Posts Tagged: preventive care plans
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!
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
My first seven years at Foster Animal Hospital were spent wearing a plethora of hats; that of an internist, general practitioner, surgeon, and so on, all within the walls of our original hospital location. Then, one day last year, Steve Foster approached me to ask if I would like to experience a day at Foster Animal Clinic at Parkway Commons (FAC). Having variation in my day to day routine is one of the aspects I love so much about being a Vet, but change can be scary. Sure, I knew the clinic existed (somewhere down there), but its ins and outs were completely foreign to me. I had no idea what to expect and was therefore hesitant to accept. That night I discussed the proposition with my family. My then two year old son made a pretty compelling argument. “Mommy, you always tell me new things are fun!” I was helpless before such sound logic. It’s been nine months since my first day at FAC and I can honestly say my time down here has become a highlight of my week!
First thing you will notice at Foster Animal Clinic is the intimacy of our setting. Our ability to devote our undivided attention to you and your pet gives the clinic a unique experience. The quiet atmosphere allows my patients to be more at ease during their visit. We are able to spend the time to learn the personalities of each patient and what techniques allow them to be more comfortable.
The location and size has been a huge asset for our busy clients. There is usually no wait time allowing for a smooth yet efficient appointment. Many clients take advantage of our drop off service and we get the benefit of having furry friends to play with all day! Having the support from Foster Animal Hospital just 5 miles down the road allows us to provide all the services of a large hospital while keeping the intimate feel of a neighborhood vet.
Approaching my first year practicing at Foster Animal Clinic I can say I have formed personal bonds with my clients, gotten to know little quirks about my patients, and have been able to grow as a veterinarian. So if you haven’t experienced the family atmosphere at Foster Animal Clinic come by and stop in for a chat. Like me, you may like what you see!
Brittany Novosad, DVM
Canine Rehabilitation Comes To Concord
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
“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.”
“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!”
“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
For years, many of us veterinarians have used certain months to promote services and items. Some still do. These promotions could include- spay/neuter, dentistry, wellness tests, etc. In 2012, we at Foster Animal Hospital designed and implemented our Dental Cleaning Promo that proved to be resoundingly popular. Many clients liked this promo because we designed it as a single price that fit every dog or cat regardless of the “state of their mouth”. In fact, the Dental Cleaning Promo was so popular, we declared every month at Foster Animal Hospital as Dental Month.
Due to the Dental Promo’s popularity, we have designed our Spay/Neuter Promo as well! The Spay/Neuter Promo is designed to include: the spay/neuter itself, pre-operative bloodwork, fluid therapy under anesthesia, complete monitoring of all vitals, and a Capstar flea pill. (To see the details, click on the link below. Also with the link there is a pdf file that shows the prices and the Promo details.) As you will see, there is “one price that fits all”. The age and weight of your pet does not affect the price! By including the pre-operative bloodwork and fluids, you don’t have to sacrifice quality. We hope all can see the value recieved in our new Promo!
So why spay/neuter?
- The most obvious reason is population control. The number of feral cats and unwanted puppies and kittens in Cabarrus County is staggering. Some estimates place the feral cat population in the hundreds of thousands. Many unwanted puppies and kittens are euthanized each year or are abandoned for an unknown fate. Controlling the over-population is crucial.
- Behavior. Plain and simple, hormones influence behavior. When an animal is spayed or neutered, the source of hormones is removed: the ovaries or the testicles. Unwanted male behavior includes aggression, roaming, urine marking, excessive libido. Most puppies taken to Animal Control are done so because of behavioral issues. Most are never adopted.
- Health. Studies show that spaying female dogs or cats before their first heat cycle, results in an almost 0% chance of developing breast cancer. The old wive’s tale of letting them go through the first heat is wrong. Spaying is recommended at 6 months of age. Females also cannot develop ovarian disease, uterine disease, or pyometra once they are spayed. Males have a much reduced risk of prostate infection/inflammation once neutered. (neutering doesn’t have a profound effect on limiting prostate cancer however). Many non-spayed and non-neutered dogs and cats develop problems in old age. Couple the older age with a severe uterine or prostate infection, and you have a patient that is not a desirable surgical candidate.
I hope this helps you understand the importance of spaying and neutering your pets. Every dog and cat I own has been spayed or neutered. All were done by 6 months of age. Please click on the link below to learn more about Foster Animal Hospital’s new Spay/Neuter Promo.
All the best,
Steve Foster, DVM, CCRT
Foster Animal Hospital
So, yo, it’s Bunker again. Sorry, I couldn’t steal any of dad’s stories recently, you know, Christmas, New Years, and all. But I found this one about a pig. (Dad’s squealing like a pig at the start but soon changes his tune!) Well anyhoo, just wanted to share another story from Dad’s early days veterinarianing, or somethin’ like that.
“I’m going to own his farm”, I screamed at my wife. “This guy’s sow has been in labor 2 days and here it is 10 o’clock at night! Boy is this going to cost him.”
“Be careful”, my wife Joanna muttered as I hurried out the door.
“The very idea that he waited this long to call. I’ve been at it all day and evening. I just want some rest”, I thought to myself during the 30-minute drive.
I had not been out of veterinary college 2 months. My father’s busy practice made for long days and often long nights. Weekends on call were filled with phone calls and emergency office and farm visits. Often times for emergencies but oftentimes not. Many were not even regular clients. But how do you turn someone away when they, or in these cases their beloved animals, were in need? Such was the commitment that my father, Dr. Tom, had made to the community for the last 27 years. It was certainly expected and participated in by me, his oldest son Steve. As I sped down the curvy, country roads to the Birkdale’s farm, the window down and the radio on, it brought back memories of a young boy, me, with my Dad, the man I adored, on his way to much the same type call. I can remember listening to Ernie Johnson calling the Atlanta Braves baseball games, or listening to NC State basketball and football, or NASCAR races as we sped along, many times on those same roads. “I want to be just like him”, I thought, never dreaming that long days and nights were not as much fun for Dad as an occasional call with Dad was for me. Everyone respected Dad; he had more than earned it. Because of him, I was drawn to helping animals through good times and bad.
At least I thought so until tonight!
“At last” I said as I made the final turn onto the Birkdale farm driveway. The palatial porcine palace I was “going to own” was mine for the taking. The Chevrolet Blazer made its way up the dark gravel drive. The surroundings were not fine, painted wooden fences as I had envisioned, but instead old junk cars piled treetop high. The palatial palace was an old run down mobile home with one muted light on in the middle of the trailer. My heart sank, as I knew that this could be a long night.
Many people in this area of North Carolina had “a few head” of cattle, pigs, sheep, or other assortments of critters as a supplement to their regular careers, oftentimes a career in the textile mills. Most were well meaning folk trying to supplement their finances or use land that had been left to them or perhaps they were carrying on a family tradition in farming, if only in a small way. Most were, by and large, well versed in caring for their livestock. Some were not.
“What have I gotten myself into”, as I took the final drag from my cigarette and climbed from the trusty truck. I looked around and the only beacon in the pitch black was the light on in the middle of the trailer. I slowly walked to the back of the Blazer, pulled on my coveralls and rubber boats, gathered the “OB” bag and various supplies and headed to the front door of the pig palace. A growing rumbling could be heard, much like a herd stampeding on dry hollow ground. The rumble would reach a peak and a small child’s head would pop up in the window and then disappear again only to resume the stampede through the abode. This occurred over and over again. Halfway to the door the thought entered my mind to turn around, quietly get in the truck and zoom back home. The thought of snuggling up to Joanna in a deep, peaceful slumber was very tempting.
“Over here”, the voice boomed from my left. Startled, I peered into the darkness to the sight of nothing.
I pressed on to the front door.
“No! Over here!” the voice boomed again. Again I looked into the endless black night and again saw nothing. “Am I hearing things?” I thought to myself. ” What the hell am I into” I worried. “I am surely going to be on the channel 9 news tonight” I thought. The news anchor would say “A tragedy in Cabarrus County tonight. The new owner of the Palatial Porcine Palace, Dr Steve Foster was found murdered tonight!” His last words were something like “can you believe she’s been in labor 2 days!”
“NO! OVER HERE!” the voice rattled me back to the present. Again I looked to my left. Finally a small ray of light fell on a man sitting on the ground at the corner of that trailer! She’s over here he said again. Slowly, I walked toward the small figure as he sat on the ground. Quickly, I tried to think of my escape route!
“Thanks for coming Doc. She’s back here in the barn. I’m really worried about her.” Effortlessly I replied’ “No problem! Let’s take a look.”
I anxiously approached him as he sat on the ground. I could see thick, heavy gloves covering the farmer’s hands and that his legs, or better yet the stumps that were once legs, were covered and wrapped with large black trash bags.
“Come on back” his panicked voice said. “I’ll show you.”
Birkdale then proceeded to drag himself along the ground. Rounding the trailer, the Birkdale Estate came into full view. To our right were worn, tattered 3-foot tall wooden fences precariously holding back equally as tall ponies. The ponies were hard to discern from the fence rails because of their extreme state of malnourishment. Their hooves were untrimmed and curved much like a jester’s slippers. To the left was his barn. The roof was barely 10 feet tall and I was again fearful as the barn had a certain lean to it. “She’s in here”, Birkdale stated as he squirted through the 3-foot tall door.
I folded myself up and crawled through the minute opening. Once inside I could see the concerned farmer next to his prized sow. Even though I was inexperienced, I could see right away what the problem was. The same problem I had seen many times with dad. This sow was a mere “baby” trying to have babies herself. Part of the problem with part-time farmers is they have limited time to deal with all that is required of them. Oftentimes, young female stock are never separated from the herd. The results are adolescent livestock attempting to give birth, sometimes successfully but usually not.
The young sow lay on her side. The labored breathing was only interrupted by fierce abdominal straining. She was barely 150 pounds. The stench and drainage from her womb was recognizable as that of dead piglets.
“I’ll need to examine her”, as I tried to conceal my disgust. I attempted to pass my gloved and lubricated hand but due to the narrow constriction of the tired and overexerted birth canal I could only place my fingertips inside.
I vaguely remembered one of my large animal clinicians from Auburn saying that a treatment for sows with undeliverable pigs (and when a c-section was not an option) would be medication and flushing which may help the pigs to literally rot out. The sow could sometimes be salvaged for slaughter. “I can’t even examine her. It doesn’t look good. She’s too weak and toxic for surgery (not to mention the unlikely ability to pay for such a surgery), our only choices are to treat and hope (explaining the professor’s treatment) or to put her down.”
“I hate to lose her Doc”, he sorrowfully stated. “We really need her.” I gave him the medicine and explained its use.
Now came the moment of truth. The chance to own that farm and move the wife to the country! “How much do I owe you”, Birkdale questioned.
“Uh, well, um, let’s see, how about thirty five dollars?” (Thirty-five dollars are you kidding me?! During the day alone it should have been over $100!)
“Well, can I pay you next week? “
“Well, ok sure, that would be fine.”
I climbed in the Blazer for the 30-minute ride home. While driving, I thought about the turn of events: The farm I was going to own but now didn’t want and the senseless, inevitable death of the poor, young sow.
What have I gotten myself into- not only tonight but for the rest of my life with this career?
Why did he have to call me?
Will I ever see my money?
I hope I never hear anyone say “no, over here” again.
Steve Foster, DVM, CCRT
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
Paws In Motion Canine Rehabilitation Center
730 Concord Pkwy North
Concord, NC 28027
(Please do not reproduce this article without the permission of the author)
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.
Robin Moser, DVM
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
Concord, NC 28027
Well, yo, hey, yep you guessed it, it’s me Ole Bunkeroo, the Bunk man, you know me, Bunker, simply Mr. B to my subjects. Just got back from the mall buying stuff for Christmas. Whew, a lab takes his life in his paws being on the road with all these crazy drivers! Don’t anyone have patience anymore? Cuh-ray-zee I tell ya! I mean some of them folks need to be sent to the lab for testing. Only thing is, don’t send ’em to this lab! hehe!
Anyhoo, speaking of patients, I came across another dad story from his early days. And believe me, as old as he is, these stories were from way early days. I’m talking that old person, Methodloser, or whoever the heck it was. Kind of a touching story I reckon. Shoot, I’ll read anythin’ as long as he keeps feedin’ me and givin’ me them pills. So sit back and enjoy. Oh and Merry Christmas to all y’all!!
Occasionally in life, if we are so blessed, people come along that touch our lives in very special ways. It may be in a single event or seen over a lifetime. I have been very blessed in this way with my parents, my wonderful wife, our children, friends, and in my professional life by many clients that make it worthwhile to go to work everyday. As in any career, people are good and bad, honest and dishonest, appreciative and unappreciative, important and unimportant. The ones who make a positive statement on life have all of the good traits out front and exhibited, while keeping the bad traits to themselves or out of mind and sight. The day is better when these people cross our paths. One such person in my professional life is Mac.
Mac belonged to the most under appreciated fraternity, the hardest working fraternity, and in my opinion, one of the noblest fraternities in existence- that of the dairy business. Dairy men and women truly have one of the most difficult and challenging careers. The cows must be tended to 24 hours a day for 7 days a week for 365 days a year. Most days start before sun up and end well after dark. No matter the weather- blistering hot, soggy humid, freezing cold, soaking wet, or solidly frozen, work must be done. The hours are long and the pay is less than they earn. The larger the family dairy, the more amplified all this can be. Being a dairyman in the late 1980’s and 1990’s could prove especially difficult. Some weathered the storm, others did not.
Mac, without a doubt, is one dairyman I have the most respect and admiration for. He is also one person I have the most respect and admiration for. Mac’s dairy was a conglomerate. Not a corporate conglomerate but a family conglomerate. There were multiple families involved, as the father and mother founders had long been deceased. There were more hands in that fire and more hands out for the pie than one can imagine. In addition to milking 200 head of Holsteins, they farmed hundreds of acres of crops for feed and to sell. As organized as they tried to be, disorganization often ruled. The classic “too many chiefs and not enough Indians” scenario applied. The crop farmers often made life miserable for the dairy farmers. In reality, the dairy paid all the bills, including those of the croppers. If it weren’t for the income from the dairy, the whole operation would go under. This became all too true years later.
The one constant through all of this controlled chaos was Mac. His concern and devotion to the family farm was inspiring. His work ethic was the best. His knowledge and love for his “coworkers”, the cows, was amazing. Mac labored so loyally, his health often suffered. He has had numerous strains and sprains, as well as, surgeries for bulging discs. His desire to make his herd and their production better was a joy to see. As busy and as hectic as his pace was, Mac always had time to inquire about me or my family, or Dad, or we would talk simply about one of the organizations he cherished, 4-H. I never left that farm without Mac saying, “Thank you Steve”. He loved his wife and children as much as any man could. It truly was the highlight of my month to go and perform routine heard health exams at his farm. I always left feeling grateful for being there.
Mac’s conglomerate met the fate of many family dairies. There was too little financial return for the farm to be viable.
When that farm closed, it broke my heart. I think it broke Mac’s also.
No, I know it did.
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!
Mark Plott, DVM, CCRT-pending
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.
Mark Plott DVM, CCRT-pending
If you answered yes to any of the above, then we need to talk! Any degree of being overweight is more harmful than you may realize to your precious pup. The sheer task of carrying extra weight can create a damaging stress to your pet’s back, hips, knees, shoulders, elbows, virtually any joint! Also, fat cells are inflammatory by nature, which starts the degenerative cascade to arthritis. So by eliminating excess body fat, you really can kill two birds with one stone. Below is an excerpt from our most recent Foster Animal Hospital e-newsletter.
According to a recent survey,* more than half of U.S. dogs and cats are overweight. These pets are at a higher risk for developing serious medical problems, including arthritis, diabetes, breathing problems, and some forms of cancer. So how can you slim down your super-sized pet and reduce the risk of these diseases? The answer is easier than you think.
1. SIZE UP YOUR PET
Ask your veterinarian about your pet’s body condition score (or BCS). Using the BCS scale, your veterinarian can easily determine whether your pet is underweight, overweight, or right on track. As a rule, you should be able to feel (but not see) your pet’s ribs through a thin layer of fat and see a defined “waist” between the ribs and hips.
2. MEASURE MEALS
Too many pet owners simply fill the bowl or estimate how much they’re feeding. But did you know that once a cat has received the calories he needs (typically less than 300 per day), adding just one extra teaspoon of dry food each day can add up to a pound of weight gain in a year? Keep in mind that for the average 10-pound cat, this is a 10 percent weight gain!
Exercise and good nutrition are powerful partners to help your pet live a long and healthy life. For dogs, as little as 20 to 30 minutes of daily brisk walking is all it takes to boost immune function, improve cardiovascular health, and reduce many behavioral problems. For cats, try playing chase (using a laser pointer [avoid the eyes], remote-controlled toy, or ball of paper) for five to 15 minutes each day.
Please call us at (704) 786-0104 with any questions or visit your Pet Portal to learn more.
Foster Animal Hospital, P.A.
I am hopeful these tips help you. As I have been doing Canine Rehab for many months, the dogs that respond the best are those that have a normal body weight. Through our Rehab program, we are able to speed up weight loss as well. My own personal Lab, Bunker, had become too heavy. We put him on a diet, he lost 15 pounds and acted like a new dog. His old arthritic hips have benefited greatly from just the weight loss alone. His weight loss combined with appropriate arthritis medications and physical rehab therapy have definitely improved his quality of life and extended his life. So start your precious pup today. If you’re unsure how to proceed, let us help. There’s no need in reinventing the wheel! Get started!