What We're Thankful for this Holiday Season!
Season's greetings and happy holidays once again from the doctors and staff at Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital! In our hospital's relatively short, but certainly full, history in the Broadlands, it truly feels as though we've become a part of the community.
We've witnessed an enormous growth in the area's population, including many brand new homes, businesses, and schools. More residents, of course, mean more family pets, leading to an increased demand for Stream Valley's business. We try to offer a full range of services--veterinary care, grooming, daycare, boarding, and dog training--to keep up with that demand, and we've expanded our staff as well. Additionally, this October we were proud to host our First Annual Howl-o-ween Haunted Hospital, an autumn party-themed version of our annual spring-time Open House. We're always happy to welcome the community to our hospital, as we feel the community has certainly welcomed us.
So, our long-time clients may not feel as much of the "small" business atmosphere as in years past at Stream Valley, but we'll continue to hold on to our motto: "Modern Medicine, Hometown Hospitality." They are words that we live by, and it is a sentiment that we hope to pass on to all who walk in our front door. Again, we thank you for making us a part of the Broadlands community, and we wish you all the best this holiday season!
If you have called us for a veterinary or grooming appointment lately, you may have noticed some changes in our doctor and groomer availabilities. Stream Valley is working to grow alongside of the steadily-expanding community, and the transitions can be a bit bumpy at times!
For example, our previously part-time groomer, Miguel Retes, has now taken over the full-time groomer position. Miguel has been working with companion animals for more than thirteen years and grooming for the past three years. He attended the Virginia School of Pet Grooming, receiving over 600 hours of training. Upon completion, he received a certificate as a Pet Groomer from the Virginia Board of Education. Since then, he has been working alongside other groomers to improve his skills and techniques, and Miguel joined the Stream Valley staff in June of 2005. He plans to certify with NDGAA, the National Dog Grooming Association of America. His calendar will fill up fast in the approaching holiday season, so book your pet's appointment with him today!
We have also welcomed two new doctors on to our medical team. During your next appointment, you may be introduced to Cathy Jarrett, DVM. The mother of one child, two dogs, and two cats, Dr. Jarrett joined our practice this past January. She graduated from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine in 1997, and she spent three years working with the military at the U.S. Customs Dog Training Center in Front Royal, Virginia. She has worked in private veterinary practice since 2002. Dr. Jarrett's special interests include ultrasound, dentistry, and pain management, making her the perfect doctor for those of us with "senior" pets!
A. Joy Cole, DVM, a long-time friend of Stream Valley Veterinary Hospital founder Dr. Mary Corey, is the most recent addition to the staff. Dr. Cole is a 1983 graduate of the University of Tennessee. She practiced 23 years in companion animal medicine in New Jersey. Dr. Cole has a strong interest in soft tissue and orthopedic surgery, as well as endoscopy. Her family includes her husband George and her daughters Ebony, Avalon, and Zenith. Her pet family includes 3 dogs, 4 cats, 3 horses, 4 ponies, 1 goat, 8 chickens, and 1 goldfish. Her love for pets and commitment to their well-being is apparent both on the job and at home!
Along with the new doctors and staff, Stream Valley has been adding new equipment and services to the hospital this year. Our major medical-technological advances include digital dental x-rays, ultrasound, and telemedicine capabilities to send ultrasounds and digital radiographs directly to specialists. Also, Dr. Corey, as always, is looking for land for an expanded kennel. Among the possibilities for a new site is an area on Dr. Cole's property on Route 9 in Waterford.
So, please bear with us as you may notice continual scheduling updates and changes! Pets are still our number one priority, and we're working to minimize any disruptions as we expand. Thank you for your support as we all learn to cope with our growing pains!
For Dingy Dogs and Filthy Felines!
The dropping temperatures of late fall and early winter have vacuums all over the community running in overdrive as our pets shed their warm weather coats. Many of us are brushing our dogs, dusting our homes, and sweeping our floors on a near-daily basis just trying to keep up with all the pet hair. Professional grooming is certainly a great way to help the cause!
All dogs and cats, whether short- or long-haired, need routine bathing and grooming to keep the skin and coat clean and free of unwanted odor, debris, and dirt. This practice also helps decrease shedding and promote healthy hair growth--something many households can appreciate this time of year! Yet while many breeds lose their undercoat twice yearly, some may shed constantly. There could be periods lasting from three weeks to two months during which your dog or cat seems to be leaving fuzzy "presents" all over your furniture, clothes, and carpet. In these cases, you may need to schedule some maintenance grooming every few weeks.
If your dog or cat has medium or long hair, you'll also want to watch out for matting. A matted coat pulls on the skin underneath, which can lead to irritation, infection, or even fungal growth. Regular brush-outs, at home or at the groomer, can help prevent these problems, and prevention is the key. Brushing out small tangles can stop mats from forming and can even be relaxing for your pet. If the fur is left to mat, shaving is often the only way to remove the heavy knotting. Having mats and then getting rid of them can be painful for your dog or cat, so some pets may even need to be sedated during this grooming process. Avoiding the problem in the first place will help avert any unnecessary stress in your pet's grooming experience.
Grooming isn't only for show dogs or higher-maintenance breeds like poodles or bichons. All dogs and cats will appreciate being clean and tangle-free, so call us for a grooming appointment today at 703-723-1017! Your home, your vacuum, and your pet will thank you!
Our Pets, Our Kids
It's no secret that many of us consider our pets to be members of our families. Whether fuzzy, scaly, or winged, pets can make any of us feel like "parents." And with the time, effort, care, and emotions that we invest in them, these feelings are really no surprise.
From the moment we welcome a new pet into our lives, we must immediately consider that pet's health. Straight from the adoption group, breeder, or pet store, many of us head to the first vet appointment. The semi-annual veterinary exam, often including immunizations, parallels the standard trips to the pediatrician for human children. And while cavities aren't necessarily a great concern for pet owners, regular dental check-ups are equally vital for two- and four-legged kids. Of course, unexpected illnesses and injuries are a part of any parent's life as well.
Education and playtime are also part of growing up for our kids and our pets. We might not worry about report cards and GPA's for our pets, but training and classes can help you teach your ferret to use a litter box, your puppy to sit and stay, or your parrot say your favorite phrases. Then socialization in playgroups and daycare can help your pets blow off some steam and have some fun in the "after school" hours.
Sadly, one big difference between our human kids and our pets is often the amount of time that we have to share our lives with them. Two to five years with Howard the hamster, or ten to fifteen years with Fido the beagle is a lifetime for our pets, but it may only seem like a fleeting moment to pet parents. So it's easy to see how the loss of a pet can be the loss of a loved member of the family.
We don't teach them how to drive, set curfews on the nights of their first dates, or send them off to college, but nevertheless, our pets hold a special place in our hearts. They are our furry, feathered, finned, or fork-tongued children, and they deserve the same quality of care as any member of the family. Our pets are our kids, and any love that we give them we can certainly expect in return.
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