Archive for January, 2013

Dr. Miele will be out of the office on the day of February 6th to attend a veterinary seminar.

Please keep in mind that we are unable to dispense, refill, or authorize prescription drugs in the doctor’s absence.


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Rodent ulcer 1

Rodent ulcer in a 16-year-old cat, pre-treatment. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

If your cat shows up with a fat lip and she hasn’t been in a fistfight lately, she may have a rodent ulcer. Rodent ulcers (like the one shown above) typically appear on the upper lip, usually as a small swelling. Over time, and with frequent licking, the area can enlarge and ulcerate.

Rodent ulcer 2

Rodent ulcer in a 16-year-old cat, 13 days after beginning treatment. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Rodent ulcers, also known as eosinophilic ulcers, are the result of eosinophils gone wild. An eosinophil is a type of white blood cell that releases biochemicals in response to an allergy or the presence of parasites. Sometimes, the biochemicals released by the “eos” attack the cat’s own tissue instead of an invading foreign body. The target area of the eos’ action becomes inflamed and sore.

Rodent ulcer 3

Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Rodent ulcers can be difficult to resolve. Anti-inflammatory medications may be called for. Recently, some veterinarians have begun using allergy medication with limited success. The patient in these photos was treated with a combination of medications, including an allergy drug, with immediate results. The patient’s ulcer reduced in size and the lip swelling decreased.

Rodent ulcer 4

Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Stubborn cases of rodent ulcer may require biopsy (to rule out cancer) and further study, including parasite treatments and food trials.  

If you notice a sore or swollen area on your cat’s lips or tongue, have your veterinarian check it out. Early treatment may help prevent permanent disfigurement.

Tip: remove plastic food and water bowls and plastic toys, as they can be irritants to cats sensitive to plastics.



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TagsAll 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.

This post originally appeared on February 24, 2011.

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Yippee! We received a shipment of Temptations Cat Treats to give FREE to our cat-loving clients! 


Naturally, when the goodies arrived, they had to be inspected. In fact, you could say they received a cat scan.

Josie exercising due diligence.

Josie exercising due diligence.

Temptations Treats, as their name suggests, are hard to resist — even for extremely disciplined and well-trained cats. Ahem.

"No one will notice if I take just one..."

“No one will notice if I take just one…”

So grab a handful of FREE Temptations Cat Treats on your next swing by our clinic – your cats will thank you!


Notice to our Hill’s Prescription Diet users:

Hill’s is increasing their food prices beginning February 1st.

We still have food in stock at the 2012 prices, so be sure to claim a bag or case before they sell out!

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If you have ever considered giving Tylenol or its generic equivalent (acetaminophen) to a sick or injured pet, take our advice:  Don’t do it.

Dogs and cats are not little people in fur coats.  Their physiology is significantly different from ours, such that our medicine cabinet staples can be poisonous to them.

Tylenol (also known as acetaminophen) is deadly to dogs and catsEven one tablet is too much for a cat.  Acetaminophen causes severe liver damage, as well as damage to oxygen-carrying red blood cells.

Signs of Tylenol poisoning include:

  • vomiting
  • breathing difficulty
  • lethargy
  • weakness
  • drooling
  • brown-colored gums

The second stage of poisoning includes:

  • swelling of the face, lips and legs
  • loss of coordination
  • convulsions 
  • coma  

If a pet survives stage 2, it will go into stage 3 and exhibit jaundice due to liver failure; belly pain and an altered mental state.

Tylenol poisoning must always be treated as an emergency. 
Take your pet directly to the 24-hour emergency hospital (Blue Pearl Veterinary Emergency Hospital at 364 South Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach.)  Pets that recover may need to be on medications and specialized diets to compensate for reduced liver function, for life.

In short, there is no acceptable case in which to give Tylenol or acetaminophen to your pet!


Helpful Phone Numbers

Blue Pearl Veterinary Emergency Hospital…….…………757-499-5463

Pet Poison Helpline ($39 fee)…………………1-800-213-6680


ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center ($65 fee)…………1-888-426-4435



This post originally appeared on January 4, 2011.

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Cherry eye in a 2 year-old ShihTzu. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. Used by permission of the owner.

Cherry eye in a 2 year-old ShihTzu. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. Used by permission of the owner.

It may not be pretty, but the good news about the condition known as cherry eye is that it is typically more of a nuisance than a medical emergency.

Dogs and cats have, in each eye, a nictitating* membrane, which is commonly referred to as a “third eyelid.” You may have noticed the thin, white sheet of tissue that appears to cross the eye diagonally, when your pet blinks.
*Nictitating means winking.

The third eyelid is positioned at the inside corner of the eye, between the outer lids and the eyeball. It helps protect the eye, as a physical barrier and by spreading tears over the surface of the cornea with each eye blink.

The third eyelid also has a gland which produces tears. It is this tear gland that sometimes falls out of place (an event known as a prolapse), swells, and assumes the appearance of a cherry, due to irritation and poor blood circulation.

Cherry eye is more commonly seen in dogs than in cats. Dogs most often affected by cherry eye are Bulldogs, Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Boston Terriers, and ShihTzus. Burmese and Persian cats are thought to be more at risk than other cat breeds. In either species, cherry eye can appear in one or both eyes.

Lucky 2

Notice how the prolapsed tear gland remains in place as the eyeball moves beneath it. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. Used by permission of the owner.

In some pets, a cherry eye will appear and disappear on its own, at intervals. In others, once the tear gland has prolapsed, it will not return to its proper size and position without surgical intervention.

A popular current surgical technique is the tuck, in which the prolapsed gland is tacked into place with a suture. No surgery is without risk, however; in this case, the tuck may not hold, leading to repeat surgeries.

In the past, when the role of the third eyelid was not as well understood, surgeons removed the gland altogether, which carried the risk that the pet would develop “dry eye” from a lack of sufficient tear production. In the current tuck technique, the gland remains attached, so that it can continue producing tears, which protect the eye.

Although cherry eye is not life-threatening, it can lead to further problems if left untreated. The prolapsed gland may become injured or infected, since it was not designed to be exposed to elements outside the body. As a result of injury or infection, the pet’s eyesight could be harmed.

If you notice a red swelling at the inside corner of your pet’s eye, it could be a prolapsed tear gland. Have your vet check it out to be sure; if it is a cherry eye, your vet will recommend the proper treatment.


Want to read more? Check out these articles at Pet MD and VetStreet.

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Chilly 3

Always ready to lend a helping paw, Chilly brings smiles wherever he goes. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

No need to adjust your monitor – that is a blue, pink, and purple dog you’re seeing!  

Chilly Pasternak is the psychedelic spokesdog for Helping Hands in Richmond – and boy, does he get around!

According to his blog, Chilly has met his share of celebrities, including Rachael Ray. And the Cake Boss made a special cake for Chilly’s wedding in July. 

Yes, you read that right: Chilly married Baby Hope Diamond in a fundraiser wedding that was covered by the New York Daily News, a CBS affiliate, and a German television network. Chilly was even featured on an episode of Live! with Kelly (pre-Michael Strahan).

Then, after earning his Canine Good Citizen certification in December, Chilly began acting as a therapy animal.

In fact, he recently shared his soothing demeanor with the grief-stricken citizens of Newtown, CT, and he plans on a return trip to visit the children. 

Chilly 2

It takes a confident dog to wear this hairstyle! Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

But today Chilly made the rounds of area vet clinics, as he and his owner introduced Helping Hands Affordable Veterinary Surgery & Dental Care. Helping Hands provides lifesaving operations for owners who could not otherwise afford surgery and would have opted for euthanasia.

Chilly 1

Chilly rocks a colorful peace symbol while relaxing in our waiting room. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Chilly’s brightly tinted coat may be shocking to some, but he’s on the right track. Once you meet a colorful character like Chilly, you just don’t forget him and what he stands for. And as a former rescue dog in need of a home and medical care, Chilly wants other dogs and cats to have the same chance at a long and happy life.


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