Traveling with Dogs

Sylvano Bitencourt - Wednesday, June 01, 2016

As Summer nears and the travel season begins it is time to think about travelling with our dogs and the added problems sometimes associated with those trips. Among the issues commonly seen are increased risks of parasites, regulatory requirements, motion sickness, anxiety associated with travel, and the risk of becoming lost.



Parasites are a concern, and some parts of the country have parasites not seen in other parts. For instance fleas are common in humid, low elevation, moderate temperature regions like the coastal regions, and less in the dry deserts or high mountain regions. Heartworm, a major health risk to dogs is spread by mosquitos and is common in the Midwest, South and Eastern US but is not seen in dogs confined to Washington, though is more common on the Oregon coast. Your veterinarian can help you prevent parasite problems if you will tell your vet of your travel plans prior to leaving.


Depending on where you go, you may need the rabies vaccination certificate to prove your dog is current on the rabies vaccination. Places that may ask to see a copy would include state and national parks, and travel to Canada. Be sure to check with your vet well ahead of time if you are planning a trip to another country as the requirements can take several weeks to fulfill.


Dogs with anxiety related to travel, or motion sickness can be helped with medication given ahead of time. Again, your vet can help with providing products that can successfully control these problems.


Finally, no dog should travel without good identification. Nametags with your phone number (make sure it is current), and the pet’s name attached to the collar are essential. In addition I advise a microchip which can’t be lost or misplaced. However, the chip is only as good as the owner’s information associated with the chip, so make sure it has been registered and the contact information is current.


Happy travels.


Should you have any question about this article, you can contact Dr. Hunter at 509-327-9354.


Mobile Grooming

Sylvano Bitencourt - Friday, May 20, 2016

Last November, I launched my mobile pet studio with the intention to broaden my market appeal to those who find it difficult to bring their pets for timely grooming. Since then I have learnt that my current clients express an overwhelming interest with this new service.



With mobile pet studio, I provide better experiences that my brick-and-mortar studio can ever deliver. Not only that I now make it possible to those who struggle to find time to go to my physical studio, I also offer less stressful grooming experience to pets with separation anxiety personalities. Your pets will not be away from home and they will not be caged at all. And for older pets, mobile grooming provides a fantastic solution for avoiding sore joints that can result from transportation to and from grooming facility.


After a thoughtful consideration, I have decided to be completely mobile. To my current clients, this decision will be an added benefit to you. I am providing the same great service I always strive for, and I will bring the best grooming experience for your pets at the comfort of your home. I truly believe I have added a great value to all of you. And there will no extra charges for all my current clients and those who become my client by June 25th, 2016. To all new clients afterwards, there will be reasonable surcharge to come to your location depending upon the distance I will need to travel.


Should you have any question, please do not hesitate to contact me. 


All you need to know about Ticks

Sylvano Bitencourt - Monday, April 18, 2016


In the Inland Northwest, tick season starts in March and lasts into August. Found in brushy areas, the female tick must first become engorged with blood before dropping off and laying eggs in the environment to hatch the next season. Ticks will usually travel to the top of the back, or on the head, before attaching and beginning to eat.



To the pet, the wood tick does pose some health risks including Rocky Mountain spotted fever, and tick paralysis which is an allergy to the saliva of the tick resulting in paralysis of the rear legs, which progresses forward over time. Ticks from other parts of the country can carry a more wide range of diseases, many of which are transmissible to people. Lyme disease is one example but is uncommon in our area.


We recommend checking your dog, and yourself, carefully after walking in the woods or fields during the spring and summer to remove ticks before they attach. Combing your pet is the best way to remove ticks prior to attachment. Should you find ticks attached to your pet they can be removed by gently grasping them near the skin and pulling them straight off your pet. Do not squeeze the body of the tick as this can actually push tick contents into the animal. We recommend wearing rubber or latex gloves when doing this to protect yourself from tick transmitted diseases. Alternately, you can give them medication to kill the tick and it will fall off.


While there are several products for sale to both prevent and kill ticks, in our experience few are very effective. However, a new class of drugs to treat for ticks has come out recently and they are vastly better. Both Bravecto and Nextgard work well to control ticks and are available through your veterinarian as prescription medications.



Should you have any question about this article, you can contact Dr. Hunter at 509-327-9354.




Anal Sacs and the Wellbeing of Your Pets

Sylvano Bitencourt - Thursday, March 24, 2016

I pay a lot of attention on the wellbeing of pets their owners entrusts me to groom. I feel obligated to share my knowledge with my clients parents if I find anything that looks out of the ordinary. I love pets too. And after all these years I obtain valuable informations on how to keep my pets healthy.


When you drop off your loved one(s) to me to groom, I check everything that I know is important. If i find something concerning, I share my findings with you. I am looking at the skin and coat condition. I check the inside of the ears. I check their teeth and smell their breath. And I also check and clean their anal sacs if necessary. Why checking their anal sacs is important? To best answer this question, I would like you to read the following professional opinion from Dr. Brian Hunter from Hunter Veterinary Clinic:



Located on either side of the anus, anal sacs, or anal glands as they are frequently called are found in most animals. In skunks they provide defense, and in many species they are used as a scent marker to communicate who is using a given territory. In our domestic dogs and cats that usefulness has been lost and for some pets they are a source of irritation, and occasionally infection.


Normally the anal sacs are compressed, and some of this stinky material comes out when a pet has a bowel movement. However for some, particularly older animals, the material becomes too thick to pass, or bacteria make their way into the sac and the pet scoots or licks the bottom trying to relieve the pressure. If unsuccessful in emptying the sac, an abscess may form which may subsequently rupture and bleed.


Your groomer will usually be able to express the contents of the anal sacs when your pet is groomed. However, there are a few animals where due to body shape, or the dry consistency of the material where they can’t be successfully emptied from the outside and your veterinarian will need to empty them with internal rectal pressure. Those patients may need more frequent emptying to prevent problems from developing. In rare instances the problem anal gland can’t be resolved, or an abscess has formed and surgical intervention may be necessary to treat the problem.


Should you have any question about this article, you can contact Dr. Hunter at 509-327-9354.


Why Nail Trimming is Important

Sylvano Bitencourt - Saturday, March 12, 2016


Trimming nails is an important part of the grooming process to keep your pet comfortable and healthy. Nails that are allowed to grow too long can become ingrown, especially the dewclaws located on the inside of the leg since they don’t get worn down. The claws of older cats that don’t have the outer sheath removed by normal sharpening behavior are also at increased risk of becoming ingrown and painful. A few cats are born with extra toes, termed polydactyly, and those claws are also at greater risk to become ingrown. In addition, excessively long claws are at increased risk of breaking, which in turn can lead to infections of the toe. Finally, long claws can lead to deformities of the feet as the claw causes the toe to turn and not align normally.


As a general rule the nails should be trimmed if you can hear the feet click on the floor when they walk, or about every 2-3 months for indoor dogs that don’t spend much time on pavement. Plan on checking your pet’s nails monthly to see if foot care is needed.


All puppies should be trained as early as possible to accept handling of the feet and restraint for nail trimming. Giving treats for calm, relaxed behavior while the feet are being handled will make for pets that will better accept nail trimming in the future.


This article is contributed by Dr. Brian Hunter of Hunter Veterinary Clinic. You can contact Dr. Hunter at 509-327-9354.


What will you do?

Sylvano Bitencourt - Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Not only because of what I do professionally, but I love our four legged friends with my soul. When I take care of my clients, I treat them as a Star, every pet every visit. But I would like to share with you my other Passion which is to promote pet adoption.



We all love our pet companions and how they get so excited when we come home or when they get a new toy, but the sad truth is that there are still a lot of dogs and cats in our local shelters. These animals still need our love and help as much as our pets at home.


Operation Santa Paws was founded in 2001 by Justin Rudd to collect toys, treats and supplies for animal shelters. Over the years it has grown into a well-known project that many communities participate in.


If you are interested in donating to Operation Santa Paws, but cannot collect supplies they always welcome monetary donations. Over the last twenty years I have adopted dogs and cats. They all have become the Big Joy in my life and family life. So what will you do this Christmas? I would like to encourage you to visit local animal shelters. The following is a list of local animal shelters:


  1.   - Spokane Humane Society  (509) 467-5235 
  2.   - SCRAPS  (509) 477-2532 
  3.   - SpokAnimal  (509) 534-8133 


If you like, you can also drop off your donation at my studio. I will personally deliver them to the local shelter of your choice.


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