After a long hiatus, Pet of the Month has returned with an old dog full of new tricks. Allow us to introduce you to March’s Pet of the Month: Smokey An!
Smokey is a very sweet, 14 year-old miniature pinscher mix. He experienced his own version of a Christmas miracle when his new family decided to adopt him last year in early December. At the time of his adoption, he had untreated diabetes and mature cataracts rendering him almost completely blind. Oh, did we mention he is the An family’s first dog?
Despite his disabilities, he still enjoys long walks-his current record is four miles-around his neighborhood. He also doesn’t allow them to impede him from hopping onto the sofa to nap or “looking” out of the car window. It seems he has become a creature of comfort in his new home as he loves warm baths, ripping the stuffing out of toys, and what his family calls the snack lifestyle, while despising the rain, peanut butter, and bananas. And like any senior, he loves to bark at the neighborhood kids, probably to get off his lawn.
Smokey is a senior adoption success story and while he doesn’t appear to be an ideal first dog, he and the An family see things a bit differently.
We've been anxious to introduce you to our June Pet of the Month, George! When Deb and Steve went to the Humane Society of Huron Valley, after much urging by their grandchildren, they weren't looking for a puppy nor a hound, but a 12 week-old, 14 lb Treeing Walker Coonhound named George stole their hearts. George was sweet, playful, and kid-friendly at home, it wasn't until the family's first puppy obedience class they realized "there was something a little different about George."
As the family grew more excited to "start the lessons where all the secrets to having a well-behaved dog would be revealed," they had no idea what trials awaited them. Upon seeing the other dogs in the class, George became over-excited (though according to Deb and Steve, this may be a gross understatement) and became hyper-focused. He continued to bark at the other dogs, while they tried every treat or trick they could to distract him. While Steve and Deb waved cheese and hot dogs in front of him, he strained against his leash to play with his classmates. Recall seemed impossible because while his classmates would return to their owners, George "pin-balled" from classmate to classmate, ignoring his owners' increasingly embarrassed calls. There was little else they could do, but leave the class after four brutal sessions.
At 6-months old, George was relentless to gain access to other dogs and critters when he spotted them. He would howl, bark, and jump, whatever was necessary to reach them. His obsessive nature eventually led to his tail becoming a focal point for his stimulation. As his focus intensified, any kind of anxiety or excitement would set George to chasing his tail. With each rotation, he would bark and this could go on for long periods every day. George seemed miserable and his owners can't even describe the agony of watching the puppy that stole their hearts suffer with his obsessive behavior.
In November of 2014, Deb brought George to see Dr. Hui. While medical and physical causes were being ruled out, George began to circle in the exam room. It appeared it was behavioral and he was started on a medication to help control his anxiety. As is the case with many anti-anxiety medications, it took some time to get a good idea if it was helping and, unfortunately, for George the first medication wasn't helping much. After many conversations and a brief weaning period, George started on Prozac. After a few weeks, it appeared to be working well enough to help him start training, a key part, along with exercise, to controlling his anxiety and obsessive nature. Deb and Steve found a private trainer to help identify when the spinning was about to start and how to get his attention. They began to work with a different trainer to help with leash walking and intermittent spinning. Deb and Steve adjusted and "learned to put George on a leash indoors when he was anxious, give him clear direction when he seems uncertain, and make sure he gets plenty of exercise." George was nearly two years old and was eating better, he knew several commands, and was more manageable.
George's experience is not unique when it comes to anxiety in pets. It can take weeks, sometimes months, to find the right combination of medication, training, and exercise to alleviate enough anxiety for a pet to become comfortable. Behavioral cues can exhibit in many ways, if you have concerns, please contact the clinic. George's story highlights another important aspect of raising a healthy dog: puppy classes. They can reveal early warning signals if your pup has anxieties about other dogs or people. If nothing else, they offer an opportunity to form positive associations with meeting strangers and new experiences.
A year later, George still hasn't lost his intensity, but Deb, Steve, and George's persistence has paid off. He is much more relaxed and confident, even winning a few photo contests with his "movie-star" good looks and improved obedience. He takes all the attention in stride and is just like any other dog now: "show him a bike trail, bunny tail, or plump pillow at the end of the day, and he's the happiest of dogs."
We're hoping you'll take a minute to meet our May Pet of the Month, Clay, as we're sure you'll see, he's definitely worth a look!
Clay had done a lot of traveling in his relatively short life, before he came to City Pets Vet Clinic in September of 2016. He was born in Kentucky or Indiana, then adopted in Florida when he was 3 months old. His owners, Robert and Bethany, were walking passed a pet store when they saw his wrinkly little face. He looked so sad, they had to see him out of the cage and he never went back in. They later learned, unfortunately as is often the case, the pet store was notorious for selling very sick and poorly bred dogs. Three days after getting home, Bethany noticed Clay was lethargic and barely able to breath. They immediately took him to the emergency veterinary hospital where he was treated for severe bacterial pneumonia and a temperature of 105.8! He spent three nights in the hospital, but he recovered.
Many Chinese Shar-Peis suffer from over-breeding, which can result in numerous issues including hot spots , corneal ulcerations, and irritation caused by their signature wrinkles. Clay dealt with all of these issues at one time or another. In fact, it was his corneal ulcerations and irritation that first brought Clay to City Pets Vet Clinic. The wrinkles on his face caused both his upper and lower eyelids to roll inward, which brought his eyelashes and the hair on his eyelids in direct contact with his eyes. This direct contact caused constant irritation and discomfort. Dr. Hui first saw Clay after he had an ulcer debrided at another clinic to check his progress. While this bought him some relief for a period, the irritation and discomfort returned by February. It was at this time Dr. Weinrick suggested surgical intervention to trim back the upper and lower eyelids to prevent them from rubbing on his eyes. The difference was immediate after the surgery and only became more noticeable as his swelling went down.
Despite all Clay has been through, Robert and Bethany noted that none of it ever dampened his puppy-like nature. He remained playful and energetic. Every night before bed, Clay experiences something his owners have dubbed "a madness" where he sprints at top-speed from room to room, jumping on them, spinning around, and flying off to another room. Once he settles, he gets his bedtime snack and culminates with "puppy kisses" for both his people. He also has many names at home including Pickles, Pip, Smoosh, Polar Bear, and more. He responds to all of them. It also appears Clay is deathly afraid of drinks. Robert and Bethany don't know why, but if you extend a drink towards him, he hightails it into the other room. At least after his surgery, he'll see those scary drinks coming his way much better.
One of our goals here at City Pets is to develop a comprehensive health care plan for your pet, including their physical, mental, and social health. A growing amount of research has shown a link between proper force-free training and happy, healthy pets. To help meet all the needs of our clients, we've partnered with K9 Turbo Training to offer classes, in-home training, and behavioral consultations. Krista teaches a number of classes here at the clinic, including Puppy Manners, Advanced Puppy, and Basic Manners. In addition, we have Puppy Social hours where puppies can socialize and learn how to play!
If you would like more information, you can contact the clinic or visit their website at www.k9turbotraining.com/.
February’s Pet of the Month, Stravos Antonova, is perfect because his story is one of true love. When Maria and Steven wanted to find a companion for their mini-lop, Zoe, they found themselves at Midwest Rabbit Rescue, a no-euthanasia shelter. They had concerns about finding a match because Zoe could be a little aggressive and short-tempered at times. The first few rounds of bunny speed dating didn’t do much to ease their fears. Zoe beat up each of the male suitors despite their bigger size, until she met Stravos. She was curious and though she put him in his place, she wasn’t aggressive. Our young Romeo didn’t fight her or run away; he just bowed his head and used his sweet personality and charm to win her over. Maria and Steven tried a few more Casanovas, but none could charm Zoe like Stravos did. They followed their heart and took him home the next night. Within days, Zoe was cuddling and grooming him. Their owners credit Stravos with turning their crazy bunny into a little sweetheart.
Stravos has been settling in comfortably with his new family and has already learned a few very important things. He’s already learned where the refrigerator is and also the most important sound a bunny can learn: the sound of the fridge door opening. As soon as he hears the door open, he zooms straight to the bottom drawer and grabs a whole head of lettuce-his favorite treat (see picture). Unfortunately for him, a head of lettuce is just a bit too big and he doesn’t get too far. The final thing he’s learned is if you run in front of your people and they trip over you, it leads to treats and cuddles, something his owners report he uses to his full advantage.
How could we not pick Stravos as our February Pet of the Month? His story is one of second chances and a handsome charmer. Soul-mates and lettuce. Family and refrigerators. But, most importantly, it’s a story of love.
This story of love was made possible by Midwest Rabbit Rescue. If you are interested in adopting a new rabbit companion, please visit their website: www.rabbitrr.org
We wanted to start 2017 with a very special Pet of the Month for January, Scamp! He and his family, Orsi, Bob, and Anika, have one of those heartwarming stories that makes you want to cry...who’s crying? You’re crying!
Their story starts with a small pup laying in the middle of a road in Ypsilanti. He was motionless and Orsi actually thought he may have been dead. When she approached him, he lifted up his head and looked at her. She rushed him to the vet and Dr. Hui diagnosed him with parvovirus. Left untreated, parvo has a mortality rate near 90%; fortunately for other puppies, there is a highly effective vaccination available. Scamp was hospitalized for 5 days and recovered like a champ. He has been a part of the family ever since (he's now 8.5 years old). Scamp is one of those dogs that loves everybody and everybody loves him. If you're within a foot of his face, he will plant a big kiss on you. It's probably why he loves children so much, they are at his level. He has endless patience for all their crazy antics.
Then, when Scamp was a year and a half old, we found that he had bilateral elbow dysplasia and the early signs of arthritis. Orsi and Bob collaborated with Animal Rehabilitation Facility in Dexter to get him on a rehab program to slow the progress. Swimming was introduced as part of his therapy and it quickly became a love of his that continues to this day. He also loves playing fetch, sleeping in front of a fire (regardless of the season), snuggling, being a giant couch potato, and warming his parent’s feet under the covers every night.
In December, Scamp was diagnosed with lymphoma, a major shock to all of us. His family quickly started his treatment at Blue Pearl and he’s been responding beautifully. They are cautiously optimistic they'll still have a good bit of time to spoil him rotten. Even with such a heart-wrenching diagnosis, Scamp continues to help his family live a life full of love and happiness: “Everyday we have with him, he reminds us to have fun no matter what, share a hug and kiss, and just take things one day at a time.”
We love the holidays here at City Pets. Family, friends, food, and fun; what is there NOT to love? It's the days following the holidays we dread. With the increased number of visitors, all the tempting bones & side dishes, and all the sparkling adornments on the tree, how is a pet expected to NOT get in trouble?
As the old saying goes, "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure" and a whole lot cheaper. Here are a few steps to take to keep your festive fur-baby safe this holiday season.
The holidays can be a hectic time and it's easy to overlook something, please don't hesitate to call us with any questions or concerns. Have a safe, happy, and furry holiday season!
Oh, yeah, chocolate; always chocolate.
AH AH AH Choooo....Darn those allergies. September brings those nasty seasonal allergies but we're here to cheer you up with our Pet of the Month! September's featured pet is Archie, a cute 4 1/2 year old Cairn Terrier. He lives with Brooke, Shawn, Lily, and Chloe Gates; you can thank Chloe for helping keep our clinic nice and clean. She recently left us to pursue her studies and while we miss her greatly, we still get to see her and Archie occasionally.
At an adorable 8 weeks old, Archie was a Christmas present from Shawn to Brooke. Brooke had a Cairn Terrier growing up and always wanted another. What a wonderful gift! Archie now has a little Yorkie sister named Maude. Like most big brothers, he both tolerates and loves her. Archie loves to sleep in late, ride in the car (his favorite!), take walks, and hang out with his favorite toy, his "santa" pillow. He can't fall asleep at night without his santa pillow; he falls asleep with it in his mouth and will walk around and whine until he finds it. Archie must be having a tough time this week because he hates wet grass and refuses to go outside in the rain.
We first met Archie in 2014 and he's been coming to see us regularly ever since. Those awful allergies not only attack me but poor Archie too. The skin allergies started when he was about 2 years old, started seasonally but then continued all year. He was miserable, scratching his whole body and causing infections. His owners tried everything – food changes, oatmeal baths, food supplements, coconut oil, olive oil, antibiotics, and steroids. We could clear up the infections but the allergies continued. They finally did allergy testing at MSU and discovered an allergy to mites. Archie now gets bleach baths (following strict dilution instructions from MSU) and is on an allergy medication, Apoquel. Within a couple of days the itching was gone! It’s been just over a month now and his skin is looking great and he is so much happier.
We’re so happy for Archie. Hopefully the rain will stop soon and he can enjoy going outside again, allergy free!
Well don’t you know about the bird? Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word! Our August Pet of the Month is a special b-b-bird by the name of Xolani. She is a 7-month-old Cape parrot with lovely red, gray, and green coloring. Her parents Anita and Scott, experienced bird owners, did their research and decided young Xolani would fit right in with their flock. They were getting her from a breeder in Oregon and after deciding she was the one for them, were told she had a crooked beak (known as scissor beak). Left untreated scissor beak can have devastating effects on a bird’s health and quality of life.
Xolani was lucky to have been taken under the wing of such caring parents. Anita and Scott make sure she has what she needs, lots of things to chew, and has her beak trimmed regularly to keep it healthy. They contacted City Pets regarding Xolani’s special issue; Dr. Weinrick looked over pictures to ease her parents mind before she was even a patient. After her initial exam, Dr. Hui started trimming her beak, graciously accepting the role of the “bad guy”. This is no small sacrifice because parrots have long memories and are known to hold grudges.
“She loves toys! Her favorites are brightly colored wooden blocks and chunky wooden puzzle pieces. These help keep her beak worn down between trims. Snap peas are relished and kale is refused every, single time. She likes to "talk" and we often hear her practicing new words. Most mornings during feeding she will fly over, look in her dish and ask "what's that?”. Xolani is a wonderful girl and we are so happy she is with our family.”