Roger is a gorgeous senior kitty that would love to have a home where he could get all the attention. Please consider adopting this wonderful cat. More ...
Baby is a very sweet but shy mixed breed dog that came from the Hopi Reservation. She needs a patient and understanding home, preferably with at least another dog companion. More ...
Raya is a gorgeous, healthy pit bull mix that has been waiting a very long time for a forever home. Please check out her bio, all she really wants is a family of her own to love. More ...
Yeah or Nay by Dr Carrie Hutchinson
I often get asked during appointments if the use of online pharmacies is safe. My answer is … most likely, but I can’t be 100% sure. I personally know that the medications that I dispense, whether it be Interceptor, Frontline or Enalapril are just that because I purchase them directly from the manufacturer or a direct distributor supplied by the manufacturer. I also know that I have a veterinary/client/patient relationship (which is required by state law) with each and every one of you who leaves my office with medications. I cannot know the quality of a product when it is purchased at an internet pharmacy.
Recently the FDA issued an advisory to warn consumers of the risks of buying pet medications online. Apparently the FDA found that certain companies were distributing medications without the necessary prescriptions from veterinarians and were also selling counterfeit and unapproved products. Check out this online: Purchasing Pet Drugs Online: Buyer Beware.
In light of this FDA report, we will be encouraging all of you to NOT purchase products over the Internet. This is to ensure that you are receiving the appropriate medication, or heartworm preventative. We, and the manufacturers we deal with, will stand behind everything that we give to you and your pets.
Are you having difficulty getting medication into your pet? Talk to us and we may be able to not only give you some nifty tips but change the way you give the medication. Some medications can be dissolved in water or milk or crushed into something tasty and some can be formulated into a liquid or gel that you apply to your pets’ ear or skin or even as a tasty chew! Be sure to call us, however, before attempting any of this on your own as some pills/capsules cannot be opened or crushed, as they can be irritating to the digestive tract. Remember if we prescribed it, it is important that your pet receive it so don’t hesitate to call us.
Eli Lyons hopes you all had a Happy Valentine’s Day! Sending lots of kisses.
We have recently added a Companion Therapy Laser from LifeCure, LLC to our clinic. Laser therapy is a drug-free, surgery-free and pain-free alternative treatment that can provide relief for many common pet ailments.
Below are just a few of the disorders that respond well to laser therapy:
For more information about this new treatment option, please contact us.
Click below to see the many ailments that laser therapy can help with.
Please call to schedule a consult with one of our veterinarians.
"Serena," a 13 y.o. Aussie was running and skipping playfully after her 2nd treatment. The owners had not seen this much activity in several years. They were quite delighted.
This Dachshund is fostering this little guy for another mom who couldn’t take care of him.
He is just a little bigger than her other pups.
She loves this little guy as much as the other puppies and is nursing him back to health.
He is the cleanest pig-puppy ever, because she licks him all the time! His name is Pink.
We lost some special friends November 2010 through February 2011; we will miss them all.
Cody Adams, Zippy Cruz, Foxy Goodman, Lady Katz, Guinness Ashenbrener, Dempsey Komurek, Shadow and Queenie Covolesky, Spats Lyons, Sandy McVeigh, Snoopy Lugas, Jerry Steinbeck, Sophie White, Freddy Knoble, Sable Collins. Koko Cliver, Kazoo Belfi, Madison Cutler, Pumpkin Szostak, Electra Yost, Owen Laub, Angus Peoples, Taffy and Jasmine Doerr, Maggie Reardon, Sumi Brown, Bob Lodise, Bailey Rosario, Pickles Mason, Lola Wright, Monkey Lee, Samantha Zabarkes, Laddie Washinock, Zachary Pugach-Klein, Snickers Feldman, Gizmo Desjardins-Goldberg, Leo McIlhenney, Tux Lyons A. J. Krupp, Jewel Russell, Danny Fink, Smokey Meck, Susie Q. Farrell, Missy Kurtz, August Wharton, Russ Russell, Ebbie Dugan, Misty Cutler, Boomer Alberti, Wesley and Tigger Wolf, Barney of Blind Dog Rescue, Lilly Stoltz, Matilda Wilk, Lady Shifflett, Angie Luecke, Mellow Koller, Bumper Scheckel, Bitsy DeMaio, Emily Jacoby, Darla Blue Baldus, Jeremy Glickstein, Ginger Santucci, Schmitty Buckley, Simone Lee, Tootsie Fassano, Shamrock Townsend, Lady Towarnicki, Sammy Pierce, Spencer O’Neill, Tyler Theis, Misty Russell, Zoe Caputo, Tony Taylor, Lassie Swope, Lorenzo Nardone, Teddy McNichol, Dunkin Bolno, Jo Rockett, Simon Rifkin, Pierre Roberts, Becky Lawlor, Parker Cantor, Rascal Steinberg, Spike Vara, Casey Coyle, Belle Welsh, Bear Picchione, Nina Karaoulis, Skittles Cooper, Scottie Bicoff, Pepper Selbst, Spot Covert, Sundance McGivern, Tamar Griffies, Nonie O’Neill, Teeter Gault, HopeFox-Clancy, Sonny Selhat.
Is it Spring yet? I wasn’t much of a snow bunny as a kid (it loses its charm when it takes 20 minutes for your mom to dress you to go out) and as an adult on ski trips with my friends I could almost feel my knees break during ski lessons. Well, after enduring many cold, snowy winters, I still am not crazy about this time of year and neither are my pets. The yard is too slippery for the dogs to play and it’s too cold outside to open the windows so that the cats can sit on the windowsill. But we’re doing our best playing hide-n-seek with tennis balls (dogs) and chasing the fuzzy mouse (cats) to work off the excess energy. And me? I have discovered the joy of Wii Swordplay! OK, I’m a few steps behind but I’m having fun never–the-less while I wait for Puxatawny Phil’s prediction of an early spring to come true.
In this issue we talk a little about how to make an educated search for a new puppy/dog (all the points hold true for cats too) and the pros and cons of pet insurance. We have some whimsical Ask the Vet questions and of course our own Lisa Berkenstock imparts her words of wisdom from the trainer’s perspective.
In our last issue, we asked for your ideas on a new catchier name for our newsletter and several of you sent in some wonderful suggestions. Unfortunately we had a computer glitch (darn computers!!) and we lost most of your emails. Can you please send us your suggestions again? The winner will receive a $25 gift certificate to their favorite pet store (we like Pabby’s Pet Pantry). Please email us at: email@example.com with Newsletter in the subject line.
Now where’s that Easter Bunny? Kathy
As most of you know I have a new dog, Carmen, that I adopted from Faith’s Hope Rescue. She is a great dog with a young child’s habit of putting everything into her mouth – from the cat’s head to bag ties to chew bones. So with ghastly images of a foreign body obstruction and astronomical emergency room bills I started insurance shopping. Remember shopping for health insurance for your family? Well guess what folks, it ain’t any easier wading through policy restrictions and waivers for your pet! Not only are there a ton of companies to choose from, but the range of plans and deductibles and premiums can be daunting. Remember, you must pay the medical bills up front and then you are reimbursed.
That being said, there are some basic things to look for when shopping:
Hey mom ... let me help you
figure it out, I am a smart girl!
So, have I found an insurance company for Carmen yet? No, still shopping and hoping for the best. What I have found is that an accident/illness policy for a 1-year-old American Pit Bull Terrier is between $21 and $32 a month – times 12 is $240-$360 plus a year times say 12 years is $2880-$4320 over her lifetime. Which really isn’t a lot compared to $3000 for surgery if she swallows a foreign body, or $2200 per ACL (knee) repair (she is a pit bull after all) and all the bumps and bruises that come with an active breed.
It may worth it to insure her. But, as with all insurance, it is an expense that only pays off if you have to make a claim. Oh, to be able to see into the future .
So – to insure or not to insure? I still have not made a decision but I hope this information makes it a little easier for you to decide for your own pet. And if you do let me know because I can use all the help I can in making a decision for Carmen and in advising others.
Or the newspaper? Or the internet? Ok, so it’s a trite question – a cliché – but at least two times a week or more someone asks us where he or she should go t o get a puppy? Or, ”I was at the mall and saw a really darling (fill in the blank)... is it Ok to buy it?” Or, ”I was on PetFinder and saw Fluffy – whadaya think? They want $$$$ (fill in a dollar amount), so it must be healthy,” or, “It wouldn’t come from a puppy mill, right, if they want that much money?” “I found this breeder on the Internet – they say they’ve been breeding poos and ugs for years – so they can’t be a puppy mill either – can they?” “Aren’t all puppy mills in Lancaster?” Aside from PA, the largest puppy mill states are Kansas and Missouri, but every state is not without its mass production animal facilities. What really is a puppy mill? That depends on the person at the end of the discussion. Most see it as a filthy, rundown place where dogs are bred from their first heat until they can no longer reproduce and then left to languish or are shot/beaten and left in a mass grave. Or it can be a well run, clean operation where dogs are produced like livestock – clean, healthy, in well lit, well ventilated commercial facilities but produced to supply a demand and where individual temperament is probably not used in the breeder selection process. Either way, it is not the ideal place to purchase a pet.
If I’m lucky, the person that I’m advising already has a particular breed in mind. Then it is easy, well somewhat. I can then direct them to a reputable rescue or the national breed club where they will hopefully encounter well informed breeders and enthusiasts. There are breed specific rescues and clubs where you can go and ask all the questions you have about your chosen breed.
OK, I’ll make it easy for you all. First, do your homework into the type of dog that will fit your family’s lifestyle. Are you active, hiking on the weekends or jogging every day? Do you work long hours? Many young, large breed dogs need hours of exercise and can be quite a handful when left everyday for long periods of time. Or do you like to mostly hang out in front of the TV or computer? There are lots of breeds that enjoy nothing more than hanging out on a lap. Now, you realize, that I said “fits your lifestyle”, not just “what do you want?” If you are looking for a particular breed, then go to the Internet. Go to the AKC/UKC National Breed Club – see if there are going to be any dog shows in the area where you can see real live representatives of your breed. You can also talk to some owners of your chosen breed(s). OK, if you have narrowed down your choices and you have found someone with puppies or a suitable adult, if all they can tell you is how wonderful their breed is and how healthy and smart their particular line is – WALK THE OTHER WAY! Everything has a down side.
The same goes for a rescue groups. They should tell you the good AND the bad about the individual dog you are looking at. Dogs were bred for a purpose, be it hunting birds or critters, guarding/protecting the home, herding livestock or to just sit in your lap. These traits exist in even the mixed breed you may see at a shelter. So that sweet little Beagle will probably be happy with whoever enters your home, but he may also be inclined to chase the first bunny
into the next county if your fence is not secure or someone leaves the door open. And that cool Cane Corso may be great with your kids but might not be too happy when your teenagers’ friends are over and they are rough housing on the floor. So do your homework and be honest and realistic about your lifestyle. Remember, this is a long term commitment, and the more information that you can gather ahead of time, the more likely that you will find the “perfect” match for years of love and enjoyment.
Here is a checklist no matter where you purchase/adopt your new family member. This is best done before you meet the potential new family member:
For more information about puppymills, go to www.unitedagainstpuppymills.org.
So how much is that doggie in the window? If you do your homework with your head and not just your heart, if you are realistic in your expectations, and purchase your pup from a reputable establishment, then all of those years of love and joy will be, to plagiarize a popular commercial, PRICELESS!
As a professional dog trainer, I enjoy the challenge of working with dogs of various breeds, ages and personalities. As a veterinary behavior technician, I see pets with many different histories. Some were obtained from a breeder. Others were found or inherited or received as gifts. No matter what the background or history, the vast majority of dogs and cats that find their way to me through their owners, are alike in many ways. They are typically well cared for, well fed and loved. Unfortunately, many of my clients' pets were not always that lucky.
At least half of the animals that I see in my training and behavior business were originally from a shelter or rescue. In fact, ninety percent of the animals in my home were originally in the care of a rescue or shelter. Today, anyone interested in obtaining a new pet can find a selection of animals of all ages, breeds and breed mixes available for adoption. One search on www.petfinder.com can unearth over 320,000 available animals from over 13,000 adoption groups nationwide. The numbers are staggering.
Their life stories are heartbreaking; unwanted litters of pups, young strays with no identification, pregnant adolescent females who have spent their lives tied up outside. Stories of broken bones and broken spirits fill the Petfinder pages. Our local shelters are also overrun with lovable, adoptable animals just waiting for a responsible adopter to commit to them for life.
Owning a pet for life requires just that, commitment. Commitment to teaching them, training them. Commitment to their wellness, nutritious food and comprehensive medical care. Commitment to bonding with them and nurturing them and loving them, for life.
If you are ready to open your home to a new pet and you are looking to make a commitment to an unwanted dog or cat, I can assure you that your search will not be difficult. The selection is plentiful; male and female, old and young, short and long hair, all colors and sizes. There are countless, perfectly wonderful pets just waiting to commit to YOU, unconditionally.
Three was our limit, 3 cats was all we had room for, in our small apt we barely had room for the cats and us. But Hope wasn't thriving at the vets, she had been there for 5 months and needed a place to call home. She tried her best to find a home, she would greet the customers, sometimes even jumping down to sit on their laps, but no one wanted to adopt an older cat with health issues. So I took her home. Jim says that I told him it was just temporary but I don't remember that, and it turned out that Hope became his favorite.
She slept on him every night, right on his chest, most times with her face laying on his. She followed us around, like she didn't want to lose sight of us. The other cats she ignored completely, they didn't exist as far as she was concerned.
We knew when we adopted her that she was an older cat with health issues so it wasn't a surprise when her kidneys started to fail and we needed to put her on a special diet, and supplements and give her subcutaneous fluids. She may have been old but she was feisty and hated the fluids. She didn't mind the food, as long as she still got her favorites: yogurt and peanut butter.
She was only with us for 3 years. When you adopt an older pet you know that they won't be with you for a long time, you know that your time with them is going to be limited. But that doesn't change how you love them, or how they love you. You can't withhold your feelings, in fact you love them more because you want to make up for all the years you weren't there.
Chance is an older Pomeranian that was adopted in November. His new mom took him in for an exam. All his bloodwork was normal and he was sedated for a long overdue dental procedure. Here is what Chance had to say one week after his dental:
“Hi! I came to the clinic last Wednesday to have dental work. I had nine teeth pulled. I was so sad for a few days. :( Now I am the happiest dog in New Jersey! I can finally chew and eat with no pain. I am even starting to chew Greenies.
Just wanted to say thank you. My mommy had to type this for me because my paws couldn't handle the keyboard.”
P.S. I don't want to brag but yesterday I won the Cutest Dog Contest at Petco. I took first prize. I am sending you a picture. I hope you like it.
Your new friend, Chance
With the change in season around the corner, it is a good time to talk about parasites because they do love these warmer temperatures. Many of you are already giving monthly heartworm preventative (topical or pill form) to your dog but may not know why or understand all the benefits. To appreciate this I would like to briefly discuss the life cycle of the canine heartworm. If a dog is infected with adult heartworms, it has the potential to be fatal because these worms are big (up to 14 inches in length) and live in the pulmonary arteries (major vessels off of the right heart). These adult heartworms put other dogs at risk by releasing baby heartworms called microfilaria (not eggs like other parasites). These microfilaria are picked up by mosquitoes and go through a few larval changes (L2 and L3) before they become infective to another dog. Once the larval heartworms are in a new dog (L3), they go through a few more changes over about a 3-4 month period before they become adult heartworms (L3-L5/adult) and produce their damaging effects (strong inflammatory response, inappropriate blood clotting, congestive heart failure, and eventually death).
There are a variety of heartworm preventatives but all work in a similar way: preventing the adult heartworm stage by killing the early larval stages (L3 and L4s) after an infected mosquito has bitten a dog. As an added bonus, most heartworm preventatives also have other parasite killing benefits. For example, Heartguard plus also kills two intestinal parasites, hookworms and roundworms. Interceptor and Sentinel kill three intestinal parasites (hookworms, roundworms, and whipworms), while Sentinel also sterilizes fleas. Revolution (a topical heartworm preventative) also treats/kills fleas, dog ticks, ear mites, and sarcoptic mange mites. Thus, I do recommend a monthly heartworm preventative not only for the health of the dog but for the health of the family. Roundworms and hookworms can be spread to people and cause major health problems, even blindness (children and the elderly are most at risk). If your dog is not currently on a heartworm preventative, please call us as soon as possible so we can test your dog to ensure he is negative and help you pick which one is the best for you and your pooch.
And just incase you were wondering, cats too can suffer from heartworm disease! Since cats are an abnormal host for the canine heartworm, most worms are killed by the cat's immune system. However, during this time, a major inflammatory response can produce a very ill cat. Inflammation can happen from both the migrating larva in the lungs and from the parasite once it is killed. Symptoms of heartworm disease in cats are respiratory distress (like asthma), chronic cough, vomiting and even sudden death. There are heartworm preventatives available for cats too-just ask us!
Ask the vet questions can be submitted by Email.
While cats are naturally equipped with everything they need to groom themselves they still require some help from their owners. If done properly grooming can be a quick and painless experience for both you and your cat. Grooming your cat gives you a chance to check for matting, lumps, fleas, skin irritations and their overall physical health. It is better to do shorter and more frequent grooming sessions rather than one long one. Brushing is one of the most important steps in grooming your cat. Brushing prevents matting, reduces hairballs and helps cut back on shedding. Long haired cats should be brushed daily paying special attention to the areas behind the ears, around the neck, and the hair in between and around the legs. Overweight cats require daily brushing also because they have a harder time reaching certain areas. Short haired cats require less grooming but should be brushed out at least once a week. Slicker brushes and fine toothed combs work best for properly brushing out your cat. These brushes and combs can be found at almost every pet store or where pet products are sold. Nail trimming is another important part of grooming your cat. Not only is nail trimming essential to your cats overall health but it also helps to protect your furniture from scratching. Whether you choose to groom your cat at home or if you prefer to take your cat to a professional groomer, grooming is something that needs to be done and is important for your cats overall health.
These are some common questions posed by pet owners. I asked the doctors to chime in and this month Dr. Carrie and Dr. Betty (all the way from CA) are our contributors:
Q. What is "puppy breath"?
Dr. Carrie: I have always thought of puppy breath as the smell of new life. It is thought to be due to what puppies eat: mother's milk and gentle puppy food. As they age, unfortunately, they eat heavier/stronger foods and also tartar/bacteria increase both of which take away the glorious smell of puppy breath.
Dr. Betty: Puppy breath is just the normal breath coming from the GI tract. Puppies often eat more canned food than adult dogs and this may have something to do with it.
Q. Why do dogs' feet smell like Fritos?
Dr. Carrie: "Frito" feet is due to a mild yeast present in the sweaty paws of dogs.
Dr. Betty: Do they? It must be from wearing old socks. Seriously, an odor from the feet could be a fungal skin infection. The infection is just an overgrowth of normal skin organisms, in particular Malasezzia yeast. If there are no open skin lesions, topical treatments alone may help (sprays, creams, foot soaks).
Q. Why don’t cats become gray as they get older like dogs do?
Dr. Carrie: Cats aren't as prone to graying with age as dogs are. I believe it to be due to the overall metabolic differences in the species. Cats generally age more gracefully.
Dr. Betty: Cats, my friend, do NOT get old. I really don't know the answer to this, but guess it has something to do with the ability to continually generate melanin in the hair follicle.
Q. Why do cats "chatter" when they see a bird?
Dr. Carrie: Excitement. Epinephrine, flight or fright response. They are obligate carnivores and one of nature's best hunters. It is instinctual for them to kill small prey.
Dr. Betty: This is an excitement response to seeing prey. They never chatter in any other context as far as I know. We think it's cute, but they may be thinking about the kill.
After losing his parents, this 3-year-old orangutan was so depressed he wouldn't eat and didn't respond to any medical treatments. The veterinarians thought he would surely die from sadness. The zoo keepers found an old sick dog on the grounds in the park at the zoo where the orangutan lived and took the dog to the animal treatment center. The dog arrived at the same time the orangutan was there being treated. The two lost souls met and have been inseparable ever since.
The orangutan found a new reason to live and each always tries his best to be a good companion to his new found friend. They are together 24 hours a day in all their activities.
They have found more than a friendly shoulder to lean on. Together they have discovered the joy and laughter in life and the value of friendship.
Long Live Friendship!
Some say life is too short, others say it is too long, but nothing that we do makes sense if we don't touch the hearts of others while it lasts!
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