Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Kitty Korner: Where to Put the Water Bowl

Does your cat like to drink water out of the sink, bath tubs, or even the toilet bowl? Or maybe your cat isn't drinking as much water as you would like them to. Surprisingly this behavior may have a lot to do with where you place their water bowl!  

Dr. Baine suggests that his clients try placing their cat's water bowl further away from the food source. He says: 

 "In the wild, when cats hunt, their kill can be long distances from water. Therefore, they will go search out water. So by placing a water bowl away from where they eat and also away from litter boxes, they may be more likely to visit that bowl more frequently. It is helpful when you want a cat to drink more water. Drinking from shower stalls, bath tubs, and sinks is not because they are there, it is because it usually is farther away from their food source!"

Cats may be domesticated but they still have that hunter instinct! Try this tip and see if it makes a difference! 

Do have any questions? Would you like to offer a suggestion? Email us at info@webvets.com, subject line: Kitty Corner! 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Ask the Vet: Winter Hazards by Kristel Weaver DVM, MPVM

We are lucky to live in a climate with mild winters. We are also lucky to live close to so many different terrains – deserts, beaches, and the mountains! Because many families travel with their pets to snowy places like Tahoe, I have included some extreme weather tips in this article.  Hopefully with a little planning and precaution, your pet stays warm, happy and healthy this winter.      

Outdoor hazards:
Cats in engines – When it’s cold outside, a warm car engine is a cozy place for outdoor cats to nap.  Consider honking your horn or banging on the hood before turning on the engine, to prevent injury to an outdoor cat.

Ingestion of antifreeze – Antifreeze has a sweet flavor but is extremely toxic, causing rapid kidney failure and death.  Make sure to clean up all drips in your garage and driveway and keep bottles closed and out of reach. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze get them to the vet IMMEDIATELY.

Snow between the toes – If you take your dogs hiking in the snow keep the hair on their feet short, look into booties to protect their feet, or slather them up with Crisco to keep the snow and ice from sticking to their hair.

Hypothermia and frostbite – Prolonged exposure to the extreme cold can be life threatening.  If your dog has a thin coat, consider getting a jacket or sweater for those cold days.  Take precaution with young and old dogs in cold weather.

Indoors hazards:
Christmas trees, ornaments and tinsel - Make sure your Christmas tree is well anchored so it cannot be pulled over by a climbing cat or rambunctious dog.  Keep the power cords protected from cord chewing pets.  Hang ornaments that resemble toys out of reach.  Avoid loose tinsel or ribbon that could be eaten.

Holly, Mistletoe and Poinsettia – These three common holiday plants can be toxic to pets.  Dogs or cats have to eat a significant amount of these not very tasty plants to get sick.  To be on the safe side, keep them out of reach from your plant-eating pets.

Chocolate and raisins - Chocolate is toxic to dogs, however the size of the dog and strength of the chocolate determine whether or not it will cause a problem.  For example dark chocolate is more likely to be toxic then milk chocolate.  Either way, if you think your dog has eaten chocolate call your veterinarian for advice. Raisins can be toxic to dogs and cause acute kidney failure.  Keep it all out of reach.

I hope you and your family have a cozy, safe winter! 

Dr. Kristel Weaver is a graduate of the Veterinary School at the University of California, Davis where she received both a DVM and a Master’s of Preventative Veterinary Medicine (MPVM).  She has been at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care in San Ramon since 2007.  She currently lives in Oakland with her husband and their daughter, Hayley. If you have questions you would like Dr. Weaver to answer for future articles, please email info@webvets.com

The Gena Austin Memorial Fund by Shann Ikezawa, DVM


Gena Austin was a tireless, dedicated advocate for pets. As president of
PROS Pug Rescue
, she saved many lives and touched many souls - both human and canine. We had a very special relationship with Gena here at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care. She believed in trying to provide the best medicine and care no matter what the situation or constraints. We deeply admired and respected her commitment to animal welfare. While she was never part of our staff, she was definitely part of our family.

Before her death in July of 2011, Gena expressed her wish to establish a fund to help the clients and patients of Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care. In a critical situation, she never wanted to see a human-animal bond severed and a pet euthanized when it could be saved if someone was able to just lend a helping hand. The Gena Austin Memorial Fund was created in order to honor her memory and to continue her legacy of animal rescue.  


The Gena Austin Memorial Fund is a non-profit, donation-based fund, that was established in December of 2012 to provide assistance to the charitable care of a patient in need at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care. The fund is intended to support a one-time surgical or medical intervention for a pet with an excellent prognosis, which, without such support would otherwise be euthanized, relinquished, and/or endure excessive suffering.

If you would like to make a donation to the fund, please click hereAn official webpage will be up soon. In the meantime, please visit the Facebook page, www.facebook.com/GenasFund, to share your thoughts on Gena or rescued pets in your life.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Holiday Gift Guide: Staff Recommendations for the Pet Care Depot

Lucy holds her Rosy's Crinkle Catnip Toy

Our staff share their favorite pet toys from the Pet Care Depot to help you out with your holiday shopping!

Erin, Social Media Director, recommends Rosy's Crinkle Catnip Toy for the cat on your life. 

"My cat Lucy absolutely LOVES her crinkle catnip toy! She goes crazy - holding it in her paws, licking it, rubbing it against her head, and bunny kicking it with her hind legs! Not only does she love it but it is super entertaining for her humans to watch her play with it!"

Rosy's actually has an entire line of cat products that are all readily available at the Pet Care Depot: Rosy's 100% Organic Kitty Grass, 100% Organic Catnip Plant, and indicdual 100% Organic Catnip packets! We're pretty sure your kitty friend will go wild for Rosy's!

The Pet Care Depot also has some fun kitty stocking stuffers. There are a variety of fun and simple cat toys for the awesome price of $0.99! You can't go wrong!

Margaret, Hospital Administrator, recommends any of the Premier Classic Sheepskin Collection toys.  

Kelp with one of her "babies"
"Kelp loves these - we call them her babies - and they are super soft as well as durable. They come in a ton of different shapes and sizes. Plus, you can toss them in the wash when they are dirty!"

Diane from the Pet Care Depot also recommends these classic toys. And if you are looking for something super tough and long lasting for your canine chewer she suggests any of the Tuffy and Mighty toys.

"These are fun, cute, and durable. They are great for dogs that love to chew."

And don't forget the large variety of comfy pet beds, stylish collars and leashes, and tasty pet treats available at the Pet Care Depot! It really is a great place to find the perfect gift for your favorite pet! What is your pet's favorite toy? We would love to hear from you!

Happy holidays from the doctors and staff at Bishop Ranch Veterinary Center & Urgent Care!