August 15th is National Check the Chip Day — and for good reason:

1 in 3 family pets will get lost…

microchipped pets are more likely to be returned to their homes…

however…

it is estimated that only 6 out of every 10 pet microchip IDs are registered in a searchable database — and some that are registered may contain outdated owner contact information.

A microchip ID is a valuable tool for reuniting lost pets with their families — but only if the chip is registered with current contact information.

You can check your pet’s microchip ID registry status in two ways:

  1. If you know your pet’s microchip ID number, visit www.petmicrochiplookup.org and enter the ID number. If registered, you can then contact the appropriate database [the contact info will be provided] to update your phone number and address.
  2. If you do not know your pet’s microchip ID number, bring your pet to a veterinarian, such as Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, for a free microchip scan. [Most chips can be read by our universal scanner.] Once the microchip ID number has been discovered, you can enter it into www.petmicrochiplookup.org and follow the instructions.

If your pet is not registered in any database, Pet Microchip Lookup will tell you the chip’s manufacturer and contact information so that you can register your pet’s microchip ID right away.

If your pet does not have a microchip ID — a permanent form of identification — Contact Us to schedule an appointment to ‘chip your pet.

Microchip ID statistics

Three resources you can use to prevent or respond to
pet poisoning incidents

Thinking about sharing a meal with your pet? VetProtect can tell you which foods are unsafe for your buddy.
Photo credit: Rarnie McCudden via Pexels.

Pet poisoning incidents can happen fast. Your puppy licks antifreeze from the garage floor. Your teenager shares his garlic bread supreme pizza with the cat. Your spouse gives Tylenol to the dog, to alleviate arthritis pain.

In pet poisoning cases, time is of the essence when it comes to treatment. And knowing the right way to begin treatment is essential (for instance, should you make the pet vomit or not?)

The good news is, help is available in several forms. Here are three resources for you to know:

VetProtect – Pet Safety app — This app helps prevent pet poisonings by letting you know whether a particular food item or medication is dangerous for your pet. It can even tell you how much your vet emergency bill might be if someone does give your pet a dangerous food or drug. [Also available in Spanish.]

So you fed your Chihuahua that big bunch of grapes, even though VetProtect told you not to. Now what?

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) — The APCC is open 24 hours a day / 365 days a year to help you in a pet poison emergency. Many hospitals will contact a poison control center, such as the APCC, for guidance in treating a poisoning emergency.

Call 1-888-426-4435 for emergency advice that you can take with you to the hospital, and instructions for anything you can do at home to help your pet. Expect to be billed a consultation fee on your credit card (most recently $65, but this amount is subject to change.)*

Pet Poison Helpline (PPH) — PPH is available 24/7 to help with your pet poisoning emergencies. A $59 fee will be billed to your credit card. PPH will work with your pet’s doctor or the emergency vet to coordinate a treatment plan.

Call 1-855-764-7661 for help, any time of day or night.

*Subject to change.

And be sure you know the location of the nearest pet emergency hospital. In Hampton Roads, we recommend BluePearl and Bay Beach.

It’s been almost two months since we last gave you a reason to enjoy the Internet. With the most recent news cycle, it seems a good time to find more lighthearted, uplifting content.

Tired of the same old-same old? Wake up to the cutest content on Twitter!
Image by Pixabay via Pexels

Today, we focus entirely on Twitter. Here are the Great Eight Twitter accounts we think you’ll love —

Humor and Animals: “The Feel Good Page Of The Year”

We Rate Dogs: “Your Only Source For Professional Dog Ratings”

Awwww Cats:Adorable photos and videos from all around the world”

pup: “Providing the best pup pictures and videos of all puppies & animals”

The Animal Fight [Ignore the misleading name — these videos are adorable!]

In Otter News: “The very best Water Sausages from around the world”

Good doggos: “Some dogs are Doggos, some are Puppers, and some may even be Pupperinos. But they are all Good Boyes.”

Baby Pups: “Love puppies” [Features kittens, too!]

Go ahead and click on a few — we think you’ll be hooked, and you’ll love going online again!

Guest Post: Cat Eye Problems: All You Need To Know
By Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
Original article and links found here.

Discovering that your cat is squinting in one eye or that the cat’s eyes are red around the edges can be disheartening – nobody wants to see their furry friends suffer and feel uncomfortable, especially since the eyes are such a delicate part of their body.
Cat eye problems are one of the most common health issues that felines face and they can cause permanent damage in a relatively short time if left untreated.

That is why it’s so vital that you keep an “eye out” for any cat eye problems and know how to recognize the most common symptoms that could be a cause for alarm.

Are your cat’s eyes the picture of good health?

Warning Signs of Cat Eye Problems
Even though cat eye issues can be dangerous, the good news is that in most cases, you can spot them rather quickly and ensure that you provide your cat with treatment early.
If your cat is living indoors-only, it might not be as likely to develop eye problems as an outdoor cat because it’s less exposed to feral cats and diseases that they may carry,¹ but there are still risks.
Even a relatively small cat eye injury can become infected, and you may soon start noticing your cat squinting their eyes and trying to clean them.
If you notice that your cat’s eyes suddenly become runny, with colorless or even yellow or green discharge, you can be fairly certain that your cat has either a viral or a bacterial infection.² Especially if the discharge is followed by redness and respiratory symptoms, which will require urgent treatment to avoid complications.
If your cat is squinting in one or both eyes, this can also indicate an infection. Even if no other symptoms are present.
Finally, keep an eye out for your cat scratching at their eyes which may indicate a severe issue.

Common Cat Eye Problems
Since cats aren’t always vocal or expressive about health issues and may act more or less normal even when not feeling too well, you will need to look for behavioral changes which could indicate problems.
Luckily, issues involving your cat’s eyes are usually readily apparent and obvious. A simple examination of your cat’s eyes to look for irritation, redness, or squinting can be sure signs of an issue.
But what are some of the more common eye problems that cats suffer from?
One of the most common issues is conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye.” Conjunctivitis is the inflammation of the mucous membrane of the eye which can cause runny eyes, swelling inside of the eye, and redness. Cat pink eye is usually a result of a viral or bacterial infection and may appear at the same time as an upper respiratory system infection.
Another common eye issue is a corneal ulcer. An ulcer can develop from an injury, because of a genetic abnormality, or even from an infection that isn’t treated promptly.³ The most common symptom of a corneal ulcer in a cat is a cloudy eye. However, it is usually accompanied by rubbing of the eyes, redness, as well as more severe discomfort for the cat.
Other common cat eye problems include irritation from allergies or various environmental factors, as well as more serious eye issues such as cataracts or glaucoma.

What Causes Cat Eye Problems?
There are a wide range of reasons that can cause cats to develop eye problems. It’s essential to know the most common cat eye issues and what symptoms to look for. It is also important to understand the causes of these issues so that you can try to prevent them from developing in your furry friends.
For instance, conjunctivitis is most frequently caused by a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, but there are other ways it can develop, too. It can be caused by non-infectious issues due to hereditary factors, traits of certain breeds, allergies, or tumors.²
A corneal ulcer, which often appears as a cloudy eye in a cat, is commonly the result of an injury. Whether your kitty accidentally rubbed their eye against something too strongly, or became injured by a foreign object or during a skirmish with another cat, the result will often be an ulcer that will need to be treated immediately.
Irritation, itchiness, and redness are usually caused by environmental factors such as allergies, chemicals, or a range of other factors. So it’s important to consult with a vet to determine the cause.
As for more serious conditions like glaucoma and cataracts, they can develop because of a genetic predisposition to these problems.[4,5] For cats, however, it more commonly is the result of an infection or trauma.

Eye Problem Treatment
If you notice something wrong with your cat’s eyes, it’s important to act fast. These issues will likely require diagnosis and treatment. The longer your cat goes without treatment, the greater the chance of the symptoms becoming more severe. The good news is that as long as you act quickly, the better the chance is that your cat will make a full recovery.
Issues like conjunctivitis or corneal ulcers may be treated with antibiotics since they are often caused or at least followed by an infection. In other circumstances, your vet may prescribe eye drops to reduce irritation and help the eyes heal.
In the case of glaucoma, it’s crucial to drain the fluid to relieve eye pressure as quickly as possible. This will not only reduce the discomfort and pain your cat is feels, but it will also help minimize the long-term negative effects.
Finally, your vet might not prescribe any treatment and simply recommend your cat rest to allow the issue to heal on its own. It is important to allow a licensed veterinarian to make a treatment decision like this and to never try to diagnose your pet on your own. This will ensure you pet receives the best treatment available.
And if you want to have peace of mind knowing that your cat will always have the best treatment options in case it develops eye problems, check out Pets Best’s Cat Insurance which offers complete coverage for your pet. Call us at 1-877-738-7237 today, and we’ll help you find a plan that works best for your individual needs.

1 American Humane (2016, August 25). Indoor Cats vs. Outdoor Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://www.americanhumane.org/fact-sheet/indoor-cats-vs-outdoor-cats/
2 Ward, E. (2009). Conjunctivitis in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/conjunctivitis-in-cats
3 Ward, E. (2017). Corneal Ulcers in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/corneal-ulcers-in-cats
4 McLellan, G.J., & Miller, P.E. (2011). Feline glaucoma: A comprehensive review. Veterinary Ophthalmology, 14(1), 15-29. doi:10.1111/j.1463-5224.2011.00912.x
5 PetMD.com (2019). Cataracts in Cats. [Web blog post]. Retrieved June 28, 2019, from https://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/eye/c_ct_cataract

Use this method to make switching foods easier and gentler on your pet’s digestive system

There are a number of good reasons you might change the food your pet is eating, including:

  • Pet enters a new stage of life [puppy/kitten stage to adult, or adult to senior]
  • Pet develops a food allergy
  • Pet requires a prescription diet to manage health issues, such as obesity or liver disease
  • Pet refuses to eat its regular food
  • Pet could benefit from a higher-quality food than the one it currently eats

[Note: Before changing your pet’s diet, consult with your veterinarian.
In the case of prescription diets, your pet may need to be
on a strictly measured amount, rather than free-choice feeding.]

 

The key to making the switch is to gradually introduce the new food, so that your pet’s digestive system has time to adjust to the new ingredients.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, recommends using this formula to introduce a new food to your pet:

Days 1 and 2: Feed 3 parts old food and 1 part new food*

Days 3 and 4: Feed 2 parts old food and 2 parts new food (i.e. half and half)

Days 5 and 6: Feed 1 part old food and 3 parts new food

Day 7: Feed only the new food

*Be sure to calculate how much of each food to give, so that you are not overfeeding.

Note: If your pet experiences loose stools during the transition, your veterinarian may recommend adding probiotics to the diet.

Questions? Clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic can Contact Us for more information.

*********************************************************************

This article originally appeared on January 21, 2016.

Have you heard of the nutritional benefits of probiotics?
Did you know pets can take probiotics, too?

 

What are probiotics?
Probiotics are microorganisms (bacteria) that live in the intestines and aid in the proper digestion of food. The “healthy” bacteria also help to limit harmful bacteria colonies and boost the immune system.

When the beneficial microorganisms are depleted — due to illness, use of antibiotics, or another reason — digestive upset such as diarrhea, gas, and constipation can result.

Eventually, the healthy bacteria (also called “flora”) will recolonize — but that can take time. A faster, safe method of encouraging the growth of new digestive flora is through giving your pet probiotic supplements, such as Vetri-Mega Probiotic.

Vetri Mega Probiotic for your pet’s g.i. health!

At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we have used Vetri-Mega Probiotic with success in stopping diarrhea and promoting normal, healthy digestion in pets.

What is in the bottle?
Each bottle holds 120 capsules containing  several strains each of Lactobacillusand Bifidobacterium (both are beneficial bacteria), along with an important prebiotic – fructooligosaccharides (FOS).

Wait — what is a prebiotic? 
Think of a prebiotic as food for the probiotic. The FOS in Vetri-Mega Probiotic helps the good bacteria to flourish in your pet’s intestines. In particular, the FOS stimulates the growth of Bifidobacteria.

If your pet has been experiencing diarrhea or constipation, your vet may recommend a probiotic supplement to assist in recovery.

Clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic may Contact Us to learn more about Vetri Mega Probiotic for their pets.

***************************************************************************

This article originally appeared on February 12, 2013.

The heat index for this week is predicted to be just over 100° F in Norfolk, Virginia Beach, and elsewhere in Hampton Roads. That makes it risky for people and their pets to spend much time outdoors. Heat stroke under these weather conditions is a real and present danger.

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, recommends restricting pet exercise to cooler hours of the day and night; keeping pets in air conditioned areas during the day; and providing plenty of cool water to drink.

Here are some handy reminders on how to protect your pets from hot cars and hot pavement:

[Hint: NEVER leave your pet in the car!]

Source: ASPCA — Click or double-click to enlarge

www.aspca.org

 

Source unknown

Keep in mind that asphalt can retain heat even after air temperature drops, so check the pavement as suggested below:

 

Source: Nationwide — Click or double-click to enlarge

www.petinsurance.com