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May 18 through 24 is National Dog Bite Prevention Week.

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What can you do to prevent dog bites in your home?

First, be aware that any dog, any breed, any age and any size can bite if provoked.

A dog will bite to protect itself or its “property” (such as food or toys, pups, even people.) The first bite may serve as a warning; if the warning is ignored, the dog may bite a second time or it may attack.

Consider the circumstances in which a dog may feel threatened and go into protective mode. Knowing this in advance, you will be better able to predict and prevent bites.

Dogs are more likely to bite when:

  • afraid or insecure
  • sick
  • in pain
  • eating
  • sleeping
  • playing with or guarding a toy
  • guarding a family member (human or puppy)
  • irritated or over-stimulated due to rough contact

Proper training (professional help may be called for) and socialization can help a dog feel secure about his role in the family and community, and can teach him how to behave around family and strangers. A dog in its owner’s arms or in a car may bite when approached, due to insecurity or guarding behavior.

Veterinary medical intervention is necessary when pain or illness is suspected to be the root cause of aggression. Sudden-onset aggression in dogs may be a result of pain stemming from an undiagnosed condition. Proper disease treatment and/ or pain-management can improve a pet’s demeanor and return him to being a happy family member.

Respect the dog. Family members — especially children — should be taught not to interrupt a pet that is eating, sleeping, or guarding something. Children should also be taught the proper way to hold a pet and not to yank, squeeze, pull, or hit a pet. A pet that feels threatened may turn to bite without taking time to consider its target.

Learn to read your pet’s body language.
A pet that approaches you with confidence (walks tall, tail up and wagging or down and relaxed, ears forward, jaw relaxed, tongue out, a happy trotting gait) is showing signs that it desires contact.

A pet that is anxious can move into fear mode if its source of anxiety remains present.
Watch for these early warning signs of canine anxiety:

  • attempt to remove itself from source of stimulus
  • avoiding eye contact
  • frequently licking its lips
  • laying the ears back on its head
  • lowering its head
  • panting
  • pacing
  • repeated yawning
  • salivating
  • tucking its tail

Unless the pet or its source of anxiety is removed, the situation can quickly escalate.
Watch for these signs of fear, pain, or aggression:

  • ears pinned back
  • fur bristled 
  • growling, snarling, barking 
  • jaw tensed
  • low “stalking”posture
  • stiff halting gait 
  • tail rapidly swatting side to side
  • teeth bared 
  • tongue pulled in

These dogs are warning you: STAY AWAY!

Not mentioned above is the case of dogs biting during rough play. Dogs are pack animals and they will treat their family members as part of their pack. A trainer can help you establish yourself as leader of the pack.

A dog that does not have a clear understanding of who is in charge in the household may step up to fill the void, or it may react in fear. A dominant dog may try to run herd on its family members the way it would in a dog pack: by using its teeth to get a point across. This is unacceptable in a household.

Establish leadership in the family and discourage rough play. If a dog “wins” at playtime, she may mistakenly believe that she is in charge. Even when that is not the case, remember that a dog does not necessarily understand when “play biting” is acceptable and when it is not. If play biting becomes a favorite pastime, everyone will become her favorite chew toy!

We have listed many of the typical instances in which a dog may bite in the home, but this is not an exhaustive list. Can you think of other reasons a dog may bite a family member or even another pet? Share your experiences with us in the comments section.

On Thursday, we will discuss dog bites and Stranger Danger.

For additional information, visit our clinic to receive a free brochure titled “Don’t worry, they won’t bite.” Or Contact us and we will mail a brochure to you.

 

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Pet ER (207x174)

Here are 10 fancy ways of saying your pet is sick and needs to see the vet:

Your pet has:

anorexia…………………lack or loss of appetite for food
blepharitis………………inflammation of the eyelids
cachexia…………………general ill health and malnutrition; emaciation
copracrasia.…………….fecal incontinence
hematemesis…………..the vomiting of blood
hematochezia………….blood in the feces
ictus………………………..a seizure or stroke
keratitis..…………………inflammation of the cornea
pyoderma………………..any purulent skin disease
pyuria………………………pus in the urine

Medical definitions taken from Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary.

This post is for informational purposes only and is not meant to diagnose or suggest a course of treatment for any pet. Pets with symptoms of ill health should be seen by their veterinarian.

 If your pet has an emergency, contact Blue Pearl at 757-499-5463 for 24/7 emergency care.

Read other Medical Definitions here and here.

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Recipe by Michelle Dailey of German Village Veterinary Hospital, Columbus, OH.
Borrowed from Protector, a Merial publication.

 

Beggin’ Veggie Bones

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup dry milk powder
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbsps. brown sugar
  • 2 vegetable bouillon cubes; dissolved in 3/4 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup carrots (optional)
  • 1 egg

Preheat oven to 300º Fahrenheit.
Mix all ingredients into a ball and roll out to about 1/4 inch thick.
Cut with bone-shaped cookie cutter, or into strips, or a cutter shape of your choice.
Place on ungreased cookie sheet and bake 30 minutes.

Doesn't your sweet pup deserve some home-made treats?

Doesn’t your sweet pup deserve some home-made treats?

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This recipe is intended for pets that are not allergic to the ingredients listed.

Find other pet treats recipes here:

Blueberry Doggy Cheesecake

Dawgy Biscuits

Kitty Catfish Pie

…or search “recipes” for the complete list!

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office on the day of February 6th to attend a veterinary seminar.

Please keep in mind that we are unable to dispense, refill, or authorize prescription drugs in the doctor’s absence.

dogs-vintage-clip-art-gfairy008

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Halloween fun

Looks like someone’s stirring up trouble for the coast this weekend and possibly into next week. Can Halloween be saved? Or will the forces of Nature prevail? Stay tuuuuuuuned…

If you are looking forward to the Virginia Zoo’s Zoo Boo, take heart – it will take place on Saturday, November 3rd, instead of this weekend.

From my inbox:Virginia Zoo

In response to heightened weather concerns, the Virginia Zoo is moving Zoo Boo, the Zoo’s annual Halloween event, to the rain date Saturday, Nov. 3, 2012, including both Family Fun Day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Fright Night from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.
 
Pre-sale tickets will be honored on the new date.
 
Family Fun Day will start at 10 a.m. Guests can visit our animals at their habitats, as usual, and there will also be animal pumpkin smashing, costume contests and, of course, trick or treat candy stations. Admission for members—ages 2 and up—is $6; for nonmembers—ages 2 and up—is $11. Children under 2 are free.  Guests can take a Haunted Hayride for $1 per ride, or climb aboard the Zoo Boo Choo Choo for $3 per ride.
 
The Zoo will temporarily close at 3 p.m. and reopen for Fright Night at 6 p.m., when Zoo Boo will take on a more sinister tone, focused on thrilling adults and older children. There will still be costumes and candy, along with a Train of Terror, Haunted Hay Ride and more.  It’s so scary we have to put the animals inside! Admission for members—ages 2 and up—is $5; admission for non-members—ages 2 and up—is $8; children under 2 are free. 
 
For more information, visit http://www.virginiazoo.org
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The news is not as good from the Hermitage Museum and Gardens, where All Hallow’s Eve festivities have been cancelled for Sunday, due to the approaching storm. That’s unfortunate, since the Hermitage is a pet-friendly location – and this would have been a great excuse to haul out your dog’s Headless Horseman costume again.
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Meanwhile, our clinic will be open on Saturday this week, so be sure to stock up on your pet’s food and medicine, in case weather conditions deteriorate next week.

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office on Thursday, June 28th.

Our clinic will be open for retail sales from 9:30 AM to Noon.

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Please keep in mind that we are unable to fill or authorize
prescription medications in the doctor’s absence.

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Horse graphic courtesy of The Graphics Fairy

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Dr. Miele will be out of the office for the afternoon of Wednesday, June 13th.
He will also have shortened office hours on the afternoon of June 14th.

Appointments are still available for both mornings.

Please keep in mind that we are unable to prescribe or
dispense prescription medications in the doctor’s absence.

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