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An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

SATURDAY, SEPT. 15 11 A.M. TO 4 P.M.



Adult Admission $2, Cash Only Kids 12 & Under FREE! Free Parking! The Lowcountry Paws & Claws Pet Expo is back for another great year! We will have fun events and educational demonstrations, adorable and adoptable animals from local shelters and plenty of local businesses looking to cater to you and your pet’s needs! Proceeds benefit all participating animal shelter and rescue groups.


Setting up a home aquarium can be fun and educational!


CHOOSing the right feathered friend Squawk! What birds make the best pets?



kids and their UNIQUE PETS Hedgehogs, sugar gliders, bearded dragons... Oh My!

On 4-foot leash only. No retractable leashes.


Kid-Friendly Fish Tanks

A Tail Wagging Good Time Details on the 2012 Lowcountry Paws and Claws Pet Expo.

Shannon Brigham Editor Laurie Hellmann Graphic Designer Aya Khalil, Ryan Nelson, Joyce Neville Contributing Writers Julie Nocida Senior Marketing Designer Tamara Murray Wright Advertising Art Director

An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier


SATURDAY SEPT. 15, 2012 11 A.M. - 4 P.M.

What you need to know Event schedule, exhibitor list, booth map.


20 Pet Disasters When is it an emergency?


pet photo contest Meet our winner Violet and all the other amazing contestants.

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Kid-Friendly Fish tanks Setting up a home aquarium can be fun and educational

by Aya Khalil

ndrew Hayes of Saint George loves the aquarium in his house filled with Plecos, Harlequins, Clown Loaches and more. “I like my fish because they look cool. I feed them every day and make sure the lights are on and I make sure everything is fine with my fish before I leave or go to bed,” the 6-year-old says. Having an aquarium at home can be fun and educational for children, says Chris Deer, owner of Tideline Aquatics in Hanahan. Children love having aquariums in their homes – especially when they can touch the fish, he says. Families can build their own aquariums in their homes, but should consider several factors before starting, Deer says. “We ask families what kind of maintenance they’re willing to do and how much space they have and what their budget is,” he says. The two main types of aquariums are freshwater and saltwater reef. “Freshwater is very forgiving, and there are so many fish that come from diverse types of water that adapt to the water during changes,” he says. Freshwater aquariums, however, don’t require a lot of maintenance and are less expensive than saltwater reef. Deer says aquariums need to be checked every day to make sure there are no problems with the fish. “If a fish stops eating, there’s usually a problem,” he says. He says it’s also important families test the water once a week and for the aquarium’s temperature to be 78 degrees for most species. Some cool water animals to have in aquariums are shrimp, starfish, Oscar, puffer fish, Blue Tang and clownfish, Deer says. Charlotte Hayes who lives in Saint George, say both of her sons enjoy their fish tanks. S.Q., 7, who has severe autism, enjoys aquariums just as much as his brother Andrew. They have a freshwater tank and S.Q.’s favorite fish to watch is the Red Marlboro Discus. “We have [had] a tank in our home for a few years, a 72-gallon bow front, and [S.Q.] just sits and watches. It still calms [S.Q.] and the sound of the water is an added benefit for him. We have had to build a custom hood that can be locked to keep him from ‘helping’ the fish,” Charlotte says. Charlotte’s family added an extra 20-gallon-tall freshwater tank that looks like Bikini Bottom from SpongeBob Squarepants. “[Andrew] has named his fish SpongeBob, Patrick, Sandy, Mr. Krabs and Spatula. He tries to train his fish and they have school daily,” she says. “We are using the tank to teach responsibilities such as feeding and cleaning the tank. He turns the lights on and off daily. I think it’s better than a puppy because there are no puddles to clean, but responsibility is learned.”


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photos by Brad Nettles Jordan Fanning, 3, of Charleston checks out a fish tank at Tideline Aquatics in Hanahan.

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Adam Kernen of Daniel Island has two daughters, Annika, 10, and Joelle, 7, who both enjoy the aquariums in their home. They have a 300-gallon saltwater reef that Adam takes care of. Annika has a 6-gallon freshwater tank in her room with guppies, tetras, a catfish and an algae eater. “The guppies just had four babies, and one of the babies has survived and is growing. This was really big news in our house when she saw the babies,” Kernen says. “It also gave us a chance to research together how to care for the babies and what to expect.” Joelle has a betta in its own container in her room, he says. “The girls now care for their own tanks. Mostly this just means that they change part of the water every two to three days and they feed them appropriate amounts every day,” Kernen says. “This took a few reminders to get them started, but now it is a habit for them and rarely do I have to get involved.” Casey Hullette, an active duty Senior Airman in the United States Air Force has had an aquarium in his house for nine years. He’s from North Carolina and is stationed in Delaware, but is trying to go to Charleston’s Air Force Base. Hullette’s 8-month-old son, Tripp, enjoys looking at the aquariums. They have a 50-gallon coral reef tank with a small Foxface Rabbitfish and a 14-gallon soft coral tank with two clownfish, a peppermint shrimp and a fire shrimp. An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier


Chris Deer, owner of Tideline Aquatics, cleans a tank.

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“I love having an aquarium in the home with my son because I personally think it has helped him with his motor skills and coordination,” he says. “At 4 months old he was moving his head and eyes, watching the fish swim, which in turn helped his neck muscles develop. Tripp loves the fish, his dad says. “Usually after his dinner time, before bath and bed time, we will spend some time in the front room looking at the aquariums. He loves to stand on the side of the aquarium stand and watch the fish eat, sometimes we get lucky and the little guys come right up in front of him to eat.” Aya Khalil is a freelance journalist. She’s a graduate from College of Charleston with a Master of Education with a focus in teaching English as a second language. She can be contacted at

Jordan Fanning, 3, of Charleston loves fish.

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Learning advantages/lessons: • Consistent care – Understanding that the animals depend on you entirely to provide for them, and will thrive or struggle depending on your quality of care. • Proper care – Overfeeding is bad because it pollutes the water, and changing part of the water is necessary to help keep their water clean. We must also acclimate new fish carefully so they don’t get sick or stressed. We also have to prepare our water to add to the tank so it is free of chemicals and the right temperature. • Community and selection – That some animals do not get along with others, and that we must choose the inhabitants carefully. You cannot choose a fish just because it is neat or pretty, nor can you overload the tank because they’ll all suffer. • Loss – That not everything lives forever. It is no fun to lose a fish, but it is an important life lesson. • The life cycle of fish and even the bacteria in the water (nitrogen cycle). This creates in them a larger sense of the Earth’s environment. • Problem solving. Annika had a problem early where she lost some fish due to high nitrates in the

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water. We solved this by changing the water more frequently and using a supplement. • One big tip…Like many other things in life, if you teach them why to do something, then you’ll rarely have to nag them to do it. For example, once they understand the basics of the nitrogen cycle*, they know why they have to change some of the water twice a week. *(different bacterias in the water turn food and waste in to ammonia, the ammonia in to nitrite, the nitrite in to nitrate, but Nitrates are harder to get rid of and slowly build up in the water, choking the fish. So it is important to change some of the water regularly, or else nitrates will build up and the fish will suffer. But you can’t change too much of the water at once because then you’ll lose a lot of the good bacteria in the water.) • Disadvantages – As for disadvantages, there are a few, like having the tanks cared for while on vacation, a small spill here or there, or some tears when you lose a fish, but I feel strongly that the advantages and lessons far outweigh any cost or trouble involved. — Adam Kernan, of Daniel Island


Pros and cons of a home aquarium

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Choosing the Right Feathered Friend — Metro Creative Services

hen it comes to choosing a bird as a pet, many people are far less experienced than they might be if they were looking to adopt a cat or dog. As a result, those looking to adopt a pet bird are often unsure as to the best way to do so, or if the bird they truly want is going to make a good pet. As the Humane Society of the United States notes, not all birds make appropriate pets. Much like dogs, some birds have greater needs than prospective owners might understand. These can include physical as well as behavioral needs. In addition, it’s common for those looking to adopt a pet bird to assume the birds will be low maintenance. However, some birds need lots of attention, something they simply cannot get in the average household. For those serious about adding a pet bird to their home, it helps to understand a few things first. The HSUS offers the following advice to those hoping to find the right feathered friend.

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An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

shelter just specializes in cats and dogs, but they may have birds available for adoption as well. Just like cats and dogs, birds at a shelter aren’t necessarily problematic. In fact, many animals at the local shelter are there through no fault of their own, whether they’re victims of a family’s financial problems or a move to a new, less pet-friendly home. Chances are, the shelter has plenty of great birds available. ◗ Consider the source. When adopting a bird, it’s tempting to adopt a beautiful bird without consideration for where it might have come from. However, many exotic birds are an unwilling part of the wild animal trade. These animals might be abused and are often caught and sold illegally. When caught, these beautiful animals might be treated inhumanely. If the bird at the local store was wild-caught or if buyers suspect something isn’t quite right, avoid adoption and consult local law enforcement. For more information, visit the Humane Society of the United States online at


◗ Go with the standards. Certain birds have a reputation as good pets. Canaries, finches, parakeets, and cockatiels among others, have a long history of selective breeding in captivity and can be considered domesticated. These species also aren’t terribly needy, making it easy for pet owners to meet their basic needs and pick up any necessary supplies at the local pet store. ◗ Leave wild birds to the wild. While some prospective bird owners envision adding a colorful exotic bird to their homes, oftentimes these birds are not ideal for the average home. Macaws, cockatoos, toucans, and many varieties of parrots have not been captivity bred as long as birds like canaries and finches, and therefore might not prove as domesticated. The less domesticated a bird is, the more difficult it’s likely to be to live with that bird. Birds can be destructive and noisy and even bite their owners or others. So when looking for a bird, it’s best for buyers to find species that are more domesticated and less likely to prove problematic. ◗ Visit the shelter. It’s easy to assume the local

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An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

Kids and their Unique Pets Hedgehogs, sugar gliders, bearded dragons... Oh My!

by Ryan Nelson

ore kids and families are stepping outside of the box when it comes to pet ownership and taking a more exotic route. But just like any other pet, owning an exotic animal takes responsibility, knowledge and care. Jose Biascoechea, DVM, DABVP (Avian Specialty) at Birds and Exotics Animal Care in Mount Pleasant, says many people are unaware that exotic pets need veterinary care just like other types of pets and says those considering owning an exotic pet should look at the pros and cons. “Most avian and exotic animals have specialized dietary and habitat needs, and often the most accessible supplies and diets for these pets are not sufficient for their needs,” he says. Biascoechea sees all types of pet birds, domestic poultry and waterfowl, small mammals, reptiles, fish and amphibians of all types and sizes. “Because many of these animals are native to entirely different environments than the American Southeast, it can be challenging to provide them with the proper lighting, temperature, humidity, diet and care,” he says. But even with the fun names or exotic looks, these animals should never be purchased as an impulse buy, Biascoechea says. “If you see a pet you want today, do some research to make sure it will be a good fit in the long run,” he says. “Don’t fall for gimmicks such as dealers who are only in town for a day or weekend, sales on avian or exotic pets, or other advertising techniques that can result in you making a spontaneous decision you may later regret.”



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For 12-year-old Kayla Suggs of Hollywood, her introduction to sugar gliders came through a cousin that owned two of these small marsupials native to Australia and Indonesia. Sugar gliders are social mammals that resemble flying squirrels and can glide up to 150 feet. They get their name for their fondness for getting sap out of eucalyptus, gum and other trees and live in groups. Like kangaroos, they have a pouch where baby gilders, Joeys, live for up to 2 months when born. “She fell in love with them and researched them,” says mom, Ashly. Quickly, Kayla knew that owning a sugar glider would be different than a domestic cat or dog and got a female sugar glider, Jujube, a year ago. She named her new pet after her favorite candy. “She is her main handler. Sugar gliders have a period where they go through bonding. Kayla wears a pouch around her neck during the day when she takes her out of her cage. When Jujube has to go to the bathroom, she will crawl out of the pouch and let her know. They’ve really bonded,” she says. Sugar gliders can live up to 15 years in captivity and require a special diet. Kayla chops fresh vegetables and fruits for Jujube weekly and cleans her cage every five days. Jujube lives in Kayla’s room, which at first wasn’t such a great idea since these animals are nocturnal. “When they first started bonding, she would make different noises almost like a puppy barking. One night, Kayla had to go sleep on the couch,” Ashly admits. Bonding doesn’t happening overnight and can take months for the sugar glider to feel completely comfortable. Although, Kayla is Jujube’s primary caretaker, the Suggs family assists when socializing Jujube, who now glides across the room to Ashly or Kayla’s sister, Alyssa, 14, thanks to a skinlike membrane that stretches from its fifth finger to its big toe.

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Kayla Suggs, 12, of Hollywood owns a sugar glider named Jujube.

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Sadly, a large percentage of sugar glider owners give them up within a year. So far, Kayla and Jujube are enjoying their lives together and still bonding daily. Positive stories are always good news for Dr. Biascoechea and his staff, who unfortunately have also seen some accidents when it comes to owning an exotic pet. “We regularly see guinea pigs with broken backs and other injuries due to being dropped. We also see many rabbits with leg and back injuries resulting from being carried,” he says. “We also see a lot of problems caused by feeding inappropriate diets or treats and we clearly express what should and should not be fed to the pet.” Incidents like this is why he suggests a pre-purchase consultation taking into consideration things such as the pet’s life span – as some birds can live 50 years or longer – and other precautions. “Rabbits do not generally like being picked up and are not recommended for young children,” he says. “Hamsters can be nippy and may frighten a child. Guinea pigs have very poor depth perception and can be easily injured should they fall or be dropped from any height.” Bearded dragons are good ‘starter reptiles’, and when cared for with a parent’s supervision can be a wonderful pet for a younger person. Leopard geckos can also be an enjoyable pet for children and do not have the specialized lighting requirements of many other reptiles, Biascoechea says, who encourages adoption when possible.

In the end, it’s all about taking care of a living creature in the best way possible, he says. “It is a privilege and a responsibility to own a pet of any type. If you don’t have the time, resources, or desire to care for one properly, then please do not get one.”


Ryan Nelson owns a 12 year-old Chocolate Lab, Fletcher, and 7 year-old neutered Feral cat, Marley. Email her at or follow her on Twitter @Ryan_NelsonSC.

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African Grey: Pro - Highly intelligent, excellent talkers Con - Can be aloof, needy, very dusty. Box Turtle: Pro - Quiet. Con - Eats live prey, including worm, prone to respiratory and eye problems if care not ideal. Chameleon: Pro - Intriguing. Con - Very difficult and costly to care for, easily stressed, needs UVA/UVB light, special water system. Hedgehog: Pro - Very interesting to watch, can be litter trained. Con - Nocturnal, can be very shy, do not tolerate cold well, must be spayed to avoid reproductive tumors, cancers. Macaw: Pro - Big impressive bird for right person. Con - Can be quick-tempered and aggressive, noisy and messy. Never belong on your shoulder.

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Ball Python: Pro - Small-medium size, hardy, friendly Con - Escape artists, eats rodents, very susceptible to thermal burns. For more on exotic pets and what to consider, the FAQ page at


Some Pros & Cons of Choosing an Exotic Pet:

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A tail wagging good time! The 2012 Lowcountry Paws and Claws Pet Expo is an event not to be missed

rab Rover – and Fluffy, too! It’s time to head out for a day of fun with the whole family. Pets and their owners are invited to join The Post and Courier and Lowcountry Paws for a Saturday full of entertainment, exhibits, education and more at Charleston’s premier pet festival, the Lowcountry Paws and Claws Pet Expo on Sept. 15 at the Exhibit Hall building at the Exchange Park in Ladson. The fourth annual event will take place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and welcomes families and their furry, feathered and scaly kids to meet with vendors, rescue groups and shelters from around the Lowcountry. More than 5,000 people attended the event last year, bringing with them dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, snakes, birds, and even a squirrel. Looking for a new friend? Adorable and adoptable pets will be waiting! But the fun doesn’t stop there.


Pet races, a costume contest, K-9 demonstrations and a mixed-breed dog show are just a few of the many activities you can take part in. Pet Helpers also will be on site hosting a vaccination clinic. Discounted rabies shots and microchips will be available for all pets. Pets are welcome on 4-foot non-retractable leashes, and pet owners are reminded to clean up after them. For more information, visit petexpo.

Give a lick? Date: Sept. 15 Time: 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Where: Exchange Park, Ladson

Details: Free parking, $2 admission for adults, 12 and younger are free. Admission fees will benefit the rescue groups and shelters on site.


Pets and kids had fun at last year’s Pet Expo.


Kids! Want to win a cool prize at the Pet Expo? Color the pets and bring to the Lowcountry Parent booth to claim your prize!

Get your photo taken at our booth provided by Photo Affairs 321… (

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VENDORS 16 | 2012 Pet Expo

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Lowcountry Paws Lowcountry Parent Birds & Exotics Animal Care Dog Knows Best Bone-A-Fide Aussie Rescue Krewe Animal Medical Clinic of Goose Creek Carolina Custom Screenprinting Karen’s Animal Nail Care Carolina Bassett Hound Rescue Goose Creek Veterinary Atlantic Coast Family Chiropractic Crowfield Carpet Cleaning Carolina Poodle Rescue Pet Smart Feline Refuge Banfield, The Pet Hospital Wiggle Butts Bakery Carolina Canines Charles Towne Landing Inn At Middleton Place Heritage Trust Charleston Veterinary Referral Center Harry Barker Lowcountry Dog Magazine Olsen Imagery The Pooch Parlor Doc Williams SPCA Sawmill Creek Smokehouse College Park Road Veterinary Clinic & Boarding Kennel Charleston Dog Training Club Greyhound Rescue of America Charleston Dog House Furlife German Shepherd Rescue Costco Wholesale Residence Inn by Marriott Charleston Downtown/Riverview Myatts Monsters Pawsitive Style & Puppy Crack Invisible Fence Brand H.O.P.E. Acres Horse Rescue Subaru of Charleston Cocker Spaniel Rescue Agent Owned Realty - Donna Durscher Lowcountry Animal Rescue Pet Helpers Greystar Animal Eye Care of The Lowcountry Petco Pet Rest My Three Dogs Charleston Dog Wizard Veterinary Specialty Care Dogs for the Paws Charleston Animal Society HealthSource Chiropractic Camp Bow Wow Coastal Carolina Veterinary Specialists South Carolina Dog Fence Unleashed Mobile Grooming Feline Freedom Faithful Forever Pet Loss In The Dog House: Playcare and Boarding Weimaraner Rescue of South Carolina Paws ‘N Bows Nationwide Insurance Coastal Canine Academy International Primate Protection League West Ashley Pet Care Center Boston Terrier Rescue Goose Creek Physical Medicine - Back2Health Adventure Walking and Positive Pet Sitting & Skydogs Family Dog Park Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS) Palmetto Dock Dogs Spoil ‘Em Rotten

2 12 EVENT SCHEDULE On-going throughout the day Charleston County K9 Unit


Presented outside by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department.

12:30 — 1 p.m. Training and Obedience Tips Presented by Charleston Dog Wizard.

1 — 2 p.m.

Horsein’ Around Presented outside by H.O.P.E. Acres Horse Rescue.

Pet Helpers Vaccination Clinic Rabies and Distemper shots will be administered from 12 – 3 p.m. in the back of the Exhibit Hall Building. $7 each.

Lowcountry Paws Costume Contest Bring Rover in his best attire for a chance to win a prize! Judges: Laura Olsen of Olsen Imagery, Angie Mizzell, local blogger and Deja Knight of Live 5 News.

2 — 3 p.m. America’s Pets Have Talent Fetch a frisbee, howl a tune or twist and shout! It’s time to let Fido shine. Judges: Lauren Lipsey of Pet Helpers , Natalie Caula of The Post and Courier and Shannon Brigham of Lowcountry Parent Magazine.

11 — 11:15 a.m. Let’s Dance! Presented by Dance Explosion.

3 — 4 p.m.

11:15 – 11:30 a.m.

All Paws On Deck Mixed Breed Dog Show

Myatt’s Monsters

11:30 — 12 p.m. The Pet Docs Are In Presented by Veterinary Specialty Care’s Dr. Perry Jameson and Dr. Henri Bianucci.

A contest for every fur-buddy! Presented by Kay Hyman of the Charleston Animal Society. Judges: Gary Griffin of WEZL, Rob Fowler, Chief Meteorologist of Channel 2 and Pamela Browning, Publisher of The Post and Courier.

12 — 12:30 p.m. Meet the PAALS Therapy Dogs Presented by Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services (PAALS).

Remember! Don’t forget to spay & neuter your pets.

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Food Vendors Kool Katz Italian Ice Carvel ckie’s Catering Ja s. M gs aw D d an Dames ccasions Catering O n er h ut So s Festival Food Hubee D’s

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An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

2012 Pet Expo | 19

Pet Disasters When is it an Emergency? by Ryan Nelson

magine your boyfriend proposing to you with a sparkly, four-and-a-half-carat diamond ring. Now imagine, you take it off one evening only to find it gone the next morning. Panic sets in as you search and then you discover the thief: your 4-month-old puppy. This is a scenario that Emergency and Critical Care Veterinarian, Kristin Welch, DVM, DACVECC, encountered recently when the owners brought in their diamond-loving puppy to the Charleston Veterinary Referral Center in West Ashley. Welch is the only residency-trained, board-certified critical care specialist in South Carolina and has seen her fair share of pet disasters. She relocated to Charleston with her husband, Dr. Arnaldo Torres, who is also an emergency veterinarian at CVRC, along with their two children and two dogs to help open this state-of-the-art 16,000 foot veterinarian facility in 2010. Each day brings a wide variety of pet emergencies – and Dr. David Sachs, the medical director at CVRC, credits that to the fact that many families are treating their pets as family wanting only the best treatment when it comes to their health. “The biggest change is the clients are getting things for their family members and want the same things for their animals,” he says. “When I first started 15 to 20 years ago, there wasn’t very much available. But now anything that can be done for a person, can done for a dog in most cases.” According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, of the two most popular pets in America, dog owners were revealed to be more dedicated to providing their beloved pets with appropriate veterinary care. In fact, total veterinary visits for dogs in 2011 increased to



Dirk got a cool cast at CVRC in West Ashley.

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Dr. Kristin Welch helps Rafi.

130.4 million, a 9.2 percent increase from 2006. Veterinary visits for cats were down 4.4 percent from 2006 to 2011, when there were 60.5 million visits. The numbers don’t lie, our pets mean the world to us and we’ll do anything to keep them healthy. “The pet owner population is very astute,” agrees Dr. Welch. “Many of them read about pet ownership, trends in feeding and more.” Many of Welch’s clients come from referring veterinarians around the Lowcountry who may not offer emergency services, neurosurgery, cardiology, oncology and even dentistry. Some come from as far as Savannah and Bluffton. With advanced technologies like MRI, CT, ultrasound, echocardiography, endoscopy and more on site, the referring vets can easily access their four-legged patients’ records via an advanced electronic medical records program. An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

But sometimes, unfortunate accidents can happen, which is when pet owners go directly to this 24-hour emergency hospital. “In the summer, we see a lot of snake bites. They’re all emergencies,” Welch says. “Not all are venomous, as 20 percent are ‘dry bites,’ where the snake bites but doesn’t inject venom. But the animal is in so much pain. We treat all bites as if they’re venomous.” Since both dogs and cats are covered in fur, finding the fang mark is virtually impossible. Welch suggests bringing them in immediately if you suspect they were bitten and be especially vigilant during the hours of dawn and dusk if you have an outside cat or allow your dog to walk in wooded areas that are snake habitats. “Some nights between the hours of 4 to 8 p.m. we’ll see one snake bite after another,” she admits. 2012 Pet Expo | 21

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“When dogs are walked between the peak times of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m., it’s too humid for them to get through the heat. Even with panting, they can’t expire enough to cool off.” Welch suggests walking in the early hours or in the evening. Also with our temperate climate, it’s imperative that owners keep up with their heart worm prevention medicine. “There’s a thought that heart worms are becoming more resistant to the older prevention medication. All animals should be tested every year in the spring,” she warns. “Across the country, heart worms are becoming more of a problem because people don’t think they missed a week or month of treatment.” When it comes to our feline friends – which are the most common pet, with the total U.S. population hovering right around 74.1 million, compared to 70 million dogs, according to the AVMA study – over-the-counter topical medication for flea prevention used on them can be dangerous, especially if the owner uses medication meant for dogs. “These medications meant for dogs but used on cats can cause tremors that could raise the cat’s temperature to 110 degrees,” Welch says. She often sees male cats experiencing blockages in their urethra. Often mistaken as a urinary tract infection, the cats will struggle to urinate so much so that they will vomit because of the pressure put on their kidneys. So no matter the situation for your cat or dog, if you think you’re having a pet emergency, don’t second guess it, Welch says. “No emergency is too small of an emergency.”

SAFETY TIPS FOR YOUR CAT OR DOG Be sure to schedule yearly vet checks Watch for snakes during dawn and dusk Avoid the hottest times of the day to walk your dog, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Provide them with fresh water at all times Watch under cars, lawn mowers and other hiding places for cats Keep all medication out of reach Keep all toxic foods, plants out of range - dogs will eat anything Watch for oyster shells, which cause injuries to dogs’ feet Don’t allow your dog to drink salt water Test for heartworms yearly, use heartworm preventative monthly Don’t apply topical medications on cats meant for dogs Sources: Dr. Kristen Welch and Dr. David Sachs

Ryan Nelson has her share of pet emergencies with her 12-year-old Labrador, Fletch. Contact her via email at or via Twitter @Ryan_NelsonSC.


Dr. Kristin Welch examines Holly Cheney.

Just like the diamond puppy, dogs love to get into things they shouldn’t, including medications, illicit substances, plants and even entire pill boxes. She warns owners that toxic food like chocolate, macadamia nuts, sugar-free gum with xylitol, raw bread dough may not seem to toxic to humans ... but can be extremely toxic to dogs. And be aware, salt water ingestion could lead to salt water toxicity in dogs especially if you take Scooby out on the boat or to the beach often. “It’s so hot and humid, dogs will drink salt water if they don’t have fresh water,” she says. “In mild cases, the dog will get dizzy and vomit. They can be treated with IV fluids but in the most severe form, which is what we see more of, they develop seizures, inability to walk and sodium levels so high it can dehydrate their brain.” Even if your pooch is more of a landlubber, Welch advises not to walk him during the hottest times of the day. An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

The Charleston Veterinary Referral Center 3484 Shelby Ray Court Charleston, SC 29414 For Appointments: 843.614.VETS (8387) or go online to

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Our cover model… Meet Violet



My name is Violet, and I live with my parents in Mount Pleasant. My favorite time of the day is when M I awake and Mom feeds me – what a great moment! My favorite treat is sharing a sugar cookie, dipped in coffee, with my Dad. Afterwards, he and I walk out to get the “Post and Courier” paper. I enjoy performing, I can “Hi Five,” “Dance,” sit on command, lay down on command, “stay,” and aam now learning to put my toys away – not bad for 10 months old. I love to snuggle with Tyler, who named me, and with Jessica who helps train me. My most favorite tthings to do are taking sight seeing trips in the golf cart or the car, and especially fond of shopping at Hairy Winston’s – every Diva loves to shop! Having my picture taken is ‘my thing!’ I’d give butterfly kisses, but since I can’t give you one, I’m sending paw kisses to everyone who voted for me. There is nothing like the friendships I find in the Lowcountry.


Love, Violet The Diva of Mount Pleasant

Lowcontry Paws recently held the 2012 Pet Cover Photo Contest. The Public was invited to vote for its favorite pet. Violet, of Mount Pleasant, revieved the most votes and got her pug mug on this year’s cover of the 4th annual Lowcountry Paws and Claws Pet Expo publication.


Introducing our 2012 Lowcountry Pet Cover Photo Contestants!

This year’s cover winner, Violet, was photographed by renowned freelance photographer Laura Olsen of Olsen Imagery, When not photographing a story for publication or capturing the personalities of her clients both two and four legged, she can often be found sipping coffee at a local coffee shop or cuddling with her two rescue dogs Peanut and Calliope on James Island. 26 | 2012 Pet Expo

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An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

2012 Pet Expo | 29

30 | 2012 Pet Expo

An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

2012 Pet Expo | 31

32 | 2012 Pet Expo

An advertising supplement to The Post and Courier

09.12.12 Pet Expo  

09.12.12 Pet Expo

09.12.12 Pet Expo  

09.12.12 Pet Expo