Posts Tagged ‘wildlife’

There are so many things going on in September that we can’t fit them all on our Facebook header.

Here’s the list, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association:

September is…

*Catalyst Council’s Happy Cat Month
*Animal Pain Awareness Month ​

*National Disaster Preparedness Month
*Pet Sitter Education Month
*National Food Safety Education Month
*National Service Dog Month
*Responsible Dog Ownership Month

National Iguana Awareness Day
September 8

National Pet Memorial Day
September 8
Second Sunday in September

National Teach Ag Day
September 19

National Elephant Appreciation Day
September 22

National Deaf Dog Awareness Week
September 22-28
Last full week of September starting with a Sunday

Sea Otter Awareness Week
September 22-28
Last full week of September starting with a Sunday

National Farm Safety & Health Week

World Rabies Day
September 28​

Which event is most important to you?

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December is heavy on holiday prep, light on animal-related awareness days.

My favorite this month is Visit the Zoo Day, on December 27th. Let’s hope the weather cooperates!

National Mutt Day
December 2

World Wildlife Conservation Day
December 4

National Day of the Horse
December 10
Second Saturday in December

Visit the Zoo Day
December 27

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Freaky and Fun Flea Facts

After reading this list, you’ll be itching (heh heh) to get your hands on flea control for your pets!

Did You Know?

  • Fleas lay eggs in your pet’s fur; then the eggs roll and drop off into the carpet, onto the furniture, or outdoors.
  • Squirrels, opossums, raccoons, stray dogs and cats can all carry flea eggs into your yard.
  • Fleas can hatch in as little as 2 or 3 weeks, or they can wait for several months and spring themselves on you and your pets when you least expect it.
  • After they feed and mate, female fleas begin laying eggs within 24 hours.
  • Each female flea produces 40 to 50 eggs per day — which adds up to hundreds of eggs in days or possibly thousands of eggs, given enough time. One pair of fleas can infest your home with their offspring!
  • Don’t forget the cat! Many households are infested because of untreated cats that act as reservoirs for fleas. While you’re picking up flea control for the dog, make sure to buy some for your cat, as well.
  • Common household spots for hatching flea eggs and squirming larvae include: in pet beds, under furniture, deep in carpets.
  • Outdoors, fleas like to hang out in shady, undisturbed areas like porches, decks, stairs, and doghouses.
  • Young fleas go dormant in our winter climate and emerge as adults as the weather warms up.

So, how can you control flea infestations at home? Try these methods:

  • Treat all dogs and cats in the household. Ask about safe treatments for other furry friends like ferrets, rabbits, chinchillas, rats, etc. Not all products are suitable for pocket pets. When in doubt, check with the manufacturer.
  • Indoors, vacuum regularly. Lift and move furniture for a thorough cleaning.
  • To treat carpets and upholstery, try a safe product like Fleabusters Rx for Fleas.
  • Wash pet bedding and people bedding routinely.
  • Keep baseboards and nooks and crannies clean.
  • Eliminate weeds and brush piles; keep the lawn mowed.
  • Keep rodents away from your home.
  • Treat your yard with outdoor flea control products.

(Edited: Free flea control is limited to the Advantage II “Buy a 4-pack, get 5th tube free” offer.)

Information for this article was adapted from the Companion Animal Parasite Council and

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With summer vacation in full swing, pet owners will be taking advantage of the season to go camping, hiking, swimming, and playing in the backyard with their dogs. 

But they’re not the only ones out in force — wild animals will be enjoying the weather, too.  The problem is, wildlife can leave behind a bacterium called Leptospirosis, which infects both people and their pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis - a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.

This raccoon may be carrying Leptospirosis – a bacteria dangerous to people and pets.


Found in:  Water, soil, mud, and food contaminated with animal urine.  Flood water is especially hazardous.  Also found in an infected animal’s tissues and bodily fluids such as blood and urine.

Host animals:  Raccoons, squirrels, opossums, deer, skunks, rodents, livestock, dogs, and rarely in cats.

Points of entry:  Cut or scratch on the skin; mucous membranes of the eyes, nose, mouth; inhaling aerosolized fluids.  Drinking contaminated water; exposure to flood water.

Symptoms in people:  Fever, headache, chills, muscle aches, jaundice, vomiting, rash, anemia, meningitis.  Some people show no symptoms.

Symptoms in pets:  Fever, vomiting, abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite, weakness, depression, stiffness, muscle pain.  Some pets show no symptoms.  The disease can be fatal in pets.

When will it show up in my pet:  Between 5-14 days post-exposure, although in some cases it may take up to 30 days.

Gravity:  In people, Lepto infection can lead to kidney and liver failure, and death if left untreated.

Who is at risk:  Campers, water sportsmen, farmers, military, to name a few.


  • Vaccinate dogs annually for Leptospirosis
  • Don’t allow dogs to drink from puddles, streams, lakes, or other water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Don’t swim in water that may be contaminated by animal urine
  • Wear shoes when outdoors
  • Keep dogs out of children’s play areas
  • Control rodents around your home and yard

Resources:  Visit the CDC website for comprehensive information on Leptospirosis in people and pets.  Print your own Lepto fact sheet, or send us a message using the contact form, and we’ll print one for you.

This article was originally posted on July 8, 2011.

Photo credit: D. Gordon E. Robertson, via Wikimedia Commons.

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This gloomy rainy evening has got me thinking that we need to add a little color to liven things up. I offer to you these bright, joyful flowers and berries growing in Norfolk’s own Weyanoke Bird and Wildflower Sanctuary.



All photos by Jennifer Miele


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Since our clinic is happily located only minutes away from Norfolk Botanical Garden, I decided to make use of my membership card and take a stroll after work. Join me on this walk through the woods and then make time to see it for yourself.



The gardens were peaceful, except for the stirrings of little forest creatures like this guy:


The raccoon posed for a photo as he crossed the lane, but I took so long getting the camera ready that he tired of waiting and moved on.
I had no chance to snap his little friend who came crashing through the shrubs a moment later.

Lush banks of azaleas urged me onward.


The azaleas seemed to glow with color even as sunlight began to fade.




I stopped to gaze at the lake where fish caught their dinner and lazy turtles napped in the waning light.



This has always been my favorite reading spot in the garden.
Without a book in hand, I snapped a photo and continued on.



The white azaleas beckoned me forward. How could I resist?


At nearly 7 o’clock, I headed back to the parking lot.
But first, a quick stop at the fountain…


…and the Japanese Garden.


My visit is complete.
What will you see when you visit the Garden?

All photos by Jennifer Miele.

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We’re still waiting on the massive snowstorm headed our way (I don’t want to jinx us, but we’re supposed to get 2-4 snowflakes this evening!), but you can start making plans for after the Great Winter Meltdown.

Mark your calendar for these local events:

Winter Wildlife Festival
WHEN:  Saturday, January 25…….10 AM to 4 PM
WHERE:  Princess Anne Recreation Center in Virginia Beach
WHO:  All ages

COST:  Free
Saturday, January 25 | 10 am – 4 pm | Free & Open to the Public
All ages | Be sure to stop by the Exhibit Hall at Princess Anne Recreation Center and speak with our Winter Wildlife Festival partners and exhibitors, including Virginia Aquarium, Back Bay National Wildlife Refuge, Virginia State Parks, Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, Lynnhaven River NOW, and Virginia Beach Audubon Society. You’ll learn ways to get involved with local efforts and find out what environmental groups and businesses are up to. Also, check out the decoy carvers from the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum, and walk next door for children’s activities at Princess Anne Library!





Pawsitive Reading with Therapy Dogs
WHEN:  Saturday, February 1……..10 to 11 AM
WHERE:  MEO Central Library, Virginia Beach
also at Princess Anne Library……..10:30 to 11:30 AM
WHEN:  Saturday, February 8……..10:30 to 11:30 AM
WHERE:  Oceanfront Library and Great Neck Library, Virginia Beach
WHO:  Kindergarteners through 5th Graders
COST: Free
REGISTER (required):
Practice your reading skills by sharing stories with therapy dogs. Bring your own book or choose one from our selection. Grades K-5. Call 385-2606 to register.


Boys Choir of Hampton Roads Concert
WHEN:  Sunday, February 9……..4PM, reception follows

WHERE:  Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church, Norfolk
WHO: All ages
Founded in 1997, this group of young men lift their voices in song as they
reinforce positive self-image for youth.



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