What’s a Microchip*?
A microchip is a small chip implanted by a simple injection under the skin between an animal’s shoulder blades. Special scanners held by veterinarians, animal control officers and animal shelters read a number on the chip that is registered to the personal contact information of your choice. CVHS offers microchipping at low cost to members of the community.
If your pet gets lost without her collar, you’ll still get a phone call! Cost includes registration for the lifetime of the pet. *This is not an animal-locating device. The animal must be present to be scanned.
Interested in a Microchip? Contact CVHS for an appointment for your pet(s)! 802-476-3811
Plan Ahead for Health
Veterinary care can be very expensive if you are not prepared. Planning ahead is important but not always possible. If your dog or cat suddenly needs expensive medical treatment that you cannot afford, credit cards, foundations, and funds set up just for that purpose might help. Some require proof of income, while others help only specific breeds. Start by asking your veterinarian if he or she knows of any programs in your area.
Preventative Care: Spending money now will save you money later. Feed your pet an appropriate high quality diet, don’t over-feed, and make sure she’s getting plenty of exercise. Visit your veterinarian at least annually to discuss vaccines, preventative medicine, and any questions and concerns that you may have.
Saving: Try putting a small piece of each paycheck into a special account just for your animals. Start now—some veterinarians will be more willing to reduce a bill or discuss financing options if you can offer even $10 to $20 immediately.
Insurance: Pet Insurance is a great option for pet parents—especially for those adopting puppies and kittens!
- VPI Pet Insurance: (888) 849-4VPI; www.petinsurance.com
- Pet Care Pet Insurance Program: (866) 275-PETS; www.petcareinsurance.com
- ASPCA Pet Health Insurance: (866) 861-9092; www.aspcapetinsurance.com
CareCredit: CareCredit is a credit card for healthcare expenses—yours or your pets. Depending on the size of your bill, you may qualify for a zero-interest period during which you can work on paying down your premium. This is an excellent option available at many veterinarians. www.carecredit.com
Sample Funds and Foundations
- IMOM Inc., P.O. Box 282, Cheltenham, MD 20623; (866) 230-2164. In Memory of Magic offers funding for dogs that face death or euthanasia if they don’t get immediate care.
- Labrador Life Line, 24507 S. Skagit Hwy., Sedro Woolley, WA 98284; www.labradorlifeline.org. Labrador Life Line helps Labrador Retriever owners or rescuers who need assistance with healthcare costs.
- The Travis Fund, Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, 200 Westboro Rd., North Grafton, MA 01536; (508) 839-5302; www.tufts.edu/vet/gift/p&p.html. This fund aids owners who cannot afford the full cost of the care their dogs receive at Tuft’s Foster Hospital.
- The Banfield Charitable Trust, Banfield Charitable Trust provides grants to nonprofit organizations and nonprofit hospices to support their efforts to keep pets and people together. They provide support behavior programs and fund pet food services for those in need. www.banfieldcharitabletrust.org/grants/
- Veterinary Efforts in Giving to Animals (VETEGA Inc.), a non-profit organization founded in 2005 in the Lamoille region, has been formed to collect and administer funds for animals in need of veterinary care who either do not have locatable owners, or have owners who need financial assistance for such care; and for programs to promote and support the Human-Animal Bond. www.vetega.org/
- RedRover, Financial assistance grants so pet owners, Good Samaritans and rescuers can care for animals who need urgent veterinary care. Online application and approval process. www.uan.org/
- American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA), You can ask your veterinarian to complete and submit an assistance request to the American Animal Hospital Association’s (AAHA) “Helping Pets Fund.” In order to qualify for this fund, which can help with paying pet bills, the animal hospital must be AAHA accredited. www.aahahelpingpets.org/
See also: Having Trouble Affording Your Pet?, http://www.humanesociety.org/animals/resources/tips/trouble_affording_pet.html
Give Back: Whether it’s your local veterinarian or a special fund who helped you in your time of need, remember to give back when you are able. Vet care can be expensive for everyone!
Dental Disease and Your Pets
By Erika Bruner, DVM
Dental health is an important part of your pet’s overall health. Having a clean, healthy mouth not only makes your pet’s breath smell better, it can help him or her live a longer, happier life.
Animals who do not yet have any significant dental disease benefit most from preventative measures. Brushing your pet’s teeth, feeding special food, or using dental treats and chew toys can all help. It’s best to start early in a pet’s life, but it’s never too late, and a gradual approach can help even an older pet accept something new. Please ask your veterinarian for more information.
Oral assessment is a key part of our staff’s evaluation of any pet at CVHS. We classify existing dental disease into three categories: pets who need a dental cleaning within the next 30 days (urgently), within six months, and those who should have one in the next two years. Pets in the first category usually need one or more teeth extracted. They should have dental care as soon as reasonably possible. Not only are their mouths uncomfortable, but they are at risk for tooth root abscesses, which can be quite serious. Most adult pets have mouths that need some attention, but those in the latter two categories do not present an immediate health risk.
Please be aware that a complete oral exam on a pet cannot be done without general anesthesia, and in some cases may require special equipment or dental x-rays. The assessment we do at CVHS is a preliminary one. It is not unusual to find, once your pet has been anesthetized and fully evaluated by your veterinarian, that his or her mouth is worse than originally expected. This is simply the nature of dental disease.
If you are adopting a pet who will need dental care soon, please discuss this with your veterinarian at your first visit. Pets’ teeth are scaled and polished under general anesthesia. The procedure generally costs between $200-$400 for cleaning and assessment, and can be up to $500-$900 depending on the size of the pet and the severity of disease. If dental disease is ignored, it will worsen over time. Addressing problems early on can help your pet avoid tooth loss and the risk of painful infections, and will also cost you less than waiting until dental disease is severe.
To prevent dental problems from recurring after the procedure, it’s important to keep your pet’s mouth in good shape with ongoing care. Your veterinarian can help you assess your pet’s needs and will work with you to keep your pet’s mouth healthy for many years to come. Please see your veterinarian for more information.