New anxiety medication available at AHVC

thunderstormFlorida has the most frequent and severe thunderstorms in the United States. In Tallahassee, there is an average of 70-80 days with thunderstorms every year; over 10 times more than California! Dogs are naturally frightened by thunder; thunder and other loud noises were a signal to run and hide from larger predators. This nasty combination means that many of the pets we care for have problems every time thunder rolls over the city; we even have dogs that come to see us every time a big storm is going to crash in so we can make sure that they are safe.

Before, there were a few medications that could blunt or stop severe anxiety and we have our soundproofed TV room that prevented the noise from reaching our friends. Unfortunately though, we still wished that we had something more powerful for quelling anxiety with fewer side effects. We have one patient that reacts so strongly to thunder that it was better to put him on chronic drug therapy than try to anticipate thunderstorms. The drugs had a host of side effects: the patient was constantly sedate, did not want to play, and if given for long enough time the drugs could have damaged his liver. Previous drugs also had to be given an hour before a storm which, as any Florida resident can tell you, happen at any moment so we and our clients had to stay up to the minute on the weather to know exactly when to give medication so it would work throughout the storm.

Luckily, Zoetis has started the distribution of Sileo which Dr. Blount is very excited about. It is the first FDA-approved treatment for noise aversion in dogs and it has fewer and less frequent side IMG_4018effects than any other treatment on the market. Previous drugs were also less effective because they were not absorbed as well as Sileo. The medication can be administered at home by applying it to a dog’s gums and it knocks out anxiety for a few hours and can be given as needed throughout a storm, it also takes hold quickly after being administered. Sileo is useful for calming a pet during 4th of July fireworks, parties or any noisy event. Dr. Blount has started to use it to help pets whom are here for playcare and staycare and she is pleased with the results. She has yet to see any side effects, the drug works well, and the pets entrusted to our care are calmer and safer. While not yet approved for these uses by the FDA, Dr. Blount predicts that Sileo will be used for other anxieties, so if your dog panics when his family leaves for dinner it could be used to calm him. The drug would also have applications for training too; by pairing anxiety provoking situations with Sileo it could train the pet to not react to the situation.

We have Sileo available with prescription to arm yourself for those lovely 4th of July fireworks, now your dog can enjoy them with the rest of the family. It is safe and effective in dogs 16 weeks of age and older but should not be used in dogs that are breeding, pregnant, nursing puppies, or have severe dental or gum disease. Sileo should not be redosed before it starts to take effect.

Meet Our New Trainer: Debbie Eaglebarger!

IMG_6455IMG_6474IMG_6485

When did you start working with dogs?

I’ve been working with dogs for as long as I can remember. We always had dogs as a family and I always saw dogs on the street that I interacted with. Dog work has actually been a calling: it came easily and naturally.

How did you become interested in animal training?

When I was 14 I brought home a very unruly dog. My mother told me if I was going to keep the dog he had to go to obedience classes. We won the award for “Most Improved” and ever since then every dog that I had went to obedience class.

Through the years, when I picked up a stray on the street and couldn’t find an owner I prepared the dog to be ready for a new home with basic obedience skills.

Training became critical when I started running the City of Corning Animal Shelter in California in 2002. Dogs came in because they didn’t have manners. Dogs weren’t adopted because they didn’t have manners. Dogs were killed because they didn’t have manners.

I had a good grasp on teaching basic obedience skills. I became highly versed in the AKC CGC requirements and training. I spent 3 weeks at Best Friends Animal Society in Kanab, Utah attending one of their behavior and shelter seminars. One shelter dog I took through the Delta Service Dog program so she could visit people in hospitals and convalescent homes. I’ve gone to week long training seminars in San Francisco as well as an internship in New York for animal behavior and training techniques.

Every dog in the shelter became trained in basic manners skills. Adoption rates soared and within 2 years the shelter I ran went from a “fill and kill” pound to a “no kill to make room” shelter.

Can you tell us about your experience running Second Chance Animal Shelter?

Second Chance Pet Rescue is a non-profit 501(c) organization. It was formed specifically for the City of Corning Animal Shelter. When the city realized that Second Chance knew what it was doing, control of the dogs entering and leaving, and yes, sometimes euthanizing, was given to the organization. I am the founder of that organization and it is still going strong and still running the City of Corning Animal Shelter.

What is your favorite breed of dog? Why?

I would have to say my favorite breed of dog is the Pit Bull. It is one of the most misunderstood breeds right now. People think “fighting dog” many times when they hear pit bull but a temperament correct pit bull has been genetically bred to love people and never turn on them. They are not a guard dog like many people think. The British call them the “nanny dog.” When I did Humane Education presentations for schools the only dog I would bring was a pit bull because I knew that of all the dogs available to me in the shelter, the temperament correct pit bull would not bite a child, even when crowded and all hands were on them. They just loved the attention. I moved from California to Florida in 2014 with 3 shelter pit bulls that I adopted. I am an advocate for the underdog.

What can we look forward to now that you are part of At Home Veterinary Care? What is new and exciting?

I am so excited to be here. What attracted me to At Home Veterinary Care is the progressive and proactive nature of the business. The doggie pool is a slice of heaven. The agility field is a great mind stimulator. The different play yards are fabulous to work with the dogs in.

I am looking forward to playing mind stimulating games with the dogs coming in for Playcare. As I learn about each dog coming in I look for skills that they have and the skills they don’t have. Are they a “jump up on people” kind of dog? I work with them on those issues. Can we make them “sit pretty” instead of jumping up? Do they pull on the leash? I teach them “wait” to slow down. Are they shy or timid? I will partner them with dogs that don’t stress them, but let them grow and flourish. Do they love to put their paws on you? This is a great opportunity to shape into a “high five” trick.

As an obedience trainer I teach “dog talk,” meaning how can you communicate with your dog so that they understand what you want them to do? I love to see an unruly dog come through with their owner and 6 weeks later they have become a harmonious team.

IMG_6503IMG_6532

Learn more about Debbie and her work at the following links 

http://dogtime.com/dog-health/general/1282-second-chance-pet-rescue

http://www.chicoer.com/article/ZZ/20120221/NEWS/120229932

http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/Turning-over-the-leash-Corning-animal-shelter-has-new-caretaker-a-438981

Sharing an Article from the FDA: Online Pet Pharmacies

Bella (3)

Prescriptions are expensive. It can be a struggle sometimes to pay for your pet’s medical care on a budget. But as anything in life, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. Online pet pharmacies have been dazzling us with claims of inexpensive meds delivered to your door. Which admittedly sounds wonderful, but in the link below you can find out about the shady business practices which enable this grey market. We would also like to take this opportunity to say that the pharmaceutical companies are aware of this market; and they do their best to shut it down. At Home Veterinary Care and any other veterinary pharmacy will be blacklisted by the pharmaceutical companies that we work with if we do anything to support this grey market of cheap drugs, so  we refuse to participate in the scheme. Also, isn’t it suspicious that these companies only supply prescriptions for pets? Any company that would be able to legally deliver discounted medications for people would sell better than hot, fresh Krispy Kreme doughnuts on a cold winter’s night. Especially in the United States which has the most expensive prescription drug costs in the world.

Online Pet Pharmacies

At Home Vet Care in the Tallahassee Democrat

Dr. Blount and her team tirelessly toil to make At Home Veterinary Care as exceptional as it is; however, in the beginning we had a big problem getting the word out about us. So we have been working with the Small Business Development Center at FAMU to promote our business and tighten our marketing. Fortunately we were mentioned in a Tallahassee Democrat article about the Small Business Development Center. The writer came in to interview Dr. Blount and she has a few choice quotes about the great work the Small Business Development Center does and the photographer chose to include a picture of our pool which features our office Laborador: Lilli! Please read the article here

http://tallahasseedemocrat.fl.newsmemory.com/publink.php?shareid=1aa953903

Holiday Boarding with At Home Veterinary Care

At Home Holiday Poster-1

We are excited to announce our new holiday boarding program! With the promo code at the bottom of the flyer, your dog or cat can get free upgrades on playcare and staycare. The upgrade can even mean free pooltime for your pup! Please call or email us to reserve your pets’ boarding over the holidays with At Home Veterinary Care 😀 We hope to see you soon!

Barktoberfest Registration Form

Welsh Corgi Pembroke dogs with pumpkins

We want to go to Barktoberfest!

 

At Home Veterinary Care is holding a fun new event: Barktoberfest. We have confirmed that Tallahassee’s newest microbrewery Grasslands Brewing will pour beer and Smackin’ Good Wings and Beni’s-Take-It-N-Go! will be here. Come have your dogs play in our pool and enjoy our playground equipment while you dine on some of Tallahassee’s finest street food and drink  local beer. We are also organizing a trick-or-treating tour of our home for people and pets. We have received a gift of dog and cat food to raffle off from Hill’s Pet Nutrition. All pets and people are welcome! Support local business!

Vaccine Requirements

Because we are a “One Health” facility we require that dogs or cats in our facilities meet the following parameters, this is for everyone’s good health:

Canines in our facility must be up to date on Rabies, DA2LPP, and bordetella vaccines. They also must be on heartworm prevention which kills intestinal parasites or have a negative intestinal parasite exam within the last three months and be free of external parasites. We require felines in our facility to be up to date on FVRCP and Rabies. They must also test negative on FELV/FIV and heartworms. They must have had a negative intestinal parasite exam within the last three months as well as being free of external parasites. We will ask for proof of the vaccines above and a signed waiver stating that these requirements are understood upon entry to the event.

Disclaimer

At Home Veterinary Care LLC. Will provide oversight and supervision for this activity by team members trained in animal behavior; however, we require and expect every pet owner to adequately supervise and control their own pet(s). We assume no liability for injuries, medical problems, or damages for pets, pet parents, or participants in this activity on the date of the event nor in the future.

Save

Save

Back to School for Fido and Fluffy

By: Elizabeth D. Blount, DVM, CVPM

With the close of summer vacation and a return to our more structured lives of alarm clocks and after school sports, maybe we can squeeze in a little time to improve the relationship with and manners of our “furry” family members.

The last ten years have seen a rapidly expanding understanding of dogs and cats, their “language” and behavior, and their ability to read and understand the relationship with their “human” family.  We have moved well beyond the glorified “wolf pack” analogy of dog behavior, “alpha” dogs and pain based aversion training techniques to kinder, more gentle, but no less effective, positive reinforcement methods.  In fact, what works for raising children, works equally well for dogs.  Tell them what is going to happen, know what behavior you expect to see, then praise liberally when they do it.

Dogs appreciate structure, routine and appropriate boundaries.  If we want them to behave well, we have to have a clear idea of what that looks like in our family.  Being a consistent, calm leader, and having a predictable schedule of feeding, exercise and “quiet time” will inspire confidence in your pet, and help you have a pet you can be proud of.

Many structured training classes are available throughout the city with reputable organizations like the Tallahassee Dog Obedience Club, and the Okalokonee Kennel Club, as well as dog Day Care centers, and pet stores throughout the city.  There are even trainers who will come to your home to work one on one with your pet and the rest of your family.  Don’t forget that kids make great dog trainers as well, and improving your pet’s manners can be a great “family affair”.  Classes also provide the added bonus of “socialization time” which improves your dogs’ interaction with other dogs and “friendly strangers”, as well.

Service dogs learn as many as 50 behaviors by the time they are a year of age.  Once their “formal” training starts between 15 and 18 months old, they will learn up to an additional 100 commands and behaviors.  Maybe you don’t need or want your pet to go that far, but Housemanners 101 can be taught with 10-15 minutes practice, 1-2 times/day over the span of fall tennis season.

Housemanners 101 consists of 5 simple, but mandatory behaviors: Sit, Come, Down (as in lie down), Wait or Stay (helpful keeping the dog from bolting out the front door, or from jumping in or out of the car door when traveling), and walking on a loose leash. “Place”, “bed”, or “kennel”/ “crate” is also very helpful knowledge.  Clever canines  also quickly pick up fetch or retrieve, jumping in and out of a vehicle, (makes trips to the Vet much easier), leave it, under and a recall, make taking your pet out to parks and public places, safe and fun.  Also (advice from a Veterinarian), being comfortable having feet and nails touched, taking medicines, and allowing ears to be cleaned and teeth checked and brushed, will make all of our lives better.  Another word of advice:  It is NEVER okay for your dog to bite you, your kids or anyone else. Don’t start it as a puppy, and don’t allow it as an adult.  If it happens, immediately remove your dog to their “safe” spot for a time out.  When they are calm you can reintroduce them to their activity and give them an opportunity to try again.  Praise and reward the correct behaviors.  Trainers today are using “clickers”, treats, toys, gently petting (tactile reward), and verbal praise.  Be sure you see a positive response from your pet that acknowledges they have received and understood the reward.

A word about separation anxiety.  About 45% of pets will have some degree of separation anxiety.  If “back to school” means long hours alone for your pet, anxiety and boredom may set in.  This can result in destruction of your home, your favorite shoes, or clothing, to mention a few. Keep your leaving and returning rituals as calm as possible.  Don’t invite long “good-byes” or rambunctious “hellos.”  Make sure they have a comfortable place, such as a crate/kennel or bed in a small, safe location such as a laundry room, half bath or hallway, with water, toys and chewing objects.  Treat balls and dispensers help fill the time. Regular exercise is a must, and 10-15 minutes of ball playing or running will dissipate some excess energy so they can rest while you are gone. Doggie Daycare or Playcare is a great idea and investment because it provides mental and physical stimulation, and gives you a few extra minutes to treat yourself as well.

Pets fill such an important place in our families today.  They give us unconditional love, affection, stimulation, stability and companionship.  They round out and enrich our lives.  Isn’t it worth the little extra time it takes to teach them to be the best family member they can be? It is a reward for a lifetime.

 

 

Dr. Blount is the Veterinary Medical Director and CEO of At Home Veterinary Care Center, a comprehensive pet care facility in Tallahassee, FL which features a full service veterinary hospital, Playcare, Staycare, Training Center, and Dog Splash Park.

JOIN US FOR AN EASTER PARTY SATURDAY APRIL 4TH

 

Join us at At Home Veterinary Care and Barkster’s Playground for a fun filled day of games and activities!

Saturday, April 4th from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm
1833 Junwin Court
Tallahassee Fl, 32308
$10.00 pre sale, $12.00 at the door

Dogs of all ages welcome!

Splash Park
Easter Egg Hunt
Photos with the Easter Bunny
Doggy Treasure Hunt

850-274-5710

Call or Email to RSVP today

info@athomevet.care

easter