Archive for April, 2014

One of my favorite parts of blogging is playing movie reviewer. Today is no exception!

It’s not always easy to find wholesome, family-friendly movies at the theaters, but I’ve got two for you:

Island of Lemurs: Madagascar, showing in IMAX 3D at the Virginia Air & Space Center in Hampton (well worth driving through the tunnel.) Visit Madagascar without leaving your seat. You’ll learn the most common threat to the lemurs’ habitat and see what people are doing to save them. Prepare to fall in love with Nature’s clowns. After the movie, head to the beach to run and dance like a lemur — you’ll learn how when you see this film!Lemurs


Disneynature’s Bears, showing at local theaters. [Find them on Fandango.] Follow the incredible journey of a mother bear and her two cubs across the Alaskan wilds, fending off dangerous predators and searching for a secluded feeding ground that will guarantee the family’s survival through the approaching winter.

The cubs (Scout and Amber) have their own little “personalities”: whereas Scout prefers to run off and explore (which gets him into some real trouble), Amber sticks close to mama — especially when she discovers that a “bearback” ride is so much easier than walking! The cubs run, play, and cuddle. You’ll want to bring one home after the movie – but DON’T! Bears cost a lot to feed and, I am told, they are difficult to housebreak.



On the horizon: Dolphin Tale 2.

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Chicken Liver-Based Dog Cookies



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken livers
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons chopped parsley

Preheat oven to 400º F. Combine flour and wheat germ in a mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, beat egg with oil, then add broth and parsley, mixing well. Add dry ingredients a little at a time, stirring well. Fold in chicken livers and mix well. Turn dough out on a lightly-floured surface and knead briefly. Dough will be firm. Roll dough out 1/2 inch thick and cut into shapes. Place on greased cookie sheet about 1 inch apart. Bake 15 minutes or until firm. Store in refrigerator. Yields approximately 24 biscuits.

(Borrowed from Protector, a Merial publication. Author unknown.)

This recipe is intended for dogs that are not allergic to the ingredients listed.




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Est. 1973

Was your car covered in yellow dust this week? That’s the official sign of the beginning of Allergy Season. With that in mind, we’re re-running this article on ways you can protect your pet from allergy symptoms this Spring and Summer.


It’s that time of year again:  Sticky yellow pollen begins coating our cars, clothes, and canines. At the vet clinic, we start to see dogs and cats with itchy ears, faces, bellies, feet and rumps. Add dry, flaky skin, fur loss, excessive licking and chewing (especially at the feet), scabs, and fleas and you’ve got one unhappy furbaby.

There are some things you can do at home to ease your pet’s allergy symptoms, especially in the case of allergens that are inhaled or absorbed through the skin.

1. Keep your pet’s skin moisturized – from the outside. Dry skin allows allergens to more easily pass through the skin barrier and cause itching. Use a rehydrating shampoo (we like Hydra Pearls) plus a separate conditioning rinse or spray.

Allow the shampoo to contact your pet’s skin for 10-15 minutes. That is forever in dog-bathing time, but that’s what it takes for the shampoo to be effective.

If the shampoo is the non-lather kind (many are) don’t add more; doing so will just make rinsing it out all the more difficult. Which brings us to the next tip:

Rinse your pet’s coat thoroughly, to remove all soap. Follow with a cream rinse or leave-on conditioning spray (such as Dermal Soothe Spray.)

2. Keep your pet’s skin moisturized – from the inside. Ask your vet about powder or capsule-type Essential Fatty Acid (EFA) supplements, like Free Form Snip Tips. Skip the fish oil supplements designed for human use; your pet has its own EFA requirements that can’t be met with a human product.

3. Rinse your pet with plain water to remove allergens, daily if necessary. Most pets won’t need a full-blown sudsy bath daily or even weekly. But a cool water rinse can help take the heat off, as well as physically remove pollens that can cause your pet to itch. If a daily rinse is not realistic, try targeting your pet’s problem areas with a damp cloth, especially after your pet has been outdoors.

4. Apply your pet’s monthly flea treatment every month, even if you aren’t seeing fleas (which means the treatment is working!) For a hyper-allergic pet, a single flea bite can touch off a serious inflammatory response.

For more complex issues, antibiotic and anti-inflammatory medication may be necessary. Your vet may also suggest a six-month elimination diet to rule in or out food allergies. A trip to the veterinary dermatologist may also be in order, especially for young animals that will be dealing with lifelong allergy problems.

If your pet is suffering from allergy symptoms, schedule a vet visit to get recommendations and treatments tailor-made for your dog or cat. There really is no one-size-fits-all approach to treating allergic pets, so be prepared for some amount of experimentation to see which method gives your pet the most relief.

NOTE: This article is for general informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or treat any diseases, or take the place of a client-patient-veterinarian relationship. If you have questions about your pet’s health, your veterinarian will be your best source of information.

This post originally appeared on August 27, 2013.

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Zoo PartyFrom my Inbox to yours:

The Virginia Zoo is hosting a Party for the Planet on Saturday, April 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  
It’s a celebration of Earth and animals that will bring out your wild side, and provide information about conservation steps you can take to protect natural habitats locally and around the world.
Activities and exhibits will include informational presentations, animal enrichment activities and crafts at the Zoo Event Pavilion.
Watch keepers demonstrate the enrichment activities they use to promote our animals’ social, mental and physical health and well-being.
Talk to environmental experts and learn how all life — including humans — affects the environment, the lives of other species and our lives, too.
The Zoo Event Pavilion will also feature performances by local folk artist Bob Zentz!
All activities are included with admission. For more details go to

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Today’s research shows that some respiratory illnesses in cats, previously believed to be feline asthma or bronchitis may actually be Heartworm Associated Respiratory Disease (HARD).

Heartworm larvae (immature worms) — spread through the bite of a mosquito — migrate to the cat’s lungs where they produce inflammation, leading to breathing difficulties.

Interestingly, dying larvae can also cause inflammation. A few larvae may grow to adulthood, but the death of adult heartworms can produce an inflammatory response so severe that it can cause sudden death in a cat. has identified 13 signs that may indicate the presence of heartworms in a cat:

  • anorexia
  • blindness
  • collapse
  • convulsions
  • coughing
  • diarrhea
  • difficulty breathing
  • fainting
  • lethargy
  • rapid heart rate
  • sudden death
  • vomiting
  • weight loss

Other health problems (including kidney disease, Feline Leukemia, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes, among others) may cause some of the same symptoms listed above.

Adding to the confusion is the fact that heartworm disease is difficult to diagnose in cats — as compared to dogs, in which a simple blood test can detect the presence of worms.

And as previously mentioned, heartworm disease in cats is not curable.

However, heartworm disease and HARD are preventable, through the use of products like Revolution. The best time to start your cat on Revolution is before it develops symptoms of HARD

Healthy Dose of Savings 004

Revolution is designed to be safe for use in cats that may already be infected with heartworms, and it can prevent further infections. Revolution also protects cats from fleas, roundworms, hookworms, and ear mites.

If your cat is currently on a flea-only treatment, it is easy to switch to Revolution – just ask!


Originally posted on April 18, 2013.

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Dr. Miele is back in the office for regular appointment hours.

We have openings in our schedule for the remainder of this week.

Please call us at 583-2619 to claim your spot!


Thank you for hanging in with us during a hectic March
and beginning of April.

We appreciate all of the well-wishes that have come our way from you!

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  • Simba
  • Pika
  • Kitty Cat
  • Eva Lakota
  • Maki



  • Pitadog
  • Tiger
  • Tater
  • Buddy
  • Brownie


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