If you need a more accessible version of this website, click this button on the right. Switch to Accessible Site


You are using an outdated browser. Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

Close [x]

Follow Us




Remember to give your dog and cat their monthly heartworm, flea, and tick preventives





IN THE LICK OF TIME IS A MONTHLY COLUMN THAT IS WRITTEN BY DR BOB FOR SEVERAL AREA PUBLICATIONS. We will publish his column in each month’s FYI; Read below for February’s issue!

When it comes to the treatment of your pets, there are many options available to your veterinarian. All options should be discussed and the consequences considered before accepting the doctor’s recommendation. As the pet’s owner, it is your right and responsibility to decide how you want a treatment to progress. There are many outpatient treatments that can be treated without the component of your dog or cat being given a shot. If an injection is recommended, ask why it is being given so you can decide to accept or decline that portion of the treatment.  I would like to review a few of the conditions that an injection might be suggested and make my recommendation.

  • A vomiting dog or cat needs to have a complete history and exam to rule out serious disease and the possibility of a foreign body.  If the all clear is given, then an injection of Cerenia can be a great jump start to vomiting control before the oral version of the medication is dispensed. The Cerenia injection and tablets each last 24 hours.  If the pet continues to vomit while on Cerenia, further testing and treatment is immediately necessary.
  • A dog or cat with seasonal allergic itching does not benefit from a steroid injection. There are long lasting injections, Depomedrol and Betamethasone, that are never recommended in the treatment of seasonal allergy. The long duration of steroids can have serious side effects including increased water consumption, appetite and most seriously, diabetes and Cushings disease.
  • Acute allergic reactions to bee stings or insect bites that cause swollen face, lips, and increased respirations and heart rate should have injections of a rapid, short acting steroid and Benadryl before the pet is released for home care.
  • Convenia is a long lasting fourth generation Cefa antibiotic that has proven to be better in treating many generalized skin infections than the oral Cephalexin and Cefpoxidime.  It is particularly useful in dogs and cats that are not easily medicated by capsules or pills.  Like all extended duration medications, there is no antidote or way to remove or stop the effects of the medication. If your pet has ever had a reaction to Cefa drugs, then Convenia should not be given. The good news is there are no known adverse reactions specific to Convenia.
  • Proheart 6 is a six-month duration heartworm preventive which in my practice is never given. When first brought to market, Proheart caused thousands of reported adverse reactions and deaths so it was pulled from veterinarians offices. In the last few years, Proheart 6 has been reformulated and does appear to be safer. Because the brand name chewable monthly medications are well tolerated and very safe, we see no need to expose a dog to a long duration medication. What follows is a statement that accompanies this product when it is purchased. 


  • “IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: PROHEART 6 should be used in healthy dogs. Do not administer to sick, debilitated, underweight dogs or dogs that have a history of weight loss. Prior to administration, PROHEART 6 certified veterinarians should continue to assess patient health through a medical history, physical examination and if deemed appropriate, diagnostic testing. Continue to use caution when administering PROHEART6 concurrently with vaccinations. Adverse events, including anaphylaxis, have been reported following the concomitant use of PROHEART 6 and vaccines. In some cases, anaphylactic reactions have resulted in death. Use with caution in dogs with pre-existing or uncontrolled allergic disease (food allergy, atopy or flea allergy dermatitis). Dogs receiving PROHEART 6 should be tested for existing heartworms as per the product label. In people, avoid PROHEART 6 contact with eyes. If contact with eyes occurs, rinse thoroughly with water for 15 minutes and seek medical attention immediately. PROHEART 6 is available only to veterinarians through a restricted distribution program. Only certified veterinarians and staff can administer it.” 

                You should know about this disclaimer alert before accepting a Proheart 6 injection for your       dog.


XYLITOL INGESTION: It is imperative that you protect your dog from access to all products containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol. Xylitol is commonly found in chewing gum, but can be in other products as well. Xylitol is highly toxic to a dog’s blood sugar and liver. If you suspect that your dog has eaten something containing Xylitol, call us right away so we can get treatment started as quickly as possible.   


AMERICAN HEARTWORM SOCIETY AND THE COMPANION ANIMAL PARASITE COUNCIL STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT DOGS AND CATS RECEIVE HEARTWORM AND INTERNAL PARASITE PROTECTION YEAR-ROUND.  We endorse that recommendation and encourage all our clients to give the monthly medications every month for the life of the pet. Our go to products for adult dogs are Interceptor Plus for heartworm and internal parasite control and Simparica for flea and tick. Both are chewable and well accepted and tolerated by dogs. For cats we recommend year-round Revolution. New research shows that it takes three months for the monthly heartworm meds to provide full protection against the mosquito transmitted heartworm. That information alone makes taking time off from monthly treatment risky.


THIS WINTER’S COLD, SNOW, AND ICE REMIND US ABOUT THE NEED TO CONSIDER THE IMPACT OF SAFETY PRODUCTS USED TO CONTROL SLIPPERY CONDITIONS.  Ice melting products are potentially irritating to your dog’s paws.  Rock salt and the solutions sprayed on our roads and parking lots should be rinsed off after a walking on treated surfaces. Dogs will lick their wet and irritated paws, causing them to ingest small amounts of road salt and other chemicals. One cannot be sure if this could cause harm. Other ice melters, like calcium chloride, can be very irritating to a dog’s feet. Our parking lot is treated with rock salt but our sidewalks are treated with a pet friendly product called Safe Paws.  This product is available for purchase if you would like a pet friendly ice melter at your home or business. We recommend washing your pet’s feet if it has been walked on pavement that has had ice control products spread.  It is also wise to trim the hair on your dog’s feet to make cleaning easier. Getting your dog used to wearing snow boots and toughening up the bottoms of your dog’s feet to better tolerate the ice, snow, and cold are great ideas as well. We sell Mushers Secret and Bio Balm that can help your pet’s feet when exposed to the cold elements.


BUYING A PUPPY FROM A PET STORE IS A BAD IDEA IN MANY CASES. This statement was reinforced by an article published in the AVMA Journal about an outbreak of Campylobacter traced to puppies sold through Petland. Over 50 diagnosed cases of human Campylobacter disease in 12 states were traced to puppies sold through the Ohio based Petland. Several of the affected people had just visited and handled the puppies in the store while others were employees, adoptive families, and visitors to a home with a new puppy. Many of the puppies sold at pet stores are from puppy mills where hygiene, socialization and proper care are lacking. Studies have shown that puppy mill dogs are more prone to behavior issues, health concerns, and temperament problems.  Talk to us about finding a reputable breeder or rescue for your next pet!


THIS YEAR’S GIVING TREE FUNDRAISER FOR THE MEMORIES LIVE ON ANIMAL FOUNDATION WAS A GREAT SUCCESS. On Monday, January 15, we did a live drawing for each category grand prize. The entire event was on Facebook live and we had a great time selecting the winners of car detailing, lawn work-landscaping and a weekend at Tree Tops resort in Gaylord. When all monies were collected, the grand total that the Foundation deposited was $2248! There were still a large number of tags left to be purchased, so it was decided that we would do an Easter basket fund raiser during Lent. Starting Ash Wednesday, February 14 (which is also Valentines Day, so buy a tag for your honey!), we will be offering great gifts and service coupons for the following six weeks in our three Easter Baskets. A live drawing on Facebook will occur on Wednesday, April 4th at 12:45 PM. All money donated to our Easter Basket fund-raiser will be donated to the Memories Life On Animal Foundation. The grand prize for the $50 category is the opportunity to be VET for A Day at SylvaniaVET which includes a set of scrubs. The $20 winner will receive a set of Jade Green SylvaniaVET scrubs. The $10 winner will receive a SylvaniaVET T-shirt. PLEASE HELP US RAISE AN ADDITIONAL $1000 FOR THE FOUNDATION


FAMILIES WITH CAT ALLERGIES MAY STILL BE ABLE TO HAVE A FELINE FRIEND BECAUSE OF A PRODUCT WE CALL ACE ALLERGY DROPS. The exact science behind how the diluted Acepromazine reduces a cat’s allergic reactions in humans is not known. It is thought that it may change the saliva proteins that trigger the allergies in susceptible humans. We have also had success using it to reduce family’s reaction to dog saliva. Yes, that is right; it is saliva proteins that trigger a human’s allergic reaction, not the dander or hair. Wiping your pet’s haircoat with a wet cloth to remove surface salivary proteins can also help. A study done by a human allergy company showed a reduction in the amount of salivary proteins when pets were rinsed in distilled water on a weekly basis. That is not realistic in most houses, but doing a wet wipe down can help. Of course, the non-allergic member of the family needs to do the regular wipe down.


NOT MANY PET OWNERS ARE INTERESTED IN BREEDING THEIR DOGS. Actually, we discourage the average pet owner from breeding their pet dog, and advocate having them spayed or neutered at the earliest appropriate time. For those dog owners that show and breed dogs to better the breed, we are that kennel’s best choice as a doctor. Our 24/7 availability means that we are always there when needed, even on holiday. Our in-hospital progesterone testing means that we can quickly and accurately determine the proper times to breed the female or the right time to schedule an elective C-section. There is a lot more to being a breeding dog’s doctor, and no one does it better than SylvaniaVET.

CHOSING THE CORRECT TIME TO SPAY OR NEUTER YOUR PET IS AN IMPORTANT DECISION FOR EACH PET OWNER TO MAKE. Unfortunately, many humane organizations and some breeders have removed this critical, time sensitive decision from the adoptive family. Many dogs that are rescued are spayed or neutered at a very young age. This may not be in the pet’s best interest because of some developing data on the affects of early spaying/neutering. Several published studies have shown that sterilizing a pet before sexual and physical maturity can lead to an increased incidence of hip dysplasia, rupture of the anterior crucial ligament, and slowed closure of growth plates which leads to longer than normal leg length. In addition, there is statistical evidence of increases in cancer of the lymph nodes and spleen. Mast cell tumors are also seen in increased numbers in the early age neutered pet. Dr Bob is convinced that cats spayed and neutered too early have underdeveloped urinary tracts, which may cause a predisposition to urinary obstruction in male cats. The reason given for the early age altering is that it will decrease the population of unwanted, unplanned puppies and kittens. We think that with proper screening and selection protocols for adoptive homes, this may not be necessary.  We want you to know both sides of the story before you elect to adopt a dog or cat that was neutered at a very young age.


DO YOU KNOW THAT IN ADDITION TO OUR FABULOUS WEBSITE AND THE FYI FOR PET’S SAKE, YOU CAN FOLLOW AND PARTICIPATE IN THE FUN OF SYLVANIAVET ON FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM, AND TWITTER? Those of you that are social media junkies have plenty of opportunities to check out SylvaniaVET happenings and post or send to friends lots of great animal related info. We can also be found on YouTube. Tell your friends to check us out and learn why you think SylvaniaVET is the best place for pet care.  Remember, if you refer a pet owner to us, you receive a $20 credit on your account and your friend receives $20 off their first visit.


SEVERAL LARGE DOG BREEDS (DOBERMAN, GREAT DANE, AND BOXER TO NAME A FEW) ARE SUSCEPTIBLE TO HEART MUSCLE DISEASE CALLED CARDIOMYOPATHY (DCM). The disease causes weakening of the heart muscle and leads to arrhythmia(abnormal heartbeats). In the early stages, it can be difficult to detect so a pet may progress to advanced cardiomyopathy before it can be auscultated by stethoscope. Newly developed biomarker tests for cardiomyopathy in Dobermans and Boxers are a great first step in determining the risks your dog may have. Soon we will begin offering biomarker testing for Doberman and Boxer puppies.   One solution is to have your at-risk pet have a Holter monitor study done yearly once it reaches middle age (5-7 years). We have the ability to do the Holter monitor test here at SylvaniaVET. We of course will recommend the Holter monitor if during an exam we pick up on any abnormal heart sound, rhythm disturbance, or pulse problem. There are medications that can be used to lessen the impact of cardiomyopathy. It is also a good idea to have an echo cardiogram done by a board-certified cardiologist when DCM is suspected.  To further discuss biomarkers, there is a test available for cat heart disease, ProNP and early kidney insufficiency, SDMA.  As animals age we will be suggesting appropriate biomarkers for your pet. Owners of kitten Maine Coon Cats and Ragdolls can have a genetic test run to determine if their new pet or an older adult is at risk. It could also be a question to ask to breeders before adopting a Maine Coon or Ragdoll.


AS WE WORK TO REPLACE FELINE DECLAWING WITH NON-SURGICAL MANAGEMENT OF THE NATURAL BEHAVIOR OF A CATS CLAWING, WE WANT TO GIVE YOU SOME USEFUL INFORMATION.  Claws are not a part of the cat’s locomotion so declawing does not affect their ability to walk if done correctly. However, clawing behavior to mark territory is important according to recent research sited by the American Association of Feline PR actioners. The AAFP is strongly discouraging declawing and we are going to do all that we can to provide alternatives to declawing. However, if a family has done all that they consider reasonable, we will do our state of the art laser declaw procedure with advanced and aggressive pain management. We know from previous studies and personal experience that most cats tolerate declawing with no negative consequences. We encourage you to do all that is necessary, including learning how to trim your kitten’s nails, to not have to elect declawing. Declawing should be a last resort rather than a standard plan. We sell Soft Paws vinyl nail covers and the newest product from the Feliway company, Feliscratch. Feliscratch is a pheromone designed to encourage a cat to use scratching post or climbing tree. All cats should have a climbing tree to help encourage these behaviors in an appropriate place.


LAST MONTH THE BLADE PUBLISHED AN ARTICLE ABOUT STOOL EATING IN DOGS. This disgusting behavior of our canine companions has had many explanations from a variety of sources with no consensus on the real cause. It is considered a bad habit by many, but that fails to explain why it started. Dr Bob has used a theory that the territorial imperative of wolf and wild dog packs to keep the living area clean influenced this behavior. Keeping the territory waste free reduces the transmission of disease and parasites to the pack. During nursing, the mother of a litter cannot leave the den so her waste must be cleaned up. The only pooper scooper a canine possesses is its mouth, hence coprophaga. A study published by Dr B. Hart seems to support Dr. Bob’s expressed explanation. One added fact from this study was that most stool eating dogs prefer stools that are fresh and no more than two days old. Does knowing the cause of stoolphilia help us correct this behavior, probably not. The following suggestions can be tried, but supervision and immediate clean up of all stool is the only sure answer. You may try adding meat tenderizer, fresh pineapple juice or commercial additives like ForBid, to each dog’s meal. Leaving yard waste and treating it with pepper, tabasco sauce, or other nasty condiments might discourage your dogs coprophaga. If you have had success correcting stool eating in your pet with other ideas please send them to drbob@sylvaniavet.com.


ZOETIS LAUNCHING NEW PETCARE REWARDS PROGRAM. Zoetis Petcare Rewards is a simplified program that allows clients to earn rewards on select purchases of CARPROFEN, REVOLUTION, SIMPARICA, PROHEART 6, and CONVENIA.  Starting February 26th, earned rewards will be placed on a prepaid Visa rewards card for use at veterinary practices. Questions may be directed to rewards@zoetis.com, or call our office! This rewards program will replace all current rewards and rebates programs for applicable medications.





Go to top of page