Archive for January, 2019

Protect your pet

It’s safe to say that most, if not all, households have a supply of medications on hand, for the human residents of the house. Many of these homes also feature pets — and to a curious dog or cat, your medication could look like a delicious treat.

Dr. Justine Lee, a veterinarian who is board-certified in toxicology [a science dealing with poisons], has 3 recommendations that everyone can follow to reduce the chance that their pet will become a victim of accidental medication poisoning.

  1. If you use pill boxes, put them out of your pet’s reach. Cats and some dogs can climb onto the counter and grab hold of whatever they find there, so remove the temptation.
  2. Hang up backpacks, purses, and briefcases because they often contain basic (but dangerous) items like pills, Tylenol, xylitol gum and candy, coins, and cellphones with batteries.
  3. Ask house guests to keep medications in sturdy containers, out of the pet’s reach. “It’s really easy for dogs to chew into [plastic bags and suitcases],” warns Dr. Lee.

And if you suspect your pet has gotten into your medication? Take action right away by calling the Pet Poison Helpline — there is a fee for service, but the information they provide can help save your pet’s life.

Pet Poison Helpline 
Call 1-855-764-7661
Open 24/7
$59 incident fee applies 

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Virginia World Of Pets Expo

“The World of Pets Expo and Educational Experience takes place February 15-17, 2019 at the Hampton Roads Convention Center, in Hampton. World of Pets Expo is a cornerstone event for East Coast pet enthusiasts and animal lovers alike. This year will mark the 7th anniversary of the Virginia World of Pets Expo; we continue to grow our Virginia show and are expecting a record breaking turnout this year. This exciting three day expo is one of Virginia’s only family and pet friendly events that is fun for all ages; it is considered the Ultimate Event for the Pet Lover.”

Show hours:
Friday: 2:00 pm-8:00 pm
Saturday: 10:00 am-7:00 pm
Sunday: 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Ticket prices:
$10 for Adults
$5 for Children 5-12
under 5 FREE

Get tickets here. 

Wondering if you can bring your pet?
Get the answer here!

World of Pets Expo

For more information, go to www.worldofpets.org/virginia-world-of-pets-expo.php

Reminder: Always check for any changes to an event’s location and schedule before you go.
Event information for this post is based on Pet Expo’s website
and is subject to change.

[Note: Little Creek Veterinary Clinic is not associated with the World of Pets Expo.]

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You may have noticed that human health trends tend to be applied to our pets — for example: antioxidants, probiotics, and grain-free diets. But not all trends are actually healthy for our pets, because dog and cat physiology and nutritional requirements are different from our own. Pets are not little people in fur coats, so we must evaluate the pet health trends that come along.

In some circles, it is becoming popular to add coconut oil to a pet’s diet. But is this a good idea? For the answer, we turn to a veterinary nutrition expert, Dr. Angela Witzel Rollins, who discussed coconut oil with attendees at a recent veterinary conference. 

Dr. Rollins said, “I often have clients ask me if they can use coconut oil as their pet’s fat source. I have to tell them no, because it lacks essential fatty acids like omega-3 and omega-6[.]”

She also noted that coconut oil is 90% saturated fats, which makes it a solid at room temperature. Too much of this oil in a pet’s diet could lead to pancreatitis, a serious illness requiring hospitalization.

Finally, Dr. Rollins stated that no studies have been done regarding the use of coconut oil in dogs and cats, which means that there is no official evidence of the health benefits of adding coconut oil to a pet’s diet.

So for now, skip this health trend. 

 

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At the end of last October, we revealed the new look for Oxyfresh Fresh Breath for Pets — formerly known as Oxyfresh Pet Oral Hygiene Solution.

Since then, Oxyfresh has changed its product name and label again, to avoid confusion with another similarly-named product on the market. The new product name is Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive.

Here’s a sneak preview of the new label:

Oxyfresh Pet Dental Water Additive

Evolution of Oxyfresh, with the current Dental Care Water Additive label

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, says, “The label is different, but the Oxyfresh inside is the same one that you’ve come to know and trust.”

Oxyfresh Dental Care Water Additive has no taste, odor or color to discourage your pet from drinking its water.
Oxyfresh goes to work in your pet’s mouth, cleaning food debris off teeth after a meal. It can eliminate foul breath odors, and it reduces plaque and tartar buildup to defend against periodontal disease.

Questions? Contact Us so we can help!

 

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Seasonal Weight Gain For Pets Is Serious Business

Most of us are familiar with the holiday tendency to add a few extra pounds. But where people have the option to go to the gym, pets do not.

Consider these steps you can take to help your pet shed those holiday pounds:
Feed your pet a balanced pet food diet.
Do not give your dog or cat table treats. He might not like it at first, but this is the only way to maintain a healthy weight. This is tough love, and your pet will benefit from a nutritionally balanced diet.

[What’s the big deal about obesity and your pet’s health? Find out here!]


Step up the exercise.
Longer walks or play times will be good exercise for both of you. If you live in a cold climate, there might be an indoor facility that will let you walk your dog.

Try changing to a premium dietary low fat/high fiber pet food.
When switching, it’s important to change the food gradually. Provide your pet’s daily food portion as 75% of the old food and 25% of the new formula on the first day. For day two, try a 50-50 ratio. Then, proceed to a 25-75 split. On day four, go to 100 percent of the new low-fat food. Seek your veterinarian’s advice if you are unsure about which brand of pet food to buy.

Instead of treats for praise, try play.
Treats add up fast, so when your pet is good, play or pull out a new toy instead of rewarding with food.

Set a deadline for your pet reaching a certain target weight.
That will keep you motivated and focused, and might help you lose some of your holiday weight, too!

This article appeared on Nationwide Pet Insurance’s blog here.

Bonus Content

Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, uses the following formula for safe weight loss for your pet:
Cat………………..1/4 lb per week
Small dog………1/2 lb per week
Medium dog…..1 lb per week
Large dog……….1 1/2 lbs per week

Wondering what your pet’s target weight should be? Contact Us and we’ll work with you to set a goal! (Offer open to clients of Little Creek Veterinary Clinic [Norfolk, VA] only).

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About Nationwide pet insurance
With more than 700,000 insured pets, Nationwide is the first and largest pet health insurance provider in the United States. Nationwide pet health insurance plans cover dogs, cats, birds and exotic pets for multiple medical problems and conditions relating to accidents, illnesses and injuries. Medical plans are available in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Underwritten by Veterinary Pet Insurance Company (CA), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017); National Casualty Company (all other states), Columbus, OH, an A.M. Best A+ rated company (2017). Agency of Record: DVM Insurance Agency. Pet owners can find Nationwide pet insurance on Facebook or follow on Twitter. For more information about Nationwide pet insurance, call 800-USA-PETS (800-872-7387) or visit petinsurance.com.

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3 COMMON COLD WEATHER DANGERS TO WATCH OUT FOR!

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, for Pets Best Pet Health Insurance
(Shared by permission)

While Fall is definitely my favorite season, it does bring certain hazards to watch for when it comes to your cat.  Knowledge of these potential dangers gives you the power to keep your cat safe. Prevention is much better than treatment! Here are three hazards you should be aware of:

1. ANTIFREEZE

Cooler weather often brings the necessity for changing or adding antifreeze to your car. If your radiator leaks, which occurs more commonly in older cars, antifreeze can end up on your garage floor, driveway, or in the gutter.

Antifreeze can contain ethylene glycol, which is extremely poisonous to cats. Because ethylene glycol has a sweet taste, cats, dogs and wildlife are attracted to it. As little as a teaspoon of antifreeze can cause irreversible kidney damage and death, if not treated within the first few hours after ingestion. Antifreeze causes harm, first by gastrointestinal irritation and then by the formation of calcium oxalate crystals that destroy a cat’s kidneys, if prompt action isn’t taken to remove as much of the toxin as possible, followed by intravenous fluids to flush the kidneys, for two to three days. Pets may display confusion, weakness, or a wobbly gait. If given soon enough, veterinary intervention can prevent severe kidney damage caused by antifreeze toxicity. Consider using one of the newer nontoxic antifreeze compounds in your car’s radiator.

[Dr. Donald Miele, a Norfolk veterinarian, says the best way
to protect your cat from winter hazards outdoors is to keep your cat indoors!]

2. HYPOTHERMIA

Cold weather itself poses a hazard. Extreme cold weather can cause life-threatening hypothermia, despite cats’ fur coats. While certain breeds such as Maine Coons have adapted to withstand harsh weather conditions, and most shorthaired cats can develop a thick undercoat when exposed to cold temperatures over time, the combination of cold and wet can be deadly. Signs of hypothermia include shivering, shaking, lethargy, and slowed or dull mental state.

3. FROSTBITE

Another cold weather hazard to cats during the winter is frostbite. This condition occurs when skin or body parts actually freeze from being exposed to extreme cold. Skin at the affected areas may look discolored, painful when touched or lack of feeling altogether, cold to the touch, and even frost or ice crystals may appear on the skin.

Common pet extremities susceptible to frostbite include:

  • Paw pads
  • Toes
  • Tail tip
  • Nose
  • Ears
  • Muzzle

If your cats live outdoors, shelter from cold, wind and damp will be very helpful, and indeed lifesaving in extreme weather conditions. If bringing your outdoor cat indoors into your home is not an option, please make sure he or she has an insulated doghouse, barn or out building to shelter in. The floor needs to be raised enough to stay dry, even in heavy rain.  Certain breeds cannot withstand severe weather, even with shelter. The “oriental” breeds, such as Siamese, Burmese, Tonkinese and Abyssinians have sleek coats with little undercoat. They love warmth and would be miserable and at risk in cold weather.

Enjoy all the pleasures of the season and with a few precautions your cat can be there to enjoy them too.

Need help identifying signs or symptoms of the hazards mentioned above? Every Pets Best Insurance policy includes access to our 24/7 Pet Helpline. Learn more about this service and how it can help keep your pets safe and potentially save a trip to the vet.

By Dr. Tracy McFarland, a veterinarian and writer for Pets Best. Since 2005, Pets Best has offered pet health insurance plans to U.S. dogs and cats.

This article originally appeared on the Pets Best blog here.

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