The Importance of Your Dog’s Diet

You wouldn’t feed your child fast food three meals a day, seven days a week.  Your dog shouldn’t be any different.  Paying close attention to what type of food you are feeding can contribute to a quality, happy life for your pooch.  Use the following guidelines when selecting your dog’s dinner:

  • Make sure to select a food that is appropriate for your pet’s size and lifestage. A diet designed for an adult Yorkie is not likely to be adequate for a Great Dane puppy.
  • Look for quality ingredients.  A good food will have a recognizable protein source as its first ingredient.  Some people prefer not to feed animal by-products.  Be sure to read the ingredient list thoroughly.  If you choose to avoid synthetic preservatives for your pet, be aware that these preparations may spoil more quickly and feed accordingly.
  • Check to be sure the food is AAFCO approved.  If the food has been approved through feeding trials, this means that it has been shown to be nutritionally adequate by actually feeding the diet to real animals.
  • Check to be sure that the manufacturer’s contact information is readily available.  They should be happy to answer any of your questions or concerns regarding their diet.

Don’t forget, you are what you eat!  Make sure your pup is getting the quality food s/he deserves! If you have any questions about your pet’s diet, feel free to contact us to discuss it.


What does ABVP mean to you?

Did you know that Dr. Edie Best is ABVP certified? “What’s that” you might say…. Or “Who cares”!!

ABVP stands for AMERICAN BOARD of VETERINARY PRACTITIONERS. Dr. Best received certification in 2003 and became a “Diplomate” with this small group of veterinarians. In fact, there are only 900 ABVP Diplomates in the United States and abroad!

So, what does it mean? It means your veterinarian made the choice to undergo a very long, very difficult process of additional studies and examination to become a board-certified specialist. This process can take up to six years to complete. The process, however, does not end at certification. ABVP Diplomates are required to recertify every 10 years, something most other specialty groups do not require. In the end, the motivation behind achieving Diplomate status us, very simply, excellence!

ABVP Diplomates have proven knowledge and expertise above and beyond what is required to practice veterinary medicine. Beyond that, they have earned the privilege to specialize in the treatment of one or more categories of animals.

How does this affect you? You can rest easy knowing your pets are receiving expert treatment because your veterinarian feels a strong commitment to providing the best possible care available. ABVP advances the quality of veterinary medicine through the certification of veterinarians who demonstrate excellence in species-oriented clinical practice.

The Diplomates of the ABVP have a common desire and willingness to deliver superior, comprehensive, multi-disciplinary veterinary service to the public. They are veterinarians who have demonstrated expertise in the broad range of clinical subjects relevant to their practice and display the ability to communicate medical observations and data in an organized and appropriate manner.

Dr. Best is due for recertification by the end of 2013. She will be traveling to Chicago this November to take the extensive 2-day examination to qualify for recertification.

Laser Turned Nefer into a Puppy again!

Nefer enjoying Lake Michigan!

Nefer is a relatively new patient of ours who moved to Montana from Chicago. Here is a description of the condition he developed and how laser treatment literally saved his life!!

Diagnosis: Cauda Equina Syndrome
Symptoms: Complete numbness in back legs, no more running on the beach or anywhere else (for the past several years)
Future: 80 pound greyhound unable to walk, not to mention run
Standard treatment: $4000 back surgery – limited success rate, or god forbid, euthanasia (the internet says this is a possible option for that diagnosis!)
Laser Treatments – 6 treatments total for 8 minutes each
Result: Greyhound – running like he did when he was young but now it’s for pure joy; Mom – crying like a baby on the beach watching her boy enjoy his life.
Cost: Priceless

We see results similar to this everyday with our Companion Therapy Laser! We use it on everything from routine surgeries and tooth extractions, to skin wounds to painful/injured backs and necks. If you have a pet with a chronic pain problem, non-healing wounds, or simply getting older and a little arthritic, laser will likely help! Give us a call to discuss the protocols and prices. We have a treatment plan for everyone!

Hidden Household Pet Dangers

Items that are Poisonous to PetsMarch is Pet Poison Awareness Month, so what better time to talk about the hidden dangers that may be lurking in your household?  The fact is, no pet owners intentionally poison their pets.  Rather, they are just unaware that certain common household items can be dangerous and downright deadly for dogs and cats.  Here are a few common dangers:

  • People medications: Dogs and cats don’t process medications like people do.  One Tylenol can kill a cat.  Keep your medications out of reach of curious pets and never give your animal medication unless specifically instructed by your veterinarian.
  • Plants: Before buying that new decorative houseplant, be sure that it is safe should your pet take a nibble.  Many plants can cause digestive upset, and others like lilies can be lethal.
  • Rodenticides: These products are made to lure and kill rodents.  They often do the same to unwitting pets.  Find pet-safe alternatives to use instead.
  • People food: Most people know that chocolate is not good for pets.  But did you know grapes, raisins, onions, and the artificial sweetener xylitol can also harm your pet?  When in doubt, ask your veterinarian.
  • Pet medications: Medicines prescribed for your pet are often flavored for easier administration.  This can make them tempting for curious critters.  Just like with human medications, more isn’t always better, and overdoses can result in serious side effects and even death.

If you think your pet may have been poisoned, call us immediately.  It will be helpful if you can let us know your pet’s age and weight, what symptoms the animal is exhibiting, and information about what your pet may have been exposed to and when.  It is always helpful to have the packing available as well.  If you are unable to contact us, you can contact the ASPCA Pet Poison Control hotline at 1-888-426-4435.