Posts Tagged ‘Nancy Kay’

Trends in Veterinary Medicine

June 26, 2011

Just as human docs are seeing more patients with diabetes, so too are veterinarians.  A first-of-its-kind study conducted by Banfield Pet Hospital (a corporation with more than 770 veterinary hospitals) documents rises in the incidence of diabetes, dental disease, flea infestations, ear infections, and intestinal parasites.  Banfield collected their data from a whopping 2.1 million dogs and 450,000 cats seen during 2010, and then released it as a document called “State of Pet Health 2011 Report.” The entirety of this report is available via the Banfield website.

 

Here are some highlights from this study:

-Dental disease was the most common medical condition reported. In fact, 78 percent of dogs and 68 percent of cats over three years of age had some form of dental disease.  The top five dog breeds most likely to develop periodontal disease included the Toy Poodle, Yorkshire Terrier, Maltese, Pomeranian, and Shetland Sheepdog (it’s a given that small breed dogs have a higher incidence of dental disease than medium and large breed dogs).

-Otitis externa (infection or inflammation of the external ear canal) was the second most common disease, found in 15.8 percent of dogs and 7.4 percent of cats.

-There has been a 32 percent increase in canine diabetes and a 16 percent increase in feline diabetes compared to data collected in 2006.

-Obesity ranked in the top five diagnoses for dogs and in the top three diagnoses for cats.  This may, in part, explain why the prevalence of diabetes is increasing.

-The incidence of flea infestation has increased 16 percent in dogs and 12 percent in cats; rather surprising given the fact that flea control products have been steadily evolving.

-One of the top three diseases found in dogs examined in Banfield hospitals located within the Southern United States was heartworm disease (detected in 6.7 percent of dogs examined).

-Cats in 2010 more frequently test positive for roundworms, hookworms and whipworms (all intestinal parasites) compared to cats evaluated in 2006. Canine hookworms and whipworms have also increased during this same time period.

-Small breed dogs are gaining in popularity.  Chihuahuas represented a whopping 8 percent of Banfield’s patient population.  This represents a 116 percent increase when comparing data between 2000 and 2010.  Labrador Retrievers remained the most common dog breed among Banfield patients, but their numbers decreased by 20 percent between 2000 and 2010.

-The number of feline vet clinic visits is declining.  In 2006 Banfield veterinarians examined 5.3 dogs for every feline visit.  The current ratio is 6.6 dogs for every one kitty.

Dr. Jeffrey Klausner is the chief medical officer for Banfield.  He expresses concern about the rise in some of the preventable diseases mentioned above and he states, “I just can’t help but wonder if there is a correlation between the increase and prevalence of these diseases and the decreasing visits to veterinarians.”

The stated purpose of the Banfield study is to help the veterinary profession gain a better understanding of the state of pet health in the United States, especially in light of many recent reports indicating a decline in veterinary visits.  Dr. Klausner hopes that the Banfield analysis will help veterinarians develop strategies to improve patient care.  The decline in vet clinic visits may correlate with the relatively newer knowledge that core vaccinations (rabies, distemper, parvovirus) need not be given annually.  It appears that some folks view vaccines to be the primary reason for vet clinic visits and ignore the importance of an annual physical examination. Several studies are currently underway to try to understand why feline veterinary clinic visits have declined so dramatically.

Kudos to Banfield Pet Hospital for orchestrating this monumental study.  What a great way to give back to the profession.  The Banfield data underscores the importance of annual visits to the vet (whether or not vaccinations are due) and discussion of preventive health care.  When did you and your pet last visit your vet for an annual physical examination?  Did you discuss dental disease, flea control, or weight management for your pet?

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

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When Microchipping Matters Most

June 13, 2011

I just read a story about a dog named Hanah who was displaced from her family during the recent tornado that terrorized Joplin, Missouri. There have been a couple of post-tornado Hanah sightings, but to date, she’s yet to be reunited with her anxious and devastated family.   The Good Samaritan photos taken of Hanah show this adorable looking dog without a collar, and her owners report that she has not been microchipped.   My heart sank when I read this.  As far as I’m concerned, a microchip would have increased the likelihood of a happy ending to this story more than anything else.

Let this be a wake-up call to all of us about the importance of microchipping our pets.  Far and away a microchip is the best insurance policy possible for reuniting lost pets with their families.  Bear in mind that implanting the microchip is the easy part. The more difficult part is making sure that you and the professional who places the microchip get it registered properly.  What good is the microchip if its number is not associated with accurate owner contact information?  And when you move or change telephone numbers, remember to update the microchip registry.  As I reported in a previous blog, the microchip failure rate has everything to do with inadequate updating of registry information.

I hope you will read Hanah’s story and share it with all the dog lovers you know with hopes that she will be returned to the people who love her.   If I receive any Hanah updates I will certainly let you know.  If your pets are not microchipped, please call your veterinarian or local shelter right away to set up an appointment to do so. If your pet is microchipped, contact the registry to ensure that your contact information is up to date.  One never knows what life has in store for us and our pets!

Do you know of a story where a microchip saved the day?  If so, I’d love to hear it.

Best wishes for good health,

Nancy Kay, DVM
Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine
Author of  Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life
Recipient, Leo K. Bustad Companion Animal Veterinarian of the Year Award
Recipient, American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award
Recipient, Dog Writers Association of America Award for Best Blog
Recipient, Eukanuba Canine Health Award
Recipient, AKC Club Publication Excellence Award
Become a Fan of Speaking for Spot on Facebook

Please visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from Speaking for Spot. There you will also find “Advocacy Aids”- helpful health forms you can download and use for your own dog, and a collection of published articles on advocating for your pet’s health. Speaking for Spot is available at Amazon.com, local bookstores, and your favorite online book seller.

 

Speaking for Spot (the book and the blog) named winners in the 2009 Dog Writer’s Association Annual Competition

February 15, 2010

Dr. Nancy Kay’s book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life and her Speaking for Spot Blog were honored at the Dog Writers Association of America Annual Writing Competition Awards ceremony on February 14, 2010 hosted in New York City in conjunction with the Westminster Dog Show. 

The DWAA Annual Writing Competition honors a broad range of authors who have written books and/or published their work in newspaper, website, blog, magazine, newsletter or broadcast media.  In addition to these regular awards, a dozen special awards are given by Eukanuba, Merial, Morris Animal Foundation, North Shore Animal League, AKC, Westminster Kennel Club, PSI, DWAA and Planet Dog Foundation. 

Dr. Kay’s Speaking for Spot Blog (www.speakingforspot.com/blog) received The Best Blog Award. 

Dr. Kay and her book, Speaking for Spot, received the highly coveted Eukanuba Canine Health Award. The is presented for the article or book that best promotes the health and well being of dogs with accuracy, clear writing and the representation of a fresh view of canine health

Dr. Kay is passionate in her desire to equip people to b the best possible medical advocates for their pets and in Speaking for Spot she has provided an invaluable tool for achieving that wish.  Speaking for Spot has been widely acclaimed by fellow veterinarians, pet industry publications and the pet-loving public. Dr. Kay is the recipient of the American Animal Hospital Association Hills 2009 American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award.  Dr. Kay was featured on the National Public Radio Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross on March 19, 2009.

Dr. Nancy Kay is a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  She is a staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, California.

Speaking for Spot (the book and the blog) named winners in the 2009 Dog Writer's Association Annual Competition

February 15, 2010

Dr. Nancy Kay’s book, Speaking for Spot: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life and her Speaking for Spot Blog were honored at the Dog Writers Association of America Annual Writing Competition Awards ceremony on February 14, 2010 hosted in New York City in conjunction with the Westminster Dog Show. 

The DWAA Annual Writing Competition honors a broad range of authors who have written books and/or published their work in newspaper, website, blog, magazine, newsletter or broadcast media.  In addition to these regular awards, a dozen special awards are given by Eukanuba, Merial, Morris Animal Foundation, North Shore Animal League, AKC, Westminster Kennel Club, PSI, DWAA and Planet Dog Foundation. 

Dr. Kay’s Speaking for Spot Blog (www.speakingforspot.com/blog) received The Best Blog Award. 

Dr. Kay and her book, Speaking for Spot, received the highly coveted Eukanuba Canine Health Award. The is presented for the article or book that best promotes the health and well being of dogs with accuracy, clear writing and the representation of a fresh view of canine health

Dr. Kay is passionate in her desire to equip people to b the best possible medical advocates for their pets and in Speaking for Spot she has provided an invaluable tool for achieving that wish.  Speaking for Spot has been widely acclaimed by fellow veterinarians, pet industry publications and the pet-loving public. Dr. Kay is the recipient of the American Animal Hospital Association Hills 2009 American Animal Hospital Association Animal Welfare and Humane Ethics Award.  Dr. Kay was featured on the National Public Radio Show, Fresh Air with Terry Gross on March 19, 2009.

Dr. Nancy Kay is a board certified specialist in the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine.  She is a staff internist at VCA Animal Care Center, a 24-hour emergency/specialty care center in Rohnert Park, California.

Speaking for Spot is published!

September 24, 2008

Dear Reader,

 

If a piece of your heart belongs to a dog, you’ll want to read SPEAKING FOR SPOT: Be the Advocate Your Dog Needs to Live a Happy, Healthy, Longer Life.

 

I am a huge believer in the value of medical advocacy. It ensures our active participation and results in educated decision-making. These days, we humans wouldn’t dream of silently sitting by while the doctor scribbles a prescription and shows us the door—we ask questions, get second opinions, and compare treatment options.

 

Doesn’t your dog deserve the same careful attention to his medical care?

 

SPEAKING FOR SPOT will take you from vet-shy to advocacy pro: Vaccinations? Medication? Surgery? Anesthesia? Second opinions? Pet insurance? It’s in there! Find advice for choosing the ideal veterinarian, paying for diagnostics and treatment, and making tough decisions about cancer and euthanasia. Plus, I’ve provided handy lists of common symptoms and diseases, along with the questions you should ask about them.

 

Visit http://www.speakingforspot.com to read excerpts from the book, and enter to win one of five free autographed books and a personal phone consultation to discuss ways to advocate for your dog’s health care needs.

 

Wishing you and your dog good health,

 

Dr. Nancy Kay

Specialist, American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine