When Jackson bounded through the door, making an entrance to the clinic that would put Cosmo Kramer to shame on any Seinfeld episode; you would hardly think the young Retriever would be a candidate for a panel of diagnostic blood work. If Jackson was sick, then I’m a model for Speedo Swimwear. The Golden-Doodle was only two years-old; a dirt devil of energy intent on milking the love out of anyone within leash length.
We see many healthy, strong, thriving animals every day at the Animal Medical Center (AMC). In those cases when the owner of the pet asks, ‘What’s a good food?’ I’m inclined to point at the patient and say ‘Whatever this one is eating.’
As a warm-up for our lunch conversation on pet foods I consulted with the President of the World Association for Veterinary Dermatology, Dr. Ken Kwochka (DVM, Dip. ACVD). He is one of our favorite clients at the Animal Medical Center and he happened in with his kitties Elphaba and Lilly about the time I was writing this blog. So, coincidence saved me a phone call and confirmed what I already knew.
Over the course of the next few weeks I’d like to share a few “meals” with you over the subject of pet foods; breakfast, lunch and dinner if you will? The hope here is to get our thought processes moving away from misconceptions that become gospel – a result of the internet, advice from specialty pet stores and/or the uninformed. So for this “breakfast blog” let’s start with ‘what’s in there?’
Living in a dirt poor neighborhood of Green Bay a time ago, I recall my income was so sparse that only Wal-Mart could satisfy my desire to have the only pool in my neighborhood. Six bucks bought me eight-inches of water in a five-foot circle of plastic – essential to keep my German shepherd cool when the heat of summer settled over northern Wisconsin. A collection of bare-chested boys in swimsuits – in oversized flippers, towels over shoulders, swim masks suctioned to their foreheads – gathered to stare longingly at the threatening dog as she held vigil over the pool. Their wanting looks told you this was the country club to which they held no membership.
What is it?
It is a flu virus that can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy. Some cases progress to pneumonia and occasionally death. These dogs are generally much sicker than “regular kennel cough” dogs.
Over that last 11 years it has been circulating in various areas throughout the country such as Florida, Virginia and Colorado with little to no evidence of it in Charleston County.
There is an effective vaccine that can be given- yet given the lack of cases in Charleston- we have only recommended it for traveling dogs during outbreaks.
Veterinarians are closet geeks, and geeks love numbers.
Did you know that if your dog maintains an average pulse rate (100 beats a minute) through a normal 13 year life span (covering 4745 days) that during that span (113,800 hours) their heart will have beaten over six hundred eighty three and one-quarter of a million times!! Imagine how much fun I am to talk to at a party.