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Archive for November, 2010

 

     Santa has a website!   Visit www.santaclauscta.net to find out how you can bring Santa to your Christmas gathering – whether it’s at home, at the office, or at a public event.  Craig T. Adams, of Dr. Madblood fame, is the best Santa in town.  So don’t wait another minute – book him today!

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Hill's will no longer accept "Free Product" coupons

     Hill’s Pet Nutrition has announced that, due to fraud involving counterfeit coupons, it will no longer reimburse Free Product coupons for Science Diet and Prescription Diet (as illustrated above.)  Because of this, we can no longer accept these coupons, either.  Both legitimate and counterfeit coupons are included in Hill’s decision.

     Consumers who have questions about the change may contact Hill’s Consumer Affairs Department at 1-800-445-5777.

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Schedule Update

Our holiday hours will be as follows:

Wednesday, November 24…………Open 10 AM until Noon

Thursday, November 25……………Closed

     Dr. Miele will also be away from the office on Wednesday, December 1st.  Please make a note of it, as we are unable to dispense prescription drugs in the doctor’s absence.

     Should your pet have an emergency, please contact the Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center at 499-5463.

     We wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving!

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Smart Pet Bandanas

     My sister and I were perusing the massive Christmas craft show at the Kempsville Rec Center (I was on my way to pick up a work by local artist Mary Kay Holladay, natch) when I met Joy Gazaway of K9 Just in CASE.  Joy had a fabulous set-up of bandanas, collars, and leashes made from just about every fabric design available. 

     Joy’s idea for her dog bandanas is a simple, yet crafty one:  hide a pocket on the underside of the bandana and in the pocket, hide a baggie for doggy bathroom emergencies.  Even the leashes come with an extra D-ring to hold a bag.

     Joy offers her products in so many designs, you’ll want to get several.  Military-minded pet owners can choose from among Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine emblems on bandanas.  Have a cat?  Joy has thought of you, too: visit the Kitty Corner to see bandanas made to fit over cat collars.

     If you prefer to shop “in person” rather than over the Internet, visit K9 Just in CASE on December 11th (8 AM – 1 PM) at Santa’s Workshop, Red Mill Elementary School in Virginia Beach.  ~~ Jen

UPDATE:  Joy has contacted me with the following information –

“There is one addition if you will.  I will also be at the Holiday Marketplace at W.T. Cooke Elementary School on December 4th from 10 am to 3 pm.  It is a relatively new show and benefits the PTA.  The President of the PTA invited K9 Just in CASE to be there.  She is a lovely woman and is working very hard to make the show a success.  So a mention of that show too would be appreciated.”

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Picture Day

 Some of our favorite beasties…

Curly

Josie

Tiger

Miss Kitty

Buddy

Sunny

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     …don’t let the bedbugs bite.  That’s getting tougher than ever:  the U.S. is being hit with a resurgence of these nasty bugs since the most effective pesticides have been outlawed.  Boo.  And now comes word that our pets may be bothered by the little blood-suckers, as well.  That makes sense; bedbugs live on blood and they aren’t terribly picky about the source.

My dog scratches all the time and has bug bites, but I don’t see fleas.

     If your pet’s been keeping you awake nights with the sounds of constant scratching and chewing, and you’re plagued with itchy welts, too, bedbugs could be the culprits.

How do I find the little suckers?

     Get a flashlight, pull back the sheets and mattress covers and look for specks of blood, droppings, shed skins and eggshells and the little brown bugs themselves.  Inspect behind the headboard and all around the mattress and boxspring, especially at the seams.  Check nearby furniture, including chairs, nightstands, and bureaus.  The bugs like to insert themselves into the thinnest cracks and crevices, so examine all spots, however small.  Remember to inspect the undersides of furniture, as well.

EEEEK!  I found some!  Now what?

     If you discover an infestation, call a professional licensed exterminator for help.  Some companies use insecticides to combat the bugs, while others use extreme heat-producing appliances.

Where do bedbugs come from?

     Well, kids, when a mommy bedbug and a daddy bedbug love each other very much – oh wait, that’s not what you meant, is it?  We’ll save that story for another time.  Bedbugs can be transported in on used furniture, clothing, and suitcases.  I’ve made it a habit to travel with a Maglite and carefully check the bed and other furniture in hotel rooms.  For Craigslist fanatics, beware the Curb Alert – free furniture is not a bargain if it comes with bugs.

If I have bedbugs, does that mean my house is dirty?

     Bedbugs don’t distinguish between dirty homes and clean ones.  They’re just looking for a food source and that is you.  And sometimes your pet.  Cleanliness has nothing to do with it.

Are bedbug bites dangerous?

     They’re more annoying than anything.  The bites may become infected due to excessive scratching.  Otherwise, bedbugs are not known to transmit disease.  In severe infestations, though, a patient may develop anemia. 

Where can I go to see bedbug photos that will freak me out and make me feel itchy all night?

     Glad you asked!  The College of Agriculture at the University of Kentucky has an awesomely informative PDF on bedbugs here.

How many beds could a bedbug bug if a bedbug could bug beds?

     Tragically, that question remains unanswered to this day.

~~Jen

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Some information for this article was gleaned from an interview between Clinician’s Brief and Dr. Susan Little.

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The Case for Vaccines

Whether you’re leaving your pet at a kennel or taking it with you for the holidays, ensure that your pet is up-to-date on its vaccines.  This isn’t just a good idea:  it’s also the rule in many places.

As noted in a previous installment, vaccines themselves do not fight disease.  Rather, they prepare the body to respond to an actual viral or bacterial onslaught.  The effectiveness of a vaccination protocol depends on the health of the pet’s immune system and its ability to respond to vaccines as designed.

Not all pets will develop the desired high level of immunity to disease.  (Titer tests are available to gauge how well a pet is protected against a limited number of diseases at any particular point in time.)  Vaccination is proven beneficial to communities as a whole, as well as to individual pets.  Where disease is adequately controlled, pets with weaker immune systems benefit because they are less likely to be exposed and therefore are less likely to have to combat disease.

Boarding kennels are small communities in which disease can spread like wildfire if vaccination rules are not enforced.  Canine flu first reared its head some years ago by running rampant through kennels and dog pounds.  Once researchers became aware of the disease, they were able to develop a vaccine to slow its spread.  You may think the boarding kennel’s long list of required vaccines is a bit draconian, but it is based on real-world experience with epidemics and the desire not to repeat them. 

Even if your pet is typically healthy, someone else’s pet may not be.  If your pet is a non-symptomatic carrier of an illness, another pet could develop a full-blown illness.  At this stage, the virus or bacteria will multiply rapidly and gain strength while taking advantage of the pet with low immunity.  The now-stronger organism can spread to the other pets housed nearby.  Faced with such a challenge from a fellow boarder, even a healthy dog or cat will likely develop some degree of illness while its body responds to the invading organism. 

Knowing this, it is everyone’s responsibility to adhere to the vaccine regulations for their pet’s health and for the health of the community.  Rabies-free countries (like England) and states (like Hawaii) are especially driven to prevent the introduction of disease.

Which vaccines are most often recommended?

For dogs:

*DAPPv (also called DHPP) – combines Distemper, Adenovirus, Parvovirus, Parainfluenza

*Rabies

*Bordetella – also known as Canine Cough or Kennel Cough

*Canine Flu – also known as H3N8.  It is caused by a different virus than Parainfluenza.

For cats:

*FVRCCP – combines Panleukopenia (Feline Distemper), Rhinotracheitis, Calicivirus, Chlamydia

*Rabies

*Leukemia

Why does my pet need vaccines for a road trip?

Travel can bring stress and stress can lower immune response.  Coupled with outdated vaccines, that can make a pet more susceptible to illness.  Consider that you will likely walk your pet at some point during the trip.  Can you guarantee it won’t come across other animals or animal droppings? 

Why does my pet need vaccines for airplane travel?

Most airlines and destinations require only Rabies vaccine for travel.  Not all pet owners choose to inoculate their pets against airborne diseases such as Flu or Bordetella.  Your pet may be sharing space with unprotected animals, which leaves your pet exposed.  Again, combining travel-induced stress with a lowered immune response and outdated vaccines, your pet could end up with a severe illness.  Don’t take that chance.

As a final note… 

Immune systems need time to respond to vaccines and prepare the body to fend off illness.  For this reason, we advise vaccinating your pet at least one month in advance of traveling or kenneling.

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This is the final installment of the travel series.  Is there anything not yet discussed that you would like to know?  Leave a comment or send a private e-mail to dr_miele@yahoo.com

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