Open: Tuesday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m. and Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.   | Closed Sunday & Monday |

Tuesday - Friday 7:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Closed Sunday & Monday

Call or Text  (719) 219-8569

Call or Text  (719) 219-8569

Latest News at Village Center Vet

Rattlesnakes and Antivenin

     The weather has finally gotten warm and now it is time to get outside and enjoy our beautiful outdoors with your best four-legged friends. As you are ambling along the path in Ute Valley Park (our neighboring park here at VCVC) you hear from under a pile of nearby rocks that unmistakable rattling noise which causes the sensation that Emily Dickinson so aptly described as "zero at the bone". Your dog's response to the rattlesnake, however, is "Hey, that looks interesting. How 'bout I go poke my nose at it.". Before you get a chance to react you have a yelping dog with a rapidly swelling snout.

scaled rattlesnake

What should you do?

     Before you feel the need to further harass the snake, you might want to keep in mind that one victim is usually completely sufficient for the situation. In other words, a snakebite for both you and your dog will not enhance your enjoyment of the emergency, so leave the dang snake alone.

At this point John Wayne would probably produce a large Bowie knife and start carving away at the bite wound in order to make a big enough opening to suck the poison out. In reality, this only increases the pain and trauma to the area. The other reality is that even the sweetest golden retriever may be induced to forcibly remove your lips from your face if you start slurping away at that very painful wound, thus violating the only one victim per emergency rule. As hard as it is to not DO something, the best thing you can do is leave the snake bite alone and get the dog to a veterinarian. If you can carry your dog that would be best, but the 120 pound mastiff will probably have to hoof it on his own. On the way back to the car you can calm yourself with the knowledge that you are on the way to get help and you know what to do.

At VCVC we always keep some antivenin on hand. Antivenin is not cheap, but it can take a rattlesnake bite that would result in weeks of severe pain and suffering and turn it into a few days of swelling and tenderness. The key to success in treating your pet after a snake bite is NOT waiting. The more time in between the snake bite and treatment, the more tissue damage is done to your pet’s body. The sooner we get the antivenin injected to counter the poison – the sooner your pet will be wagging their tail and happy with life again. Treatment can vary from a simple consultation all the way to hospitalization. The best way to know what to do is to get your pet in to any office and in front of a veterinarian for evaluation.

 

 

Noise Phobias

As we move into summer full swing we are approaching a part of the season that many dog owners dread. The opening salvo is the Fourth of July, and then insult is heaped on injury as thunderstorm season kicks off. There are a lot of people who have dogs that are afraid of loud noises who know exactly what I am talking about.

            This is the time when our office starts getting the calls requesting tranquilizers for phobic dogs. There are some circumstances where a dog’s irrational fear very well may lead to serious injury or property damage. I once had a lovely 13 year old German Shepherd patient who become so frantic from the neighbors fireworks display she broke all her teeth chewing through the metal garage door and as she forced her way through the hole she made she caught her eyeball on a shard of the twisted metal and destroyed it. She didn’t even notice the eye was gone in her terror and only stopped after she got out and was hit by a car.   When the stakes are that high I prescribe heavy medication, but in less extreme circumstances there may be some other options to consider.

            One thing to realize is that just being nervous is not life-threatening, and a dog doesn’t stand much of a chance of learning to cope with the fear if given mind altering drugs. Dogs with phobias of the vacuum cleaner or the menacing gnome statuette in the garden can often lose their fear through a process of desensitization by which they are exposed to ever increasing doses of the scary thing until they learn it is not a problem. It is a little harder to control when the neighbors will decide to unleash their illegal arsenal in the weeks in advance of the 4th of July, or to conjure up ever increasing doses of thunderstorms on cue. We can help guide our dogs by ignoring fearful behavior and either go about our business as usual, or engage in active play with the dog, thus demonstrating by our own actions that there is nothing to worry about. Punishing anxious behavior obviously has a tendency to make the situation worse, but even less helpful is inadvertently reinforcing fearful behavior by giving the dog lots of attention and reassurance when it is acting anxious. As an owner is stroking and soothing a dog she is saying in dog language “Yes, this is the behavior I want. Do more of this.”

            There are a variety of non-drug options that can sometimes help the situation. Dog Appeasing Pheremone or DAP is a scent detectable only to dogs that gives a chemical signal to them that everything is safe in that area. DAP infused collars, sprays, and room diffusers (made to work like Glade plug-ins) may help give environmental cues that let a dog know that the situation is OK.

Here is a link to the main website for the product, but there are many different versions: http://www.dogappeasingpheromone.com/

            I am not trained in homeopathic medicine, but Rescue Remedy is a treatment used for calming in situations where dogs feel anxiety. There is no scientific evidence that it does anything at all, but there are certainly people who swear by it. I have no concerns that it would be harmful, so if it seems to help, then great.

            There are zillions of herbal calming treatments out there too. Herbs are essentially drugs in a less quantified and controlled formulation, so using them is similar in principle to using tranquilizers, just with less predictability of results or understanding of exactly what they are doing. Just because it is called “natural” does not necessarily mean it is safer, more gentle, or without possibility of side effects.

            So here’s to a summer of improved noise phobia. And if you are one of the lucky people who does not have a dog with such problems try to take into consideration that your neighbor’s 13 year old German Shepherd may not be quite as easy going as your dog when your fireworks extravaganza goes off next door to her.

Dental Care Products

     Village Center Veterinary Care is happy to state that we are officially going to carry dental products for our clients. Dental care is something that many of our staff is passionate about and we are excited to have this inventory. The company we have chosen for our chews is Tartar Shield. This company has done many studies for their products and we feel confident about using them for Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets alike. The Soft Rawhide Chews were proven to reduce up to %54 of tartar formation after 1 month of use in dogs! The cat treats (used for ferrets as well) was proven to reduce up to %42 of plaque formation as well! Please, ask to speak to a technician to learn more about these studies. We will also be carrying toothbrush/toothpaste options for our furry clients. We have chosen to carry C.E.T. brand for both these products as we have personally enjoyed them and have had great reviews previously.

“For more than 2 decades the mission of Tartar Shield Pet Products has been the development of practical measures to improve the dental health of companion animals. The need for measures or products to prevent dental plaque, tartar, gingivitis and periodontal disease in dogs and cats has been recognized for many years. Based upon extensive research experiences in preventive dentistry at the Indiana University School of Dentistry, a research program was initiated to address these problems”.

Tartar Shield Soft Rawhide Chews were awarded the coveted Veterinary Oral Health Council’s (VOHC) Seal of Acceptance for Tartar Control.

Read more here: https://tartarshield.com/

     Dental Care is something to not take lightly in the health of our furry loved ones. A lot of times, to no one’s fault, clients will not realize how bad their pet’s teeth are until it is too late. “Too late” meaning their pet will end up needing a full mouth extraction at the age of 10, with a lump sum of money going towards it, when preventative dental care could have lessened the outcome. By establishing regular dental routines with your pet, you will greatly reduce the chance of catastrophic dental development over years and years of plaque buildup. Please, feel free to ask us about these rawhide chews, cat/ferret treats, sprinkles (yes, bacon flavored sprinkles that are GOOD for your pet), toothbrushes and toothpaste kits, and how they can better your pets dental health.

     Tartar shield spent many years perfecting their product with one thing at the forefront of their developments – your pets. These rawhides are made in such a way that they can break apart and give in to your pet’s teeth much easier than a traditional raw hide. While your pet is gnawing away at these chews, every part or their tooth is being appropriately scraped by the intricate design within the rawhide structure. The tiny scraping motion of tooth-to-chew breaks off plaque and prevents the formation of any more plaque. Not only that, but these chews are deconstructed in a way that if a pet were to swallow them whole, their natural stomach acids will have no problem dissolving the chew. We also appreciate the texture, flavor (BACON!), and the proven results that have come from these chews.

Lastly, for all our American-Made clients – Yes, these are made right here in the U.S.A.

Dental Inventory

Staying active in the winter months

Here at VCVC we are fully understanding of how hard it is to get outside in the winter, as well as how it feels to get cabin fever in the colder Colorado months. It is still important to find a way to exercise your pets during this season and even more important to keep their minds entertained. Even though it is adorable to see our beloved pets gain a couple chunky pounds in the winter, the best health is kept by steady exercise and mental stimulation. In a couple seconds, you will read all about our suggestions for this winter and the winters to come.

Now, as you are out and about, or snuggled up in the house, please take a moment to text us with any needs or concerns. Yes, you read that right, TEXT us. We have launched a texting program with our hospital, which you can now tell us your preferred method of communication (call, text, email… etc). The application is through ZipWhip, in which there is no extra charge to use this program. We are excited about this change and hope it brings better communication for all our clients. Now, enjoy these tips for the winter months, compiled by the team here at VCVC.

  1. Buy an indoor puzzle game that the pup must work for the food. The holidays (or just the busy colder months) normally mean people do not have time to fit in that extra activity time with their animal. Good news - local pet stores are always carrying treat dispensers that require your pet to work for the treat. This can keep your pet entertained for hours! For a little added inspiration, try smearing some peanut butter in the center of the toys or for our feline friends – some cat nip! If you cannot find these toys or want a more frugal indoor activity, try playing hide and seek with some yummy treats. Our little four-legged loves will enjoy the challenge of sniffing out treats all over the house and they will be exercising their cognitive thinking skills at the same time. Not only that, but this is a great bonding experience and a fun game to play with your animals, even cats will enjoy a little hide and seek!
  2. Plan a hike. Colorado is infamous for giving us random heat waves in the winter. Try planning ahead and watching the weather for an opportunity to get outside. Many local pages will have the information about how well the trails are and the hot spots to go in the winter. Keep in mind that the higher you go in elevation – the more likely there is to still be a good amount of snow on the ground… and always – pack smart! Have your kiddo wear a hiking back pack filled with treats and snacks for the both of you.
  3. Take a class/join a club. Many people do not realize this, but there are clubs around Colorado that you can join that are centered around doing things with your pup. The MeetUp App, Facebook groups, and/or a simple google search can lead you to the direction of finding local dog groups to join. Many of these clubs even focus on a certain breed and their needs (agility, hiking, lower vs. higher elevation.. etc). There are also training classes and agility courses that run all year long. Enrolling your pet into these may be an efficient way to get some exercise in while staying warm and is a perfect time to bond with your pet over new activities.

Now, please enjoy some of these moments we have taken with our staff pets on some snowy days…

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We are Accredited

Village Center Veterinary Care is very proud to announce that we are officially accredited by the American Animal Hospital Association! VCVC started the process in March of 2017, during which we made sure our entire clinic, from top to bottom, met the highest standards of AAHA. After an official AAHA inspection on November 22nd 2017, we are now proud AAHA members! Only 12-15 % of all veterinary practices in the United States and Canada are AAHA accredited and we are very excited to announce we are part of that percentage. Nearly 60 percent of pet owners believe their veterinary hospitals are accredited when they are not, and we are proud that our clients can now know we achieve high standards in all our work.

Who is AAHA?

The American Animal Hospital Association is the only organization to accredit companion veterinary hospitals. Our accredited hospitals hold themselves to a higher standard. Pets are their passion, and keeping them healthy is their #1 priority. They strive to deliver excellent care for pets. Why? Because pets deserve nothing less.

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) logo

The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) is the only exclusive companion animal veterinary association, serving nearly 50,000 individual veterinary providers, including veterinarians, technicians, managers, client service specialists, and others. We are also the only organization that accredits veterinary practices in the U.S. and Canada. During the Association's 80 years, its mission has remained the same: provide veterinary professionals with resources to effectively manage their businesses and deliver the best in companion animal care. AAHA is the leader in developing benchmarks of excellence, business practice standards, informative publications and educational programs designed to help companion animal practices thrive.

Learn more here about AAHA: https://www.aaha.org/default.aspx