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DECEMBER 10, 2013

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As many of you may know, keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets is becoming more and more common in today’s society. Snakes, lizards, frogs, turtles, etc. can be easily found in local pet stores across the country. Although interested buyers often think this will make for a low maintenance pet, this is not always the case. These critters often do make really neat pets, but it is important to realize their daily needs to maintain a long and healthy life.

The two most important factors pertaining to these exotic creatures are nutrition and habitat. It is important to research each particular species prior to bringing them into your household. One of the most common ailments found in reptiles is Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). MBD is not a single disease entity, but rather a collection of disorders affecting overall bone function. Most all MBD’s are associated with a calcium/phosphorous imbalance. Nutritional causes most often result from a lack of dietary calcium or UV light.

Nutritional Secondary Hyperparathyroidism is the most common form of MBD. NSHP is most often a result of inadequate dietary calcium, low Vitamin D3 levels, excess phosphorous or inappropriate UVB radiation exposure. Signs of MBD include swollen and very firm bones, often giving the animal a bow legged/muscular appearance. This condition often leads to bone fractures. NSHP is more common in young, rapidly growing animals. Iguanas, Bearded Dragons, Chameleons, geckoes, and aquatic turtles seem to be affected more frequently than others.

MBD is prevented by maintaining a proper Calcium: Phosphorous ratio. It is important to monitor daily nutritional intake. Meat, organs, invertebrates, and produce contain low calcium levels.  It is often necessary to provide an additional calcium supplement to the diet. As far as lighting is concerned, several hours per day of natural sunlight exposure is best. If this is not possible, artificial UV lighting will suffice if properly installed and monitored closely. It is important to replace light bulbs frequently (even before they quit working) due to loss of sufficient UV quality over time.

As far as tropical reptiles are concerned, they require a high humidity habitat. It is crucial to provide them with regular baths/soaks to keep them healthy. It is also a good idea to moisten food to encourage water intake in the diet. This aids in maintaining healthy kidneys in hopes of preventing renal associated MBD.

In conclusion, if you or someone you know is considering jumping into the wonderful world of reptiles, do your homework first! They can be a lot of fun, but have very important needs in order to maintain a happy healthy lifestyle. It is important to schedule routine vet visits to keep your pets as healthy as possible!

Dr. Matte Haley

AUGUST 14, 2013

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I would like to talk with you today about preventive health care for your pets. Pets like people need to have regular annual checkups with their doctor especially since they age much faster then people do. These annual visits don’t just consist of vaccines but also of overall physical examinations to look for changes in your pet. These visits are also a good time to talk about any concerns you may have regarding your pets behavior or any other changes you have noticed, this is important because even small changes you notice could be a symptom of something bigger. Aside from the annual physical things such as wellness blood work and dental care. Wellness blood work can help us see if there are early changes in organ function that we may be able to help or slow down with medication or diet change. Yearly dental cleaning is also important because dental infections can lead to heart disease and other organ disease. As our pets age these things become more important, sometimes even more than just vaccines to help keep them healthy and happy as long as we can so they can bring joy to you and your family as long as possible. Thank you for allowing us to care for these precious members of your family.

Sincerely,

Amy Hastings DVM

4.10.13

I want to take a minute and introduce you to a new service, the Pet Taxi, that as of today we are offering to residents in Wilson and surrounding counties…

All households have certain days and times when they just don’t have enough time in the day. Dad’s at work, the baby’s sick and the dog is too! Maybe we can help at KVC! Call us and we will send a member of our staff to pick up your pet and bring it to the clinic just like you would have. We’ll examine and treat your pet and return he/she home to you safely. If your pet needs extra medical attention and must stay overnight, we will notify you and once your pet is well, we will bring he/she back home. We have a large staff and will try to accommodate you as best as we can as time allows. Whether it’s an emergency or just convenient. Call us and we will help you!

Thanks,

Doc

Below are some additional details about the Pet Taxi:

If you are too busy or do not have transportation to bring your pet to our office, we will come and pick up you and your pet or just your pet. Once your pet has been examined and treated at our office, we will drive you back home. If your pet needs further medical attention and must stay overnight, we will still drive you back home. The Pet Taxi is ideal for elderly individuals who do not have transportation or for the busy working individual who is unable to make a trip. If we are only picking up your pet, you must be present when we arrive at your residence.

Call our office at 615-444-9424 for immediate pick up or to schedule a pick up appointment. Pet Taxi rate to and from anywhere in Wilson County is just $30.00.  If you are outside of Wilson County call our office for a free estimate. Our Pet Taxi will provide crates for your animal’s safe transportation to and from our office and will be in the hands of a skilled animal technician.

Call us at 615-444-9424 and will answer any questions you may have.

FEBRUARY 15, 2013

Beef Cow Herd Protocols
“Simplicity is the key to compliance.”  Keep it simple and practical.

I trust all you cow herd owners have a good set of corrals and chutes by now. Thanks to the Tennessee Agriculture Enhancement program; good facilities make working cattle so much easier and safer.

Vaccination, breeding and management protocols all run together. In our practice we have severed beef cow herds on the protocols that follow, we have tweaked on them for 25-30 years and they work pretty good.

Spring Calving Herd 
Turn bulls in with cows on May 5 for 75 days. Calving starts on about February 15. By the last week of April most all cows have calved and the calves are big enough not to be trampled at roundup! Get them up and separate the cows from calves, it works well to turn the cows out of the calves, then run the calves through the chute.

All calves get the same shots from 1 day old to the oldest.

  1. 7 Way Clostridial/ Blackleg
  2. 5 Way Modified Live IBR
  3. Pasteurilla (can be brought in contribution with blackleg or IBR or given separately.)
  4. Cut bull calves with a blade. No bands = too many mistakes.
  5. Number tag calves helps with records. A. If he’s tagged, he’s vaccinated! B. If you see number ? out on the pasture and he is behind in weight and performance, find his mother and make a note to cull her.

Cows
If you have a few cows that have not calved yet on working day, cut them out into the front lot and work them and their new calves later. Cows that have already calved get

  1. Modified Live IBR + Lepto
  2. Deworm (I like injectable wormer.)
  3. Multimin, Vitamin Mineral shot helps conception.
  4. Make sure cows have number tags you can read.

Bulls too all above.
About 30 days before sale/weaning day, gather the herd.

Calves

  1. Booster- 5 Way IBR Modified Live
  2. Booster- Pasturella
  3. Booster-7 Way Blackleg
  4. Deworm if necessary
  5. Fly control as needed

Cows-good time to spray or pour if flies are bad.

Fall Round Up!! Payday!!
Calves:
Option 1-Sell
Be sure and tell buyers about your double vaccination program.

Option 2– Wean

  1. Repeat 5 Way Modified Live IBR
  2. Repeat Pasteurella
  3. Repeat 7 Way Blackleg
  4. Deworm Fly control as needed
  5. Vitamin shot
  • If calves did not get this 30 days prior to weaning, booster wean calves in 3-4 weeks post weaning with Modified Live IBR, 7 Way Blackleg, and Pasteurella.

Cows
“Don’t winter junk.”

Fix a catch and pass system out of the chute.
Pass means she’s good.

  1. Produced a good calf.
  2. Pregnant- call the vet.
  3. Good feet, teeth, udder, and good disposition.

“Life is too short to keep a mean cow.” Vaccinate only the good ones, sell the rest!

  1. Killed IBR Lepto Combo.
  2. Scours prevention shot: E Coli + Clostridium Prefrigens Type C
  3. Deworm
  4. Vitamin Shot
  5. Check ear tags

Fall Calving Herd
Turn bulls in around December 5. Calves born September 15. November 15-30 work herd just like Spring herd. 30 days prior to sale/weaning get herd up follow same protocol as spring herd. On wean/sale day do the same spring protocol.

These are the same protocols I presented recently to the 2013 Tennessee Cattlemen’s Association convention at the Embassy Suites in Murfreesboro, Tennessee.

Until Later,
Doc

February 2, 2013

February is dental health month. The dental health of your pet is a very important part of their overall health. Aside from the obvious problems of bad breath, gingivitis and loss of teeth from infection, poor dental health can also cause more severe problems. Dental infection can lead to such problems as kidney disease and heart disease. When your pet has a lot of tarter and gingivitis the bacteria that lives in their mouth can enter the blood stream through the inflamed gum tissue and travel to the kidneys and valves of the heart, leading to congestive heart failure. Because our pets age faster than we do their oral health can deteriorate faster. There are a number of products on the market to help reduce the tarter on your pets teeth. These products do help but should not take the place of regular oral exams with your veterinarian. It is also important to have yearly routine dental cleanings to remove tarter buildup.

During February we will offer 10% off routine dental cleanings. Call and schedule your pets appointment today. Hope to see you and your pet soon so they can have a great smile just like you.

Dr Amy Hastings

JANUARY 26, 2013

Greetings folks,

This week I’d like to address the issue of internal parasites and their effect on our small ruminant patients. This particular aspect of owning goats, sheep, llamas, alpacas, etc requires extensive attention to detail and thorough explanation of parasite life cycle, multi-drug parasite resistance, integral diagnostics, and important farm management strategies to name a few (*entire books are dedicated to this issue alone); thus, for the sake of reader-attention span, I will briefly touch on several of these aspects which are vital to a small ruminant deworming protocol.

  • Infection with the main nematodes of interest can be described as the HOTC complex (please excuse potential spelling errors!)  H=Haemonchus contortus  O=Ostertagia sp  T=Trichostrongylus sp  & C=Cooperia sp
  • Haemonchus contortus AKA “The Barber Pole Worm” is the main offender of all the previously named species.  This worm wreaks havoc on the inner lining of the abomasum (last compartment of the stomach) by attaching itself and subsequently feeding on the animal’s blood.  Clinical signs of infestation include but are not limited to weight loss, decreased appetite, poor hair coat, +/- diarrhea, and signs of anemia which include pale gums, brisket edema, and submandibular edema AKA “bottle jaw”.  Goats tend to develop bottle jaw more often than sheep and poor fiber quality is a common sign in llamas/alpacas.  Depending on the level of parasitism, Haemonchus worms can kill animals over the course of several weeks to as little as 48 hrs.
  • The other worms associated with the HOTC complex are not known to be blood-feeders, however these nematodes can still cause severe intestinal inflammation and depress the animal’s immune system drastically.  In most instances, parasitized animals aren’t infected with just one species, but most likely infested with several species of nematodes in the HOTC complex.  All of these worms are known to slip into a stage of their life cycle known as “hypobiosis” or arrested development where the larval stage of the worm ceases development during the cold winter months and resumes development when temperatures rise during the spring.  Unfortunately, we live in Tennessee where even in January, temperatures can reach 70 degrees Fahrenheit as we experienced merely 2 ½ wks ago.  When environmental temperatures are not consistently below freezing, these larvae continue to develop and the eggs rapidly disseminate especially during wet weather (which we’ve had PLENTY of here in Mid-TN).  Therefore, the key point here is:  Be cognizant of your animal’s health concerning parasites all year long.
  • I tell all of my small ruminant clients about FAMACHA.  Do a quick Google Image search of FAMACH and you’ll find countless color diagrams of how to subjectively grade anemia status.  Basically you pull down the lower eyelid of each animal and observe the color of the inner eyelid tissue.  Grade I-V is allocated to each animal and this grade coincides with the level of anemia that may or may not be present.  This test is only useful for determining infestation with The Barber Pole Worm.
  • All animals should be dewormed according to a fecal egg count, or the # of worm eggs in a single stool sample.  Fecal egg counts allow us  to determine which animals in your herd are shedding the majority of the parasites.  In the horse world, 20% of horses shed 80% of the worm eggs.  In small ruminants, 30% of the animals are responsible for shedding the majority of the worms and infesting pastures.  It is for this reason that total herd deworming, as is performed in cattle, is not effective.  We must strive to “Target Deworm”.  This involves utilizing the FAMACH method and deworming individual animals according to fecal egg counts.
  • The million dollar question continues to be “Well Doc, I’ve tried dang near every dewormer I can get my hands on and I’m still losing a few animals every year to worms.  What the heck can I use to successfully deworm my herd?”  Again, scenarios such as this need to start with a stool sample first and foremost.  Also, we must never continuously use the same wormer just because “it’s been working so far.”  Rotation of wormers prevents the nematodes from genetically developing anthelminthic resistance.  I  push for what’s called a healthy refugia, or the population of parasites on your farm that are susceptible to common dewormers.  Without a healthy refugia, you may have resistant parasites that reproduce with other resistant worms which in the end creates a crazy treacherous mutant super worm that laughs and shrugs its shoulders at every dewormer we throw at it.  That being said, there are combo dewormers that I use and specially formulated dosing schemes that can also be used to eradicate these nasty resistant alien worms, however no guarantee can be made.
  • Finally, I must mention that just because your animals may quickly become poor, weak, dehydrated, etc doesn’t mean the HOTC worms are to blame right off the bat.  A single cell organism known as Coccidia can also be a nightmare in our small ruminant patients.  Under normal circumstances it’s the young, old, and debilitated (pregnant females, lactating females, stressed animals) that succumb to coccidiosis.  Stool samples are paramount in diagnosing this nasty critter as well.  This bug can be prevented fairly easily by the addition of medication to drinking water and treated rather successfully with a short term coccidiostat therapy if the animal is not severely and chronically infected.

**Llamas and Alpaca owners must also be aware of the Meningial Worm which is carried by the white tail deer.  This particular parasite has not shown great drug resistance and can usually be prevented with Ivermectin-based products used regularly.

Stay warm and dry,

Dr. Steve Shirley

This month’s topic is my quarter horse herd that we operate under the name Lost Creek Cattle Company. To begin with Lost Creek is the community I was raised in Carthage, Tennessee, where the family farm is located. I grew up with horses and mules on that farm.

All my life we had cow herds, cow and calf and stockers that had to be checked, herded and doctored. Of course, the best way was on a good horse! I’ve had some great cow horses over the years and I’ve had some that weren’t so great! I always wanted a good band of mares and a good stallion or two. Finally, about 10 years ago I got serious about acquiring that herd of horses, but I didn’t just want numbers, I wanted old fashioned cow working quality horses that were popular 50 years ago when work was work! Research and homework taught me which bloodlines to look for like, “Blue Valentine,” “Pete Oswald,” and “High Rolling Roany.” These foundation-type ranch horses were depended on to do all types of ranch work; they were “versatile.”

In later years breeders have specialized their quarter horses into the various disciplines i.e. cutting, reining, roping, racing, halter, pleasure, and even dressage; but there was and is a need to go back to a more all around horse that can do it all and do it good and with a gentle attitude!

To say the least, I set the bar rather high! I also made my mind up to start with all virgin fillies and young stallions, I didn’t want other people’s problems.

First stop, Haythorn Land and Cattle Co. Ogallala, Nebraska where the mare lines had over 100 years of records for being good ranch horse producers. Over about 3 years I got about 20+ good fillies from Mr. Haythorn. I also visited with and got some fillies from old time breeder Roy Cleveland who produced High Rolling Roany. Next stop, Reeves Triangle Staple Ranch, Eagle Butte, South Dakota- more fillies.

Now, it’s time for the stallions. Jim Leachman of Billings, Montana had similar ideas about preserving these old bloodlines, that’s where the High Rolling Roany and Pete Oswald colts came from. To complete these great young stallions, I was able to purchase a blue roan son of Leo Hancock Hayes, the last son of the great Blue Valentine from Nebraska.

Over the years, we have added more proven cow horses blood to the herd, through a son of PG Showgun from Haythorn’s also Playgun blood from Texas. In the last few years we used shipped semen to breed mares to 6666 sires, Paddy’s Irish Whiskey and Seven From Heaven.

It has taken nearly 10 years to get to enough numbers and quality to sustain annual sales. On October 27, 2012 we will host our 2nd sale. Please join us at Kelly Collom’s Horse Corner, 3436 Chicken Road here in Lebanon for a great Saturday filled with good horses, horse people, and a good barbeque lunch. The open house style sale features pre priced horses for your selection. Enjoy the day and possibly make a purchase.

You can view our quarter horses at Lost Creek Cattle Company.

Until later,
Doc


These past few months the weather has been crazy. From hot and dry to hot and wet and now a few cool nights. I have come to realize, after sitting outside this past weekend or at least trying to but not able due to the mosquito population trying to feast on me, that the hot rainy weather we have had lately has caused a large increase in the mosquitos. There are many diseases carried by these creatures but the one of most concern to our dog friends is heartworms.

The larva of the heartworm is ingested by the mosquito and then injected into our beloved pets by the mosquito when it feeds. The larva then migrate to the heart where they stay and grow into adults causing heart and lung disease. We can preform a simple blood test to determine if your pet has been infected. If the test is positive then treatment is available. If the test is negative, which we hope, there are many options for prevention both oral and topical. Treatment for the disease can be hard on your pet as well as costly for you so our best recommendation is prevention. Even though you may keep your pet on a preventive treatment every month it is still recommended to have a yearly test on your pet to make sure it is working properly. There have been a few cases of resistance around the Mississippi river areas and has been spreading slowly outward from there. Although prevention is not always 100% it is the best thing we can do to help keep your beloved pet healthy.

Sincerely,
Dr. Amy Hastings

RABIES! Yes, it’s something to be scared of!

My subject this month is human complacence. I know, I’m supposed to write about animals, but if we humans don’t do our part animals can get in trouble too. Just recently one of our vets, Dr. Steven Shirley took a phone call about a one-year-old cat acting strange and “howling” in a strange manner. Immediately he suspected rabies and asked that the cat be brought into the clinic very carefully without any more human exposure. Upon examination inside a carrier the animal was humanly euthanized and the public health department was called. Guess what? It was positive for rabies. The Tennessee State Public Health Vet officer took over and spoke with the owners; they had to take rabies shots. The state also called me to see if any of our staff was exposed to the positive suspect. I told them that thanks to quick thinking on the part of Dr. Shirley, that only he and one very experienced animal tech, Kim Profitt were the only ones that dealt with the suspect and both of them were up on their human rabies shots that we “animal people” must take.

So far this situation seems to be under control, but in the last two years. We have had 2 rabid dogs in the clinic, this cat and a horse last year!!! “Good night,” people get your animals vaccinated against rabies! If a person gets exposed to rabies virus through a cut on a hand or a bite wound from a rabid animal that person must take prophylactic shots before its too late. Once symptoms set into a person it’s too late, you die in a very bad way. Yea, that’s right I do mean to scare you. Rabies is something to be scared of!! but the cool thing about it, proper animal vaccination of your pets will prevent it and save people’s lives and the pain and extremely huge cost of human rabies shots. So, if you don’t do anything else to your pet at the vets, please give your dogs and cats and everyday horses an annual rabies shot.

Until Later,
Doc

Greetings and Salutations

As you may have noticed on our newly updated website, I am the “new guy” here at Kinslow Vet Clinic. My name is Steve Shirley and I graduated from Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine less than 3 months ago. I’ve been employed here for nearly 2 months, and I must say, it has been an absolute joy thus far working with the awesome staff and learning from the other 3 doctors. It has always been stressed to me that I would learn more during the first 6 months of practice than all 4 years of vet school combined. I’m finding myself agreeing more and more with this montra every day. Nonetheless, I look forward to further developing relationships not only with my colleagues here at the clinic, but also you guys (the clients) and your animals.

Working as a mixed-animal veterinarian, I have the opportunity to care for a wide array of species. Just last week my day entailed treating a lame horse, a snot-nosed cow, several itchy dogs and cats, and a limping peacock! Those type days is what appealed to me about being a mixed-animal vet in the first place. I enjoy having the opportunity to work a herd of charolais cattle and then walk into an exam room to treat a few domestic short hair kittens (after changing clothes of course). Therefore, I’ll reiterate that I’m excited to be here in Lebanon and to work diligently for every single one of our hard working clients.

Over and out,
Dr. Steve Shirley

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