Gentle Care Animal Hospital

Gentle Care Animal Hospital

Sunday, July 10, 2011

"Lucky" Strays That Have Found Their Way to Gentle Care

Over the past week Gentle Care Animal Hospital has had three strays come in thanks to Good Samaritans. One of those strays was lucky enough to be reunited with her owner due to her microchip. Unfortunately the other two were not and both had injuries. Here are their stories.

On Tuesday July 5 a Good Samaritan brought a young cat that she had seen get hit by a car. The Good Samaritan at first thought the cat had not made it until she saw him move. She then brought him into us surrendering him to the care of Gentle Care Animal Hospital. He did not have a microchip. Dr. Darren Holman and technicians Chelsea, Laura, and Sara quickly attended to his broken hind leg. Dr. Holman placed a splint for overnight. The following day he set the cat’s leg and put it in a cast. This little guy tugged at everyone’s heart strings. He has been fondly named Tellie by Lori. Tellie is doing very well and is sweet as pie. Despite his awful luck of being hit by a car, he has found great care. We are hoping to find him a forever home!
If you or anyone you know is interested in Tellie, please contact us at Gentle Care Animal Hospital - 919-852-4386 or at

On Thursday July 7 a Good Samaritan, Joe, brought an injured German Shepherd into Gentle Care Animal Hospital. He had found her alongside the road. After a physical exam it was found that she had a broken left front leg. A microchip tracked her to an owner who surrendered her to Gentle Care Animal Hospital. Joe donated $500 for her care, but was unable to keep her. Through the hard work of Dr. Jennifer Parker and several technicians including Cheryl, Christine and Erin, a splint was placed on Casey’s leg. North Carolina State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital agreed to do surgery to repair her broken front leg using teaching funds. They donated a $2,500 surgery to help Casey! She went in for a consult and was immediately brought into surgery under the direction of Dr. Simon Roe on Friday, July 8. Dr. Toni Kwan and veterinary student Micah Woods also assisted in Casey’s surgery and care. On Saturday she was brought from NCSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital to Cheryl’s home where she will start her recovery. Cheryl reports that Casey is doing very well and has settled into her temporary home. She is showing her true personality and rolling over to enjoy belly rubs.  Technician Erin will also help foster Casey during her recovery.
Although Casey has been incredibly lucky to receive her surgery and hopefully some relief, she still has a long and costly recovery ahead of her. We are hoping to place her into a forever home once she is healed.  If anyone is interested in adopting Casey or contributing financially to her care, please contact us at Gentle Care Animal Hospital – 919-852-4386 or We will continue to update our page with pictures and updates on both Casey and Tellie!

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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Leptospirosis is now Required for all dogs in the kennel, hospital or grooming facility

This article has been taken directly from Gentle Care Animal Hospital's April Newsletter:

Recently it seems as if we are recommending a new vaccine for your dog. The leptospirosis or "lepto" vaccine is actually not a new vaccine and most dogs have already been vaccinated against it in a combination vaccine. In our ongoing commitment to stay on the cutting edge Gentle Care Animal Hospital has moved to a new vaccine schedule based on current research. It has been shown that the DHPP (Distemper, Hepatitis, Parainfluenza, and Parvovirus) vaccine actually protects your pet for a full three years. The leptospirosis was part of a five way vaccine that would be given to your pet on a yearly basis. When the other four components of the vaccine were made into a three year vaccine the leptospirosis part was not included, because it does not protect that long.

Why doesn't the lepto vaccine protect your pet for three years? Distemper, hepatitis, parainfluenza, and parvovirus are all viruses, while leptospirosis is a bacteria. There is not a proven or licensed vaccine to protect against the leptospirosis bacteria for a full three years. The vaccine that Gentle Care Animal Hospital administers protects against four different strains of leptospirosis, whereas the combination DHLPP vaccine only protects against two strains. The vaccine that is administered offers better protection than the combination vaccine that was administered in the past.

What is leptospirosis and how can my dog get it? Leptospirosis is a bacteria that is found in the environment and spread by wildlife. It is quite literally everywhere. Your dog can get the bacteria simply by touching his/her nose to an area where a raccoon or other wildlife urinated. At one point it was believed that larger breed dogs living in a rural environment were more prone to leptospirosis. This theory has been proven wrong in recent years. All dogs regardless of size and living situation should be protected.

What are the symptoms of leptospirosis? Most dogs will be asymptomatic, or not show the signs of leptospirosis. The bacteria causes liver and kidney failure in dogs. The scariest part of the disease is that it is zoonotic. This means that people can be infected with leptospirosis from their pets.

What are the side effects of the vaccine? As with every vaccine there is a potential for side effects. These reactions range from soreness at the injection site to, although rare, anaphylactic reaction. As mentioned before most dogs have already received this vaccine and side effects are unlikely. In puppies and smaller dogs that have never received the leptospirosis vaccine before a premedication of benadryl will sometimes be given to help combat the potential for a reaction. The chances of a vaccine reaction have been over-hyped by literature. The vaccines have been reformulated to decrease instance of reactions. The chances of a reaction from the four-way vaccine that we administer are less than the vaccine that was previously used.

Leptospirosis is now a core vaccine at Gentle Care Animal Hospital. Any dog in the hospital for surgery or in the kennel for boarding, doggie daycare, or grooming will be required to be up to date on the leptospirosis vaccine.

If you have questions regarding the vaccine or would like to schedule an appointment, please call an informed team member at 919-852-4386.

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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Pet Portrait Special for Gentle Care Patients

A client and friend of Gentle Care Animal Hospital, Suzie Wolf, has offered her photography at a special price for Gentle Care clients.

For more information, please either call Suzie or refer to her website:

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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Weekend Get Away With Your Dog

As the weather warms up everyone is heading outdoors to enjoy the warmth and wonderful spring weather. Sometimes it is difficult to find a place where you can enjoy a relaxing weekend with your pets. Maybe you have a new dog or a dog that could use some training? We have the perfect solution for you! A longtime friend of Dr. Holman’s, Nan Wells, is owner and operator of Canine Connections Dog Training Vacation. Here is what Nan writes about this great vacation idea:

Nestled in the mountains just outside of charming Brevard, North Carolina lies the ultimate dog and owner vacation.  Stay in a guest house or lovely cabin on Black Knob, at altitudes of 3000 feet, with thousands of acres of forest surrounding you.  Come to "the Land of Waterfalls" and relax in the beauty of the forest enjoying the slow pace of the Western North Carolina mountains.  Bring your family and best friend for a week to explore this beautiful area with optional training sessions for you and your dog available.   You are centrally located to all the great places in this area.  Some of the many activities in the Brevard area are world-class trout fishing, hiking, rock climbing, rafting, river tubing, horseback riding, and mountain biking.   The Western Mountains of North Carolina are known for their hospitality so come and join us in the mountains for the ultimate vacation experience with your best friend. 

The gateway to the Pisgah National Forest with its 157,000 acres of forest and its hundreds of miles of hiking trails lies just below.   At the top of the Forest road lies the Blue Ridge Parkway with high altitudes of over 6400 feet and some of the most beautiful sights on the entire parkway.   On the other side of you is the DuPont State Forest with 10,000 acres of trails and stunning waterfalls.  Within minutes lies the city of Asheville with its historic downtown and the Biltmore Estate.   In the opposite direction are the quaint towns of Hendersonville and Lake Lure.   Head south and the road takes you over to Caesar's Head State Park in South Carolina.   Yet another way will lead you to Lake Toxaway and further on to the towns of Highlands and Cashiers.

Our goal is to make this your best vacation ever!  During your vacation you can opt to receive customized training sessions with Nan Wells, APDT of Canine Connections Dog Training during your vacation stay with us or just enjoy our lovely pet friendly lodging.  Dog training vacation is dedicated to helping you and your dog with your specific needs.  Whether it be therapy work, Canine Good Citizen, formal obedience, problem solving we will tailor a plan to meet your needs or simply advice on what to do, where to go and places you might enjoy taking your dog with.

Dog beds are provided within the lodging and we have exercise pens and crates for your use when visiting should you need them.  We also carry a good assortment of training supplies, treats and toys.  And of course we are always available to watch your dog(s) while you enjoy some of the attractions where you might not wish to take them.  Dogs are allowed most places here, even at most of the outdoor dining restaurants and if you spend a day at the Biltmore Estate they have now even added a kennel for your convenience during your tour of the home.

Nan Wells, APDT
Canine Connections Dog Training
Dog Training Vacations

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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Dealing with Losing a Pet

Nobody wants to go through it, but at some point in our lives it is inevitable. Pets are now a part of many families and are loved like a child. Many memories are created and when your pet passes it is a very emotional time.

As your pet ages or has an ailment, there are many decisions and veterinary visits to make. At Gentle Care Animal Hospital, we are here every step of the way.

No matter how old or sick your pet is, there are a few important things to remember when making the decision for humane euthanasia. You have many memories of your pet and he has been there for you during all the ups and downs. Now it is your turn to be there for him. Always keep in mind your pet's quality of life. Is he still able to do all of the things that he loves? Make sure that you are holding on to your pet for your pet and not for yourself.

Although it is a very difficult decision to make it may be the best gift that you can give your pet. Once ready to make the decision to "put your pet to sleep", we can help you through the process. To prepare, I recommend that you spend the last day doing all of the things that your pet loves like taking a walk, going to the park, a long car ride, favorite treats, belly scratches and maybe some special food that he only got on special occasions. Make sure that you make the last memories good ones.

Call us to make an appointment. We are always able to accommodate you and your schedule. Think about what you would like to do with your pet's remains ahead of time. You can elect to take your pet home, communal cremation, or individual cremation. With communal cremation you will not get your pet's ashes returned. If you chose individual cremation, your pet's ashes will be returned to you within a couple of days. You can also get a clay foot print made. There are even some companies that can make that footprint into a necklace charm. It is a good way to always have your pet close to your heart.

At the office a trained veterinary technician will place an intravenous catheter in your pet and this will help the process go smoother. Your pet will receive an injection of a combination sedative, muscle relaxer and pain reliever and simply fall asleep. It is painless and quick. Some pet parents do not want to be present for the final process and that is completely okay. It is up to you.

Now that you are home and grieving, what can you do to keep your pet's memory alive? Personally I created a slide show of pictures of my cat. It helped me remember how happy, loving and sweet he was and allowed me to create a life story for him. Although it did not make me miss him less it allowed me to move on and let him rest. Other people have created a collage of their pet or spread his/her ashes at their pet's favorite places. I believe that you can find the best way for you to remember your pet. You can take the clay footprint that you had made and create an ornament or wall hanging. It is okay and very natural to grieve because your pet was a huge part of your life and family.

Although you aren't thinking about it right away, the question may come as to when to get another pet. The thing to remember is that you will never replace your previous pet but can get another that will likely be very different and that you can create new memories with. Some people need months and even years to be able get a new pet. Others need a new pet right away. For me, it was less than two months after I had lost my cat Buzz. I was still sleeping with his picture at night when my cat Tye found me. I was working at a veterinary clinic in Pennsylvania when I walked in to find a cute little orange kitten staring at me. I instantly got a feeling that I would be taking him home. He was found outside a school, covered in fleas and very cold. I didn't think I was ready for him but I went home that night and thought about Buzz. The next morning when I went into work to take care of the kitten he licked and then head butted my chin. It was then that I knew I would be taking him home because Buzz did that to me every morning! Your sign or story will likely be very different from mine but a new pet will be there for you to love and spoil will find you even if you didn't think you were ready!
For more information or to speak with a pet grief counselor please refer to North Carolina State Veterinary Teach Hopsital pet grief website. On this page you will find comforting books and other resources.

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Friday, January 7, 2011

Scruffy the Stray and his story

It was a typically Tuesday at Gentle Care Animal Hospital until Scruffy came through the doors. A client of our's brought him in after he jumped into her car on Yates Mill Pond Road. We quickly checked for a microchip. Yes, he has one, but after calling the company it has not been registered. Poor little guy didn't have a collar or any tags. He was in need of surgery due to his eye being out of the socket. Lori, Erin and Julie all worked throughout the morning calling other veterinary hospitals in the area, creating fliers, and posting him on craigslist. Immediate medical attention was administered but we wanted to try and find his owners prior to performing invasive surgery. Despite our efforts, we were unable to track down his owner. Dr. Mallo decided that we needed to remove his eye to alleviate any pain that he was in. Sarah and Christine prepared him for surgery. Dr. Mallo worked through her lunch to help the little guy. By the end of the day on Tuesday Dr. Holman decided that our little guy needed a name. There were several ideas, but Scruffy seemed to stick.
Scruffy has recovered very well from surgery. Sarah our groomer gave him a good bath and hair cut. We have continued to work hard to find his owner. We believe that he is at least 10 years of age. He definitely had a home because he is in good body condition and is sweet. He is a little bit anxious and we believe that is because he misses his family. If you know of anyone missing a neutered male, gray and white, 10 + year old Shih Tzu, please contact Gentle Care Animal Hospital at 919-852-4386.

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Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Preparing Your Pet for an Emergency

Are You Prepared to Care for Your Pet in an Emergency?
Fire or flood, tornado or icy roads, gas leaks or power outages, unexpected or well-anticipated weather events, emergencies come in many forms and may last as little as an hour or for many months. Everyone needs to have a three day plan to care for themselves and everyone in their family in the event of an emergency situation. Disasters can leave individuals and neighborhoods cut off from outside help, which can severely restrict and overwhelm emergency resources and communications in the time surrounding the event. YOU become your own "first responder"!
Pets are important members of the family. They are dependent on us like children and it is our responsibility to care for them at all time. A little planning can reduce anxiety for all involved and help make a situation more manageable. The way you and your family survives an emergency depends a lot on the supplies and plans you have in place BEFORE the unexpected happens.
Plan ahead by preparing an emergency pet supply kit that includes pet food and water for three days, medications, vaccine records, leashes ID tags and other appropriate supplies to keep with your family's emergency supplies. Remember that different types of pets will have different needs for food, water, bedding and temperature. Be sure to have secure carriers for each pet you own. Create a list of places your pet(s) will be welcome if you need to leave your home including friends, family members, or "pet-friendly" hotels. Include locations locally as well as some along your area's evacuation route. After a disaster, it's important to watch and guard your animals closely. Their behavior may change, they may become disoriented and new safety hazards may exist. Pet owners can download a free brochure from the Ready website at:, or request a copy by calling: 1-800-BE-READY, TTY: 1-800-462-7585.
Don't have an emergency supply kit for your household? Spend a family night making one together by going to and follow the steps listed to be prepared. You need to be able to care for yourself before you can help anyone else!
Prepared by Sonia Estroff, member of the Cary CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) and a valued client of Gentle Care Animal Hospital where she brings her dog Ginger.
**** CERT is a citizen volunteer group trained to take care of themselves, then others in their communities following a disaster. For more information about CERT or to find a team in your area, visit:

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