Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bringing Home a New Pet

Did your family get a new pet this holiday season? Here are some tips to make the transition smoother for everyone:

  • Be prepared! Make sure you have everything your new pet will need before they arrive. For dogs this means food, dishes for food and water, a leash and collar with an ID tag, toys, and a crate (if you will be using one). Cats will also need food, dishes, and toys, as well as a carrier. Indoor cats don't need a collar, but some people have their indoor cats wear one, just in case they sneak outside.
  • Make it feel like home. If possible get a small amount of food, some toys, or a blanket from the pet's previous home. The food will allow you to switch gradually to the new diet, which will help prevent gastrointestinal upset. The toys and blanket will have familiar smells, and will help your new pet feel more comfortable.
  • Prepare the welcoming committee. Try to bring your new pet home on a weekend, or when you have a few days off so you can get to know each other. Make sure everyone in the house knows all of the rules and who is responsible for each new duty. For example, if your new pet is not allowed on furniture, everyone in the house should be aware of that. If you already have other pets in the house, prepare to introduce them to their new family member gradually.
  • Meet the vet. Even if your new pet is up to date on all vaccines and blood tests, it's a good idea to bring them to a veterinarian for a check up within the first week. Be sure that any pets already living at home are relatively healthy and fully vaccinated before you bring the new pet home. If the new pet has not been spayed or neutered, be sure to make that appointment as soon as possible.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Benefits of Endoscopy

All of us here at VACC are continually impressed by the endoscope. We have had several patients recently who were not good surgical candidates, either due to age or other medical issues, and the endoscope has been (literally) a lifesaver. 
During an endoscopy a camera is passed down the esophagus, and grasping tools can be used to remove foreign objects or to obtain biopsies. This technology will often eliminate the need for a surgical incision, drastically decreasing recovery time. 
In the video below, Dr. Burns uses the endoscope to remove a rock from a patient's stomach. This particular patient had a low platelet count, making surgery a dangerous option. Thanks to Dr. Burns and the endoscope, our patient is resting comfortably and rock-free!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Top Rated Animal Charities

If you are thinking of donating to a charity this holiday season, why not give to one that helps animals?
Here are some of the top rated animal charities, according to Charity Watch:

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Holiday Decorations and Your Pets

Everyone at Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod wishes you and your pets a safe and happy holiday season.  All of the things that we bring into the house to brighten the holiday are new and interesting to our curious pets.  Unfortunately, holiday decorations and pets don't mix well, and the combination sometimes results in a visit to the vet.
Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Candles can easily burn curious whiskers or be knocked over by happy tails. Never leave candles burning unattended.
  • Many holiday plants are toxic to pets. Holly, mistletoe, amaryllis, and poinsettia are dangerous if ingested by cats or dogs, and lilies pose a threat to cats.
  • A Christmas tree brings in all sorts of new smells- especially if it is a live tree. 
    • Be sure it is secured properly so it won't be knocked over by your pet. 
    • The water in the tree stand can cause vomiting or diarrhea if your pet drinks too much of it.
    • Pets often mistake Christmas ornaments for toys, so if you have a particularly rambunctious pet, it may be a good idea to hang the ornaments higher on the tree, out of their reach.
    • Tinsel commonly causes linear obstructions in pets and is especially attractive to cats. 
  • Holiday lights are dangerous if your pet chews on them. Make sure to hang lights out of reach and protect any cords that your pet may be able to reach. There are several brands of cord protectors available that will deter your pet from chewing.