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Ahh-Spring!

The green grass, the flowers, the sun.....and the ticks and the allergies!  We love spring but it is not always so kind to our pets. This year's tick season looks to be awful as we did not have a particularly cold winter and the little buggers are already quite active. We have many options available for flea and tick prevention, and we can help you find what is the best fit for your pet and your family-whether its a collar, a topical, or an oral medication, we can help. And products bought from us are backed by a guarantee from the manufacturer--you can be sure that you are getting products made by the actual manufacturer and not from a counterfeit factory overseas.Prevention is truly important--and it helps elminate what is often the primary cause of spring itchiness--still scratching up a storm-here are some tips to help you alleviate their discomfort. Bathing with a high quality hyopoallergenic pet shampoo may help wash away pollen and other irritants. Make sure to wipe their paws when they come in from helping you with the garden or after a walk. Regular brushing can keep their fur free from dander and oil buildup, and it also helps to remove environmental irritants like thorns and tick seeds. 

Still scratching? Your pet may need some medication to help them get through the season--we have great options. For more information about skin conditions, check out http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Scratch-scratch-scratch....pdf

Safe Travel Tips for You and Your Pets

  • First and most important- make sure your pet is comfortable with travel and does not have any illnesses or injuries that would interfere with his or her ability to travel safely. Senior pets in particular may have a difficult time with a lengthy confinement in a crate or in a harness. Consider alternatives such as a reliable pet sitter or boarding facility if these are an option. You can help prepare your pet for travel with trips around town in their carrier (especially if planning to travel by air) or in their safety harness so they become accustomed to being restrained in a vehicle.
  • Make sure your pet is properly identified with tags and a microchip and this is crucial..make sure your microchip information is up to date and includes a cell phone number.If your pet is lost in an unfamiliar area, this could make the difference in their safe return to you.
  • If you are traveling by air or crossing state or international borders, make sure that you have the appropriate health certificates signed by your veterinarian.
  • Bring a copy of your pet's medical history with you including vaccination history and copies of any prescription medications in the event of an emergency while you are traveling. Check the AVMA website www.avma.org or the American Animal Hospital Association website www.aahanet.org to find accredited hospitals in the area that your are traveling to.
  • Take a up to date photo of your pet with identification tags visible on your cell phone in the event that your pet becomes lost and you need to prove ownership to reclaim him or her from a local shelter.
  • Bring all of your pet's prescription medications with you; a collar, leash, and harness; bed/blankets; toys and treats; food and water dishes along with enough food for the trip; and a safe sturdy crate.
  • Unlike our picture-Be sure that your pet is properly restrained if traveling by car. There are several harness and crate options that you can consider, and they are worth the investment.
Poison prevention month

Alex wants to stay healthy--It's Poison Prevention Month!

March is Poison Prevention Month--Do you know how many common household items can harm your pet? Dangerous substances range from human medications to garden fertilizers and pesticides to gum and candy---the list goes on and on. What can you do to protect your pet? First check these links to poison information handouts you can print out-http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/How-to-poison-proof-your-home.pdf  and http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/Human-medications-that-can-poison-your-pet.pdf. Take a look at these and keep them handy for review. If you have a smartphone, you can find a great app from the Pet Poison Hotline that describes common poisons and symptoms, and it includes pictures. If you suspect your pet has been poisoned, please call us immediately. If there are circumstances where you can't get to a phone, here is another tip sheep you may want to have on hand- http://capitalvets.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/What-to-do-if-your-pet-is-poisoned.pdf.  Please call us if you have any questions!

How to clean your pet's ears

Ears get gunk---yuck!

So you found that your pet's ears aren't as clean as you thought? We have ways to help take care of that. Regular cleaning can go a long way towards preventing infection for your pets. Because the first part of the ear canal is vertical, it can make cleaning difficult. When cleaning the ears, gently pull the pinna or flap of the ear upwards. This helps to straighten out and open up the ear canal. Fill the canal with cleanser (we have excellent options for this), and use your other hand to gently massage the base of the ear. Do this for about 15 seconds, then let go of the ear and allow your pet to shake its head. This will help distribute the cleanser and loosen up debris. Use a cotton ball to gently clean away any material that comes loose.

Never use q-tips to clean your pet's ears at home--this can cause harm. We can advise you as to how often you should clean your particular pet's ears. Some breeds of cats and dogs are prone to ear infections and may benefit from more frequent cleanings, while others will be fine with a monthly cleaning. If you have any questions, we are more than happy to answer them or demonstrate how to clean your pet's ears at any time.