Archive for March, 2012

Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Wednesday April 4th,
to attend a meeting.

He will resume office hours on Thursday morning.

The clinic will be open Wednesday from 10 AM to Noon for retail sales and appointment scheduling.

Please note: We are unable to fill prescription medications in the doctor’s absence.

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     A male grey and white Domestic Shorthair kitten has been missing from West 48th Street in Norfolk since March 13th.

     He is 9 months old, weighs approximately 9 pounds and may be very shy.

     If you think you have seen this cat, please contact our office (757-583-2619) so that we can reunite him with his owners.

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   Have you looked at your pet’s feet lately? What do the toenails look like? Unless your dog or cat gets groomed on a regular basis, its nails could be growing wild. Some dogs and cats are afflicted with claws that grow around into the toepads. The result is a bloody and painful mess.

   Dewclaws or “thumbnails” which are not trimmed can sometimes catch in rugs, upholstery, or fences and tear or break off, which also leaves a bloody and painful mess. Untrimmed nails may cause your pet’s toes to spread apart when standing or walking, which can lead to discomfort.

   Are your pet’s nails clicking on the floor? It is probably time to trim them back. You can do this at home with a cooperative pet, a good pair of nail clippers, and steady nerves.

   If your pet’s nails are white and you can see the pink quick inside, trim in front of the quick to lessen the chance of cutting a vein. The quick is the fleshy part of the toenail, which has veins and can bleed when cut. Leave a little bit of white nail between the trimmer and the quick.

   If your pet’s nails are black, you will not be able to see the quick. In this case, trim off small amounts at a time. In some pets, the tip of the nail is thinner than the base and is hollow-looking from the underside. This is typically a safe area to cut, as it rarely contains blood vessels.

   Do not trim more than you are comfortable with. If you feel that you have not removed enough of the nail, be sure to ask a groomer or vet to finish the job. Keep in mind that a pet will sometimes sense the owner’s nervousness and become nervous in response. If you are nervous about trimming your pet’s nails, because you are afraid of cutting the quick, your anxiety may transfer to your pet which will then run and hide, saving you the trouble of trimming its nails. As a result, you may wish to ask a groomer or the veterinary staff to do it for you.

   If you do cut the quick, the nail will bleed. Use styptic powder or cornstarch with cotton and firm pressure to stop the bleeding. Cut the other nails longer than any that bleed.

   Want more information? Washington State University has produced a comprehensive visual guide to trimming claws on dogs and cats. ~~ Jen

This article was originally posted on October 26, 2010.

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     If your pet has a medical emergency, are you prepared to authorize treatment which can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars? Would you care if you never recouped any of the cost? Or is there a chance you, like many others, may opt for euthanasia if the cost of treatment is out of reach? Maybe it’s time to consider pet health insurance.

     Pet health insurance is like a forced savings account for medical emergencies. You pay a monthly premium, secure in the knowledge the policy will be there for your pet in an emergency, all the while hoping nothing bad ever happens. But bad things do happen, even to good pets.  

     Residents of Virginia can choose from among six state-approved insurance companies. I recommend stopping by our office to pick up their brochures so you can keep track of the companies as you research them. For now, here are the six:

     One way in which pet insurance differs from human health insurance is expected payment. In a human health setting, it is common practice for a doctor to bill the insurance company first and then bill the patient for the remainder. In a pet health setting, the pet owner may be required to pay the full cost of service upon check-out. At our office, full payment is required at the time of service. We then file your claim for you (there is no fee for filing) and the insurance company reimburses you directly.     

     Part of preparedness in an emergency is knowing what is expected of you financially. Pet insurance can certainly help put money back into your bank account after an emergency, but depending on hospital policy, it may not be a magical elixir you can use to pay your bills at check-out. Because of this, I recommend you check with the local emergency hospital so you’ll know whether full payment is expected at the time of service or whether they will file the insurance claim first. Do not be surprised if it is the former.

     Only you can decide if pet health insurance is a wise investment. I can offer that I have witnessed cases in which I was happy to see that a client had pet insurance and cases where it was a shame they did not. In every case, the money was spent – but only the clients whose pets were insured recovered some of that cost.  ~~  Jen

This article was originally posted on August 16, 2010.

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Our office will be closed for the afternoon of Thursday, March 22nd.

We will be open for regular office hours otherwise.

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Take a mini-tour of Ireland with me and brush up on your Irish blessings before settling into the weekend.

An Old Irish Blessing
May love and laughter light your days,
and warm your heart and home.
May good and faithful friends be yours,
wherever you may roam.
May peace and plenty bless your world
with joy that long endures.
May all life’s passing seasons
bring the best to you and yours!


A Wish for a Friend
Wishing you a rainbow
For sunlight after showers-
Miles and miles of Irish smiles
For golden happy hours-
Shamrocks at your doorway
For luck and laughter too,
And a host of friends that never ends
Each day your whole life through!


Images courtesy of Vintage Holiday Crafts and Squidoo.
Irish blessings courtesy of Island Ireland.

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