Tag: neuter

Grrrrrrreat Reads – Not Just For 1st Time Adopters


It is exciting to find so many good books about pet adoption on the market. Those of us who live with adopted pets know how much they mean to a family.


If you have ever opened your heart to an older pet, here’s a book you’ll want to check out:

 According to William Hageman, Reporter for the Chicago Tribune,  “If you read My Old Dog: Rescued Pets With Remarkable Second Acts (New World Library) and don’t want to run out to a shelter and rescue a senior pet, you have a heart of flint.”  The book, written by Laura T. Coffey and photographed by Lori Fusaro, champions a sometimes-forgotten segment of the animal shelter population.  It contains some truly beautiful photographs of senior dogs and a very nice resource section for folks who make older dogs a part of their life. http://www.myolddogbook.com/



Perhaps the writer of My Old Dog will follow up with an equally well-built version about senior cats? Let’s hope so. In the meantime, we have an excellent book available now, offering the latest information on Senior Cat Care. Written by Susan Easterly, Your Older Cat – A Complete Guide to Nutrition, Natural Remedies and Veterinary Care is a veritable Bible of good information for anyone whose cat is reaching its sunset years. With easy to follow tables, resource lists and helpful hints, this book will help any reader get a grip on old-cat topics like the aging process, preventive care, natural healing options, chronic diseases and senior cat nutrition. The suggested reading list is most helpful and the photos are just beautiful.


At the opposite end of the spectrum, there’s an excellent book on how to raise a great puppy written by Dr. Sophia Yin. Dr. Yin died a few years back, but she left behind her a tremendous wealth of writings about positive methods in pet training based on the latest research. Being a veterinarian, Dr. Yin also tempers her writings with the physical drivers behind behavior. Illustrated profusely with photos and drawings that are easy to interpret, Perfect Puppy in 7 Days – How to Start Your Puppy Off Right not only can help someone raising a puppy to do it right. It also can help the owner of a young dog understand the reasons behind behaviors they may be seeing in their pet, and how they can best modify those behaviors without ruining the dog.


Since we like to be even handed in our reviews, we owe it to the felines and their families to mention an equally interesting and well-designed how-to book about cats by Pam Johnson-Bennett: Think Like A Cat – How To Raise a Well-Adjusted Cat – Not a Sour Puss  From how to choose a new cat or kitten to how to kitten-proof a home to how to help your vet diagnose your cat’s ailments, this book is the one cat owners will turn to again and again over the lifetime of their cat. There’s some exceptional material in here about how to not only train a cat, but how to modify and even eliminate undesirable behaviors your cat may have developed. Personally we might have liked to have seen a few more illustrations in this book to break up the text a bit and help the more visual learners in our midst to get the message; but with so much valuable information in this book, we can forgive the lack of images and appreciate the treasure between its covers.

Tip o’ the Day – The Biggest Mistakes New Animal Owners Make

We’ve all seen the movies and read the books about animals and people living happily ever after. And animals really do enrich our lives, no matter what the species. But all living things have physical and emotional needs.  They’re not appliances we can turn on and off as we find necessary. They need the right food, the right medical care and the right enrichment to live an acceptable quality of life…..and most importantly, they need our time and attention. Once we bring a pet into our lives, we become their primary source of these things. They depend on us to know what they need because they can’t always tell us themselves. In this issue of our newsletter, we thought it might be helpful to use the internet to learn in advance what others have to tell us about the animals we want to make a part of our family.

The most common mistakes new animal owners make…….

Thinking of acquiring a cat? CLICK HERE to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes new cat owners make.

You say you’re smitten by the puppy you just met at the shelter? CLICK HERE to learn from the mistakes of others.

You always wanted an equine and now you’ve got the opportunity to achieve that dream. Before you do, CLICK HERE to prepare yourself in advance.

Ferrets, rats, snakes, lizards, turtles……are they all low maintenance pets? CLICK HERE to find out.

Exotic birds are entertaining, colorful, and some can even talk to us. But there’s more to owning a bird than just putting food and water in a cage. CLICK HERE to find out what you may not have considered about owning a bird, before you bring one home.



Vet Sci 101 – How to Advocate for Your Pet After Surgery

In the January-February 2017 issue of Veterinary Team Brief magazine, Teresa Ann Raffel-Kleist, CVT, VTS, provided her top 5 tips for a Veterinary Team to communicate to pet owners, to use in monitoring their animal at home after surgery. We’re turning the pronouns around and sharing these simple tips with you in order to spread the word and bring awareness about how we can best collect data and communicate with the Veterinary Staff during our pet’s period of vulnerability.
  1. Understand the medications you’ll be giving your pet. Make sure you know how much and when to give, and understand how it is to be administered. Don’t be afraid to ask your Vet or Vet Tech to demonstrate how best to apply meds like ointments or drops. Also be sure to ask how to recognize side effects. If your pet also has a chronic health condition for which they are already taking a medication, it doesn’t hurt to ask your Vet Team if you should expect any potential drug interactions.
  2. Understand your pet’s surgical site. In other words, discuss any incision with your Vet Team; how many and what kind of stitches? Will they need to be pulled in 7-10 days or will they dissolve on their own? Should the incision be kept dry or should damp compress be applied in case of swelling, discharge or discomfort? What kind of discharge is normal and what kind is not? Will an e-collar be needed to keep the pet from chewing or licking the incision? Take photos of the incision every day or so in case you need to show them to the Vet.
  3. Ask your Vet Team how they want you to care for the bandage. How often should it be changed? What if it slips out of position? How to readjust it without damaging the tissue below? Smell the bandage each day…..What kinds of smells should we expect from the bandage as time goes on and what do they mean? If it’s a limb that’s bandaged, learn how to check your pet’s foot for warmth, color and swelling.
  4. Discuss exercise restrictions. For instance, stomach incisions take about 2 weeks to heal internally, so a pet with such an incision should not be allowed to jump for at least 2 weeks. If walking will be permitted, ask for specific instructions about leash length and recommended duration for walks. Are there any exercises we can engage our pets in that will aid with the pet’s rehabilitation? Ask for a demonstration if you aren’t absolutely clear on any exercises recommended.
  5. Discuss dietary restrictions with your Vet or Vet Tech. Controlling weight gain during the idle healing period will make it easier for your pet to rise from recumbancy while they’re convalescing. Issues with urinary blockages, kidney or liver dysfunction may require special or prescription food.
Understanding our pets’ post-surgical requirements will streamline the recovery process and offers our pet the best possible outcome. It also gives us the opportunity to advocate most effectively with our Veterinary Team on behalf of our pet. Vets and Vet Techs are more than happy to explain any of these care tips with their clients. They know a pet owner who is well informed is a valuable extension of their team .


Local Low Cost Pet Services

Low-cost Clinics

In each newsletter we will list various shelters and organizations that provide low-cost veterinary services, such as vaccines, microchipping, and spay/neuter to individuals who may need financial assistance affording vet care for their companion animal(s).

Animal Protective Foundation (APF) – Located at 53 Maple Avenue in Scotia, the APF provides lower-cost spay/neuter clinics.  Appointments must be made in advance by calling 374-3944, ext. 121 or 125 (please leave a message) or email: afpclinic@animalprotective.org.  For more details go to: www.animalprotective.org

Battenkill Veterinary – Rabies Vaccination Clinics held Monday through Friday from 2-3PM on a walk-in basis. For more details: http://battenkillveterinary.com/

Mohawk Hudson Humane Society – Lower-fee spay and neuter for individuals with limited income. Appointments must be made in advance by calling the Menands shelter at 434-8128 or the Saratoga shelter at 886-9645. For more details go to: www.mohawkhumane.org/spayneuter.html

Capital Region PETCO Stores – Low cost vaccinations through VETCO, with convenient hours. Click here to check availability at Capital District stores.

Pet Supplies Plus – VIP PetCare Community Veterinary Clinic offering: low cost vaccines, heartworm testing and prevention, and other preventative veterinary services including canine Rabies vaccines and micro-chipping. No appointment necessary, first-come, first-served. For more information, visit www.VipPetCare.com or contact the store. Click here to check availability at Capital District stores.

Tractor Supply Company (TSC) – Offers monthly preventative vet care visits at many of their locations in the Capital District, Washington County, and Bennington County, Vermont.  The clinics are operated by VIP Petcare Mobile Clinics with a licensed vet on staff. No appointment is needed and there is only a charge for the vaccinations. Contact your local TSC for dates and times. Click here to reach the Tractor Supply website.

In Case You Don’t Live in NY’s Capital District, you can find low cost spay-neuter clinics at this cool ASPCA site: Click Here to check it out.

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