Lost and Never Found – How Microchips and Pet ID Tags Can Reunite Pets with their Families

Late Saturday night, one of my clients stopped by pleading for help. A boxer had been hit by a truck behind his house and was thrown across the road. The dog had a collar, but did not have any tags, so there was no way for anyone to contact the owners. Another couple had also stopped and was sitting with the dog while my client came to see if I would help. My husband and I quickly dressed and followed him to the dog, but by the time we arrived, he had already died. We took the dog to the clinic where I scanned him for a microchip to see if I could locate the owner. Unfortunately, he did not have a microchip. Somewhere nearby there is a family that will be spending Christmas day wondering where their dog might be and if he will ever come home again.

Microchips and pet ID tags have been helping pets reunite with their families for years.    Many happy endings have occurred when we were able to call a number on the tag or scan the pet and find a microchip number that would eventually lead us to their worried owners. Many other pets have wound up in shelters or injured and euthanized without the owners ever finding them. Many other pets are stolen and never returned. If your pet should ever escape, be stolen or simply lost having both a microchip and a pet ID tag will help you reunite with your pet.

The microchip is a small capsule that is inserted just under the skin between the shoulder blades with a large needle. Anesthesia is not needed and it is just a quick stick that many pets do not even notice when it is done. The microchip releases a tracking number when it is scanned by a handheld device. The chip can not be scanned by satellites and does not contain any other information other than a special number and the maker of the chip.


When the pet is micro-chipped, the owner then registers the number with either the chip manufacturer or with the American Kennel Club Companion Animal Recovery (AKCCAR.org). The AKCCAR.org will register any chip and is one of the largest recovery organizations for lost pets. There is a one time registration fee that we include in the cost of the microchip and there is not an annual renewal fee. Many veterinarians and animal shelters have  scanners and when animals arrive at their facilities they are scanned for a microchip and if one is found, the AKCCAR is called at 800-252-7894 to see if the number is registered so the owners can be located. Every clinic has their stories of reunited pets and families. This year we have reunited several dogs and cats with the microchips and many more with ID tags.

Why should I also have a pet ID tag if my pet has a micro-chip?

In the case of the poor Boxer that was injured, if he had pet ID tags on, the good Samaritans that were comforting him as he laid dying could have contacted the dog’s parents without having to wait for the clinic to open and scan for the chip.

My pet has a Rabies tag, why do I need a personal pet ID tag?

The Rabies tag has an id number and the clinic phone number. The finder of the pet must wait until the clinic is open to be able to match the ID number with owner. In cases of an injured pet, critical hours to get life saving treatment will be wasted until the owner can be found.

Why should I have my pet micro-chipped if he has a pet ID tag?

Pet tags can get lost, snagged or removed, especially if your dog had been stolen. A micro-chip is added insurance that your pet will find their way home.

The best way to ensure your pet will get back to you is to have them tagged and micro-chipped.

We have micochips and pet ID tags in stock. We also have a new engraver  that can personalize your pet ID tags

Brushing your Cat’s Teeth

Tooth Brushing
Brush a cats teeth? This may seem like a daunting task, but your cat can gradually learn to accept daily dental care at home. The key is to start slowly and make the experience as pleasant as possible. Place a small amount of the liquid from a can of water-packed tuna on your finger and allow him to lick it off. Repeat, this time holding his mouth closed and stroking the outside surfaces of his teeth lightly.

Eventually, over a period of one or more weeks, you can substitute a piece of gauze, a finger toothbrush, or a small, soft toothbrush instead of your finger. Remember, unless your veterinarian directs you otherwise, you only need to clean the outside tooth surfaces. This reduces the chance of a painful bite! Once your cat comfortably accepts the brushing process, you can introduce toothpastes designed for pets in place of the tuna water.

The most important aspect of tooth brushing is the mechanical action, but toothpastes can add helpful ingredients like fluoride, enzymes that help break down plaque, and antiseptics that prevent bacterial growth. They are flavored to please your cats palate too. Never use toothpaste designed for people the ingredients may irritate your cats mouth and cause an upset stomach.

Plaque begins to develop within hours after brushing. Within about three days, plaque is converted into tartar. Therefore, daily brushing is recommended. Less frequent brushing is still beneficial, but may allow the gradual development of periodontitis. A daily brushing routine not only keeps your pets mouth healthy but also keeps his breath smelling fresh.

Allergies in Dogs

From springtime through the late fall, many people are subject to seasonal allergies. But people are not the only ones suffering. For our dogs and cats, these same seasons can bring intense itching and discomfort. Yes, it seems our pets can get their own “hay fever”.

It’s a very frustrating and somewhat common situation. Pet owners by the millions flock to their veterinarians in the hope of relieving their pet’s itchiness. For many people, the constant chewing, licking, and scratching can test their love for their pets.

Current estimates show that about 20 million pets suffer from some sort of skin condition and many of these are allergies. Allergies are an over-reaction of the body’s immune system to a foreign substance, such as pollen or flea saliva. For people with allergies, we sneeze and sniffle as our bodies respond to histamine released by immune cells. These symptoms are due to the reaction of histamine with receptors in our nose and upper airways.

Our pets, however, react somewhat differently. Dogs and cats have many more histamine receptors in the skin and fewer in the nose. As histamine is released, the receptors cause an itchy feeling and the pet reacts by scratching at that site. Scratching can generate more histamine release, thereby causing more scratching. The constant assault on the skin by the pet’s claws can actually damage the skin, leading to bacterial infections. Areas of hair loss and oozing sores known as “hot spots” are very common with allergies.

Fleas are often found to be the reason for a pet’s itchiness. However, the pet who is truly allergic to fleas will often appear to have no fleas at all! Why? Because these pets are the ultimate flea catchers, doing everything in their power to bite or scratch the discomfort of the flea away. The flea’s saliva sets off an allergic reaction leading to a flurry of chewing and digging at the skin.

Allergies to airborne substances, such as pollen and mold spores, are another reason for itchiness in pets. This is known as atopy and affects many pets from springtime straight through until fall. This condition can be inherited in certain breeds.

If your pet has signs of allergies year round and you see little or no improvement with certain medications, you may have a pet that has food allergies. Contrary to popular belief, food allergies take time to develop and are not due to recent diet changes. Most pets who develop food allergies have been eating the offending food with little problem for years. Common food allergens can include any major protein or carbohydrate source in the pet’s food.

In some mild cases, the itchiness can be treated with anti-histamines or even steroids for a short period of time. However, pet owners need to be aware that allergies are not a condition that can be cured. The good news though, is that they can be well-managed with a team effort from the pet owner and the veterinary team.

Utilizing diagnostic tests such as blood testing and even skin allergy tests, veterinarians can often find ways to reduce the pet’s discomfort level. In some cases, your family veterinarian may refer you and your pet to a veterinary dermatologist. This specialist has many more diagnostic and treatment resources available to bring relief to your pet. In all cases, you, the pet owner, are a vital part of the team. It will be up to you to make sure that all pets in the household are treated for fleas or that your pet stays on the recommended hypo-allergenic diet and doesn’t sneak other treats!

Allergies are not only one of the most frequent reasons for a trip to the veterinarian, but are also a big reason for pet owners becoming frustrated with their pet. Working with your veterinary team to identify what is causing your pet’s symptoms will help keep your four-legged family member right where he needs to be…with you!

Winter and Holidays can be Hazardous to your Pets

TreaschwigVeterinaryClinic.com and Dr. Debra Garrison from Spring, TX, want you and your pet to have a safe and Happy Holiday Season. Certain plants and foods can be toxic if ingested,such as grapes, chocolate and sugar substitutes. Watch this video to learn more.

First Aid for Pets

First Aid for Pets

Our hope for you, as a pet owner, is that you will never encounter an emergency situation. However, reality is that accidents happen. In the event of an accident or emergency, it is always best to be informed and know the proper first aid procedures for your pet. This handout will outline the basics of canine first aid that every pet owner should know.

If my pet has been injured, what should I do first?

  1. Remain Calm. The key to any emergency situation is to be able to remain calm and avoid panicking in order to think clearly.
  2. Assess the Situation. While remaining calm, assess the situation and determine the proper first aid techniques to administer.
  3. Administer First Aid..
  4. Call or Transport your pet to the Veterinarian. After stabilizing the situation, contact your veterinarian for assistance and to give them advance warning of your pets condition and the care he may need to receive.

First Aid is considered to be the initial treatment given in an emergency situation. This treatment is given for the purpose of saving life, minimizing pain, and reducing the risk of permanent injury. First aid for pets is often administered by a knowledgeable owner and greatly assists the veterinarian in making your pets long term recovery a success.
American Red Cross Deluxe First Aid Kit for Pets
Before beginning first aid procedures on your pet, it is important to remember that if an animal is in pain, it may react differently to those around them. Therefore, care and caution should be taken to avoid being bitten by your pet out of pain, fear and panic. To begin First Aid on an injured pet:

  1. Assess your pet for Shock. Shock is the bodys response to a serious injury. It includes a severe drop in blood pressure and unresponsiveness. Some other indications of shock are rapid breathing, pale mucus membranes, vomiting and shaking. If your pet displays these symptoms, try to keep the animal as calm and as still as possible. Cover your pet with blankets, coats or newspapers to maintain and conserve body temperature.
  2. Assess and apply the ABCs of First Aid.
    A. Airway– Assess your pets airway to make sure that there is not any foreign object blocking the flow of oxygen to the brain. You should observe for things such as vomit, saliva, sticks, balls or other objects. If your pets airway is obstructed, do your best to clear or remove the objects, but make sure that you do not further lodge the item in your pets throat.
    B. Breathing– Observe your pet for breathing. If the animal is unconscious and is not breathing, apply chest compressions with the palm of your hand. With your other hand, feel for the animals pulse just above the elbow. If your pet is still not breathing, then close the animals muzzle, cover the animal’s mouth with yours and breathe in firmly and slowly. Remember that if you are unsure of the animals health history, vaccination records or veterinary record, it is best to avoid contact with all bodily fluids and blood.Dog First Aid book - With DVD

    C. Cardiac Function– If, upon feeling for a pulse, one cannot be detected then it may be necessary to perform chest compressions as well. Press down firmly, but controlled, with the palm of your hand on your pets chest. A simple form of pet CPR is to perform five (5) chest compressions to every one to two (1-2) breaths.

  3. Assess your pet for other injuries. Observe your pet for broken limbs or bleeding and administer the appropriate first aid.

American Red Cross First Aid Pack for Pets
Administering First Aid for burns, cuts or heat stroke?

  1. Burn– If your pet has been burned, cool the area as quickly as possible with cool water and cover it with cool, damp towels. If the burn was caused by a chemical, flush the area with cool water for at least fifteen minutes and contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
  2. Cuts– If your pet is bleeding, examine the area for foreign bodies. If none are present clean the area and cover it with a gauze pad. Many cuts require medical attention and it is best to call your veterinarian immediately. If a wound is treated professionally within four hours, it can usually be sutured with successful results. However, after four hours of the accident, wounds have a greater risk of infection and serious complications.
  3. Heat Stroke– Heat stroke typically occurs in the summer months when pets are left in sweltering situations without adequate ventilation or water supplies. If your pet demonstrates the signs of heat stroke, which are excessive panting, distress and coma, then immediately call your veterinarian and take measure to reduce your pets body temperature. Soaking with cool water and fanning your pet, will allow evaporation to cool its body. Avoid using ice or ice water as these may bring down your pets body temperature too rapidly and cause complications.