Vet In Palmer | Palmer Veterinary Clinic https://palmervetclinic.com/ Mon, 03 Jan 2022 00:12:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.1.1 Arthritis Management in Pets: Overcoming Painful Joint Problems https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/12/24/arthritis-management-in-pets-overcoming-painful-joint-problems/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/12/24/arthritis-management-in-pets-overcoming-painful-joint-problems/#respond Fri, 24 Dec 2021 00:08:15 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=1002 Watching our dear pets slow down as they age can be hard to accept, because we’d all like them to live forever, and any indication of their mortality feels like a gut punch. We can’t offer our pets the elixir of life—we wish we could— but we can ensure they enjoy a comfortable life throughout [...]

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Watching our dear pets slow down as they age can be hard to accept, because we’d all like them to live forever, and any indication of their mortality feels like a gut punch. We can’t offer our pets the elixir of life—we wish we could— but we can ensure they enjoy a comfortable life throughout their days with us. 

Arthritis is one of the most common conditions in adult and senior pets, and can cause a great deal of pain. Like humans, your pet’s arthritis risk increases with age, although pets can develop arthritis at any age if they have a genetic predisposition, or have suffered an injury.

Our Palmer Vet Clinic team answers common arthritis questions to help you understand the signs, and the available treatments that can improve your pet’s quality of life. 

Question: What is arthritis in pets?

Answer: Arthritis is a degenerative disease that causes painful inflammation in the joints. In a healthy pet, cartilage lines the joints and acts as a barrier between bones. Arthritis causes articular cartilage deterioration because of age, injury, repetitive stress, or genetic predisposition. As the cartilage erodes, bone begins rubbing against bone, leading to chronic inflammation and pain. In other words—ouch! 

Q: How do I know if my pet has arthritis?

A: Initially, detecting arthritis can be difficult, since your pet may not let you know they’re suffering minor discomfort. Signs become visible only when the damaged joint causes your pet significant pain, and affects their behavior. Arthritis signs in pets may include:

  • Limping and stiffness
  • Decreased activity
  • Difficulty getting up
  • Difficulty navigating stairs or furniture
  • Lethargy
  • Irritability
  • Muscle loss
  • Weight gain
  • Licking or biting at the painful area
  • Pain when petted or touched in certain spots (e.g., the lower back)
  • Difficulty posturing to urinate or defecate

Q: What is my pet’s arthritis risk?

A: Any pet can develop arthritis, but some breeds—particularly large- and giant-breeds—have a genetic predisposition to hip and elbow joint issues. Additional factors that may increase your pet’s arthritis risk include:

  • Age
  • Obesity
  • Joint, ligament, and bone injuries
  • Hip or elbow dysplasia
  • Poor nutrition
  • Repetitive stress from athletic activities (e.g., agility, flyball, diving, hunting)

Q: How is arthritis diagnosed in pets?

A: Don’t wait for your pet’s joint damage to progress so far that they display serious outward pain signs. Instead, let our veterinarians monitor them for early joint disease signs through regular wellness exams. 

If your pet is displaying arthritis signs, we will perform a full physical examination, and assess your pet’s range of motion and pain level. We may recommend X-rays, to determine the extent of the joint damage, and rule out other potential causes.

Q: How can I treat my pet’s arthritis?

A:  Arthritis is a progressive joint disease that cannot be reversed, but many therapies can slow the progression and manage your pet’s pain. Your veterinarian can tailor your pet’s arthritis treatment based on their condition, and may include the following:

  • Joint supplements — Joint supplements promote healthy cartilage and joint health with combinations of glucosamine, chondroitin, MSM, green-lipped mussel, and other chondroprotective substances. Your veterinarian can recommend the best joint supplement that will improve your pet’s mobility, reduce inflammation, and slow joint damage progression.
  • Weight management and exercise program — An overweight pet with arthritis may benefit from a healthy weight-reduction plan. Your veterinarian can offer food recommendations, portion sizes, and an appropriate exercise program, such as swimming or walking, to help your pet comfortably maintain mobility, and shed pain-inducing excess weight. 
  • Pain medication — For some arthritic pets, prescription medication may be necessary to help manage the joint pain. Never reach into your medicine cabinet to manage your pet’s arthritis, because a pain reliever meant for you—or another animal—may not be right for your pet, and can be dangerous.
  • Alternative therapies — Alternative therapies, like laser therapy, hydrotherapy, physical therapy, acupuncture, and chiropractic care, can help keep an arthritic pet comfortable and mobile.
    • Laser therapy — Can reduce pain by stimulating blood flow to tissues
    • Hydrotherapy — Uses water resistance to provide weightless, pain-relieving physical therapy 
    • Physical therapy — Veterinary rehabilitation therapists use physical therapy to relieve pain and improve joint motion. Therapy may include soft tissue mobilization and massage, passive range of motion (PROM), and stretching. 
    • Acupuncture — Therapists insert fine needles into your pet’s body at specified points (i.e., acupuncture points) where nerves and blood vessels converge. Acupuncture can enhance your pet’s blood circulation, and stimulate the nervous system to increase the release of anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving substances.
    • Surgery — An option if your pet’s arthritis is caused by an underlying joint condition such as hip dysplasia, which can often be treated with a surgical hip replacement

We can’t make our pets live forever, but we can keep them comfortable—including arthritic pets—with an integrative, multimodal therapy plan. If you think your pet may have arthritis, contact our team here at Palmer Vet Clinic, and let us help keep your furry pal happy and pain-free.

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Holiday Safety Through the Eyes of a Pet https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/12/07/holiday-safety-through-the-eyes-of-a-pet/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/12/07/holiday-safety-through-the-eyes-of-a-pet/#respond Tue, 07 Dec 2021 20:06:42 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=997 This holiday season, everyone deserves to celebrate—including your pets. Before you start planning your festivities, take a moment to put yourself in the—er, paws—of your pet, and view the holiday happenings through their eyes. Curiosity about all the fun can spell danger for your pet. Keep them off the naughty list—and out of the emergency [...]

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This holiday season, everyone deserves to celebrate—including your pets. Before you start planning your festivities, take a moment to put yourself in the—er, paws—of your pet, and view the holiday happenings through their eyes. Curiosity about all the fun can spell danger for your pet. Keep them off the naughty list—and out of the emergency veterinary hospital—with our Palmer Vet Clinic team’s tips for happy, healthy, safe, and stress-free holidays with your pet. 

Avoid cooking up trouble for your pet

Tasty food is part of what makes the holidays so great, but many treats can make your pet sick. These common holiday food ingredients can be toxic for pets:

  • Chocolate — All chocolate—especially dark and baker’s chocolate—can be deadly to pets.
  • Fatty foods — Fatty foods, like butter, oils, and grease, can cause pancreatitis.
  • Onions and more — All parts of the onion plant are toxic. Garlic, shallots, leeks, and chives, of the same plant family, are also harmful. 
  • Grapes and raisins — Ingesting only one of these can cause kidney failure.
  • Xylitol — This natural sweetener and sugar substitute used in many sugar-free baked goods is highly toxic to pets.

While your pet shouldn’t eat treats meant for humans, you can indulge their palettes by making healthy pet treats especially for them. 

Don’t let your pet get wrapped up in decor

Your pet may not appreciate your Pinterest-worthy holiday decor, but they would be more than happy to play with all the new “toys” around the house—especially ones that are shiny, fuzzy, and make fun noises. To keep your pet safe, decorate mindfully, and don’t let your pet get wrapped up in trouble.

  • Christmas tree — Secure your tree properly so your pet can’t knock it over, and limit your pets’ access to the tree if they chew on any branches. Ingested pine needles can puncture their intestinal tract and cause obstruction.
  • Holiday plants — Many popular floral arrangements contain plants and flowers toxic to pets. Opt for pet-friendly flowers when decorating for the holidays, and keep plants up high and out of your pet’s reach. The following common holiday plants are toxic for pets:
    • Holly
    • Mistletoe
    • Evergreens
    • Lilies
    • Azaleas
    • Poinsettias—though not poisonous, ingested sap can cause gastric upset
  • Candles — Always supervise your pet—especially excitable tail-waggers—around candles, and always blow out lit candles when leaving the house.
  • Tinsel and ornaments —To your pet, these small, shiny adornments look like fun toys, but ingesting them can be dangerous. Tinsel and ornaments can not only cause stomach upset, but also can get tangled up inside  your pet’s intestines, and require surgical intervention. Ingested glass can cause internal bleeding, so hang your most delicate ornaments high up on your tree. 

Teach your pet—and guests—good party manners

Holiday parties are fun, but the added hustle and bustle—along with unfamiliar faces—can be stressful for your pet. Use the following tips when planning your holiday get-togethers, to ensure your pet’s safety and wellbeing:

  • Provide a safe space — Before a party, ensure your pet has access to a safe space away from the excitement. Distract your pet with music or the television for background noise, and plenty of engaging toys. 
  • Consider medication — Contact your veterinarian if your pet is highly anxious, to discuss the benefits of anti-anxiety medication.
  • Watch the exits — Keep an eye on your pet when people are entering or leaving your home. With an open door and distracted humans, they can easily slip out unnoticed. If your pet does get loose, a microchip and proper identification can help you get them home safely and quickly. Ensure your pet is microchipped, your current contact information is registered with the data company, and their collar is comfortably secure, with current identification tags.
  • Curb counter surfing — Delicious, unattended food is a counter-surfing pet’s dream. Because so many holiday ingredients are unsafe for pets, food dishes should always be kept out of your pet’s reach. 

Prepare for possible pet emergencies

Preparation can help you avoid potential pet hazards, but unforeseen accidents are still possible. Keep the 24-hour Pet Poison Helpline number handy, and call your veterinarian or the helpline immediately, if you suspect your pet has ingested a toxic substance. Signs your pet may have ingested a toxic item include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Tremors
  • Accelerated heart rate

Plan your holidays with time to spare, and share the gift of good health with your pet. Contact our Palmer Vet Clinic team to schedule your pet’s next wellness exam.

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Assisted Living—Caring For Senior Pets https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/11/21/assisted-living-caring-for-senior-pets/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/11/21/assisted-living-caring-for-senior-pets/#respond Sun, 21 Nov 2021 23:41:23 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=992 Dogs and cats are living longer than ever, but any pet lover will tell you they still age too quickly. Before you know it, your “puppy” is turning grey, and your middle-age cat is considered geriatric. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Can you slow it down? While we may not be [...]

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Dogs and cats are living longer than ever, but any pet lover will tell you they still age too quickly. Before you know it, your “puppy” is turning grey, and your middle-age cat is considered geriatric. How did that happen? Where did the time go? Can you slow it down? While we may not be able to halt time, the team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic can ensure that no matter the changes that await your aging pet, they’ll be well cared for in every possible way.

Let’s take a closer look at senior pet struggles and how we can help. 

Things don’t work like they used to—senior pet health

Age isn’t a reason to make fewer pet visits to Palmer Veterinary Clinic. In fact, we recommend twice-yearly exams for all pets older than 7 years of age. While preventive care (e.g., vaccines, parasite screenings, preventives) is still important, senior care prioritizes disease detection, pain management, and identifying any health changes as early as possible. In-depth examinations and annual blood work improve the chances for early diagnosis, better treatments, and improved outcomes.

I don’t feel like myself anymore—senior pet behavioral change

Abnormal behavior in senior pets can sometimes be the first indication of a medical issue, and may occur without any physical illness signs. Personality changes are not a normal part of the aging process, and should always be assessed by your veterinarian, no matter how small they seem. Common senior pet behavioral changes may include:

  • Excessive vocalizing
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Increased anxiety
  • Sudden fear or aggression
  • Confusion, and wandering
  • Obsessive behavior
  • Isolating or becoming overly attached 
  • Failure to respond to basic commands

In addition to disease processes, behavioral changes can indicate vision or hearing loss, as well as cognitive dysfunction syndrome, an age-related neurological deterioration similar to Alzheimer’s disease in humans.

I can’t hold it anymore—senior pet elimination issues

If your previously house or litter box trained senior pet is now having accidents, they have not had a setback in learning, or acting spitefully. Before changing your pet’s routine, let us evaluate them at Palmer Veterinary Clinic to look for medical causes, such as incontinence, urinary tract infection, loss of sphincter tone, arthritis pain, cognitive dysfunction syndrome, or weakness. While some conditions cannot be cured, they may be managed with medication and lifestyle adjustments, including:

  • More frequent trips outside
  • Lowering litter box height so your cat can step in and out
  • Placing potty pads near frequently soiled areas
  • Having your pet wear a belly band or diaper that you check and change frequently, to prevent infection and skin irritation.

Is that you? Senior pet vision loss

Although sight isn’t their primary sense, blindness or vision impairment can still cause pets to feel anxious and disoriented. If you notice changes in your pet’s eyes (e.g., redness, swelling, pawing) or their vision (e.g., bumping into things, becoming lost easily), see your veterinarian right away. However, senior pets adapt well to vision changes and loss, if they are not in pain. Help your vision-impaired pet by providing the following:

  • Supervision — Dogs should be supervised or kept on leash while outside, to prevent wandering or injury.
  • Light — Pets with limited vision appreciate indoor night lights. Porch lights and solar-powered luminaries provide a comforting glow during outdoor excursions. 
  • Consistency — Avoid rearranging furniture, or your pet’s belongings, to prevent injury or confusion.
  • Barriers — Block access to stairs with baby gates.
  • Familiar scents — Don’t wash your pet’s bedding or toys too often. Pets with vision loss use odor for navigation, and find comfort in recognizable objects.

What did you say? Senior pet hearing loss

Degenerative changes to the ears’ nerves cause hearing loss in most senior pets. Hearing loss is often suspected when pets fail to respond when called, startle more easily, and sleep more soundly. While pets seem to adapt easily to their new silence, pet owners must learn to rely on nonverbal communication, such as:

  • Hand signals
  • Vibration collars 
  • Gentle taps
  • Blinking light (e.g., pen light)

Because hearing impaired pets cannot recognize that a vehicle, person, or unfamiliar animal is approaching, they are at an increased risk of injury, and should be confined to a leash or a fenced area while outdoors.

I can’t keep up anymore—senior pet mobility issues

Osteoarthritis (i.e., degenerative joint disease) is common in senior dogs and cats, and can severely impair mobility, comfort, and quality of life. If your pet is sleeping more, favoring a limb, moves stiffly, or is reluctant to perform certain movements (e.g., jump, use stairs, or play), schedule an appointment at Palmer Veterinary Care. Unmanaged arthritis pain creates a vicious cycle, as the unused muscles weaken, and inactivity-induced weight gain adds pressure to aching joints, and causes severe pain. 

Osteoarthritis is progressive, but can be controlled with pain medication, weight loss, exercise modification, and laser therapy. Home modifications, such as pet ramps, lift-harnesses, orthopedic bedding, and non-slip rugs, can help your pet maintain their independence, and prevent depression. Once your pet’s pain is well-controlled, talk to your veterinarian about safe, low-impact exercises.

Watch out for me—senior pet illness signs

Monitor your senior pet’s health closely for any changes. Early illness indications, such as increased thirst or urination, changes in appetite, hiding, poor grooming, or reluctance to go for a walk, may be subtle. Don’t wait for obvious signs, because intervention then may not be as effective.

 You know your faithful friend better than anyone, so trust your judgement, and schedule an examination at Palmer Veterinary Clinic for anything that’s causing concern.

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It’s All Gravy—Basic Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/11/07/its-all-gravy-basic-thanksgiving-pet-safety-tips/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/11/07/its-all-gravy-basic-thanksgiving-pet-safety-tips/#respond Sun, 07 Nov 2021 02:32:20 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=969 Your Thanksgiving centerpiece and main memory should be the turkey—not a pet emergency. Learn a lesson from Palmer Veterinary Clinic’s “turkey tales,” to ensure this year’s holiday memories are made around the table—not of a pilgrimage to the nearest emergency hospital. The bird is the word—turkey and pets You return to the kitchen with dirty [...]

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Your Thanksgiving centerpiece and main memory should be the turkey—not a pet emergency. Learn a lesson from Palmer Veterinary Clinic’s “turkey tales,” to ensure this year’s holiday memories are made around the table—not of a pilgrimage to the nearest emergency hospital.

The bird is the word—turkey and pets

You return to the kitchen with dirty plates, and silently congratulate yourself on surviving another family Thanksgiving. As you enter the room, a furry four-legged blur scrambles under the table, awkwardly dragging something large and—judging by the trail left behind—greasy. Safely imprisoned by table and chair legs, your dog gnaws on the turkey’s bony remains.

Dogs and cats are opportunistic scavengers who simply can’t resist a free meal. And although white meat turkey is a fantastic pet-safe protein source, that’s rarely the cut they select. Instead, pets gorge on greasy skin and pan drippings, which contain pancreatitis-causing fat levels, and may include pet-toxic ingredients, such as garlic, onions, or leeks. Cooked turkey bones can splinter and lacerate the mouth, trachea, or digestive tract. Bones can also lodge in the intestines, creating a dangerous blockage that requires surgical repair.

Guard your bird, and your pet by:

  • Burying the bones — Take any remnants to the garage or place them in your freezer.
  • Stealing away the opportunity to steal — Keep all serving trays and plates far away from the counter’s edge, to prevent counter-surfing.
  • Teaming up — Instruct guests not to feed your pet from their plate.
  • Taking out the trash — Keep lids on trash cans, and store them behind closed doors or a baby gate, to deter dumpster-diving pets. Plastic wrap, foil, and cooking twine are also common causes for intestinal obstruction. 

Deadly sweets—Thanksgiving desserts and pets

Not again. For the fifth year in a row, your Aunt Sally brought her mysterious pink gelatin “fluff” dessert. To make matters worse, your dog couldn’t resist sampling the wobbly mound, and bit off a large chunk. You spin the plate to hide the gap, but not before Aunt Sally notices. She proudly informs you that there’s no need to worry—she’s “gone keto,” and this year’s dessert is sugar-free.

Holiday desserts seduce pets with their sweet smell, but wreak havoc on their health. Sugar-free desserts and some store-bought baked goods are made with xylitol, a dangerous sugar substitute that triggers a rapid drop in blood glucose, and potential permanent liver damage in pets. Keep your pet away from the desert table, especially from any treat containing the following pet-toxic ingredients:

  • Xylitol
  • Chocolate
  • Raisins or currants
  • Grapes
  • Yeast dough
  • Macadamia nuts

Dangerously good taste—decorations and pets

The house is picture perfect. Your carefully curated fall decor has the right balance of rustic charm and autumn warmth—maybe too warm. You turn away from your well-appointed mantle to see your cat fleeing the scene, where a single displaced candle has set the lace table runner ablaze.

Fall decor invites us to settle in, but inspires pets to play and taste. The new and unusual objects and attractions can easily result in mishaps and mayhem. Common dangers include:

  • Candles — Avoid pet burns and accidental fires by replacing them with flameless candles.
  • Fireplace — Use a fireplace guard, and keep away curious pets when the fire is being tended.
  • String lights — Cats may chew these, or become tangled in the wires.
  • Gourds and pumpkins — These are non-toxic, but large pieces can cause choking or intestinal blockage.
  • Acorns — Commonly in centerpieces and floral arrangements, these are toxic to dogs and cats.
  • Toxic flowers — Chrysanthemums and autumn crocus are fall favorites that are hazardous to pets. 
  • Corn cobs — Multicolored ears of corn conjure up thoughts of harvest and canine intestinal blockage.

If your pet is likely to chew or play with decorative items, select your pieces carefully, and display them out of reach, or install temporary baby gates, to restrict your pet’s access to decorated areas.

Crowded house—holiday visitors and your pet

“He’s fine. Pets love me. Right, buddy?” Uncle Bob is steadily moving in on your elderly beagle, who is resting on the couch, and—by the looks of his wide eyes and lip-licking—asking to be left alone. Bob ignores your dog’s averted gaze and stiff posture. When he reaches out to pat your dog’s head, he’s met with a flash of teeth that air-snap only millimeters from his outstretched hand. 

Hosting family or friends is stressful, but at least we can rationalize their temporary stay. Pets see only a potential threat and abrupt changes in their daily routine. All pets—including those who enjoy visitors—can easily become overwhelmed, and need an escape. Give your pet a quiet space, such as a crate or small room, where they can go during busy times, or where they can retreat at will.

Check your pet’s microchip registration, and ensure they wear updated identification (i.e., collar and tags) at all times, in case they slip out an open door or gate. If your pet becomes anxious around strangers or noise, speak to your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication that will put their mind at ease. 

Thanksgiving is meant to be a time rich with gratitude. Rather than being thankful that your pet’s emergency was only a close call, avoid the risk entirely by designing a pet-safe holiday experience. To schedule a pre-holiday examination, or to ask your veterinarian about anti-anxiety medication for your pet, contact Palmer Veterinary Clinic.

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Death by Chocolate—Why Pets and Chocolate Don’t Mix https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/10/25/death-by-chocolate-why-pets-and-chocolate-dont-mix/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/10/25/death-by-chocolate-why-pets-and-chocolate-dont-mix/#respond Mon, 25 Oct 2021 00:29:33 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=961 People have been enjoying chocolate for more than 2,000 years. The Latin name for the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao, which translates to “food of the gods.” For anyone who loves chocolate, this name makes perfect sense. You may be tempted to share this delectable treat and let your pet experience the chocolatey goodness, but [...]

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People have been enjoying chocolate for more than 2,000 years. The Latin name for the cacao tree is Theobroma cacao, which translates to “food of the gods.” For anyone who loves chocolate, this name makes perfect sense.

You may be tempted to share this delectable treat and let your pet experience the chocolatey goodness, but sadly, your pet will have to abstain. Our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic explains why chocolate is dangerous for your pet, and how they are affected by this ingredient.

Why is chocolate toxic to pets?

Chocolate contains two toxic ingredients, theobromine and caffeine, which cause problems for pets. Theobromine and caffeine are readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract, and distributed throughout the pet’s body. They work in several ways to result in toxicosis for pets:

  • They competitively inhibit adenosine receptors, resulting in central nervous system stimulation, increased urination, and increased heart rate.
  • They increase intracellular calcium levels, causing increased strength and contractions of skeletal and cardiac muscles.
  • They increase cyclic adenosine monophosphate levels, increasing circulating epinephrine and norepinephrine levels.

Is all chocolate equally toxic to pets?

Different chocolate types have different theobromine and caffeine levels, meaning some chocolate is more toxic than others.

  • White chocolate — Contains only trace amounts of theobromine and caffeine
  • Milk chocolate — Contains 58 mg/oz theobromine and 6 mg/oz caffeine
  • Dark chocolate — Contains 130 mg/oz theobromine and 20 mg/oz caffeine
  • Semisweet chocolate — Contains 138 mg/oz theobromine and 22 mg/oz caffeine
  • Baking chocolate — Contains 393 mg/oz theobromine and 47 mg/oz caffeine
  • Dry cocoa powder — Contains 737 mg/oz theobromine and 67 mg/oz caffeine
  • Cocoa bean — Contains 600 mg/oz theobromine

Different pets react differently to dosages, but the average toxic dose for pets is 100 mg/kg for theobromine and 140 mg/kg for caffeine. This means that for the average 25 kg family dog, a fatal dose is 1.5 kg of milk chocolate, 400 gm of semi-sweet chocolate, and 140 gm of baking chocolate. If your pet ingests chocolate, you can use a chocolate toxicity calculator to determine their toxicity, based on their weight and how much chocolate they ingested. You should also immediately call Palmer Veterinary Clinic or Animal Poison Control.

What are chocolate toxicity signs in pets?

Clinical signs typically take several hours to manifest after a pet ingests chocolate. Theobromine has a long half-life, meaning it remains in the bloodstream for a long time. This results in signs lasting for several days, if a large amount was ingested. Signs typically progress as follows:

  • Initial signs — These may include increased thirst, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal distention, and restlessness.
  • Later signs — Signs may progress to hyperactivity, increased urination, incoordination, muscle rigidity, tremors, and seizures.
  • Severe signs — In severe cases, signs may include increased heart rate, increased respiratory rate, cyanosis, high blood pressure, a heart arrhythmia called premature ventricular contractions, elevated body temperature, and coma.

If death occurs, cardiac arrhythmias, elevated body temperature, or respiratory failure are usually the cause. The high fat content in chocolate can also trigger pancreatitis in some pets.

How is chocolate toxicity in pets treated?

An antidote for chocolate toxicosis does not exist, so treatment is focused on preventing absorption and supportive care. Early and aggressive treatment intervention increases the chance for a favorable outcome.

  • If the chocolate was ingested one to four hours previously, vomiting can be induced. Gastric lavage may also be performed, to remove as much chocolate from the stomach as possible.
  • Activated charcoal can also be administered, to prevent theobromine and caffeine from being absorbed through the gastrointestinal tract. Intravenous fluids are used to stabilize the pet, and promote theobromine and caffeine excretion.
  • A pet’s cardiac status and body temperature will be monitored during the treatment course, and a urinary catheter may be placed to ensure the theobromine and caffeine cannot be reabsorbed via the bladder.
  • If the pet is seizuring, anti-seizure medications will be administered, to control the episodes.
  • Once the pet is stabilized, they can be offered water and a bland diet. They should be closely monitored for 24 to 48 hours post treatment, depending on clinical signs.

How can chocolate toxicosis be prevented in pets?

Chocolate toxicosis can easily be prevented with a few simple precautions:

  • Never intentionally feed chocolate to your pet. Ensure your children realize the danger as well, so they don’t inadvertently poison your pet.
  • Store all chocolate and chocolate-containing products in high or locked cupboards, to ensure your pet cannot access them.
  • Be particularly careful around holidays such as Valentine’s day, Easter, Halloween, and Christmas, when more chocolate is usually available.
  • Avoid using gardening mulches that contain cocoa bean shells.

The good news is that since you can’t give your pet chocolate, you can enjoy more chocolate! Chocolate can pose a significant risk to your pet, but these few precautions can safeguard them from becoming poisoned. If your pet ingests chocolate, do not hesitate to contact our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic, so we can save them from a death by chocolate.

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6 Hauntingly Good Halloween Pet Safety Tips https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/10/15/6-hauntingly-good-halloween-pet-safety-tips/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/10/15/6-hauntingly-good-halloween-pet-safety-tips/#respond Fri, 15 Oct 2021 23:58:59 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=955 Halloween is around the corner. Pumpkin spice scent will fill the air, jack-o’-lanterns will be on every doorstop, and trick-or-treaters will be out in force, dressed in their most outlandish costumes. While this holiday provides hauntingly good fun for children and adults, your pets can be in danger if you don’t take precautions. Our team [...]

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Halloween is around the corner. Pumpkin spice scent will fill the air, jack-o’-lanterns will be on every doorstop, and trick-or-treaters will be out in force, dressed in their most outlandish costumes. While this holiday provides hauntingly good fun for children and adults, your pets can be in danger if you don’t take precautions. Our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic would like to provide tips to help safeguard your pet during the frightening festivities.

#1: Ensure your pet has appropriate identification

During the excitement, your pet may become spooked and sneak out when everyone is distracted. To help ensure your pet will be returned should they go missing, consider having them microchipped, to provide permanent identification that can’t be lost. This simple procedure can easily be performed at their next wellness visit. They should also be wearing a collar and identification tags with your current contact information. 

#2: Create a safe zone for your pet

As costumed trick-or-treaters arrive at your door, your pet may become frightened and try to run away, or become aggressive toward the scary new arrivals. Confine them in a crate or an interior room in your house, so they don’t become stressed or scared. Ensure they have water, and distract them using a food-puzzle toy to keep their attention focused on something pleasurable. Never leave your pet outside on Halloween night, because pranksters may tease or injure vulnerable pets left out to fend for themselves. Black cats are especially at risk of being targeted.

#3: Do not feed your pet Halloween candy

Trick-or-treat candy is not for pets. Small, hard candies can be a choking hazard, and foil candy wrappers can cause intestinal obstruction, which may require surgery. Also, several items found in the candy dish are toxic to pets, including:

  • Chocolate — Chocolate, especially dark or baking chocolate, can be deadly for dogs and cats. Signs include vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and death.
  • Xylitol — This ingredient is commonly found in sugar-free candy. If ingested, xylitol can cause an extreme drop in a pet’s blood glucose, leading to incoordination and seizures. 
  • Raisins — No one likes to get raisins in their trick-or-treat basket, but don’t give them to your pets, because they can cause kidney failure in pets. 
  • Nuts — Some nuts, such as macadamia nuts, are toxic to pets, but all nuts are high in fat, and can cause gastrointestinal upset and possibly pancreatitis.

If your pet ingests a poisonous substance, immediately call Palmer Veterinary Clinic or Animal Poison Control.

#4: Ensure your pet’s costume is safe

If your pet seems frightened or stressed when you put them in a costume, listen to their signals, and forget the costume. If your pet is amenable to being dressed up, avoid injury by ensuring the costume:

  • Fits well, and is not too loose or too tight
  • Does not limit your pet’s mobility
  • Does not obstruct your pet’s breathing, vision, or hearing
  • Does not hinder your pet’s ability to vocalize
  • Has no loose or dangling pieces that could be choking hazards

Do not wait for Halloween night to try on your pet’s costume. Several days or weeks in advance, dress them in their costume for a short period, and gradually increase the time until the big night arrives. Provide treats and praise to make the experience positive. You should never leave your pet unattended when they are wearing a costume, to ensure no problems arise.

#5: Protect your pet from dangerous Halloween decorations

Halloween decorations are fun, but they can be a potential threat for your pet. Considerations include:

  • Jack-o’-lanterns — A curious pet can easily knock over a lit jack-o’-lantern while they are investigating, which could cause serious burns, or set a fire.
  • Loud or flashing decorations — Halloween is the perfect time to scare your neighbors with moving, creepy monsters and skeletons, but these decorations can cause extreme anxiety and distress for your pet.
  • Dry ice — If your pet investigates the smoking cloud’s source, the dry ice could damage their skin.
  • Glow sticks — These devices are great to keep children safe when navigating dark streets, but do not let your pet chew them. They aren’t toxic, but they have a bitter taste that can distress your pet, and cause excessive drooling. If your pet is affected, offer them a treat or milk to help eliminate the taste.
  • Festive lights — Some pets can’t resist chewing on wires. Keep electrical wires away from your pet, to prevent them from getting shocked.

#6: Keep your pet leashed

If you do take your dog out on Halloween night, keep them on a reflective leash, and ensure they are wearing proper identification. If they become nervous because of the commotion, take them back home as soon as possible.

Your Halloween fun does not have to be curtailed, as long as you follow these tips to ensure your pet stays safe and unafraid. If you would like to have your pet microchipped before the ghoulish gaiety, do not hesitate to contact our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic to schedule an appointment.

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Separation Anxiety Anonymous for Pets https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/09/27/separation-anxiety-anonymous-for-pets/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/09/27/separation-anxiety-anonymous-for-pets/#respond Mon, 27 Sep 2021 23:40:37 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=950 Some pets are unaffected by their owner’s comings and goings, while others become significantly distressed when their human is not by their side. A pet who is affected by separation anxiety can experience extreme emotional upset akin to panic, which can be extremely stressful for you and your pet. Our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic [...]

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Some pets are unaffected by their owner’s comings and goings, while others become significantly distressed when their human is not by their side. A pet who is affected by separation anxiety can experience extreme emotional upset akin to panic, which can be extremely stressful for you and your pet. Our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic sat in on a support group for pets suffering from separation anxiety, to offer tips on helping these troubled pets.

Precious the calico cat: “Being home all alone is so hard! To distract myself, I became obsessed with grooming, and my hair started coming out in patches. My owner became alarmed, and took me for a visit at Palmer Veterinary Clinic to determine if I was sick.”

Palmer Veterinary Clinic (PVC): Cats affected by separation anxiety will exhibit signs such as overgrooming, elimination outside the litter box, aggression, and decreased appetite. If your pet is displaying inappropriate behavior, you should have them evaluated by a veterinary professional to ensure a medical issue is not to blame.

Conrad the Chihuahua: “I follow my owner everywhere. I get nervous if he goes into another room where I can’t see him, and I start howling so he will come back to save me.”

PVC: The first step in treating separation anxiety is to start independence training, to teach your pet how to be alone. Create a comfortable space in your home, such as a crate or a small, interior room where you place their bed and a few favorite toys. Teach them a “Stay” command, and provide a treat when they comply. Once they have mastered “staying,” start taking steps away from them, offering a treat after several minutes. You can gradually increase your distance, and eventually leave the room. Once your pet stays calm when you leave the room, you can gradually increase the time you leave them alone. Providing a food-puzzle toy for these practice sessions will offer a pleasant distraction.

Tammy the tabby cat: “When my owner is away, I have nothing to do. I usually spend my time clawing the furniture, but for some reason, my human gets upset about this.”

PVC: If your pet depends on you for stimulation, they likely become bored when you leave home, so use environmental enrichment techniques to keep them mentally and physically engaged. Ensure your cat has several scratching posts throughout the house so they won’t be tempted to scratch your furniture. Cats enjoy viewing their environment from an elevated position, so provide a cat tree in a convenient location. You can also leave the television or radio playing, to provide background noise.

Spud the basset hound: “I know when my owner is preparing to leave me alone. She puts her shoes on, puts her purse on her shoulder, and turns the lights off. Before she leaves the house, I am an anxious mess.”

PVC: Your pet knows your departure cues, and will start exhibiting anxiety signs when they see you performing these tasks. To desensitize your pet to these departure cues, perform these actions several times a day without leaving. Once they remain calm when you carry out these tasks, leave the house for a minute, and then come back. You can gradually increase the time you are gone.

Arnold the Maine Coone: “My owner obviously finds leaving me stressful, because she tells me over and over that “Everything will be OK,” but I can still tell she is upset. When she comes home, she spends the first several minutes telling me how much she missed me, so I feel justified in feeling anxious when she’s gone.”

PVC: Creating emotional displays when you leave and return home can feed your pet’s anxiety. They read the drama as excessive emotion that is cause for stress. Keep your departures and arrivals low-key. Give your pet a food-puzzle toy a few minutes before you leave, and quietly make your departure while they are preoccupied. When you come home, wait 15 minutes before greeting your pet.

Ernie the dachshund: “I feel so lonely and sad when my owner leaves. I try to be a good boy, but when I feel so upset, the only way to decrease my stress is to chew on my owner’s most expensive shoes.”

PCC: Pets are instinctively social animals, and find being alone unnatural. When they exhibit behaviors, such as chewing your shoes or scratching at the door, they are not being spiteful, but expressing their distress. Break up your pet’s day by having a friend or pet sitter come by once or twice while you are gone to offer playtime. You can also consider leaving your dog at a doggy day care a few times a week. 

Eliza the miniature poodle: “When my owner leaves, I get so distraught. My heart rate increases, I start panting, I howl constantly, and I try to scratch my way out the door. Please come back!”

PVC: If your pet is severely affected by separation anxiety, an anti-anxiety medication may help. These medications are not meant to sedate your pet or alter their personality, but to help your pet relax during your absence.

Some pets require expert behavioral counseling to help overcome separation anxiety. If your pet is suffering from this disturbing problem, do not hesitate to contact our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic, and schedule an appointment, so we can help before the situation becomes more serious.

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6 Tips to Entertain Your Bored Pet https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/09/07/6-tips-to-entertain-your-bored-pet/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/09/07/6-tips-to-entertain-your-bored-pet/#respond Tue, 07 Sep 2021 21:33:51 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=945 If your pet is bored, they may express their boredom by exhibiting unwanted behaviors. Bored dogs can become destructive, chewing inappropriate objects, or digging holes in your yard. Other signs include overexcitement when they greet you, and constantly panting and pacing. Clues your cat may be suffering from boredom include over-grooming, which may cause hair [...]

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If your pet is bored, they may express their boredom by exhibiting unwanted behaviors. Bored dogs can become destructive, chewing inappropriate objects, or digging holes in your yard. Other signs include overexcitement when they greet you, and constantly panting and pacing. Clues your cat may be suffering from boredom include over-grooming, which may cause hair loss or skin irritation, eliminating outside their litter box, excessive meowing, and scratching furniture. Pets need more than an occasional pat on the head for a fulfilling life, so our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic shares six easy tips to keep them entertained.

#1: Let your pet get physical

Physical enrichment enhances your pet’s environment by adding complexity.

  • Different routes — When walking your dog, explore new trails or neighborhoods, and try out different terrains and landscapes.
  • Catio — If you have the space, create a catio so your cat can have safe access to the outdoors, enabling them to interact with the natural world. If this is not an option, place a cat perch near the window so they can survey their environment beyond the window.
  • Agility — Many dog training centers offer agility classes, or you can set up a course in your backyard. Jumping and weaving through the obstacles is great exercise for your dog, and a great way to strengthen your bond.
  • Scratching posts — Ensure you have enough cat scratching posts throughout your home. Cats need to scratch, and they will not hesitate to shred your new couch if they cannot find an appropriate place. You may need to try several different textures and styles to find your cat’s preference.
  • Cat towers — Cats appreciate having a high vantage point to survey their kingdom.

#2: Let your pet use their brain

Cognitive enrichment provides thinking and problem-solving opportunities.

  • Food puzzle toys — These toys provide a problem-solving activity for your pet, who should be rewarded with a yummy treat when they decipher the puzzle. Food puzzle toys are available for cats and dogs, or you can make your own.
  • New tricks — Teach your pet a new trick. If your pet is new to tricks, start with something simple, so you don’t frustrate them. Some cats are amenable to trick learning, and many respond well to clicker training.
  • Books — Read to your pet. Studies have shown that reading to pets may help keep them calm and less anxious.

#3: Let your pet be sociable

Social enrichment involves spending time with your pet, and allows them to meet other animals and people.

  • Pet sitter — When you are away from home, hire a pet sitter to visit your pet, and provide a midday play session and cuddle.
  • Dog park — Take your dog to a dog park to meet new buddies in a safe environment. Ensure their vaccines are up to date before allowing them to contact other dogs.
  • Grooming — Finding time to groom your pet daily is a great way to offer your pet social enrichment and share your affection. Grooming also keeps your pet’s coat shiny and healthy.
  • Playtime — You should make time in your day to play with your pet. Most dogs will not turn down an opportunity to play fetch, and cats can usually be tempted by laser pointers or wand toys.

#4: Let your pet use their senses

Sensory enrichment stimulates your pet by using their senses.

  • Bubbles — Many pets are fascinated by bubbles and their elusiveness.
  • Wind chimes — The light, pleasing noise can offer a new sound for your pet.
  • Novel scents — Regularly introduce new scents to your pet to provide sensory enrichment. Scents to try include catnip, lavender, mint, and cinnamon. You can also rub an old shirt or cloth on another animal, to open your pet’s world to new species. Also, let your dog sniff all the scents when you are out walking.

#5: Let your pet work for their food

Feeding enrichment makes mealtime more interesting by challenging your pet to determine how they can access the food.

  • Puzzle feeder — You can put your pet’s entire meal in a puzzle feeder, to make them work for their dinner.
  • Foraging skills — Hide your pet’s meal around your home, and make them search for and find their feast.
  • Water fountain — Cats especially enjoy water fountains, and they encourage your pet to drink more water. You should also provide still water, so your pet has a choice.
  • Muffin tin — You can create a cheap, easy nosework game by placing tennis balls in a muffin tin, and placing your pet’s food under the balls. 

#6: Let your pet be playful

Toy enrichment allows your pet to explore objects in new and interesting ways.

  • Rotate — Rotate your pet’s toys frequently, so they are always interested in their playthings.
  • Get creative — Stimulate your pet using remote control or wind-up toys, ensuring they do not chew the toys.

Pet enrichment will improve your dog or cat’s quality of life, and their wellbeing. If your pet has been displaying behavior that you think could be caused by boredom, do not hesitate to contact our team at Palmer Veterinary Clinic, to schedule an appointment for advice.

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Rx Success—7 Stress Reducing Strategies for Medicating Your Pet https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/08/27/rx-success-7-stress-reducing-strategies-for-medicating-your-pet/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/08/27/rx-success-7-stress-reducing-strategies-for-medicating-your-pet/#respond Fri, 27 Aug 2021 02:39:52 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=937 Does your blood pressure spike when your veterinarian says, “Your pet needs daily medication?” Palmer Veterinary Clinic understands your struggle. Check out our seven stress-reducing strategies for medicating your pet. #1: Don’t be afraid: Express your concerns about medicating your pet Medicating pets can be a challenge for veterinary professionals, too, so let us know [...]

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Does your blood pressure spike when your veterinarian says, “Your pet needs daily medication?” Palmer Veterinary Clinic understands your struggle. Check out our seven stress-reducing strategies for medicating your pet.

#1: Don’t be afraid: Express your concerns about medicating your pet

Medicating pets can be a challenge for veterinary professionals, too, so let us know if you have hesitations or questions about giving your pet their medication. We may be able to offer a suitable alternative in a different formula (e.g., a liquid medication if your pet hates pills). Long-acting preparations or injections are available for some classes of antibiotics. Other medications may be compounded to add flavoring, or make the medication into a tasty treat.

Our team is happy to demonstrate techniques that may improve your success, and keep your pet more comfortable. Do not be intimidated about discussing your struggles or previous challenges, because we want you to be safe and successful when medicating your pet.

#2: Calling all pet owners: This is your prescription for peace

What is your mindset before attempting to medicate your pet? Do you feel stressed, intimidated, or pressed for time? Consider how this will affect your pet—and your success.

  • Take a mental chill pill — A relaxed frame of mind will show your pet that this is no big deal.  
  • Prioritize comfort and confidence Missed or damaged doses can be replaced, but your pet’s trust will take a lot longer to rebuild. 
  • Address the energy in the room — Try medicating your pet in a different area of your home that they will not associate with previous medication battles.

Medicating your pet may be necessary for their health, but you must develop a casual energy about the process to be successful. With time and positive encouragement, medicating your pet will become calm and natural. 

#3: Four paws = four hands: Find a pet medication partner

Get a family member or friend to help if the medication will require restraining or distracting your pet. Review your partner’s role in detail before adding your pet. Role-playing without your pet can be incredibly helpful, improve safety, and build confidence.  Encourage your partner to stay calm, because your pet may feel outnumbered and nervous. Always begin any medication session by putting your pet at ease with multiple small treats, petting, or play.

#4: Behind the curtain: Prepare medications away from your pet

Pets are highly observant. If you prepare your pet’s medication or pill treats where they can smell or see them, they will know what’s coming. Prepare all supplies and medications out of your pet’s sight to ensure success.

Always wash your hands after touching medication when you prepare food treats so that no residue from a tablet, pill, or liquid medication contaminates the treat. Your pet then will know exactly what’s inside, and the jig will be up.

#5: Slow and steady: Don’t sneak attack your pet

You may think quick, darting movements will help medicate your pet, but these maneuvers can heighten their stress, and ultimately cause them to scratch or bite out of fear. Instead, move slowly and calmly. Reward your pet at each stage with small food treats—after approaching them with the bottle, lifting their ear, touching their ear with the bottle, for example. Such a gradual process will produce more effective medicating with good associations that will last.

#6: Fake it so they’ll take it: The art of hiding pet pills in food

Wrapping medicine in a tasty treat is surely the friendliest method for medicating your pet, but remember these rules to get it right: 

  • Choose irresistible wraps Wrap the pill in something extra special, like peanut butter, cheese, cream cheese, canned food, or commercial pill treats. You may need to add a bit of flour to make sticky foods pliable. 
  • Camouflage the bitter pill Cover the pill in a thin layer. If the coating is too thick, your pet will try to chew, and may get a taste of the medicine.
  • Reward rapidly Make several similar sized “blank” treats. Get your dog excited with a free treat, or reward them for a simple behavior. Assess whether they chew or swallow the treat, and adjust the size accordingly. Feed two or three blank treats quickly, then your “loaded” treat, followed by another blank treat. Ensure your pet can see the next treat coming while they consume the firstdo not give them time to think. 

Always check with your veterinarian before using a new food to medicate your pet. For example, some medications cannot be paired with dairy products, and some medical conditions can be impacted by high fat foods.

#7:  All for naught? Learn the correct way to manually pill your pet

All the pill-disguising kindness in the world may not win over the most skeptical pets. For those dogs and cats, you should learn how to safely and effectively medicate them manually. You can come by our Palmer Veterinary Clinic for a demonstration, or consult these helpful photo tutorials for cats and dogs. Do not use these techniques on a pet who has a history of biting—contact us for advice on alternative methods or medications. 

We hope that some of these tips will reduce the stress of medicating your pet, but if you have additional questions, need a demonstration, or would like to discuss your pet’s medications, contact Palmer Veterinary Clinic.

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Tiny Chip, Big Impact—The Importance of Microchipping Your Pet https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/08/07/tiny-chip-big-impact-the-importance-of-microchipping-your-pet/ https://palmervetclinic.com/2021/08/07/tiny-chip-big-impact-the-importance-of-microchipping-your-pet/#respond Sat, 07 Aug 2021 16:37:02 +0000 https://palmervetclinic.com/?p=932 Microchipping a pet is a common topic for pet owners—but how do microchips actually work? How can something as small as a rice grain make the difference between a sweet reunion with your missing pet and never seeing your pet again? Palmer Veterinary Clinic wants to educate you on the ins and outs of the [...]

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Microchipping a pet is a common topic for pet owners—but how do microchips actually work? How can something as small as a rice grain make the difference between a sweet reunion with your missing pet and never seeing your pet again? Palmer Veterinary Clinic wants to educate you on the ins and outs of the tiny-but-huge world of pet microchips.  

So tiny? Understanding how your pet’s microchip works

A microchip is a tiny, implantable device with a capacitor, antenna, and connective wiring inside a bio-safe glass or polymer covering. The embedded microchip transmits one unique multi-digit identification number when activated by the low-power radio frequency of a handheld microchip scanner. The number can be checked against the microchip database, and the registered owner can be contacted about their pet’s location and status. 

Understanding that the microchip itself does not locate your pet by transmitting a trackable signal is important, as this presumption can provide a false sense of security. The chip is simply storage for your pet’s unique identification number. Your lost pet must still be found and taken to a shelter or veterinary office for the microchip to serve its purpose.

Will it hurt? Your pet will feel only slight discomfort

Many owners worry unnecessarily about the pain of implantation, but pets are commonly microchipped during routine visits while completely awake, and experience only momentary discomfort—a small price to pay for lifelong peace of mind. Rest assured that Palmer Veterinary Clinic takes every precaution to minimize your pet’s discomfort by following these steps:

  • We will use a hypodermic needle to embed the microchip in the subcutaneous tissue below the skin.
  • Microchips are implanted between the shoulder blades, where the loose skin has less sensitivity.
  • We will try to distract your pet with yummy, time-consuming treats like peanut butter, cheese spread, or canned food, to take their mind off the process.
  • We may use desensitization techniques, such as lightly pinching the skin while rewarding with food, before thE actual implantation, so your pet is not startled. 
  • The entire process takes only slightly longer than a vaccination.
  • Your pet may experience local sensitivity at the injection site that should fade in one to three days. In time, the body will form a fibrous capsule around the microchip, which is actually desirable, because that holds the chip in place.

We strongly recommend that a veterinary professional implant your pet’s microchip. With poor technique, a microchip may back out of the skin and become caught in the hair, or be incorrectly placed, and harder to detect when scanned.

Finish what you started: Register your pet’s microchip

After your pet is microchipped, registering your pet’s chip is an absolutely critical but commonly overlooked step. By registering the chip, you are assigning your contact information to the chip identification number. Without it, your pet’s microchip can be a dead end.

While some microchips may be traceable to the hospital or shelter where the chip was implanted, that is not always the case. Registering your pet’s microchip increases the likelihood and speed at which your pet will be returned to you. 

  • Check the scan — If you’re unsure if your pet’s microchip is registered, bring in your pet for a quick chip scan. Based on the number, we can provide you with the manufacturer’s name and online registry address. 
  • Update the information — Update your pet’s microchip information each time you relocate or change phone numbers. 
  • Extra information 1 — Some registries will allow you to list health conditions, medications, and allergies on your pet’s profile, which can alert the hospital or shelter to your pet’s veterinary needs.
  • Extra information 2 — A secondary contact person is a great safety measure, in case you are unreachable when your pet is found.

ABC: Always Be Checking your pet’s microchip

When your pet is at Palmer Veterinary Clinic for their annual examination, we will scan your pet’s microchip. Scanning takes mere moments, confirms proper functioning, and allows us to note its location. Although uncommon, microchips may migrate out of position to body areas along the chest that are not commonly scanned. We may advise implanting a second chip in this circumstance.

Double up: Don’t ditch the collar and tags

While your pet’s microchip is the best form of permanent identification available, a collar and tags are still important for keeping your pet safe for these reasons: 

  • Be physical — Physical identification is still the fastest way someone can reach you about your lost pet, while a microchip requires a trip to the vet or shelter.
  • What’s a microchip? — The finder of your lost pet may be unaware of microchips, and not attempt to have the pet checked for one.
  • The pet is not a stray — A collar sends a visual signal that a pet is owned. A dog or cat running at a distance is recognizable as “missing,” rather than a stray, and more effort may be taken to catch them.

If the jingle of pet tags has you tempted to unbuckle their collar and rely only on their microchip, purchase your pet a monogrammed collar instead. 

Microchipping makes an enormous impact on the odds of you and your missing pet being reunited. Collars can break, and tags can wear and fade, but a microchip lasts for the life of the pet, and helps ensure their life is spent with you. Call Palmer Veterinary Clinic to schedule your pet’s microchip appointment, or to find out how to register your pet’s microchip.

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