How to Keep Santa Claws and Old Saint Nikki Safe this Christmas

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pets and christmas treeChristmas is the most wonderful time of the year – but without a few precautions, your favorite Christmas traditions could land your beloved pet in the vet hospital’s emergency room. Here are 7 popular pointers to positively pet-proof your palace or humble abode:

1. Tame the Tannenbaum. The lovely branches of a live tree are very appealing to a cat. Try to place your tree so that it’s not near a piece of furniture that your cat could use as a spring board to jump from. Families with adventurous puppies or kittens may opt to have the tree in a play pen as a precaution.

2. Spiked Water. Dogs and cats are funny critters, drinking from toilets or Christmas tree stands at any opportunity. Water from the stand could poison your pet due to the pesticides or fertilizer solutions designed to keep your tree fresh. To block your pet from drinking this water, strategically place a Christmas tree skirt over the stand.

3. Keep Those Angels Way Up High. Cat or dogs may try to chew on ornaments or lights, and tinsel and ribbons can also be tempting. Unfortunately, all that glitters can wreak havoc on the digestive system of a pet that ingests them and could require a costly, traumatic surgery. Keep potentially dangerous decorations at the top of the tree. To discourage a cat’s curiosity, apply a cat repellent to the base of tree or on strands of lights near the bottom of the tree. Turn off tree lights if you’re not home.

4. Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas. Many times in nature, bright colors are a warning. It’s true that poinsettias, mistletoe and holly are all poisonous to your pet. If you decorate with them, keep them out of your pet’s reach.

5. Don’t Give Her That Figgy Pudding. You may be tempted to slip some of the rich food that you love to your pet, but keep in mind that too much fatty foods could result in pancreatitis. Beware of symptoms like stomach pain, vomiting, and lethargy – they could indicate a serious problem that needs immediate medical attention. Questions? See the article on Should You Give Your Dog Table Food?.

6. It’s a Wrap! As you’re wrapping presents and singing loudly along with your favorite Christmas tunes, be aware of ribbon. An ingested ribbon can cause a blockage in the intestine or stomach and require emergency surgery.

7. The More the Merrier? Holiday guests will change your routine somewhat. Some pets are happy to welcome extra folks into your home, and other pets are a little nervous with company, especially small children. Be sure your dog still gets the needed exercise, and perhaps allow your cat a little extra space for a bit.

You know we love seeing your pets – and we’d love for you to visit this Christmas, but we don’t want it to be related to a holiday mishap. So check our list – maybe you should check it twice – and keep your pets safe and happy as you celebrate this wonderful time of year.

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Spread Christmas Cheer in Alamance County

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christmas cheer donationsPlease join Town N Country and support Christmas Cheer, a Christmas charity that makes a difference in the life of a child in Alamance County.

Not every child expects a happy Christmas this year. You can change that fact by donating a new, unwrapped toy or article of clothing, non-perishable food items or non-perishable pet food items valued at $10.

For each donation, Town N Country will give you a gift certificate worth $15 that can be used for goods or services from Town N Country Animal Hospital. Donations are accepted anytime from now until December 20th.

You may be the perfect person to bring joy to someone’s world.

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We Are Thankful for The Miracle of Healing: Bulls-eye’s story

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bullseyeby Dr. King. This is part three of our ‘We Are Thankful” series that is highlighting some of the pets that come to Town N Country.
Waking up to a police officer knocking on your door at 7 in the morning is no one’s idea of a good start to the day, but it’s how Holly’s day started a few months ago. The police officer had found a badly injured cat and had taken his time to search for its owner, going door to door to see who the broken kitty belonged to.

Holly had worried about Bulls-eye not coming home the night before, but occasionally he would stay out late at night, arriving the next morning ready for breakfast. This morning instead of being greeted with hungry meows, the doorbell and the explanation from the officer was her first experience of the day. She saw how badly Bulls-eye was hurt and tearfully rushed him in to the vet’s office, knowing he was in serious condition, but not knowing the full extent of his injuries.

There is hope. Bulls-eye’s injuries were ones that viscerally make you turn away, but then you have to look back. He had sustained severe injuries to his head and face. One eyeball was completely ruptured with remnants resting on his cheek. The remaining eye was severely swollen and hemorrhagic, protruding from the socket. His mouth gaped open as blood tinged saliva dripped on his paws. You could hear the sounds of him breathing as he tried to suck air in through his swollen nose and throat. His tongue wouldn’t fit in his mouth anymore with all the swelling in the back of his throat.

My habit is to start my exam at the head and work back and so far all I’d found was trauma after trauma after trauma. But then I checked his heart and lungs. His heart was strong and steady. My pulse rate was probably higher than his at that time. His abdomen was untouched. His spine and legs worked, although the left front wasn’t as strong as the right. All the technicians were prepared for the seemingly obvious euthanasia, so they looked in disbelief when I said, “I think he has a chance”.

Holly and I talked about the road ahead for Bulls-eye as she chose to treat his injuries while the staff administered pain medications and started cleaning the dried blood from his face. There was a very slim chance he would be able to see out of the one eye that wasn’t ruptured, and would at least need surgery to remove the one that was. His jaw was likely fractured in at least one and maybe two places. There would be days to weeks in the hospital with the possibility of multiple surgeries to help him overcome the injuries. But his injuries weren’t life threatening, and the decision was made to treat him.

A few days were spent to see if any vision would come back to the less damaged eye, and to see how much damage was in the back of his throat. He had to be syringe fed, wounds cleaned, and treated on a daily basis, but he never put up much resistance when we were helping him. With no improvement in the “good” eye, the decision was made to remove both eyes and place a feeding tube as a first step. He came through surgery great and seemed to feel better after his eyes were removed and thing started healing. He enjoyed getting his meals through his tube since his jaw was still an issue.

A leap of faith. The jaw fractures were the next obstacle to overcome. The front fracture was an easy thing to repair, but fracture at the back, involving the joint, was much trickier. It was something we thought a specialist may need to weigh in with. Our regular specialist, Dr. Clary looked at the x-rays and agreed a surgeon need to see him, but couldn’t help himself, as he was out of town.

We called another specialist that would come to our office, but she was scheduled for conferences. Moving him to a teaching hospital was out of reach for our client. We could try it ourselves, but having no prior experience with that particular surgery but knowing the intricacies of the jaw joint, that seemed a less than favorable option.

I did have experience with a cat name Charlie years ago that had a similar fracture in which surgery wasn’t an option. Charlie healed and was able to eat, although he did have a snaggle tooth appearance because of a misalignment. We discussed the options and the worries of what surgery may entail, and Holly opted to let Bulls-eye have the opportunity to heal. He already had his feeding tube in, so there wasn’t any rush for him to use his jaw, and if it didn’t heal correctly we could go back in later and correct it.

And then he started to heal. Over the next few weeks, the swelling went down from his nostrils and he could breathe easy again. The scabs and bleeding from those passages dried up and fell away, letting him smell his food. He’d had major contusions and bruising to his hard palate and his tongue, and over time it loosened up and fell away showing off the pink new healthy tissue.

The swelling in the back of his tongue and throat shrunk down and as he could close his mouth better, he started licking again like a normal cat. First his nose, then his lips, and finally time for a bath! Although he still was getting most of his nutrition from his feeding tube, he started trying to eat the other cat’s food.

Eventually, he was eating enough that the feeding tube was no longer necessary and could be pulled.

Bulls-eye is still adjusting to his new life. The hardest part is not getting familiar to mapping out his house, and figuring out how to negotiate without the sense of sight, but he sometimes longs for the outdoors and is bullheaded enough to try and sneak outside. But Holly is always watchful and on guard to prevent him from wandering out into the wild. His story makes us thankful and appreciative for wonders and adaptability of creation. It humbles us knowing that for all we are trained to do, all the technology that is available, it is God who does the healing. We take for granted that healing will come, but it is a miracle that we get to watch first-hand.

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We Are Thankful: Our Pets

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We asked you to send us pictures of your pets so we could create a “Thankful Gallery”. Here are the pictures we received. Thank you – and Happy Thanksgiving!

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We Are Thankful: Rugby & Gov

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http://www.veterinarian-hospital.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/rubgy-and-gov.jpgThis is part two of our ‘We Are Thankful” series that is highlighting some of the pets that come to Town N Country.

If you think “Rugby” and “Gov” look like your normal household Golden Retrievers, think again. Five year old Rugby is a competitive field dog who runs in hunt tests multiple times a year while six month old “Gov” is still in training and will likely compete in his first junior competition next spring or summer. The puppy began training at seven weeks old, but only for a few minutes a day and as one can imagine the “training” was more like playing at that age.

Owner Jim Lasley is no stranger to working with field dogs as he has almost 40 years of experience. He has trained six golden retrievers and has worked with dogs his entire life. He says he works with his two boys almost every day, weather permitting, doing drills and water work. They keep him company inside the rest of the time.

The Goldens follow hand signals to train and they are rarely used for actual hunting, although Rugby does duck hunt on occasion. When the dogs are tested, the training hunt tests involve a simulated hunting situation, hunting for water fowl, doves, ducks, and geese, using both land and water.

These two follow a special diet using food designed for dogs that perform hunt tests and field trials. Once they do compete in an actual hunt test, Rugby and Gov are not competing against other dogs, they are judged against AKC standards set for retrievers.

We are thankful for Rugby and Gov and the way they inspire us to work hard and keep physically and mentally fit!

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We are Thankful: Maya, a Rescue Dog

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maya in the car

Maya right after Doggy Day Care

“Maya”, a 3 year old Alaskan Husky has given owners Jeff and Susan Corbett something to be extra thankful for this year. This intelligent, quick, and sweet girl had been surrendered and was rescued from the Guilford Animal Shelter last November weighing in at 45 pounds.

Since then her “mom” Susan said she now weighs 65 pounds, the ideal weight recommended by Dr. Bolynn. (Speaking of Dr. Bolynn, we have it on good authority that Maya is a top Doggy Day Care attendee.)

The Corbetts were previously parents to a Labrador who passed away in 2013. They had no plans to bring home another companion right away, but they decided quickly when the time was right they would adopt.

Jeff and Susan visited the Guilford County Animal Shelter with plans to bring home a different dog. But they noticed Maya cowering in the back of her cage. As soon as the cage was opened she lay on Susan’s feet.

Maya

Maya right after Doggy Day Care

The rest of the story is history! While Maya loves to chase balls and run like many dogs, she is also a very loyal companion to Susan, who has Lupus. Maya has become very protective, and has a very good sense of when Susan is sick and will stay by her side and cuddle in bed.

Technically Maya is considered a rescue dog, but her owners think otherwise…”We didn’t rescue her, she rescued us”.

We’re thankful for Maya, as well as all the pets that enrich our lives so very much.

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We Need Your Pet’s Picture!

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Dressed up dogNovember is a time that we focus on being thankful. Naturally, you and your pets are among the things that we are most grateful for!

We want to do a special “Thankful” gallery on our website, and we need your help! Would you send us pictures of your pet (with you, if you would like!) for us to post?

Please either email your picture upload your pictures here.

Thank you!

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Halloween Fun!

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Thanks to all of you who came out to celebrate HOWL-o-ween with us. We had so much fun, and we hope you did, too!

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the day.

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Keeping the Happy in Your Halloween for Your Pets

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halloween dogIt’s a night to your kids wildly anticipate: free candy, spooky decorations and the chance to dress up like a Ninja. For your pets, it’s a night of being jolted repeatedly by the ring of the doorbell and scared silly by those strange beings just outside the door.

A few precautions can lower stress levels for your whole family and help keep your dog or cat settled and safe. Take a look at these 7 tips to help you courageously conquer a fear-provoking night:

1. Chocolate Stash. Cats aren’t usually tempted, but dogs have often ended up in vet emergency rooms on Halloween night. Chocolate’s toxicity and easy access can be a disastrous combination. Keep candy dishes and treat bags in a safe place, and remember: the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is.

2. Raisin Ban. Some parents like to supply a healthy snack, but if your pet consumes raisins or even grapes, she could be in danger of kidney failure within 48 hours. Watch for symptoms like lethargy, vomiting or diarrhea.

3. No-Glo. Glo sticks and glowing jewelry can be a great accessory for children, but endanger cats, in particular. Their curiosity may prompt them to bite a glow-stick open and release dubutyl phthalate. This clear or yellow oily liquid can cause irritation to your pet’s skin or eyes, and your first clue may be when your pet drools excessively, gags or retches.

4. Masked Dangers. In the pictures, your pet totally rocks the look. However, before you start going door to door, please insure that the costume doesn’t limit vision, movement or breathing. Also look out for beads or any small part your pet could ingest.

5. Dumpster Diving. Candy-flavored wrappers may be too much temptation for your sniff-happy dog or your curious kitty. Once ingested, these wrappers can block small systems and cause all sorts of problems.

6. Burn Notice. Avoid placing real candles in jack-o-lanterns or in your decorations. One lightning-quick move by your cat or dog could accidentally start a fire.

7. A Valid ID. Are your pet’s tags up to date? If your pet bolted and ran a few blocks from your house, updated tags could insure the return of a worried (or oblivious) wanderer.

Halloween doesn’t have to be a scary night for your pet or a headache for you. Take a few precautions for a fun, pet-friendly holiday.

Happy Halloween from everyone at Town N Country!

PS Don’t forget our Howl o ween celebration!

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It’s A Howl-O-Ween Party!

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halloween dangersJoin us for a Howling & Yowling good time on Wednesday, October 29th from 3 – 6 pm!

We will have Hot Cocoa, Cider, Cookies, and Brownies for our human guests, treat bags for our favorite Doggies and Kitties. For the kids we’ll have games, balloons, candy, and prizes! There will be a beautiful picture taking area so you can share the moment.

Our employees will be dressed up, so you and your pet should, too!

We can’t wait to see you!

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