Archive for July, 2010

     Hi all!  The rain we’ve been praying for finally arrived last night, with plenty of Hollywood special effects like realistic-sounding thunder and bolts of lightning.  Of course, we all know that thunder is merely the sound of angels bowling and lightning is nothing more than God taking our picture with a flash camera.  Apparently, He likes photographing us while we’re sopping wet.   

     Jokes aside, storms are serious business for people whose dogs panic during thunder and lightning.  A client once told us his dog crashed through a plate glass window in a frenzy during an electrical storm.  What can you do if your pet has a storm phobia?

Sedate him

     In extreme cases, a dog may need to be given a sedative as the storm is approaching, so the pet is less likely to cause harm to itself.  Sedatives are dispensed by the veterinarian after an examination to determine if the pet is healthy enough for medication.

Calm him naturally

     HomeoPet Anxiety TFLN (Thunderstorms, Fireworks, Loud Noise) is a natural anti-anxiety product which does not cause sedation.  HomeoPet touts its product as safe and easy to use.  It is a liquid which can be administered in the food or directly into the mouth.

Swaddle him

     Perhaps the most intriguing idea I’ve found is the Storm Defender Cape.  The cape (indoor use only) reduces the pet’s sensitivity to the static charge which builds up in the air during electrical storms and heat lightning.  I would love to hear from anyone whose pet has worn this cape.  How well did it work?  If you’d like to be the first to try, visit

More Tips

     Dr. Patty Khuly has more advice for calming storm-phobic dogs (cuddle, crate, compete.)  She recommends the Storm Defender Cape, as well.  Go here to read more.

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     Hi there!  Remember, Dr. Miele will be out of the office all day this Thursday – that’s tomorrow already!   Prescription medications cannot be filled in the doctor’s absence, so be sure to call us today for any refill approvals you may need.  Dr. Miele will be back on the job on Friday, so not to worry.

Captain Obvious says…

     It’s hot out there!  We’ve recently had days where the temperature hovered over 100 degrees.  That’s bearable out in California, where the air is pretty dry.  But here???  In humid Virginia???  And it’s not even August yet???  No fair!  I blame the sun.  I think the sun is responsible for all this hot weather.  Now, can someone please pass a law requiring the sun to turn its AC unit up?  I think that would really help.  I hope Congress gets right on that.

Heat Stroke in Pets

     In the meantime, you still have to protect your pets from heat stroke.  This goes beyond the usual caveat of never leave your pet in a car while you go shopping, babysit, attend a sporting event, spy on your boyfriend, etc.  Here are some tips:

  • Keep pets indoors as much as possible, especially if they are sluggish or panting soon after going outdoors.
  • Limit exercise to brief walks in the coolest parts of the day.  Keep in mind that hot pavement and sand can burn pets’ paws.
  • Provide plenty of cool water.  Check water throughout the day, as it can become hot if left outdoors. 
  • Kennels and pens should have good ventilation and air circulation and should be kept in shaded areas.

Warning Signs of Heat Stroke or Heat Stress

     Your pet may need emergency assistance if it exhibits any of the following signs:

  • Excessive panting and drooling
  • Bright red gums
  • Balance problems
  • Lethargy
  • Staring or anxious expression
  • Labored breathing
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Failure to respond to commands
  • High fever
  • Collapse

What To Do

     Lower your pet’s body temperature by easing him into a cool (not freezing) bath.  Water from the outdoor hose may be hot, so that may not be your best option.  If you can, bring your pet indoors and place him in a tub, taking care to keep his mouth and nose above water [we use stacks of towels to accomplish this.]  Apply ice packs to his head and neck.  Call your veterinarian for further instructions.  In most cases, your pet will be hospitalized for treatment and observation.  By necessity, this sort of care may take place at the 24-hour emergency hospital.

Who Is At Risk?

     Any pet can have heat stroke, but some are more susceptible than others.  All pets need to be protected on hot days.  However, these pets are more likely than others to have a problem:

  • Very young and older pets
  • Short-nosed/pug-nosed breeds
  • Overweight pets
  • Pets with cardiovascular or respiratory disorders
  • Pets with a previous history of heat stress

[Information borrowed from “Summer Pet Tips” by Ralston Purina Company and “Summer Safety Tips” by Firstline magazine.]

     Take care out there!  ~~ Jen

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     Happy Friday!  Today, I’m rounding up all the freebies and promotions going on in our clinic, as well as events around town. 

Promotions and Freebies

  • Advantage – Buy a 4 pack, get 1 free tube.  Offer expires August 31, 2010.
  • HeartGard Plus- Win What You Buy gamecards available through August 31, 2010.  Scratch off the gamepiece to find out if you win a free pack of HeartGard Plus.
  • Free Pet Poison Helpline static clings.  Know whom to call in a poisoning emergency.
  • Free Greenies Pill Pockets samples for hard-to-pill dogs and cats.  Limited supply.
  • Free tick ID charts, fits in your wallet.  Know what’s biting you and your pet!  Limited supply.
  • Free Blessed Lifestyle magazine, courtesy of Alexandra Whiteside, The Lady Contractor.  Limited supply.
  • Free YellowBook phone book covers, in sturdy plastic; courtesy of The Lady Contractor.  Limited supply.

     Congratulations to Linda C., our first winner in the Win What You Buy game.  Linda won a free 6-month supply of Heartgard Plus!

Community Happenings

  • Tonight:  Eileen Stouter’s Opening Reception and art display at the Pembroke 4 Art Gallery, 7-9 PM.  291 Independence Blvd, Virginia Beach.
  • Sunday:  Tidewater Winds in concert at the Roper Performing Arts Center (historic Loew’s Theater), 7:30 PM.  340 Granby Street in downtown Norfolk.  The concert is free and open to the public.  Park in the Freemason Garage or the MacArthur Center Garage. 

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Your ticket to savings.

     Are you ready to save on vet visits?  Here’s one way to do it:  become part of the Referral Rewards Program, and rack up Referral Rewards Cards for future visits.  Here’s how it works:

  • You refer Mrs. X and her pet to our clinic.
  • Mrs. X arrives for her appointment and names you as the referrer.  Mrs. X becomes a paying client.
  • We send you a single-use Referral Rewards Card for use on your next visit. 

     The Referral Rewards Card entitles you to receive a 10% discount on the following items for one pet per visit, when you present the card:

  • Examination
  • Vaccinations
  • Heartworm test
  • Fecal test

     You may only use each card one time for one pet, but the cards do not expire and there is no limit to the number of cards you can acquire.  If you refer 5 families, you receive 5 cards. 

     Make sure your friends, family, neighbors, and co-workers tell us who sent them, so you can start earning your Rewards today!

Terms:  Referral Rewards Cards are not transferable.  Client must present the Card at the time of service in order to receive a discount.  Only original Cards will be accepted; we cannot accept copies or home-made cards.  Discounts are not available on any items not listed on the Card.  Only one card may be presented per pet, per visit.  For additional information or clarification, please contact Jennifer at 583-2619.

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     Dr. Miele will be out of the office next week on Thursday, July 29th, only.  He will resume regular office hours on Friday, July 30th.      Please note that prescription medications cannot be dispensed in Dr. Miele’s absence.

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(Photo removed)

For Sale:  Yorkie pups, born March 25, 2010.  Breeder owns both sire and dam and has had pups vaccinated and microchipped.  Please call (redacted) to inquire about purchasing a pup.

(Dr. Miele has not examined these pups, and neither he nor Little Creek Veterinary Clinic can provide any guarantee or statement of health regarding the puppies.  You may ask the seller to provide health records from her veterinarian.)

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Collection of postcards featuring works by Eileen Stouter

     If you’ve been in our office within the past year, you’ve likely noticed the beautiful watercolor paintings which hang in our waiting room.  The paintings are the creation of our client Eileen Stouter, featuring her beloved cats Buff, Goldie, and Marco.  I have purchased several of her works, and Mrs. Stouter graciously gifted our clinic with three of the watercolors.

     Mrs. Stouter’s paintings have run the gamut from pets to still-lifes, garden settings to seashores and beyond.  Her attention to detail conveys realism, while her delicate touch with a paintbrush adds an ethereal quality.

     Mrs. Stouter’s works have been featured at the Norfolk Botanical Garden, The Gallery at East Beach, and the Chesapeake Bay Art Association Outdoor Art Show.  Now you can see her latest works of art at the Pembroke 4 Art Gallery.

     The Pembroke 4 Art Gallery is hosting an opening reception this Friday, July 23 from 7 to 9 PM.  The paintings will then remain on display during normal business hours through October 16th.  The Pembroke 4 Art Gallery is located at 291 Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach.  Look for the gallery on the ground floor.

     I encourage you to take the opportunity to view Mrs. Stouter’s artwork on display.  You may discover a favorite new artist.  ~~ Jen

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