A letter sent to S.C. Representatives in response to Bill H.3709 that uses dog breed discrimination as an answer to dog bites.
If you have lived in South Carolina for any length of time, then you know just how brutal our Summers can be! If you’re outside with your pet and are beginning to feel hot, just imagine how your dog feels whose core temperature starts at … Continue reading Summer Tips to Keep Your Pets Cool
Recent population studies have revealed cats, as of 2012, outnumber dogs in the United States. Interestingly though, dogs are seen by a veterinarian nearly twice as often as cats. According to a recent survey, a person owning a cat is six times less likely to … Continue reading Catching Cancer Before It Strikes – Belle’s Story
We had it all wrong. In 2001, Leslie and I opened Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant. The very name was chosen to emphasize that our practice was progressive, on the technological forefront of our field. We wanted to be the practice that was … Continue reading An Open Letter to Our Clients
As many of you may already know, there has been a bit of a storm brewing in the veterinary community of South Carolina and the rest of the country over the issue of low-cost practices and rescue organizations providing medical services i.e. spay/ neuter, vaccinations, parasite treatment and microchip implantation. The concern of some of our veterinarian colleagues is that their income may be compromised by these organizations which have an unfair advantage of providing these services at a sometimes significantly discounted price due to less stringent regulation and various subsidizing resources.
As veterinarians and practice owners, Leslie and I fully understand our colleague’s concern and agree on some of the issues; however we are very concerned about this proposed legislation. We have always worked hard to promote better health and care for the animals of our community, both the ones with a family and those without. We also are painfully aware of the many animals that go uncared for, that are neglected, that are homeless and are in homes in which the people do not have the means to fully and properly care for them.
Leslie and I are concerned that this animal welfare legislation S.687 has very little to do with promoting or improving the welfare of animals and more about protecting the veterinary communities own financial interest. Our greatest concern is the restriction of the ability of nonprofit organizations and other animal welfare groups to reach and care for those that are currently not being cared for. We know there are many pets in our community that are not under the care of a veterinarian due to a multitude of reasons (financial, transportation, education, etc.) which as a result of this legislation will now be “untouchable” by organizations that are designed specifically to provide care for those pets. These are pets that would not darken the door of a veterinary office to begin with, but if this legislation passes, would now not be able to get the care so very much needed. All because of the action of the community that took an oath to care for them!
Leslie and I are passionate about our calling. We are also disheartened by the organization and community that we love being a part of. We, however, are not politicians or understand what it is to be an activist, so we are reaching out to those that we know and respect who are of similar mind and are asking for your help. Please contact your senator (Lawrence Grooms or Paul Campbell, Jr of Berkeley & Charleston counties) that is on the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Natural Resources and let them know about your concern. We would love to hear from you about your thoughts and opinions and of course any advice and help you may have on what we can do to make this a better piece of legislation.
David Steele, DVM Leslie Steele, DVM
Veterinarians/Owners of Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant
It is difficult to see all the images thrown at us online of domesticated pets freezing to death outside. What is even more heartbreaking is seeing it with our own eyes. Although many people do comply with obvious pet care standards by bringing their pets inside during the coldest of nights, so many of our neighbors do not. It is important to help spread the word to others about the importance of making sure these animals have a warm place to sleep. It is understood that some people will NOT bring their “outside” dog or cat indoors, but there are ways you can make sure they have a warm shelter whether inside or not.
Here are a couple tips on how to keep those pets warm this winter:
Food & Water. Outdoor pets will require more calories during cold weather to generate more body heat to help keep them warm. Some pet owners think it is helpful to keep their pet’s weight on the heavy side to help protect them from the cold, but this is not true. It is more important that they keep and maintain a healthy body condition. It is imperative that your pet has unlimited access to clean, non-frozen drinking water.
Shelter. Provide a warm, solid, dry structure that protects against gusts of winds. The floor of the shelter should be off the ground to help minimize loss of body heat. The door of the shelter should be positioned away from prevailing winds. Space heaters and heat lamps should be avoided because of risk of burns or fire. Exercise extreme caution when using heated pet mats which can also be capable of causing burns.
Bedding. Bedding should be thick, dry, and changed regularly to provide a warm, dry environment.
ID Tags. It is very easy for cats and dogs to become lost during the winter. If they are not in a fenced in yard, they may start wondering in hopes of finding adequate shelter. Be sure your pets have a microchip, and/or collar with identification tags in case they are picked up and brought to a rescue or shelter.
Cars. Cats will often find temporary shelter underneath a car, on a tire, or even under the hood. Make sure to check your car before starting the engine and driving away. A couple knocks on the hood should be enough to wake up a sleeping kitty. It is also important not to leave your pets in the car during the winter, just as it is during the summer. Cars can serve as a type of refrigerator and keep the cold inside. Remember that puppies and kittens have an even harder time adapting to cold weather than adults.
Even if you do not own any outside dogs or cats, you can still provide temporarily shelter for the stray pets in your neighborhood. Styrofoam coolers with dry bedding and a small hole cut for an opening, can provide a makeshift shelter for stray felines, and is very cost effective. Please speak out if you see a pet left in the cold. If we all do what we can, then more and more pets will be able to survive the harsh winter.
For more information please call Advanced Animal Care of Mt. Pleasant @ 843-884-9838.
The holidays are here, and now is the time when we are busy wrapping presents, cooking delicious meals, and spending time with family. Among the hustle and bustle, our pets are watching and waiting for an opportunity to get into mischief! Some may sneak a turkey leg when your back is turned, others may take a bite of that yummy chocolate cake, and then follow it up with a nice drink from the Christmas tree water. These seemingly normal holiday behaviors can result with you spending your holiday at the veterinary emergency hospital and all the money you’ve saved for presents has now gone towards Scruffy’s emergency surgery. Here is a list of holiday safety tips to ensure you, your family, and your pets have a wonderful and safe holiday season!
Try to Remember These Basic Tips –
- Turkey Bones can cause stomach perforation and painful constipation. Often times, surgery is necessary to remove bone fragments from the intestines. Fatty foods can cause pancreatitis, a potentially dangerous inflammation of the pancreas that produces toxic enzymes and causes illness and dehydration.
- Sugar-Free Baked Goods often contain xylitol, which causes blood pressure to decrease to dangerously low levels. Ingestion may result in vomiting, lethargy, loss of coordination, seizures, and liver failure.
- Chocolate stimulates the nervous system and heart in both dogs and cats. Dark chocolate poses a greater risk and can cause agitation, vomiting, diarrhea, increased heart rate, tremors, seizures, and even death.
- Holiday Plants are a favorite of our pets. Mistletoe and holly pose the biggest threat and causes vomiting, diarrhea and heart arrhythmia.
- Alcohol is for human consumption only! It depresses the nervous system and results in vomiting, disorientation, diarrhea, lethargy, difficulty breathing, tremors, comas, and seizures.
- Tinsel & Ribbons not only pose a choking hazard (please don’t use them as collars), but can also slice the digestive track and cause intestinal obstruction.
- Electrical cords should be turned off and unplugged when you aren’t home. Live cords can cause burns in or around your pet’s mouth, difficulty breathing, seizures, and cardiac arrest.
- Christmas Trees need to be properly secured, fragile glass ornaments should be kept off low-lying branches. If you have a real tree be sure you don’t add fertilizer to the tree water, and keep pets away from stagnant water sitting in the reservoir. Watch out for signs of vomiting and diarrhea if you know they’ve been near it!
- Holiday Visitors will be coming and going, and this much activity can be confusing and stressful for pets. Make sure they have a safe, quiet space to retreat to if necessary. Elderly and sick pets can be extra sensitive to over-stimulation. Products like Adaptil and Feliway are great to use for pets with many forms of anxiety. Signs of stress can show up as gastrointestinal issues, discomfort, diarrhea, and irritability.
- Imported Snow Globes have shown to contain antifreeze (ethylene glycol) in some cases. As little as 1 teaspoon ingested by a cat, or 2 tablespoon for a dog, can be fatal. Signs of ingestion include lack of coordination, excessive thirst, and lethargy. Immediate treatment by a veterinarian is imperative if you think your pet is at risk. Crystals develop in the kidneys resulting in acute kidney failure. Sometimes a pet will not show signs of distress until it is too late.
- Liquid Potpourri is sometimes not realized to be so dangerous for our pets – especially cats. Just a lick or two can result in chemical burns, fever, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Although dogs aren’t as sensitive, it is advised to still use caution.
Call Advanced Animal Care of Mount Pleasant for more information at 843-884-9838.
Please be aware that there is a $39 fee per incident when you call the Pet Poison Hotline at 1-855-764-7661.
If you have an emergency after hours, you can call Veterinary Emergency Care in Mt. Pleasant, SC at 843-216-7554.
AAC WISHES YOU AND YOUR PET A HAPPY AND SAFE HOLIDAY SEASON!