Posts Tagged ‘emergency’

If it has teeth, it can bite.

If it has teeth, it can bite.

Every year, thousands of people seek emergency medical treatment for dog bites. How can you avoid being one of them? Follow these tips from State Farm Insurance and the American Veterinary Medical Association:

“Be cautious around strange dogs and treat your own pet with respect. Because children are the most frequent victims of dog bites, parents and caregivers should:

  • NEVER leave a baby or small child alone with a dog.
  • Be on the lookout for potentially dangerous situations.
  • Start teaching young children — including toddlers — to be careful around pets.
     “Children must be taught NOT to approach strange dogs. Children should be taught to ask permission from a dog’s owner before petting the dog.”
     “Other tips that may prevent or stop a dog attack:
  • Don’t run past a dog. Dogs naturally love to chase and catch things. Don’t give them a reason to become excited or aggressive.
  • Never disturb a dog that’s caring for puppies, sleeping or eating.
  • If a dog approaches to sniff you — stay still. In most cases, the dog will go away when it determines you are not a threat.
  • If you’re threatened by a dog, remain calm. Don’t scream. If you say anything, speak calmly and firmly. Avoid eye contact. Try to stay still until the dog leaves, or back away slowly until the dog is out of sight. Don’t turn and run.
  • If you fall or are knocked to the ground, curl into a ball with your hands over your head and neck. Protect your face.”
     These tips and more are available in a brochure at our office.
This article originally appeared on our blog on June 21, 2011.

Read Full Post »

Did you know that Norfolk has a Pet Food Pantry and Pet-friendly Emergency Shelter? We’ve written about this before, but it’s worth repeating.

The Pet Pantry is administered by the Norfolk Animal Care Center (aka “animal control.”) Help is temporary and is based on financial need. Click on the Pet Pantry link to learn how to apply for membership.

One important caveat: pets must be spayed or neutered to be eligible for assistance.

If you are not in need of assistance, please consider donating unopened bags and cans of food to the Pet Pantry.

Make sure you have enough to feed them all. The Norfolk Pet Pantry can help.

Make sure you have enough to feed them all.
The Norfolk Pet Pantry can help.

Meanwhile, all this Nor’easter wind, rain, and car-killing flooding has gotten me thinking about the heavy storms of years past. Historically, a number of people who should have evacuated to emergency shelter during hurricanes, didn’t do so because they refused to leave their pets behind.

In response to this concern, Norfolk has opened Bayview Recreation Center to people evacuating with the following types of pets: dog, cat, bird, rabbit, rodent, or turtle; provided the pet can be crated and is not used for commercial purposes. Learn about the shelter’s Rules and Regs here.

Remember: don’t wait until the last minute to take action. Plan ahead and know what you’ll need in the event of an emergency evacuation with your pets.

Saving the Whole Family

Get this booklet at our clinic!

Read Full Post »

The 2012 Hurricane Season is just a memory, but it’s never too soon to gather resources for future events. I spoke with Mr. Scott Mahone, Norfolk’s Deputy Emergency Management Coordinator, and he wanted me to pass along information on Norfolk’s Pet-Friendly Emergency Shelter. The shelter is open to all pet owners who meet the guidelines listed below. Owners are expected to remain at the shelter with their pets — this is not a drop-off service.

The following information is excerpted from

Norfolk now has a Pet-Friendly Shelter! 

Located at the Bayview Recreation Center. Be sure to review all the requirements below before bringing your pet to the shelter. 

Pets will not be permitted at other shelters within the Norfolk City limits.

Location of the Pet-Friendly Shelter:
Bayview Recreation Center
8613 Willow Terrace Blvd.
Norfolk, Va. 23503

Pets that will be accepted at the shelter:
Norfolk’s Pet-Friendly Shelter will be available for domestic animals only.
Household Pets: A domestic animal, such as a

  • dog
  • cat
  • bird
  • rabbit
  • rodent
  • turtle

that is traditionally kept in the home for pleasure rather than for commercial purposes, can travel in commercial carriers, and be housed in temporary facilities.
*Owner will be responsible for animal care, including walking and feeding their animal(s).

Household pets do not include

  • reptiles (except turtles)
  • amphibians
  • fish
  • insects/arachnids
  • farm animals (including horses)
  • animals kept for racing purposes.

Note: Service Animals are permitted at any and all shelters!

For complete information, including Pet Preparation Tips and the Registration Process, visit the official site here.Est. 1973

Read Full Post »

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 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.

Read Full Post »

A few freebie offers for you:

Flush Doggy biodegradable/flushable pet poop bags

Emergency decals alert first responders to pets inside your home; by Tony La Russa’s Animal Rescue Foundation

Life’s a Dog bumper sticker

Catnip sample from Shirley’s Catnip

Pet Safety Kit from Bark Buckle UP

Read Full Post »

     Veterinary Pet Insurance has done it again. They’ve mined their database to compile a profile of the most dangerous days in 2010. Here is a sample of what they discovered (keeping in mind these numbers reflect pets insured by VPI only):

  • The most dangerous day of the week was Monday, with an average of 152 pets treated for injuries.
  • The most dangerous month was June, with an average of just over 4140 claims. That works out to about 138 pets treated daily for each of the 30 days.
  • For the year, accident claims were highest after holidays like Labor Day, Memorial Day and Easter.

     The “safest” day of the week appeared to be Sunday, with statistics showing an average of only 59 claims on that day. However, a top VPI veterinarian is concerned that the low number actually reflects the lack of emergency care available on Sundays in some areas. In other words, cases that are seen on Monday should have been treated on Sunday, but an emergency facility was either unavailable or unknown to the pet owner.

     Can you guess the month with the fewest emergency claims? It was December, with about 108 pets treated each day, for an overall total of just under 3350 emergency claims for the month.

     VPI culled the information by reviewing its data on over 485,000 enrollees and looking at emergency claims like broken bones and poisoning, among others.

     Do you know the phone number and location of your local 24-hour veterinary emergency hospital? If you have a pet, this information is vital. We recommend the Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center on South Independence Road in Virginia Beach. Keep their number in your speed dial: 757-499-5463.

Information for this article can be found in the July 2011 edition of Veterinary Practice News, p.4.

Read Full Post »

Please note:  Our clinic will be closed on
Friday, June 3rd and Saturday, June 4th.

In addition, we will be shortening our hours of operation
on June 1st and 2nd, due to employee leave time.

When possible, appointments for pets requiring multiple
employee assistants will be delayed until June 6th or later.


Cases requiring hospitalization will be referred to the
Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center
or other local hospital.

We appreciate your understanding,
as the summer travel season gets under way.

Read Full Post »


     Did you know dogs and cats can donate blood?  It’s true.  There are a few guidelines to follow (just like with people), so you’ll know whether your pet qualifies.  Aside from being healthy and disease-free, your pets must meet the following  requirements.


  • At least 60 pounds
  • 1 to 7 years old
  • Heartworm negative; on heartworm preventative
  • Current vaccinations, such as Rabies and DHLPPC


  • At least 9 pounds
  • 1 to 7 years old
  • Leukemia/FIV negative
  • Current vaccinations, such as Rabies and FVRCCP
  • Indoor cats only

     The Tidewater Animal Emergency and Referral Center in Virginia Beach is always seeking new donors.  Because the blood is given “as needed” rather than banked far in advance, there may be times when the current donors are unavailable.  Therefore, the more donors on the list, the better it is for critically ill and injured patients.  Just think – your pet can save another pet’s life!

     As if saving lives weren’t enough incentive, blood donor pets get special benefits should they ever need care at the Tidewater Animal Emergency & Referral Center.

  • Exam/Emergency Fee…………………………………….no charge
  • Blood Products……………………………………………… charge
  • Hospitalization…………………………………………………no charge
  • Dispensed Medications…………………………………….50% discount
  • In-House Treatments/Surgery……………………….50% discount
  • Lab Work and X-rays………………………………………50% discount

     And get this – the blood donation process clocks in at only 45 minutes and your pet’s nails can be trimmed and its ears cleaned during the procedure.

     Call our office (757-583-2619) to ask for a brochure detailing the Blood Donor Program or go straight to the source – call at TAERC at 757-499-5463. 


(All information is borrowed from TAERC’s Blood Donor Program brochure and is believed to be accurate at the time of this post.  We respect TAERC’s right to alter its program, requirements, and benefits at any time.)

Read Full Post »

     If your pet has a medical emergency, are you prepared to authorize treatment which can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars?  Would you care if you never recouped any of the cost?  Or is there a chance you, like many others, may opt for  euthanasia if the cost of treatment is out of reach?  Maybe it’s time to consider pet health insurance.

     Personally, I’ve always thought of health insurance as a forced savings account into which I dump money and it doesn’t pay out unless something awful happens.  I have experience in that area, and I can say for certain that getting a refund check on a medical procedure is a rare pleasure, even though the reason for my visit to the doctor wasn’t a joy.

     Pet insurance is similar, to be sure.  You pay a monthly premium, secure in the knowledge the policy will be there for your pet in an emergency, all the while hoping nothing bad ever happens.  But bad things do happen, usually to good pets.  Now, if you have a pet that likes to shred your wardrobe, pee on your mother-in-law’s suitcase, and bite the lawyer next door, take heart:  your pet will probably live forever.  Or at least it will seem that way.  For all the rest, there’s pet insurance.

     If you like multiple choices and comparison shopping, you’re in luck:  we have information on six pet insurance companies licensed in Virginia.  I recommend stopping by our office to pick up their brochures so you can keep track of the companies as you research them.  For now, here are the six:

     One way in which pet insurance differs from human health insurance is expected payment.  In a human health setting, it is common practice for a doctor to bill the insurance company first and then bill the patient for the remainder.  In a pet health setting, the pet owner may be required to pay the full cost of service upon check-out.  At our office, full payment is required at the time of service.  We then file your claim for you (there is no fee for filing) and the insurance company reimburses you directly.     

     Part of preparedness in an emergency is knowing what is expected of you financially.  Pet insurance can certainly help put money back into your bank account after an emergency, but depending on hospital policy, it may not be a magical elixir you can use to pay your bills at check-out.  Because of this, I recommend you check with the local emergency hospital so you know whether full payment is expected at the time of service or whether they will file the insurance claim first.  Do not be surprised if it is the former.

     Only you can decide if pet health insurance is a wise investment.  I can offer that I have witnessed cases in which I was happy to see that a client had pet insurance and cases where it was a shame they did not.  In every case, the money was spent – but only the clients whose pets were insured saw a return on their investment.  ~~  Jen

Read Full Post »

     The Tidewater Animal Emergency & Referral Center is temporarily operating as an after-hours facility only.  Please make a note of the new hours, which will apply until further notice:

Monday – Thursday 4 PM to 8 AM

Weekends 4 PM Friday to 8 AM Monday

     The hospital’s phone number is 499-5463.

     Tidewater Animal Emergency & Referral Center is located at 364 South Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach.

Read Full Post »