What are you passionate about as a Veterinary Technician at WMAC?
"As a Veterinary Technician, I hope to promote the human-animal bond by helping pet owners make good decisions
caring for their animals as their own personal circumstances allow."
What are you passionate about outside of being a Veterinary Technician?
"I am passionate about living a sustainable lifestyle and educating myself regarding the environmental impact of humans all over the world. I study how we in the developed world have a completely unsustainable method of food production, and how we can, and should, reverse the trend toward factory farming, monoculture farming and the devastation these systems wreak on the environment that we live in."
"Of particular interest to me are issues concerning food animal welfare and increasing the awareness of the Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in the USA. Animals raised in appalling conditions using hormones and antibiotics, and the rivers of sewage these factories produce are a detriment to our land and
waterways, to the animals, and to our own bodies."
Tell us about your fur babies...
"My pets all were adoptions…My Lottie dog was adopted from the Delaware SPCA as an adult dog. After a full recovery from a nasty case of heart worm, she has since survived 3 surgeries removing 6 tumors due to metastatic mammary cancer. My cat Maka was adopted at 6 weeks of age from the Chester County, Pennsylvania SPCA, and is now a vocal and healthy 9 years old. Dixie is the product of a “mistaken breeding” of a purebred Australian Shepherd and a feral Napili pineapple field dog…Dixie has been with me since the day she was born, for 16 ½ years. I helped care for her mother and picked her from the litter. So many, many miles of hiking – walks through the woods and hillsides of Pennsylvania to the beaches of South Carolina and back to Hawai’i. Now she is old, crippled and will soon depart this life. The experience with her can’t help but make me more cognizant of how each person’s
attachment to her pet is uniquely personal and intense."
What brought you to Maui?
"Although I had visited Oahu as a teenager, I had never even been to Maui when I moved here! As a child, I spent every summer of my childhood on the Atlantic beaches of South Carolina and there inherited a passion for the ocean, the coastline and the beautiful estuaries of that area. Now that I’ve lived on Maui for over 7 years, it’s easy to love the beaches here and I have become engaged in protecting our fragile environment. Currently, I participate in monthly reef cleanups, and am taking Ocean Awareness Training -- learning how to reduce stress to our damaged coral reefs and how to be part of the solution in rebuilding and preserving this precious, unique and important ecosystem for future generations of animals and humans."
"I absolutely love the West Side, and spend every spare moment hiking and swimming - mauka to makai. I also love how much West Side pet owners appreciate having convenient veterinary care here in Lahaina! At WMAC we are privileged to get to know each client and to participate in caring for their animals."
In Hawaii, we really don’t have true seasons with a snowy winter and blistering summer, but it does get a tad warmer and with the extended heat and sunshine, so we thought that this is a good time to remind our clients about the importance of protection from both heat and sun overexposure.
Just a few years ago, there was a misconception that pets don’t need sun protection as their thick coats should not allow sunrays to penetrate to the skin. We now know that the coat provides only limited protection against the sun and that pets with short hair and white or pink skin have no more natural protection against overexposure to the sun than a person.
Sunburn or Solar Dermatitis and skin cancer are the ultimate result of overexposure to the sun. The Morris Animal Foundation concluded that fifty percent of all dogs over ten years of age die from cancer and at least thirty percent of those cancers originated from the skin. Two very invasive skin cancer tumors in the canine, basal cell carcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma, have been directly linked to excessive sunray exposure.
Maybe because of lifestyle changes, and especially with our wonderful island lifestyle, pets have more sun exposure than previous years. Pets spend more time in the dog parks, at the beach, jogging, boating and hiking, thus creating opportunities for more sun exposure. This excessive exposure to the sun's rays has been one of the factors attributed to the explosion of skin issues, sunburn and skin cancers in pets.
The new summer guidelines recommended by veterinary dermatologists are to keep pets inside and out of the sun between the hours of 10 AM and 5 PM. Always make water available, keep pets shaded from the sun, ensure air flow from a fan or keep the pet housed in air conditioning. In addition, dermatologists recommend daily sunscreen sun protection for all pets, paying special attention to the short haired and white/pink skinned pets.
Currently, there is only one sunscreen approved for use on dogs - For more information go to the Epi-Pet Sun Protector website at www.epi-pet.com
Have a fun, safe summer!
Kelly Heiman, RVT
Shae Martin, DVM
According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, (and our own clinic's appointment schedule), skin conditions are now the most common reason dog owners take their pet to the vet. In fact, approximately one in seven dogs suffers from allergic symptoms. The most recognizable sign that your pet has an allergy is intense itching, likely making you both miserable.
Canine allergies fall into one of four categories as shown in the picture above and listed below:
1. Those caused by biting parasites and insects, (i.e. fleas, scabies, etc.):
While some parasites are visible to the naked eye, such as fleas, others are
not and will need your vet to perform a skin scrape under a microscope.
Just ONE flea bite to a pet allergic to fleas can cause a full blown
allergic reaction all over your pets body.
*Redness of skin
*Excessive Itching and Biting
*Loss of Hair
2. Those caused by inhaled allergens, canine atopy, (i.e. pollens,
dust mites, grasses, molds, etc.)
This form of allergy is perhaps the most often overlooked by pet owners;
likely since humans tend to experience upper respiratory symptoms associated
with allergies, although a pet's targeted organ is almost always their skin.
*Chewing at the Feet
*Facial Scabbing on Cats & Hot Spots on Dogs
*Rubbing of the Face
*Inflamed Ears and Reoccurring Ear Infections
*Constant licking of the side and groin area
*Asthma like symptoms, (more likely in cats)
3. Those caused by food and drugs.
*Excessive Itching and Biting
*Ear Problems, (Often Yeast Related)
*Redness of Skin
*Skin Infections that Respond to Antibiotics, but
reoccur once treatment ceases.
4. Those caused by irritants that have direct contact with
the skin, (i.e. carpets, plastics, cleaners, etc.)
*Red Itchy Bumps or Blisters
*More severe allergic cases may include hives or facial swelling.
Treating your pet for allergies could be as easy as changing their diet,
giving them a monthly flea & tick preventative, changing their food bowl,
or wiping their paws after going for walks. However, if left undiagnosed,
your pet's skin condition can become severe, requiring medication and
topical treatments. Discuss your pet's skin condition with your veterinarian
to come up with a treatment plan. Allergy testing is also available to
more specifically identify the culprit to your pets itchiness and irritation.
Feel free to give us a call if you have any questions regarding
your pet's health or skin condition.
The WMAC Team
To our amazing West Maui Animal Clinic clients and their four-legged friends,
Since WMAC opened over a year ago, our staff have listened closely to our clients’ feedback and needs. One repeated question was, "Could we offer house calls along with our comprehensive clinic care?". It took us a few months to get the service organized, but with Dr. Nauss’ enthusiasm and dedication, we are now underway with our mobile unit.
So if your cat absolutely refuses to get in the carrier, your dog vomits in the car, or you just need us - we can be at your doorstep. Our mobile service can cover any of the following needs:
* Physical Examinations
* Health Certificates
* Weight Management
* Nail trims (including sedation if necessary)
* Fecal Parasite Testing
* Standard Blood Work
* Needle Biopsies
* Monitoring Chronic Medical Conditions
* Hospice Care
* Diagnosing & Treating Behavioral Concerns
And if your dog or cat requires x-rays or hospitalization, we can coordinate transportation back to our full-service veterinary hospital to guarantee all your pet’s medical needs are covered. To schedule a house call appointment, please call: (808) 662-0099
Woof, Meow, and Aloha,
Shae and Kelly
Importance of Pet Dental Health
Excerpts taken from the AAHA Pet Care Library
Would you let years go by between visits to the dentist? Probably not! Your pet’s dental health is just as important to his or her overall health as your dental health
is to your general health.
Why Dental Care?
Dental care of dogs and cats is one of the most commonly overlooked areas of pet health care. The American Veterinary Dental Society reports that 80 percent of dogs and 70 percent of cats show signs of oral disease by age three.
Dental disease doesn’t affect just the mouth. It can lead to more serious health problems including heart, lung and kidney disease, which makes it all the more important that you provide your pets with proper dental care from the start.
Bad breath isn’t something to be ignored – this could be indicative of an oral problem, and the sooner you have it treated by your veterinarian (and learn to care for it yourself), the sooner you and your pet can smile proudly.
Periodontal disease is an infection of the tissue surrounding the teeth that takes hold in progressive stages. It starts out as a bacterial film called plaque. The bacteria attach to the teeth.
When the bacteria die they can be calcified by calcium in saliva. This forms a hard, rough substance called tartar or calculus which allows more plaque to accumulate. Initially, plaque is soft and brushing or chewing hard food and toys can dislodge it. If left to spread, plaque can lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums, causing them to become red and swollen and to bleed easily.
In the final stages of periodontal disease, the tissues surrounding the tooth are destroyed, the bony socket holding the tooth in erodes and the tooth becomes loose. This is a very painful process for your four-legged friend, but these problems can be averted before they even start.
Dental Care at the Veterinary Practice
There are two critical components of your pet’s veterinary dental care:
oral examinations and dental cleanings. As your pet ages, your veterinarian will look for developmental anomalies, the accumulation of plaque and tartar, periodontal disease and oral tumors.
Veterinarians can perform a basic oral examination on patients that are awake. However, a short-lasting anesthetic is required in order to provide a complete and thorough examination as well as dental cleanings.
Pre-anesthetic exam — Whenever anesthesia is needed, special considerations
are taken to help ensure the safety of your pet. Your veterinarian will thoroughly examine your pet to make sure she’s healthy enough to undergo anesthesia. Depending on your pet’s age and general physical condition, your veterinarian may also run blood, urine, electrocardiograph, and x-ray tests to check for any dangerous heart, kidney, or other conditions. Though there is some risk associated with any medical procedure, modern anesthesia is usually safe, even for older pets.
Anesthesia monitoring — During anesthesia, the monitoring and recording of your pet’s vital signs (such as body temperature, heart rate, and respiration, as well as other important factors) is important. This helps ensure the safety of your pet while undergoing anesthesia.
Scaling & Polishing
— Veterinarians are advised to use similar instruments as human dentists to remove plaque and calculus from your pet’s teeth. To smooth out any scratches in the tooth enamel, polishing with a special paste is also recommended.Fluoride/sealants
— The application of an anti-plaque substance, such as a fluoride treatment is also advised. This can help strengthen and desensitize teeth as well as decrease future plaque.Home Dental Care
Your pet’s dental care doesn’t rest with your veterinarian alone. As a pet owner, you play a pivotal role in helping ensure your pet’s dental health through regular teeth brushing. Remember
... pets can live longer, healthier lives if oral health care is managed and maintained throughout their lives. In fact, proper dental care may add as much
as five years to your pet’s life! Talk to your veterinarian about developing a dental care plan for your furry friend.TO VIEW OUR FEBRUARY DENTAL PROMO AND SAVINGS, CLICK HERE.
Wishing You and Your Pet Many Years of Good Breath, Shiny Smiles, and Good Oral Health,Kelly M. Heiman
Program Coordinator: Direct Airport Release
Ok, so I thought, New Years... We all make resolutions, perhaps my next blog should be about the dreaded weight loss plan... for dogs! But then that would be boring... How about something a tad more humorous?
As you know, dogs are famous for chomping and swallowing all kinds of goodies; so I have done some really interesting research to find my top ten foreign bodies retrieved from our canine friends. First, I want to list the runners up, starting with number 10...
10) A Homer Simpson toy ("Doh!")
9) A Fork (what was on it?)
8) 15 inch serrated knife (what an x-ray!)
7) Engagement ring (hope they stayed together)
6) A cell phone (imagine calling that!)
5) Nine golf balls (FORE)
4) Fifteen baby pacifiers (wonder if he stopped crying?)
3) A box of nails with 130 nails (no hammer)
2) 100 W light bulb (gulp)
1) And my personal favorite. The top oddest object removed from a dog...
A RUBBER DUCKY…….Quack Quack!
So go give your pooch a big kiss and remove all reachable items from your kitchen counter, tool box, golf bag, toy box, etc.
**Note that no dogs were injured during this blog and all dogs recovered safely from their intestinal surgery.**
~Dr. Shae Martin, DVM
And just one very important message to all of our clients and friends before we go...
Thank you ALL so much for a wonderful first year, (November 1st was our anniversary!), and we would like to take a moment to wish you and your families lots of love, health, and happiness in 2013 and always... and a hug for your children and pets!
Wishing You a Happy and Safe Holiday Season,
Kelly Heiman, Shae Martin, and all of the West Maui Animal Clinic Staff
Taking care of your pets during the holidays means extra kisses and hugs, (those are the best gifts), and being aware of potential holiday hazards... Delicious food, sparkly decorations and colorful plants that make the holidays so much fun for us can be dangerous to your dog. No reason to be bah-hum-dog, just be on your toes. Here are a few examples:
Rich, fatty foods can seriously upset your dog's stomach and even be toxic. It is especially
important to keep your dog away from the following dangerous foods:
- Onions, which can cause anemia, (high levels of garlic can, too).
- Chocolate, especially the dark, (look out for those with high percentages of cacao).
- Bones, (especially cooked bones and ANY poultry bones).
- Alcoholic beverages, (REALLY, I will never forget treating two quite intoxicated Boston Terriers).
- Any foods high in fat, sodium and/or sugar, (and in Hawaii, avocado pits are a huge danger to our pets).
There are some human foods that are okay for dogs, so if you want to give Fido a special treat you have some options. Try a small piece of cooked turkey or chicken without skin or bones, (and hold the gravy). Raw carrots and apples in moderate amounts are actually healthy for dogs. Just remember - everything in moderation. Well, that goes for us too but I am getting hungry just writing this...
Most dogs are curious by nature, so they will want to check out any additions to the decor. Sniffing can lead to chewing, or even ingestion of foreign objects. Keep electrical cords tucked away and other decorations or holiday plants out of reach. Watch out for dangling objects that can be pulled down and cause injury. Also, if you have a Christmas tree, don't let your dog drink the tree water - it can upset their tummy.
Bright, ornamental plants are a great way to dress up the house during the holidays. Pet owners should be aware, however, that many of these common plants are poisonous to pets. Toxicity ranges from mild to severe, and the amount of plant consumed determines how sick a pet may become. In general, gastrointestinal upset is the most common finding, but if enough plant material is ingested, seizures, coma or death is possible. Naturally curious puppies may want to sample some of the "new-in-the-house" greens. Dose is size-dependent, so puppies are most often at greatest risk for plant poisonings, but dogs in general love to munch on green goodies.
Plants that can cause illness include Poinsettia, Mistletoe, Lillies, and Daffodils. Common clinical signs are related to the gastrointestinal tract - vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sometimes excessive salivation. In some cases, such as holly berry ingestion, tremors or seizures may be seen, followed by coma and death. Monitor your pet's interest in the plants. To be 100% safe, if your Fido is a serious muncher, DO NOT
bring toxic live plants into your home. You can also check the plants for any signs of chewing or missing leaves. If unsure, plastic plants are an option but remember they can eat those too (my next blog - intestinal foreign bodies!)
Ho, Ho, Ho, Woof, Woof, Woof,Shae Martin, DVM
Here at West Maui Animal Clinic, we often get numerous questions about the process of getting your pet to the beautiful island of Maui. I personally have been faced with this daunting task in the past and greatly wish that I then had known the West Maui Animal Clinic Direct Release staff and the knowledge that I am about to pass on to you.
There are two categories of people flying into Maui with their pets: There are those here on vacation and those who are moving here permanently. For those coming on vacation, leaving your pet at home for more than a week can be heartbreaking. We have guests from all over the world who come to Maui anywhere from one week to a few months with their pet, once or even several times a year. What a gift for both you and your pet! For those flying to Maui permanently, the process remains the same, and in either situation, make sure to begin the process AT LEAST
3 months in advance to avoid quarantine.
West Maui Animal Clinic is APPROVED
by the State of Hawaii Quarantine Division to inspect animals at the Kahului Airport for Direct Release
to the owner. Read some our client testimonials HERE!
Q: What are the benefits of flying directly to Maui vs. flying to the Inspection Station on Oahu?
Not only do you fly directly into Maui and save flight time, but you save the time of having to leave the airplane, wait at the inspection station, then having to go back through security at the airport. It also saves your pet the flight time and let's them out of their carrier hours earlier. What has also happened to me in the past, (and numerous others), was that my flight was delayed and I could not make it to the Honolulu Inspection Station before they closed at 4:00pm. I ended up having to spend the night at the airport in Honolulu until they opened the next day. My poor pooch was kept overnight in a quarantine boarding area. Now THAT was a waste of time and money. I had to book a whole new flight for us both in to Maui. Our Maui Direct Release staff is available to inspect your pet at the airport 24/7, eliminating the risk of flight delays and cancellations. *Assistance:
"Press option 1, then 6, then 2, then wait on hold to speak with a representative". If you've heard this, then you know that the state is very busy and sometimes it is hard to get your questions answered in a timely and effective manner. We have one number that puts you in direct contact with one of our three Direct Release staff members, and we are also conveniently available via email. With our personalized service, we will essentially hold your hand throughout the process and will even mail you the required documents to save you the effort. Leave it to the experts to show you the way.*Money:
Stopping in Honolulu is an extra flight. If your flight is delayed past 4pm, you will be spending the night in Honolulu and have to book a different flight for you and your pet to Maui. *Avoiding Quarantine:
If you want to avoid quarantine, start your direct release process AT LEAST 120 days in advance to insure you get your pet fully vaccinated and submit all the necessary documents in time. Pets need quarantined in an approved quarantine facility for 120 days if you do not start the process early enough.Q: What do I need to do to qualify my pet for the Direct Release Program?
A checklist is available either by calling Kelly or Brian at 808.446.1521 7 days a week from 8am to 10pm Hawaii time or by downloading the information from the State Quarantine website. Q: What do I need to do once my plane lands?
If your pet flies with you in the passenger cabin, we will meet you and your pet at the gate and help you complete the required direct release paperwork. Otherwise, if your pet is kept in the cargo area, the airplane is responsible for transporting your pet to the Airport Animal Quarantine Holding Facility. We will meet you there at a pre-arranged time and help you complete the required paperwork.Q: How long does it take to process my pet for direct release?
Processing times vary, depending on how long it takes your airline to deliver your pet to the inspection facility and the number of pets arriving for inspection at the same time. Generally, processing time is within an hour from the time the pet is received. However, problems with paperwork may increase processing time.Q: What are the fees & procedures for direct release?
Fees are dependent on your arrival time. Please contact Kelly or Brian at 808.446.1521 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
for a fee schedule.
Please have the following information available.
• airline and flight number
• date and time of arrival
• owner name, phone number & address
• pet information
(name, microchip number, species, breed, sex)
At our clinics, we recently have seen an increase in parvo cases. This article was written in hopes of educating our Maui communities on the prevention needed to protect your pets. If you read this, and know someone with a puppy or unvaccinated pet, PLEASE pass this along.
Parvovirus is a VERY serious and potentially deadly threat to the unvaccinated dog population. It is considered one of the most deadly viral diseases in dogs, especially puppies.
The parvovirus is extremely infectious, highly contagious and is passed to other dogs through feces (bowel movement).
In fact, it is so infectious that anyone or any moving object can become a parvovirus carrier just by coming in contact with an infected dog’s feces, (i.e. shoes and feet are common carriers of fecal matter).
Dogs most often are exposed to parvovirus at beaches, parks or any place that dogs socialize. Even trace amounts of feces carrying the virus can be brought into your home by your dog, your pets toys (tennis ball or Frisbee), as well as people. Your puppy can become infected by chewing on, licking, or eating a contaminated object. This virus is so hearty; it can survive intense heat and subzero temperatures for very long periods of time.
If your pet has any of the following symptoms, please contact us immediately:
~Severe, bloody diarrhea
~Depression or lethargy
~Loss of appetite
Just like in humans, vomiting and diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in your pet, especially in puppies. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, parvovirus deaths usually occur 48 to 72 hours after symptoms first appear.
Vaccinate– Vaccinate – VACCINATE.
We recommend multiple parvovirus vaccinations for your growing puppy. Once vaccinated, your dog’s immunity is maintained through annual booster shots. Please contact us, so we may evaluate your pet’s health record and insure he or she has all the necessary vaccinations.
To prevent the spreading of parvovirus:
Most important is to immunize your dog or puppy against the virus. If you think you have come in contact with the virus, clean your shoes, and if possible, the area where there was fecal matter. Use a mixture of bleach and water (1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon water).
Please call us with any questions, further information or to make an appointment with one of our exceptional doctors. We are also proud to offer kitten and puppy packages at great rates for all of your pets first vaccinations.
West Maui Animal Clinic
Lana’i Animal Clinic
When a dog is exposed to high temperatures, heat stroke can be a serious danger to your dog's health. An elevation in body temperature, or hyperthermia, typically occurs as a response to a trigger, such as a hot environment or an inflammation in the body.
Heat stroke is a very serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Once the signs of heat stroke are detected, there is precious little time before serious damage - or even death - can occur.
Your dog does not sweat through their skin like we do. Rather, they release heat primarily by panting and through their foot pads and nose. If a dog cannot effectively expel heat, their internal body temperature begins to rise. Once the dog's temperature reaches 106°, damage to the body's cellular system and organs may become irreversible.
Unfortunately, too many dogs succumb to heat stroke when it could have been avoided. Listed below are signs of heat stroke. Being able to recognize these signs and symptoms is the key to preventing it from happening to your pet. What are the signs of heat stroke?
What should you do if you suspect your pet has heat stroke?
- Vigorous panting
- Lying down and unwilling (or unable) to get up
- Thick saliva
- Dark red gums
- Tacky or dry mucus membranes (specifically the gums)
- Dizziness or disorientation
- Collapsing and/or loss of consciousness
- High rectal temperature (over 104° requires action & over 106° is a dire emergency)
If you have even the slightest suspicion that your dog is suffering from heat stoke, take immediate action.
- First, move your dog out of the heat and away from the sun right away.
- Begin cooling your dog by placing cool wet rags on the body, especially on the foot pads and around the head.
- Do NOT use ice or very cold water! Extreme cold can cause the blood vessels to constrict, preventing the body's core from cooling and actually causing the internal temperature to further rise. In addition, over-cooling can cause hypothermia, introducing a host of new problems. When the body temperature reaches 103°, stop cooling.
- Offer your dog cool water, but do not force water into your dog's mouth.
- Call or visit your vet right away, even if your dog seems better. Internal damage might not be obvious to the naked eye so an exam is necessary.
- If other people are around, recruit them to help cool your dog while you call the vet.
Some dogs can recover fully from heat stroke if it is caught early enough. Others suffer permanent organ damage and require lifelong treatment. Sadly, many dogs do not survive heat stroke. Prevention is the key to keeping your dog safe in warmer climates and protecting them from the dangers of heat stroke. How do I prevent heat stroke?
Being aware and taking precautions noted below is key to preventing heat stroke.
- NEVER leave your dog alone in the car on a warm day, regardless if the windows are open or not. Even if the weather outside is not extremely hot, the inside of the car acts like an oven. Temperatures can rise to dangerously high levels in a matter of just minutes.
- Avoid vigorous exercise on warm days.
- When outside, keep your dog in shady areas.
- Keep fresh cool water available at all times.
Note certain types of dogs are more sensitive to heat, especially obese dogs and brachycephalic (short-nosed) breeds like Pugs and Bulldogs. Use extreme caution when these dogs are exposed to heat.
~ Dr. Shae Martin, DVM