Are Rattlesnakes here in the foothills? Yes!

I hope this edition finds you enjoying springtime fun with your animal friends! It’s been a busy time at the hospital, we are getting more calls about fish as the weather is warming up. For most outdoor pond fish, the water temperatures are starting to warm up to the point they are awakening from their overwinter slumber, and ready to start eating again and making babies! It is still amazing to some people that there even is such a thing as a fish doctor, and then, people are even more baffled by the idea of transporting those pet fish to the vet.

Dog Nose

 Although house calls are certainly easier for clients, and may be the best thing to do if it’s a huge pond with hundreds of fish. However, in most scenarios, I can be more effective in my treatment plan and diagnosis, if I have the fish in the hospital. One of the common issues I see in ponds and aquarium fish is swimming problems. Most folks automatically assume it’s a swim bladder problem, and sometimes it is. But other times it’s an unusual build-up of gas in the intestines causing the swimming issues, and the best way to determine that is with an x-ray, so in that case coming into the hospital for an x-ray helps us get to the correct diagnosis faster. 

Besides fish, we have also recently gotten many more calls about horses with everything from unusual lumps and bumps to runny noses. Although our facility is not really designed to accommodate seeing large animal patients, we sure love the opportunity to help save folks time and money by seeing horses that they haul to us, out in front of the building. 

Probably the most interesting bit of news which might come as a surprise to many of you, is that yes, in some areas of the foothills area, we actually do have rattlesnakes! I always thought they came no further west than Morrison, but it has recently come to my attention that near the rocky outcrops off Foxton Road, there have actually been multiple rattlesnake sightings, and even dogs suffering snake bite injuries. So when you are out hiking this summer, be careful anywhere there are lots of rock outcroppings, as rattlesnakes could be sunning themselves, and you don’t want to stumble upon them unawares. There is a vaccine to protect dogs from getting as severely sick, if they do get bitten. However, finding antivenom is still a challenge, so best to avoid such an encounter in the first place, if at all possible. Please give us a call if you are interested in getting a rattlesnake vaccine for your dog.

An even bigger risk though, is, of course, heartworm disease. It is that time of year! If you have not already started heartworm prevention for your pets, now is definitely the time. Remember, they need to have a current negative heartworm test, and then either a monthly preventative tablet, or a ProHeart injection (what I did with my dogs) which provides continual protection for 12 months, and has a very high safety profile even for our most discerning holistic clients. 

Finally, because so many people are getting their dogs out and about, I wanted to mention a common injury which is a fully or partially torn cruciate ligament in the knee. As a holistic clinic, we see many dogs like this, whose caregivers seek alternative treatment because they do not want to do surgery.  This is a very common injury in active dogs, and we treat hundreds of them every year. Most of the time I do not recommend surgery, because with treatments like joint supporting herbs, acupuncture, laser, and rest, many dogs recover to full function without expensive or invasive surgery. However, for other dogs they do indeed need surgery, and although we try to avoid surgery when it makes common sense. If the animal needs any kind of surgery, we are fully equipped to provide the best possible care.  In fact, we do many surgeries at our hospital, from lump removals to foreign body surgery for pets who have made bad food choices, and often for a much better price than what the same surgery would cost you at an emergency hospital down the hill in Denver. So the next time you're wondering if you should have surgery done on your pet, don’t forget about us, as we are here for you to provide an excellent experience for you and your beloved animals. 

And as far as things at the ResqRanch, we are having a blast with the new baby Mustangs. If you haven’t been following along, and you are interested in horses, I encourage you to check out our YouTube channel where our post Rocky Mountain Expo recap video is there for you to see, as well as the video of our Big Reveal where we introduced the little Mustangs that nobody bid on at the auction, so we took them in. Our summer schedule is on our website, and we have already been hosting guests, so drop us a line if nature, horses, and dogs in the outdoors are your thing. We will have classes this summer on polite trail behavior, especially around horses, and mountain bikes, as well as training demonstrations using positive reinforcement, and many opportunities to just get together and enjoy the outdoors with animals. We have created a new MeetUp group called Animal Lovers Community, so if you use the MeetUp app to find activities and connections with other like-minded individuals, I encourage you to check it out.

As usual, thanks for reading, your continued trust and support, subscribing to our YouTube channel The1DrQ, and we look forward to seeing you this summer at a ResqRanch event. 

Most importantly, cherish every moment with your beloved animals, God bless! DrQ and The Crew of Aspen Park Vet and the ResqRanch!

Believe in Miracles