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In The News


Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been writing the Ask the Vet and  Pet Project column for the Burlington County Times for over 5 years as well as educational columns for community newsletters.   Our vets are available to write for your local newspaper or community paper.

If you have any questions to ask the Vet, please email us at info@housepawsmobilevet.com.  We would be happy to answer and post on our website. You may even get in the paper! Please write in the subject of your email: Ask the Vet. 


Kitten’s curiosity is no holiday

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/life-style/pet-project/kitten-s-curiosity-is-no-holiday/article_c1a1ae51-d99c-5a0b-a95c-5b659618259a.html 

Posted: Thursday, December 25, 2014 6:30 am

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Dr. Lisa,

We adopted a kitten three months ago. She is about 7 months now and this is her first holiday season with us. She is awful. The cat has destroyed our tree four times over.

Help! I never had a kitten before and my older cats don’t mess with the decorations. How do I preserve the holiday decorations and survive a kitten?

Lizzie, Mount Holly

 

Dear Lizzie,

Kittens are curious and full of energy. You just filled your house with a ton of fun and your kitten thinks it is all for her pleasure.

There is no easy answer to this one. I would have you consider keeping the kitten in a comfortable area such as a bedroom during the times you are not at home. In the room make sure the kitten has food, water and a litter box.

Once you are home and settled and you can spend some time with the kitten, let her loose. Be prepared to distract her with play to help expend her energy. You can play fetch, chase the laser, feather on a string, or any game she likes to play. After a good 15 to 20 minutes of playing allow her to roam around the house. Keep a close eye on the kitten and if she goes near the tree, distract her or remove her from that area.

Persistence and patience are the key. You will need to repeatedly remind her the tree and decorations are off limits just as you would a young child.

There also is a motion-activated blow can that will spray a blast of air at the kitten if she walks across the sensor. A few blow cans strategically placed will ensure that her little paws cause no damage when you aren’t looking.

Good luck … if you make it through this holiday, she will be better for the next.

 

Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets. Send questions to Pet Project, Burlington County Times, 4284 Route 130, Willingboro, NJ 08046; email drmamma@comcast.net, subject line Pet Project; www.facebook.com/HousePawsMobileVet

For more information about HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, go to www.housepawsmobilevet.com/

 

A pet for Christmas? Listen to Santa

http://www.burlingtoncountytimes.com/life-style/pet-project/a-pet-for-christmas-listen-to-santa/article_fdc3dbe4-8f42-5439-abcd-c5872a1263ee.html?_dc=604159447597.3397

Posted: Saturday, November 29, 2014 12:00 am | Updated: 11:31 am, Mon Dec 1, 2014.

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Readers,

I found the real Santa.

He is at the Moorestown Mall.

I recently took my two girls, Joli, 10, and Emmi, 7, to the mall to buy holiday dresses. Santa had just arrived to visit the children. There was no line, so of course the children were very excited to talk to him about his toy building, which cookies they should make, and what they should leave for the reindeer this year.

Santa asked Emmi what she wanted for Christmas. Mind you, we have three dogs and four cats that we have taken in over the years. Emmi only wanted a puppy for Christmas.

Santa patiently clarified whether she wanted a real dog or a teddy bear dog. Emmi said she indeed wanted a real, live puppy. Santa took a moment, then kindly explained the following to Emmi.

“Now you know Santa doesn’t give live animals as gifts. There is a lot of responsibility to having a pet.” As he spoke I checked him out. He nodded his head just as he should. He sat comfortably in his chair.

He put his finger beside his nose when he talked and his nose and cheeks had a slight hew of rouge. He had a jolly laugh.

Santa continued, “I think the best thing you can do is talk to your parents. Take your parents to the ASPCA, the AWA, or to a local animal rescue. Your family could adopt a pet for the holidays. But only if you are ready for a pet.”

Emmi and Joli nodded with approval. They told Santa their mommy is a vet and that they have lots of pets. Emmi agreed with Santa and has been trying to show me she is responsible.

As a family, we aren’t ready to “adopt” another pet. If we adopt one more … we won’t have room for the foster pets that we continuously take in to make healthy.

We did, though, go the the shelter the next day and donate food for the animals.

Emmi and Joli have been telling everyone about Santa. They are also excited to bring their dogs, Licky, Poodle and Bella to the mall on Monday to take a photo with the real Santa.

I hope everyone can find it in their holiday hearts and schedules to adopt a pet, or donate to a rescue. And if you happen into the Moorestown Mall, please tell Santa what you want for Christmas and give him a big hug for being an animal lover too.

Have a great start to your holiday season.

Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets. Send questions to Pet Project, Burlington County Times, 4284 Route 130, Willingboro, NJ 08046; email drmamma@comcast.net, subject line Pet Project; www.facebook.com/HousePawsMobileVet

For more information about HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, go to www.housepawsmobilevet.com/

 

Thanksgiving, table food and sick dogs

Posted: Thursday, November 20, 2014 6:30 am | Updated: 2:21 pm, Mon Nov 24, 2014.

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Dr. Lisa,

Thanksgiving is almost here. Every year there is a big fight at our table regarding my giving my pug, Charlie, some table food.

My family that visits is adamantly opposed to animals getting food from the table. Charlie is like a child to me. I don’t give him dog food; he eats a homemade food that I make fresh for him weekly.

My veterinarian helped me make sure it has all the right nutrients and vitamins.

I get really upset when they come to my house and get mad about me giving my dog food. What are your thoughts about feeding dogs human food?

Melanie, Riverton

 

Dear Melanie,

Thanksgiving is a notorious time for pets to come in with digestive issues. The Friday through Monday after Thanksgiving the sick cases we see are generally dogs with bad bellyaches or that have vomited or have had diarrhea.

If your family doesn’t like what you are feeding your dog, I wouldn’t let that bother you. If you are at your home, I don’t think anyone can dictate to you what you are doing … your house, your rules. However, are they upset about what you are feeding your pet or are they upset about a little begging pug at the table?

Thanksgiving is a nice holiday for the family to sit around and talk for an extended meal. If they are upset about your pet begging you may want to consider feeding Charlie his meal before the family eats and then letting him have a rest in another room so he doesn’t disturb your guests.

My dogs generally are out with the family for mealtime on a day-to-day basis. On holidays, when we have guests I do give them a nice treat upstairs so that they don’t add to the chaos of the holiday.

I know a lot of veterinarians suggest only feeding dogs a prepared commercial dog food. I personally also feed my pets “human food” to supplement their good quality pet food kibble. I commend you for taking the time and effort to make them a home-cooked and balanced meal.

I think the main reason vets suggest not feeding pets human food is because we often are presented with pets with digestive issues such as diarrhea, vomiting and bloody stool because pets have been given something they are not adjusted to in their diet. If a pet is used to variety in their diet I think their digestive tracts are well-adjusted to change. If they only eat one flavor of kibble and once a year at a holiday party they gorge on table food, then they can certainly expect a visit with the vet.

While this isn’t the case in your situation, pet owners need to make sure their guests are not feeding their pets the wrong thing. Last year at Thanksgiving, my grandma tried to feed my poodle a plate of bones. Luckily, I caught her in the act. Common serious Thanksgiving offending foods for pets are: bones, cobs (leftover from corn on the cob), too much skin or fat left over from the bird, gravy and dessert.

A good rule of thumb I tell clients is: If you eat it and it causes diarrhea, bloating or bellyaches, then don’t give it to your pet.

I hope this Thanksgiving your family can find nothing to fight about. Have a peaceful holiday with those you love. Happy Thanksgiving!

Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets. Send questions to Pet Project, Burlington County Times, 4284 Route 130, Willingboro, NJ 08046; email drmamma@comcast.net, subject line Pet Project; www.facebook.com/HousePawsMobileVet.For more information about HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, go to www.housepawsmobilevet.com/

 

 Avoiding accidental poisioning of pets

Posted: Friday, November 14, 2014 6:30 am | Updated: 2:47 pm, Mon Nov 17, 2014.

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Readers,

This past week I saw two pets with rodenticide poisoning. Both situations could have been totally avoided. This week I am begging everyone to remove the rodent poison from your homes and yards and consider more humane methods to remove the rodents that may be attempting to get warm for the winter in your homes.

Case 1: The owners decided not to leave mouse poison in the house. They picked it up and threw it in the trash. The dog got into the trash in the kitchen and ate a lethal dose of the poison. The owners acted quickly. We induced vomiting and the pet is on a protective dose of vitamin K.

Case 2: A dog was playing fetch with the next-door neighbor’s son. The dog found a block of poison along the side of the house and ate the poison. The dog’s owners were unaware the pet ate poison until the pet ended up with bleeding into his lungs a few days later. Once they retraced steps the neighbor admitted to having poison around his house to deter mice. The pet was treated successfully at a local specialty hospital.

Both children and pets are commonly victims of accidental rodenticide poisoning. Nationally, there are approximately 90,000 calls to human poison control centers concerning pesticide exposure. Over 15,000 of these calls are for children under 6 years old who have eaten the brightly colored blocks or pellets. The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center reports that rodenticide poisoning is one of the top 10 most common calls.

Rodents certainly do not belong in our homes. They can directly transmit to humans a number of diseases including hantavirus, leptospirosis, tularemia and salmonella, just to name a few.

Instead of poison, consider these methods, recommended by the Animal Welfare Association, to keep mice from coming into your house:

  • Take away their food. Keep garbage tightly concealed outside of the house.
  • Destroy their homes. Remove any piles of trash, wood and rubbish. Don’t store wood piles against the house or directly on the ground.
  • Close entryways to your home. Mice can get through holes that aren’t any larger than the tip of your finger. Seal, caulk, cement any areas you see that are open.
  • Use humane traps along the walls or corners to trap mice and relocate them to the woods or fields away from your home.
  • If your pet accidentally ingests rodent or any other poison or medication, keep the number to the ASPCA animal poison control line handy: 888-426-4435. There is a $65 consult fee, however, you will be speaking directly with veterinarians who can calculate the toxic dose and tell your veterinarian exactly what to do to keep your pet safe.

Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets. Send questions to Pet Project, Burlington County Times, 4284 Route 130, Willingboro, NJ 08046; email drmamma@comcast.net, subject line Pet Project; www.facebook.com/HousePawsMobileVet

 

Working out dog problem civilly

Posted: Thursday, November 6, 2014 6:30 am

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Dr. Lisa,

I am hoping you can give me some good advice for a problem we are having with our neighbors.

My neighbor has a mixed-breed dog who has twice now come into my yard and attacked my dog, Simon, a 4-year-old Bichon mix.

I don’t have a fence but I always keep Simon on a leash. The attacks have been mild; however, it startles me and Simon and the last time Simon limped for a few days after my neighbor’s dog bit him.

My neighbors are really nice and always seem upset and sorry about the incidents.

I really don’t want to create a problem but I want my dog to be safe on his property.

Please let me know if you have dealt with this sort of situation before and what I should do.

Diane, Maple Shade

 

Dear Diane,

I am sorry to hear about your situation. However, you are right to want to do something to stop this sort of behavior in the future.

The dog next door could injure Simon or another pet so it is very important that we solve this before anyone gets seriously hurt.

Also, if your neighbor’s dog does seriously hurt a person or pet, then he will be at risk as well.

I think the best thing to do is attempt to handle the situation in a civil manner. I would invite your neighbors to discuss the matter over some desserts or dinner. I would say

“I really like having you as neighbors and I am hoping we could troubleshoot this problem together.”

Some solutions: They can get a fence installed for their pet, they can keep their pet on a leash at all times, they could text you when they are about to head outside, etc.

I think if you give them the floor to find a solution they will come up with a good one that works for you both.

If the situation continues or happens again

I would nicely let your neighbors know that you were advised to call animal control and made a report. It is important that these instances go on public record.

The animal control officer will come over and talk with them about the importance of keeping both their pet and your pet safe. If it continues to happen, your neighbor would end up in court.

I imagine this will be solved easily together. Please let me know how the talk goes between you and your neighbor. If you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask.

 

 Preventing contagious disease

Posted: Friday, October 31, 2014 6:30 am

By Dr. Lisa Aumiller Correspondent

Dear Readers,

In my travels as a mobile veterinarian I get to experience disease a little differently than a veterinarian in an animal hospital.

Since I travel to multiple towns, I see the spread of disease as it happens. With Ebola being the hot topic right now I thought it would be timely to discuss contagious disease and what we can do to prevent it.

In the past few months we had two outbreaks in our area. Neither was life-threatening to pets and neither affected people. One was a kennel cough virus which causes coughing for about seven to 14 days.

The second was a virus that causes vomiting and bloody diarrhea. Both diseases started in one place and within one to three weeks’ time we saw it travel to towns throughout South Jersey.

I saw a few pets that were a little dehydrated. I admitted one pet that ended up with pneumonia. The majority of the pets got better with rest, good food and the right medicine. However, many pets were affected and many owners made visits to the vets and incurred a cost to help their pets get the proper care and get better.

I called one of my patients the day after our visit to see how the pet was doing. This particular patient was a dachshund and caught kennel cough at a local kennel.

I recommended to the pet’s owner not to let the dog walk outside of their yard, to keep him away from the edge of the fence so that the neighboring dogs would have less of a chance of getting the illness (spread by aerosolized droplets when coughing occurred), and not go back to day care or regular activity until the pet had stopped coughing for one week.

When I called the owner to recheck on the pet, she said the pet was improving. They took their morning jog and he only coughed twice, and she dropped him off at day care because he was getting “antsy.” I asked if she informed the kennel the pet was sick and she said she didn’t feel it was necessary since he was improving and only coughed a few times a day at this point.

I reminded her how important it is to keep the pet quarantined until the virus has cleared so that other pets were not affected.

I use this story as an example of how easy it is to neglect a doctor’s orders for our own convenience and without regard for our neighbors and our community members.

While I do believe doctors are educated guides for people and pets; I do think when an outbreak is occurring, doctors’ advice should be followed. Please, if a veterinarian informs you the pet has a contagious disease, make sure to follow the instructions and check with the vet’s office to make sure it is safe for the pet to go back to its normal activity.

Changing our lives is very inconvenient; however, if we make selfish decisions and don’t consider keeping our community safe in the face of an outbreak then we put a lot of people’s pets and their wallets at risk.

Dr. Lisa Aumiller has been practicing veterinary medicine for 12 years. Her practice, HousePaws Mobile Veterinary Service, includes dogs and cats with special interests including pocket pets. Send questions to Pet Project, Burlington County Times, 4284 Route 130, Willingboro, NJ 08046; email drmamma@comcast.net, subject line Pet Project; www.facebook.com/HousePawsMobileVet


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