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Archive for April, 2016

Mark your calendars!

National Service Dog Eye Examination Month

Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month

National Pet Week®
May 1-7
First full week of May starting with a Sunday

Be Kind to Animals Week
May 1-7

First full week of May starting with a Sunday

National Specially-abled Pets Day
May 3

National Ferret Day
May 5

National Animal Disaster Preparedness Day
May 14
Second Saturday in May

International Migratory Bird Day
May 14
Second Saturday in May

Endangered Species Day
May 20
Third Friday in May

National Dog Bite Prevention Week®
May 15-21
Third full week of May starting with a Sunday

International Turtle Day
May 23

National Heat Awareness Day
May 23

National Hurricane Preparedness Week
TBD

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April is Prevention of Lyme Disease in Dogs Month

What is Lyme Disease? Lyme Disease is an illness caused by Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which are carried in the midgut of deer ticks and transmitted to dogs through a tick bite. Symptoms of Lyme Disease include lameness that shifts from leg to leg, swollen joints, lack of appetite, depression, fever, difficulty breathing. As the disease progresses, it can cause serious injury to the dog’s kidneys.

How do dogs get Lyme Disease? When a deer tick carrying B. burgdorferi feeds on a dog for at least 48 hours, the bacteria are “awakened” and travel out of the tick’s midgut, into the dog’s bloodstream, through the site of the tick bite. 

Baked bean? Nope – it’s an engorged, dead tick, thoughtfully preserved for the enlightenment of future generations of pet owners. Photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

This is not a deer tick, but it is a well-fed tick.

Here’s where it gets a little technical: While the bacteria, B. burgdorferi, resides in the tick’s gut, they are protected by a special coating called Outer Surface Protein A (OspA).  A dog that is vaccinated for Lyme Disease has — circulating in its blood — antibodies to OspA. When the tick ingests the blood, the OspA antibodies travel to the tick’s midgut and attack the B. burgdorferi there — before they’ve had a chance to awaken and mobilize.

So, rather than the vaccine-induced antibodies attacking an organism that has already entered the dog’s body, they instead attack the organisms outside the dog’s body, while still in the host. That is why we — cheekily — refer to it as “vaccinating the tick.”

Think of Lyme Disease vaccine as the vaccine that stops an organism before it reaches your pet: like an invisible force field! Pretty cool, huh?

But remember: deer ticks and other ticks can transmit nasty diseases in addition to Lyme Disease. There is no vaccine (yet) for Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Ehrlichiosis, Anaplasmosis (and the list goes on.) For that reason, we recommend year-round tick control, like the Seresto collar. Stop those little pests cold!

Ready to vaccinate your dog against Lyme Disease? Contact Us to schedule an appointment.

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April 17 – April 23 is National Pet ID Week 

You’re probably wondering why an entire week out of the year is dedicated to this concept — rather than just a day or two. Well, it may be because each year, millions of dogs and cats go missing, and not all of them return home. Since many of those pets leave the house without any form of identification, it is clear that we still need to spread the word about the importance of pet identification.

According to HomeAgain, 1 in 3 pets will get lost during their lifetime; 10 million pets go missing every year; without ID, 90% of lost pets never return home.

The fact is, just like wearing a seatbelt increases your odds of surviving a car accident, wearing some form of identification increases a pet’s odds of being reunited with its family.

Common types of pet ID:

Identification tag
PRO: Can be personalized and gives the finder an immediate link to your contact info
CON: Tag info can wear off; tag must be replaced when you move or change phone numbers; tag can come off the collar or is lost when pet slips its collar

Tattoo
PRO: Is a permanent form of identification
CON: Is a code, rather than direct contact info; many pet finders are not familiar with tattoo databases; tattoos can blur; tattoos can be altered beyond recognition

Microchip
PRO: Safe, permanent form of pet ID; microchip lasts a lifetime; can be done as office visit at vet’s (no anesthesia required); support website [www.petmicrochiplookup.org] can provide info on any brand of chip; pet finders know to have stray animals scanned for a chip; owner can update contact info easily via internet (no need for a new chip); HomeAgain generates “lost pet” notices for enrolled animals; chipped and enrolled pets are protected against being claimed by a non-owner; animal shelters will work harder to reunite chipped pets with owners, rather than resort to euthanasia; microchip numbers cannot be altered
CON: Is a code, rather than direct contact info; some scanners may not be able to read certain chips

An implantable chip, 1/2 inch in length, can be the key to your pet's safe return. Microchip photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

An implantable chip, 1/2 inch in length, can be the key to your pet’s safe return. Microchip photo by Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.

Whatever your preference, make sure your pet is identifiable, should it ever leave the home or yard. We invite you to Contact Us to learn more about HomeAgain microchips and to schedule your pet’s chipping today.

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Since our practice is limited to cats and dogs, we don’t get to visit with our fine feathered friends very often. But I had a chance to do just that a few weekends back, at a bird show on the Peninsula.

I almost brought one sweet silvery-feathered bird home with me, but I managed to resist. Instead, I brought back a bunch of photos of my favorite bird faces….and a few mint-chocolate brownies from the bake sale table.

Since I don’t have any photos of the brownies, I’ll instead share with you the sweet bird faces I captures at the show. Enjoy!            ~ Jen M.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office for the latter half
of next week, beginning Wednesday.

Check your pet’s medications and order refills
by Tuesday, April 19th.

We have appointment slots available this week,
as well as Monday and Tuesday next week,
so now is a good time to Contact Us
to schedule your pet’s check-up and boosters.

798px-HammockonBeach

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Image by Micky via Wikimedia Commons

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Need a few scientific reasons to keep your pet on
year-round heartworm preventative?

Then check out this infographic by the American Heartworm Society:

HW 2 (764x735)

Click to enlarge

Still not convinced? Take a look at this:

Heartworm_Close_Up

Those are worms inside a dog’s heart. Heartworm is preventable,
with a simple once-a-month dose of heartworm preventative.
Contact Us to get your pet started today.

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Take a look at this chart showing reported cases of heartworm disease across the U.S. in 2013. Our area of Virginia saw between 51-100 cases per clinic of the clinics surveyed for this map. That’s a lotta heartworms! [Chart produced by the American Heartworm Society.]

Heartworm disease, which is spread by mosquitoes, can be fatal. Post-exposure treatment is available for dogs, but not for cats.

Large map

Click to enlarge

The good news is, heartworm disease is preventable, in dogs and cats.

Contact Us today to find out how we can protect your pet.

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