Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Tea Tree Oil?

Some clients have been asking about applying tea tree oil to wounds and abrasions of their pets.  In humans, it's used as a holistic form of treating certain bacterial or fungal skin infections, acne, etc.  I would advise clients against using tea tree oil on their pets.  The ASPCA Poison Control center published a 10 year retrospective study on the toxicity reported by tea tree oil on cats and dogs (Khan, McLean et al. 2014).  There were 443 cases in total of dogs and cats that required veterinary attention.  Clinical signs of adverse reactions were reported to be salivation, depression, muscle tremors, and even coma.  If you'd like to read more please visit this website

There are many natural and homeopathic remedies out there, many of which have not had safety and/or efficacy studies done for veterinary use.  If you're thinking about using anything not labeled for an animal, please contact us and ask us if it'd be OK for use.
-Dr. C

Friday, February 20, 2015


I wanted to just put a little blurb out about the importance of vaccinating your pet with the rabies vaccine.  While I could have an entire conversation with you discussing my theory of rabies causing a "Zombie Apocalypse", I won't today, because there are much more important things to talk about.  It's something we do every year and most of the time don't think too much about the disease because we don't "see" it often.  That being said, rabies does exist here in Oregon.  In fact, just in Marion county last year, 2 bats tested positive for the virus.  This may not seem like much, but when you think about the population of bats in the area, that number is much higher.  Not to mention other possible reservoirs such as foxes, feral cats/dogs, who could potentially pass on the virus to any other mammal.

So, two big questions.  Should I vaccinate my dog for rabies?  Short answer yes, it's state law that all dogs are vaccinated for rabies.  Some counties, such as Multnomah, require cats to be vaccinated as well.  Second question, should I vaccinate my cat for rabies?  Yes.  We are recommending cats be vaccinated because they often go outside and hunt animals who can carry rabies like bats.  The key here is not only to protect our pets, but also protect all humans.

Here's a scenario that explains why vaccination is so important.  You have a indoor/outdoor cat who comes into contact with a child playing outside.  The child is bitten.  Regardless if you know your cat doesn't have rabies, animal control personnel, human health care teams and law enforcement personnel will "assume" rabies is a possibility.  Health care professionals will likely treat the child for rabies exposure (this part is at discretion of the physician) because there is no way to know an animal has rabies unless it is euthanized and its brain is submitted for rabies testing.  That's the key here, depending on where you live, if your dog or cat has no record of a rabies vaccination, it may be mandated by law that the pet is euthanized in order to test for rabies.  In some areas, authorities may decide to instead quarantine the animal for a period of time for observation (at cost to the owner).  If your pet is vaccinated this changes everything.  In those cases, you will likely just have to quarantine your pet at home.  As you can see, one vaccine a year can potentially save a life, money and the spread of a deadly virus.

I should add, when you get a new puppy or kitten their first rabies vaccine will be good for one year.  As long as you come in to get the rabies vaccine the following year, it will be good for 3 years.  The same goes for adult dogs and cats who have an unknown rabies vaccine status.

And of course, if you have any questions you can comment below or give us a call.  We'd be happy to chat! 503-588-1151

-Dr. C