Archive for August, 2012


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  • Bud
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  • Bella
  • Leo
  • Charlie
  • Rosco
  • Bentley
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  • Guinness
  • Sparky
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  • Cotton Ball
  • Moonshine
  • Baxter
  • Bruiser
  • Dude
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  • Lexi
  • Maggie
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  • Bubba
  • Rusty
  • Maxine
  • Jack
  • Tater


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  • General
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Dr. Miele will take a short end-of-summer break on

 Wednesday, August 29th,

before returning on

Thursday, August 30th.

Our clinic will be open for retail sales;
please call ahead for hours of operation.

Please keep in mind that we are unable to fill or authorize
prescription medications in the doctor’s absence.

Emergencies, please call BluePearl Emergency Veterinary Services 
at 757-499-5463.

Image courtesy ofThe Graphics Fairy.

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     Have you examined 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 cause discomfort.

     If your pet’s toenails are clicking on the floor, then it’s 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.

Start with a good pet nail trimmer.

     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 small amount of white nail between the trimmer blade and the quick.

Note:  Since cats normally retract their claws, you will need to gently squeeze each toe to extend the claws for trimming. Take care to wrap your cat in a thick towel if he tends to scratch or bite. 

     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 anxious 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.  You can try a dremel tool like the sort advertised on tv, but we have heard few positive remarks about them.  Most clients report that their pets do not like the sound of the tool and run out of the room.

     Need a photo demonstration?  Washington State University has produced a guide to trimming claws on dogs and cats. 

Originally posted on October 26, 2010.

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Hurricane Prep would be an awesome name for a school, right? Especially in a coastal town like ours.

But around here, “hurricane prep” means knowing what to do if a major storm hits, bringing with it destructive high-powered winds and flooding.

Pet owners have an extra set of responsibilities during storm prep.

1. If evacuating, determine whether you can safely and reasonably bring pets with you.
If yes – be certain the intended storm shelter, hotel, or other destination will accept pets.
If no – find out which local animal shelters and boarding kennels will accept pets during the storm.

2. Gather all paperwork showing that your pet is up-to-date on its vaccinations, whether your pet stays home or heads for higher ground.
If the vaccines are expired, now is a good time to renew them.

3. Stock up on your pet’s medications. In the case of evacuation, you may need two weeks’ to one month’s worth of medications on hand.

4. Transfer your pet’s food to a sturdy, water-tight container, to prevent spoilage.

5. When buying gallon water jugs for the family, figure in each pet as one more family member and purchase water accordingly.

6. Gather collars or harnesses, tags, leashes or pet carriers for easy access during evacuation.

7. Animals with storm anxiety may need extra care; those that tend to run or hide may be more safely kept in a roomy pet crate during the storm.

8. A permanent microchip ID, such as HomeAgain, is the best bet for reuniting pets and families that may become separated during the storm.

And remember to pick up your copy of “Saving the Whole Family”available at our office for $2. The booklet has tips for owners of dogs, cats, reptiles, horses, and other pets. You’ll also find complete guides to building first-aid kits and evacuation kits. Get yours today!



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     Most of us will experience the rewards of pet ownership at some point in our lives.  Who can resist the fun of playing with a hyper kitten or a roly-poly puppy?  The bond we form with our pets can be as strong as any ties to our family and friends.  But because of this bond, we can experience very real and painful grief over the loss of our beloved pets.

     Whether the pet has lived a long, full life or one cut tragically short, the grieving process is the same.  There is no timetable to follow, no right way or wrong way to process the pet’s death – there is only your way, in your time.

     If you have lost a pet and feel you need the support of a group of people who understand what you’re going through or you’d like to speak privately to a trained grief support hotline staffer, these are the resources you need to know:

Whatever your level of need, someone is waiting to help you.  For face-to-face grief counseling, ask your physician to recommend a therapist.

Originally published on August 16, 2011.

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     You may already know that a sudden change in a pet’s diet can lead to vomiting or loose stools. Here is a formula for making a gradual switch, in order to prevent digestive upset in your dog or cat. (This method will require that you have some of the “old” food on hand to mix with the new.)

Days 1 & 2:  Mix 3 parts old food to 1 part new food

Days 3 & 4:  Mix old food half and half with new food

Days 5 & 6:  Mix 1 part old food to 3 parts new food

Day 7:  Feed only the new food.

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Some Pet Owners Opt for Quirkiness Over Conventional When Selecting Monikers

Brea, Calif. (July 25, 2012) – “Bella” and “Max” once again topped the list of most popular pet names last year, but there are thousands of pet owners who look for more originality when naming their furry, four-legged friends. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI), the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, celebrates the most clever, creative and quirky pet names nationwide. After a thorough selection process, 50 unusual dog names and 50 unusual cat names were chosen from VPI’s database of more than 485,000 insured pets and narrowed down with a vote for the 10 most unusual names in each category. Following are the 10 Wackiest Dog and Cat Names of 2012:

Dogs   Cats
1. Chew Barka   1. Pico de Gato
2. Nigel Nosewhistle   2. Dingleberry
3. Sir Maui Senqkey Schwykle   3. Dumpster Kitty
4. Spark Pug   4. Schnickelfritz
5. Agent 99   5. Koobenfarben
6. Stinker Belle   6. Sassy Pants Huska
7. Vienna Sausage   7. Vincent Van Furrball
8. Furnace Hills Dante   8. Kitty Gaga
9. Senorita Margarita   9. Beefra
10. Trigonometry   10. Mister Bigglesworth

For the full lists of 50 unusual dog and cat names, pictures of pets that made the Top 10, and the stories behind their unusual names, visit


About Veterinary Pet Insurance

With more than 485,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide Insurance family of companies and is the oldest and largest pet health insurance company in the United States. Since 1982, VPI has helped provide pet owners with peace of mind and is committed to being the trusted choice of America’s pet lovers.

VPI Pet Insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. CareGuard® coverage for routine care is available for an additional premium. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Additionally, nearly 3,000 companies nationwide offer VPI Pet Insurance as an employee benefit. Policies are offered and administered by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company in California and DVM Insurance Agency in all other states. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Brea, CA, an A.M. Best A rated company (2012); National Casualty Company (all other states), Madison, WI, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2012). Pet owners can find VPI Pet Insurance on Facebook or follow @VPI on Twitter. For more information about VPI Pet Insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit

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