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Archive for January, 2015

UPDATE: Huey has been found and returned home.

(photo removed)

Please help get Huey back home. He disappeared tonight in the 23513 area of Norfolk.

Huey is an intact male Dachshund-mix breed dog with golden brown fur. 

He has a HomeAgain microchip ID and was wearing his tags.

If you find Huey, please call HomeAgain at 1-888-466-3242 and report his microchip number: 

Dogs on the run can often be shy about being touched on the head or face, so always use caution when approaching an unfamiliar dog.

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Veterinary Pet Insurance and Pet Poison Helpline have teamed up to bring you resources and information to help you in a pet poisoning emergency.

Know what to do! If you suspect your pet has ingested a harmful substance, contact a local pet emergency hospital, such as Blue Pearl at 757-499-5463, or call Pet Poison Helpline at 1-855-289-0358 any time, day or night. The Pet Poison Helpline will bill your credit card a one-time, per-incident fee of $39.

Gather the right information! Have this information ready when calling:

  • What your pet ingested and when
  • How much of the substance your pet ingested (how many pills, what milligram strength; how many ounces of chocolate, etc)
  • Pet’s current weight
  • Pet’s medical history, any medications or supplements

Get the app! Purchase a Pet Poison Helpline app at the iTunes App Store for only $1.99, for your iPhone, and get access to information that can help save your pet’s life.

Emergency assistance at your fingertips!

Emergency assistance at your fingertips!

Get the app from the iTunes store.

Get the app from the iTunes store.

 

Coming Thursday: Pack a First Aid Kit for pet poisoning emergencies. We’ll tell you how.

On Facebook: Watch for the Pet Poison Helpline Top Ten lists this week and next.

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TagsIs your dog or cat 4 months of age or older? If so, it should have a current Rabies vaccination, which will be issued along with a Rabies tag. When placed on your pet’s collar, the tag provides valuable information to help people return your pet if he or she runs away.


But did you know there is another tag your pet should be wearing?
It’s the city pet license tag. 

All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Some cities, such as Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, 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.

There is a small cost involved, and 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 are not required to 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 Rabies is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

A final note: a microchip ID is not a substitute for a Rabies or city license tag, nor are the tags a substitute for a microchip ID. Each form of identification has its own merits. To protect your pet with permanent identification that will not wear off, get lost, or be removed by a stranger, ask us for the HomeAgain microchip on your pet’s next visit.

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This post appeared on January 22, 2013.

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Will your pet's next meal come from the trashcan?

Will your pet’s next meal come from the trashcan?

If your dog gets into the trash, he could be in for more trouble than just a tummy ache. Moldy compost or garbage — especially grains, nuts, dairy, pasta, bread, and other foods — can cause a severe illness in pets known as Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis.

Let’s break that down:

Tremorgenic refers to a substance that causes tremors (severe shaking and trembling).

Mycotoxins are poisons released by fungi (mold), and mycotoxicosis is the resultant illness.

In some cases, the tremors are so severe that they resemble seizures. The pet can also develop a high fever, along with excessive panting and salivating. Also look for vomiting, gas, diarrhea, and lethargy. These signs can occur anywhere from 30 minutes to several hours after the pet has eaten the moldy and rotting food.

Once begun, tremors can last from hours to days, and immediate treatment is necessary to help prevent lasting damage. Dogs are more commonly affected than other household pets because of their tendency to get into the trash, but all pets that scavenge outdoors are at risk of eating spoiled foods.

Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is considered an emergency. The affected pet will likely undergo blood tests and urinalysis, in part to rule in or out other possible causes of illness. Special laboratory tests can determine whether the pet is positive for certain mycotoxins, but those tests are not available at all locations.

Treatment of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is often based on known or suspected garbage ingestion. There is no antidote to the fungal toxins, so treatment consists of cleaning out the gastrointestinal system, relaxing tremorous muscles, relieving the symptoms of illness and allowing the body to recuperate. With treatment, pets may recover within 1-4 days, although some pets may be affected for weeks or months afterward.

Prevention of Tremorgenic Mycotoxicosis is a matter of removing opportunity: keep pets out of compost piles and garbage, and never throw moldy foods or vegetable waste into the yard.

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This post first appeared on February 19, 2013.

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New Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Applies to Our Pets As Well

Brea, Calif. (Jan. 1, 2015) The number one New Year’s resolution in America is to lose weight and data shows that pet owners should extend that resolution to their dogs and cats. New data released by Veterinary Pet Insurance Co., (VPI), the nation’s first and largest provider of pet health insurance, reveals that pet obesity is on the rise for the fourth straight year. In 2013, VPI policyholders filed for more than $52 million in claims for conditions and diseases that can be related to pet obesity, a 7.3 percent growth from 2012.

    Table scraps and excessive treats are major contributors associated with disproportionate weight gain in pets. Similar to their human counterparts, excessive body fat increases the risk of preventable health problems and shortens the life expectancy of pets. VPI, a Nationwide company, recently sorted through its database of more than 525,000 insured pets to determine the top 10 dog and cat obesity-related conditions. Below are the results:

Most Common Dog Obesity-Related Conditions Most Common Cat Obesity-Related Conditions
1. Arthritis 1. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease
2. Bladder/Urinary Tract Disease 2. Chronic Kidney Disease
3. Low Thyroid Hormone 3. Diabetes
4. Liver Disease 4. Liver Disease
5. Torn Knee Ligaments 5. Asthma
6. Diabetes 6. Arthritis
7. Diseased Disc in the Spine 7. High Blood Pressure
8. Fatty Growth 8. Heart Failure
9. Chronic Kidney Disease 9. Gall Bladder Disorder
10. Heart Failure 10. Immobility of Spine

 

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“Pet owners need to be aware of the damage excessive weight gain can have on their pet,” said Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM, MBA, vice president and chief veterinary medical officer for VPI. “Pet lovers need to be conscious of the calories in food and treats they are giving their pets. The New Year is a perfect time for pet owners to start managing their pet’s eating habits and establish a regular exercise routine to avoid obesity. Regular wellness visits to your veterinarian are the most effective way to monitor your pet’s weight, along with being aware of signs of weight gain.”

    In 2013, VPI received more than 39,000 canine claims for arthritis, the most common joint disease aggravated by excessive weight. The average claim fee was $300 per pet. For cats, bladder or urinary tract disease was the most common condition that can be aggravated by obesity. VPI received 4,700 medical claims for this ailment – with an average claim amount of $420 per pet.

    In addition to taking pets to the veterinarian for regular wellness visits, below are simple tests you can perform to determine if your pet needs to lose weight: 

  • You should be able to lightly feel your pet’s ribs without pressing.
  • You should see a noticeable “waist” on your pet, between the back of the ribs and the hips, when viewing your pet from above. When looking from the side, your pet’s belly should go up from the bottom of the ribcage to inside the thighs.

About Veterinary Pet Insurance

    With more than 525,000 pets insured nationwide, Veterinary Pet Insurance Co./DVM Insurance Agency (VPI) is a member of the Nationwide family of companies and is the first 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. 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 petinsurance.com.

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Show off your art…show off your cat…or just enjoy the show!

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Click to enlarge.

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We Welcomed:

  • Brian
  • Coco-Lee
  • Sassy
  • Huey
  • Fib
  • Shiloh
  • Brooklyn
  • Loki
  • Lexie
  • Khaos
  • Beamer
  • Gus
  • Shadow
  • Zach
  • Wilson
  • Noob
  • Gunner

We Remember:

  • Otto
  • Nikita

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