The Savvy VetTech

Do You Know How Blood Flows Through The Heart?

by Lori Hehn - September 23, 2015 at 2:51 PM
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in Mini Topics, cardiac 0 Comments

Benefits of Coconut Oil in our Pet Patients

by Lori Hehn - September 4, 2015 at 2:55 PM

I have been using coconut oil for quite some time after reading the long list of benefits it offers humans. I cook with it, I use it on my kids' skin after baths, and I use it on my face. I had read a post about a 50-year old woman who looked to be in her 30's. Her secret? Sunscreen and coconut oil she claims. Well, probably great genetics too. But I figured if it is natural, isn't harmful, and is potentially beneficial, why not use it? And if it is so good for me, what about my dog or our pet patients?

Coconut oil is mostly saturated fats (about 90%), with a few unsaturated fatty acids. Most saturated fats in coconut oil are Medium Chain Triglycerides, of which the main component is lauric acid. The health benefits of coconut oil mostly come from the MCTs because lauric acid has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.

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Alert: Xylitol Now In Some Peanut Butters

by Lori Hehn - September 2, 2015 at 11:30 AM

Xylitol is a sugar alcohol found in many sugarless candies and gums, baked goodies, cereals, and drinks. It can be VERY toxic to our pet patients. One of the most significant side effects seen with xylitol ingestion is hypoglycemia. It has also been suggested as possible cause of acute liver failure, which can lead to coagulopathy, disseminated intravascular coagulation (DIC), and death.

Xylitol is appearing in more foods and most recently has been noted in certain peanut or nut butters. This is concerning, as many pet owners administer medications in peanut butter, or use it in Kongs or other toys.

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Assessing Pain in Pet Patients

by Lori Hehn - July 20, 2015 at 2:00 PM

Veterinary technicians are often the first person of contact for pets during emergencies or post-operative in the hospital. Therefore it is critical that a veterinary technician can recognize the signs and symptoms of pain. Pain management is an important part of patient care, and by implementing pain scoring in the monitoring of hospitalized patients, patients may receive the analgesia and attention they need. Animals may be very stoic and pain can sometimes be difficult to assess. The following suggestions are meant to help with pain scoring in our pet patients. Some physical characteristics below such as panting or trembling may not be pain related but may be due to nervousness or other medical disease so these symptoms are to be interpreted based on the whole status of the patient.

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in Mini Topics, pain 0 Comments

What's Really in Your Pet's Food?

by Lori Hehn - June 25, 2015 at 12:04 AM

In the recent JAVMA May 2015, there was an article regarding what is listed on the pet food label and what is actually in the food when tested. I was a bit shocked by the findings, however I am not surprised that there may be some degree of cross-contamination in pet food facilities (much like the label on human foods that states "made in a facility that processes peanuts.")

However, according to the JAVMA article, "about 40 percent of dog and cat foods tested in a recent study (Food Control 2015; 50: 9-17), may have contained meats different from those listed on the product labels." WOW! 40 percent is a huge number! The tests conducted by this study were based on DNA results of the animal products found in the pet foods. Another reference was published by Laura Allred, PhD, who showed in her 2012 study that via ELISA testing 10 out of 21 commercial dog foods contained species that were not declared on the label or WERE MISSING SPECIES THAT WERE DECLARED! That's right, that bag of dog food with chicken listed as the second ingredient may not even contain any chicken. To me, that is by far the worst.

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in Mini Topics, food fraud, pet food 0 Comments

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