Dr. Risser's Column: April 2008

Dr. Risser's Column: April 2008

Happy Spring to our patients and their humans!

After what seems like an unusually long and ugly winter (rain/ ice/ and an inch of snow every 3rd day), it is wonderful to see Spring landing so rapidly upon us. We hope you and your pets are able to enjoy the nicer days (more walks and frisbee for the dogs, watching the returning birds from Florida outside sun-soaked windowsills for indoor kitties). Do remember that heartworm preventatives should be given to dogs and even cats, especially important now that our mosquito populations are on the increase. Also, fleas and ticks start in earnest by the beginning of May, so I usually recommend starting things like Frontline and Advantage by May 1st.

We are all well here at the office. Jamie, our outpatient technical/ nursing staff leader, will be holding our next PUPPY PARTY Saturday morning, APRIL 19th, from 10 AM to Noon. The inaugural event was great fun for all, and the video can be seen by clicking on the "Puppy Party" button to the left. All puppies between 8 and 16 weeks old and their people are invited, and feel free to invite friends with puppies as well. It will be free, and treats will be provided for humans and canines alike. Please RSVP to Jamie, jamie@fallcreekvet.com or phone 336-8900.

I (Dr. Risser) completed the next course in the pursuit of my Masters in Bioethics degree earlier this month, addressing reproductive and genetic ethics. I also had a chance to lecture on ethics to students in the veterinary technician program at International Business College. As always, time away from the practice is filled with children, dogs, yardwork/landscaping, and efforts to cycle when the opportunity arises.

Last month, I listed my top picks for flea/ tick/ heartworm preventatives and wanted to offer a few other recommendations for this month. This month's category is one near and dear to me: urine/ pet stain eliminators for the carpet. If anyone would be so deceived as to believe that my pets are free of behavioral and housesoiling issues, they clearly don't know my life or remember the old example of the cobbler whose children have holes in their shoes. Yes, we have one dog who will urinate on the living room floor if the planets are not correctly aligned to make the oudoors completely appealing, and both dogs have been participants in a semi-annual "Diarrhea Fest." So, yep, I have learned a lot about carpet odor/ stain eliminators over the years. This is also relevant to people who have cats who have had issues with urine marking; removing the smell of these spots is pivitol to preventing further episodes.

First, the initial treatment should involve use of an "enzymatic" solution that uses harmless bacterial enzymes to break down the organic matter and urea in urine and fecal matter. The key to successfully using these products is to saturate the entire area, keep it covered with moistened towels or cloths for at least 12 hours (and preferably 24), and to repeat frequently until the odor is much diminished. Do not use any disinfectants to the site for a day before or after treating as this will also kill off the "good" bacteria in the product and inactivate it. While there are a few good choices, we carry one called Unique Pet Stain and Odor Eliminator here. As with anything used on your carpets, read the directions on the bottle completely before using the product.

After the initial treatment, a follow-up stain and odor eliminator may be used to get the remaining inorganic odors and stains out. One product we have found effective is called Equilizer, and it is also available here as well.

Keep in mind that these are some of the most frustrating stains and smells with which we deal in our carpets. If you hire a carpet cleaning company to come out, be sure you mention the pet stain/ odor issues you have. Because these issues are so difficult, many will not guarantee that they can remove them. If the company does so, verify that the guarantee lasts a few days after treatment; many stains can "wick up" from the carpet padding after seemingly being eliminated initially.

As always, we are here to answer any questions you may have about your pet (or, apparently, about bioethical or carpet care issues as well). Thank you for the privilege and opportunity to care for your pets!

Next month's recommended list (if you can contain your curiosity long enough) will be for the following:

  • Dental Care treats/ chews
  • Shampoos for normal skin

We continue to feel privileged to care for your pets, and want to be available to address any concerns or questions you have. Please phone or e-mail anytime.