Archive for June, 2011





Our office will be closed on Monday, July 4th in celebration of
our nation’s independence.

We will return for regular office hours on Tuesday, July 5th.










Graphics courtesy of

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     How is it possible that I did not know the Budweiser Clydesdales were appearing at tonight’s Norfolk Tides game? 
I really missed the boat -er, saddle- on that one.     Look at those sweet faces – how could you not love them? 
Photo credits:  top, Paul Keleher; bottom, Bev Sykes.  Via Creative Commons license.

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     Please be on the lookout for a white Jack Russell Terrier which has gone missing from East Ocean View Avenue in Norfolk. The dog was last seen in its outdoor kennel on Friday, June 24th.
     The dog is a neutered male, all white except for a dark spot over the left eye. He has an embedded microchip and may be wearing an electronic collar.
     If you have seen this dog or have any information on its whereabouts, please contact Jennifer at 757-583-2619. If our office is closed, please contact your local animal control office.

     Chesapeake Animal Control…….382-8080
     Norfolk Animal Control……………664-7387
     Virginia Beach Animal Control…385-4444

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) and Pet Poison Helpline have teamed up to create a helpful refrigerator decal warning about drug dangers for pets.

     These are the Top Six categories of human medications that are toxic to pets; examples of the drugs are in parentheses, but are by no means a complete list:

  1. Pain relievers (Advil, Aleve, Motrin, Tylenol)
  2. Antidepressants (Zoloft, Cymbalta, Effexor)
  3. ADD/ADHD medications (Ritalin, Vyvanse)
  4. Sleep aids (Klonopin, Ambien, Lunesta)
  5. Muscle relaxants (Lioresal, Flexeril)
  6. Heart medications (Cartia, Cardizem)
    Decal available at our clinic. Get yours FREE while they last!

    Coming soon:  New Pet Owner packs sponsored
    by Veterinary Pet Insurance


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     Every home should have a first aid kit for people. But pet owners should have a second kit for their furry family members. You can put together your own kit (using a watertight container) with these items:

  • Veterinarian’s contact information
  • ER veterinary clinic contact information
  • Scissors
  • Tweezers
  • Gloves
  • Gauze pads
  • Gauze rolls
  • Soft muzzle
  • Alcohol prep pads
  • Cold pack
  • Digital thermometer
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Rags or rubber tubing
  • Blanket or towel

    VPI (Veterinary Pet Insurance) provides these tips on knowing how to respond in an emergency:

     “Survey, Secure, Stat! While it’s important not to self-diagnose your pet’s symptoms, you must first determine the situation. Next, stabilize your pet, then take him to the veterinarian, who will want to know what happened and when, and if your pet is feeling worse, better or the same since the incident occurred.”

     Note that First Aid does not mean you provide all the medical care at home in a true emergency. However, there are occasions, such as in heat stroke or burns, where some home treatment is necessary to stabilize the pet in order to transport him safely to the hospital. In the case of burns, VPI recommends this procedure:

Survey: Burns
              Your pet’s skin has obvious signs of burns, or he has ingested a toxin and is drooling, pawing at his mouth or swallowing excessively.

Secure:  Restrain your pet. Flush burns with cold water or apply a wash cloth cooled with ice water.

Stat!:  Go to the clinic within the hour, or immediately if electrocution was the source of injury. Bring the [responsible] chemical agent with you, if possible.

     These tips and more are available at our clinic in a brochure by VPI entitled “First Aid for Your Pet.”

Need to Know Now:

Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center…….757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline……………………………………………….1-800-213-6680 ………….Learn how to take your pet’s temperature and what is considered normal or abnormal temperature range.

Suggested reading:

The First Aid Companion for Dogs and Cats

First Aid for Dogs

Pet First Aid:  Cats and Dogs  

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     Pet Sitters International has designated Friday, July 24th as Take Your Dog To Work Day. Their website  features a link so you can register for the event and download a special kit to help you and your pooch on the big day.

     Check out their tips on preparing your dog for the work environment and then enter their photo contest.

     By the way, I love their dog-in-a-tie logo, but I couldn’t grab it for this blog. It’s adorable!  ~~  Jen


     Have you ever taken your dog or other pet to work? Tell us about it in the comments section! 

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Every year, thousands of people seek emergency medical treatment for dog bites. How can you avoid being one of them? Follow these tips from State Farm Insurance and the American Veterinary Medical Association:

“Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Because children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
     “Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs. Children should be taught to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting the dog.”
     “Other tips that may prevent or stop a dog attack:
  • Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don’t give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
  • Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
  • If a dog approaches to sniff you — stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
  • If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.”
     These tips and more are available in a brochure at our office.

When he’s this close, can you tell if he’s smiling or snarling? Luckily, this guy was happy to meet me. Photo by Jennifer Miele

     I love big dogs.  We have some real doozies come through here:  French, Italian, and English mastiffs, gargantuan Great Danes, supersized German Shepherds, daunting Dobermans, Rottweilers built like a brick house, even a Saint Bernard or two. Large dogs are huggable, squeezable drool machines, and with the proper training they are great company. But any dog, any size, any breed can bite. While a small pooch can deliver a nasty injury, large dogs hold a greater potential for harm. For that reason, I believe owners of large dogs have a serious responsibility to train and control their pets at all times, but especially in public.
     Even though I’ve worked in a veterinary clinic for a couple of decades, I have no secret weapon for fending off aggressive dogs. I have had my share of scares while hiking through state parks and other public places where dog owners keep their pets on a long leash or no leash at all.  Admittedly, it is quite difficult to keep cool when approached by a hostile animal. The worst part is how the owners seem to move in slow-motion to stop the dog, as if they are absolutely certain their pet won’t bite. But who wants to be on the receiving end of their incorrect assumption?
     Luckily, I was never bitten in those encounters, although the dogs certainly got close enough. My usual response is to turn sideways to the approaching animal (rather than face it head-on), arms at my sides, and staring straight ahead as if ignoring it. I’ve managed to hold this stance even while the dog tries to intimidate me with its growling, snarling, and bared teeth.
     Eventually, the pet owner catches up and calls off Fluffy, the raging Golden Retriever (scarier even than my encounter with a couple of roving German Shepherds), and all is well. Except I can never seem to look those people in the eye, because if I do, it might end with me growling, snarling, and baring my teeth at them. That’s how I feel about folks who insist on walking large dogs off-leash in public parks.  ~~  Jen
What’s your opinion on walking dogs off-leash in public areas? Do you love it? Hate it? Don’t care? Have you ever had a scary encounter with a dog? Tell me about it in the comments section.

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