The Heat is On!

Now that the temperatures are climbing, we wanted to emphasize how important it is to be aware of the dangers of leaving your pets in a locked car, and the consequences you as an owner can suffer by doing so!

“In many states there are no hard-and-fast rules on the legality of leaving a dog unattended in a vehicle, although offenders can (and frequently do) face animal cruelty charges. But 16 pawsome states do have specific “hot car” laws! The Animal Legal & Historical Center reports that these pupactive states have statutes that specifically prohibit leaving an animal in a confined vehicle.”

So in California, what is the law regarding leaving a dog in the car? 
Answer (provided by Santa Cruz Police Department):

This is a great question, as we all care about our animals and want to ensure their safety. When these types of calls are received by the Sheriff’s Office, we conduct our initial investigation, but often times request the assistance of Animal Services for guidance. 

The State of California Penal Code 597.7 states, “No person shall leave an animal in any unattended motor vehicle under conditions that endanger the health or well being of an animal due to heat, cold, lack of adequate ventilation, or lack of food and water, or other circumstances that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability, or death to the animal.”

This code does not explicitly provide a temperature that is too hot for an animal to be left in a vehicle. Officers will remove an animal from a vehicle when the temperature inside the vehicle is 90 degrees or above, and the animal is exhibiting signs of lethargy, sickness or excessive panting. We use a reptile cage thermometer to measure the temperature.

Owners often think that leaving an animal in a car for “just a minute” while they run an errand is safe. This is not true. Even cars that are parked in the shade with windows down leave an animal vulnerable to serious illness or death. I have personally seen vehicles parked in the shade with windows down, but due to no ventilation the temperature in the car was close to 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the dog was suffering and had to receive immediate veterinary care. 

While the law covers all animals, dogs are especially vulnerable to heat-related illness because they can only cool off by panting and through the pads in their feet. Dogs can only withstand a high body temperature for a short time before suffering nerve damage, heart problems, liver damage, brain damage or even death.

How to help a pet left in a hot car:

  • Take down the car’s make, model and license plate number.
  • If there are businesses nearby, notify their managers or security guards and ask them to make an announcement to find the car’s owner. Many people are unaware of the danger of leaving pets in hot cars and will quickly return to their vehicle once they are alerted to the situation.
  • If the owner can’t be found, call the non-emergency number of the local police or animal control and wait by the car for them to arrive. In several states good Samaritans can legally remove animals from cars under certain circumstances, so be sure to know the laws in your area and follow any steps required.

Lyme Disease

While we are beyond happy that the sun seems to be here to stay, with the warmer weather comes our least favorite little bug: the tick. Ticks are small arachnids, part of the order Parasitiformes. Ticks are ectoparasites, living by feeding on the blood of mammals, birds, and sometimes reptiles and amphibians. But the biggest problem with these tiny parasites is that they carry a whole hand basket of infectious diseases, including lyme disease.

“Lyme disease is caused by Borrelia burgdorferi…the most common carrier of B. Burgdorferi is the black legged tick, otherwise known as the deer tick.” The deer tick is found in wooded areas, marshes, and tall grasses. Numerous wildlife species, including birds, are carriers for the organism. We have already seen an increase in the auburn area for ticks and fleas due to the weather we had this winter; A ton of water, and then a heat wave!

At Meadow Vista Vet we strongly recommend taking a two step approach to the prevention of Lyme disease: keeping your pets on a flea and tick preventative, and vaccinating for Lyme disease. We carry several different flea and tick prevention products at the clinic, and we offer the Lyme vaccine. We also have free tick pullers at the front counter if you wanna stop by and grab one!! Visit our website at for an instructional video on how to pull a tick successfully!! 

Endangered Species of the Week: Bluefin Tuna

Bluefin are the largest tuna and can live up to 40 years. They migrate across oceans and can dive more than 4,000 feet. Bluefin tuna are made for speed: built like torpedoes, have retractable fins and their eyes are set flush to their body. They are tremendous predators from the moment they hatch, seeking out schools of fish like herring, mackerel and even eels. They hunt by sight and have the sharpest vision of any bony fish. There are three species of bluefin: Atlantic (the largest and most endangered), Pacific, and Southern. Most catches of the Atlantic bluefin tuna are taken from the Mediterranean Sea, which is the most important bluefin tuna fishery in the world.

The Atlantic bluefin is a highly sought-after delicacy for sushi and sashimi in Asia—a single fish has sold for over $1.75 million! Driven by such high prices, fishermen use even more refined techniques to catch tuna. And the fish are disappearing as a result. Although tuna do provide food and livelihoods for people, they are more than just seafood. Tuna are a top predator in the marine food chain, maintaining a balance in the ocean environment.

Bluefin tuna populations have declined severely from overfishing and illegal fishing over the past few decades –not just Atlantic bluefin tuna, but also Pacific bluefin tuna and Southern bluefin tuna. Population declines have been largely driven by the demand for this fish in high end sushi markets.

Information provided by the World Wildlife Foundation – if you would like to learn more about the Bluefin Tuna or any other endangered/threatened species please visit their website at

Threatened species: The Bison

This week instead of an already endangered species we decided to focus on a creature that is currently threatened, and on their way to endangered: the Great Plains Bison.

Symbols of strength and determination, bison are Ice Age survivors. Clearing away snow and brush with their massive heads, they weigh up to 2,000 pounds and can run up to 40 miles per hour. Once numbering 30-60 million in North America, their numbers were decimated in just a few decades as expansion pressed westward. No other species on Earth has declined so quickly. Several Native American tribes are working with the World Wildlife Foundation to grow bison numbers once again across vast grasslands under their management.

Historically bison were the dominant grazer on the Northern Great Plains landscape. This dominance shaped the landscape by affecting the pattern and structure of the grasses and vegetation that grew. Expansive areas of native grasslands allowed animals to flourish along with many species of other prairie wildlife.

Today, the largest remaining wild herd of approximately 4,500 individuals can be found in Yellowstone National Park. Large North American grazers including the plains bison traditionally roamed across millions of acres, which kept the grasslands and herds healthy and diverse. However, early settlement and current land uses by present day communities have redefined where these large animals are able to roam. WWF’s Northern Great Plains Program is working with National Parks, native tribal communities, and its ranching partners to find common ground on returning bison to suitable intact prairie landscapes.

The below picture is of our receptionist on her journey home from Alaska through Canada with a Bison!

Endangered Pet of the Week: Yangtze Finless Porpoise

The Indo-Pacific finless porpoise, or finless porpoise, is one of seven porpoise species. Most of the population has been found around the Korean peninsula in the Yellow and East China Seas, although a freshwater population is found around Jiuduansha near Shanghai at the mouth of China’s Yangtze River. Genetic studies indicate that the finless porpoise is the most basal living member of the porpoise family.

The Yangtze River, the longest river in Asia, used to be one of the only two rivers in the world that was home to two different species of dolphin—the Yangtze finless porpoise and the Baiji dolphin. However, in 2006 the Baiji dolphin was declared functionally extinct. This was the first time in history that an entire species of dolphin had been wiped off the planet because of human activity. Its close cousin, the Yangtze finless porpoise, is known for its mischievous smile and has a level of intelligence comparable to that of a gorilla.

Finless porpoises need an abundant food supply for survival. The destruction of the Baiji dolphin food supply was central to its extinction. Overfishing is the main factor that contributes to the decrease in finless porpoises’ food supply, but pollution and ship movement are factors as well.

For more information or to help these awesome creatures please visit World Wildlife.

Helpful Tips for Surviving Spring

With spring popping up all over the place, we wanted to touch on a few troublesome areas that come about with the changing weather. 

Similar to humans, pets can suffer from allergies due to the increase in grass growth and pollen. Also, we have already begun to notice a dramatic increase in tick population. We strongly recommend tick prevention for all outdoor pets as these little pests tend to carry a slew of infectious diseases , including lymes disease. And as the foliage continues to grow, so does our favorite weed, the foxtail. 

Foxtail season is an incredibly busy season for us at Meadow Vista Vet because they are everywhere in the Auburn area! Dogs (and cats!) can get a foxtail stuck pretty much anywhere and they are painful! Foxtails look harmless and fuzzy, but they have barbed sprigs that when lodged in a paw or ear, can cause some serious damage! Try to avoid letting your pets run through fields to avoid having one of these stuck up your dogs nose. 

Lastly, and most importantly, we want to make sure you are keeping your pets up to date on their rabies vaccinations. We haven’t had any official reports of rabies, but we have seen several dogs that have had a run in with skunks in the area that are acting “odd.” A lot of people think of rabies and they picture bats, but actually a lot of the local ground critters such as raccoons, and skunks are likely carriers of the disease. If your pet comes in contact with wildlife, we recommend boostering their rabies vaccination as soon as possible after the incident, followed by close monitoring for behavioral changes. 

Right now, if you purchase a box of Nexgard (flea and tick preventative) we will send you home with a free Kong chew toy!! If you have any questions about any of this information, please give us a call!!

Endangered Species of the Week: Pangolins!

We’d like to introduce you all to our endangered species of the week, the Pangolin! Pangolins are the most trafficked mammal in the world, which is surprising because we only just learned about them in our recent research into endangered species. 

Pangolins have large, protective keratin scales covering their skin; they are the only known mammals with this adaptation. They live in hollow trees or burrows, depending on the species. Pangolins are nocturnal, and their diet consists of mainly ants and termites which they capture using their long tongues. They tend to be solitary animals, meeting only to mate and produce a litter of one to three offspring which are raised for about two years. Pangolins are threatened by hunting (for their meat and scales) and heavy deforestation of their natural habitats, and are the most trafficked mammals in the world. Of the eight species of pangolin, four (Phataginus tetradactyla, P. tricuspis, Smutsia gigantea, and S. temminckii) are listed as vulnerable, two (Manis crassicaudata and M. culionensis) are listed as endangered, and two (M. pentadactyla and M. javanica) are listed as critically endangered on the International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List of Threatened Species.