Pets and Hot Cars

Unfortunately, people still don’t understand that leaving your pet in the car during hot weather is a bad idea. Dr. Ernie Ward shows us how bad it is inside the car.



5 reasons you want a veterinarian on your team in a zombie apocalypse

Found this article on the AVMA website and it made me giggle. Very appropriate for the Halloween season and the return of The Walking Dead on tv!

5 reasons you want a veterinarian on your team in a zombie apocalypse

In several episodes of AMC’s zombie series The Walking Dead, a new character introduced to the show, Dr. Hershel Greene, helps treat and save the life of a critically injured child. Dr. Greene, however, is not a physician, but a veterinarian.

Image CC BY 2.0 Dan Hollister
Now, under normal circumstances, of course, we would never recommend that a veterinarian treat a human, but in the midst of a zombie apocalypse, well … physicians might be hard to come by, governing boards and malpractice laws are out the window, and if one of your party is bleeding to death, a veterinarian just might give that person the best chance of survival.
Which got us thinking … how else might a veterinarian prove useful in a zombie apocalypse? Here are our top 5 reasons you’d want a veterinarian as part of your zombie apocalypse team:
  1. They have a better chance at surviving: In the event of a zombie apocalypse, survivors are at a premium, and losing members of your group will make you much more vulnerable. The biggest risk is getting bitten by a zombie. Well, who’s better at avoiding bites than a veterinarian?
  2. They can provide medical care: Again, pre-apocalypse, see your physician. Post-apocalypse, if a physician isn’t available, you couldn’t do much better than having a veterinarian treat your (non-zombie-bite) wounds and illnesses. Veterinarians spend at least four years post-grad training to care for ALL species, so while the general anatomy might be slightly different, they’re probably not going to be overwhelmed by the prospect of working on human patients.
  3. They can take care of the animals: With electrical grids down and gasoline no longer in production, you’re going to be relying on animals much more: Dogs for protection, horses for transportation, livestock for food and labor. A veterinarian will make sure these highly valuable animals are well treated, healthy and performing at a high level.
  4. They can make sure your food is safe: Without grocery stores, restaurants or refrigerators—not to mention state and federal oversight—obtaining, storing and preparing food will provide a whole new set of challenges for most people. Veterinarians have experience in ensuring food safety and testing; many work nationally to ensure food safety at processing plants and distribution centers, or across the globe working to make sure food for our troops is safe to eat. Unsure if the remaining meat from a deer carcass ravaged by zombies is safe to eat? Consult the veterinarian!
  5. They can find a cure: Veterinarians are experts at studying the causes and distribution of diseases, or epidemiology. They’ve been invaluable in determining the source and distribution of several diseases that pose risk to humans, such as rabies, SARS, and West Nile virus. Veterinarians might be able to determine what causes people to turn into zombies and develop a cure. Why aren’t animals infected? Perhaps there’s an epidemiological clue there!
Veterinarians bring an enormous amount of talents to the table: They’re trained to treat all animals, from mice to elephants, from aardvarks to zebras and everything in between. They have expertise in animal welfare, food safety, environmental protection and public health. They work all over the world, in all types of fields, helping to ensure the health of animals and people. And, in the event of a zombie apocalypse, they might just be the most valuable survivors of all.
Talk to your veterinarian today about his or her zombie apocalypse plans!
Published in: on October 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm  Comments (1)  
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Virbac Recall of Iverhart Heartworm Preventative

The American Veterinary Medical Association has issued the following statement:

“RECALL: We have confirmed that Virbac has issued a voluntary recall for six lots of their heartworm preventive, Iverhart Plus Flavored Chewables, because the ivermectin potency failed to meet their stability standards. What this means is that your pets may not be fully protected. For questions or concerns about the Iverhart Plus recall, please contact Virbac Technical Services at 1-800-338-3659 ext. 3052.

Only the following lots are included in the recall: Lot 120076 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120086 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120856 (Large 51-100 pounds); Lot 120202 (Medium 26-50 pounds); Lot 120196 (Small up to 25 pounds).”

If you find that you have any of the chewables in these lot numbers, call the number provided above and also contact your veterinarian.

Happy National Veterinary Technician Week!



Make sure to tell the veterinary technicians you know how much you appreciate all the hard work, dedication, and care they give to your pets!

This video takes a tongue in cheek look at the interactions between veterinary technicians and their veterinarians. Hope you enjoy it! I know I did!

The Top 10 Ways Veterinarians Infuriate Veterinary Technicians

Preventing Dog Bites

Every year, about 880,000 people require medical attention due to dog bites (CDC stats). I have personally been witness to 3 euthanasias of dogs because they were ‘biters.’ To protect not only ourselves, but dogs, as well, let’s go over some ways to prevent dog bites to begin with.

Children and Dogs

First of all, NEVER leave children alone with a dog, no matter how friendly, no matter that they’ve known each other for years. Also, make sure to teach your child the basics of dog safety:

Never approach an unfamiliar dog, especially if that dog is tied up or confined by a fence or a car. Even the nicest dog can be a little extra protective of property when confined or even frightened because in confinement the dog can’t get away.

Never turn your back and run away from a dog.

Don’t scream at a dog.

When approached by an unfamiliar dog, “be still like a tree” and keep your hands at your sides.

Don’t make eye contact with any dog.

If a dog knocks you over, “be still like a log”, and roll into a ball with your hands over your ears.

Do not tease or chase any dog.

Never disturb a dog who is sleeping, eating, or has puppies.

Do not just reach out and pet a dog without letting it sniff you and see you.

If bitten, immediately find an adult.

Dog Owners

If a dog has a history of aggression, then it is not appropriate to have children around the dog. Do not bring that dog into your house as a pet if you have kids and do not allow children visiting your house to have any access to the dog. Keep the dog locked away from the kids. Don’t underestimate the determination of children to see the dog, make sure the door/enclosure is locked!

If your child is fearful of dogs, it’s probably a good idea to wait a while before adopting one yourself.

Spend time with a dogs before adopting it.

Never leave infants or young children alone with any dog.

Spay or neuter your dog. This can reduce aggressive tendencies.

Make sure your dog is properly socialized and trained.

Do not play aggressive games with your dog like wrestling or tug of war.

If Your Dog Bites

Confine the dog immediately and check on the victim. Get medical attention if necessary.

Have the date of your dog’s last Rabies vaccination on hand.

Cooperate with animal control and strictly adhere to any quarantine requirements they may have.

Consult with your veterinarian to help prevent your dog from biting again. They may refer you to a trainer or animal behaviorist, depending on the severity of your dog’s aggression. Your local animal control or humane society may also have resources available to help.

Published in: on August 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Taking Your Cat To the Vet

Almost everyone I know who owns a cat (myself included!) dreads taking them to the vet. Let’s face it, they just don’t usually travel as well as dogs. Things don’t have to be traumatic, though. Here are a few tips that might make taking your cat to the vet less stressful for everyone!

Start Young

Kittens (just like human babies) adjust better to new and novel experiences than adult cats (just like adult humans!). Start getting them accustomed to the carrier as soon as you can. This isn’t to say that older cats can’t adjust, too, it might just take a bit more time and patience for them.




Keep the Carrier Out

If your cat only sees the carrier when it’s time to go to the vet, of course they’re going to hightail it when you bring it out! Keep it out, instead, open and somewhere they can interact with it if they choose. My cats play in and on their carrier. Sam even sleeps in it sometimes!

Be patient, though. Some cats can take weeks before they’re comfortable with the carrier being out. Eventually, the goal is to have them exploring the carrier on their own. Don’t try to force them!

Make the Carrier Cushy

Make the carrier as nice a place to be as possible. Put some of your cat’s favorite bedding or toys in there and maybe a treat or two. If your cat likes catnip, try sprinkling a little inside. Keep the goodies in the carrier fresh by replenishing or changing it out every few days.

Give Food Inside the Carrier

Try putting your cat’s food dish in the carrier and see if he will eat in there. If he won’t, put the dish a few feet away from the carrier and slowly move it inch by inch closer each day as long as he keeps eating. If he stops eating, move the dish back a little until he eats and then slowly start the progression again.

Some cats might not go in the carrier with you around for fear of being shut in, so try leaving or moving across the room and see if that helps.

Teach Your Cat

Once we’ve reached the comfortable with and eating in the carrier stage, try teaching your cat to go in. You can use a command as simple as the word ‘in.’

Start by calling your cat over to the carrier for a treat. Chuck it into the carrier and when he goes in, say ‘in’ or whatever command you’ve chosen. While he’s in there, make sure to praise him and tell him what a good cat he is. When he comes out, chuck another treat in there and repeat the process.

Once you’ve got that down like pros, try saying your command first before treating. He should go into the carrier. When he does, make sure to give him a treat while he’s still in the carrier. He’ll start to figure out that the carrier is fun!

Close the Door

With a firm grasp of the carrier command, have your cat go into the carrier, but this time, shut and latch the door before slipping in the treat. Once he’s eaten it, open the door and let him out. Repeat this. Over time, increase the amount of time the door is closed. As long as he’s relaxed inside the carrier, give him a treat. If he freaks out or tries to get out, don’t give him a treat, let him out, and try again with less time for the door being closed.

Pick Up the Carrier

Once we’ve mastered hanging out in the carrier with the door closed, it’s time to pick up the carrier. Don’t do anything else. With the door latched and your cat inside, pick up the carrier and then immediately set it back down and let your cat out.

Walk With the Carrier

After we’ve remained calm with the carrier in the air, try walking a few steps with it. Then set it down. As long as the cat remains calm, reward him with a treat before letting him out.

Go Outside

Now that we’re comfortable with the carrier being in the air and moving, it’s time to go outside. Don’t go far. Try just stepping out of your front door and then going back inside. Always make sure the cat is calm during the training steps. Gradually increase your distance as long as the cat is relaxed.

Eventually, walk around the block or up and down the street with your cat in the carrier. For this, make sure you’re carrying the carrier firmly and safely and that the door is properly latched shut.

The Car

As long as all of the other training steps have been mastered, we can now progress to the car. At first, just put the carrier in the car. If your cat is relaxed, give him a treat in the carrier and then take the carrier out when he’s finished eating. Slowly increase the time period in the car to a few minutes.

Now start the car and shut it off. Again, gradually increase the time that the car is running.

Back up and pull forward. Shut the car off. Always keeping things gradual and within your cat’s comfort zone as you gradually increase your drive time.

Your cat may never be totally happy in the carrier or driving in the car, but if we can keep the experience from being traumatic, not only is it better for your cat, but it’s better for you and the veterinary staff that will have to examine your cat! I would also like to add that a carrier is indeed a necessity for taking your cat to the vet. Not only does it ensure safety for your cat during the drive, but it also ensures safety from the car to the front door of the clinic. A lot of clinics are on very busy roads and a panicked cat isn’t thinking straight when they leap from your arms and race away from you.


Stay safe and enjoy life’s journey!

A wonderful organization…

Sorry for the lateness and lack of posts. Caught a bit of a cold and am still recovering!

Published in: on September 25, 2011 at 1:45 pm  Leave a Comment  
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