Friday, December 2, 2016

Keeping Fleas, Ticks, and Mosquitoes Away… Even in the Winter


For those of us with pets, we look forward to winter as a time of respite from the bugs that torment us and our pets. We look forward to a break from the sprays and gels and powders and medicines … all the things we try on our pets and in our home to keep the blood suckers at bay. However -- and we hope you are sitting down as you read this -- winter does not necessarily spell the end of bug season. Consider the following …




A New Housemate: Fleas and Ticks

The flea is a very persistent and resilient pest with a very complicated life cycle. It is even capable of surviving in outdoor temperatures as low as the upper 30s. As long as an adult flea can find a suitable host to feed from (such as wild animals or your pet), it can stay warm and healthy through the cold season. Their pupae remain settled in their cocoons until it is warm enough to come out -- as long as they have been placed in a location where they are protected from freezing cold (for example, a garage, covered patio, or basement).

Flea pupae can remain dormant for over a year until the surroundings have reached ideal temperatures. Once conditions are ideal (either inside or outside), the pupae will complete their development and emerge from their cocoons en masse, resulting in a surge of activity both on and off your pets.

Generally speaking, 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit with 75-85 percent humidity is the ideal temperature range for growth and reproduction of fleas. All they need is a warm place in which to settle and lay their eggs. For the majority of pet owners who keep their homes at a consistently warm temperature throughout the winter season, this can mean that a flea population, once settled indoors, can remain active all year long.

For residents of the southern states of the U.S., where the winter season may only go as low as the 30s, fleas will often stay active throughout most or all of the winter season. Only sustained cold (less than 30 degrees) and low humidity levels will kill off outdoor eggs, larvae, and adult fleas.

The best time to fight fleas is during the winter, when there is the best chance that they will become less active and fewer in number. Regularly vacuuming the areas where your pet spends time and continuing regular flea treatments throughout the winter season are the best ways to combat them before the next flea season is in full swing.

Ticks are also capable of surviving winter temperatures when they are able to find a host to feed from or a warm location to hide in during the coldest weather months. Generally, adult ticks will still be a threat when temperatures hover around 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

For this reason, if your pet spends time outdoors in the winter, tick prevention is still a good idea. And since most medications are designed to thwart both fleas and ticks, it's a good idea to use preventive medications through the year.

Year-Round Heartworm Treatment

While most geographical areas do enjoy a seasonal respite from mosquitoes, the southern climes are still captive to their buzzing, blood-sucking schemes -- even in the winter. Mosquitoes, of course, are carriers of the heartworm parasite, a life threatening nematode that can cause severe disease and even death. (Note: the heartworm actually takes up residence in the lungs. Read more about the symptoms of heartworm infection in dogs and cats.) Even in areas where residents do not have to worry about mosquitoes during the winter, their return in the spring and summer months can catch you off guard. It is best to be pre-prepared.

To safeguard your dogs and cats against heartworm infection, veterinarians suggest using heartworm prevention medication year-round. This is a much easier method of prevention, since you won’t have to remember when to star, or find yourself rushing to get the medication, and you won’t have to worry about having your pet tested for heartworms before beginning a new round of medication in the spring.




The final word on avoiding parasitic infestations of any kind is to use preventive techniques. Remember that while fleas, ticks and mosquitoes may seem to be merely nuisance pests, they are actually capable of causing severe health problems, from the above mentioned heartworm infection, to skin disorders and infections, to anemia. As the old axiom goes: It is better to be safe than sorry.


Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/seasonal/evr_multi_flea_tick_mosquito_care_during_winter

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Leptospirosis


Leptospirosis is a disease caused by infection with Leptospira bacteria. These bacteria can be found worldwide in soil and water. There are many strains of Leptospira bacteria that can cause disease. Leptospirosis is a zoonotic disease, which means it can be spread from animals to people. Infection in people can cause flu-like symptoms and can cause liver or kidney disease. In the United States, most cases of human leptospirosis result from recreational activities involving water. Infection resulting from contact with an infected pet is much less common, but it is possible.

Leptospirosis is more common in areas with warm climates and high annual rainfall but it can occur anywhere.




Risk factors for leptospirosis

Dogs are most commonly affected. Leptospirosis in cats is rare and appears to be mild although very little is known about the disease in this species. Common risk factors for leptospirosis in dogs residing in the United States include exposure to or drinking from rivers, lakes or streams; roaming on rural properties (because of exposure to potentially infected wildlife, farm animals, or water sources); exposure to wild animal or farm animal species, even if in the backyard; and contact with rodents or other dogs.

Dogs can become infected and develop leptospirosis if their mucous membranes (or skin with any wound, such as a cut or scrape) come into contact with infected urine, urine-contaminated soil, water, food or bedding; through a bite from an infected animal; by eating infected tissues or carcasses; and rarely, through breeding. It can also be passed through the placenta from the mother dog to the puppies.

Signs of leptospirosis


The signs of leptospirosis in dogs vary. Some infected dogs do not show any signs of illness, some have a mild and transient illness and recover spontaneously, while others develop severe illness and death.

Signs of leptospirosis may include fever, shivering, muscle tenderness, reluctance to move, increased thirst, changes in the frequency or amount of urination, dehydration, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, lethargy, jaundice (yellowing of the skin and mucous membranes), or painful inflammation within the eyes. The disease can cause kidney failure with or without liver failure. Dogs may occasionally develop severe lung disease and have difficulty breathing. Leptospirosis can cause bleeding disorders, which can lead to blood-tinged vomit, urine, stool or saliva; nosebleeds; and pinpoint red spots (which may be visible on the gums and other mucous membranes or on light-colored skin). Affected dogs can also develop swollen legs (from fluid accumulation) or accumulate excess fluid in their chest or abdomen.

Leptospirosis may be suspected based on the exposure history and signs shown by the dog, but many of these signs can also be seen with other diseases. In addition to a physical examination, your veterinarian may recommend a number of other tests such as blood tests, urine tests, radiographs (x-rays), and an ultrasound examination.

Treatment and prevention

Leptospirosis is generally treated with antibiotics and supportive care. When treated early and aggressively, the chances for recovery are good but there is still a risk of permanent residual kidney or liver damage.

Currently available vaccines effectively prevent leptospirosis and protect dogs for at least 12 months. Annual vaccination is recommended for at-risk dogs. Reducing your dog’s exposure to possible sources of the Leptospira bacteria can reduce its chances of infection.

Although an infected pet dog presents a low risk of infection for you and your family, there is still some risk. If your dog has been diagnosed with leptospirosis, take the following precautions to protect yourself:
 - Administer antibiotics as prescribed by your veterinarian
 - Avoid contact with your dog’s urine
 - If your dog urinates in your home, quickly clean the area with a household disinfectant and wear gloves to avoid skin contact with the urine
 - Encourage your dog to urinate away from standing water or areas where people or other animals will have access
 - Wash your hands after handling your pet

If you are ill or if you have questions about leptospirosis in people, consult your physician. If you are pregnant or immunocompromised (due to medications, cancer treatment, HIV or other conditions), consult your physician for advice.


Source: https://www.avma.org/public/PetCare/Pages/Leptospirosis.aspx

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Top 10 Signs of Cancer in Pets


Cancer is the #1 Disease-Related Killer of Pets

Many people do not realize that cancer is not just a human condition; it affects our pets as well. In fact, cancer is the number one disease-related killer of dogs and cats. According to Dr. Lorie Huston, she tells her clients to be on the lookout for the following signs. While these symptoms are not purely indicative of cancer, if a pet begins to exhibit them you should visit your veterinarian immediately. Just like with people, the earlier cancer is caught the better.





#10 Lumps and Bumps

Not all lumps and bumps on or under your dog or cat’s skin will be cancerous, but there is no way to know for sure without getting your veterinarian involved – this is especially important if the lump is not resolving itself or is growing in size. A needle biopsy is commonly done and a veterinary pathologist can let you know if the cells are cancerous or not.


#9 Abnormal Odors

Offensive odors from your dog or cat’s mouth, ears, or any other part of your pet’s body, should be checked out. Oftentimes cancers of the mouth, nose, or anal regions can cause such foul odors.


#8 Abnormal Discharges

Blood, pus, vomiting, diarrhea, or any other abnormal substance being discharged from any part of your pet’s body should be checked out by your veterinarian. In addition to that, if your dog or cat’s abdomen becomes bloated or distended it could be a sign of an accumulation of abnormal discharge within the body.


#7 Non-Healing Wounds

If your pet has wounds or sores that are not healing, it could be a sign of infection, skin disease, or even cancer.


#6 Weight Loss

Cancer is among the list of diseases that can causeweight loss in a pet. If you notice sudden weight loss in your dog or cat (and it is not currently on a diet), along with other signs from this list, be sure to mention it to your veterinarian.


#5 Change in Appetite

Dogs and cats do not stop eating without a cause. While a lack of appetite does not automatically indicate cancer, it is still something to be discussed with your veterinarian. Oral tumors can also cause difficulty or pain when eating or swallowing.


#4 Coughing or Difficulty Breathing

Coughing or abnormal breathing can be caused by heart disease, lung disease, and also cancer. Cancer can metastasize through the lungs and cause these symptoms.


#3 Lethargy or Depression


If you notice your pet is not acting like itself – sleeping more, less playful, less willing to go on walks or to exercise – this can also be a sign of cancer. Once again, lethargy or depression is not a symptom confined to cancer, but an accumulation of any of these signs is reason enough to speak with your veterinarian.


#2 Changes in Bathroom Habits


Changes in your pet’s urinary or bowel habits – difficulty using the bathroom, frequent bathroom use, blood in urine or stool – these are all potential signs of cancer.


#1 Evidence of Pain

Limping or other evidence of pain while the pet is walking, running, or jumping is mostly associated with arthritic issues or joint or muscle diseases, but it can also be a sign of cancer (especially cancer of the bone).

If your pet is experiencing any of these symptoms, please give us a call at (412) 882-3070.


Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/general_health/top-ten-signs-of-cancer-in-pets 


Monday, September 12, 2016

7 Signs Your Dog or Cat May be Suffering from Arthritis

By Lorie Huston, DVM

Arthritis is one of the most common ailments seen in middle-aged to older pets. Even younger dogs and cats, under the right circumstances, can suffer from arthritic changes. Arthritis causes changes within the affected joints that are painful for the affected pet. This pain is responsible for many of the signs associated with arthritis. Here are seven of those common signs.



1. Limping

You may see your pet limping or favoring one or more of his legs, depending on which legs and which joints are arthritic. In some cases, the limp may seem worse when your pet first rises and become less noticeable as your pet “warms up” by moving around.

2. Difficulty Moving

Your pet may also become reluctant to do things that were previously easy for him to accomplish. For instance, your dog may find it difficult to get into and out of the car or may have difficulty going up and down stairs that were previously easily manageable. Arthritic cats, on the other hand, may stop jumping onto counter tops, perches and other high areas because of the pain and discomfort.

3. Spinal Issues

Arthritic changes can occur not only in the legs but also in the various parts of the spine. These changes may result in a sore neck, an abnormal posture with a “hunch” in the back, or lameness of one or both hind legs.

4. Tiredness

Your pet may tire more easily. For dogs, this may mean that walks become shorter and more painful for your pet. Your pet may spend more time sleeping and/or resting.

5. Irritability

Arthritic animals may become irritable. They may snap and/or bite when approached or handled, particularly if the petting or handling takes place in a manner that increases their pain.

6. Muscle Atrophy

Arthritic pets often develop muscle atrophy or dying off of the muscle tissue due to inactivity and decreased use of the muscles. A pet with atrophied muscles in their legs will have a leg which looks thinner than a normal leg.

7. Licking, Chewing, & Biting

Pets affected with arthritis may also begin to lick at, chew or bite at body areas that are painful. This may even reach the point of causing inflamed skin and hair loss over affected areas.

Arthritis Treatment for Dogs and Cats

Though arthritis cannot be cured, there are various remedies and procedures that can help ease the pain for your pet. Consult your veterinarian for advice if you believe your dog or cat is suffering from arthritis.

Arthritis in cats can be particularly hard to spot. Many arthritic cats simply become less active. Often, this change in behavior corresponds to the cat becoming older and a cat owner may simply assume that the change is normal when, in fact, your cat may actually be decreasing his activity level because he is in pain due to arthritis.


Source: http://www.petmd.com/dog/slideshows/care/7-signs-of-arthritis-in-dogs-cats

Friday, June 10, 2016

Disaster Preparedness


Emergencies come in many forms, and they may require anything from a brief absence from your home to permanent evacuation. Each type of disaster requires different measures to keep your pets safe, so the best thing you can do for yourself and your pets is to be prepared. Here are simple steps you can follow now to make sure you’re ready before the next disaster strikes:

Step 1: Get a Rescue Alert Sticker
This easy-to-use sticker will let people know that pets are inside your home. Make sure it is visible to rescue workers (we recommend placing it on or near your front door), and that it includes the types and number of pets in your home as well as the name and number of your veterinarian. If you must evacuate with your pets, and if time allows, write “EVACUATED” across the stickers. To get a free emergency pet alert sticker for your home, please fill out our online order form and allow 6-8 weeks for delivery. Your local pet supply store may also sell similar stickers.

Step 2: Arrange a Safe Haven
Arrange a safe haven for your pets in the event of evacuation. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR PETS BEHIND. Remember, if it isn’t safe for you, it isn’t safe for your pets. They may become trapped or escape and be exposed to numerous life-threatening hazards. Note that not all shelters accept pets, so it is imperative that you have determined where you will bring your pets ahead of time:
  • Contact your veterinarian for a list of preferred boarding kennels and facilities.
  • Ask your local animal shelter if they provide emergency shelter or foster care for pets.
  • Identify hotels or motels outside of your immediate area that accept pets.
  • Ask friends and relatives outside your immediate area if they would be willing to take in your pet.
  • Make sure all pets wear collars and tags with up-to-date identification information. Your pet’s ID tag should contain his name, telephone number and any urgent medical needs. Be sure to also write your pet’s name, your name and contact information on your pet’s carrier.
  • The ASPCA recommends microchipping your pet as a more permanent form of identification. A microchip is implanted under the skin in the animal’s shoulder area, and can be read by a scanner at most animal shelters.
  • Always bring pets indoors at the first sign or warning of a storm or disaster. Pets can become disoriented and wander away from home in a crisis.
  • Store an emergency kit and leashes as close to an exit as possible. Make sure that everyone in the family knows where it is, and that it clearly labeled and easy to carry. Items to consider keeping in or near your “Evac-Pack” include:

    • Pet first-aid kit and guide book (ask your vet what to include)
    • 3-7 days’ worth of canned (pop-top) or dry food (be sure to rotate every two months)
    • Disposable litter trays (aluminum roasting pans are perfect)
    • Litter or paper toweling
    • Liquid dish soap and disinfectant
    • Disposable garbage bags for clean-up
    • Pet feeding dishes and water bowls
    • Extra collar or harness as well as an extra leash
    • Photocopies and/or USB of medical records and a waterproof container with a two-week supply of any medicine your pet requires (Remember, food and medications need to be rotated out of your emergency kit—otherwise they may go bad or become useless)
    • At least seven days’ worth of bottled water for each person and pet (store in a cool, dry place and replace every two months)
    • A traveling bag, crate or sturdy carrier, ideally one for each pet
    • Flashlight
    • Blanket
    • Recent photos of your pets (in case you are separated and need to make “Lost” posters)
    • Especially for cats: Pillowcase, toys, scoop-able litter
    • Especially for dogs: Extra leash, toys and chew toys, a week’s worth of cage liner

  • Access critical advice on what to do with your pet before, during, and after a major storm—even if there’s no data connectivity.
  • Store and manage your pet’s critical health records.
  • Receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.
  • Build a lost pet digital flyer that can be shared instantly on your social media channels.
  • Get the latest and most relevant news about pets and animal welfare.

Other Considerations

  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear or hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
  • Keep a clean and tidy stable and pasture. Remove hazardous and flammable materials, debris and machinery from around the barn’s walkways, entrances and exits. Regularly maintain and inspect barn floors and septic tanks. Inspect your grounds regularly and remove dangerous debris in the pasture.
  • Prevent fires by instituting a no-smoking policy around your barn. Avoid using or leaving on appliances in the barn, even seemingly-harmless appliances like box fans, heaters and power tools can overheat. Exposed wiring can also lead to electrical fires in the barn, as can a simple nudge from an animal who accidentally knocks over a machine.
  • Get your horse used to wearing a halter, and get him used to trailering. Periodically, you should practice quickly getting your horse on a trailer for the same reason that schools have fire drills—asking a group of unpracticed children to exit a burning building in a calm fashion is a little unrealistic, as is requesting a new and strange behavior of your horse.
  • If you own a trailer, please inspect it regularly. Also, make sure your towing vehicle is appropriate for the size and weight of the trailer and horse. Always make sure the trailer is hitched properly—the hitch locked on the ball, safety chains or cables attached, and emergency brake battery charged and linked to towing vehicle. Proper tire pressure (as shown on the tire wall) is also very important.
  • Get your horse well-socialized and used to being handled by all kinds of strangers. If possible, invite emergency responders and/or members of your local fire service to interact with your horse. It will be mutually beneficial for them to become acquainted. Firemen’s turnout gear may smell like smoke and look unusual, which many horses find frightening—so ask them to wear their usual response gear to get your horse used to the look and smell.
  • Set up a phone tree/buddy system with other nearby horse owners and local farms. This could prove invaluable should you—or they—need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers, pastures or extra hands!
  • Keep equine veterinary records in a safe place where they can quickly be reached. Be sure to post emergency phone numbers by the phone. Include your 24-hour veterinarian, emergency services and friends. You should also keep a copy for emergency services personnel in the barn that includes phone numbers for you, your emergency contact, your 24-hour veterinarian and several friends.
  • Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
  • In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
  • Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
  • If the carrier does not have a perch, line it for paper towels that you can change frequently.
  • Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
  • It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
  • Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
  • A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
  • Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming devise, such as a hot water bottle.
  • Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).
  • Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
  • Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.


Step 3: Choose "Designated Caregivers”
This step will take considerable time and thought. When choosing a temporary caregiver, consider someone who lives close to your residence. He or she should be someone who is generally home during the day while you are at work or has easy access to your home. A set of keys should be given to this trusted individual. This may work well with neighbors who have pets of their own—you may even swap responsibilities, depending upon who has accessibility.
When selecting a permanent caregiver, you’ll need to consider other criteria. This is a person to whom you are entrusting the care of your pet in the event that something should happen to you. When selecting this “foster parent,” consider people who have met your pet and have successful cared for animals in the past. Be sure to discuss your expectations at length with a permanent caregiver, so he or she understands the responsibility of caring for your pet.

Step 4: Prepare Emergency Supplies and Traveling Kits
If you must evacuate your home in a crisis, plan for the worst-case scenario. Even if you think you may be gone for only a day, assume that you may not be allowed to return for several weeks. When recommendations for evacuation have been announced, follow the instructions of local and state officials. To minimize evacuation time, take these simple steps:
You should also have an emergency kit for the human members of the family. Items to include: Batteries, duct tape, flashlight, radio, multi-tool, tarp, rope, permanent marker, spray paint, baby wipes, protective clothing and footwear, extra cash, rescue whistle, important phone numbers, extra medication and copies of medical and insurance information.

Step 5: Keep the ASPCA On-Hand at All Times
The free ASPCA mobile app shows pet parents exactly what to do in case of a natural disaster. It also allows pet owners to store vital medical records and provides information on making life-saving decisions during natural disasters. With a few swipes, you can:

Geographic Considerations: If you live in an area that is prone to certain natural disasters, such as tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, you should plan accordingly.
  • Determine well in advance which rooms offer safe havens. These rooms should be clear or hazards such as windows, flying debris, etc.
  • Choose easy-to-clean areas such as utility rooms, bathrooms and basements as safe zones
  • Access to a supply of fresh water is particularly important. In areas that may lose electricity, fill up bathtubs and sinks ahead of time to ensure that you have access to water during a power outage or other crises.
  • In the event of flooding, go to the highest location in your home, or a room that has access to counters or high shelves where your animals can take shelter.
Special Considerations for Horses
  • Keep a clean and tidy stable and pasture. Remove hazardous and flammable materials, debris and machinery from around the barn’s walkways, entrances and exits. Regularly maintain and inspect barn floors and septic tanks. Inspect your grounds regularly and remove dangerous debris in the pasture.
  • Prevent fires by instituting a no-smoking policy around your barn. Avoid using or leaving on appliances in the barn, even seemingly-harmless appliances like box fans, heaters and power tools can overheat. Exposed wiring can also lead to electrical fires in the barn, as can a simple nudge from an animal who accidentally knocks over a machine.
  • Get your horse used to wearing a halter, and get him used to trailering. Periodically, you should practice quickly getting your horse on a trailer for the same reason that schools have fire drills—asking a group of unpracticed children to exit a burning building in a calm fashion is a little unrealistic, as is requesting a new and strange behavior of your horse.
  • If you own a trailer, please inspect it regularly. Also, make sure your towing vehicle is appropriate for the size and weight of the trailer and horse. Always make sure the trailer is hitched properly—the hitch locked on the ball, safety chains or cables attached, and emergency brake battery charged and linked to towing vehicle. Proper tire pressure (as shown on the tire wall) is also very important.
  • Get your horse well-socialized and used to being handled by all kinds of strangers. If possible, invite emergency responders and/or members of your local fire service to interact with your horse. It will be mutually beneficial for them to become acquainted. Firemen’s turnout gear may smell like smoke and look unusual, which many horses find frightening—so ask them to wear their usual response gear to get your horse used to the look and smell.
  • Set up a phone tree/buddy system with other nearby horse owners and local farms. This could prove invaluable should you—or they—need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers, pastures or extra hands!
  • Keep equine veterinary records in a safe place where they can quickly be reached. Be sure to post emergency phone numbers by the phone. Include your 24-hour veterinarian, emergency services and friends. You should also keep a copy for emergency services personnel in the barn that includes phone numbers for you, your emergency contact, your 24-hour veterinarian and several friends.
Special Considerations for Birds
  • Birds should be transported in a secure travel cage or carrier.
  • In cold weather, make certain you have a blanket over your pet’s cage. This may also help reduce the stress of traveling.
  • In warm weather, carry a spray bottle to periodically moisten your bird’s feathers.
  • Have recent photos available, and keep your bird’s leg bands on for identification.
  • If the carrier does not have a perch, line it for paper towels that you can change frequently.
  • Keep the carrier in as quiet an area as possible.
  • It is particularly imperative that birds eat on a daily basis, so purchase a timed feeder. If you need to leave your bird unexpectedly, the feeder will ensure his daily feeding schedule.
  • Items to keep on hand: Catch net, heavy towel, blanket or sheet to cover cage, cage liner.
Special Considerations for Reptiles
  • A snake may be transported in a pillowcase, but you should have permanent and secure housing for him when you reach a safe place.
  • Take a sturdy bowl that is large for your pet to soak in. It’s also a good idea to bring along a heating pad or other warming devise, such as a hot water bottle.
  • Lizards can be transported like birds (see above).
Special Considerations for Small Animals
  • Small animals, such as hamsters, gerbils, mice and guinea pigs, should be transported in secure carriers with bedding materials, food and food bowls.
  • Items to keep on hand: Salt lick, extra water bottle, small hidebox or tube, a week’s worth of bedding.
Source: http://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/disaster-preparedness

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Identifying Lost Pets With Microchips


Despite your best efforts, accidents can happen. Someone leaves a door ajar, an intrepid pooch digs under a fence, and your best intentions go awry: Your pet escapes and gets lost. If he's wearing a collar and identification tag, chances are good that you’ll get him back.

But what if the collar comes off?

To protect their pets, many owners turn to technology, in the form of identification microchips implanted in their pets. Microchips are tiny transponders, about the size of a grain of rice, that can be implanted in your pet's skin by many veterinarians and animal shelters; some shelters implant one in all pets they place.

Microchips are a good back-up option for pet identification, but should never be the main one.
Reading a microchip takes a special scanner, one that an animal control officer or shelter will have, but your neighbor down the street will not. And if Fido wanders off, it's likely to be a private citizen who encounters him first. That's why, in the event of accidental separation, identification tags are your pet's first ticket home. That said, microchips provide an extra level of protection in case your pet loses his collar and tags. Providing your pets with both tags and a microchip can help ensure a happy reunion if the unthinkable happens.

How and where are microchips placed?
Microchips are implanted just under the skin, usually right between the shoulder blades. This is done with a large-bore needle and doesn't require anesthesia.

How they work
Each microchip contains a registration number and the phone number of the registry for the particular brand of chip. A handheld scanner reads the radio frequency of the chip and displays this information. An animal shelter or vet clinic that finds your pet can contact the registry to get your name and phone number.

Can a microchip get lost inside my pet?
Your pet's subcutaneous tissue usually bonds to the chip within 24 hours, preventing it from moving. There's a small chance that the chip could migrate to another part of the body, but it can't actually get lost.

How long do microchips last?
Microchips are designed to work for 25 years.

Where can I get my pet microchipped?
Many veterinarians and some animal shelters implant microchips for a small fee. But—and this is very important—just getting a microchip isn't enough—you also need to register your pet with the microchip company.

How do I register my pet?
Complete the paperwork that comes with the chip and send it to the registry, or do it online if that option is available. Some companies charge a one-time registration fee while others charge an annual fee. You’ll also receive a tag for your pet’s collar with the chip number and registry phone number.

Are there different types of chips?
Yes, and that used to be a problem. Competing microchip companies use different frequencies to send signals to scanners, and until recently there was no universal scanner that could read all the different frequencies. That was a problem if a pet had a microchip that a particular scanner couldn't detect. Many microchip companies now produce universal scanners and provide them to animal shelters and animal control agencies at no or very low cost. If your local shelters don’t have scanners, they can contact some of the major manufacturers to ask about getting one.

Are there different registries?
Yes, and that, too, used to be problematic. Different chip companies maintained separate databases. Now, some chip companies will register pets with any brand of chip Also, the American Microchip Advisory Council is working to develop a network of the registry databases to streamline the return of pets to their families.

Can a microchip replace my pet's collar and tags?
No. Despite advances in universal scanners and registry procedures, microchips aren't foolproof, and you shouldn't rely on them exclusively to protect your pet. Universal scanners can detect a competing company's chip, but they may not be able to read the data. And if shelter or vet clinic personnel don’t use the scanner properly, they may fail to detect a chip.

What if I move?
You need to contact the company that registers the chip to update your information; otherwise, the chip will be useless. You may be charged a small fee to process the update.

What do I do if I adopt a pet who's already been microchipped?
If you know what brand of chip your pet has, contact the corresponding registry to update the information. If you don’t know what type of chip your pet has, find a vet or animal shelter that can read it.

SOURCE: http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/microchips.html?referrer=

Friday, April 1, 2016

Pet First Aid Supplies Checklist

As a pet owner, you need to make sure to have basic first aid supplies for your pets in your household. Carefully putting together a well-provisioned first aid kit will make you more ready to deal with a medical emergency if one confronts you for your dog, cat or other pet. Have this kit in the house and fully stocked with supplies at all times, next to the first aid kit for your family. Many of the items in a family first aid kit can be used for pets, too.

 Phone numbers and your pet's medical record (including medications and vaccination history)

Veterinarian:

Emergency veterinary clinic:

Animal Poison Control Center:
888-4ANI-HELP (888-426-4435)
(there may be a fee for this call)
Know these numbers before you need them. If you do not know the number of the emergency clinic in your area, ask your veterinarian or go to the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society Web site for a searchable list of emergency clinics by state or visit MyVeterinarian.com, enter the zip code, and check the "emergency" box to get a listing of emergency providers in the area.
 GauzeFor wrapping wounds or muzzling the injured animal
 Nonstick bandages, towels, or strips of clean clothTo control bleeding or protect wounds
 Adhesive tape for bandages

*do NOT use human adhesive bandages (eg, Band-Aids®) on pets
For securing the gauze wrap or bandage
 Milk of magnesia
Activated charcoal
To absorb poison
Always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison
 Hydrogen peroxide (3%)To induce vomiting
Always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before inducing vomiting or treating an animal for poison
 Digital Thermometer
—you will need a "fever" thermometer because the temperature scale of regular thermometers doesn't go high enough for pets
To check your pet's temperature. Do not insert a thermometer in your pet's mouth—the temperature must be taken rectally.
 Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle)To give oral treatments or flush wounds
 Muzzle (in an emergency a rope, necktie, soft cloth, nylon stocking, small towel may be used)To cover your pet's head.
If your pet is vomiting, do not muzzle it!
 LeashTo transport your pet (if your pet is capable of walking without further injury)
 Stretcher (in an emergency a door, board, blanket or floor mat may be used)To stabilize the injured animal and prevent further injury during transport
SOURCE: https://www.avma.org/public/EmergencyCare/Pages/Supplies-Checklist.aspx