Archive for February, 2011

Dr. Miele will be out of the office on the following two dates:

Wednesday, March 2nd (all day)
Thursday, March 10th (afternoon only.)

Please note that we are unable to prescribe or dispense medications,
or provide medical services in the doctor’s absence.

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     Are you ready to change your license plate?  You’re in luck!  It’s been said that Virginia drivers sport more vanity plates on their vehicles than drivers in any other state.**   

     And it’s not just a matter of cleverly announcing your favorite sport in plate-speak.  (10S NE1?)  We’ve also been blessed with activists who have engendered specialty plates for everything from trains to Jimmy Buffett to your favorite school

     As a dedicated pet owner, you may be interested in plates that financially benefit animals or just raise awareness to a cause.  Try these on your truck:

Animal Friendly – benefits shelters

Greyhound Adoption

Horse Enthusiast

     **I admit I’ve contributed my fair share to this number over the years.  My vanity plates have included NOTAMAX, HOLODEC (not my idea, I swear), BLU BLUD, and NHL-MLB.  I once had the Animal Friendly plate and have since moved on to Patriot, a scary faceless man in Colonial garb.  I did draw a face on him, but the rain washed it away.  ~~  Jen

P.S.  Bonus points (not good for anything; just a bonus, really) to anyone who can guess the meaning of any three of my four personalized plates.  I am weird, so…good luck.

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All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Some cities, such as Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

     Pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

     The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies

     Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

     Veterinarians do not report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since the disease is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.  ~~  Jen

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I’d like to ask you a question and I’m going to be blunt:  is your pet fat?  If so, it’s not alone.  The Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP) estimates that more than half the dogs and cats owned by Americans are overweight.  Unfortunately, that’s not the sort of company you want your pet to keep.  Here’s why:
Extra weight carries health risks for our pets, just like it does for us.  Obesity can contribute to

  • arthritis
  • diabetes
  • heart disease
  • high blood pressure
  • kidney disease
  • respiratory disease

Want a quick way to find out whether your pet is carrying extra weight?  Check these four areas:

  • Ribs – can you feel them?  If not, they may be covered by a layer of fat.
  • Stomach – is it sagging or bulging?  Not good!
  • Back – is it wide and flat?  Also not good!
  • Waist – can you see it?  Your pet’s waist should be defined.

Start by asking your vet for a diet recommendation for your dog or cat.  Next, add exercise to your pet’s weight loss program.  Use a conservative approach to exercise with obese dogs and cats.  As the pet loses weight, the amount of activity can be gradually increased.

     APOP has compiled a list of toys it recommends to get your pet moving.  Here are just a few:

You can find the full list of toys and technology here.

Note:  some pets may have a liver, thyroid or adrenal gland condition which causes weight retention and bloated stomach.  Certain diseases may need to be ruled out before an effective weight loss program can begin.

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Wednesday, March 2nd, so that he may attend a veterinary seminar.

Please note that we are unable to prescribe or dispense medications, or provide medical services in the doctor’s absence.

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The Monster Under the Bridge, waiting to be discovered.

     Confession time: I don’t own a dog.
I have plenty of cats, a bird, and a fish, but no dog. So I don’t really know what it’s like to go hiking through a park with a canine companion.
I have seen others do it, so I know the experience runs the gamut from strolling with a pet that seems unaware of any other park visitors, all the way to having one’s arm yanked out of the socket as the dog tries to chase every person, pet, and butterfly it sees.
I’ve often thought it would be nice if state parks featured dog rentals, so that folks like me could have a little company on the trail while the lucky pooches get some exercise and meet new people. Controversial? You decide.

If you’re lucky enough to own a dog and you enjoy walking your dog through the local parks, but the trails always feel the same to you, it may be time to take a closer look and discover the secrets you’ve been strolling past all these years.
It’s time to discover geocaching.

Go to and register for a free account (go ahead and pay for a premium version if you’d like.)

The cutest cache ever!

Type in the zip code of the park you’ll be visiting and search for caches hidden there.
Load the coordinates into your handheld GPS unit (I use a Garmin Nuvi 200) and head out in search of your treasure.
Be sure to bring some dollar-store toys along to exchange with an item from the cache. I use Happy Rocks, bought on a trip to Shenandoah last summer, and Happy Magnets that I made using round magnets and happy face stickers.
When you find the cache, sign the log and update the website so others will know of your success.

You may be wondering if your dog will be any help – any help at all – in locating the caches. Well…it’s doubtful, unless the cache contains a T-bone steak (unlikely.)
The point is, you’re out having fun, exercising with your dog and seeing the park in a whole new way.  Enjoy!


My sister (aka The Lady Contractor) and I team up to look for caches, and we’ve had success at Waller Mill Park in Williamsburg and Windsor Castle Park in Smithfield.

Can't find it on the ground? Try looking up.

Also look for caches hidden in First Landing State Park, York River State Park, and Chippokes Plantation.  Happy hunting!       ~~  Jen

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Your ticket to savings.

Attention registered clients:  

You can save money on future visits to our clinic and – best of all – there are no clubs to join or contracts to sign. Simply recommend our practice to your friends, family members, co-workers, neighbors, total strangers, and that cute guy who bags your groceries at Food Lion. 

Make sure the person you refer knows your name so you can receive credit for the referral. For each person who becomes a registered, paying client, you will receive a single-use Referral Rewards Card good for 10% off exams, vaccines, fecal and heartworm tests.

There is no limit to the number of cards you can receive, but you may redeem only one card per pet on each visit. The cards are non-transferable – you worked for them, so keep them!

For more information, call Jennifer at 757-583-2619 or fill out the form on our Contact page.

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