Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Rewards of Preventative Dental Care

My two toy poodles, Cosette and Louis, are now home from their annual “prevent-dents”.  (This is a nickname for the annual preventative dental treatment we recommend for all cats and dogs.)  They were tired the evening after their day-stay at the hospital.  They love to get in the car, but they cry all the way to the hospital, and they whine hysterically when they are there because they know I am there and can’t understand why they just can’t be with me.  Of course the veterinarian’s pets are always the worst.  Other dogs don’t act this way.  My wife always dreads when they’re due to have their teeth cleaned.  It’s normal to worry, even though she knows this is a common and safe procedure we’ve performed thousands of times over the past 25 years.  (And now the anesthetics are safer than ever.)  The area of clipped fur on their front legs is a reminder of the intravenous catheter that was placed for anesthesia and IV fluids.  Louie is now four, and Cozy is nine.  Their teeth are pearly white and their gums are fresh and healthy like when they were puppies.  Most poodles have already lost many of their teeth from periodontal infection at this age.  My doggies are so lucky and they don’t even know it.  Just like children going to the dentist, they don’t appreciate the care until they are older.  There is no doubt in my mind that prevent-dent is the most important health care a pet can receive.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Until recently, most veterinarians have not had many great things to say about pet health insurance.  Most policies have very restrictive coverage and many diseases and procedures are excluded.  Clients are often disappointed when their pets either are not covered, or reimbursements are not what they expected.   Most policies do not cover congenital, hereditary, or breed related diseases.   With purebred dogs, this accounts for a large percentage of the medical cases that we see.  I personally have never recommended pet insurance, until now.

TRUPANION® offers pet insurance that really pays when your pet is sick or injured.  TRUPANION® pays 90% (after deductible) of whatever your vet charges.  If you choose to go to a specialist, or a veterinarian that offers a premium service, TRUPANION pays 90% (of any bill).  Other pet insurance companies have set maximum payouts (what they consider is “reasonable”) for each medical problem or surgical procedure.  For example, VPI will only pay $660 to $920 total for a dog with Valvular Heart Disease (heart murmur).  A comprehensive workup for a dog in heart failure with Valvular Disease may include chest x-rays, blood tests, urinalysis, ECG, and cardiac ultrasound (echo) which could easily cost over a thousand dollars.  Follow-up x-rays, sometimes repeat ultrasound, and lab tests may be necessary, and you have already exceeded your payback limit.
TRUPANION® is one of the only companies that cover congenital or hereditary diseases.   We have a client whose 8 month old boxer developed a severe congenital heart disease.  TRUPANION® has reimbursed them for thousands of dollars in medical costs, and continues to pay 90% of every vet bill related to the heart disease.  The clients are able to choose the highest level of care, and are able to focus on the care of their pet without worrying that they would be paying off charge card bills long after the pet is gone.

When a client has good pet insurance it can change the level of care that pet receives.  Most vets are very cognizant of the cost of the care they are providing.  Some may be hesitant to offer an important test or treatment option because of the cost.  With TRUPANION, a lot of the financial pressure is relieved from the mind of client and the veterinarian.  It could change the outcome of a pet’s treatment. 
My clients are often surprised at how reasonable the monthly premiums are.   Most pets can be covered (even adult pets) for less than $40 per month.  Most cats are less than $20 per month.  TRUPANION allows to you choose a deductible between zero and one thousand dollars.  Its simple, fast, and easy to get an online quote for any pet by going to www.trupanion.com.
Fortunately, many pets get through their entire life without a serious medical problem.  But we understand that your pet is a member of your family.  If something serious goes wrong, you want to know that you are financially able to pay for the best care possible.   TRUPANION® is the plan our doctors recommend.
My disclaimer:  I have no affiliation with, work for, own shares of stock, or get a commission from TRUPANION.  I just think it's a great idea for my clients and their pets.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


Deer Tick
Protecting dogs and cats from heartworms, intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms), fleas, and ticks is essential to their health and well-being.  Imagine having worms in your intestines, worms living in your heart, or having fleas crawling over you while you sleep.  Unimaginable?   Not for dogs and cats.  In fact, it’s very common.  The other bad news is that intestinal worms like Toxocara (roundworm) can cause disease in people.  Blood tests show that 14% of people in the US have already been infected with Roundworms (http://www.cdc.gov/parasites/toxocariasis/epi.html).

In New Jersey, our pets are at risk for all these bugs, all year long.  The good news is that they are all completely preventable.  Heartworms, intestinal parasites, fleas, and even ticks are easily prevented with a once a month treatment that takes seconds to administer.    The medications are extremely safe and have been used on millions of pets for more than a decade.  There’s just no reason to put your pet or your family at risk.  We’ve even developed an APP for your iPhone or iPad that will remind you when to give the medication.  (Download the app for FREE at www.oakhurstvet.com.)

When our doctors make a recommendation for a specific preventative medication for your pet, they consider safety, ability to protect against parasites present in our area, ease of administration, and price.  It is critical to have a thorough knowledge of every porduct.  We only recommend what we use for our own pets. 
Our current recommendation for ALL DOGS is to give a SENTINEL® flavor tab and apply PARASTAR® to the skin on the back the neck ONCE A MONTH, ALL YEAR.  For both indoor and outdoor CATS, we recommend that REVOLUTION® be applied to the back of the neck ONCE A MONTH, ALL YEAR.  

Recently, there have been concerns about the available supply of Sentinel® and Interceptor®.  Due to safety concerns about some human medications, Novartis voluntarily closed their distribution warehouse in Nebraska, and temporarily stopped production of Sentinel and Interceptor.  We have been advised that the plants are re-opening, but it will take time to get production to the point where it will meet the back order demand.  There ARE NO CONCERNS with the SAFETY of Sentinel® or Interceptor®.  There has not been a single report concerning the safety of any of these products.  Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital and NOVARTIS have always guaranteed the safety and efficacy of Sentinel® and Interceptor®, and will continue to do so.  The problem remains about what to do if we cannot get these products. 

There are other very good products available that will protect our pets.  Our doctors our discussing the issue and we will advise all of our clients of best alternatives.  Call our pharmacy if you need refills; we will make sure your pets are protected. 

Finally, please do not be misled by internet pharmacies.  Despite the claims made on television commercials, INTERNET PHARMACIES are NOT less expensive, the products are NOT GUARANTEED, and the FDA has warned about COUNTERFEIT PRODUCTS.  Most importantly, they don’t care about your pet, and they aren’t there seven days a week if your pet gets sick. 

Dr. Delaney now on TWITTER

For opinion, news, insights on pet care, fun pet stuff, and great information from the mind of Dr. Delaney, you can now follow him on TWITTER.  Follow Dr. Delaney @drovh.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

MOSQUITOS ARE ACTIVE - Protect your Dog and Cat from Heartworms

Mosquitoes are expected to be very active this year.  They're a nuisance to you, but to your pets they are a deadly enemy. After Hurricane Katrina, thousands of homeless dogs, most of which were carrying heartworm disease, were brought to our area.   Many dog owners are diligent about testing for heartworm and administering preventive medication. But, considering that heartworm disease has now been reported in all 50 states in both dogs and cats, we still have our work cut out for us. Recent studies indicate that only 59% of dog owners and less than 5% of cat owners protect their pets by giving them a heartworm preventive!
Heartworm infection takes place when a mosquito carrying microscopic heartworm larvae bites your dog or cat. The larvae then enter a blood vessel and are carried to the arteries in the lungs. There, both live and dead worms can cause potentially life-threatening inflammation. Dogs may cough, have difficulty breathing, and get tired more quickly with exercise.  Severe infections can lead to death.   In cats, heartworms cause severe respiratory disease, and occasionally sudden death.  The most common signs are coughing, difficulty breathing, and vomiting. ALL DOGS NEED TO BE TESTED ANNUALLY.   Heartworms are more difficult to detect in cats making monthly prevention even more important. 
HEARTWORM PREVENTION IS SIMPLE, SAFE, AND EFFECTIVE. For dogs, we recommend SENTINEL, a once a month oral tablet.  For cats, we recommend REVOLUTION, which is applied topically to back of the neck, once a month.   These highly effective preventatives also prevent INTESTINAL PARASITES, and even FLEAS.  The American Heartworm Society recommends year-round prevention, even where mosquitoes are seasonal. You can protect your entire family by giving your dog or cat a monthly parasite preventative.   Our doctors will help you select the best preventative for your pet.  Don’t be mislead by internet pharmacies.  WE CAN SAVE YOU MONEY AND GUARANTEE THE SAFETY AND EFFICACY OF THE MEDICATION.   This year, KEEP YOUR PET SAFE!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Visit our new website

Since the completion of our hospital expansion in 2009, we have been anxious to launch a new web site that reflects the new look of Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital.  The new web site is updated and easier to navigate.  It has easy links to our Facebook page, Twitter, your pet’s PetPortal (health information), and our Blogs.  It enables clients to fill out forms and access an entire database of information relating to the health of their pets.  Clients can learn about our history and beliefs, and see pictures of our adorable patients.
I would like to thank Lauren McBain, Kim Delaney-Mimbs, Erika Ervin, Molly McBain, Nina Hellmers, and Andiamo Creative Company for all the time and effort they have put into the site.  The new site gives us the flexibility to keep the site fresh and up to date.  Something new and exciting happens every day at Oakhurst Veterinary Hospital, and we want you to know about it.
Please let us know if you like the site or if you have any ideas about how we can make the site better for our clients.  We invite you to visit us in person, to tour our hospital, and see how loving care happens every day at OVH.

Please visit us at http://www.oakhurstvet.com/.
Scott Delaney DVM
Hospital Director