Friday, May 31, 2013

Project Samana

2013 is the 20th year of Project Samana! Twice a year (in June and November) volunteers travel to the Dominican Republic to help the animals and people of the region. VACC's own Dr. Labdon has been involved with the project from the beginning. Thanks to Dr. Labdon and the more than 100 volunteers over the years, thousands of cats and dogs have been spayed and neutered, and hundreds of horses have been castrated. These volunteers also help the community of Samana by providing education on animal care and first aid. This June, VACC's Dr. Clayton will be offering his veterinary skills to the cause.

The mission of Project Samana is "to improve the health and lives of the animals and people of Samana and the surrounding area, and to provide training so that our intervention is welcome but not essential."
If you'd like to make a contribution to support Project Samana, click here.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Preventive Care Plan- It's Not Insurance, It's Better!

Preventive Care Plans

Preventive Care Plans are now available at VACC! Preventive Care Plans are designed to provide your pets with the best preventative care while saving you considerable expense. These plans provide cutting edge proactive care, identifying health problems before they happen – making them easier and often less costly to treat.

Preventive health care is about much more than vaccinations. Proactive care means wellness checkups twice a year – after all – that's like you having a physical exam every two to three years! Even pets that appear totally normal may have underlying health problems that may only be detected with comprehensive physical examination and testing. For instance, the senior preventative care package offered at VACC identifies problems in more than 25% of our patients – pets that were considered completely healthy before testing.

Preventive care in the form of exams, consultations, vaccines, periodontal care and specialty diets helps expand our pet's quality of life. Advances in medicine, nutrition, and diagnostics have led to longer life spans for pets just as they have for us. Making sure your pet receives the exams, vaccinations, and testing they need on a scheduled basis is often key to avoiding costly and debilitating health problems later in life.
That's what makes the Preventative Care Plans so special. A simple monthly payment covers your pet's necessary exams, vaccinations, and if you wish, provides substantial savings on all services such as periodontal care or unforeseen procedures like an ultrasound. Every plan is tailored to the health needs of each individual pet, from 8 week old puppies to 20 year old cats, and everybody in between.

Give us a call at (508) 394-3566, visit our website, or ask at your next visit for more information.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Things to do with Your Dog on Cape Cod (Part 2!)

Cape Cod is a great place to visit with your dog! Last year, we suggested some places to take your dog on the Cape. This year, we thought we'd do it again. Remember to always consider your dog's unique personality- what is fun for some may be very stressful for others. If you'll be staying for more than a day, check out the pet-friendly lodging available on the Cape.

Cape Cod currently has three dog parks with fenced in areas where dogs can run and play off leash:

You and your dog can start off your summer on Cape Cod with one of these fun events:

You can also snuggle with your pooch while you watch the double feature at the Wellfleet Drive-In, take a stroll along the paved Cape Cod Canal Trail in Bourne, or hike through Nickerson State Park in Brewster.
If your dog deserves an extra-special treat (and don't they all) bring him with you to Polar Cave. When you buy some ice cream for yourself, they'll make something special for your pup- vanilla ice cream with a dog cookie on top.

Whatever you choose to do with your dog on the Cape this summer, be sure to bring plenty of water and dog waste bags, as well as any other essentials like food or medications if you'll be away from home for an extended time.
Have a safe and happy summer from everyone at VACC!

Friday, May 3, 2013

May is Lyme Disease Awareness Month

Governor Patrick has declared May to be "Lyme Disease Awareness Month."  Lyme disease can be fatal to dogs, and Cape Cod has one of the worst tick populations in the world. As you can see in the picture below, the ticks that carry Lyme disease are very tiny and can be difficult to find, especially on dogs with long or thick fur.

Here are some tips to help you protect your canine friend from Lyme disease:
  • Use a monthly tick preventive. Ask you veterinarian which preventive is best for your dog.
  • Consider giving your long-haired dog a seasonal trim. Ticks will be easier to see if your dog's hair is cut short.
  • Brush your dog with a fine-toothed comb after prolonged periods outdoors. This can help remove ticks before they have a chance to bite your dog.
  • Make your yard unattractive to ticks. Clean up leaf litter, cut tall grass, and clear away brush. If your yard borders a wooded area, use wood chips or gravel between the woods and your lawn to prevent ticks from traveling into your yard.
  • Have your dog screened for Lyme disease. At VACC, we test our canine patients yearly for Lyme disease (as well as other tick-borne diseases and heartworm) using a simple, in-house blood test. The sooner Lyme disease is diagnosed, the more likely the treatment will be effective.
  • Be aware of the symptoms. Dogs do not get the same characteristic "bull's eye" rash that is seen in humans, and often will show no symptoms of the disease. Generalized pain, change in appetite, sudden lameness in one or multiple limbs, and high fever are all signs of Lyme disease. Symptoms may not appear for 7-21days (or longer) after a tick bite, so be sure to monitor your dog closely in the weeks following a possible encounter with a tick.
  • Remove any embedded ticks right away. Transmission of the disease can happen in just 2 hours, so pull the tick out as soon as you see it. Click here for instructions on how to remove a tick.