Some of you may have recently seen a new face around the clinic. We’re thrilled to announce that Dr. Sara Pilgrim has joined our team here at Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic.
Dr. Pilgrim earned a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Louisiana State University, where she graduated with honors in 2016. She enjoys working with exotic pets, reptiles, and small mammals, though she is qualified to care for any type of pet. A member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and the Arkansas Veterinary Association, Dr. Pilgrim will be a major asset to the clinic, enabling us to serve a wider variety of patients.
Dr. Pilgrim says, “It’s been great joining a team that is so dedicated to their patients’ health. My family and I have really enjoyed being back in Arkansas and we look forward to continuing the great services and traditions that Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic is so well known for.”
A BIG SRVC Congrats! to Technician Supervisor Tristin Chancellor who passed her Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) Boards last week! Tristin joined SRVC in October 2015 while finishing her final year at Heritage College in the Veterinary Technician program. She already has a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from the University of New Orleans, but joined our team to follow her passion for caring for animals. We’re so proud of her!
Summer can be an uncomfortable time for pets. You can help keep your pets safe with these summer safety tips:
6 Tips for Keeping Pets Safe in Summer
1. Don’t Leave Your Pet in a Parked Car
Don’t leave your pet in a parked car for even a second. Not even with the air conditioner running. On hot days, temperatures in a car rise to dangerous levels. Even with the windows open, temperatures can quickly rise to 102 degrees in just 10 minutes. Your pet could suffer heat stroke, organ damage or worse.
2. Keep an Eye on Humidity
Remember to keep an eye on the humidity. If the humidity is too high, pets are unable to cool themselves and their temperatures quickly soar to dangerous levels. A dog’s temperature should not go higher than 104 degrees.
3. Limit Exercise
Be careful when exercising your pet in the summer. Adjust the duration and intensity according to the temperature. On extremely hot days, try to limit exercise to the early morning or later evening hours. Be particularly careful with dogs with white-colored ears who are susceptible to skin cancer. Also be careful with short-nosed pets who struggle with breathing. Asphalt gets extremely hot and can burn paws, so try to walk your dogs on grass and carry water with you to avoid your pet dehydrating.
4. Don’t Leave it to a Fan
Pets respond a lot differently to heat than humans. Fans don’t cool them off as effectively as they do people.
5. Provide Water and Shade
Anytime your pet is outdoors, you should make sure they are protected from the sun and heat and have plenty of fresh water to drink. During heat waves, add ice to the water to keep it cool. Tarps and tree shade are ideal solutions to shade as they will not obstruct air flow. A doghouse or kennel won’t provide relief from the heat – in fact, it retains the heat.
6. Keep Your Pet Cool Inside and Out
You can keep your pet cool and occupied with quick and easy DIY frozen treats. Use items like peanut butter, mashed pumpkin and other favorites. Always make sure your pet has access to water, both inside and outside.
To keep your pet from overheating, use a cooling body wrap, cooling collar, mat, vest or damp towel. Soak the products in cool water and they will keep cool for a few days at a time. If your dog enjoys the water, try to get him or her to take a cooling soak in a small pool or even the bathtub.
Treat Your Pet for Heatstroke
If you suspect that your pet is suffering from heatstroke, get him or her into an air-conditioned area as soon as possible. Apply cold towels to the neck, chest and head or run cool water over the body. Allow your pet to drink small amounts of water or even lick an ice cube. Try to get your local vet or veterinarians as soon as possible.
Your pet has acute hearing. Loud bangs can cause a great deal of pain to their ears. By following these simple guidelines from Little Rock veterinarians, you can help keep your pet calm and safe.
Little Rock Veterinarian Tips for Keeping Small Pets Safe During Fireworks
If you have small pets, such as rabbits and birds, make sure you place their cages or hutches indoors in a quiet room, shed or garage.
Provide extra bedding for your pet so it feels snuggly and safe.
If you’re unable to bring your pet’s cage or hutch inside, turn the enclosure around to face a fence or wall instead of an open gate.
Cover hutches and aviaries with thicker blankets or even a duvet to help block out the sight of the fireworks and dim the sound of the bangs. Remember to leave enough ventilation.
How to Keep Cats and Dogs Safe During Fireworks from Little Rock Veterinarians
If you have dogs and cats, follow these easy tips from your Little Rock veterinarians:
Always keep your cats and dogs indoors when you hear fireworks going off.
Ensure that you walk your dog earlier in the day before the fireworks will be going off.
Close all your doors and windows and block off cat and dog flaps to stop your pets escaping to keep the noise out. Draw all the curtains and if your animals are used to the sound of a radio or TV, switch them on and keep them at their usual noise level to block out some of the fireworks.
We suggest that owners ensure their dogs are wearing some sort of identification that is easy to read, even while they are in the house. At the very least they should have a tag and collar.
Consider microchipping your pets so if they do get out, you have a better chance of being reunited with them.
Prepare a safety den for your pet where they will be comfortable. This could be under a bed with old clothes.
Allow your pet to pace and whine if they need to.
Try to remain calm and carry on as you normally would. Give your cats and dogs plenty of praise for their calm behavior. It is fine to pat your pet if it helps them to calm down, but if they would rather hide in a cupboard or under the bed, allow them do so.
If you know there are going to be fireworks, we advise that you don’t leave your pets alone.
Do not tie your dog up when fireworks are being let off nearby. This means either outside the house, outside a shop while you pop in or even in the car.
Please try not to take your pet along to a fireworks display. If they don’t typically whimper or bark at the noise, it doesn’t mean they will not be stressed. Excessive yawning and panting can also indicate that your dog is stressed.
If you’ve been in Arkansas for a summer, you know that with the arrival of warm, humid weather some other “friends” also arrive. While summer means sunshine and cookouts, it also brings bothersome fleas and ticks attaching themselves to your beloved pet. May has been National Dog Month so it’s a great time to think about how to keep your pooch flea free.
8 Easy Steps For Flea and Tick Prevention
Keep your home as clean as you can. Change your bedding frequently and vacuum your floors and furniture thoroughly. Use a new vacuum cleaner dustbag for each use to prevent flea eggs and larvae developing. After treating a flea infestation, you should immediately clean your entire house to stop the critters coming back.
Keep your yard in check too. Discourage ticks from your yard, by keeping your lawn mowed, pruning your bushes, and removing any fallen leaves.
Get your pet kitted out with a flea collar to repel and kill fleas. It’s best to check with your vet before buying a flea collar to make sure that you’re getting one that works and isn’t harmful to your pet. Ensure the collar is fitted firmly to your pet’s neck so that it comes in direct contact with their skin. Adjust it until you can only fit two fingers underneath and trim any excess collar to stop your pet chewing on it.
Buy a flea comb and comb your pet’s fur regularly. A tight-toothed comb can be used to remove fleas and their eggs as they grip firmly to your pet’s hair and fur. Have a bucket of warm water next to you during combing time so you can instantly drown any fleas you find.
Give your pet a flea bath. A simple bath of lukewarm water and pet-friendly soap or shampoo can be effective in keeping fleas at bay or dealing with a minor infestation. For a stronger treatment, you can buy medicated flea shampoos from your vet.
Ask your vet about spot-on treatments. These are medications which can be applied directly to your pet’s skin to kill fleas across its entire body. The American Animal Hospital Association recommends using flea treatments like this every month as a preventative method, even if your pet doesn’t currently have fleas. Read all labels thoroughly and seek advice from your vet to make sure you’re using the best treatment for your pet.
Try oral flea treatments. If you have a serious flea situation you may want to combine spot-on and oral flea treatments for the most effective results. Seek advice from your vet about the best flea treatment for your pet. Remember that treatments can vary depending on the species and what might be effective for your dog could be toxic for your cat.
You can also try powder and spray treatments. These are available cheaply but will need to be reapplied more frequently than spot-on and oral treatments. You should also take great care not to get them near the eyes, mouth and nose as they can be harmful to animals and humans if ingested.
If you’d like to find out more about keeping your pets free of fleas this summer, you can contact Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic to book an appointment here.
June is national Adopt-A-Cat month! Cat adoption is very important during the summer. Spring is “kitten season,” which means your local shelter now has plenty of cute, adoptable kittens in addition to those laid-back adult cats they already had. If the kittens or cats aren’t adopted, your local shelter can get overcrowded.
This month, we want to share some information about adopting local cats so you can make an educated decision before you adopt. Here are five things to think about before you adopt a cat:
Be prepared for a long-term commitment. Cats can live up to 20 years if they are well cared for. Make sure you are prepared for the responsibilities of pet ownership. Are you willing to change your cat’s litter box for the next 20 years? Can you afford to buy monthly food and occasional grooming for your cat, as well as toys and scratching posts? Are you willing to do what it takes to keep your cat healthy with vaccinations and vet bills?
Make sure you’re getting the right cat for you. Each cat has its own specific personality, but in general, cats are known for being low-energy in their adult years. Try to find a cat whose personality meshes with yours. If you want a playmate, get a cat with a lot of energy. If you’re more interested in a cuddly friend, maybe look for a cat who likes people and is laid-back.
Prep your home for your new feline friend. Obviously, you will want to train your new cat, but be prepared for your cat to train you too. After your cat gets comfortable in your home, you will quickly learn that you can no longer leave food out on your counters. Also secure loose electrical cords so that your cat or kitten can’t chew on them. In preparation for your cat, you also should schedule an appointment with a local veterinarian for a few days after you bring your cat home.
Socialize your cat, but make sure they feel safe. This is very important to your relationship with your cat. Be sure to spend enough quality time with them so you can bond, but also give them enough exposure to your regular guests and other pets. Go slow, because it may take a while for your cat to get comfortable in its new environment. Too much change too quickly will make your cat feel unsafe, which can bring out their mean, defensive side.
Two cats are healthier and happier than one!
Consider taking home two cats instead of one. Cats are social animals and need mental and physical stimulation. If you spend most of your day at work or away from home, it can be unhealthy for one cat to be alone for that long. If you adopt two cats, they can provide exercise and play for each other, and make better, happier pets in the long run.
Once you’ve done your homework and know that it’s a good idea for you to adopt a cat or kitten, you can visit any of your local shelters or online adoption agencies. Some great local ones are:
This month is National Microchipping Month! All through June, we are offering microchipping for your pet for only $50, including membership with HomeAgain, an international pet registry and microchip provider.
Statistics from pet shelters show that one in three pets will get lost or separated from its family at some point in its life. Microchips increase the likelihood of your pet being found and returned to you after it gets lost. Only 22 percent of dogs brought to shelters are ever returned to their owners, but out of the dogs that have microchips, 52 percent are reunited with their families!
It only takes a few steps to retrieve your pet with HomeAgain. Here’s how it works: once your pet is lost, call HomeAgain’s 1-800 number to report your missing pet. HomeAgain will issue a lost pet report to all the vet clinics and animal shelters in your area. Once a vet or shelter finds your pet, HomeAgain will receive your contact information and call you with the good news!
Microchipping your pet is an easy procedure that requires no anesthesia.
Microchips are permanent IDs for your dogs and cats; much more permanent than collar tags. Here are some fast facts about microchipping with HomeAgain:
Microchipping is easy, inexpensive, and safe for your pet
A microchip can’t fall off, expire, or be removed
Microchipping is a one-time procedure with life-long security for your pet
Most vets, shelters, and clinics in the United States have scanners to read microchips
If you come in to our clinic during the month of June, you can get a microchip for your pet for $50, which is over 10% off, including registration and a membership with HomeAgain. Microchipping your pet is a simple step you can take to save yourself and your family from the heartbreak of losing a loved family pet!
With summer coming and vacations, activities and the constant hum of everyday life kicking in it is often easy to overlook some important safety aspects in your home. Here at Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic in Little Rock, we know that your pet is part of your family. Naturally you want to keep them as safe as possible. It’s also important to minimize the risk of your furry friend accidentally starting a fire in your home. So here are 10 practical things you can do to keep your pets safe.
10 Tips for Pet Fire Safety
Pet-proof your home. Just as you would baby-proof if you had a new baby, you should remove all potential hazards to make your home safe for your furry friend. According to the National Volunteer Fire Council, about half a million pets are affected by fires in the home every year so it’s vital that you take action to reduce the risks now.
Never leave your pet alone near an open flame. It just takes one wag of a tail or swipe of a paw to lead to major problems. If possible, remove open flames completely. Try using flameless battery-operated candles instead to create mood lighting without the fire risk.
If your pet can reach the counter tops, either by jumping up or by standing on its hind legs, you need to make all stove knobs safe. They can so easily be nudged by a curious pet and cause a fire. Consider getting knob covers to stop this from happening.
Don’t leave glass water bowls out on wooden decks in the sunshine. The hot sunrays can actually ignite the wood through the glass and cause fires. Instead, use stainless steel or ceramic bowls for your pets’ drinking water.
Does your pet just love to chew? Keep an eye on them and do regular checks around your home to ensure your animal hasn’t gnawed their way through any loose electrical wires.
If you can, install pet doors to give your pets an accessible escape route. If you have to keep your animal confined, keep them in an area near the front door so they can be easily found by firefighters.
Display a pet rescue alert sticker in your front window. This will let any emergency services staff entering your home know that your pet could be in there in need of help. Never re-enter a dangerous building to rescue a pet. Leave this to the trained professionals. We have FREE Pet Rescue Alert Stickers Available in our Clinic – just ask!
Ensure your pet has ID with up-to-date contact information or get your furry pal micro-chipped. This is vital in case you get separated during an emergency. We’ve micro-chipped hundreds of animalsand we’re happy to do this for your pets!
Think ahead and have a safe location planned where you can take your pet after a fire.
Prepare a pet survival kit in a portable case that you can quickly grab in the event of an emergency. It should include enough supplies to last 7 days. Here are some ideas for what you might pack:
Medical records for your pet and any medications they may need
A photo of your pet in case they get lost
Emergency contact numbers for easy reference
Leashes, carriers and harnesses for transporting your animal
Cat litter and pan
Pet food and can opener
Plastic bags and paper towels to clean up any waste
Favorite pet toys
For more information about pet safety or to book an appointment with Shackleford Road Veterinary Clinic, just click here.
We want all our visitors (furry or not) to be safe while at our clinic. Recently, we brought Dr. Karen Konarski-Hart in to update our staff about what to do if a guest requires CPR.
The staff attended three-hour large group training in our clinic after hours. All of our vets and vet techs were required to be there. Dr. Konarski-Hart brought in CPR dummies to practice on and everyone completed a few minutes of CPR chest compressions.
We want our entire staff to know what to do in case of emergency in the clinic. CPR training will be done regularly to keep our vets knowledgeable about the changes that occur to CPR protocol.
Dr. Konarski-Hart offers CPR classes for both large groups and individuals. She is knowledgeable about the frequent changes that occur to CPR protocol and will update us whenever those changes occur, so that our visitors have the best care possible.