September 2011

You are currently browsing the monthly archive for September 2011.

During the month of September, activities are being organized across the nation to help educate the public on disaster preparedness. This is a good opportunity to assess whether you and your pets are ready to face the challenges of a natural (or man made) disaster. Below are links to some useful resources that provide strategies to avoid being caught in a bad situation.

Osteoarthritis effects an overwhelming segment of the senior feline and canine population. This podcast offers a number of strategies available to pet owners who seek to alleviate the pain associated with such conditions. Click here to listen.

Senior Early Detection Program


In honor of September’s National Senior Pet Month, Campus Veterinary Clinic is excited to unveil its    redesigned Senior Pet Early Detection Packages that now include a free evaluation by Dr Alana Alpern, a veterinarian who practices acupuncture and Traditional Chinese Medicine.


Is my pet a senior?

There is no specific answer to this question since pets age much faster than people and there are many additional     factors that also affect your pet’s aging; species, breed, weight, nutrition, even environment.  There is no specific age at which a pet becomes a “senior”, but since you’ve probably heard that one year in a human’s life equals about seven “pet years”, most pets are generally considered a “senior” at the age of 7.  Giant breed dogs like Great Danes age even more quickly and can be considered seniors by 5 years of age.  Just like people, as our pets age, the risk of developing medical conditions such as heart disease, kidney disease, benign and malignant tumors, arthritis, oral/dental disease, and loss of senses like hearing and vision increases with advancing age.


Why do I need to bring my pet in every 6 months for a complete physical examination?

Because your pets age faster than we do, their system can change quickly and they can develop diseases and conditions in a very short time.  Pets are programmed to conceal signs of illness and can appear  normal and healthy until a problem is advanced.  Fortunately, laboratory tests to analyze blood, urine, feces and radiographs along with a physical examination, allow us to learn more about your pets’ health.  Medical conditions are detected in approximately 20% of patients that can be treated simply by dietary change or simple medications at this age.  Our goal is to focus on detecting diseases BEFORE they      become a problem, and keep your pet happy and healthy for a longer time.


Senior Early Detection Packages

Here at Campus Veterinary Clinic, we try to make caring for senior pets as simple and as stress-free as possible.  We have senior early detection packages available for both canine and feline patients in two different level options.  Both levels will include 2 senior semi-annual exams (every 6 months), senior blood panel, radiographs, urinalysis, blood pressure and fecal parasite screen.  In addition to these procedures, you will   receive any necessary vaccinations, a 1 month supply of   dental chews or toothbrush kit and a consultation with our acupuncturist, Dr Alana Alpern, for FREE, with the purchase of the package.  Services in both of these packages have been generously discounted to make caring for your senior easy and affordable.  All packages are viewable on our website or for more information call us to schedule an appointment.




Acupuncture & Traditional Chinese Medicine

Alana Alpern, DVM is a board certified veterinary acupuncturist who after receiving her DVM from UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, went on to continue her education at the Chi Institute where she studied Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicines in both herbal and acupuncture modalities.

Dr Alpern is currently working hand-in-hand with Dr Yen and Dr Reid to provide alternative methods of treating conditions ranging from chronic pain and arthritis to epilepsy, urinary incontinence and chronic skin disorders.  We are very excited to announce that Dr Alpern is now providing her services as part of our Senior Early Detection Program.  With the purchase of a senior early detection package, your pet will now receive a free consultation with Alana to see how acupuncture and traditional Chinese medicine may benefit your pet’s overall health.

Dr. Alana Alpern

Dr Alpern is available every other Wednesday from 12pm-3pm by appointment only (additional times may be    accommodated upon request).  The initial consultation/exam will be approximately 1 hour long, and will consist of a thorough history and physical exam as well as     creating a treatment plan.  Subsequent treatments will be approximately 30-40 minutes in length.  Acupuncture packages for multiple sessions at a discounted rate are also available if interested.  For additional details, pricing information or to schedule an appointment for your pet with Dr Aplern, please give us a call or come by the clinic at any time.


 Animal Acupuncture: More Pets Get the Point

By Sean Markey, National Geographic News


The West explains acupuncture by pointing out that most of the body’s 365 main acupuncture points are located at clusters of nerves and blood vessels.  Stimulating these areas triggers a host of local and  general physiological effects, leveraging the body’s own healing power.  Studies have shown that acupuncture can increase blood flow, lower heart rate and improve     immune function.  Acupuncture also stimulates the release of certain neurotransmitters like endorphins, the body’s natural pain-killers, and smaller amounts of cortisol, an anti-inflammatory steroid.

When Mary Morrison’s 16-year-old border collie, Shadow, was diagnosed with kidney disease last year, traditional veterinary medicine offered two options: kidney dialysis or euthanasia.  Morrison chose another option altogether: acupuncture.

Acupuncture has not cured Shadow’s kidney disease or slowed the decline of old age.  But it has helped alleviate the collie’s symptoms and discomfort.  “She has more interest in life, more pep.  She’s eating.” says Morrison.  “We haven’t felt like she was ready to be put down.”

Shadow represents both the promise and challenge facing veterinary acupuncture.  Anecdotal evidence suggests that acupuncture is an effective treatment for a host of ailments in    animals.  But researchers still understand relatively little about why and how this alternative therapy works.

The American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture in Hygiene,  Colorado, says that acupuncture can treat ailments ranging from hip dysplasia and chronic degenerative joint disease to respiratory, gastrointestinal, neurological and urinary tract disorders.

“Clients are asking for it every days,” says Kevin Haussler, a       lecturer at Cornell University’s College of Veterinary.  “[They] are the number one reason why any of us are doing alternative therapies like acupuncture or chiropractic, because they want something more than just drugs or surgery.”

“Within the greater veterinary medical community, I would say that acupuncture is very well accepted,” says Haussler.  “Because we’re always looking for the next thing that is going to make animals feel  better [and] reduce pain.”  Researchers are exploring how acupuncture can reduce the amount of pain medicine a patient requires.  The reduction in medication can significantly lower the risk of adverse drug reactions in patients.  “The more that veterinarians learn and accept acupuncture and some of the other complimentary [alternative] medical techniques, the safety of medical intervention for animals will be that much better.”

It’s never easy selecting our Critter of the Month. All our patients here at the clinic are unique and special in their own way.

Puddin’ Baker (aka Pitt Bunny) went the extra mile to curry favor with our voting committee. With her imploring cookie gaze at the front counter and her bouncy “up for anything” attitude we never had a chance.

Puddin’ and her human pals Sarah and Judi jumped at the chance of sharing their rabbit-eared beauty with the world. This is their story…

“In January of 2006, we started actively looking for a dog to foster. We had one dog, Po, a pitbull mix, and we wanted to find the perfect friend for him. We had been looking at dogs on the Home at Last Rescue website when we noticed a dog named Pepper, and went to go visit her at the Berkeley shelter. She didn’t like Po very much, so while we were there, we said, “what about that girl we saw on the site, the one with the big ears?” We learned Puddin’s story—that she had been dropped off at the shelter via the night drop box. She was a year old and recently had puppies (the puppies were not dropped off with her). She had been at the shelter for four months. They brought Puddin’ out and the four of us went for a walk. She was so beautiful and sweet, and it was obvious Puddin’ and Po got along. We brought her home, and the fostering turned into adoption very soon afterward. We had her “official” adoption party on Easter, and invited all of our friends over to celebrate. We lost Po to cancer in 2009, and it was very hard for all of us, especially Puddin’. Last year, we adopted an older brother for her through Muttville (a senior dog rescue). His name is Smokey and they have become very good friends. Puddin’ is now six, and makes us laugh everyday. She loves everyone, and is a great ambassador for the pitbull breed. We can’t imagine our life without her. ”

Likes: Hogging the bed, cheese, her best friend Ellie (an SF Animal Cop), gopher hunting, BBQs, bones, sleeping, sunbathing, road trips, cereal, pugs, pillows and blankets, visits to the pet store (“look, a buffet!”), and going to the vet (really!)

Dislikes: Fireworks, the vacuum cleaner, empty food bowls, and being cold.

Puddin’ has already starred in her own “mockumentary.” You can check it out on YouTube by clicking here. (Be advised there’s some “salty” language!)

K9 Cancer Walk

Although veterinary medicine has made many advances in the care of cancer related disease, there is much more that needs to be done in the effort to move such advances forward.

The 2nd Annual K9 Cancer Walk is happening in Los Gatos on October 9th. We at Campus Veterinary Clinic think it’s a great cause. For more info click here.

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