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Canine Influenza – What You Need To Know For The Central Valley

Pet Parent Bulletin

Recently there has been a case of canine influenza diagnosed in Southern California. While we have not seen any cases in Fresno County, our hospital is recommending that you take precautions and vaccinate your pet against H3N2 and H3N8 prior to any potential outbreak occurrence in our area. PMC may choose to require the Bivalent Flu Vaccine for daycare and boarding pets in the near future.  Since we do not know which of the strains will/may become an issue, it is strongly recommended that your pet be vaccinated with the Bivalent vaccine which includes both strains (H3N2 & H3N8).

Canine Influenza Info

More links here from reputable sources:

AVMA

CDC

Outbreak Map

CVMA

Public Health LA County

 

Can My Pet Get Sick While in Day Care or Boarding?

Our goal at Pet Medical Center is to provide a safe & hygienic environment for your pet. We rigorously disinfect all play areas, kennels, toys, bowls and even our outdoor potty area multiple times daily to minimize transmission of illness & disease. With that said however, anytime you have a group of dogs housed together, it is possible to spread communicable diseases. Think of our facility as a children’s pre-school or daycare. Children frequently pass around germs and your child can come home with a cold or a virus. The same holds true for pets.

Day Care and Boarding are communal environments and there is always a chance that a visibly healthy pet is harboring an underlying, undiagnosed illness that could be transmissible to your pet. Pet Medical Center requires that all pets be up to date on Rabies, Distemper-Parvo and Bordetella vaccines and that pets be FLEA FREE. However even with these precautions, there are other dangers that lurk in communal dog environments (daycare, dog parks, dog training class, pet stores and even greeting another pet on a walk). Some things that “healthy” dogs can be harboring that are transmissible are giardia, intestinal parasites, papillomas, canine flu and even to the extreme of bordetella and parvo in fully vaccinated dogs.

Requiring vaccines, keeping incoming pets FLEA FREE and an extreme disinfection regimen are what we do at PMC to provide a safe place for your pet. Unfortunately, there is no way for us to provide a playgroup in a bubble, so when enrolling your pet in doggie day care or any pet activity, you should be aware that there is always risk. Please contact our veterinary staff if you would like more information on any of these transmissible illnesses.

For more Daycare and Boarding Q&A, check out our Services Section at www.petmedcenterfresno.com!

MRSA Infection in Pets – Dr. LeeAnn DuMars, ABVP

Many people have heard of “MRSA” – in hospitalized patients, secondary to mild wound infections and even acquired from team sports….. but what exactly is it? And pets can get it, too?

MRSA stands for methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus; methicillin is a class of antibiotics that includes the penicillins, cephalosporins and other related drugs. Staphlococcus aureus is a bacteria, abbreviated “Staph” for short. It is a bacterial infection that can be mild and non-problematic in healthy animals and people, or could result in non-healing wounds, “flesh-eating” bacterial diseases and can be spread to high-risk individuals, such as diabetics, the elderly, immune-compromised individuals or children. In healthy people, MRSA can live in the nasal tissues and be a source of infection for susceptible individuals. It is thought that pets may initially get this infection from humans – otherwise known as a “reverse zoonotic disease.” Resistance to many of our common antibiotics results, leaving patients limited antibiotic choices to treat these infections.

Click here for an informational piece from one of our favorite educational websites… Worms & Germs to learn more about MRSA infections in humans and pets!

The Spay/Neuter Controversy – Dr. LeeAnn DuMars, ABVP


Let’s discuss the recent controversy surrounding early spay-neuter status in dogs (primarily) and cats. Veterinarians have been taught to recommend early spay-neuter sterilization for positive health benefits and population control. Recent studies have documented an increased risk to some very common cancers in dogs that are sterilized. The three main studies that are referred to include Rottweilers and bone cancers; Golden Retrievers and various cancers, and Vizslas. Like all studies, some of the evidence is strong; other evidence is less so. The studies were only conducted in purebred dogs, making interpretation to other breeds and mixed breeds challenging. Cats are more straight forward in recommendations and there have been no recent studies to document ill effects of sterilization. Unfortunately, veterinarians do not have all the answers yet. However, it is important to discuss the issues surrounding sterilization procedures with owners so that they may make an informed decision.

In female dogs, spaying reduces the risk of mammary (breast) cancer. The chart below shows the relative risk of breast cancer compared to intact dogs:

Time of Spay                        Relative risk of mammary cancer compared to intact dogs
Before first heat                   0.05%
Before second heat              8%
Before third heat                  26%
After third heat                     100%

In summary, after the third heat cycle, the incidence of mammary cancer is the same in spayed or intact female dogs.
Other reasons to spay female dogs include population control, prevention of pyometra (serious uterine infection that requires exploratory surgery for immediate spay and intensive hospitalization); no heat cycles, less roaming and attraction of males, and absence of ovarian or uterine cancers.
Spaying female dogs may increase the risk of obesity, urinary incontinence, cranial cruciate rupture and possibly hip dysplasia.

Castrated male dogs have a decreased risk for perineal hernia, benign prostatic diseases, perineal adenomas, interdog aggression, and less urine marking. There may be a decreased risk for human bite injuries.

Spayed female cats have a decreased risk of pyometra, mammary tumors and roaming as well attraction of male tomcats. Of course there is the obvious lack of problems with difficult births and overpopulation. Spayed female cats may have an increased risk of obesity, diabetes and feline lower urinary tract diseases.

Castrated male cats have decreased roaming, less intercat fighting, and less house soiling problems. They have an increased risk of obesity, lower urinary tract disease, and diabetes.

The following chart summarizes the evidence associated with sterilization of dogs as far as predisposition to some common serious cancers according to the recent studies:
Type of Cancer                                 Relative Risk Castrated Males                 Relative Risk Spayed Females
Osteosarcoma (bone cancer)        3.8                                                                  3.1
Bladder Cancer                                2-4                                                                 2-4
Prostate Cancer                               2.4-4.3
Splenic hemangiosarcoma                                                                                    2.2
Mast Cell tumors                                                                                                    4.1

According to the chart, neutered pets have 2-4 times greater risk of developing these cancers compared to intact dogs. Why is this so? Could obesity associated with sterilization predispose dogs to cancer? Could owners that do a better job of caring for their pets sterilize dogs and then visit a veterinarian to make the diagnosis of cancer? Purebred breed clubs have been diligent in tracking health issues regarding their breed and contributing to studies and perhaps owners of these breeds have been owners who followed through on good veterinary care? The answers are not clear yet and we need more studies to confirm or refute these findings. And what is the incidence in our mixed breed dogs? The Vizsla study in 2014 showed increased fear and aggression in both male and female dogs that were altered at less than 12 months of age. For mast cell tumors, lymphosarcoma, and hemangiosarcoma, in general, the younger the dog was sterilized, the younger the dog was when he/she developed cancer.

In shelter/rescue pets, we will likely continue early age sterilization as we were not able to slow overpopulation with old methods of entrusting adopters to follow through with sterilization of pets. This was a large factor in passing laws to provide mandatory spay-neuter of pets prior to adoption. From a monetary and humane perspective, communities were not able to keep up with the rising cost of sheltering and euthanizing excess pets. However, with private pet owners of both purebred and mixed breed dogs, we do have the duty to discuss the health issues controversy with them and allow them to make an informed decision.

Some guidance thus far… Sterilize all male and female cats prior to sexual maturity (by 7 months of age). Small and medium-sized dogs – spaying females is recommended prior to first heat cycle (by 7-8 months of age). For male dogs, the recommendations are less clear on when to neuter. Small and medium-sized dogs are less prone to bone tumors than larger breed dogs, so behavioral considerations rise to the top of the list. Neutering decreases male-on-male aggression and urine marking, less roaming, and less dog bites to humans (per the Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Large-breed male dogs are prone to hemanagiosarcoma and osteosarcoma bone tumors. Consider delaying neutering until after 18 months of age, if neutering at all. What?? Again, it depends on each pet owner’s ability to keep male dogs away from intact females, confined to a yard to eliminate roaming and possible injuries because of roaming. And then there is the human issue of increased dog bites – especially to children – with intact male dogs.

Large-breed female dogs are more prone to mammary cancer, so spaying prior to first estrus (usually by 12 months) is a good option. However, early spaying may increase the risk of bone tumors, lymphoma, mast cell tumors, splenic hemangiosarcoma, urinary incontinence and bladder cancer. Large-breed, obese dogs are not easy to spay and therefore, costs and risk both increase. And clients do not relish a 3-week bloody heat cycle in a large-breed female dog. Be aware of the controversy and discuss with your veterinarian for individual pet recommendations.

It is difficult to sort through all the issues relating to sterilizing privately owned pets. It likely depends on genetics, purebred vs mixed breed dogs, sizes of dog and other health issues that are not identified. Further, behavior issues come into play that are not included in these studies…. I.e. play group/doggie daycare participation, ability to keep dogs confined in yard to eliminate roaming and injury, increased dog bites to humans (75% of human dog bites are from male intact dogs per the CDC and 37% of dog bites in 2013 were to children 5-9 yrs. of age).
Quality of life issues are also not included in these studies – i.e. maybe my large-breed Golden Retriever intact male won’t succumb to bone cancer, but what if he gets out of the yard and gets hit-by-a-car and sustains pain and injury instead? What are the mortality rates secondary to behavior problems by keeping male dogs intact? We have no studies to investigate these issues and it is likely dependent on the breed of dog, regional differences in geography and cultural differences, as well as other factors.

No one answer satisfies every individual owner, dog or living situation. Be aware of the controversy so that you can have a conversation with your veterinarian and make an informed decision for your pet and living situation. More studies over the next 5-15 years will hopefully give additional guidance.

It’s an Honor to Serve Those Who Have Served Our Country

By Ali Imel, RVT

It’s More Than Lip Service

Today is the day we pay our respects the selflessness and sacrifice of those who have served our country, but it takes more than acknowledgement to improve the lives of our veterans and their families. It takes commitment and sacrifice of our own.  That’s why Doc’s Dogs for Vets has teamed up with Yosemite Bark Training Services and Valley State Prison in Chowchilla to initiate a non-profit volunteer program to train rescue dogs to become service dogs for veterans.

Our First Class

On October 24th 4 dogs joined 11 inmate trainers at Valley State Prison in Chowchilla, California and began the journey to become service dogs for Veterans.  They were greeted with big smiles, opens arms and handfuls of treats. Clark, Samson, Sierra and Wallace were specially selected from Fresno Humane Animal Services using specific temperament evaluations to determine their capability as service dogs.

Health Checks Provided by Pet Medical Center and Spa

The dogs then completed medical evaluations donated by Pet Medical Center in Spa in Fresno, California to determine their health status.   The medical evaluations screen candidates for structural imbalances, genetic illnesses and hearing or vison problems.  Once the dogs successfully completed the medical evaluations, they were vaccinated and altered.

Training Directed by Yosemite Bark

All training is using force free, science based methods.  No prong, choke or shock collars, no yelling, hitting or harsh leash corrections are allowed. The program uses a positive reinforcement philosophy that focuses on rewarding appropriate dog behavior which makes behavior more likely to occur in the future.  Using these methods serves a dual purpose to teach inmates they can influence one’s behavior, canine or human, without the use of pain, force or intimidation.

The dogs will live with their inmate trainers at Valley State Prison for 6 months to complete an extensive foundation training program which consists of learning over 50 commands.

Once the dogs complete their foundation training they will then start their socialization process which will condition the dogs to be relaxed and confident while performing their newly acquired skills around hundreds of sights, sounds and smells.

And Finally to the Veterans

After the general training is completed, the dogs will be matched with a Veteran. Once matched, the dogs will start the task training portion which is specifically designed to their veteran’s needs.  Assistance Dogs International (ADI) requires that each dog is specifically trained to perform 3 or more tasks to mitigate a person’s disability.  The dogs will need to successfully perform these tasks in a multitude of environments before they are placed with the veteran and they complete the public service access test and are certified as a team.

Doc’s Dogs for Vets

Doc’s Dogs for Vets (a 501 c 3), located in Raymond, CA was formed by the Pleitez family in honor of their son, Spc. Benjamin Pleitez, an army medic who died in 2012 while serving his country in Afghanistan.

The dogs will go at no cost to Veterans.   Doc’s Dogs for Vets is committed to pursuing their Assistance Dogs International accreditation which has been designed for non-profit organizations.

The purpose of ADI is to:

  • improve the training, placement, and utilization of assistance dogs
  • improve staff and volunteer education
  • educate the public about assistance dogs
  • advocate for the legal rights of people with disabilities partnered with assistance dogs

The journey to become a service dog is a long one indeed, and yet it seems but a tiny gesture compared to the price veterans have paid.  Today we gather together across America to pay tribute, remember, and honor those who have served our great country, but making their lives better is an on-going commitment.  The dedicated volunteers in the Service Dogs for Vets program are up to the challenge.

Welcome Dr. Grace Davis to the PMC Team!

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Dr. Davis was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.  She graduated from Louisiana State University with a degree in Biochemistry prior to attending LSU for Veterinary school. After graduation, Dr. Davis worked in Las Vegas, NV as a general practitioner for two years before joining the Pet Medical Center team. When not practicing veterinary medicine, she enjoys hiking, cooking spicy food and reading a good book. Dr. Davis has one spoiled rotten hound dog mix, named Remothy Tarquin.

Pet First Aid & Emergencies – Dr. Katherine Burt

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The first rule of pet first aid and emergencies is to seek veterinary help. First aid is great, but is no substitute for a veterinarian’s assessment and care.

Trauma
Use caution when approaching any animal who is hurt. Even the sweetest, kindest, and best behaved animal may bite if there is enough pain, fear, or shock involved. In cases of dog fights, be aware that there is a risk that you may be bitten if you try to separate them- this is often the first impulse of most owners, to protect their animal from the attack, but remember that if you are injured, you may not be able to help your animal. If your animal is hit by a car, be aware that no all injuries will be obvious from the outside, and that they may be painful or severely injured on the inside. If your animal has a fracture- after being hit by a car, or falling, or some other trauma, it is often better not to place a splint or bandage at home, as this can be painful and can cause complications. If there is an open wound or active bleeding, a light wrap can be placed to help protect the wound and to help slow bleeding. If you can safely move your animal (you may need to place a muzzle or wrap them in a towel or blanket), transport them to a veterinarian as soon as possible for care.

Burns/Electrocution
There are three main types of burns- electrical, heat, and chemical. Electrical burns most commonly occur when animals chew on electrical cords. The damage can be localized to their mouth, or can affect their lungs. Heat burns can be seen with heating pads, stoves, candles, or other heat sources. Chemical burns are most commonly seen with caustic materials- bleach, harsh cleaning chemicals, etc. For all three categories, it is important to remove the source of the burn, but to use caution- do not approach an electrical source that is still active, do not get burned yourself, and be aware that if the chemical can hurt your pet through fur, your skin is vulnerable as well. You can apply cool running water to heat burns or chemical burns, but do not immerse the pet and use running water, not still water, as still water can activate some chemicals. If you cannot safely do this, take your pet to a veterinarian who can perform this for you. Treatments for burns vary according to severity, and your veterinarian will need to make this assessment.

Poisoning
If you think your animal has ingested poison, call a poison control hotline (Pet Poison ###). There is often a fee, but the call may help decide whether your animal needs to be seen by a veterinarian and whether you need to induce vomiting. You can call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinarian, but not all toxins are well documented and there are times when your veterinarian will recommend calling poison control for an expert opinion. It is helpful to have the container or ingredient list of the toxins available, as well as the amount ingested, any signs your pet may be showing, and your pet’s information (age, gender, species, etc).

Respiratory Distress or Choking
It can be hard for owners to decide whether a pet is in respiratory distress. It is rare for a cat to pant- they can be too hot, stressed, or in respiratory distress, and should be seen by a veterinarian if they develop these signs. Panting can be normal in dogs, but if you notice that their belly moves in opposition to their chest when breathing, this is not normal (called abdominal breathing). If their gums are blue or purple, then this is also a concern, as it may mean that there is not enough oxygen circulating in their system. Choking can occur when an animal has something stuck (a toy, a piece of food, etc), or has a narrowed airway from airway dysfunction, or a mass, and is a medical emergency. Do not put your hands in your animal’s mouth- you might get bitten. Animals in respiratory distress or who are choking are often stressed and may be more prone to biting. Keeping your animal cool and calm, and taking them to a veterinarian immediately is your best course of action. Some owners think that their animal is in distress when a reverse sneezing occurs- this can be an impressive series of snorting where the animal appears to be breathing harder than usual, but this is often due to inflammation in the nasal cavity and is rarely an emergency. You can find videos of reverse sneezing online.

If ever you are concerned about behavior or symptoms, it is best to call a veterinary hospital for advice, and if your family veterinarian is not available, it may be best to consider seeking emergency assistance with an emergency veterinary facility.

Websites and Resources that can help:
Pet Poison Hotline 855-764-7661
ASPCA Poison Control Center 888-426-4435
Pet first aid and emergencies. AVMA
First Aid and Emergency Care by Dr. Roger Gfeller, DVM, DACVECC.

PMC Employe Pet Spotlight – Levi Vehrs

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Levi is a 5 year old Miniature Schnauzer. I fell in love with him when he came into PMC with ACT. I had only worked at PMC for a couple months and knew it was a matter of time before I would adopt an ACT baby. He originally was a foster but after several months of being a part of the family I just couldn’t let him go. Levi has become my biggest fan in life. His favorite place to be is next to me. He loves walks and barking! He also enjoys playing with his two sisters and they find him quite amusing. Levi is the ultimate foster failure, but he wouldn’t want it any other way. Adopting older dogs is the greatest adventure I have ever chose to embark on.

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Rattle, Rattle… Beware! – Dr. Shannon Nodolf

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Spring is finally here and the fine weather and beautiful scenery is calling people and animals alike to the outdoors making encounters with wildlife a daily occurrence. Unfortunately, there is one fabulous species that most people are not looking forward to encountering, the under appreciated snake.

Of the numerous snake species commonly found in the central valley only the rattlesnake is potentially dangerous. There are ~9 different species of rattlesnakes found in California but all have a distinctive, triangular-shaped head, and as their name implies, most have a rattle on the tail end. The harmless gopher snake (Pituophis catenifer) appears similar to rattlesnakes but will always lack a rattle. The rattle lies at the end of the tail and is composed of interlocking horny segments of shed skin. Young rattlesnakes are born with a small rattle or button. A new segment is formed each time the skin is shed, which may occur several times a year. The size of the rattle is only a rough indicator of age because the terminal segments often break off on older snakes.

Despite common misconceptions rattlesnakes are generally NOT aggressive. Rattlesnakes usually only strike when threatened or deliberately provoked, but given room they will retreat and crawl away as fast as possible. Because they cannot crawl to safety as fast as some snakes, rattlesnakes often use their cryptic color and pattern to lay still and blend into their surroundings in order to hide from their prey and from other animals that could threaten them. At other times they may rattle loudly, to warn potential enemies of their presence. In both cases they are doing everything they can to avoid confrontation.
Most snake bites occur when a rattlesnake is handled or accidentally touched. The California Poison Control Center notes that most bites occur between the months of April and October when snakes and humans are most active outdoors. When these animals do feel provoked and strike they are actually able to control the amount of venom used in the strike and about 25-50% percent of the bites reported are actually “dry,” meaning no venom was injected.

Though rattlesnakes can be dangerous if provoked, they provide humans with a tremendous service by reducing the number of disease carrying rodents and other pest species that would otherwise result in a large social and economic stress. Rattlesnakes add to the diversity of our wildlife and are important members of our ecosystem by eating rodents, other reptiles, and insects, and are in turn eaten by other predators

The potential of running into a rattlesnake should not deter anyone from venturing outdoors, but there are several precautions that can be taken to lessen the chance of being bitten when out in snake country – which is just about anywhere in California.

  • Look First: Reasonable watchfulness should be sufficient to avoid most snakebites ie: never allow you or your pets to reach, step, or sniff rocky areas, wood piles, etc that you do not visually inspect first. When snakes are observed, give them distance and respect and they will do their best to avoid you as well.
  • Rattlesnake avoidance training: As with people most snake bites to pets are the result of curious animals getting too close and ‘investigating’ snakes in a way that makes the snakes feel threatened and strike. Several companies have developed strategies to help teach pets to avoid rattlesnakes. Depending on your individual pet ‘refresher’ classes may be needed at the beginning of each spring to remind them to be respectful of their fellow creatures. Examples of these training courses: http://socalrattlesnakeavoidancetraining.com/
    http://www.manpaw.com/rattlesnake-course.html
  • Snake Exclusion and Removal: Due to the potential danger rattlesnakes can pose to people, pets, and domestic animals, it can be necessary to exclude or remove them from around homes and gardens. One of the best ways to discourage rattlesnakes from inhabiting gardens and homes is to remove suitable hiding places. Heavy brush, tall grass, rocks, logs, rotten stumps, lumber piles, and other places of cover should be cleaned up. Keep weeds mowed close to the ground or remove them completely. Since snakes are often attracted to areas in search of prey, eliminating rodent populations, especially ground squirrels, meadow voles, deer mice, rats, and house mice, is an important step in making an area less attractive for snakes. Rattlesnakes cannot dig burrows but will use those dug by rodents. After controlling rodents, fill in all burrows with soil or sod and pack down firmly.
  • Rattlesnakes may seek refuge in unexpected places: In general anywhere a mouse maybe able to fit a snake can as well. Sealing all cracks, gaps and other openings greater than ¼ inch can prevent them from entering. In summer, rattlesnakes may be attracted to cool and/or damp places, such as beneath buildings, crawl spaces, hot tub or swimming pool pump enclosures.
  • Snakes can also be excluded from an area by installing a snake-proof fence: While expensive, these fences are often quite effective when maintained appropriately. They need to be routinely inspected to ensure gates are tight fitting and vegetation and debris that snakes may be able to climb on are away from the fencing.

    Over the years various home remedies have been suggested to repel snakes, but despite what you may hear, there are no plants that repel snakes. Currently, several commercially available chemical snake repellents are on the market, but none of them have been proven to work well enough to warrant recommendation.

    If you find a snake on your property and it does not move on its own after discovery alert your local animal control officers, or private wildlife management organization for assistance. Please do not ever attempt to move or kill a venomous snake. Lethal action against a snake is never recommended since rattlesnakes only bite in self defense, attempting to kill them can result in a person getting bitten. Even a dead rattlesnake can have a bite reflex and is capable of delivering venom. Rattlesnakes are natural and important predators and automatic killing of them is not recommended any more than is the automatic killing of coyotes, mountain lions, or bears, all of which can very rarely harm people.

  • Vaccination: Currently there is only one vaccine against rattle snake venom for dogs and it is available at the Pet Medical Center and Spa. This vaccine includes venom components from Crotalus atrox (western diamondback). Dogs develop neutralizing antibody titers to C. atrox venom, and may also develop antibody titers to components of other rattlesnake venoms, but research in this area is ongoing. The vaccine does not prevent the snakes toxin from completely affecting the dogs but appears to lesson the severity of the envenomation and is associated with a better survival rate of dogs that seek veterinary care after rattlesnake bites. Owners of vaccinated dogs must still seek veterinary care immediately in the event of a bite, because:
    • The type of snake is often unknown
    • Antibody titers may be overwhelmed in the face of severe envenomation
    • An individual dog may lack sufficient protection depending on its response to the vaccine and the time elapsed since vaccination.

Recommendations for booster vaccination are still under development, but it appears that adequate titers do not persist beyond one year after vaccination so boosters are recommended at the beginning of snake season annually. Adverse reactions appear to be low and consistent with those resulting from vaccination with other products available on the market.

Please remember to be safe and enjoy the wonderful outdoor world including all the good things these snakes are actually doing for you and your environment. If you are interested in learning more about the wonderful reptiles in our area consider joining the Central Valley Herpetological Society.

Additional Tips:
• Never go barefoot or wear sandals when walking in areas where you cannot clearly see where you are placing your feet. Always wear hiking boots.
• Always stay on paths. Avoid tall grass, weeds, and heavy underbrush where snakes may be present.
• Always look for concealed snakes before picking up rocks, sticks, or firewood.
• Always check carefully around stumps or logs before sitting.
• When climbing, always look before putting your hands in a new location. Snakes can climb walls, trees, and rocks and are frequently found at high altitudes.
• Never grab what appear to be sticks or branches while swimming; rattlesnakes are excellent swimmers.
• Baby rattlesnakes are venomous! They can and do bite. Leave them alone.
• Never hike alone. Always have a buddy to help in case of an emergency. Learn basic lifesaving skills.
• Never handle freshly killed snakes. You may still be bitten.
• Never tease a snake to see how far it can strike. You can be several feet from the snake and still be within striking distance.
• Don’t keep rattlesnakes as pets. Many rattlesnake bites occur when people tease or play with their “pet” rattlesnake.
• Teach children to respect snakes and to leave them alone. Curious children who pick up snakes are frequently bitten.
• Always give snakes the right of way!

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Employee Pet Spotlight – Khaleesi Longhat

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Khaleesi is the second fur child in our family she is a 2 year old black Pomeranian. We also have a 3 year old Pomeranian named Stark who is her brother and was feeling lonely after we had our son so we knew it was time to add a new addition. She became apart of our permanent family just 2 months after our human child was born and it was the best thing we ever did. She is the sweetest girl ever and enjoys cuddling and pets. Her favorite thing to do is get on top of all the pillows on the couch and sleep near the window while the sunlight shines through. Khaleesi often reminds me of a cat because she likes to jump high and sleeps in odd places. When we let her outside she likes to jump on the patio chairs and lay on the patio table outside just like a cat, haha. Khaleesi is also very attached to her brother Stark and follows him everywhere! She is the dominate one even though she is half the size of her brother weighing in at a whopping 5 lbs. Her hobbies also include going on long walks and occasional runs. She won a medal at the Pinnacle Pup Run in 2014 for 1st place extra small dog in a 2 mile race. She is a wonderful pet and my family loves her so much. We are so blessed to have her in our lives.

Natalie

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Employee Pet Spotlight – Mr. Peter Rabbit Coleman

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I found Mr. Peter Rabbit in a parking lot shortly after Easter 2 years ago. He was dirty and malnourished at the time weighing just over 1 pound. Now he has a big outdoor hutch with lots of toys and all the food he could dream of. He is a cute fluffy bunny and obviously found the right owner to care for him for the rest of his little bunny life!

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