Newsletter

The veterinarians and staff at the McKillip Animal Hospital are pleased to provide you with an online newsletter. This fun and fact-filled newsletter is updated on a regular basis.

Included in the newsletter are articles pertaining to pet care, information on our animal hospital, as well as news on the latest trends and discoveries in veterinary medicine.

Please enjoy the newsletter!

Current Newsletter Topics

May is National Chip Your Pet Month: Is Your Pet Protected?

Each year, millions of dogs and cats are lost. In fact, this disaster strikes nearly one-third of all pet-owning families. Of the millions of cats and dogs that are lost, only 10 percent are ever identified and returned to their owners. More pets lives are lost because owners did not identify them than from all infectious diseases combined.

All pets should wear traditional collars with identification and rabies vaccination tags. A traditional collar, however, is not enough. These collars are often worn loosely and are easily removed. Cat collars are designed to break off if the animal is caught in a tree branch. When the traditional collar is lost, removed or breaks off, nothing is left to identify the pet unless the pet has a microchip.

Microchips are rapidly becoming a very popular method for identifying pets. Once the microchip is inserted, the pet is identified for life. Microchips are safe, unalterable and permanent identification for pets. The microchip is a tiny computer chip or transponder about the size of a grain of rice. The chip is inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades of a cat or dog, in much the same way that a vaccine is administered. The microchip is coded with a unique 10-digit code. Each microchip that is inserted contains a unique code, specific to the individual pet.




Inserting the microchip is simple and causes minimal or no discomfort. The microchip comes pre-loaded in a syringe, ready for insertion. The entire procedure takes less than 10 seconds. Post-injection reactions are very rare and the encapsulated microchip remains in place permanently.

The scanner is a hand-held device used to detect the message encoded in the microchip. The scanner is passed over the animal, paying particular attention to the area between the shoulder blades. If a microchip is present, the 10-digit number (encoded in the capsule) is read by the scanner. Scanners are provided to animal control, humane shelters and other rescue organizations so that all stray pets are scanned and those with microchips are reunited with their owners. Veterinarians can also purchase scanners for use in their hospital.

The veterinary hospital where the microchip is implanted records the pet’s information and its unique microchip identification number. When a lost pet is found and scanned, the veterinary hospital is immediately contacted. Since most veterinary hospitals are not open 24 hours a day, it may take some time before you are notified. In addition to this standard registration, you can register your pet in your own name for a charge of $15-20. By doing this, as soon as your pet is found, you are notified.

Along with the additional registration fee, we recommend that you update your personal information with the microchip database on a regular basis. It is also advisable to have your veterinarian test the microchip on an annual basis in order to make sure that it is properly transmitting data.

Safe Garden for your Pets

Can I have your attention?

With the summer months ahead, many of us have gardening on the mind. But your green thumb doesn’t have to come at Fido’s expense. Here are some tips to ensure that your garden is kept pet-friendly this summer:

  1. Avoid sweet-smelling mulch: parasites tend to thrive in mulch, and sweet-smelling cocoa mulch contains toxic ingredients if ingested by dogs and cats.
  2. Use nontoxic plants and fertilizers: Look over the ASPCA’s list of toxic and nontoxic plants in order to determine whether your plants are hazardous to Fido’s health (such as the popular azaleas, Easter lilies and rhododendron). This also applies to fertilizers and any pesticides you may use.
  3. Watch out for freshly watered lawn: Try not to let your pet walk on your lawn or garden areas after watering it. Chemicals you have applied can stick to your pet’s paws, which they may proceed to lick and ingest.
  4. Arm against fleas, ticks and heartworm:  Summer brings in the bugs, so make sure to take preventive measures against fleas, ticks and heartworm. Visit your local veterinarians for suggestions and treatments.
  5. Watch for Allergies: With all the summer pollen in the air, watch for signs that your pets may be struggling right along with you. After taking your daily walks, wipe your animal’s paws down with a towel in order to keep any unwanted pollen out of the house.

With summer fun comes summer struggles. But with these few easy tips in mind, it may make it a whole lot easier – and healthier – for both you and your pet.

May is Intestinal Parasite Awareness Month

Did you know that 34 percent of pets are infected with intestinal parasites?

The close relationship between people and their pets increasingly means parasite infections can be shared among dogs, cats and their owners. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that 1 to 3 million people are infected with an intestinal parasite in the United States. Children are at particular risk.

The Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) recommends that fecal examinations for intestinal parasites be conducted at least once a year. In addition, if children are present in the household, the CAPC recommends that you de-worm your pet quarterly.

To help raise awareness we will perform free fecal examinations (a $16.50 value) during the month of May, limited to one pet per household.

10 Fun Facts About Cats

Ten Fun Facts About Cats

  1. Cats "paw" or "knead" to mark their territory. Cats sweat through the bottom of their paws and rub off the sweat as a marking mechanism.
  2. Cat urine glows in the dark when a black light shines on it. If you think your cat or kitten has had an accident in your home, use a black light to find the mishap.
  3. If your cat is near you, and her tail is quivering, this is the greatest expression of love your cat can give you, but if your cat is thrashing its tail, she is in a bad mood, so keep your distance!
  4. During her productive life, one female cat could have more than 100 kittens. A single pair of cats and their kittens can produce as many as 420,000 kittens in just seven years.
  5. Sir Isaac Newton invented the cat door.
  6. Cats spend 30 percent of their waking hours grooming themselves.
  7. Ancient Egyptians shaved their eyebrows in mourning when their cats died. And if someone killed a cat, he or she could get the death penalty.
  8. According to the Guinness Book of World records, the oldest cat was Crème Puff from Austin, Texas who died in 2005 at 38 years old.
  9. When cats are happy, they may squeeze their eyes shut.
  10. The reason for the lack of mouse-flavored cat food is due to the fact that the cat test subjects did not like it.
A Pet Does Not Make Your Child More Allergy-Prone

Afraid a new pet could cause your child allergies? Well, scientific evidence has revealed quite the opposite.

Many people believe that keeping a dog or cat in the home will increase the chances of their child developing pet allergies. Yet to the contrary, the latest study, conducted by the Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit, reveals that children who are exposed to pets in their first year are less likely to develop allergies to dogs and cats later in life.

Exposure to pets past a child’s infancy did not, however, appear to make a difference in whether or not the allergies developed. “The first year of life is the critical period during childhood when indoor exposure to dogs or cats influences sensitization to these animals,” concluded the authors of the study.

So go ahead, bring home that new dog or cat. Just make sure to be quick about it!

Training Your Dog To Come

It will be to your benefit to start using this command when your puppy is seven weeks old. The earlier you start letting him know that when you say "come" and he does, the better. Always encourage your puppy to come with enthusiastic praise and lots of encouragement. Keep in mind that no two dogs or puppies are alike, so you will have to adjust your training methods according to the individual dog.

Here boy!

Coming to you when called is a very important command for your dog to learn. The “come” command can prevent your dog from getting hit by a car and allows him or her an opportunity for freedom. Once your dog learns this command, you know you can call him back—in the park, on hiking trails, or anywhere.

Training your dog to come to you every time when called is much more difficult than it sounds. You dog learns very quickly that he can outrun you and that it's more fun to run away. To train your dog, you have to convince him that you're more attractive than even temporary freedom. Training sessions should be short and rewards should always be given.

Until you are confident that your dog completely understands and obeys the come command, it's best to limit his off-leash experiences to places where you won't find it necessary to call him back. A fenced-in yard or small fenced-in park area is ideal, since there's no risk of escape or injury if your dog doesn't return when called.

Reinforcement

It's best to begin training your dog at a very early age, before he becomes fimiliar with total freedom. Restraint and positive reinforcement are the keys to behavior modification.

Since you need something for capturing your dog, should he decide to run away, a lightweight check-type lead is useful and can be purchased at almost any pet supply shop.

Begin training at an early age

Food is an excellent positive reinforcement for most kinds of training. The treat should be given immediately, in order to reinforce the positive behavior. When you feel that your pet is reliable about coming to you, give the reward intermittently. There should, however, be some kind of reward each time your dog successfully completes the command, such as praise, hugs and food.

Gradual Training

Begin by kneeling on the ground and calling your dog's name. Call his name cheerfully, never shouting his name in a hostile manner. Try taking a few steps away from him and see if he follows.

Each time your dog comes, reward him, increase the distance, and start over. Keep these sessions short and fun. Sessions should last 5-10 minutes and they should end on a positive note. Don't get frustrated (your dog will pick up on this immediately) and don't expect too much for the first few days. If your dog seems to be losing interest, stop the session after an easy success. Eventually, when you feel your dog is doing well, try him out in the park or another new place. Remember, don't remove your dog's lead unless you know that he will definitely return to you.

Training Tip

If you scold your dog for not coming, he can associate your impatience with you losing your temper. You need to remain cheerful and enthusiastic because if you don't, coming to you is the last thing on his mind.

Monday–Wednesday
9am–Noon & 2pm–7pm
Thursday
9am–Noon
Friday
9am–Noon & 2pm–7pm
Saturday
9am–Noon & 2pm–4pm