New Year’s Resolutions

Can’t resist one last great holiday photo!

What a year 2012 has been! We have been through some major changes as a hospital and as a team.From new doctors bringing a wealth of knowledge and years of experience to gaining new technology and advances in medicine we have grown and developed together. As we look to the future we have a couple New Year’s resolutions we would like to share with our friends and families.

Class 4 Laser Therapy 

Starting this January, Pacific Animal Hospital will be using a class 4 laser to help treat both chronic and emergency injuries. Although new to the veterinary world, it has been long used in human medicine and is extremely popular amongst sports teams. The very basic concept of the laser is that it penetrates the tissue with energy that helps stimulates the cells to repair themselves and release chemicals to help with pain management. If you think it sounds like a lot of mumbo-jumbo you are not alone –we did too; until the scientific research showed just how effective the laser can be. Similar to acupuncture, we will be using laser therapy as an option to help treat pets that our doctors think would greatly benefit from a different treatment modality.

Community Outreach

As a team one of our biggest goals for 2013 will be to increase our community outreach and education. This will include going to events, partnering with rescue organizations, further developing our partnership with the Humane Society, and spreading the word that good pet care starts with good preventative medicine. If you have a pet event that you would like us to know about please contact our staff, We are always looking for new ways to engage in outreach.

Groups at the hospital

Another resolution we have as a team is to share our passion for pet health with groups in the hospital. These groups can include Girl Scout troupes, Boy Scouts, classes of all ages, and anyone else who is interested in coming in to learn about what it is like to work at Pacific Animal Hospital or to learn about specific pet health topics. We know that the best way to help pets is to educate pet owners and future pet owners about how to keep their pet’s healthy. We also want to share our passion for the hospital. We love to give tours, chat with clients, and demonstrate many of the techniques pet owners can do at home (such as how to brush you pet’s teeth).We will also be offering Red Cross adult and infant First Aid, AED and CPR to the public at our hospital. PAH will be offering the classes at discounted rate, in small groups on weekends and weeknights to help prepare people for emergencies and natural disasters. We will also be offering classes in pet CPR and First aid later in the year!

Not to let all our 2013 surprises out of the bag, this is just a couple of our New Year’s resolutions. There is much more that will be starting in 2013 at the hospital and we will release those details as things get closer. Stay tuned with all the latest happenings at the hospital through our news section and our Facebook.

Making Your Cat’s Port-o-Potty Bathroom into the Ritz Carleton Experience

Our boarding assistants will be the first to tell you that one of the most important items your cat needs is a good box and the right litter. One might go as far as to say the right kind of litter for your cat could be equated to using a festival port-o-potty versus a Ritz Carleton Hotel bathroom –the difference is huge and when you sit down you know why. Cats can be very particular in the type of litter and box they use. There is no need to go out and buy the most expensive litter or box that you can find, instead it is about finding the litter and box that feels just right to them. For cats, everything from smell and texture to the container are all extremely important.



How do you know when your cat does not like the litter?

If your cat has stopped using their litter box or kicks all of the litter out and just goes in the empty container, they may not

like the litter, the container, or a combination of the two. One thing to always keep in mind is that if your cat appears to be having trouble urinating or defecating or even with changes to the litter/box still will not use it, consulting your PAH doctor is highly recommended. Your cat may be having a health issue unrelated to the litter box.

I don’t think my cat likes their litter or the box, what do I do?

There are several options to help your cat find the right litter and box. Regardless of which route you take, keep in mind that cats are generally not creatures of change and will need a gradual transition.

Trying a new litter: Anytime you want to switch litter types (be it clump to non-clump, crystal, or any other) start by

blending the two litters (old and new). Each time you clean out the litter put in more of the new and less of the old, until you have completely phased out the old litter. Cats also enjoy a box or pan with not a lot of litter. A good rule of thumb is no more than 2 inches deep of litter.

Trying a new box:  Whether it be a switch for aesthetics or comfort, a new litter box can be a difficult change even for the most flexible of cats. Similar to switching the litter, let this be a gradual change. For a little while leave both the old and new box available to the cat. Then leave just the new box after the cat or cats have had a chance to get used to it.

Other things to keep in mind when putting together your cats 5 star litter box.

Privacy: Who wants to pee in public? Cats enjoy a private space to go to the bathroom. Consider using a covered box, a box in a cabinet, or in a room that is infrequently used.

Cleanliness: Keep your cat’s box clean and they will love you all the more for it. Scoop it at least once a day, and for multiple cats twice a day. Scented or non-scented is a personal human choice, and depends on what you like. Multiple cats may

also need multiple boxes as the smells and usage may be too much for one box.

Size: If your cat is older or has any type of body pain, a low pan (such as a baking pan) can help your cat get into the box. A larger pan/box may be a good idea for larger cats or cats who like to kick around litter.

Once all is said and done, if your cat is using the box and does not seem to have any problems they may be completely happy. However if your cat is not using the box, it cannot hurt to try out other litter boxes, add more privacy, or try out different litters. The key is to make changes gradually and at a pace comfortable for your cat. Your cat will thank you for the extra time spent ensuring their potty experience is top notch!

Holiday Giveaway!

We recently received a couple great cat carrier covers to give away for the holiday season from Ms. Kate. These covers are not only stylish, but also functional and help keep your cat’s carrier dimly lit. Low lighting and restricted vision help keep your cat’s anxiety down when traveling.

The first person to post the correct answer the following question will win one of the great cat carrier covers!


How many litter boxes should a house with multiple cats have?

The winner will be notified directly and the correct answer will be posted on our Facebook next Saturday morning.

Start Talking: Conversations to have when thinking about adopting a new pet

Dogs join families in all kinds of ways. Sierra is just one of many adult dogs who found a new home this year.

The joy of adding a new pet to be your family is one of life’s greatest experiences. In a crazy economy, mixed up politics and stressful family lives, pets can actually bring a cohesive and loving touch. So if you want to add a little unconditional love and lots

of fun at home, a new pet may just be what the doctor ordered.Millions of new pets find their ways into our hearts and homes each year. Studies show pets are a very positive addition to families or singles and even empty nesters! Pets relieve stress, add joy and give us love unconditionally.

Whether you are planning to or already have picked out your new friend at a breeder or you’ve rescued a pet in need of a great home, all pets have requirements that you must know before bringing them home.

  • Plan ahead
    • Your pet will have needs ranging from what food your pet will need to which vaccines are necessary. Preparing for the day to day needs, like food and playtime, plus the on-going needs, like vaccines and preventive care will save you lots of headache in the future. At your first visit to the doctor (which we recommend be within a day or two of coming home) talk with your doctor about food options, basic pet needs, and start asking the bigger questions (such as how to potty train your new baby).
  • Prepare for Preventative Care
    • Regardless of age, every pet will have preventative care needs. Whether new owners are trying to save money or they were told “all his shots are done”, inadequate preventive care dooms many young animals to suffer some terrible diseases. Feline distemper, canine parvovirus, heartworm disease and severe intestinal parasite infestations are just a few of the serious

      Dr. Picht with a recently found puppy that was wondering the street. The person who brought the puppy in was going to take him over to the Humane Society so he could find a forever home.

      medical problems seen routinely at our hospital and others.

  • Get your pet on the right diet
    • It’s easy to become confused by the many brands, flavors, and styles of pet food – all claiming they are best. When looking for a proper diet, please ask the advice of your PAH doctor. Also look for companies that make a real effort to help consumers understand our pets’ nutritional needs. A food company’s website is also a great source of information about what is in their food.
  • Seek Advice
    • We are here to help. If you have questions, concerns, or just flat out need help, we are here for you and no question is too small. Education is one of the best ways to save money and heartache. By getting advice about vaccines and preventive care you are becoming an empowered pet owner and are more readily able to help your pet live a healthy life. Although Internet sites and forums might seem like great places for education, many sites provide poor advice and even wrong information.

Cats also have special needs to be considered. If a cat may be your next family member also consider where they will be allowed to stretch and scratch, as this is often time done on furniture if no where else is provided.

  • Talk about behavior
    • Decide with your family what pet behaviors will be tolerated. Will your dog be allowed on the couch? Can the cat scratch anything it wants? Addressing these questions from day 0 will help prepare your whole family for the task ahead. At times it can feel like it takes a village to raise a pet. The more you talk about what is expected of the pet, the easier it will be to start training right away. There are also many options for training pets. The San Diego Humane Society, for instance offers dog obedience classes, as do several other local business (Whole Dog Sports, for instance).
    • Behavioral problems are a leading cause for relinquishment and even euthanasia of pets. By spending some time working with your new pet through obedience and socialization classes, you can help prevent life-long issues. Having the right toys and providing plenty of play time with the family is another great way to have a behaviorally healthy pet.

When considering to add a new member to your family be sure your family is ready. It can be a lot of work bringing a new pet into the house.

These are just a few tips to get you thinking about all that is involved with introducing a new pet into the family. Seeking the advice of your PAH doctor is an excellent first step to adopting a pet. If you have any questions about adopting a new family member orneed to schedule that very important first exam, please give us a call 760-757-2442, send us an email or contact us through our website, we are happy to answer any questions or set up a time for your family to come in.