Microchips are a simple product of our high-tech age. No bigger than a grain of rice and cheaper than a month’s supply of pet food, a microchip is your pet’s ticket home. In the event of a storm, flash flood, thunder storm or fireworks pets can panic and may run away, become disoriented and get lost, not to mention all the easy ways pet’s get lost; door left open, fence not closed, digging under the fence, slipping their collar. Microchips substantially increases the likelihood of a pet returning home by offering secure, reliable, unique and permanent identification.
Don’t risk losing your precious pet. If your pet doesn’t have one, get one! Call to schedule an outpatient appointment with our staff to insure your pet’s safe return if they have get lost!
Did you know:
• The American Humane Association estimates over 10 million dogs and cats are lost or stolen in the U.S. every year.
• One in three pets will become lost at some point during their life.
A study published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, including 53 animal shelters across the U.S., confirmed the high rate of return of microchipped dogs and cats to their families, and the importance of microchip registration. From the study:
• Only about 22 percent of lost dogs that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. However, the return-to-owner rate for microchipped dogs was over 52 percent (a 238 percent increase).
• Less than 2 percent of lost cats that entered the animal shelters were reunited with their families. The return-to-owner rate for microchipped cats was dramatically higher at over 38 percent (more than 2000 percent better).
• Only 58 percent of the microchipped animals’ microchips had been registered in a database with their pet parent’s contact information.
Disaster Supply Kit for Pets
Preparing Your Pets for Emergencies
Always have a collar with ID and rabies tags
-ID tags should include; Pet’s name, city of location and a phone number (preferably a cell phone number to ensure you can be reached no matter what). If you have room you can also include their microchip information.
-A rabies tag will show your pet is up to date on shots but it will also show your veterinarian’s name. Veterinarians can look up your pet by their rabies tag number, which will then lead them to you.
-If your pet requires daily medication it is a good idea to note that on their tag as well. Something short like “MEDIATION NEEDED” or “DAILY MEDICATION” works great.
-Be sure to check your pet’s tags often. Many tags are too old and worn to be read.
Store current shot and health records in a waterproof container, such as a freezer bag
Food and water to last for seven days. Be sure to keep the food in a water tight container
-Remember a manual can opener if your pet eats canned food.
Plastic bags to dispose of pet droppings and other waste
Current photo of your pet
Pet carrier with plenty of bedding
Pet friendly First Aid kit (you can purchase premade kits specifically for pets)
Paper towels and/or wet wipes
Cat litter and litter box; some stores sell pre-filled, disposable litter boxes.
To find a hotel or motel that accepts pets, check out the following website:
For more information on disaster preparedness contact
The Alaska Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management
If your pet’s bad breath makes them positively un-kissable,
it’s time schedule their yearly checkup today
It’s that time of year again. A month about love, hugs, kisses and chocolate. And when it comes to your pet, 3 out of 4 of those come out way on top! (Chocolate is a no-no, but you already knew that!)
What if your pet’s bad breath makes them positively un-kissable? Bad breath may mean there is an issue with your pet’s teeth and gums. But it may also be a sign of a more serious medical condition. Either way, if dental conditions are left untreated, you may put your pet at risk for problems in their mouth (periodontitis) or with internal organs (heart disease). The challenge most pet owners face is that even if their pet’s breath smells fine, some dental conditions are hard to spot.
Keeping your pet healthy from toe to tooth shows the world how much you love them. What is the best way to keep your pet in tiptop shape?
Schedule your pet’s yearly checkup with us. We’ll do a thorough checkup, including a dental exam, to make sure your pet is at optimum health. We’re committed to your pet’s well being every step of the way. (Because we love them too!) Book their appointment today!
All dental cleanings are $40.00 off through March 2015!
If you’ve been into our office lately you may have noticed a few new faces. We’d like to welcome our newest staff member; Miranda, receptionist and Jessica, veterinarian assistant. We are very glad to have both of them as part of our team here at North Star Animal Hospital.
Well winter may be taking it’s time to get here but there are still things we need to be aware of to help our pets stay safe and healthy throughout this winter season!
Keep pets indoors and warm: Don’t leave dogs or cats outdoors when the temperature drops. Regardless of the season, short-haired, very young or old dogs and all cats should never be left outside without supervision. Dogs and cats are safer indoors, except when taken out for exercise. During walks, short-haired dogs may feel more comfortable wearing a sweater. No matter what the temperature is, wind chill can threaten your pet. Pets are sensitive to severe cold and are at risk for frostbite and hypothermia when they are outdoors during extreme cold snaps. Exposed skin on noses, ears and paw pads can quickly freeze and suffer permanent damage.
Take precautions if your dog spends a lot of time outside: A dog or cat is happiest and healthiest when kept indoors. If for some reason your dog is outdoors much of the day, he or she must be protected by a dry, draft-free shelter that is large enough to allow the dog to sit and lie down comfortably but small enough to hold in his/her body heat. The floor should be raised a few inches off the ground and covered with cedar shavings or straw. The house should be turned to face away from the wind, and the doorway should be covered with waterproof burlap or heavy plastic.
Did you know dogs often lose their scent in cold weather and can become lost? It’s always best to keep dogs on leash when outside or keep them in a fully fenced yard
Help neighborhood outdoor cats: If there are outdoor cats, either owned pets or community cats (ferals, who are scared of people, and strays, who are lost or abandoned pets) in your area, remember that they need protection from the elements as well as food and water. It’s easy to give them a hand.
Be careful with cats, wildlife and cars: Warm engines in parked cars attract cats and small wildlife, who may crawl up under the hood. To avoid injuring any hidden animals, bang on your car’s hood to scare them away before starting your engine.
Protect paws from salt: With the changing temperatures comes “ice”- Did you know that ice melt can be harmful to pet? It can cause skin irritation and can also be ingested by your pet by licking it off their paws. Ingestion can cause digestive upset and electrolyte imbalance. Be sure to wipe all paws with a damp towel before your pet licks them. There are ice melts out there that are “pet safe”. They are non-toxic and usually safe for animals, children, and vegetation. Do you use pet safe ice melt at your home?
Avoid antifreeze poisoning: As people prepare their boats, cars or cabins for winter, pets may inadvertently be exposed to antifreeze. Antifreeze is a deadly poison, but it has a sweet taste that may attract animals and children. Wipe up spills and store antifreeze (and all household chemicals) out of reach. As little as one teaspoon in a cat or a tablespoon or two for dogs, depending on the size of animal, can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. While signs may seem to improve after eight to twelve hours, internal damage is actually worsening, and crystals develop in the kidneys, which result in acute kidney failure. Immediate treatment with an antidote is vital.
Mouse and Rat Poisons: To prevent bromethalin toxicosis, ensure that your dog does not have access to rodent poisons. As you prepare to winterize your garage, cabin, or house, make sure to place poisonous baits in areas where your pet cannot reach them (e.g., high up on shelves, hidden behind work spaces, etc.). If you choose to use rat poision in your home with pets, you will want to stay watchful for dead rodents so that you can properly dispose of them before your pet can get to them.
Horse owners: Give your horses’ shelter and dry warmth. Be sure your horses have access to a barn or a three-sided run-in so they can escape the wind and cold.
Did you know that odor coming from your pets mouth can be a serious health risk? Bacteria in the mouth can travel through the bloodstream and impact vital organs like the heart, liver and kidneys. Research shows that around age of 2, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs have some sign of dental disease.
Here are some factors that can contribute to oral health problems:
- Age- Dental disease is more common in older pets.
- Breed- Small breed dogs are more likely to have overcrowded or misaligned teeth that are difficult to keep clean, making them more prone to dental disease.
- Feeding sticky foods, such as canned food, can lead to a more rapid buildup of plaque.
If your pet has oral health problems, the first thing you noticed is bad breath. Other common signs of oral health issues are:
- Sore mouth
- Yellow-brown build up on teeth
- Bleeding gums
- Change in chewing or eating habits
- Loose teeth or tooth loss
- Abnormal drooling
- Pawing or rubbing the mouth
Help your pet maintain positive oral health through the power of dental checkups, teeth brushing and oral health diets and treats. Daily brushing is the foundation of oral care. By brushing your pet’s teeth daily you can make a big impact on your pets oral health. If you have never brushed your pet’s teeth follow the steps below to learn how.
Four easy steps on brushing your pet’s teeth:
Get comfortable- Set expectations that getting use to brushing might take several sessions, so reward your pet through the training process and remember to keep it positive and be patient. Practicing lifting their lip to see their teeth and reward with praise.
Try toothpaste- You can wrap your index finger in gauze or use a finger toothbrush. After your pet is comfortable, lift the lip and gently rub the pet toothpaste over the teeth and gums.
Toothbrush Time- Introduce the toothbrush provided by your veterinarian. If desired, place a small amount of pet toothpaste on the brush and gently start brushing.
Brushing success- Brush teeth and gums gently. Focus on the outside of the teeth. The surface facing the cheek is the most prone to plaque and tartar buildup.
Be sure to use pet safe toothpaste. Our clinic carries C.E.T. Toothpaste that are specially formulated for pets. There are several different flavors to make brushing teeth tasty and rewarding.
Let’s face it some pets just won’t allow you to brush their teeth. Don’t be discouraged there are other products out there to help keep your pet’s mouth healthy.
Dental Food/Treats- All products are available in dog and cat formulas.
- Hills T/D- Works like a toothbrush to protect against gingivitis and fight bacteria in your pet’s mouth. It is the only pet food clinically prove to reduce gingivitis and accumulation of both plaque and tartar.
- Science Diet Oral Care- The kibble is designed to naturally scrubs teeth clean like a toothbrush. It helps keep teeth and gums healthy. It’s uniquely formulated to help address five common healthy concerns for adult animals; Oral healthy, Weight Management, Digestion, Skin & Coat and Mobility.
- Greenies Treats- Dental chews and treats help fight tartar building up and plaque. Also helps freshens breath while maintaining healthier teeth and gums. Greenies are safe and easily digestible.
- C.E.T. Chews- A great tasting, easy, healthy option. The novel formulation provides antiseptic activity for up to 24 hours, in delicious chews your pet will enjoy.
Even if your pet isn’t showing signs of oral health problems, it’s worth asking your veterinarian for a dental check up and advice on how to clean your pet’s teeth to prevent problems in the future.
Fall is Here!
A new season brings new household items that can be a threat to your animal’s safety. These common items found around your house can cause serious problems if ingested by your pet. Please take a moment to read the items recommend keeping your pets away from.
Mushrooms- While most mushrooms are generally non-toxic, certain types can be very dangerous. One of the most dangerous is the Amanita phalloides or death cap mushroom which is found throughout the United States. The proper identification of mushrooms is extremely difficult and often only done by experts. Therefore, it is wise to consider all ingestions of unidentified mushrooms as toxic until proven otherwise. Depending on what type of mushroom is ingested, symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, depression, tremors, and seizures, with liver and kidney damage occurring later. Pet owners should scour their yard frequently to get rid of any mushrooms.
Antifreeze- As people prepare their boats, cars or cabins for winter, pets may inadvertently be exposed to antifreeze. As little as one teaspoon in a cat or a tablespoon or two for dogs, depending on the size of animal, can be fatal. Signs of early poisoning include acting drunk or uncoordinated, excessive thirst, and lethargy. While signs may seem to improve after eight to twelve hours, internal damage is actually worsening, and crystals develop in the kidneys, which result in acute kidney failure. Immediate treatment with an antidote is vital.
Compost bins or piles- Piles of decomposing and decaying organic matter and molding food products in your backyard compost pile have the potential to contain ‘tremorgenic mycotoxins’, meaning molds which cause tremors. Even small amounts ingested can result in tremors or seizures within 30 minutes to several hours.
Mouse and Rat Poisons- As you prepare to winterize your garage, cabin, or house, make sure to place poisonous baits in areas where your pet cannot reach them (e.g., high up on shelves, hidden behind work spaces, etc.). :Rodenticides”also pose the potential for relay toxicity,” said Dr. Ahna Brutlag, assistant director of veterinary services at Pet Poison Helpline. “In other words, if your dog eats a large number of dead mice poisoned by rodenticides, they can experience secondary effects.” Because there are several different types of chemicals in mouse and rat poisons, all with different active ingredients and types of action, it is imperative to keep your pets away from all of these potentially dangerous poisons.
Welcome to our new website here at North Star Animal Hospital! Keep posted for updates as our website continues to grow.