Located in Independence, KS
Serving SE Kansas
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 620-331-6327
Business Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am-6:00pm
Saturday 8:00am-12:00pm

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Barta Animal Hospital Blog

By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Even though cats considered elderly at 10 years old, they can live many more years with good care. It's important to be vigilant about your senior cat's health. Here are six common health problems that plague our older kitties.
  1. Kidney disease and kidney failure : Sadly, kidney failure is a leading cause of death in older cats. Some symptoms to look for include weight loss, appetite loss, frequent urination, intense thirst, and urinating outside the litterbox. 70% of kidney function may have already been lost before symptoms appear; routine exams are vital.
  2. Hyperthyroidism : Hyperthyroidism involves the overproduction of hormones that regulate metabolism. Cats with an overactive thyroid might lose weight quickly although they are eating more. Other symptoms to look for are excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid heartbeat.
  3. Diabetes : When a cat becomes diabetic, its body will either no longer have enough insulin or will not respond appropriately to normal insulin levels. This can cause hunger-the primary symptom of diabetes. Also watch for increased thirst and frequent urination. 
  4. Dental disease : Dental problems are common in older cats and can lead to more serious health problems. Check for mouth sores, bad breath, drooling, red or bleeding gums, and difficulty eating. 
  5. Joint disease : Arthritis is common in older cats but can be difficult to recognize because cats tend to hide pain. You may notice your cat having problems jumping up to or down from high surfaces.
  6. Skin problems : Older felines have thinner skin and are more likely to develop infections. Make sure to note any places your cat is frequently licking, rashes, redness or rough patches.

Be sure your senior cat sees us at least twice a year for an examination, blood tests, and dental care. Watch for signs of disease in between, we can manage all of these conditions if diagnosed early!
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Feline hyperthyroidism is a common disease that usually affects cats age 8 and older. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an enlarged thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone, due to a tumor affecting one or both lobes of the gland. In most cases, these tumors are benign; however, in 2%-5% of cases, they are cancerous. 
The thyroid hormone affects numerous systems in the body such as, metabolism, heart, kidneys, and liver; so an unstable thyroid can have disastrous and even fatal effects. Symptoms of an overactive thyroid are:
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Aggressive behavior/overly energetic
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Unkempt coat or hair loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Yowling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy
Your vet will perform a physical exam and blood work with a thyroid-specific test known as the T4 panel. During the exam, the vet may be able to feel the enlarged gland. Your cat's heart rate and blood pressure will also be checked. Cats with hyperthyroidism will have an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure. 

The results from the blood test will offer a more complete picture and will also rule out other conditions that can present similar to hyperthyroidism, such as chronic renal failure or liver disease.

There are three basic methods of treating hyperthyroidism:
  1. Drug therapy
  2. Radioactive iodine therapy
  3. Surgery
The vet will discuss the best treatment options for your cat.

Cats with hyperthyroidism can have normal, happy lives if they receive proper treatment. 
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Canine influenza is a new disease, related to the equine flu virus. Right now there are two strains of canine influenza virus that have been identified in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. The first U.S. outbreak of H3N8 was in 2004 at greyhound dog tracks in Florida. The H3N2 strain was discovered in a 2015 outbreak in Chicago.

Canine H3N8 has been identified in dogs in most U.S. states. There have been reports of cats infected with the Canine H3N2, but no evidence that either canine strain can infect humans. However, humans in contact with an infected dog can pass the virus to other dogs.  Canine flu is highly contagious and spreads quickly in confined areas such as kennels.

Symptoms of canine flu include:
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
Keep in mind all of these symptoms are related to other disorders other than the flu, so make sure to watch your dog closely.

Currently there are vaccines for both canine influenza strains for dogs at risk. They don't prevent the disease but can help decrease your dog's level of sickness as well as the likelihood of infecting other pets.  
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
February is National Pet Dental Month. Dental disease is the most common health issue affecting dogs and cats. Bacteria that joins with saliva forms plaque, which builds up if not removed regularly. Then when you add calcium salts from saliva on top of the plaque, you get tarter. Tarter creates a rough surface that causes more plaque to accumulate in a damaging cycle. plaque buildup often leads to periodontal disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Unfortunately, you may not notice the signs of gum disease until it's advanced and causing your pet pain. 
Things to watch for are:
  • Bad breath
  • Difficulty chewing food and chewing only on one side
  • Bleeding gums, blood in drinking water or on toys
  • Loose teeth
  • Bloody saliva
  • Sensitivity to touch in the facial area
Prevention is the best cure for gum disease. Daily brushing and dental chew treats can help. Most dogs and cats need a thorough dental cleaning annually, while older pets may need semi-annual cleanings.
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Each winter, our hospital sees more cases than we'd like to of pets suffering injury or illness from the foods and trappings of the season. Learn how to protect your furry loved ones from these common calamities!
  Foods
  • Fatty Foods -can cause acute pancreatitis, which can be fatal.
  • Xylitol -found in sugar-free foods, candy and gum can cause vomiting, seizures and liver failure.
  • Alcohol -depresses the nervous system and can lead to seizures and coma.
  • Chocolate -is toxic to pets. So are macadamia nuts , walnuts , raisins , grapes , coffee , avocados and yeast dough
  • Bones -from turkey and other meats can cause constipation, choking, and can puncture internal organs. Keep trash out of reach.
Decorations
  •  Chewing on electrical cords can result in electrocution.
  • Fireplaces, candles  and  ovens  can result in burns.
  • Poinsettias, mistletoe  and  holly  are toxic.
  • Christmas tree lights, ornaments, tinsel  and  ribbons  can cause choking or become tangled in the intestines, requiring surgery.
Other
  • Anti-freeze  or  wiper fluid  ingestion can lead to kidney failure and death.
  • Batteries  can cause obstruction and burns to the esophagus.
  • Gusts, changes in routine, excess noise and traveling can cause extreme  stress  for pets, who generally prefer routine. Stress can lead to many illnesses. 
Being vigilant and seeing the festivities through your pets' eyes will help you make the holidays safe for your four-legged family members. However, accidents do happen. If you see any unusual symptoms, be sure to call us right away!
By 7016557250 11 Oct, 2017

Although entropion is a somewhat common condition in dogs, few canine owners know about it until their dog is diagnosed. It’s important to be aware of this condition to prevent possible damage to your dog’s eyes.

 Entropion is a hereditary condition in which a dog’s eyelid is rolled inward. This causes irritation to the eye, which can become so severe over time that it can cause permanent damage to the dog’s eye and vision. Entropion is painful for a dog, especially if he develops chronic conjunctivitis or lesions of the cornea.

 Symptoms of entropion include excess discharge and tearing from the eye. Your dog will often be squinting due to irritation and sensitivity to light. The afflicted eye will often look red, and you may see white spots on the cornea. If you suspect your pet has entropion, it’s important to talk to your veterinarian right away to prevent severe complications. A vet will be able to properly diagnose this condition.

 The only treatment for entropion is a surgery that tightens the eye lid to prevent it from folding inward. Multiple surgeries may be required if your dog has developed entropion on more than one eyelid or if the condition is especially severe.

 Since entropion is hereditary, there is no way to prevent it except to avoid breeding dogs that have this condition. Although entropion occurs in many breeds, it seems to be particularly severe in mastiffs and chows. Always let us know if your dog is experiencing eye irritation.

By 7016557250 11 Oct, 2017

Feline acne is a medical condition that is more serious than the name makes it sound. We think of acne in humans as a relatively harmless case of pimples; however, feline acne can become serious if not treated. The bacteria, which usually causes black, oily spots on a cat’s chin, can create an infection that can spread throughout the body and make your precious fur ball very sick!

The most common symptom of feline acne is black pimples on the chin or lip area. These can develop into abscesses that break open, forming crusts. Swelling, itching and hair loss may be present in severe cases, and secondary infections can develop.

Although a definitive cause of feline acne is unknown, stress, poor grooming, and a suppressed immune system can be factors, as can the presence of other skin conditions such as atopic or contact dermatitis. There is also some evidence linking the disease to a cat’s sensitivity to plastic and dyes.

Bring your cat to see us if you notice symptoms of feline acne. We will rule out other conditions such as ringworm, allergies or yeast infections. We may use skin scrapings, a biopsy, or a culture and sensitivity test to get an accurate diagnosis.

Like human acne, feline acne is difficult to “cure,” but we can treat it. Antiseborrheic shampoos or benzoyl peroxide gels can help break down the excess oils.   We may prescribe oral or topical antibiotics if there is a secondary bacterial infection, or corticosteroids if there is much inflammation.

At home, owners should regularly clean the chins of cats who are prone to the development of feline acne, and switch to glass or stainless-steel food and water dishes. Be mindful of circumstances that cause your kitty stress, and minimalize these stressful conditions.

By 7016557250 11 Oct, 2017

One of the most important decisions a pet owner will make is whether to spay or neuter their pet. Unfortunately, pet overpopulation is a heartbreaking problem. The Humane Society estimates that there are more than 3 million homeless pets in the U.S., and most—2.7 million—are euthanized each year.

We know spaying or neutering is the responsible thing to do; plus, your pet will be more likely to focus their attention on their human family. But another good reason to spay or neuter is that your pet will live a healthier, longer life! A 2013 study found that dogs living in U.S. states with the highest rates of spaying/neutering also live the longest, with neutered males living 18% longer and spayed females living 23% longer than unneutered/unspayed dogs.

Spaying female dogs and cats before their first heat cycle reduces her risk of uterine infections such as pyometra, uterine cancer, and breast cancer, which can be fatal.

Unneutered males will do just about anything to find a mate and are more likely to visit our hospital after having been hit by a car, injured in a fight with another male, or contracting other diseases and injuries associated with roaming. Neutering male dogs and cats can help prevent testicular cancer and will also make him less likely to roam, less aggressive, and better natured in general than an intact male.

Neutering cats and dogs requires only a short hospitalization and offers lifelong health benefits. Although spays and neuters are generally safe procedures, they should only be performed by a knowledgeable veterinarian who is familiar with your pet and can provide proper follow-up care.

By natalia.king 15 Sep, 2017

Hurray for fall! It brings cooler temperatures and wonderful celebrations at Halloween and Thanksgiving. Keeping your pet safe will bring more joy to the season. Follow these tips:

Halloween

·        Keep candy away from pets, especially anything containing chocolate or xylitol, which can make them very sick!

·        Keep lit candles and jack-o-lanterns out of reach.

·        Keep pets inside and be sure they are micro-chipped in case of escape while trick-or-treaters are at the door.

·        Halloween costumes may be cute on your pet but if it’s obstructive, uncomfortable or causes stress, resist the urge!

Thanksgiving

·        Many traditional Thanksgiving foods are poisonous to pets: Turkey skin or fat can cause life-threatening 

          pancreatitis. Poultry bones can splinter in the throat, and holiday sweets can have poisonous ingredients. Be sure

          guests don’t drop food under the table where pets can reach it and keep the trash out of reach.

·        Other people foods that can be harmful include yeast dough, onions, raisins and grapes.

·        Watch your pets around visitors, especially small pets that may get stepped on and those that may bite when       

         provoked or are susceptible to stress.

·        Don’t forget your pet’s well-being if you are traveling! Make arrangements for their comfort and security.

By natalia.king 15 Sep, 2017

It can be a scary situation for both you and your pet if your pet runs away and is unable to find his way home. Microchip technology has helped many lost pets return home. The tiny chip is implanted under your pet’s skin with a hypodermic needle in a quick procedure that causes no more discomfort than a typical injection. If your lost pet is found, a veterinarian or shelter uses a scanner that is passed over the area, and the chip transmits an identification number that guides them to the database where your contact information is registered.

Microchipping substantially increases the likelihood of finding your lost pet. According to the AVMA, a study of more than 7,700 pets at animal shelters showed that dogs without microchips were returned to their owners 21.9% of the time, while microchipped dogs were returned 52.2% of the time! Cats without microchips were reunited only 1.8% of the time, compared with 38.5% of microchipped felines!

If your pets are not yet microchipped, please call us to make an appointment and help ensure that your lost pet will return home.

Barta Animal Hospital Blog

By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Even though cats considered elderly at 10 years old, they can live many more years with good care. It's important to be vigilant about your senior cat's health. Here are six common health problems that plague our older kitties.
  1. Kidney disease and kidney failure : Sadly, kidney failure is a leading cause of death in older cats. Some symptoms to look for include weight loss, appetite loss, frequent urination, intense thirst, and urinating outside the litterbox. 70% of kidney function may have already been lost before symptoms appear; routine exams are vital.
  2. Hyperthyroidism : Hyperthyroidism involves the overproduction of hormones that regulate metabolism. Cats with an overactive thyroid might lose weight quickly although they are eating more. Other symptoms to look for are excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, and rapid heartbeat.
  3. Diabetes : When a cat becomes diabetic, its body will either no longer have enough insulin or will not respond appropriately to normal insulin levels. This can cause hunger-the primary symptom of diabetes. Also watch for increased thirst and frequent urination. 
  4. Dental disease : Dental problems are common in older cats and can lead to more serious health problems. Check for mouth sores, bad breath, drooling, red or bleeding gums, and difficulty eating. 
  5. Joint disease : Arthritis is common in older cats but can be difficult to recognize because cats tend to hide pain. You may notice your cat having problems jumping up to or down from high surfaces.
  6. Skin problems : Older felines have thinner skin and are more likely to develop infections. Make sure to note any places your cat is frequently licking, rashes, redness or rough patches.

Be sure your senior cat sees us at least twice a year for an examination, blood tests, and dental care. Watch for signs of disease in between, we can manage all of these conditions if diagnosed early!
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Feline hyperthyroidism is a common disease that usually affects cats age 8 and older. Hyperthyroidism is caused by an enlarged thyroid gland that produces too much thyroid hormone, due to a tumor affecting one or both lobes of the gland. In most cases, these tumors are benign; however, in 2%-5% of cases, they are cancerous. 
The thyroid hormone affects numerous systems in the body such as, metabolism, heart, kidneys, and liver; so an unstable thyroid can have disastrous and even fatal effects. Symptoms of an overactive thyroid are:
  • Weight loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Aggressive behavior/overly energetic
  • Excessive thirst and urination
  • Unkempt coat or hair loss
  • Increased appetite
  • Yowling
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Muscle weakness
  • Lethargy
Your vet will perform a physical exam and blood work with a thyroid-specific test known as the T4 panel. During the exam, the vet may be able to feel the enlarged gland. Your cat's heart rate and blood pressure will also be checked. Cats with hyperthyroidism will have an elevated heart rate and high blood pressure. 

The results from the blood test will offer a more complete picture and will also rule out other conditions that can present similar to hyperthyroidism, such as chronic renal failure or liver disease.

There are three basic methods of treating hyperthyroidism:
  1. Drug therapy
  2. Radioactive iodine therapy
  3. Surgery
The vet will discuss the best treatment options for your cat.

Cats with hyperthyroidism can have normal, happy lives if they receive proper treatment. 
By 7016557250 28 Nov, 2017
Canine influenza is a new disease, related to the equine flu virus. Right now there are two strains of canine influenza virus that have been identified in the United States: H3N8 and H3N2. The first U.S. outbreak of H3N8 was in 2004 at greyhound dog tracks in Florida. The H3N2 strain was discovered in a 2015 outbreak in Chicago.

Canine H3N8 has been identified in dogs in most U.S. states. There have been reports of cats infected with the Canine H3N2, but no evidence that either canine strain can infect humans. However, humans in contact with an infected dog can pass the virus to other dogs.  Canine flu is highly contagious and spreads quickly in confined areas such as kennels.

Symptoms of canine flu include:
  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Fever
  • Poor appetite
  • Lethargy
Keep in mind all of these symptoms are related to other disorders other than the flu, so make sure to watch your dog closely.

Currently there are vaccines for both canine influenza strains for dogs at risk. They don't prevent the disease but can help decrease your dog's level of sickness as well as the likelihood of infecting other pets.  
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