Sunday, November 30, 2014

Acupuncture Services at Niles Animal Hospital and Some FAQs

Acupuncture Services at Niles Animal Hospital and Some FAQs

We are now pleased to offer acupuncture services for our patients at Niles Animal Hospital. Dr. Kalivoda has gone through an extensive and detailed training program in order to perform scientifically based acupuncture procedures, earning certification as an accredited veterinary acupuncturist. She is now up and running with the acupuncture services. We are proud of what she has accomplished and excited to be able to provide another means of treatment for our patients. Call the hospital if you are interested or have any questions. We would be glad to set up an appointment with Dr. Kalivoda for an initial evaluation to determine if acupuncture would be helpful for your pet. (847-647-9325)

Here is some additional information about our acupuncture services, frequently asked questions or FAQs.

Medical Acupuncture FAQs

What is medical acupuncture?

Medical acupuncture is not scary or mystical. It’s a physical medicine that involves the application of very thin, sterile needles to specific points in order to stimulate nerves or relieve muscle tension. It’s very useful for relieving pain, but also can be effective in improving organ function and enhancing immune function.

What conditions can it be used for?

Muscle pain/spasms, back pain, neck pain, soft tissue injury, arthritis, weakness, incontinence, orthopedic injuries (cruciate rupture and others), kidney disease, nausea or decreased appetite, diarrhea, constipation, cancer, dry eye, autoimmune disease, neurological disorders (seizures, wobbler’s disease) and many others!

Is acupuncture safe?

There are usually minimal to no side effects. There may be a small amount of bleeding from needle sites or mild bruising. Sometimes the problem will get worse before it gets better, though there should be no persistent worsening after treatment.

Does it hurt?

The needles used are incredibly sharp and thin (about 10 times smaller than vaccine needles). Most animals do not even notice the insertion. Some points are more sensitive than others and may elicit a transient reaction to needling. The use of needles actually stimulates release of pain-relieving substances in the body.

Does my pet need to be sedated?

Acupuncture is generally very well tolerated, even by exotics such as rabbits and birds. Each patient is evaluated for tolerance during their initial appointment, and some aggressive or very painful animals may need sedation. This does not affect the effectiveness of treatment.

What should I expect after a session?

Your pet may be tired after a session. Some will just go lie in their bed and even not get up for dinner, because they are so relaxed. They will usually eat if the food is put in front of them.

The problem may get WORSE before it gets better. Some pets will have a transient worsening after acupuncture, though are expected to improve after 48-72 hours. If you feel it’s a significant worsening, you should call to discuss so we can adjust therapy.

How long do sessions last and how often are they booked?

Initial assessment and treatment generally will last about an hour as we work through all the problems and determine a course of action for the current issues. Depending on the reason for acupuncture, needles may be left in for up to 15-20 minutes, or removed quickly. Laser therapy or electroacupuncture may be used based on the problem being treated. Follow-up appointment may be shorter or longer, based on response. Sessions may be needed as often as twice a week or as infrequent as once every 46 weeks, depending on the problem.

What should I bring to an appointment?

If your pet has any food allergies and has special treats, bring them with for rewards during sessions. If your pet is on any over-the-counter supplements, please bring them with for label assessment.

Please call to schedule your initial assessment and treatment! (847-647-9325)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Do You Need Pet Insurance

We are seeing more and more pets with it the right choice for your pets? Some information from the American Veterinary Medical Association.

 Do you need pet insurance?

As veterinary medicine becomes more technologically advanced, the cost of care increases because of the higher costs associated with the equipment, facilities and training required to provide these higher-quality services. For some, the cost of care can cause some anxiety. Pet insurance can help by offsetting some or most of the costs of diagnosing, treating and managing your pet's illness or injury.
But pet insurance isn't for everyone, and there's no magic formula that will tell you if it's right for you and your pet. If you're considering pet insurance, talk to your veterinarian and do some research on your options. Here are some basic considerations:
  • Regardless of the insurance provider, your veterinarian should be monitoring the health of your pet as part of a valid Veterinary-Client-Patient Relationship (VCPR; for more information, check out our VCPR FAQs).
  • The insurance provider should clearly spell out to you the details, including the limitations and exclusions, of coverage for routine and/or wellness care as well as emergency treatments and conditions that require extensive care. Find out how your premiums will be increased as your pet ages or if you make any claims.
  • See if they have add-on options to provide any specific coverage (e.g., dental care, travel insurance, etc.) you may want.
  • Find out how they define and handle pre-existing conditions (diseases or conditions your pet already has – or has had – prior to purchasing the insurance plan).
  • In some cases, insurance providers will not insure a specific pet or breed of pet, or may limit the number of pets you can insure, if they consider them "high risk."
  • Some providers will give multiple pet discounts.
  • All of the charges, including co-pays, deductibles, add-on charges and other fees, should be clearly explained to you so you fully understand the policy and its limitations.
  • You should be allowed to choose the veterinarian who will provide veterinary care for your pet.
  • Pet insurance plans are generally reimbursement plans – you pay the bills up front and are reimbursed by the insurance provider. Ask the insurance provider how claims are processed as well as the timeframe for reimbursement of your expenses so you know what to expect. If you're concerned about covering the expenses up front, ask your veterinarian about payment options that will work for you in case you need to make arrangements. (It's best to find out your options ahead of time so you don't have the added stress of trying to make payment arrangements on an emergency basis.)
For more information, see the AVMA's Guidelines on Pet Health Insurance and Other Third Party Health Plans.
Your veterinarian may be able to provide you with a recommended pet insurance company based on their experience, but it's ultimately your decision whether or not to purchase pet insurance (and what coverage and from what company you purchase). Below is an alphabetical list of companies that provide pet insurance. The list may not be complete and is intended to provide information and links to help you investigate and decide if pet insurance is right for your pet. The AVMA does not endorse or recommend any one provider over others.

AKC Pet Healthcare Plan

ASPCA Pet Health Insurance

Best Friends Pet Insurance

Embrace Pet Insurance

Healthy Paws

PetFirst Healthcare

Pets Best