Tri-County Small Animal Hospital

Tri-County Small Animal Hospital in Oliver Springs, TN is here to serve all your pet needs.

Get me home! Getting up to speed on microchips — January 27, 2016

Get me home! Getting up to speed on microchips

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Meow!

I’m back again this month to talk about something very important, microchipping. Did you know that around 8 million animals end up in shelters every year? Sadly, only 15-20% of dogs and less than 2% of cats are reclaimed by their owners. Microchipping is one of the ways to increase the chance of being reunited with your lost pet!

A microchip is a tiny transponder, about the size of a grain of rice that is implanted into the skin. The chip has a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by scanners used by veterinary offices, animal shelters, and animal control officers. Implanting the microchip is easy and relatively painless. A large gauge needle is used to place the chip under the animal’s skin, usually between the shoulder blades. It hurts about as much as having blood drawn, but is as quick as giving an injection. Doing the registration paperwork takes more time than the implantation.

Completing the registration paperwork accurately and keeping it updated is a very important part of the microchipping process. When the chip is scanned it displays the chip number and contact info for the company that the chip is registered with. The company is then contacted and they release the contact info for the pet. If that information is not available or up to date, getting your pet home can be hard to do. Tri-County Small Animal Hospital will enroll you in the registry and this is included in the total price of the microchip.

A common misconception with the chips is that they are almost like GPS devices. The chip does not provide the location of your pet when they are found. It is up to the individual or agency that has your pet to follow the proper steps to contact you. Using a microchip in addition to identification tags on the collar adds an extra level of protection in case the collar is lost. This can help ensure that your pet is returned to you!

Currently Tri-County Small Animal Hospital is using the microchip company, Save This Life. They provide an aluminum tag that is stamped with the pet’s microchip number. That number can be searched in Google and then an alert (in the form of a text and/or email) is sent to the owner with the location of where the pet was found. The chip is also readable by all universal scanners. If you have any questions in regards to the microchips and how they work you can check out https://www.savethislife.com/ or call us at the hospital (865) 435-1374.

Until next time,

Bella the clinic cat

Helpful Holiday Hints — November 10, 2015

Helpful Holiday Hints

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Hi everyone! It’s Bella the clinic cat here again. I hope everyone is enjoying this cool weather and getting ready for the holidays. I know the people here at the clinic are decorating and it makes for some fun play time for me! All the excitement that comes at this time of year can lead to some oversights, though. Let me tell you some tips to keep your pet safe during the holidays.

 When it comes to decorating, less can be more when you have curious pets. Some holiday plants can be quite dangerous if ingested. Holly, mistletoe, poinsettias, and many types of lilies can cause vomiting and diarrhea and, in severe cases, organ failure and death. You can always ask the vet if you have specific questions, and remember there are artificial flowers. Christmas trees pose some more problems. Although they are not poisonous, if the needles from real or artificial trees are ingested, they can cause pain and discomfort as they pass through the intestines.

I also recommend keeping tinsel or “angel hair” away from your furry friends. Cats like me find tinsel very attractive to play with, but we have a bad habit of eating it. This can lead to intestinal blockages, and usually surgery to remedy the problem. Try to keep glass ornaments and lights towards the top of your tree. Pets can knock ornaments off and the glass can cut our paws and mouths if we try and play with them. Wires from the lights seem like a fun thing to play with for some animals, but we can easily become entangled. If chewed on, the wires can burn the mouth of your pet or cause electrocution.

I know passing along food to your furry friends seems like a good way to get them involved in the festivities, but table food is rarely a good idea for pets. Rich, fatty foods can lead to pancreatitis, which can require hospitalization. Items made with chocolate cause problems ranging from mild stomach upset to seizures or death. Alcohol is another no-no. Us animals don’t know any better and will try to “share” your beverage with you, but pets can die after a single bout of alcohol consumption. Be sure to put your used cooking items like aluminum foil and wrappers in the trash, in an area your pet doesn’t have access to. All those yummy smells can make us want to investigate, so this way you won’t end up with a mess and we won’t end up with digestive discomfort or blockages.

The last thing I want to talk about is presents. I love getting gifts! Be sure to examine toys to make sure that they don’t have small parts that could be chewed off. Toys with rattles or squeakers inside can easily be torn apart and those noisy bits can be ingested, possibly leading to intestinal obstructions. Please supervise us with those!

Following these tips will help you have a safe and pet friendly holiday season. I hope everyone has a Merry Christmas and I will see you in the new year!

Fall Time Fun!!! — September 11, 2015

Fall Time Fun!!!

Hello everyone. Bella, the clinic cat here again. How was your summer? Mine was fantastic. I’ve spent all summer sunning on the clinic counters, eating yummy food, and taking a vacation from keeping all these women here at the clinic in check. Summer is almost officially over and it’s back to work and school for all of us. I know, I know it’s a bummer but there are so many fun fall things to look forward to like bonfires, UT football, and Halloween!

Fall is such a lovely time of year but it can also be very dangerous. While fall themed parties can be fun please make sure to keep your pets in a safe and quiet place. Some of us will be afraid and hide from your party guests. The more courageous feline or canine will walk around to greet guests and could become injured from the unexpected high traffic volume in our homes. Please make sure that party goers do not feed us table food. Some food and drinks are toxic to us and can result in serious gastric upset and occasionally even death. Please make sure to protect us from chocolate, grapes, raisins, sugary snacks, fatty foods, bones, nuts, anything containing garlic or onion, and alcoholic beverages. We rely on you to keep up safe because we just can’t help ourselves when someone offers us such yummy food! Especially those dogs…they’ll eat anything! Besides…a sick pet will surely ruin a good party!

Oh! Before I go…did you know that in the month of September we’re offering 10% off your pet’s dental cleanings? Stinky breath is no fun for you or your pet. Stinky breath means that the doctor needs to clean your pet’s teeth in order to keep their mouths healthy. Keeping their mouths healthy is also a good way to keep them healthy overall too. When your pet has lots of bacteria in their mouths they breathe bacteria in every time they take a breath and it can cause infection to set up in different parts of their body (for example their lungs, kidneys, and heart.) It’s a good idea and very cost effective to keep their teeth clean in order to keep them as healthy as possible so you can avoid bigger health problems down the road!

I guess I’ll say goodbye for now. So until next time stay warm and safe. The next time we chat it’ll be very cold outside. Talk to you soon!

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Summer Vacation! — July 7, 2015

Summer Vacation!

Hello! Bella, the clinic cat here. Just wanted to drop by and ask everyone how their summer vacation is going. Mine has been fantastic. I’ve been busying myself by cleaning myself, sleeping, and eating of course. All this lounging around time has given me the chance to see all the poor sick animals that come into our clinic. I thought it would be an excellent time to talk about vaccines and discuss what providing them for your pet can do to extend your furry friends lifetime.

I guess we should get the stinky dogs out of the way first:

The “DHLPP” is a vaccine that stands for  Distemper, Hepatitis, Leptospirosis, Parainfluenza, and Parvo.

Distemper – (very contagious viral illness) Symptoms include: sneezing, coughing, vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and, decreased activity level.

Hepatitis – (a condition that causes the liver to swell) Symptoms include: lack of appetite, increased thirst, increased urination, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain.

Leptospirosis – (bacterial illness that occurs in many different species) Symptoms include: Fever, vomiting, diarrhea, muscle pain, and decreased activity level. It’s also possible to be transmitted to humans through animal urine.

Parainfluenza- (causes infection to the respiratory system) Symptoms include: Cough, fever, and trouble breathing.

Parvo Virus – ( A life threatening viral disease) Symptoms include: Vomiting, diarrhea, decreased activity level, and decreased appetite.

Now for us fancy felines:

The “FVRCP” is a vaccine that stands for Feline, Viral, Rhinotracheitis, Calci Virus, Panleukepenia.

Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis – (An upper respiratory infection) Symptoms include: Sneezing, eye and nasal discharge, and congestion.

Calci Virus – (A respiratory infection.) Symptoms include: Eye and nasal discharge, difficulty breathing, and loss of appetite.

Panleukepenia – (Feline distemper) Symptoms include: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and sudden death.

Rabies (A disease that affects both cats and dogs. Rabies is transmitted through the saliva of infected animals.) It infects the central nervous system and symptoms include the following: foaming at the mouth, seizures, aggression, other behavior changes, and death.

So, as you can tell, these diseases are very debilitating if not fatal. The good news is that they are very preventable. Some vaccines are required every year and some are needed every 3 years. Getting a yearly physical exam with vaccines needed is a good start to keeping your furry friend around for a long time. Vaccines combined with yearly heartworm testing and prevention, as well as routine de-worming, will help ensure your pet lives a long and healthy life.

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Happy May! – — May 9, 2015

Happy May! –

Bella, the clinic cat, here again. Just stopping by to let you guys in on a little secret…this month only we’re offering 10% off of your furry friend’s heartworm test! Mosquitoes are making their rounds more frequently now that the weather is nice and both us glamorous cats and stinky old dogs are at risk of catching heartworms. Heartworm disease is very debilitating and in some cases even fatal but it is also very preventable. When mosquitoes bite your pet they deposit the baby heartworms into your pet’s bloodstream, which will soon mature into adult heartworms. Heartworms hurt your dog or cat by causing damage to your pet’s heart, lungs, and arteries. There are treatments for heartworm disease in dogs but it is quite painful for the dog and it can be painful for your wallet as well. Did you know that our clinic offers heartworm preventative for as little as 8-10 dollars per month? Unfortunately for us felines there is no cure for heartworm disease. These are just a few reasons why you should protect your pet from these nasty parasites. So start your summer off right by getting your pet tested for heartworms and then starting them on a preventative. We have many different types of heartworm preventatives to choose from, so no matter how picky your pet may be we’ve got something that will work for them – and you.

P.S. We also have a very special offer for any pet that has had an exam in the past 6 months. We’re taking 10% off a 6 month supply of Comfortis ONLY during the month of May or as long as supplies last! Comfortis is a monthly flea preventative in a pill form that you can give to cats or dogs. It’s never been easier to prevent those pesky fleas!

Keep your furry friends healthy and happy so they will live a long healthy life with you. Trust me – they’ll appreciate it.

Until next time,

Bella

Btw — It may have just been Cinco de Mayo but I ain’t wearin no stinkin’ sombrero

ADIOS AMIGOS!

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10% off flea and tick products! — March 13, 2015

10% off flea and tick products!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABella the clinic cat here again. I was just dropping by to let you guys in on a little secret. Did you know that our clinic is having a special this month? 10% off flea and tick products for the month of March only! You can get this discount by getting our coupon in the Oak Ridger or by claiming our offer on Facebook.

Fleas and ticks are an overwhelming problem in our area. They aren’t just annoying either; they can cause big problems for us animals.

Ehrlichiosis, for example, has been found on as many as 12% of the dogs tested in the area…and just in case you’re wondering ehrlichiosis is a deadly tick borne infection that dogs and cats can get through tick bites. It is 100% preventable with good tick control. A common myth is that ticks aren’t located in areas without woods. Ticks live in the grass and bushes no matter where you live. So if you think your fur babies are protected just because you don’t live in a wooded area then you’re unfortunately wrong…and sadly ehrlichiosis is only one of the many diseases that ticks can carry. Not to worry, though! The staff at Tri-County Small Animal Hospital would be glad to make you an appointment to examine your dog and run blood tests if needed to make sure your dog is healthy and free of tick borne illness and get them started on the flea and tick medication best suited for your needs.

Fleas cause a whole lot of problems too. They make us furry animals itch, make our hair fall out from scratching so much, and even give us tapeworms if we eat them. They cause many problems for pet owners as well. An infestation can set up very quickly in your home and once it starts it can be complicated to get rid of.

One simple way you can protect us from fleas and ticks is to use flea and tick control all year. Year round protection is the best way to stop an infestation.

Merry Christmas! — December 23, 2014

Merry Christmas!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAHello all. Bella, the clinic cat here again. Just wanted to wish you all a Merry Christmas! I have been so busy trying to decorate for the holiday around here and trying to sneak a treat every chance I get. Hmm…speaking of yummy things us fur babies like to get into I’d like to inform you that there are so many harmful things your pet can eat during the holidays. For instance, holly and mistletoe can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and gastrointestinal upset. I know many people like to decorate with flowers for the holidays and while they are oh so pretty they can also be dangerous. Did you know that many kinds of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats! Luckily they make silk flowers at just about any craft store that can easily replace the flowers you usually use in your centerpieces. Some people may not be aware that fatty and spicy foods can also hurt your pet – they can cause severe gastrointestinal problems. The best bet for your holiday to be the best it can be is for you to give your pet their normal meals and maybe a treat or two specifically made for them. Better safe than sorry I always say!

Also, please also make sure that when people are going in and out of your home that your pet is safe and secure inside. We are tricky little things and we can slip right out the door without you noticing. We also appreciate a quiet place to relax when things get a little loud.

 

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I’m going to get back to begging for a cat treat and resting up for Christmas Day!