When we built the hospital in 2002, we asked our clients to have their kids enter a drawing of their pet in a contest. My wife, Vicki, the amazing artist, took the drawings and carefully traced them into clay tiles. She then glazed and fired them in her kiln at Bluegill Pottery. Then we mounted them all in a frame and they are hanging today in our facility. Believe me, these two wall hangings are HEAVY! They had to be mounted in our concrete wall! They are still there today. The imagination of these youngsters was just awesome. Since these were done in 2002, some of these youngsters are young adults now. Maybe you recognize yours or someone you know? You can see photos here of the two wall hangings and a close ups of two of the tiles. Watch for Part Two of the story coming soon!
We’ve been doing some remodeling and upgrading at the hospital. We repainted the front office decorated with new artwork and separate off a smaller section of seating for our pet parents with smaller pets and cats to decrease the stress in the waiting area. We now have complimentary refrigerated water in reception. All the floors were redone with a super high quality hospital grade flooring (which is beautiful, by the way). Our parking area has been upgraded and resealed. We added some sound absorbing panels in our hospital areas to decrease noise stress of our patients and clients.
We have also installed upgraded inhouse lab equipment to provide the most rapid diagnostics for your pet. Our computer systems are being upgraded as well as other some of the other equipment in the hospital.
Very soon, we will have a backup generator that will power the entire hospital in case of power outage. This should be installed in the coming weeks.
We are excited about striving to continue to provide a state-of-the-art full service veterinary hospital to better serve you and your pets.
We hope to see you come by this month and stop in for some holiday cheer and have a look around. We’re very proud of our facility and continue to strive to deliver the best experience for you and your pet.
We want to thank all of our clients who helped by bringing in canned goods for our local food drive. It was a huge success! We collected over 350 canned food products and brought them to the Woodlawn Baptist Church Local Food Bank in Lowell where they will go out to local families. We have done this for many years now, and this was the largest number of cans collected. A big thanks again to all who helped!
Of course, many dogs and cats got a discounted day at the spa for their pet parents bringing in the goods!
Pictured here is Lesley Johnson, our Boarding and Grooming Services Director and Sally Stone, our Practice Manager delivering the canned goods (pictured on the left) to Pastor Mitch Evans of the local food bank. We are very thankful and proud to be able to contribute to this activity.
Ok, so every now and then we have some fun. We did our annual Christmas photo shoot with our “world famous photographer” (my wife, Vicki Gill) and had a great time. Thanks to Belinda, our longest term staff member (since 1988) who let us use her facility (The Iris in Belmont) for a Wilkinson Animal Hospital “night on the town”. We brought in some food for the staff and had a great time creating our photos. You’ll have to wait and see on the actual photo turn out, but here’s us attempting the Cam Newton Dab.
Watch your email for the final photo!
At Wilkinson Animal Hospital, one of our purposes is to support and nurture the human-animal bond. That is because we totally understand the special bond between a pet parent and their pet. As pet owners, we all instinctively know that that special bond of unconditional love has value to our emotional health, but what about our physical health?
There are numerous studies confirming the value of pet ownership to the health of our bodies and minds. Here are some of the benefits that have been found out from studies:
Decreased Health Care Costs
Considering the rising costs of health care, get this:
“From a purely financial benefit, a recent study by the Human Animal Bond Research Initiative Foundation, conducted by two researchers from George Mason University, has unleashed a more startling finding: Pet ownership could reduce U.S. health care costs by $11.7 billion.” Now isn’t that cool?
Improved Heart Health
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the National Institute of Health (NIH) have done studies on the cardiovascular health benefits of caring for a pet. Their findings?
- Decreased Blood pressure
- Decreased Cholesterol levels
- Decreased Triglyceride levels
All which lead to a lower risk of heart attack. And pet-owners who are recovering from heart attacks have better recovery rates. – Source: http://www.cdc.gov/healthypets/health-benefits/
“Several studies have shown that dog owners may get more exercise and other health benefits than the rest of us. One NIH-funded investigation looked at more than 2,000 adults and found that dog owners who regularly walked their dogs were more physically active and less likely to be obese than those who didn’t own or walk a dog. Another study supported by NIH followed more than 2,500 older adults, ages 71-82, for 3 years. Those who regularly walked their dogs walked faster and for longer time periods each week than others who didn’t walk regularly. Older dog walkers also had greater mobility inside their homes than others in the study.”
Better Social Life?
Ok, so, remember the movie “Must Love Dogs”? Well, your pet can be a conversation starter at a dog park, or on a walk, etc.
Some other things I found were fewer allergic sensitivities, decreased stress, lower rates of obesity, and the benefits of therapy dogs helping people recovering from disease and helping the elderly in nursing homes.
At Wilkinson Animal Hospital, our team is totally on board with helping pets to live longer, healthier lives, while celebrating and nurturing the human-animal bond…so maybe we get to increase the longevity of their human companions, too. Now that’s pretty cool!
The profession of veterinary medicine and surgery is constantly changing with new research and technology. I’m very proud that all of our doctors regularly attend conferences, continuing education and study new information that comes out. It’s great that all three of our veterinarians bring new information, procedures, and technology back to the practice to share so that we can deliver the latest and best veterinary care to our patients. Our staff also participate in many “lunch and learns” and seminars to keep us all on the cutting edge of veterinary medicine.
I recently was away at some veterinary conferences getting some new and updated information. I attended 2 full days of Feline Medicine updates and then took another trip out to Kansas to get at nutrition course and tour of the Hill’s Pet Center and Company where Hill’s Pet Diets are researched and refined to perfection. Hands down, I was very impressed.
We’ve been using Hill’s Prescription Diets for many years with great success. I am even more impressed at the high quality and high tech center they have for researching, exacting and refining their products to perfection. There facility is pristine and nutrition research is outstanding beyond my expectations.
I took note of Hill’s mission statement, which “had me at Hello” because it dovetails with our mission statement at Wilkinson Animal Hospital.
Hill’s Vision: To make nutrition a cornerstone of veterinary medicine.
Hill’s Philosophy: We believe all animals — from your pet to the companion animals we care for — should be loved and cared for during their lifetimes.
To provide high quality pet health care in a friendly, upbeat and caring environment in which pets are helped to be healthier, happier, and to live longer, more comfortable lives; clients are educated on proper care of their pets; the human-animal bond is nurtured and protected; client expectations are consistently exceeded and staff are cared for and rewarded for their contribution
I think it’s pretty amazing that a pet food company has a mission statement to transform the lives of pets so that they have a longer healthier life with their people. Goes right along with our slogan “Where pets and their people are special”.
Dr. Jim Gill
‘Ok, so we told you that brushing your pet’s teeth is the best way to help slow down and prevent dental infections. You say, Really?!! Well, this is true. It is the best way. There are also other solutions to this problem that are available. One of our Veterinary staff would be happy to discuss this with you.
I will say we have clients who have trained their dogs to LOVE teeth brushing! Even to the point where their dogs “line up” to have their teeth brushed! It’s a step by step approach and one that could be trained if you want to spend the time.
Here’s a video that may be beneficial to give you an idea of how this could be accomplished. Enjoy!
(Clue: it’s the number 1 infection we treat)
Believe it or not, it is gum disease – or basically an infection or the gums and the bones surrounding the teeth of your dog or cat. Also called periodontal disease.
Why is it the silent killer? The infection around the gums is picked up easily in the blood stream since this area of the body has a great blood supply. Once the infection gets in the blood stream, it “silently” causes major organ damage…slowly. The kidneys, heart, and liver are commonly affected.
How can I tell? Your pet may be completely without any symptoms…aside from bad breath. But if you look closely, maybe you think he is just “getting old” or “slowing down”. The infection causes a sort of “up and down lack of energy”. This often goes unnoticed but becomes obvious when the infection is cleared up by treatment. It is very common to hear an increased energy and vitality when we treat dental infections.
How common is this? It has been reported that many pets over the age of 3 or 4 have periodontal disease. As much as 78% of dogs and 68% of cats over the age of 3 have it. This can be in varying degrees of infection. That’s why we grade the level of infection when we examine your pet.
How can it be treated? By getting your pet in for a full dental exam and professional dental cleaning procedure. This is done under a safe anesthesia. We use advanced dental equipment to remove the tartar and infection from around the teeth and under the gum line. We sometimes need to treat deeper pockets around the teeth with a special “filler”. Extracting any teeth that cannot be saved to remove the source of infection may also be needed. Antibiotics are given for the infection.
Can I do anything to prevent gum infections? Yes! There are many options for home care if there is no gum disease present. Our nursing staff is proficient at educating clients on these options and products available.
If your pet has bad breath, there may be a gum infection started. Give us a call at 704-824-9876 to schedule a checkup and we can recommend the correct treatment or preventative measures!
We often hear questions about cats and heartworms. There are a lot of myths that circulate around. Here are some of them and the truth about them.
Myth: Cats can resist heartworms because of their strong immune system.
The studies show that the national rate of cats getting heartworms is 16%. These rates are likely to be underestimated because of the testing methods used today may not pick up the problem.
Myth: Cats don’t get sick from heartworms.About two-thirds of the cats with heartworms develop symptoms: cough, vomiting, wheezing or other breathing difficulties, decrease appetite or weight loss.
Myth: My cat lives indoors and won’t get heartworms.By studies, in the U.S., 27% of the cats that get heartworms are indoor-only cats! Mosquitoes thta spread the disease can come into the home through open doors, screens and windows.
Myth: A heartworm test is needed before starting heartworm prevention.Don’t wait to start your cat on heartworm preventative medicine! While there are tests for Feline Heartworms, it is not necessary to test first. The testing is different than in dogs.
Myth: I can just treat my cat for heartworms if he gets them so I don’t need to give prevention medicine.While heartworm treatment for dogs is generally safe and effective, treating cats does not work and in fact, is fatal! Understand that we are talking about TREATMENT, not prevention. The medication used to treat heartworms causes the rapid death of the parasite which leads to a severe fatal lung problem in cats. If we diagnose a cat with heartworm disease, we use other medication to control the symptoms (steroids and others), but we cannot use drugs to kill the heartworm parasites. The moral of the story is PREVENTION IS THE KEY!
If your cat is not on heartworm prevention, give us a call today at 704-824-9876 so we can help! It’s not difficult to start.
Since it has been VERY hot lately, we want to be sure your dog is safe and healthy.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion usually develop in dogs who are not acclimated to exercise in environments with high temperature and/or humidity, and in dogs confined to hot environments such as cars or buildings. Dogs that are overweight or overexert themselves; those that are ill or on certain medications; and those pets with current problems such as breathing problems, fever, dehydration, heart disease and poor circulation are predisposed. Short-faced breeds such as English Bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston Terriers are especially predisposed to heat exhaustion.
Overheating and Heat Stroke can be prevented by restricting exposure to high environment temperatures. Minimize activity on hot humid days, and limit sun exposure during the mid-day hours. Make sure outside dogs have access to shade and water at all times.
During hot weather, dogs should be walked or exercised in the early morning or late evening during the coolest times of the day. Keep your dog in a well-ventilated area. NEVER leave your pet in a car or confined in a small enclosed space with limited ventilation and no protection from high temperatures for any reason at any time! Always provide plenty of fresh water.
Symptoms of Heat Stroke
- Rapid, intense panting
- Eyes wide, anxious look, salivating
- Staggering and weakness
- Weakness or Collapse in advanced stages
- Rectal temperature over 105 degrees
What You Should Do if You Think Your Pet is Overheated
- Immediately cool your dog down by spraying with cool water, or get in tub of cool water making sure the water contacts the skin and doesn’t just run off the coat and getting into a cool well ventilated area.
- Then take your dog to the vet immediately.
If you don’t have resources available to cool your pet down right away, take your dog IMMEDIATELY to the nearest veterinary hospital! Dangerous high temperatures can occur in as little as 10 minutes!