Is your pet's microchip up-to-date?
Microchips greatly increase the chance of getting your pet back if he/she is lost or stolen, but a microchip only works if its registration information is accurate.
Make sure your pet's microchip information is up-to-date between now and August 15, which is 'Check the Chip Day' across the United States. If you've ever moved or changed phone numbers or other contact information, it's more than worth the effort to make sure you've submitted updated information on your pet's microchip registry. Even if your contact information hasn't changed, it's a good idea to double-check that your correct information is included in the microchip registry.
Checking a chip's registration information is easy, and can mean the difference between heartbreak and a happy family reunion if you ever get separated from your pet. The American Veterinary Medical Association maintains a website with easy-to-follow instructions at AVMA.org/CheckTheChip.
To check and update a registration, you'll need your pet's microchip number. If you don't have that easily accessible at home, we'll be happy to scan your pet's chip for you; just call us to make an appointment to bring your pet into the clinic!
And if you don't yet have your pet microchipped, there's no better time than now. Microchips help reunite families. Call us to talk about the benefits of microchipping and schedule an appointment for your pet.
Take advantage of our Check the Chip Special Aug 14-19th. Normally $60 now ONLY $34.99! (HomeAgain Microchip registration and enrollment included.)
When Pam O'Leary adopted Chaz from the Heartland Humane Society about three years ago, they encouraged her to have the dog microchipped. She had never done this with previous dogs she'd owned but agreed to have it done with Chaz. Her decision likely saved his life.
Cha had been afraid of storms since being adopted and needed to be secured in a room. In fact, Pam believes that he may have run away from this original owner during a storm, which is how he ended up at the shelter. When a thunderstorm rolled through the area in June, Pam put him in the garage overnight.
Unfortunately, one of the doors wasn't completely closed and sometime during the night, Chaz ran away. Early the next morning, Pam realized he was missing and began to look around the neighborhood.
"We couldn't find him anywhere, and were getting ready to call the authorities,” she said. "But, around 7:00 a.m., we received a call from Pipestone Veterinary Services that he was there and had been hurt."
Chaz had been hit by a car and seriously injured. A police officer had picked him up and brought him to the clinic a little before7:00 a.m. Because he had been microchipped, the vet technician was able to contact Pam and she was on her way to the clinic when Dr. Lori Hickie arrived a just after 7 am to assess his condition.
He suffered a broken jaw and a hairline fracture of one of his backbones. When he arrived at the clinic, he was also in shock and suffering pain. Because Pam was notified immediately, she was able to get to the clinic to learn about his condition and treatment options and provided consent for the surgery that Chaz needed.
Chaz has recovered well from his injuries and the staff at Pipestone has been supportive during his treatment and check-ups, said Pam.
"They've always kept me updated on his progress and what to expect," she said.
"Chaz's story is a real life example that microchips save lives," said Dr. Hickie. "If we had not been able to reach Chaz' owner and received consent for treatment, Chaz may have had to be humanely euthanized. Instead, he is recovering at home."
A microchip is a permanent identification that is placed just under the skin of an animal. If the pet is lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, the microchip can be scanned to read a unique ID code. This code is connected to a database with its owner's name, address and contact information, so the owner can be quickly contacted.
Microchipping is both affordable for the owner and a simple process for the pet. A veterinarian injects the microchip -- about the size of a grain of rice -- beneath the surface of the animal's skin between the shoulder blades. It only takes a few seconds and is similar to a routine shot, and no anesthetic is required.
In August, Pipestone Veterinary Services are running a 'Check the Chip' program to highlight the benefits of microchipping and to make sure that pet owners keep their contact information updated in the database. Call today to set up your appointment for your pet microchipped. If you already have your pet microchipped, it’s a good time to make sure all the contact information is up to date. Pet owners can visit the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool at petmicrochiplookup.org to check verify their pet's registration and make sure pet owners contact information is up to date.
"I'm thankful that we were encouraged by the shelter to have Chaz microchipped. If we hadn't, the clinic likely wouldn't have been able to reach me in time to get Chaz the treatment that he needed to recover," said Pam.
Dr. Breanna Estle joined Pipestone Veterinary Services in May. She grew up near Lockridge, Iowa. She received her DVM in 2017 from Iowa State University. Dr Breanna Estle is also bringing some new to the clinic, acupuncture! She has a special interest in using Eastern and Western (traditional) medicine together to better the lives of her patients. While in veterinary school, she studied veterinary acupuncture at the Chi Institute of Traditional Chinese Veterinary Medicine in Reddick, Florida. She received her Certification in Veterinary Acupuncture in 2017.
Recently Dr. Breanna performed on a dog named Kona, it was his first treatment. Kona was excited but had a gentle personality.
Learn more about Dr. Breanna's background and acupuncture from this Ottumwa Courier article.
We are all excited to offer this service, call to set up your appointment with Dr. Breanna today!
When someone we love – such as a beloved pet – dies, the loss often causes grief and intense sorrow. By physically showing your grief, you actively mourn the death of your beloved pet. This active mourning will move you on a journey toward reconciling with the loss of your pet.
What Should I Do?
Your journey of grief will not take on a prescribed pattern or look like stages. During the period when you are actively mourning your loss, it may help to consider the following:
Acknowledge the reality of the death
Acknowledging the full reality of your loss may take weeks or months, but will be done in a time that is right for you. Be kind to yourself as you prepare for the “new normal” of a life without your beloved pet. Just as it took time to build the relationship with your pet, it will take time to get used to him or her not being there.
Move toward the pain of the loss
Experiencing these emotional thoughts and feelings about the death of a pet is a difficult, but important, need. A healthier grief journey may come from taking your time to work through your feelings rather than trying to push them away or ignore it.
Continue your relationship through memories
Your memories allow your pets to live on in you. Embracing these memories, both happy and sad, can be a very slow and, at times, painful process that occurs in small steps. For example, take some time to look at past photos, write a tribute to your pet, or write your pet a letter recalling your time together.
Adjust your self-identity
Part of your self-identity might come from being a pet owner. Others may also think of you in relation to your pet. You may be “the guy who always walked the big black dog around the neighborhood” or “the friend whose cat always jumped on laps.” Adjusting to this change is a central need of mourning.
Search for meaning
When a pet dies, it’s natural to question the meaning and purpose of pets in your life. Coming to terms with these questions is another need you must meet during your grief journey. Know that it is the asking, not the finding of concrete answers, that is important.
Receive support from others
You need the love and support of others because you never "get over" grief. Talking or being with other pet owners who have experienced the death of a pet can be one important way to meet this need.
Things to Remember
The experience of loss is different for everyone and can present unique challenges.
The deafening silence - the silence in your home after the death of a pet may seem excruciatingly loud. While your animal companion occupies physical space in your life and your home, many times their presence is felt more with your senses. When that pet is no longer there, the lack of their presence – the silence - becomes piercing. It becomes the reality of the “presence of the absence.” Merely being aware of this stark reality will assist in preparing you for the flood of emotions.
The special bond with your pet - the relationship shared with your pet is a special and unique bond, a tie that some might find difficult to understand. There will be well-meaning friends and family members who will think that you should not mourn for your pet or who will tell you that you should not be grieving as hard as you are because “it’s just a cat” or “just a dog.” Your grief is normal and the relationship you shared with your special friend needs to be mourned.
Grief can’t be ranked - sometimes our heads get in the way of our heart’s desire to mourn by trying to justify the depth of our emotion. Some people will then want to “rank” their grief, pitting their grief emotions with others who may be “worse.” While this is normal, your grief is your grief and deserves the care and attention of anyone who is experiencing a loss.
Questions of spirituality - during this time in your grief journey, you may find yourself questioning your beliefs regarding pets and the after-life. Many people around you will also have their own opinions. It will be important during this time for you to find the answers right for you and your individual and personal beliefs.
Obesity is defined as the accumulation of excessive amounts of adipose (fat) tissue in the body. It is one of the most common conditions that we see in pets. There are a number of things that can predispose a pet to being overweight or obese. These include genetics, being spayed or neutered, being on a diet that is too high in fat or calories and also living a non-active lifestyle.
So how can you determine if your pet is overweight? The first thing to do is look at the ribs. If you cannot feel the ribs when you slightly press over the side of your pet's chest, then your pet is most likely overweight. Pets that are overweight also can have extra fat accumulate around the tail and typically do not have a waist.
When examining your pet, Veterinarians can use one of two scales to determine the Body Condition Score of pets. The first scoring system is a scale of 1-5 with 3 being ideal weight and 5 being obese. The other scoring system is a scale of 1-9; when 4.5 is ideal weight and 9 is obese.
Why is it so bad for our pets to be overweight? They are predisposed to a variety of health conditions such as diabetes, osteoarthritis, heart disease and they can overall have a decreased life expectancy.
What can pet owners do if they feel that their pet is overweight?
First, talk with your veterinarian about your pet. It is important to have your pet examined to ensure that they are otherwise in good health. With your help, your veterinarian can help you develop a weight loss plan. This includes calculating the amount of calories your pet needs based on their ideal weight. It will also include a discussion about activities to do with your pet.
Sometimes a diet change may be beneficial. It is always a good idea to decrease the daily amount of treats and snack that may be 'human' food. Sometimes one treat can be the equivalent to humans eating a candy bar. Some owners may feed 4-5 treats per day (that would be 4-5 snicker bars in a day!)
Ways to increase activity include daily walks, daily trips to a dog park and playing fetch for our canine companions. For cats, we recommend moving that food dish around to different spots, using toys that encourage movement and provided cat trees or places to climb.
Veterinarians are there to help pets live as long as possible. They can help you determine the best plan for your pet. There are wonderful stories of pets losing weight and feeling like young puppies again just from the weight loss. Visit petobesityprevention.org for other ideas and resources.
Source: The Growing Problem of Obesity in Dogs and Cats1-3 Alexander J. German4
As your pet ages, many of his basic needs, from diet to exercise, will begin to change. Pets are very good at hiding their health problems, and as an owner, it is our responsibility to keep an eye on them to ensure that you are adjusting his routine to match changes in his body and immune system that make him less able to cope with physical and environmental stresses. Routine exams, preventative medicine and adjustments to your pet's lifestyle can help him stay healthy even as the years creep up.
Different sized dog's age at varying rates, with larger dogs reaching senior status much sooner than smaller dogs. While each dog reaches 'seniorhood' at a different age, most canines become seniors after seven years including cats. It is important to know your pet's age so you know when he becomes a senior and can ask your vet about when you're pet's needs may begin to change.
Many different diseases must be accounted for as your pet ages. Such diseases include arthritis, cancer, cognitive disorders, vision and auditory problems, liver, kidney and dental disease, diabetes, and heart disease. Just as with people, regular health checkups become increasingly important as pets grow older and should be seen at least once every six months. The purpose of these wellness exams is to promote your pet's health and longevity, recognize and control health risks and detect any illnesses in early stages, which may improve treatment options. A typical exam will include health-related questions in order to build a snapshot of your pet's medical history. During the check-up, the vet will check for body tumors, signs of pain, body appearance and condition along with examining the eyes, ear, nose, and mouth for irregularities as well as listening to the heart and lungs. Many times a number of diagnostic tests will be ran including CBC (complete blood count), chemistry screen to check the liver and kidney, urinalysis, thyroid function, and heartworm and fecal test. Baseline laboratory tests should be ran early before your pet becomes a senior as this allows your vet to monitor any developing trends in your pet's health status as it changes from year to year.
As an owner, you should consistently monitor your pet's health between vet visits. Signs to look for include incontinence, lumps, constipation or diarrhea, breathing abnormalities, coughing, weakness, changes in appetite, water intake or urination, stiffness or limping, increased vocalization and uncharacteristic aggression or behavioral changes. Fluctuations in weight can be an early sign of an underlying disease and should be checked frequently. By keeping a close eye on your pet, this will allow a better insight for your veterinarian to be able to recognize abnormalities.
Adjusting your pet's nutrition is very important as these senior foods are designed to have less fat and salt, therefore decreasing the stress on the different body systems. Frequent bathroom breaks are also warranted for a smooth transition into those elderly years to come. These may seem like simple adjustments but they are very important for a happier healthier companion.
Along with being more watchful over your senior pet's health, it's crucial that you keep up with routine preventative care such as parasite prevention, dental care, vaccinations and nutritional management. As your pet's immune system weakens with age, the importance of routine basic care only increases. Always create a comfortable environment for your ageing pet with easy access to food and water and supportive bedding along with old fashioned TLC which is beneficial to both you and your pet.
Undoubtedly, your veterinarian is key to helping in your pet's transition through these senior years, but as an owner, you are also key to your pet's life. Together, your pet is on track for a long and healthy life.
Call today and scheduled your pet's appointment and make sure they are on the healthy track to living a long and happy life.
One of the biggest challenges that dog owners face is managing their pet's weight, especially when the animal also has problems moving or staying active due to joint health issues. A new dog food option -- Hill?s Prescription Diet Metabolic + Mobility -- was introduced this spring designed to help with both challenges.
A member of the Pipestone family was one of the first to try the new product when it became available in April, and has been seeing terrific results.
Max is a ten year old, yellow lab mix that is owned by Pipestone Veterinary Services employee, Kim Lape. He has arthritis in his knees and hips and torn ligaments in both knees.
"When the Metabolic + Mobility product came out, Dr. Weber thought Max might be a good candidate to try it out," said Kim. At the time, Max weighed 102 and was having difficulty with moving around the house and with some of the activities that he had always enjoyed.
Max had been eating Hill's Prescription Diet JD, which was designed for joint issues, and didn't have any issues transitioning to the new food.
"He loves it. He began eating it right away and hasn't had any problems at all," said Kim.
Max has lost just over 10 pounds, weighing in at 91 pounds in September.
"He has had a healthy rate of weight loss, about two percent of his body weight each month, which is exactly where we want him to be at," said Dr. Nicole Weber, small animal veterinarian at Pipestone Veterinary Services.
"Even more important than the weight loss, there has been improved mobility and the positive impact on Max's quality of life," said Kim. "He is now able to go up and down flights of stairs with no problems and is back to some of his favorite activities."
"He is a very energetic and outgoing dog who loves to go on car rides. Before, we had to help him get in and out of the car, but now he is able to climb in by himself," she said.
"The challenges that Max was facing are not unusual," said Dr. Weber. "About 50 percent of the pet population is overweight."
"One of the primary reasons that dogs have arthritis and joint issues is excess weight," she said. "If we are able to decrease their overall weight, we can often improve their arthritic condition without medication."
The Science Diet Metabolic + Mobility dog food contains a special formula of ingredients that helps dogs feel full longer. It contains a synergistic blend of ingredients which works with your pet's unique metabolism. This food combines high levels of omega-3 fatty acids with special fiber blends from fruits and vegetables. This special combination is designed to help pets feel full and satisfied without depriving them of their daily meals. Not only does Science Diet Metabolic + Mobility decrease joint inflammation, but it also helps to rebuild joint fluid, creating comfort.
'One of the hardest things for pet owners to deal with is helping their pets lose weight. They feel guilty about depriving their pets," she said. "With this diet, that isn't a problem because the dog feels full. They are able to decrease total calories without depriving their pets at all."
When the new diet was tested in a blind taste test, dogs were given the food without owners knowing what it was designed to do, said Dr. Weber. The owners were pleased to see the dogs losing weight and moving better as they stayed on the diet.
A dog can stay on the Metabolic + Mobility diet as long it needs to, said Dr. Weber. Once the pet reaches its target weight, they can either stay on this food and increase amount per feeding or switch to another diet option, such as Science Diet JD.
Pet owners should keep an even sharper eye on their animal?s mobility as the weather changes.
"As we are transitioning from warm weather to the colder winter months, pet owners may see a difference in their animal's movement," said Dr. Weber.
"If your pet is getting up more slowly, or showing signs of limping or lameness, he or she may be having difficulty with arthritis or joint issues, and owners should talk to their veterinarian about whether the Metabolic + Mobility diet is a good option for them," she said.
Heartworm disease is a serious and potentially fatal condition caused by parasitic worms which live in the arteries of the lungs and heart of dogs and more rarely cats. The microscopic form of these worms are transmitted by mosquitoes. They are then injected into the pets where they mature into adult worms. Adult females heartworms inside of a dog release the baby heartworms, called microfilariae, into an animal's bloodstream. Then, mosquitoes become ingest the microfilariae while taking their next blood meal from the infected animal. During the next 10 to 14 days, the microfilariae mature to the infective larval stage within the mosquito. After that, the mosquito bites another dog, cat or other susceptible animals and the infective larvae enter through the bite wound. It then takes a little over six months for the infective larvae to mature into adult worms. In dogs, the worms may live for up to seven years. Microfilariae cannot mature into adult heartworms without first passing through a mosquito.
How is Heartworm Disease detected/prevented?
Heartworm disease is detected by drawing three drops of blood and looking for an antigen to microfilariae. It takes only eight minutes and is done in-house. Once the animal is found to be negative, they are started on a preventative product. This product not only prevents heartworm but also intestinally deworms the dog on a monthly basis. For the pets overall interest, heartworm products should be given year- round. The product needs to be given at least 30 days past the las mosquito to thoroughly kill any microfilaria which may be inside the pet. There are different types of heartworm products available- either chewable tablets, topical products or even injectable which last for six months. The intestinal parasite coverage varies with each product but they all do a great job at prevention of heartworm disease.
What happens if a dog tests positive?
Usually, all but the most advanced cases of heartworm disease can be successfully treated in dogs.
Adult heartworm is dogs are killed using a drug called an adulticide which is injected into the deep muscle of the back through a series of treatments. Because this is a very serious condition, we need to keep the activity level of the dog to a minimum for a number of months. When the dog is sent home, exercise should be limited to short leash walks for the duration of the recovery period. This restriction decreases the risk that a partial or complete blockage of blood flow happens which can result in sudden death.
Many dogs are treated in the United States each year and have a very positive outcome, however, it is a much easier disease to prevent than treat.
We recommend Interceptor Plus and Heartgard. Check out our specials we have on both.
Myth: Seeing one or two fleas is no big deal.
Reality: A few fleas can turn into a massive infestation in a hurry! One adult flea can lay 2,000 eggs in its lifetime. And if your pet is sensitive to flea saliva, even one or two bites can make him very uncomfortable. Your pet deserves to be completely free of fleas.
Myth: Pets need flea preventive only a few months out of the year.
Reality: Even in our seasonal climate, a warm spring or fall can lead to a flea season that is nine or ten months of the year. Plus, fleas can survive on your pet and inside anywhere! Flea eggs and larvae can find places to hide and survive in the house. Year-round flea control is best for your pet.
Myth: I've never seen a flea on my pet, so she doesn't need flea control.
Reality: You may be in flea denial. Just because you don't see fleas doesn't mean they aren't there. Your veterinarian can use a special comb to detect fleas and their waste, so ask her to do this if she hasn't already. Even if your pet's clean, she can pick up fleas at any time, so it's a good idea to protect her.
Myth: I can get good flea products at the Big Box Store.
Reality: Over-the-counter flea control products are not as potent and therefore not as effective as the prescription products you can get from your veterinarian. Some are even toxic, especially if administered incorrectly.
What are my options for flea and tick products?
There are several topical products which have continued to work well for us. This product is Vectra. This product is applied between the shoulder blades, working through the oil glands to fight against all stages of the flea. While these products do work very well for us, one disadvantage is that your pet does need to stay dry for a period of time. This can be very difficult for dogs that live outdoors or need frequent bathing. They can also temporarily leave an oily residue on the coat. For some patients, the topical preventatives are not the ideal product.
We now also carry a chewable product designed to kill BOTH fleas and ticks. The product is very palatable and kills fleas before they can lay eggs, thus preventing infestations. Just as Vectra, the chewable product (NexGard) is also good for 30 days after administration.
Myth: I only need to treat one of my pets that is sensitive to fleas, not the other pets in my house.
Reality: All of the pets in your household need to be treated. Some pets are more sensitive to fleas than others, so if you only treat the pet that's scratching and has fleas, she's likely to be re-infested. Treating all of the pets in the house keeps the flea lifecycle stopped.
Myth: I can't afford to give a flea preventive monthly.
Reality: Can you afford to change the oil in your car to keep it running smoothly and help cut down on expensive repairs? Providing preventive health measures for your pet is the same approach. Compared to the stress and cost of treating flea-related illnesses and possibly paying someone to decontaminate your home monthly control is a low-cost alternative.
Myth: My pet stays in the back yard, so he won't pick up fleas.
Reality: Your yard is constantly being visited by wildlife such as raccoons and opossums, as well as other neighborhood pets (cats are notorious roamers). These animals can spread fleas and flea eggs, which can infest your pet when he goes outside.
Myth: All flea preventives protect pets from fleas only.
Reality: Flea products are often combined with agents that control other parasites as well, helping protect your pets from additional diseases some of which can be transmitted to you. So keeping pets on flea control is best for the whole family.
Myth: Flea products are toxic.
Reality: Products, prescription flea control agents have been extensively tested and approved by the FDA. Veterinarians trust the products and use them on their own pets.
If you have ever lost your pet, you know that terrible feeling at the pit of your stomach that you may never see them again. Microchipping is the best way to make sure your pet makes its way back home.
What is a Microchip?
A microchip is a permanent identification that is placed just under the skin of your pet. If your pet gets lost and is taken to an animal shelter or veterinarian, they will scan the microchip to read a unique ID code. Each ID code is tied to a database with their owner's name, address, and contact information so you can easily be contacted when the pet is found. The best part, it's affordable!
How is it implanted?
It may sound "high-tech," but placing a microchip is a simple procedure. A veterinarian simply injects the microchip (which is about the size of a grain of rice) beneath the surface of your pet's skin between the shoulder blades. The process only takes a few seconds and is similar to a routine shot. Bonus: No anesthetic is required!
Not sure where your pet's chip is registered?
Visit the AAHA Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool at petmicrochiplookup.org. To update your pet's registration, you'll need your pet's microchip number.
If you haven't already created an account with the manufacturer, you'll need to do that as well so you can access the registration in the future to update their information. Make sure all of the information, particularly your phone number(s) and address, is correct.
Can I track where my pet goes if they are microchipped?
No, the microchip is not a tracking device. Only your veterinarian or a location with a universal scanner can scan your pet's microchip.
A microchip only works if its registration information is accurate!
Take advantage of our Microchip special April 24th- 28th
Normally $60 now ONLY $34.99 (HomeAgain Microchip registration and enrollment included.)