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Coming soon.
By Oak Park Animal Hospital
December 15, 2014
Category: Pet Care
If your pet requires surgery or another procedure, your veterinarian in Oak Park will most likely need to utilize anesthesia, which is the process of blocking the perception of pain and other sensations.  With the use of anesthesia, your Oak Park veterinarian is able to complete your pet’s procedure without your pet experiencing distress or pain that they might otherwise experience. The choice of anesthetic technique is a complex one, and the best approach involves the individual assessment of your pet and the procedure in order to plan the anesthetic properly. 

During Anesthesia

While your pet is under anesthesia, they will receive proper monitoring and care.  This is similar to if you were to undergo a procedure that required anesthesia.  Throughout the procedure, your veterinarian in Oak Park will utilize intravenous fluids and/or medications to support your pet’s circulation and blood pressure.  An endotracheal tube will also be inserted into your pet’s trachea (windpipe) to deliver the anesthetic gas and provide oxygen to your pet’s lungs.  Pulse oximetry will be used to measure the oxygenation of your pet’s blood, and your pet’s blood pressure will be properly monitored in addition to temperature monitoring and warming blankets to prevent low body temperature.  

After Anesthesia

Once your pet’s procedure is complete, it will be time for your pet to wake up from the anesthesia.  Your pet will typically be placed in a quiet, semi dark care or kennel to recover.  During the recovery, your pet will be closely monitored to make sure they are recovering normally and that care is provided quickly if any problems were to occur.  Pads and blankets will also be used to keep your pet warm during the recovery, but it is not uncommon for a pet to shiver while recovering from anesthesia—this does not always mean your pet is cold.  Depending on the procedure and your pet’s medical condition, he or she may be sent home later in the day or they may need to remain in your Oak Park veterinarian’s office. 
If you have any questions about anesthesia or your pet’s procedure, talk to your veterinarian in Oak Park for more information.  Your veterinarian will be able to give you the information you need to ensure your pet receives the best procedure. 
Oral HealthFido, man’s best friend, our fur babies—whatever nickname you want to give your pet, one thing is for certain: they mean the world to you. They are your loyal companion and trusty sidekick. They seem to instantly cheer you up just by greeting you at the door or snuggling up with you on the couch. Pets offer us a lifetime of memories, so it’s important that we offer them something in return. Make sure they live a long and healthy life (so you can keep creating memories) by ensuring they maintain good dental health.
You might be wondering why your pet’s smile is so important. However, if you consider how much stock you put into your smile, you’ll soon realize that you and your pet aren’t much different. At our Oak Park office, we’ll tell you how to properly examine your pet’s teeth to pinpoint dental changes before they become full-blown problems.

At your next visit, we’ll address a variety of dental issues:

Periodontal disease

You aren’t the only one who can develop gum disease. Your faithful pet can, too! By the age of two, most dogs and cats already have some dental plaque buildup. This buildup, along with bacteria, can cause infections within the gums. Chronic bad breath can often be a sign that your pet has some form of gum disease or at least some nasty bacteria.
Just like with humans, untreated gum disease can wreak havoc in a pet’s mouth. This will often lead to teeth extractions, which will only make it more challenging for your pet to eat. Eating challenges means that it could make it harder for your pet to get the nutrients he/she needs to maintain a healthy body. By checking your pet’s teeth on a regular basis, you can ensure that their gums stay disease-free.


While good oral hygiene in your pet can prolong his/her life, bad oral hygiene can have the opposite affect. If your dog or cat has an unhealthy mouth, this will affect other organs like the lungs, heart, liver and kidneys. And if your pet already suffers from a preexisting condition or disease, this will only aggravate the problem more.

So what can you do to help your pet maintain healthy teeth and gums?

  • Visiting your pet’s veterinarian regularly. We’ll answer any questions you have and provide a thorough examination.
  • Buy a veterinarian-approved pet toothpaste (don’t use human toothpaste!), which your pet can swallow safely.
  • Purchase bones or chew toys to help fight plaque and tartar buildup.
  • Find pet food that touts dental benefits.

Call Oak Park Animal Hospital Today!

If it’s time to schedule your pet’s next dental cleaning, then give us a call at (708) 383-5542. Are you a patient of Oak Park Animal Hospital? If so, we would love to hear about your experiences below!
By Oak Park Animal Hospital
September 15, 2014
Category: Pet Care
Similar to people, dogs’ behaviors and health change through different stages of their lives. Puppies are demanding and energetic, while adolescents are often unpredictable.  Adult dogs are eager and self-assured, and by the time they’re seniors, they will have slowed to a comfortable lazy pace.  As with human relationships, ups and downs are guaranteed throughout your years together, but knowing what to expect will keep you one step ahead of the pack.  Your veterinarian in Oak Park gives a rough breakdown of the stages of canine life:
  • Puppyhood ends between six and 18 months of age
  • Adolescence starts between six and 18 months of age
  • Adulthood starts between 12 months and three years of age
  • The senior years begin between six and 10 years of age

All About Your Puppy

Puppies are unbelievably cute, and you can literally watch them grow.  Your puppy begins learning at birth, with research suggesting that they are most receptive to learning between eight and 16 weeks of age.  This is also an important time to begin their socialization in order to avoid creating fears. In many communities, socialization of puppies can be completed through classes that are available for pets as young as eight to nine weeks old.  Plan on beginning their training from the first minute you take charge, and use lots of praise to teach your puppy the behaviors you want it to learn.  
Your puppy will need a lot of attention—especially during the first few weeks you bring him or her home. According to your Oak Park veterinarian, you may need to take your puppy outside as frequently as once an hour plus immediately after feeding.  Typically they will learn to hold it and get down to about five to eight times a day after a few weeks.  Be sure you have lots of treats on hand form the start to reward and train new behaviors, but use other rewards as well, like positive comments, petting and cuddling.  


Adolescence is as physically and mentally challenging and confusing for dogs as it is for people.  Both male and female dogs go through hormonal changes that can be disturbing.  Dogs reach adolescence between six and 18 months, during which your dog will go through rapid growth spurts, which may cause some mild pain.  When permanent teeth come in, your dog will need chew toys to relieve the pressure on the jaw.  Be careful about any extreme activity, because growth plates are fragile and susceptible to injury.  During this period your dog’s baby coat falls off and the adult hair comes in.  If your adolescent dog exhibits destructive behavior, it is likely a sign of boredom or anxiousness.  Your Oak Park veterinarian recommends giving your adolescent dog more exercise to help counter all their physical changes, provide the mental stimulation they need and tire them for calmer times at home. 

Old Age

A dog’s senior years are golden, as they tend to be happy because they are settled into a familiar routine and become particularly affectionate during this time in their lives. Different breeds reach this phase in life at different times, but it is important for you to know when your dog reaches this advanced stage of life because of the changes needed to its diet, nutrition, exercise and health.  Your veterinarian in Oak Park can help you identify when your dog needs to make these adjustments. 
  • Some common problems dogs may develop as they age, include:
  • Hip dysplasia
  • Orthopedic problems in joints and bones
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Eye problems
  • Cancers
Bottom line:  Dogs age at different speeds, with large dogs generally maturing more slowly than small dogs.  However, timing aside, dogs all go through the same stages – puppyhood, adolescence, adulthood and senior years.  Talk to your veterinarian in Oak Park today for more information on your dog’s stages of life and how proper care can ensure more quality time with your pet. 

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