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December 2012


The Best Gift for Pets

Looking for the perfect gift for your pets this holiday season? Look no further than your local WVMA member veterinarian. Veterinary care, including preventive care and wellness exams, is vital for your pet’s health and well-being.

“What better gift could we give one’s pet than relief of chronic pain?” asks Bob McClellan, DVM, of Superior Animal Hospital & Boarding Suites in Superior, Wis. “We want our beloved pets to be a part of our family and daily lives for as long as possible. Regular annual or biannual exams allow for diagnosis of potentially painful conditions that could be treated.”

Dr. McClellan recommends a thorough physical exam as the perfect gift for your pets this holiday season. A physical exam provides a basis for almost all veterinary care. Annual dental care including a thorough dental exam, cleaning and treatment under anesthesia is another option for a holiday gift. This gift benefits your pets as well as your family.

180editedPreventive veterinary care is important to find any underlying health or wellness problems and to efficiently address them. It saves time and money while preventing a decline in the health of your pet. Heartworm prevention, tick and other parasite prevention, and wellness lab screening are three examples of other veterinary care that could be a good gift for your pets.

“Many health issues can be minimized or even avoided with early detection,” describes Dr. McClellan. He mentions although vaccines are a vital part of preventive healthcare, an exam opens the door for your veterinarian to make suggestions on improving the life of your pets.

“Everyone knows what it feels like when you are sick or injured, or just not feeling 100 percent,” says Dr. McClellan. “Since our pets do not directly tell us, examinations help us be sure they are feeling their best!”

Our pets are usually considered cherished members of our families. Being healthy and pain-free is important for us, our family and our pet.

To learn more about great holiday gifts for your pets, contact your local WVMA member veterinarian. Find one online at

Caring for Large Animals in Winter

Wisconsin winters bring cold, blustery weather and large animal owners need to pay extra attention to providing care to their livestock during this time of year.

“Winter brings cold conditions that generally require increased shelter for large animals,” explains Dr. Bob Leder, of United Veterinary Service in Bear Creek, Wis. “Dietary requirements for animals in the cold are also increased.”

Large animal owners will provide extra feed to their livestock to ensure their health through the winter. Shelter is also vital. Windbreaks or three-sided open buildings are commonly provided for beef cattle, sheep and horses, according to Dr. Leder. Dairy cows typically spend increased time in barns.

Proper shelters provide comfortable areas for animals to lie down and stay warm. Bedding, typically straw, shavings or cornstalks, aids animals by keeping them insulated and reducing heat loss. The bedding should be dry and plentiful to provide enough insulation as well as a cushion for the animal.

“The key is to keep the bedding surface dry,” says Dr. Leder. “Wetness increases heat loss of the animal, so the goal is to keep the animal’s laying area dry and soft.”

Large animal owners usually manage bedding daily or every other day depending on the type of animal and how many are kept together.

Other options also exist to help animals keep warm.

“Young calves are commonly ‘dressed’ with a blanket or jacket that is made of insulating material, such as wool, to keep them warm in the winter,” describes Dr. Leder.LA Winterizing and Bedding Photo 2

Veterinarians help their clients establish practices to improve animal comfort, well-being and nutrition, especially in winter.

“Feeding practices are reviewed. Shelter conditions and bedding practices are discussed, and modifications are made when necessary,” clarifies Dr. Leder.

To learn more about caring for large animals in winter, contact your local WVMA member veterinarian. Find one online at


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