Archive for November, 2011

Rabies in Wildlife Continues to Pose Risks to Pets and People …

November 17, 2011
Rabies virus

Image by Sanofi Pasteur via Flickr

The Ohio Department of Health (ODH) wants to remind Ohioans that rabies in wildlife continues to pose a risk to pets and people.  Rabies is almost always 100 percent fatal once a person or animal begins to show symptoms.   Protecting pets by keeping them current on their rabies vaccine is an important buffer between wildlife rabies and human exposure.  Indoor animals should also be vaccinated as rabid bats are frequently discovered by pets in the home.

In addition to vaccinating your pets for rabies, there are several things Ohioans can do to protect
themselves and their pets.

• Avoid wildlife and animals you do not know.
• Teach your children that they should tell you if they were bitten or scratched by an animal.
• Call your doctor and the local health department, if bitten.
• Contact your veterinarian if your pet was exposed to a bat, raccoon, skunk, or other wild carnivore.  

It is important to remember that cats, as well as dogs, should be vaccinated for rabies. According to the latest published data by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cats continue to be the number one domestic animal confirmed with rabies: 300 cats confirmed in 2009 compared to 81 dogs.

Learn more on the Rabies page of the ODH website: or contact us at (614)888-4050 with any questions you might have.


Tips and tricks for photographing your favorite furry friend …

November 16, 2011

For those of you who made it out to our Winter Wooferland photography sessions, you had an opportunity to be photographed by a professional but if you are attempting to take your own photos this holiday season (and you want to include the furriest member of your family), here are some helpful hints:

Get Acquainted:  Your pet can be anxious around new equipment, new people so let your pet explore the camera…take a few test shots and let your pet even smell the camera.

Brighten Up:  An indoor flash can be particularly offensive to your pet so for a more flattering photo, pick a well-lit indoor room and have your pet sit near a window or consider using natural light and take the photo outdoors.

Bring a Bribe (bait):  Use snacks to get your pet in a good mood.  Most pets (and people, for that matter) are motivated by food…so why not use treats as encouragement.

Move to their level:  The most personal interaction and best photographs will come from getting down on the ground to take the shot.

Act Silly:  For some of us, acting silly around our pets comes naturally!  Your pet will perk up and you’ll get a great photograph if you are willing to initiate play, roll around on the ground and even get your children involved.  Use toys, a funny voice and make noises to encourage your playful pet.

Capture the moment:  Sometimes the best photographs are the ones that come naturally through everyday activities such as taking a walk, throwing a ball, etc.  Consider a candid shot!

Don’t give up:  Thank goodness for the era of digital photography where it may take 375 clicks to get just one great picture.  Since there is no harm in hitting the ‘delete’ button, take as many photographs as you’d like and try as many of the above mentioned techniques as you can…your pet won’t get tired, they LOVE the attention!

Tired of pet hair dust bunnies and a couch covered in pet hair?

November 6, 2011
A Dyson DC07 upright cyclonic vacuum cleaner u...
Image via Wikipedia

My poor Dyson vacuum cleaner is exhausted!  You do your best to keep up with it, but it’s a never-ending problem that can really be frustrating. Unfortunately, shedding is a normal part of life – for your pet and for you. All pets shed at least a little. It’s not something you can “cure” or stop.  All you can do is find the best ways to manage it.

There are some great products on the market that make it easier to clean up the mess, but we think that the most important step you can take is to control the problem at it source.  In other words, try to control the shedding before it happens.

Brushing is a great way to cut down on shedding.  Much of the hair that is removed from your pet’s coat will remain on the brush for you to discard – instead of winding up on your floors and furniture.  You should try to brush your pet regularly.  Not only will it help to cut down on shedding in your home, it will help keep your pet’s coat healthy and shiny. (Plus many pets love the attention from their owners…it’s like a personal day at the spa for them!)

Veterinarians and groomers have a lot of professional tools that are even more effective than regular brushing.  These tools do an amazing job of grooming your pet because they are designed to reach through your pet’s coat to his undercoat, which is the true source of shedding. These tools are wonderful, but they have rarely been available for home use.

Fortunately for pet owners, that is changing.  We both sell and use the FURminator at the Animal Hospital of Polaris. As the leader in de-shedding, FURminator provides effective solutions to reduce shedding and improve your pet’s skin and coat health. Stop in today to try one out, talk with our staff and determine if this solution may be the right answer to keeping your pet (and your house) free from unwanted, excess hair!

Your pet is limping… what should you do?

November 3, 2011
Injured dog
Image by shanan via Flickr

Whether you notice your pet walking with a limp following a particularly long walk, after a rough and tumble playdate or you aren’t sure just how it happened… make sure you seek evaluation and treatment from your veterinarian right away!

 What causes a pet to become lame?

This is a very common problem and can be caused by a variety of issues. They can include but are not limited to:

• Torn nail
• Sprain
• Soft tissue injury
• Fracture or broken bone
• Torn ligament
• Bone tumor or cancer

These are just a few of the things that can cause lameness in your pet.  Unfortunately, to the untrained eye and without the proper diagnostic tests… there is no way to determine exactly what is causing your pet to limp.  That is why the Animal Hospital of Polaris is fully equipped with trained veterinarians, the latest in diagnostic equipment and extended hours to treat your pet.

If you find your furry friend limping or experiencing discomfort with ambulation, call the Animal Hospital of Polaris right away at  614-888-4050… better to be safe!

Get to know Animal Hospital of Polaris’ Ami Jones!

November 1, 2011

We’re proud to have amazing staff members at AHOP!  This month we’re putting the spotlight on Ami Jones.  Ami is a Customer Service Representative, and a soon-to-be Behavior Trainer which will allow her to teach classes and provide consultations!  Ami has had some awesome experiences with all sorts of animals, and was kind enough to share a few stories with us.

Ami, what do you like most about your job?
The staff and clients are extremely friendly.  Every day, every situation is different and it keeps things interesting.  My true love is helping owners with behavioral issues and helping them with their dog’s manners.  This ultimately helps increase their bond and seals a healthy relationship throughout their lives.

What is the hardest part?
When bad things happen to good people and/or their pets.

Can you share a funny story from your time with AHOP?
Several!  I got my head accidently shaved when I was holding a particularly squirmy dog for the groomer.  Also, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been “eliminated” on. 🙂

Do you have pets? 
Yes!  I have two kitties.  Mamma is a 14 year old, beautiful long-haired cat who loves to mother me.  She still tests my bath water with her paw before I’m “allowed” to get in.  Amiri is my male cat.  He’s 10 years old, and is definitely the spoiled prince of the house.  I’ve had so many pets over the years; it would take forever to list them!

Favorite pet?
All of them!

Tell us something interesting about yourself?
I have a Masters in Evolution, Ecology and Behavior with an emphasis on primatology and animal behavior.  I studied bonding patterns for my thesis, and I’m currently getting my certification as a Karen Pryor Certified Dog Trainer.

No animal adventure is too much for me!  I’ve personally released three rehabilitated black-handed spider monkeys back into the jungles of Costa Rica and cage dove with great white sharks off the coast of South Africa!

Next time your at AHOP, be sure to say “hi” to Ami!