The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Animal Hospital The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Animal Hospital
Showing posts with label Animal Hospital. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Animal Hospital. Show all posts

Saturday, June 25, 2022

‘A SENSE OF RELIEF’: Meals on Wheels offers pet care assistance to clients

HANCOCK COUNTY — Peggy McConnell was moved to tears when she opened her Meals on Wheels delivery a couple months ago.

It wasn’t the sight of the food that made her emotional, but the flyer attached on top, announcing that Meals on Wheels of Hancock County would start offering financial assistance for pet food, veterinary care and pet boarding.

To read more on this story, click here: ‘A SENSE OF RELIEF’: Meals on Wheels offers pet care assistance to clients


Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Understanding Animal Ministers and Chaplains

Twenty years ago the idea of an animal minister or chaplain would have induced a fit of the giggles. These days if you say something about an animal chaplain, you are likely to be asked where a person might find one. Animals have become the cornerstone of many of our lives and these spiritual leaders don’t preach to pets, but rather assist others in finding meaningful way of living with animals.

What is Animal Ministry?

Animal ministry is actually about people and how we interconnect with the animals around us. Most religions have traditions regarding the spirituality of animals and that intersects with human life in a positive way. Some would argue that in American culture, this reverence for feathered, furred and scaled creatures has disappeared. This is where animal ministries step in.

To read more on this story, click here: Understanding Animal Ministers and Chaplains


Friday, February 11, 2022

When Petting Your Dog Always Check for Lumps and Bumps

There are very few surprises that will startle you more than discovering a lump or bump on your dog. As your hand wanders over your canine pal in affectionate scratching or petting, your fingers just may chance upon a lump that “was not there before."

It will scare the biscuits out of you ... that nagging "C" word drifting about the back of your mind, your first fear is that your dog might have cancer. Setting in motion your search for an answer as to what this lump is you make a quick trip to the…I hope that lump isn't serious.

"How long has this been here?" the veterinarian asks. "Just found it yesterday, doctor," you respond.

"Let’s see if we can find any others," says the doctor as experienced and sensitive hands work the dog over.  Sure enough, "Here’s another one just like it!" says the doctor as she places your hand right over the small, round, moveable soft mass under the skin of the dog’s flank.

"I think these are what we call Lipomas, just fat deposits under the skin. They are very common and usually present no problems," says the doctor. Your relief at hearing the good news is cut short as the doctor continues …

"However, we honestly do not know what these lumps truly are unless we examine some cells under the microscope. So I’d suggest that we do a simple needle biopsy, place some cells on a slide and send the slides to a veterinary pathologist for a definite diagnosis."

The doctor in this case is being thorough and careful. How true it is that a definitive diagnosis of "what it is" simply cannot be made without microscopic examination of the lump’s cells. A veterinary specialist in pathology is the final authority and judge when it comes to shedding light on these lumps and bumps that we too often find on our canine pals.

The lipoma is one of the most commonly encountered lumps seen by veterinarians during a physical exam. These soft, rounded, non-painful masses, usually present just under the skin but occasionally arising from connective tissues deep between muscles, are generally benign. That is, they stay in one place, do not invade surrounding tissues and do no metastasize to other areas of the body. They grow to a certain size and just sit there in the tissues and behave themselves.

Most lipomas do not have to be removed. Occasionally, though, lipomas will continue to grow into huge fat deposits that are a discomfort to the dog and present a surgical challenge to remove. And even more rarely, some lipomas will be malignant and spread throughout the dog’s body.


And therein lies the true challenge in dealing with lumps and bumps on dogs -- we simply cannot predict with 100% accuracy just what any of these foreigners will do. So we do the best we can by removing them when indicated or keeping a close guard over them so that at the first sign of change they can be removed.

Not every lump or bump on your dog will be a tumor. Some superficial bumps are due simply to plugged oil glands in the skin, called sebaceous cysts. Skin cysts can be composed of dead cells or even sweat or clear fluid; these often rupture on their own, heal, and are never seen again. Others become chronically irritated or infected, and should be removed and then checked by a pathologist just to be sure of what they are. Some breeds, especially the Cocker Spaniel, are prone to developing sebaceous cysts.

And yes, the sebaceous glands in the skin do occasionally develop into tumors called sebaceous adenomas.  According to Richard Dubielzig, DVM, of the University of Wisconsin, School of Veterinary Medicine, "Probably the most commonly biopsied lump from dog skin is a sebaceous adenoma. This does not mean it is the most commonly occurring growth, just that it is most commonly biopsied." Fortunately this type of skin growth rarely presents trouble after being surgically removed.

So how are you to know which lumps and bumps are dangerous and which can be left alone? Truthfully, you are really only guessing without getting the pathologist involved. Most veterinarians take a conservative approach to the common lipomas and remove them if they are growing rapidly or are located in a sensitive area.

However, caution needs to be observed because even the common lipoma has an invasive form called an infiltrative lipoma. For example, when a nasty looking, reddened, rapidly growing mass is detected growing on the gum aggressive action is indicated.  Also, keep in mind that not all lumps and bumps are cancerous, and some are fairly innocent and do not warrant immediate surgery.

Non-cancerous lumps

Cysts, warts, infected hair follicles, hematomas (blood blisters) and others do cause concern and can create discomfort for the dog, though non-cancerous lumps have less health impact than cancerous growths.

Cancerous lumps

Cancerous growths can be either malignant or benign, and occasionally even share characteristics of both.  Malignant lumps tend to spread rapidly and can metastasize to other areas of the body. Benign growths tend to stay in the place of origin and do not metastasize; however they can grow to huge proportions (see such an example of inoperable tumor pictured on the right).

Mammary gland tumors, mast cell tumors, cutaneous lymphosarcoma, malignant melanoma, fibrosarcoma and many other types of tumors with truly scary names command respect and diligent attention on the part of dog owners and veterinarians.


Below are the most common methods of finding out "what it is" …

Impression Smears

Some ulcerated masses lend themselves to easy cell collection and identification by having a glass microscope slide pressed against the raw surface of the mass. The collected cells are dried and sent to a pathologist for staining and diagnosis. Sometimes the attending veterinarian will be able to make a diagnosis via the smear; otherwise, a specialist in veterinary pathology will be the authority regarding tumor type and stage of malignancy.

Needle Biopsy

Many lumps can be analyzed via a needle biopsy rather than by total excision. A needle biopsy is performed by inserting a sterile needle into the lump, pulling back on the plunger, and "vacuuming" in cells from the lump. The collected cells are smeared onto a glass slide for pathological examination. Usually the patient isn’t even aware of the procedure. Total excision of the mass is attempted if the class of tumor identified warrants surgery.

CT Scans

Superficial lumps and bumps do not require that CT Scans be done, so this procedure is usually reserved for internal organ analysis. If a superficial malignant tumor is diagnosed, however, a CT Scan can be helpful in determining if metastasis to deeper areas of the body has occurred.


As with CT Scans, X-ray evaluation is generally reserved for collecting evidence of internal masses. Most lipomas are superficial and reside under the skin or skeletal muscles. There are other lumps that can be palpated by the veterinarian via manual examination; however, the extent and origin of that mass will often be best revealed via CT Scanning.


Since every type of cell in the body potentially could evolve into cancerous tissue, the types and ferocity of tumors that develop in the dog are numerous and highly varied. Each case needs to be evaluated on its own circumstances and variables. For example, should surgery be done on a 16-year-old dog with what appears to be a 3-inch wide lipoma? Maybe not. Should that same dog have a quarter inch wide, black, nodular mass removed from its lower gum. Probably should! That small growth may be a melanoma that could metastasize to other areas of the dog’s body.


An important basic tool in eliminating a nuisance or dangerous lump is to surgically excise it.


Chemicals that are highly toxic to rapidly dividing cells make up an important mode of treatment for fast growing tumors. A combination of surgery and radiation/chemotherapy can help the veterinarian gain the upper hand in achieving a cure. Chemotherapy is often employed as an additional precautionary procedure after a mass has been "removed" via surgery.


For invasive tumors that do not have well defined borders and for tumors that tend to spread rapidly, radiation therapy can be a lifesaver. Available at most veterinary medical schools and some veterinary specialists in radiology, radiation therapy is appropriate for certain types of tumors. Radiation is often employed in addition to surgical excision.


Emerging science such as gene therapy and immunotherapy hold promise for some amazing ways to combat tumors. The future looks promising for these new methods of dealing with tumors.

According to Dr. Dubielzig, the best approach to understanding what to do about a lump or bump on your dog is to be vigilant and treat each situation individually. "In cases where vigilance for tumors is part of the animal’s care, such as in animals where a malignant tumor has been removed and the veterinarian wishes to keep abreast of the stage of disease, then every lump should be submitted for histopathology," Dubielzig said. "In other cases where the clinician is sure of a benign diagnosis such as lipoma or a wart-like skin mass then it might be understandable to use discretion. The clinician also has to take into consideration the risk of surgery compared to the risk of health problems from a particular lump or bump."
Take a good surface inventory of your dog today, then at least once a month from now on. If you find any imperfections, take heart in knowing that modern veterinary medicine has some very effective remedies for almost all of these lumps and bumps.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Are You Considering Spaying or Neutering Your Pet?

I would like to start off by explaining the difference between spaying and spading. Often time people will say, “I’m going to get my dog spaded”. A spade is a tool designed primarily for the purpose of digging or removing earth. The correct word is Spaying.

A female dog is spayed, and a male dog neutered (castrated). This is the only way to be sure your dog doesn't produce unwanted puppies. In most cases, it is considered safe to alter dogs as early as eight weeks of age.

Spaying involves the removal of both the uterus and the ovaries. Castration refers to the removal of a male dog's testicles. The term neutering is a general term to describe either spaying or castration.

Some questions that you may have:

Question: Isn’t it unnatural to deprive my pet of a sex life?
Answer: No. Dogs and cats have sex strictly to satisfy hormone-induced instincts, not for pleasure.

Question: What is actually done in a spay or neuter procedure?
Answer: A spay surgery (also called an ovariohysterectomy) is performed on females. While performed routinely, an ovariohysterectomy is a major surgery in which the reproductive tract including the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and uterus are removed. Blood work may be performed to make sure the pet is healthy enough for anesthesia and surgery.

Neutering refers to the castration of a male animal. It is a surgical procedure in which both testicles are removed. Neutering requires considerably less time and equipment than a spay surgery. In both cases, the animal is given general anesthesia so that it cannot feel anything.

Advantages of Spaying or Neutering:

1. Altered pets are less likely to make inappropriate sexual approaches toward people or objects.

2. They are less likely to roam and are less likely to be aggressive. This helps to prevent pets from becoming lost or stolen, being hit by cars, or contracting a contagious disease through fighting with other animals.


Friday, November 6, 2020

What To Know About Cat Vaccinations

Cats don’t actually have nine lives, so you need to do what you can to protect them. The key? The right vaccinations. Shots protect your cat from diseases caused by viruses and bacteria. They can also strengthen their immune system.

Whether you have a kitten or an adult cat, your vet can help you figure out which vaccines are best and how often your kitty should get shots. It usually depends on their age, overall health, and lifestyle. The vet will also think about how long vaccines are supposed to last and how likely your cat might be to come into contact with a certain disease. Also, many local and state governments have laws about vaccines like rabies.

To read more on this story, click here: What To Know About Cat Vaccinations


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Animal Hospital Owner and Staff Evacuate Every Pet Before Wildfire Burns It To The Ground

The Almeda Fire swept through southern Oregon faster than many residents could react. Memories, homes and entire neighborhood blocks have been burned to the ground by the fast moving blaze.

Phoenix Animal Hospital owner Glen Winters remembers when he first heard the fire was moving through Ashland. He didn’t think there was anything to worry about at the time.

“I started receiving calls that there was a fire going on in the Ashland and Talent area, and we said eh it’s a couple of miles away, we should be fine,” Winters told KTVL. “As the day went on a little bit, we started getting more and more frantic phone calls and that it was getting closer and closer, and so early afternoon we decided to evacuate.”

To read more on this story, click here: Animal Hospital Owner and Staff Evacuate Every Pet Before Wildfire Burns It To The Ground


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

9 Pet Conditions That Cannot Wait for Medical Attention

Every pet, throughout the course of their lives, will encounter some health issues. Even with annual vet checkups (and these are a must), your pet will occasionally show signs that all is not quite right in their world. Unfortunately, pets can’t tell us what’s wrong, so it’s easy to overreact—or worse, underreact—to any given situation.

“Pets want to please their owners and are great at hiding pain or discomfort or if they are simply not feeling well,” says Dr. Mel Paquin, chief medical director of the Animal Medical Center of Surprise in Arizona. “[They] will have a much better prognosis if you are proactive in getting them seen by a professional.”

Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to drag your dog to the vet every time his dinner doesn’t agree with him. But there are some conditions that should set off alarm bells, as they can indicate something seriously wrong. We’ve compiled a list of these conditions that cannot wait. If you see these signs, you’ll need to take your pet to the vet immediately.

To read more on this story, click here: 9 Pet Conditions That Cannot Wait for Medical Attention


Tuesday, August 18, 2020


When your cat isn’t feeling well, you can tell right away. After all, your cat is basically your child. Cat’s can hide pain pretty easily, but what they can’t hide is when they just feel sick. Knowing what to do when your cat isn’t feeling well is something every cat owner should know. One of these, in particular, is signs your cat has a fever and the investigation work as to why which will be needed for the veterinarian.

To read more on this story, click here:  SIGNS YOUR CAT HAS A FEVER


Tuesday, April 21, 2020

When Pet Owners Fall Ill With Coronavirus, What Happens Next?

Spain, which is enduring one of the world’s biggest and deadliest outbreaks, grapples with moral and practical questions on caring for animals when their owners are suddenly sick.

MADRID — The coronavirus strikes. The patient — at home, sometimes alone — becomes desperately ill. The ambulance finally arrives to take the person away.

Then, a second team, clad in hazmat gear, follows to rescue a household member abandoned in the chaos and suddenly in need of a new caregiver: the patient’s pet.

The teams, from the Madrid animal shelter El Refugio, end up placing the pets in foster homes with people who will care for them temporarily while Spain’s strict lockdown is in place and so much is in flux.

To read more on this story, click here: When Pet Owners Fall Ill With Coronavirus, What Happens Next?


Pet Owners Note Behavioral changes in Their Cats and Dogs During the Coronavirus Pandemic

While the impact of this pandemic has ranged from absolute boredom to more serious things like job losses and health issues, some of our pets are coping in their own ways.

A local veterinarian who focuses on animal behavior and stress is not surprised to hear our pets are stressed, too.

Matt O'Donnell spoke with Dr. Carlo Siracusa of Penn's Ryan Veterinary Hospital about Bailey, his generally happy and spoiled 8-year-old Shichon.

To read more on this story, click here: Pet Owners Note Behavioral changes in Their Cats and Dogs During the Coronavirus Pandemic


Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Ventilators Shipped from Veterinarians to Hospitals to Combat COVID-19 Shortage

The nation's hospitals, facing dire shortages of lifesaving ventilators as the coronavirus outbreak continues, are finding help from an unlikely source: animal doctors.

The country's largest veterinary schools, animal hospitals and even zoos are offering up ventilators to hospitals that are scrambling to care for a growing number of critically ill coronavirus patients. Similar efforts elsewhere could produce hundreds of machines and save countless lives.

"Every single one of these ventilators makes a difference," Dr. Andrew T. Maccabe, chief executive officer of the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, told ABC News.

To read on this story, click here: Ventilators shipped from veterinarians to hospitals to combat COVID-19 shortage


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Online Pet Medications – Buyer Beware

If you are considering ordering your pet's medication online, please read what the ASPCA says about online pet medications.

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) does not recommend that pet parents forgo purchasing pet drugs on the Internet altogether, but encourages the active participation of your veterinarian in any decision to medicate your pet. “All pet drugs should be prescribed by a veterinarian after an in-person physical exam, and should either be purchased from that veterinarian or out sourced to a reputable pharmacy, whether on- or off-line,” says Dr. Camille DeClementi, ASPCA Senior Director of Medical Records.

Tips for Buying Pet Drugs Online

Order from a Web site that belongs to a Vet-VIPPS accredited pharmacy. Vet-VIPPS—the Veterinary-Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites is a voluntary accreditation program of the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP).    NABP gives the Vet-VIPPS seal to online pharmacies that dispense prescription animal drugs and comply with NABP's strict criteria, including federal and state licensing and inspection requirements, protecting patient confidentiality, quality assurance, and validity of prescription orders.

Look for the Vet-VIPPS seal displayed on a pharmacy's Web site or check with NABP5 (click on "Accreditation Programs")    to find out if a pharmacy is Vet-VIPPS accredited. Because this is a new program, begun in 2009, a small number of pharmacies are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited.

Order from an outsourced prescription management service that your veterinarian uses. These state-licensed Internet pharmacy services work directly with the veterinarian, require that a prescription be written by the veterinarian, and support the veterinarian-client-patient relationship. Ask your veterinary hospital if it uses an Internet pharmacy service.

Pharmacies that are currently Vet-VIPPS accredited:


Drs Foster & Smith Pharmacy  
PetCareRx, Inc  


Friday, November 2, 2018

The Pros and Cons of Pet Ownership – Are You Really Ready for Pet Ownership?

I have always had a pet in my life. Even as a small child, I had pets. Some my parents would let me keep…and others that belonged to neighbors, that I had to return! I have had dogs, cats, birds, and fish.

As a pet owner, I feel that I can speak freely on my experiences with pet ownership. I had two Shih Tzu’s, Sugar and Domino for twelve years each. I got each of them when they were only months old. They have both crossed over the “Rainbow Bridge”.  Sugar in 2008, and Domino crossed on February 25, 2011.

I believe there is a health benefit to having pets. It is said that they can lower your stress level, and blood pressure. We have all had one of those days when we are not feeling well. One day I had a headache, and was lying on the sofa and fell asleep, only to wake up to warm bodies on me. They had both jumped up on the sofa and cuddled up with me, Domino on my feet and Sugar on my back…it was so cute, I actually forgot about my headache!

Then there are the days when I would arrive home from a stressful day a work, only to be greeted by the sound two yapping little dogs ready to go outside!  Once in the backyard running, and playing with them made the stress of the day slowly fade away.

The Pros:
  • A pet is a wonderful addition to a family. I say “addition”, because eventually they become a part of your family.
  • They are cute, playful and can make you laugh.
  • Dogs are great for protecting you and your home.
  •  If you get one from a shelter you are saving a life.

The Cons:
  • Pets are not toys.
  • Require commitment
  • They can be expensive
  • Hard work
  • Require attention and maintenance

Pets Are Not Toys:
Have you ever noticed people’s reaction to pets in a pet shop. You’ll hear “Awww, look at this one…so cute!” or “I want one”. You may also have noticed someone in the street with a well-groomed dog, and think “that is a cute dog, I sure would like to have one like that”. The truth of the matter is that they are all cute…but require commitment, maintenance and can be expensive!

Pets are not toys, and you should never ever give one as a gift. Pets given as gifts usually end up on the streets or in the animal shelter.  Why? Because the person giving the gift thought it was cute, and would make the recipient happy. The recipient accepting the pet also thought it was cute…until it came time to care for it.

Pets Require Commitment:
Some dogs and cats can live up to 15 years and some longer. Are you committed to taking care of a living-breathing animal for 15 years? There are some birds, especially exotic ones that can live over 50 years.

They Can Be Expensive:
Pets can be expensive! Be mindful of your income before deciding to get a pet. I am not referring to pet food unless you have big pets such as several big dogs or horses!  I am referring to Vet bills, unexpected medical expenses, grooming and boarding.

I will refer to my expenses for my dogs. When they were puppies my grooming bill was $50 per dog approximately every 6 weeks, plus $10 tip ($110 every 6 weeks). They saw the Vet once a year for all of their shots, which was approximately $65 per dog. Unless they got sick…which my did several times. The office visit was $35 plus additional if they needed medication. Did you know that some pet medications could cost as much as human medications?

If you take your pet to an animal hospital they are very expensive. I paid $65 for an emergency visit, this was just for walking in! Then you have your Vet charges and medications. I also paid to have them spayed and neutered.

As my dogs turned in to adults, the grooming charges went up to $65 per dog. Thank God, the yearly visit to the Vet bill remained the same, however, they now needed to be on medication for heartworms, flea and ticks. A six-month package of each would run me approximately $35 - $50 depending. Since the packages contained only six doses, that would only last me 3 months because I had two dogs. I estimated it at being approximately $80 for both treatments every 3 months.

As pets get older, they can start experiencing health problems. Sugar was diagnosed with heart problems in August 2008. She was put on daily medications. In October she was rushed to the animal hospital on three occasions. A few days before she passed she was put on oxygen at $25 an hour. She stayed there for 4 hours ($100).

On the day that Sugar passed, I rushed her to the animal hospital where they began to work on her. They called me to let me know that she had passed, and let me know that I had a balance of  $650 due. I chose to have her cremated and put in an urn for an additional $500.

Domino got sick shortly after Sugar passed, and started chewing on his leg, which required a Vet visit and medication.

Now without Sugar, I only had Domino to worry about. Everything was okay for about two more years. Domino got sick in December 2010, right after Christmas. I took him to his regular Vet, and then there where three more visits to the animal hospital, two in the middle of the night. He had test done, x-rays and was put on medication. Domino had a tumor and past at home on February 25, 2011. I also had him cremated, and he now sits in my curio cabinet next to Sugar.

Hard Work
Did I say hard work? When you get a new puppy or kitten, it requires constant attention, and you will be cleaning up after them. You must pet proof your house! Just as you would for a child. You must take time to train them. This means getting your kitten use to the litter box. Did you know that young kittens have to go several times a day…so yes, you have to take them to the box…several times a day. I had them sectioned off in room outside of my kitchen with a folding gate while I was away. He told me to never give them full run of the house even when I was at home until they became adults. This stops them from getting into things and chewing in other parts of the house. The room was big enough for me to put their feeding bowls and water on one side, and their beds and puppy pads in other areas.

I took them out in the mornings, evenings and at night. I am so glad I have a fenced in backyard. Some people have to walk their dogs!  Taking them out three times a day was cute at first, but after awhile, you realize that you have got to stop in the middle of that good movie, or get up a little earlier for work to take them out. Oh yeah, my husband was on yard patrol with his pooper-scooper!

Sometimes, I would come home and they had been playing in their food, and missed the puppy pad!  Then there was the time when I came home and one had diarrhea and the other was spitting up. Oh, well that comes with the luxury of having pets. I would just clean it up. I can’t tell you how many times that I would be sitting at the dinner table and one would decide to throw their dinner back up!  I would have to run and get the cleaning supplies, and then clean them up. You should always clean up their messes immediately, this eliminates staining and odor. I had to make sure that I kept everything away from them, if I dropped anything they would both come running. Pets will eat anything off of the floor. When Sugar was teething, I bought her teething rings…she still chewed up my coffee table leg. Domino took out my Christmas lights! I am sure that some of you have had your experiences with cleaning up after pets.

Require Attention and Maintenance:
I don’t care what type of pet you have…it requires attention and maintenance. Dogs, Cats, Rabbits, hamster…etc. require play periods and some belly rubs and hugs. Dogs especially love human touch.

When you walk your dog the responsible thing to do as a pet parent is to carry a bag to pick up after them. If you have a pet in a cage…you must clean its cage. Birds will throw food all over the place, go in their water, which must be changed every day.

I currently have a 45 gallon fish aquarium that I maintain. I have approximately 60 tropical fish. I change 15% of their water, clean the sand, filter and the glass. I carry buckets of clean water to refill the tank. I do this, every Saturday…whether I want to or not!

I chose my dogs and my fish, they did not choose me. In doing so, I made a commitment to care for them and help them live happy lives.

Before you choose to become a Pet Owner, please consider some of the things that I have mentioned. If your lifestyle does not give you the time to take care of a pet…don’t get one until you have the time to commit. Also, please don’t buy an animal. A lot of pet shops get their dogs from puppy mills. Consider adoption. Check with you local animal shelter, they always have wonderful animals just looking for a forever home.

My intentions are not to discourage you from getting a pet, but only to let you know the requirements behind those cute little faces. Please take time to think before rushing out to get a pet, don’t buy on impulse, check your finances…and your heart. Are you ready for the commitment?


Saturday, September 8, 2018

Do You Know What To Do When Your Pet Has Died at Home?

Do you know what to do when your pet has died at home? A recent incident that happened in the Dale City area of Northern Virginia has prompted me to share this story with you.

In February, 2011, I allowed my little Shih Tzu, Domino, who had cancer to die at home. I was with him when he crossed over. I had already made preparations because I knew his time was near. The animal hospital a few miles away had told me that if he passed and they were closed (they close at 6:00 p.m.) that I should take him to a 24 hour animal hospital immediately.

Domino passed about 4:00 p.m. My husband wrapped him in a blanket and we took him to the animal hospital, where they immediately took him to the back to prepare him. I had already planned for cremation. I received his urn a week later, and his urn now sits in my curio cabinet next to his sister, Sugar.

Cremation for a pet can be very expensive, especially if the pet is big. Domino was down to about 8 pounds when he passed. His sister, Sugar crossed over in 2008, she was about 12 pounds so of course, it cost me more to have her cremated.

Everyone can not afford pet cremations…and some don’t choose to do so. Some bury them in their backyards.

In the case in Northern Virginia, the pet owner tried to cremate his dog himself in his yard and set his house on fire.

Firefighters say Charles Harris was trying to cremate his 11-year-old Rottweiler in the backyard of his Dale City home. Authorities said he used gasoline to get the fire going, but it quickly spread to his home.

The Associate Press reports that the man tried to get several animal shelters to help him dispose of his dog’s body, but they all told him the Rottweiler was too large.

Firefighters have not said how extensively the home was damaged. No injuries were reported.

If you have this situation, please do not try and cremate your pet in your yard. Consider contacting your Vet, animal control, animal hospitals and animal shelters.

Please have this conversation with your Vet while your pet is alive to get an idea of what you should do when the time comes, especially if you have big pets. Also, for more information on what to do, click here: What to Do if Your Dog Dies at Home  or What do you do if your cat dies in your house? What do you do with the body? 


Monday, June 25, 2018

Yorkshire, England - The Owners of Eight-Year-Old Maisy, A St. Bernard, Thought She Had Cancer: Vets Find Out that She Had Eaten Four Teddy Bears

Eight-year-old Maisy, had not been feeling well. After she underwent a CT scan that showed a mass on her spleen, her veterinarians and owners feared the worst.

They thought Maisy might have had cancer, but surgery revealed something entirely different. The surgeon discovered four teddy bears in the dog’s stomach.

“It’s fair to say this was not something we were expecting to find!” Nick Blackburn, a veterinarian surgeon at Paragon Veterinary Referrals who carried out the operation, said in a press release. “We all know certain dogs enjoy chewing things they shouldn’t, but managing to devour four full teddy bears is quite a feat.”

Maisy’s owners, James and Jane Dickinson, were shocked, as they had never known their beloved pet to even chew on, let alone eat, stuffed toys.

“When Maisy went in, I did think ‘is she coming out?’ but she is loving life now — it’s like she’s got her youth back,” Jane said. “The toys weren’t even hers! She will steal the chihuahuas’ toys and play with them but I’ve never seen her trying to chew them. Her eating habits had been completely normal.”

Luckily, Maisy has made a full recovery, shows no sign of cancer and is back to her old self. Hopefully the chihuahuas, Mabel and Guinness, whose toys she snacked on, have since forgiven her.

Here are a few of the soft toys found in Maisy’s stomach:

If you believe your dog has ingested a foreign object like a toy, it’s important to take her to the vet or 24-hour emergency animal clinic as soon as possible. Some symptoms to watch out for include signs of intestinal or digestive discomfort such as vomiting or diarrhea, lethargy and changes in behavior.

This is definitely a situation that you should leave to the authorities. “Owners should not wait to see if the object will pass on its own. Do not try to induce vomiting without a veterinarian’s okay, as there are some foreign bodies that can cause just as much harm coming back out,” veterinarian Sharin Brown told Cesar’s Way.


Cat Symptom Checker: Match Your Cat’s Symptoms to Health Conditions

Cats can get sick all the time with many of the same ailments as pet parents. However, symptoms for cats can be much different than they are for humans. Our cat symptom checker is a great way to figure out what may be wrong with your feline friend.

When cats become sick, they can’t tell us with words. Instead, cat parents need to be vigilant, keeping an eye out for any symptoms that could point to illness. It also helps to stay ahead of the curve by giving them preventative medication like Advantage Multi for cats. This useful chart breaks down cat symptoms by area of the body, then tells you what each symptom could mean. 

Our cat symptom checker is a good place to get started identifying what could be wrong with your cat, but always contact your veterinarian for final diagnosis and treatment solutions.

To read more on this story, click here: Cat Symptom Checker: Match Your Cat’s Symptoms to Health Conditions


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Vet Technician Has Been Charged with Animal Cruelty for Keeping a Dog After Owner Was Told it Was Euthanized

A vet technician has been charged with animal cruelty for keeping a dog after owner was told it was euthanized.

Andrea Oliveira, from Freehold, New Jersey, is accused of taking an elderly dog from vet Dr George Menez and keeping it alive for five months.

Dr Menez, who hasn’t been charged with a criminal offence, is alleged to have told owner Keri Levy that he euthanised her miniature pinscher Caesar at Briarwood Veterinary Hospital in May.

It was reported that the vets believed the dog could be nursed back to health.

Ms Levy said her 15-year-old dog was suffering from Cushing’s disease, a condition which affects elderly dogs.

She claims Dr Menez telephoned her to say Caesar was ‘at peace’, hours after she said goodbye to her pet.

However, she received an anonymous message earlier this month from someone who said her dog was still alive and being looked after by an employee at the vet practice.

Police said Oliveira did not believe the dog needed to be put down and thought she could nurse it back to health.

Caesar has since been put down under the supervision of a different vet.

The health of the animal before its death is now a matter of dispute.

Police said the dog was given back to its owner in good spirits and showed no signs of ill-health, but Ms Levy said his condition had deteriorated.

Police said Dr Menez allowed Oliveira to take the dog home with her but didn’t inform the owner.

‘This employee wanted to do so out of compassion for the dog and a desire to rehabilitate his health, albeit without the owner’s consent,’ Howell Police Detective Sergeant Christian Antunez told the Mail Online.

After receiving the anonymous message that Caesar was still alive, Ms Levy contacted the practice but both Dr Menez and Oliveira had stopped working there.

Ms Levy claims she then contacted Dr Menez and he gave her the name of the former colleague who had taken her dog.

His owner said the dog’s health had deteriorated dramatically in the five months and she took him to be put down at a different hospital.

You can read the initial story here: Family Dog Was Supposed to Cremated: Found Alive At Veterinary Worker’s Home


Friday, October 20, 2017

Family Dog Was Supposed to Cremated: Found Alive At Veterinary Worker’s Home

Howell Township, NJ - A New Jersey family was told their dog had been put down five months ago, but little did they know the pet had been living with a veterinary worker all that time.

Caesar's family grieved for their pet when they believed the chronically ill dog they had for 15 years was put down at Briarwood Veterinary Hospital in Howell, Monmouth County.

That was until they received a tip call last week saying the dog was actually still alive.

"I'm dumbfounded. I don't even know how to say, I don't know how to feel," said Caesar's owner, Lonnie Levy.

He paid $192 for the dog's cremation and even got a condolence letter from Dr. George Menez, the family's longtime vet.

But instead of euthanizing Caesar, Menez allegedly let a vet tech in the office take the dog home without the Levy's knowledge or permission.

"You charge me to put him down and then sneak him out the back door? It's horrifying," Levy said.

When police got involved the vet tech was ordered to return Caesar, who by then was so ill he had to be euthanized immediately.

"To this date, we have not confirmed that there was any type of veterinary care being rendered to this dog," said Chief Ross Licitra of the Monmouth County SPCA.

"There's potential of theft charges against the doctor for basically taking the victim's money and not performing the service," said Chief Andrew Kudrick of the Howell Twp. Police Department.

Action News was unable to contact Dr. Menez for comment. He and the vet tech involved no longer work at Briarwood.

The veterinarian who bought the practice just last week and helped the Levys figure out what happened is upset.

"It's hard enough when you have to decide a pet should pass, but you have to deal with that twice with the same pet? It's just unthinkable," said Dr. Maureen Kibisz.

Local police and the SPCA will meet with the Monmouth County prosecutor's office on Thursday to discuss if any charges will be filed.


Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Please Donate to The Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, to Help the Animals of Hurricane Harvey - Please Share!

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