Hidden Dangers May Be A Mouth Away

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For years it was optional for our dog and cat owners to choose whether they wanted dental x-rays for their pets. For the last year, ALL of our dental patients have received dental x-rays. Why you say? Because on a routine physical exam it is impossible to perform a complete dental exam. We now know on the anesthetized dental patient, it is also impossible to perform a complete dental exam without dental x-rays.*  We know this because the dental x-rays have revealed hidden dangers.

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Take Fido Doe, a recent dental patient of ours. Fido’s teeth were graded a P1 by the veterinarian. (P0 -P4 is our grade standard with P0 being the best) Once anesthetized, Fido’s teeth were x-rayed. The x-rays revealed root fractures of many teeth. There is no way to determine when this happened or why. But the fact remains these teeth had hidden issues that only dental x-rays could find. There is also no way to know how much pain Fido had been in. Dogs and cats are masters at hiding pain. I call it a survival instinct.

Another case in point is Emmy, my own 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer. She had a routine dental performed in June of last year. Dr. Mark Plott and his team performed dental x-rays. Emmy’s right upper canine tooth was basically dead. She had shown no obvious signs of pain and discomfort at home. When they cleaned the tartar from that tooth, there was a slight discoloration near the gum line. Without the x-rays we would have never known about the advanced nature of her problem and her pain. The recommendation was to remove the tooth. Once she healed from the extraction, she was like a new dog. She was playing often and hard with our new puppy. Even acting like the puppy herself!

Dental cleanings are not cheap for dogs and cats. At least they are not cheap at Foster Animal Hospital compared to other places. (no two vet hospitals practice vet medicine the same) The service received here is not cheap either. There is a high value for what we do before, during and after dental treatments. If nothing more, just the fact that we now routinely find hidden dangers during a routine dental treatment by taking x-rays can save your pet years of oral pain and discomfort. And can ultimately save you money. That’s why having a yearly dental  treatment is the best recommendation we can make.

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*Note- all dental procedures require anesthesia. Our patients won’t sit in the chair with their mouths open!!

For more information on what our Dental Treatment includes visit here:

https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/veterinary-services/pet-dental-care.html, or give us a call today at 704-786-0104.

Links for more information on this important topic:

https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/?m=201612

https://www.avdc.org/ownersinfo.html

https://www.avdc.org/radiographs.html

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

Valentine’s Day Makes 9 Years!

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What’s that you say? February 14, 2017 will mark the 9th anniversary of Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons. For those of you that aren’t aware, our first satellite clinic is located just north of Charlotte Motor Speedway on Hwy 29, aka Concord Parkway. The exact address is 3805 Concord Parkway South, Suite 124. The clinic is in the Parkway Commons shopping center that houses the Walmart Neighborhood Market and Walgreens. There are a variety of other tenants and restaurants as well, many locally owned.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons, FAC for short, is an outpatient clinic only. We provide Annual Wellness exams, vaccines, and treat minor ailments and illnesses. We have a pharmacy to dispense medications, heart worm prevention, flea/tick prevention, and Science Diet and Prescription Diet. All surgery, dental treatments, x-rays, etc. are sent to our main Hospital at 730 Concord Parkway North.

For those of you who prefer a less busy and quieter setting, FAC is the place for you. Many of our patients like FAC for those same reasons too! In fact, a lot of our cat-owning clients prefer this location for their feline babies. We try and use Tuesday afternoon from 3-6 pm as a “cat only” clinic.

So if you live in that area, stop by and say hi! Or better yet, give us a call and make an appointment for your fur baby!

704-262-7387 (PETS).

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

“He Doesn’t Act Like He’s In Pain”

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“He doesn’t act like he’s in pain”.

That’s a common phrase we hear in our exam rooms or in conversations with clients that have older pets. We also hear, “she sleeps more because she’s old”, “he doesn’t go on walks as much because he’s old”, or “he’s gotten grumpier in his old age”.

While some of that may be true, reality is dogs and cats are masters at hiding chronic pain. Whether that goes back generations when there habitat was more outside and they needed more of a  survival instinct is up for debate. We do see different pain tolerances among different patients. But the average pet doesn’t show signs of chronic pain that we as humans feel would be typical signs.

So, sleeping more, walking less, being grumpy may well be “normal” signs of chronic pain for our pets.

Let’s look at what may be driving chronic pain and what we can do about it.

Arthritis is the most common cause of chronic pain in older pets. Arthritis can involve any joint, as well as, the spine. Arthritis is defined as the painful inflammation and stiffness of joints. Some pets develop arthritis from wear and tear over the years. Some pets will have arthritic joints from disease, such as, hip dysplasia. Some will have arthritis from injuries, for example, a torn cranial cruciate ligament. And there are other causes as well.

Chronic pain may result from other physical ailments: intervertebral disc disease, fibrotic muscle disease, or neuropathic pain.

The good news is, we have many ways to deal with chronic pain in your pet.

There are many different prescription medications that are available. The majority of the medicines are approved for dogs. There are some for cats but not as many. This is because cats are unable to tolerate many of these medications. Some of these drugs deal with inflammation and pain and some are for pain only. Sometimes, we will safely use a combination of these to help our patients feel and function better.

Neutraceuticals, supplements, and Chinese herbs are another way to relieve chronic pain. In fact, this is oftentimes the first line of defense. These supplements help nourish the joints and some have natural anti-inflammatory ability as well. There are a ton of these available but not all are reliable or effective. We suggest asking us for guidelines before starting any supplement.

Rehabilitation Therapy is a new and up-and-coming option for pets with chronic pain, injuries, and for post-op recovery. Rehab utilizes many of the same techniques that physical therapy does in humans. Manual therapy, massage, passive range of motion, and therapeutic exercises are often employed. We also use different modalities: underwater treadmill, LASER, land treadmill, and more. The response to therapy is remarkable and helps pets regain pain-free function. While many degenerative issues are not curable, Rehabilitation Therapy can decrease chronic pain, improve strength, improve neurological function, and promote healing. We even have access to acupuncture, platelet rich plasma, and stem cell therapy!

If any of this reminds you of your pet, contact us today!

Foster Animal Hospital and Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center: 704-786-0104

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons: 704-262-7387.

 

All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

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What’s Going On In There?

Have you ever looked at a closed door and wondered what is behind it? Or maybe a cabinet that is very high and said, “If I only had a ladder.”

For years we veterinarians wondered the same thing about dog’s and cat’s mouths! Well specifically, what is going on in there? Guess what, we found the ladder!

So you’re saying, “Dr. Steve, what in the world are you talking about?”. Over the last several years, dental radiographs or x-rays, have become available. And thanks to modern technology, regular and dental x-ray machines are now digital. When we as humans go to the dentist, we often have x-rays made of our teeth. What are the dentists and us vets looking for?

We are looking at the present condition of of the tooth roots and bone that support and anchor our pet’s teeth. And we are also looking at the future of your pet’s mouth.

According to the American Veterinary Dental College, periodontal disease ” is the most common clinical condition occurring in adult dogs and cats, and is entirely preventable.” ( https://www.avdc.org/periodontaldisease.html ) Statistics show that by 3 years of age, most dogs and cats have signs of periodontal disease. Let that sink in: “most common clinical condition” and “3 years of age”. Is that shocking to you?

If you think about it, for the average dog and cat, 1 year of age is equivalent to 7 years for humans. (That is an average. Dogs in particular age at different rates based on size, breed, and sex) At what age do we start brushing our children’s teeth? At what age do our children start going to the dentist? Hopefully not at age 21!

So back to the matter of dental x-rays for dogs and cats. Many of our pets can suffer from hidden tooth root damage and periodontal bone loss. This can result in a tooth that is dying, or severe infection, and pain. And many of our pets never show us the pain. And when they do, the problem is advanced and requires immediate action.

A case in point is Emmy, my own 12 year old Miniature Schnauzer. She had a routine dental performed in June of this year. Dr. Mark Plott and his team performed dental x-rays. Emmy’s right upper canine tooth was basically dead. She had shown no obvious signs of pain and discomfort at home. When they cleaned the tartar from that tooth, there was a slight discoloration near the gum line. Without the x-rays we would have never known about the advanced nature of her problem and her pain. The recommendation was to remove the tooth. Once she healed from the extraction, she was like a new dog. She was playing often and hard with our new puppy. Even acting like the puppy herself!

My point is, we never knew Emmy was in that much pain. And to make matters worse, she was in a position to develop an abscess that would have created more pain and misery and could have potentially seeded her blood stream and body with infection.

All dental cleanings performed at Foster Animal Hospital now receive full mouth x-rays. Yes, this has increased the cost of the procedure. Unfortunately, the digital dental x-ray machines are not cheap. But we feel as the advocates for your precious family members, the benefits and value of this step are definitely worth the cost. And Emmy agrees!

There is probably not a more important procedure to have done for your pet. You never know what is behind that door!

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All the best,

Stephen E Foster, DVM, CCRT

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons

Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center

730 Concord Parkway North

Concord, NC 28027

704-786-0104

sfoster@fosteranimalhospital.com

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Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center- Press Release

Canine Rehabilitation Comes To Concord
02/18/2013
For Immediate Release
Canine Rehabilitation Comes To Concord
Concord, NC – (February 18, 2013) Foster Animal Hospital has been providing Concord with superior veterinary care for over 50 years and is proud to announce certified canine rehabilitation is now available.
Dr. Steve Foster, son of founder Dr. Tom Foster and current co-owner of Foster Animal Hospital, recently became interested in Canine Rehabilitation at a continuing education lecture. “Canine Rehabilitation is very similar to physical therapy and reading about the successes with dogs, I became fully energized to be a part of this exciting new field. I wanted to bring this service to our hospital and our area,” states Dr. Steve Foster. In March 2012, Dr. Foster completed his required courses and completed an internship for certification.
What is Canine Rehab? Basically it is Canine physical therapy. However, physical therapy is a human term; therefore, the appropriate term in veterinary medicine is Canine Rehabilitation. Just as in physical therapy, Canine Rehab helps to restore appropriate functionality to our patients. Whether the issue is due to trauma, a surgical procedure such as anterior cruciate ligament repair, degenerative arthritis, obesity, a neurological issue such as intervertebral disc disease, or others, Canine Rehab can help restore functionality.
After six months of working with local pets and owners, Dr. Foster shared, “The results I have seen have been nothing short of amazing. Patients’ lives have been extended, patients’ quality of life has been markedly improved, and clients are ecstatic that their ‘babies’ are recovering from surgery faster and completely. Geriatric dogs are active and happy again and have a new lease on life. As a veterinary practitioner of almost 28 years, Canine Rehabilitation Therapy is one of the best career decisions I have made. Seeing my patients do so well is especially rewarding. All post-op dogs, neurological cases, and older patients should experience the wonderful benefits of Canine Rehabilitation Therapy.”
Foster Animal Hospital is launching Paws in Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center which will offer full therapy services custom to the pet’s individual needs. From laser to manual therapy, each case is unique. Dr. Foster evaluates each patient to customize a rehab plan in order to reach the owner’s goals for their pet. To find out more, please visit www.fosteranimalhosptial.com or the FAH blog at https://www.fosteranimalhospital.com/blog/
Foster Animal Hospital www.fosteranimalhospital.com
Foster Animal Hospital offers full-service veterinary care and pet services for dogs and cats. We are proud of our more than 50-year reputation in the community, along with our commitment to providing modern, up-to-date veterinary care. Our progressive methods and the latest thinking in pet care make us the #1 choice in Concord, North Carolina

What our clients are sharing…

“I made an appointment with Dr. Steve Foster knowing in my heart that Molly, our 13 year old Lab, only had days to live. Her arthritis had become so bad in her left front elbow and her back legs that I could no longer bear to see her suffer. Through the tears, I explained Molly’s problem. Dr. Steve asked me if I would be willing to try rehabilitation/physical therapy. This was the best thing I have ever done for Molly. After several sessions, her limp is gone and her back legs move independently where before the back legs did the old man shuffle. If you have a dog like Molly it is definitely worth doing therapy. It saved her life. Words cannot express our gratitude.”
~ Michelle

“Our walk was longer and very interesting. Jackson does not sit or lay down which indicates he is more comfortable walking. HOWEVER, he is showing his stubborn streak of planting his feet and refusing to move when he sees something interesting. Last night it was a neighbor’s garden. He was totally focused and standing with his feet firmly planted. It was very hot and I got a little lax with the leash. He sensed the lack of tension and bounded in the garden. He jumped a rabbit!!! The energy was amazing. He didn’t go far and returned when I called him but it was a Jackson miracle. Afterwards, he turned towards home and was ready for water and a nap!”
~ Janice

“My family took me to see Dr. Foster and he thought that I either had severe arthritis in my back and hips and perhaps some neurological deficits which made use of my legs very difficult. He suggested arthritis medicine and pain medicine and then a new program to make an effort to strengthen my legs through physical therapy and rehabilitation. On Mondays and Wednesdays my dad would put me in the front seat beside him and take me into the hospital and I was met by the nicest girls. I was treated like a queen and got a lot of attention. I had a funny haircut so Dr. Foster could do laser therapy to my hips. I did a little better at first and then I had a bad spell where I almost could not get around at all. We took a couple of weeks off and started working hard again. My daddy was worried that I would not improve. He thought it was time to call in hospice. Dr. Steve and I proved him wrong. Mother was happy as I continue to make improvements over the last two months. I still have periods of stumbling and I need a little help getting up the front steps in the house. I now spend more time in the house and get so much more attention. When I go for walks in the neighborhood the cats stay away from me. Neighbors are amazed at how well I get around. I got a new hairdo and bath for the summer. My parents and sister Diana love me so much probably because they realize how close they were to losing me. I cannot say enough good things about the people at the hospital. They have loved me as much as my parents. Dr. Steve has pushed me hard and made me work for all of my improvement. I owe all of my improvement in the quality of my life to Dr. Steve and the girls. Without the new expertise of Dr. Steve and the compassion of everyone, I would probably not be here. Rejuvenated and Rehabilitated Pup, Cleopatra”
~ Dr. Robert

 

Twas The Night Before Christmas- Foster Animal Hospital Style

 

Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
All the dogs and cats were sleeping in the house.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that Santa Paws soon would be there.

The pets were nestled all snug in the beds,
While visions of CET dental treats danced in their heads.
Healthy Advantage was the food that they craved,
If fed this, they promised Santa, they would behave.

When out on the lawn arose such a clatter,
They sprang from their beds to see what was the matter.
Away to the window they flew in a flash,
Hoping someone had turned over the trash.

The moon on the breast of the new fallen snow,
Gave the luster of mid-day to the objects below.
When what to their wondering eyes should abound,
But a miniature sleigh and eight tiny deerhounds.

With a driver so cute it should be against the law,
I knew in a moment it must be Santa Paws.
More rapid than eagles his hounds they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name.

“Now Doctor Foster’s Steve and Tom, Now Seals, Now Ueleke and Dr. Plott!
On Doctor’s Novosad, Moser, and Lake and the lot!
To the top of the porch to the top of the wall,
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!”

So up to the house-top the deerhounds they flew,
With the sleigh full of goodies, and Santa Paws too!
With Trifexis, Comfortis and Iverheart in his sack,
Down the chimney came the leader of the pack.

The dogs hoped for Vectra 3D,
To keep them free of annoying fleas.
Revolution for cats is out of sight,
Treating them for heartworms, fleas and ear mites.

In our stockings went Preventive Care Plans good for a year,
To help keep us healthy and full of good cheer.
Plans that included a resort stay,
Where we could be cared for and be able to play.

Adaptil for dogs to decrease fear and anxiety,
And Feliway to calm cats and stop erroneous pee.
We knew that our owners had put these on our list,
Because these gave us both a big assist.

He did not bark, but went straight to his work,
And filled all our stockings then turned with a jerk.
Laying his paw aside of his nose,
And giving a nod up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a bark,
And away they all flew like wings on a lark.
But I heard him exclaim ‘ere he drove off in stealth,
Happy Christmas to all and to all your pets we wish them Good Health.

 

From-

Robin Moser, DVM

Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.

Concord, NC 28027

rmoser@fosteranimalhospital.com

 

Preventive Care Plans For Your Pet!

I want to inform everyone of a great opportunity, our preventative care plans. We offer these plans as a way to take care of your dog and/or cat for one year and save money at the same time. Often owners are unaware of what their dog or cat might need from their veterinarian during one year. Our goal for creating the plans is to allow owners to get the best care for their dog and/or cat. Our receptionists, assistants and veterinarians can give you the information to help you make that decision. Each plan includes at least one free office visit and discounts on other services or products that aren’t included in the plan. This will hopefully allow you to bring your pet to us more often with less expense so that you can take care of your pet the way you want. We also have special financing options available. Please contact us today about this exciting opportunity!
Regards,
Mark Plott, DVM, CCRT-pending

 

Dental care for your dog and/or cat is very important for their health

 

Dental care for your dog and/or cat is very important for their health and is not simply a cosmetic issue. About 75% of dogs and cats by the age of 3 have dental tartar that untreated can lead to gingivitis and periodontal disease, ultimately resulting in tooth loss. In addition to causing bad breath and smelly hair, your pet’s dental tartar can cause infection in their mouth which can spread to other body organs like the heart, kidney and liver. Gingivitis and periodontal disease is a painful condition that can make your pet not eat properly and not want to interact normally with their family.
We at Foster Animal Hospital are experts at helping you prevent and treat your pet’s dental problems. Please give us a call or schedule an appointment so that we can help you with your pet’s dental care.
Regards,
Mark Plott DVM, CCRT-pending