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Pet

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

Sidewinder rattlesnake from San Tan Valley Area

Who’s Your Favorite Snake?

By | Client Education, News/ Events

These 6 contestants were collected in the San Tan Valley and Superstition Mountain area.

In honor of World Snake Day, vote for your favorite on our Facebook page.

A. “Go-fer Broke” Gopher Snake

Tan and brown blotched snake.

The Gopher Snake (also called a Bull Snake) is not venomous, but is often confused with a rattlesnake.

-Large and heavy-bodied, the gopher snake typically reaches 4 feet in length

-Because of its similar body markings and behavior when threatened (hissing, tail shaking and strike –posturing) it is frequently mistaken for a rattlesnake

-But a tapered tail, the absence of a rattle, the lack of a facial pit, and the round pupils all distinguish the gopher snake from the rattlesnake.

-A good climber, the gopher snake is active mainly during the day, except in extreme heat.

-.A constrictor, its prey is mostly mammals, although birds and their eggs are also eaten.

B. “Diamond Dave” Diamondback

Diamondback Rattlesnake, coiled and ready strike.

Diamondback Rattlesnake, coiled and ready to strike. Most commonly encountered rattlesnake in San Tan Valley.

-The Western diamondback rattlesnake ranging from 3-5 feet long, is a heavy-bodied snake with a triangular shaped head and two dark diagonal lines on each side of its face running from the eyes to its jaws.

-Its venom is actually a toxic saliva: a mixture of enzymes that destroys blood or paralyzes nerves.

-Western diamondbacks are pit vipers which means that they have a heat sensing pit behind each nostril that can detect differences in temperature as little as a fraction of a degree apart. The heat given off by an animal is detected by the snake helping it to determine predator from prey.

-Mice, rats, rabbits, gophers, ground dwelling birds, lizards and other small animals make up the diet of this snake. But diamondbacks also have many predators such as eagles, hawks, roadrunners, king snakes, coyotes, bobcats and fox.

-During the heat of the day diamondbacks will remain coiled in the shade of shrubs or rocks, while in winter, they retreat into caves or similar places to hibernate.

-Its rattle is made up of keratin (the same protein hair and fingernails are made of) and a new segment is added each time a rattlesnake sheds

-Male rattlesnakes engage in ritualistic combats during the spring mating season presumably to determine the sexual fitness of a male.

C. “Carol” Coral Snake

Beautiful red, black and pale yellow banded coral snake.

Beautiful red, black and yellow banded coral snake. Very secretive and rarely seen.

-The Arizona coral snake is a slender, small snake reaching only 13 to 21 inches.

-It is a brightly colored snake with broad alternating bands of red and black separated by narrower bands of bright white or yellow which completely encircle the body

-A secretive snake, it usually emerges after sundown, feeding primarily on blind and black-headed snakes. Occasionally it eats lizards or other small, smooth-scaled snakes.

-While its venom is similar to that of the cobra, because it is small with small front fixed fangs the venom does not pose as much danger to humans as that of rattlesnakes.

-Many people use a rhyme to identify a coral snake-“red on yellow kill a fellow, red on black venom lack”

D. “Longnose Rose” Longnose snake

Black and yellow banded snake with some red highlights.

Longnose Snake has a banded appearance like many other snakes in our area. It is nonvenomous.

-This slender snake varies considerably in pattern and coloring, reaching lengths of slightly over 3 feet.

-It is sometimes confused with the venomous coral snake because of its similar color banding pattern but can be distinguished by its long nose and banding that does not completely encircle it body.

-When disturbed, the longnose snake writhes and twists its body, vibrates its tail, and defecates feces and blood from its anal opening.

-An excellent burrower if the soil is sandy, it can also retreat under rocks or into rock crevices or rodent burrows,

-Active primarily at night, it feeds on lizards, lizard eggs, small snakes, small mammals, and birds.

E. “Sid” Sidewinder

The sidewinder's brown, black and tan blends in well with the desert floor.

The sidewinder coloration blends in well with its sandy surroundings. It can be a “feisty” rattlesnake.

-This small rattlesnake about 2 feet long can be tan, cream, or light gray with a dark stripe extending from the eye to above the corner of the mouth. Its coloring often matches the soil or sand on which the snake lives.

-During mild spring days it is out and about but seeks shelter in underground burrows during the hot summer months, only coming out at night

-In sandy areas this snake often coils partially buried in the sand, with only its head exposed.

-Its name is derived from its distinctive method of moving sideways with its body winding through an “S” shaped curve leaving distinctive parallel J-shaped tracks in the sand.

-As with other “pit-vipers” the sidewinder uses the heat sensing pits on each side of the face between the eye and nostril to detect warm-blooded predators and prey. –

An ambush hunter, the sidewinder coils and waits for unsuspecting lizards, mice, birds, and snakes to wander within striking distance.

F. “Lionel” Lyre Snake

The grayish banded lyre snake has a pattern on top of its head that resembles the musical instrument.

The lyre snake is named for the pattern on the top of its head that resembles the musical instrument. While mildly venomous, it does not pose a serious threat to pets.

– Named for the V-shaped marking on its head that looks like the musical instrument

-This mildly venomous, rear-fanged snake is about 4 feet in length

-Lives in rocks, crevices and fissures -Feeds primarily on lizards, but also eats birds and bats.

-Primarily nocturnal, it is seldom active during the day.

-When alarmed, the lyre snake will raise up, shake its tail, hiss, and strike, biting the intruder if not left alone. This behavior, sometimes causes the lyre snake to be mistaken for a rattlesnake.

 

 

Do you know what to do if a rattlesnake bites your pet?

Bonnie’s Parents knew exactly what to do.

Questions??  Call or TEXT us at 480-987-4555.

Your San Tan Valley Vets at       Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic.

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 small black kitten being held up

CALLING ALL CAT LOVERS! JUNE IS “ADOPT-A-CAT” MONTH

By | Client Education, News/ Events

 Looking to adopt a cat this month?

 

1. Check state shelters and rescue groups.  Pinal County Animal Control is a great place to adopt a cat or kitten.

2. Consider adopting an older cat. An adult cat is usually already socialized and trained and just need a loving home to live out the rest of their lives

3. Prepare everyone in the house- both two-legged and four-legged -for the new addition. Try to get as much history and information as possible about the cat you are considering to make sure the newcomer is a good fit for your household.

4. Stock up on supplies you will need before the cat arrives. This includes bedding, food and water bowls, toys (appropriate for safety and age) and litter boxes.

5. Consider the expenses involved, both short and long term costs. This includes medical exams vaccines, spaying or neutering, a microchip, and ID tags, as well as food and bedding.

A beautiful striped cat up for adoption.

Dionne is a year old cat up for adoption at Pinal County Animal Control

6. “Cat-astrophe” proof your home. No poisonous house plants, no string, ribbon, tinsel or small objects within reach! Get a cat tower or a scratching post for cats to use it instead of your leather furniture!

7. Socialize your cat or kitten once they have become accustomed to your home and family. You want to live with a social cat not a wildcat or a scaredy-cat.  Socialize your kitten with this information: Socialize Your Kitten.

 

 

If you can’t adopt here are some ways to still get your “Cat Fix”

 

1. Donate supplies and goods to your local animal rescue or shelter. Food, blankets, litter and litter boxes, cat toys, towers and kennels are always welcome. You can drop these at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic, if more convenient, and we will see that they get to Animal Control.

2. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram. Social media can reach many more potential cat adopters

3. Help out a stray cat or kitten. Even if you can’t catch it, you can leave water and shade on your patio.

4. Volunteer at your local humane society, animal shelter or rescue organization.

Cute cat up for adoption

This year and half old cat is up for adoption at Pinal County Animal Control

 

Adopting a new cat or kitten means not only did you save one life but you opened up a space at a shelter for another cat looking for a home! For more links on adopting a cat this month please click here: American Humane Society-Adopt a cat month.

 

long haired daschund after receiving antivenin for rattlesnake bite

SNAKE BITE BONNIE – What to do if a rattlesnake bites your pet!

By | Cases, Client Education

Snake Bite Bonnie

No matter how careful you are

No matter careful you are to insure your pet’s safety, no matter how mindful you are that it’s rattlesnake season, could this happen to your dog? Bonnie, a sweet little miniature Dachshund, did nothing wrong. Her owners did nothing wrong. She was just playing in her yard along with the other dogs at her house.  Suddenly, a rattlesnake appeared, biting her on the right side of the muzzle.

The owners scooped Bonnie up, jumped into the car and made the 35 minute drive from Florence to Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic in 20 minutes.

A Diamondback Rattlesnake like the one that bit Bonnie.

A Diamondback Rattlesnake like the one that bit Bonnie.

When Bonnie got to the clinic she was lying on her side, unresponsive with labored breathing and a weak pulse. Her muzzle, where she had been bitten, was swelling. She laid there on her side, not moving. The experienced staff at Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic immediately took Bonnie in and began administering oxygen. As Dr. Schmidt evaluated the dog’s condition, IV fluids were started. Narcotics were given for pain. He explained the situation to the owners who already were prepared for the worst.  At this point it been less than 40 minutes since Bonnie had been bitten and she looked bad. She would have a chance with antivenin and the owners gave the go ahead.

Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic always has antivenin on hand for its clients and their pets and a vial was reconstituted. Within an hour of being bitten, Bonnie had received the antivenin and was being monitored continuously by the experienced and well trained staff. A technician constantly monitored her condition throughout the day. Later that afternoon, Bonnie became more alert and responsive. By the end of the day she was able to sit up and move around. Eventually she could walk a few steps.

This story has a happy ending because:

A).The owners got their pet to the veterinarian immediately.

B). Antivenin was administered quickly.

But luck had something to do with it as well. Rattlesnake bites can, and often are, fatal and responsible pet owners are going to great lengths to keep their pets safe. The rattlesnake vaccine can buy time and mitigate the effects of a snakebite. “Snake proofing” pets to steer clear of snakes is helpful but doesn’t take into account snakes that literally come out of nowhere. Additionally, some people are reluctant to subject their dog to the electric shock used with most snake proofing methods even though that shock could save their pet’s life. And, while Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic stocks antivenin– the cost, while nowhere approaching what’s spent when a human gets bit, is not cheap. So what is a responsible pet owner to do? Everything possible to insure your pet and a snake never, ever meet. That means assuming rattlesnakes are everywhere.

  • Don’t let your pet nose around the yard before you’ve checked what’s lurking there
  • Don’t let your pet get ahead of you on a hike.
  • Teach your pet to avoid snakes.
  • Consider a rattlesnake vaccine.

But if despite all these precautions your dog does get bit, remember,

Bonnie survived because her owners took action immediately.

 

For more information on snakes and snakebites in San Tan Valley, contact Johnson Ranch Animal Clinic

When Pets Eat Like Pigs on Turkey Day

By | Uncategorized

0005_preventive_JohnsonRanch

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, pet owners should be reminded that festive foods and four legged friends don’t mix.

It’s a time for sharing but don’t share the holiday meal with your pets.

Feeding pets table scraps can be a recipe for trouble.

-A pet with a turkey bone lodged in his system may not show symptoms for 1 or 2 days.

turkey leg 004

-Turkey bones are hollow and break easily, splintering into sharp pieces, which, when chewed, can cause blockage and perforate the intestinal tract. If symptoms do occur they may include loss of appetite, depression, diarrhea or vomiting. While the bone may pass by itself, sometimes it must be surgically removed.

-Even if you don’t feed your pets from the table, it’s possible they might help themselves to untended food when no one is looking.

-Besides the dangers associated with overeating, turkey sitting out too long at room temperature can cause salmonella organisms to multiply, poisoning the pet.

One year, the day after Thanksgiving, two dachshunds came into the clinic after snatching the leftover holiday turkey off a coffee table in the middle of the night.  Another year a beagle ate a whole ham that was left lying around. It was never determined how these pets with their short legs could reach all this food or why hams and turkeys are being left untended but the result was three sick puppies

So be aware of your pet’s abilities. Several years back, someone’s pet pig learned how to open the refrigerator door and ended up eating everything inside, making a proverbial “pig of itself” and subsequently changing the expression “sick as a dog” to “sick as a pig.”

It’s not just gorging on the main course that causes problems. Many of the foods involved with the Thanksgiving dinner are dangerous, even fatal, to dogs. Here’s a list of the most common substances:

  • Chocolate– especially baking chocolate, can be lethal
  • Onions – can destroy a dog’s red blood cells, leading to anemia.
  • Rich, fatty foods– such as turkey skin or gravy can cause pancreatitis, and inflammation of a digestive gland, and can be very painful and serious.
  • Coffee– watch out for grounds and whole beans.
  • Alcohol-behavioral changes, staggering, excitement, decreased reflexes even death
  • Xylitol-a common artificial sweetener in desserts and sugarless chewing gum, is showing up more frequently in all kinds of food products, even peanut butter.

And it’s not just food that can cause problems during the holiday. You may be thankful for family and friends but your pet may be wary, even frightened of a lot of strange, new people coming in the house.  If your pet is not comfortable around new faces keep them in a separate room while guests arrive. Make introductions slowly and one at a time.

And make sure while you’re welcoming people inside the house your pet is not running outside taking advantage of a frequently open door.

Thanksgiving is just the first act in the annual holiday show. Christmas and New Years Eve, with their own pet pitfalls and hazards are just around the corner. More about that next month!

 

Contact Us

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