Volume I, Issue I

July 2005


        Dental Hygiene – More Important than Many People Know

        FREE Dental Clinic for Dogs & Cats – August 23

        Hot Spots – The Skin Infection Often Confused with Gunshot Wounds

        Re-Establish Your E-Bulletin Personal Preferences


Dental Hygiene – More Important than Many People Know


The Problem: Over time, plaque and tarter can build up on the teeth of dogs and cats.  This causes the teeth to be yellow and unattractive.  It also causes bad breath in the pets.  More importantly, the plaque and tarter contain bacteria.  These bacteria can cause gum disease.  When the dental hygiene is bad enough, the bacteria can move systemically into vital organs.

Can Pets Get Cavities? Cavities are uncommon in pets, but the problem is on the rise in the U.S.  Left long enough, cavities can become painful in pets just as they are in humans.  Pets typically do not get cavities because they do not eat the sugary foods that we humans consume.  Vets believe that more pets are getting cavities lately because people are feeding sugary treats.  A good way to help protect your pet from cavities is to only feed treats designed for your type of pet (meaning dog treats for dogs and cat treats for cats).

Bad Breath is Not Natural For Pets: Many people believe falsely that pets just have bad breath because they are animals – especially dog owners.  This is not true.  Bad breath results from harmful bacteria growing in your pet’s mouth.  You may find that simple measures such as tooth cleaning food or tooth cleaning treats will fix the bad breath problem as well as protect your pet’s health.

Can Pet Food Make a Difference? Some research has suggested that hard food is slightly better for dog and cat teeth than soft food.  Science Diet® has developed a line of dog food that keeps teeth clean very effectively.  It’s called Science Diet TD™.

Preventive Measures: You have a number of options for protecting your pet’s teeth.  An easy option for dogs is the teeth-cleaning treat.  Healing Springs Animal Hospital enthusiastically recommends Greenies®.  These green, tooth-brush-shaped dog bones clean your dog’s teeth while the dog chews them.  Dogs love them! They are a little pricey, compared to normal dog bones, so Greenies® might serve as a weekly treat for many people.  Other dental hygiene strategies include tooth brushing at home and a professional cleaning at Healing Springs Animal Hospital.  If you want more information on what you can do to protect your pet’s teeth, check out the following announcement on Healing Springs’ Dental Clinic for Dogs and Cats.


FREE Dental Clinic for Dogs and Cats – August 23, 2pm to 4pm


Healing Springs Animal Hospital will hold an informational dental clinic for dog and cat owners on August 23, 2005 from 2pm to 4pm.  Bring your pets to have their teeth and gums examined by a trained veterinary assistant. 


Staff will make recommendations, provide demonstrations, and give out samples.  Schedule a free appointment today.  Information available will include: importance of dental hygiene, oral care food and treats, at home dental care (brushing, rinses), before & after photos of previous dental procedures, detailed pictures of dental cleaning in animals, and information on pre-anesthetic bloodwork.


Hot Spots

The Skin Infection Often Confused with Gun Shot Wounds


You arrive at home one evening to find your dog acting distressed.  Your dog bites at the base of his tail so vigorously, you fear he will hurt himself.  You examine the area and see a red, circle.  At this point, many people have called the Healing Springs vet on call reporting that their dog has been shot.  What the dog actually has is a pyotraumatic dermatitis, commonly known as a hot spot. 


The Problem: Hot spots are common skin infections.  They result when bacteria normally on a dog’s skin overwhelms the dog’s normal resistance.  Hot spots occur quickly.  They can flare up in a period from six hours to two days.  The earliest sign that your dog might have a hot spot is moist hair standing up in an isolated area.  Most people notice hot spots when they become circular, red spots that lose hair.  They can be swollen and ooze a smelly pus.  Hot spots are painful and itchy.  They typically occur at the base of the tail, on the flanks, on the legs, or on the paws.  Some dogs will scratch, lick, or bite to the point of self-mutilation. 


Causes: Hot Spots are most likely to occur during hot weather.  Dogs with heavy coats have the highest risk for developing hot spots, but any dog can develop this infection.  A common cause for hot spots is when the undercoat sheds but becomes trapped next to the skin.  Fleas serve as another common cause.  Their bites can create tiny wounds that make fertile breeding grounds for the problematic bacteria.


Veterinary Treatment: When you discover a hot spot on your pet, make an appointment at Healing Springs Animal Hospital soon.  An emergency call, however, is not entirely necessary.  Typical treatment will involve trimming the hair around the lesion, washing the area with alcohol and a disinfectant,  and sending the owner home with antibiotics and a medicated topical spray.


Prevention: Dog owners have two excellent ways to prevent hot spots.  Regular grooming works out tangles and mats to keep the skin breathing and healthy.  Avoid bathing your dog while tangles and mats are present.  Comb or clip those out first.  Dogs with a history of hot spots or who are prone to having long, tangled hair might need to be combed twice weekly.  If you do not have the time for a regular grooming schedule or just want the professional touch, Healing Springs offers professional grooming services.  Consider having your dog groomed every four to six weeks. 


Another excellent way to prevent hot spots is good flea control.  Healing Springs recommends Frontline®.  Frontline is a medicine applied to the base of the dog’s neck.  Unlike a flea collar, Frontline protects every inch of the dog by traveling through the fat cells.  Frontline is a neurotoxin that kills fleas just for touching your dog – BEFORE they even bite you dog.  Frontline® can be purchased at Healing Springs. 


Re-Establish Your E-Bulletin Personal Preferences


When you signed up for the Animal Health Bulletin, you had the option to specify the categories of content that would interest you.  Some of the preferences information was lost during the data entry phase.  If your preferences were lost, you are currently registered to receive all bulletins.  We apologize for any inconvenience.  If you would like to only receive bulletins pertaining to a certain category of animal, please follow the link below, type the categories that interest you, and send the e-mail.

Click here to re-establish your personal preferences.

Specify one or more of these categories:

Dogs · Cats · Horses · Bovine · Small Ruminant · Camelid



The Animal Health Bulletin is a FREE service of

Healing Springs Animal Hospital

(276) 236-5103

107 Nuckolls Curve Rd

Galax, VA  24333


Visit our website at www.HealingSpringsAnimalHospital.com






Request and article topic. Click Here.

To ask questions about a specific pet, call Healing Springs at (276) 236-5103.


You have permission to forward this bulletin in its entirety to a friend.

If you did not receive the Animal Health Bulletin directly and would like to begin receiving them, simply e-mail us at the link below.  Healing Springs Animal Hospital provides the Animal Health Bulletin free of charge to all residents of surrounding counties.  When you subscribe, please provide your name and address.

Click here to subscribe.


The Animal Health Bulletin is developed and distributed with the assistance of Brazzell Marketing Agency.




© BMA 2005