Welcome Back Wellness!
by Lisa Alexander | August 17th, 2021 | 11:34 am
Thanks to local Covid-19 vaccination efforts, Napa Humane was able to (safely) bring back in-person Wellness Clinics! Every pet deserves veterinary care, but for a lot of loving pet owners, our free Wellness Clinics are the only way to get it.
Napa Humane’s Wellness Clinics aim to assist Napa County’s underserved community, primarily low-income Latino households, who typically can not access basic veterinary care or lifesaving spay/neuter surgeries because of socioeconomic and language barriers. Our goal is to eliminate these barriers so that the animals – and the families who love them – can receive compassionate care and wellness services.
In a normal drop-in Wellness Clinic we might see over 100 pets, but we took just 62 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens by appointment at our most recent event, so that we could maintain social distancing for their families. Most of the patients – 40 of them, to be exact – had never seen a veterinarian before. Each animal was treated to an examination by one of our volunteer veterinarians, and provided the appropriate care. In addition to dispensing medications for ailments, we provided preventative services like core vaccines, flea medication, de-wormers and nail trims. We implanted 33 microchips and provided ID tags to help dogs and cats return swiftly home if they get lost. We were also able to sign 56 pets up for lifesaving spay/neuter surgeries at Napa Humane’s Clinic!
Many of the pets we saw this time around were suffering from allergies. Few people realize pets can get allergies, since they manifest differently in our fur babies than they do in us. Most commonly, allergies cause itchy skin, ears and feet, which often leads to excessive scratching, which in turn can cause infection and hair loss. Our vets prescribed medicated shampoos and special medications, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties.
Just as importantly, though, our vets also helped pet owners recognize their animals’ medical issues and how to treat them. Without that knowledge and assistance, pet owners often feel obligated to surrender their pets with chronic issues that may have just gotten out of hand. By treating the symptoms and educating pet owners, we help keep pets out of the shelter and at home with their families, where they belong.
We love the stories we hear at Wellness Clinics about how important pets are to people. One pet owner (not photographed) told us that when he was very ill this past year, Terry – his loyal Chihuahua companion of 10 years – refused to leave his side. Sensing that his best friend needed help, Terry would not let anyone get near him other than his wife. Once Terry’s owner recovered from his illness, Terry let down his guard and resumed his usual schedule and duties. Terry is such a beloved member of his family, and we could not imagine separating these two for the inability to receive veterinary care.
Between the veterinary services and the valuable advice to avoid future issues, we feel confident that this Wellness Clinic has helped ensure that our most vulnerable pets stay healthy, happy, and at home with their families.
Photo Credit: Seymour&McIntosh