Critter Chronicles SpringSummer 2008 by keara


									Critter Chronicles Spring/Summer 2008

Critter ChroniclesSpring / Summer 2008 ContentsOpen HouseDog Walk
for the SPCARaffle for the SPCATeach your Old Dog New TricksRetractable
LeashesArthritis - Caring for your Older DogDetecting Pain in your PetWhat's
New at PVH We’re Having an Open House! Poquoson Veterinary
Hospital will be opening its doors to the public. The Open House is our
opportunity to share the joys of our profession with the community and to provide
a chance for those interested to get a closer look at veterinary medicine.
Veterinarians and staff will provide tours of the hospital, demonstrate some of the
medical equipment and answer questions about what we do everyday to provide
the best care possible for you and your pets. There will be refreshments, door
prizes, raffle tickets and family fun! Please join us for our Open House
Saturday, May 3, 2008 2 to 5 pm return to top of page Paws for Cause - 2nd
Annual Dog Walk and Festival  It’s that time of year again! The Peninsula
SPCA is hosting the 2nd Annual Paws for a Cause Dog Walk and Festival. The
event is being held on Sunday, May 18, 2008 at Riverview Farm Park. This
fundraiser is designed to assist the Peninsula SPCA in raising enough funds to
complete construction on new kennel facilities, put in a new parking lot, and
purchase equipment needed during disaster related emergencies such as
hurricanes.  The 2007 Paws for a Cause Dog Walk was a huge success,
mainly in part to pet owners like you. The festival is a great way for a family to
spend a spring day with friends and lots of canine companions. There will be dog
trick workshops, a Busch Gardens exotic animal presentation, dog costume
contests, police dog demonstrations, and much more!   “What can I
do to support this wonderful cause?” you ask. Well, there are several ways that
you can participate in the Dog Walk this year: Join the PVH team and help us
raise money as a group. We will attend the event together and have lots of fun!
Buy raffle tickets and win something special Make a single donation at PVH
Thank you for your generosity! The Staff of PVH  return to top of page

Paws for a Cause RAFFLE!The staff of PVH has put together a great group of
items to raffle off in order to help raise money for our Dog Walk team,
“PAWSitively PURRfect.” Loads of local businesses have donated gift certificates
and gifts. Raffle tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. You get to choose which
items you would like to be eligible to win. The tickets will be on sale through May
3, 2008. Please feel free to come by to view the complete collection and
purchase a ticket. Donations have been made by: Islander Hardware *
Poquoson Pharmacy * Silver Moon Blockbuster * Femmes & Fidos * Svihla
ChiropracticTropical Smoothie * McDonald’s * Anna’s PizzaFloral Fashions *
Crabcake House * Plaza AztecaSteel Magnolias * Poquoson Hair & Body

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Shoppe * Briar Patch TeaPomoco Nissan * Kiln Creek Grooming * Poquoson
Auto RepairPet Portrait Express * Hampton IcePlex * Merrimac Dog
 Training Club * Virginia Living Museum * Posh Salon/Day SpaAll Good
Supply * Taylors Do-It Center * Hills Science DietThe Smiling Dog * Ben &
Jerry’s - Yorktown * Locklan KennelsJust Say K9 Sports * Victoria’s Day Spa *
Adore My EmbroideryUPS– Steve Clarke * Elaine Rodriguez * Poquoson
DeliPoquoson Veterinary Hospital * The Boudinot Family * Larry Carmackreturn
to top of page

Who Says You Can’t Teach an Old Dog New Tricks?

 Training isn’t just for puppies and young dogs anymore. Dogs of all ages
can benefit from learning new skills. Training helps keep your pet active, and one
unmistakable benefit is that healthy dogs live longer! Many dog owners are
content to let their senior dog spend its remaining years as a couch potato,
blending into the background like a piece of old furniture. Older dogs are often
forgotten and left by the wayside, especially when new puppies are introduced
into the home, attracting all of the family’s attention. Regardless of your dog’s
age or activity level, it is important to ensure that your dog remains an active,
healthy member of your family throughout its entire lifetime.One way to include
Fido in your routine is by taking him for daily walks. Just like people, dogs of all
ages enjoy regular outings. One of the most important skills to teach your dog is
to walk without pulling. Dogs make wonderful walking companions, and a dog
that has good leash manners is a pleasure to take along. Whether you’re out for
a stroll in the neighborhood or prefer hiking through the woods, most owners will
benefit from increased activity, as well. As the saying goes, “If your dog is
overweight, you’re probably not getting enough exercise!”Most older dogs are
more than happy to join in training, especially if it’s a fun reward based training
program. Gone are the days of harsh, forceful training methods. The “Basic
Manners” class offered at Poquoson Veterinary Hospital is designed so the
people and the dogs have fun. The class is geared toward people and dog of all
ages, so you don’t have to worry about keeping up with the younger canine
crowd. Be sure to take into consideration the particular needs of your pet. It’s
always a good idea to check with your veterinarian about the physical limitation
of your dog. Keep in mind that older dogs may progress at a slower pace, so
don’t push your dog beyond its limitations. Keep the training sessions short and
provide ample rest. So dust off your sneakers, gently nudge your canine couch
potato off the sofa, and prove to the naysayers of the world that you can teach an
old dog new tricks! Article submitted by Lori Melhuish, Professional Dog trainer
and owner of The Smiling Dog, LLC. Lori enjoys regular outings with her
husband and all five of their dogs. She teaches Puppy Kindergarten and Basic
Manners dog training classes at Poquoson Veterinary Hospital. Lori also offers
private lessons in the convenience of your home. For more information, contact

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The Smiling Dog at (757) 223-5937.return to top of page The Smiling Dog’s
Class Schedule Spring/Summer 2008Puppy Kindergarten: Tuesdays April 22 to
May 27–6:15 to 7:15 pmWednesdays May 14 to June 18- 6:15 to 7:15
pmTuesdays July 8 to August 12–6:15 to 7:15 pmBasic Manners– Level I:
Wednesdays May 14 to June 18- 7:30 to 8:30 pmWednesdays July 2 to August
27- 7:30 to 8:30 pmBasic Manners– Level II: Tuesdays April 22 to May 27- 7:30
to 8:30 pmTuesdays July 8– August 12- 7:30 to 8:30 pm*All of the above classes
are held at Poquoson Vet Hospital

For registration information or if you have questions about the group classes
offered by The Smiling Dog, you may contact Lori Melhuish at 757–
223-5937return to top of page

What Type of Leash Do you Use?Did you know? Retractable leashes are
responsible for numerous injuries to dogs and their owners every year. These
types of leashes can be difficult to operate, especially in an emergency situation,
and the locking mechanism may easily give way. Retractable leashes are
banned in most dog parks and even in some cities! Remember, even though
your dog may be friendly and well behaved, the dog it’s trying to get acquainted
with may not be. If you only own a retractable leash, PVH will be happy to offer
you a loaner leash during your visit to our facility. For the safety of your pet,
please always keep your dog on a traditional collar and leash when you are out
for a casual stroll or at the vet clinic for visit. If you have any questions or
concerns, please feel free to contact any PVH staff member at your
conveniencereturn to top of page

Arthritis: Does your dog have tired old bones?

The signs may be hard to spot at first: your gray-in-the-muzzle Labrador takes a
little longer to get up in the morning. But as time goes on, it becomes more clear
that your pet is having a hard time moving, and soon you realize that he is in pain
whenever he walks, jumps or even sits up. Arthritis is a condition in which an
animal’s joints become inflamed. It is accompanied by pain, heat, and swelling in
the joints, and it usually results in increasing stiffness and immobility. Arthritis,
however, does not have to mean a poor quality of life for your pet. There are new
medication, therapies and ways you can accommodate your home to help your
pet be more comfortable and enjoy his life with you.   How can your vet
help to relieve the discomfort your pet is feeling? Once you notice the symptoms
of pain, make an appointment with your regular vet. By reviewing a complete
medical history, performing a comprehensive physical exam and possibly doing
some x-rays and blood tests, it is possible to get an accurate diagnosis of
arthritis. Blood work is performed to rule out other possible causes of stiffness, as
well as making sure the liver and kidneys are healthy enough to support the

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medications that may be prescribed for pain. X-rays are needed to confirm the
arthritis diagnosis and to rule out fractures, bone chips in the joint and cancer.
  After diagnosing your pet’s arthritis and determining the severity of the
disease, the vet will decide which form of treatment will be most effective in
treating him. In recent years, many new medications have made the treatment of
arthritis much more promising. The doctor might prescribe steroids or
anti-inflammatory drugs to decrease the swelling in joints and make movement
easier. We also recommend dietary supplements, which fortify the cartilage in
damaged joints or even put the pet on a special prescription diet for arthritic pets.
  It is very important that you never try to medicate pet’s arthritis or pain on
your own. Human anti-inflammatories and supplements can be very dangerous
for animals. Even with treatment, arthritis makes animals less able to deal with
the physical challenges of their everyday life. As a pet owner, you have the ability
to take some of the challenges away and make it easier for your pet to cope. A
few minor alterations around the house can help your pet move around more
easily:   Supply a padded surface to cushion your pet’s joints while he sits
or sleeps. Provide non-skid surface on wood or linoleum floors. Provide ramps on
stairs in or out of the house or anywhere the pet may usually jump into or onto
(such as furniture). Keeping pets warm on cold nights. Place a hot water bottle
on the dog bed or provide nice warm blankets. Exercise your pet– light activity
helps strengthen muscles, and keeps ligaments and tendons flexible. Getting
your pet to its ideal weight will help manage arthritis   There are a lot of
options for coping with a pet with arthritis, and sometimes they can be
overwhelming. Your closest ally in your battle against the disease is your family
veterinarian. Talk to your vet: he or she will know which treatment or combination
of treatments is best for your pet’s individual needs. Most importantly, try not to
get discouraged.   Arthritis may well change your life with your pet, but it
certainly doesn’t mean that life is over. You may not be able to jog with your dog
like you used to, but you can replace those activities with time spent petting,
grooming, or simply being near your companion. As you spend time caring for
your pet with arthritis, you may find your bond with your pet actually increasing.
Your energetic, playful friendship may eventually be replaced with the joy of a
gentle, caring life together.   If you feel your pet is experiencing symptoms
of arthritis, please contact any PVH staff member to schedule an appointment at
757-868-8532return to top of page

Clues to Detecting Your Pet’s Painful Secrets When we have pain, we
complain. However, we generally don’t hear a peep out of our pets. So how do
you know when your pet’s in pain?   Because our furry friends aren’t able
to tell us when something is wrong, it’s important for you, the owner, to take note
of any change in their behavior. Look for any of the following signs they may be
your pet’s way of saying “I hurt.”   Being unusually quiet, listless, restless,
or unresponsive Whining, whimpering, howling or constantly meowing Biting–

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especially if this is uncharacteristic of pet’s behavior Constantly licking a
particular part of the body Acting funny and out of character, either aggressively
or submissively Having trouble sleeping or eating– not resting comfortably
Seeking a lot more affection that usual   If you suspect your pet might be
hurting, talk to your vet about what options may be available. Be prepared to
answer questions about your pet’s behavior, activity level and tolerance for being
handled. Some critters never show signs of pain, but that doesn’t mean they
aren’t feeling it. If you think your pet is experiencing some discomfort, contact
any staff member to schedule an appointment for a complete assessment of your
pet’s health return to top of page 

What’s New at PVH? See the Painted Murals: We have recently added a fun
feature to our facility. Custom murals have been painted in the cat-boarding ward
and in the kennel stairway. Please ask to visit these areas on your next visit to
the hospital– we love to show them off! The local artist responsible for these
fabulous murals is Barbara Chisholm.  Introducing the “Bair Hugger”: We
have made another advancement in the level of care we are able to provide for
our anesthetized patients. Our “Bair Hugger” blankets the anesthetized patients
with warm air to prevent their body temperature from falling. Maintaining body
temperature decreases the risk of postoperative infections, speeds recovery from
anesthesia and lessens the risk of an anesthetic emergency during a procedure.
  Mixed Breed DNA Test: “What is my dog mixed with?” Our staff is
asked that question every day and it can be fun to speculate on the ancestry of a
mixed breed dog. We now offer a test that identifies more than 130
AKC-recognized breeds that may be present in mixed breed dogs. Now you can
find out what your dog is mixed with by performing a simple blood test. Visit or ask any staff member for more informationreturn to
top of page

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