Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Donald A. Miele VMD’

June is Adopt-A-Cat Month, so with that in mind, we present these 10 Tips for Adopting a Cat, courtesy of the American Humane Association, the American Veterinary Medical Association, CATalyst Council, and PetFinder.

1. Consider more than one cat. Cats require exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction. Two cats can provide this for each other.

2. Find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. In general, cats with long hair and round heads and bodies are more easygoing than lean cats with narrow heads and short hair, who are typically more active. Adoption counselors can offer advice to help you match the individual cat’s personality with your own.

3. Schedule a veterinary visit within the first few days after the adoption. Make sure to bring along any medical records you received from the adoption center. According to Dr. Larry Kornegay, president of the AVMA, getting your new cat to a veterinarian early will help make sure there are no underlying illnesses or injuries and allow you to develop a plan to help your new pet live the happiest, healthiest, longest life possible.

4. Make sure everyone in the house is prepared for a new cat. Visiting the shelter or animal control facility should be a family affair. When adopting a new cat to join your existing pets, discuss with the adoption facility or your veterinarian how to make a proper introduction.

5. Budget for both short-term and long-term costs. A cat adopted from a shelter may be a bargain, considering many shelters provide spaying or neutering, initial vaccines, and a microchip. But make sure you’re prepared for the routine expenses you’ll incur throughout the cat’s life.

6. Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives. Try to create a homelike environment for your new cat right away. You’ll need a litter box, litter, food and water bowls, food, scratching posts, safe and stimulating toys, a cushy bed, a brush for grooming, a toothbrush, and nail clippers.

7. Cat-proof your home. A new cat will quickly teach you not to leave things lying out. Food left on the kitchen counter will teach your new friend to jump on counters for a possible lunch. Get rid of loose items your cat might chew on, make sure the cat isn’t chewing on electrical cords, and pick up random items like paper clips, which kittens may swallow.

8. Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family. It can take several weeks for a cat to relax in a new environment. It’s a great idea to keep the new addition secluded in a single room with all of its supplies until it’s used to the new surroundings. Socialization is important, but remember: take it slow.

9. Include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan. Add phone numbers for your veterinarian and closest 24-hour animal hospital to your “in-case-of-emergency” call list, and be sure to have a several-day supply of cat food and medications on hand.

10. Think twice before giving a cat as a gift. While it’s a nice thought, surprising someone with a cat doesn’t allow for a “get-to-know-one-another” period. Remember, adopting a cat isn’t like purchasing a household appliance or a piece of jewelry—this is a real living, breathing, and emotional being.

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     Ginny had overslept; her sisters almost left without her that morning.  She ran to the kitchen and gobbled down her breakfast, then waited patiently for one of the older girls to brush her hair.  She had soft golden locks like Chloe and Emma, but her hair was much shorter and didn’t require ribbons and bows.  Soon, the girls were out the door with Ginny following behind.  They ordered her back inside, but she loved to see her friends from around the neighborhood on mornings like this.

     Some of the children were already gathered in front of the Joneses’ house.  Ginny knew most of them.  There was Tommy, leaping off the curb on his skateboard to impress Mariah, who was ignoring him and looking at a book.  Retha and Hailey were turning cartwheels on the Joneses’ soft green grass, which was a good thing when Hailey lost her balance and fell.  Chris and Joey were playing Army men, crawling behind bushes and talking on imaginary radios.

     Louis was kicking a red and white ball by himself, so Ginny decided he’d be the perfect playmate.  Louis knelt and hugged her, then gently rolled the ball down the sidewalk and Ginny ran after it.  The ball was too big for her to carry, so she pushed it instead.  Chloe and Emma saw what fun she was having and joined her.  Ginny loved her sisters’ attention and secretly hoped they’d been jealous to see her playing with Louis.

     When the big yellow bus arrived, the children gathered their books and backpacks and climbed inside.  Ginny stared after them, anxious for the day she’d be old enough to get on the bus, too, and go wherever they were going.  For now, she obeyed Chloe’s order to go home. 

     Momma greeted Ginny at the door and scratched her behind the ears.  She followed Momma into the kitchen where she was rewarded with a cookie.  Then Momma sat at the table to sew and Ginny curled up next to her feet.  The sewing machine hummed to life and Ginny thumped her tail on the floor, content to nap until her sisters returned home.

Original story posted on my fiction blog here.

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     Are you in the market for a pet that doesn’t soil the carpet or shed fur all over the sofa?  I have just the thing for you:  virtual pets.  If you want the responsibility of caring for an animal without the mess of cleaning up after one, you’ve come to the right place.

     Take your pick of pets from these sites:

     If you’d prefer wacky pets or something out of this world, try NeoPets, Pet Nebula, or ChibiPaws.

     Official disclaimer:  We do not offer discounts on virtual pet exams.

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     Many puppies will enter their new homes with extra baggage:  intestinal worms.  Roundworms and Hookworms are not only dangerous for your pets, they can also harm people.

     All new pets, whether young or old, should be examined for intestinal parasites and treated as necessary.  Some pets, especially pups and kittens, may need two or three rounds of medication to rid the body of all worms.

     Protect your family from Roundworms and Hookworms by promptly cleaning up your pet’s feces in the house and in the yard.  Follow these “rules” when housebreaking your pet:

  • Designate one small area of the yard as your pet’s potty spot. 
  • Choose an area that is off-limits for gardening and playing.
  • Do not let the puppy dig, eat grass, or play in the potty spot.
  • Do not walk barefoot in or around the bathroom area.
  • Clean up all feces promptly.  Do not let waste stay in the yard just because it is in the bathroom spot (think of it as akin to flushing the toilet.)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after cleaning the potty spot and after any time spent working in the yard.
  • Teach children to wash their hands after playing with the dog or cat.
  • Teach children to avoid putting their hands near their mouth, eyes, or nose when playing with the pet.
  • Do not allow cats or dogs to soil in children’s sandboxes.

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Monday, May 23rd
Please note that we are unable to dispense or
authorize prescription medication refills
or perform medical services in the doctor’s absence.

~~~  also  ~~~

Our office will be closed on Monday, May 30th
in observance of Memorial Day.

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Is your cat hiding something?

     Do you know the most common signs of illness in cats? 

     Speaking to attendees at a recent veterinary conference, Dr. Susan Little, DABVP, presented the Top Ten Signs of illness in cats.

     Look for these clues that your cat’s health may be out of whack:

  • Inappropriate elimination
  • Changes in interaction
  • Changes in activity
  • Changes in sleeping habits
  • Changes in food and water consumption
  • Unexplained weight loss or gain
  • Changes in grooming
  • Signs of stress
  • Changes in vocalization
  • Bad breath

     Contact your veterinarian to schedule a check-up if you notice any of these signs in your cat.

(Information provided by Susan Little, DVM, DABVP, speaking at the CVC Veterinary Conference in Washington, DC.)

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     Recipe by Eileen Parker, Beaver Crossing Animal Hospital of Loganville, GA.  Reprinted from Protector, a Merial publication.

Howlin’ Hula Cookies

Makes 20 cookies.
Preparation time:  10 minutes.
Baking time:  20 minutes.


  • One 8-oz. can unsweetened crushed pineapple
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

     Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Drain pineapple and set aside.  In a bowl, combine oil and honey.  Add egg, pineapple, and vanilla and mix thoroughly.  In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and baking soda.  Add flour mixture to the wet ingredients and stir well. 
     To make these cookies in the shape of a bone, gently pat dough on a floured surface until 1/2 inch thick.  Lightly coat dough with flour and cut out cookies using a bone-shaped cookie cutter.  Put on a greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool on a rack.
This recipe is intended for dogs which are not allergic to the ingredients listed.

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office on

Wednesday, May 4th.

Please note:

We are unable to prescribe or dispense medications

or provide medical services in the doctor’s absence.

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     In this installment of the Under the ‘Scope series, we will examine a common pseudoparasite found on fecal exams.

What in the world???

     What is a pseudoparasite?  Simply put, it’s somethin’ that looks like somethin’, but it’s nothin’.  Why is that important? you may be asking.  Good question!  Excellent question!  You’re going straight to the top, young lady (or man.)

     One must always be able to distinguish between actual parasites and those items that only appear troublesome. The pseudo (or “false”) parasites need not be treated with medication of any kind. We believe it is equally important to know when not to medicate, so your pet’s body is not absorbing a drug it doesn’t need.

What ARE these things? Click to enlarge.

     So what are these creepy little things that look like bug eyes?  They’re pollen spores.  Here’s another type of spore:

Pollen spore

     In large groups, these spores will turn your white car yellow.  Heck, they’ll turn your black car yellow and do the same thing to your dog. 

     If your pet has a pollen allergy, we recommend wiping its coat with a damp cloth after it has been outdoors.  Even non-allergic pets can get a bellyache if they swallow a large amount of pollen while self-grooming.  So, just to be safe, wipe them down, too.  ~~  Jen

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     Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) has released a list of the Top Ten Medical Claims for dogs and cats in 2010.  The insurer reports that their clients spent nearly $43 million last year in veterinary care for these prominent medical issues.  The total amount spent includes claims for exotic pets, as well.

Top Ten Medical Claims in 2010 for Dogs

  1. Ear infection
  2. Skin allergy
  3. Skin infection/hot spots
  4. Gastritis/vomiting
  5. Enteritis/diarrhea
  6. Arthritis
  7. Bladder infection
  8. Soft tissue trauma
  9. Non-cancerous tumor
  10. Hypothyroidism

Top Ten Medical Claims in 2010 for Cats

  1. Lower urinary tract disease
  2. Gastritis/vomiting
  3. Chronic renal failure
  4. Hyperthyroidism
  5. Diabetes
  6. Enteritis/diarrhea
  7. Skin allergy
  8. Periodontitis/dental disease
  9. Ear infection
  10. Upper respiratory infection

 (Information via Veterinary Practice News, April 2011)

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