Dog Blood Donors: Save a Life with Buddies for Life!


dog blood donors

Dog Blood Donors

Most of us have given blood to help someone else. Did you know that your dog can be a blood donor to help other canines in need? Oakland Veterinary Referral Services has an in-house canine blood bank called Buddies for Life.

OVRS collects and stores blood products that are used to treat a variety of doggie problems including blood loss, immune mediated diseases, genetic disorders, and more. We successfully provide over 400 blood transfusions per year and save many canine lives in the process.

Our volunteers and dog blood donors are the true heroes who make this possible. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you and your fur friend could be one of these heroes?

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Springtime Woes: Seasonal Allergies in Pets

A puppy sitting in a green grassy area scratching itself behind the ear.

It’s finally Spring, with the sun sticking around a little longer each day, and the early buds beginning to raise their heads. Unfortunately, seasonal allergy woes of itchy noses and watery eyes have also arrived–for both pets and humans.

Allergies, including the seasonal kind, affect our four-legged friends, too. In fact, your pet may have them year-round, or just when certain things are in full bloom. They can cause irritation and discomfort, and can even become a long term problem for a furry family member.

The team at OVRS takes a closer look at allergies in pets, and how they can be treated.

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The Dog Owner’s Guide to TPLO Surgery

Dog walking in sling after TPLO surgery

Has your Veterinarian recommended Tibial Plateau Leveling Osteotomy (TPLO) surgery for your dog? TPLO is one of the most widely used procedures in repairing cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) tears in dogs (and sometimes in cats). In most cases, TPLO surgery is superior to that of other orthopedic surgeries. It is particularly successful in large breeds and those with advanced joint degeneration and CCL ruptures.

Many dogs suffer injuries related to CCL tears, fractures, and other orthopedic occurrences. These injuries require a highly skilled team of veterinary surgeons. This guide explains what TPLO is, in what cases it is needed, and why it’s effective. We also provide tips to maintain your dog’s orthopedic health post-surgery.

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How to Read Your Pet’s Body Language

pets body language

You may think little Chomsky can bark out a few recognizable phrases, or that your cat talks to you, but most of us must rely on pet body language to understand them. Dogs, cats, and other companion animals don’t have the luxury of communicating in our language, so it is crucial to understand theirs.

Pets also use body language to communicate with other animals. They signal feelings like affection, fear, aggression, and so on in order to bond, avoid conflict, and establish territory. How can you read your pet’s body language for better understanding? We’re here to help decipher this important form of communication.

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What to Do When You Can’t Afford Veterinary Care

afford veterinary care

Veterinary hospitals and those in the veterinary profession do our best to provide high quality services at an affordable cost. As veterinary medicine advances, it can get expensive, especially for pet emergencies and specialty care. This is a reality and one we at OVRS do not take lightly.

Veterinary care for our four-legged family members is a priority for pet owners, but there are times when the cost of treatment or surgery is not an option due to financial constraints. It is our hope to help bridge the gap with 10 ways that some pet owners have been able to fund their pet’s medical care. Every pet owner should be able to get their pet the care he or she needs.

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How Veterinarians Are Responding to the Opioid Epidemic

A graphic of a prescription form saying "Opioid perscription", scattered with capsules or pills.

What has been labeled the opioid epidemic or crisis has impacted not only the medical community but also law enforcement, municipalities, the pharmaceutical industry, community health and safety, and so many others. News headlines about this epidemic are frequent, while states have mobilized to address the issues of addiction and prescription drug abuse.

At first, some may wonder why this human addiction has anything to do with our pets. Unfortunately, some of the drugs we use to treat pain in our pets can be abused by humans. Although opioids are used on a more limited basis by veterinarians, we must be vigilant in light of possible prescription abuse.

The opioid epidemic and how it affects the veterinary community is a difficult one, but one we want to address.

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Coexisting with Urban Coyotes: A Pet Owner’s Guide

Graceful Coyote stands in the center of frame surrounded by green grass

Coyotes, and other wildlife, are no longer just remote animals we see when camping in the woods or visiting wild areas. Coyotes, raccoons, wolves, deer, skunks, and many other species have had to adapt and are now thriving in urban environments alongside humans.

Coyotes are predatory by nature, giving pet owners good reason to be concerned for the safety of their pets. Our goal is to help you better understand coyotes, and how they interact with small animals, so that our pets can more safely live alongside them.

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The Future Is Pets: Why Millennials Have the Top Spot as Pet Owners

pet owners

With more than $70 billion spent each year on pet food and care products, there’s no doubt that we love our dogs, cats, and other furry friends. In fact, 66% of all households in the United States have one or more pets. A house is not a home without whiskers and paws, after all.  

Most recently, Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) surpassed Baby Boomers as the generation with the most pets. And there’s no stopping this fur-crazed phenomenon with the arrival of the next pet loving generation!

The future stands to be bright for our four-legged pals, but why are younger generations taking the lead on pet ownership? OVRS is here to take a look at this trend.

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Welcoming Your New Pet: Setting the Stage for the First Few Months

your new pet

If you have, or are expecting, a new pet to complete your happy home, this is a time of excitement and preparation. The arrival of an adopted fur friend is one that is a mix of enthusiasm, anticipation, and all-the-feels you can expect when you add to your family.

This first few months is also prime time for preparing your new pet for a life of health, happiness, and general wellbeing. There is no time like the present to get a sense of the tasks ahead as you make a pet wellness plan.

How do you do this? Your OVRS team is here with some tips for getting your new pet ready for that incredible life!

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Your Guide to Indoor Pet Enrichment

Pet environmental enrichment has become critical in encouraging smarter, healthier, and better behaving pets. Enrichment engages your pet mentally and physically, and is necessary for reducing the anxiety, boredom and frustration associated with being indoors.

The concept of enrichment doesn’t have to be a complex one. There are many simple ways to implement an indoor pet enrichment program of your very own. The team at OVRS is here to help guide you through some of these options.

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