October 4th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Dr. Laurie Brush and Dr. Amy Hoss are headed for Arizona to attend the 8th annual IAAHPC conference in Tempe Arizona on Oct. 5th. The International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care promotes comfort care that addresses the physical, psychological, and social needs of animals with chronic and/or life-limiting disease. The organization educates professionals and advances research in the field of animal hospice and palliative care. Read the rest of this entry »
October 3rd, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Special thanks to the team at eightWest for featuring the services of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice! If you missed the show, click on the photo below to watch the video on the eightWest website! Hami, a gorgeous 12-year-old collie with arthritis, stole the show. In this segment, Dr. Laurie Brush discusses ways to help arthritic animals be more comfortable in their sunset years with things like mats, helper-harnesses, and more. If you have a pet who can’t get around like they used to, Contact Us to request an appointment.
September 18th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Many pet parents are confounded by conflicting advice on pet food in general, whether it’s commercial, grain-free, biologically appropriate and/or raw. This confusion can be compounded as your pet ages and is faced with medical conditions that require special consideration when it comes to diet. Many diseases that are common in older dogs and cats may be nutrient-sensitive, meaning that diet can play an important role in the management of the condition. As a general rule, dogs and cats 7 years of age or older are at risk of age-related diseases, though specific breed size, genetics, and physical condition influence the aging process.
Dr. Laurie Brush, founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice, says senior pet nutrition can be a complicated issue but that conscientious pet parents can help their senior pets enormously by dialing in their pet’s diet to prevent obesity. Read the rest of this entry »
September 18th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
A pet parent who wants to optimize their aging pet’s health by preventing weight-gain but maintaining a healthy weight has two avenues to success – controlling the inputs and measuring the output. In other words, “Read, Feed and Weigh.”
In this guide, we’ll help you gather some tools to figure out how much food your fur-baby needs to stay fit, from calories calculators and activity trackers to the Body Conditioning chart that helps you assess your pet’s score. Read the rest of this entry »
September 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Heaven at Home Pet Hospice treasures the memory of the pets our vets have helped pass peacefully. On Sunday, September 9th, we’ll join you in spirit remembering your fur-baby. Please feel free to observe National Pet Memorial Day on Sunday by sharing the story of the pet you’d like to remember on our blog’s In Memoriam section, or on our Facebook page, using the hashtag #NationalPetMemorialDay. Read the rest of this entry »
August 14th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Media reports of an oubreak of Canine Influenza H3N2 in West Michigan this summer have many pet parents wondering whether they should vaccinate their senior fur babies. As of this week, 13 cases of Canine Influenza have been reported in Ottawa County and 3 in Kent, with a total of 98 cases in Michigan.
Dogs do not have a natural immunity to H3N2, a relatively new strain that infected 1,000 dogs in Illinois in 2015 and since has spread throughout North America. According to Dr. Laurie Brush, founder of Heaven at Home Pet Hospice, vaccinations should always be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Read the rest of this entry »
July 25th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
As our kittys age, physical and mental changes occur just as they do with people. Their metabolism may change, they sleep more deeply and may not be able to jump as high as they once did when they were younger. This being said, cats should be seen more often than once a year (recommendation is every 6 months) as they begin to age, usually around the age of 7 years of age.
It is always easier to treat a disease if caught early on and cats often do a great job at hiding some of these changes. They may often be subtle changes that we chalk up to slowing down due to age but these changes could also be due to a medical issue. Read the rest of this entry »
May 7th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
The first rule of grieving is that there are no rules.
Companion-animal-loving Pastor and Animal Advocate Ginny Mikita makes this clear to the people who gather each month at the West Michigan Pet Loss Support Group hosted at Heaven at Home’s cozy quarters on Monroe Avenue.
“It’s important to experience grief in whatever fashion it manifests. We need to set aside the idea there is one right way to grieve or certain feelings that are correct and instead give ourselves the grace to feel what we’re feeling without judgment,” said Mikita. Read the rest of this entry »
April 20th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
Heartworm Disease is a potentially life threatening condition caused by parasitic worms that can live in the heart and lungs of dogs and cats. It is important to prevent heartworm disease versus waiting for your pet to contract it as it can be difficult and costly to treat. The treatment requires a series of treatments over several months.
How do pets get heartworm disease?
Mosquitoes. When a mosquito bites an infected pet, it sucks blood containing microfilariae. (Microfilariae are the offspring of the adult heartworm). Once matured inside the mosquito, the offspring develop into infective larvae. This infective larvae are passed on when the mosquito bites another pet.
How to protect your pet?
Giving your pet a monthly preventative is key. Most heartworm preventatives also protect your pet from other intestinal parasites and fleas. Due to unpredictable seasons it is recommended to keep your pet on heartworm preventative year round.
A blood test is recommended to confirm that your pet is free of heartworm disease before prescribing heartworm preventative as many heartworm preventatives can cause illness if given with larvae in the bloodstream. Contact your pets veterinarian for their recommendations.
*For more specific information regarding heartworm disease and recommendations, go to https://www.heartwormsociety.org/pet-owner-resources
February 26th, 2018 by Laurie Brush
“Should my other pets be present during the euthanasia process?” is a common question we get.
The answer is definitely yes, if at all possible. Allowing other pets in the household to be present during euthanasia or giving them a chance to say goodbye after the pet has passed away often gives a sense of closure. This will also decrease the chance that the pet will be waiting at the door or look all over the house for their deceased friend to come back home. We want to lessen the chance of them becoming depressed, looking out the windows, or even going off their food during the grieving process.
We here at Heaven at Home encourage other pets to be present throughout the procedure if possible. Occasionally a young, hyper or anxious pet may be too distracting to be participate initially and in this case we encourage owners to have them in a different room. But often, even these personality types settle after becoming acquainted with the doctor and will have a “sense” of what is happening with their friend. Most times once we have begun, they lay down a small distance or even right next to their friend and accompany them as they cross over the rainbow bridge.
If for some reason it is impossible for other pets to be present during the procedure, they should at least have the chance to say good bye once the pet has passed. In most cases, the process does not take long, usually a brief sniff or glance before walking away. They often just seem to “know.” This does not mean that they won’t continue to grieve and may still look for their friend but it tends to help give a smoother transition. They will need extra love and support during the next few days as well.