Pet Health

Simple and Easy Conditioning Methods

posted July 15th, 2012 by
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by Jennie Lloyd

Photos by Sirius Photography

Is your dog slowly turning into one plump pup? Dr. Heather Owen, a friend­ly veterinarian at the Veterinary Well­ness Center, has several simple, easy ideas and methods for conditioning overweight dogs. Banish your pooch’s pouch with Owen’s great tips to get your dog back in fighting shape.



But first things first: How do you know if your pup is packing extra pounds? For us, our Body Mass Index (BMI) is a good indicator of where our weight and height intersect. For our dogs, a Body Condition Score (BCS) “tells us how overweight the pet is,” Owen says. A ranking “from one to nine, with one being way too thin and nine being se­verely overweight” will help you figure out how much your pet may have to lose. A score between six and nine is a healthy goal.


Another way to check if your pet is overweight is by giving him a close look from above. Is there a big bulge? If you can “feel [his or her] ribs without push­ing too hard and without being able to see them,” [he or she] is at a good weight, Owen says. If you want a more specific measuring stick, have your dog weighed twice a year at the vet and keep track of [his or her] weight history, Owen suggests.

So, Baxter is a little chubby. What now? Make sure your dog isn’t suffering from an­other ailment that’s contrib­uting to weight gain. “When a dog is gaining weight,” Owen says, “we say, ‘what’s going on?’ We find that dogs that are heavier have more arthritis. Sometimes a dog is overweight because [he or she isn’t] moving as much,” she says. “We recommend a good physical exam.”

The two big contributors to weight gain are thyroid prob­lems and arthritis. But if your pet gets a clean bill of health from the vet, let’s take a look at some fun and easy things you can do to get your dog’s weight back on track.



Owen warned pet owners not to be embarrassed about their dog’s weight. “Seventy percent or more of [dogs] are overweight,” she says.


Start a new physical train­ing schedule slowly. Increase your pet’s activity by 30 per­cent each week, Owen sug­gests. Over a 12-week period, your pet can go safely from couch paw-tato to 5K jogger. Emphasize building toward a healthier lifestyle. “Build up [his or her] stamina very slowly. It’s about the long haul and not the short term,” Owen says. Make sure your dog isn’t acting sore or getting really tired.


Dogs need to get a workout about three times a week “just like a person,” Owen says. So take your pick of fun physical activities and embark on a new adventure with your pup. “Just going for a walk around the block or going to a dog park,” Owen says, is a good idea.


Other fun ideas for a little exercise and bonding time with your dog in­clude hilly hikes, Frisbee or playing ball and fetch. But again, condition your dog slowly before jumping full-stop into any sport. “The slower you go, the more apt you’ll be to continue it,” Owen says. Before a marathon Frisbee-throwing session, try tossing a disc for just a few minutes three times a week at first.


In the heat of summer, don’t leave out water sports. “Dogs love water,” Owen says. “And swimming, especially in lakes where they can wade in and wade out.”

Before you dive into the pool with your pup, check the filter and make sure it can handle dog hair, Owen suggests.


If you’re planning on having fun on dry land this summer, make sure you keep your dog cool in other ways. It’s best to head outdoors in the early morning or at dusk; also make sure his or her paws aren’t burning on the as­phalt while you’re out on a summery jaunt.

“If asphalt is too hot for your hands, it’s too hot for your dog’s feet,” Owen says. She suggests cooling jackets or booties for your dog if you like to exer­cise in the summer sun.


For those who prefer staying cool in­doors, there are fun conditioning exer­cises using a fit ball or yoga and Pilates workouts just for dogs. You can order a balance ball peanut through the Veteri­nary Wellness Center or at various on­line retailers.


Not sure where to start? Check into the doggy boot camps available at the Center. These programs are for people who don’t have time or knowledge to work out their dogs. Owen says the Center’s programs are catered to each dog’s specific needs. A few months ago, a dog with 40 pounds to lose was brought in for weight loss classes. “She had bone and joint problems,” Owen explains, so regular exercise put too much impact on her joints. In­stead, staffers “put her in the water and walked her in an underwater treadmill twice a day with shorter workouts,” she says. The dog is down 10 pounds in just two months.


Whether you want to start swimming, walking or playing a little Frisbee with your dog, Owen says the bottom line is: “Start off really slow, so you’ll be able to do it for forever.”



Exercise and conditioning are only part of the journey to a healthier pup. You may also need to put your pet on a diet. Owen says decreasing your dog’s food intake by 10 percent is an easy change. Even if you’re strictly follow­ing the recommendations on the dog food labels, it’s important to note the serv­ing sizes are calculated for dogs that aren’t spayed and neutered.


Once a pet is no longer “intact,” she says, they’ll re­quire a 10 percent decrease in food. So, reduce his or her intake for one month and weigh your dog again to see if that helps. Of­ten, that added 10 percent turns into a puppy pooch over time.


For dogs that have more weight to lose, Owen rec­ommends feeding them sig­nificantly less or feed them diet food.


And consider the extracurricular eating your dog is doing. “Check their treats,” she says. “We’ll forget that treats have calories.”


Many dog owners don’t think much about throwing their dog a few crack­ers, a few bites of chicken, a couple of chips. But humans take in many more calories than our canine counterparts, so a little bit for us can mean a ton for our pets. For a 10-pound dog, a normal daily caloric intake is around 200 calo­ries per day. For us, that’s a tiny amount of food. Toss your dog a piece of pizza, and he may be chomping his entire dai­ly calorie requirement in one sitting.


Owen suggests offering your pup a cup of cooked green beans instead of nutritionally empty table scraps. A cup of green beans is only 10 calories and also gives your dog folium and other important vitamins.


If you still want to throw your dog a few tasty morsels, Owen recommends at least paring down the amount. “If you’ve got a Beggin’ Strips dog, take one strip and divide it into teeny-tiny pieces,” she says.


When it comes to conditioning your dog, the trick is to start slowly. Don’t make drastic changes that will leave your pup sore, fatigued or feel­ing deprived. One baby paw at a time, your dog will go from pooped-out pooch to well-con­ditioned canine.

Small Animal Surgery Services at OSU

posted May 27th, 2012 by
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by Derinda Blakeney

Photos courtesy OSU

Meet Dr. Mark Rochat, a veterinary surgeon at Oklahoma State University’s Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, where he has worked for 17 years.  He performs and oversees (with the surgery residents) approximately 550-600 surgeries per year, is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and holds the Cohn Family Chair for Small Animal Care.

In addition to his surgical responsibilities in the hospital, he spends time teaching.  Rochat works with pre-veterinary through fourth year veterinary students in the classroom, laboratories and clinics.  He also supervises interns and surgical residents.  Currently he is mentoring three small animal surgery residents.  As the residents progress in their training, they are able to do more and more on their own under Rochat’s watchful eye.

“Owners don’t come here because it is a teaching hospital,” explains Rochat.  “They come here because their animals are in need of the equipment we have and the surgical expertise.  I keep a close eye on every case, in surgery and out, to make sure the balance of good patient care and proper training occurs.”

Dr Mark Rochat in surgery Christmas Eve 09

The veterinary hospital is equipped with three surgical suites where Rochat performs a wide array of surgical procedures.

“You name it, we do it,” he smiles.  “We perform soft tissue surgeries (general, head and neck, cardiothoracic, urologic, endocrine, reconstructive, oncologic, etc.).  We do neurosurgeries such as disk rupture, tumors, various acquired and congenital deformities, brain tumors, hydrocephalic shunts and trauma.”

Dr. Rochat is probably most known among veterinary colleagues for his orthopedic surgical expertise.  To keep those skills current, he recently took total knee replacement and total elbow replacement courses.  He hopes to be able to soon add those total joint replacement procedures to total hip replacement surgery, which he has been doing since arriving at OSU.  Other orthopedic surgery options available at OSU include managing trauma, such as fractures and dislocations; congenital/developmental conditions (hip dysplasia, elbow conditions, growth deformities); arthroscopy, cranial cruciate ligament disease, orthopedic oncologic surgery, and more.

When asked why he decided to become a veterinarian, he replies “I liked animals, medicine, and being outdoors…I thought I would be a general practitioner in a mixed practice,” he adds.

So how did he wind up as a veterinary surgeon?

“I’m very visual and like the ‘see the problem, fix the problem and move on’ concept.  I also like ’tools’ and anatomy.”

Dr Mark Rochat views radiographs of a dog with a dislocated elbow.

Some of the specialized equipment at Dr. Rochat’s disposal is an array of arthroscopic equipment, total joint replacement systems, fracture management systems including plating, external fixators, and interlocking nails, ring fixator systems, surgical stapling devices, laparoscopic and thoracoscopic systems, and operating microscopes.   He typically operates on mainly dogs with some cats and a decent amount of zoo animals.  He rarely performs surgery on food animals, especially since OSU’s veterinary hospital has both food animal and equine surgeons on faculty.

Throughout his career at OSU, Rochat has had a lot of memorable cases, too many to list.

“Some you remember because of the complexity of the case and others stand out because of the amazing power of the body to heal.  And then there are cases where the animal or the owner was just special and you were glad you could help them achieve a positive outcome from a particular situation.  We do a lot of amazing things.  Small animal surgery wise, just about anything you can do for a human, you can do for an animal.”

The veterinary hospital must generate much of its budget through revenues from referral cases as well as from local clientele.  Therefore, the hospital fees for referral cases are very similar to those of a private surgical specialty practice.

And Dr. Mark Rochat is available to perform that surgery when it benefits your companion animal.

The Oklahoma State University Boren Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital is open to the public 365 days a year.  Routine and specialized care for small and large animals are available at this facility as well as 24-hour emergency care.  The veterinary hospital is certified by the American Animal Hospital Association.

The Oklahoma State University Center for Veterinary Health Sciences is one of 28 veterinary colleges in the United States and is fully accredited by the Council on Education of the American Veterinary Medical Association.  For more information, visit or call (405) 744-7000.

Diamond Pet Foods has issued yet another pet food recall

posted May 19th, 2012 by
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Diamond Pet Food2

May 18, 2012

Diamond Naturals Small Breed Adult Dog Lamb & Rice Formula samples, 6 pound and 18 pound bag sizes, manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011, have been added to the limited voluntary recall, due to potential exposure to Salmonella. No illnesses have been reported.

The product was distributed in the following states, further distribution through other pet food channels may have occurred:

  • Colorado
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • Louisiana
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

Production Code & Best Before Dates:

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 26-Aug-2012

DSL0801, 27-Sept- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 and packaged on Sept. 27, 2011)

DSL0801, 18-Oct- 2012 (Product manufactured on Aug. 26, 2011 and packaged on Oct. 18, 2011)

DSL0801, (Samples)

Pet owners who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact Diamond Pet Foods via a toll free call at 1-866-918-8756, Monday through Sunday, 8 am – 6pm EST.

Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any issues this may have caused pet owners and their pets.

Know the ABC’s of Pet CPR

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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by Kiley Roberson

THERE ARE pet spas, pet daycares and many pet stores. But animal lovers want to do more than pamper their pets. They also want to protect them. So, the American Red Cross is offering pet first aid classes that include the ABCs of pet CPR.

“Pets are often our companions and even cared for at the same level as we would our own children,” says Kay­lene Kenner of Red Cross Tulsa. “Of course, do­ing what we can to in­crease their chance of survival during a medi­cal emergency is our re­sponsibility since they depend on us for care.”

Kenner has worked for Tulsa’s Red Cross chapter for six years. She says pet first aid is one of her favor­ite classes that the Red Cross offers. And she’s not alone; a typical class is full of animal lovers, who want to get savvy with safety procedures that could help a pet in distress.

From basic pet owner responsibilities, like spaying, neutering and administer­ing medications to managing breathing or cardiac emergencies and preparing for disasters, pet first aid courses offer infor­mation and advice for pet owners. Topics include managing urgent care situations, such as car accidents; wounds; electri­cal shock; and eye, foot and ear injuries.

The classes are three to four hours long and are taught by a local volunteer vet­erinarian. The maximum enrollment for the class is 12, and Kenner says they fill up quickly. Real pets aren’t actually allowed in class. Instead, mannequins are used to demonstrate techniques. Each pet man­nequin has a set of simulated lungs to give the student a good sense of how hard to blow and how hard to push when ad­ministering breaths and compressions on the pet. Very often, injured animals are scared and likely to bite. So, the course also teaches pet owners how to devise a makeshift muzzle. In addition to lectures covering topics like capturing and han­dling an injured animal, the day’s instruc­tion also includes video presentations.

The class only covers CPR for dogs and cats, but Kenner says the same prin­cipals can be used on other pets, as well. She also says it’s especially im­portant to know the signs to recog­nize when a pet is ill or in distress.

“Pets, especially cats, will often try to hide signs of illness until the disease or injury is very advanced,” she explains. “I recently lost my two cats, both at age 19. They hid their symptoms from me and because cats are smaller animals, their health conditions deteriorated very quickly. After taking this class I now know the signs to watch out for and can try to intervene as early as possible.”

For pet first aid and CPR, the course costs $70. The courses are offered at var­ious times throughout the year. You can sign up by going to or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS. If you can’t make it to a class, don’t worry; the Red Cross has an available book, “Pet First Aid.”

“Taking a course like Pet First Aid will give you the tools and techniques to iden­tify and treat such medical emergencies as soon as possible,” says Kenner. “Allow­ing your pet a better chance for survival.”

Learn your ABCs   To find out if a dog, for example, is breathing, watch the rib cage and see if it goes up and down. Also, find the pulse on your dog, which you can locate be­hind the pad on his front or back foot. Then, feel the rib cage just behind the left elbow. If the heart is beating, you should be able to feel it there. That’s called the ABC: Airway, Breathing and Cardiac.

Pet CPR Basics

1.) Cover and seal the pet’s entire mouth and nose with your mouth and gently exhale until you see the chest rise.

2.) Give four or five breaths rapidly; then check to see if your pet is breath­ing without assistance. If he begins to breathe, but the breathing is shal­low and irregular, or if breathing does not begin, continue giving him res­cue breaths at about a rate of 20 to 30 breaths per minute, pausing every 2 to 3 minutes to check for breath­ing and pulse. Continue until you reach the veterinary hospital or for up to 20 minutes. Beyond 20 minutes, there is little chance of reviving your pet.

Laser Therapy Alternative

posted May 15th, 2012 by
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Safe, Effective Pain Management for your Pets

Lasers are becoming a popular alternative to the use of traditional pain relief medications in companion animals. Par-ticularly helpful in man-aging chronic arthritis, veterinarians are also us-ing laser therapy to pro-vide relief for ligament and muscle strains as well as in the treatment of skin wounds and lick granulomas. This tech-nology is also effective in speeding the healing process when used after surgical procedures.

According to Dr. Den-nis Henson of Hammond Animal Hospital, laser treatments offer a safe, more natural method of relieving pain and stimu-lating recovery in pets while avoiding the po-tential side effects of traditional medications. A laser directs a ray of infra-red light energy into the injured or inflamed area of a pet’s body. This energy then reduces inflammation and in-creases blood flow to the treatment area to encourage healing while also causing the re-lease of endorphins-the body’s natural pain killer. It can also provide an overall boost to the pet’s immune system.

Laser therapy is non-invasive, relaxing and won’t cause your pet any problems. The laser used in this type of applica-tion will not burn your pet’s skin or cause irrita-tion. A regular course of treatment, to be deter-mined by your veterinar-ian, can provide your pet long lasting, positive ef-fects.

To learn more about the applications of laser therapy in veterinary medicine and how your pet might benefit, contact Dr. Dennis Henson or Dr. Lauren Johnson at Hammond Animal Hospital.

Hammond Animal Hospital

Promising our best, so you can share their best.

Drs. Dennis Henson & Lauren Johnson

2301 E 71st St

Tulsa, OK  74136


Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Issues Voluntary Recall

posted April 27th, 2012 by
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Chicken Soup2A

Recall is limited to one formula of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul distributed to 10 states

Diamond Pet Foods is recalling one production run of Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food. One bag of the product has tested positive forSalmonella, and the recall of the four production codes is being conducted as aprecautionary measure.


We encourage consumers who have purchased Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food with the specific production codes and best before dates to discard the product. Diamond Pet Foods apologizes for any potential issues this may have caused our customers and their dogs.  No dog illnesses have been reported.



Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula – dry dog food:

35 lb – CLF0102B31XCW,    Best by Date 27/JAN/2013

35 lb – CLF0102B31XCW,    Best by Date 28/JAN/2013

35 lb – CLF0102B32XWR,    Best by Date 28/JAN/2013

6 lb – CLF0102B3XALW,     Best by Date 28/JAN/2013


Chicken Soup for the Pet Lover’s Soul Adult Light Formula dry dog food is manufactured by Diamond Pet Foods and was distributed in Florida, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina and Virginia, who may have further distributed the product to other states, through pet food channels. The company is working directly with distributors and retailers who carry these products to remove them from the supply chain.


Pets with Salmonella infections may have decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, pets may be lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Infected but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed the recalled product and has these symptoms, please contact your veterinarian.


Individuals handling dry pet food can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with surfaces exposed to this product. Healthy people infected with salmonella should monitor themselves for some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. According to the Centers for Disease Control, people who are more likely to be affected by Salmonella include infants, children younger than 5 years old, organ transplant patients, people with HIV/AIDS and people receiving treatment for cancer.


Pet owners, who are unsure if the product they purchased is included in the recall, or who would like replacement product or a refund, may contact us at 800-442-0402.