The Animal Health Bulletin
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
Serving Family & Farm Since 1979
Dogs, Cats, Equine, Bovine, Small Ruminants, Camelid
Healing Springs Animal Hospital
107 Nuckolls Curve Rd
Galax, VA
(276) 236-5103

Pet Health Knowledge from Healing Springs Animal Hospital

Animal Health Bulletin Library



Volume III, Issue VI

July 2007


        Free Dental Clinic for Dogs & Cats

        The First Proven Medicine for Canine Obesity – Slentrol™

        Toxic to Pets: Avocados, Onions, Garlic, Grapes, Raisins

        New Pet Food Recall: Botulism & Natural Balance



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Free Dental Clinic for Dogs & Cats



Dogs, Cats, Dental, Galax, Veterinary, Clinic


Healing Springs Animal Hospital will hold an informational dental clinic for dog and cat owners on Tuesday August 14, 2007.  Bring your pets to have their teeth and gums examined by a trained veterinary assistant.  Staff will make recommendations, provide demonstrations, and give out samples.  Information available will include: importance of dental hygiene, oral care food and treats, at home dental care (brushing, rinses), before & after photos of previous dental procedures, detailed pictures of dental cleaning in animals, and information on pre-anesthetic blood work.  Schedule a free appointment today: (276) 236-5103.


Fact: Dogs and Cats live longer

if they receive dental care as needed throughout their lifetime.


Buy Pet Dental Care Products online from Healing Springs



The First Proven Medicine for Canine Obesity – Slentrol™

Now Available at Healing Springs


Weight Loss Dogs: Slentrol for Canine ObesitySlentrol, a new medicine by Pfizer, is the first proven veterinary medication for the management of canine obesity.  If you are concerned about the weight of your dog, schedule an appointment at Healing Springs to discuss healthy options including this new medicine.


Overweight dogs have become a big deal (pun intended).  Pfizer surveyed veterinarians and found that, on average, vets report 47% of their canine patients to be overweight or obese.  However, Pfizer’s surveys of dog owners showed that only 17% of owners thought their own dogs were overweight.  This suggests that it is hard for people to recognize when their dogs need to lose weight.   Pfizer also found that only 8% of overweight dogs succeed in weight loss.





Obesity contributes to serious health problems in dogs:


The Dog Food Recommended for Weight Loss by the Vets of Healing Springs

·        Osteoarthritis (see article on canine joint function and new product)

·        Cardiac Disease

·        Respiratory Conditions

·        Insulin Resistance

·        Increased Surgical and Anesthetic Risks

·        Damage to Ligaments in the Knees

·        Heat or Exercise Intolerance



Text Box: Free Weight Loss Clinic for Dogs and Cats at Healing Springs on September 11.Slentrol is designed to help dogs lose 3% of body weight per month.  It’s a solution that owners give to their dogs by mouth once daily.  Dogs should take it until their target weight is achieved.  After the dog reaches the target weight, Slentrol is prescribed for a little while longer for a weight maintenance phase.  A Healing Springs veterinarian will see your dog at least once per month to assess weight loss and adjust the dosage.  In clinical trails, Slentrol proved ineffective for about 2% of dogs. 



How It Works

Ninety percent of the weight loss achieved by Slentrol comes by means of appetite suppression.  Ten percent of the weight loss occurs because Slentrol blocks the uptake of some fats and proteins. 


Slentrol very specifically blocks certain mechanisms in the small intestine from absorbing fats and proteins and delivering them to the blood stream.  The extra fats and proteins simply pass through in normal stool.  However, because there are extra fats hanging around the small intestines for a while, the small intestines basically tell the brain that the dog has eaten enough.  The brain signals the body to feel satiated, and the dog eats less. 


After clinical trials, owners reported that their dogs were more likely to run, play, climb stairs, and jump on the bed.  Sixty percent of owners reported that their dog’s energy level improved.



Safety and Side-Effects

Slentrol should not be used in humans or cats.  Because of concerns for the liver, Slentrol is not indicated for use in dogs receiving long-term corticosteroid therapy or dogs with liver disease.


Side effects were:

Buy Conquer K9 to improve canine joint function and symptoms of arthritis











The Cat Food Recommended for Weight Loss by the Vets of Healing Springs

Side effect

Percent of occurrence with Slentrol minus the percent the same thing occurred with placebo




















Corn oil was used as the placebo.  If any side effects from Slentrol occur for more than two days, owners should report to Healing Springs Animal Hospital.  In both studies with up to 12 months of normal therapy and studies with elevated doses, no mortalities or serious reactions were reported.  Slentrol was used safely with a variety of commonly prescribed veterinary medications.  Slentrol is not a stimulant and does not affect the central nervous system.  When vomiting occurred, it usually only lasted for one day throughout the entire treatment period.  Owners should be aware that dogs were designed to vomit.  While vomiting behavior should be closely monitored, it is not as big a deal as it is in humans.  Some dogs showed increased liver enzymes during Slentrol therapy.  Their livers seemed to adjust during treatment, and liver enzymes returned to normal when treatment was finished. 


Slentrol is only intended for active weight loss periods and a short weight management phase after that.  Slentrol is not intended for long-term use.  Owners will still want to implement lifestyle weight management strategies.  Your veterinarians and veterinary assistants at Healing Springs Animal Hospital can help. 

People who lose weight with their dogs prove more likely to keep it off


Toxic to Pets: Avocados, Onions, Grapes, Raisins


Avocados toxic to dogs. Also onions, garlic, grapes, and raisins.
Galax Veterinary ClinicAvocados – “Hold the Guacamole Please”

Avocados contain a fatty acid derivative called persin.  Persin is toxic to dogs and cats.  In dogs and cats, avocados can cause stomach and bowel irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea.  The worst effects are seen in pets that have scavenged significant quantities of avocado from the trash.  Birds and rodents are more sensitive to persin.  In birds and rodents, avocados can cause respiratory distress, congestion, fluid accumulation around the heart, and death.  Avocados are also toxic to horses, cattle, and dairy goats.


Onions  & Garlic – Well that Stinks

Onions pose some danger to dogs and cats because they contain thiosulphate.  Consumed in small quantities, onions should not harm dogs and cats.  In larger quantities or in concentrated forms (such as onion soup or onion powder), the thiosulphate in onions can cause a structural deficit in red blood cells.  The ability to use oxygen will be affected.  An affected pet will experience breathlessness, and a red pigment from rejected blood cells will become visible in the urine.  Garlic can have the same effect on dogs & cats, but even larger quantities are required. 


Grapes & Raisins

As of 2001, grapes and raisins have been officially recognized by the ASPCA as toxins to dogs and cats.  Grapes and raisins have been linked to kidney failure in dogs and cats, but the exact toxin causing the problems is unknown.  Documented cases of negative effects show quantities ranging widely from only 9 ounces to 2 pounds.  Symptoms occur about six hours after ingestion.  Symptoms include vomiting, abdominal pain, sluggishness, and loss of appetite.  Acute renal failure occurs in as little as three days after eating enough grapes or raisins.  


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New Pet Food Recall – Botulism & Natural Balance


A couple in Indiana and two children in Texas were recently hospitalized for botulism, and the botulism traced back to canned meats they had consumed.  Castleberry Food Co. of Augusta, GA currently shoulders the blame for the botulism.  They suspect that a problem with one of their machines caused meat to be canned improperly.  As a result, several brands of canned meats have been recalled including Natural Balance dog foods.  The natural balance foods affected include their Irish stew, Chinese takeout, HOBO Chili, and Southern Style Dumplings products.


Natural Balance Dog Food Recall, Pet FoodThe human foods affected by the same recall were mostly beef stew and chili products bearing the brand names: Food Club, Kroger, Lowe’s Food, Piggly Wiggly, Steak ‘n Shake, Value Time, and others.  You can find more details on the company websites:


12 Months Same as Cash for Bills Over $300 at Healing Springs




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(276) 236-5103

107 Nuckolls Curve Rd

Galax, VA  24333


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