Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Pets as Presents?

It's hard to resist the joy of giving your favorite loved one the pet they've always wanted for Christmas. However, the result of many of these well intentioned gifts is animals that are unwanted, uncared for and oftentimes sent to shelters. 

An animal of any kind (even one as small as a fish or a hamster) is not a light, last minute purchase. Bringing a new life into the house should be well thought out and discussed with the entire family. 

Holiday pets often get ignored in the holiday rush. Christmas morning is filled with so many presents, lots of food, family and relatives coming over...then there's New Years in a few days. You think it's stressful on you? Thank about what a pet who's never been in your house before would be thinking. A new pet needs lots of quiet and calm. A new puppy or kitten needs to watched constantly and settle into a routine so they can become a happy member of the family. This is impossible to accomplish on Christmas. The new pet will just end up confused and scared. 

You should never pick an actual pet for another person, even a child. Bring the child along to pick out the animal and let it be a family event. All animals (even hamsters and fish) have distinct personalities and letting your entire family help with the choice makes the animal more special to them. Besides, don't you want to see how the puppy interacts with your entire family? That great puppy you pick out for your son might not like kids. Your son might decide the puppy you like plays too rough. Your kids may decide they'd rather have a cat! 

New Puppies

Almost every child asks Santa for one, however a dog is MAJOR purchase and a new puppy needs lots of attention and care. With the hustle and bustle of the Christmas/New Year holiday, the puppy probably won't get the attention it needs. That's not even taking into account all the ribbon, trees, rich Christmas foods, chocolate and other dangers the puppy could unintentionally get in while your family is busy with their other gifts. 

Alternate ideas: Give the kids a stuffed puppy and tell them the new puppy is coming. Wrap a puppy bowl, collar, crate and other puppy supplies with a "certificate" to get a puppy at a later date. All of this stuff should be set up and ready for the puppy when it comes home anyway. This way, you and your family can set it up while you tell them about the responsibility of a new dog. Another great idea is a few books on puppy care (especially if you have an older child).

New Kittens

Kittens don't take quite as much attention as puppies but they can still get into a lot of trouble at Christmas. Kittens are notorious for swallowing tinsel and ribbon and getting lots of stomach problems. Small kittens scare easily and the safest retreat will probably be up the tree which can be dangerous. 

Alternate ideas: Cat care kits, litter boxes, cat toys, books on kitten care. The litter box and a bed for kitty should be in place before he gets to his new house. You and the kids can decide where to put it.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Holiday Pet Safety Tips

Holly, Jolly and Oh-So-Safe! Of course you want to include your furry companions in the festivities, pet parents, but as you celebrate this holiday season, try to keep your pet's eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. And be sure to steer them clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations:
O Christmas Tree Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn't tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
Tinsel-less Town
Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching "toy" that's easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It's best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
No Feasting for the Furries
By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising fur kid will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
Toy Joy
Looking to stuff your pet's stockings? Choose gifts that are safe.

  • Dogs have been known to tear their toys apart and swallowing the pieces, which can then become lodged in the esophagus, stomach or intestines. Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible.
  • Long, stringy things are a feline's dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that's too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer—and tons of play sessions together.
Forget the Mistletoe & Holly
Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies, can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
Leave the Leftovers
Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won't lead to costly medical bills.
That Holiday Glow
Don't leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
Wired Up
Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws' reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet's mouth.
House Rules
If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you're busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
Put the Meds Away
Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
Careful with Cocktails
If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
A Room of Their Own
Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
New Year's Noise
As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat's intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Holiday Pet Gifts

Are you looking for a gift for your canine friend that is sure to get the tails wagging and paws pouncing this holiday season? For the safety conscious pet, you could always get them a new travel carrier or car seat harness. Or for the sophisticated pet, try some baked doggie goods from your local doggie bakery. If purchasing special goodies from bakeries isn’t your thing, make your own doggie treats! For the owner on a budget or for the pet who has everything, the gift of time is the top gift for any pet this year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know?
-Cancer accounts for nearly 50% of all disease-related pet deaths each year
-One in four dogs die of cancer.
-Approximately 1 in 4 dogs develops a tumor of some kind during his lifetime.
-Just like in humans, cancer can occur in any part of your dog’s body.

Are you aware that November is Pet Cancer Awareness Month? Run your hands over your pet and feel for any unusual lumps or bumps. If you feel something new or unusual, let's take a look at it. Dogs and cats can get benign lumps such as lipomas and sebaceous cysts, but they can also get much more serious tumors, like mast cell tumors, melanomas, squamous cell carcinomas, and many others. Many of these can be diagnosed with a simple in-office procedure involving a needle aspirate and then a microscopic exam of the cells obtained. A fine needle aspirate is generally less painful than a vaccination, so don't hesitate to get that lump checked out. The importance of annual check-ups regardless of the age of your pet is critical in the prevention of cancer. 

Here are the top 10 early warning signs of pet cancer listed out by the American Veterinary Medical Association.

1. Abnormal swellings that persist or continue to grow
2. Sores that do not heal
3. Weight loss
4. Loss of appetite
5. Bleeding or discharge from any body opening
6. Offensive odor
7. Difficulty eating or swallowing
8. Hesitation to exercise or loss of stamina
9. Persistent lameness or stiffness
10. Difficulty breathing, urinating or defecating

Better to be safe than sorry, and much better to catch something sooner rather than later!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Enjoy Thanksgiving with Your Pet

The holiday season is in full swing and the next stop is Thanksgiving. There are so many things to be thankful for: family, friends, food, and of course our pets! With all the commotion of Thanksgiving sure to be upon us in the next few weeks it is important remember our furry friends and how we can provide a safe, fun and memorable holiday for everyone. Below is a list of “Turkey Tips” to make sure your Thanksgiving goes as pleasant as possible.

Stuff the Turkey, NOT your Pet: Most of us are guilty (at one time or another) of feeding our pets at the table. This is a bad idea on a few levels. Not only does it send the wrong message to your pet, it could be harmful to their digestive system. Extra precautions must be taken on turkey day. Rich fatty foods such as turkey, gravy, etc. can cause pancreatitis. This is caused by an inflammation of the digestive gland and can be very serious. If your pet is used to getting a few table scraps that is OK, as long as it is in moderation. Also remember with it being a holiday, many animals clinics will be closed. This is an easy way to avoid disaster this holiday.
Discarding the Turkey Strings that Tied the Legs: Believe it or not, this is a major cause for pet emergencies on Thanksgiving. This includes aluminum foil, turkey pop ups, skewers, string, oven bags, whole lead seasonings plastic wrap, and wax paper. Most of these cooking materials are probably drizzling with turkey juice and a major target for your pet. One trick is to put them in a sheet of unused foil as you prepare your dishes then wrap them up and place in the garbage that has a tight fitting lid. The foil will minimize the smell.
Make No Bones About It: Bird Bones (geese, turkey, duck and other birds) can present a huge health risk for your pet. They are hollow and break/splinter very easily. Also, because they are so easily breakable, dogs usually won’t chew them thoroughly. The results are sharp pieces that can choke the dog or block or tear the intestines.
Secure the Garbage Can: If you haven’t noticed already, pets can be scavengers and will wolf down anything that resembles edible eye candy, especially if it smells good. Dogs are especially infamous for “dumpster diving” and very sneaky about their approach. Keep one eye on your pet after the food has been cleaned up and thrown away.
Minimize Stress With the Same Routine: Even though you are frantically planning for the holidays it is important not to change your pet’s food or exercise schedule. These daily activities become a routine for your pet and neglecting this might cause him/her to become insecure. Add this to the crowds and commotion of Thanksgiving, and you could be unintentionally increasing your pets stress level.
If you will be traveling with your pet, preparation is the key. Getting your pet ready for travel is essential to a comfortable trip. Whether by car or air, your pet will need to be restrained in a carrier, booster seat, harness or crate. Get all your supplies together including your pet’s food and toys. Familiar things will make it easier for your pet when they are removed from their familiar surrounds.
Be truly thankful this Turkey Day by keeping your pets safe and healthy. Happy Thanksgiving!


Thursday, November 3, 2011

Boarding Reminder

Are you heading out for the holidays and can’t bring your pet along? Let them vacation with us! We offer boarding services for your pets while you're away. We would like to remind you to book well in advance, as we fill up quickly during the holiday season. Our highly qualified kennel attendants lavish attention on your dog when you can't be there! We provide tender loving care (such as brushing and walking), and supervised playtime to keep your dog healthy and happy. Call us at 763-441-4000 to schedule your pets boarding appointment.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

November is National Senior Pet Month

November is Senior Pet Month. Do you have an older cat or dog sharing your home? If so, you know the joys of pets who might have less spunk but more soul. Here are five reasons to love a senior pet.

1. Distinguished look
You know how as we age, we are said to look distinguished? The same is true for our pets. I think senior cats project an air of peaceful dignity. And who can resist the precious gray muzzle of an older dog?
2. Laid-back lifestyle
For kittens and puppies, most any time is play time. Older pets, however, don’t need to release all that youthful energy. They are quieter and often content to just watch what’s going on in the living room or outside the window. Cuddling next to you takes precedence over most anything else.
3. Fewer demands
Older pets still need love and attention, but they don’t require babysitting like a frisky puppy or curious kitten. Some older pets have special medical needs, but after all they’ve given us through the years, it’s an honor to take care of them in return.
4. Wisdom of the ages
When I look into the eyes of a senior dog, I see a world of experience and wisdom. Older pets know what to expect, and are generally reliable and even. They require little training since they already know the rules.
5. They might be just like you!
As we get older, our needs and routines change. We might prefer quiet evenings at home rather than going out on the weekends. We still like to exercise, walk, or even run—but sometimes we go at a different pace. We might even nap in our chair occasionally. If you have a senior dog, you might find that he’s just like you!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wackiest Pet Names of 2011

Ozzy Pawsbourne and Almost-A-Dog top this year's list of quirkiest monikers.
Fido, Spot or Fluffy? For some peculiar pet owners, these names are just too traditional. Although "Bella" and "Max" currently lead the pack as the nation's most popular pet names, thousands of other four-legged friends have much more distinctive names.

So drumroll, please... the 10 Most Unusual Dog and Cat Names for 2011:
  1. Almost-A-Dog
  2. Franco Furter
  3. Stinkie Mcstinkerson
  4. Sir Seamus McPoop
  5. Audrey Shepburn
  6. Dewey Decimell
  7. Knuckles Capone
  8. Beagle Lugosi
  9. Shooter Mclovin
  10. Uzi Duzi-Du
  1. Ozzy Pawsbourne
  2. Mr. Meowgi
  3. Murderface
  4. Fuglee
  5. Scruffernutter
  6. Corporal Cuddles
  7. Cat Masterson
  8. Spam
  9. Tape W. Orm
  10. Louisiana Purchase

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Happy Cat Month

The CATalyst Council has declared September as Happy Cat Month. This month is dedicated to finding ways to keep our feline friends happy, healthy and purring all year long. Click the link for tips to keep your feline friend happy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Attitude Vote

The winner of our Attitude Vote for August is Anna! We appreciate all of her contributions to the hospital and are glad she's a part of our team!

Good Job Award

We are proud to honor Michelle with the Good Job Award for August! We appreciate all of your contributions to the practice and we are happy to have you as a part of our team!
Don’t run the risk of losing with your pet with no chance of reuniting. Even if your pet never wanders away, remember that in old age, pets have a tendency to lose their scent and can wander too far to retrace their steps. At Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital, we recommend a microchip for every cat and dog.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Today is National Assistance Dog Day! Assistance Dogs transform the lives of their human partners with physical and mental disabilities by serving as their companion, helper, best friend and close member of their family. We would like recognize and honor the hardworking assistance dogs and honor the puppy raisers and trainers of assistance dogs as well as recognize the heroic deeds performed by assistance dogs in our community.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Pets and Fireworks

Fourth of July is one firecracker of a day, but maybe not for your pet. We recommend keeping your pet away from sparklers and other fireworks that may be ingested. Please remember their sensitive ears during those firework displays. We can give you suggestions about how to reduce your pet’s anxiety to loud firecrackers. We want you and your pet to enjoy safe summer holidays.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs

Have you heard about the Scalibor Protector Band? Scalibor Protector Band for Dogs is a highly effective tick and flea collar that kills ticks and fleas. This includes deer ticks which may carry Lyme Disease for up to 6 months and it also controls sand flies, carrier of the disease known as Leshmania. This tick and flea collar for dogs is available by prescription only at Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital! Call us for more information about Scalibor!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Employee of the Month

We are proud to announce the Employee of the Month for June is Anna Thompson. She is the winner of our Attitude Vote this month and we are proud to have her as a part of our team!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Fleas & Ticks

Summers coming and you may not be the only one taking a vacation. Fleas and ticks are out and about looking for a summer cottage. Your dog’s skin is the hot spot for these pesky critters. Be sure to bring your dog in or pickup a flea and tick preventative before the season is in full swing. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Did you Know....

Did you know that Dalmatian puppies are born pure white? It's only when they start to grow that their black or brown spots begin to appear.

Thursday, June 9, 2011


The winner of the 'Good Job Award' goes to Carrie Johnson! Thank you Carrie for all your hard work and dedication this month! We are proud to have you as a part of our team.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Welcome Dr. Sarah Cottom!

Welcome to our new Associate Veterinarian Dr. Sarah Cottom! Dr. Sarah is a California native. She attended the University of Minnesota, College of Veterinary Medicine, with special interests in dermatology, ophthalmology and internal medicine. Sarah lives in Maple Grove with her boyfriend Jeremy and their cat Gert. She enjoys running and spending time with family and friends. We are excited to have her as a part of our team!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Good Job Award

Congratulations to Kristin Ardery for receiving the Good Job Award for May! Born and raised in Minnesota, Kristin has worked in the veterinary field for over twenty years. She graduated from the Medical Institute of Minnesota in the early 1990's. Kristin completed an internship and lived in Maui, Hawaii for one year before returning to her home state of Minnesota where she has worked as a Certified Veterinary Technician at small animal hospitals throughout the suburbs. Kristin has been with Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital since 1999 and is raising two sons and a daughter. Her special interests include internal medicine, labwork and in particular, working with geriatric cats. She likes to travel and attend her children's sporting events which include BMX.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Did you know that animals that are overweight live two years less than pets at an ideal weight?  Obesity is fast becoming an epidemic among our pets.  Diet and exercise are the two most important factors in preventing and treating obesity.  We can provide a customized feeding program for your pet and get them back in tip top shape!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Team Member of the Month

Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital is proud to honor Anna Thompson as our May Team Member of the Month! Anna has been a veterinary assistant with Barrington Oaks since 2006. She has three labrador retrievers and two cats. Her hobbies include dog training, hunting and fishing. She enjoys being outdoors. Anna has her Associate Degree in Business Management and hopes to one day open a boarding and training facility.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


Is your pet’s itching and scratching keeping you awake at night? Spring is the beginning of allergy season as the pollen and mold counts rise. Pets are not born with allergies, they develop with repeated exposure. Chewing, biting, scratching, sneezing, itchy ears and watery eyes may be indications that your pet may have developed some allergies. We have developed a comprehensive plan to address these issues and would be happy to help your pet so they can enjoy the spring season as well.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!

We would like to wish a Happy Mother's Day to all the moms out there. You are appreciated and we are sure if your pets could, they would say the same thing! Have a great Mother's Day everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The team at Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital hopes that Dr. Lois Harmon had a great birthday yesterday!

This week is Be Kind to Animals Week!

Join the event that’s been celebrated every year since 1915 -- American Humane Association’s Be Kind to Animals Week. In this annual tradition, we commemorate the role animals play in our lives, promote ways to continue to treat them humanely, and encourage others, especially children, to do the same. While Be Kind to Animals Week is celebrated only once a year, we should strive to always be kind to animals every day. What is the kindest thing you've done for your pet today?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Let your pet start the spring on the right paw by being a responsible pet owner. Exercise your pet on a leash in public areas and be sure to pick up after their accidents. For that outdoor loving cat consider building an outdoor exercise enclosure and keep them safe while keeping your neighbors happy. Don’t forget your annual parasite prevention especially for pets that leave the yard frequently! 

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Pets & Lawn Fertilizer

People use fertilizer to make their lawns and gardens grow healthy and green. We would like to remind you to keep your pet off of the lawn for at least three days, or thoroughly water the lawn and let it dry before letting your pet out. Dogs and cats will eat grass sometimes, and if they eat fertilizer, it could have deadly results. Signs of fertilizer poisoning are vomiting and lethargy. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Avoiding Easter Hazards!

With the arrival of the holiday season our pets are often prone to new un thought of risks. Nothing makes a holiday more memorable than a panicked trip to the vets. But pet owners need not fret. Here's what you need to know to have an emergency-free celebration this Easter.

Festive Foods:
One of the biggest risks to pets at Easter time is "CHOCOLATE". The canine nose is an expert in sniffing out all the lovely sweet goodies in an instant. And birds, cats & dogs alike are drawn to the bright colors & shiny wrappers. Chocolate contains a compound called theobromine that can be toxic to dogs, cats and parrots. Baker's chocolate has the highest concentration of theobromine. How a pet reacts to chocolate depends on its size, as well as the amount and type of chocolate eaten. Vomiting and diarrhea are common signs of chocolate toxicosis, and while rare, too much chocolate can even be fatal. Carob chocolate is a natural, delicious and pet friendly alternative.

Foil packaging, ribbon and pretty sparkly plastic wadding are irresistible to cats and birds, while a big shiny Easter egg appears as a fun ball for a dog.  Pets love to play with these items and they will sometimes swallow them. Known as linear foreign bodies in vet speak, they are indigestible and can cause a partial or complete obstruction. They are often sharp and run the risk of cutting through the wall of the intestinal tract which can cause peritonitis.

While we all love our pets and wish to include them in the festivities, it is important to remember that now matter how much they beg, what they want may not always be what is best for them. Rich fatty foods can cause an upset stomach, vomiting or even pancreatitis in the extreme. Onions either raw or cooked can be poisonous to cats and dogs. As little as one bite of an onion can cause some of the red bloods cells to be destroyed (haemolytic anaemia) symptoms can include pale gums, reddish urine and lethargy.

It is important to remember never to feed your pets cooked bones as they can splinter and cause internal damage. The same applies to feeding your pets fish which might contain bones. Bowls of nuts and raisin-laden fruitcakes or chocolate covered sultanas are also common holiday treats. Macadamia Nuts are toxic to dogs. Although one nut is not likely to harm your dog, a number of them could require a trip to the emergency ward. Dogs who ingest macadamia nuts could suffer weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors and hyperthermia.

Foods that are healthy for us may not be so good for our beloved pets. Raisins and grapes are toxic to cats and dogs causing vomiting, diarrhea, kidney failure and even death. While avocadoes are harmful to dogs, cats, birds and Guinea pigs. They contain a toxic fatty acid called persin which can cause vomiting, gastrointestinal irritation, congestion, respiratory disease, fluid accumulation around the heart tissue and may cause death, especially in small animals and birds. So please be careful when serving fruit platters or salads this Easter.

One very real concern to pets are products containing the artificial sweetener Xylitol. This absolutely needs to be avoided. It will cause low blood sugar if ingested in toxic amounts and has been known to cause fatal liver failure.
During the festive season it is easy to forget the dangers of leaving alcoholic drinks within reach of our pets. It may seem harmless enough to offer your best mate a frosty cold one to celebrate alongside the humans. But alcohol poisoning is a very real danger to our pets. Problems equate to the amount of alcohol ingested compared to weight. Even a very small amount of alcohol can cause severe poisoning in a small pet. The yeast contained in beer can also lead to bloating and abdominal pain.

The good news is there is now a specially designed non alcoholic doggy beer on the market called *Paw Rex* It is made with beef stock so dogs love it and even comes in a six pack.

It is also important to remember that most cats and dogs are lactose intolerant so avoid giving them any dairy products. Specially designed lactose free animal products are an available alternative.  It's up to us to make sure hazards are kept out of reach and that visitors or children know the risks. Remember prevention is better than cure. For healthy Easter treat alternatives to spoil your best friend, please visit our Pet Gourmet section in this special Easter addition of Pet Scene Magazine.

Unexpected Hazards:
With all the coming and going and busy rush that comes with the holiday seasons it is easy for opportunities to arise to get our pets into trouble. It is not uncommon for visitors who are not used to pets to leave gates or doors open. This welcomes the opportunity for your pet to flee the house with all its strange new smells, noise and people. An open window makes for a great escape root for cats or free flying birds. Many pets wind up getting lost or struck by vehicles as a result of this careless mistake. If you have a pet that becomes nervous around new people or strange activity it may be a good idea to plan in advance to have area of the house or yard which is separate where they can feel safe and secure. Visitors who aren't used to living with pets may inadvertently leave their medications within reach. This brings opportunities for serious problems. Dogs are not deterred by childproof caps and can quickly find themselves in a world of trouble. Warn guests to keep medications well out of reach.

Traveling with pets:
If your going out of town with your pet this Easter there are a few things to remember:

* Make sure your pet is in a cool well ventilated position and never left alone in a closed car, temperatures can sore very quickly.

* Make sure your pet is secured in either a pet crate or safety harness.

* If your pet suffers from motion sickness it's recommended that you consult with your vet prior to travel to arrange an appropriate treatment.

* Make sure you plan for toileting and drink breaks. Our pets need to refresh too. 

* If you are planning to go out on the water these holidays be sure to pack your pet a life vest.

* If you are going on holiday this Easter with your pets, be sure you have a full supply of any medications they may be taking with you.

The humble Easter Lily
Many cat owners will be surprised to learn that lilies ( Liliaceae) are extremely toxic to their feline friends. The exact cause is unknown, however even the smallest amounts if ingested by cats can  be fatal, while dogs who ingest large amounts only develop signs of mild gastrointestinal upset. Early warning signs of Lily toxicity include vomiting, depression and a lack of appetite. There is no antidote, but with early detection and aggressive treatment the cat stands a better chance of survival. Cats may sometimes appear to be improving after the first onset of symptoms, but 24-72hrs later crash and become critically ill as they go into acute renal failure. If you suspect there is a chance your cat may have ingested this plant it is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible. If left untreated cats die within 3-7 days. Cat owners should never grow Lilies in the garden and should ensure that lilies are never part of floral arrangements. This is important to remember these holidays with the popular Easter Lily appearing  in most flower arrangements.

We hope that these tips will help you and your pets have a happy and safe
holiday season.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Sneezing…watery…running eyes and nose…itchy and scratchy skin. Its allergy time.  Did you know that your pet suffers from seasonal allergies just as you do?  We offer services for your pet to test for allergies, fleas, ticks and other critters to keep your pet looking and feeling their best.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

We offer Grooming at Both of our Locations!

Is your pet looking a little scraggly? Clipping your pet’s nails can be tricky. Don’t deal with the hassle yourself, we’ll snip, clip, clean and style your pet. We proudly offer grooming services at both our Barrington Oaks and Barrington Oaks North locations! Book your pet's grooming appointment at either one of our locations so your pet will be ready for the spring season!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Happy Birthday Anna!

Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital wishes Anna Thompson, a veterinary assistant, a Happy Birthday!

Easter Lilies & Cats

Easter Lilies can be a beautiful decoration in the spring season, but did you know that all parts of the lily plant are considered toxic and dangerous to your cat? If ingested, it can cause severe kidney damage and even death. Please be advised that cat owners should remove lilies out of reach of your cat and consider an alternative to the lily such as Easter Orchids and Easter Daisies.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Celebrating 25 Years

Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital is proud to celebrate our 25th year in business! We are thankful for our incredible staff as well as our clients who have made it possible to provide the very best veterinary care in the community.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Team Member of the Month

The winner of our "Attitude Vote" and Team Member of the month for April is Anna Thompson! She is a veterinary assistant, who excels at reception work, assisting with veterinary care and care of boarding dogs and cats. We appreciate all of Anna's contributions to the practice!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Spring is a great time to call in and schedule your pet for their annual vaccinations. After a long winter, pets can’t wait to get outside and get into all sorts of trouble. Make sure they are safe and free from diseases like rabies, distemper, and parvovirus.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Itching and scratching...lumps and bumps making life miserable for your pet?  These symptoms may not be caused by fleas or ticks...but may be the cause of other skin irritations or allergies.  We can help your suffering pet. Ask us about your pets condition at your next appointment with us.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Good Job Award

We are proud to honor Amy with the Good Job Award this March. She has been a receptionist and veterinary assistant with Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital since July, 2000. We are glad to have Amy as a part of our team!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

When you take your pet for a walk during the winter time, be sure to keep their feet in mind. To prevent frostbite, consider taking very short walks or buying your dog a pair of booties to protect their feet, and when you’re done with your walk, always wipe the sidewalk salt off the bottom of your pet’s feet, ingesting sidewalk salt can be very dangerous to your pet.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Team Member of the Month

Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital is proud to honor our Team Member of the Month, Carrie! Carrie, a technician, is a 1996 Minnesota School of Business graduate. She has been in the veterinary field for more than 15 years. Carrie enjoys taking care of her pets' needs and has a big heart for those animals that need a little extra attention. She has two dogs, Louie and Buddy and a cat named Al. Carrie also enjoys getting together with friends and family. We are proud to have Carrie as a part of our team!
Did you know that fleas can survive in the cold winter weather? We recommend keeping your pet on a year round flea and tick preventative as well as a year round heartworm preventative, to ensure that your pet remains happy and healthy throughout the entire year.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Is your pet starting to get a little grey around the muzzle? As your pet ages, it is important to maintain optimum health for their quality of life. Senior pets need more extensive risk assessment visitations. Teeth should be brushed daily, exercise routines are important and remember obesity is the number one health problem in older dogs. With routine blood and urine analysis and more frequent risk assessment exams, your pet will live a long and healthy life.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Most pets gain weight in the winter just like their owners, many times due to a decrease in exercise. Pet obesity is often worsened during the winter when short days and cold weather means less opportunity for proper exercise. Find new ways to make exercise a priority, even when it’s cold outside. Maintaining your pet’s health with proper diet and exercise will help assure that you both have a happy winter season.

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Perform a Thorough Dental Exam

What's wrong with this dog's teeth? Check your answer at dvm360.com/toothquiz.
Technicians are likely to perform preliminary dental examinations to provide initial observations. A thorough evaluation should include performing conscious and anesthetized examinations and charting disease processes, pathology, and anomalies. When performing an examination, be sure to record all findings and bring abnormalities to the veterinarian's attention. Conscious examination
An oral examination on a conscious patient is important, but you are often limited to a visual inspection and digital palpation. This initial examination involves more than just the oral cavity. Be sure to palpate the facial bones and zygomatic arch, temporomandibular joint, salivary glands, and lymph nodes. Also be sure to evaluate the dental occlusion, which can be done by gently retracting the lips to look at the soft tissue, the occlusion (bite), and the buccal aspects of the teeth.
Anesthetized examination

1. A mouth demonstrating mild (A), moderate (B), and heavy (C) calculus.
Anesthesia is required for both routine dental cleaning and treatment of dental abnormalities or diseases of the oral cavity. Once a patient is anesthetized, you can complete a thorough oral examination. Examine all the structures of the oral cavity, including the oropharynx, lips and cheeks, mucous membranes, hard palate, floor of the mouth, tongue, and teeth. Evaluate the periodontium (gingiva, periodontal ligament, cementum, and alveolar bone) of each tooth. If patients have large amounts of calculus on their teeth, you may need to remove these deposits to accurately access the periodontium. Calculus (tartar) is mineralized plaque. Using calculus removal forceps is recommended to remove supragingival calculus, but take care to ensure that the gingiva and tooth crown are not damaged.
Record the amount of calculus and plaque observed on the teeth for future reference before cleaning. The amount of calculus and plaque can be recorded as mild, moderate, or heavy (Figure 1). Because plaque is the soft, gelatinous matrix of bacteria and bacterial by-products that lead to gingival irritation and gingivitis, it may be necessary to use a disclosing agent to visualize. Calculus can only be removed by hand scaling or using a power scaler.
When evaluating the periodontium, you will need a periodontal probe, a dental explorer, and a dental mirror. Evaluate the following seven indices for each tooth in each patient.
1—Gingival index
The gingival index is a measurement of gingival health. To assess a patient's gingival health, gently place a periodontal probe into the gingival sulcus (the area between the tooth and free gingiva), and guide the probe around the tooth. Score the assessments of gingival changes by using the following criteria:
  • 0 = normal healthy gingiva
  • 1 = mild inflammation or redness, no bleeding on probing, possible edema or contour changes
  • 2 = moderate inflammation, moderate to severe redness, edema, bleeding on probing
  • 3 = severe inflammation or redness, edema, ulceration, spontaneous bleeding
2—Probe depth
Probe depth is a measure of the depth of the periodontal pockets. This measurement increases as a result of inflammation between a tooth and the surrounding tissues. As the inflammation progresses, the gingiva loosens from the tooth. Deep probe depth and the loss of tissue and bone support indicate more severe periodontal disease. Edema and gingival hyperplasia can create a pseudopocket. This increased depth without the loss of attachment can progress into periodontal disease unless treated.
To measure probe depth, gently place a periodontal probe with millimeter markings between the free gingiva and the tooth surface, and carefully advance it until you feel soft tissue resistance. The tip of the probe should be parallel to the long axis of the tooth. Record the probe depth as the distance in millimeters from the free gingival margin to the bottom of the pocket. You may glide or walk the probe along the tooth to measure the varying depths. A normal gingival sulcus depth is 1 to 3 mm in dogs and 0.5 to 1 mm in cats. Record measurements in excess of these values in the appropriate location on the dental chart.
3—Gingival recession

2. A tooth demonstrating gingival recession and Stage 3 furcation.
Technicians also need to use the periodontal probe to measure the gingival recession or root exposure, which is the distance from the cemento-enamel junction to the margin of the free gingiva. At sites with gingival recession or root exposure (Figure 2), the probe depth may be normal despite the loss of alveolar bone. Note areas of gingival recession on the dental chart. 4—Periodontal attachment level
This measurement is similar to probe depth except that the pocket depth is measured from the base or apex of the pocket to the cemento-enamel junction. This is a more accurate assessment of tissue loss from periodontitis than probe depth. The periodontal attachment level can be measured directly, or it can be calculated as the sum of probe depth and gingival recession.
5—Furcation exposure
In multirooted teeth, the area where the roots join the crown is referred to as the furcation. The furcation index measures the loss of bone support in multirooted teeth. The bone loss caused by periodontal disease often affects this area early in the disease process.
Place a periodontal probe about perpendicular to the long axis of the tooth, and slide it along the free marginal groove to the furcation site. Record the involvement as stage 0 to 3 using the following criteria:
  • 0 = no loss of bone support
  • 1 = horizontal loss of supporting tissues not exceeding one-third of the width of the tooth
  • 2 = horizontal loss of supporting tissues exceeding one-third of the width of the tooth but not encompassing the total width of the furcation area
  • 3 = complete horizontal loss of supporting tissue (Figure 2)

Be sure to note a furcation index of 0 to 3 on the dental chart.
6—Tooth mobility

3. Stage 1 periodontal disease. Note the mild inflammation on the maxillary canine.
The amount of tooth movement indicates the level of bone support loss. To measure tooth mobility, place the length of the periodontal probe on the buccal surface of the tooth's crown, and apply gentle pressure. Use the following criteria to assign a numerical score (stage):
  • 0 = no mobility
  • 1 = perceptible mobility, but less than 1 mm buccolingually
  • 2 = definite mobility between 1 and 2 mm
  • 3 = gross mobility exceeding 2 mm buccolingually or vertical mobility
Note a mobility score of 0 to 3 (M0, M1, M2, M3) on the dental chart.
7—Stage of periodontal disease 

4. Stage 2 periodontal disease.
Noting the severity of periodontal disease can be used to help the veterinarian determine the appropriate therapies, and it also needs to be recorded so that disease progression can be monitored. The stage of periodontal disease is determined either radiographically or by measuring clinical attachment level and assigning a severity score as follows:
  • Normal = no gingival inflammation
  • Stage 1 (Figure 3) = gingivitis only, without attachment loss
  • Stage 2 (Figure 4) = less than 25 percent attachment loss, stage 1 furcation (multirooted teeth)
  • Stage 3 (Figure 5) = 25 percent to 50 percent attachment loss, stage 2 furcation (multirooted teeth)
  • Stage 4 (Figure 6) = more than 50 percent attachment loss, stage 3 furcation (multirooted teeth)

5. Stage 3 periodontal disease.

6. Stage 4 periodontal disease. Note the gingival recession and furcation on the maxillary second premolar.
These tips for tracking dental abnormalities may help catch potentially serious problems early and enhance and extend pets' lives.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Did you know that dental care is an extremely important component of your pets overall health? More than 80% of dogs and cats over the age of three suffer from dental disease. Dental disease can lead to secondary conditions affecting your pet’s heart, liver and kidneys. Infected teeth and gums are especially dangerous to your older pets. Don't forget that Barrington Oaks Veterinary Hospital is offering $40 off dental services this month!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Valentine's Day Tip

Valentine’s Day is a day for romance and love, but don’t forget the hidden dangers to your pets in those wonderful boxes of candy. Chocolate is highly toxic and often fatal to both dogs and cats if ingested in large enough quantities. Candles can also be a danger to pets. Make sure that burning candles are set out of their reach. Make sure your pets are safe as you celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chocolate and Pets

Chocolate! Who doesn't like chocolate? Including our pets. We want to remind you that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and your pets love candy and chocolate just as much as you do. Chocolate, in all forms is dangerous for both cats and dogs. If you suspect your pet has gotten into chocolate, or any other harmful substance; please call us right way and we'll guide you on what to do next.

Thursday, January 27, 2011


 Older pets tend to have a tougher time when the weather changes. If you’ve noticed you senior pet struggling to go up and down stairs, or having trouble rising up after a nap, they may be having an arthritic flare-up. We can prescribe them anti-inflammatory medications to help them feel younger again during the colder weather.