Parkway Vet News

Leptospirosis: Is your dog at risk?

Leptospirosis is a bacterial disease — carried by many wild and domestic animals — that can cause kidney and liver failure. Even urban chickens, although not a carrier of this disease, can attract rats or other small mammals that may increase the risk of your pet’s exposure to leptospirosis.

Laparoscopic Ovariectomy, aka Lap Spay:

 

 
In 2009 The Parkway Veterinary Hospital embarked on a journey to improve upon one of the most common surgeries veterinarians perform in nearly all female canine patients, the spay or ovariohysterectomy (OVH for short). A spay is the surgical removal of the ovaries and uterus to prevent heat cycles and pregnancy (aka traditional spay). Since the early days of spay/neuter programs, few advancements has have been made to this surgical procedure, but gratefully, leaps and bounds have been made with regards to perioperative and postoperative pain management.

In making every effort to carefully plan and control pain resulting during this necessary procedure, the veterinary staff at Parkway not only wanted to control pain but also to minimize the pain and tissue trauma caused by the surgery itself. It was with that goal in mind that we teamed up with Dr. Tim McCarthy, a local veterinary surgery expert, and Karl Storz veterinary endoscopy to train and offer laparoscopic spay surgery, a minimally invasive approach to spay your pet.

The primary aim of spaying is to render your pet unable to conceive. Secondary objectives are to eliminate the mess and inconvenience of heat cycles and to minimize future risk of diseases of the reproductive organs. Removal of the ovaries accomplishes all these goals, while at the same time being less invasive, much less painful procedure with fewer complications than a traditional spay. Removal of the ovaries brings an immediate halt to the reproductive cycle. Your pet will no longer go into heat nor will she attract male dogs. Likewise, she cannot conceive and the risk of ovarian disease is eliminated.

In a laparoscopic ovariectomy, two small 5 mm to 10 mm incisions are made. Sterile carbon dioxide is used to ‘inflate’ the abdomen which allows incredible visualization of all structures. A slender video scope is inserted into the abdomen through one of the incisions. The other incision is for the surgical instruments that will be used to seal the tissues and blood vessels in the area of the ovary and to remove the tissue from the abdomen. Given the small incision size and since the ovaries are able to reside in their normal anatomic location until their removal, there is far less tissue trauma and thus, less pain during and after the procedure.

By contrast, during a traditional spay, a 4-7 cm incision is made into the abdomen to expose the reproductive organs. The ligaments holding the ovaries and uterus in place are blindly torn (a significant source of abdominal pain), the ovaries are mobilized to the skin incision and tied with sutures, then cut and removed. Likewise, the uterine horns and body are removed at the level of the cervix.

The benefit for veterinarians who perform laparoscopic spays – and therefore their patients — is enhanced visualization of the abdominal cavity thanks to the magnification properties of the scope. Enhanced visualization during surgery leads to safer procedures, less inadvertent ligation of other structures (ie ureters) and better outcomes. Some of the many advantages of the procedure as compared to a traditional spay include less stress and tissue trauma, dramatic reduction in pain (up to 65 percent less, JAVMA 2005), smaller incision size which results in less bruising, less incisional complications, and faster return to normal function. Most importantly, laparoscopy and cautery ligation of the ovarian and other vessels lowers the risk of intraoperative or postoperative bleeding which can be fatal or minimally require a second surgery to repair loose sutures placed during traditional spay.

The biggest technical difference of a traditional ovariohysterectomy (OVH) and a laparoscopic ovariectomy is that in the latter only the ovaries are removed and the uterus is left in place. Many question whether this is safe to do and we can assure you that yes it is.

Uterine disease in dogs whose ovaries have been removed is almost nonexistent. The disease called pyometra, which is infection in the uterus, is the most common uterine problem in intact dogs. It is the result of the influence of the hormone progesterone, produced by the ovaries. When the ovaries are removed, hormone production stops and it becomes impossible for pyometra to occur naturally. Malignant uterine tumors in dogs with or without ovaries are an extremely rare occurrence at 0.003 percent of all canine tumors. Additionally, thanks to our veterinary counterpart in Europe where ovariectomy surgery (ovary removal only) has been performed since the early 1980’s, we know that there is virtually no increase risk of the uterine disease if the ovaries are removed properly.

At Parkway Veterinary Hospital, we offer other laparoscopic services that may benefit your pet. In male dogs, it is not uncommon to find an undescended testicle that remains within the abdomen. The laparoscopic procedure to remove this abdominal testicle is the same as for a laparoscopic spay, with all the benefits of a small incision and avoiding a large abdominal incision necessary to find the testicle during a traditional surgery. Additionally, for breeds at risk for gastric dilatation and volvulus, or GDV, we offer laparoscopic assisted gastropexy for both male and female dogs. A gastropexy is the surgery where the stomach is ‘tacked’ to the abdominal wall using minimally invasive surgery as opposed to a large ‘open’ incision. By tacking the stomach, we prevent the stomach from twisting in the event of gas dilation. Breeds considered at risk are all giant breeds, poodles and labrador retrievers.

One of the only disadvantages of laparoscopic ovariectomy is the increased cost. We have to account for the additional and ongoing training of our doctors and staff to perform the procedure safely and correctly, and the equipment purchase and maintenance cost is much greater than traditional surgical instruments. That said, our laparoscopic ovariectomy is typically $300 additional to the cost of a traditional spay. In summary, there are many advantages, and no medical disadvantages save the training and specialized instrumentation and technology needed to accomplish this form of minimally invasive surgery. The Parkway Veterinary Hospital is proud to be a leader in this advanced and more pain-free surgical technique.

If you are considering a laparoscopic procedure for your pet or want more information, please contact us at The Parkway Veterinary Hospital.

Camping and Hiking

 

 
Hiking or camping with your dog is a great treat for you and your pooch, as you both get to bask in nature’s majesty while enjoying fresh air and exercise. However, there are things pet owners need to be aware of to keep their best friend happy and healthy, specifically toxic plants and animals that your dog may find appealing. Below are just a few of the more common ones you may encounter.


Death Camas

This plant’s flowers grow in clusters that look like onion bulbs, and they bloom between April and July in hillsides, dry meadows, forests and sagebrush slopes. Easily confused with wild onion or the common camas, this entire plant is poisonous to both you and your dog if consumed.

 

Effects: Weakness, salivation, paralysis, respiratory difficulties, nausea, convulsions, coma and even death.

 


Death Cap Mushroom

This is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in the northern hemisphere, causing the majority of human poisonings in North America.   Usually appears in summer and autumn by areas with oak, spruce and chestnut trees.

 

Effects: Abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, gastrointestinal bleeding, kidney failure, coma, and death.

 


Fish (Salmon) Poisoning

Salmon poisoning disease (fish disease) is a potentially fatal condition seen in dogs who have ingested certain types of raw fish found in the Pacific Northwest from San Francisco to the coast of Alaska. It is most prevalent from northern California to the Puget Sound. It is also seen inland along the rivers of fish migration.

 

Effects: Most commonly will see mild fevers, vomiting and/or diarrhea but not always, lethargy, inappetence, mild lymph node enlargements. Can be life-threatening if dehydration proceeds to shock.

 


Rough-Skinned Newt

Widely distributed throughout the Pacific NW, the  Rough-skinned newts have a powerful neurological poison in their skin and eggs to protect them from predators. It is distinctive with rough skin and a bright orange to yellow belly

 

Effects: Numbness, vomiting, death if eaten. Irritation to skin or eyes if handled.


Water Hemlock

This wetland plant can be commonly found growing in pastures or near the edge of the water and is common along the Deschutes River and other Oregon streams. Often confused with wild celery or fennel, It is similar in appearance to the Poison Hemlock and is highly toxic and should be avoided.

Effects: Teeth grinding, muscle spasms, respiratory failure, delirium, and death.

For any questions on toxic plants and how to keep your pet safe while camping or hiking, contact us at (503) 636-2102.

The Benefits of Microchipping Your Pet

 

One of the worst feelings to experience as a pet owner is realizing a pet has gone missing. And considering only 17% of lost dogs and 2% of lost cats make it back to their owners, it can often feel impossible to get a pet back. This is why microchipping a pet is so important. Microchipping is an affordable process that helps ensure that pets make it home safe and happy.

Unlike collars and tags, microchips cannot fall off and get lost. They serve as permanent identification for a pet’s entire life. Plus, microchipping a pet is very simple. A veterinary technician injects the tiny chip between your pet’s shoulder blades. Because the chip is encased in hypoallergenic, bio-friendly glass, allergic reactions to chips are incredibly rare.

Then, if your pet ever becomes lost, authorities only need to scan the chip to locate your information. Most animal shelters and veterinary hospitals have chip scanners now, so microchips make it incredibly easy to get lost pets the help they need.

But remember: a microchip is only useful if your contact information is updated. Make sure anytime you move, you update your information with the microchip registry. There may be a fee associated with re-registering a chip, but it’s usually small and varies depending on the registration company.

If you’d like more information on microchipping or would like to make an appointment, call us at Parkway Veterinary Hospital at (503) 636-2102.

Ambition Comes True at Animal Care Group

ACGLO

Dr. Greg Takashima had long planned to build a new kind of animal medical facility in Lake Oswego, and now he has one at the Animal Care Group of Lake Oswego.

However, as it turned out, Takashima has gotten an animal medical center that has far exceeded his original plans. Instead of just having a bigger, better version of Parkway Veterinary Hospital, which he founded 27 years ago in Lake Oswego, Takashima has been joined by five other animal medical treatment specialists.

Read More from the LO Review here+

Dr. Takashima Published In International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Jordan greets “Jenna” and walks with her as a first step to recovery.

Setting the One Health Agenda and the Human-Companion Animal Bond

The concept of “One Health” calls for the close integration of human, animal, environmental and ecosystem health. The first inklings of such an association can be traced back to the early days of the ancients, where healers often treated both humans and animals. In the 11th–13th centuries, the Chinese maintained a collaborative health program for both humans and animals. Later, in 18th century France, Claude Bourgelat, considered the father of veterinary education, recommended the comparative approach to human and animal medical science. In the 19th century, with the dawn of microbiology and cellular pathology, scientists such as Rudolf Virchow also advocated a comparative approach to link veterinary and human medicine. After this time, both human and veterinary medicine appeared to pursue separate paths and little interdisciplinary cooperation was noted in the early 20th century. Even though the term “one medicine” had been proposed sometime earlier, it was Calvin Schwabe’s recognition in 1976, of the close association between animal and human medicine that brings us to our current status of One Health.

First Case of Rabies Confirmed in Oregon for 2014

The first case of rabies in Oregon for 2014 has been confirmed in Lane County, as announced today by the Lane County Public Health. “All pet owners should make certain their dogs and cats are vaccinated against rabies. When our pets are protected from rabies, it provides a buffer zone of immune animals between humans and rabid wild animals such as foxes,” said Lane County Communicable Disease Supervisor, Cindy Morgan.

To check your records or schedule your pet’s vaccination please give us a call at 503-343-9735 today.

Memorial Day: The Dogs of War

The Dogs of War

With Memorial Day behind us it is important to recognize the unsung heroes of our nation’s armed forces: the war dogs. These highly specialized K9 units seek out and identify improvised explosive devices (IED) for their human counterparts, allowing them to be disarmed and removed safely. The bond is especially strong between dog and handler; a relationship that soldiers lives depend on. This article follows the journey of Marine Corporal Jose Armenta and his German shepherd partner Zenit from their rigorous training, to their harrowing battlefield experiences and beyond.

It’s stories like this that remind us of the significance of animal companionship. The connection between owner and pet, or soldier and his canine partner, runs deep within us, becoming an integral part of our daily lives. As veterinarians it is both a source of pride and incredibly humbling to do our part to keep these bonds strong and long lasting.

Dr. Gregg Takashima Interviewed by Vet-Advantage Magazine

Vet-Advantage Magazine: The Beneficial Bond

The veterinary community, pet owners and the public at large have come to recognize the significance of the human-animal bond in our lives. As Gregg Takashima, DVM, Parkway Veterinary Hospital, Lake Oswego, Ore., and president-elect of the American Association of Human-Animal Bond Veterinarians, tells our editors, “We’ve moved from intuition-based ideas [about the bond], to anecdotal, and now to evidence-based research about the understanding and value of the bond.”