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What Do You Need to Know about Pet Vaccinations?

Posted March 20th, 2017 by admin

We all know the importance of being sure our children or senior family members are immunized against disease, but did you know that vaccinations are just as important for your pets? Just as you would take your children to get shots against diseases such as mumps, polio or other life threatening illnesses, you need to be proactive to your approach as a pet parent.

In recent years, there has been much debate about the need for vaccinations – whether for humans or for pets. However, unlike in humans where we can talk about our concerns or have an idea of what we have been exposed to, with pets – especially those that are able to roam the neighborhood, we must be more proactive.

Consequently, it is vital as pet owners to talk to your veterinarian about what shots are absolutely required. It should also be noted that what shots are needed for one animal may not be needed for another – after all, dogs are not necessarily susceptible to the same issues as cats. Here are some of the various vaccinations that may be administered.

Common Core Vaccinations for Cats

  • Anleukopenia (feline distemper)
  • Feline calicivirus
  • Feline herpesvirus type 1 (rhinotracheitis)
  • Rabies

Non-core Feline Vaccinations

  • Feline leukemia virus
  • Bordetella
  • Chlamydophila felis
  • Feline immunodeficiency virus

Common Core Vaccinations for Dogs

  • Canine parvovirus
  • Distemper
  • Canine hepatitis
  • Rabies

Non-Core Canine Vaccinations

  • Bordetella bronchiseptica
  • Borrelia burgdorferi
  • Leptospira bacteria

Having your pet vaccinated is a way you can be proactive in keeping your pet healthy and protecting them from any potential sickness they may be exposed to. If you are unsure about what type of shots are needed for your pet, then be sure to talk to your veterinarian.

Like with having our children immunized, it is essential to be aware of any side effect that can occur. Granted, reactions are usually minimal if any, but that does not mean that they do not occur. When you have your pet vaccinated, there is always a small chance they will react to it by being more lethargic or “clingy” than normal but that will usually go away in a day or so.

But to be sure that your pet does not have an adverse reaction, you may even want to schedule the shots when you will be able to stay around your pet for a few hours, or even consider scheduling the shots when you have the following day off. However, if you notice other side effects, such as those listed below, be sure to talk to your vet immediately.

  • Collapse
  • Diarrhea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Facial swelling and/or hives
  • Fever
  • Lameness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain, swelling, redness, scabbing or hair loss around the injection site
  • Seizures
  • Sluggishness
  • Vomiting

Every state has its own requirements for what shots different pets need as well as their frequency. For instance, some states require them to be administered annually, while others only ask that they be given every three years. The exception to this rule is the rabies shot – as this vaccination is required annually for any domesticated pets.

We know that your pets are an important part of your family, and that you want to take care of them. Make time to schedule vaccinations and protect them. If you have questions about immunizations for your pet, talk to your veterinarian.

Benefits of Adopting a Special Needs Feline

Posted February 8th, 2017 by admin

For many families having a pet is a foregone conclusion. They envision days of romping outside playing fetch or playing tug a war with a ball of yarn, not having to be concerned about their pet’s balance or health issues. Why? Because not every family is equipped to take in a pet that has special needs. In fact, a PetFinder poll found that special needs pets came in third in the list of top pets hardest to place in a home (numbers one and two are senior pets, and pit-bull type dogs). But that does not negate the many benefits of having a pet who has been traumatized, injured or affected by disease. It is these pets that often make the best furry family members.

Before deciding that a special needs pet is not for you, it is important to first understand that in the pet world, special needs has a much broader meaning. For pets, special needs include both physical and mental disabilities, as well as chronic illness (diabetes, hip dysplasia), emotional distress such as PTSD, as well as amputees, the deaf and the blind. Again, these are merely factors that add to the animal’s uniqueness and do not have to be deterrents to adopting them.

4 Reasons to Adopt a Special Needs Pet

• Expand your world view. Adopting a special needs pet is not about taking them in out of pity because typically, these animals are extremely resilient and have learned to adapt to their circumstances. By adopting a special needs pet, you and your family will learn more about facing and overcoming challenges.
• Learn something new. When you adopt a pet with special needs you will find yourself learning more about their problem and how to make life richer for them. Also, in learning more about your pet’s needs you will be able to help other pet owners with caring for their special pet.
• You will help transform a life. Pets who are deaf can often be taught how to interact with you by using ASL. Other pet owners are able to teach their pets using body language or visual cues. Regardless of how you interact with your pet, you can know that their life is better because of you.
• Connect with others. Many times, special needs pets are able to help and encourage people who have suffered loss. There are countless stories of animals with special needs who have touched the lives of people who have suffered loss, needed an amputation, and many other traumatic experiences. In these cases, the pets often bring inspiration and determination to someone who might otherwise have given up.

Adopting a special needs pet is not for everyone, But, for those families who take in a pet who requires some extra TLC there are many rewards. If you have questions about taking in special needs pets, then talk to one of our team members today. With our vast experience, we will be glad to help you decide if a special needs pets is right for you.

How to Put Your Animal to Rest

Posted December 15th, 2016 by admin


Oh what unhappy twist of fate
Has brought you homeless to my gate,
The gate where once another stood
To beg for shelter, warmth and food?

For from that day I ceased to be
The master of my destiny,
While she, with purr and velvet paw
Became within my house the law.

She scratched the furniture and shed
And claimed the middle of my bed,
She ruled in arrogance and pride
And broke my heart the day she died.

So if you really think, oh cat
I’d willingly relive all that,
Because you come forlorn and thin
Well don’t just stand there – come on in!

~Author Unknown


Our pets are our family. No, they may not verbally interact with us, but each of them communicates with us in their own way. They have hurts and pain just as we do and as their humans, we love them deeply – and that love is returned to us one hundredfold.

In last month’s post, we learn about a family’s cats and the loss of their beloved George, and most of us could relate to the pain and void of a pet passing. But in so many cases, one of the hardest parts of losing a pet is having to make the decision to allow our pet to pass on.

While we all love our pets and want what is best for them, knowing what is best is not always easy. Sure, we know when and what to feed them, what their favorite toys are and where they love to play is fun, but with the joy comes the responsibility of making the tough decisions, too. There are many tips from vets and grief experts that we would like to share for helping you when faced with the decision to lay your pet to rest. And, while saddening, it is always better to have a plan rather than having to deal with a hurting or aging pet and trying to decide what to do next.

  • Get an Expert’s advice. When your pet begins acting poorly or becomes sick, a vet visit is a must! Talk to the vet and learn about your pet’s outlook and pain levels. If your pet is sick, focus on how to relieve his pain. Ask the vet to put things in writing. When we are distressed, it is easy to miss important details.
  • Bring a spouse or trusted friend with you. Many times having someone who is able to think more clearly and with fewer emotions involved helps. They can also help you remember things the vet said.
  • Plan ahead. Make a list of your pet’s top five favorite things. The day may come when these things no longer interest him. Decide how many of those five things will have to become unimportant to your pet before you realize that their quality of life is at risk.
  • Make arrangements in advance. Not just for the how, but the when, and the how much. Take time to discuss the process and payment plan beforehand. If possible, pay it in advance as having to pay after your pet has passed, or getting a bill in the mail later makes the loss more poignant.
  • Consider your pet. Think about your pet and envision how you think they would like their last moments to be spent.
  • Talk to those involved. If you have children, don’t make the decision without taking them. Children, especially younger ones, can handle the loss of a pet better if they are given simple, truthful, straightforward answers losing a pet.
  • The Day of. This is when many pet owners allow their pet to do those “bad” things they usually can’t do. Be it eat table scraps, sit on the bed or another forbidden activity, doing something fun and memorable can help ease the pain.
  • Tell others. Consider letting close friends know you are putting your pet to rest. They may wish to come spend time with you and your pet, plus they can provide support for you afterwards. Also, see if your vet will do a home visit for the procedure, as that often makes all those involved more comfortable.

Keep in mind that having a chance to say goodbye to our pets before ending their suffering will help you have closure. It’s okay to cry, to feel anger, hurt and loss after our furry companions. You may wish to check out sites such as Rainbow Bridge, Lap of Love, or Peaceful Passing to help you through this difficult process. You don’t have to go through it alone and there is no pat answer for how to handle each scenario.