Volume 58 | December 2021

Altadena Valley Animal Clinic
    2898 Acton Road - Birmingham, AL 35243

Tips For A Pet Safe Holiday

This year the holiday season is bringing more friends and families together as we emerge from the recent pandemic. As you plan your festivities, here are some important tips to help keep your pet safe, happy, and ready for the holidays.

Deck The Halls – But Keep an Eye on Fido
Decorations make the holidays bright and happy, but if your pet gets mistletoe, holly, or poinsettias…and they’ll be spending the holidays at the clinic. Mistletoe and poinsettias can cause gastrointestinal upset and cardiovascular problems, while holly will cause nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.

If your decorating includes tinsel, you may want to consider something less attractive to your cat. As appealing as this shimmering plaything might be, if ingested, these shiny strands can obstruct the digestive tract, cause severe vomiting, dehydration, and possibly require surgery to remove.

In addition, keep breakable ornaments away from an inquisitive pet. They may look appetizing, but a mouthful of glass means a trip to the vet. Batteries, Christmas lights, and lighted candles can also pose potential hazards to your pet if left unattended and within paws reach.

Sweets and Treats and Things Pets Shouldn’t Eat
The holidays are always full of good food and sweet treats. While humans handle these foods with little issue (except the occasional overindulging), a pet’s digestive system will not. Fatty, spicy, and any sweets with xylitol (an artificial sweetener), should NEVER be given to your pet. For more on specific foods that are hazardous to your pet’s health, visit our website page here.

Holiday House Rules
If your pets insist on being the official greeters for your holiday parties, here are a few things to keep in mind so everyone will enjoy the festivities.

  • Not all guests are pet lovers. Make sure your guests know in advance if your pets will be in attendance. If they are uncomfortable with pets, be prepared to crate or locate them in another area, away from the gathering.
  • Pets greeting your guests at the door may be acceptable but make sure they have a collar with identification in case they decide to run away. Microchipping your pet is recommended and will offer the best opportunity for a safe return. To have your pet microchipped call the clinic for an appointment. 
  • If you give your pets a quiet place to stay, make sure they have plenty of water and comfortable bedding.
  • Many pets become anxious if there is lots of noise, especially if it’s a New Year’s Eve party and fireworks will be part of the celebration. Consider having our vets prescribe medication to help manage their anxiety. It’s safe and effective. Make sure you call the clinic for an appointment.
  • Pets are curious by nature. Make sure your medications are locked away in a secure place. Tell your guests to keep their purses and items secure as well or place them in a designated room away from your wet-nose, furry pals. 

Finally, if your pet is not a partygoer and would like to get away from it all, AVAC is the perfect place to board them, allowing you to concentrate on your human holiday party guests. Make sure you reserve a kennel or suite early before we’re all booked up.

Wishing you and your pets a safe and happy holiday season!


Julie Grimes, DVM
Our Wonderful Vets
Bobby Wilson, DVM
Lolly Wilson, DVM
ProHeart® 12 (moxidectin) Is Now Available!

Heartworm disease in our state is a year-round threat. Making sure you give your dog their monthly heartworm medication can be a challenge – until now! With only one dose of ProHeart 12 your dog will have protection all year long.

ProHeart 12 is a new safe and effective option that takes the worry out of remembering to give your dog a monthly dose of their heartworm preventative. It’s also the only FDA-approved product that prevents heartworm disease in dogs for 1 full year with just 1 shot given by our vets.

ProHeart 12 Is Effective & Safe

In three well-controlled studies, ProHeart 12

  • Was 100% effective against heartworm disease* in dogs
  • Was demonstrated to be safe for most types of dogs over 12 months, including:
  • Reproducing dogs
  • Collies sensitive to ivermectin—a common ingredient in monthly heartworm products

  • Had a similar adverse event profile to Heartgard® Plus 

*Caused by Dirofilaria immitis. Heartgard is a registered trademark of Boehringer Ingelheim.

To see if this product is right for your dog, call the clinic at (205) 967-7383
Check out our online store for savings on pet food, toys, and more! Click the link above to visit the store today!
*Terms and conditions apply. Must be of the same product, size, and purchased at one time, Ask the front desk receptionist for full terms and conditions.
Training Class Schedule
New Classes Coming Soon!
Yappy Hour: Puppy Socialization! 
  • New class coming soon!
  • (4-week course) 
  • Click the registration link below to sign up.

Puppy/Beginner Obedience (6-week course)​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
  • January 4 @ 6:30 pm
  • ​​Instructor: Anthony Rodriguez, CPDT-KSA
Impulse Control (6-week course) ​​​​
  • January 4 @ 7:30 pm
  • ​​Instructor: Anthony Rodriguez, CPDT-KSA
Tricks Time (5-week course)
  • New classes coming soon!

See the course description below. To be notified when this course is added, contact Rebecca@lovethemtrainthem.com.

If you have a question as to whether masks are required, check with your instructor prior to the first week of class. We want our students to learn and have fun in a way that is safe for everyone!

For more information and complete course descriptions, visit our Training website page or to sign up for classes by clicking the REGISTER link below.

Pet Picture of the Month
Recently we were so excited to be paid a visit from a past rescue, Bailey (originally known as Matilda). Bailey gave birth to several puppies in November 2019. All were adopted! Bailey also battled heartworms before she was adopted herself. All these adoptions were provided through the Birmingham Boston Terrier Rescue (BBTR).

This Christmas if you are considering a new pet, please consider adoption first. Rescues make wonderful pets and deserve a loving family, too. Great to see you again, Bailey! You are definitely well-loved and looking great. You would be so proud of your puppies.
Bailey (a.k.a Matilda Nov. 2019
Bailey's puppies 2019
Bailey Nov. 2021
Bailey and two of her puppies 2020
Altadena Valley Animal Clinic | Phone: 205-967-7383 | Fax: 205-967-7395
 Email: admin@altadenavalleyanimalclinic.com | www.altadenavalleyanimalclinic.com
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A Passion For Pets
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