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Welcome to Etta's Blog!
Hello! This is Etta the pug writing to you as best I can communicate through my doctor mom! Today, I'd like to discuss obedience training. I know, the thought of going to dog school is a little bit scary but I can tell you from experience that knowledge really is power! Before I started school, I didn't quite know what was the right way to interact with my humans. Now I can understand a bit more about what it takes to live in harmony in my home. I now "get it" and I realize that nipping at my family's legs or hands is not a very nice thing to do. I'm enrolled in training class through Puppy Please Dog Training. The teacher, Jessica Janowski, is one of my favorite humans because she believes in training through positive reinforcement and clicker training. I do love a gal that likes to reward my hard work with treats. What's really nice is that these classes take place right at my doctor mom's workplace, Epping Road Veterinary Hospital, on Monday nights at 7pm. I'm still in the very early learning phases, but I promise to keep you updated on my progress. Please give my work family a call at Epping Road Veterinary Hospital to learn more. They can be reached at 707-4468, firstname.lastname@example.org, or eppingroadvet.com. Happy summer! Etta
Summer tips for pets
Hello! This is Etta writing to you again! I needed to check in because there are some important summer tips to remember and I wanted to get this information out there to you before the summer draws to a close! The summer months can be uncomfortable-- even dangerous-- for pets and people. It is challenging to cope with the rising temperatures and humidity. With these tips you can help keep your pets safe and cool this summer. 1- Never leave your pets in a parked car--not even for a minute! Do not leave your pet in the car even with the car running and air conditioner on. On a warm day, temperatures inside a vehicle can rise rapidly to dangerous levels. For example, on an 85-degree day, the temperature inside a car with windows open slightly can reach 102 degrees within 10 minutes. After 30 minutes, the temperature can rise to 120 degrees. This can lead to heat exhaustion or heat stroke, which can be deadly. Signs of heat stroke can include excessive panting, glazed eyes, profuse salivation, vomiting, a deep red or purple tongue, seizure and unconsciousness. Animals that are at particular risk of heat stroke include the very young, seniors, overweight pets, or pets with heart/respiratory disease. 2- Limit exercise on hot days. Take care when exercising your pet. Adjust intensity and duration of exercise in accordance with the temperature. On very hot days, limit exercise to early morning or evening hours. Dogs have few sweat glands and use the panting mechanism to dispel excess heat. dogs with flat faces have a harder time with breathing and panting. In the hot summer months, the asphalt gets very hot and can burn your pets paws, so walk your dog on the grass if possible. 3- Provide ample shade and water. Any time your pet is outside, make sure that they have protection from heat and sun. They also need plenty of fresh, cold water. Tree shades and tarps are ideal because they don't obstruct air flow. A dog house can be worse due to the confinement and lack of air movement. You can add ice cubes to water bowls to help keep water nice and cool. Your dog may also enjoy a kiddie pool to cool off. If your dog doesn't like water, you may try a cooling towel or mat (such as the "Keep Cool Mat") over their body. 4- Car Coolant. Dogs and outdoor kitties are attracted to the sweet taste of coolant and just a small amount can be very toxic to the kidneys. Be alert for coolant leaking from your vehicle. If you suspect that your pet may have ingested coolant, contact us right away as treatment must begin immediately. 5-Thunderstorms and Fireworks. Many dogs and cats are afraid of loud noises including thunder and fireworks. There are several natural remedies that are helpful. Thundershirt is a specially designed shirt that provides a swaddling effect to reduce anxiety. These are available for both dogs and cats and they carry a guarantee that you may return it for a full refund if you feel that it has not helped your pet. There are also calming pheromones (chemicals animals can smell) available in pet stores. These synthetic smells have been designed to reduce pet's anxiety. We use them in our hospital too! They are specific for each species: Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs. They are packaged in sprays for short term situations or collars and diffusers regular daily use. Lastly, there are sedatives and anti-anxiety prescription medications that are available to help those pets that need them. 6-Pet Tags. As we travel this summer with our pets, be sure that your pet's identification tag is up-to-date with correct phone numbers. In case your pet is lost away from home, you want the person that finds him to be able to reach you. We also strongly believe in microchipping all pets as a permanent form of identification. It may be the only way to identify your pet if the collar is lost. 7- Fun Frozen Treats. Pupsicles: mix 16oz low sodium chicken broth with 3 oz of hard cheese that has been cubed and divide into 8 2.4 oz kitchen containers with lids or ice cube trays and freeze for at least 12 hours. Catsicles: mix 1 5.5 oz can of smooth cat food, soft cat treats, or a small amount of cat nip and divide the mixture into 15 8oz plastic cups and freeze at least 12 hours.
Holiday tips for pets
Hi everyone, this is Etta here- I learned a few things about pet safety during the holidays and wanted to share them with you! For some reason, my mom gets a REAL tree and sticks it inside and puts a bunch of fun looking things on it for something called Christmas, but I had no idea that some of these things could make me sick! The tree looks fun to play under and Stella (the cat) wants to climb up it to explore, so it’s best that the tree is anchored so it doesn’t get knocked over. What’s also weird about this indoor tree is the fact that it sheds, like me! The pine needles that come off of it should be swept up frequently because I may try to eat them and that could really hurt my mouth. I’ve also seen ornaments made out of food, which is really cool but they need to be kept high out of my reach so I don’t confuse them for treats and eat them. I realized that the way mom gets to keep the real tree inside is by putting it in a tree stand with water, but it’s not like the water in my water bowl. I should be kept away from drinking it and toxic tree preservatives products should not be added, just in case. Other trees I’ve seen in the windows of neighbors have this sparkly, shiny string – I think mom calls it tinsel? That and ribbons should be avoided because it can really cause severe damage to my tummy, plus it probably doesn’t taste too good anyways!
I don’t know why everyone brings outdoor plants inside when they already have this ginormous tree but I guess that’s one of many other things humans do for the holiday season! I’ve heard mom tell people that this red plant, a Poinsettia, can actually make pets really sick and cause vomiting and diarrhea – same goes for holly berries. Some of my friends at doggy daycare said that there is this plant people hang in doorways to get them to kiss?! And if Stella or I try to eat it we will have to be rushed to the veterinary hospital right away because it’s toxic, looks like I won’t be trying to taste that! Also, lilies are really pretty flowers but mom doesn’t buy them because they are actually deadly to Stella and all other cats. I think the best part about this whole holiday season is all the smells coming from the kitchen! Mom makes a lot of different things for everyone coming over but there are many things I shouldn’t be eating, cats too. I shouldn’t have grapes or raisins, onions (they smell kind of weird anyways) any fatty foods, some squishy thing called an avocado, chocolate, bones, macadamia nuts and xylitol (that’s in gum and some candies). I’ve noticed humans drink a weird drink called alcohol that makes them act funny sometimes, but I should never have this! I never knew any of these things could make me sick or be so dangerous, so I just wanted to let everyone know so us pets can have a safe, fun holiday too!
Happy holidays from Epping Road Veterinary Hospital and me, Etta! We hope you have a safe, warm holiday season this year.
Hooray for Fall!
Hello again. This is Etta, and I can’t believe it’s been so long since I posted a blog here! In any case, I am so happy that it is Autumn. Everything smells like Pumpkin Spice and the August Itchie’s are finally resolving- it’s hard being a pug… The mornings are cold and we are finally back to snuggling into a nest of blankets without getting too hot. I have been so happy, until Mom reminded me that it is time for my Fall vaccines : ( She says that vaccinations for Leptospirosis and Lyme are SUPER important in New Hampshire. I thought about trying to convince her to move away, but I like it here, even if I need these vaccinations. Dr. Mom and all her nurses make sure that I get plenty of treats and they use little needles, so it isn’t too bad. Also, I hate feeling sick. I just want to run and play with my friends everyday!
New Hampshire has just taken over the unwanted title of “the most lyme endemic state in the country.” That means that there is more lyme disease here than even Connecticut! Dr. Mom is using a new kind of lyme vaccine that she says will give me even more protection. I feel like a knight going to battle against all the gross ticks here in our state.
Leptospirosis is another gross disease that is transmitted by all those wild creatures that are always running around outside. Raccoons and Possums are the worst. It is transmitted through their urine. Dr. Mom says I could go into kidney failure if I come into contact with any leptospirosis infected urine. Even if I just walk through it and not even sniff it! Worst of all, I can pass that disease onto my human family members too! I love my parents and all my friends, and I don’t want them to get sick.
So I guess I just have to accept a couple extra pokes this season. It’s a good thing that they last a whole year! I hope everyone enjoys leaf peeping, harvests, and all the other great things about NH in the Fall. Just remember to keep your fur-kids protected with the appropriate vaccinations and preventatives, so we can stay safe. Also, don’t forget to keep us protected from all those children in their scary costumes. I know that they are not real monsters, but I still get a little scared, and remember to keep us away from all the candy. Sometimes we can’t help ourselves and then we can get really sick…
So enough about sickness, let’s enjoy this season before the snow starts!
With Love and Pug Kisses- Etta
Tis' the Season
The impending doom of Winter in New Hampshire is here... I am not the world's biggest fan of winter, although sometimes it can be fun to play in (for a minute). I don't love my little "Pink Pig Pug Sweater" as Dr. Mom calls it, but I do like being warm, and in case I haven't told you, it's hard being a Pug! The Christmas Holiday Season is here, which means lots of dangers for my canine friends, and hopefully lots of treats and presents! One thing that isn't always a great present though is an unexpected puppy! Puppies are hard work! I should know, as I am past puppyhood and can still be quite the handful if I do say so myself! Puppies can make great gifts when everyone is ready for the workload, but it is super important because we grow up REAL fast. Also, there are lots of environmental dangers during the Holiday season that all pet owners should be aware of from plants like Pointsettias and Holly Berries, chocolates, Christmas tree preservatives and ornaments, and Tinsel. I wrote a whole article about it last year, so feel free to read my archived posts!
I do love having extra company, new appropriate toys, more treats, and extra time with Dr. Mom. She closes the Hospital just to spend extra time with me, so plan accordingly as ERVH will be closed on Christmas and New Years Day for extra Pug snuggle time. On behalf of myself, Dr. Mom and all the rest of the staff at Epping Road Veterinary Hospital, we wish you a Merry Christmas, a Happy Holiday Season, and a Wonderful New Year full of Peace, Love, and Pug Kisses!
Happy 2018!!! A Year with Less Fear!
The days are now getting longer, and I am told this icky snow will go away soon! That will be a happy day for Pugs everywhere! I’m writing today to let you know that Dr. Mom has some exciting news for everyone. Epping Road Veterinary Hospital is now a certified FEAR FREE practice! As a pug, I can attest to how scary Veterinary office visits can be, especially nail trims. All of Dr. Mom’s pet nurses are certified in Fear Free tactics and the practice has incorporated tools and tactics to help reduce fear and stress in the environment and during handling for examinations. This includes the use of happy pheromone diffusers like Adaptil for dogs, and Feliway for my kitty friends. These are scientifically proven to help reduce fear and stress in patients, and they are located in every exam room and in the treatment area for any hospitalized friends.
Fear Free practice also means working with us patients who would rather not be at the hospital to help us enjoy our visits a little more. This includes lots and lots of treats, which is the quickest way to my heart! This also incorporates special holding and touching techniques that help us feel more secure and less like we are being pinned by a professional wrestler.
Some of my furry friends still have pretty bad fear and stress even with these adjustments. But Dr. Mom has happy medicine that they can give to help with that. They also encourage things like “happy visits” where my doggie friends come in just for treats and don’t even have to have anything done. It’s like trick or treating without even having to dress up!
Most importantly, Fear Free means that all of Dr. Mom’s Pet Nurses are trained to recognize and understand canine body language and signals indicating fear and stress. I think someone once said that “knowledge is power” or something like that. I think that sounds about accurate but I think “Free treats, and less stress for all dogs and cats is best” has a better ring to it!
In any case, Dr. Mom, Dr. Carey, the Pet Nurses, and I wish you a happy 2018 filled with less fear and stress and lots and lots and lots of treats!!!
With Love and Stress-Free Pug Kisses,
HAPPY SPRING!!! WE HAVE EXCITING NEWS!!!
Happy Spring everybody! Dr. Mom and I have some GREAT news that we can’t wait to share! Epping Road Veterinary Hospital will now be offering Wellness Plans!!! This is great news because I am pretty high maintenance, and I bet some of your Fur-Kids are too! Wellness plans are a great way to be able to prepare for all the drama that kids like me bring and are an easy way to help budget for all of our needs. Dr. Mom and I have put a lot of thought into this over the winter. There are puppy and kitten plans, regular care for adult cats and dogs, specialized plans for older guys and gals, and even programs that include dental care! Wellness plans are a great way for pets to receive the highest level of care without worrying about the cost! Low monthly payments throughout the year help ensure that your pet gets everything they should. They include vaccines, regular care, and lab testing. Our Wellness Plans even include extra visits to use when needed and extra free nail trims! Dr. Mom or one of my friends over at ERVH could tell you all about it.
In other exciting news, I can finally see the grass again! I hope winter is truly almost over. The ticks are certainly thinking so and are already pretty active. So keep that in mind when going out and beginning to enjoy the outdoors again. I don’t worry much about it though because Dr. Mom gives me yummy Bravecto treats every 3 months, year round!
I hope that everybody has a great spring time and had a wonderful Easter!
With Love and Pug Kisses,
Have a Happy and SAFE Fourth of July!
Dr. Mom, my friends at ERVH, and of course myself--Etta, hope you all have a great time this Independence Day. It's a day for fun times with family, barbecues, nice weather and good times. I know Dr. Mom and her friends think that the 4th of July celebrations are fun, but it's a seriously scary day for fur-kids like me. Us dogs (and even our cat and horse friends too) can get really frightened by those colorful loud explosions. Some pets will run away and try to escape and run away from the scariness in the sky. I've even known of dogs who jumped through glass windows! Did you know that July 5th is the BUSIEST day of the year for animal shelters? This is because so many of us get so scared that we run away and get lost. We don't want that to happen to any of our friends, so here a few tips.
-Keep pets indoors where it is safe, we typically don't enjoy going to see fireworks or being in big crowds and would rather be at home. Sometimes it's best to make us a safe space inside. That could be a safe room, or a nice cozy crate.
-For those of us who have a history of anxiousness at this time of year, consider talking to Dr. Mom and her friends about supplements to help ease the fear and anxiety caused on this day. There are special pheromone diffusers, collars, and sprays. There are TASTY calming treats and something called Rescue Remedy which may help! Some of my friends even need stronger medications because they get so scared!
-If you are leaving us alone at home, consider leaving a radio or television on. It won't completely cover up the scary sounds, but it is better than dealing with just the silence and the big booms coming from outside! And make sure we are in an escape-proof room and that outside fences are secure. Some of my friends are pretty sneaky when they are frightened.
-Please remember that all the threats are not just during the fireworks! Fireworks can leave debris that is toxic if ingested. We don't want any of our friends to end up at the Emergency Hospital! Also, foods from barbecues and gatherings (and things like charcoal and barbecue skewers), sparklers, glow sticks, and adult beverages can pose serious threats to us!
-Maybe most importantly is to be sure that our identification tags and microchips have up-to-date information! Therefore, if something happens then we can make it home safely! Microchipped pets are 20 times more likely to return home! It is also helpful to make sure that you have a current photo of us handy just in case (we know you do!)
We hope you all have a wonderful holiday. Dr. Mom and her friends won't be in the office that day, but there are plenty of Emergency Hospitals near by if you need it. Follow my helpful hints and it won't even be a worry. Stay HAPPY and SAFE this Fourth of July!
With Love and Pug Kisses!
Bravecto, Nexgard, and the FDA
Dr. Mom was talking to me about a report that is being shared in news outlets and on social media about Bravecto and Nexgard. At first I was scared, because the reports are made to look extra scary. Dr. Mom told me that they are sensationalized. That is good news, because I really like being worry-free when it comes to fleas and tick borne diseases. I never have to stress about it and I get yummy treats too! I heard that long ago, my friends had to get oily liquids sprayed on their neck and back! That doesn't sound nearly as good. I'm glad Dr. Mom doesn't do that to me!
Dr. Mom explained to me that these reports from the FDA that are going around are not new. These are the same warnings that have been present ever since we first started using these products. It just so happens that the media is just now reporting it and it has spread over social media. Unfortunately, these reports are not balanced by veterinary opinion.
Dr. Mom was explaining some key points to me.
First of all, Bravecto and Nexgard have been used for a while in other countries before they became available in the U.S. So we can be assured that there is a wealth of knowledge regarding it's safety. Also, these products went through FDA approval before becoming available to us. Seizures were a known risk, however, that risk is extremely rare and not statistically significant to deem the products dangerous. No Deaths have ever been directly linked to the use of these products. There have been a few claims, but there has yet to be direct evidence that it was a results of using Bravecto or Nexgard. Essentially, these have all been coincidental and other health concerns were present before giving this medication.
It is also important to note that no medication is free of potential side effects. They are completely safe for the majority of pets and only a tiny percentage of pets have shown any issue with these medications. This is the case for EVERY flea and tick preventative product that we have used, present or past. I use Bravecto or Nexgard myself, and so do most of my friends. Dr. Mom has dispensed LOTS and LOTS of these products and has never once seen any complications from it's use! Considering tick-borne disease is SO prevalent in New Hampshire, and the risk of using these products is SO rare, Dr. Mom and I think that the benefits from using these products outweigh any risk.
Please let Dr. Mom or any of her friends know if you have any further questions.
With Love and Pug Kisses,
It's Christmas Time Again!
Merry Christmas to all my friends! I LOVE this time of year, aside from the cold weather, but that hasn't even been too bad yet! I have written a couple of blogs about Christmas and potential dangers to pets in the past. I recommend reading them because I give GREAT advice!
This year I want to warn you all about low hanging ornaments. I have a couple friends who visited Dr. Mom recently for possibly eating pieces of tree ornaments! They will never confess, but it wouldn't be the first time a friend has done something ill-advised like this. Dr. Mom then gives them a thorough exam and often will then proceed with x-ray imaging to see if she can find anything that could cause an intestinal blockage. That is really no fun for anyone and it causes families lots of unnecessary stress. No one needs any additional stressors during the holidays! So, I recommend hanging ornaments a couple branches higher than you think we can reach. We can be pretty crafty when no one is looking!
Also, be aware of the usual holiday toxins like chocolate, pointsettias, and Christmas tree water additives. Every year I have a friend who finds chocolate and receives an overnight stay at the local Emergency Hospital for their efforts!
Just like most people, we have NO self-control during the holiday season, so we need you to keep us safe! Also, keep in mind that Dr. Mom and her friends at work are home with their families on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, so Epping Road Veterinary Hospital will be CLOSED. Make sure you give them a call soon if you need anything before the break, including vaccination certificates or Bordetella vaccines before boarding.
They also have some good treats and toys for stocking stuffers, just sayin'...
Peace, Love, and Pug Kisses!