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Rattlesnake Bites: Should You Vaccinate?

Rattlesnake season (April – October) can be a scary time for pet owners. With our climate in the central coast, rattlesnakes can be seen nearly year round. Here at PBVC, we urge pet owners to always be vigilant and proactive. There are many steps owners can take to increase the safety of their pets.

Although a rattlesnake vaccine does exist, PBVC along with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis does not advocate for its use because of the lack of independent verification to prove that it is effective and safe. There is no concrete scientific proof that this vaccine makes a difference for the affected pet. There are many different types of snakes (40+ in our area) that can pose a threat to your animal, and the vaccine only claims to produce antibodies for one. We also aren’t sure how long this “resistance” lasts, or if it works at all. In a study done with 272 cases of rattlesnake envenomation in dogs, there was no evidence that vaccination lessened morbidity or mortality in these dogs.

Rattlesnake aversion training is the most effective method to avoid rattlesnake bites and is highly recommended as a proactive measure for pets with a high risk of exposure. This training is performed by professionals who teach your pets that rattlesnakes are dangerous and can hurt them. Scent and sight are used to train your dog to recognize a snake and the risks that come with interacting with them. The training, recommended yearly, is a great tool to keep your pets safe.

Whether or not your pet has been vaccinated, it’s important to know the do’s and don’ts of a rattlesnake bite:

  • DO try to find the wound. You may not immediately know it was a snake bite. Be aware of increased lethargy, small puncture wounds, swelling/bruising near the wound, slow breathing, and whining in pain.
  • DO take your pet to the closest hospital immediately. Call PBVC (M-F 8am-10pm, and weekends 8am-5:30pm) or PETS Hospital (24/7).
  • DO NOT give any medication like ibuprofen or aspirin. This can lead to clotting disorders that can be life threatening.
  • DO keep the wound below heart level. This will help keep the venom from the heart for as long as possible before you can get your pet to the vet.
  • DO NOT try to remove the venom by sucking on the wound or cutting it out.

“It is important for community members to be aware of how easy it can be for a snake bite to occur. It can happen in a backyard without you realizing it. If you notice that your pet’s face, leg or paw seems swollen, painful or bruised, seek medical attention immediately. Snake bites happen to cats as well as dogs.”

Dr. Joel Conn, owner of PBVC and founder of PETS Hospital

Memorial Day Safety

Memorial day is a time of celebration, good food, great company and an overall fun filled weekend! Here are some tips to keep the weekend fun for everyone, including your furry friends.

BBQ Safety

  • No table scraps! Grapes, avocados, onions, alcohol and chocolates are all common foods to find at a BBQ but are extremely toxic to dogs.
  • Bones are not a good treat. Delicious bones from the grill are very dangerous to dogs. They can splinter, causing tears in the stomach or intestines of your pup. This is life threatening, painful, and includes a long recovery process.

Supervision

  • Always keep an eye on your pet when you are near water, whether that be in a pool or out at a lake. Some pets can swim better than others, and even the best swimmers can get tired out.
  • Pets don’t always understand danger. Watch your pet when you are near bonfires or fireworks. It’s best to keep your pet indoors where they are safe from these threats.
Heat Safety

Heat Warning

  • Never leave your pup in the car! Temperatures can skyrocket in a car, even with the windows cracked! When in doubt, leave your pet in your temperature controlled home.
  • When outside, be sure to provide your pet with access to shade and fresh drinking water at all times.

Keep these tips in mind while you’re celebrating this weekend. If you have an emergency, please call PETS Hospital at (805) 250-5600

Meet Elaine, Our May Featured Employee!

Elaine, like many, was initially interested in working in the veterinary field because of her love of animals. As she started to work and learn, she became more interested in the medicine and helping with difficult cases and emergencies. Her favorite cases to assist with are blocked cats because of the intricacy of the medicine involved. Elaine loves to share her knowledge from getting her registered veterinary technician license. She takes pride is being able to mentor those who are new to the field. As a supervisor here at PBVC, she is always happy to answer any and all questions our clients or staff may have.

Elaine joined PBVC in May of 2016 (Happy 3 year anniversary!) after working 8 years in veterinary emergency medicine. She has worked in the five cities area in the veterinary field over 10 years. Elaine and her husband share their home with their two cats, Indira and Shaka. Elaine likes to spend time with her animals, crafts, gardening, and hanging out with her husband. She loves to travel to many new places in the world and experience new cultures. Next week, Elaine will actually be exploring Spain!

Creating a Pet Safe Garden

Spring has sprung and it’s officially gardening season for many people. While beautiful, many plants and flowers can be toxic and potentially deadly to pets. Want to create a beautiful space that both you and your pets can enjoy? Check out some of our tips below.

Cat Safe Gardening

Cats are the ultimate adventurers and explorers. A safe garden can provide hours of entertainment and fun for a cat. If your outdoor kitty enjoys romping in the garden, you might as well make it a safe and enjoyable place for them to play. While usually selective in what they choose to eat, try to only use cat-friendly plants in your garden. Some of these include:

  • Cat nip
  • Asters
  • Geraniums
  • Sunflowers
  • Cosmos
  • Maiden Grass
  • Cucumbers
  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Petunias
  • Zenias
  • Pumpkin
  • Squash

These plants can attract butterflies, an excellent source of entertainment for your kitties to chase! Be sure to use cat safe organic soil/mulch. You can also include sand for your cat to play and dig in. Another fun touch is to add posts or sun spots where your cat can bask in the light. Cats also enjoy a little bit of cover, so plant some hardy shrubs.

Dog Safe Gardening

Many common house plants can be dangerous for your pups. You should always keep these on shelves or hang them from your ceilings. Outdoor gardens can also have hazards, but there’s plenty of dog safe plant options to make your space pretty and still stimulating to your pets.

  • Zinnias
  • Roses
  • Sunflowers
  • Marigolds
  • African Violets
  • Mint
  • Sage
  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Barley

If you’d prefer a safe but dog-free garden, an important part to keeping it that way is landscaping. If you plant areas densely, your pets are less likely to run through. You can also strategically use paths and fences to keep your dogs from running right through all your hard work. Use raised flower beds and plant hardy shrubs around the outside that can take a little bit of potential paw-traffic.

We hope you learned a few tips to create a livable, secure, and purposeful area that both you and your pets can enjoy!

Meet Debbie, Our April Featured Employee!

Debbie is a native Californian who has worked in the veterinary field for 16 years. Before settling on the central coast, she lived in San Diego and worked as a Personnel Recruitment Clerk in North Island Naval Base on Coronado Island. She has had love and compassion for animals since she was a child. If you’ve been to PBVC lately, it’s likely you’ve seen her up at our reception desk with a big smile on her face!

Debbie
Debbie

Over the years, Debbie had many different pets such as ducklings, canaries, cockatiels, turtles, cats, a lamb, rabbits, her beloved German Shepherds (Dapper and Lady) and the love of her life: Boogie the Chihuahua. Debbie enjoys the simple things in life that the central coast has to offer. She enjoys whale watching, walks on the beach, biking, hiking, kayaking and yoga.

Debbie loves listening to local bands, reading, cooking, watching movies, and traveling. Debbie has enjoyed meeting all the wonderful and interesting clients along with the loves of their lives since April of 2016 and is looking forward to meeting many more. Next time you’re in, say hi to Debbie!

Easter Dangers for Pets

Easter is fun for people but can be a potentially dangerous time for pets! With all the festivities and treats, things can get a little hectic for our furry friends. Keep these tips in mind this Easter to keep things safe!

  • Chocolate – Keep chocolate away from dogs and cats as it can be very toxic. Think your pup got into candy? Don’t wait, call PETS Hospital or ASCPA Poison Control right away.
  • Easter basket fillers – This shiny bedding can look like a great toy to a dog or a cat, but can easily become a choking hazard or become lodged in the intestines. This can lead to difficulty keeping food down and may result in a lengthy surgery for your pet.
  • Raw eggs – Cooked eggs can be a great snack for your pet but raw eggs are not due to potential risk of salmonella.
  • Ham – This can be too fatty for your pet and can cause inflammation in the pancreas, called pancreatitis.
  • Lilies – Possibly the most dangerous part of spring time for cats is lilies! These are extremely toxic to cats and can cause kidney failure.

We are closed on Easter Sunday to allow our staff time with their families, but if your pet has an emergency please call our friends at PETS Hospital, who are available 24/7, 365 days a year.

Meet Carolina, Our March Featured Employee!

Carolina has been at PBVC for over 13 years caring for client’s pets as if they were her own. Carolina enjoys helping out our doctors in the exam rooms, monitoring anesthesia, performing dental cleanings, and loving on our patients. If there’s a cute puppy around, you’ll find her nearby with a camera! She is always a smiling face and ready to help where needed!

She has three dogs of her own (Mikayla, Chula, and Diego). In her spare time she loves to go shopping and spend time with her son, Mikey.

Best in SLO 2019

Voting is about to begin for the 2019 Best of SLO County Reader’s Poll and we’d LOVE your vote. Help us to be the Best Vet in SLO for the 7th year in a row by voting for Pismo Beach Vet!!

To participate, go to:  https://posting.newtimesslo.com/sanluisobispo/Survey

The ballot is open for voting until 5pm on Monday, March 11.

  • You must complete at least 25 categories
  • All votes must be completed by March 11th at 5pm

AND Don’t Forget…

February is National Pet Dental Month and all dental packages will be discounted 15%. These packages include not only the dental cleaning and anesthesia, but also pre-anesthetic blood screening, IV catheterization and fluids to help make these procedures as safe as possible for your pet.  We know February is almost over, so we are extending this offer through March – just mention this post when you call to schedule your appointment!

As always, thank you for your support. We have the best clients on the planet and we appreciate the opportunity to serve you!

Best of SLO 2019

Meet Olivia, Our February Featured Employee!

Olivia is a fourth year student at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo who joined our team in July of 2018. She is a pre-veterinary Animal Science major who is also pursuing a minor in Studio Art just for fun. Olivia loves to work with all sorts of animals, ranging from companion animals such as cats and dogs to exotic ones like tortoises and parrots. She hopes to eventually specialize in exotics in veterinary school, a passion which led her to become an avid member of Zoo and Exotic Animal Careers Club on campus. She served as President for the club last year, and will continue to play a major role in the leadership of the club this year.

Olivia repping ZEAC!
Olivia repping ZEAC!
Olivia

When not at school or working, you can expect to find Olivia painting watercolors or practicing her photography. She loves to visit the local beaches and to go on hikes with her friends. Since she doesn’t have any animals of her own, Olivia fulfills her love of animals by volunteering her time at the Charles Paddock Zoo and Pacific Wildlife Care.

Dental Month at PBVC

February is National Pet Dental Health Month! Did you know that by the age of 3, 70% of cats and 80% of dogs will have some form of dental disease? Maintaining dental hygiene is a big step in keeping your pets happy and healthy. Dental disease can lead to many other health problems. Animals with dental disease are at an increased risk for heart, liver, and kidney disease. We’re celebrating dental month by offering our clients a 15% discount on our dental packages!

At Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic, we see our fair share of pets with dental disease. We offer dental prophylaxis (dental cleaning) where we fully sedate the animal and give their teeth a thorough clean and examination. While the patient is anesthetized, we are able to better assess any trouble teeth and perform dental radiographs to see the extent of the dental disease. We are then able to clean the teeth and extract any teeth that are beyond saving.

We will then polish all of the remaining teeth and apply a gel coating that will keep them clean for 2 weeks. The rest is up to you! With dental disease, prevention is key! We are all about client education when it comes to keeping your pet’s teeth disease free. There are many options out there to maintain dental health: daily dental treats, dental wipes, gel, and plain old tooth brushing. Want to learn more? Check out our videos below!

Interested in scheduling a dental exam or cleaning for your pet? Give us a call!

How To Brush!

HAPPY NATIONAL PET DENTAL HEALTH MONTH! For the entire month of February we will be posting about dental care, how to prevent dental disease, what to expect at a dental procedure/consult, and we will even be giving our clients the chance to win some dental goodies!One common question we hear a lot is HOW to brush your pets teeth. It can seem a little bit intimidating at first but is super easy for both you and your pet with a little bit of practice. Brushing can help slow dental disease meaning less frequent dental procedures at the clinic.

Posted by Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic on Thursday, February 1, 2018