You can find more from all of today’s “Life.Style.Live!” guests at the links below:
Joella’s Hot Chicken
Tom Dock- Noah’s Animal Hospitals
Leonard Maltin book – Starstruck – My Unlikely Road to Hollywood
National Use Your Gift Card Day – January 15
Each August, the CDC reminds us about the importance of vaccinations for people by observing National Immunization Awareness Month. While current events may have people taking sides about a particular vaccine, there is no doubt that vaccinations in general have saved countless human and pet lives. Joining us today to talk about the importance of pet vaccination was Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospital. Here’s more from him:
To start, vaccinations use weakened, killed, or modified pathogens (bacteria, viruses, etc) to stimulate your immune system into creating antibodies and other defenses against the real germs. By recognizing the weakened organism in the vaccine (or proteins that the organism makes), the body can be prepared in case it encounters a virulent pathogen.
In humans, vaccines have eliminated serious diseases, like smallpox, and greatly reduced others, like measles, mumps, and polio. In veterinary medicine, the biggest advancement has been the great reduction of cases of rabies in dogs and cats during the 20th century as well as the elimination or reduction of many livestock diseases.
Despite having vaccines that work well, we still routinely see outbreaks of both canine parvovirus and feline panleukopenia here in Central Indiana. More often than not, these pets are unvaccinated and often require extensive hospitalization stays in order to recover. It’s ALWAYS better (and less expensive) to vaccinate than it is to treat for these illnesses.
Many pet owners ask about the need for vaccination in pets or how often they should be given. One great way to look at this topic is to divide the vaccines up into two categories…CORE vaccines that are needed for highly contagious and lethal diseases and NON-CORE vaccines which protect against diseases that some pets may never encounter in their lives.
CORE vaccines for dogs including rabies, canine distemper, canine infectious hepatitis, and canine parvovirus. These diseases are all highly contagious, have a high mortality rate and can be zoonotic (transmissible to humans). For cats, the CORE vaccines include rabies, feline panleukopenia, and the feline upper respiratory complex. Feline Leukemia is considered core for kittens and young adults
CORE vaccines should be given regularly (every 1 to 3 years, depending on the vaccine and the local incidence of disease). Rabies is mandated for dogs, cats, and ferrets here in Indiana, but some larger animals, like horses, might benefit from the vaccine as well.
NON CORE vaccines are given based on the pet’s lifestyle. For dogs, these vaccines include leptospirosis, Lyme Disease, Canine Flu, and the Bordetella vaccine. For cats, Feline Leukemia, Chlamydia, and Bordetella
NON CORE vaccines are given if the pet is at risk for picking up the pathogen. For example, dogs who hike with their owners and who aren’t on a tick preventive product may be at increased risk for Lyme Disease. Cats who live in multi-cat households, especially where there is unrestricted access to the outdoors, might be at increased risk for Feline Leukemia.
Your veterinarian will work WITH you to help you decide which vaccines are needed and which vaccines can be postponed or even avoided with your unique pet. Don’t rely on Internet gossip or rumors when it comes to your pet’s health!
For more information visit, NoahsHospitals.com.
World Snake Day is observed on July 16th each year and helps people understand more about the 3,500 different species of snakes that share our world. In addition, it’s a great reminder that for many pet owners, snakes, as well as other reptiles, can be a unique addition to their pet family. Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospital joined us today to share some of the things you need to know if you decide to bring an exotic pet into your home.
- Whether you are choosing a reptilian pet because of a perception that they are “low maintenance” pets or simply because you want something “different”, there are some important tips to make sure that your scaly friend thrives in your home.
- First, do your research and find out everything you can about the pet you are considering. For example, Burmese Pythons can typically reach about 16 feet in length (some have been recorded at more than 23 ft!). Will you be prepared for housing a pet that large? The current situation in Florida with invasive Burmese Pythons in the Everglades is a result of owners not doing their research!
- Another important research topic is understanding the diet needed for your particular pet. Many species of constrictor snakes prefer live food (mice, rats, etc) and some reptiles must have calcium supplements included in their diet for proper care.
- Housing, as mentioned above, is important and all reptiles will need some sort of heat source to help with their metabolism and digestion. Depending on the species, different substrates (sand vs ground litter, etc) are preferred and some species might prefer a more vertical enclosure instead of a horizontal one (like a fish tank). Proper exposure to ultraviolet (UVB) light is essential as well.
- While it is true that snakes and lizards may not require the daily care and interaction of our dog and cat friends, they really aren’t “Low maintenance”. As outlined above, proper husbandry for reptiles is vital for their survival and failure to provide the right environment could lead to serious illness or issues.
- Before you go out and spend money on your friend with scales, consider your access to veterinary care. Not all veterinarians are comfortable providing care for reptiles and you may have to search for one away from your regular veterinary office.
- Acquiring your new pet will take some research as well. Unscrupulous individuals may try to pass off reptiles that have been illegally smuggled into the country from their native lands. Look for reptile breeders in your area who specialize in captive breeding programs.
- It is important to remember that animals native to Indiana, such as red-eared slider turtles, box turtles, etc, are not supposed to be legally kept as pets. And, although this should not need to be said, keeping venomous reptiles (rattlesnakes, cobras, etc) is dangerous and should not be done by anyone other than professional zoological organizations.
Here are some specific details about the pets seen on Indy Style today:
1. Ball Python: Native to West and Central Africa, maximum length about 6 feet. Diet consists of small mammals and/or birds. Some can live up to 60 years in captivity. Due to captive breeding programs, many color variations are available, and these snakes are generally healthier than wild-caught specimens.
2. Hognose Snake: three different genera including 14 species. Can be found in US/Mexico, Madagascar, and South America. Will often feign strikes by raising up, flattening their necks, and hissing; they can also “play dead”. Diet usually consists of rodents and lizards, but these are not constricting snakes. Considered easy to care for in captivity.
3. Russian Tortoise: Native to Central Asia. Fairly small tortoise, 5-10 inches in length. Diet is vegetarian and they enjoy many of the broad, green, leafy plants. Like many other reptiles, these animals can live for decades!
One recurring headline over this past year has been the challenges of getting into veterinary offices for appointments. Many veterinary clinics are quoting 2-3 weeks before normal appointments are available and emergency rooms are routinely seeing 6,8 or even 12-hour wait times. Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospitals joined us today to explain what happened to increase these wait times and the best way you can deal with them. Here’s more from him:
Historically, getting into your veterinary office for an appointment was easy. Most clinics could see you within 24 – 72 hours or they might even be able to “work you in” that day. Since the pandemic began, this quick availability seemed to disappear.
At the beginning of the pandemic, veterinarians were asked to conserve personal protective equipment (PPE) and most areas instituted stay at home orders, so routine, preventive care was not scheduled. This caused a back up that was compounded by some veterinary offices closing or restricting hours.
These longer wait times for an appointment started driving some pet owners to the emergency clinics, similar to situations in human medicine where individuals without primary care physicians seek care for routine issues at human emergency rooms. Now, instead of 4-5 cases a day on emergency, most animal ERs are looking at 20-30 per day! And, this has gone on non-stop for 16 months all across the US.
One local emergency hospital reported seeing 825 emergency cases during June 2021 alone…that’s 27 emergencies per day! It’s also a 13% increase over June 2020. Experts state that pet adoptions increased by more than 15% during the pandemic, adding millions of pets to households across the nation.
Finally, inefficiencies with carside appointments, a labor shortage, and a big increase in the number of pets needing to be seen has led to a backlog and frustrations for pet owners. Threats of violence, damage to property, and even an increase in calls to local law enforcement have been seen. Some clients have tried to force their way past veterinary employees, some have brought weapons to the clinic, others have threatened staff with bodily harm.
As cities and states “open up” and remove mask mandates, many veterinary offices have been slow to open their doors for a wide variety of reasons. First, in some cases, there may not be enough staff to handle the caseload. Stats from the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) show that there are 14 job postings for every single veterinarian applicant!
While numbers aren’t readily available, there is an extreme shortage of veterinary technicians and trained veterinary assistants as well. Many of these individuals are also very young (20-30 years of age) and may not have jumped on the vaccine bandwagon. This has led to some reluctance to allow unfettered access to the clinic where people are necessarily in close proximity during the visit.
The bottom line in all of this is that there is a need for patience when you visit your local veterinary office. The team wants to be there for you and your pets, but they don’t deserve verbal harassment or threats of violence.
Be prepared to be flexible with your pet’s needed care…ask about drop off appointments or a virtual appointment via video conferencing. Some veterinary offices will save 2-4 appointment slots as “same day” appointments, but you will need to call early!
If you don’t need to go to the animal ER, don’t. Emergency rooms will triage incoming patients and even if you have been there for an hour, someone with a more urgent case (respiratory distress, hemorrhage, urinary blockage, or toxin exposure) may jump the line ahead of you.
Try to think ahead for your pet’s medication and therapeutic diet needs. As one example, a local clinic handled more than a dozen phone calls on July 3rd for anti-anxiety medications. They actually ran out of one type of medication!
Your veterinarian and his/her team are ready, willing, and more than able to help you and your pets…just remember to give them a little patience and bring good energy to your pet’s visit with his/her doctor!
For more information visit, NoahsHospitals.com.
Summertime is a great time for relaxation and fun, but we should all be aware of the potential dangers for our furry friends! Tom Dock, BSc, CVJ of Noah’s Animal Hospital joined us today with tips to keep our pets cool and safe during the summer months.
By far, the most common problem our pets face in warm temperatures is heat stroke. Also known as heat stress or hyperpyrexia, this is a real emergency for our dogs.
Body temperatures can skyrocket to more than 106 degrees Fahrenheit quickly. At 110 degrees, brain damage starts to occur.
Dogs can’t dissipate heat by sweating like us; they must pant to cool themselves. Often, they are simply unable to cool themselves efficiently
Any pet can overheat on a warm day, but short faced breeds are at a higher risk.
1. Never leave your pet unattended in a car during warm weather. Not only can the car’s internal temperature climb into dangerous territory in just minutes, it is now also a crime in many states and cities.
2. When running errands, leave your dog at home. Just a few minutes in a hot car can spell disaster for your pet.
3. Shaving your long-haired dog might sound good, but it could expose him to more problems, including sunburn. Most veterinarians and groomers agree that a clean, well maintained coat helps insulate the pet and actually keep him cooler.
4. Warm weather not only means a return of fleas and ticks, but also several species of biting flies. These pests can cause an irritating and serious condition known as “fly strike”.
5. To keep your pet’s safe, always know the weather forecast. Knowing the high temperature for the day can help you decide whether your dog needs to stay indoors while you are gone.
6. If you find your pet collapsed in the yard, disoriented, or panting excessively, move him immediately to a cooler environment. Use cool water towels across the neck and belly along with fans to bring his temperature down. Don’t use ice.
7. Make immediate plans to transport your pet to the veterinarian for assessment and life-saving treatments.
For more from Tom visit, noahshospitals.com.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month, and Tom Dock of Noah’s Animal Hospital joined us today to help make sure you’re prepared to take the whole family in the event of an evacuation or emergency situation. Here’s more from him:
1. Indianapolis was the very first city in the U.S. to have connected the local first responders (IFD and EMS services), the local animal care services (INDYCares) and a veterinary team in order to help pets who experience separation from their families during house fires or vehicular accidents. VERY PROUD of this!
2. June is Pet Preparedness Month when we are reminded that when evacuations need to happen, your need to have a plan for your pets as well. A very quick and easy first step is to make sure that you have current pictures of your furry family as well as copies of your rabies certificates and medical records. Your veterinarian and staff are happy to help you with this task! You can even take a “selfie” of you and your pet together!!
3. Remember that not all shelters will accept pets, so knowing this ahead of time is helpful. If you need to leave your home due to a housefire or other issue confined to just your home, look for pet friendly hotels at petswelcome.com or bringfido.com.
4. A lot can change around your pet’s world during a natural disaster or a situation like a house-fire. Pets may not recognize the area and may try to run off for a variety of reasons. Micro-chipping is always a good idea, but consider doing this BEFORE it’s needed during an evacuation. Your veterinary team can do this for you at ANY time.
5. The Federal Emergency Management Administration has a video that can help walk you through the steps needed to make sure you and your pets are prepared!
For more from Tom visit, NoahsHospitals.com/in-the-news.