Zoo Babies: Winter 2018 »
Check out the cutest newborns from zoos around the country and learn where you can see them.
Check out the cutest newborns from zoos around the country and learn where you can see them.
From vacation ideas to gardening preparation, check out our September checklist to enjoy the rest of summer and get ready for fall.
From household hazards to insurance, here is a roundup of our best tips for ensuring your pet's safety.
Dropped my dog off for a checkup and weekend board, explained that she'd been intermittently favoring a hind leg after activity, gave permission for her to play with other dogs. Picked her up Monday morning to discover bite marks on her face and neck from, I assume, rough play, and she now has multiple ACL issues. Her ACL injuries were, I'm told by the doctor, diagnosed the day I dropped her off. Why was she allowed to roughhouse with other dogs all weekend? Supposedly because I okayed it when I dropped her off, according to the doctor, who possessed knowledge that I did not have at drop off. Had I known my dog had blown out one ACL and possibly torn another, I never would have given permission for her to play with others. Her leg injury (injuries) left her vulnerable to physical attack by other dogs, evidenced by the scabs on her face and neck. The doctor should have known better. Poor judgement on her part, possibly negligence. Information regarding my dog's condition was withheld at pickup - the vet tech explaining to me that my dog had an injury but the severity was greatly downplayed. I was told the doctor would call me that same day. She didn't. She called my husband the next day, telling him that the dog would require insanely expensive surgery and physical therapy. Bad, horrible, traumatic. Zero stars.
My puppy, Tybee, who is 6 years old and my right hand man tore his ACL at the end of last year. Without resources to get it fixed immediately, he ended up having a partial tear in his second leg as well. Frantic and unable to see my pup in so much pain, I began searching for a vet to perform surgery to correct this problem (at an actual price we could afford.) First we checked out a TPLO specialist, the price was far too high for a young military couple, and the separation (for physical therapy) was a hard pill to swallow. My dog is very attached to me, and over a month apart would destroy his heart. So I called every vet and vet hospital within a 200 mile radius of our then home in Beaufort, SC. After much debate we settled on getting his surgery done at Case Veterinary Hospital in Savannah, GA by Dr. Mike Ammermon. Immediately, Dr. Ammermon made us feel good in our decision by taking care to answer every single question we had – and never rushing us. He had taken a large amount of time out of his busy schedule to make sure prior to surgery that Tybee was feeling ok and if there was anything he needed (we had about a month between when we became in contact to when the surgery was scheduled.) We decided to go with the TTA surgery (bilateral) and have both legs operated on at the same time for a hopefully quicker recovery. We haven’t regretted that decision for one moment. After about a week, we picked Tybee up from Case and brought him home. Though the first few weeks were rough, he immediately began to walk better (something I hadn’t seen in a long, long time.) At his 6 week checkup, we saw from the xrays that everything was healing properly. By his 12 week checkup, he even gave Dr. Ammermon a lick on the face! (A huge accomplishment for Tybee has a serious case of white coat syndrome.) We recently moved to Savannah, but even before we had we agreed that coming to Case was well worth the hour drive. Each and every time we visit, we are treated with such kindness, and after every visit Dr. Ammermon makes sure to call and give us thorough updates. I have never been more satisfied with any procedure or service that is offered at Case. If your pup is suffering from a torn ACL or needs any type of orthopedic work, I would highly recommend Dr. Ammermon at Case Veterinary Hospital and the TTA surgery. Not only will your pup thank you, you will NOT be let down. I can only give them my upmost thanks for everything they have done for me and my Tybee.
Choosing the right vet for your pet can be tough. After all, your furry friend can't tell you how he or she feels about the doctor. Even though you're not the one treated by the vet, whoever your animal sees is obviously your decision. Since many veterinary diseases and injuries can turn into emergencies very quickly, it's important to have a go-to vet. This way, you can ensure you'll know whom to see when your animal needs care.
Speak to your friends and family about vets who've treated their pets. You can even talk to your groomer or an animal shelter worker for referrals. When you visit the clinics you've been referred to, check that the facility is clean, animals are separated and the staff is calm and courteous. Not all clinics are American Animal Hospital Association accredited. This accreditation isn't a legal necessity, though a clinic that's AAHA-accredited is guaranteed to offer high-quality medical care. To receive accreditation, the clinic has to meet the AAHA's standards in the areas of facility, equipment and quality care.
If you're looking for a specialist, you want to make sure he or she is board-certified to practice in that specific area of animal medicine. You'll want to make sure your vet is also convenient to visit, so there are factors to take into account.
The type of animal you own should play a part in which vet you choose as well. While your options are vast if you have a dog or cat, you may have to visit an avian clinic for your bird or an exotics clinic for your snake.
Just as there are many types of doctors, there are many types of vets. Some focus on livestock or house pets, while others may specialize in dentistry or surgery. They may work in a veterinary clinic or zoo, working specifically with the animals housed there, or travel to farms to work with livestock. Since horse racing and other equestrian activities are so popular, some vets are trained to work just with horses.
Diseases, like malaria and yellow fever are also transmitted through animals. Some vets have insight to diseases that affect both humans and animals. Vets have contributed to the treatment and cure of many diseases that plagued both humans and their furry friends.
Government agencies employ veterinarians as well. When an animal comes from a foreign land, these vets quarantine them and check for any diseases that may be present in an effort to control new diseases that can be brought into the country. Other Specific types of vets include:
A vet assistant works alongside the veterinarian and helps out around the clinic. In some cases, they may assist vets in surgery or restrain struggling animals during tests or lab work. The everyday duties of a veterinary assistant include; monitoring and caring for animals after surgery, keeping medical records, cleaning animals' teeth, feeding and bathing them, cleaning cages, sterilizing surgical equipment, giving animals medication, collecting samples for testing and performing laboratory tests, and offering grief counseling to pet owners.
It's a good idea to bring your pet to the vet regularly. This way, he or she becomes familiar and comfortable with the care providers, and you can stay on top of your pet's preventative care. If the animal is small enough, bring it to the office in a carrier. Just as you visit the doctor for a yearly check up, you should bring in your pet for regular check ups as well. During a routine veterinary visit, the vet will probably begin by asking you if there have been any changes in your pet's behavior or habits.
The vet will then take your pet's vitals, like weight, temperature, pulse and respiration rate, and perform a physical examination of the pet. During a physical exam, the vet checks the abdomen for swollen organs, and the legs, feet and joints for any potential problems. Depending on the age, breed or condition of your pet, your veterinarian may also check the eyes, ears and mouth.
When your vet conducts a full body examination, he or she will check out your pet's coat and skin, noting any hair loss, itchy spots or lumps. Keep note of your animal's shedding habits so you can let the vet know if anything seems abnormal. The vet will check for parasites, fleas, ticks, mites and heartworms as well.
Vaccinations are also important to your pet, especially if you have a cat or a dog, and your vet will suggest that you make sure they're current. Keeping up to date with vaccinations can prevent your furry friend from getting distemper, rabies, hepatitis and lyme disease. Some vaccinations last longer than others, so speak to your doctor about staying caught up with your animal's shots.
Just like your own health insurance, you want to make sure your animal is covered before he or she needs veterinary services. Some common animal surgeries can cost thousands of dollars, and you don't want to end up having to foot a surprise bill that costs more than your paycheck.
There's no set price for pet health insurance. Costs can depend on factors such as where you live, the age and breed of your pet, and how much coverage you want. Before you take out a pet insurance policy, you'll want to meet with your vet to go over what he or she thinks your animal should be covered for. Many vets believe that you should make sure cancer, chronic disease, hereditary and congenital disease, and common breed-related medical conditions are all addressed in your policy.
Some pet owners can't afford insurance for their pet, so there are other options to make paying for surprise pet visits as easy as possible. Some pet stores have wellness plans - which tend to be much cheaper than an insurance policy - that offer shots, check ups, screenings and discounts on various procedures your pet may need. A lot of veterinary offices offer payment plans for pricey procedures as well, as long as you have decent credit history. For a last-ditch option, there are even privately funded organizations that offer pet owners financial aid for their pet's treatments.