Archive for May, 2013

82° F today?  Summer weather is here, folks – so it’s time to get outdoors and get moving.

With the warm-up upon us, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs.  But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.


Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.


  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources:  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

This article originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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Did you know?

  • Each year, more than 4.5 million people in the U.S. are bitten by dogs.
  • Almost 1 in 5 people bitten by dogs require medical attention. 
  • Every year, more than 800,000 Americans receive medical attention for dog bites; at least half of them are children.
  • Children are, by far, the most common victims of dog bites and are far more likely to be severely injured.
  • Most dog bites affecting young children occur during everyday activities and while interacting with familiar dogs.
  • Senior citizens are the second most common dog bite victims. ¹
Any dog, any age, any breed, can bite.

Any dog, any age, any breed, can bite.

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.
Photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

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I’ll let the pictures speak for themselves.
















All photos by Jennifer Miele, at Lone Star Lakes Park in Suffolk.

P.S. I see a swan in the clouds in the first picture. Do you?

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Get a jump on flea season – don’t wait until it’s too late! 

Here’s why we’ve been using and recommending Fleabusters Powder for over 15 years: 

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas

Fleabusters Rx for Fleas Plus

Fleabusters Powder (also known as Rx for Fleas Plus) is…

*Formulated to kill fleas in your carpet and upholstered furniture physically, rather than chemically, so fleas won’t become immune to its effects. 

*Safe for people and pets (it has a neutral pH of 7.0), so there’s no need to leave home during or after application.

*Safe on all carpets and fabrics.

*Perfect for baseboard areas of non-carpeted rooms.


*Designed to keep killing fleas for a full year – with a guarantee to back it up.

*Packaged in a 3 pound canister – enough to treat five average-size rooms.

*Sold through Little Creek Veterinary Clinic. Get yours today!


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News from the Virginia Zoo:


Endangered Species Day at the Zoo is tomorrow!
Friday, May 17, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Your actions make a difference for endangered species, and this event will highlight ways to help animals locally and around the world. You’ll also find out how the Zoo helps endangered birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.  Activity stations will feature hands-on activities and lots of easy ideas for how you can help!

ROARchestra: The Virginia Zoo presents the Virginia Symphony Orchestra

Friday, June 7 at 7:00 p.m. (gates open at 6:00 p.m.)
The Virginia Zoo presents the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in an outdoor concert 7 p.m. Friday, June 7, 2013.
Conductor Benjamin Rous will lead the Virginia Symphony Orchestra in playing family favorites ranging from the Pink Panther to the Lion King.
“Concerts at the Zoo are a perfect evening activity for families,” said Greg Bockheim, the Virginia Zoo’s executive director. “It’s a safe environment for enjoying classical music together, while indulging in some of your favorite summer foods and beverages – and it’s a fantastic value!”
Special admission prices for the event are: General admission – $10; Zoo members and Symphony subscribers – $5; and Children 5 and under are FREE!
Visitors should pack their own blankets and lawn chairs. Refreshments will be available for purchase. Gates open at 6 p.m. and the performance begins at 7 p.m.
Note that no outside food or beverages are permitted inside the Zoo. This concert will take place as scheduled, rain or shine. No coupons, discounts or passes will be accepted for this event.

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Nation’s Largest Pet Insurer Reveals Most Common Causes of Veterinary Visits


Brea, Calif. (April 2, 2013) – Just like their human counterparts, when pets are afflicted with even seemingly minor ailments such as an ear infection, stomach ache or cough, it can prompt a visit to the doctor. While the majority of these conditions are rarely life threatening, they can become chronic and expensive to treat. Veterinary Pet Insurance Co. (VPI) policyholders spent more than $58 million in 2012 treating the 10 most common medical conditions affecting their pets. VPI, the nation’s oldest and largest provider of pet health insurance, recently sorted its database of more than 485,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat medical conditions in 2012. Below are the results:


Top Dog Conditions  Top Cat Conditions
1. Skin Allergies 1. Bladder Infection
2. Ear Infection 2. Periodontitis/Dental Disease
3. Skin Infection 3. Overactive Thyroid
4. Non-Canerous Skin Growth 4. Chronic Kidney Disease
5. Upset Stomach/Vomiting 5. Upset Stomach/Vomiting
6. Arthritis 6. Diabetes
7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea 7. Intestinal Upset/Diarrhea
8. Bladder Infection 8. Skin Allergies
9. Periodontitis/Dental Disease 9. Lymphosarcoma (Cancer of Lymph Node
10. Bruise or Contusion 10. Upper Respiratory Infection

 Compare this list with the Top Ten Medical Claims of 2010 and Top Ten Medical Claims of 2011.

“Although a few of the top 10 dog and cat conditions can be associated with an animal’s natural aging process, many of the conditions listed above can occur in any pet,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Regardless of the age or breed of the dog or cat, pet owners should familiarize themselves with their pets’ daily routine in order to identify abnormal behaviors that might indicate an injury or illness.”

In 2012, VPI received more than 68,000 canine claims for skin allergies, the most common cause for taking a dog to see a veterinarian. The average claim fee was $96 per office visit. For cats, a bladder infection was the most common reason to take your kitty to the veterinarian. VPI received more than 4,000 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $251 per office visit.

The most expensive canine condition on the list (arthritis) cost an average of $258 per visit, while, for cats, the most expensive condition (lymphosarcoma) cost an average of $415 per visit. In addition to familiarizing themselves with their pets’ routine and behavior, pet owners should schedule their pets’ semiannual veterinary examinations on a regular basis to help prevent and identify certain conditions before they become serious or costly.

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Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!

The Hermitage Museum & Gardens presents its popular annual concert series, Sunsets on the River.

Coming up:

The Michael Clark Band on May 16th

and Jesse Chong on June 6th.

The fun starts at 6 PM and lasts until 9 PM.

Bring your lawn chair or blanket and claim your spot —

or just hit the dance floor!

Well-behaved leashed dogs are welcome to join their owners for fun and socializing.

Admission is FREE for Members and for children 12 and under; Non-members and kids over 12 pay $10 each.

Since it’ll be dinnertime, try some tasty treats from the Hubcap Grill and Twisted Sisters Cupcakes trucks.

Be sure to stroll the grounds between sets and check out the view, like I did. 

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.

Photo by Jen Miele.



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