25 Years of AAHA Accreditation

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aaha awardTown ‘n’ Country Animal Hospital was recently recognized for 25 years of accreditation with the American Animal Hospital Association in Tampa, Florida during their annual conference. The award was accepted on behalf of the entire staff by Dr. Sharon King.

Only 15% of small animal hospitals in the United States are AAHA-accredited. Accreditation is based on achieving and maintaining over 900 standards of care that are above and beyond the basic standards mandated by state medical boards. Hospitals attaining accreditation are continuously re-evaluated on these standards every three years and more standards are added yearly. Town ‘n’ Country Animal Hospital has been happy to serve you, our favorite pet owners of Alamance County for over 40 years, providing medical and surgical care for small animals, avian and small mammal patients.

Dr. Sharon King and Dr. Joy Bolynn, along with their highly trained and experienced staff, look forward to serving you for many more anniversaries to come!

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Happy 20th Birthday Maxine!

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Maxine1Happy birthday to Maxine, an amazing cat who recently turned 20 years old! Maxine is a patient of ours, and her owner’s name is Jody Gaedtke who has been a client with Town ‘N’ Country since 2007. Jody teaches Orchestra at Turrentine Middle School and plays violin with the Durham Symphony.

Maxine came into Jody’s life when she was adopted as a kitten from a rescue shelter in Wisconsin. As a kitten Maxine was skittish and was not overly social, but had many sweet qualities. Her favorite place to cozy up was a dresser drawer and she was excellent at finding hiding places.

She enjoys playing with her owner and has a particular favorite toy that she has had since she was a kitten. She will make a deep throat howling sound while carrying it in her mouth, which her owner Jody says can be heard all the way in a nearby room.

While most days Maxine hangs out near mom’s bed and rarely ventures past the hall. Given the chance she loves playing in water. Whether it’s sitting by the sink and sticking her entire head underwater or drinking into her paw from a cup and bringing it to her mouth, she enjoys getting wet.

Although Ms. Gaedtke teaches and plays music, she doesn’t feel that it has had an effect on Maxine’s well being or longevity. While Jody has had cats that would curl up in her violin case or come closer, purring when she played; Maxine has never done this.

At 20 years old Ms. Gaedtke said that she is amazed at the long life that Maxine has had. We are, too! And we’re grateful to have been a part of the amazing life of Maxine. Happy birthday, wonderful kitty!

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Canine Camp Time!

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It’s almost summer so that means it’s Canine Camp Time! We already have a few furbabies enjoying their time here at camp, out having fun in the beautiful spring weather.

As you can see, Sandy and Mason are really having a great time. And when our friends have a great time, you know that we are, too!

For more information about our Canine Day Care, visit our Pet Boarding page.

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Canine Influenza Update

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helping your dog overcome stressCanine Influenza has been on the news, and you have questions. Here are answers…

What is it?
Canine Influenza is a flu virus that can cause high fever, loss of appetite, coughing, nasal discharge and lethargy. Some cases may even progress to pneumonia or patient death. Infected dogs generally appear to be much sicker than those exhibiting symptoms of kennel cough.

Over the last 11 years, Canine Influenza has cropped up in small pockets throughout the United States in locations such as Florida, Virginia and Colorado with little to no evidence of its existence in Alamance County.

There is an effective vaccine that can be administered- yet given the lack of cases in Alamance County- we only recommended it for traveling dogs, during outbreaks.

What has changed?
First- There is a current outbreak in the Midwestern United States, with over 1,000 confirmed cases in the city of Chicago alone.
Second- This outbreak is the result of a new strain, H3N2. All indications are it was introduced from Asia.
Third- We are not sure if the vaccine currently available for Canine Flu (strain H3N8) will protect our dogs, but tests are now underway.
Fourth- Some cats have been infected with this virus via infected dogs.

What can I do to protect my dog?
1. Dog owners should keep their pet’s Distemper/ Parvo vaccination current. The Adenovirus and Parainfluenza protection provided in the vaccine is beneficial in ruling out both the Distemper and Parvo virus as a cause of illness, and reduces the possibility of a disastrous cross infection.
2. We recommend all dogs have an up to date Bordetella vaccine. Having strong Bordetella antibodies improves the outcome for all respiratory infections, not just Kennel Cough.
3. There are very limited doses of the Canine Influenza vaccine available throughout the United States. At this time, we feel vaccinating for the prevention of Canine Influenza wouldn’t be beneficial to our patients, due to the continued lack of prevalence within Alamance County.
4. We will alert you by email if we receive confirmed cases in Alamance County!

What can I do if there is an outbreak in our area?
1. Be watchful for any signs of illness your dog shows and alert us with any questions or concerns you have.
2. Be aware that you can personally spread Canine Influenza. Wash your hands and don’t interact with sick dogs. (People cannot catch this flu, but could possibly infect their dog).
3. We have isolation areas and separate exam rooms set up at Town ‘N’ Country Animal Hospital available for use during any infectious outbreak.

Please alert us if you are bringing in a pet with any respiratory symptoms.

As always, if you have questions or concerns, give us a call.

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March Madness…The Weight Loss Competition!

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weight loss competition updateWe’re well into our weight loss competition, and we wanted to give you an update! As you can see, we have five fabulous contestants – two dogs and three cats.

These pets and their owners are working with us on reducing weight in healthy and safe manner. We’re helping these families with lifestyle and dietary changes that are making this possible. We’re about halfway through the competition. As with humans, weight loss isn’t easy, and sometimes, you find you actually gain at first!

It can be discouraging, but the important thing is that healthy changes are being made, and every single bit of weight loss counts. You just have to stick with it!

Here’s the progress so far:

OZZY NANCE: Age 6 years and 11 months, Neutered Male Yorkshire Terrier.
Starting weight of 21.94 (on 1/21)
New weight of 19.10 (on 3/19)

NAPHTALI TALI GAEDTKE: Age 7 years and 8 months, Neutered Male Tabby.
Starting weight of 13.69 (on 1/14)

New weight 14.19 (on 2/28)

VICKERS WHITLEY: Age 9 years and 8 months, Neutered Male Dachshund.
Starting weight of 21.2 (on 1/21)
New weight of 21.4 (on 3/9)

FLANNERY BROOKSHIRE: Age 9 years, Neutered Siamese.
Starting weight of 12.63 (on 1/28)
New weight 12.5 (on 3/3)

AUGIE GRACE: Age 4 years, 11 months, Neutered Male Domestic Feline.
Starting weight of 19.69 (on 1/15).
Latest weight information not available.

So, there you have it, ladies and gentlemen. Our March madness brackets, ready for your office pool. Pull for your favorite to lose – so they can win!

 

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Pamper Your Cat and Help Another Cat Sparkle

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sparkle cat logo textVery soon you can PURRRRchase organic cat nip toys for your sweet kitty, and all the money raised will go to Sparkle Cat Rescue. The non-profit organization does not have an office location and is completely run by CATegorically dedicated volunteers.

These fabulous toys are handmade right here in Burlington, NC and are a great CATch at $3 each or 2 for $5. They’re made from fleece which has been very popular so far with our cats. (Maybe it’s just a FELINE — but we think your kitty’s going to love them. )

100% of the catnip toy proceeds help with the costs of spaying/neutering, vaccinations, combo testings, necessary emergency medical care, and food and supplies for cats waiting to be adopted into their forever homes. (Have you seen those sweet faces?? Call me CATsonova – I think I’m in love.)

You can find these popular cat-friendly accessories at the following local businesses:

Town N Country Animal Hospital (That’s us!)
The Main Line
Point of View Art Gallery
Whitsett Goin Postal

You can also like Sparkle Cat Rescue on Facebook and keep up to date on PAWsome events, creative fundraisers, and the coolest cats in North Carolina.

Or go directly to Sparkle Cat Rescue’s website.

Our Town N Country friends are always wonFURfully generous when in comes to helping cats in need. Thank you for being so PURRRific!

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Susan’s Wings 4 Hope Takes Flight

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lupusFinding a Cure for Lupus Maya is one of the wonderful patients here at Town N Country. Her parents are Jeff and Susan Corbett. Susan has been diagnosed with Lupus, and in 2010 Susan founded Susan’s Wings 4 Hope. In the early years, the organization served as a team to take part in the Walk to End Lupus Now. However as the years passed, the organization evolved into something more.

Today Susan’s Wings 4 Hope has become a name synonymous with “lupus thrivers” here in Burlington and Greensboro. Susan says, “I choose not to believe I am surviving this disease but rather that I am thriving with it!” Many of Susan’s supporters consider the Walk to End Lupus a highlight of their year.

This year’s walk is scheduled for Sunday April 19th on Centennial Campus at NC State University. Last year, 50 people who supported Susan’s Wings 4 Hope turned out for the walk, and it’s hoped that the number will be even higher this year.

Susan’s doggie Maya has found a practical way to help her mommy’s fight this year – she has established a web page to help raise money for Susan’s Team. ALL the money raised goes to help support the activities of the Lupus Foundation of America, North Carolina Chapter (LFA,NC).

A tendency for thinking of good ideas must run in the family. Susan says, “Jeff and I are
extremely active in the LFA,NC, and in October 2014 I received their “Champion of the Year” award for my advocacy and fundraising efforts. “

Go here to help Maya get the word out to the community!

If you can participate in the Walk or support someone who is, you will be helping to raise awareness and eventually find a cure for Lupus. “As I tell people all the time,” confides Susan, “there is no contribution to Susan’s Wings 4 Hope that is too small. “

Another way you might choose to support Lupus Thrivers is through the 2nd Annual Paint for Lupus fundraiser that’s in partnership with The Painter’s Roost on Huffman Mill Road scheduled for Sunday March 15th from 2-5 p.m.

Last year’s event raised $500. To participate, donors pay $40 per person – and have everything provided so participants go home with their own original painting. If you’re interested, please let us know, and we’ll pass the word along to Susan. With your help, a cure for Lupus is one step closer.

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Snow, snow, snow!

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We love these pictures of our pets out in the snow! It’s not too late…go here and send yours in, too!

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How to Brush Your Pet’s Teeth

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dog dental healthLook at those beautiful white teeth!

Keep the teeth of your puppy or kitten healthy with regular brushing. Stats on a lack of the habit look grim: by the age of 5, about 85% of all pets show signs of gum disease. But knowing that we should brush and actually doing it are two different things. How do you even get started on this important part of good oral care for your pet?

Your introduction will probably be easier with a kitten or puppy, so it’s recommended that you start early. Helping an older dog or cat get used to the habit of teeth brushing may take a little more time and patience, but it’s not impossible.

No matter your pet’s age, the key to starting any good habit is to start slowly and be persistent. One way to introduce the concept is to leave a pet toothbrush with a little pet toothpaste on it within your pet’s reach – like on the floor. Your sweet kitten may sniff it and walk away while your precocious puppy may enthusiastically lick the toothpaste off the brush in three seconds flat. Your mature regal pet may ignore the whole thing in hopes it will disappear. (“Toothbrush? What toothbrush?”)

Any of these reactions is perfectly normal – you’re only concerned with a happy introduction. After a few days of the random toothbrush within reach, you can start to actually brush your pet’s teeth. Your tool of choice may be an angled toothbrush, a “finger” brush that fits over your index finger, or even a clean rag that’s wrapped around your finger.

Choose your time wisely. After a good long walk or play session, your pet should be settled down, more relaxed and hopefully ready to try something new.

If you only brush one or two teeth and your dog starts to back away, your time’s up. Put away your brush or rag, hand over a treat and praise her with your soothing voice. You want to continue with your happy introduction, and tomorrow’s another day.

Slowly, your pet should get used to brushing. Aim to brush your pet’s teeth once daily. At least once every week or so, examine inside your pet’s mouth and look for:

1. Unusual or new bumps in mouth
2. Increased drooling
3. Red or swollen gums
4. Missing teeth

Also watch for any change in appetite or eating habits. Pets should visit the vet to have teeth examined professionally every six to twelve months.

Just as in humans, bad oral health can lead to problems like heart, liver or kidney disease. The fringe benefits of brushing your pet’s teeth are certainly worth your time – good oral health positively affects the life span of your pet. That’s why we’re offering free oral exams between right now and the end of March.

When you come for your pet’s appointment, you can find out more about your pet’s dental health with complimentary educational materials, help with a home dental plan, and if needed, an estimate for a professional cleaning.

Give us a call – and let’s get started!

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Take My Breath Away…

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bad breathDoes your doggie’s breath take your breath away? Doggie breath should not be synonymous with bad breath. A healthy mouth boasts pretty, pink gums with no foul odor. Bad breath can be an early sign of infection or greater health challenges.

The only positive for bad doggie breath in your pet is that you received a wake-up call and a nudge to take a closer look.

Just as your own health can be compromised by periodontal disease, your pet’s dental infections can lead to problems with her heart, liver and kidneys that can consequently result in a shortened lifespan.

Take a look inside your pet’s mouth. Are gums red or purple? Can you see tartar accumulation on the teeth? Or does Bruno’s breath smell a bit brutal?

If you said “yes” to any one of these questions, it’s time to give Town N Country a call. Now through the end of March, your pet can receive a free oral exam, a $30 value. We’ll provide you with educational materials, help with a home dental plan, and if needed, an estimate for a professional cleaning.

You’ll also receive a goodie bag of Town N Country’s favorite dental products:

• Oravet toothpaste and toothbrush
• CET Chews for Dogs and Cats
• A Sample of Purina Dental Health
• Diet for Dogs and Cats
• Coupons for 6 Oral Hygiene Sessions

Give us a call – or drop by! Controlling doggie breath with good preventive care means more than a sweet smelling pet. Good dental health can lead to longer, happier lives for your pet.

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