Low Cost Lifesavers

Wynston, courtesy of his family

Pet owners frequently ask their pet’s veterinarian, “What can I do to keep my pet healthy as long as possible?” I probably give the same answers as my colleagues across the country:

  • Take your pet to the veterinarian regularly
  • Keep your pet in ideal body condition
  • Feed a complete and balanced diet
  • Brush your pet’s teeth daily
  • Exercise your pet regularly
  • Pet proof your home

This week, the answers to this question came from a couple of The AMC’s pet owners. Through careful attention to their pet’s health, they may actually have saved their pet’s lives.

Wynston’s Tumor

Wynston’s upper front teeth with a red circle around the tumor.

Wynston’s owner does brush his teeth every day. But she doesn’t just brush his teeth; she looks at his mouth too. A couple of weeks ago, she noticed a redness around one of his upper front teeth which is easily seen in the photo.

His regular veterinarian performed a biopsy of the area and discovered a benign plasma cell tumor. Even though it is benign, if not treated, it will become larger and impede his ability to eat. Because the tumor is so small, Wynston is an excellent candidate for strontium radiation therapy.

Strontium works only on small, superficial tumors, and if Wynston’s owner had not been looking in the mouth regularly, the tumor might have become too large to use this type of treatment. We anticipate the tumor can be controlled without a surgical procedure. The cost of a doggie tooth brush and peanut flavored tooth paste: $4.99.

The cost of the lifesaving look at Wynston’s gums, $0.

Tito’s Kidneys
Tito lives in a multi cat household. Because of a diet change, his owner started monitoring his weight on a baby scale because the “hold your cat and weigh yourself” method is not sensitive enough to detect weight loss in cats. Even though all the cats in the family seemed to be eating the new food, Tito kept losing weight, while the other cats gained weight on the new food. A visit to The AMC discovered kidney disease and an abscess on one of Tito’s kidneys. If his owner had not been closely monitoring his weight, the kidney damage might have been greater and Tito might have required a major hospitalization.

The cost of the lifesaving baby scale, $25-125.

Marty’s Heart
Marty the Beagle has a myriad of problems, including lung and heart disease. Right now his cough is really bad, but his owner is sure the cough is not his heart failure flaring up again. Why? Recent research has shown if a dog’s respiratory rate is normal, heart failure is not the problem. Marty’s cardiologist instructed his owner to count his respirations every day. When his rate is normal, she knows Marty does not need to be rushed to the animal ER for heart failure. Both she and Marty feel better and the cost of this lifesaver, $0.

What low cost lifesavers have you discovered for your pet. Let us know!


This may also be found in the “Tales from the Pet Clinic” blog on WebMD.com.

For over a century, The Animal Medical Center has been a national leader in animal health care, known for its expertise, innovation and success in providing routine, specialty and emergency medical care for companion animals. Thanks in part to the enduring generosity of donors, The AMC is also known for its outstanding teaching, research and compassionate community funds. Please help us to continue these efforts. Send your contribution to: The Animal Medical Center, 510 East 62nd Street, New York, NY 10065. For more information, visit www.amcny.org. To make an appointment, please call 212.838.7053.

One Response to Low Cost Lifesavers

  1. […] Low Cost Lifesavers « Fur the Love of Pets. GA_googleAddAttr("AdOpt", "1"); GA_googleAddAttr("Origin", "other"); […]

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