Thursday, January 31, 2013

A Lovebird Update

A Lovebird Update!


Our lovebird is now about 2 weeks old!  There have been many exciting changes over the last several days.  He has doubled in weight, from 23 grams to 47grams.  His (or her!) eyes are open, his feet have developed coloration, he has  begun to make tiny noises, and he is able to sit up on his haunches for short periods of time.  Although his feathers are not visible yet, we are able to see the feather follicles developing under his nearly opaque skin, turning it a darker color.  His appetite has greatly improved, and he has no problem letting us know when it's feeding time. 

With out any feathers, we are unsure what type of lovebird it is.  There are 9 species of lovebirds, mostly originating from Africa.  Of all of these, only 3 are commonly kept as companions; The Peach-faced lovebird, The Fischer’s Lovebird, and the Masked Lovebird.  We're excited for his feathers to start appearing, so we can find out!

Monday, January 28, 2013

Meet Idaho Vet Hospital's Newest Member!

Meet Idaho Vet Hospital's Newest Member!

This little lovebird arrived on one of our many cold evenings, under sad circumstances.  We had received a phone call earlier in the day that it's mother had sadly, passed away.  The owner relayed that she was concerned that the 3 week old chick was not going to survive and that she was not interested in trying  to raise it by hand. She gratefully accepted my offer to do my best to continue raising it.  When he (or she!) arrived at our clinic some time later, Dr. Calhoun and I realized that our little friend was really more like 3 days old, rather than 3 weeks.  This was going to be a challenge.

His first feeding was difficult, likely because he was struggling with low blood sugar after not eating in several hours.  He was placed in a warm incubator with a full crop, and we hoped for the best.

About an hour later I went to check on him, half expecting the worst.  I was happily surprised to see him much more active, and ready for his next feeding.  At 3 days old, lovebird chick's eyes are still closed, they are fluff and featherless, and completely uncoordinated.  Talk about a bad time of year to be naked and unable to maintain body heat!  At this stage, weighing a whopping 23 grams, he needs to be fed every 2-3 hrs, and kept consistently warm.  This means he has become my daily commute companion to and from work.
So far, we've taught each other a lot about how to hand feed tiny little lovebirds, it definitely is like having an  infant in the house again! I'll update you more as he (or she!) continues to grow!  Kate

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

February is Dental Month

February is Dental Month
Dental Procedure Standards of Care
  • Pre-op blood work recommended and required over 7 years of age.
  • Current wellness exam.
  • Estimate will be present or given prior to appointment.
  • Fluids and IV catheters & anesthetic monitoring.
  • Pictures and chart of any abnormalities or missing teeth. Before and after.
Dental Procedure
  • Probe for pockets and abnormal wear.
  • Remove excessive tarter either by hand or scaler.
  • Clean teeth with ultrasonic dentalaire.
  • Polish, and then rinse.
  • Clean and flush out any pockets.
  • Apply fluoride and oravet (plaque prevention gel).
Common Dental Concerns
  • Gingival Recession-Gum line recedes back exposing root.
  • Retained baby teeth-Baby tooth that has grown along side the adult tooth causing damage.
  • Excessive dental disease-excessive tarter & plaque covering the teeth causing infection, tooth loss, and severe gingivitis.
  • Oronasal fistulas-An oronasal fistula is a communication between the oral cavity and the caudal respiratory track. These fistulas occur in the area of the upper premolar and molar teeth

  You, the pet owner, are an integral part of our dental team.  Home care is the most important procedure you can do to maintain oral health and help decrease the frequency of dental procedures,  and increase the overall oral health of your pet. Here are some tips to use after your pets dental procedure or as preventative care care.
  1. Bushing teeth daily and regularly
Start off slow : introduce the toothpaste first.  Only use toothpaste designed for dogs and cats. First, start by rubbing toothpaste with your finger on one tooth at a time and letting your pet get use to the taste and the feeling.  Then upgrade to a tooth brush.  There are different sizes and kinds, such as : finger toothbrushes, smaller brushes, and longer handled brushes for longer muzzled pets, and smaller bristled brushes for cats.  Be persistent but reward progress immediately with a treat or with a play period after each cleaning session. Develop a routine for your pet and you and make this a fun and enjoyable as possible.

  1. Applying Sealant
Ora Vet is a sealant that was applied at the time of your pet’s dental procedure.   It is to be applied after brushing, once weekly, to help prevent and reduce the formation of plaque and calculus on the teeth. Home kits are available and strongly recommended.

  1. Drinking water additives and Rinses
Aqua Dent is a water additive that is simple use. All you need to do is add it to your pets drinking water to prevent plaque from forming.  The Oral hygiene rinse is easy to use with just a squirt the rinse eliminates and helps fight against new bacteria forming.  Chlorhexadine is the active ingredient that keeps your pet’s mouth healthy.  Studies show this to be more effective than diets and chews.

  1. Diet                                                                            
There are special dental diets such as Hills T/D and Purina DH  for dogs and cats . To promote oral health these diets offer everyday feeding solution that works between dental brushing and cleanings to help reduce plaque and calculus accumulation.  Dental chews are also available for dogs and cats and these are specially formulated and combine the mechanical activity of a rawhide chews.   Most chews that we carry (C.E.T. Chews and DH Chews) were developed with chlorhexadine as the activ3e ingredient that inhibits the growth of bacteria in your pets mouth. Also we carry Greenies as another dental treat option.

  1. Dental Examinations with your Vet
Every 6 months to a year, we recommend dental exams please call to make the appointment!
(208) 466-4614