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Archive for January, 2011

     Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Wednesday, February 2nd, in order to attend a Dentistry conference.

     The clinic will be open from 10 AM to Noon for retail sales and patient information.  Please note that we are unable to prescribe or dispense prescription drugs in the doctor’s absence.

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  Squirrel.  Bird.  TV remote control.  Wooden toy train.

     What do those things have in common?  They were eaten by dogs and cats last year. 

     Veterinary Pet Insurance has shared with us a list of the 60 most unusual items ingested by pets, according to VPI claim forms in 2010.  (More after the story below.)

     Imagine you’re searching everywhere for the bikini you bought for your honeymoon to the Bahamas.  You’re getting married and leaving in two days.  There’s no time to buy a new bikini!  Wait – what’s that sound?  Your Labradoodle Fuzzy Bear is getting sick on the couch.  You admit to yourself he’s been a little “off” the past couple of days, but now he can’t seem to stop vomiting.  You rush Fuzzy Bear to the emergency vet where they run some tests and discover the problem:  Fuzzy Bear has eaten your bikini. 

     Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) processes thousands of the above type of claims each year.  And, yes, add “bikini” to the list of items removed from a dog or cat in 2010.  Also making the list:

  • box of pencils
  • 16 steel wool pads
  • razor blades
  • Frisbee
  • eye glasses
  • rosary crucifix
  • 25 to 30 soiled diapers
  • part of a deer antler
  • pin cushion
  • tampon
  • glass Christmas ornament
  • fishhook
  • baseball
  • jellyfish

     VPI reports that its policyholders spent nearly $3 million, collectively, treating foreign body ingestion cases.  And that report comes from a single insurance company, which means the national total is much higher. 

     Take a look around your house – is it pet-proofed?  If you think “Oh, my pet will never eat that,” think again.  The take-away lesson?  The next time you can’t find your glasses or bikini or favorite Christmas ornament, it’s not because you’re losing your mind.  It’s because the dog ate it.  ~~  Jen

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Information for this article was gleaned from DVM Newsmagazine, January 2011, p. 45.

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A single Tapeworm egg packet. Photo by Jennifer Miele.

Of  all the worm eggs we search for under a microscope, the elusive Tapeworm egg is the most difficult to detect.  Not because of its size, mind you – these things are huge compared to other worm eggs.  The problem is, there tend to be so darn few Tapeworm eggs, we rarely see them.  By contrast, a mild Roundworm or Hookworm infestation can result in a slide saturated with eggs.  You are more likely to see Tapeworm segments on your pet’s fur than we are to find eggs in a fecal sample.

In fact, the segments you see on your pet’s fur are called proglottids, and they function as egg sacs. As these pieces detach from the larger worm still inside your pet (yuck), they may start releasing their eggs, which then appear (microscopically speaking) in your pet’s stool. Because of this, you will often see the proglottids before the vet has a chance to check a stool sample and find the eggs.

     Recently, though, we got lucky.  A pet presented with an infestation of Tapeworms, which provided me the opportunity to photograph the egg packet shown above.  Below, you will see something even more rare.

Five Tapeworm eggs as viewed through a microscope. Photo by Jennifer Miele

Okay, I admit it’s pretty silly to get excited over something so gross.  In fact, I hope you’re not eating lunch or dinner as you read this.  After the worming we gave, these little guys won’t be eating lunch or dinner, either.  Meanwhile, we seldom see so many egg packets together in one frame, which is why I consider this slide “rare.”

     The fun didn’t end there, however.  Once the sample had time to float all eggs to the surface, we found a couple of these guys trying to sneak by:

 

Mystery slide. Photo by Jennifer Miele

What’s that?  A little hard to see, compared to the Tapeworm eggs?  This little dude is shown at the same magnification as his giant neighbors.  To make it easy on you, I’ll crop it and show you what we’re looking at.

Hookworm egg. Photo by Jennifer Miele

       It’s a Hookworm egg.  How adorable.  I found only a couple of these eggs on the slide.  All I can figure is that the Tapeworms had a head start and were beating up on the hapless Hookworms that showed up late to dinner.

     Imagine the Worm Wars taking place inside your pet.  Not a pretty picture, is it?  If your pet is not already on a monthly heartworm/intestinal worm preventative medication, now is the time to act.  Have your dog’s blood tested first; it should be free of heartworm disease before starting any of the preventatives.  Cats and dogs should have their stool tested for intestinal worms, as well.  Any adult worm infestations should be treated by the vet.

     Check out our favorite heartworm and intestinal worm preventative medications:

Revolution for Cats……….treats and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, fleas, ear mites

Iverhart Plus for Dogs……treats and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms

Iverhart Max for Dogs……treats and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms

HeartGard Plus for Dogs……treats and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms

Sentinel for Dogs…….treats and prevents heartworms, roundworms, hookworms, whipworms, fleas

     Questions?  Call Jennifer at 583-2619.  Happy worming!

 

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The Cat Boat of Amsterdam    

     I used to believe cats and water don’t mix.  That was until June 13, 1990, when my sister, Alexandra, and I took a boat ride down the Singel Canal in Amsterdam.  We passed a large houseboat populated by what I described at the time as “fat, contented and beautiful” cats.

     More than twenty years later, De Poezenboot – also known as The Cat Boat – is still a haven for the stray cats of Amsterdam.  According to De Poezenboot’s website, Ms. Henriette van Weelde was a caretaker of many strays in her hometown, earning the nickname “the cat lady.”  When she ran out of space for her feline friends at home, she knew she had to come up with a solution.  
     Inspiration struck while gazing at the houseboats along the canal outside her door.  Ms. van Weelde purchased the first boat to house cats in 1968.  Since then, two more boats were acquired to hold the burgeoning population of strays, as well as retire boats no longer fit for service.  Thanks to the dedication and creative thinking of one woman, the stray cats of Amsterdam have enjoyed waterfront living for over 42 years.

     Be sure to visit The Cat Boat’s website.  And don’t worry – it’s in English.  ~~  Jen

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    FREE or CHEAP – take your pick

1.  Free ASPCA Pet Safety Kit (at home)……..window decal and ASPCA Poison Control magnet.  Click here for details.

2.  Free Bark Buckle UP Pet Safety Kit (on the road)…….click here for contents and order form.

3.  Pet Health Alert ID tag for $5 shipping………..click here for a customized medical alert ID tag for your pet.  Let others know your pet’s special health needs.

 

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The Love Connection Edition    

     “Pet ownership and beyond…”  This blog’s tagline means I’m bringing you more than pet ownership basics.  Using this blog and my extreme websurfing talents, I shall perform a social service, in advance of Valentine’s Day.  Call me Cupid.

     Single pet-parents take note:  there are Internet-based dating services designed to match you with the pet-enthusiast of your dreams.  No more falling in love with someone, only to discover she can’t stand cats.  Or you meet Mr. Perfect and he claims to be allergic to poodles (impossible, I say!) 

     It’s bad enough when you discover the person you love eats only cheese pizza, while you’re an “everything on it” type.  There are no pizza-based dating services (except in Chicago, I’m sure) but there are plenty of pet-owner dating services. 

     I want you to find love by Valentine’s Day, and you have only 28 days to do it, so here is a list of services to get you started:

www.datemypet.com

www.horseloversconnection.com

www.lovemelovemypets.com

www.mustlovepets.com

www.petpeoplemeet.com

     Good luck out there!  ~~  Jen

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Clipart provided by http://clipart.edigg.com

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     …I’ve been cheating on this blog with another blog.  If you’ve been a follower of my old-school newsletters and now this website, you know I have an imagination.  And a weird sense of humor.  It turns out that I can’t contain it all in one place.  So, back in November, I set up a personal blog,  Short Attention Span Fiction,  on which I publish my own short stories and, in one case, a poem.

     If you’d like to know what goes on in my head when I’m not being all business-like, SAS Fiction is the place to be.  Leave a comment or two.  Or three or four.  Tell your friends and family to check it out, too.  I freely admit to being fascinated by statistics and watching my readership grow.  I keep the site PG, so no worries there. 

     Meantime, I’ll formulate some animal-centric content for this blog, so we don’t forget why we’re all here.  But get used to the cheating, because that’s here to stay.  ~~  Jen

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How could anyone say "no" to this face?

     It is a fact of military life that deployments mean painful separations from loved ones, including pets.  Sometimes, pets are relinquished to shelters when a sailor or soldier is unable to place them with a friend or family member.  There is little chance the serviceperson will see their pet again.

     For this reason, organizations have arisen to offer an alternative:  foster homes for military pets.  People just like you volunteer to care for a dog, cat, fish, bird, or horse, with the knowledge that the pet will be returned to the owner at the end of deployment.

     Check out www.operationnoblefoster.org for information on placing or fostering cats.  Visit www.netpets.org/netp/foster.php for Net Pets.Org’s Military Pets Foster Project.  Service personnel and foster families are linked up online, though the serviceperson chooses the appropriate home for the pet.  Written contracts are strongly encouraged.

     If you have “room for one more,” considering fostering a soldier/sailor/aviator’s pet.  It is a great way to thank someone for his or her service to our country.  ~~  Jen

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