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Archive for September, 2013

   Dasuquin is our go-to joint supplement for dogs and cats that are suffering from arthritis or are prone to joint health issues.  Unlike other products on the market, Dasuquin combines glucosamine and chondroitin with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables* (ASU).  ASU supports joint function and slows cartilage loss, giving Dasuquin an advantage over glucosamine/chondroitin-only products.

   Now, we could rave about the levels of cartilage-building glucosamine and chondroitin in Dasuquin, or its safety when used with prescription medications, or even the Dasuquin for Cats added benefit of supporting bladder health. 

   But it’s our clients’ feedback that we’re most impressed with.  We’re hearing that pets taking Dasuquin on a regular basis are more active and are walking and jumping better.  Some clients have even been able to reduce or discontinue their pet’s pain medication, in favor of this no-drug supplement.

  Bonus:  Be sure to visit the links above to claim your $2 Dasuquin rebate.

The key to using Dasuquin successfully is to start while cartilage is still present in the joints.  Once the cartilage is gone, no amount of supplement will bring it back.  Don’t wait until your pet is unable to walk, to begin a supplement. 

   Ask about Dasuquin if your pet is exhibiting these signs:

  • stiff walking gait, especially after sleeping;
  • difficulty or reluctance using stairs or jumping into the car;
  • less enthusiasm for walks and exercise;
  • difficulty rising from a reclining or sitting position.

Need a little nudge? Dasuquin comes with a money-back guarantee, so you can try it out on your pickiest eater!

*Unsaponifiable:  a word used to describe fats which cannot be converted into soap.
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What is arthritis?
Arthritis
is a general term for abnormal changes in a joint. These changes occur when cartilage is worn away faster than it can be replaced. Cartilage acts as a cushion to protect the bones. When it wears away, joints become swollen and painful.

Although arthritis is not curable, the good news is that nutrition can help manage the disease, improve mobility and ease the pain. With the right nutrition and care from your veterinarian, your pet should be able to enjoy an active, healthy life for many years to come.

What causes arthritis?
Age
…As pets get older, cartilage will begin to degenerate. Many senior dogs suffer from arthritis to some degree.

Breed…Large breeds are more prone to arthritis. These include Labradors, Golden Retrievers, German Shepherds and Rottweilers.

Excess weight…Weight gain puts extra stress on the joints, which can lead to arthritis.

Accidents and damage…Joints can deteriorate as a result of stress or trauma caused by an accident.

Congenital defects…Some pets are born with conditions that make arthritis more likely in later life.

Infection…Occasionally, an infection can lead to the destruction of joint tissue and cartilage.

Does my pet have arthritis?
If your pet has arthritis, the first thing you’ll notice is that he or she finds movement difficult and is reluctant to walk, run and jump. Your pet may also yelp or flinch when touched in the affected area.

Arthritis makes it difficult to:

  • Rise from rest
  • Jump
  • Walk and run
  • Play
  • Climb stairs

If you see any of these signs in your pet, it could have arthritis, or it could have a more serious condition. Have your pet examined by the veterinarian before beginning treatment.

So, what about a diet change?
An otherwise-healthy
senior dog can safely switch to a diet containing supplemental ingredients which help reduce pain associated with arthritic changes in joints. Hill’s Prescription Diet j/d is just such a food; in fact, studies have shown its effectiveness in helping dogs improve mobility. Prescription Diet j/d can even reduce the need for non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs used to counteract joint pain and inflammation.

Hill’s Prescription Diet  j/d contains elevated omega-3 fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in the joints and block the production of enzymes that destroy cartilage. Plus, added glucosamine and chondroitin provide building blocks for cartilage repair. Prescription Diet j/d also contains carnitine, which helps dogs burn fat, while maintaining lean muscle mass, since obesity is a major contributor to arthritis.

Prescription Diet j/d is available to our registered patients when recommended by Dr. Miele.

Visit www.HillsPet.com for additional information. 

The Joint Health brochure is available at our office.

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Information taken from  “Joint Health,” a guide produced by Hill’s Pet Nutrition, Inc.

This article was originally published on October 20, 2011.

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“Mikey,” a 9-year-old Labrador, refuses to go down the short set of steps to the yard. Instead, he stays inside and urinates and defecates near the back door. 

“Jester,” a 14-year-old Siamese cat, no longer runs to the kitchen at the sound of the can opener. He sleeps during the day and spends most nights howling outside his owner’s bedroom door.

“Ginny,” a 12-year-old Cocker Spaniel, spends hours staring at the wall and has no interest in retrieving her favorite toy.

What do these three senior pets have in common? They may be suffering the usual effects of aging: arthritis for “Mikey,” hearing loss for “Jester,” and blindness for “Ginny” — or they may all have Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome.

Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome (CDS) is the result of degenerative brain aging that leads to lost or reduced memory, ability to learn, attention span, and understanding. For comparison, CDS is thought to be similar to Alzheimer’s Disease.

What are the signs? Typical behavior in pets with Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome are divided into categories labeled DISH.

  • Disorientation: the pet wanders, seems lost or confused and may not recognize familiar people; doesn’t respond to his name; he may get “stuck” in corners or behind furniture; he may stare into space or at walls
  • Interaction changes: the pet may walk away while being petted, doesn’t greet her owners, and seems aloof or detached
  • Sleep and activity changes: the pet may sleep more during the day, but stay awake at night, and no longer wants to play; he may wander or pace and have less purposeful activity
  • Housesoiling: the pet doesn’t signal the need to go out and has accidents in the house

    Is he lost in thought – or just lost?

What’s next? The veterinarian will check your pet for other medical issues that may be related to aging, such as arthritis, loss of vision or hearing, incontinence, or a disease process (kidney disease or diabetes, for example.) Some symptoms may be the result of medications that the pet is taking. Changes in the pet’s environment can also cause behavioral problems. Of course, a pet can have age-related problems at the same time he is experiencing the effects of brain aging.

Is there a cure for Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome? There is no cure, but nutritional and medical intervention can slow the progression of the disorder and return some cognitive function.

What are the options? Treatment may consist of a diet change. For instance, Hill’s Pet Nutrition has formulated its b/d Diet to address brain aging through the use of antioxidants that protect brain cells from destructive free radicals.

Another option is Anipryl, a prescription drug that enhances dopamine production, allowing brain cells to better communicate with each other. Anipryl is not right for every dog, though, and certain endocrine function tests must be performed first, to determine suitability. Also, Anipryl is not recommended to treat aggression in dogs.

For cats, mental stimulation can help with cognitive function. Keep your cat busy climbing, exploring, searching for treats, and using its natural hunting instincts.

Where do I start? If you suspect your pet has Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome, schedule a physical exam for her. Keep a journal of the pet’s behavior leading up to the visit. Contact us and ask to receive a Behavior History Form to help track your pet’s activity. Bring the form with you to your pet’s appointment.

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Resources:
“Brain Health and Behavioral Changes in Dogs,” a Hill’s Pet Nutrition publication;
Anipryl brochure, a Pfizer Animal Health publication;
“Senior Pet Care and Cognitive Dysfunction Syndrome,” by David Merrick and Dr. Gary Landsberg

This article was originally posted on September 5, 2012.

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Old Point Comfort Lighthouse at Fort Monroe. Photo by Jen Miele.

Old Point Comfort Lighthouse at Fort Monroe. Photo by Jen Miele.

Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Wednesday, Sept. 18th.

He will resume office hours on Thursday, Sept. 19th.

In his absence, our office will be open from

9:30 AM to Noon and 3 PM to 5 PM,

for retail sales and appointment scheduling.

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d'Art CenterJoin the fun at this FREE reception with yummy cake, pet contests, adoptable animals, and prizes for the best pet photographers in town!
The d’ART Center is located in the historic Selden Arcade in downtown Norfolk, at 208 East Main Street.
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Roarchestra
ROARchestra

Sunday, September 15 at 7:00 p.m.
The Virginia Zoo presents the Virginia Symphony Orchestra
The Zoo’s events field will be transformed into a musical park so visitors can spread blankets or set up lawn chairs to enjoy a concert under the evening sky. Conductor Benjamin Rous will lead the orchestra in an evening of family favorites with animal themes ranging from the Pink Panther to The Lion King.
Gates Open at 6 p.m.
Concert Starts at 7 p.m.

Admission: $10
Zoo Members & Symphony Subscribers: $5
Ages 5 & Under: Free

Tickets can be purchased at the gate the evening of the concert. All pre-purchased tickets will be honored for the rescheduled concert.
This event is focused on music and animal exhibits will not be open.
Note that no outside food or beverages are permitted inside the Zoo. Zoo Grooves concert events will take place as scheduled, rain or shine. No coupons, discounts or passes will be accepted for this event, except as otherwise noted above.
For more information, visit www.virginiazoo.org.

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When the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art called for artists to submit work for their Block Party exhibit, three of Dr. Miele’s family members answered the call. His daughters Alexandra Whiteside and Jennifer Miele, and son-in-law James (Jimi) Whiteside, each submitted a piece relating to Hampton Roads, as they see it.

Block Party opens on Thursday, September 12th with a reception from 6-8 PM. Look for “Sunday Stroll in Williamsburg” by Alexandra, “It’s a Jimmy” by Jimi, and “Fort Monroe/Child’s Play” by Jennifer.

While Jimi and Jennifer have not publicly exhibited artwork in the past, Jimi’s surrealist works are held in private collections, and he is known in Japan for his work on the Dragon Ball Z figurines.

Alexandra has exhibited her photography at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, Waterside Festival Marketplace, and the Major Hillard Library in Chesapeake. Currently, seven of Alexandra’s photographs are on view in our clinic waiting area.

Join us this Thursday* at MOCA in Virginia Beach to view our version of Hampton Roads — we’d love to see you there!

*Can’t make it Thursday? Don’t worry — the show lasts through December 29th.

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Plan to spend a couple of hours watching a family-friendly movie on Friday in the (nearby) company of lions, zebras, and giraffes. That’s right — it’s time for…

Zoovies

ZOOVIES!

The Virginia Zoo, Monarch Bank and Special Events Virginia present Zoovies, a family movie night at the Zoo, this Friday, Sept. 6, featuring “A Bug’s Life.”

Spread a blanket under the stars, and enjoy a family-friendly film at the Virginia Zoo. Gates open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at dark. Snacks and refreshments will be available for purchase. 

This event is FREE for Zoo Members! Zoovies general admission is $5 for ages 2 and up.

Tickets are only available after 6:30 p.m. at the Zoo entrance on movie night.

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