Posts Tagged ‘Norfolk veterinarian’

If You Care, Leave It There — Wild Baby Animals May Not Need Your Help

Morris Animal Foundation
April 18, 2019

With spring busting out around us, animals of all shapes and sizes are preparing for the arrival of little ones. Nests are built, dens dug and burrows lined with soft material in preparation. However, parenting is a bit different in the wild and you’ll want to know what that means when you come upon a seemingly lost baby animal.

It’s not unusual for a raccoon mom to leave her babies sleeping up in a tree for the day or a doe to leave her young alone and hidden for long stretches of time. These babies are not abandoned. It’s just the parenting style adapted by these species to keep their young safe. 

Intervening when help is not needed is harmful to wildlife, especially young ones. There’s a saying in the wildlife rehabilitation world – if you care, leave it there. One way to help recognize a true wild animal emergency is to learn about the species that live in your backyard and in the wilderness spaces near you. Also, know who to contact in those rare instances that human intervention is necessary. A little knowledge goes a long way in helping you decide what to do – and what not to do – when you come across a baby animal in the wild.

Tips to Help Keep Wild Babies Safe

1. Know Wildlife Parenting Styles
Mother rabbits only feed their kits once or twice a day, usually around dawn and dusk. A doe only visits and nurses their fawn a few times a day to avoid attracting predators. It’s normal to find fully feathered songbird babies on the ground and parents caring for them for several days until these young birds master flying.

2. Assess the Situation
If wildlife babies have good body condition, seem well fed and growing, leave them alone. These animals are not abandoned. In contrast, if you see an animal with poor body condition, visible wounds, bleeding, vomiting, shaking, these animals need help. Consult your veterinarian or contact a wildlife rehabilitation facility near you if you think an animal is in crisis.

3. Rescue or Call in the Professionals?
Rehabilitators can provide you with instructions on how to rescue and transport different species of baby animals. Always wear gloves or other protective clothing when handling any wild animal to minimize your risk of being bitten or scratched.

What about animals higher up on the food chain, like eagles or even young mountain lions? Leave them alone and call in the professionals. Many rehabilitators have a network of volunteers specially trained to rescue and transport these animals.

Never try to rescue an animal that is disoriented, having trouble breathing, acting aggressively or is covered with visible parasites, and make sure your children and pets stay away, too. Call your local animal control agency, whose professionals can safely capture, test and sound the alert if an animal is infected with a transmissible disease such as rabies, distemper, mange and even plague.

4. Re-nesting is OK
If you find an uninjured bird that is a hatchling (featherless, eyes closed) or nestling (starting to develop feathers, eyes open), they often can be re-nested. You can either replace the original nest if it’s been blown down or make an artificial nest and secure it to a tree near where you found the baby bird. Then watch and see if the parents return to care for their young.

If you find an uninjured baby squirrel with its eyes still closed, place the animal in a container near the base of the tree where you found it. Once the baby calls out, the parent will locate it and re-nest the baby for you. In either case, if no bird or squirrel parent returns within several hours of your re-nesting attempt, these animals may need professional help and care to survive.

5. Know Who to Call
See if your veterinarian is part of a rehabilitation network that can treat wildlife or exotics. If not, many clinics, especially emergency clinics, have lists of local rehabilitation facilities and the types of animals they assist. You also can contact your local humane society, the Audubon Society, wild bird stores, your local animal control officer, or an aquarium or marine patrol (for marine reptiles and mammals).

6. If You are Unable to Reach a Professional Immediately
If you can easily handle the wild animal, place the baby in a box with airholes, lined with something soft, like a T-shirt or towel. Keep the animal in a warm, dark, quiet place. Darkness makes the animal feel more secure. To minimize stress, leave the animal alone.

Although this sounds counterintuitive, do not provide food or water, unless instructed by a professional to do so. Different animals have species-specific nutritional needs. Also, providing even a small amount of water runs the risk of the animal getting wet, chilled and even drowning if the animal is small and vulnerable. What seems like an act of kindness may actually do more harm than good.

7. It’s Illegal to Care for Injured Wildlife
In many areas, it is illegal to keep and care for wildlife without a proper license and training. You risk the possibility of being fined so know the laws in your state or region. They are there to protect both you and the animal.

A wildlife baby’s natural parents always are the best option to raise that animal and give it the best chance of survival. Knowing when not to intervene is equally as important as knowing when to rush in and help. Veterinary or rehabilitation professionals are your best resource for saving a life, sometimes by just letting you know to when to leave the animal alone.

Learn more about how Morris Animal Foundation is saving wildlife through our health studies.
Our work is helping researchers develop life-saving diagnostics, treatments and strategies for rehabilitation and rescue organizations, so they can save even more lives. From sea turtles to raptors to marsupials, wherever an animal lives, we are here to help. And we couldn’t do it without the generous support of our animal-loving donors.

This article originally appeared on Morris Animal Foundation’s website here.

More from Morris:

https://littlecreekvet.com/2018/05/17/know-the-warning-signs-of-cancer-in-cats-and-dogs/

https://littlecreekvet.com/2018/05/22/heres-what-you-need-to-know-about-preventing-cancer-in-your-pets/

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Today’s guest post is by Dr. Heather Brookshire, a veterinary ophthalmologist at Animal Vision Center of Virginia.

Helping Hard-working Service and Therapy Animals See Clearly
By Dr. Heather Brookshire

While dogs don’t wear glasses, they do need to have their eyes checked regularly, especially if they are a registered service or therapy animal.

May is National Service Dog Eye Examination Month, and many board-certified diplomats of the American College of Veterinary Ophthalmologists (like Dr. Heather Brookshire) will offer free screenings for these hard-working and caring creatures throughout the month.

We know how important it is for these animals to have healthy eyes.

The staff at Animal Vision Center of Virginia is happy to provide free exams for qualified service animals not only in May, but every month of the year. It helps us detect signs of ocular disease early, allowing the animals to keep up their important work without missing a beat.

To qualify for the exam, service animals must be active working animals certified by a formal training program or organization, or are currently enrolled in a formal training program. If you would like to schedule a free screening, call Animal Vision Center of Virginia today at 757-749-4838.

*********************************************************************

Reprinted with permission.
Animal Vision Center of Virginia is not associated
with Little Creek Veterinary Clinic.
To apply for the free service dog eye examination,
contact Animal Vision Center of Virginia directly.


Your pet’s eyes are delicate organs.
If you have a concern about your pet’s eyes,

Contact Us or a veterinary ophthalmologist
to schedule an appointment.

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If your dog or cat is 4 months or older, it should have a current Rabies vaccination, which will be issued along with a Rabies tag. When placed on your pet’s collar, the tag provides valuable information to help people return your pet if he or she runs away.

Tags
But did you know there is another tag your pet should be wearing?
It’s the city pet license tag. 

All dogs are required to be licensed by the city in which they live.  Most local cities, such as Chesapeake, Hampton, Newport News, Norfolk and Virginia Beach, issue cat licenses, as well.  Pet licenses must be renewed each year and are granted to pets that have a current Rabies vaccination.

There is a small cost involved, and pet owners typically receive a discount on licensing fees for each spayed or neutered pet.  Senior citizens may receive an additional discount on fees for spayed or neutered pets.

     Click on your city’s name for information on license fees, due dates, and issuing agencies.

The Commonwealth of Virginia requires all dogs and cats over four months old to be vaccinated against Rabies. 

Virginia has also instituted a law requiring veterinarians to forward Rabies vaccination information to local city treasurers.  The treasurer compares information received from the veterinarians with its roster of licensed animals.  If an owner has not purchased a license, the treasurer will mail a notice to the owner requesting compliance.

Veterinarians are not required to report unlicensed animals to city agencies.  Our concern is the public health aspect of ensuring that pets and their owners are protected against Rabies, since Rabies is present in Hampton Roads.  Pet owners are responsible for complying with pet license rules in their city of residence.

A final note: a microchip ID is not a substitute for a Rabies or city license tag, nor are the tags a substitute for a microchip ID. Each form of identification has its own merits. To protect your pet with permanent identification that will not wear off, get lost, or be removed by a stranger, ask us for the HomeAgain microchip on your pet’s next visit.

******************************************************************
This article originally appeared January 22, 2015.

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At Little Creek Veterinary Clinic, we love to give a special award to pets whose poop is free of parasites and eggs, blood, and foreign objects.

The Clean As A Whistle Award is one that nearly everyone can strive for.

[Pets with certain medical conditions may show blood in the stool, even during treatment — we totally understand!]

Here are the latest recipients of the coveted Clean As A Whistle Award:

  • Bear H.
  • Daisy W.
  • Harley Quinn K.
  • Izzy K.
  • Lucy C.
  • Maggie May M.
  • Molly H.
  • Luna M.
  • Goldie G.
  • Willy T.
  • Pulpita F.
  • Mia T.
  • Kimber F.
  • Mykah Jean N.
  • Smokey H.
  • Bindi G.
  • Lucky L.
  • Sam M.
  • Happy R.
  • Remi M.

Good job, everyone!

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May 2019 check-up and vaccine reminders have been sent out.

If your pet is due for boosters or other services
at this time of year, check your Inbox, Spam folder,
or snail-mailbox for a notice from us.

Or Contact Us at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic,
to find out when your pet is due next for services.

 

Special delivery!

 

Images from The Graphics Fairy.

 

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Bones, Muscles and Joints

Keep your pet moving and grooving this Spring — 
Schedule their yearly checkup today!

Musculoskeletal diseases (conditions that involve bones, muscles and joints) can affect pets of all ages. They can have aches and pains like we do. But sometimes these diseases are hard to spot. Think about your furry friend for a moment…

Have they stopped jumping on you when they greet you at the door?

Have they stopped perching on the window sill?

Is your pet acting “old?”

These changes in activity may be due to weather, age or good training. However, to guarantee your pet is at their best, we have to rule out they don’t have a hidden musculoskeletal problem. Infections, hormonal imbalances, nutrition, blood disorders and arthritis can all affect your pet’s activity—the way they play, move, eat and cuddle!

The good news is we have ways to prevent, cure or manage these conditions, so your pet can continue to have a good quality of life. We are committed to the well-being of your pet for their lifetime. The best way to do this is to book your pet’s yearly checkup today.

Contact Us for an appointment at Little Creek Veterinary Clinic and together, we’ll keep your pet’s bones, muscles and joints (and the rest of your furry friend) in good working order!

Bonus reading:

Dasuquin Joint Health supplement

J/D Prescription Diet for joint health

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Admit it: your cat has an awesome life. And now that you’ve added food puzzles and the perfect scratching post, your cat’s life is darn near perfect.

But is it possible to improve upon perfection? Your cat says, “Yes!”

Here are 4 more ways you can improve your cat’s life today:

  1. Multiple litterboxes. This is especially important when living with several cats or other pets in the house. Cats often won’t cross a “barrier” created by another cat or pet blocking the litterbox. Having extra litterboxes in different areas of the house (including on each floor of a multi-level home) gives your cats choices and helps prevent accidents.
  2. A safe space. Cats like to hide out and nap in private spots, without worry of being harassed by pets or people. Popular hiding spots include an empty box, dark closet, beneath furniture, and high up on cabinets. If your cat doesn’t have a hiding spot, try to provide one, such as a covered cat bed.
  3. Play time. Cats are natural hunters, so look for toys they can “chase.” Pick up some cat-safe toys that require your involvement, and get silly with your cat.  Bonus: Play time helps your cat bond with you and burn calories.
  4. Calming pheromones. Cats can feel more relaxed and less territorial when they are exposed to pheromones (chemical signals) just like the ones they secrete from glands in their face (which they love to rub on you and everything in their environment.) Try Feliway plug-ins to send a chemical message to your cat that says, “Relax.”

It’s your cat’s home — you’re just living in it!

Tips for this blog post are based on advice by feline care expert Dr. Ilona Rodan, via dvm360 Magazine.

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