Recently, our very own Dr. Arielle Corbett broadcast live on WHAS about the importance of a tip to tail complete exam for your pet. Your visit with your pet to the vet is not just about getting shots. It is about checking the teeth, gums, skin, heart, lungs, abdominal organs and making sure your pet is healthy and does not have specific problems that may require medication or a special diet. Look for Dr. Corbets complete interview on our website YouTube channel coming soon. (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCy1XZWemIa0y44iJD93NUIQ).
FROM FEARFUL TO PLAYFUL. REDUCING STRESS AND ANXIETY FOR YOUR PET
Does your pet hate going to the vet? Do they start shaking as soon as you get the car keys?
Have they had such bad experiences in the past that you try to find every excuse not to go for those very necessary vaccinations and health care needs?
This is Rachel. Her owner loves her and says she is just a fantastic dog-an absolute gift and blessing to their family. She will lay still and allow toddlers to pull and crawl on her, is super enthusiastic when her human walks in the door and is the type who will sit by your side when you’re sad.
However, Rachel had a painful experience at the vet when she was young (severely tore a nail, needed surgery and associated the vet with the pain). After that experience she had extreme anxiety whenever her Mom took her to the vet. She’d cry whine and “put on the brakes” when it was time to go back to an exam room.
She was normally a very friendly dog to anyone else but became very aggressive at her vet visits (growling, snapping, and refusing to even enter the building) and would normally need to be muzzled.
So, Rachel’s Mom heard about the GENTLE HANDLING techniques at JEFFERSON ANIMALHOSPITAL FERN CREEK. Our staff has received extensive training in techniques to help pets like Rachel enjoy their visits and not be fearful (yes, FEAR is the main reason for aggressive behavior in pets).
So Rachel’s Mom Found out about the LOW STRESS/FEAR FREE techniques at our Fern Creek Hospital. She called to speak with one of our trained staff and explained Rachel’s fears and made an appointment. HOWEVER, Rachel wouldn’t even come in the door so the staff asked Rachel’s Mom to just sit outside on our bench and she did this for several visits. This is called DESENSITIZATION. For example: If Your pet has car anxiety, you can have them just sit in the car, then start the engine, then take short trips, then longer trips and they will eventually see that there is no need to be fearful.
The other FEAR FREE tip is to constantly give treats to make all these experiences positive. We have patients now who come in our door, jump on the scale and wait for their treat. We have conditioned them to receive a reward to come in the door, get on the scale, get on the exam table, receive their vaccines and allow blood collection for lab tests. POSITIVE REINFORCEMENT is the key to reducing FEAR and STRESS.
Rachel now enjoys her visits to our hospital. For the first time since she was a small puppy, she recently had a vet visit and she never growled, snapped, cried or whined. Rachel allowed our vet to take her paw, rub her belly, take her blood sample and happily took favorite treats of peanut butter and Cheese-its from the Doctor and the staff.
All of this progress is HUGE! Rachel never allowed the doctor or staff to come near her much less take food or blood samples. Rachel’s Mom is thrilled to know that Rachel’s medical needs will now be met without being afraid.
If this story sounds familiar for your pat we can help. It may take a little extra time before, during and after the visit. But we can teach you how to desensitize your pets anxiety.
There are also some oral medications that can be given prior to a vet visit to create less anxiety. We DO NOT want to muzzle or sedate your pet if possible. We want a joyful, happy visit every time you come to Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek for your pets important health care needs.
We were pleased to host Girl Scout Troop 1210 last week to help them work towards their animal helper patch. After a tour of the hospital, the girls met with Dr. Hoelter and learned and the Human-Animal Bond. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals, and the environment. In order to help strengthen this bond, we work with clients to properly identify and correct behavioral as well as health issues. Our goal is to provide the resources that people need to ensure that their pets live long, healthy, and happy lives. Although the exact concept of the Human-Animal Bond is relatively new in Veterinary Medicine, Jefferson Animal Hospital has been Helping People and Pets Stay Healthy Together for over 30 years.
If your group or community organization has a need for animal care education, feel free to contact our office.
Our local troop of American Heritage Girls recently visited our office to complete their Pet Care badge. They toured the hospital, learned about animal care and interviewed Dr. Hoelter. Many of the girls are interested in becoming veterinarians when they grow up so this was a great opportunity for them to see behind the scenes. American Heritage Girls range in age from 5-18. They focus on many areas including leadership, life skills, self confidence, teamwork and spiritual development just to name a few. It was our pleasure to have them join us for the night. If your group or community organization has a need for animal care education, feel free to contact our office.
Please join us in congratulating Gage for his recent induction into the Kentucky Veterinary Medical Association’s Animal Hall of Fame. He was honored this past weekend at the 104th Annual KVMA meeting in Louisville. Veterinarians across the state submitted their patients that exhibited an act of bravery, performed a service to an individual or community, or exemplified the affection, loyalty, and value of the human-animal bond. The committee selected Gage based on his service to his owner Tammy Harrod. He was trained by Canine Companions for Independence before being placed with Tammy. Gage already knew 40-45 basic commands and has added several advanced commands. The first time that we saw him hop up and activate the automatic door opener, we knew that he was a special animal.
Tammy explained, “Gage goes everywhere with me and has changed my life. He helps me every day with important task. He picks up my keys, phone, credit card, purse, anything I drop and retrieves items and brings my walker/rollator to me so that I can transition from the couch to my power chair. He eagerly retrieves a bottle of water out of the refrigerator and opens and closes doors. He pushes buttons for automatic doors, carries items, turns lights on and off, takes my socks and jacket off, helps with laundry by taking clothes out of the dryer and pulling the laundry basket. At the grocery store he assists with money transactions by passing my payment to the cashier and patiently returns my debit card to me!”
Dr. Kennedy and her staff are proud to be Gage’s medical team and are so happy that he won this prestigious award!
Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek has partnered with Pets for Patriots, Inc., a nonprofit that saves lives through companion pet adoption for United States military veterans, to support the well-being of shelter animals and honor our nation’s heroes.
As a Pets for Patriots veterinary partner, we provide an ongoing discount off veterinary fees for any dog or cat honorably adopted through Pets for Patriots.
“The financial costs of pet ownership cause many people to surrender their pets each year, where the majority of adult, disabled or otherwise hard-to-adopt pets face a grim fate,” says Dr. Pat Kennedy. “We’re proud to be part of a program that makes it easier for our veterans to keep their new best friends by producing high-quality, reduced-cost veterinary care.”
“These animals deserve a second chance at a happy, healthy life,” says Beth Zimmerman, founder and executive director of Pets for Patriots. Companion pets provide real physical and emotional benefits to veterans and their families, including those suffering from post-combat stress, depression, isolation or physical disability. We’re delighted to work with Jefferson Animal Hospital Fern Creek to help veterans in their own community - their neighbors - provide quality care for their new best friends.”
We quickly saw the potential of the Pets for Patriots program. “It’s meaningful for our business to be involved in such a valuable cause,” says Dr. Kennedy. “Through our partnership with Pets for Patriots, we hope to enhance the well-being of not just the animals we treat, but the veterans and their families as well.”
Joining Pets for Patriots is entirely free to veterans, though they are responsible for their pet’s adoption fee. To reduce the chance that these pets are surrendered, the charity sends a $150 gift card upon proof of eligible adoption to help with food and other essentials, and Jefferson Animal Hospital provides ongoing fee discounts to encourage responsible pet veterinary care.
Individuals must first apply through Pets for Patriots and provide relevant eligibility documents. Approval typically takes no more than two business days, after which they can visit a local Pets for Patriots adoption partner to find their new best friend.
About Pets for Patriots
Pets for Patriots, Inc., is a nationally operating 501(c)(3) charity that creates life-saving opportunities for veterans to adopt homeless dogs and cats. Pets for Patriots is one of the only organizations in the country dedicated to United States military veterans from WWII up to and including those currently in service, while saving the most overlooked homeless animals. The charity is a proud member of the Army AW2 Wounded Warrior Program national community support network, a national partner of the Real Warriors Campaign and is listed by the National Resource Directory for ill and wounded veterans. Visit www.petsforpatriots.org for more information.