Midge, the little stolen kitty, who stole our hearts!

By now you’ve likely heard of Midge, the stolen Petco kitten. At barely 12 weeks of age, Midge has become a major news story in Santa Fe after being stolen then abandoned in a local Petco store. After being discovered, it was apparent that Midge was in distress and she was brought to us for help.

Upon arrival, Midge was immediately examined by our Dr. Jennifer Garcia. “She presented with neurologic signs; circling, dilated pupils and singed whiskers. Diagnostics were performed which revealed an elevated white blood cell count. This could indicate infection or inflammation but still does not tell us the underlying cause of her symptoms. Based on her physical exam and diagnostic findings, I recommended treating symptomatically with supportive care”, Dr. Jennifer Garcia reported. Midge was treated with oral activated charcoal to help absorb possibly ingested toxins, intravenous fluid therapy to flush her system and a long lasting antibiotic injection. “By midnight, 6 hours after starting treatment, we could already see improvement in her clinical signs. She was aware of her surroundings and acting more like a kitten, which wasn’t the case earlier.” Dr. Garcia was happy to release her back to her foster home.

According to Midge’s foster parent, she is doing very well. She has been reunited with her litter mates and is back to her playful self. Midge is a “Felines and Friends” rescue who was given a second chance through the non-profit, all volunteer-run organization. Smith Veterinary Hospital happily works closely with the group and treats many of their rescued cats.

Although the mystery of her whereabouts during that 24 hours period has not been solved, the staff at Smith Veterinary Hospital are relieved that Midge has made a full recovery.

Safety tips for pets during 4th of July celebrations!

Safety during July 4th celebrations:

  • Leave your pets at home when you go to parties, fireworks displays, parades and other gatherings. Loud fireworks, unfamiliar places and crowds can all be very frightening to pets, and there’s great risk of pets becoming spooked and running away.
  • Consider putting your pets in a safe, escape-proof room or crate during parties and fireworks.
  • Keep horses and livestock in safely fenced areas and as far from the excitement and noise as possible.
  • If you’re hosting guests, ask them to help keep an eye on your pets to make sure they don’t escape. Placing notes on exit doors and gates can help both you and your guests remain vigilant.
  • Keep your pets inside if you or your neighbors are setting off fireworks.
  • Keep sparklers, glow sticks, fireworks, charcoal and kabob skewersaway from curious pets.
  • Don’t let pets get near your barbecue grill while it is in use or still hot.
  • Avoid the urge to feed your pets table scraps or other foods intended for people. Be especially careful to keep them away from these common foods that are actually toxic.
  • Remember that too much sun and heat (and humidity!) can be dangerous to pets. Keep them inside when it’s extremely hot/humid; make sure they have access to shady spots and plenty of water when outdoors; don’t leave them outside for extended periods in hot weather; and know the signs that a pet may be overheating.
  • Never leave your pet in your car when it’s warm outside. Vehicle interiors heat up much faster than the air around them, and even a short time in a locked car can be dangerous to pets.
  • If you’re travelling out of town for the holiday, consider leaving your pets at home with a pet sitter or boarding them in a kennel. If you need to bring them with you, be sure you know how to keep them safe.
  • Follow safe food handling and hygiene practices to protect your family and guests.

After the celebrations:

  • Check your yard for fireworks debris before allowing pets outside to play or relax. Even if you didn’t set off fireworks yourself, debris can make its way into your yard, where curious animals may pick it up to play with or eat.
  • Check your pastures and remove debris to protect horses and livestock.
  • If you hosted guests, check both your yard and home for food scraps or other debris that might be dangerous to pets, such as food skewers.

June is "Chip Your Pet Month" - $10 off Microchip!!

Have you considered having your pet microchipped?

It's easy as can be. The microchip is about the size of a grain of rice, and is implanted with a needle, usually between your pet’s shoulder blades. Your pet will experience about the same pinch as it would get from giving blood, and neither you nor he will be able to feel the chip once it’s in. 

Each chip has a unique number on it that can be picked up and read by a scanner. If your pet is found, or if you find a pet, a veterinarian or animal shelter can scan the pet and easily access the microchip number.

Chips are registered with different companies who have your information. Our chips are registered with “Home Again” who will have all the information they need to reach you and our office.  By looking up your chip number they will have your pet’s name, your contact info, and our hospital’s information.  If your contact information ever changes but you forgot to keep it updated with Home Again, our vet will be their next contact and can be the missing link that connects you to your lost pet.

There are numerous success stories across the country of microchips helping owners get reunited with their lost pets. Unlike collars or tags, which might slip off, your microchip is with your pet for life.   Help give them the chance to find you and their home again.

No appointment is necessary to have your pet microchipped.  Just come in during our regular business hours!

 

May is National Arthritis Awareness Month!

The term “arthritis” is an umbrella term that refers to over 100 rheumatic diseases, but when most of us use the term when talking about our pets, we are usually referring to osteoarthritis (OA), a progressive, degenerative joint disease.

The bad news is that there is no cure for OA – but the good news is, there are things we can do to help our pets with OA live comfortable, happy lives.

Here are some things you can do to help your pet with OA:

  • Partner with your veterinarian. Keep detailed notes on your pet’s condition and schedule regular check-ins and checkups so you can stay proactive in managing his pain.
  • Help your pet maintain a healthy weight. Just like in people, an animal’s joints can be more painful with added pounds.
  • Look at a special diet. There are foods available that can help with joint support – talk to your veterinarian about whether one of these is right for your pet.
  • Include exercise. Regular, moderate exercise helps keep joints healthy for longer. Talk to your veterinarian about how far and how long to walk with your dog, on what types of surfaces, and whether there are any other exercises you can do with your dog or cat to target the affected joints.
  • Talk to your veterinarian about complementary treatment. Veterinary massage, acupuncture, physical rehabilitation, and related treatments may be available that can provide some pain relief when used along with your pet’s regular pain-management plan.

In addition to these ideas, there are some simple things you can do to make your home more accessible for your pet so he can be more comfortable. For example:

  • Raise food and water bowls to somewhere between the height of his elbows and shoulders – this can relieve strain on his back.
  • Consider getting an orthopedic or memory foam bed for your pet to sleep on.
  • A ramp to climb in and out of your vehicle can make car rides more fun for your dog by relieving stress on the back and leg joints. Cats will appreciate ramps or steps up to their favorite furniture perches.
  • Provide a litter box with low sides so your cat can get in and out more easily.
  • Spend some extra time brushing your cat as grooming can become painful for him.
  • Think about blocking access to stairs when no one is around to help “spot” your dog going up and down.
  • Think non-slip flooring. Area rugs with non-skid backing help your pet keep his footing when walking. In areas where rugs won’t work, you could place those interlocking squares of foam that are often used for children’s play areas – these can fit any room, and you can pick them up easily when you want to clean or when you have company.

Pets with OA can live long and healthy lives. With a bit of creativity and some help from your veterinarian, you can help your pet live more comfortably with OA.