April 05, 2016
Back in the day, old school Embracer philosophy was that insurance was for “unexpected things,” the big stuff. Broken legs, swallowed tennis balls, cancer, diabetes, and so on... But, after a few years, we started noticing a trend. Pet parents wanted to “use” their insurance, for little stuff - shots, flea and tick meds, even dental cleanings. More like their own human insurance, they wanted to go to the doctor for a yearly checkup and feel that their insurance was paying off. So, we started the Wellness Rewards program, just to cover routine wellness care at 100% up to your yearly limit.
April 01, 2016
Last week when waiting at my vet’s office to check out, I observed the receptionist in her natural environment, ringing me out, checking another client in, juggling two phone calls on hold, and talking to a service repairman, all at the same time. It was the perfect reminder of what everyone in the vet offices knows all too well: everyone and their brother is scrambling to get their pet caught up on shots, flea and tick prevention, and so on. While the vets have the patient in the exam room, it’s the perfect time to discuss the need for a dental cleaning and so on. Wellness season, like the DC cherry trees, is in full bloom.
March 30, 2016
In years past, most pet parents just worried about letting their pets get into chocolate or the Easter lilies. Those issues are still a concern, but in our changing world the risks are becoming a bit more diversified. Let’s talk a bit about the trends in toxicity over the past few years.
The CDC estimates 48.7% of people have used at least one prescription drug in the past 30 days. That makes for a lot of pill vials that look like a tasty treat to dogs. Make sure you keep them high and away from your animals, because prescription toxicity is one of the most common cause of poisoning we see in the clinics. It’s not as easy as keeping them out of reach. Cat owners know that if you leave a vial of the counter or table your cat will gleefully bat it off and watch if fall because…..well, just because. Then your dog will be glad to “dispose” of it for you, especially since “child safe caps” rarely translates to “retriever proof bottles.” For whatever reason, a dog will pull a prescription bottle out of a purse or off a counter and chew through it. The most common drug toxicities I see are antidepressants, blood pressure meds, and pain meds. And remember, just because a little is safe for you, does not mean it is safe for your pet. For example, a single Tylenol can kill a cat, and ibuprofen can cause gastric ulcers and renal failure in dogs and cats. If you animal swallows any medication, get them to your vet immediately. If we can get the pet in before much is absorbed, it can make a big difference.
March 16, 2016
You’re much more likely to respond appropriately to a pet emergency if you’ve had a chance to walk through the scenario in your head before. If the unexpected happens out of the blue, you’ll be caught off guard, but if you’ve had a chance to at least think, “hey, what should I do if...” maybe you won’t lose your cool and you’ll perform better under pressure.
That’s why we had a chat with our vet friend, Dr. Patrick Mahaney, about first aid preparedness. He’s going to talk to us calmly now, so no one has to talk us down in the event that we’re ever faced with a pet who’s:
been hit by a car
- in need of emergency medical care
Ready to get heavy with Dr. Patrick? Take a listen.
March 11, 2016
It’s been just about 2 years since one of our longtime Embraced pets had a poisoning scare. Inara *right) was eating a raw venison diet that should have helped keep her fit, but accidentally swallowed a piece of the bullet, causing lead toxicity.
Inara’s claim, while unique, is not surprising. You see, most of the claims we get for poisoning are from well-informed pet parents whose pets get into trouble in ways that few of us ever could have predicted. Why would a dog chew open a prescription bottle to get at his pet parent’s pills? Why would a cat eat a third of a birthday cake left to cool? These things happen, so let’s talk about them. All month long we’re going to take a look at pet poisoning, what you can do to prevent it, and what to do in case of an emergency.