COVID 19 3-20-20 UPDATE

Cat loving owner

In light of the ever-changing conditions surrounding the pandemic, our protocols have also been very fluid.
In an effort to continue to protect our clients and our employees without sacrificing the care of our patients we have decided to discontinue the “traffic” into our building.
If you have a scheduled appointment, please call our office when you arrive in the parking lot. We will ask that you remain in your car while we take your pet’s history by phone. A nurse will take your pet from your car into our building for its exam by the doctor. After the exam, the doctor will call you with any questions or concerns, the nurse will return your pet to your car and we ask that you make your payment by phone before you leave.

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Covid-19 Precautions at Felton Veterinary Hospital

Update as of 3/16/2020:

Today, along with many other counties in California, Santa Cruz County has issued a “Shelter in Place” order.  Veterinary Clinics are considered an “Essential business”. Our doors will remain open! We will continue to schedule appointments, we can refill your pet’s prescriptions and supply their prescription dog food. We will, however, be canceling our Wednesday vaccine clinics for at least the next 2 weeks as an extra safety precaution.

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The Rain Brings out the Ticks

Tick

Ticks are found in abundance in the San Lorenzo Valley. They are most prevalent in early spring and fall but are well adapted to live throughout the year. Ticks live in grassy areas or in brush and dark, moist areas where they wait for a host to walk by. They then crawl onto your pet and bite, attaching for up to several days while they feed.

Following bouts of rain, ticks may be out and about in greater numbers. A tick can only quest up on vegetation for hosts when the humidity is high enough for them to absorb sufficient water from the air.

– Larisa Vredevoe, Ph.D., professor of biological sciences, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo

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Chigger Season is Here -What You Need to Know

chiggers on dog belly
Chiggers on a Dog

If you’ve ever taken a walk with your dog in the woods or through a field, only to have your best friend scratching up a storm for the next several days, she might have experienced a chigger attack.

In cats, chiggers are most commonly found around the ears and between the toes, but can be found almost anywhere on the body. Because of intense itching caused by these mites , your cat may chew or scratch itself, causing self-inflicted wounds. The resulting skin lesions vary from crusted spots to areas of hair loss to raw moist bleeding areas.

These tiny orange – red mites (also known as Harvest mites) reside in grass and underbrush during September through January in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They are so small that you might not even notice them on your dog or cat but, once they become a source of itchy discomfort, they’re difficult to ignore.

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5 Factors That Put Your Dog at Risk for Summer Heatstroke

Lab swimming in a pool

Many dogs love summer as much as we do, but high temperatures can present a problem for our canine friends.

We talked with Dr. Debbie Mandell, staff veterinarian and adjunct associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Matthew J. Ryan Veterinary Hospital, about what factors can increase your dog’s risk of heat-related injuries and even death. Heatstroke is one of the many problems that veterinarians at Ryan see in the 13,000 emergency cases that come through their doors each year. Here are five factors that Dr. Mandell says can put your dog at risk for heat stress.

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Outfox Foxtails – Protecting Your Dog against Foxtails

Foxtails
A foxtail is a grass-like weed that blooms every spring and releases barbed seed heads. These barbs can work their way into any part of your dog’s body.

Does your dog hike or run with you in grassy open areas? Or do they love to go sniffing in overgrown areas in your yard or neighborhood?  Uh oh, foxtail season is HERE. Here’s how to recognize, and more importantly, prevent these nasty weeds from hurting your dog.

What is a foxtail?

A foxtail is a grass-like weed that blooms every spring and releases barbed seed heads. These barbs can work their way into any part of your dog’s body- including eyes, ears, nose, mouth, and even directly into the skin. Because of their barbed nature, they tend to be very difficult to remove, and even worse, they can travel beyond sight very quickly.

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First Aid Kits for Dogs: Supplies You Should Pack

Dog with First Aid Kit

You know you need a dog first aid kit for hikes or camping trips you take with your canine, but do you know what should be in it? In this short video, Dr. Sarah Wooten covers basic first aid supplies — like butterfly bandages, tweezers and a muzzle — and how best to store them.

Before you go out with your pet on such an adventure, read up on basic first aid procedures, including when to induce vomiting and when not to. And, of course, if your dog has special needs, consult with your veterinarian for recommendations about additional supplies.

When It Rains it Spores

Dog with allergies

The Santa Cruz Mountains are home to more than 1,000 mushroom species.
The recent rainstorms have triggered many types of mushroom caps to emerge from their underground stems.

During the winter months, it’s important to keep your yard clear of mushrooms & to keep a close watch on your dogs when they are roaming in areas where they may be exposed to mushrooms.

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Much Ado About Canine Flu

Two dogs waiting for a command

This winter has been quite the flu season! Many of us were ill thanks to the dreaded human flu, and we’re glad to finally be seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. It’s interesting that canine flu has recently become a focus, especially in dog-loving circles. And while it’s not seasonal, and it’s not new, there are a few things that the team at Felton Veterinary Hospital thought you should know about this disease that affects our best friends.

Canine Flu Basics

There are two strains of Canine Influenza Virus (CIV). The most recent strain (H3N2)  was identified following an outbreak in March of 2015 and affected dogs in the Chicago area. There have now been a few thousand cases of H3N2 reported in 30 states.  There’s no evidence that H3N2 can infect people.

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Flea, Tick, and Heartworm Prevention

cat scratching

Spring has definitely sprung in the San Lorenzo Valley, and if you’re like us, you and your pets can’t wait to get outside more and more. But before you head outside this spring and summer for gardening, trips to the dog park, hiking, and general frolicking, let’s get up to date on parasite prevention.

When the Felton flora and fauna wake up from their winter slumber, you better believe that parasites are awake, too. However, we’ve also noticed that mosquitoes, fleas, and even ticks are even more resilient than ever, and with overall warmer winter temperatures and their ability to overwinter indoors (think: your garage, your shed, your house!), we’re now recommending parasite prevention and control all year round. Here’s more from Felton Veterinary Hospital about why prevention is your best medicine.

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