I’ve been wanting to start writing a newsletter for you since the beginning of the year. What a year it has been, and I hope this note is finding you safe and well. You’ve all been on my mind – a lot.
I started my holistic house call veterinary service last year, and since then, I have been blessed with getting to know so many of you and your pets. All your love and dedication to your pets have uplifted and inspired me immensely. A big reason why I started my practice is to create a space of comfort for pets as well as a more intimate and personal approach to veterinary medicine. Although conventional veterinary practice will always have its place (as I still continue to work full time in a small animal hospital), I really enjoy the extra and personal time that a house call service has given me. I always want to do more and serve better – and I would love to hear from you any time for your suggestions.
A few things on my mind as we get into the summer season – this is traditionally the busiest time in veterinary medicine. As days get longer, our pets spend more time being active outside as well. This is the season where we see more allergies, injuries, and stress/anxiety episodes. The top thing on my mind right now is related to allergies and skin issues as I have seen A TON of these cases:
- Flea allergy and environmental allergies can make pets very uncomfortable and may turn into more serious skin issues due to increased scratching and licking. If your pet is prone to allergies, prevention and proactive actions may really help to keep your pet comfortable this season. A healthy, fresh food diet is the first line in building immunity. Additionally, many supplements can help to build a healthier skin layer and boosting the immune system – these include omega fatty acid supplements, probiotics, and vitamin E.
- Flea prevention is very important this time of the year. Some natural remedies can be helpful, although here in southern California, we have “super fleas” that are pretty resistant to many things. If you are having trouble keeping fleas away from your pets, please consult your veterinarian for specific prevention or treatments that are appropriate for your pets.
- Don’t forget topical treatments! The first line of defense for allergies is the skin – consider choosing shampoos, conditioners, and topical therapy very carefully. This can make a world of difference. The right combination can build the best micro-environment of healthy flora to fight off potential infections and also restore the natural and healthy sebum layer of the skin.
- Watch out for foxtails!! These are the plants that are very common here in southern California and can really cause a lot of damage. I see them mostly penetrating the skin on paws, but I have also been pulling them out of ears, nose, and eyes! When you get back from a walk, especially if you are on a trial, make sure to check your pet thoroughly for these little nasty plants.
- Many pets also have irritated paws from taking walks outside (there are just so many more different plants, insects, pollen, and irritating substances during summertime). This usually leads to a lot of licking and chewing of the paws, which can turn into bad skin infections. Try soaking the paws – using a solution of 1 part white vinegar and 2 parts water (I also like to add a drop of lavender essential oil) – for about 5 minutes. Rinse the paws thoroughly with some water and gently pat all the paws dry with a clean towel. Diligent maintenance can go a long way and save your pets from having to take medications like antibiotics.
I hope all of you are staying healthy and safe during this time. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me. Virtual consults are also now available – this is a great way to follow up on any medical issues or to discuss specifics on diets, supplements, medications, or treatments. I’ve just added this to my website, and you can request an appointment at any time.
I am thinking of you. I know this year has been difficult and unsettling. During this time, I have been reflecting and having thought-provoking, deep conversations. I am grateful for everything I have, and I am grateful for every one of you. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to me anytime.
Sending love to all of you.