Tag

Dr. Marc Schmidt

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.
dog with swollen mouth

Snakes Got You Rattled?

By | Client Education

Did you know that out of the 15 species of rattlesnakes native to the United States 11 can be found in Arizona, more than any other state in the country? Some people can spend their entire lives here and never see even one, others swear they practically trip over rattlesnakes everywhere they go. During the summer, snakes, like people and pets, avoid the blistering heat of midday, and are more active in the early morning or early evening, so it’s wise to be vigilant at those times.

Rattlesnake bites usually involve dogs. Often, the bite occurs on the face, as the dog is inquisitive about, or aggressive towards, the snake. It is not uncommon for the dog to lose an eye. Snakebites can take a heavy toll not just on a pet’s health but also an owner’s wallet. Antivenin is very expensive and sometimes a bitten animal needs more than one vial.

A rattlesnake vaccine is now available, and like a tetanus shot, acts as a preventative, building up antibodies prior to an attack. After an exam to make sure the pet is healthy, the vaccine is administered by injection in two doses, one month apart. Booster shots are scheduled depending on the area’s “rattlesnake season.” Because antivenin is so costly and can have adverse effects, the vaccine is becoming a popular option for pet owners.

If a vaccinated pet is bitten, antivenin may still be recommended because there is no way of judging the amount or potency of the venom received, or how many antibodies have had a chance to build up. What the vaccine does best is give the pet a fighting chance that the snakebite won’t be fatal.

But the best treatment is prevention. Check your yard for snakes. If you and your dog are out walking, don’t let your pet run ahead of you where he might “sniff out” a snake hiding in a crevice or under a rock. If your pet does get bitten, seek out medical help as soon as possible. A snakebite is always a medical emergency. While some dogs are fearful of snakes and will back off, others just can’t stay away from that rattler. For those dogs who are “repeat offenders” there are “snake-proofing” classes that can be effective in training curious canines to keep their distance. Remember an ounce of prevention is worth an ounce of antivenin.


For more information on rattlesnake vaccine, antivenin and snakeproofing classes for dogs call Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic, 480-987-4555.

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!

poodle playing in dirt

Desert Dangers: Scorpions and Spiders

By | Client Education
  • Scorpion stings or spider bites may cause a swelling at the site and some distress.
  • They usually require no special medical attention.
  • Watch pets for the first few hours in case they exhibit a bad reaction.
  • Sometimes Benadryl is helpful in reducing symptoms.
  • Use one milligram per one pound of pet as a guideline for dosage.

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!

beagle puppy laying in gravol

Avoiding Rattlesnakes

By | Uncategorized
  • Rattlesnakes are out and about when you and your pet are – early mornings, late afternoons, and early evenings.
  • Don’t let dogs get ahead on walks and explore places where snakes can hide.
  • If your pet is bitten, get to a vet right away.
  • Rattlesnake antivenin is very expensive so prevention is preferred.
  • If your dog can’t stay away from snakes consider the rattlesnake vaccine or snake-proofing your pet through a variety of snake-avoidance techniques.

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!

beagle puppy laying in gravol

Desert Dangers

By | Client Education

In addition to all the usual trouble pets can get into, Arizona summers bring a host of unique situations that can make life dangerous for our furry, four footed friends.

During the warm weather pets can:

Have a Run-in with a Rattlesnake

  • During the summer, rattlesnakes are out and about when you and your pet are. Prime times are early mornings, late afternoons, and early evenings.
  • Don’t let dogs get ahead on walks and explore places where snakes can hide.
  • If your pet is bitten, get to a veterinarian right away.
  • A vial of rattlesnake antivenin is very expensive so prevention is preferred.
  • If your dog can’t stay away from snakes consider the rattlesnake vaccine or snake-proofing your pet through a variety of snake-avoidance techniques.

Tangle with a Toad

  • 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 has gotten hold of one, flush his mouth out with a garden hose. Aim the spray sideways to wash the toxin out of the mouth, not down the throat.
  • Most dogs do recover but the toxin can be life threatening.
  • If the condition worsens, see a veterinarian.
  • A toad sitting in a dog’s water bowl can also make the dog ill, so keep bowls clean.

Scuffle with a Scorpion or Spider.

  • Scorpion stings or spider bites may cause a swelling at the site and some distress.
  • They usually require no special medical attention.
  • Watch pets for the first few hours in case they exhibit a bad reaction.
  • Sometimes Benadryl is helpful in reducing symptoms. Use one milligram per one pound of pet as a guideline for dosage.

Get Into Cool Pools and Hot Spots

  • 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!

Contact Us

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