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Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital Blog



Friday Night, Feelin' Right

You may want to make a mental note, or just be entertained by the backstory, of a slight adjustment to our evening hours.
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As you know, Mid-Peninsula Animal Hospital strives to meet all our customers' veterinary needs -- even concierge services like home visits or pet taxi, on-site bathing, specialty food and gear, boarding, etc. That said, our popular extended evening hours just got dialed back ever so slightly, and only on one night.
 
Turns out busy Peninsula people have party plans on a Friday night. Dinner out maybe. Livin' it up. Just got paid, Friday night, party huntin', feelin' right.
 
Our staff is right there with you. Since extending our evening hours in 2013, people have appreciated the ability to come in after work on most weeknights. The dynamic drops off precipitously after 6pm on Friday nights. Live and learn.
 
Therefore, on a Friday night, we will be open until 6pm. 
 
That said, there are no changes to the extended evening hours Monday through Thursday, all the way to 10pm. Plus, we are still open both days on the weekends. 
 
Overall, what we guessed people wanted was 95.4% spot-on. And now, we should be closer to 100%.  But most of all, whether day, evening or weekend, we look forward to seeing you. 
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Halloween Fright Night

Talk about scary. A Halloween-related animal emergency is horribly frightening, and often avoidable with a little advanced consideration. 

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Top of the list is to keep the chocolate away from dogs. Actually, keep any sugary or high-fat foods away from dogs, or even sugar-free foods with xylitol in them. What we see most at Halloween (or any of the holidays, really) is urgent treatment for dietary lapses. Sometimes owners forget. Sometimes big-hearted relatives and friends just don't know. But as you know, most animals won't themselves refuse.

Also, did you know that raisins or grapes -- even those peeled fake-eyeball grapes -- can be toxic to some dogs? 
 
Beyond dietary issues, we do worry a little about Halloween pranksters, particularly for black cats. Perhaps consider bringing them indoors for a few days. 
 
Plus be aware of Halloween noises that could cause any pet to try to escape, or experience high anxiety. You know your animals best. Consider those anxiety reducing actions you used for the Fourth of July
 
After all, we prefer neither fight nor flight, nor fright when it comes to our animals on All Hallow's Eve.
 
Be safe out there and have a Happy Halloween!
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Little Ribbon Cutting

"It's a pretty big website for such a little screen." This is what we told ourselves as we watched mobile devices access more of midpen.com. 

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Early on, mobile device queries were just looking for the phone number, checking the evening hours, or getting directions. A quick pinch-and-zoom got them what they needed. 
 
Over time (or maybe the introduction of more mobile device sizes) page queries began to change. The website, which was designed for desktop computers, looked too small on a mobile device. So, we shifted our priorities. Fun projects, like the 'showcase and gallery' project, would stay on the back burner in order to deliver the *useful* features of the desktop website to various and sundry mobile devices. 
 
Crazy, right? Not really. First and foremost, technology should be used to make things easier for you -- request an appointment, get a prescription refilled, grab a form to bring in filled out, or check out information about common topics
 
When we got all that into a new version for mobile devices, tested up and pushed live, it felt pretty good. Now, people accessing the site from a desktop or laptop computer get the same site they always have, but people using mobile devices get a mobile-optimized version of the website. The appointment and refill requests forms work like mobile forms work.
 
It should make things easier for you. And that makes us happy. See those big smiles? Those are happy smiles. To make it official, we decided a little ribbon cutting ceremony was in order. All around big smiles for a big website on such a little screen.
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Boom! Crackle! Where's Fido?

Fourth of July can be scary for animals -- dogs in particular.
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It's the fireworks, even at a distance, that registers louder and with a greater auditory range for dogs. Of course, cats are not immune. Even if there's no planned fireworks show nearby, sometimes individuals shoot off fireworks anyway. Here are a few things that you can do:
 
1) If your festivities end before dark, consider hanging out with your animal after dark and keeping them with you. The simple dynamic of your presence in the room can be a tremendous comfort, particularly if you can project calm. Sometimes being with you is all it takes. If you, yourself, get spooked or project your own anxiety, maybe not; and move on to suggestion number two.
 
2) Keep your animals in a location where, if they do get spooked, they can not escape and run away. Use common sense: if you know they can clear the backyard fence, or worry that with some adrenalyn they might be able to, then put them in a location where they simply can't escape.
 
3) Maybe a Thundershirt. A Thundershirt, like swaddling a baby, is a soft compression wrap, shown to help many fearful dogs overcome their anxiety, such as when thunder storms or other loud noises trigger anxiety. Many families find it helpful, and it comes with a money-back guarantee of satisfaction.
 
If this is your first Fourth of July with your animal it is particularly important that you take your animal into consideration. If this is not your first Fourth of July and your animal freaks out enough where a medical intervention is the ticket, you probably have it dialed in with your vet already. If you've been looking for a good deadline to make sure your pet is microchipped as well as having their collar tags, this is a good one. We're open, so you can give us a call and see about availability.
 
As long as you remember they hear more than you do, and take your animals into consideration, we can all have a safe and sane Fourth of July.
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Heartworm, Fleas and Ticks

Headsup: we're heading into peak season for heartworm, fleas and ticks. Before looping you in on some industry developments about fleas and ticks, a quick mention about heartworm. Even if you don't treat your cat or dog for heartworm every month as recommended, please do so for the next few months.  
 
It's easy for humans to forget prevention, mostly because they don't realize what's at stake! The short version is heartworm infection can get fatal with symptoms showing up relatively late in the process. Unprevented, heartworm can infect your animal through the bite of a Western Tree Hole mosquito. These mosquitos are particularly active now and have extra high numbers because of the wet spring we've had. 
 
In dogs, the worm eventually grows to 13 inches and sets up housekeeping in the pulmonary artery that supplies the lungs and the right side of the heart, slowing blood flow and compromising your animal’s health. Most animals respond to treatment, though treatment is no guarantee. From there, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to explain clogged pulmonary artery's ultimate results, if untreated. In cats, it's a bit more complicated, of course, with the signs mimicking asthma both on x-ray and with a chronic wheezy cough.
 
In the case of heartworm, the culprit is any infected mosquito. The risk increases in locations along creeks or near open space where coyotes roam. But, even indoor pets are at risk. Why? Bay Area coyotes are highly infected with heartworm and serve as a reservoir host. The incredibly common Western Tree Hole Mosquito carries heartworm. The mature mosquito picks up heartworm from the coyote, and then seems to seek the indoors where it is thought to be easier for the infected mosquito to fly. 
 
Coughing, exhaustion, weight loss, and especially coughing up blood or congestive heart failure are all concerning symptoms. If your animal presents symptoms, call us for an appointment immediately. Remember, we're open until 10pm on weekdays. Hopefully it is easy to understand why the best and most affordable approach you can take is heartworm prevention treatment. In theory, you could use treatment this month and next to help you start a good habit for monthly treatment (as recommended).
 
While we're discussing prevention, it happens to also be the beginning of flea and tick season. You can find a lot of good information right here on the midpen.com website about fleas and about ticks.
 
Currently, in the field of veterinary medicine, there have been some seemingly exciting developments in flea and tick control for dogs. We use the word "seemingly" because we're scientists and require proof. As scientific-minded professionals, we want to examine any potential advances carefully, using a disciplined and thorough approach. You would expect nothing less. 
 
We are currently in the process of reviewing the research and discussing it amongst our veterinarians. As we develop consensus around any conclusions, we will certainly share them with you. It is worth mentioning that, irrespective of advancement potential, it's important to address the current flea and tick season. Now is the time.
 
If you already know what you need, please contact us and we will take care of you. If you don't know what you need, or wish to try one of the newest generation of products, the next time you bring your animal in for a wellness check, feel free to discuss it with your Vet.
 
And have a happy summer!
 
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