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.
Chaz 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 before 7:00 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.
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.
Recently there have been numerous reports in Minnesota of positive cases of Canine Influenza.
Canine Influenza is an extremely contagious upper respiratory disease fairly new to the United States. Minnesota has a recent outbreak of disease involving the more problematic strain of disease- the H3N2 strain. Affected dogs develop coughing, purulent nasal discharge, fever, lethargy and loss of appetite. The signs of infection are similar to those of other respiratory diseases in dogs but can progress rapidly. With proper medical attention, most dogs will recover. However, in some cases, canine influenza can progress to a more severe or even life-threatening condition, such as pneumonia.
Dog flu is very contagious and can spread through direct dog to dog contact, but also can be spread through indirect contact, like sharing of water bowls, toys, or leashes and also by general handling of sick pets. It can persist for up to twenty-four days after infection.
How do you know your pet has influenza?
Your pet will likely have a mild cough, low-grade fever anorexia, lethargy, fever, sneezing, nasal discharge and/or dyspnea. Signs typically appear within one to five days after a dog is infected.
How can it be prevented?
The best way to protect your dog from canine influenza is through avoidance and vaccination. If there is a local outbreak, avoiding common dog areas such as dog parks is strongly recommended. Fortunately, there are vaccinations now available for canine influenza. The initial vaccination requires two doses of each vaccine, given 2 to 4 weeks apart. Thereafter, an annual booster is recommended for continued protection.
My dog gets boarded and grooming, what do you recommend?
At Pipestone Veterinary Services, we carry the Nobivac vaccine to protect your pet from Canine Influenza. As of August 1, 2017 we will be requiring all boarding pets to start their Influenza vaccination series.
Call us today to discuss any questions you may have and to set up an appointment to protect your dog!