Author Archives: Steve

Going to the Dogs

posted January 3rd, 2016 by

Going to the Dogs

Pet Amenities Aren’t a Luxury Anymore

From Multi-Housing News

by Keith Loria

Pet amenities aren’t a luxury anymore—they’re expected.

The American Pet Products Association estimates that approximately 60 percent of all Americans own at least one pet, with nearly 80 million dogs and 96 million cats as part of that lofty figure.

“That’s a significant amount of prospective renters,” said Gina Bertagnolli Slater, regional property manager for Pinnacle, Las Vegas. “For our pet owners their furry friends are family. Our ability to provide an extraordinary experience for the entire family is paramount in fulfilling our mission of consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations—and that includes their pets.”

The rental housing market adapted to the fact that people consider their pets as family members, and property owners are focusing more and more each year on pet-friendly amenities and services to attract and retain residents with pets. It’s a view shared by many in the multifamily business today, with developers doing all they can to attract people (especially Millennials) with pets, and companies adding a host of pet-friendly services and amenities to their communities.

Features like pet parks, pet spas, pet concierge services, and even pet welcome gifts are becoming more common for people moving into apartments. Plus, with the number of Millennials moving into urban cores where there are fewer opportunities to care for a pet, it makes it even more vital to cater to the pet lover.

“In most growing and developed urban markets around the United States, pets, specifically dogs, are the children of condominium and multifamily building residents,” said Scott Leventhal, president & CEO of The Trillist Companies. “Failing to cater to the needs of the full extension of someone’s family provides a shortfall in services. That is why we see the importance to provide those services to our residents.”

That’s why the Trillist Companies installed Pet Respite into its buildings, which provides pet grooming facilities that call to mind mini-spas for four-legged friends. Some even include indoor pet relief areas. Lisa Newton, Hines’ vice president of multifamily, said trends show people continue to spend a significant amount of time and money on their fur-babies and savvy pet owners will seek out apartment communities that provide the amenities needed to cater to their pets. “At a minimum, we are seeing pet waste stations, outdoor dog runs and indoor washing facilities,” she said. “However, pet spas/grooming services, doggie day cares, rooftop dog parks, and personalized walking services are becoming more popular—especially in urban areas where there may be limited amounts of grassy areas.”

Kevin Sheehan, senior managing director of real estate for Greystar, Charleston, S.C., said many of the Greystar communities host pet-friendly events such as “Yappy Hours,” pet costume contests, and other get-togethers to encourage responsible pet adoption from area shelters. “Some communities sponsor pet training seminars, and coordinate dog walking services as well as bringing in mobile pet groomers that visit the community on a regular basis,” he said. “Owners are taking advantage of underutilized areas within the community to create dog parks and pet washing stations to help attract this renter demographic.”

Stephen Santola, executive vice president and general counsel for Woodmont Properties, noted that about 10 years ago, a number of high-end luxury rental communities were not allowing pets. “Since the entire Woodmont executive team is filled with dog owners, we were surprised at this ‘pet discrimination,’” he said. So the company has added amenities designed to make pet care easy and fun. Now, dog runs and “pooper scooper stations” are included in every Woodmont community.

Additionally, indoor pet washing stations have been added to each over the last year.
“Dog owners have a safe, clean and free place to wash their dog, thus saving them time and frustration of an outdoor hose or money with a professional pet groomer,” Santola said. “As apartment owners, we prefer clean pets in our apartments, so making a quick shampoo easy on our residents means more clean and happy dogs in our communities. It also helps prevent residents from using our bathroom sinks or tubs for pet shampoos.”

Something different
Thinking outside the box is often a way to attract pet owners. At Avana Alexandria, for instance, Greystar recently added a dog park with an agility course that has been a huge hit with its residents.

The Aphora at Marina San Pablo in Jacksonville, Fla., has a designated pet elevator to better accommodate those with pets, as well as a pet spa and grooming station. The Oaks of Vernon Hills, Northbrook, Ill., is a 304-unit rental community that has a dog park and hosts monthly “Yappy Hours,” held the first Saturday of each month. “We know that pet amenities are an important consideration for renters in a lifestyle community like The Oaks,” said Matt Nix, principal of REVA Development Partners, developer of The Oaks. “We wanted to go beyond just allotting space for a dog park and provide a place for our residents, both two-legged and four-legged, to get out and get to know their neighbors.”

Darren Pierce, director of asset management for Crescent Communities, noted creative programming and events that cater to pets and innovative, integrated spaces are some ways to stand out to pet lovers. For example, one of its communities in Atlanta has an artistic water feature where dogs can play, and it’s bordered by tables with WiFi so owners can watch their pets and get work done.

Over the last few years, Camden, Houston, Texas, invested in creating outdoor spaces that pet-loving residents can use, including gated pet parks where dogs can be off-leash. Some properties include agility equipment and washing stations.

In development
Next summer, YOO on the Park in Atlanta, rising above midtown Atlanta’s Piedmont Park, will open and include indoor pet facilities as well as dog grooming and a pet spa.
The Ritz-Carlton Residences, Miami Beach, slated for delivery in 2016, will house an elite pet spa suite, where residents can bring their pets for grooming and bathing at self-serve stations or arrange for a specialized grooming service or dog-walking appointment with an experienced professional.

Coming in 2018, Paramount’s 60-story Miami Worldcenter will include an expansive six-acre upper deck, spanning 120 feet above downtown Miami and will include a designated dog park and a 0.5 km jogging path that will allow residents to take an invigorating run with their pet without leaving the confinements of their home.
An increased amount of pet amenity offerings are also providing an opportunity for residents to mix and mingle, as many who are pet owners have forged new friendships in dog parks or at the pet events.

“As a way to further enhance the resident experience, we are leveraging technology to foster the pet owner community within the communities that we manage,” Sheehan said. “We are able to establish pet-walking and play groups at our properties that provide a way for our residents with pets (and their four-legged companions) to interact and get to know each other.” In today’s world, pet amenities aren’t just a luxury, they’re expected.

PAAS 2015

posted December 29th, 2015 by
Holiday Gift

2015 has been a year of firsts for PAAS.

Header

PAAS opened our doors on April 17th.  By May 17th it was clear we needed to implement a plan B in order to save the homeless dogs and cats in our area.Plan B was transport out-of-state.  Thanks to Denver Dumb Friends League, Boulder Valley Humane Society and Cheyenne Animal Welfare 255+ dogs have found new homes.  Cats – – we’re still working on a solution – – it may be The Netherlands!!!

Miss Ruby is first on the video – she was our first rescue (pregnant – sick – malnourished).  Her puppies quickly found homes in Wyoming.  Miss Ruby now lives the life of luxury in Enid, OK.  Our fantastic volunteers, Tom & Vicki, established the Richardson Birthing Center – the go-to place for all our pregnant dogs.

We’re busy, we’re saving lives and we’re so grateful for all the financial support – –

Watch the video – – support our mission – – help us save lives.

http://tinyurl.com/zmqzrmw                Donate Now

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita  [email protected]  918-256-7227

How Pet Therapy Has Changed Assisted Living

posted December 27th, 2015 by
Pet Therapy

Pet Therapy in Senior Living

from a place for mom

By Mary Park Byrne

Last Updated: January 12, 2015

It doesn’t take a scientist to know that pets make humans feel good; anyone who’s ever stroked a dog’s fur or felt a cat’s thrumming purr knows this. Science can, however, tell us how and why pets can be therapeutic. Just 15 minutes bonding with an animal sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain, lowering levels of the fight-or-flight hormone cortisol and increasing production of the feel-good hormone serotonin. The result: heart rate, blood pressure and stress levels immediately drop. Over the long term, pet and human interactions can lower cholesterol levels, fight depression and may even help protect against heart disease and stroke. This is why pets for the elderly can be so beneficial.

PET CARE & SENIOR LIVING

One of the biggest concerns of allowing seniors to bring their beloved pets to assisted living communities is that the program needs to ensure the pets’ well-being. Duvall, Washington veterinarian, Dr. Kevin Sievers, comments on the importance of the pets’ needs: “Humans benefit greatly from the companionship of a pet. An animal in the life of a senior can give them new meaning and improve their well-being, so it is important for seniors to have a pet in their living environment. I also think it’s very important to remember the health needs of the pets. Seniors can forget to properly medicate or even feed their pets. Senior living communities need to be able to help their residents care for their pets to ensure the health and happiness of both the seniors and their pets.” So the key to an overall healthy relationship for both the senior and the pet is to have a pet friendly assisted living community that can ensure proper care for the pet, if the owner is not capable.

Fortunately, many senior living communities are on board with this service and even have a Pet Care Coordinator at their communities to help make sure all the pets are well cared for and are up-to-date on vaccines and veterinary care. This ensures the pets are groomed, fed, walked and happy when they otherwise wouldn’t be if the senior is not able to perform these responsibilities.

PET THERAPY’S AMAZING IMPACT ON QUALITY OF LIFE

For seniors, the benefits of a furry companion can be life-changing. Walking a dog is great cardiovascular exercise, but just the simple act of caring for a pet-petting, brushing, feeding-provides both mild activity and a means to stay engaged with the world. Pets can make the elderly feel needed, and that feeling can translate into a greater sense of purpose and self-worth. During what can be a lonely time of life, the unconditional love of a cherished dog or cat can be a bridge to more socialization with others, lowered stress, mental stimulation and a renewed interest in life.

In the past, a move to a nursing home or retirement community meant giving up this important bond with the animal world. While many retirement communities, assisted living facilities and nursing homes still don’t allow pets, it’s great that many of these assisted living communities have decided to integrate pets into their communities, as the pet therapy benefits to the elderly is overwhelming.

“We don’t just let them in,” says Steve Winner, co-founder of Silverado Senior Living with a chuckle, “we require them. Pets are an integral part of what we do.” From the start, Silverado has embraced the power of pets and pet therapy for the elderly to make happier lives for those affected by dementia.

Assisted living communities in the Silverado network not only have dogs, cats and fish on site, but also miniature horses, llamas, chinchillas, and even baby kangaroos. “We ask senior residents to help us care for them,” says Winner. “The responsibility of caring for other living beings builds self-esteem.”

Pets are not only beneficial to their owners, but have also proven to have positive effects on other senior residents at assisted living facilities. “Sometimes new residents can be withdrawn and not very communicative, and it’s the first interaction with an animal that draws them out,” says Winner. “They’re pulled out of their shell by the pets.”

PET THERAPY’S IMPACT ON SUNDOWNERS SYNDROME & DEMENTIA

Pet therapy for the elderly has also proven to be a powerful tool for what’s known as “Sundowners Syndrome” evening periods of increased agitation and confusion in those with Alzheimer’s. Animals’ non-verbal communication and profound acceptance can be soothing for those with difficulty using language; some may even connect with memories of their own treasured pets.

The San Diego Humane Society’s Pet-Assisted Therapy Program has noticed how even the most profoundly affected patients have displayed improved appetite, more social interaction and tactile and cognitive stimulation after interactions with pets. “Animals provide unconditional love and emotional support in a way that is unparalleled. Our Pet-Assisted Therapy program brings the joys of animals to people who are otherwise unable to have an animal in their life, such as those living in facilities such as convalescent homes, hospitals, mental health centers, children’s homes and juvenile detention centers,” says Judith Eisenberg, Pet-Assisted Therapy Coordinator for the San Diego Humane Society. “What an animal can give and teach is a powerful source of healing and personal connection.” In this way, pet therapy is an excellent way to provide an extra dimension of happiness to senior citizens.

We encourage you to contact communities individually to learn about their pet policy and find out if there are weight or breed restrictions as well as community pet care programs.

RELATED RESOURCES

Find Pet-Friendly Assisted Living

Pets & Seniors: Avoiding Painful Separation

The Gift of Life

posted December 18th, 2015 by
Senior Advantage

The Gift of Life

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the Richardson Birthing and Special Needs Center, a division of PAAS Vinita.   The following stories are written from the heart by Vicki who oversees the birthing center – – she and her husband Tom play key roles in saving the lives of special dogs.  It is truly a gift.

Over the past several years we have taken in, cared for and either adopted out or adopted ourselves, many special needs dogs. Crippled, cancer, very ill, heart disease, failure to thrive pups and kittens. They also need to be considered in the rescue world. When you look into their eyes and they look back, you can see them just asking for help. Let me recap just a few.
Camille, a little 6 yr. old mini doxie, was brought into Second Chance Shelter 3 years ago. She was pregnant, had massive infections on her skin and in her mouth. When it came time to have her pups, she was so weak, she couldn’t do it, so had a c-section. After they were weaned we noticed a nodule in one of her breasts. Removal and biopsy showed cancer, a slow growing one, but cancer never the less. 6 months later it came back and was removed again. 6 months after that, it was back, and the docs remove almost the entire breast. It never recurred after that, but no one was interested in adopting her, so we did. After 3 years of having her, we got a call from one of Tom’s high school friends that her father, actually the preacher that married Tom and I, had been recently widowed, and felt he needed a dog to keep him company. Tom took a couple of fosters we had and at the last minute, threw in Camille. She had done well with us, but was a very needy little girl, and had a difficult time sharing me with the other dogs. It was a match made in heaven. He has had her for 3 months now and adores her and spoils her rotten.
The GiftBubba Henry, a little shih tzu, paralyzed in the back legs, was pulled from a high kill shelter in OKC, on the day he was to be euthanized. He came to us a year ago. We worked with him, but the damage was too bad and we eventually got him a wheel chair. He is very sweet, loving and ours.
Strawberry, a little schnauzer, yorkie mix was stepped on by her mama when she was just a few days old. A young couple took her and raised her with such love and compassion, but financial and time constraints, forced them to look elsewhere for care for her. They knew she had very little quality of life, but were so attached to her they reached out to us to take her, instead of having her euthanized. She was about 7 months old at the time. She was very independent and determined to do what the other dogs did. We had her several months and worked with her legs, built her a wheelchair and she was eventually was adopted to a home where a 14 year old girl wanted a special needs pup. She is fiercely protective of her family now, and goes all over the ranch. Her legs have gotten stronger, and she even herds the goats.
There are many others, but will give just one more example. Little Skipper was brought into PAAS in Vinita. He was an older skipperke. His teeth were rotten, he couldn’t eat and was very weak. First thing they did, was get him to a foster home (us), and get his teeth cleaned. He gradually gained strength and after a month or so, was integrated into our family, running in the yard and laying in the sun. After 3 months a couple contacted the shelter. They saw his picture in the paper and were hoping that it was their little dog, they had been looking for for 3 months. It was and they were happily reunited a week ago.
Would it have been better to euthanize these dogs? This is usually what happens to dogs in these situations. But the wonderful people that adopted these dogs, love them in spite of, or maybe because, they are special.   They see the courage, determination, love and loyalty in their eyes and would not give them up for anything.

Kay Stout, Director   PAAS Vinita   [email protected]   918-256-7227     Facebook      Twitter

This Holiday Season

posted December 10th, 2015 by
Holiday Gift

Holiday SeasonHoliday Season

This holiday season remember those who serve others.  Vicki oversees our birthing center and the following heartfelt story says it perfectly.  Remember the shelters and rescues – – they need your help and support.

As most of you know, we had another litter of puppies born at our house on Thanksgiving morning. These are blessed events are part of Tom and I’s ministry here on earth. We have had countless puppies born at our house. Some have needed c-sections, others, such as Foxy would have died in the birth process, if she had been left in a shelter. When we lived in California, I was well schooled in the birth process of dogs by my then boss, Dr. Sue Buxton. Little did I know how handy that would be when we moved to Oklahoma, but the all knowing Father knew. It is funny how things work out, if we just follow His lead. Sometimes I feel like I am going blindly, but have to trust. Tom and I feel blessed to be entrusted with the care of these little ones that we know are precious to Him, but sometimes forgotten.

Unfortunately, the need is great. We long for a time when the birthing tubs and boxes are no longer needed. When people learn that their animals need to be spayed and neutered. I am not talking about the quality breeders of specific breeds, but the puppy mills, and backyard breeders, and irresponsible dog owners that have clogged our shelters and streets with unwanted pets. These unwanted ones face horrible tortuous lives. We must all become conscious of this problem. As animal lovers, if each of us could take up the cause, it would make a big difference. It does not have to be rescue and fostering, although that is extremely important, it is not for everyone. You could be a volunteer at your local shelter, even those who think they have no skills, can learn. Walking dogs, cuddling kitties, tearing newspapers, working at the desk as a greeter, helping with computer work, cleaning cages. I did all of this before I found my niche, so did Tom. If you have time constraints, but have a few extra dollars, they would most be appreciated to help defray the enormous cost of this effort. If you are unable to do any of this, talk it up, encourage people to spay and neuter their pets, help out with one of the many spay and neuter clinics run in our area. We in the business call them SNEUTERS. Share posts of available dogs on Facebook. Unlimited opportunities are there for people that want to help. It will help the animals, and make you feel so blessed.

 

Kay Stout, Executive Director    PAAS, Vinita, Oklahoma    628 S Wilson  918-256-7227

Ask The Doc

posted November 28th, 2015 by
20150115c

Gary Kubat, DVM / Veterinary Emergency & Critical Care Hospital BluePearl Oklahoma City

 

Q: I live near a location where the emergency sirens blow every Wednesday at noon. My Lab puppy, who has never heard this sound before, has started running outside and howling when he hears the noise.  Why does he do this, and are the sirens hurting his hearing?

A: Ahhh… another great mystery of canine behavior that can only have a definitive answer when we learn to speak “dog” (and they learn to speak back). We may be disappointed in the canine’s answer as it is probably not as interesting or mysterious as it appears.

The general consensus is that the sirens are interpreted by your pet as another canine howling; hence, the natural response is to answer back in the instinctual language that is heard. This same reasoning could also apply to barking as it is heard progressing through a neighborhood. The howling may communicate a location, sex, dominance status—we simply do not know for certain, but it is likely not complicated.

Perhaps some dogs just enjoy the vocalizing! Someday a behavioral researcher with the time and funding may find a way to conduct fMRI tests on howling dogs to see which parts of the brain are activated and functioning just prior to the initiation of the vocal response; then we might have some insight into the reason.

It is unlikely that the sirens are causing discomfort. Observe dogs that are howling; they do not exhibit the expected signs of pain or fear. They do not try to run or hide; they do not tuck their tails or lower their ears or heads.  Just as your dog, some try to run toward the sound outside rather than away.

Two of the greatest and most enjoyable sounds in nature are the howling of a wolf and, for those of us in Oklahoma, the howling-yapping of a pack of coyotes in response to sirens (it certainly serves to locate the pack!).

Meanwhile, here is another pack behavior to ponder. Why do some municipalities test storm sirens on Wednesday and others do it on Saturday? And who picked noon as the time?

 

Q: My dog has “hot spots” no matter what time of the year. I can’t clear them up. Any suggestions?

A: Hot Spots (more expensive-sounding synonyms are:  acute moist dermatitis, pyotraumatic dermatitis, or just moist eczema) are always initially a problem of self-trauma. A focal itch or inflammation is scratched and rubbed until the skin becomes even more inflamed. This induces more itching, initiating a self-traumatizing progressive cycle. The lesion can become very large even in a few hours.  At this point the lesion is painful to touch, and many dogs will require sedation just to clip and clean the wound to allow topical treatment.

The location of the lesion is often a clue as to the cause of the originating itch or lesion. For example, if the lesion is located on the hips or rear limbs, the prime suspect is flea infestation. You may only see one flea, but that is enough to start the problem. If the lesion is on the side of the face below the ear, the original problem may be an ear infection that resulted in the dog scratching at the ear area.

The hot spot skin lesion needs to be treated, but the initiating factor needs to be identified.  Dogs do not spontaneously self-traumatize (exceptions exist: see acral lick dermatitis or lick granuloma).  Other causes include staph skin infections; skin fungal infections; allergies, topical or inhaled, that result in skin itching; and many other factors.

Another common denominator is a moist environment, especially with a long-haired breed. The skin stays wet, becomes inflamed and itches, resulting in the scratch/rub response. Some dogs that drool heavily develop hot spots on the lower jaw as a result of constant excessive moisture. I once had a patient presented because the owner thought the dog had been struck by lightning, when in fact the dog had multiple hot spots all on one side of its body.

The dog had spent long periods of time in its dog house (with wet straw bedding) during a recent rainy spell of several days. The long-haired dog simply never dried out, and dermatitis developed, which the dog then self-traumatized. Another potential complication during the warmer months is an infestation of the lesion with fly larva or myiasis. The hot spots’ lesions are oozing serum and often smell strongly necrotic, attracting the flies. This is often a problem with older, arthritic or obese dogs that are not mobile enough to keep the flies off the lesion.

The treatments of the skin lesion include topical ointments with antibiotics and corticosteroids for the inflammation (after the lesion is clipped, cleaned and dried). Topical antiseptics may also help, as well as antihistamines. I usually dispense the topical medication as a spray since most patients are too painful in the area to allow application of an ointment. I also like to apply a topical anesthetic, such as lidocaine ointment, or an injectable anesthetic, such as Marcaine, for an instant although brief relief from the itching to break the cycle. Treating the actual lesion is relatively easy and usually responds well within a few days.

The real problem and solution is to identify the inciting cause, especially in your case of repeated episodes at all times of the year. Frankly, in Oklahoma, your problem is flea infestation until proven otherwise. If not fleas, then we proceed through the culprit list based on logically identifying the most likely cause. A skin allergy may be only seasonal, but if it is induced by household items (smoke, carpets, foods, straw in the dog house), it could be a problem year-round.

Some cases will require a skin biopsy to determine if a bacterial infection (pyoderma) or other disorder exists. If your pet is experiencing repeated year-round hot spots you need to be prepared to spend some time and effort with your veterinarian to resolve the problem.

 

Q: My dog got pancreatitis and almost died. It was really touch and go, and it was scary. What exactly is pancreatitis, and how does a pet owner prevent this?

A: First, let’s determine what exactly is a pancreas? It is an abdominal organ closely associated with the duodenum and liver that produces and secretes chemical enzymes that assist in digesting food. It also secretes insulin, associated with the most common diabetes. Amazingly, it does this without harming or digesting itself… normally. Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas that develops when the normal protective mechanisms of the organ are overwhelmed by pancreatic enzymes, resulting in autodigestion.

What is the cause? Anecdotally, most veterinarians (myself included) will blame a dietary indiscretion of a high-fat diet (often table foods) as the inciting cause most of the time. In truth, the actual causal agent of pancreatitis is frequently unknown. What we do know are a whole lot of related risk factors associated with pancreatitis and pancreatitis patients.

Certainly, ingestion of high-fat foods is on that list. But we have all heard the story of how the same dog has eaten the same table food many times without a problem, and the other dogs in the household ate the same thing and are having no problem. Pancreatitis is more common in obese animals (that probably eat more table food anyway, which is why they are obese). Hyperlipidemia (high levels of fats/lipids in the blood even when fasting) is associated with increasing frequency of pancreatitis.

The miniature Schnauzer is a breed often associated with hyperlipidemia and pancreatitis. But pancreatitis can also cause hyperlipidemia. Pancreatitis can also cause diabetes, at least transiently.  Diabetes is also associated with hyperlipidemia, and it is not unusual for a miniature Schnauzer to be diagnosed diabetic. Which came first? Isn’t this complicated? There is more…

Some commonly used drugs have been associated with pancreatitis, including furosemide, a diuretic often used in cardiac dysfunction; if the heart is not functioning well, the pancreas may suffer from hypoperfusion or poor blood supply, which leads to pancreatitis as well). Potassium bromide, an anti-seizure medication, has been associated with a higher frequency of pancreatitis. Hyperlipidemia has been associated with seizures.

Now suppose you have an older, overweight, diabetic, hyperlipidemic miniature Schnauzer taking potassium bromide for occasional seizures, and on furosemide for mild heart disease. How do you prevent pancreatitis? Well, at the very least, be extremely careful with diet. The bacon fat can find some other use.  Also, consider pet insurance.

If your pet is diagnosed with pancreatitis, it will usually be treated in-hospital at least during the acute phase. It was once believed that all oral stimulation and food should be withheld to avoid stimulating the pancreas to secrete enzymes, but current thinking is to provide oral nutritional support as soon as nausea can be improved. IV fluid support, antiemetics, antibiotics, and narcotic pain medications are usually the basis of treatment. Complications can involve the liver-bile duct system, sepsis, or in severe progressive necrotizing pancreatitis, surgery may be required to address the peritonitis (inflamed or infected abdominal cavity). Other complications can include pulmonary failure, kidney failure and blood coagulation problems.  While most patients do recover, pancreatitis is not usually a 24 to 48 hour recovery.  Expect your pet to be in-hospital for several days, and if complications do develop, the prognosis for recovery is reduced.

Although in some cases it may be unrealistic to completely prevent pancreatitis, you can certainly reduce the risk by eliminating associated risk factors as much as possible and adhering to very strict dietary control. You should work closely with your veterinarian to identify the risk factors you have the power to change. Specially developed prescription-only diets are very beneficial also.