Ho, Ho, Ho: How to Help Animal Shelters this Holiday Season

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pet sheltersThe holidays are upon us, and it’s a time of giving and giving back. If you’re thinking about how to help animals this holiday season, this blog is for you! Our local animal shelters are always in need, and with so many homeless pets it’s easy to think of ways to help them.

There are many ways to give back to animals during the holidays; and while it’s best to contact the organization you wish to work with directly – to know what they really need, here are a few of our favorite ways to help animal shelters.


Pet Loss and the Holidays: Handling Your Grief During a Celebratory Time

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pet lossThe holidays are always more fun with a curious, wide-eyed pet underfoot, and pet owners embrace the opportunity to create lasting memories with their best friends. But for many, the holidays bring up painful reminders that their loving and intuitive companion is no longer attempting to knock down the tree, eat the holiday ham, or pouncing at the bright lights.

Losing a pet is agonizing, but the grief associated with pet loss is possibly the worst during the most exuberant times of the year.


Trick-or-Treat: The Best Tips for Halloween Pet Safety

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halloween pet safetyThe fun is about to begin! If you love hayrides, pumpkin patches, haunted houses, and apple picking, fall is likely an exciting season for you. But where does your pet fit in with all the abundant autumnal splendor? Sure, many animals relish the fallen leaves and crisp air, but there’s an equal amount that end up feeling left out, stressed, or worse. Halloween pet safety is a prime concern for many families this time of year, and for good reason. Without proper attention, your pet could find trouble.

First, Decor

Who doesn’t love some nice fall decorations on the front porch or walkway? From fake spider webs and ornamental corn (with or without stalks) to jack-o’-lanterns and strobe lights, anything can become dangerous to your pet if given the chance. Items may seem innocuous enough, but it’s critical to be aware of decor that can entangle, choke, or poison your pet.

Glow sticks or similar items should not be used around pets. Their chemical makeup has a bitter flavor that induces excessive drooling.

Know the Score

Many pets are cool with a constantly ringing doorbell, strange looking visitors, and spooky, unpredictable sounds. Others, however, are just plain stressed out over all things Halloween. To be sure, it can be downright frightening for some pets.

If your pet is highly sociable and willing to participate in the revelry, by all means, include them in the fun. However, a stressed, frightened, or anxious pet should be allowed and encouraged to sit this one out. Set up a quiet place away from the front of the house, complete with calm music, water, treats, and favorite toys. If your pet has severe reactions to anxiety, please contact our team to learn more about medicated options that can gently ease your pet during times of extreme stress.


The Hip Bone’s Connected to the Leg Bone? Rear Limb Lameness in Dogs

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rear limb lameness in dogsNothing strikes fear into the heart of a dog owner than seeing Fluffy come back inside after a good romp holding up a leg. There are many different reasons your pet might be limping, but there are a few causes of rear limb lameness in dogs that you need to know about. Community Pet Hospital of Tigard is your source for help when your pooch is in pain.

Rear Limb Lameness in Dogs

Anything that hurts or otherwise inhibits the movement of a limb can cause lameness (limping). This can be related to bones, tendons, ligaments, or soft tissues such as the skin. There are many reasons that a pet might be limping on a rear limb.


Plan and Prepare: A Spotlight on Natural Disaster Pet Safety

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pet safetyNo one likes to think about natural disasters, but the truth is that fires, floods, earthquakes, and the like are a part of the world we live in, and being prepared is the best way to protect yourself and your loved ones. Natural disaster pet safety should play an important role in your family’s emergency preparedness plans, and your team at Community Pet Hospital of Tigard is here to help you every step of the way.


The Not-So-Dynamic Duo:  FeLV and FIV in Cats

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leukemia and catsIs your cat at risk for contracting infectious diseases? Felines who have exposure to other cats, be it from exploring the neighborhood, staying at a boarding facility, or even sitting by your screen door, can be at risk of a wide variety of nasty kitty diseases. Perhaps the two most common of these are viral in nature.

FeLV and FIV in cats are serious and incurable diseases, but there are certainly things our feline-loving clients can do to protect their precious pets.

Feline Leukemia Virus

Feline leukemia, often abbreviated as FeLV, is a serious disease in cats that is caused by a retrovirus. It is thought to be a leading cause of feline deaths and is something every cat lover should be aware of.

Cats are exposed to feline leukemia virus through the saliva (even sneezing!) or blood of infected cats. Kittens may also become infected during gestation if their mother is infected with the disease.


From Road Trips to Parasites: The Buzz on Summer Pet Safety

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summer pet safetyWhile most of us look forward to sunshine, vacations, and other awesome activities, summer also presents a few challenges for us – and our pets. Warm, humid days, pesky pests, hot cars, and sunburns are all concerns that pet owners should be aware of this season.

To make your summer – and your pet’s – one that is comfortable, safe, and enjoyable, take some time to review these tips for summer pet safety.

The Great Outdoors and Summer Pet Safety

While the Willamette Valley may not see scorching temperatures like other regions, our warmer than average days can make for some additional risks when it comes to our pets. Animals are susceptible to dehydration and heat stroke, and being outside in direct sunshine or in an area without access to shade and water can spell danger.


Pet Vaccinations: Are They Necessary for Indoor-Only Pets?

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pet vaccinationsWe all know the importance of vaccinating our pets against communicable diseases, but what if our pets live indoors or never come into contact with other animals? The Reality

Core vaccinations are an important part of every pet’s health care plan, regardless of whether or not he or she routinely come into contact with the outdoors or other animals. Here’s why:


The Gold Standard: What it Means to be AAHA Accredited

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AAHACommunity Pet Hospital of Tigard is proud to be recognized through the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA). While this special distinction isn’t on every pet owner’s radar, our alliance with this national organization ensures that our animal patients receive the best possible care. Only a small percentage of other hospitals receive this distinction, and we’re thrilled to pass on what it truly means for your pet to be cared for by an AAHA accredited provider.

True Innovation

The American Animal Hospital Association was formed in 1933 by veterinary professionals inspired by setting – and upholding – excellent standards. Beyond conducting and publishing current veterinary research, AAHA supports its members to achieve the greatness worthy of the alliance. Today, over 3,700 veterinary practices are AAHA accredited.

The Numbers Are In

Human hospitals follow strict protocols that elevate care, reduce mortality, and minimize complications. Veterinary hospitals are not required to be AAHA accredited, but when they are, pet owners can expect that best practices are always enforced. With third-party oversight, not only are high standards in play, but a pet owner can also expect better outcomes for their pet.

In other words, choosing an associated hospital leads to a better outcome. Who could argue with that?


Leptospirosis and Pets: A Real Risk to Pets and People

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There are many pros when it comes to living in Oregon, and depending on who you are, our climate may or may not be one of them. The rain we see in this area is a highlight to some, but there is no doubt that it brings its own set of challenges.

One thing that our wet climate brings to the forefront is an increased risk of certain diseases. The CDC has recently identified our area as a hotbed for the disease leptospirosis, which affects pets and people. Community Pet Hospital thinks it is very important for our clients to understand this disease and what can be done to keep leptospirosis and pets from intermingling.

An Intro to Leptospirosis and Pets

Leptospirosis is a bacterial infection caused by the spiral-shaped organism Leptospira interrogans. The bacteria gains access to the pet’s bloodstream by entering through the skin or mucous membranes.


Pet Dental Care: Something to Chew On

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While having “doggie breath” may not be associated with anything “minty fresh”, bad breath in pets is considered normal far too often. But did you know that bad breath is a common sign of underlying pet dental problems?

Pet dental care is one of the most neglected forms of health care among cats and dogs. This results in more than two-thirds of all pets developing dental disease.

Part of the confusion is the misinformation around pet dental products and the perceived difficulty of at-home care. That’s why your friends at Community Pet Hospital want to shed some light on the subject.

A Chew by Any Other Name

In the quest to fight periodontal disease, many owners rely heavily on dental products. While these products can help remove food, debris, and some plaque from the teeth, they’re not a reliable method of combating dental disease or promoting good oral health on their own.


Are You Ready for the Pet Dental Care Challenge?

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The new year is a fantastic time to press the reset button and establish various goals for the coming months. Whatever your intentions for the new year, they’re more attainable when you have someone to support or assist you.

This is especially true for your pet. While not hung up on personal or professional changes, he or she might benefit from an upgrade in the health department. If it’s been awhile since you’ve addressed pet dental care, now is the perfect time.

Maintenance is Key

Good dental health for your pet starts at home. Daily tooth brushing stops plaque and tartar from building up, bonding together, and forming calculus. Left alone, gingivitis (inflammation of the gums) can develop, leading to periodontal disease. These effects go beyond bad breath, however; systemic illness in the heart, kidney, and even the liver can result from poor oral health.

Shopping Around

Many over-the-counter pet dental care products deserve their place in your arsenal. However, hard dental chews (such as antlers, hooves, and bones) can actually fracture teeth. Also, please keep in mind that dental treats and chews add extra calories to your pet’s diet.


The Meaningful Reach of Holiday Pet Safety

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Are you ready for the holidays? Between tree trimming, house decorating, and festive parties, there might be a collective wish for more minutes (or hours) in the day – there’s just too much to do!

We all get carried away when it comes to the holidays, but that doesn’t mean we can let safety slide. From upset routines to strange houseguests, hazardous decor to poisonous food, holiday pet safety must also include a sharp eye on festive plants.

The Risky Greens

The novelty of holiday plants is part of what makes them so dangerous. Bringing a new potted plant into your home may trigger an automatic canine or feline investigation. This is normal, of course, but especially for a kitten or puppy, the consumption of holiday plants can be extremely dangerous. Continue…

Keeping Pet Pancreatitis Off Your Holiday Menu

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High FiveIt’s likely that when you think of Thanksgiving, food comes to mind. Whether you’re hosting or traveling with your pet, there’s no doubt the season revolves around lots of food and delicious treats.

As a pet owner, it can be challenging to keep your fur friend away from all the savory, fatty, and sometimes toxic foods. Moreover, while you might know a little about which dishes can be harmful, pet pancreatitis is a less well-known threat that often goes unchecked until it’s too late.

An Overview of Pet Pancreatitis

If you’re familiar with the condition, you know that pancreatitis can lead to a painful emergency situation. Pancreatitis is a condition in which the pancreas becomes inflamed. This organ is responsible for digestive enzymes and insulin production.

While there are no absolute causes of pancreatitis, it has been linked to certain factors, such as:


Fall Pet Safety for the Most Colorful Time of Year

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A happy dog running through leaves with a toy in it's mouthOh, autumn…a time of hayrides, pumpkin flavored lattes, and beautiful strolls in the crisp evening air. Without question, fall is a fun season for pets and their owners. However, this time of year also brings unique risks that may come as a surprise to some. To make this the loveliest season ever, consider our tips for fall pet safety.

Don’t Forget Parasite Prevention!

A common mistake among pet owners is assuming that colder weather means no more parasites. Unfortunately, many of these pesky insects continue to thrive year round since there are always opportunities to find warmth (like attaching to a deer or your pet!). Thanks to climate change, our winters have also become milder, keeping the reproductive cycles of fleas, ticks, and heartworms active.

Just one lapsed month in heartworm prevention can put your beloved pet at risk. You’ll also have to spend time and money having your pet screened before he or she can resume a monthly medication. Therefore, it’s best to play it safe, and avoid an infestation in your home or on your pet!


Making Pet Dental Health a Priority

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Playing with Happy DogMany of us don’t care to take a close look at our pet’s mouth, but we certainly notice when our doggy or kitty’s breath becomes a problem. Unfortunately, when pet dental health is neglected, many issues can soon follow. From periodontal disease and tooth loss to systemic infections and secondary diseases, good dental care is essential to protecting your pet’s overall health.

The Dental Exam

Dental and oral health is a big component of your pet’s annual wellness visit. That’s why it’s important to choose a practice such as ours that has expertise in veterinary dentistry. Continue…

So Cool: Frozen Pet Treats Guaranteed to Satisfy

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Dog And A Red PopsicleBetween the scorching heat and stifling humidity of summer, we are all struggling to maintain our enthusiasm. While we know that the more pleasant temperatures of fall are on their way, Tigard’s pets are not so sure.

How can you keep your pet comfortable during these final “dog days” of summer? With frozen pet treats, of course!

Heat Dangers

Undoubtedly, the summer months pose numerous risks to your pet, including heatstroke, dehydration, burned paw pads, and more. When you know how to prevent such things from occurring, your pet can still have a great summer by your side. Continue…

Travel With Pets: Do You Need A Pet Health Certificate?

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If you’ve ever taken your pet on an airplane, you probably had to obtain a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection (also known as a pet health certificate) ahead of time.  But did you know you also need to have a pet health certificate just to cross state lines with your pet in a vehicle?

That’s right, all those quick trips up to Vancouver or Seattle with your 3 Great Danes riding happily in the back of your 2-door sports car were actually illegal without a pet health certificate. But never fear, your friends at Community Pet Hospital are here to help you learn the ins and outs of pet health certificates. Continue…

Why Pet Wellness Matters

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Chameleon on unrecognizable veterinarian's arm.Many pet owners wonder why we schedule pets for once or twice yearly pet wellness exams, especially if the pet is showing no outward signs of illness. The truth is, preventive care is the cornerstone of health and wellness for both people and pets. Regular wellness care allows us to get to know your pet, address any questions or concerns you may have, and diagnose and treat and potential conditions before they become serious problems.

At Community Pet Hospital, we believe that all pets deserve access to high quality wellness care. The following is an overview of what we look for at regular pet wellness exams, and also what you can observe at home. Continue…

Why should you license your dog?

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By Bobbie Kramer, DVM

We had just moved to Hillsboro, with our 4 cats and little old terrier Trixie. Poor Trixie

was having trouble with her hearing and vision, and didn’t really know where she lived

yet. When she went missing, we were so scared she’d be lost and alone, and that we’d

never find her. Fortunately, she was brought by a Good Samaritan to Bonnie Hayes

Animal Shelter in Hillsboro, after paying a small fee to bail her out, she was home with us

again. After that, we made sure her microchip registration was updated, and we licensed

her with Washington County.

The idea of having to have a license to have a dog really bothers some folks. But having a

current license for your dog isn’t just the law, it could save your pet’s life. License­tagged

pets are more likely to be brought to the shelter for safe keeping, and can be returned to

their families much more quickly. Your license fee helps support the Washington County

Animal Services staff which runs Bonnie Hayes Animal Shelter as well as programs that

take care of stray animals, protects neighborhoods from dangerous dogs, investigates dog

bites and cases of cruelty and neglect. Washington County Animal Control plays a vital

role in keeping people and pets safe. Last year, they reunited over 1,100 lost dogs with

their families.

Many people have their pets microchipped to help identify them in case they are lost.

This is a fantastic idea, but having a tag, too, is vital, since not everyone has a microchip

reader. Your pet is much more likely to be returned to you if his license tag is up to date.

In Washington, Clackamas and Multnomah counties, dogs over 6 months old are required

by law to be licensed. If you’ve just moved to town, you have 30 days to obtain a license

from the county you and your pet live in. Right now, there’s no requirement to license

cats. Veterinarians in Multnomah and Washington counties are required to send Rabies

vaccination information to the county, so Animal Control can check if your pet’s license is


A license is required even if your dog is always on your property, is always indoors, or

lives on a farm. Dogs are required by law to wear their license tags whenever they’re on

walks, at the dog park, or anywhere off of their home property.

Purchasing or renewing a license is easy. You can do it at the clinic when you’re here for

your pet’s vaccines, online, by mail or in person at Bonnie Hayes Animal Shelter. You will

need the following information when you order a dog license:

• Pet information (name, breed, color, age, etc.)

• Your veterinarian’s name

• Current rabies certificate

• Date of rabies vaccination and expiration date

In Washington County the fee to license your dog is much lower if your pet is spayed or

neutered, and discounts are available for multi­year licenses and for senior citizen

owners. A one year license for a neutered dog is $22. You don’t need a rabies certificate to

get a puppy license for pets less than six months old. Puppy licenses are free!