CAT | Pet Care

“Don’t Goooooo!”

Wednesday, July 23rd, 2014

“Don’t Goooooo!” Coping with separation anxiety


             Separation anxiety in dogs can be a serious issue. Like a “this isn’t going to work anymore” issue, and unfortunetly, behavior issues are the number one reason dogs end up in shelters. Do you find yourself thinking “What is wrong with my dog- where are his manners??!” Well the behavior you’re seeing just might be signs of separation anxiety.

            Separation anxiety is exactly what it sounds like- anxiety triggered by being separated from their owner, or guardian. Your dog might pace, bark, or start being destructive by chewing or digging, and if you’re really lucky- can include urinating and defecating in the house. And really, who wants to come home to that?

            There’s really no clear reason as to WHY a dog develops separation anxiety. Some dogs may already have an anxious or high-strung personality, or it can be initiated by an unpleasant experience with change within their pack, or household. Being adopted and going into a new environment can certainly be stressful. Leaving a previous owner or being re-homed due to an owner’s death can be pretty traumatic. Even moving your residence may simply be enough to make your dog insecure and fearful about being left alone.

            So, where do you go from here? Well there’s plenty of ways to tackle your dog’s problems. You can start by simply crate training your dog. Dogs are “den” animals after all, and can find great comfort in simply having a quiet space of their own to retreat to. However, for some dogs being confined in a crate only amplifies their stress and they can even cause self injury by trying to escape. They may be less stressed being confined to a single room or area of the house with a baby gate.

            Make sure your dog truly suffers from separation anxiety, rather than boredom. For the most part, dogs have a ton of energy. Remember, while we’re sitting at work, or are busy running errands, they are just sitting at home, left to their own devices. Exercise is key! Make sure your dog gets at least 30 mins to an hour of exercise a day. Whether that’s a walk around the block or playing frisbee in the back yard- get rid of that pent up energy! Mental stimulation is great as well. Maybe leave a puzzle treat or stuffed Kong toy that they ONLY get while they’re home alone. This can distract them from the “leaving” process. Put it away as soon as you return. This will make them associate a special treat with being left alone.

            Mild cases can be counter conditioned- meaning exposing your pet to the anxiety triggers (such as you getting ready, grabbing your keys, etc) over time, and can help to change their reaction from a fearful one to a more pleasant response. You might try going through your routine to get ready to leave- go outside, and then come right back in. The next time, leave and make a trip around the block, and then return. The goal is to make each trip just a little longer than the last. Unpredictable for your dog- but you always return. Also, make a note to always be CALM. Short, calm goodbyes. If you’re nervous, sad or anxious about leaving your pet, you will just feed the cycle of your pet getting all worked up. You want to make the impression that it’s noting out of the ordinary- pat him on the head, “Bye bud, I’ll be back” and out the door.

            If this isn’t quite working for you, we recommend meeting with Dr. Yancey or Dr. Schieber to discuss your options. A professional trainer or dog behaviorist may be your next step. There are medications available that may also help. Keep in mind that there is no “miracle drug” – these medications are always used with behavior modification. Meaning, you will have to put in the work to desensitize your dog in conjunction with medication, in order for them to retain their behavior once they are weaned off the drug.

            A dog is a life long commitment. For the most part, the work you put in will be the result you get. If you’ve tried your options, and still find yourself struggling, please contact us. Having a dog is one of life’s many joys, and shouldn’t be stressful. We’re here to help and strengthen the family and pet bond! You can reach us at 740-386-6633, and Dr. Yancey or Dr. Schieber will be happy to meet your special pet and review your options.


The Dog Days of Summer

Wednesday, July 17th, 2013

The Dog Days of Summer 

Its official…summer is here, and just as we are – your furry family members are already feeling the heat. As summer activities come into full swing, dog owners are anxious to get their pet – and themselves – out of the house and into the sun.


 One thing to remember is that dogs also suffer from heat stroke. Like humans, dogs can easily become overheated and can develop a serious case of heat stroke. Dogs have limited options when it comes to cooling themselves down; they are not able to expel heat by sweating like humans do. Their main method of cooling down is by panting. On a very hot day, excessive panting to lower body temperature can be insufficient.

Here are some important tips to remember to keep your furry pal safe from the summer heat!

Keep your pet hydrated.

water dispenser

Whether playing in the yard, fun at the park or going for a walk, make sure your pet always has acess to fresh water. At home, when outside, keep the water bowl in the shade if possible so the water stays cool. Also consider using a plastic bowl to ensure your pet can’t burn his/her tongue on a metal dish that’s been sitting in the hot sun. There is a new product available that attaches right to your outdoor water supply; an automatic water dispenser that offers your pet fresh cool water whenever he/she activates it simply by walking up to it. If you’re out and about, be sure to carry some extra water bottles with you and something your pet can easily drink from. Collapsible water bowls and travel size water dispensers are available at your local pet supply store.

Walk your dog during cooler hours.







During the hot summer months, consider walking your dog either early in the morning or late afternoon when the sun is less harmful. Remember your pet doesn’t have shoes on his/her feet; if possible allow your dog to walk on grass or dirt to avoid burning their paws on the hot pavement. Be sure to take a few breaks in the shade and grass for some cool down time if walking on hot surfaces.

Avoid crowded summer events.

parade dog

While it may seem like a good idea to take your furry pal along to the festival, parade or local picnic…your pet is almost always better off left at home. The heat, excessive noise, crowds, excitement and activity can be too much for your pet; causing stress and anxiety. If you do take your pet with you, be sure to watch for any signs that your furry friend is stressed or uncomfortable, if this becomes an issue remove him/her as soon as possible for their own safety.

Do your homework before shaving your dogs coat.


Summertime is generally when most pet owners have their pets coats shaved down. If your dog is a swimmer, gets easily matted, sheds a lot or spends a lot of time outside, then you may want to consider a summer shave down. This will help to keep your pet cooler and cleaner during the hot summer season. If your pet has a thin hair coat or if it’s very light in color, the hair will actually protect the skin from the sun. In these cases it’s best not to shave them down. Always check with your groomer to see what the best option for your pet is.

Dogs need protection from the sun too.


Overexposure to the sun can give your dog a nasty case of sunburn, peeling skin and painful inflammation. Even though dogs have fur that does offer some protection from the suns harmful rays, we often forget about the tips of the ear, bridge of the nose, and areas around the lips and eyes. These areas are easily burned due to the lack of pigmentation. If your pet will be in the sun for long periods of time be sure to monitor the condition of his/her skin. There are specially formulated sunscreens available for dogs, you can check with your veterinaian to discuss the best option for your pet.

Keep your pet cool.


During the summer months do what you can to keep your furry friend cool. An excellent way is by allowing access to a shallow childrens pool filled with cool clean water or a sprinkler system your pet can walk or run through. Remember to monitor your pet during any play time involving water for the safety of your furry friend.

Outdoor housing in the summer months.


If your pet stays outdoors during the summer months there are a few precautions you should take to ensure he/she can keep cool. Make sure the kennel or housing is shaded from direct sun exposure and that it has plenty of ventilation. In most cases simply using a tree for shading over your pets housing will work. Make sure your pet has an area to rest comfortably off of the ground or hot surfaces. Always keep fresh cool water available to any outside pets to avoid dehydration.

Not all dogs are born to swim…or want too.

life jacket

Technically all dogs CAN swim, however, some breeds such as bulldogs, basset hounds, pugs and so on have more difficulty than most. If you plan to teach your pooch to swim be patient and don’t push it, if your pet just doesn’t seem interested in swimming it’s probably bes to forego the lesson. Be sure to fit your dog with a pet lifejacket anytime he/she is swimming or boating. These special pet devices are equipped with a handle on the pets back to lift the pet out of the water with ease.

Exercise good water safety.

swim play

There are several safety precautions you should take when your dog is around water. Most importantly, make sure your dog can swim and that he/she is wearing a doggy lifejacket. Be aware of your surrondings and what dangers your pet might encounter while there. Never let your pet drink the water in which it is swimming and always hose your pet off after the fun ends, especially if swimming in a lake or pond. If you take your furry pal boating, remember dogs can get motion sick too so be prepared. Make sure your pet has the proper id tags and is microchipped in case he/she falls overboard, runs off or gets lost.

NEVER leave your dog in a hot car!!!


You should NEVER leave your pet in a hot car no matter how quick you plan to be. A car can heat up extremely fast even when it’s not so hot outside and with the windows cracked. On a hot summer day, the temperature in a vehicle can climb rapidly with the ability to reach 150 degrees in a short amount of time.

If you must leave your pet in a vehicle remember to follow these tips to keep him./her safe:

*make sure windows are open for adequate air supply, in order for the air to move around the windows would ideally be open several inches rather than only cracked.

*park in a shaded area or out of direct sunlight.

*keep fresh cool water available

*check on your furry family member every 10-15 minutes – no longer.

Sometimes the old saying might be best….” Better safe than sorry”


We are all happy to see the summer season arrive. Time to get outside after a long winter, enjoy the warm weather, sunshine, cookouts and lots of fun; our pets feel the same way. By following these helpful tips you can be sure that you and your furry friends will have a safe and enjoyable summer.

Storm Phobic Dogs

Wednesday, June 12th, 2013


      Summer Storms & Your Dog

    Summer time is here. It’s time for cookouts, picnics, camping and family fun… However, along with that come fireworks, thunderstorms and other fearful noises. While these times are fun for us, Bidwell the beagle says, “No Thanks!” 

          During the summer months, we as humans are used to the pop up thunderstorms, but that doesn’t mean our pets are. To some dogs, extremely loud BOOMS and BANGS can be extremely stressful and cause behavior changes. Whether it is a thunderstorm, lightning strikes or fireworks, these unexpected noises often times cause Bidwell to become uncomfortable. Here are some common signs and helpful tips to keep your companion and yourself calm during these times.


Some dogs may tremble and hide under couches, beds and even in the bath tub or in their crate. To them, this feels safe and is naturally their comfort/safe zone. He will stay there until the storm or loud noise is no longer a threat. To get him to come out, try to speak to him in a calm and soft voice, this will help make him feel more comfortable and relaxed. If you get him to come out, give him his favorite treat. Always reward for good behavior. 


Keep working with them during storms. It may help them to get a storm CD to play, so they get use to the sounds. Make sure that every time he reacts positively; reward that good behavior with praise. Common training commands such as sit, lie down, or even teaching him to calm down can aid in this process. Remember to never yell or scold him, but also don’t baby him either. Both of these actions will only make things worse. 


Before you see that a storm is coming, he may already be pacing, whining, barking or even drooling. This is because dogs are very sensitive to the drop in barometric pressure and the shift of the static electric field that happens when the weather changes. He can also smell when the rain is coming, long before we may even know one is coming. When you start seeing any of these signs, create a safe room for him. A basement or room with no windows works perfectly. Sometimes things as simple as playing music or running a fan help to distract him from the noises outside. 


Instead of acting scared, some dogs try to escape, have destructive behavior, or show aggression. To prevent this from happening, try wearing him out. Take him on a long walk before it’s going to storm, or play ball. This will lower his energy level, tiring him out. You may want to redirect his focus if you notice him trying to tear something apart. Try teaching him a new trick, playing with toys in the house or even give him a bone or Kong to chew on. Sometimes doing these things will help him focus on what he’s doing and not what it is doing outside. 

If none of these options seem to work for him, consider talking with your veterinarian about the options available to ease his stress and anxiety.  


Hope everyone has a great summer!!

Age is a condition, not a disease: Senior Pet Wellness

Tuesday, February 5th, 2013



            It seems just like yesterday that I was buying our dog cute puppy toys and stressing about house breaking…and this January rolled around and Jake turned seven.  A little grayer and a little stiffer, our beloved family pet is now a “senior” pet, which is hard to believe. Life is busy, and time flies. Luckily, he has been healthy as a young dog, but concentration on the future is more important than ever now.

            Beginning at age seven, your pet enters his or her senior years. Here at The Yancey Clinic, we will work with you and your family to provide the best possible care for your aging pet. From blood work to urinalysis and radiographs, we offer a full service of diagnostics for your pet. You know your pet better than anyone else, and can alert us to any changes to his or her health, before they become serious issues. We do our best to help you understand common medical conditions your pet may face, and will offer the best options specifically for your pet. An aging pet is essentially an aging member of your family, and seeing those changes can sometimes be hard to accept.

            There are certain things in our pet’s daily life that we may easily notice- such as stiffness in his or her joints or decreased activity- both which may indicate arthritis.  You may also notice bad breath or difficulty eating. Dental issues are very common as our older pets may develop loose teeth or gum disease. Periodontal disease not only smells bad to us – but the bacteria can cause heart and kidney infections if left untreated. Having routine exams and dental cleanings are such an important step in prolonging good health in your pet. Other things we may pick up on are the loss of hearing or sight, which may become less acute with age.

            However, some of the most serious issues your pet may face may be hiding under the surface. These include liver issues, kidney disease, hyper or hypothyroidism and diabetes. These disease processes are evaluated by screening a small sample of blood from your pet. At the Yancey Clinic, senior blood work is the first step in developing a game plan for your pet. From this, we can gather where your pet is in the aging process, and pick up on any emerging disease processes. Our goal is to keep your pet as healthy and comfortable as they can be-for as LONG as they can be. As in our own lives, we understand your pet is an important member of your family.

            So if you find that time has passed you by as quickly as it has me, and your furry family member is a little slower these days, let us help you along the way to keeping him or her healthy and happy. After all, age is a condition, not a disease. For more information, please read the Senior Pet Care section at, and schedule your pet’s senior wellness exam today.

Holiday Safety For Your Pet.

Friday, November 30th, 2012

Enjoying the Holidays with your pets – A quick reminder for pet safety! 

The winter months mean beautiful scenery, outdoor sports, parties and lots of fun!However this time of year can also be a very stressful time for your pets. It’s not always the change to cold weather or snow that causes an issue; there are many other wintertime dangers. Here are some quick reminders and helpful tips to get you and your furry friend through the holiday season safely! 

*During a holiday party, your pet might find all the excitement a bit overwhelming, or they might find the perfect opportunity to get into some trouble, sometimes serious trouble. If Fluffy doesn’t interact well with unfamiliar people or a large number of guests she can become extremely stressed, and this is how accidents happen.  If you can’t trust Fluffy, or your party guests for that matter, it may be best to remove her from the festivities until your guests have left. She will thank you for the chance to rest and relax in a quiet environment! 

*Holiday goodies should never be shared with your pet. Buddy’s diet should remain the same. If you want Buddy to have a little something special for dinner, try to stick with pet friendly snacks, such as crunchy treats or pet jerky strips. Foods high in fat can cause severe digestive upset. Other foods such as grapes, raisins or onions can actually be toxic to your pet and can cause kidney failure. Sweets, chocolates and baked goods may be the worst offenders, artificial sweeteners are known to be toxic to pets, and in some cases just a few ounces of chocolate can cause seizures or serious health problems. Most emergency visits during the holidays result from a pet having ingested human food. 

*Decorative plants such as Lilies can be fatal to cats if ingested. Mistletoe and Holly can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Poinsettias generally cause irritation to the mouth and stomach. Try to keep these plants up off the floor or table where pets have access to them. 

*Christmas tree decorations such as bulbs, bells, tinsel & hooks are extremely easy to knock off, leaving several serious injuries to follow. If tree decorations present a problem, consider leaving the bottom 10-12 inches free of any lights or bulbs. Home decorations, extension cords and light strands are also very tempting to a playful or inquisitive pet. Remember to unplug any cords or light strands that Rover might have access to when unsupervised. Wrapped gifts under the tree are an easy target for playful pets: however ribbon or tinsel can pose a problem if ingested. So play it safe, keep your holiday décor out of Rover’s reach.

 *If you have a live Christmas tree, remember to keep the water in the tree stand covered. Not only will pine tree sap make your pet sick if ingested, but the water is stagnant and often contains fertilizers. Prevent pets from accidentally knocking the tree over by securing the tree to a wall using fishing line and an eye hook. 

*Antifreeze is the biggest cause of poisoning this time of year! It has a sweet taste that is attractive to both dogs and cats. Even the smallest amount ingested can be fatal. Contact your Veterinarian immediately if you suspect your pet has ingested any antifreeze! 

*Outdoor pets must have a warm shelter that protects them from the weather. Frostbite and hypothermia can occur with the cold temperatures, and can be severe. Common areas for frostbite are the tips of ears, paw pads and the tip of the tail. Contact your Veterinarian immediately if you suspect frostbite. If pets are housed outside, they should have a cozy and well insulated shelter that is large enough to stand and turn around in. If it is too large, it will loose heat quickly. The shelter should be located in a well protected area with sun exposure if possible. The ground should be slightly elevated to prevent moisture accumulation and allow for melting snow to drain away. You can elevate the shelter if you prefer, to keep it off the frozen ground. Bedding should be fresh straw or hay, generously spread throughout the shelter for padding and warmth. You may add blankets if you wish for added comfort. Be sure to replace the bedding if it becomes damp or soiled. 

*During winter months, outdoor pets are susceptible to dehydration. Consider a heated water bowl. Small bowls of water freeze quickly and make it difficult to keep fresh water available to your pet. Snow is not an acceptable source of water.

*Senior pets are especially prone to injury from snow or ice covered surfaces. If you have a patio or deck that your pet will need to navigate around, consider using weather safe rugs or mats for traction on these surfaces. Shoveling a grassy spot close to the house is a great way to decrease the chance of an injury for aging pets.

*Paws should be checked regularly during snowy months. Take an extra minute after your pet comes back indoors to check between the paw pads, any snow and/or ice accumulation should be removed. Keeping the hair trimmed between the pads and the nails will help. A groomer will be able to help you maintain this, if it is an issue for your pet. Salt used for deicing roads and sidewalks can cause the pads to dry out and crack. To prevent this, wash and dry damp feet when your pet comes back indoors. You may also look for “pet-friendly” deicing salts at your local hardware store. 

Have a Safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Enjoy the time with your family AND pets!!!

Microchipping Your Pet

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Microchipping Your Pet 

It can happen in the blink of an eye, your furry friend has gone missing! Now you start to panic, calling out your pets name isn’t working, you don’t see Fluffy anywhere. Maybe you drive around the neighborhood or go knocking on doors…. still no luck! What do you do next? Start making phone calls to local Veterinary offices, the area Humane Society or Dog Warden and begin posting “LOST” fliers around your neighborhood in hopes that someone has found your pet and he or she is safe. 

Unfortunately, lost pets happen every day. Each year millions of dogs and cats go missing. Statistics say approximately only 10% of lost pets are able to be identified and reunited with their owner.  Are you willing to take that risk with your pet? 

Here at The Yancey Clinic of Veterinary Medicine, we offer pet owners a way to increase those odds. Microchipping your pet is a safe and easy way to provide your pet the best chance at being returned to you. Microchips are tiny electronic computer chips no bigger than a single grain of rice, inserted under the skin between the shoulder blades. Each chip is equipped with a ten-digit code that is specific to each individual pet. Microchips are safe and cannot be altered in any way. Implantation is a very quick process and causes minimal or no discomfort at all, just like a vaccination. 

If your pet is lost and has been implanted with a microchip, all you have to do is report that your beloved pet is missing. Pet alerts are then sent to the local Veterinarians and shelters, giving your pet a better chance of being recovered. Once “found”, pets can be taken to any Veterinarian office or facility equipped to check for a microchip. Using a scanner, the identification number belonging to your pet will be read. Your pet’s information will be reported to the microchip registry, who will then alert you that your pet has been found and help you be reunited. 

All pets should wear identification collars that have tags with owner contact information; however it is not a safeguard. Typically, collars are worn loosely and can be removed easily. Cat collars are designed to safely “break-away” in the event the animal would get snagged on a tree branch or caught on a fence. Without a collar, there is nothing left for your pet to be identified by, unless they are microchipped. Once implanted with a chip, your pet has identification for life! 

If microchipping is the right decision for you and pet, we would be more than happy to help! We can provide you with more detailed information on microchipping and registration, or schedule an appointment for your pet today!





Fleas! Fleas! Fleas!

Thursday, August 30th, 2012



            It seems that these past few weeks of August have been challenging for many of our clients and their furry friends battling fleas. The hot, dry weather has been the perfect condition for fleas-and unfortunately, they’re not going anywhere anytime soon. Fleas can enter your home in many ways, even if your pet is rarely outside. They have the ability to jump-and can even jump in through open windows, or hitch a ride in on your clothes. They’ll make themselves right at home, in your home…ALL year round.

            Many people may not even notice if their pets have fleas. Some dogs and cats itch here and there, while others bite and itch furiously and even lose their hair. This is because not all animals are allergic to flea bites. When a flea takes a blood meal, it deposits a small amount of saliva, and it’s the saliva that causes an allergic reaction.

            These pesky little bugs have been around forever- so if you find yourself facing a flea problem- you must first understand the life cycle. From egg to larva to adult is typically between three and six weeks. To get rid of fleas, you must break this life cycle. Eggs laid on your pet are shed onto its bedding and your carpet, and a pair of fleas can produce 20,000 fleas in just three months! Eggs typically hatch in 2-12 days into larvae. These larvae can pretty much live off of anything-even clean carpet offers plenty of food required at this stage. The larvae then spin a cocoon in which they can remain in for one week, up until one year. This cocoon stage is just short of bullet proof. Insecticides and even freezing temperatures won’t harm a flea in this stage. This is why they are so very difficult to get rid of. Only warmth and the presence of a host will cause them to emerge as an adult flea.

            So, now that you have the basics, you need to get on top of flea control. Here at The Yancey Clinic of Veterinary Medicine, we recommend keeping your cat or dog on flea preventative year round. Not only can fleas survive and make your pet miserable during the winter months, but they also are the intermediate host of tapeworms.  Any flea carrying a tapeworm egg can easily be ingested by your pet by simple grooming, and can cause your pet to become infected with intestinal parasites. Generally, to break the life cycle of the flea, you will need to treat your pet for a minimum of three months in a row. It is very important that you use a flea preventative prescribed by a Veterinarian. There a many products out there and not all of them work effectively. Your Veterinarian will have quality products, and can recommend the one that works best for your pet and your life style. Another important thing to remember is that you must treat ALL pets in your household. Just because Max is itching and Fluffy is not, doesn’t mean Fluffy doesn’t have fleas. The fleas will simply just go back and forth from pet to pet if both of them are not treated. And yes- this also includes any outdoor animals, such a stray cat you are feeding!

            Battling fleas is like battling a small army. If you follow these guidelines, your home and your pets will be happy and flea free! If you find yourself struggling to beat these little pests, please give us a call and we’ll be more than happy to help you out!