All Posts By

mkostka

Valentine’s Day!

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Did you know that 1 in 5 people would rather spend Valentine’s day with their pet than with their partner?  If that’s the case in your world, here are some tips that can make February 14th go as smoothly as the finest chocolates available!

1.  If you are planning on giving a loved one a new puppy or kitten as a gift, remember they can’t be repackaged or regifted so be sure they are up for the challenge!

2. If your dog or cat should happen to get into chocolate or candy, you should take them to your Veterinarian as soon as possible. Ingesting these items can cause heart problems and/or cause neurological problems such as seizures or tremors.

3. Roses with their thorns can be extremely painful if your dog or cat happens to get a hold of one.  While lilies are beautiful they can be fatally poisonous to cats.

4. Champagne or other cocktails can spill.  If your smaller furry friends ingest any of the bubbly you can see lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea or neurological signs.

5. Tape, ribbons and bows are beautiful on the outside of packages, but if they are eaten by your pets they can become foreign bodies that need to be surgically removed.

Make sure you have the best Valentine’s day you can by following these 5 tips and call us with any additional questions!

Dental Disease!

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Periodontal disease (dental disease)  is the most common clinical condition in dogs and cats, and it is entirely preventable.  By three years of age most dogs and cats have some evidence of dental disease. Some signs of dental disease include: include, gingivitis, tartar build up, periodontal disease or gingival hyperplasia.
Other than bad breath there are not many signs that owners will notice until the dental disease has progressed.

Sometimes animals will slow down and even stop eating depending on the severity of the disease.

Plaque and tartar will develop under the gum line and cause damage to the tooth.  If the bacteria gets bad enough, it can travel to tooth roots and abscesses may occur. It can also spread to their heart valves, liver or kidneys and damage those as well.

We recommend annual physical exams with your Veterinarian to help find possible dental problems before they becomes a major issue.

The most effective way to prevent dental tartar building up on your pet’s teeth is to brush them.

February is Dental Month

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Dental diets for your pet…who knew??

Plaque and tartar affect your animals just as they do your mouths. Once plaque has formed into tartar it can only be removed with dental instruments.

Dental diets are formulated specifically for reducing the amount of plaque and tartar that accumulates on the teeth, and in some cases may even prevent serious oral diseases.

Dental diets are nutritionally complete and balanced, but may not be right for every pet. These diets  should not be a main nutritional source for animals that have special nutritional or medical needs, but should instead be used to supplement an established diet that is already meeting their specific nutritional requirements.

The Veterinary Oral Health Council (VOHC) has reviewed many of the foods and treats that are made for reducing plaque on the tooth’s surface, giving their seal of approval only to those products that meet the required standards that have been shown to control tartar and plaque in the mouths of cats and dogs. Look for foods with the VOHC seal (pictured to the right) on the package.

Dental diet foods and treats are available online, from your veterinarian’s office, and at local pet stores where prescription diets are sold.

Thanksgiving with your pet

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Thanksgiving is just a few days away, and with that comes a reminder concerning our furry friends! The last thing you need is to stress over your pet and the bounty of food around, so I thought providing a couple general tips would be useful.

Please discourage well-meaning friends and family from feeding your pet from the table or anywhere else. Your animal may have a food intolerance and well-meaning friends or family who are unaware could cause potential problems.

Acute pancreatitis is one of the leading causes of veterinary emergency hospital visits during the holidays. This can be a life-threatening condition. Pancreatitis usually occurs from overfeeding companion pets particularly high fat foods.
Some signs to watch for are lethargy, diarrhea, and vomiting.  Please take your animal to your Veterinarian if any of these symptoms occur.

Join Us At Brewfest to Benefit Animal House!

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~Celebrate canines and craft brews this fall at the 8th Annual Fall Harvest Brewfest! 

Come visit us! Mulnix Animal Clinic will have a booth with lots of goodies! Here’s more about the event…

If you’re a beer lover in Northern Colorado, chances are you have a bucket list of breweries and brews to check off. As luck would have it, Fall Harvest Brewfest is an epic one stop, unlimited sip experience of things to do. And you can feel the love while raising funds for Animal House Rescue & Grooming. The event is in its seventh year of production after launching in 2009, pairing up with Animal House Rescue for a favorite combination of pairings: pups and hops.
Join us at the Lincoln Center for the 8th annual showcase of craft beer, micro-distilleries, food and live music in Old Town Fort Collins. Presented by Wilbur’s Total Beverage, the fest will run from 7-10 pm on Friday, September 16th, with a limited ticket VIP event from 6-7 pm before general admission doors open.
Brewfestivians will have access to 100+ beers from over 35 different breweries and micro-distilleries along with food pairings from some of Northern Colorado’s favorite artisanal cheeses, restaurants and food trucks.
Ticket prices range from $37.50 for general admission to $55.00 for VIP access. Admission includes a commemorative beer tasting glass for unlimited samplings. Live music will play throughout the evening!
The event winds throughout the Lincoln Center, top to bottom, with enough vendors to keep the lines down and your taste buds waggin’.
Tickets are available through the event website
You can also avoid online service fees by purchasing in person at Wilbur’s Total Beverage, the Lincoln Center or Animal House Rescue (at the corner of Vine & Shields). This event has sold out in years past so be sure to get your tickets early!

Mulnix Animal Clinic is proud to take part in a wonderful community event for an awesome organization!

August is Dental Month!

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August is Dental month at Mulnix Animal Clinic!!!

As a certified veterinary nurse I am ashamed to reveal that I did not realize my 10 year old cats even had teeth until ½ of them had to be extracted! Some animals show no sign of having any dental disease. Animals that show any of these signs would benefit from a dental cleaning:

Drooling or bleeding from the mouth

Loss of appetite or unintentional weight loss

Bad breath

Prevention is the number one tool to combat dental disease in our furry friends. Brushing their teeth every day for most people is an impossible task, but every time you can brush their teeth helps prevent the plaque from forming into tartar.

April is American Red Cross Pet First Aid Awareness Month

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Emergencies always seem to occur when you least expect them and more often than not, you are never prepared enough.  Everyone should have a basic understanding of pet first aid and should have a pet specific first aid kit available in the case of a pet emergency. The American Red Cross has named April as Pet First Aid Awareness Month in an effort to help owners prepare and become more comfortable in the case of a pet emergency while in route to an emergency veterinary hospital.

There are many pre-made pet specific first aid kits available to purchase that vary in size and purchase price.  Pet first aid kits are also easily made and personalized to you and your pet’s lifestyle.  Whether you buy a first aid kit or make it yourself, your kit should be kept readily available at your home and travel with your pet on trips or even to visit friends.

All first aid kits should be contained in a water-proof container that is easily latched closed. Important information should also be kept within the kit that includes personal contact information (you and your pet’s names, addresses, phone numbers, allergies, current medications, vaccine records); veterinary contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers); multiple emergency veterinary contact information (names, addresses, phone numbers); and the National Animal Poison Control Center (1-888-426-4435). Your kit should also include: gauze sponges, gauze roll, vet wrap, adhesive tape, non-stick sterile pads, cotton balls and swabs, fresh 3% hydrogen peroxide, wound disinfectant (betadine or nolvasan), cold and hot packs, disposable gloves, scissors with a blunt end, tweezers, OTC antibiotic ointment, liquid dishwashing detergent, towels of various sizes, small flashlight with extra batteries, oral syringe, alcohol wipes, styptic powder, saline eye solution, artificial tear gel, splint material, magnifying glass, clippers or safety razor, slip leash, cloth muzzle, safety pins, tongue depressors, diphenhydramine (always get approval and dosage from your veterinarian), Karo syrup, plastic card (like an old credit card), petroleum jelly, needle nose pliers, pet nail clippers and file, rectal thermometer, hydrocortisone cream, and bitter apple or other anti-licking product.

Being prepared for a potential emergency is always easier than the alternative. Emergency first aid may make the difference for your pet in the time it takes to seek professional veterinary care. There are also many pet first aid books available that would be worthwhile purchasing and becoming familiar with in the event you need to actually use your pet first aid kit. Also remember to routinely check the kit for expired products and replace as needed.

February is National Pet Dental Health Month

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Dental hygiene is very important in cats and dogs. Over 85% of dogs and cats have some type of periodontal disease.  Periodontal disease simply means that the gums and bone that hold the teeth in place are being destroyed by oral bacteria.  This preventable disease is the number one diagnosed disease in our pets, yet many animals suffer needlessly.  Periodontal disease begins with gingivitis, or inflammation of the gum tissue, which is caused by plaque.  Plaque is a mixture of saliva, bacteria, glycoproteins and sugars that adhere to the tooth surface.  Within minutes after eating, a thin layer of plaque has adhered to the teeth.  Eventually this hardens to become calculus or tartar. It then creates a rough surface for more plaque to adhere to, and pushes the gums away from the teeth, which increases surface area for more plaque to adhere.  Eventually, the supporting structures of the tooth (bone, tissue, periodontal ligament) are destroyed and the tooth becomes mobile and will either fall out on its own or need to be extracted.  Periodontal disease and oral bacteria can easily affect other organ systems including the heart, liver, kidneys, lungs and brain. Signs of periodontal disease are bad breath (halitosis), not wanting to eat, chewing on one side of the mouth, dropping food, pawing at the face or rubbing the face on the floor, drooling, becoming head shy, and painful mouth/face.

We recommend the following care for pets:

STEP 1:  Bring your pet in for a dental exam.  Don’t wait for his/her annual checkup if you suspect a problem.

STEP 2:  Begin a dental care regimen at home.  Brushing your pet’s teeth daily is very important.  We also recommend using a specially formulated dental rinse, dental chews, water additives and food (depending on your individual pet’s needs).  Please ask us if you need instructions on brushing your pet’s teeth, or if you have any other questions.

STEP 3:  Schedule your pets for an annual teeth cleaning with x-rays.  This is also very important and ensures we are catching any disease early enough to treat.

Give us a call today to set up a free appointment with a nurse to evaluate your pet’s mouth to determine if a dental cleaning would be beneficial. If a cleaning is recommended, the nurse will provide you with an estimate specifically for your pet. During the month of February we are offering a 10% discount on ALL dental procedures.

Please give us a call to take advantage of this deal!

Mulnix Animal Clinic is AAHA Accredited!

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About our accreditation from

American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA)

Unlike human hospitals, animal hospitals are not required to be accredited. Veterinary hospitals are evaluated on approximately 900 standards of veterinary excellence in order to become accredited. AAHA-accredited hospitals are recognized among the finest in the industry, and are consistently at the forefront of advanced veterinary medicine. AAHA’s Standards of Accreditation are continuously reviewed and updated to keep accredited practices on the cutting edge of veterinary excellence. Standards address patient care and pain management, surgery, pharmacy, laboratory, exam facilities, medical records, cleanliness, emergency services, dental care, diagnostic imaging, anesthesiology and continuing education. To maintain accredited status, hospitals undergo comprehensive on-site evaluations every three years. Mulnix Animal Clinic has undergone this evaluation and has proven that we meet the American Animal Hospital Association’s standards of veterinary excellence! Our promise to you is that we will continue to achieve and provide this standard of care for you and your furry family members.

Excerpts taken from aaha.org

Christmas Pet Safety Tips

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Christmas is one of the most celebrated family-oriented holidays of the year. Pets are often included in the festivities, since most people consider them to be a huge part of their family.  There are many Christmas hazards that are important to be conscious of while celebrating the holiday with your pets.

One of the most anticipated symbols of Christmas is the decorated tree. When it comes to pet safety, it is best to place your tree in a corner and anchor it to either the floor or the ceiling to prevent it from tipping over when curious noses investigate.  It is also important to keep your pet from drinking any tree water if your family chooses to have a real tree. Tree water can contain fertilizers that may cause your pet gastrointestinal upset, such as vomiting or diarrhea, if ingested.  Lights can also pose a threat to your pets; they can cause burns and even possibly shock if chewed on. Ornaments are a choking and foreign body hazard if chewed on and can also cut your pet if mistaken for a ball and broken. Tinsel also needs to be used cautiously, especially when it comes to cats. Tinsel is shiny, stringy, reflects light and moves in the tiniest draft, making it very attractive to cats and could also cause a foreign body obstruction. To decrease the risk of GI upset and foreign body obstruction, enticing decorations including popcorn and cranberry strings, gingerbread ornaments and tinsel should all be placed high enough on the tree to make them less of a temptation for your pet.

Holiday plants to keep out of reach of your pet include holly, mistletoe and poinsettias. They all vary in their degree of toxicity, but can cause vomiting, diarrhea and potentially worse problems to internal organs. Lilies are very toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.

Table food is never recommended to share with your pet, but certain foods can cause a lot of trouble. Never give your pet chocolate or any sweets containing Xylitol. Chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, heart arrhythmias and even seizures.  Fat trimmings and bones are tempting to give to your pet, but they can cause pancreatitis, foreign body obstruction, choking and splinter hazards.  Nuts, including almonds, walnuts and pistachios can all cause GI upset; macadamias and moldy walnuts are toxic and can cause seizures.  Alcohol and eggnog should never be shared with pets; they can cause vomiting, diarrhea, disorientation, lethargy, coordination problems, difficulty breathing, tremors, coma and even seizures.

Another hazard to be cautious of are candles. Burning candles should be placed on high shelves or mantles away from wagging tails and curious noses. Wrapping paper, string and ribbon should all be kept away from pets due to foreign body risks. Ribbon is never recommended to be used as a decorative “collar” as it can cause choking and even a linear foreign body obstruction, especially with cats who love to play with ribbon.

Christmas is a time meant to be spent with family. Keeping your pets safe from the hazards that arise during Christmas is just one step in keeping your entire family happy and healthy during the holiday season. No one, including your pet, wants to spend their Christmas holiday at a veterinary emergency hospital.