Archive for September, 2012

The missing dog may look similar to this one. Photo by Tom Walsh via Wikimedia Commons.

We have received notice of a Chocolate Lab missing from the Princess Anne Road area of Norfolk since yesterday.

The Lab is a 12-year-old female, last seen with a collar. (Be aware that the collar may have come off or it may have been removed.) She is brown, with grey fur at her muzzle.

If you believe that you have seen her, please call the 24/7 Lost Pet Hotline at 1-877-875-7387.

Photo of a similar Chocolate Lab by Tom Walsh, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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The popular “Free tube with a purchased 4-pack” Advantage II deal is ending this Saturday, September 29th.

Advantage II does not have an expiration date, so you can purchase the product now and use it next Spring – although we aren’t out of the flea season yet.

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You see this dog?

Yes, that’s the one. 

Where do you suppose he’s going?

And why does he look so happy?

Maybe it’s because…

…he lives in a vineyard in Sicily.

And this is his view down the steps:

If you could be anywhere in the world right now, with your favorite furry companion by your side, where would you be?

All photos by Jennifer Miele.

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From my Inbox:

On Saturday, September 22, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the Virginia Zoo will be partnering with doctors and nurses from Pediatric Specialists, a Children’s Medical Group Practice of CHKD, to host a special Teddy Bear Clinic.
Children are invited to bring their teddy bears and other stuffed friends to the Zoo for a “check-up” and stitches. Children will learn about doctor visits and healthcare in a comfortable and non-threatening environment.
Teddy Bear Clinic activities are included with regular Zoo admission. General Zoo admission applies for non-members – Adults: $11, Children: $9 and Seniors: $10 – but Zoo members get in FREE! 
Make sure you grab your bear’s rain boots–the Teddy Bear Clinic will take place rain or shine!

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Few things are as unsettling to pet owners as discovering a medical condition which had not been in evidence a day or only hours earlier.   

      One problem that seems to arise quite suddenly is an ear flap hematoma.  A hematoma is the accumulation of blood and serum between the cartilage and skin of the dog’s or cat’s ear flap.  The resultant swelling causes the ear to look like a floppy balloon or a pillow.   

    A  hematoma of the ear often arises as the result of trauma, whether caused by the pet’s vigorous head shaking, scratching the ear, or smacking the ear on a hard surface when shaking the head.  The head shaking and scratching have their own underlying causes:  fleas, ear mites, ear infections, or debris collecting on the eardrum.

     After the underlying cause of the hematoma has been addressed, the doctor will determine the appropriate treatment for the swollen ear.  A combination of medication, aspiration of the fluid, or surgical repair may be recommended. 

     Ear flap hematomas can recur after medication or aspiration, though rarely after surgical intervention.  If medication-only treatment is chosen due to economic circumstances or because the pet is a poor anesthesia risk, the hematoma will usually resolve over a number of weeks.  Patience is key in this instance, and the veterinarian will want to monitor the ear for progress.

     A hematoma is unlikely to resolve itself absent medical intervention.  For your pet’s sake, keep in mind that a swollen ear flap can be painful, and it can cause your pet to tilt its head to one side constantly or dig at the ear and worsen the problem. If you suspect your pet has an ear flap hematoma, be sure to seek treatment early, for the best results.
This article was originally posted on November 2, 2010.

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Cataracts are a common disorder of the eyes, often in aging dogs, although young animals can develop them, too. Cataracts are seen less frequently in cats.

A pet owner’s first indication that their dog or cat has impaired vision may be that the pet has difficulty seeing in low light.

What is a cataract? It is an opaque* area of the lens or its outer covering (capsule.)
[*Not allowing light through.] 

The cataract may be a tiny spot or it may cover the entire lens.
A cataract can develop within a few days or over a number of years.

Cataracts can be hereditary and can lead to blindness.

Breeds often affected* include:

  • miniature poodle
  • American cocker spaniel 
  • miniature schnauzer
  • golden retriever
  • Boston Terrier
  • Siberian husky

[*The complete list is much longer.]

Though rare, cats such as the Persian, Birman, and Himalayan have also been afflicted with hereditary cataracts.

Other causes of cataracts include:

  • aging
  • diabetes
  • electric shock
  • exposure to extreme heat or radiation
  • exposure to toxins
  • injury to the eye
  • poor nutrition as pups and kittens
  • retinal degeneration
  • uveitis (a type of inflammation of the eye)

An examination by the veterinarian can determine whether visual impairment is the result of cataracts, corneal damage, sclerosis (a cloudy appearance, but without vision loss), or another cause.

Is surgery an option? It can be. We are fortunate to have a group of veterinary ophthalmologists in our area who are able to evaluate cataracts for surgical treatment. Not all pets will qualify. In fact, if you are considering surgery, time is of the essence. As the cataract progresses, the retina and lens can become so damaged that the pet will not regain its sight even if surgery is performed.

What kind of medicine will help? Cataracts cannot be treated with medicine. However, the veterinarian may dispense medication for other disorders of the eye occurring at the same time.

What can I do? Try to keep furniture where it is; your pet has likely learned to navigate it well and any changes in furniture arrangements will lead to painful run-ins with chairs and tables. Help your pet up and down stairs. Follow your dog into the yard to make sure he doesn’t get lost or “stuck.” Monitor his eyes for any changes in appearance and report changes or concerns to the doctor.

Resources include:
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult

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     This month, we are focusing on topics related to geriatric health. We began with a post on Brain Aging. Today, we’ll look at a product designed to get your pet moving again. Next week: cataracts!

     Dasuquin is our go-to joint supplement for dogs and cats that are suffering from arthritis or are prone to joint health issues.  Unlike other products on the market, Dasuquin combines glucosamine and chondroitin with avocado/soybean unsaponifiables* (ASU).  ASU supports joint function and slows cartilage loss, giving Dasuquin an advantage over glucosamine/chondroitin-only products.

     Now, we could rave about the levels of cartilage-building glucosamine and chondroitin in Dasuquin, or its safety when used with prescription medications, or even the Dasuquin for Cats added benefit of supporting bladder health. 

     But it’s our clients’ feedback that we’re most impressed with.  We’re hearing that pets taking Dasuquin on a regular basis are more active and are walking and jumping better.  Some clients have even been able to reduce or discontinue their pet’s pain medication, in favor of this no-drug supplement.

     The key to using Dasuquin successfully is to start while cartilage is still present in the joints.  Once the cartilage is gone, no amount of supplement will bring it back.  Don’t wait until your pet is unable to walk, to begin a supplement. 

     Ask about Dasuquin if your pet is exhibiting these signs:

  • stiff walking gait, especially after sleeping;
  • difficulty or reluctance using stairs or jumping into the car;
  • less enthusiasm for walks and exercise;
  • difficulty rising from a reclining or sitting position.

Bonus:  Be sure to visit the links above to claim your $2 Dasuquin rebate.

*Unsaponifiable:  a word used to describe fats which cannot be converted into soap.

This post originally appeared on this blog on October 18, 2011.

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