<![CDATA[Tri-County Animal Rescue - Joann's Blog]]>Thu, 16 Nov 2017 20:39:28 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Ticks]]>Wed, 10 May 2017 12:27:32 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-ticksTicks are really bad this year.  I have already pulled 2 ticks off myself and several off my husband who works in the yard a lot.  There are ways to safely remove a tick. 
 
So, you’ve found a tick on your pet or you—how do you deal with it? While it’s important to get these little suckers off quickly, veterinarians advise that you stay calm and don’t rush it. Moving too fast when removing a tick could potentially create more problems, both for you and your pet. 

While the following instructions employ tweezers, be aware that there are some very good products on the market designed specifically for safe tick removal. If you live in a tick-heavy area or are taking your pets to a place where they are likely to get ticks, it’s a good idea to buy one of these tools and have it on hand. They generally work better than tweezers at getting out the whole tick, and are relatively inexpensive. 

Step 1—Prepare its Final Resting Place Throwing a tick in the trash or flushing it down the toilet will not kill it.  The best option is a screw-top jar containing some rubbing alcohol. 

Step 2—Don’t Bare-Hand It Put on latex or rubber gloves so you’ll never have direct contact with the tick or your pet’s bite area. Ticks can carry infective agents that may enter your bloodstream through breaks in your skin or through your eyes, nostrils or mouth. 

Step 3—Grab a Partner You don’t want your pet squirming away before you’re finished, so if possible, have a helper on hand to distract, soothe or hold her still. 

Step 4—The Removal Treat the bite area with rubbing alcohol and, using a pair of tweezers, grasp the tick as close to the animal’s skin as possible. Pull straight upwards with steady, even pressure. Place the tick in your jar. 
·         Do not twist or jerk the tick! This may leave the mouth-parts embedded in your pet, or cause the tick to regurgitate infective fluids. 
·         Do not squeeze or crush the body of the tick, because its fluids (saliva and gut contents) may contain infective organisms. 

Step 5—All that Remains Sometimes, in spite of doing everything right, a tick’s mouth-parts will get left behind in your pet’s skin. If the area doesn't appear red or inflamed, the best thing to do is to disinfect it and not to try to take the mouth-parts out. A warm compress to the area might help the body expel them, but do not go at it with tweezers.
 
Step 6—Clean Up Thoroughly disinfect the bite site and wash your hands with soap and water (even though you were wearing gloves). Sterilize your tweezers with alcohol or by carefully running them over a flame.
 
Step 7—Keep Watch Over the next few weeks, closely monitor the bite area for any signs of localized infection. If the area is already red and inflamed, or becomes so later, please bring your pet to your veterinarian for evaluation.

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month]]>Fri, 28 Apr 2017 13:20:43 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-april-is-pet-first-aid-awareness-monthPets are an important part of many families and April is Pet First Aid Awareness Month.  This is the perfect time to ensure you have the skills to take care of your furry family member.  While many of us have a basic knowledge of how to control bleeding or perform CPR on a human, very few pet owners are knowledgeable about what to do if an accident occurs and your dog or cat needs immediate medical care. Could you get your beloved dog to the vet in time? Increase your pet’s chances of surviving an accident by learning basic pet first aid.
 
Pet First Aid Tips
Do you know what to do during a pet emergency? Here are some common emergency tips:
·  To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.
·  Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.
·  If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.
·  Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.
·  Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.
·  If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not remove soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
 
Emergency Contacts
  • As pet parents, it’s a good idea to keep a few emergency contact numbers on hand at all times. You can post these on the fridge door, in your wallet, by the phone, or anywhere you can access them quickly in an emergency.
  • You’ll need the business number and after-hours emergency numbers for your veterinarian, as well as the ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control Hotline (888-426-4435). There’s a fee if you call the ASPCA hotline, but they’re a great resource to have in an emergency. You’ll also want the number of a nearby, reliable friend who can serve as an extra pair of hands in a pet emergency.
  • It’s also a good idea to keep a few basic items ready to go at a moment’s notice, like a makeshift muzzle (a necktie will work in a pinch), your dog’s travel crate, and a list of any medications your pet takes.
  • The very first thing to do in any emergency situation is to secure the scene of the accident. Remove any threats to yourself and your pet immediately. This may include muzzling your dog, as injured dogs can bite even those people they know and love when they are hurting.
 
Stay safe.  If you’re injured, you can’t help your pet. Secure your own safety, and that of your pet as soon as possible.
 
Just remember, accidents happen, but knowing what to do when your pet is injured can save his life. If reason fails you and you don’t know what to do, try to stay calm, call for help, and stay with your pet.

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Spring Cleaning For Your Dog]]>Wed, 05 Apr 2017 17:03:46 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-spring-cleaning-for-your-dogIs your spring cleaning of your house behind you for another year…well, did you think about your dog?  Your dog should have his spring cleanup too so check out some of these tips.  

A good, long bath for your dog.  

Perhaps, like me, you manage just short baths or quick wipe-downs during the cold weather. If so, take time to give your pets a good, long bath - using your preferred method. For example, you could bath your smaller dogs in the shower/bath.  The bigger dogs may need outside buckets of warm water and more buckets of rinse water. 
If you haven't completely soaked your pet to the skin (hard with breeds featuring dense coats), now is the time. Personally, I brush my dogs after they dry, but brushing them before a bath makes sense too.


Shave down for the longer hair coats. 
I like to shave my long haired dogs down for summer so this is a good time to get this done.  I have my own clippers for shave-downs … my dogs are used to being laughed at by my other dogs that don’t require “the shave”.  You will probably want to schedule an appointment with your pet groomer to have your dog looking his best. 

Wipe out those ears.
I clean my dogs' ears once a week if they have big, erect ears because the winter winds blow a lot of dirt inside. Still, it's a good spring cleaning task, if you don't do it often.  Never stick anything inside your pet's ear canal, but you can use an over-the-counter ear cleaner to loosen dirt so that you can wipe it away with a cotton ball, tissue or wet cloth. 

Check the rear regions. 
Trust me. No one wants to go poking around their pet's back end, but it's important to check to be sure everything looks okay, is clean and shows no sign of trouble (swelling, undue odor, discharge). 

Get rid of eye “goobers”.
You can also use a warm, wet cloth to wipe your pet's eyes and remove tear staining and any residue - called eye “goobers” at our house. 

Check pads for cracks. 
Be sure to check your pet's feet for wintertime cracks and abrasions. Snow, ice, sidewalk melt and other cold weather dangers can put your pet's feet through a lot of wear. Before you take your pet on any warm-weather treks this spring, check his feet and pads for any injuries. 

Trim toenails.
Now is a good time to check out the toenails.  Take care not to cut them too short.  If you do cut to deep, keep some quick stop styptic powder on hand to stop the bleeding.  I know some folks swear by a nail grinder, but I've never gotten brave enough to try one.

Schedule his yearly checkup.
Now that he is all cleaned up, schedule an appointment with his veterinarian’s office for his yearly checkup.  The yearly checkup is vital to keeping your dog in top form.

I hope these tips help your dog get ready for spring. 

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice....Spring is HERE!!!]]>Wed, 22 Mar 2017 17:56:50 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advicespring-is-hereFREE Kittens  and  FREE Puppies…NOT REALLY!
  
Spring is here and that means we will start seeing the “FREE KITTENS” and “FREE PUPPIES” signs? They will be everywhere…posted in yards, store windows, bulletin boards, newspapers, vet’s offices and on-line trade lists. IF you are a responsible pet owner, there are no “free” animals. Pets require medical attention and should be spayed or neutered. Spaying and neutering makes a big difference. It has been documented that just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens! 
 
Sterilized animals live longer, happier lives. Spaying eliminates the stress and discomfort that females endure during heat cycles, eliminates the risk of uterine cancer, and greatly reduces the risk of mammary cancer. Neutering makes males far less likely to roam or fight, prevents testicular cancer, and reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Altered animals are less likely to contract deadly, contagious diseases, such as feline AIDS and feline leukemia, that are spread through bodily fluids.
 
If you do take in a free kitten or puppy, please have the pet spayed or neutered.  Help us stop the cycle of unwanted pups and kittens.  We are often asked about adoption fees and why there is a charge to adopt one of our pets.  Tri-County Animal Rescue does not charge a fee for the pet, the fee is to offset some of the costs already spent on the pets.  Tri-County pays for vaccines, micro-chips, spay/neuter surgeries, rabies vaccines, dentals, special surgeries for broken bones/cancers, medicines, heartworm prevention, tests, de-worming, pet food and much more. 
 
Common Myth… about Spaying
It is a common misconception that a female dog (or cat) will only 'feel emotionally complete' if she is allowed to have a litter of puppies (or kittens). Absolutely not! Allowing a litter of puppies or kittens to be born simply because you want your pet to experience motherhood is irresponsible and results in more unwanted babies.  Likewise, letting a pet have a litter just so you can demonstrate to your children ‘the joys of birth’ is also irresponsible and wrong.  There are many tools available, such as books and videos, to educate your children so that your family pet does not have to become an educational tool. 
 
Every spring the local shelters are over-flowing with young pups and kittens because an irresponsible owner allowed their pet to breed.  There are not enough families to adopt them all and not enough rescues to take them all in so where do these little babies go?  They end up at county shelters where many of them are euthanized.  Don’t blame the counties for putting the babies to sleep…the don’t have space to house them all.  The blame should be placed on those irresponsible pet owners that just don’t care.
 
There are no acceptable excuses for allowing un-controlled breeding.  There are many programs available to assist with the cost of spaying your pet if you cannot afford it.  There is a low-cost spay/neuter facility right here in Gaston County.  Do the right thing and have your pet spayed!

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Top 10 Pet Poisons affecting our pets]]>Tue, 14 Mar 2017 21:28:19 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-top-10-pet-poisons-affecting-our-petsThousands of pet parents call the ASPCA 24-hour poison control hotline every year. The top 10 poisons that affect our pets are these:

1. Prescription Human Medications
Every year the ASPCA handles around 25,000 cases regarding human prescription medications—the top offender for many years in a row.   The top three types of medications that animals are exposed to include: heart medications, antidepressants and pain medications. Many instances of exposure occur when pet parents drop their medication when preparing to take it, and before they know it, the pet gobbles the pills off the floor.

2. Insecticides
Insecticides are used in the yard, home and on our animals, and nearly 20% of all calls to the poison hotline are related to insecticides. Always read the label before using any insecticide on your pet, in your home or in your yard.
3. Over-the-Counter Human Medications

Over-the-counter human products, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen and herbal supplements, account for nearly 15% of calls to APCC hotline each year.  Many of these products are tasty to pets, and some can be life threatening if ingested.
4. Household Products
The poison hotline fields nearly 17,000 calls every year about general household products. Household toxins range from fire logs to cleaning products.
5. People Food
Human foods are often appealing to pets, especially dogs.  People food clocks in as the fifth most common pet poison each year. Pets can get themselves into serious trouble by ingesting onions, garlic, grapes, raisins and the sugar substitute xylitol, among other common food items.
6. Veterinary Products and Medications
Veterinary products, both over-the-counter and prescription veterinary products, are included in this group. Flavored tablets make it easy to give your pet pain or joint medication, but it also makes it more likely for them to ingest the entire bottle if given the chance.
7. Chocolate
Chocolate is still the number one people food that pets ingest (the Hotline receives an average of 26 calls a day). Too much chocolate can cause vomiting, diarrhea, high heart rate and seizures.

8. Rodenticides
When putting out baits to kill mice and rats, never underestimate the resourcefulness of your pet. Approximately 5.5% of calls to the Hotline are related to baits. Depending on the type of rodenticide, ingestion can cause internal bleeding, kidney failure or seizures.
9. Plants
Around 10,000 cases each year are pet parents calling about their animals eating plants. This is one category that cats lead dogs in the number of exposures. Lilies can cause kidney failure and death in cats.
10. Lawn and Garden Products
Fertilizers, which can be made of dried blood, poultry manure and bone meal, are very attractive to pets, so it is not surprising that many calls (over 5,000 a year) concerned lawn and garden items.

Always read the labels and always store products securely that can harm your pet.  Remember, if it smells good to  your pet, they are going to eat it.  Please keep all harmful products/foods away from your pets.

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<![CDATA[Pet advice - Rescue Dogs and Families]]>Wed, 01 Mar 2017 21:15:02 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-rescue-dogs-and-familiesIs a Rescue Dog the Right Choice For You and Your Family

There are so many good things about owning a dog: companionship, protection and unconditional love. Dogs are also good for our health, with research indicating that people who own dogs have lower blood pressure and lower levels of stress hormones in their blood. But, owning a dog is also a tremendous responsibility.

If you’re considering sharing your life with a dog, it’s important that you stop and think before you leap into this commitment. A dog should never be an impulse buy, even though it’s hard to resist those soft brown eyes and wet nose, you are adding a living being to your family, a family member that relies on you for their every need. The average lifespan for an American dog is 12-14 years, and you will need to meet your dog’s every physical, mental and emotional need for his entire life.

Before adoption, consider what you can comfortably offer a dog that joins your life. Spend some time to figure out what kind of lifestyle commitments you can make.  This will help you decide whether a dog is right for you at this time of your life, and will help you make better decisions on what type of dogs make sense for your family.

Finally think about whether you want a rescue dog. Taking a dog from an animal shelter saves a life. Adopting a dog that is a little older and trained will be easier to transition to your home than a new puppy. But, there are some disadvantages that you should be aware of.

First, adopted dogs can come with behavioral problems. A good shelter/rescue will do their best to identify dogs with problems, but sometimes they will only be apparent when you bring the dog home. For example, a somewhat common problem among abused dogs is a fear of men. Working with your dog to overcome these problems is rewarding, but very challenging.

Second, some dogs will have physical problems. Again the shelter/rescue will identify most problems, but often they will be latent and you will only discover them when you take the dog home or even several years later when the condition becomes visible.

Finally, expect the unexpected. A purebred puppy from a reputable breeder will show variation but will tend to have a body and temperament that are true to type. Shelter dogs have a lot more variation.  I have observed that shelter puppies like nothing more than to mock the predictions of both owners and veterinarians. That little puppy that everyone thought was going to be 30 pounds will be 50 pounds. Even grown dogs will surprise you, acting in a very different way once they get settled in at home than they did in the shelter. That shy little lab mix can come out of her shell and become a fiercely protective dog once she establishes her own territory.

So take some time before you make the decision to adopt.  Think it through whether a dog fits with your situation. If you have room in your life for a dog, do consider adopting a dog from your local shelter/rescue. You’ll have a loyal companion for life, and you will feel good, knowing you may have saved his life. 

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Spay your cat NOW!]]>Tue, 14 Feb 2017 18:32:45 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-spay-your-cat-now]]><![CDATA[Pet Advice - Facts about Feline Leukemia]]>Tue, 07 Feb 2017 16:32:52 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-facts-about-feline-leukemiaFeline leukemia virus (FeLV) is a retrovirus that infects cats/kittens. FeLV can be transmitted from infected cats when the transfer of saliva or nasal secretions is involved. If not defeated by the animal’s immune system, the virus can cause diseases which can be lethal. One disease caused by this virus is a form of cancer of the blood cells called Lymphoma.
The signs and symptoms of infection with feline leukemia virus are quite varied and include loss of appetite, poor coat condition, uneven pupils, infections of the skin, bladder and respiratory tract, oral disease, seizures, swollen lymph nodes, skin lesions, fatigue, fever, weight loss, gingivitis, litter box avoidance, recurring bacterial and viral illnesses, anemia, diarrhea and jaundice.
Asymptomatic carriers will show no signs of disease, often for many years.
The disease has a wide range of effects. The cat can fight off the infection and become totally immune, can become a healthy carrier that never gets sick itself but can infect other cats, or a mid-level case in which the cat has a compromised immune system.  Nevertheless, the development of lymphomas is considered the final stage of the disease.
Once the virus has entered the cat, there are six stages to a FeLV infection:
·         Stage One: The virus enters the cat, usually through the throat where it infects cells. These white blood cells then filter down to the lymph nodes and begin to replicate.
·         Stage Two: The virus enters the blood stream and begins to distribute throughout the body.
·         Stage Three: The lymphoid system (which produces antibodies to attack infected and cancerous cells) becomes infected, with further distribution throughout the body.
·         Stage Four: The main point in the infection- where the virus can take over the body's immune system and cause infection to the bloodstream and intestines.
 
If the cat's immune system does not fight off the virus, then it progresses to:
  • Stage Five: The bone marrow becomes infected. At this point, the virus will stay with the cat for the rest of its life. In this phase, the virus replicates and is released four to seven days later in all white blood cells formed in the bone marrow.
  • Stage Six: The cat's body is overwhelmed by infection and tissue that forms a thin protective layer on exposed bodily surfaces and forms the lining of internal cavities, ducts, and organs become infected. The virus replicates in salivary glands, stomach, esophagus, intestines, trachea, renal tubules, bladder, pancreas, and sebaceous ducts from the muzzle.
 This is a very serious disease and many owners will euthanize if the cat/kitten tests positive for FeLV.  Cats can test FeLV negative upon first testing and then months later test FeLV positive due to prior exposure and incubation period.   
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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Who will be there?]]>Thu, 19 Jan 2017 13:41:42 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-who-will-be-there What happens if a pet owner dies or becomes ill?
Some people have never considered what might happen to their beloved pets in the event they are no longer able to care for them. Some make arrangements with family members or friends, however anything in life can happen and usually it does.  Life situations change and the ones we counted on might not be able to make the commitment when the time actually comes.   Can you really depend on your family to love and care for your pets after you are gone?  Have you made arrangements for long term care for your pets? If you want to ensure their happiness and well being after you are gone you’ll need to set this up ahead of time.  Don’t leave it to chance. 
Some people can depend on family and know this without any doubts, however it is always good to have a back-up plan in writing in the event your family or friends can’t.  This should be a legal document included in your will and trust. You should have several reliable options for your family to choose from.  In your will you should also elect someone to oversee your wishes and to insure the pet care provider is caring for your pets as you requested.  Whoever handles your estate planning can help you with the proper documents. Make sure to keep the documents updated.
Things to consider:
What can I do now to prepare for the unexpected?
• Find at least two responsible friends or relatives who agree to serve as temporary emergency caregivers in the event that something unexpected happens to you. Provide them with keys to your home; feeding and care instructions; the name of your veterinarian; and information about the permanent care provisions you have made for your pet.
• Make sure your neighbors, friends, and relatives know how many pets you have and the names and contact numbers of the individuals who have agreed to serve as emergency caregivers. Emergency caregivers should also know how to contact each other.
• Carry a wallet “alert card” that lists the names and phone numbers of your emergency pet caregivers.
• Post removable “in case of emergency” notices on your doors or windows specifying how many and what types of pets you have. These notices will alert emergency-response personnel during a fire or other home emergency.
 
How can I ensure long-term or permanent care for my pet if I become seriously ill or die?
The best way to make sure your wishes are fulfilled is by making formal arrangements that specifically cover the care of your pet. It’s not enough that a friend verbally promises to take in your animal or even that you’ve decided to leave money to your friend for that purpose. Work with an attorney to draw up a special will, trust, or other document to provide for the care and ownership of your pet as well as the money necessary to care for them.
 
How do I choose a permanent caregiver?
First, decide whether you want all of your pets to go to one person, or whether different pets should go to different people. If possible, keep pets who have bonded with one another together.  When selecting caregivers, consider partners, adult children, parents, brothers, sisters, and friends who have met your pet and have successfully cared for pets themselves.
 
Also name alternate caregivers in case your first choice becomes unable or unwilling to take your pet. Be sure to discuss your expectations with potential caregivers so they understand the large responsibility of caring for your pet. Remember, the new owner will have full discretion over the animal’s care—including veterinary treatment and euthanasia—so make sure you choose a person you trust implicitly and who will do what is in the best interests of your pet. Stay in touch with the designated caregivers and alternates. Over time, people’s circumstances and priorities change, and you want to make sure that the arrangements you have made continue to hold from the designated caregivers’ vantage points.
 
Can I entrust the care of my pet to an organization?
Most humane/rescue organizations do not have the space or funds to care for your pet indefinitely and cannot guarantee that someone will adopt your animal, although some may be able to board and care for your pet temporarily until he can be transferred to his designated caregiver.  There are, however, a few organizations that specialize in long-term care of pets of deceased owners. For a fee or donation, these “pet retirement homes” or “sanctuaries” may agree to find your pet a new home or care for your pet until she dies. If you decide to entrust the care of your pet to an organization, choose a well-established organization that has a good record of finding responsible homes quickly.

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<![CDATA[Pet Advice - Pet Training]]>Wed, 04 Jan 2017 22:22:55 GMThttp://tcar.us/joanns-blog/pet-advice-pet-training The study of dog behavior and training is continuously evolving. Dog training looks different today than it did 10 or 15 years ago. As a pet parent, it is important for you to find a professional dog trainer you feel comfortable with, as well as one who has the necessary skills to meet the needs of you and your dog.  Hiring a professional dog trainer is a necessary step for many pet parents. If you are seeking assistance teaching basic skills such as “come when called” and “loose leash walking”, you will want to consider these points:
The professional dog trainer checklist:
·         Is a member of a professional organization such as the Association of Pet Dog Trainers or International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants
·         Carries the CPDT-KA or the CBCC-KA credential
·         Can knowledgeably answer your questions regarding dog behavior
·         Is patient and motivates both his/her clients and students
·         Is open about his/her training methodology and encourages you to observe classes prior to enrolling
·         Doesn’t use force-based methods when training new behaviors
 
Questions to ask before you hire a dog trainer:
 ·         How long have you been training dogs?
·         Are you a member of any professional organization(s)?
·         Do you have any education or certification relevant to dog training?
·         Can I observe a training class?
·         Do you have experience training dogs of my breed?
·         Have you worked with clients who have similar goals as mine?
·         What training techniques do you employ?

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