Clover the Rescue Dog – a client’s story

A client of ours sent us the most adorable story about how she adopted her rescue dog, Clover.  Then she gave us permission to share her story with you.

Clover the Rescue Dog & the Foo LionFoo Lions

The Classy Canine Animal Shelter seems like the right place to find a small dog. It takes some looking but here it is in a side street with a little dog sleeping in a glass enclosure in the window. A shop bell rings as I walk in and a woman walks out of a side room through a velvet curtain apologizing.

“I only have three dogs to choose from right now,” her voice sounds like a warning before dropping and becoming very friendly, “and they are all very cute.”

One puppy looks like a fluffy pink marshmallow and has big black eyes under her shaggy bangs. She wags her tail like a big feather.

“I’ll take this one,” I say to the lady.

“Good choice,” she said. “She is a very special little dog.

“Do you know anything about her?” I ask.

“She has her shots and she is housebroken.”

“Sorry, I mean about where she comes from.”

“Well, the lady who brought her in the first time only said that she was bringing her in because things got “out of control.” She tells me this quoting her fingers in the air. I mean, just look at her. How ‘out of control’ can a little piece of fluff be?”

“The first time?” I ask.

“Yes, the second time the people said she would not behave, but after all, dog training should help with that.”

“How confusing for the puppy,” I say.

“Not as confused as I was when the next family brought her back. They said she was not good with small children.” she says.

“Okay, well, there are no small children in the house and it looks like I should start with dog training,” I smile.

I am sure you will give her a good home,” she looks at me, nodding. Come into my office and we will sign the adoption papers. I am going to give you a discount…and…” Her voice stretches the word ‘and’ as she reaches around behind her to take a bluish statue from the bookshelf….”here is something from the first owner. She left this statue here when she brought the puppy to us and said that we should always keep it near her. Nonsense of course, but here it is.”

“That’s okay, I don’t need to….”.

“You have to…” she insists, staring at me until I pick it up. It is a rather ugly little statue and I cannot tell if it is a dragon or a lion or a laughing horse. I stick it in my bag and put a little leash on our new puppy.

We drive a good hour to get to our home out in the country.

When I open the door she jumps out like a high dive champion and rolls and rolls in the clover. That is her new name. Clover.

Clover is pretty calm for about a week. She sits curled up in her soft little bed, she takes walks on the leash and she eats her dinners.

On day eight she begins barking.

She barks at the mailman.

She barks at birds on branches.

She barks at cats.

She barks at squirrels.

She barks at people walking by

She barks at the doorbell.

She barks if I leave the room.

She barks if I leave the house.

She barks if someone comes to the door.

On day nine she begins snarling. She locks her knees, throws her head back, squints her eyes, shows her sharp teeth both upper and lower, growls in the back of her throat and then begins clawing in the air.

She snarls if you try to put her leash on.

She snarls if someone reaches down to pet her.

She snarls if you reach down to ask her to go for a walk.

Clover is a rescue dog with issues.

One day my grandson Nick comes over and she goes berserk and nearly bites him. She jumps around showing her teeth like an angry piranha fish. I tell her she is being an ‘awful waffle’ but she does not care. Now Nick does not want to be around her.

Dog training is not starting soon enough for me. But the day finally arrives.

“Oh, isn’t she cute?” the trainers coo, “So, what are your goals for dog training?

“She acts vicious sometimes and I do not know what to do.”

Everyone in the class laughs.

She gets along very well with the other dogs, mostly retreating if she feels uncomfortable. She is a model student. She is even able to learn circus tricks quickly. Until the day of the tunnel trick.

“Please take off her leash so she can run through the tunnel,” the trainer asks.

“But she won’t let me put it back on,” I protest.

“Be serious,” he says, “just put it on.”

“I’m afraid she’ll bite me,” I say, sheepishly.

“Here, give it to me,” he says, sounding exasperated while reaching for the leash.

Piranha Dog jumps into action. She locks her legs, throws her head back, squints her eyes, bares her sharp teeth and begins clawing in the air. Everyone gasps at Clover’s behavior.

“We did not believe you,” he says. “She’s such a cute little dog…but something is not quite right. She is a rescue dog with issues.”

The next stop is the vet for flea and tick medication. She does not want the vet to touch her. She does not want flea medication. She locks her knees, throws her head back, squints her eyes, bares her sharp teeth and raises her claws. I leave the room and they are finally able to wrangle her.

The vet says goodbye. “She is a rescue dog with issues. Is it safe to keep her?”

Safe to keep her? What are my choices? All of my hopes are pinned on the dog training.

Clover and I drive out to visit my sister Chris at the beach.

“Why on earth did you bring that awful little statue to the beach?” she asks.

“The lady at the dog shelter told me to keep it near Clover.”

“Where is the other foo lion?” she asks.

“What is a foo lion?” I ask.

“That statue that you have in your hands, it’s a foo lion.”

“Oh, its a lion,” I say, surprised. “I couldn’t tell exactly what it was. But I only have one.”

“What do you think happened to the other one?” she asks.

“You’re kidding,” I laugh. “Isn’t one enough?

“No, I think there are always two. In China they are thought to protect homes and buildings.”

“So how does a statue protect homes?”

“Their power is in their claws, their fangs and their eyes.”

I take down the statue and look at it. I had seen that look.

“Now I do see the resemblance.” I say, puzzled. “Now that you mention it Clover behaves more like a lion than a dog!

Clover the Rescue Dog

Clover looks like a little Foo Lion

I tell my granddaughter Thea about the statue.

“Why don’t you find out more about the lady who brought her in the first time? The one who left the statue at the shelter,” Thea suggests.

“Sure, let me do that. There is something very odd about the whole thing.”

I call the dog shelter.

“Hi, Remember me from the Pomeranian poodle puppy I adopted last month. Do you remember giving me a small statue the original owner had left with the puppy?”

“I do,” she responds.

“Could you ask the lady who left it to contact me? I have a question about the statue,” I add.

“Oh, I hope everything is okay. Sure, I can do that.”

My phone rings about twenty minutes later.

“Hello, the lady at the dog shelter asked me to give you a call. Is the puppy okay?”

“Sure,” I said, “I’m calling about the statue.”

“The little statue I left at the shelter?” she asks, with trembling in her voice.

“Do you think we can meet somewhere for coffee? I am in town this afternoon and I have some questions about the statue.” I say, trying to sound casual.

She begins crying. “I know, it’s all my fault. I never intended….I am so sorry, so sorry.”

“So you don’t mind meeting with me?” I ask, hopefully.

“Okay, okay. Here’s my address. About two o’clock?”

I park in front of a narrow cement building with big windows, maroon drapes with gold fringe and hundreds of little statues and decorations in her tiny garden in front. An older woman wearing layers of clashing scarves and necklaces over a crocheted poncho and black leggings opens the door. She had 1980’s eyeliner tatooed on her eyes.

“Please come in, come in. You can sit over here. I just set some hibiscus tea.” She begins very busily moving cups and spoons.

“Thank you,” I say, hoping she will sit down, “I brought the statue,” setting it on the table.

She begins crying again. I had clearly struck a nerve.

“There were two of them. There are always pairs of foo lions. In China they are called stone temple lions. In Japan they are called foo dogs, but they are not dogs, they are lions who will protect your home or a building. They were sitting there”, she said, pointing to the mantle.   She stared at the mantle for some time.

“And then something happened?” I asked.

“I found an old book at a yard sale showing how to put spells on things. I was just standing here in this room waving sage, practicing the words and movements and before I knew it, the statue…..(breathing heavily)…the statue began moving and came alive and a puppy jumped off the mantle. I could not believe it. I had cast a spell! Me! A spell! ” Her eyes grow wider as if she is very proud of herself and then she begins crying again. “I’m so sorry!”

I cannot believe what I am hearing. For a moment I feel like someone inside a Tin-tin adventure and try to imagine what she is describing. Moments later my scientific mind kicks in. Is this woman on drugs?

“Are you kidding me? A statue on the mantle came alive with a spell?” This is just plain kookie. I stare into my teacup, trying not to laugh or roll my eyes at what she is telling. So this is the twilight zone.

“The little puppy was so cute and sweet and I was so happy for about a week. And then she began snarling and biting and scratching me and that is when I took her to the shelter.”

“So that explains why she is behaving like a lion and not a dog?” I said, catering to her crazy story, for fear she might try to put a spell on me!

She nods eagerly. I had to go. This is too much. I can not stay any longer.

“Okay, well thank you for letting me come over. Clover seems pretty happy in her new home, just difficult at times around people.” I am in a hurry to say goodbye.

I tell my granddaughter Thea about my visit and the very strange story about the statue. Thea loves dogs and walks well-behaved dogs in her neighborhood.

“I don’t really believe in magic spells, but if the lady did cast a spell how do we know the she won’t do another spell and make her a statue again?” Thea asks, even though we both think the whole thing about spells is really unlikely.

“Well, we know that Clover is alive and not a statue. We know that she behaves badly for a dog. And we know she behaves quite normal for a lion. So since she is here and she is alive maybe we need to look at her differently.”

Clover does not like the rain.

Clover does not like water.

Clover likes to sit and watch fish in a pond.

Clover does not want a collar on her neck.

Clover does not want a leash on her collar.

Clover does not want random people to pet her.

Clover does not like the smell of medication.

Clover is much like a cat. A lion is a cat.

Clover seems quite content as a living lion. She loves her morning walks. She loves to sit for long stretches and protect the birds. She does not allow any cats or squirrels anywhere near the birdfeeders.

Clover loves to be petted only when she decides. As soon as I sit down on the couch she jumps up and paws at my hand to pet her. As soon as I sit on the bed to put my socks on for a walk, she jumps up and lowers her head for a neck and shoulder rub.

Clover loves broccoli. Even when she does not want to go for a walk in the rain, you can lure her to the porch with broccoli.

Clover loves swiss cheese. In the evening when I slice apples and add a slice of swiss cheese, she comes over, sits silently, puts one paw up and waits for a tiny piece of cheese

Clover loves the snow and jumps straight up and down with

joy. Foo Lions are called Snow Lions in Tibet….so that figures.

Clover’s best friend is an older lady in the neighborhood who likes to read with her. She also prevents me from giving Clover to the zoo on very bad days.

Clover enjoys her life enough not to think she will do better as a statue. Our big problem is not to let animal control know we have a lion in the yard because our neighborhood is not zoned for wild animals and because we only pay taxes on a dog.

Clover rescue protector

Clover the protector



I no longer tell people Clover is a rescue dog with issues. I just say she is a Foo Lion who likes to sit by the door protecting her friends.



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New Puppy Nutrition Recommendations

Did you get a new puppy? Congratulations! puppy-eating-ozzy

Here at Blue Door Mobile Veterinary Services, we love puppies!  If you live in or near Portland, Oregon, we can help you get your puppy started the right way and help them live a long, healthy life.  Follow us to find out about your new family addition and how to treat them right. Today we will talk about finding the right puppy food for your new friend. Later, we will discuss vaccinations, behavior, potty training, and much more!

Are you asking yourself what do I need to know about owning a puppy?

Let’s start with a the basics – FOOD!:

  • What do you feed the newest member of the family?

The short answer is, puppy food! Just as babies are not miniature adults: puppies are not miniature adult dogs. Just being a puppy is hard work and requires different nutritional levels than adult dogs. Puppies generally require more calories than adult dogs. A commercial dog food that is labeled as a “puppy food” will have more calories per cup than adult dog food, so it is important that your new pet get the right food.  The differences don’t stop with calories though, so keep reading!

  • What are the other special nutritional needs of puppies?  puppy-max

We already know puppies require more calories, but they also require higher amounts of amino acids, minerals, more protein and different levels of fats. Small and medium breed puppies may be okay with a higher fat content to get those calories, but large breed puppies are at risk for developmental orthopedic diseases and require lower fat content to carefully regulate the rate of their growth. Quality puppy diets contain high levels of certain types of omega 3 fatty acids to promote healthy skin and a glossy coat as well as optimize brain and eye development.

  • How do I know what I am looking for?

First off, you want to look for an AAFCO label: American Association of Feed Control Officers. You can usually find their seal on the nutritional adequacy statement of the bag of food.  If the bag you’re looking at isn’t certified by AAFCO, it means the company hasn’t met the nutritional standards for complete and balanced nutrition which show that the diet supports the good nutrition they are claiming on the label.

aafco-labelExample of AAFCO statement on dog food label – look for “all life stages” or “puppies” instead of “adult dogs”

Next, look at the ingredients list: look for diets that are made from wholesome, natural ingredients, but don’t be scared away by the terms “by-product” or “meal” – those simply mean that the food may contain parts of the animal which aren’t used in human foods – ie lungs, spleen, and kidneys. Use of hair, horns, teeth, hooves, blood, manure or stomach contents is not allowed.  Check out this website for more definitions – Contrary to popular advertising campaigns, pets can also get nutritional value from some grains (corn, wheat, potatoes, barley, etc) and vegetables – they aren’t just carnivores like their wolf/wild cat relatives.

Last and most importantly, pick a food that is labeled specifically for puppy growth and development. Like we said above, puppies have some very specific needs and puppy foods are formulated to meet the needs of growing puppies.  Make sure to pick a large-breed puppy diet if you have a puppy who is likely to be over 50 pounds when he/she is full grown.

  • How much do I feed my new puppy?

All foods have different nutritional value. You should check out the feeding guideline on the bag. This is usually written as a per day amount. Most puppies should be fed 2-3 times daily.  If you have concerns that the bag suggestion is too much or too little, call your vet for a recommendation.


When do I switch him/her to an adult dog food?

When your puppy’s growth in height slows, you should begin switching to an adult formula. This usually occurs around 9-10 months for small breeds, around 12 months for medium breeds and 12-24 months for large breeds.

Did you adopt a kitten instead?  Check out our “What to feed my new kitten” blog.

As always, don’t hesitate to call/e-mail us at Blue Door Veterinary Services if you have any questions that this short blog didn’t answer!

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Pets, Fireworks and Thunder. Oh My!

Fireworks and thunderstorms are a fact of summertime.


While the celebrations and warm rain storms can be fun for people, some pets can become extremely frightened of the noise of both thunder and fireworks.  This can lead to anxiety/hiding, injuries due to trying to get away, and lost pets.  Your pet has a much better developed sense of hearing than we do, and that makes them more sensitive to these sounds of summer. The unexpected boom and crackle from fireworks can be startling and therefore scary. Thunderstorms may have more of a warning for our pets as they can sense the changes in the atmosphere long beforehand, but this means that they may be anxious for a longer time leading up to the storm.

Historically, Humane Societies around the country are busiest on the night of the 4 th of July and on July 5th as many pets become so frightened they slip from their collars or escape the backyard and wind up in their care.

There are many different approaches to helping your pet through this scary time of year.

Some pets need a combination of therapies to reduce their fear, stress and anxiety. Below are some options for your pet:

  •   Thunder shirt:  These work like swaddling does for infants. They can help your pet feel secure during stressful situations

Lemur modeling his Thundershirt

  •   Prescription  Medications: There are several anti-anxiety medications that can be used. Sileo is an FDA approved treatment for noise aversion. It is a fast-acting, easy- to- administer at home treatment.  Call us today to schedule an appointment to pick up some medications before your pet gets scared.

Sileo – A noise aversion prescription medication


A Feliway plug-in pheromone diffuser

  •   Pheromones:   Dog appeasing Pheromones or Feliway ( for cats). These products can be found  in several formats that can be used alone or together.  There are collars,  sprays or a plug in diffuser. They can be found in most pet stores.
  •  Melatonin is a natural calming supplement and you can find it at any health food store. This should be given before the fireworks start for best effect.

Tips for the Big Day (July 4th):

  • Block as much noise as possible by closing doors and playing a white noise cd. If possible use an interior room for your pet. Create a special area for your pet to feel safe: a covered crate with a favorite treat or toy.
  • Make sure all pets are wearing collars with identification tags – even if you leave them inside – Imagine a big boom happening when you open the door to leave and your pet runs out.
  • Make sure your microchip information is up-to-date with a correct phone number and address. If your pet is not microchipped : schedule an appointment to have one implanted today.


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Pets in Portland, Oregon Apartments

Do you have a dog or cat and live in an apartment complex or condo in the Pacific Northwest?

Do you own or manage a pet-friendly home, pet-friendly condo or pet-friendly apartment complex in the Portland, OR metro area?

We have a few recommendations for both of you:

  • All pets should be on a veterinary recommended flea prevention product year-round.

All pets in multifamily living situations (condos or apartments most commonly), are at risk of external and internal parasites which can be difficult (sometimes almost impossible) to treat in the environment. Everyone knows that fleas make pets itchy and can cause irritating bites on susceptible people but did you know they can be a public health hazard as well?  Fleas can carry several types of bacteria that they can spread to pets and people. A couple of diseases fleas can spread are cat scratch disease, plague and dogs-in-doorwaytapeworms.  Over the counter flea preventatives may work for some pets, but there seem to be many pets who do not get the protection they need from the generic products.   With these pests, it’s far better to prevent them than to have to treat for them. Treatment will require diligence and effort; you’ll have to treat all the pets, all the bedding, the indoor environment and the outdoor environment to kill the population of fleas invading your home. The adults you see make up only about 5% of the fleas you see in your environment – one flea can lay up to 50 eggs a day and live for 2-3 months.  If you do the math, that’s a lot of eggs!

  • All pets should be treated with a broad spectrum intestinal parasite dewormer at least twice a year.

Dogs and cats are susceptible to many internal parasites even as indoor-only pets.  Many of these, they can share with people.  Roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms are common intestinal parasites which can affect people.  Some heartworm preventatives pull double-duty by protecting against heartworm disease (spread by mosquitos year-round) as well as intestinal parasites.  Young children, the elderly and immunocompromised individuals are at the highest risk of contracting these intestinal parasites from infected pets.  Your vet can help decide what dewormer is right for your pet.

  • Every pet should have an up to date Rabies vaccine

By Oregon law, all cats and dogs over the age of 6 months must have a rabies vaccine given to them by a licensed veterinarian.  Rabies is a rapidly fatal disease for pets and humans with no treatment, so it is important to prevent it.  Most veterinarians will vaccinate a dog or cat between 4-6 months of age, then again 12 months later.  After that, the vaccines are generally valid for 3 years at a time. Most counties also require a separate “county tag” that can usually be purchased on your county’s website.  It is important to have this cat-vaccinevaccine for your pets’ protection, but it is also important for your protection.  If your pet bites someone and does not have an up-to-date vaccine, the county can impose a mandatory quarantine and could potentially impound your pet and require euthanasia depending on the degree of the injuries caused. If they have a current vaccine, the situation is much less scary.

There are several other vaccines and preventative care items that your veterinarian may recommend based on your pet’s age and lifestyle, but these three items are important for every pet in multi-family facilities.  If every pet in an apartment or condo has these basic preventions on board, then the facility itself will be cleaner and safer as a whole for all pets and people living there.

Call us today if you manage a complex which allows pets and have any questions about these recommendations.  We can even set up a vet-day for us to bring our mobile veterinary clinic to your location and help update all pets in the building(s) to keep everyone safe! 


If you’re a pet owner and would like more specific recommendations for your cat or dog, please call us today to set up a house-call veterinary appointment. We provide an old-timey service with new-age technology!

As always, don’t hesitate to call/e-mail us at Blue Door Veterinary Services if you have any questions that this short blog didn’t answer!    503-819-8040

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Cat Carrier woes? We can help!

Austin loves his box


Everyone knows that cats LOVE boxes right? Then why is it so hard to put them in a cat carrier?


While the easy answer for most situations is to call a mobile veterinarian like Blue Door Veterinary Services, during an emergency (health or disaster), a carrier can be a life saver.

Would you believe me if I said you can train your cat to get in the carrier without injury, blood loss and tears? Yes, I said train your cat.  Now is the time to start teaching your cat that the carrier is a safe place.

chill cat with carrier

For most cats, their only experience with the carrier is a scary ride to the vet. With each successive trip to an unhappy place, the idea of a carrier can get scarier and scarier to a cat. For kittens, we can start them out early, teaching them that the carrier is a safe, even a fun place.  For older kitties who are already fearful of the carrier, with some positive reinforcement and some time, we can change their perceptions of carriers and make them less likely to practice their claw sharpening on you when it becomes necessary to use a carrier for transportation.

Let’s get started:

  • Start by bringing the cat carrier out: Out of the garage, attic, closet, where ever you have it hidden. Clean it up of all the cobwebs and dust bunnies and set it in a quiet, but easily accessible, place for your cat to see. 
  • Now let’s make it inviting: place a soft towel or something that smells like home inside, add some cat nip or perhaps maybe even some feline pheromone spray (we recommend Feliway).
  • Leave the door open – remove it if possible. If you have the hard plastic kind that you can take the lid off, then I recommend taking the lid off to start as well. We want to make it as open as possible so your cat doesn’t feel like it’s a trap.
  • For some really fearful cats, you’ll have to start slow.  Introduce your cat to the sight of the carrier by feeding them in view of the carrier. No pressure to go in, it’s just there. Slowly move the bowl closer to the carrier each day.  Do that for as many days as necessary to get your cat comfortable walking right up to the carrier and eating next to it.
  • Next, I recommend offering high value food or treats inside the carrier. Still no pressure; the door doesn’t shut. Our goal is for your cat to willingly go into the carrier.
  • Continue to offer food and treats in and near the carrier indefinitely. You will find your cat willing to enter the carrier eventually. Once she’s comfortable getting in and out of the cat carrier, you can slowly begin closing the door and picking the carrier up.  Short periods of time, stopping before she panics.  Let her out and give more treats.
cat carrier

Nick is relaxed in his soft sided carrier

  • If you have to take your cat anywhere in the carrier, make sure to have the carrier out in the days before you must leave and leave it out a few days after you bring your kitty home.  Do what you can to never bring the carrier out immediately before you have to take your cat anywhere in it.
  • It may take a long time for older cats who have a real fear of the carriers, but it is totally worth it to get them used to it.
  • Positive reinforcement and time – It really is a simple as that.
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What Makes our Mobile Veterinary Service Unique



mobile veterinary clinic

What Makes Our Mobile Service Unique? 

Blue Door Veterinary Services is a veterinary practice like you have never seen before! Dr. Meridith Dawson, owner and veterinarian, operates our mobile veterinary unit in the greater Portland community, providing complete veterinary services to dogs and cats (and sometimes rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs and chickens).

blood work

On board lab machines

The mobile vet hospital is equipped with a complete surgical suite (for spays, neuters, mass removals and other elective surgeries), digital x-ray capabilities, pet dental cleaning/treatment equipment, on-site laboratory services, and so much more. Our advanced technology is on par with the technology you would find in a traditional brick and mortar practice, but we come right to your door!

Most importantly, we bring our full attention to your pet’s needs, in a place that is most calming: home. Whether your pet is anxious or travels poorly, or you have difficulty handling your pet or multiple pets for a visit to a traditional veterinary office, mobile care can be perfect for all of you. We’ll spend the time needed to meet your pet, conduct a full evaluation, and develop a plan of care. Should specialized care or longer-term treatment be necessary, we may even be able to help with the transportation of your pet to specialty hospitals.

Henry was relaxed for his at home vet exam

We invite you to explore the many veterinary services we offer to learn more about who we are and what we can provide to you, with exceptional convenience! If you have questions about our care, please explore our Frequently Asked Questions page on our website, or contact our team directly.
call: 503-819-8040

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Why choose a mobile vet?


Why does YOUR PET want you to choose a mobile vet?

  • Have you ever noticed your pet shaking, shedding excessively, or panting when you sit in a veterinarian’s waiting or exam room?
  • Does your cat yowl or have accidents in their cat carrier on the way to the vet’s office?
  • Does your dog get over-excited about the other pets in the lobby of a traditional vet?
  • Do you stock up on bandages in preparation to put your cat in a carrier?

These are all signs of stress. Blue Door Veterinary Services will see your furry friend in the

Henry was relaxed for his at home vet exam

place that is most familiar: their home and neighborhood. The mobile truck is specially designed for nearly every medical need from immunizations, to dental cleanings and surgery, thus almost eliminating the need to travel to a brick and mortar clinic where they get so upset.

Why should YOU choose a mobile vet?

  • Do you have multiple pets that require multiple trips to the vet? Get them on the same schedule. With Blue Door, you make one appointment, saving you the hassle of transporting your family.
  • Has your dog had more trouble getting up/into the car in recent years? Save your back and let us come to her.
  • Do you work-from-home? You can continue with your own work while we attend to your pet’s needs. No need to sit and wait in someone else’s office for the doctor to see you. Your boss will never even know you’re multitasking!
  • Are you a parent with young children who are tough to keep entertained at the doctor’s office? With Blue Door, we only need a few minutes of your time at the start of the visit. After we discuss a plan, we then transport your pet to our veterinary truck, take care of their needs and return them to you to discuss the exam and recommendations. No need to wrangle kids and pets together as you would in a traditional brick and mortar clinic.
  • Prefer to spend your day off at home? So do we. Your home is exactly where we want to be. You and your family can remain relaxed and well cared for by Blue Door Vet Services.

Have any questions about what we do as a mobile vet or how we can help you and your pet out?  Visit our FAQ page for more information.

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Hot Weather Safety Tips

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but being overeager in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:

  • Visit the vet for a spring or early-summer checkup. Make sure your pets get tested for heartworm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse. Symptoms can also include seizures, bloody diarrhea and vomit along with an elevated body temperature of over 104 degrees.
  • Animals with flat faces, like Pugs and Persian cats, are more susceptible to heat stroke since they cannot pant as effectively. These pets, along with the elderly, the overweight, and those with heart or lung diseases, should be kept cool in air-conditioned rooms as much as possible.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. Not only can it lead to fatal heat stroke, it is illegal in several states!
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur, and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • Open unscreened windows pose a real danger to pets, who often fall out of them. Keep all unscreened windows or doors in your home closed, and make sure adjustable screens are tightly secured.
  • Feel free to trim longer hair on your dog, but never shave your dog: The layers of dogs’ coats protect them from overheating and sunburn. Brushing cats more often than usual can prevent problems caused by excessive heat. And be sure that any sunscreen or insect repellent product you use on your pets is labeled specifically for use on animals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.
  • Commonly used rodenticides and lawn and garden insecticides can be harmful to cats and dogs if ingested, so keep them out of reach. Keep citronella candles, tiki torch products and insect coils of out pets’ reach as well. Call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Centerat (888) 426-4435 if you suspect your animal has ingested a poisonous substance.
  • Remember that food and drink commonly found at barbeques can be poisonous to pets. Keep alcoholic beverages away from pets, as they can cause intoxication, depression and comas. Similarly, remember that the snacks enjoyed by your human friends should not be a treat for your pet; any change of diet, even for one meal, may give your dog or cat severe digestive ailments. Avoid raisins, grapes, onions, chocolate and products with the sweetener xylitol. Please visit our People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets page for more information.
  • Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Exposure to lit fireworks can potentially result in severe burns or trauma, and even unused fireworks can contain hazardous materials. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home. Be prepared in the event that your pet does escape by downloading the ASPCA Mobile App. You’ll receive a personalized missing pet recovery kit, including step-by-step instructions on how to search for a lost animal in a variety of circumstances.


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What Is Canine Influenza Virus?


There are many causes of kennel cough, both bacterial and viral. Canine influenza virus (CIV) is one of the viral causes of kennel cough. This highly contagious respiratory disease has affected thousands of dogs in the United States. Because CIV is a relatively new virus, most dogs have not been exposed to it before. Dogs of any age, breed, and vaccine status are susceptible to this infection.

How Could My Dog Catch Canine Influenza Virus?
CIV is easily transmitted between dogs through a combination of aerosols, droplets, and direct contact with respiratory secretions. The virus does not survive for a long time in the environment, so dogs usually get CIV when they are in close proximity to other infectious dogs.

Which Dogs Are Prone to Canine Influenza Virus? 
Any dog who interacts with large numbers of dogs is at increased risk for exposure. Pet owners should consult their veterinarian for information about the canine influenza vaccine.

What Are the General Signs of Canine Influenza Virus? 
While most dogs will show typical signs of kennel cough, but a small percentage of dogs will develop a more severe illness. Signs of canine influenza virus include:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Variable fever
  • Clear nasal discharge that progresses to thick, yellowish-green mucus
  • Rapid/difficult breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy

Can Dogs Die From Canine Influenza Virus?
If CIV is quickly diagnosed and treated, the fatality rate is quite low. Deaths are usually caused by secondary complications, such as pneumonia. It is important that dogs with CIV receive proper veterinary care.

How Is Canine Influenza Virus Diagnosed?
Veterinarians will typically conduct a thorough physical examination and run a series of tests to diagnose the illness.

How Is Canine Influenza Treated?
Because CIV is a virus similar to the flu in humans, there is no specific antiviral medication available. However, supportive care and appropriate treatment of secondary infections are important. Your veterinarian may advise the following to soothe your dog while the condition runs its course:

  • Good nutrition and supplements to raise immunity
  • A warm, quiet, and comfortable spot to rest
  • Medications to treat secondary bacterial infections
  • Intravenous fluids to maintain hydration
  • Workup and treatment for pneumonia

Be advised, while most dogs will fight the infection within 10 to 30 days, secondary infections require antibiotics and, in the case of pneumonia, sometimes even hospitalization.

What Should I Do if I Think My Dog Has Canine Influenza Virus? 
If you think your dog has canine influenza virus, immediately isolate him or her from all other dogs and call your veterinarian.

Can I Catch Canine Influenza From My Dog?
So far there has been no evidence to indicate that dogs can transmit CIV to humans.

How Can I Help Prevent My Dog From Spreading the Disease? 
Any dog infected with CIV should be kept isolated from other dogs for 10 to 14 days from the onset of signs. Dogs are most infectious before signs are apparent, and can continue shedding the virus for approximately 10 days. This means that by the time signs of the illness are seen, other dogs may have already been exposed.


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Easter Pet Poisons


The veterinarians at Pet Poison Helpline receive hundreds of calls this time of year from pet owners and veterinarians concerning cats that have ingested Easter lilies.

“Unbeknownst to many pet owners, Easter lilies are highly toxic to cats,” said Ahna Brutlag, DVM, MS assistant director at Pet Poison Helpline. “All parts of the Easter lily plant are poisonous – the petals, the leaves, the stem and even the pollen. Cats that ingest as few as one or two leaves, or even a small amount of pollen while grooming their fur, can suffer severe kidney failure.”

In most situations, symptoms of poisoning will develop within six to 12 hours of exposure. Early signs include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy and dehydration. Symptoms worsen as kidney failure develops. Some cats will experience disorientation, staggering and seizures.

“There is no effective antidote to counteract lily poisoning, so the sooner you can get your cat to the veterinarian, the better his chances of survival will be,” said Brutlag. “If you see your cat licking or eating any part of an Easter lily, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately. If left untreated, his chances of survival are low.”

Treatment includes inducing vomiting, administering drugs like activated charcoal (to bind the poison in the stomach and intestines), intravenous fluid therapy to flush out the kidneys, and monitoring of kidney function through blood testing. The prognosis and the cost – both financially and physically – to the pet owner and cat, are best when treated immediately.

There are several other types of lilies that are toxic to cats as well. They are of the Lilium and Hemerocallis species and commonly referred to as Tiger lilies, Day lilies and Asiatic lilies. Popular in many gardens and yards, they can also result in severe acute kidney failure. These lilies are commonly found in florist bouquets, so it is imperative to check for poisonous flowers before bringing bouquets into the household. Other types of lilies – such as the Peace, Peruvian and Calla lilies – are usually not a problem for cats and may cause only minor drooling.

Thankfully, lily poisoning does not occur in dogs or people. However, if a large amount is ingested, it can result in mild gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting and diarrhea.

Other Dangers to Pets at Easter Time

Pet Poison Helpline also receives calls concerning pets that have ingested Easter grass and chocolate.

Usually green or yellow in color, Easter grass is the fake grass that often accompanies Easter baskets. When your cat or dog ingests something “stringy” like Easter grass, it can become anchored around the base of the tongue or stomach, rendering it unable to pass through the intestines. It can result in a linear foreign body and cause severe damage to the intestinal tract, often requiring expensive abdominal surgery.

Lastly, during the week of Easter, calls to Pet Poison Helpline concerning dogs that have been poisoned by chocolate increase by nearly 200 percent. While the occasional chocolate chip in one cookie may not be an issue, certain types of chocolate are very toxic to dogs. In general, the darker and more bitter the chocolate, the greater the danger. Baker’s chocolate and dark chocolate pose the biggest problem. The chemical toxicity is due to methylxanthines (a relative of caffeine) and results in vomiting, diarrhea, hyperactivity, an abnormal heart rhythm, seizures, and possibly death. Other sources include chewable chocolate flavored multi-vitamins, baked goods, or chocolate-covered espresso beans. If you suspect that your dog ate chocolate, call your veterinarian or Pet Poison Helpline immediately.

Spring is in the air and Easter is a wonderful holiday. Remember that your pets will be curious about new items you bring into your household like Easter lilies, Easter grass and chocolate. Keep them a safe distance away from your pets’ reach and enjoy the holiday and the season.



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