West Ridge Animal Hospital
Saturday: 8am-5pm
Sunday: 9am-1pm
Monday: CLOSED

Purrs and Paws Lodge
Saturday: 8am – 5pm
Sunday: 9am – 1pm
Monday: CLOSED

Sirius Fun At West Ridge Doggy Day Care
Monday – Friday: 6:30 am-10 am (Drop-Off) and 4 pm-7 pm (Pick-up)
Sunday & Sunday: 7 am-10 am and 4 pm-7 pm for drop off and pick up

What Are You Preventing by Neutering Your Pet?
Why should you spay or neuter your pet? According to a 1995 survey by the American Animal Hospital Association, nearly 80 percent of the cats and dogs in the United States and Canada are spayed or neutered.

Neutered males of all species are less likely to roam, less likely to fight, and less likely to spray urine everywhere to mark their territory. When male cats and dogs roam they are exposed to many dangers including but not limited to cars, infectious diseases, and fights with other animals. These hazards will most likely lead to an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

The word neuter refers to the removal of the reproductive organs of either a male or a female of a species, the commonly used term for the removal of female reproductive organs is spay. The scientific terminology for neutering in the male is castration and in the female is ovariohysterectomy.

The majority of the Veterinarian community believes it is best to neuter either a male or female pet just before or shortly after sexual maturity. For rabbits and other pocket pets, this time could range from four to six months in the small to medium sized breeds and up to nine months in the giant breeds. For cats and dogs, it is important to wait until all of the adult teeth are in. In order to avoid common behavioral issues, it is best not to wait past a year of age to neuter males. Once a hormone-triggered behavior has continued long enough, you can be dealing with a firmly entrenched habit that will not fade even after neutering. Frequently, neutering helps with behavior problems, even if done much later, so don’t give up on it just because you’ve missed the optimum time.

Un-Neutered pet’s prostate gland will gradually enlarge over the course of the dog’s life due to the influence of excess testosterone in the body. With age, the prostate is likely to become uncomfortable, possibly being large enough to interfere with defecation. The prostate under the influence of testosterone is also predisposed to infection, which is almost impossible to clear up without neutering. Neutering causes the prostate to shrink into insignificance, thus preventing both prostatitis as well as the uncomfortable benign hyperplasia (enlargement) that occurs with aging.

Read more about the specif benefits of spaying your female companion animals at our veterinary practice’s website by clicking here

Spaying and neutering is a very important subject for this quarter’s prevention topic. A Pediatric care exam is the first step to prevention. Our Doctors and Technicians vet at West Ridge would love to talk to you about your pets spay or neuter options. Let’s help decrease the overpopulation so that they are safe and healthy!

Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) can help Minimize Hip Dysplasia Risk

This quarter, West Ridge Animal Hospital is focusing on Pet Prevention and the different ways to inhibit health issues in our pets. There are many different ways to prevent health issues and one approach is surgical. One surgery in particular has had marked success in minimizing the number of animals with hip dysplasia. This surgery is called the Juvenile Pubic Symphysiodesis (JPS) and is performed in puppies between the ages of 15-20 weeks.

If you have ever watched your beloved 12 year old Labrador struggle to get up off the floor you know exactly what we are referring to. Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disease in which dog shave poor fitting hip joints. Typically, the ball and socket joint fit together neatly, allowing a dog to move their legs freely and without pain. If the animal’s joint does not fit together properly, as in the case of hip dysplasia, they are more prone to developing arthritis and pain in their joint area as they age. Motion of the hip joints slowly causes erosion of soft cartilage, causing the bones to rub together increasing pain.

Hip dysplasia can occur in any breed, but is predominant in the larger dogs, particularly the German Shepherd, St. Bernard, Labrador Retriever, Pointers, and Setters. Although hip dysplasia is a genetic condition, research shows that environmental factors can also put a dog at risk. Overfeeding (especially of puppies) can predispose a dog to hip dysplasia. Excessive exercise may predispose dogs as well. Those who adopt a breed of puppy prone to dysplasia should ask their breeder if they have done any screenings on their dogs.

jpsThere are several different signs of severe hip dysplasia. Symptoms usually appear before the dog reaches one year of age and may include pain in the rear legs, incoordination, limping, and difficulty rising. Those with less severe cases may not develop arthritis or other symptoms until they become older (6-10 years).

Surgical procedure in young dogs such as the JPS is a more successful option than drugs for treating severe cases of hip dysplasia. Surgeons can improve the joints in young dogs by making changes to the shape of the femur or pelvis. During the JPS procedure, the pubic symphysiodesis, which is the cartilage seam connecting the left and right sides of the pelvis, is electrocauterized (or removed) to induce bony fusion and to stop the continued growth of the growth plate. This then allows the pubic bone to grow normally and allows for a tighter and healthier hip joint.

Much like humans who have joint problems, dogs that are diagnosed with hip dysplasia should not be free of exercise. Exercising at the dogs own pave can help loosen up the stiffness in the joints. Weight is a big factor as well. Shedding extra pounds can cause relief to the joints and bones. Those dogs that do have arthritis should be kept away from the cold since cold weather can aggravate aching joints.

If you are concerned about your dog having hip dysplasia or you want to do everything you can to prevent it, please talk to your veterinarian about the JPS procedure (www.WRAH.net/care/procedures/JPS.html)

Read about Lowering the Risks of Degenerative Joint Disease

Don’t Let Your Pet Get Away With Having Dog Breath!

Think about how you felt when you woke up this morning. Were you fresh and alert? Were you groggy and uncoordinated? Did your back ache? How was your breath? Chances are your mouth tasted like you licked the bottom of your shoe, and your teeth felt “fuzzy.” That fuzz is plaque, a combination of bacteria, saliva, and food particles that have made themselves at home on the enamel of your teeth. Plaque starts forming just four short hours after brushing your teeth. If left there long enough it can calcify and become tartar, which is a rigid crusty deposit that can only be removed by a professional dental cleaning.

Now, think of how fresh your breath feels after brushing your teeth. Remember the feeling of how smooth your teeth are when you run your tongue over them? How often do you brush your teeth each day? Dogs and cats get plaque and tartar buildup just like humans. How long has it been since you brushed your pet’s teeth?

Professional dental cleanings are vital in maintaining your pet’s oral health, just as they are for humans. Imagine how your mouth would taste, smell, and feel if you only went to the dentist for cleanings once or twice a year, and did not brush and floss at home in between those visits. YUCK! It is the same idea for our pets. Routine professional cleanings are extremely important, but we don’t want to skip out on home dental care between those. Ask your vet about how to brush your pet’s teeth, what chew toys and treats are safe and effective for cleaning plaque, and to learn about other great methods and tools for giving your pet that same clean fresh feeling you enjoy after brushing. Don’t let your pet get away with having dog breath!

K-9 to 5 – Dogs Need Jobs Too
So the spouse is off to work, the kids are taken care of, what about the dog? It’s not something we typically think about when we adopt that furry friend, but they need just as much stimulation and exercise that our kids do. Going for a walk once a day helps, but our pets need more activity than that. According to the ASPCA, boredom and excess energy are two of the main causes of behavior problems in dogs. Most of our pooches are pure or mixes of breeds that were bred for a purpose. Bred to work. Most of us don’t need help herding livestock and hunting rabbits, we simply need a companion and lifelong friend. That natural instinct your pet feels to move, lead, and provide is no longer satisfied, so it makes sense that those hours spent while you are away at work, or running your daily errands tends to end in a torn up couch or angry neighbor. So what now? We know the problem and the reason for the behavior, but how do we help? The answer is mental and physical stimulation.

9-5Doggy daycare is a great way for dogs to get out of the house and run off that pent up energy, but that’s not all daycares are good for. Taking your dog to a reputable facility is very beneficial in many ways for many different types of dogs. Along with the physical exertion of running around in a spacious area, your dog will be introduced to many new faces, aiding in socialization. This makes your special dog a friendly dog as well. One that, when worked with and exposed often, will be less likely to show signs of aggression towards people and other animals. You may just see “Fluffy” chasing her friend for a stick, but instinctually your pup is tapping into those ancient urges to hunt and work. That’s the ultimate benefit of doggy daycares; they give your dog a job. In their minds, they get to spend the day searching, hunting, chasing, and establishing relationships in “packs”, while being supervised in a safe environment.

Now What does all this mean for you? This means you drop off an excited, anxious pup and pick up a tired, mentally, and physically satisfied dog that is ready to go home, eat, and cuddle. Sounds like a win-win for you and “Fluffy”.

9-5-2that you’ve decided daycare is worth a shot, be choosy. Tour your prospective facility; ask how the staff is trained, ask about requirements, and how the daycare is run. Each facility will be different and it’s important to take the time to find the right fit for you and your best friend.

For more great pictures of the K-9 to 5, please visit Sirius Fun’s Facebook page

Party Time!
Want to hold a private party for your pooch and his or her friends? We are now offering space rental for dog parties from 3PM-5PM on Saturdays.

Two hours of exclusive fun filled play time for your pooch and his or her friends for only $100.

Dog cookies and treats included as well as photos of the party.

Please call (970) 330-5150 with any questions or to make reservations.

Two New Lodging Suites Available Soon
We are continuing to remodel and improve the services and amenities we provide our guests. To that end, we are excited to announce the creation of two new private suites available for our boarding guests. These suites are large rooms with couches, chairs, and dog beds, just like home!

The spacious Big Dipper suite will run $45.00 a night for a single dog and $40.00/dog a night for multiple dogs. The slightly smaller Little Dipper suite will run $40.00 a night for a single dog and $35.00/dog per night for multiple dogs.

The two new suites will be available in the coming weeks, stay tuned for more information.