling Dobby’s story!)

From DVM360:

Once upon a time, Dobby was terrified to go the veterinary clinic with all of its unfamiliar smells, sights, sounds and experiences. Hear all about how the veterinary team at Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic in Springboro, Ohio, is changing Dobby’s perceptions with “happy visits.” Though still a work in progress, in time this will be a true story of happily ever after.

 

RECALL: Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe dog food

RECALL: Vital Essentials Beef Tripe frozen dog food

RECALL: Vital Essentials Beef Tripe frozen dog food

Vital Essentials has announced a voluntary recall of its Beef Tripe formula frozen raw dog food because of potential Listeria contamination. The product was distributed in multiple states including Ohio.

The recall is announced two days after a similar recall of Stella & Chewy’s raw frozen and freeze-dried products, also because of potential Listeria contamination.

What is being recalled?

Testing by the Food and Drug Administration showed Listeria contamination in two batches of Vital Essentials Beef Tripe frozen raw dog food. The two recalled products are:

  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Patties, UPC 33211 00809, Lot # 10930, Best by date 20160210
  • Vital Essentials Frozen Beef Tripe Nibblets, UPC 33211 00904, Lot # 10719, Best by date 12022015

About Listeria

While the company’s announcement is downplaying the risk of Listeria bacteria to pets, handling Listeria-contaminated food also poses health risks to people, which the company did not mention in its announcement. 

Young or elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of fatal infection.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms like fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Symptoms in sick pets are similar.

What to do with recalled product

If you have purchased product affected by the recall, please stop using it immediately and carefully dispose of it. (The Maryland Department of Agriculture recommends disposing of affected product by wearing disposable gloves, placing product in double plastic bags, sealing it and throwing it away.)

Questions?

 

If you are concerned about the health of your pet, please Call us right away. Outside business hours, please call CARE Center of Dayton at (937) 428-0911 or MedVet Dayton at (937) 293-2714.

Sign up for recall alerts!

Sign up here to be notified by Bigger Road any time recall or product safety information is posted to our web site.

RECALL: Stella & Chewy’s Freeze-Dried and Frozen Cat and Dog Food

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy's Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

Following the announcement two days ago of a Stop Sale on one variety of Stella & Chewy’s freeze-dried dog food, the company has announced a voluntary recall of many varieties of freeze-dried and frozen dog and cat food.

They are being recalled because they may be contaminated with Listeria bacteria, or may have been exposed to other foods that are potentially contaminated.

From the Stella & Chewy’s web site, the complete list of recalled products is at the bottom of this post. If you have any of the affected products, please stop using them immediately and safely dispose of them.

During the previous stop sale announcement, the Maryland Department of Agriculture recommended disposing of affected product by wearing disposable gloves, placing product in double plastic bags, sealing it and throwing it away.

About Listeria

Listeria monocytogenes bacteria in pet food poses a health threat and is potentially fatal both to pets, and to humans who handle or come in contact with contaminated food. Young or elderly people and those with compromised immune systems are at greater risk of fatal infection.

Healthy individuals may suffer only short-term symptoms like fever, headache, stiffness, nausea, abdominal pain and diarrhea. Listeria infection can cause miscarriages and stillbirths among pregnant women.

Symptoms in sick pets are similar. If you are concerned about the health of your pet, please Call us right away. Outside business hours, please call CARE Center of Dayton at (937) 428-0911 or MedVet Dayton at (937) 293-2714.

No pet or human illnesses have been reported with Stella & Chewy’s products, but a sample of Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried dog food tested positive for Listeria bacteria in FDA testing. The company is recalling all products from that production lot, as well as other products that may have come into contact with the affected production lot.

Complete Recall List

Product Description/Size/UPC/Lot #/Use By Date

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinner for Dogs /15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Turkey Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001103/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016 and 5/4/2016

Frozen Duck Duck Goose Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001394/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Morsels for Dogs/4lb/UPC: 186011001387/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Surf ‘N Turf Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000533/Lot: 111-15  and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/6lb/UPC: 186011000120/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Frozen Chewy’s Chicken Dinner Patties for Dogs/3lb/UPC: 186011000038/Lot: 111-15 and Use By Date: 4/21/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 104-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Freeze-Dried Chick, Chick, Chicken Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000434/Lot: 109-15 and Use By Date: 4/29/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/18oz/UPC: 186011000229/Lot: 113-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Tantalizing Turkey Meal Mixers/9oz/UPC: 186011000205/Lot: 105-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Carnivore Crunch – Chicken Recipe/3.25oz/UPC: 186011001080/Lot: 110-15 and Use By Date: 5/3/2016

Freeze-Dried Chewy’s Chicken Dinners for Dogs/15oz/UPC: 186011000045/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 4/26/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 114-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Tummy Ticklin’ Turkey Dinner for Cats/12oz/UPC: 186011000663/Lot: 115-15 and Use By Date: 5/4/2016

Freeze-Dried Salmon & Chicken Dinner for Cats/12 oz/UPC: 186011000403/Lot: 107-15 and Use By Date: 4/23/2016

Questions?

Please Call or contact us online with concerns about your pet’s health.

For product questions, please contact the manufacturer of Stella & Chewy’s at  888-477-8977.

Stop sale on Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried chicken patties

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy's Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

Stop sale: Stella & Chewy’s Chicken Patties freeze-dried dog food

UPDATE: RECALL – Multiple varieties of Stella & Chewy’s frozen and freeze-dried food for dogs AND cats have now been voluntarily recalled. See this post for more information.

The Maryland Department of Agriculture has issued a stop sale on Stella & Chewy’s brand freeze-dried chicken patties for dogs, due to the presence of Listeria bacteria in FDA testing.

The affected lot number is: 111-15. The bags will have a use by date of April 23, 2016.

UPDATE: This product, as well as many others, have now been voluntarily recalled. Click here for more information. 

From the Maryland Department of Agriculture web site:

Listeria is not only dangerous to dogs, it can also be deadly to small children, the elderly and those with auto immune disorders.  Consumers who have unopened bags of this dog food are urged to keep it sealed, away from people and to throw it away. Those who have opened bags of this dog food are urged to use disposable gloves, place them in double plastic bags, seal it and throw it away.

MDA has notified all distributors and a number of stores known to sell the product. The listeria was identified by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration which is undertaking a surveillance of raw pet food. The FDA notified the state today.

Questions about your pet’s health? Please Call or contact us online!

Win a grill for summer cookouts!

cookoutsafety-dog-grill-thinkstockjpgDo you use Trifexis or Interceptor for your pets? The folks at Elanco, makers of Trifexis and Interceptor, have given us two 3-burner gas/charcoal grills to give away to clients! (This will be a really handy thing to have if it ever stops raining!)

Bigger Road clients who purchase 12 doses of Trifexis or Interceptor between May 1, 2015 and July 31, 2015, are automatically eligible to win! This includes purchases made in Springboro and Kettering, AND on our online pharmacy.

• Shop Online for Trifexis (Dogs) • Shop Online for Interceptor (Dogs and Cats) •

July 31 is the last day of the contest, and winners will be randomly selected and announced at the beginning of August!

The combination gas/charcoal grill up for grabs features:
– 262 (charcoal) plus 295 (propane) sq in cooking surface
– 89 (charcoal) plus 99 (propane) sq in warming rack
– 3 steel tube burners, total 24,000 BTUs
– Stainless-steel flush side burner with cover total 12,000 BTUs
– Porcelain heat plate

Good luck!

• Shop Online for Trifexis (Dogs) • Shop Online for Interceptor (Dogs and Cats) •

Recall outside Ohio: Boulder Dog Food Co. Chicken Sprinkles

BDFCBoulder Dog Food Company has announced a recall of one lot code of Chicken Sprinkles food topper due to potential Salmonella contamination. The recall only affects a small amount of product sold in 3 other states (Colorado, Washington, and Maryland). We are sharing this information out of an abundance of caution, but we do not believe there is any cause for concern for pets in Ohio.

Please refer to the Food & Drug Administration web site for more information. Questions about your pet’s health? Call or contact us online anytime!

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

The Food and Drug Administration is announcing a voluntary cat food recall.

Ainsworth Pet Nutrition has recalled 5 varieties of Rachel Ray Nutrish brand wet cat food, and multi-packs that contain these flavors, because of potentially elevated levels of Vitamin D. There are have been 11 reports of illness associated with the product.

Which products are affected?

A total of 7 products are affected.

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

Single Packs

  • PAW LICKIN CHICKEN AND LIVER (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00703 2 – All Best By Dates through AUG 17 2015
  • OCEAN FISH AND CHICKEN CATCH-IATORIE (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00704 9 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • OCEAN FISH A LICIOUS (2.8 oz)  – UPC 0 71190 00705 6 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • TUNA PURRFECTION (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00706 3 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • LIP SMACKIN SARDINE AND MACKEREL (2.8 oz) – UPC 0 71190 00707 0 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

RECALL: Rachel Ray Nutrish wet cat food

Multi Packs

  • CHICKEN LOVERS VARIETY PACK (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups) – UPC 0 71190 00777 3 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016
  • OCEAN LOVERS VARIETY PACK (12 count pack of 2.8 oz cups) – UPC 0 71190 00778 0 – All Best By Dates through DEC 1 2016

What are the symptoms?

Excessive Vitamin D intake can result in the following symptoms, usually 12-36 hours after ingestion: vomiting or diarrhea, increased thirst and urination, and muscle tremors or seizures.

Pets experiencing these symptoms should see a veterinarian immediately.

What if I have the recalled product?

Stop using the product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund.

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online anytime!

Watch: Spooky the Cat’s Fear-Free Veterinary Visit

Our friends at DVM360 visited the Springboro Veterinary Center this week, and documented the visit of Spooky, one of our feline patients!

See what we’re doing to make your pet’s visit as stress-free as possible in this video!

Learn More

DVM360 spent two days with us, and have shared their experiences on their web site.  Check out these articles!

RECALL: Himalayan Ruff Roots Chews

RECALL: Himalayan Ruff Roots dog chews

RECALL: Himalayan Ruff Roots dog chews

Himalayan Corp., by way of PetSmart, has announced a recall of their Himalayan Ruff Roots natural chew toys because of possible metal contamination.

The recall affects all lot numbers of these products that were sold at PetSmart stores. The affected products are:

  • Himalayan Ruff Roots All Natural 4″ Sprout Dog Chew Toy – UPC 85301200439 – all lot codes
  • Himalayan Ruff Roots All Natural 5″ Stump Dog Chew Toy – UPC 85301200440 – all lot codes
  • Himalayan Ruff Roots All Natural 7″ Stalk Dog Chew Toy – UPC 85301200441 – all lot codes

If you have one of the recalled products, please stop using it immediately and return it to a PetSmart store for a refund.

For more information about the products: contact the Himalayan Corporation at 425-322-4295 or email info@himalayandogchew.com.

Questions about your pet’s health? Please Call or contact us online!

RECALL outside Ohio: OC Raw Frozen Dog Food

As reported on the Food & Drug Administration web site, OC Raw Dog has announced a voluntary recall of its Turkey & Produce Frozen Raw diet, due to potential salmonella contamination.

OC Raw Dog Food Recall

OC Raw has recalled 2,055 lbs. of its Turkey & Produce raw frozen diet

The recall affects 2,055 lbs. of the product that the manufacturer states were not distributed in Ohio, but to independent pet retailers in 4 other states. If you purchased this product in Ohio, we still suggest checking the lot number and expiration date.

How to tell if you have recalled product

Recalled product can be identified by the expiration date and lot numbers:

  • Use by date: 10/28/15
  • Lot number: 1511

About Salmonella

Salmonella poses health risks to both pets and people who come in contact with contaminated food. Humans can potentially be at risk even if pets show no sign of illness.

Symptoms of salmonella infection in dogs include lethargy, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, vomiting, and fever.

Symptoms in people include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and fever.

What to do with recalled product

Stop using recalled product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund. The manufacturer requests that you e-mail a picture of the product and its lot code to Olivia@ocrawdog.com to help them track distribution of recalled product.

Further reading

Questions about your pet’s health?

Call or contact us online anytime!

Pictures from the 2015 Family and Pet Fair!

Thanks to everyone who came out to enjoy the festivities at our 5th annual Family and Pet Fair on May 2nd! We were especially grateful for the opportunity to show pet-lovers and the veterinary community our new Bigger Road Veterinary Center.

Check out these photos from the event, and  again, thank you for making the 2015 Family and Pet Fair a success!

Dr. Talmadge in Surgery

Dr. John Talmadge patches up a patient before the 2015 Family and Pet Fair

Dr. Talmadge and Veterinary Center architect Dana Shoup

Dr. Talmadge and Veterinary Center architect Dana Shoup

Client Service Representative Amy and colleagues from the Dayton CARE Center

Client Service Representative Amy Reith and colleagues from the Dayton CARE Center

Client Service Rep Amy and Clients at the Family and Pet Fair

Client Service Rep Amy Reith and community members at the Family and Pet Fair

Community members and local organizations mingle at the Family and Pet Fair

Community members and local organizations mingle at the Family and Pet Fair

Certified veterinary acupuncturist Dr. Megan Strahler demonstrates alternative medicine

Certified veterinary acupuncturist Dr. Megan Strahler demonstrates alternative medicine

Childen from the community create original works of art to decorate the Bigger Road Veterinary Center

Children from the community create original works of art to decorate the Bigger Road Veterinary Center

A view of the Veterinary Center's unique architecture and an Underwater Treadmill therapy session in progress

A view of the Veterinary Center’s unique architecture and an Underwater Treadmill therapy session in progress

The community tours Springboro's Bigger Road Veterinary Center at the 2015 Family and Pet Fair

The community tours Springboro’s Bigger Road Veterinary Center at the 2015 Family and Pet Fair

Dr. Elizabeth Blakelock meets with the community at the 2015 Family and Pet Fair

Dr. Elizabeth Blakelock meets with the community at the 2015 Family and Pet Fair

Day Care Supervisor and Pet Training Instructor Kristen Buinicky teaches dog-toy making

Day Care Supervisor and Pet Training Instructor Kristen Buinicky teaches dog-toy making

Dr. Talmadge gives a tour of the medical facilities at the Bigger Road Veterinary Center

Dr. Talmadge gives a tour of the medical facilities at the Bigger Road Veterinary Center

Dr. Talmadge gives a tour of the Pet Boutique at the Springboro Veterinary Center

Dr. Talmadge gives a tour of the Pet Boutique at the Springboro Veterinary Center

A patient enjoys hydrotherapy with Carmen Kolz of Canine Underwater Treadmill

A patient enjoys hydrotherapy with Carmen Kolz of Canine Underwater Treadmill

Dr. Talmadge at the Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro

Dr. Talmadge at the Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro

Underwater Treadmill

Hydrotherapy expert Carmen Kolz explains the benefits of Canine Underwater Treadmill

 

Underwater Treadmill featured in Dayton Daily News!

Clifford

Clifford enjoys an Underwater Treadmill session with Carmen

Check out this article in the Dayton Daily News, featuring Bigger Road’s Carmen Kolz and Canine Underwater Treadmill!

The article tells the story of Clifford, a stray golden retriever who was found by Mary Savage of Englewood after being hit by a car. Thanks to Mary and Clifford’s treadmill hydrotherapy with Carmen, Clifford got a new lease on life. 10 years later, he’s happy and healthy!

Our newly expanded Bigger Road Veterinary Center in Springboro offers the only underwater treadmill service for pets in the Miami Valley, and Carmen has more experience in treadmill hydrotherapy than anyone in the country!

Read more about the benefits of underwater treadmill, and Call or contact us online to find out if hydrotherapy can help your pet!

Underwater Treadmill

Clifford enjoys his Underwater Treadmill therapy

RECALL: Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit

Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit

RECALL: Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit

TFH Publications, Inc., the maker of Nylabone, has announced a recall of one lot of the Nylabone Puppy Starter Kit product.

Routine testing found the presence of Salmonella bacteria in one lot of the product. Other Nylabone products, and other lot numbers of the Puppy Starter Kit product, are not affected.

To date, no pet or human illnesses have been reported related to use of the product.

How to tell if you have recalled product

The recalled 1.69 oz packages have:

  • UPC 0 18214 81291 3
  • Lot #21935
  • Expiration date: 3/22/18

What to do with recalled product

Stop using recalled product immediately and return it to the place of purchase for a refund or replacement. (Note: Bigger Road does not sell Nylabone products.)

Why salmonella is a concern

Salmonella can potentially affect the health of people, as well as dogs. People can be at risk even if their pets do not show symptoms.

Symptoms in dogs include decreased appetite, fever, abdominal pain, diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea) and vomiting. Symptoms in people include fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea (including bloody diarrhea) .

Questions about your pet’s health? Call or contact us online anytime!

Canine Influenza: What you need to know

H3N2: Canine Influenza

H3N2: The current Canine Influenza outbreak is caused by a new strain of the virus

With ongoing media coverage of canine influenza, many clients here in Dayton are concerned about the health of their pets.

We understand your concern, and all available information tells us that pets in the Dayton area are safe. Here, summarized, is what you need to know about the current canine influenza outbreak:

  • The outbreak originated in the Chicago area, where over 1,000 illnesses and 6 pet deaths have been reported.
  • There are media reports of the virus spreading to other parts of the midwest, including Ohio. However, we have found no specific suspected or confirmed cases in Ohio, and have not seen any cases in the Dayton area.
  • This canine influenza is a different strain of the virus than previously thought. Because of this, vaccinating your pets using currently available vaccines will not provide your pet any additional protection. For this reason, we do not recommend preventative vaccination for our patients.
  • Symptoms of canine influenza may include high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge, and lethargy. However, some infected pets show no symptoms.

As always, if you have concerns about your pet’s health, including any unusual symptoms or behavior, please Call us!

If you’d like to read more about canine influenza, we recommend this article from Cornell University.

5th Annual Family and Pet Fair

Save the Date!

May 2, 2015 (12pm – 4pm) is the 5th annual Family and Pet Fair in Springboro!

New this Year!

Many of our partners from the pet care community will be there, including Dayton Care CenterSICSA, and Wild Birds Unlimited!

See our event flyer below for more details, and watch our Facebook Event page! We can’t wait to see you all at the 5th annual Family and Pet Fair, May 2nd, 2015 from 12pm – 4pm!

5th Annual Family and Pet Fair

The 5th Annual Family and Pet Fair is May 2, 2015!

RECALL: Jump Your Bones cat and dog treats

RECALL: Jump Your Bones Roo Bites

RECALL: Jump Your Bones Roo Bites

Jump Your Bones, Inc. of Boca Raton, Florida is voluntarily recalling Jump Your Bones Roo Bites (Cubes) cat and dog treats because of potential Salmonella contamination. No pet or consumer illnesses from this product have been reported to date.

The recalled treats were marketed for both cats and dogs, and distributed nationwide in 2.82 oz and 0.32 oz packages with UPC 63633010041. If you purchased these treats, please stop feeding them immediately and return them to place of purchase for a refund.

For further information about the recall please call (888) 249-6755 from Monday – Friday 9am – 5PM EST.

Questions about Salmonella or safe treats for dogs and cats? Call or contact us online!

 

RECALL: Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Dog Chews

RECALL: Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Dog Chews

RECALL: Barkworthies Chicken Vittles Dog Chews

Barkworthies of Richmond, VA is recalling select lots of Barkworthies Chicken Vittles dog chews because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect animals eating the products and there is risk to humans from handling contaminated pet products, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the products or any surfaces exposed to these products.

The recalled product was distributed nationwide beginning on May 6th, 2014. The product can be identified by the Lot Code printed on the side of the plastic pouch. This product is being recalled as it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella.

The recalled product can be identified as follows:

BARKWORTHIES CHICKEN VITTLES

Lot Code: 1254T1
Size: 16 oz. Plastic Pouch
Best Used by Date: May 2016
UPC: 816807011510

To obtain a refund, return unused product to the place of purchase, accompanied by this Refund Claim Form.

Questions about Salmonella or safe treats for dogs? Call or contact us online us!

#askbiggervet – October 15, 2014

This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about noisy breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!

Is noisy breathing in older dogs normal?
Courtney asked:

“Is noisy breathing in older dogs (12 years old) ever a normal occurrence? My dog snores and just has noisy breathing most of the time.”

Dr. Blakelock answers: Noisy breathing in older dogs is not uncommon, but it is not necessarily normal. It can be caused by various things such as laryngeal paralysis or an elongated soft palette. Any breathing changes should be evaluated by your veterinarian to make sure it is not anything serious and whether there is any treatment indicated.
If this still doesn’t work or your pet has dietary restrictions ask your veterinarian for other options.

Is it ever too late to spay a female dog?

Alysia asked:

“Do older female dogs experience doggie menopause? At what point is the risk greater than the benefit to spay an aged female? My 9 1/2 year old Komondor is having some weird symptoms I can’t figure out. I swear she was just in heat.”

Dr. Blakelock answers: Older intact female dogs are at risk for pyometra (infected uterus), which is life threatening and requires immediate surgery. Any changes warrant an examination by your veterinarian. As far as risk versus benefit if a dog is otherwise healthy than there should be minimal risk with spaying, while being intact is being at continuous risk for a pyometra.

What are the risks and benefits of extensive dental treatment on an older dog?

Shannen asked:

“What are the risks and benefits of extensive dental treatment on an older (8+ years) dog? What are some things to try to improve dental health in general?”

Dr. Crocker answers:

Great question, Shannen!

This is an important topic because dental disease affects approximately 80% of dogs and cats, and many times it goes unnoticed by the pets’ owners.

If a pet is suffering from dental disease, usually the benefits of providing relief outweigh the risks. People are often concerned about the general anesthesia required to treat dental disease in pets. However, age by itself is not generally considered to be a risk factor. If your pet’s overall health is good, heart is normal, and testing reveals normal organ and bone marrow function, anesthetic risk is very low when performed with appropriate safety measures. Benefits of treating diseased teeth include improved energy level, improved quality of life, better breath, and removal of pain.

Pain is a tricky thing to measure in pets. Pets with dental disease will often suffer in silence and show minimal or no outward signs of distress. Dogs feel pain just like we do, they just don’t show their pain in obvious ways. So if a tooth root infection would hurt you, you can bet it will hurt your pet.

One reason I am so passionate about providing good dental health to pets is that I have seen first-hand the sometimes dramatic improvements in pets’ lives I can give them by treating their dental problems.

The best things owners can do to promote their pets’ dental health are to begin brushing their pets’ teeth early in life, while developing a strong routine to continue throughout the pet’s life, and to have their pets examined at least annually by their veterinarians to look for hidden signs of dental disease.

More #askbiggervet
  • #askbiggervet – October 15, 2014 (10/15/2014) - This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about abnormal breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!
  • #askbiggervet – September 24, 2014 (9/21/2014) - In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!
  • #askbiggervet – September 11, 2014 (9/11/2014) - In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we're taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm prevention, how much to feed your cat, how far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

RECALL: PetSmart Simply Nourish dog treats

RECALLED: Simply Nourish Beef & Sweet Potato Treats

RECALLED: Simply Nourish Beef & Sweet Potato Treats

PetSmart and Loving Pets Corporation have announced a recall of 1 variety of Simply Nourish Brand dog treats due to potential mold growth.

The affected product (see image) is Simply Nourish Biscotti with Beef & Sweet Potatoes Dog Treats, with an expiration date of 2/16.

To receive a refund, return unused portions to any PetSmart store with a printout of this recall announcement.

If you have questions about the recall, contact Loving Pets Corporation at 1-866-599-7387. If you have questions about your pet’s health, please Call or contact us online.

#askbiggervet – September 24, 2014

In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters, and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!

Why is my dog itching?
Marietta Hail-Leesemann asked:

“my Maltese Shih Tzu has been treated with frontline every month and was checked for fleas and ticks and scratching insistently. I tried an apple cider vinegar rub and no relief ?”

We know how terrible itching can be! There can be many potential causes of itching besides fleas, and they are very much individual to the pet. Environmental or food allergies, behavioral issues, along with fleas and other pests can all cause problem itching. We have seen certain products simply not work the same for all pets. If you’re still seeing fleas give us a call and we can try another product. If the itching is still bothering him, we recommend having him seen for an accurate diagnosis so we can get him feeling better quick.

How do you convince a finicky senior pet to eat?
Jason Knippen asked:

“How do you get a senior dog to ear their food. They still beg for human food and treats but not dog food even when mixed with wet food.”

It’s very frustrating when a pet refuses to eat! If you are concerned that your dog is not eating enough of their food to have a balanced diet, please call and talk to your doctor, but here are some general tips for picky eaters:

  • Dogs tend to eat more readily when food is offered only at set times each day, and not left out all the time.
  • Adding warm water to dry food may entice a picky eater even if mixing it with wet food is not doing the trick. Pet stores also sell gravies that are just for pets and can be added to kibble, with a more potent scent and flavor than wet food. Sometimes senior pets need a bit of a stronger smell and taste to entice them.
  • Dogs will hold out for a long time if they know that you’ll eventually cave and bring out the treats or people food. At treat time, try using their regular kibble instead.

If these tricks don’t work please let us know and we can make some other suggestions.

Why do dogs need heartworm prevention year-round?
Zach Butts asked:

“I have a hard time understanding why do dogs need heartworm prevention in the winter when Mosquitos aren’t around”

GREAT question, Zach!

The most important reason is that there are many stages of the heartworm life cycle, some of which can’t be treated by the prevention products.

A gap in preventative use can allow an immature heartworm infestation (which may not have shown up on a heartworm test) to progress to a point where the prevention, when resumed, is ineffective or actually dangerous to the pet.

Of course, we also know that the weather in Ohio is erratic (to say the least!) and it’s hard to predict when mosquitoes may or may not be present in the environment – indoor or outside.

Most heartworm preventatives also protect against intestinal parasites, so if you are using one of those, it makes even more sense to continue year-round.

Heartworm disease can be fatal, even if treated and is really very hard on the dogs that get it.

More #askbiggervet
  • #askbiggervet – October 15, 2014 (10/15/2014) - This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about abnormal breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!
  • #askbiggervet – September 24, 2014 (9/21/2014) - In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!
  • #askbiggervet – September 11, 2014 (9/11/2014) - In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we're taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm prevention, how much to feed your cat, how far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

#askbiggervet – September 11, 2014

In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we’re taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm preventionhow much to feed your cathow far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?
Mike asked:

“What is the best way to give your pet a flea/heartworm pill?”

Good question Mike. We know how hard this can be! Most of these pills need to be given with food, so use that in your favor. Offer them their pill in a delicious treat, right before their meal, so they are hungry and eager to eat.

If the traditional pill pocket style treat doesn’t work we suggest hiding the pill in a bit of bread, cheese, peanut butter, or even a marshmallow! You can try cutting the pill in half or quarters and giving it in smaller bites if need be. You might try offering a treat without the pill first as a “decoy”.

If this still doesn’t work or your pet has dietary restrictions ask your veterinarian for other options.

How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?

Jenice asked:

“How do you know how much to feed your cat a day?”

Another great question. While you can certainly start with the recommendations on the bag or cans, many cats have other needs to consider.

We customize feeding plans that take into account your pet’s current weight, ideal weight, age, lifestyle, and what you prefer to feed. That way we can meet both the needs of you and your cat!

We can send you a custom feeding plan today – it’s free – or we can put one together at your next visit.

Does filtered water help with bladder crystals?

Deborah asked:

“My cat get crystals in his bladder, he is on CD Hill’s Prescription Diet Urinary Tract Health food. I have been told from a friend that the crystals form due to calcium in faucet water. Is this true and if so what water is best for him? Would a pur water filter hooked up to my faucet be something that would take out the calcium?”

Deborah, while a water filter certainly won’t hurt, we don’t have any studies telling us it makes a difference in these cases. What we do have is lots of science behind how the prescription diets prevent cats from forming crystals.

However, because we want cats that form crystals to drink more water, our best suggestion is to offer the water he thinks tastes best! We find that many cats prefer a recirculating water fountain and recommend that owners try this to get their cats to drink more.

How far can my puppy run with me?

Jodi asked:

“Is 2 miles too long of a distance to jog with my 8 mos pit/lab mix puppy? She tolerates it well then still has energy to play at home, but I don’t want to harm her bones/growth?”

This is a really good question Jodi and we’re so happy that you’re including your sweet pup in your exercise routine!

When exercising outdoors with your dog you want to consider the same factors you would if you were exercising alone: temperature, hydration, paying attention to your body, and working up longer distances slowly.

The one additional thing you need to think about is the ground. Dogs can burn their paw pads on hot pavement, and if they aren’t used to running outside their pads may be tender and will need to toughen over time. Keep walks short or stick to the grass if the pavement is hot or they’re new at outdoor exercise.

You want to make sure they have the fitness and strength to handle the exercise. Most importantly, have fun and don’t forget to bring a baggie for potty break cleanups!

More #askbiggervet
  • #askbiggervet – October 15, 2014 (10/15/2014) - This edition of #askbiggervet is all about senior pets! Get answers to your questions about abnormal breathing, spaying older female dogs, and dental care for seniors!
  • #askbiggervet – September 24, 2014 (9/21/2014) - In this edition of #askbiggervet, we tackle itching, picky eaters and the importance of year-round heartworm prevention!
  • #askbiggervet – September 11, 2014 (9/11/2014) - In the first edition of #askbiggervet, we're taking on how to dose flea, tick & heartworm prevention, how much to feed your cat, how far is too far to run with your pup, and more!

RECALL EXPANDED to Ohio: Pedigree Dry Dog Food

 

Mars Petcare has expanded their recall of Pedigree dry dog food

Mars Petcare has expanded their recall of Pedigree dry dog food

As we reported last week, Mars Petcare recalled specific bags of Pedigree Adult dry dog food, sold at Dollar General stores in other states.

Mars has now expanded the recall to include 55lb. bags of food sold at Sam’s Club stores in Ohio, Indiana, and Michigan. The food is being recalled because the bags potentially contain foreign material – small, metal fragments – that could be harmful if ingested.

Added to the recall are 55 lb. bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition, with lot code 432E1KKM03 and a best-by date of 8/7/15. Food should be returned to the retailer for a refund.

Mars Petcare can be reached at 1-800-305-5206.

Sign up now to receive e-mail alerts from Bigger Road about product recalls and important safety information.

Further reading: PEDIGREE® Adult Complete Nutrition Limited Recall Due to Metal Fragments (FDA.gov)

RECALL: Pedigree dry dog food – Ohio pet owners not affected

Mars Petcare has recalled 22 bags of Pedigree dry dog food

Mars Petcare has recalled 22 bags of Pedigree dry dog food

Mars Petcare has announced a recall of Pedigree dry dog food, affecting 22 bags of Pedigree Adult Complete Nutrition dry dog food. The food was sold in Dollar General stores in 4 states, and Ohio pet owners are not impacted by the recall.

The bags are being recalled due to the possibility that they contain small metal fragments. The foreign material is not in the kibble itself, but could be hazardous if accidentally ingested.

Sign up for Recall Alerts from Bigger Road to be notified by e-mail whenever product recalls occur.

Further reading:

Protecting Pets from Birds of Prey

Protect Pets from Birds of Prey

Small pets such as kittens and puppies are vulnerable to birds of prey.

After receiving a report of a red-tailed hawk preying on a patient in the Kettering area, we wanted to share the following tips for keeping your pets safe from birds of prey. Fortunately, Marcy (an 11 lb. Havanese) was being supervised by her mom, Susan, and escaped unharmed!

Follow these tips to keep your pets safe from birds of prey, including:

  • Supervising pets
  • Keeping pets contained
  • Providing cover
  • Avoiding ground feeding birds
  • Feeding pets indoors

Learn more here!

Trifexis is still safe for your pet

Trifexis-Logo.193131124_std (1)You may have seen a recent news broadcast warning dog owners about the heartworm and flea product, Trifexis. We wouldn’t normally comment on a story like this, but we wanted to make sure that all our clients know that our doctors are aware of the segment and we have investigated all the claims made.

The loss of a pet is always devastating, but at this point in time, no one has been able to link any pet deaths to Trifexis. Because Trifexis stays in dogs’ systems for a full month, it does end up being listed on FDA reports when side effects or death are reported, even when it is not the cause of death.

The loss of a pet is always devastating, but at this point in time, no one has been able to link any pet deaths to Trifexis.

The manufacturer has thoroughly investigated the death of any dog reported to have Trifexis in their system at the time of death, and have hired independent pathologists to review the cases. To date, no one has been able to link cause of death to administration of Trifexis.

We’ve been prescribing Trifexis to our patients since 2012 and have sent home many thousands of doses. All of our doctors and our entire staff use Trifexis with their pets. We trust it to safely prevent heartworm disease and kill fleas.

All of our doctors and our entire staff use Trifexis with their pets. We trust it to safely prevent heartworm disease and kill fleas.

If one of our doctors has prescribed a medication to your pet, it’s only after weighing the benefits and risks and determining it to be the best treatment for your pet. There is no medication that’s perfect for every pet. Pets can be sensitive to many things, and if there is an issue with any medication we make changes.

Above all, while we’re comfortable using Trifexis, you may not be, and that’s okay. If you have questions or concerns please call and speak to your veterinarian today. We are happy to talk to you about your concerns or help you select a product that you feel more comfortable using.

See more information about Trifexis from the manufacturer.

Dr. Conan Crocker has also compiled some of the most important facts from the data we’ve reviewed:
In a broadcast that aired in Atlanta late last year, WSB-TV featured three cases in which the reporter attempted to connect the dogs’ deaths to the use of Trifexis. There was no established link between Trifexis use and deaths, despite the reporter’s repeated attempts to make that connection.

Trifexis has been rigorously tested and approved as safe by the U.S. FDA, the European Medicines Agency and many other countries around the world to kill fleas and prevent infestations, to treat and control intestinal parasites and to prevent heartworm disease.
Elanco has complete confidence in the safety and efficacy of Trifexis. Since the product came to market in January 2011, all reported potential adverse events have been reported to the FDA and appropriately investigated.

There is no link established between product use and death.

Still have questions about Trifexis or heartworm and flea prevention? Call or contact us online anytime.

Bigger Road patients benefit from underwater treadmill

Underwater treadmill is gaining popularity for rehabilitation purposes, as well as for general fitness. We wanted to share videos of two of our patients, Maggie and Kylie, who have benefited from this therapy!

We refer clients to Carmen Kolz’s Canine Underwater Treadmill for treatment. When our Springboro location expands in early 2015, we will be able to offer this therapy to patients directly!

Maggie Burke


Maggie, a patient of Dr. Conan Crocker, had anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) surgery in 2009 and 2010.  The underwater treadmill has allowed Maggie to maintain strength and mobility, and control her weight through low-impact exercise.

Kylie Richards


Kylie sees Dr. Crocker for a bilateral cruciate ligament rupture. Kylie began underwater treadmill therapy in June, 2014, with the goals of improved strength and mobility. While she may need surgery in the future, Kylie’s owners have noted a marked improvement since beginning treadmill therapy.
Please Call or contact us online to find out if underwater treadmill therapy can benefit your pet!

Keller’s Breed Revealed! (Dog DNA test)

Keller Black Dog DNA test

Keller Black – Did you guess his breed?

Yesterday, we told you about Keller. Keller’s mom, Sandy, who is one of our registered technicians, used the Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis DNA test to find out Keller’s breed mix, and you posted your guesses on our Facebook page.

Let’s see if you guessed right!

Drumroll, please…

Keller is half Bluetick Coonhound (purebred back to his great grandparents on that side). His other parent was part Beagle, Mixed Breed, and Rottweiler! He also tested negative for 13 disease causing gene mutations!

Curious about your dog’s ancestry? Learn more about the Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis and how it is different from over the counter tests.

Call or contact us online today to schedule an appointment. You’ll only pay for the cost of the test. Results come back in 2-3 weeks – plenty of time to take bets from your friends and family!

Keller's Dog DNA Test results

Keller’s Dog DNA Test results

Guess Keller’s Breed! (Dog DNA test)

Keller Black - Guess the Breed!

Keller Black – Guess his Breed!

Meet Keller!

Sandy, one of our registered technicians, recently ran the Royal Canin Genetic Health Analysis DNA test on her dog, Keller. Can you guess what breeds are behind this handsome face? Hint – the results came back with three notable breeds, and we think one might surprise you!

Make sure to share your guesses on our Facebook page! We’ll have the answer for you on Tuesday, July 15th!

About DNA Testing

Royal Canin’s Genetic Health Analysis is offered only through veterinarians.  Unlike cheek-swab tests available over the counter, the Genetic Health Analysis is a blood test that can provide us with more detailed information about your pet’s predisposition to certain health conditions, as well as information about nutritional needs.

Learn more about the Genetic Health Analysis! Call or contact us online anytime to schedule.

Feeding guidelines for pet weight management

Customized feeding plan

A feeding plan customized for your pet helps ensure weight loss success

If you have tried to help your pet lose weight in the past without success, you know it is not as easy as it appears. Pet weight loss is rarely so simple as switching to a weight management diet.

We know there are many important considerations for successful weight management, and we are here to help! The nutrition tools we provide to clients give a feeding plan tailored to each pet’s specific needs, to help ensure successful weight loss and maintenance. Ask about it at your next appointment!

Questions? Call or contact us online anytime!

All diets are different!

There is no standard nutritional profile for foods labeled “Light,” “Weight Management,” or “Healthy Weight.” These diets are all over the map in terms of calorie, fat, and protein content.

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets! 

Some diets labeled for weight management have drastically reduced calories, while others actually have higher caloric density than most regular diets!

It is easy to under- or over-feed if you are not familiar with the diet you are using and your pet’s individual energy requirements.

Another consideration: when your pet’s caloric intake is reduced in order to promote weight management, protein and nutrient intake is reduced accordingly. Some diets, particularly those not formulated for weight management, may not provide your pet with sufficient protein and other nutrients to support good health.

If your pet requires significant calorie reduction, special care must be taken to select a diet that will still provide sufficient protein and other nutrients. We can help with this! Please Call or contact us online.

All pets are different!

Your pet’s energy requirements are not the same as every other pet with the same body weight! Medical conditions, body condition, and predisposition to obesity vary among pets, and this can have a significant impact on the degree of calorie reduction your pet requires in order to lose weight, or to maintain a healthy weight.

If you are struggling with managing your pet’s weight, a thorough examination by your veterinarian can help. Regular laboratory testing will also uncover medical conditions that affect weight and may require a different approach to weight management.

Watch those treats!

Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management…

Many people are shocked when they learn how many calories their pet takes in each day from treats alone. Most commercial treats are high in calories, are meant only for occasional feeding, and are not appropriate for weight management in the quantity a pet typically receives.

Consider replacing your pet’s regular treats with training-style treats, many of which are low in calories (3-5 kcals per treat) but have a potent scent and flavor.

Some of the healthy human foods you eat also make great low-cal pet treats. Carrots, green beans, blueberries, and many other fruits and vegetables are highly palatable to pets and add minimal calories to the diet. Learn about these super “people” foods for pets!

Super "people" foods for pets

Learn about super “people” foods for pets!

(Note: Avoid avocados, grapes, raisins, fruits and vegetables with seeds or pits, or anything else not specifically listed as pet-friendly. Call or contact us online anytime with questions about human foods for your pets.)

Shut the door!

If you are a multiple-pet family… it is essential that pets be fed separately.

If you are a multiple-pet family, helping one pet to lose weight becomes even more challenging. However, it is essential that pets be fed separately. A pet with free access to other pets’ food or treats will not lose weight.

Putting it all together

Bigger Road has developed a comprehensive set of nutrition tools to help our clients and patients manage weight successfully. A solid weight management plan that supports your pet’s best overall health will be highly individualized. It is also important to monitor changes in your pet’s weight and body condition, and adjust the plan accordingly.

That’s why we encourage you to discuss concerns about your pet’s weight with your veterinarian, and talk to us regularly about your pet’s progress. Call or contact us online any time. We are here to help!

In Memory ~ Zoey Dickson

Zoey Dickson

Zoey Dickson

She was the sweetest friend I have ever had. She has been my steadfast companion for 18 years, and lived so much longer than several vets told us she would. Zoey-girl, you were the best cat I have ever had, and I love you so much.

Sweet dreams Zo-zo kitty.

Pet Hospice Resources

More Pet Memorials

View All Memorials

Add Your Pet's Memorial
We would be happy to honor your pet by sharing your memories with our extended Bigger Road family. Please provide the following information, and allow 1-2 weeks for us to prepare your pet’s memorial.

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Hill’s recalls 62 bags of dog food – Ohio pet owners not affected

Hill’s reports that the product was distributed only to California, Nevada, and Hawaii.

 On June 2nd, 2014, Hill’s announced a recall of 62 bags of Science Diet® Adult Small & Toy Breed dog food, in 15.5 lb. bags.

The food was recalled because of potential salmonella contamination. Hill’s reports that the product was distributed only to California, Nevada, and Hawaii, and that Hill’s has already contacted everyone who was affected.

Hill's dog food recall

Hill’s has recalled 62 bags of Adult Small & Toy Breed dog food

For more information, please see this Hill’s press release about the recall.

Questions about your pet’s food? Call or contact us online anytime!

Keeping pets cool on hot days

With the cold days finally behind us (they are behind us, right?), it’s time for fun in the sun! But keeping your furry friends safe from dehydration and overheating requires a little bit of planning, and knowing what to look for.

Trupanion has some great tips for keeping your pet cool and happy, and things to watch out for in hot weather. Learn more here!

Trupanion - Keeping Pets Cool in Hot Weather

Trupanion – Keeping Pets Cool on Hot Days

Questions about your pet and summer activities? Call or contact us online anytime!

SICSA Paw Partners: Help a shelter dog while you get your exercise!

SICSA

SICSA

Did you know that SICSA has a Paw Partners program, that allows you to take an adoptable dog for a run or walk? This is a great way to provide enrichment and exercise for a shelter pup, support the efforts of a local animal welfare group, and improve your own health and fitness. It’s a win-win-win!

The next orientation for the Paw Partners program is Saturday, May 24th at 11am, in the SICSA training room at 2600 Wilmington Pike, Kettering (45419).

See you there!

Bigger Road is at SICSA’s Lift Your Leg!

Make sure to stop by Bigger Road’s booth at Lift Your Leg Run/Walk for Strays, on Saturday, June 7th, 2014! We will be promoting our Healthy Pet Project, a program exclusively for Bigger Road clients that includes nutrition and fitness counseling from certified counselors.

About Lift Your Leg

SICSA's Lift Your Leg

Lift Your Leg – June 7, 2014

SICSA’s Lift Your Leg Run and Walk for Strays helps thousands of animals annually by raising critical funding for their care and adoption. Each year, over 700 people join together and raise money, run and walk in support of companion animals. Participants can choose between the 10K, 5K, and a fun 1-mile course.

Learn more about Lift Your Leg!

About Bigger Road and the Healthy Pet Project

Since 1976, Bigger Road Veterinary Clinic has provided care for pets and their parents in

Healthy Pet Project

The Healthy Pet Project is exclusively for Bigger Road Clients

Kettering, OH. In 2009, we opened a second location in Springboro, allowing us to help even more pets in the Dayton area.

Bigger Road’s mission is the help pets live the longest, healthiest, happiest lives possible. We know that this is best achieved through whole life care – not just quality medical care, but also attending to a pet’s nutrition, behavior, and lifestyle needs.

The Healthy Pet Project was designed to provide this whole life care and strengthen the bond between people and their pets. Certified coaches work with clients and their pets to develop a solid nutrition plan and a schedule of activities to improve or maintain overall fitness. Fun group activities bring clients and pets together to share their successes and stay motivated.

Along with regular preventive care, the guidance provided by our coaches helps ensure that your pet stays healthy and happy. We are happy to answer questions about the Healthy Pet Project by e-mail (nutrition@biggervet.com) or on our web site (http://www.biggervet.com/), or call us anytime at (937) 435-3262.

Update on Merial PureVax feline rabies vaccine

Merial recently announced that the PureVax Feline rabies vaccine, which is Bigger Road’s choice for vaccinating cats against rabies, may be unavailable until June 2014.

Bigger Road chooses the PureVax feline rabies vaccine because our doctors feel that it is the safest product available for vaccinating your pet against rabies.

Bigger Road chooses the PureVax feline rabies vaccine because our doctors feel that it is the safest product available for vaccinating your pet against rabies. Other vaccines on the market contain additional ingredients that are suspected to have an increased risk of reactions.

If your cat is due for an examination and rabies vaccine, we encourage you to keep your appointment. It is still very important that your pet receives their scheduled examination, and you will have the opportunity to discuss the options for rabies vaccination with your veterinarian.

If we are unable to vaccinate your pet at the time of your appointment, we will be happy to schedule a future visit with no additional exam charges to perform the vaccination, once the PureVax rabies vaccine becomes available.

Merial Purevax feline rabies

Merial’s PureVax feline rabies vaccine is currently on back order

If your pet finds office visits stressful, or if an additional visit is inconvenient for you, we also offer feline house calls for clients within 8 miles of either clinic, for an additional charge.

Questions about your pet’s vaccinations or feline house calls? Call or contact us online anytime!

A novel idea: about novel protein and grain-free foods

You may have read about novel protein foods… You may also have been introduced to them as “limited ingredient” or “hypoallergenic” diets.

You may have read about novel protein foods online, heard about them at the pet store, or even been recommended one in the clinic. (You may also have been introduced to them as “limited ingredient” or “hypoallergenic” diets.)

What exactly is a “novel protein” food, and why are novel protein and/or grain-free diets recommended for some pets? Read on for the answers.

Allergies vs. food sensitivities

Some pets experience skin or gastrointestinal issues with certain pet foods. In the case of allergies, the pet’s immune system mistakes a food ingredient for something harmful and reacts against it. The most common result is skin issues: rashes, excessive itching, scratching or licking, and hot spots.

Iams Vet Formula novel protein

Novel protein diets can resolve skin & coat issues as well as gastrointestinal symptoms in some pets

Of course, not all skin issues are caused by food allergies! Your vet can help you determine the cause of your pet’s skin issues and develop a treatment plan.

Food sensitivities or intolerances are the inability of the pet’s digestive system to digest the food. This may be due to particular ingredients in the food, the quality of those ingredients, or the way the food is processed. Gastrointestinal symptoms such as gas, vomiting, and diarrhea are common with food sensitivities.

Again, food sensitivities are not the only cause of gastrointestinal issues. Your pet’s doctor can help you get to the bottom of tummy troubles.

Diet solutions

Although allergies and food sensitivities have different causes and symptoms, many hypoallergenic diets are designed to provide relief from both.

There is no set definition of a “novel protein,” but the less common its use in pet foods, the more preferred. Venison, duck, kangaroo, and rabbit are examples of novel protein sources.

For suspected allergies or sensitivities, it is not always known which specific ingredient or ingredients trigger the reaction. Often the first step is to try a diet that excludes the most common pet food ingredients.

This is where grain-free and novel protein diets come in. A novel protein is a protein source (typically from an animal, but not always) that is not commonly found in pet foods, and ideally that your pet has never been exposed to before.

There is no set definition of a “novel protein,” but the less common its use in pet foods, the more preferred. Venison, duck, kangaroo, and rabbit are examples of novel protein sources. Some ingredients like lamb, which used to be uncommon in pet foods but are now very common, may not be as effective in treating food allergies or sensitivities.

Limited ingredient diets

Not all diets with novel proteins are suitable for treating allergies or food sensitivities. 

Not all diets with novel proteins are suitable for treating allergies or food sensitivities. It is important that the food have only novel protein sources – and ideally, only one. For example, a food that is advertised as “Duck formula,” but that also contains chicken, may not be appropriate.

Many novel protein diets are also grain-free and/or use a single carbohydrate source, to further restrict the ingredient list and increase the likelihood of success with the food. Some novel protein or grain-free diets are also formulated for easier digestion.

Therapeutic diets

Although many pets will see good results with over-the-counter limited ingredient diets, there are therapeutic (prescription) diets that can provide more immediate or complete relief from symptoms.

Therapeutic diets offer the most restriction of ingredients and are often used when trying to determine the type of allergy. This often starts with a trial phase, where the food is most restricted, before ingredients can be added back in as tolerated.

Many veterinary diets are also processed differently than over-the-counter foods. They contain hydrolyzed proteins that bypass the allergic or gastrointestinal response that a pet would normally have to the food.

Your pet’s doctor can help you decide if a therapeutic diet is appropriate for your pet.

So what food should you buy?

We can provide you with a list of appropriate foods for your pet, with information about ingredients, price, where to buy, and even what the package looks like.

We are happy to recommend novel protein and limited ingredient foods for clients. We can provide you with a list of appropriate foods for your pet, with information about ingredients, price, where to buy, and even what the package looks like. Ask about it at your next appointment!

Questions about nutrition? Call or e-mail (nutrition@biggervet.com) anytime!

It’s allergy season! We can help with pet allergies.

Those of us who suffer from seasonal allergies are certainly feeling them right now! Our pets can also suffer from environmental, food, and contact allergies. Excessive scratching, licking, or hot spots are all signs to watch out for, but isolating and treating allergies in your pet is very difficult to do on your own.

PetsMatterDuring your visit, make sure you tell us about any  unusual behavior or symptoms, so we can identify the problem and help your pet feel better. Call or contact us online anytime with questions or concerns.

Also check out this article from PetsMatter for more information on pet allergies.

Protect your pet from common Spring-time poisons

Pet Poison Helpline

Pet Poison Helpline

As you get ready for gardening season, make sure to follow these tips from Pet Poison Helpline about common flowers and gardening products that can be toxic to pets!

Did you know that the following are all toxic to pets?

  • Tulips
  • Hyacinth
  • Daffodils
  • Lilies
  • Many common fertilizers

Read more at the Pet Poison Helpline, and have a safe, happy Spring outdoors!

P&G announces sale of Iams pet food business

Iams Veterinary FormulasYou may have already seen the news: Procter & Gamble has announced the sale of Iams, Eukanuba, and other pet food brands to Mars, Inc. (Mars currently owns Royal Canin, Nutro, and numerous other pet food brands.)

What does the Iams sale mean for you and your pet?

For now, nothing is changing, so don’t worry! We will be in frequent communication with both P&G and Mars…

If you currently feed a P&G or Mars brand (including the Iams Veterinary Diets and Royal Canin Veterinary Diets carried at Bigger Road) you may be wondering how this will affect you.

For now, nothing is changing, so don’t worry! We will be in frequent communication with both Procter & Gamble and Mars, and will reach out to clients with any new information as we receive it.

Questions about your pet’s diet? Call or contact us online!

Further reading: P&G sells Iams, Eukanuba, Natura for $2.9B

Cat Friendly: Tips for a Stress-Free Visit

AAFP Cat Friendly PracticeBigger Road is an American Association of Feline Practitioners Cat Friendly practiceThat means we do everything we can to make your cat’s visit as stress-free as possible.

What does it mean to be “cat friendly?”

Here are some of the things we do to ensure your pet’s comfort during each visit:

Feliway

Feliway reduces stress

  • Separate entrances for cats and dogs
  • Feliway spray and Thundershirts to calm cats in the lobby and examination rooms
  • Music and feliway diffusers in our relaxing Cat Ward, where cats stay separately from dogs, and are away from high noise and activity levels
  • Low-stress handling techniques during examinations and procedures
  • Examinations performed in a sequence designed to avoid elevating stress levels

The most “cat friendly” vet visit starts at home!

In addition to all we do, did you know that there are things you can do before and during your visit to minimize stress?

In addition to all we do, did you know that there are things you can do before and during your visit to minimize stress? Try these tips:

  • Leave your pet’s carrier out and open all the time. Once it becomes a familiar place in your home that they can come and go from as they please, the carrier will cause much less stress when it is time to visit the vet.
  • Make sure the carrier sits flat. Cats become uncomfortable when they are forced to be situated on an incline.
  • Don’t put the carrier on the floor. Cats feel safer when they are elevated. Having the carrier on the floor in our lobby or examination room may make your cat feel vulnerable. We encourage you to use our counter or exam tables to keep your cat up high and feeling safe.
  • Use Feliway at home. In the clinic, we use Feliway to put your cat at ease. And while Feliway works quickly, it will work even better if you spray it on a towel or bed in the carrier before leaving home. Your cat’s stress level will be easier to manage if it is not as elevated to begin with.

Have more questions about ensuring a stress free visit for your feline family member? We’re here to help! Call or contact us online today!

 

Simplify your pet’s nutrition!

We get it: pet nutrition is confusing! Did you know that Bigger Road offers exclusive nutritional tools for clients that make it simple? Read all about it here, and ask us at your next appointment!

Feeding Plans

Customized feeding plan

Customized feeding plan

If your pet needs to slim down a bit, is an overweight-prone breed, or you are just confused by your pet food labels, you will love our customized Feeding Plans.

This is a guide made just for you and your pet – his weight, his goals, and the food and treats he likes. You will know how much to feed and how much to treat, without scrutinizing food labels.

Post it on the fridge and everyone in the house will know exactly what to do to keep your pet on track!

Food Recommendations

Not sure what you should be feeding? The hundreds of choices at the pet store certainly

Customized food recommendations

Customized food recommendations

don’t make it easy, but we have you covered. Based on your pet’s needs and your preferences, we can provide you with a list of recommended foods. We tell you:

  • Where to find them
  • How much you’ll pay
  • What the packages look like
  • Why they’re good choices for your pet

Don’t go into the maze of food aisles at the pet store without a map!

We’re here to help!

Questions about pet nutrition? Call or e-mail us (nutrition@biggervet.com) today!

Alert: Jerky Treats for Pets

In January 2014, two brands of jerky treats for pets that had previously been withdrawn from sale were reintroduced. This renewed concerns among pet owners and veterinarians about commercial jerky treats.

There are still many unanswered questions about commercial jerky treats for pets. Until more is known, Bigger Road advises pet owners to find alternative treats for rewarding their furry friends.

The brands, Canyon Creek Ranch (owned by Nestle Purina) and Milo’s Kitchen (owned by Del Monte Foods Corp.), were voluntarily withdrawn, after independent testing found trace amounts of unapproved antibiotics in the jerky products.

Although believed to be unrelated to reports of adverse health effects associated with commercial jerky treats, the antibiotics are not approved for use in the United States.

Reports of pet illness and death associated with commercial jerky treats have seen circulating since 2007 – mostly, but not exclusively, attached to products manufactured in China.

To date, a causal link between jerky treats and reports of illness has not been established, and ongoing independent product testing has not identified any contaminants in the products that would cause the reported symptoms. Product withdrawals due to unapproved antibiotics or possible salmonella contamination are not believed to be responsible for the symptoms being reported.

There are still many unanswered questions about commercial jerky treats for pets. Until more is known, Bigger Road advises pet owners use alternative treats to reward their furry friends.

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