Dr. Bob's Animal Health and Information  Site



Dr. Bobs Pet Health and Information Site




Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site 

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Dr. Bob's All Creatures Site    509 Benicia Road, Vallejo, California, USA 707-642-4405


Spring 1999 Newsletter






A savvy consumer understands that no two products  are equal. Most of us routinely compare competitive products, study their ingredients, mentally debate the pricing difference and then make a purchasing decision.  We don't always buy the cheapest, we buy the best.  When in comes to comparing pet products, this practice uses our veterinary knowledge to do the same thing.  As a result, we only sell or suggest those products that are the best value for you and your pet.

Regardless, we sometimes encounter a rather frustrating problem when we prescribe a particular medication such as a topical medication to treat fleas.  Often a pet owner will say, "Oh, I've tried something like that on Fido and it didn't work" thus giving a blanket negative judgment to any similar product.  Upon discussion, we usually find that the pet owner is comparing our recommended product to something they purchased in the pet section of their supermarket.

The supermarket product may be packaged and applied similarly and it may cost less, but chances are excellent that it will not live up to your expectations.  These products are not the same!  We recommend the best products available- usually those only professionally available because they live up to the scrutiny and expectations of demanding veterinarians.  We also encounter the same situation with other products like flea collars, tick collars, and pet foods.  Just as with flea medications, there is a world of difference between these products.  We only carry and recommend the best products available - the ones that have been tested and proven effective.

So please keep an open mind when we suggest a product.  The supermarket has thousands of great items but, when it comes to the health and welfare of your pet, we handle the ones that are tested, proven and effective.  Ultimately, they are also the best value for both you and your pet.

Deworming: The Best Defense for People and Their Pets


We often include articles in this newsletter that supports the human-animal bond.  For all of the emotional comfort they give us, pets can sometimes transmit diseases for which we must be careful.  For example, several of the common worms found in dogs and cats can have serious consequences if they infect humans. Among these are :

ASCARIDS:  This rather broad category describes many types of worms - many of which can be serious if humans become infected.

  • Many puppies are infected with the ascarids. Toxocara canis and Anclystoma caninum.  These puppies shed eggs as young as 2 to 3 weeks of age and can contaminate an environment for years.
  • Baylisascaris procyonis usually infects raccoons but can also infect dogs and is a source of serious illness in people.

HOOKWORMS :  Hookworms are a well-known cause of cutaneous larva migrans (CLM) and, recently, have been recognized as a cause of chronic enterocolitis.

TAPEWORMS : Tapeworms in people can result in various diseases :

  • Echinococcus tapeworms can cause serious disease. Infection is very serious and occurs through the ingestion of infective eggs when people contact contaminated feces or soil.The adult Echinococcus is extremely  small yet produces thousands of eggs that are immediately infective.



Human infections may also occur as a result of contacting and ingesting infective eggs from the animals hair coat.  Human exposure can also occur through contamination of fruits and vegetables grown in contaminated soil.  It is a good idea to wash your hands thoroughly after gardening.

  • Dipylidium caninum, the more common tapeworm of dogs can also cause disease in people but of a less severe nature.  People can acquire tapeworms through accidental ingestion of fleas that harbor the tapeworm's immature stages.  The tapeworm matures in the intestine and gastrointestinal symptoms such as stomach discomfort vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps have been reported

What can be done to reduce the risk of infection?

Regular deworming of dogs and cats at strategic intervals reduces the risk of infection and contamination of the environment and thus helps prevent human illness.  The Centers for Disease Control and the American Association of Veterinary Parasitologists recommend beginning deworming at a young age before environmental contamination can occur and continuing at strategic intervals.

We have the dewormers to effectively eliminate the risk of parasite infection to your pet.  Strategic deworming allows us to help ensure the health of your pet as well as the health of you and your family.  Please give our office a call if you have any questions on this topic or to establish a deworming schedule for your pet.

Believe it or not!


An anonymous couple has given the Texas A&M School of Veterinary Medicine $2.2 million to try to clone the couple's dog, Missy, a Border Collie/Husky mix.

Dr. Mark Westhusin, Professor of Veterinary Physiology at Texas A&M said the so-called "Missyplicity Project" is serious science. "There are a number of objectives and one of them is to develop technology for cloning dogs", Dr. Westhusin said.  The research could lead to developing canine contraceptive and infertility treatments and it could also lead to a more reliable supply of dogs to guide the blind and assist in search and rescue mission.

The research could last for years and the initial grant could be increased to as much as $5 million.

For more information on the project click onto www.missplicity.com


Think your cat has a behavioral problem?

Here is what we have to do first.

  • It is not possible to completely treat a feline behavioral problem unless we take a detailed medical history and perform a complete physical examination with diagnostic tests.  The physical examination and diagnostic tests are critical for a couple of reasons:
    • To rule out any medical problems that could cause nonspecific behavioral signs (i.e. - hyperthyroidism can cause agitation and increased motor activity in cats.)
    • To determine whether an underlying medical problem is contributing to the behavioral problem (e.g. - a cat with feline lower urinary tract disease that also has substrate preference for urination).
    • If a drug is contemplated to correct the behavioral problem, we need to determine whether the cat can tolerate the medication.  This is especially important because cats have difficulty metabolizing many drugs.

We need to know if there have been any environmental changes in the cat's household.  Rearranging the furniture, a new baby, etc. can all affect a cat's behavior.

Most behavioral signs are nonspecific and become meaningful only when examined in conjunction with a complete medical history.  You may even want to augment the history with a videotape of the behavioral problem.  This can be critical, particularly in cats, because their behaviors are not as well understood as those of dogs. 

If you have any specific questions about your cat's behavior, give us a call so we can schedule the necessary procedures.



We have all heard the old axiom, "You can't teach old dogs new tricks."  A study recently conducted at the University of California at Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine examined the behavior of some canine "senior citizens" and found the following:

  • By age 16, all of the dogs studied exhibited one or more of the following signs: disturbance of the sleep/wake cycle; impairment of normal house training; reduction in interactions with owner; or signs of disorientation, such as getting lost in the yard or house.
  • 62% of dogs aged 11-16 exhibited one or more of these sighs.
  • Animals shoeing signs of disorientation plus at least one of the other signs also exhibited a more severe behavioral senility - a notable disturbance of memory or learning, or cognitive disorder.
  • Depending on the age group, 13 to 50 percent of the dogs had cognitive disorder; the older the dog, the more likely the disorder.  Maybe you can't teach new tricks to your older dog buy you can make his or her senior years comfortable and enjoyable.  The key to good health is finding and preventing problems before they become serious.  If you haven't had your older pet in for a geriatric screening recently, give us a call today and we will explain the details and benefits of this necessary procedure.

     A Big Problem With an Easy Remedy

A pet infested with Heartworm has a big problem.  Left untreated the animal will possibly die due to the severe heart abnormalities caused by the mosquito-transmitted parasite.  However, once detected, a pet's chances of survival are excellent but the treatment can be expensive.  The best remedy to Heartworm disease is prevention which is easy and comparatively inexpensive.  All that is required is to administer a once-a-month preventative to your pet.  Manufacturers even give you little stickers to place on your calendar which makes remembering much easier.  An added bonus is that several other parasites (like the ones we discussed above) are also killed by this medication.

If your pet is not currently taking this monthly preventative, we urge you to schedule a heartworm screening now!  A small amount of blood is all that is necessary for a preliminary heartworm screening test.  If your pet is infected with heartworm, we can begin treatments immediately.  If not, our veterinarian will prescribe a heartworm preventative that is best for your pet.

     Please give us a call if you have any questions or need to schedule a heartworm test.  Don't leave your pet unprotected!




Does your pet struggle to rise from a sitting position? does your pet have difficulty climbing and descending stairs?  Does your pet appear to have lost his or her desire for the physical activities that were once such an important part of their life?  If the answer is yes, please give us a call today.  There are several relatively new but well tested medications on the market that can help restore your pet's quality of life.

Please give us a call if you have any questions or desire additional information on these medications.



All Creatures World Wide Web Pages

          In our attempt to provide our clients with up to date information on their pets. I have done a complete overhaul of my site on the Internet.  You will now find articles taken from those we have published in our newsletter, as well as those we have available at the clinic for out clients.  New articles will be added on a regular basis.  In addition to our original articles, you will find numerous links to other sites that have information on a wide range of topics covering many species of animals.  These sites have been selected from a far greater number and are only included as a link if the information they contain is accurate and informative.  We have already had visitors to the site from 30 countries around the world.  If you have access to a computer with an Internet browser at home, at school, or at work, please take advantage of this new resource we are providing.  You can also submit email if you have questions, however legal restrictions prevent making medical diagnosis or specific treatment recommendations for individual pets. The address of the site is http://www.community.net/~petdoc