Monthly Archives: April 2015

Is there really a vaccine controversy?

Vaccines. Vaccines. Vaccines. Many clients have a hard time wrapping their head around my medicine approach. I have many clients who think an antibiotic shot will fix anything (even if it isn’t an infection) and have many clients who think garlic prevents fleas (it doesn’t by the way and is actually toxic). So when I try to explain to a client who likes a more holistic approach that I “believe” in and recommend vaccines, I am sometimes met with shock, maybe even dislike.

Here’s the thing, I believe in integrative medicine. That means when I myself start feeling sick I’ll grab the Echinacea or ginger tea coupled with Emergen C and lots and lots of fluids. But if it goes from something simple and viral to I feel like I want to die. I am heading straight to my doctor to see if antibiotics or any other kind of medication is warranted.

I myself am vaccinated against Rabies and Tetanus and when I went to veterinary school in the Caribbean and my doctor recommended Hepatitis vaccines I got them without hesitation. If I wasn’t too old for Gardasil I would have gotten that as well. Vaccines are preventative medicine – there’s no “believing” in them, they aren’t Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. We have come so far in eradicating certain illnesses that it is so upsetting to see them coming back because of complete misinformation.

I recommend all vaccines to my clients based on their life style and let my clients make an educated decision, but I do push my clients to at least do the bare minimum core vaccines of Rabies and Distemper.

I recently saw a Jimmy Kimmel video with medical doctors regarding vaccines and thought it was hilarious and spot on. If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend googling it.

Dr. Monica Dijanic
Medical Director

April is Prevent Lyme Disease Month in Dogs

The weather is finally looking like spring.  As we start enjoying the outside more, so is the bug population.

April is National Prevent Lyme Disease Month in dogs, a topic that is near and dear to us here in the Northeast. Lyme disease is a bacterial disease caused by a single celled spiral shaped bacterium called Borrelia burgdorferi.   The organism is spread primarily by the deer tick with deer and mice being the primary reservoir. Lyme disease has been diagnosed in all 50 states and dogs are 50% more likely than humans to get it. In 2007, Lyme disease was the cause of most pet insurance claims for infectious diseases according to VPI Pet Insurance statistics.

Common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, joint swelling, pain, loss of appetite, lethargy and arthritis. Although not as commonly seen as those mentioned, Lyme disease can lead to heart disease, neurological disease, and kidney disease.

Is Lyme disease Preventable in Dogs?

With a multi-modal approach, yes. Most importantly is prevention of tick bites. This can be done by

  • Avoiding areas where ticks congregate
  • Checking your dog daily for ticks and immediately removing any found.
  • Using a good quality SAFE tick preventative and/or repellant

The second step is vaccination. There are a multitude of efficacious safe vaccines available for dogs. Check with your veterinarian to make sure your dog is vaccinated and has a good preventative on board.

Dr. Monica Dijanic
Medical Director, Beaver Brook Animal Hospital

You heal with light?

When I was first told that a laser uses light to do all sorts of healing I thought to myself “yeah right”.   It sounded like a neat tool to integrate in our practice where we use a lot of complementary medicine but it wasn’t high on my purchase list – heating pads, oxygen cage, digital X-ray seemed like better medicine and a better investment.

But then I started talking to my colleagues and started going to seminars…I was still skeptical. It just seemed like such a little machine couldn’t possibly due the amount of healing that they were suggesting. My partner and I discussed it and thought with the versatility of using a therapeutic laser with acupuncture and the financing opportunities available it was a no brainer to go ahead with the purchase.

We started using our laser at the end of December, approximately 4 months ago, and I have been utterly amazed with the results. I am at the point where I don’t know what I would do without it. Pictures are much more dramatic so here’s Blackie’s story.

This is Blackie and he got hit by a car. Not only does he have this visible soft tissue trauma. But he also has a broken 5th toe on his right front leg, a broken metacarpus on his left front leg and a broken ulna on his left front leg. His previous owners were unable to give him his antibiotics or pain medication and he came to us with a severe infection.

We soaked his pus filled bandages off his legs and started treatment. He received antibiotics and oral anti-inflammatories and was started on daily foot soaks, honey dressings and Laser therapy. After one week his right leg is almost totally healed and he is now putting weight on his left front as well.

Before laser therapy

Before laser therapy

blackie 3-24

1 week post laser