Holiday Safety Tips

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The holiday season is upon us, and many pet parents plan to include their furry companions in the festivities. As you gear up for the holidays, it is important to try to keep your pet’s eating and exercise habits as close to their normal routine as possible. Also, please be sure to steer pets clear of the following unhealthy treats, toxic plants and dangerous decorations.

Be Careful with Seasonal Plants and Decorations

  • Oh, Christmas Tree: Securely anchor your Christmas tree so it doesn’t tip and fall, causing possible injury to your pet. This will also prevent the tree water—which may contain fertilizers that can cause stomach upset—from spilling. Stagnant tree water is a breeding ground for bacteria, and your pet could end up with nausea or diarrhea should he imbibe.
  • Avoid Mistletoe & Holly: Holly, when ingested, can cause pets to suffer nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Mistletoe can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems. And many varieties of lilies can cause kidney failure in cats if ingested. Opt for just-as-jolly artificial plants made from silk or plastic, or choose a pet-safe bouquet.
  • Tinsel-less Town: Kitties love this sparkly, light-catching “toy” that’s easy to bat around and carry in their mouths. But a nibble can lead to a swallow, which can lead to an obstructed digestive tract, severe vomiting, dehydration and possible surgery. It’s best to brighten your boughs with something other than tinsel.
  • That Holiday Glow: Don’t leave lighted candles unattended. Pets may burn themselves or cause a fire if they knock candles over. Be sure to use appropriate candle holders, placed on a stable surface. And if you leave the room, put the candle out!
  • Wired Up: Keep wires, batteries and glass or plastic ornaments out of paws’ reach. A wire can deliver a potentially lethal electrical shock and a punctured battery can cause burns to the mouth and esophagus, while shards of breakable ornaments can damage your pet’s mouth and digestive tract.

Avoid Holiday Food Dangers

  • Skip the Sweets: By now you know not to feed your pets chocolate and anything sweetened with xylitol, but do you know the lengths to which an enterprising pet will go to chomp on something yummy? Make sure to keep your pets away from the table and unattended plates of food, and be sure to secure the lids on garbage cans.
  • Leave the Leftovers: Fatty, spicy and no-no human foods, as well as bones, should not be fed to your furry friends. Pets can join the festivities in other fun ways that won’t lead to costly medical bills.
  • Careful with Cocktails: If your celebration includes adult holiday beverages, be sure to place your unattended alcoholic drinks where pets cannot get to them. If ingested, your pet could become weak, ill and may even go into a coma, possibly resulting in death from respiratory failure.
  • Selecting Special Treats: Looking to stuff your pet’s stockings? Stick with chew toys that are basically indestructible, Kongs that can be stuffed with healthy foods or chew treats that are designed to be safely digestible. Long, stringy things are a feline’s dream, but the most risky toys for cats involve ribbon, yarn and loose little parts that can get stuck in the intestines, often necessitating surgery. Surprise kitty with a new ball that’s too big to swallow, a stuffed catnip toy or the interactive cat dancer.

Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.

Plan a Pet-Safe Holiday Gathering

  • House Rules: If your animal-loving guests would like to give your pets a little extra attention and exercise while you’re busy tending to the party, ask them to feel free to start a nice play or petting session.
  • Put the Meds Away: Make sure all of your medications are locked behind secure doors, and be sure to tell your guests to keep their meds zipped up and packed away, too.
  • A Room of Their Own: Give your pet his own quiet space to retreat to—complete with fresh water and a place to snuggle. Shy pups and cats might want to hide out under a piece of furniture, in their carrying case or in a separate room away from the hubbub.
  • New Year’s Noise: As you count down to the new year, please keep in mind that strings of thrown confetti can get lodged in a cat’s intestines, if ingested, perhaps necessitating surgery. Noisy poppers can terrify pets and cause possible damage to sensitive ears. And remember that many pets are also scared of fireworks, so be sure to secure them in a safe, escape-proof area as midnight approaches.

 

SOURCE: https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/general-pet-care/holiday-safety-tips

Breast Cancer Awareness in St. Louis

 

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. This is not a disease that discriminates. Women, men, dogs, and cats can all be victims. This year, the disease has hit the health care team at Heritage Veterinary Hospital in St. Louis. Technician Gina is undergoing chemo for breast cancer now. You might notice that Gina is only working a few days as she undertakes her battle. Gina, being Gina, has a smile on her face during the days that she feels well enough to be here working. Since Gina is only able to work a day or two during treatments, the Heritage health team has decided to spend the month of October raising awareness of breast cancer and to raise funds to offset some of the expenses occurred while Gina is unable to work.

On Saturday, October 17th, we will have a “NAIL-A-THON” starting at 1 p.m. Your pet’s nails will be trimmed by our volunteers for a donation of $10. We do require that your pet be current on its rabies vaccine and be on a leash no longer than 6 feet (leave the flexi leads at home) or in a carrier. Nails will not be filed.  If your pet normally needs sedation for nail trimming, we ask that you come to see us at another time. We will not be trimming birds or reptile nails.

Breast Cancer Awareness Month Pic

In addition to our NAIL-A-THON event, we are featuring a “Prints of Hope” event, where you can stop in and purchase a paw print for $1. Put your name or the name of someone you love on the foot print and add to the “Prints of Hope” wall to show your support. The Heritage health team will also be holding a raffle October 31st, with calls to prize winners made the following week. Occasionally, in October, we will have a bake sale as well. Treats will be for humans and/or dogs. We will post on Facebook when the elves have been baking! Donations are being sought for the raffle, should you or your business care to make a donation. Donations will be posted on our webpage and on Facebook.

Please share this information with your family and friends. Also follow Heritage Veterinary Hospital on Facebook during the month of October. We will also have some new blogs on our website covering the subject of breast cancer in our pets. With your help, we can spread the word about breast cancer while helping our Gina.

Let’s make this happen!

TEAM GINA

Dr. Kim Sanford, Dr. Frank McLaughlin, Dr. Kelvin Urday, Dr. Grace Long, Katy, Meagan, Diane, Amber,

Lynn, Molly, Nancy, Jenn, Braiden, Lou, Mutz, and Niki

Microchipping

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It is estimated that 1 in 3 pets will become lost at least once in their lifetime. Of these pets, only 2 percent of cats and 22 percent of dogs were returned to their owners. However, when a lost pet is implanted with a microchip, these numbers increased to 38 and 52 percent, respectively. As these statistics indicate, microchipping your pet greatly increases their chances of being returned home. We here at Heritage Animal Hospital would like to take this time to explain what a microchip is and how it can help you and your pets.

 

What’s a Microchip?

A microchip is an implantable transponder used to locate a lost pet’s owner. It does this by containing a unique number that can be entered into the computer to identify owner-approved contact information. These unique numbers can be accessed only by veterinary clinics and shelters, which ensures owner privacy. It also provides easy, public locations for good Samaritans to bring pet owners’ four-legged friends when they are lost.

Microchips are self powered and, therefore, do not require batteries or charging. They will last the duration of your pet’s life with no need for replacement. Overall, microchips are an effective, low-maintenance way to help ensure your pet will be returned home, should they ever go on a short adventure without you.

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How to Get Your Pet Microchipped

We here at Heritage Animal Hospital are happy to announce that we provide microchip placement services for interested owners. Microchips are inserted via an injection, and registration is completed at our facility for your convenience. Please call us today at   (314) 878-8454 and get your furry family members microchipped.