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Snake bite season is here

posted April 10th, 2014 by
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The weather is warming up and pets and people alike are enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Keep in mind as your pets spend more time outside that April is the beginning of snake bite season.

Though most snake bites are reported at the end of summer, typical spring cleaning in the yard such as clearing leaves and underbrush can unintentionally disturb venomous snakes that come out as early as April.

Copperheads, rattlesnakes and water moccasins (cottonmouth) are the most common venomous snakes in the Tulsa area. For more information on how to identify these snakes, click here.

If you suspect your animal has been bitten by a snake, seek care immediately at an emergency facility which is more likely to keep antivenin in stock than a general practice vet.

Tourniquets are not advised. Some vets suggest using Benadryl or other antihistamine depending on the type of antivenin that will be administered. The best bet is to call ahead to the facility you plan to transport to and find out what they recommend.

Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

There’s an app for that

posted February 5th, 2014 by
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If you have a smartphone, you will definitely want to download the Red Cross’ new pet first aid app.

Available for iPhone and Android, the app not only includes first aid info that would be helpful in an emergency, but it also includes tips on preventative care, the ability to set up multiple pet profiles, interactive quizzes and more.

According to, the app features include:

  • Convenient toggle between cat and dog content.
  • Simple step-by-step instructions guide you through everyday emergencies in the palm of your hand.
  • Prepare and protect your pet’s health with advice on administering medication, time to say goodbye, behavioral help and how to act in a disaster situation.
  • Early warning sign checker for preventive care.
  • Programmable veterinary contact number to be available when needed throughout the app.
  • Learn first aid steps for over 25 common pet situations through a combination of text, video and images, in addition to identifying common toxic substances.
  • Locate your nearest emergency vet hospital or pet-friendly hotels.
  • Respond to pet emergencies with “how to” videos for the common and stressful emergency situations inclusive of size specific CPR techniques.
  • Customize multiple pet profiles and set veterinary appointments.
  • Interactive quizzes allow you to earn badges that you can share with your friends along with a picture of your pet.

The information available through app covers scenarios ranging from your dog being hit by a car to knowing how to determine your cat’s capillary refill time. For $0.99, I’d say it is well worth the cost to have such information at your fingertips.

– Lauren Cavagnolo, [email protected]

Animal Emergency Center donates services to wildfire victims

posted August 22nd, 2012 by
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It all started with a Facebook post.

On Aug. 4, Dr. Troy McNamara, medical director of Animal Emergency Center, Inc., posted the following to the clinic’s Facebook page:

“We are all praying for all the people and animals affected by these fires. We are an ER center and don’t have room for a lot of boarding, but we will help anyway that we can if people need to bring their pets somewhere to get them safe while making arrangements. We are also taking gatorade and water to the fire stations, if anyone would like to donate they can bring to AEC and we will transport. Thank you!!”

The next day, the clinic was housing 12 animals displaced by the wildfires in Creek County.

“They were healthy animals, people just had to find a place to stay so they brought their animals by here and we boarded them,” McNamara said. “Ten were able to go home the next day.”

But McNamara and his staff’s assistance and generosity didn’t stop there.

“As fire officials started letting people go back to their homes, that’s when things started getting ugly,” McNamara said. “That’s when people were going back and finding animals [that had been] burned.”

At that point, the clinic joined forces with Oklahoma Alliance for Animals and they started directing displaced and injured animals to the Animal Emergency Center.

“OAA has been really good about giving financial assistance to these people’s animals and their health care. It’s been amazing what they have allowed us to do,” McNamara said.

McNamara says the worst case so far is a dog named Gracie who is still in his care.

“Nobody knows anything of her,” McNamara said. “She is such a sweet gal.”

Gracie, who is pictured above, is expected to make a full recovery though she still has some hurdles to overcome.

“With her cough and smoke inhalation, she is doing extremely well there, so I think she is going to make a full recovery health-wise,” McNamara said. “Whether or not her hair grows back or she requires skin grafting, secondary bacterial infections of the skin, all of that stuff that she is still wide open for, we don’t know yet.”

In addition to the burns on her face, half of both of her ears were burned off.

When her wounds are healed enough, Gracie will be able to go to her foster home, hopefully in the next couple of weeks.

Among the animals housed by the clinic are a mama cat who was burned trying to save her kittens and a couple of German Shepherds from the German Shepherd rescue group, which lost their facility to the fire.

In all, more than 30 animals have been treated or housed at the Animal Emergency Center and all of their services have been donated.

To learn more about Animal Emergency Center, Inc., visit their website or Facebook page

Donations are still being collected and can be brought or sent to :

Oklahoma Alliance for Animals/Emergency Fire Relief

1822 East 15th Street, Suite B, Tulsa, OK 74105

Get more information about Oklahoma Alliance for Animals here.

- Lauren Cavagnolo 

Are you prepared?

posted August 14th, 2012 by
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Mannford Fires

The wildfires in Oklahoma have impacted many families, leaving many without homes. But people aren’t the only ones affected when disaster strikes. Many pets have been displaced from their homes or separated from their owners in recent weeks.

We all know about having plans in place for emergencies, but do those plans include the furry members of your family? Now is a good time to reevaluate what your family would do in a variety of emergency situations and make sure that those plans include any pets in the home.

If you need some ideas, has some great resources on disaster preparedness for pets.

One of the easiest things you can do is put ‘Pets Inside’ stickers on your front and back doors. You can even sign up for a free pet safety pack from the ASPCA which includes the stickers as well as a magnet with the number of poison control.

Those interested in taking their preparedness even further can look into pet CPR and first aid classes offered by the Tulsa area chapter of the Red Cross.

And in the meantime, the pets impacted by the wildfires still need your help. Visit for a list of supplies needed and drop-off locations.

If you are looking for an animal lost during the fires in Creek County, please visit the Creek County Displaced Animals page on Facebook.

-Lauren Cavagnolo