Posts Tagged ‘holidays’

It’s that time of year! Please be sure you have enough prescription foods and medications on hand to last your pets through the holidays.

Otherwise, Contact Us now to place a refill order. Some medications and food may not be available without adequate notice, so call now.

For the weeks of Christmas and New Year’s, Little Creek Veterinary Clinic will be open regular business hours on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

 

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Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

Every year, around Turkey Time (that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas), pets are rushed to the emergency room with a sudden onset of illness after sharing the family meal.

So what’s wrong with all those animals?

The answer: acute pancreatitis.

[How do you say that word? Try this: pan-cree-uh-tie-tis.]

The pancreas is a V-shaped abdominal organ that produces digestive enzymes and insulin. (Insulin regulates blood sugar. A lack, or insufficient quantity, of insulin results in diabetes.) 

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, in which the organ essentially digests itself via the enzymes it produces.

What causes acute pancreatitis?
Common causes are:

  • high-fat diets (long-term)
  • singular high-fat meal (like meat trimmings)
  • obesity
  • infection
  • blockage of the pancreatic duct
  • abdominal injury or surgery
  • hyperstimulation by certain drugs and venom

Because of the high fat content of many holiday feasts, pets that are fed from the table are at serious risk of becoming gravely ill. In some cases, pancreatitis will be fatal.

Feed your pet its own food prior to mealtime, to make it less likely to beg.
Move your pets to a separate area of the house during mealtime and after-dinner cleanup, if you or your guests are tempted to share food with Fluffy and Fang.
Let your guests know that your pets are on a strict diet and cannot have table food. If you want to – blame the vet! We’re always happy to play wet blanket when it comes to giving pets unnecessary – and even harmful – treats.

Symptoms of pancreatitis
Watch for:

  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • weakness
  • depression
  • collapse from shock

How do you know if a pet is experiencing abdominal pain?
Look for these signs:

  • restlessness
  • panting
  • trembling
  • hunched-up posture
  • “praying” posture
  • resting on cool surfaces
  • vocal or physical response to touch (on the belly)

Which types of dogs or cats are most at risk of pancreatitis?
Normally, in this type of article, I list the age span, breeds, and gender of dog or cat most commonly affected by the disorder. I am not going to do that in this post for one specific reason: I do not wish to give any pet owner the impression that his or her pet is “safe” from pancreatitis and can join in the family meal. We just don’t recommend it for any pet.

Take Action
If you believe your cat or dog may have pancreatitis (even at a non-holiday time of year), take him to the nearest Veterinary Emergency Hospital. Immediate intervention in a critical care setting will give your pet the best chance at recovery.

Remember: some cases of pancreatitis can be deadly, so prevention and early intervention are key to your pet’s good health.

*****************************************************************
Resources for this article include:
Instructions for Veterinary Clients
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult
*****************************************************************
This article was originally posted on Nov. 12, 2012 and Nov. 20, 2014.

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Christmas Wishes

 

Please make a note of the following dates:

CLOSED Wednesday, December 24 through Friday, December 26

CLOSED Wednesday afternoon, December 31 through Thursday, January 1

Pet emergencies over the holidays can be handled by BluePearl
at 364 S. Independence Blvd. in Virginia Beach, (757) 499-5463.

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Every year, around Turkey Time (that’s Thanksgiving and Christmas), pets are rushed to the emergency room with a sudden onset of illness after sharing the family meal.

So what’s wrong with all those animals?

The answer: acute pancreatitis.

[How do you say that word? Try this: pan-cree-uh-tie-tis.]

The pancreas is a V-shaped abdominal organ that produces digestive enzymes and insulin. (Insulin regulates blood sugar. A lack, or insufficient quantity, of insulin results in diabetes.) 

Pancreatitis is an inflammation of the pancreas, in which the organ essentially digests itself via the enzymes it produces.

(More info below — keep scrolling!)

[Pets Best Insurance reveals bizarre
holiday-related pet insurance claims – click here!]

Click to enlarge.

Click to enlarge.

What causes acute pancreatitis?
Common causes are:

  • high-fat diets (long-term)
  • singular high-fat meal (like meat trimmings)
  • obesity
  • infection
  • blockage of the pancreatic duct
  • abdominal injury or surgery
  • hyperstimulation by certain drugs and venom

Because of the high fat content of many holiday feasts, pets that are fed from the table are at serious risk of becoming gravely ill. In some cases, pancreatitis will be fatal.

We recommend feeding your pet its own food prior to mealtime, to make it less likely to beg. If you or your guests are tempted to share food with Fluffy and Fang, we recommend moving your pets to a separate area of the house during mealtime and after-dinner cleanup.

Let your guests know that your pets are on a strict diet and cannot have table food. If you have to – blame the vet! We’re always happy to play wet blanket when it comes to giving pets unnecessary – and even harmful – treats.

Symptoms of pancreatitis
Watch for:

  • abdominal pain
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • fever
  • weakness
  • depression
  • collapse from shock

How do you know if a pet is experiencing abdominal pain?
Look for these signs:

  • restlessness
  • panting
  • trembling
  • hunched-up posture
  • “praying” posture
  • resting on cool surfaces
  • vocal or physical response to touch (on the belly)

Which types of dogs or cats are most at risk of pancreatitis?
Normally, in this type of article, I list the age span, breeds, and gender of dog or cat most commonly affected by the disorder. I am not going to do that in this post for one specific reason: I do not wish to give any pet owner the impression that his or her pet is “safe” from pancreatitis and can join in the family meal. We just don’t recommend it for any pet.

Take Action
If you believe your cat or dog may have pancreatitis (even at a non-holiday time of year), take him to the nearest Veterinary Emergency Hospital. Immediate intervention in a critical care setting will give your pet the best chance at recovery.

Remember: some cases of pancreatitis can be deadly, so prevention and early intervention are key to your pet’s good health.

*****************************************************************
Resources for this article include:
Instructions for Veterinary Clients
Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary
Saunders Manual of Small Animal Practice
The 5 Minute Veterinary Consult
*****************************************************************
This article was originally posted on November 12, 2012.

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Winter Pet Care Tips from Purina

Winter and the busy holiday can pose special risks for pets.  Help your pet to weather the winter and stay healthy and safe by following these simple tips.

  • Keep indoor pets in a dry, warm area free of drafts.  If possible, elevate your pet’s bed off the floor.
  • Bring pets inside when temperatures dip into the 50s or even the low 60s.  Otherwise, in warmer temperatures, provide outdoor pets a dry, insulated shelter out of the wind.
  • Staying warm requires extra calories, so feed your pet accordingly when the temperature drops.  Talk to your veterinarian for advice on feeding your pet.
  • Cats and kittens often nap on car engines for warmth.  Knock on the hood and honk the horn; then wait a few minutes before starting your car.
  • Pets like the smell and taste of antifreeze, but even a very small amount can kill them.  Thoroughly clean up spills at once.  Tightly close containers and store them where pets cannot get to them.
  • Always have fresh, clean water available for your pet.
  • Alcoholic beverages, holiday treats such as chocolates, and bones from poultry, pork and fish can be harmful or toxic to pets.  Keep your pet on his regular diet.
  • Many plants – including Christmas rose, holly, mistletoe, philodendron, poinsettia, and dieffenbachia – are toxic to pets.  Keep them out of your pet’s reach.
  • Remove ice, salt and caked mud from your pet’s paws and coat at once.  Contact your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has frostbite.  Frostbitten skin may turn reddish, white or gray, and it may be scaly or sloughing.
  • Holiday paraphernalia can be dangerous to pets.  Cover or tack down electrical cords.  Keep tinsel and glass ornaments out of your pet’s reach.  Read warnings on items like spray-on snow.  Never put ribbons around your pet’s neck or allow it to play with plastic or foil wrappings or six-pack beverage holders.

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Traveling for the holidays?  Now is the time to plan for your pet’s care while you’re away.  Pet owners who travel have three options:  hire a pet sitter, take the pet to a boarding kennel, or bring the pet along for the trip.

In Part I of this series, we will explore hiring a pet sitter and whether that choice is right for you and your pet.

A pet sitter can be a professional or a friend/neighbor/relative.  Types of pet-sitters include those who visit your house periodically to care for your pet; those who stay in your house; and those who take care of your pet at the sitter’s own home. 

A pet-sitter might be right for you if

1)  You feel your pet is not physically or emotionally suited for kenneling:

Some pets may be too susceptible to disease to risk kenneling.  Others may become severely withdrawn and refuse food during kenneling.  For these reasons, an owner may seek at-home pet care. 

Alternatively, your pet may be happy and healthy, but you as the owner prefer to keep him at home – that’s perfectly acceptable!

2)  You are comfortable allowing a person unsupervised access to your home:

Plenty of people do this on a regular basis with a maid service, home improvement company, or daily dog walking service and it works out well.  Ask prospective pet sitters whether they are licensed, bonded, and insured.  Professionals will have the necessary credentials and protection, but most importantly, they will respect your pets, home, and belongings.

How do I hire a professional pet sitter?

Start your search for a pet sitter well in advance of your trip.  Gather names and recommendations from your veterinarian, friends, and neighbors.  Steve Douglas, owner of Atta-Boy Pet Sitting Service, reports that he is already booked for Thanksgiving this year.  Steve recommends booking a professional sitter 1-2 months in advance of holiday travel.

Visit the pet sitter’s website to find out about rates and services.  Pet sitters may provide extra services such as collecting mail and newspapers, turning lamps on or off, and watering plants.

Schedule a consultation at your home so the pet sitter can meet you and your pets.  Services and rates can be discussed at the consultation.

Ask potential sitters how much time they spend with clients’ pets, on average.  Steve from Atta-Boy arranges a minimum of 30 minutes with pets, although some lucky dogs get a longer playtime when scheduling allows. 

Find out the types of pets a sitter will care for.  Dogs and cats top the list, but what about reptiles, birds, rodents and other exotic pets? 

How do I make the pet sitter’s job easier?

Stick to the key transfer arrangements.

Inform the sitter if you change a previously supplied alarm shut-off code.

Leave as many contact numbers as possible and take your sitter’s contact info with you.

Update the sitter if you will be arriving home earlier or later than agreed upon.  Failure to inform a sitter of early arrival can result in travel charges as well as an embarrassing encounter at home.  Late arrivals – by a day or more – can result in a hungry pet and a mess in the house.

Provide an adequate supply of food and medications to last your absence plus an extra week, in case of unexpected delays.  Bonus – if you arrive home on schedule, you won’t need to rush out for supplies.

Also provide a collar or harness, leash, and ID tags for your dogs; leave a cat carrier where it can be accessed in an emergency.  Instruct the sitter on the location of pet medicine and vet records.

Don’t forget your snake.  Maybe your snake won’t need to be fed again until you return, so you figure “No need to mention it, right?”  Wrong.  It’s a huge deal if the sitter has a phobia and comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare.  Never spring an animal – especially an exotic – on a pet sitter.  And don’t forget the silent ones:  your fish.  They need to be fed, too!

Notify your veterinarian of the duration of your trip along with the pet sitter’s name and contact info.  Find out if your vet requires a pre-signed Permission & Request To Treat form in case of medical problems in your absence.  Check the sitter’s and vet’s policies on how payment for medical care will be handled; in most cases, you are solely responsible for all costs of care.

What if a close friend or relative offers to do the pet-sitting? 

How well does your friend or relative know your pet?  Your dog or cat may be more comfortable with someone familiar.  An animal which aggressively protects its turf in the owner’s absence may not let an unfamiliar person inside.  This revelation can be a serious problem if the owner has left town and there is no one else available to feed the pet. 

If you do elect to allow a friend or relative care for your pet, consider the following questions:

*Is the sitter comfortable with your pet? 

*If you have a dog, is the sitter able to handle the dog on walks around the neighborhood?

*Can the sitter administer any necessary medications?

*Can the sitter transport your pet to a veterinarian for emergency medical care, if needed?

*Is the sitter known to be a mature, responsible person?  Your pet’s welfare and your home’s security are at stake.

(To see more benefits of hiring a professional pet sitter, click here and view the 25 Point Checklist on Atta-Boy’s homepage.)

What if the worst happens?

If your pet runs away, has a serious accident or dies while in the care of your friend or relative (whether due to negligence or unforeseen circumstances), will your relationship survive the incident?  If you are quite certain that the relationship would end or become permanently damaged, consider hiring someone else for the job.

In fact, if your pet is aged or sickly and there is a chance it could pass away while you are gone – assuming you have rejected the idea of boarding your pet at a veterinary hospital – it would be best to be frank with any sitter you hire, professional or otherwise.  Make sure the sitter understands you will not hold him or her responsible for death due to natural causes – and mean it.

Special thanks to Steve Douglas of Atta-Boy Pet Sitting Service for his insight and advice.  Visit http://www.attaboypet.com to learn more.

Next:  Holiday Travel Series Part II – Boarding Kennels

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