Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Cats in Small Places!

Cats seem to love to snuggle up in a small space - especially boxes! This is probably due to their instinct of wanting to protect themselves - especially while sleeping. What we do know is that it is definitely adorable! Does your cat have a special space they like to curl up in or do they have a penchant for climbing inside a box when it becomes available?

Friday, May 25, 2012

Memorial Day: We're Open!

Memorial Day Weekend Pet Safety Tips: 

  • This weekend looks like it is going to be on the cooler side but it is still important to make sure your pets have access to plenty of fresh, cool water at all times. If the days do get warmer it is important to provide them with shade and shelter from the heat.  

  • Do not leave your pet unsupervised by the pool or any other bodies of water. Even swim savvy pets can get tired and struggle to keep afloat. Better yet - get your dog a special life jacket!

  • Avoid feeding your pet any human foods or scraps from the grill. Bones pose many dangers, including chocking and intestinal obstruction. Fatty, sugary, and greasy food can cause pancreatitis.  This is a serious illness that often requires hospitalization. Be especially aware of the grease trap on your grill - dogs love to lick it clean. Make sure you clean it out before they do! 

  • If you are having guests over, remember to inform them that you have pets and to keep all doors and gates closed at all times. Make sure your pets have current tags on and better yet - a microchip!

Have a safe and wonderful holiday weekend with your  family, friends, and pets! And remember - we're here when you need us. If you have any questions, concerns, or need to schedule an appointment, please call us at 925.866.8387.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Meet Kirk: Guide Dog Puppy in Training

My name is Kirk and I love kisses!
This is Kirk - a beautiful, sweet, lovable Labrador puppy.  Kirk has a special mission in life; he is currently in training for Guide Dogs for the Blind in San Rafael.  When Kirk graduates he will be the sited companion and guide for a visually impaired person for an improved quality of life.  Kirk is the living embodiment of the unending potential and unique bond between dogs and humans.  

Kirk must learn basic obedience and how to behave in every possible situation.  He has to learn to be calm around different sights, smells, sounds, on different walking surfaces, around all kinds of people, and other animals, etc.  As a part of his training he goes to grocery stores, restaurants, on neighborhood walks, and to work at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care with his Guide Dog puppy raiser, Cyndi.  Eventually, Kirk must learn what is called “intelligent disobedience”, which is the ability to disobey an unsafe command. He will also learn how to guide a person from point A to point B, stop for elevation changes, and how to avoid obstacles.  Needless to say, he is a VERY smart boy! You can read more about Guide Dog training here.

Hanging out at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care. Don't be fooled by my puppy-dog eyes - I love coming to work and seeing all the people!
The goal is for Kirk to be noticed as little as possible.  According to Cyndi, it is his job to be quiet and obedient in all situations.  Because Kirk is a puppy, he is still learning to be perfectly behaved. So far, Cyndi has been pleasantly surprised with his calm demeanor. He is truly a model pupil! Inevitably, Cyndi and Kirk will have to part. As painful as that will be, Cyndi will have the knowledge that she helped mentor a special young dog for someone who really needs his love and guidance.  If you are interested in learning more about Guide Dogs for the Blind, check out their website at

Dr. Gilman examines Kirk's ear - he is such a good patient!
Special thanks to Cyndi Davis for providing Kirk's bio and the details of his training!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

A Close Call: Tuffy and the Rattlesnake by Erin Selby

Poor swollen Tuffy!
Last Saturday, Tuffy was rushed to Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care after being bit twice by a rattlesnake in the face! This happened in her own backyard – Tuffy and her family live on a ranch in Livermore. She was treated immediately with pain medication and stayed overnight for care. Her severe swelling had to be constantly monitored and measured to ensure she was improving. 

She's not feeling too well...

Rattlesnake bite symptoms are very serious; besides the extreme swelling and pain, the toxins from the venom disrupt blood clotting and interfere with circulation. This can lead to shock and death. The swelling can also impair a pet’s ability to breath – also leading to death. Necrosis of the wounded tissue can occur, sometimes leading to amputation. It is not surprising that rattlesnake bites are 20 to 25 times more fatal in dogs than in humans. 

Monitoring her progress.
Luckily, Tuffy’s treatment went well, she improved and was able to go home with her family on Sunday. Rattlesnake bites are a reality for pet owners in the East Bay. The rattlesnake vaccine can help your dog when they need it most by lessening the severity of the reaction and buying valuable time to get to the vet for treatment. Rattlesnake vaccines are only $25 though the month of May. You can learn more about the vaccine here. You can also read Dr. Weaver's blog about rattlesnakes, the vaccine, and rattlesnake avoidance tips here.