Thursday, November 20, 2008

Answers to your question about nuts and Grapes..

Nuts have natural oils in them that can cause your pet to get an upset stomach, or diarrhea. Not to mention if your pet eats too many at one time they can cause what is called an Intestinal Blockage which means that those nuts are stuck somewhere in your pet's tummy and your pet would most likely need to have surgery to take them out of your pet's intestines.

As for Grapes. There are a couple schools of thought on this. One is that grapes have a natural mold that grows on them. Sometimes we see it and other times it's there but we dont see it. When your pet eats the grape with the mold, the mold as it's breaking down turns toxic making your pet ill. The second school of thought is that the seeds inside of grapes become toxic as they break down in your pets intestines. Dr.'s say that they really don't know what causes these things to make your pet sick, but they know that these things make them sick from treating pets who are ill from ingesting grapes. So they have their schools of thought on this and that is why they say not to feed your pets grapes.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The holiday spread

Each year just after Thanksgiving and just before/after Christmas I get A LOT of phone calls from clients because their pet has eaten chocolate of some kind, has diarrhea, is vomiting etc.. etc.. and they don't know why.
So here is a small list of things that you should NOT be feeding Fido or Fluffy:
Chocolate, the darker it is the more toxic it is to your pet.
Anything that has a pit
Any kind of nut
Anything that has ANY kind of artificial sweetener
Marsh mellows

If your pet should ingest any of these things here is an easy way to make them vomit it back up.
First you are going to want to get the following things:
Hydrogen Peroxide and an open container to hold it in once you have measured it.
A turkey baster that you don't care about ;)
A measuring cup/tablespoon
A bath tub and a quiet room

**** The Hydrogen Peroxide that I am referring to is just the regular stuff in the brown bottle that you can buy in the first aid section at your grocery store.***

Okay so now that you have all of those things you are going to want to measure your Hydrogen Peroxide. I recommend using these amounts for different size breeds.
Large Breeds need about 1/2 a cup to 1 cup of Hydrogen peroxide (35 lbs and up)
Medium Breeds need about 1/4 to a 1/2 cup of Hydrogen peroxide (15-35lbs)
Small breeds need about 2 tbsp to a 1/4 of a cup of hydrogen peroxide (0-15 lbs)
You will then pour your Hydrogen Peroxide into your open container, suck it up with your turkey baster, then standing BEHIND your pet you are going to open its mouth, stick the turkey baster in the back of the mouth and SQUEEZE it all in! What follows is your pet either pretty much instantly vomiting (hence the need to be BEHIND your pet and in a bath tub/walk in shower) if your pet does not vomit with in 15-20 minutes of you doing this do it one more time.. if another 15 minutes passes and still no vomiting call your vet and take your pet in so that they can give stronger meds to make your pet vomit. If your pet does vomit he/she may do so a couple times. Now after all of this if your pet vomits most of what they ingested and your are sure they are done vomiting, you are going to want to put them in a quiet room to rest for a little bit. Now if Fido/Fluffy just so happens to sneak something or a lot of something off of a plate/table or someone feeds your pet, even though you make them vomit, you can probably expect diarrhea for a couple days. Here are a couple of options for you to try before making the call to make an appointment to see your vet. (If the diarrhea is still persisting I wouldn't wait more than 2 days to see a vet.)
  1. DON'T let your pet just fill up on water. Yes they are going be thirsty from the diarrhea but doing this will irritate their intestines more and the water will just go right through them. So give them small frequent drinks of water.
  2. Feed a gentle diet. Chicken boiled in water with white rice or serve boiled chicken with low fat cottage cheese with a little bit of rice.
  3. You can add a couple tablespoons of PURE 100% pumpkin to their food.

Now here are some options for your pet that you can feed during the big holiday dinners, calories included. It is called DR. Ernies Thanksgiving Day menu.
This meal is ideal for a 20-50 pound dog but you can adjust the amounts according to your pets size.

Spinach, Baby Carrots (about 4), and apple cubes about 6 1/2" cubes (approx. 25 calories)

Main Course:
Turkey-roasted breast without the skin/gravy about 2 oz (approx 75 calories
Cooked sweet potato- 1/4 of a large one (approx. 40 calories)
Green beans- 1/2 a cup (approx 8 calories)

100% PURE canned pumpkin- 1/4 cup (approx 20 calories)
Graham Crackers plain 1/2 sheet (2 crackers) ( approx 30 calories)
Honey-1/2 tsp.- (approx 12 calories) with a pinch of Cinnamon Spice

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a veterinarian and I can not diagnose or prescribe medications for your pet. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency or needs diagnosing please seek medical attention from your veterinarian immediately.

Monday, November 17, 2008

How much is that puppy in the window?

So it has dawned on me that it is that time of year... the holidays, and around this time of year I see a lot of families/newlyweds that have just purchased/adopted a new pet. But unfortunately not long after (or around spring) I get the phone call that they no longer own the pet for some reason. If you are thinking of purchasing/adopting a pet here are a couple things to think about:
1) When adopting a puppy/kitten its like having a NEW BABY in the house IT IS A LOT OF WORK! but it is also TONS OF FUN!
2) Think about what breed of Dog/Cat do you want. Do you want something with Long Hair or Short? Do you want a show dog/cat? a lap dog/cat? A big giant dog that thinks it is a lap dog?A hunting dog? or just a good old dog? is a good place to start researching what breed of cat or dog you want.
3) Think about your families lifestyle. Are you generally busy and in and out of the house a lot? How often do you vacation? How old are your kids? and Are they ready for the families responsibility of taking on a new pet? A good book to read is called The Perfect Puppy, I dont remember who wrote it but its a book that we recommend at my clinic.
4) Once you have picked a breed or two to choose from RESEARCH RESEARCH RESEARCH! Be a GOOD consumer. Know what breed of dog you really are choosing, Know where your pet is coming from, in other words are the parents AKC registered? Have they had their Eyes and Hips certified? If you are buying from a pet shop do you know if the puppy came from a puppy mill or an actual breeder?(The pet shops can provide proof)
5) If you buy from a breeder, do research about the breeder too. Make sure that they are a registered breeder. Also make sure that they don't breed with in their genetic lines. BE CAREFUL of getting a pet off of websites like Craigslist. And most importantly BE VERY CAREFUL OF DESIGNER BREEDS. I can not tell you how many of those little puppies end up having MAJOR issues!Some breeds just were not meant to be blended together. Also real breeders will always have a contract of some kind with you. They will usually be willing to take the puppy back if you can not keep it, and they almost always make sure that the puppy has had a well pet check and a vaccine or two before they go to their new home. If you adopt from a shelter RESEARCH the shelter, if it is a reputable rescue/shelter like The Humane Society, Homeward Pets,, or like 24 hour pet watch you should not have to worry. There are also a lot of purebred rescues as well.
Now once you have adopted your new furry family member be sure to take it into your vet with in 7 days of bringing your pet home. This way you yourself can make sure that your pet is healthy.
When finding a veterinarian if you don't already have one again DO YOUR RESEARCH. Don't go to places that are what I like to call "Drive through Vets" Your pet deserves quality care. With all the ways we have to obtain information there is no excuse for not doing your research. Make sure that your vet is reputable. Call around not just for prices, but ask them things like , How long have you been in business? Why should I choose you as my new Vet? How long have all of your doctors been there? and how long have they been practicing for? Also ask them.. If you were not able to get me in for an emergency appointment what is the name of another vet that you would reccomend me to? Also ask if they have any specials or packages to offer. AND make sure you know where the Emergency Veterinary Clinics in your area are located, and that you know if they are open 24 hours are just at night.
Here are a couple things that you will need to do at your first vet visit:
  1. Make sure that you BRING ALL THE ADOPTION PAPERWORK WITH YOU. This will help your vet know if your pet is due for vaccine boosters and what vaccines it still needs such as Bordetella, DAP, Rabies, Leptospirosis, Corona Virus for dogs and FHCP, FELV/FIV, Rabies for cats .. the list of different vaccines could go on. What vaccines your pet will need depends on where you live. And make sure that you finish your puppy/kitten vaccination series. Usually vaccine boosters will need to be done about 3-4 weeks apart, and then boosted one year later every year thereafter. Some vaccines like Rabies and DAP/FHCP are good for three years at their one year check up. It is also recommended that if you have a senior pet (age 7 or older) that they see a vet for an exam every 6 months and they are current on their vaccines.
  2. Bring a fecal (poop) sample to have it tested to make sure that your pet does not have intestinal parasites.
  3. Discuss spaying/neutering your pet and get an estimate. If it came from a shelter/rescue chances are you wont need to do this. It is important that you spay your female pet BEFORE she goes into heat. Once she goes into heat the cost of the spay goes up due to the extra time it takes to tie off all the blood supply to the uterus. Not to mention every male dog with in a 5 mile radius will be at your door. As for males you will want to neuter as soon as you can. Un-neutered males tend to be more aggressive, less submissive and well lets face it.. if they smell a female in heat they will be going NUTS! Usually about 16 weeks of age is the best time to spay/neuter your pet.
  4. Start your pet on Flea and Tick Preventatives as well as an Intestinal Parasite and Heartwom preventative. I recommend Frontline and Revolution for the topical treatments and Sentinel or Interceptor for the internal preventatives. (we will discuss this more in detail later) AND KEEP THEM ON IT! It is more expensive to get rid of those parasites in your home than it is to prevent them. You will need to do this YEAR ROUND. It is safe to use both preventatives together. When you use both preventatives you are not only protecting the outside of your pet you are protecting their insides too! Also when you don't use a preventative you are putting yours and your children's health at risk as well. Some veterinarians have a rebate program in place so be sure to ask if yours does. Some vets will send home samples too! Make sure that when your pet is a puppy/kitten you bring them in monthly for at least the first 6 months for Cats, the first year for small breed dogs, and the first year and a half for large breed dogs to have their weight checked. In order for your pet to get the proper dose of preventative medicine you will need to know how much it weighs while it is growing up until it reaches its adult weight.
  5. Be prepared to talk vaccines. Ask what vaccines does your pet need. Discuss whether or not you are going to be at dog parks, puppy classes, boarding at a kennel or at the groomers, camping, hunting or fishing.
  6. GET YOUR PET MICROCHIPPED! This will insure that if Fido or fluffy gets out he/she will be safely returned to you. Or if someone does happen to steal your dog it is the only way that you can prove that the dog is yours. (Unless it has an AKC # tattooed on it) and DON'T FORGET to register your pet with the microchip company and keep your info updated because if its not your pet cant get back to you.
  7. Ask questions! There is no such thing as a dumb question. Be informed! Don't forget to talk about puppy classes too. A lot of times Veterinarians will have a couple of good affordable trainers or puppy classes to recommend.
Last but not least don't have a heart attack if the bill seems big. Its your first visit to the vet! And HAVE FUN WITH YOUR NEW FURRY FRIEND!
If you have any questions like always feel free to ask.

Disclaimer: I am not a veterinarian and I can not diagnose your pet or prescribe medications. If you think your pet is having a medical emergency or needs medical attention see your veterinarian immediately.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A fun give away!

If you love quilts-and give aways then get on over to And see what you need to do to enter! Three quilts will be given away and they are gorgeous!
How fun-Good luck to all!

Monday, November 10, 2008

A little about me..

Hi my name is Amber. I am new to the blogging scene but at the urging of my mom I am going to give this a whirl. I work at a veterinary hospital as a receptionist. I also am the one responsible for creating all of our information boards that we have in our waiting room. I live close to where I work so I see a lot of our clients at the store or out in public and I get asked a lot of questions. As a result I kinda figured that there may be a lot of other people out there that have questions too. So I have decided to blog about a few things and hopefully I will answer a question or two along the way. Let me also say that the fact that I am receptionist does make my job interesting. I have seen all kinds of things walk through my door so you'd be surprised at how much I really know. Feel free to ask me about anything and PLEASE send me pics of your furry friend/loved one.
Happy Holidays!
*Disclaimer: I am not a doctor and I can not diagnose your pet or prescribe medications. If you feel that your pet is having a medical emergency or needs diagnosing you should see your veterinarian as soon as possible.

Buddy The Aussie Dog

Buddy The Aussie Dog