Monthly Archives: February 2016


VetSource is Lake Wales Veterinary Hospital’s Online Pharmacy

Home delivery from your veterinarian allows you to receive your pet’s medication shipped right to your home, in the right dosage, right on time!!  It is the most convenient way to have your pet’s medications, prescription food and many other pet items delivered safely and securely from us to your door.  You place an order through your vet’s website, then your pet’s prescription is confirmed and verified by our licensed pharmacists.  Your pets prescription is checked again and then packaged and shipped to arrive safely at your door.

To use our VetSource Online Pharmacy, please go to  Click on the “Paw” for online store.  If you already have a login you may sign in and start shopping.  Otherwise click on
“register” and you will be able to create a new account.

If you have any problems, please call VetSource at 877-738-4443.


New data from Nationwide, a provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the fifth straight year, according to a release.  In 2014, Nationwide members filed more than $54 million in pet insurance claims for conditions and diseases related to pet obesity, a 10 percent growth over the past two years.  Nationwide recently sorted through its database of more than 550,000 insured pets to determine the top-10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions.

The most common obesity-related condition for dogs included 1) arthritis, 2) bladder/urinary tract disease and 3) low thyroid hormone production.  The most common cat obesity-related conditions included 1) bladder/urinary tract disease, 2) chronic kidney disease and 3) diabetes.

In 2014, Nationwide received more than 42,000 pet insurance claims for arthritis in canines, the most common disease aggravated by excessive weight, which carried an average treatment fee of $292 per pet.  With more than 4,700 pet insurance claims, bladder or urinary tract disease was the most common obesity-related condition in cats, which had an average claim amount of $424 per pet.




The veterinary community has stepped up to the “plate” in the last 25 years with an increasing awareness of the importance of dental care in our pets. We always had awareness of the consequences of bad teeth, but the increase in information and awareness has had real benefits for dog and cat longevity.

Our pets have a tendency to develop plaque and tartar on their teeth. As this accumulation builds up, infection is trapped and the gingival tissue becomes inflamed and erodes, allowing the infection to affect the tooth roots. This resulting periodontal infection is in the bone and begins a cycle of bacteria “showering” into the blood stream…straight to the heart, specifically the mitral valve. As this heart valve becomes infected, the body’s response results in scar tissue and “knarling” of the valve edges. This results in an increase in blood pressure in the lung and congestion ( congestive heart failure). We frequently see the small dog come in with bad breath, nasty teeth and a cough.

The best approach to prevent this life shortening issue is prevention. Checking the dog and cat’s teeth and gums should be done routinely. The typical first signs are on the upper pre-molars and molars. The process of doing a “dental”  includes anesthesia with intubation to prevent inhalation of the infection and tartar which is removed with the help of ultrasonic tools. We are performing more dental cleanings than ever with the goal of preventing life shortening heart disease.

While most procedures involve cleaning of the teeth, we often extract loose or root exposed teeth. This may involve oral surgery. The veterinary profession has Board Certified Dentists that can perform the same procedures as human dentists, with root canals and crowns and even orthodontics. The main issue for the dog and cat is to prevent the teeth from shortening the life span. It is interesting that the smaller dogs have significantly more dental issues than large breeds.

In cats, tartar can create similar disease problems as for dogs, but there is also an ulcerative, prolific mucous membrane event ( lymphocytic/plasmacytic stomatitis) that may be in part due to a reaction by the tissues to tartar. Extracting all the teeth in some cats has resolved the disease.

While the cost of performing a dental cleaning/procedure including recommended pre-operative bloodwork may be significant, the benefit in preventing heart disease makes it very “cost effective”.  Prevention is the best plan. Early detection and cleaning is recommended.

There are many products on the market for dental health care. Dental chews, tooth brushes, oral sprays and even special diets to help “remove” tartar. Everything may help, however I usually comment that even daily oral care does not eliminate the veterinarian but it will decrease the intervals needed for healthy teeth.

There have been small dogs ( i.e Yorkshire terriers or Chihuahuas) that have needed dental cleaning as early as 2-3 years of age, and then routinely. Large dogs do not have the same predisposition for dental disease ( we should still check!) as my 110# dog lived to be 15+ years old and never had to have a “dental” .  We usually examine the teeth/mouth when we perform annual exams, but it is beneficial for owners to periodically check for issues and consult with their veterinarian.


TBSchotman DVM