Animal Assisted Therapy

Have you considered volunteerism in animal assisted therapy for you and/or your pet? Pet Partners is a national organization that trains and registers animal and handler teams for visitation programs in hospitals, schools, nursing homes, rehabilitation centers, and other facilities. Animal assisted activities and therapies are proven to provide tremendous physical, social, and emotional benefits to recipients.

Pet Partners Therapy Animal Program is an exceptional option for volunteer teams. You can pick when, where, and how often you volunteer. While dogs consist of the vast majority of therapy animals, Pet Partners registers nine different species of animals for therapy work. Animal welfare and enjoyment is a cornerstone of the program. Therapy visits are designed to be safe and enjoyable for everyone.

The program registration process ensures that you and your animal are suitable and prepared for therapy work. It includes a handler's course, animal health verification, and team evaluation. The handler's course acquaints individuals with considerations and responsibilities they will encounter at various therapy facilities. Health screening verification is signed off by a veterinarian and ensures that therapy animals meet high standards associated with grooming and regular veterinary care. Once the handler's course is complete, a Pet Partners licensed evaluator will conduct a mock therapy visit. A standard new team registration is $95. Click here for more information about the Pet Partners registration process.

Tick-Borne Disease Increases in Ventura County

Incoming data from leaders in veterinary diagnostic laboratory testing shows that tick-borne diseases in Ventura County continues to rise in 2017. California is home to a variety of tick species including the Brown Dog Tick, American Dog Tick, Pacific Coast Tick, and Western Black Legged Tick. These ticks are known to harbor and infect both pets and people with bacteria that causes serious disease such as Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, Anaplasmosis, Erlichiosis, and Tularemia.

Data for 2017 strongly suggests a continued trend toward an increase in tick-borne disease prevalence for Ventura County. So far, there are 8 confirmed cases of Lyme disease in Ventura County compared to last year's annual total of 10; there are 10 confirmed cases of Anaplasmosis in Ventura County compared to last year's annual total of 7; and, finally, there are 30 confirmed cases of Ehrlichiosis in Ventura County compared to last year's annual total of 34. From 2014 to 2016, positive reported cases of these three diseases has increased by almost  20%. While this data is very significant, it is estimated that it only represents less than 30% of the tick-borne disease activity in our region.

Tick-borne diseases can manifest very differently in dogs or cats compared to humans and, depending upon the disease, can sometimes take weeks to months to produce symptoms which may include lameness, general weakness, persistent infections, bleeding disorders, or kidney damage. We recommend giving your pet a monthly medication to prevent ticks from attaching and transmitting disease. Please contact us for more information about parasite prevention. Click here to see prevalence maps for tick-borne diseases in various geographical locations including Ventura County.

National Hero Vet Tech Award Nominee

Moorpark veterinary technician, Suzanne Nunes, RVT, has been named a national American Humane Veterinary Technician Hero Award finalist! Voting for the Hero Veterinary Technician and Hero Veterinarian Award is open now until 12 pm PT on July 27th. Click here to make your selections and don't forget to vote daily for the award finalists of your choice.

Suzanne is an exceptional technician with an emphasis in behavioral studies who constantly puts patient safety and well-being at the forefront of her job tasks. When she is not working in the hospital, she dedicates her spare time to volunteerism and canine rescue. In conjunction with Spark of Santa Barbara, Suzanne helps to rescue and foster dogs from high-kill LA county shelters. She goes above and beyond for her foster pets including taking personal responsibility for their extensive surgical needs. You can also find Suzanne volunteering at Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS). She helps our local shelter community thrive by assisting in a Canine Confidence Program designed to mentally and physically stimulate dogs while building their overall confidence.

Suzanne is not just a Hero for pets, she is an incredible advocate for the welfare of other veterinary professionals and individuals in care-giving fields. She utilizes her awe-inspiring strength, compassion, love, and experience to revitalize and unite those around her. Without a doubt, she is our American Hero Veterinary Technician and we think anyone who gets to know her would think so too. You can view Suzanne's full bio in additional to the bios of other finalists at: www.herovetawards.org

 

Avoid July 4th Freak-Outs

Independence Day celebrations can be very stressful for pets. Unfamiliar loud firework or celebratory noises can result in anxious or panicky behavior in dogs and cats. This can include vocalization, shaking, pacing, panting, cowering, hiding, drooling, or uncontrolled elimination. Many pets will attempt to escape or run away when they are startled. Cats and dogs with access to the outdoors are particularly at risk for getting lost.

One of the simplest and most important Independence Day celebration precautions you can make is to ensure that your pets are confined in a safe environment. Do not leave dogs unattended outdoors or with access to the outdoors even if your yard appears secure. Proper crate-training is particularly helpful when assisting dogs through times of commotion or stress. Thundershirts are anti-anxiety vests that can also help some dogs cope with stress. Cats who are outdoors should be confined a few days before the holiday since celebrations can occur early and you cannot reliably confine them in a moment's notice. Feliway calming pheromone products can be purchased at our hospital and help promote a sense of safety and security in the environment for cats.

For some pets, additional behavioral therapy in the form of oral medication and/or professional training can be extremely helpful. Zylkene is a balanced behavior supplement for dogs and cats containing a unique, milk-derived ingredient that promotes calmness. It can relax your pet without causing sedation or drowsiness. Administration should begin at least a few days before the anticipated celebrations. This medication is also appropriate and safe for behavioral issues for long-term environmental change concerns. Professional canine behavior therapy can help desensitize your dog and reduce the risk of problems. Click here for contact information for a professional dog trainer and behavior consultant. Finally, sedative medication may be appropriate for pets with significant anxiety. Please note, this medication does require recent examination and additional health screening may be recommended depending upon the age and status of your pet. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about your pet's behavior or anxiety.

As a reminder, Moorpark fireworks occur on July 3rd at 9 pm.    

Join us for our 27th Anniversary Celebration!

Come visit the hospital on Monday, June 19th from 6pm-8pm for our 27th anniversary party! You can get to know our doctors and staff in a relaxed atmosphere. This event will also feature games, raffles and giveaways, photobooth, food and refreshments, and an ice cream bar. You can RSVP to this event by phone 805-529-7003, e-mail mvhmail@moorparkvet.com, or by joining the event on Facebook. We hope to see you there!

Please note: due to the nature of this event we ask that you please leave pets at home. Thank you.

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