Talking Tails - 8/16/16
Tuesday, August 16, 2016 11:25PM
By Reflections by Rhiannon
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Welcome back to Talking Tails!

August is National Immunization Awareness Month! Our vaccines are up-to- date, are yours? Vaccines protect you from highly contagious and often deadly diseases. No question about it, regular vaccinations are the key to a long and healthy life.

We have described below some of the diseases that you can be vaccinated against…and we sure hope you are. None of these sound like fun and are actually quite scary, since they can lead to death.

  • Distemper is a contagious disease spread from dog to dog via nasal discharge, feces, and urine. It is hard to treat and often fatal. Those dogs that do survive generally suffer from permanent nervous system damage. The distemper vaccine is given to puppies several times prior to 16 weeks of age, followed by a booster 1 year later, and then a booster every 3 years.
  • Parvovirus is extremely contagious and is transmitted via an infected dog’s feces. The virus attacks the gastrointestinal tract and if left untreated can be fatal. The parvovirus vaccine is given to puppies several times prior to 16 weeks of age, followed by a booster 1 year later, and then a booster every 3 years.
  • Hepatitis, caused by the Adenovirus, is contracted upon exposure to an infected dog’s saliva, urine, or feces. In severe cases, dogs can experience eye damage, liver failure, breathing difficulties, and even death. The hepatitis vaccine is given to puppies several times prior to 16 weeks of age, followed by a booster 1 year later, and then a booster every 3 years.
  • Rabies is usually a fatal disease that attacks the central nervous system. You can contract rabies from the bite of an infected animal – raccoon, bat, skunk dog, cat. The rabies vaccine is typically administered to a puppy around 5-6 months of age with a booster given every 3 years.
  • Kennel cough is caused by the Bordetella bacteria, an airborne organism carried in microscopic water vapor or dust particles. When inhaled, it attaches to the lining of the airway passages. The affected dog develops a dry, hacking cough. Kennel cough spreads among dogs very similarly to how colds spread among humans. If dogs are around other dogs – kennels, dog shows, doggie day care, dog parks, grooming salons – it is a good idea to vaccinate a few weeks prior to full exposure. Annual boosters are recommended.

Remember, a healthy pet is a happy pet!

Talk to you soon!

Buster and Joey

 
Baby Talk - 8/11/16
Thursday, August 11, 2016 10:06PM
By Reflections by Rhiannon
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The dog days of summer are upon us! It has been a brutal summer in Charlotte, with a record 17 straight days over 90 degrees. With temperatures like this everyone enjoys cooling off in a pool or at the beach. Check out Blake taking it easy in the pool!

As fun as this can be, it is essential to remain vigilant when it comes to water safety with a baby or toddler. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death in children ages 1-4. Additionally, about half of drownings occur within 25 yards of a parent or other adult. Drowning is a silent killer, occurring quietly and quickly, often within seconds. The waving, splashing, and yelling associated with TV drowning is rarely seen in real life.

Here are a few drowning-prevention tips:

  • Never leave a child unattended around water – A child can drown in a bathtub, toilet, bucket, pool, lake…any body of water. If you must run into the house, either take your child with you or assign a trustworthy adult to keep a careful eye on your child.
  • Designate a water watcher – If at the pool or at the beach with a number of adults, have each take turns (15-30 minutes) watching the children – no cell phone, iPad, magazines, books, people watching, etc. Every single second, their eyes on only on the children.
  • Teach your child to swim – Babies as young as four months can enroll in swimming lessons. Learning to swim can be a life-saving skill. Just having your child know how to float on their back could be a potential life saver. Be sure that you, or those you put in charge of watching your child, know how to swim and have the physical ability to save a child’s life if necessary.
  • Recognize water toys as water toys – Floaties, noodles, and plastic inner tubes will not protect your child from drowning. They are designed to be water toys, not life-saving devices.

What other water safety tips do you have? Please, share!

 
Talking Tails - 8/2/16
Tuesday, August 02, 2016 10:03PM
By Reflections by Rhiannon
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Welcome back to Talking Tails!

It’s time to check your chip! August 15 is National Check the Chip Day. The event was created by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) to remind pet owners to check their pet’s microchip information annually and keep it up-to- date. Having a microchip with current information greatly increases your chances of being reunited with your family if you get lost or stolen. We just hate to think about that ever happening.

If you don’t have a microchip, you need your human to make this happen soon. It’s easy to get one and not too painful. The microchip is only about the size of a grain of rice and is encoded with a unique ID number. It is injected, similar to a regular vaccination, into the skin between the shoulder blades. Buster was microchipped at the vet when he was neutered. This is common practice since he was already under sedation and wouldn’t feel the chip being injected. Joey got his chip at the Humane Society of Charlotte. They chip all their animals and put the shelter down as a secondary contact. If Joey was lost and our mom or dad could not be reached, then he would be taken to the Humane Society rather than Animal Control. We shuttered for the second time while writing this post because the thought of being separated from our humans is just incomprehensible. Let your humans know that the Humane Society of Charlotte holds Critter Care Wellness Wednesdays. They will microchip you for $15.

If you are microchipped…kudos to your humans…but remember that is not enough. It is essential to have your humans check the chip to be sure that your address and phone number are accurate. They can check your registration information in the microchip manufacturer’s database. If they don’t know the manufacturer of your microchip… shame on them…the AAHA’s Universal Pet Microchip Lookup Tool (http://www.petmicrochiplookup.org) can help. If they don’t know your microchip number…they need to get it together…they can simply take you to the vet and you can be scanned.

Here’s to never being separated from our family and having accurate microchip information in case we are!

Talk to you soon!

Buster and Joey

 
Baby Talk - 7/28/16
Thursday, July 28, 2016 9:05PM
By Reflections by Rhiannon
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Another gorgeous session with the Hall family! We've shot together in some pretty picturesque locations; roof top in uptown Charlotte, mountains of Asheville, blooming peach orchards in Fort Mill and now sunflower fields. I can't wait to meet baby Emma this fall!

 
Talking Tails - 7/19/16
Tuesday, July 19, 2016 7:53PM
By Reflections by Rhiannon
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Welcome back to Talking Tails!

We are getting ready to celebrate National Mutt Day on July 31. This day was created in 2005 by Celebrity Pet Expert and Animal Welfare Advocate, Colleen Paige. The purpose of the day is to embrace, to celebrate, and to save mixed breed dogs. The goal of National Mutt Day, which is celebrated annually on July 31 and December 2, is to get 10,000 shelter mutts into loving homes. We certainly hope that happens. Joey is a mutt, or mixed breed dog, and was adopted from a shelter, so we wholeheartedly support National Mutt Day!

We discovered that about 75% of shelter dogs waiting to be adopted are mixed breed dogs. So, unfortunately, they are also the largest percentage of dogs who are euthanized. Actually, mixed breed dogs tend to be healthier than purebreds because they are not prone to breed-specific health concerns. This contributes to mutts living longer. They are often more even tempered than purebreds and do not display behavior extremes.

We have a number of mutt friends that we hang with at doggie day care and they are super pals! Some of the so called “designer dogs” – Labradoodle, Cockapoo, Morkie, Puggle – are actually mutts, or mixed breed dogs. However, we don’t think they would put themselves in the same category as Tramp, for those of you who have seen Disney’s Lady and the Tramp. But a mutt by any other name is still a mutt!

If you are not in a position to adopt a mutt this month, there are still things you can do to help out. You can promote National Mutt Day to your friends…Facebook may be a good way. Volunteering at your local animal shelter or making a small monetary, food, or supply donation in honor of National Mutt Day can help homeless mutts.

We raise a paw in salute to our mutt brothers and sisters and hope that many of you attain your dream of a loving forever home.

Talk to you soon!

Buster and Joey