AEZR Pet Hospital

AEZR Pet Hospital “Serving man’s best friends since 1980”. We are a locally-owned and family-operated pet hospital.

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Meet #ChonkTheAxolotl from Dr. Crystal Rogers' lab! This baby-faced aquatic salamander is helping scientists understand neural crest cells (the cells that help form our face, skin color, and peripheral nervous system). Discovering more about these cells can help researchers understand congenital disorders and certain types of cancer.

Tune in to this week's episode of the #UCDavis Unfold podcast to learn more:

Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First 7 DaysWhen adopting a rescue dog, the first 7 days is often the most important time whe...

Adopting a Rescue Dog: The First 7 Days
When adopting a rescue dog, the first 7 days is often the most important time when building your relationship with your new furry friend.

It’s such an exciting time adopting a new dog!

You picture all the fun you’ll have together: taking walks, playing fetch, and just snuggling on the couch together.

But you have to remember that the new dog will be confused and stressed from being transferred from place to place.

Preparation Is Important
If you’re planning to adopt a dog, it’s important to prepare for him. That way, the environment won’t be more stressful than it has to be.

There’s so much to do when a new dog’s coming home.

The rooms he’ll have access to must be safe. Even if he’s an adult dog, I recommend “puppy-proofing” them.

Your new addition will be stressed when you take him home. Stressed dogs may get into things and chew them because of anxiety.

So remove items that may be tempting and put them out of his reach. This can include the television remote, shoes, knick-knacks, and the like.

Have his area set up prior to his arrival.

Also, have him checked out in the first couple of days by a veterinarian so that you can determine whether she sees any health issues. The vet will probably want to check a stool sample for internal parasites.

Chill Out
Your new dog will probably be overwhelmed coming into your house. There are so many new sights, sounds, and scents.

We all want to show off our new furry baby. But that can wait.

When I get a new dog, I want my friends to see him. But I’ll hold off for at least a few days–and sometimes weeks–depending on the dog and how I see him adapt.

Each dog’s unique.

Some of my rescues really acted like they lived with me forever, whereas some took many weeks to settle in.

Let Your New Dog Decompress
Don’t force him into new situations too quickly. Set up an area away from family activity so that he can chill out.

Have any children ignore him and give him space. Keep him separate from your dogs or cats for the first day or so.

Keep his first day uneventful. Just do what’s necessary.

You can keep him on a leash near you so that you’ll have some control to take him outside and walk him.

Take him out to potty. Feed him. Just the essentials.

Don’t force attention on him. Let him observe you and come to you.

If he’s used to walks and seems friendly and wants to take a short walk, do so. But it’s really important that his collar or harness fits him and he can’t escape.

PRO-TRAINER TIP: Don’t take your new dog outside without him being on a leash. Some dogs can even escape from a fenced yard. Until he feels safe, he may try to flee out of stress.

The first couple of days, your new rescued dog may not want to eat. He’s probably stressed, and some dogs who are stressed won’t eat.

If he doesn’t eat for more than two days, I recommend taking him to the vet to be sure that there isn’t a physical problem.
Make sure that he’s drinking water, though, so that he doesn’t become dehydrated.

The Dreaded Chronic PancreatitisBy Dr. Ernie Ward | June 30, 2021Does your dog vomit occasionally for no apparent reason...

The Dreaded Chronic Pancreatitis
By Dr. Ernie Ward | June 30, 2021

Does your dog vomit occasionally for no apparent reason? Unexpectedly refuse her favorite food? Experience bouts of gas, diarrhea or painful tummy after eating? If so, it could be due to an often-overlooked diagnosis: chronic pancreatitis.

Most dog lovers have heard of pancreatitis. The typical tale involves a doggo that is overfed a rich meal of “people foods,” tears into the trash after a celebratory meal or somehow eats too much fatty food. The resulting torrent of vomiting, diarrhea (often bloody) and intense abdominal pain is indelibly disturbing. If you’ve ever witnessed a dog in the throes of acute pancreatitis, you won’t forget it. Acute pancreatitis is so traumatizing for both dog and dog parent that any sudden, severe case of vomiting and diarrhea is considered “pancreatitis” until proven otherwise.

We’re just beginning to recognize that a more subtle, chronic form of pancreatitis exists in dogs, just like humans, and may be more common than we know. What is chronic pancreatitis? What causes it? And, can we treat or prevent it?

Let’s Start with the Pancreas
The pancreas is a slender, pink organ attached near the bottom of the stomach and beginning of the small intestine. This location is crucial to its primary function: secreting enzymes that help digest foods, also known as its “exocrine function.” Its “endocrine function” is responsible for regulating blood glucose by producing insulin and glucagon and other essential hormones.

The digestive enzymes are responsible for pancreatitis. Pancreatitis occurs when these enzymes begin digesting the pancreas, just as they break down fats, carbs and proteins. The classic case of acute pancreatitis follows a high-fat meal that triggers a spike in pancreatic enzyme secretion, resulting in damage to the pancreas and liver. These enzymes spill over throughout the pancreas, backwash into the pancreatic duct, or erode the stomach and intestinal walls, dissolving sensitive tissues.

Who Gets It
Miniature Schnauzers are predisposed to pancreatitis because of their genetically associated altered fat metabolism (hyperlipidemia), causing the pancreas to secrete excessive fat digestive enzymes leading to injury. Other causes of pancreatitis include obesity and altered fat metabolism, pancreatic trauma or tumors and certain drugs including antibiotics containing sulfa, chemotherapy and potassium bromide. Diabetes, hypothyroidism and hypercalcemia are also documented causes of canine pancreatitis. Genetic research in the United Kingdom is evaluating if certain lines of English Cocker Spaniels may have an inherited form of autoimmune chronic pancreatitis.

What It Looks Like
Dogs with chronic pancreatitis most commonly have mild, intermittent symptoms, making diagnosis challenging. Anorexia or inexplicable food refusal, mild bouts of colitis and diarrhea, occasional vomiting, increased borborygmi (“tummy gurgles”) and abdominal discomfort, especially following a meal, may be the only signs for months to years. In other words, most dogs display some clinical signs of chronic pancreatitis sometimes. How can you find out?

Most dogs aren’t diagnosed until a mild chronic case becomes seriously severe and acute. Others find out after they’ve developed diabetes mellitus or exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI). In both instances, these final episodes are the result of a long, subclinical progression that has caused significant pancreatic damage.

Tell your veterinarian if your dog has suffered these symptoms in the past, because they may be at greater risk for developing diabetes, EPI or both. If I diagnose a middle-aged to older dog with EPI or a healthy-weight dog with diabetes, I search for chronic pancreatitis as the culprit. I’ve also stumbled into a diagnosis after switching a patient to a therapeutic low-fat diet and the owner reports the dog is more playful, less picky and more energetic. The bottom line: Don’t ignore these persistent, vague cycles of upset stomach and pain. Trust your gut on this one.

The classical case of acute pancreatitis follows a high-fat meal that triggers a spike in pancreatic enzyme secretion, resulting in damage to the pancreas and liver.

The Challenge of Diagnosis
Unfortunately, there is not a specific test for chronic pancreatitis. Diagnosis is usually made on a combination of symptoms, pancreatic lab tests (notably SPEC cPL or specific canine pancreatic lipase), liver enzymes, blood fats and abdominal ultrasound. Definitive diagnosis is based on pancreatic biopsy, although it is rarely performed in dogs.

Because chronic pancreatitis is a diagnosis of exclusion, made by ruling out everything else, it can be a frustrating journey. More vets are realizing chronic pancreatitis is a real issue in many dogs and are diagnosing it earlier. The therapeutic objective is to prevent further harm to the pancreas, preserving function and avoiding debilitating diseases such as diabetes and EPI.

The 7 Symptoms of Chronic Pancreatitis
Unlike acute (sudden) pancreatitis, dogs with chronic pancreatitis show symptoms for months to years. Watch for these symptoms happening continuously over time:

Inexplicable food refusal
Mild bouts of colitis (inflammation of large intestine or colon that results in loose stools or diarrhea containing mucus or fresh blood)
Mild bouts of diarrhea (watery or soft stools)
Occasional vomiting
Increased tummy gurgles (borborygmi)
Abdominal discomfort or pain after a meal
Low-Fat Feeding is the Key
In cases that progress to acute pancreatitis, the veterinarian needs to be aggressive with treatment to reduce pancreatic tissue destruction and future complications. Treating chronic pancreatitis typically involves discovering a low- to ultra-lowfat diet the dog can tolerate.

Look for a diet containing less than 7% fat on a dry matter basis. For example, if a canned food lists crude fat as 4% on the label, the actual fat is about 16% on a dry matter basis, much too high (76% moisture, 24% dry matter, 4/24 = 16%). For dry kibble claiming 14% crude fat, that also equals about 16% true fat (10% moisture, 90% dry matter, 14/90 — 15.6%). Examples of low- to ultra-low-fat dog foods include Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat, Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d low fat and Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Low Fat Canine Formula — available in a wet or dry formulas through your veterinarian.

(Tip from the editor: After our dog Justice, who had chronic pancreatitis, came home from a week in the hospital, he was reluctant to eat. The veterinary technician told us to make small patties out of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat wet food the hospital had given us and bake them in the oven for a few minutes, so they are a little crisp on the outside. I tried it, and he ate it!)

Dogs suffering from chronic pancreatitis also need to be fed low-fat and low-calorie treats. I’ve seen too many dogs spiral into acute pancreatitis after a well-intentioned friend, dog sitter or family member “showed them a little too much love.”

Baby carrots, sliced cucumbers and zucchini and other crunchy veggies are my favorite goodies for my chronic pancreatitis patients. In addition, excess weight increases a dog’s risk, so keeping your dog lean and healthy is always great preventive medicine.

Chronic pancreatitis is serious in dogs and probably more common than previously thought. No dog should endure a lifetime of tummy torment. The earlier you can help, the better your dog’s chances for a long, healthy, pain-free life.

Low-Fat Products: Hill’s Prescription Diet i/d low fat, Purina Pro Plan Veterinary Diets EN Gastroenteric Low Fat Canine Formula, Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Low Fat.


593 N McDowell Blvd
Petaluma, CA

Opening Hours

Monday 10am - 12pm
2pm - 5pm
Tuesday 10am - 12pm
2pm - 5pm
Wednesday 10am - 12pm
2pm - 5pm
Thursday 10am - 12pm
2pm - 5pm
Friday 10am - 12pm
2pm - 5pm


(707) 778-7521


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