Thursday, April 28, 2016

Lending a Helping Hand

Most of us know Dr. Burns as a wonderful veterinarian that treats our cats, dogs and sometimes feathered family members.  Many of you may not know Dr. Burns’ passion for Ocean Conservacy – with particular interest in shark conservation.

Recently, Dr. Burns was in Hawaii.  While most of us would spend our time in paradise soaking up the sun with a tropical beverage in hand, Dr. Burns seized this opportunity to help an animal in need.  While out at sea, Dr. Burns noticed a plastic bottle on the surface.  Upon closer inspection, he realized that this bottle was attached to a female oceanic white tip shark. 
While it may not seem like much, this air-filled bottle was keeping this shark at the surface, tiring her, and would likely result in death.  Unfortunately, fisherman will occasionally do this as retribution to sharks that take baits and to keep them off their lines.
Dr. Burns and his team were able to corral her, and his teammate was able to cut her free.  She did momentarily “panic” towards Dr. Burns during the process, but eventually cruised away.  The team kept up with her as long as they could after cutting her free.  She resumed a normal swimming pattern and was rejoined by almost a dozen pilot fish.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Happy Vet Visits Part 7

Our canine companions can suffer from fear and anxiety when going to the veterinarian.  When redesigning our hospital, a major goal was to reduce anxiety for both pets and owners.  Visiting your vet shouldn’t be stressful, in fact, we think it should be fun!  Here are some changes we made specifically with your pooch in mind:

  • Our scale is flush with the floor and equipped with an anti-slip surface.  The days of forcing your dog to step up on a cold metal scale are over!
  • Expanded species-specific waiting area.  Even with multiple dogs, there’s plenty of room for everyone to sit and relax in peace.
  • Plenty of treats available in our lobby and exam rooms.  Have a dog with food allergies?  No worries!  We’ve got you covered with hypoallergenic treats – just ask!
  • Adaptil diffusers in examination rooms are continuously releasing calming pheromones.
  • Soothing music in canine only examination rooms specifically designed to calm dogs.
  • Complimentary thunder shirts are available during your dog’s visit to help ease anxiety.

We’re excited to offer your dog the very best during his/her visit to our newly redesigned hospital.  If you haven’t seen our new facility, we recommend to swing by!  Hospital tours are available upon request. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Happy Vet Visits Part 6

When our hospital went under renovations, we made a point to make the atmosphere as relaxing and inviting as possible.  We understand that bringing your pet to the vet can be stressful, and while we touched upon some tricks that you can try at home, we made some major changes to the design with your comfort in mind.
  • Large waiting area with high ceilings.  Even if you don’t suffer from claustrophobia, it can be stressful if you’re waiting for your appointment in a small waiting area. 
  • Plenty of natural sunlight.  Our lobby is filled with large windows allowing natural light to fill our entire lobby.
  • Pleasing color scheme.  The colors of our facility were carefully selected to be pleasing to both pets and people.
  • Stunning 440 gallon saltwater fish tank.  Relax and watch our captive raised tropical fish and corals.
  • Complimentary coffee, tea and bottled water is available at all times.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to stop by and see our newly renovated facility, we highly encourage you to.  All changes were designed to benefit both you and your pets.  Additionally, if you’re planning on going out of town, ask for a guided tour of our new Salty Paws Resort.  There’s no better or safer place to have your pets stay when you’re away!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Happy Vet Visits Part 5

In our Happy Vet Visits series, we have touched upon what pet owners can do to help ease their pet’s fears and anxiety when visiting the vet.  We’re going to switch gears and inform pet owners what we have done as a clinic to make your pet’s visit less stressful, perhaps even pleasurable!

If you haven’t stopped into Veterinary Associates of Cape Cod recently, you are missing out.  We have undergone a complete remodel designed with pets, their owners and staff in mind.  You’ll notice dramatic differences when entering the hospital, having a seat in our lobby and in the examination rooms.

A huge change in our hospital is species specific waiting areas and exam rooms.  This is huge for cat owners as many cats become stressed when leaving their familiar surroundings.  Thankfully the days of barking dogs and stressed out cats sitting side by side prior to appointments are over!  As soon as you check in at our front desk, have a seat in our spacious lobby.  You’ll find a cat only waiting area overlooking a beautiful 440 gallon saltwater aquarium.  You and your cat can relax to the sounds of soothing cat music playing in this tranquil area equipped with Feliway diffusers that will help calm your cat.

When it’s time to see your veterinarian, our room technician will lead you into one of our cat only examination rooms.  These rooms have windows to the outside world, ramps and scratching posts, toys and treats, pheromone diffusers and warm towels for your cat’s enjoyment and comfort.  Relax to the soothing music designed specifically to calm your cat’s anxiety.  Remember our blog recommending specific carriers for your cat?  If your cat feels safe in their carrier, our doctors will remove the lid from the carrier and examine your pet in their safe spot! 

Checking out is a breeze in our newly designed facility.  Simply make your way over to the discharge side of our front desk.  Once you’re ready to go, you’ll find a new separate exit door – no more accidental encounters with patients entering the building!         

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Happy Vet Visits Part 4

In our Happy Vet Series, we’ve touched upon simple changes you can try at home that can greatly reduce your pet’s fear and anxiety when going to the vet.  We understand that even with the most diligent training and positive reinforcement, some pets react aggressively when in a veterinary setting.  As a veterinary staff member, rest assure that this reaction is not uncommon, and we try our best to make your pet’s visit as stress-free as possible.  Here are a few recommendations for historically aggressive pets:
  • Invest in a basket muzzle.  Basket muzzles are great as pets can easily breathe and drink water while wearing them.
  • Give your pet time to become comfortable wearing the basket muzzle.  We recommend applying the muzzle at home periodically so your pet does not associate the muzzle with going to the vet. 
  • Try putting a sticky treat like peanut butter or squeeze cheese in the muzzle at home to make your pet comfortable wearing one.  Your pet will learn that the muzzle is not a negative thing and often comes with a tasty treat inside!
  • Go for a quick drive with your muzzled pet.  Once you get home, reward your pet with plenty of belly rubs, treats and any other positive reinforcement!  This will teach your pet that a car ride wearing a muzzle does not necessarily mean you’re going to the vet.
Next time you need to visit the vet, and you are aware your pet exhibits aggressive behavior, consider trying a basket muzzle.  Give yourself plenty of time to allow your pet to become comfortable wearing the muzzle at home prior to their next visit.  Make sure your pet enters the veterinary clinic wearing the muzzle – we recommend applying the muzzle at home with the aforementioned techniques.  This should reduce you and your pet’s stress level when going to the vet!