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Candles are favorite home décor items. They come in a huge array of colors, shapes and sizes and are often used to grace dining room tables, mantelpieces and windowsills during the holiday season and other special times of the year. A lit candle has a mellow, magical effect, but it can rapidly become a serious danger if you’re not careful, especially if you have an active, curious dog or cat in the house.

Candles should be placed well out of reach of animals. Keep them off coffee tables and low windowsills. If you have dogs, a shelf, high table or mantelpiece should do it. Just be sure not to place the candle on or near a runner or dangling decoration that could be pulled down by a playful pooch. With cats, you need to be more creative, since kitties can access just about any surface, no matter how high it is. Be sure the bowl is wide enough to accommodate the full length of the candle, plus its flame, if it gets toppled over. It’s also a good idea to use thick pillar candles with wide bases – they’re less likely to fall over than tall, thin candles.

  • Artificial colors and scents: These may cause allergies and respiratory problems in people and pets.

When shopping for candles, look for products made in the US or Canada from beeswax or natural soy or vegetable-based wax, that contain lead-free 100% unbleached cotton wicks. These candles burn cleanly and safely.

Infectious tracheobronchitis, more commonly known as “kennel cough,” is a respiratory infection most commonly caused by the bacteria named “Bordetella” . Dogs with this disease typically have a hacking cough and sound like they are trying to clear their throats. It’s similar to bronchitis in humans. Dogs often remain active and maintain a normal appetite despite frequent coughing fits. However, in some animals it has the potential to become much more serious.

 Why is Bordetella vaccination required for boarding?

  • Bordetella is very contagious between dogs.
  • An animal’s respiratory system may be more susceptible to this infection because of: shipping stress, crowding stress, heavy dust exposure, cigarette smoke exposure, infectious agents (including the distemper/flu viruses), cold temperature or poor ventilation.
  • Dogs usually become infected when visiting kennels, dog parks, shelters, groomers, training classes or where dogs congregate.

 Is Bordetella serious?

  • Bordetella can be very serious for young dogs, elderly dogs, and those with compromised immune systems from chronic diseases. Infections can progress to pneumonia which may be fatal.
  • Bordetella may be accompanied by at least one other infectious virus such as canine distemper, canine herpes or canine influenza (Dog Flu).
  • Most cases require antibiotic therapy and cough suppressants to resolve.

  What are my vaccination options?

  • The standard injectable vaccine is given in 2 parts. It’s a good option for puppies as long as two doses are given approximately 3-4 weeks apart. Boosters are given annually.
  • An oral vaccine may be given as early as 3 weeks of age. The advantage over injectable may be that the local immunity is stimulated right at the mouth and nose where the natural infection would try to take hold.
  • Oral vaccine generally provides faster immunity than injectable, taking four days to generate a solid immune response. It is a modified live virus and may occasionally give the dog a mild case of kennel cough.
  • If boarding is planned and more than six months have passed since the last vaccination, a booster should be given five days or more before the start of boarding. Good kennels requires this for all guests!
  • Vaccine is not useful in an animal already infected with kennel cough. Wait till the infection is cleared up before vaccinating!

I have been around dogs all of my life.  I have been blessed to have had some amazing companions walk beside me through some really tough times and also share with me some of my happiest moments.  Each of my dogs has taught me lessons on how to be a better person.  I’d like to share a few of them with you;

  • EGO-there’s just no need for it…Life is better without it.
  • Be still and observe.
  • When the wind blows, put your face towards it and feel it.
  • Light up when you see people you care about. Greet them as if you were “wagging your tail”.
  • Do not judge. It’s not your job.
  • No self loathing. Learn the lesson, feel it, grow from it and do better next time.
  • Without self doubt you can overcome anything.
  • Forgiveness.
  • Find joy in everything that you do. Even if it’s just sitting on the couch with a friend.
  • Express your gratitude for this life every chance you get
  • Be present.. always

If we could master these few characteristics our dog’s possess just think how unstoppable we would be

In your lifetime, there are 23 different doctors who can or will take you from birth to death: the obstetrician, pediatrician, orthodontist, endodontist, dermatologist, internist, surgeon, radiologist, anesthesiologist, gynecologist, endocrinologist, psychiatrist, urologist, neurologist, psychoanalyst, pulmonologist, oncologist, ophthalmologist, nutritionist, cardiologist, gastroenterologist, geriatrist, and pathologist. Veterinarians need to know about all of these areas of animal medicine in order to take care of animals.

Because of the bond that forms between people and their pets, the demand for greater diagnostic capabilities to diagnose and treat ailments has developed. The result is a much more thorough diagnosis of our pets that can lead to more successful treatments or management of their illnesses. This means that pets have a greater chance of living longer, quality lives with us, their human companions

You are the first line of defense for the health and well-being of your pet. Our pets can’t talk, so they rely on us to notice the changes in behavior – sometimes very small changes – that can signal that they don’t feel well. If you think there may be something wrong with your pet, there is no substitute for a careful examination by your veterinarian. Veterinarians are trained to recognize and interpret the symptoms that signal an illness or injury. Please call us right away if you have an urgent animal care question.

Here are a few safety tips:

Bring all of your pets inside before the noise starts!  Some pets may prefer to remain outside, however for this night, it is recommend keeping them indoors. Fireworks, noisemakers and other loud sounds often scare pets into trying to escape and they may run and hurt themselves in the process.

 Secure your pets in a safe room or keep them close by you. Even if your pets love to be part of the action, this is the time of the year when pets sneak out the front door when guests come in. Keeping your pets in a room with the TV or radio on may help fuse out some of the commotion occurring outside. Consider setting up a pet safety place where your pets can escape from holiday hubbub, complete with a cozy bed, fresh water and food.

 Also, consider microchipping your pet. They can get lost in the rush of the holidays and chipping them will improve your chances of finding them. Put on their collars and make sure their tags are up to date before the celebration begins. Have their microchip checked by their vet and update their contact information if you've moved or changed numbers. Call us to learn more about the benefits of microchips.

Some pets who have severe noise phobias may benefit from medications to calm them. Please call with any questions.

Catnip is crafty, just like its namesake. It has both euphoric and calming properties. It wakes up the nervous system, and also turns it right down. It’s a cool herb, with a veritable feast of uses for our feline friends! A member of the mint family, catnip has been used medicinally for over 1,000 years. It has a variety of names: Nepeta cataria, catmint, catnep, catswort, field balm and menta de gato. Catnip tea was a popular drink in England until black tea was imported from China. Catnip may stimulate the appetite, aid digestion, help calm nervous animals, encourage restful sleep and/or cause temporary agitation and aggression.  Catnip is rich in iron, selenium, potassium, manganese, vitamins A and C, and also contains magnesium, phosphorus, calcium, chromium, sodium and B vitamins.

Do not give to cats with seizure disorders!

You probably knew that the high season for ticks runs from April to November. But did you know experts recommend year-round preventives because infections can occur at any time of the year? Like ticks, we’re also active year round and ready to help protects pets anytime!

Myth: No woods or trees, means no ticks on your four-legged friends. Fact: Ticks live on the ground no matter the locale. They typically crawl up grass blades onto a host. Sorry, but no city slicker cat or dog is safe.

Who’s still removing ticks with a lit match? Yeah, that’s a surefire way to help the tick deposit more disease. The best way to kick the tick? Grasp it as close to the skin as possible with tweezers and pull the tick’s body out with a steady motion.

Has your dog been tested for tick-borne diseases this year? Let our in-hospital  test do some detective work so you can tick that off your worry list.

Lethargy. Excessive thirst. Frequent urination., Weight Loss

If your pet is displaying any of these common signs, he or she may have diabetes.
If you didn’t know your dog or cat could develop diabetes, you’re not alone. Many owners don’t realize diabetes can affect pets too, so learning that your dog or cat has the condition can leave you with many questions. While there’s no cure for diabetes, proper care can help your pet live a happy, healthy, active life. The more you know about diabetes, the better you’ll be able to work with your veterinarian to successfully manage your pet’s health. Your veterinarian is an essential partner in your pet’s diabetes care. Only your veterinarian can diagnose diabetes and provide appropriate preventive and management programs.

If your pet has been diagnosed with diabetes, use this checklist to make sure you get your questions about diabetes answered and learn what you need to know to successfully manage the disease. Fortunately, with appropriate treatment, pets with diabetes can enjoy long, healthy lives.

  1. Will I need to give my pet injections? How often?
  2. Can I continue to feed my pet the same food? Will treats still be allowed?
  3. Can I still take my pet for walks? Is activity important?
  4. With appropriate treatment, will my pet be able to live a normal life?
  5. Is my pet at risk for other medical conditions?
  6. What should I do if my pet is not behaving normally? What signs should I be concerned about?
  7. Are there any side effects of treatment?
  8. Do I need to measure my pet’s blood sugar?
  9. How often will I have to bring my pet to the Vet's for a check- up?

REMEMBER: If your pet is diagnosed with diabetes, there’s no reason to worry. With appropriate treatment and regular visits to your veterinarian, your pet can lead a healthy life for years to come.

New Research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention Shows a Rise of Obese Pets in 2014

The majority of the nation’s dogs and cats continue to be overweight, and most pet owners aren’t aware of the problem, according to new research from the Association for Pet Obesity Prevention (APOP). The eighth annual National Pet Obesity Prevalence Survey conducted by APOP found 58% of U.S. cats and 53% of dogs were overweight in 2014.The study also found a significant “fat pet gap,” in which 90% of owners of overweight cats and 95% of owners of overweight dogs incorrectly identified their pet as a normal weight.

The researched showed an increase specifically in the obese category. In 2013, 16.7% of dogs and 27.4% of cats were classified as clinically obese (greater than 30% normal or ideal body weight). In 2014, 17.6% of dogs, and 28.1% of cats were reported obese. This shift toward increasingly obese pets has specialists worried.

2013 US Pet Population (Source:  American Pet Products Manufacturers Association)  

  • Dogs 83.3 million
  • Cats 95.6 million
  • Total Dogs and Cats 178.9 million

Approximately 68% of US households own at least one pet = 82.5 million homes

Primary Risks of Excess Weight in Pets
      Insulin Resistance and Type 2 Diabetes
      High Blood Pressure
      Heart and Respiratory Disease
      Cranial Cruciate Ligament Injury
      Kidney Disease
      Many Forms of Cancer
      Decreased life expectancy (up to 2.5 years)

Daily Caloric Needs for Average Indoor Pets


  • 10 lbs. 180 to 200 calories*


  • 10 lbs. 200 to 275 calories*
  • 20 lbs. 325 to 400 calories*
  • 50 lbs. 700 to 900 calories*

*Please note that the calorie counts provided are guidelines for average lightly active adult spayed or neutered dogs or cats (1 to 7 years old receiving less than 30 minutes aerobic activity per day). The caloric needs of a particular pet may differ depending on such factors as lifestyle, genetics, activity level and medical conditions. Your pet will likely be fed fewer calories if you are attempting to reduce weight and improve fitness. Note that most indoor cats receive very little sustained aerobic activity and many dogs do not receive adequate daily physical activity. We recommend a structured routine exercise and nutritional program for both you and your pet.

It’s already Halloween, and your pumpkin may be beautifully carved, but might also be collecting bacteria. While it’s best they don’t eat that pumpkin, canned natural pumpkin (unsweetened – not pie filling), pumpkin seeds, and cooked fresh pumpkin have many benefits for dogs and cats. There is good reason that pumpkin is often a top ingredient in higher quality kibble. It can help with the following pet ailments:

1) Digestive Health: Pumpkin is a fabulous source of fiber for our furry friends, as well as for us. Pureed pumpkin (with no added sugar or spice) can help dogs and cats with both constipation and diarrhea. Adding a tablespoon or two (in proportion to their size) to their regular meal is known to help keep them regular. It can also help dogs and cats with indigestion or upset stomachs.

2) Urinary Health: Pumpkin seeds are high in essential fatty acids and antioxidants (good for overall healthy skin and fur), and the oils in pumpkins’ flesh and seeds are believed to support urinary health. They are also an excellent source of Vitamin A, beta-carotene, potassium and iron, and may even reduce the likelihood your pet will develop cancer. Grind them before adding to your pets food.

3) Weight Loss: You may have heard about the dangers and commonality of pet obesity. Dogs seem to naturally love pumpkin. If you are looking to take a few pounds off of your pooch or kitty, try reducing a portion of their food and replace it with the same portion of canned pumpkin. Their tummy will feel just as full, and they might even thank you for the additional flavor.