Friday, October 14, 2016

Dental Health: It's more than just bad breath

It's October, and we at Memphis Animal Clinic are celebrating with a dental health month.  In recognition of this, it seems like an opportune time to briefly discuss the benefits of dental health in our pets.  Poor dental health in our pets can be considerably more complicated than halitosis and tartar build up: it can also become a breeding ground for bad bacteria that may then be introduced to the patients system, affecting the liver, kidneys, heart, and other organs.  Additionally, our pets can have difficulty communicating that they are in pain or may hold a stoic disposition, so it is important to maintain a close eye to ensure that they are not experiencing any undue suffering.

Oral pain can manifest from anything from infections, swelling, or fractures to issues like stomatitis or tooth resorption to conditions as serious as neoplasia.  Pets can show that they are experiencing oral pain with symptoms potentially including but not limited to inappetance, abnormal behavior, and enhanced salivation; however, due to limitations in communication, it is important to regularly have your pets mouth checked to ensure everything is alright.  This is especially important in our feline friends, as though they do not tend to develop tartar build-up as extensive as their canine counterparts, they do tend to be at an increased risk for stomatitis (inflammation) and tooth resorption (a process by which all or part of a tooth's structure can be lost due to a physiological response) which can be harder to notice at a cursory glance.

In recognition of this, we strongly encourage not only regular dental check-ups and cleanings, but also a consistent regimen of preventative maintenance care.  While the best form of maintenance is tooth brushing with an enzymatic toothpaste specific to your pet's species, there can be understandable difficulties, particularly since there is a significant drop in efficacy if not done on a daily basis.  Luckily, there are alternatives ranging from dental chews to water and food additives that can help break down the biofilm that develops in your pets teeth before it turns into plaque.  The most important aspect regardless of which method you choose is simply consistency.  If you have any questions regarding your pet's oral health, feel free to stop by for an oral exam (free for the month of October), or call us at (901)272-7411.

Edward Allendorfer
Dental Health Assistant at Memphis Animal Clinic

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

From the Bluff City to the Rocky Mountains!

Welcome to the first EVER blog post courtesy of your friends at Memphis Animal Clinic!

Ani and Luna 
In honor of National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, we bring you this awesome piece written by Ani Lopez of Vail, Colorado, who adopted Luna a sweet girl whose time was nearly up at
Memphis Animal Services.  With a little help from a few clinic employees and a few folks in the rescue area here in Memphis, Luna was  given a new start on life. 
          In the words of Miss Ani Lopez, Luna's Mom:
Luna at MAS
Luna and her toy
I had lost my two pitbulls within two years of one another the last of which was this past December. I wasn't particularly looking for a new dog, but as a shelter pet advocate (all my pets have been shelter pets) I look at all the websites. That's when I saw our Luna on the Memphis Pets Alive Facebook page. She was so sad, so broken. I knew we had to have her in our life. We live in Colorado and know no one in Tennessee.

So, I did a website search and called the Memphis Animal Clinic, spoke with a young lady and explained to her we needed to have this dog in our life, and the lengths we would go to in order to have her. She was past her expiration date at the shelter. John Tower called me back. I explained again to him, we needed this dog in our life. After a few days, she was ours! John made it possible for us to have Luna. Without knowing us, he totally trusted and he saved this dog. Within a week, Steve and I were on our way to meet John and Luna half way between our respective states to pick her up. What a wonderful thing!
Luna loves hiking these days

Luna was found in a field, she has scars on her body, scars of a life we can only imagine she lived and things no living being should endure. She's missing a toe on each of three of her paws; she had a litter, but no puppies were found. She's the sweetest, trusting, very smart, loyal, loving, personable, loves everyone and every thing, playful and very happy. She discovered the wilderness shortly after we got her, as we love to be outdoors, hiking, biking, walking, camping, river rafting, etc. She goes everywhere with us and she's very spoiled. Luna is no longer broken.
We are immensely grateful to John and the Memphis Animal Clinic for making it possible for us to have a life with Luna, we are all so very happy and look forward to many years together and other brothers or sisters in the future.

Luna with Ani and Steve