Dr. Beale joined GCVS in 1992 after completing his residency and serving on the faculty of the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine. He also attended the University of Florida's College of Veterinary Medicine.
Dr. Beale has a special interest in arthroscopy, minimally invasive surgery, fracture repair, treatment of arthritis, and pain management. He has authored many book chapters and scientific articles and is a co-author of two veterinary textbooks — Small Animal Arthroscopy and The Pet Lover's Guide to Canine Arthritis and Joint Problems.
A frequent speaker at local, national and international meetings, Dr. Beale has also lectured frequently in Europe, Asia and Latin America. He is a past president of the Veterinary Orthopedic Society, past president of the Gulf Coast Veterinary Foundation, and active in the American College of Veterinary Surgeons.
Dr. Beale's current practice is devoted to the care of pets with orthopedic, musculoskeletal and arthritic disorders. He uses arthroscopy to treat many disorders of the shoulder, elbow, carpus, hip, knee and hock. Minimally-invasive techniques are used to stabilize joints and fractures, thus reducing pain, speeding recovery and improving the long term outcome of the pet.
He is also a diplomate with the American College of Veterinary Surgeons, and when not practicing veterinary medicine, Dr. Beale enjoys tennis, golf and all outdoor sports. He loves to travel and meet new people around the world.
GCVS is a referral-only hospital located in the Galleria area. The doctors work closely with a pet's primary care veterinarian to provide the best and most advanced veterinary care possible. GCVS specialists are available in orthopedic surgery, soft tissue and oncologic surgery, neurologic surgery, neurology, physical rehabilitation, avian and exotic medicine, physical rehabilitation, radiology, oncology, dermatology, internal medicine and critical care.
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When it comes to pet adoption it's easy to get caught up in cute puppies or kittens, and hilariously clumsy adolescents, but adopting an older pet can be extremely rewarding for both pet and owner. Unlike when adopting a puppy, when you adopt a senior pet, you know exactly what you're getting - no surprises here! You can rest assured that the "terrier mix" you are adopting is not actually a shepherd mix that will grow to 85 pounds. Beyond the purely physical, however, older animals will have an established personality, reducing the possibility of an unexpected digger, chewer, or barker in your home.
In addition, a senior pet is more likely to have at least basic training, including house training. Even those older pets who don't necessarily know sit and stay are more likely to be able to pick up instruction quickly... unlike an energetic and unfocused puppy. Don't let anyone tell you that old dogs can't learn new tricks, either - they can and they will! Older pets also require less supervision, as anyone who has had a puppy or kitten can testify. A senior animal is more likely to want to hang out with you on the couch versus a 5 mile walk, so if your lifestyle is more laid-back, an older animal may be right up your alley.
Finally, many times adopting a senior animal means a life saved. Older animals are often in-line to be euthanized first, and are adopted last. So when considering bringing a new pet into your life, let yourself fall in love with a face that has some white on it, and adopt a senior pet.
As promised, this week we will discuss a growing phenomenon in feline medicine - heartworm disease. Many cats are naturally resistant to heartworms. Dogs have been the traditional host for heartworms, but studies have shown that some cats do contract the disease from mosquitoes. In fact, the details of infections in cats (age, overall health, indoor vs outdoor) is very similar to dogs, just in much smaller numbers.
Heartworms in cats are typically smaller in size and have a shorter lifespan than heartworms in dogs (2-3 years in cats versus 5-7 years in dogs). However, the presence of heartworms can cause significant damage to a cat's heart and lungs. Even when cats are only infected with larvae, not adult heartworms, damage can be severe. An infected cat will begin to show asthma-like symptoms such as difficulty breathing and coughing, as well as vomiting, lethargy and weight-loss. These symptoms can be difficult to diagnose, and sometimes multiple tests may be necessary to confirm the diagnosis.
There are currently no approved products for the treatment heartworm disease in cats. In some cases, however, cats will spontaneously cure themselves of the disease with no outside care. When necessary, cats can be supported with fluids, and medication, and in some cases, surgical removal of the adult heartworm can be attempted.
The best way to treat heartworms in cats is to prevent them. Fortunately, we now have options for heartworm prevention in cats, including monthly topical liquid products like Revolution, and oral medication, like Heartgard for Cats. Even cats that are considered "indoor" are susceptible to heartworm disease, so work with your family veterinarian to provide complete heartworm protection for all the four-legged kids in your home.
This year fleas - and especially ticks - have been cropping up more and more lately, and seem to be harder to get rid of than ever! Other than their just their inherent "ick factor", fleas and ticks are also a problem because they are capable of spreading disease to your pet.
Fleas are the major carrier for heartworms in both dogs and cats. Yes, cats can get heartworms, too! More on that in next week's blog. Making sure that you consistently and punctually give your pet heartworm prevention medication throughout their lives (pills for dogs, topical liquid for cats) will keep your pet heartworm free with very little in the way of expense or difficulty. The diseases that ticks bring to the table, however, do not have the type of prevention options as we do for heartworms. Tick-borne diseases can be serious, and the only way to truly prevent your pet from contracting them is to keep ticks off of your pet!
Lyme disease is one of the most common tick-borne diseases in the country. Lyme disease is most often transmitted through deer ticks, which must be attached to the host for 48 hours to transmit the bacteria responsible for Lyme disease. So if you are able to catch the tick's presence within the 48 hour window, the chance of infection for Lyme disease is very low. For pet owners who live in areas where deer ticks are present, particularly around wooded areas or grassy fields (where white-tailed deer might generally be found), there is a vaccine against Lyme disease available for dogs. For patients who are already affected by Lyme disease, oral antibiotics are often recommended. Common symptoms of Lyme disease include fever, swollen lymph nodes, lameness, inflamed joints, etc.
Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) is another common tick-borne disease found in the U.S., most often in the midwest or grassy plains area. Unlike with Lyme disease, a tick transmitting RMSF only needs approximately 5 hours before infection occurs. There is no vaccine currently available for RMSF, and as with Lyme disease, oral antibiotics are often recommended for treatment. Symptoms for RMSF are similar to Lyme disease, and include joint pain, fever, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, kidney and liver disease, and in some cases even neurological problems (such as seizures).
There are many other tick-borne diseases that can affect our pets, such as anaplasmosis and ehrlichiosis, which have similar symptoms. Because we live in an environment that is conducive to ticks, it's important to be educated about ticks, tick-borne diseases, and how to prevent ticks in your pet. Check with your family veterinarian for the best way to keep your pet safe from fleas and ticks!