Planning for a Possible Hurricane Dorian

It’s still too soon to predict where the storm named Dorian is heading exactly and how strong or weak it will be but a refresher is always good.

Our first recommendation will always be that you keep your pet(s) with you. However, this cannot always happen.

If you are in an evacuation zone and plan on boarding during a hurricane at Harmony Animal Hospital this is what you need to know.

Hurricane Strength

At Harmony, we will only accept boarders if local meteorologists predict a Category 3 storm or lower. You also must live in an evacuation zone.

You must make other plans for Category 4 or 5 storms because there will be no staff available here to care for your pet. Other Pet Hurricane Shelters may have different requirements.

Keep medical records on hand

Be sure your pet is up to date on all vaccinations and have proof available.  We will not accept unvaccinated animals.  Call us for specific requirements.

Stock plenty of your pet’s supplies

Keep on hand those medications that your pet needs to take on a routine basis including heartworm pills. Please be sure you bring them in their original containers. You will also need to bring your pet’s food and enough bottled water to last your pet for at least three days (one gallon per day per pet).  If the power goes out water may not be available.

Have a roomy crate available

Since most Pet Hurricane Shelters, including us, will be full this weekend just due to the Holiday weekend you must provide a crate for your pet if you do not already have reservations.

Other things worth noting

You must call ahead and cannot just show up.

You must provide us with an emergency contact if the storm becomes a Category 4 or 5

Boarders must be here within eight hours of when the hurricane is due to hit. After that, all of Harmony’s employees will be home caring for their own.

 

We Offer Minimally Invasive Surgery with a Laparoscope

The doors are open to a better standard of care for your pet here at Harmony Animal Hospital. We are pleased to offer laparoscopic surgery because your pet’s health is as important to us as it is to you. For many procedures, laparoscopic surgery can provide a better alternative to traditional surgery.

Laparoscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical technique used in both humans and animals. A 5mm surgical telescope is inserted through a small keyhole-sized incision. This camera allows surgeons to view magnified organs on a monitor. Additional small incisions are made to facilitate the use of surgical instruments, and surgeons can perform a more precise, less painful surgery, avoiding the traditional large incisions and longer recoveries.

What does this mean for your pet?

  • Reduced risk of infection – Keeping incisions small means your pet has a reduced risk of being exposed to infections.
  • Precision – The specialized scopes and video systems that we use make it much easier to see what they are doing – meaning your pet gets a safer, more precise and complete procedure
  • Less Pain – Typically, minimally invasive surgery patients require smaller dosages of anesthesia and post-operative pain control drugs. For example, a study published in JAVMA (Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association) showed up to 65% less pain when using minimally invasive techniques for spays.
  • Faster recovery – Smaller incision sizes and less need for anesthesia drugs mean fewer post-op complications and an overall faster recovery

Set up a time to speak with one of our doctors for more information.

 

SUMMER CAN BE FUN…AND DEADLY

The combination of high temperature, high humidity, and poor ventilation can be fatal to dogs and cats.  These animals do not sweat as people do.  Thus, the cooling benefits of water evaporation from the skin are not available to them..  Panting and radiation of heat from the skin surface are their main means of controlling body temperature.  If the air temperature and humidity are high and air circulation is reduced, these protective mechanisms are inadequate.
Body temperature can then increase dramatically, resulting in collapse and severe shock.  Animals not treated promptly may die or brain damage may result.
Dogs with short “pushed-in” noses, such as Pugs, Bulldogs, Pekingese, and Boxers, are especially susceptible to heat stroke since their restricted breathing doesn’t allow enough air exchange for rapid heat loss.
Pets should never be left alone in a closed car, especially during the hot summer months.  Even if the window is left open a small amount, within minutes the temperature inside the car can reach over 120 degrees.  The pet’s body temperature can easily go up to 106-107 degrees under these conditions and brain damage is often the result.
Jogging with your dog during the hot summer months should also proceed with caution.  Just as you undergo a training program and work gradually up to speed, so should your dog.  Start slowly for a few minutes each day and work up.  Continual exercise in the sun without access to water can easily cause heat exhaustion in your pet.
Overweight or geriatric pets are especially prone to heat exhaustion or exercise intolerance. These pets should be checked over thoroughly by a veterinarian before starting a demanding exercise program such as jogging.
    If you must leave your pet outside during hot, humid weather, be sure to provide adequate ventilation, protection from the sun, and cool fresh water. Limit your pet’s exercise during the hottest parts of the day, and never leave your pet in a closed car. This is an invitation to tragedy.
Symptoms of heat stroke include a dazed or frantic appearance, rapid breathing, weakness, thick, ropy saliva, and bright red mucous membranes.  Quick treatment to lower the body temperature is indicated which includes immersing the entire body in cold water, or even a cold water enema in a life-threatening situation.  Any pet with heat stroke or heat exhaustion should be rushed to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
Going to the beach with your dog can also be a great experience. Bring along fresh water and offer it often. Don’t let your pet drink too much salt water; this can cause vomiting and diarrhea which may lead to dehydration. Limit the amount of time during the hottest parts of the day (11 a.m. to 2 p.m.), or provide periods of time in the shade. Also, be a good neighbor: pick up all “little presents” your dog leaves. Along Jupiter Beach there are usually doggie bag
stations to grab a bag to pick up the waste. And don’t forget that light pigmented dogs can sunburn too!
Summer can be a fun time with your pet as long as some simple precautions are taken.