Tag

dogs

National “Check the Chip” Day at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic

By | News/ Events

Wednesday. August 15 is “National Check the Chip” Day, when pet owners are encouraged to check and update the contact information registered with their pet’s microchip.

Microchips are the reason “Lost Dog” and “Lost Cat” stories can have happy endings even if the pet has been missing for months or found a thousand mile from home

Veterinarians and staff at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic can scan any pet’s microchip; tell the owner what data is on the chip; and if needed, provide them with information on how to update their pet’s microchip registration if they have moved or changed phone numbers.

Sometimes, we find chips pet owners did not even know were there. How does this happen?

  • When the current owner acquired the pet, the breeder, animal control unit, rescue group, pet shop or humane society failed to inform them that they had implanted a chip.
  • The animal control unit, rescue group, humane society or pet shop never scanned the animal so did not know that the pet was already microchipped.
  • When the pet was previously scanned, a Universal Scanner was not used so the chip was missed because it did not register.
  • The person scanning the pet previously did not check for a migrated chip.
  • The implanted chip may be bad and no longer working.
  • The previous owner did not tell the new owner that the pet had a microchip.

Sometimes our staff does not find a microchip in a pet that is supposed to have one. This can happen if the chip was never implanted or implanted improperly and came out.

Even if you have paper work showing your pet was microchipped, someone could have made a mistake. Did you witness the chip being implanted? Did you see the chip scanned after it was implanted, to verify that it is indeed in your pet?

If you say your pet has a chip but our universal scanner does not pick it up, we can take an x-ray. If they are there, microchips will show up very clearly on x-rays.

So on August 15, bring your pet to Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic at 270 E. Hunt Hwy, Ste. 4. That’s in the plaza on the corner of Bella Vista and Hunt Highway.

The staff will check for a microchip or help owners scan the pet themselves. There’s no charge and it just takes a few minutes. Pets will get treats while “chip” style refreshments will be available to their owners.

To learn more about microchips and Check the Chip Day, call Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic at 480-987-4555 or visit the AVMA’s website at www.avma.org/CheckTheChip.

Long haired chihuaha tilting head

What’s Barking Up Your Pet’s Family Tree – Doggy DNA

By | Client Education

Veterinarians always get the pets no one else wants. That’s how we ended up with Foxy, a little brown dog that looked like she was put together from spare critter parts. She had large, feathered ears like a Papillion and a beautiful, long, brown and tan coat. Her golden eyes were almost coyote-like while her reddish nose was sort of “piggy-looking” and her agile, lithe, eight-pound frame resembled a weasel.

But inquiring minds want to know, so we administered a canine heritage DNA test. It identified 38 breeds of dogs, from Afghan hound to Whippet, using a simple swab from the dog’s mouth.

Beyond simply satisfying curious dog owners, DNA testing also serves an important medical purpose. Since certain diseases seem to be more prevalent in some breeds, once the breed makeup is known, both the owner and the veterinarian can watch for signs of those diseases and become pro-active to prevent them.

When the results came back for 8-pound Foxy, it was no surprise that she was part Chihuahua, but I refused to believe she had a 70-pound Samoyed for a grandparent with a touch of beagle as well.

We tried again when a more sophisticated test became available. This one identified more than 130 AKC recognized breeds that may be present in mixed breed dogs.

Those results were even more startling. In addition to 8-pound Foxy having chihuahua, poodle and sheltie in her lineage, it also found traces of Irish wolfhound.

I called the geneticist who explained, “The test determines what’s in your dog, not what your dog is. Sometimes what’s in the genes may not show up as physical manifestations of that particular breed.”

So, if you decide to test the D-N-A of your D-O-G, be forewarned. Often what you see is not what you’re going to get.

July 4th: People Have Fun… Pets Have Fears

By | Client Education

The 4th of July can be very stressful for many pets. Some become so terrorized by the loud noises and the fireworks they panic and run away from home.

In fact, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters. But while many escaped pets end up there, many others are injured, killed, or lost for good.

Include Protecting Your Pet as Part of Your Holiday Planning

  • Keep your pets inside on the 4th and don’t leave them home alone.
  • Secure the house against escapes:
    • Close all doors and windows
    • Put the pet in a “safe room” to decrease noise from the outside.
    • Use TV or music to help cover the firework noise
  • Distract your pet with toys and food puzzles
  • Try calming apparel such as Thundershirts, ear muffs, and caps
  • Consider Pheromone sprays that give the pet a feeling of well-being…
    Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs are available at pet stores.

Plan Ahead for the Likelihood Your Pet Does Escape

  • Before July 4, microchip your pet and have their collar and tags on.
  • Make sure the chip is registered and the contact information is up to date.
  • Take current pictures of your pet. They may be needed for posters, emails and faxes.
  • Immediately contact local animal control units, shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians.
  • Discuss desensitizing and counterconditioning your pet with your veterinarian.

What About Drugs?

  • In some cases, your veterinarian can prescribe drug therapy that may help.
  • Sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety, and other drugs have been used.
  • Don’t wait until July 3 to ask about them.
  • Drug therapy is not always successful and may need time to evaluate.
  • Drug therapy is most effective when used in combination with other recommendations.
french bulldog riding in car

Desert Dangers: Cool Pools and Hot Spots

By | Behavior, Client Education
  • Do you have a pool…and a pet? Many pets love the water but even good swimmers may be bad at finding their way out so teach them where the steps are.
  • Dogs love to go for rides in the car but with this heat, if you can’t take the pet into the store with you, leave him at home.
  • Never, ever leave pets in the car, not even with the windows open.
  • Even your own yard and neighborhood has dangers.
  • Many pets get cactus spines stuck on their muzzles and elsewhere. Extracting them can be a lengthy, painful process so teach your pet to avoid them.
  • Adjust your pet’s exercise routine just as you adjust yours. Walk your dog very early in the morning or at sunset or later.
  • Remember, hot pavement hurts their paws just as it would your bare feet.

If you leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.


And remember the best cure for the Summertime Blues is . . . October!

dog running with ball in desert

Desert Dangers: Toxic Toads

By | Client Education
  • The large toads you see during monsoon season are Sonoran Desert toads.
  • They excrete a substance through a gland behind the eye that acts as a neurotoxin.
  • Dogs that put these toads in their mouths can exhibit neurological symptoms including difficulty walking, seizures and paralysis.
  • Teach your dog to avoid toads.
  • If he grabs one, flush his mouth with a garden hose. Aim the spray sideways to wash the toxin out, not down the throat.
  • Most dogs do recover but the toxin can be life threatening.
  • If the condition worsens, see a vet.
  • A toad in a water bowl can also make the dog ill, so keep bowls clean.

If you leave your pet outside, which is not recommended, make sure the animal has a shaded area as well as plenty of water in a dish that will not tip over easily leaving him with nothing to drink on a hot day.


And remember the best cure for the Summertime Blues is . . . October!

fireworks

July 4th – People Have Fun – Pets Have Fears

By | Behavior, Client Education, News/ Events

The 4th of July can be very stressful for many pets. Some become so terrorized by the loud noises and the fireworks they panic and run away from home.  In fact, July 5th is one of the busiest days of the year for animal shelters.  But while many escaped pets end up there, many others are injured, killed or lost for good.


Include protecting your pet as part of your holiday planning

– Keep your pets inside on the 4th and don’t leave them home alone

– Secure the house against escapes.

– Close all doors and windows

– Put the pet in a “safe room” to decrease noise from the outside.

– Use TV or music to help cover the firework noise

– Distract your pet with toys and food puzzles

– Try calming apparel such as Thundershirts, ear muffs and caps

– Consider Pheromone sprays that give the pet a feeling of well-being…   Feliway for cats and Adaptil for dogs are available at pet stores.

 

Plan ahead for the likelihood your pet does escape

– Before July 4, Microchip your pet and have their collar and tags on

– Make sure the chip is registered and the contact information is up to date

.
- Take current pictures of your pet.  They may be needed for posters, emails and faxes

– Immediately contact local animal control units, shelters, rescue groups and veterinarians

– Discuss desensitizing and counterconditioning your pet with your veterinarian

 

What about drugs?

– In some cases, your veterinarian can prescribe drug therapy that may help.

– Sedatives, tranquilizers, anti-anxiety and other drugs have been used.

– However, the drug therapy approach is not always predictable or successful.

– When used alone, drug therapy often fails.

– Drug therapy more effective when used in combination with other recommendations.

Close up image of chihuaha face

Why Your Dog Smells Better Than You

By | Behavior, Client Education

A dog’s sense of smell is about 1,000 to 10,000,000 times more sensitive than a human’s (depending on the breed). While you have about 5 million scent glands, a dog, depending on the breed, has anywhere from 125 million to 300 million making your dog’s sense of smell 10,000 to 100,000 times better than yours. And the part of a dog’s brain that is used to analyze smells is, proportionally speaking, 40 times greater than a human’s.

Dogs’ noses function quite differently from ours. When we inhale, we smell and breathe through the same airways within our nose. When dogs inhale, a fold of tissue just inside their nostril helps to separate these two functions.

Dogs also have a second olfactory capability, due to the Jacobson’s organ, an organ not found in human. Also called the vomeronasal organ, it’s located in the bottom of a dog’s nasal passage and picks up a variety of pheromones, the chemicals unique to each animal species that signal mating readiness and other sex-related details.

So how good is a dog’s sense of smell? If we used the sense of sight as an analogy, it means that what you can see 1/3 of a mile away, your dog could see 3,000 miles away.

We might notice a teaspoon of sugar in our cup of coffee- A dog can detect that teaspoon of sugar in a million gallons of water. Or one rotten apple in two million barrels.

Face of a tan and white dog with a cute nose.

Cute face, cute nose! At Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

A drug sniffing dog detected 35 pounds of marijuana that was packed in a plastic container and submerged in a gas tank filled with gasoline.

A cancer-sniffing dog kept returning to a spot on a patient’s skin that doctors had declared cancer-free. A subsequent biopsy confirmed there was melanoma in a small fraction of the cells.

What does this super sense of smell mean for your family dog’s behavior?

It’s why male dogs that have not been neutered can pick up a scent and follow their nose to the receptive female that might be nowhere in the neighborhood.

It’s why your dog knows there’s a treat sitting on a table that is too high up for him to ever be able to see it.

It’s why the local fire hydrant and/or tree, acts as Fido’s Facebook- letting all the dogs know who’s been by.

Yellow fire hydrant.

Facebook for Dogs in San Tan Valley, waiting for someone to come along and “post” on its time line.

 

 

Have a question about your pet or its behavior?  Contact us at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic by texting or calling  480-987-4555

Male veterinarian vaccinating small dog in vet clinic

If You Lose Your Pet Will He Lose His Life?

By | Client Education, Products / Reviews

 Don’t Skip the Chip.

You do everything for your pet to be happy and healthy at home

  •  get the right food
  •  keep up with their vaccinations
  •  provide a soft bed
  • lots of toys
  • and plenty of love from the family.

But what if they leave home, get lost or wander away? How will they get back?

A brown dog casts a sad look from behind a wire gate at Animal Control.

A lost pet at Pinal County Animal Control.

            “One in three pets will get lost during their lifetime.” 

The best chance of having your furry friend return depends on something as small as a grain of rice… a microchip placed under the skin.

Microchips provide positive proof of ownership and can be used on a variety of pets including birds, reptiles and horses. People who own very valuable animals often have them microchipped for monetary reasons. But the most important reason for your family pet to be chipped really is a matter of life and death. If your pet gets lost and is picked up by Animal Control or is turned into a city pound he may only have a certain number of days at that facility before he could be euthanized. However, that won’t happen if a microchip is detected. Instead, efforts will be made to identify and contact his owner.

A microchip is being inserted into the back of a white dog between the shoulder blades.

A microchip is easily inserted into a pet. Just like giving a vaccine.

How Is the Chip Inserted?

The procedure is simple. A veterinarian injects the microchip beneath the surface of your pet’s skin between the shoulder blades. Similar to a routine vaccination, the process takes only a few seconds. No anesthetic is required. The microchip itself has no internal energy source and will last the life of your pet. It is read by passing a microchip scanner over the pet’s shoulder blades. The scanner will emit an audible “beep” when it detects the chip and your pet’s unique ID code will show up on the scanner’s screen. Encryption features prevent duplication or cloning of the identification code. The chip is not affected by x-rays or MRIs and cannot be readily removed. But the microchip is just the first part of bringing your pet home. If your pet is microchipped but not yet registered he is not protected.

 

 

            ” 42% of microchipped pets are not registered in a pet recovery service.”

Why is Microchip Registration Important?

Enrolling in the registry services offered by microchip companies such as AVID and HomeAgain, and keeping the information in the registry up-to-date is important so you can be reached quickly when your lost pet is found. Almost all veterinarians and animal shelters across the country are equipped with scanners that can read your pet’s microchip. When your lost pet is taken to an animal shelter or veterinary clinic, they will scan your pet for a microchip and will read its unique code. This code is stored with your pet’s profile and linked to your contact information in a national pet recovery database. This is the number used to identify the pet and retrieve your contact information, which is used to contact you and reunite you with your pet. So register your pet and keep your pet’s profile current if addresses, phone numbers and alternate contacts have changed. When pet owners forget to register their pet’s microchip and the pet’s owner can’t be found, shelters have to make difficult decisions regarding the fate of the animal.

Also see Microchipping Your Dog and Microchipping Your Cat.

Call Santanvalleyvets at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic (or Text us at the same number)  at 480-987-4555

Clinic cat Joe is prepared with his fire extinguisher by his side

Is Your Pet a Pyromaniac?

By | Client Education, News/ Events

 

Well, maybe not intentionally, but

almost 1,000 household fires are caused by pets each year.

How does this happen? Take a walk through your home and consider all the potential fire hazards just waiting to become an inferno.

  •      Lit candles, fireplaces, BBQs
  •      Plug in deodorizers
  •      Stove top burners (especially flat glass)
  •      Electrical cords

Can your pet reach candles and topple them so they set something else on fire?

Clinic cat Joe practically has his nose in the electrical outlet.

Joe’s curiosity draws him to the electrical outlet.

Will your pet chew on electrical cords or drag them so they cause something hot to fall?

Is there food cooking enticing your pet to jump up on the stove?

The solution:

Repair, replace or remove these possible dangers and then…

  • Don‘t leave pets unattended near an open flame
  • Have pets microchipped so they can be returned if they escape during a fire
  • Train pets to come when called
  • Know their hiding places
  • Post window stickers to let people know there are pets in the house

Consider the likely scenarios when and how a fire could occur in your home- daytime, at night, when people are home and when no one is home. Every family should prepare for these eventualities with drills and an escape plan which should include the family’s pets. For more ideas on keeping your pets safe from fire visit the National Fire Protection Association’s pet web page.

 

QUESTIONS??

 Contact your San Tan Valley Veterinarians at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic   480-987-4555.  You can call or text us at this number!

 

A Pembroke Welsh Corgi with upright ears and sweet face

Ten Facts about Welsh Corgis… the Dog Fit for a Queen

By | Breed of the Week, Client Education

 

Corgis are sturdy little dogs with long bodies, short bowed legs and upright ears

Tail is evident on this Cardigan Welsh Corgi puppy sitting on the exam table.

The tail distinguishes Sedona as a Cardigan Welsh Corgi. How cute is this puppy?

There are two types of Corgis: the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi.

The most notable difference is that the Pembroke does not have a tail

Both originated in Wales but in different counties, resulting in their different names.

Both the Pembroke Welsh corgi and the Cardigan Welsh corgi were bred for the same purpose, to herd cattle by nipping at their heels

Corgi Means Dwarf Dog in Welsh

Welsh legend said corgis are “enchanted dogs” ridden by fairies and elves

They make good family pets.

Tailess Pembroke Welsh Corgi standing on floor looking up at us.

This is Pembroke Welsh Corgi Paisley in for an exam at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

The Pembroke corgi is the more popular and is Queen Elizabeth’s favorite dog breed.

The Pembroke is part of the Spitz group while the Cardigan is related to the Dachshund.

The face a Welsh Corgi next to a stuffed duck toy

Joseph is another handsome Corgi in San Tan Valley. “Duck” keeps Joseph company while recovering from a procedure.

They are about 10-12” at the shoulders and weight between 24 – 38 pounds with the Cardigan being a little bigger and heavier

While the popular Pembroke Welsh corgi is sociable and outgoing the Cardigan Welsh corgi is more laid back and reserved

Contact Us

270 East Hunt Hwy, Ste. #4
San Tan Valley, AZ 85143
480-987-4555