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December Pet Safety Tips!

It’s almost time for the holidays! While you’re enjoying things like time off from work, family gatherings, peppermint mochas, gifts, meals and everything else December-related, we’d just like to borrow a second of your time to remind you about how the holidays affect your pets, too.

Here are some tips to follow to make sure your best friend has as much fun as you do during this holiday season:

Don’t give pets table scraps. Giving animals people food can severely disrupt their internal system and can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, severe weight gain and more.

Keep holiday presents away from invasive snouts. Curious pets can get through almost any form of packaging and may easily access those yummy chocolates and other holiday treats.

Avoid bringing toxic plants to your house. Common holiday plants like poinsettias and mistletoe can cause misery to pets if they ingest them, so be extra careful. For a full list of good plants and bad plants, check out the ASPCA’s handy guide here.

Make sure tree decorations are out of paw’s reach. Tinsel, ornaments and lights are all bad news bears if your pet gets their chompers on them. Tinsel can cause intestinal blockage, chewed lights can shock pets and sharp ornaments can easily injure anyone, man or beast. A good idea is to place a pet-proof barrier around your holiday tree.

Watch those spirits and libations. Alcohol is not good for pets! Absolutely keep these beverages high and away from any nosy muzzles.

Provide a pet sanctuary during times of merriment. If you’re having a holiday gathering then the loud noises, laughter and abundance of guests may make your pet anxious. Prepare a safe place for them complete with bedding, toys, treats, water and a litter box for those kitty cats.

Since you’re a fabulous and responsible pet owner, we know you’ll take these tips to heart. At Shinnecock Animal Hospital, we just wanted to give you a gentle nudge and a reminder that preparing for the festivities means getting your animal companion prepared as well! If you have any questions on any of the above scenarios, please do not hesitate to give us a call at 631-887-3508.

Thank you and have a happy holiday season!

Holiday Grooming

Is your pet reaching that level of foul-smelling ripeness that makes them—and your entire house—absolutely stinky? Does their scent follow you wherever you go, and has it infiltrated your car, workspace and other frequent areas? Gross!

If that’s the case, then a trip to the friendly, lovely, positive, fragrant and kind pet groomer might be necessary for your best friend. Along with making them smell so-fresh-and-so-clean, there are also health benefits to a properly groomed animal.

The holidays are fast approaching, and as a gift to your pet—and your nose—how about setting up a grooming appointment? Our groomer can make your pet feel like a million bones!

We are now offering grooming appointments Monday through Thursday. For more information on all these services, head here. To make an appointment, contact us at (631) 887-3501 or schedule online.

Gobble Up These Thanksgiving Pet Safety Tips

Don’t give in to persuasive purrs and puppy dog eyes this Thanksgiving! Many of the holiday treats we love can cause health problems for our pets if they eat them. Here are some tips to keep your pets safe this Thanksgiving:

• Don’t leave wine glasses at snout or tail level. When pets ingest alcohol, they often experience severe drops in body temperature, blood pressure and blood sugar, which can all lead to death if treatment is delayed. Overactive tails could also knock over glasses and broken glass can easily cause injuries.

• Turkey is high in fat, and because of this, even small amounts can trigger pancreatitis. Pancreatitis has potentially fatal side effects like dehydration and liver and kidney damage. Small turkey bones can also get lodged in your pet’s gastrointestinal system and cause blockages, which typically require surgery to repair.

• You already know chocolate is dangerous for pets. But baking chocolate has even higher concentrations of caffeine and theobromine, the two substances found in chocolate that are extremely toxic to pets. If you’re using baking chocolate in your desserts this Thanksgiving, or any other chocolate for that matter, keep nosy snouts out of the kitchen!

Show your pets you’re thankful for them by keeping them safe this Thanksgiving. If you need more help preparing for the holidays with your pets, call us at Shinnecock Animal Hospital at 631-887-3508.

What You Need to Know About Cancer & Your Pet

It’s a scary statistic: The Animal Cancer Foundation (ACF) reports that one in four dogs and one in five cats will develop cancer in their lifetime—in fact, it’s the leading cause of death for dogs over the age of two. During November at Shinnecock Animal Hospital, we observe Pet Cancer Awareness Month, which was created by the ACF to raise awareness of the prevalence, symptoms and treatments for cancer in our companion animals.

As veterinarians, it is our sworn oath to protect and heal pets. Therefore, we’ve compiled a helpful list of things that you should be aware of regarding cancer and your pet. Here are five things to be mindful of during Pet Cancer Awareness month:

• Did you know that pets can get health insurance, too? Many plans have cancer coverage nowadays, which not only provides you with peace-of-mind, but also helps you make health decisions for your pet that are easier on your wallet.

• If you’re a smoker, be careful, because cancer from second-hand smoke affects pets as well as humans. Make sure that next time you do decide to light up, you’re away from your best friend, to prevent them from inhaling those cancerous fumes.

• Routine wellness care is extremely important in detecting cancer early. These yearly (or twice-yearly for seniors) visits to the vet help detect unusual lumps and bumps, appetite or behavioral changes or odd-smelling breath—which are all early warning signs of cancer.

• Pay attention to your pet’s exposure to certain cancer-causing toxins. Pets often lick their paws, and when they do this they could be ingesting dangerous things like household cleaners or lawn pesticides.

• Every pet will have a different response to cancer. If your animal companion does get diagnosed, all is not lost! Many cancers are treatable—a board-certified oncologist will explain the type, stage and grade of your pet’s disease and will provide a prognosis.

Please do share these tips with other pet owners or on any of your social media networks. We encourage you to ask us any and all questions related to pet cancer. With your help, we can spread awareness of this disease and how it affects our pets!

For any additional questions or to schedule an appointment for a cancer screening or wellness check, please reach out to us at 631-887-3508. You can also make an appointment online.

Halloween Pet Safety Tips

  • Keep candy and other treats out of paw’s reach! Chocolate and the sweetener xylitol—often found in gum and peanut butter—can be very toxic to dogs and cats. Kids should also be reminded not to feed candy to pets.
  • Put your dog or cat in a quiet place away from the front door and all those people in strange costumes. This will help prevent them from getting worked up.
  • If you’re putting your pet in costume, make sure they feel comfortable in it before taking them out. If the costume has bells, noisemakers or strings they can scare your pet or pose a choking hazard.
  • Keep your pet indoors on Halloween night! This is especially important for black cats, who can be targeted during the holiday. Also, make sure your pets are microchipped or have a collar with current identification in case they get scared and run off.

Have a happy (and safe) Halloween!

A Bloody Good Deal!

It can be frightening to see your pet get older. The fact is, our animal companions age much faster than we do, so illness and disease progress faster as well. But there is something that may ward off those terrifying conditions: senior exams and blood screenings.

Most dogs become seniors between age 7 and 10, and cats reach senior status between age 9 and 12. Because we want to make sure your pet has the longest, healthiest life possible we recommend your senior pet have an exam with blood screening—often referred to as a “senior panel”— twice per year. This testing is essential in spotting disease early, when it’s most treatable.

We feel so strongly about the importance of blood testing that during the month of November, SAH is offering 15% off on senior blood panels for cats and dogs!

Spots will fill up fast—make an appointment for your pet online or call us at 631-887-3501.

Regular Care For Cats

Indoor or outdoor, cats need regular wellness exams, but statistics show that pet owners tend to take cats to the vet about half as often as dogs. The #1 reason? Pet owners say their cats hate the vet—and they often put up quite a fight.

At Shinnecock Animal Hospital we do all we can to minimize your pet’s stress at our hospital, but there are things you can do prior to the appointment to help your cat feel less anxious.

  • Let your cat become comfortable with the carrier. Leave the carrier out in a room where your cat spends lots of time and put soft, familiar bedding as well as catnip or toys inside.
  • Don’t chase your cat when trying to get him or her in the carrier. Try to encourage the cat to go in on their own with treats or consider a top-loading carrier.
  • Try spritzing a cat-friendly pheromone spray inside the carrier 30 minutes before departure. FeliwayTM or even a drop or two of lavender essential oil can be calming.
  • Put a light blanket or towel over the carrier in the car, making sure to allow for ventilation. The less unfamiliar sights, sounds and smells, the better. The cat should remain in the carrier in the vet’s waiting room as well.

Need more help calming your kitty or want to schedule an appointment? Call us at 631-887-3501.

Grooming Six Days a Week

We are very excited to announce that we are now offering grooming appointments six days a week! Grooming and hygiene services are one of the best ways to make your pet look and feel great. Our experienced groomers offers a range of services, including:

  • Baths
  • Nail trims
  • Ear cleaning
  • Parasite control consultation and treatment
  • Anal gland expression
  • And more!

Our groomers are experienced with all breed-specific requirements, and can create customized grooming programs for your pet. If it’s been a summer full of hiking and beach fun that’s left your pup looking a little grungy – give us a call us at​ 631-887-3501 to schedule a grooming appointment today!

World Rabies Day

September 28th is World Rabies Day, which we observe to highlight awareness of this disease and to talk about how important it is to get your pet vaccinated.

Rabies is an RNA virus of the rhabdovirus family and is a viral infection that is spread mainly from the bite of an infected animal. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system and is 100 percent fatal to dogs and cats—there is no treatment available.

Common carriers of this feared disease include bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. The risk of rabies runs very high in dogs, however cats, even indoor ones, should be vaccinated—bats can get into a home and pose a threat to our indoor pets.

Fortunately, there is a vaccine available to help prevent this deadly disease. For dogs, it can be administered in one dose as early as three months of age, either with a one-year or a three-year vaccine, and annual boosters are required. For cats, it can be administered as a single dose as early as eight weeks of age, with a revaccination one year later. The booster is required annually or every three years, depending on the vaccine used.

Prevention of this disease is not only extremely important for pets and pet owners, it is a legal requirement! We encourage you to ask any questions you may have about rabies—for more information, please contact us at 631-887-3501.

Pet Insurance Options

We have insurance for ourselves, our cars and our homes, but what about for our beloved pets? They are an important part of your family and a member of your pack—if disasters occur, having your companion animal taken care of with pet insurance provides peace of mind. Proper coverage could save—and extend—the life of your pet.

There are many pet insurance companies available, and we encourage you to seek different options to find the best fit for you and your furry friend. Here are just a few options currently available to pet owners. 

Trupanion features:

  • 24/7 customer care
  • Direct veterinary payments whenever possible
  • One simple 90 percent coverage plan offered without confusing options

Pets Best features:

  • Fast claims, paid typically in five days or less
  • Flexible coverage with no age limits
  • Founded by a veterinarian

Nationwide features:

  • Wellness coverage, which gives cash back
  • Full dental coverage
  • Deep experience, as Nationwide was the first company to offer pet insurance in all of North America

For additional information and to compare more pet health insurance options, check out this handy tool!