Blog

SPAM! Why, thank you Darling!

Years ago our oldest daughter studied for a term in Australia. Prior to her return to the States she invited her little sister to join her for a two week tour of the continent, causing no small degree of angst for her parents. Upon their return they were delighted to present us with a can of Spam along with a few other delightful gourmet souvenirs such as Vegemite and camel jerky. We did not have to pretend to be surprised but we did manage to fake our delight!

This story came to mind as I was requested to write a reminder to our favorite people (our clients) about our “No Spam” policy and how we guard your email addresses in spite of everyone’s efforts to pirate them. We only use them for this newsletter, to send out reminders from the “Pet Desk” app. (if you chose to opt in for text and email confirmations for appointments and reminders) and some approved occasional updates from us. We did have one “leak” where Merial sent a coupon promo for HeartgardR to clients without our permission. That was our error as we had inadvertently given them permission by participating in another program with them and didn’t read all the fine print. We immediately pulled the authorization and learned our lesson.

We all get our mailboxes spammed daily and we hate that. We take protecting your privacy seriously. We don’t give your information to third parties, we don’t discuss your pet’s ailments with others, and we don’t gossip about you after you leave; …because that’s the way you deserve to be treated.

…..and I’m still planning to visit Australia but I think I’ll leave their Spam and Vegemite over there with them!

Dr. Bob

Two New Therapies For Itchy Dogs

“I know they have side effects, doctor but Roscoe is miserable and I haven’t slept a wink for the last three nights. Just give him that shot!”

We’ve endured a lot of cold starts and icy roads to earn this time in the sun. Enjoy! These long sunny days and warm summer weather are wonderful, unless you’re a dog with allergies. Many of them, caught in a miserable cycle of seasonal itching, skin irritation and infections under a haircoat that’s much heavier than any of us would want to sport, must be longing for those blissful itch-free days of February!

The injections that our clients have learned to rely on in the past have usually been a type of corticosteroid. They are very effective and last for 3- 6 weeks. We like to use them to buy some time until we find the cause of the problem and an alternative treatment approach as repeat injections over time can have undesirable side effects. Because steroids work so well it is sometimes difficult to get an owner excited about other options. There are other stubborn cases where the other options just don’t work. Alternatives such as antihistamines, hyposensitization, frequent bathing, or allergen avoidance are all helpful but have their limitations. Fortunately, we now have two new therapies which are not only “promising”, but are available and work!

Apoquel™ is a new type of immunomodulating drug which inhibits the release of inflammatory components (called cytokines) from cells when they are exposed to an allergen, thus preventing the start of the inflammatory cycle. If there’s no inflammation then there’s no itch and no scratching resulting in a happy dog, happy owner, and a good night’s sleep for everyone!

While Apoquel™ has been a wonderful addition in the treatment of canine allergies, it is not 100% effective in all cases. (Wouldn’t that be sweet?) It does not seem to work as well in cases of food allergies, ear problems associated with allergies, and should not be used in puppies. The drug can be discontinued if needed (no tapering of dosage needed), it can have some side effects but we have been using it at the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic for two years and have found it to be quite safe overall. (And yes, it’s somewhat more expensive than previous options.)

Another new drug is also an immunomodulator called Cytopoint™. It is very similar to Apoquel but is only available as an injection. It provides relief for 4-8 weeks and is an option in some cases where daily dosing is not an option or is not working well. Because of its cost and less predictable results, we use it only in special cases.

Life still isn’t perfect but it’s a lot better than before! If you have an itchy dog and both of you are frustrated but aren’t quite ready to move to Arizona, talk to one of our veterinarians at your next appointment about one of these new therapeutic options for your pet!

Why Fair Fees Matter

In all aspects of our lives, money is a huge factor when it comes to decision making. Health care is no different, yet we all hate to talk about it. It’s uncomfortable and awkward. It’s not just about cost, it’s also about honesty, outcomes, transparency, and value. We understand. That’s why we have developed some policies that we want to share with you.

Fee Transparency
Our fees are based on the time and expense it takes to provide the service. While we are probably not the cheapest, we’re far from being luxury priced either. We try to avoid bundling fees unless it results in substantial savings to you. We would never hide a fee or add on hidden fees. For example, we don’t charge a “medical waste fee”. These are rarely quoted to the client but when added to every exam and injection fee, a “low-cost” exam and vaccination can easily exceed the price of our everyday fair fees. We won’t charge you a “medical waste fee,” a gas surcharge fee or any other surprise fees! Neither will we low-ball one fee to entice you in only to up-charge you somewhere else. That’s not fair!

Estimates
We try to give you a written estimate prior to every procedure and stick with it. If the procedure takes less time than we estimated, then we’ll reduce the fee accordingly. If you want an estimate for any procedure and didn’t get one, please ask!

Partnership
We believe that you ask us to help you provide veterinary care for your pet. We need you to be involved! Each treatment plan is individualized for the needs of each patient and owner. If you are not comfortable with any suggested treatment or fee, then we’ll work with you to arrive at a plan that will still provide good care that is affordable. We realize that modern veterinary care is not inexpensive. We always encourage discussing numbers as well as pets!

Conservative, Consistent, Considerate, Approach
Just because we have lots of wonderful diagnostic tools available to us doesn’t mean we have to use them on every case. In fact, we all come from rural backgrounds and take a rather conservative approach to medicine. We don’t rush in and run every test available on our own pets every time they get sick and we want to treat your pets as we do our own; and, treat you as we would a friend. After all, many of you already are. If you’re not, we want you to become one. Again, that’s why we need your help so that together we can make good decisions for your pet’s care.

No Charge Drop-Offs/ Hospitalizations
If you prefer to drop off your pet and leave her for the day for an exam or procedure, there is no day care fee. The same is true if your pet is still sleepy from an anesthetic procedure and you want her to stay that night with us until she’s feeling fine again. We want these visits to be stress-free for both of you!

Payment Options
Emergencies happen and can result in unforeseen expenses. We have all experienced these ourselves so we will work with you so that decisions do not have to be made based solely on financial considerations. We offer some in-clinic options as well as Care Credit, and Trupanion Insurance.

These are only a few of our cost saving measures. We try at all times to respect your time, money, and your furry friends! We sometimes don’t talk about money as often as we should because it’s not the most enjoyable part of our jobs. We’d rather just get on with helping your pet, but we all need to make sure we’re communicating about expenses. Please don’t be shy about asking questions or reminding us how we can help you provide the best possible care for your pet!

Merry Christmas!

Regardless of our religious preferences, this is a wonderful time of year that encourages all of us to take a step back, appreciate what we have and encourages us to share with others. I know that around here, we’re very thankful for all of our terrific clients, many of whom have become good friends over the years. We’re blessed with a dedicated team who are truly passionate about their careers and improving the lives of pets. And we all have that special appreciation for our furry friends who bring so much joy to our lives every day.

My wife will often make the observation that “dogs are so magical….”, then go on to describe another wonderful attribute of one of our – well usually, her dog! It’s true. It will start a conversation about what a unique species they are. They don’t judge our age, weight or what we say, and they’ll knock themselves out to please us and be our companions for a day. Then they’re just ecstatic when we reward them with a bowl of dry kibble and a pat on the head, and they’re totally content to lay by our feet while we read the paper. And then we have cats! For having no transferable skills that are applicable to human behavior, they’re still so danged loveable! (Hmm. Maybe that explains the Kardashian phenomenon! At least our cats like us!)

As we’re all rushing around worrying about spending too much money on gifts I hope we can take a lesson from our pets. Never underestimate the power of a complement. Whether it is a card, a thank you, a letter, or an ear rub, it’s the connection that counts. And a small unexpected gift, even if covered in saliva, can bring a smile! (It might be prudent to avoid small dead animals though!)
Have fun. Keep it Merry!

Dr. Bob and all of us at the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic

Holiday Pet Food Drive

Every year, thanks to all of you, we get to play Santa and deliver hundreds of pounds of food to needy pets in the Cornelius community. This year we’re again accepting donations of pet food through Christmas Eve. So far, it looks like we’re on track to collect a record amount for all kinds of diets! All of your donations stay right here in our community and are distributed through our local food bank. We’ve found this is the best way to insure that your donations find their way to the neediest families and pets.
We’re accepting:

  • Unopened dry, canned, or pouch food, any good quality brand (But must be in original packaging!)
  • Over the counter care products such as flea treatments, oral/dental care, shampoo, or supplements
  • New or gently used collars, leashes, harnesses, and halter leads
  • New dog and cat toys
  • General care supplies

Sorry, but we’re unable to accept pet carriers, crates, dog houses, or prescription medications (duh!)

Congratulations! You guys rock! Check our Facebook page for an update on how much food you helped us donate!
Ho! Ho! Ho!

The CVC Santa Dog

It’s our First Ever…. Rabies Amnesty Month! Extended through December!

We received many comments about our Rabies article last month. We feel so strongly that every dog and cat should be vaccinated against this terrible disease that we’re going to do something unprecedented. During December, any dogs or cats that are due for a rabies vaccination will receive one for free at the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic! That’s right!  If you’ve been putting off bringing in your pet, no matter what the reason, we’ll get her updated on her Rabies vaccination at no charge. No matter whether she’s due this month or, perhaps she’s never had a vaccination, now’s the time! This way, we can help insure everyone’s safety, both pets and their people, against Rabies and the possible inconvenience and expense of quarantine in the event of a bite exposure. This will also help owners comply with Oregon and Washington County statutes that require vaccination for all dogs over 4 months of age. We’d like to get every pet current on Rabies vaccinations!

Please remember that the Board of Veterinary Examiners, our governing board, requires a physical examination during the prior year before we can dispense prescription medications or administer vaccinations. So, if your pet has not had an exam for at least a year, a brief physical exam will be required.

FREE RABIES VACCINATIONS
THROUGH DECEMBER
CALL TODAY!

And….in case you missed last month’s article, here are a few Rabies factoids for your consideration:

  • Every year 55-60 thousand humans die from Rabies infection!
  • Around 100 dogs and 300 cats get Rabies in the US every year. It is 100% fatal to those pets.
  • Dogs and Cats that are not current on Rabies vaccination and are exposed to the disease require a six month quarantine during which they cannot have direct contact with humans. Most owners elect euthanasia instead.
  • Rabies is present in every state in the country and around the world.
  • It is a deadly disease. Only 7 people have ever survived an infection.
  • The primary carrier in Oregon is the bat.
  • In other parts of the country, foxes and skunks are the primary wildlife carriers.
  • In Oregon, indoor cats have been infected by bats that have entered houses.
  • Rabid animals don’t always act “mad”, they just behave differently, then bite.
  • Dogs and cats get Rabies from wildlife. Humans most always acquire it from infected dogs and cats.
  • Vaccination of dogs and cats is essentially 100% effective!
  • Thanks to such good vaccination compliance among pet owners, there are only 1-3 human cases of Rabies in the US each year.
  • In 2006, after a surge in Rabies cases, the Chinese government killed an estimated 50,000 pet dogs before International outrage caused them to back off. One more reason to be thankful you live in the USA!
  • At the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic, Rabies vaccinations are FREE in December Yet another reason to be thankful you live near Cornelius, Oregon! Yeah!

It’s our First Ever….Rabies Amnesty Month!

We received many comments about our Rabies article last month. We feel so strongly that every dog and cat should be vaccinated against this terrible disease that we’re going to do something unprecedented. During November, any dogs or cats that are due for a rabies vaccination will receive one for free at the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic! That’s right! If you’ve been putting off bringing in your pet, no matter what the reason, we’ll get her updated on her Rabies vaccination at no charge. No matter whether she’s due this month or, perhaps she’s never had a vaccination, now’s the time! This way, we can help insure everyone’s safety, both pets and their people, against Rabies and the possible inconvenience and expense of quarantine in the event of a bite exposure. This will also help owners comply with Oregon and Washington County statutes that require vaccination for all dogs over 4 months of age. We’d like to get every pet current on Rabies vaccinations!

Please remember that the Board of Veterinary Examiners, our governing board, requires a physical examination during the prior year before we can dispense prescription medications or administer vaccinations. So, if your pet has not had an exam for at least a year, a brief physical exam will be required.

FREE RABIES VACCINATIONS
ENTIRE MONTH OF NOVEMBER
CALL TODAY!

And…in case you missed last month’s article, here are a few Rabies factoids for your consideration:

  • Every year 55-60 thousand humans die from Rabies infection!
  • Around 100 dogs and 300 cats get Rabies in the US every year. It is 100% fatal to those pets.
  • Dogs and Cats that are not current on Rabies vaccination and are exposed to the disease require a six month quarantine during which they cannot have direct contact with humans. Most owners elect euthanasia instead.
  • Rabies is present in every state in the country and around the world.
  • It is a deadly disease. Only 7 people have ever survived an infection.
  • The primary carrier in Oregon is the bat.
  • In other parts of the country, foxes and skunks are the primary wildlife carriers.
  • In Oregon, indoor cats have been infected by bats that have entered houses.
  • Rabid animals don’t always act “mad”, they just behave differently, then bite.
  • Dogs and cats get Rabies from wildlife. Humans most always acquire it from infected dogs and cats.
  • Vaccination of dogs and cats is essentially 100% effective!
  • Thanks to such good vaccination compliance among pet owners, there are only 1-3 human cases of Rabies in the US each year.
  • In 2006, after a surge in Rabies cases, the Chinese government killed an estimated 50,000 pet dogs before International outrage caused them to back off. One more reason to be thankful you live in the USA!
  • At the Cornelius Veterinary Clinic, Rabies vaccinations are FREE in November. Yet another reason to be thankful you live near Cornelius, Oregon! Yeah!

Senior Wellness Month

October is Senior Wellness Month at Cornelius Vet! This month is dedicated to educating our clients about the changes pets go through as they age. Just like people, the medical needs of senior animals shift over time. In fact, pets age at nearly seven times the rate humans do. As your cat or dog gets older, they require different nutrition programs and exercise routines, and they are prone to a variety of new ailments like heart disease, joint and bone disease, mental and cognitive dysfunction, cataracts and more.

It is important to consider these changes throughout your pet’s life. Separating the natural aging process from emerging medical disorders becomes increasing difficult with senior pets. Our Senior Wellness Program features a complete laboratory workup, physical examination and consultation for a discounted fee.

If your pet is over 8 years old (or 7 years old if you have a large-breed dog) and hasn’t had a comprehensive exam in the past year, now is a good time to come see us. To schedule an appointment, give us a call at 503-828-3978

Too Hot to Trot!

Is your dog usually happy to be on the go, but now acting stubborn as you drag him through the local farmer’s market? Ever heard the expression, “It is hot enough to fry an egg on the sidewalk”? Well, this time of year, it could be true! Though sidewalks are a few degrees cooler than asphalt or black top, they can still cause pain and discomfort to a pet walking on them. And even when it’s only 80°F outside, sun-exposed asphalt can rise to 125°F. At this temperature, according to the Journal of the American Medical Association, asphalt is hot enough to cause skin destruction with only about 60 seconds of contact. To put that into perspective, an egg can fry in five minutes at 131°F!

My first thought was that our pets have thick, tough pads, right? True, like calluses on human hands, our pets’ thick pads can offer a little protection, but the thresholds are estimated at only about 10°F higher than our hands can handle.

Let’s take a look at how hot it needs to be outside to create unsafe walking surfaces:

Air TemperatureAsphalt Temperature
80°F125°F
86°F135°F
87°F143°F

Since most of us don’t walk around with an infrared thermometer taking surface temperatures, the best way for us to test pavement temperature is with our bare hand or bare foot. Try testing the surface by holding your bare hand or foot on it. Can you hold it there comfortably for more than 10 seconds? If not, you may want to postpone taking your pet outside until it cools off.

Here are a few tips for keeping feet happy:

  • On hot days, plan on taking your dog for walks before 11 a.m. and after 6 p.m.
  • Keep your pets in shaded grass as much as possible. Even grassy areas in direct sunlight can be uncomfortably hot.
  • Purchase pet shoes, pet socks or adhesive pads that cover your pet’s paws.
  • Moisturize pads to keep them more pliable. Use pet wax or ointments such as Musher’s Secret.
  • Keep cats inside. Not only is the asphalt too hot for them, but they also may try jumping onto other hot surfaces, such as the scorching hot metal hood of your car.
  • Walking dogs often on (cool) cement can help strengthen the callouses on their pads, build protection for extreme temperatures and prevent injuries such as cuts.

More Pets Get Lost on July 4th Than Any Other Day of the Year

  1. Pet should wear a collar with an ID tag. Microchipping is also a great idea! Remember to update contact information with the registry if your pet is already microchipped.
  2. Take a current photo of your pet, just in case!
  3. If your pet is historically anxious, ask your veterinarian for suggestions! We carry several anti-anxiety items such as Feliway, DAP diffusers and Sileo.
  4. Walk your dog early in the day before fireworks begin! Also, make sure the collar is secure and your dog can’t back out of it. Ask our receptionist about martingale collars.
  5. Remind guest to not feed your pets table scraps as many foods that are okay for people can be toxic or harmful to pets. Keeping treats available at parties can help avoid this temptation!
  6. Going out?  Leave your pet at home! A safe secure crate or pet safe room with some gentle music playing can provide a secure place for anxious pets. Giving frozen treats or a stuffed Kong can also help ease anxiety.
  7. If you’re having a cookout, remind guest to close gates and placing signs can help remind them.
  8. Keep pets away from charcoal, fireworks, sparklers and glow sticks. Also keep in mind some pets also may try to fetch or attack fireworks!

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